Another Voyager 1st-time watch thread

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by Shatnertage, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I know, there are plenty of "fresh look at Voyager" threads floating around, but hear me out on this one. My wife and I are watching Voyager for pretty much the first time, thanks to us DVRing it from Spike TV. We're both longtime fans of Star Trek in general (me a little longer than her), who for various reasons didn't catch most of VOY in its initial run.

    I've posted a few questions about episodes here in the past few weeks, but figured it would be better to just start one thread and keep them all there, since we've got tons of questions for each episode, and it'd be nice to get long-time fans' perspectives on them.

    Last night we watched "The Thaw." Pretty early on, I saw the similarities to a few Philip K. Dick stories--most obviously A Maze of Death--but with the Trek twist of a real adversary. In most Dick stories about simulated reality gone wrong, it's simply the characters' neuroses that make it so miserable. Compelling fiction, but probably not good TV.

    I was disappointed that Carel Struyken (sp) didn't get a bigger part, since Mr. Homn is one of my favorite characters and my dream episode would probably me him and Morn sitting there, swapping stories. :)

    Other than that, I thought it was an intriguing episode with some great moments from Kim, the Dr, and particularly Janeway.

    I've got a real fascination with evil clowns, so this was right up my alley.

    What do other people think about this story?
     
  2. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Love it, Love Janeway in it, hate evil clowns.
     
  3. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    When I first watched the episode when it originally aired I thought it was stupid and contrived. Since then I have a new appreciation for what the writers were attempting to accomplish in it.

    You have to IMHO severely suspend your disbelief in this specific episode because so much of Trek attempts to base itself on more realistic technology.

    So, setting aside some of the suspension issues and looking at the message itself about the nature of evil and fear and after a fresh look as an older adult I really enjoy this episode.
     
  4. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "A virus, a virus! He thinks we are a virus!"
     
  5. Michael

    Michael In alignment with canon Moderator

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    "The Thaw" is one of Voyager's best outings. I love the abstract nature of the story. It mainly works because of Michael McKean's superb acting as Fear. Also, the minimalist setting makes it probably the most TOS-like episode of Voyager.
     
  6. T.D. Possum

    T.D. Possum Commodore Commodore

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    For a long time, I thought that I had only watched two episodes of Voyager when it was in its original run - Caretaker and Non Sequitur. Years later, I rewatched the whole series and was surprised to discover that I had also seen The Thaw back in the day. And then completely forgotten about it.

    What is the point of this story? I don't know. Except that now I think it's a really great episode, and evidently I wasn't so smart at age 20.
     
  7. Quinton O'Connor

    Quinton O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    It's one of the best episodes in the series. Very TOS-like, in a very good way.
     
  8. Joeman

    Joeman Captain Captain

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    I wish I could go back and watch Voyager again for the first time. It was only about 3 years ago, as I had dismissed it during its original run. Although I think the show was fairly inconsistent compared to some of the other Treks, when it was great, it was great. Overall, I really enjoyed watching it all the way through.

    A lot of people aren't all that fond of the The Thaw, but I love it. I scored it a 10/10. Much like TNG's The Royale (also quite unpopular), it reminds me of classic Trek. I really love both of them.
     
  9. T.D. Possum

    T.D. Possum Commodore Commodore

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    Hear, hear!
     
  10. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which is funny, because I don't like The Royale at all, and I really don't like TOS episodes like The Empath, but I really liked this one. I think it was the Dickian influence. I'd always wondered what an episode of Trek written like him would have been like, and I think this is pretty close to what it would have been, at least after a few rewrites.

    For as much as people grouse about VOY being TNG-lite, I'm seeing a lot of stuff that wouldn't have happened on TNG. The continuing arc with the Kazon spy (I forget his name) is probably the best example I can think of. I'm looking forward to seeing more.
     
  11. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I love the Royale due to Data.
    He's freakin' funny in that ep.! :lol:

    "Sir, what bid-ness is it we be gettin' down too?":guffaw:
     
  12. henbane

    henbane Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It's one of the very best episodes of Voyager - and the evil clown//carnival atmosphere feeds the little piece of coulrophobia in most of us. Have always loved Michael McKean (who can forget Spinal Tap!)....his portrayal of Fear was excellent.

    This episode really had the Roddenberry message - a moral fable - and reminded me very much of TOS - also the use of colour (not talking just about the costumes) made it also very TOS-like.

    Overall, one of Voyagers best episodes.
     
  13. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    OK, last night's episode was..."Tuvix."

    This is our immediate reaction after the credits rolled:
    Me: "Wow."
    Her: "That was the best episode of Voyager I've seen yet."
    Me: "That might be the best episode of Trek I've seen."

    To sound totally pretentious, it featured a bravura performance by Mulgrew as Janeway, and another one from the actor who played Tuvix. I thought Mulgrew was particularly strong in the Janeway/Kes scene...showed a lot of nuance, but also an underlying strength. I can see why people like the actor and the character so much.

