Another Voyager 1st-time watch thread

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

  1. Athena28

    Athena28 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Didn't love this ep.

    And, I hate to admit it, but I never really followed the whole forehead ridge thing from TOS to Enterprise. Not sure how it works.
     
  2. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just finished working on something, so it's fitting that I finally have time to discuss...

    "Workforce, Part I"

    Intriguing tease, where we see some incredibly visual effects (the Quarren industrial complex, with some neat zoom-ins and our beloved Captain Janeway in a jumpsuit that immediately brings to mind Colonel Wilma Deering! And she's either really happy to be away from Voyager, or has been brain-washed. Hmmm.

    In this episode, Janeway wearing the Colonel Deering jumpsuit and a few off-duty numbers, gets a boyfriend, and again mutilates dinner. Fun!

    Seven's going by her given name and is an efficiency expert with an interesting hairstyle, and Tom transforms himself into a lovable barkeep. Tuvok's got a tremendous laugh and a brilliantly tortured way of over-explaining a joke. What's not to like.

    For the first half of this episode, I had no idea what was going on--was it a brainwashing, or a long con by Janeway et al? The Quarren industrial site looks great, and there are tons of extras walking around. Obviously, this is another big-budget two-parter. Once we find out that Voyager's crew has been kidnapped, it's a little less mysterious, but it's still cool.

    I loved the Emergency Command Hologram, though I would have liked to have seen the pips pop up on his uniform. That would have taken away from the seriousness, of the episode, though. He sure is prickly, too, when Chak, Kim, and Neelix return and he's no longer in charge. Though I give Neelix props for talking Kim into drinking a meat milk-shake. The more I think about it, Neelix is a comic genius.

    Janeway's story has shades of "The Paradise Syndrome," where the captain's allowed to lead the simple life he/she always wanted, deep down. Kate Mulgrew really shines doing her mildly-flirtatious schtick, and there are at least a half-dozen great little facial expressions she does, mostly expressing disbelief over something.

    Robert Duncan McNeill also really stands out in this one. He's great as the rouge-ish borderline unemployable, and he has a lot of chemistry in his scenes with Torres--more so, I think than in the Paris/Torres domestic scenes on Voyager. And he's absolutely brilliant in the scene with Neelix--when Neelix talks about serving on a starship, there's just that flicker of recognition somewhere under the surface.

    Although I've got to say Chakotay makes a rather homely forehead alien. Is that practical joke number two of this episode, after the meat milkshake?

    After two dates Janeway's ready to move in with Jaffen? Wow.

    The build towards the cliffhanger was pretty good--you have Janeway's thread, Torres being abducted, and Chakotay getting chased. Although Chakotay does look pretty goofy in that final shot--I would have voted for another take there.

    This is an incredible episode on a lot of levels--visually, it's one of the most interesting I've seen in a while. For example, there was a cool shot in the beginning where the camera was shooting up through the grating of the second floor, then pivots to follow the action down a staircase. I love that stuff. And with so many aliens in the background and some neat CGI, there's a lot to look at here.

    I also got a kick out of everyone's alternate identities. Tuvok becomes a security risk, Janeway quickly gets into a relationship, Tom gets to live his holodeck fantasy by becoming a personable bartender, Torres is alone (which has become a real motif for her), and Seven is an efficiency expert.

    I can't wait to see how they resolve this one.
     
  3. HoneyBLilly

    HoneyBLilly Commodore Commodore

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    Favorite episode ever!!!!!!

    I love Jaffen and the actor, I remember watching this when it aired and then the next day watching Charmed and he played the sister's dad in that too.

    I'm still trying to figure out if Chakotay was supposed to be a Cardssian though
     
  4. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Here's a little trivia for you.
    This episode is directed by Anson Williams.
    Those that remember "Happy Day's" know him better as "Potsy"
    The alien Doctor in this ep. is played by Donny Most, in "Happy Day's" he was "Ralph Malph".
    The African-American woman that tends bar is also the voice of "Storm" from the FOX X-Men series from the 80's.:bolian:
     
  5. T.D. Possum

    T.D. Possum Commodore Commodore

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    I love this ep. Love it. LOVE.

    ETA: ZOMG Ralph and Potsy!??!?!
     
  6. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^^Actually if you go back over Voyager's seasons, some of the best eps. are directed by Anson Williams.
     
  7. T.D. Possum

    T.D. Possum Commodore Commodore

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    Omigoodness!

    Real Life
    Course: Oblivion
    DS9 It's Only a Paper Moon

    Three of my favorites.

    Go Potsy! And go exodus, for outstanding Trek trivia!
     
  8. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't know about the Happy Days connection. That's pretty cool.

    Luckily, I only had to wait 24 hours to learn what happened to Chakotay, in the thrilling finale to...

    "Workforce, Part II"

    This was a decent follow-up to the first half, though I didn't think it was quite as good. Once we learned what was really going on, there wasn't really much mystery; you knew that, by the end of the episode, everyone was going to be back on Voyager.

    That being said, it was still pretty good. I saw Jaffen's name mentioned in the "why does Janeway have bad taste in men episode," and I don't think he was a bad boyfriend at all. He was clearly really into Janeway, was mildly protective of her, and in the end knew that he had to let her go, as much as he cared about her.

    On the other hand, how about that look on Chakotay's face when he finds out that she's moved in with Jaffen after two dates! I totally wanted him to say, "Dude, I built you a bathtub..." but he just said something about her settling down (I forget exactly what).

    And I love Chakotay's alias: Amalkotay. It's like The Office, where Michael Scott's pseudonym is Michael Scotch.

    Touching scene with Torres reading Paris' personal logs. And Roxann Dawson did a good job directing this one, too.

    Interesting that the aliens were more nuanced than usual. Instead of the typical "everyone is against us," there actually were Quarren people (particularly the investigator guy) who weighed the evidence and listened to reason. So instead of having to shoot their way out of the system, they just had to bring the kidnapping scheme to light.

    Nice that Kim gets to teach the ECH something about space combat.

    Definitely one of the better episodes.
     
  9. T.D. Possum

    T.D. Possum Commodore Commodore

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    I love Jaffen. I thought everyone loved Jaffen.

    Everyone SHOULD love Jaffen.
     
  10. HoneyBLilly

    HoneyBLilly Commodore Commodore

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    I agree that it wasn't as good as Part One, but I love it just the same.

    And I still cry at the end, I wish Jaffen had stayed. Next to Chakotay(and Seven) he was the best choice for Janeway
     
  11. froot

    froot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I love Jaffen (and yes, everyone SHOULD love him! ;)) The ending when Janeway runs into his arms never fails to make me a little teary. I wish he had stayed, too. He was pretty cool - and I doubt it was an accident that he looked and acted a lot like Mark.

    The J/C bit where they are talking in the dark room is actually one of my favorite in the series, as well. I think it shows the trust the two characters have in one another, and it gets overlooked a lot, IMO. Oh! And the little J/Tu bit in Tuvok's flashbacks. Bless Tuvok.

    Also loved the return of the banana pancakes! The ECH/Harry bickering as a tad silly at times, but I thought it was great they made use of the ECH idea all the same :)

    Anyways. Love "Workforce." It did a great job of giving insight into nearly all the characters. Easily a favorite of mine.
     
  12. Markira

    Markira Commander Red Shirt

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    "Workforce" is fantastic. Loved everything about it. I had that same moment of "the REAL Kathryn Janeway would never move in with Jaffen after 2 dates" disbelief. I really enjoyed Paris and B'elanna's interactions in the bar, and her reading the logs once she got back to Voyager. One thing that wasn't too clear to me (and maybe I just missed it because DH and I are usually drinking a glass of wine or beer when we watch Star Trek after the kids go to sleep) is exactly why these people needed to basically kidnap people to be their workforce.

    Oh, and I LOVE the J/C scenes as well. I though Chakotay looked fine as a forehead alien. And by fine, I mean fine, y'all. :guffaw:
     
  13. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think they kidnapped people because there was a labor shortage. But it didn't look like any of the work was particularly grueling, so if they'd have paid better wages, they might have not had such a shortage. If you look at it too long it probably breaks down, but it was still a great episode(s).

    And now I'm on to the opposite of a great episode. I wish we could blame this on a computer, but it's clearly a case of...

    "Human Error"

    We start with someone playing piano. we find out it's Seven minus her Borg impants, and then there's a really strange fade to black and a pause. For a second I think we've gotten another bad disc, but then the credits start. Very strange.