    About the story....My wife thought that Tuvix was right, and that it was wrong to kill him to bring back Tuvok and Neelix (she also liked the name "Neevok" better). I'm still not sure what the right thing to do was.

    I'll say this: once Janeway made her decision, she was an absolute bulldog. Nothing was going to stop her from doing what she thought was right.

    For me it was a great episode because it made a big point, but not the usual, obvious, trite message like "hatred is bad." It posed a real ethical dilemma that I don't think has a correct solution. In other words, the same basic idea as several TOS and TNG stories, just executed in a more thoughtful way. It reminded me of Worf refusing to give his blood to the Romulan in (I forget the name--the one where Geordi and the Romulan reprise Enemy Mine).

    My only criticism is that maybe they should have drawn this out for a few more episodes, to let the audience get as attached to Tuvix as the crew, who spent a month or so (?) around him. And that I thought it was incredibly cruel to have Kes present in sickbay when they did "the procedure."

    So two "high concept" episodes in a row, and two big wins, as far as I'm concerned.

    Any thoughts on "Tuvix?"
     
  14. T.D. Possum

    T.D. Possum Commodore Commodore

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    I think you will find that everyone has thoughts on "Tuvix".

    Summary of my opinions: It is, indeed, one of the best episodes of Voyager and Trek in general. This, despite the fact that the psuedo science was outrageously stupid. I agree that it was very well acted. As a veiwer, I thought Janeway was wrong, but I still love her. My favorite thing about this episode is imagining how the various members of the crew reacted once they learned that Janeway had killed Tuvix.

    ETA: Oh, yeah, and I think this episode should have involved the separation of "Smones", a crewman made from the fusion of Ensign Smith and Crewman Jones. In that situation, there would be no absolute need to regain the two separate characters, since they would not have been played by contracted star actors. This would have added a lot of suspense.
     
  15. vas2009

    vas2009 Captain Captain

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    The Thaw

    Classic Janeway I loved it

    CLOWN: I’m afraid.
    JANEWAY: I know...

    My favorite part :techman: Just shows how awesome Janeway is.

    Tuvix
    :brickwall:

    This is one of those no win situations. I personally agree with her and would hope she would be the one to make the call if it was me trapped with Neelix... or anyone. There was no way Janeway loved her Job at this point and no one was envious of her either.

    I do understand why others would think differently... but as Chakotay would say...she's the Captain.
     
  16. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^One of the things I like about "Tuvix" is that I'm still not sure which was the right course of action to take. I agree the pseudoscience is atrocious, but if I was looking for scientific accuracy, I would have made it about ten minutes into "Where No Man Has Gone Before" before turning off, like most of us.

    Tonight's episode: "Resolutions."

    DVR summary says Janeway & Chakotay get a virus. Before it starts, I imagine it goes something like this:
    J: "My throat's killing me. I think I'm coming down with something."
    C:"Me too. Tuvok, you've got the bridge--we're going to sickbay."
    The End

    It just goes to show you shouldn't judge a show by its blurb. For the third episode in a row, I think they knocked it out of the park.

    First of all, there's something I want to ask about. I've heard people say that Harry Kim is the Mayweather of VOY, & he generally does nothing. In this episode he fomented a mutiny against his captain and nearly got himself thrown in the brig. Really good stuff from him that belies what I've heard. Does he not go very far after this?

    The real stars, though, were Janeway and Chakotay, and both actors shined. I particularly liked Janeway's reaction to Chakotay's "woman warrior" story. I rolled my eyes at "my people have an ancient legend," but it was quite touching. I also liked how they weren't looking at each other in the final scene back on the bridge, making it clear that this was going to be a tough transition.

    Since I missed the Vidian episode, I'm not sure why their dr. was calling VOY's Doctor "smithers" or something like that, but I surmise they have a backstory.

    Again, I can see where they're taking a TOS episode--in this case, "The Paradise Syndrome," and giving it a twist that makes it fresh. The more I watch, the more I like this show.

    But I've still got a question: does Chakotay not have a first name? Or does he not have a last name? Why not?
     
  17. Michael

    Michael In alignment with canon Moderator

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    Bestest idea I ever heard about for this episode. I mean, I loved Tuvix as played by Tom Wright, but it might have made for a better ending, had they not merged two main characters.

    Well, killing one living being certainly wasn't. I like the episode, but I never understood why so many people defend Janeway's cruel decision. In the last scenes I hated all the main characters, because no-one had the guts to speak up for Tuvix. It really was a shame looking in their faces. I mean, this episodes goes out of its way to make Tuvix a likeable character, who gets along with pretty much everyone on the ship. But then suddenly the Doctor is the only one who doesn't want to kill him just to selfishly get two friends back. But then again, he's only doing it because of these annoying ethic subroutines. :rolleyes:

    I guess it's because even then he goes about doing it in the most immature, childish and annoying way imaginable. ;)

    I found it ridiculous how no-one on the ship seemed to have any respect for Tuvok as the captain. Also, why didn't they give him the proper uniform for this episode? That said, I really like Resolutions. I don't know what the business with the monkey was all about, but it was nice to see Janeway and Chakotay get a little closer.