    There was a lot of weird editing in this episode--enough to say that this is the first Trek episode I've seen in a while that seems technically inept. It's not on the level of 1980s Doctor Who, but it's definitely not up to the usual Trek standard. Allan Kroeker's directed a ton of Trek episodes, so I think it's just a case of rushing it or something. I can see why they'd have to do something a little smaller in scale after two big two-parters, but I wish they'd given this more time. Still, if "Human Error" is the price we pay for "Workforce," I'm satisfied.

    Essentially, the episode is "Hollow Pursuits," minus the comedy, and minus Barclay. In a way I wish they'd have made Reg Seven's experimental crush in this one, because it would have at least been funny. As it was, the Chakotay Seven stuff was alternately awkward and embarrassing. I actually felt sorry for both of the actors (as much as I can feel sorry for a guy who's got to do a love scene with Jeri Ryan, of course).

    At least Seven had a great baby shower toast. On the spur of the moment, too.

    The embarrassing part comes when the Doctor discovers her stash of holoChakotay porn. I can't think of anything more humiliating. This makes the Goddess of Empathy look like small potatoes. And the last person you'd want finding your holoporn is the EMH. First of all, he's a total freak. Second, he's a hologram--something he alludes to when he mentions "Your other holographic friend" to Seven.

    About the only positive thing I got from this episode is that Seven looks way, way better in a regular uniform.

    I really didn't like the idea of the emotional inhibitor (or whatever it is) in Seven's cortical node. Seven's already felt strong emotions more times than I can count, and we never heard anything about this. Also, the Doctor's been examining her weekly for three years. That's at least 150 examinations. He never noticed this? It just doesn't make any sense within the logic of what we've seen.

    From a dramatic perspective, you're taking a character who's already emotionally constrained, and giving her an excuse to be even more constrained. Again, it doesn't make any sense to me.

    This is easily one of the worst episodes of Voyager I've seen.
     
  14. T.D. Possum

    T.D. Possum Commodore Commodore

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    The only good thing about this ep is that it's excellent for chopping up for vids. :rolleyes:

    ETA: Oh, and my buddy Ashmore gets some face time at the holo-baby shower. Two good things.
     
  15. Markira

    Markira Commander Red Shirt

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    I got that there was a labor shortage, but...have they never heard of recruiting? But you're right - best not to think too hard on it. :)

    I agree with your review of the craptastic "Human Error." To me, it's obvious that Seven is still kind of a teenager in her interpersonal relationships, especially romantic ones. The Doctor finding her stash of "holoporn" as you so humorously put it is the ultimate in :alienblush:-worthy moments. I originally felt bad for the Doctor, too, because we know of his feelings for Seven. However, if she's like a teenager, then he's like a dirty old man...

    Best not to think too hard about this, either. :wtf:
     
  16. HoneyBLilly

    HoneyBLilly Commodore Commodore

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    Strangled by the Red String


    That is all.
     
  17. froot

    froot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    :barf2::barf2::barf2:

    I've never watched this episode in its entirety, so I'll just nod at your review. It certainly sounds apt. And you've come to the proper conclusion. :) Either way, individual scenes are kinda nice for vids, like Possum said.

    The awkward editing is something I've never heard mentioned. Perhaps this was an issue with post-production rather than the director?

    EDIT: If you want to see some careless directing/framing, check out "One." There's seriously a scene where there's a hand in the frame. :)
     
  18. Rom's Sehlat

    Rom's Sehlat Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with you on the weak plot. But I need to correct your statement:
    ...Seven looks way, way better in that red dress.
     
  19. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The red dress was nice, too, but wouldn't have been very practical as a regular duty uniform. Or would it?

    And it wasn't just holoporn...it was ChakotayPorn. Yikes!
     
  20. Markira

    Markira Commander Red Shirt

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    See, if I were Seven, I'd pick ChakotayPorn as well. The one thing that rang true is that of all the Voyager men (well, the main ones), Chakotay did make the most sense as an introductory hololover. There was still the age difference there, but he did share the connection and knowledge of the Borg with Seven. It's something that she might have felt bonded her to the real Chakotay in a way she didn't experience with anyone else. Not that I'm defending it because it's definitely creepy.