    :lol: It's Shmullus, actually. And it's the name of her uncle, if I remember correctly. Denara Pel was the love-interest-of-the-week in Lifesigns.
     
  18. JanewayRulz!

    JanewayRulz! Vice Admiral Admiral

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    CHAKOTAY: Looking for a pet?
    JANEWAY: No. Looking for a clue about primate physiology on this planet

    I can't watch this scene without screaming at the TV, "Kathryn! Forget the monkey and catch a clue about the rather large primate standing next to you, checking you out in the towel!" :wtf:

    Seriously, I suspect the monkey was a device much like the angry warrior story, to lead Kathryn away from the "Captain" mindset towards the more basic, "Lets survive this ordeal the best way we can" mindset.

    Also, IIRC, someone said the producers were told about this strange animal and they wrote him into the show. Cheaper than a CGI character.
     
  19. T.D. Possum

    T.D. Possum Commodore Commodore

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    Well, that's true. But I never would have made that crack if they had not taken the trouble to merge the character's clothing so that Tuvix wore a Starfleet uniform with paisley shoulders.

    Especially not Voyager. Just for kicks, you might peruse You Tube and look up some of the old trailers. They were often so inaccurate that they appeared to be about a totally different episode.

    Maybe I should ask you about Mayweather. :) I'm actually watching Enterprise for the first time right now. It seems to me like me like Mayweather's a nice guy who never gets any screen time, and never gets to do anything fun when he does. Harry does get to do a lot of things throughout the series, unfortunately, IMHO, most of them are highly annoying. Else, they are the centerpieces of silly plots and end up making the character look ridiculous.

    He has only the one name. I believe this is because he is an Indian from Tribe Hollywood and having only one name makes him more native-ish, right? You know. Like Tonto. :brickwall:

    Anyway, I don't like monkeys; I thought Chak's story was sweet; I approve of any scene with Janeway in a bathtub; I never figured out why a holodeck reproduction of the planet wouldn't have sufficed to keep the illness at bay; and I don't ship J/C. This concludes my opining on Resolutions.
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's Michael Piller's influence on the show. He was the head writer for the first two seasons, and he had developed a taste for semi-serialised stories from his work on early DS9, so he wanted Voyager to go in a similar direction with recurring villains and all that jazz. As a result, season 2 is the most arced season of Voyager. Once he left the show, Jeri Taylor took over, and she wasn't interested in doing story arcs.

    What Voyager lacks, and what DS9 and Enterprise had, was deferred pay-offs, where a story will be allowed to build up over several episodes, or a whole season, before reaching its climax. Season 2 does kind of have that, but the rest don't. That being said, there's plenty of good standalone episodes in Voyager.

    I don't like the character of Tuvix. I like Tuvok, I don't like Neelix, so merging them together was just a ruination of Tuvok's character. I couldn't wait for Tuvok to be separated from that insufferable clown, and that's one of the reasons why that episode didn't work for me.

    Another problem I have is the way Janeway acted at the end. Janeway is an inconsistant character at best, the writers sometimes seemed to have trouble defining who the character is, they would often bend her actions to make them suit the needs of the plot. In my mind, this episode did exactly that: The episode needed Tuvok and Neelix to come back, so Janeway did that even though it does feel rather out of character for her.

    The main problem I have is that the episode ends without even trying to gauge Tuvok or Neelix's opinion on what happened, and neither of them brings it up in the future. This is a story where Janeway condemns one man to death against his will in order to save another two, so how do those men feel about her actions? We don't know, it was just brushed under the rug!

    I admire Tuvix for what it tried to be, but I'm not a fan of what Tuvix actually is.

    No, Mayweather is the Harry Kim of Enterprise. :p

    Without a doubt, Mayweather is the less developed character of the two, Kim at least gets one or two episodes per season with something to do. Outside of those episodes, Kim is just kind of there, he helps to move the plot along but rarely ever drives it. He doesn't evolve as a character either, in season 7 he's the same young ensign he was in season 1. They were going to kill him off at one point, but Garrett Wang was voted one of the sexiest actors on TV so they decided to keep him around as sex appeal, but they had no idea what to do with him. Yeah, I don't get how he's sexy either. :vulcan:

    Dr Kenneth H. Shmully, M.D. The H stands for Hyphen.

    Yeah, you'd think that.

    I'd say that it was some Hollywood claptrap about Native Americans, but I haven't ruled out the possibility that the writers just forgot to give him a first name. I mean, did you know that he's a Lt Commander and not a full Commander? I never knew that until I read it online a few years ago, nobody ever said it on the show. :shrug: