[Question] Why do people hate VOY so much?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by AlanAlias, May 27, 2015.

  1. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Quite a few points made recently I agree with, especially when it comes the formulaic and dull characters. Some seem to have single line descriptions that are never built upon, expanded or explored fully. For example: Chakotay is a Native American Maquis, Kim is a rookie ensign. Neither of the them did anything more that really broke them away from that, they were just dull through and through. Kim should've been gotten rid of at the beginning of S4 and Chakotay a year or two later, they just didn't work with the series.

    In the beginning, I really liked Janeway. I couldn't quite decide who was my favourite Captain, but over time she slipped down to third place, because she was so inconsistent and fell onto the stereotype of the 'motherly woman in charge'.

    Tuvok is one of three characters I could go back and watch quite happily. Yes he's a Vulcan and that sets up a number of stories that can be told, but Tim Russ nailed the Vulcan mannerisms and gave a great portrayal of the race--showing that they're not all scientists.

    Paris is a character I can take or leave. He's inoffensive and has a bit of a swagger that makes him more endearing than most, but in this cast it's easy to break away from the pack.

    Torres is like Tuvok (especially early-Torres), in that I can watch her again and again. Yes another hybrid dealing with their mixed heritage, but one who hates half of herself and all it stands for. I'm not a lover of Klingons (in small doses they're ok) so it was a breath of fresh air to see one not interested in honour and all that twaddle. I dislike how she was all but ignored later on, only made a girlfriend/wife to keep her visible and that she seemed to suddenly become ok with the Klingon stuff (I'm sure I remember a bat'leth hanging up in her quarters).

    Neelix was irritating as hell, made far too quirky and cutesy so the time they tried to do anything serious or dark with him it just felt wrong. I always think he'd have been better as a more Han Solo-esque character, a scoundrel with a good heart.

    Kes is the third character I loved in the series. Dropping her is part of the reason I lost interest in VOY. She was someone with so much potential, unfortunately she started out in 'girlfriend mode' whose existence was only really justified by Neelix. But she had moments standing on her own when she made you take notice, and after she dumped him she came into becoming a character in her own right. Unfortunately that's where her story comes to a crashing halt.

    Seven took over and stopped any other characters potential future stories and development dead in its tracks. It's pretty clear why she was there and it just didn't work for me (a well-endowed guy in skin-tight catsuits and I might've been a more religious viewer), though the concept was an interesting one and could've worked well--when its a part of almost every single episode after her introduction it just becomes tedious.

    The EMH. IMHO, simply put, he was the worst character throughout. Smug, condescending, hammy, irritating, arrogant. He became "brilliant" at everything and had no boundaries (Emergency Command Hologram, seriously?). They should've kept him stuck in sickbay, at least then I might've had a little sympathy for him.
     
  2. Overgeeked

    Overgeeked Captain Captain

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    If they would have given them decent arcs, they could have worked, but as you say, they were basically static throughout.

    Kate did the best she could with what she was given, but I definitely preferred early Janeway. The separate and distant from the crew captain who really only talks to Tuvok and sometimes Chakotay.

    I thought Tuvok was perfect, a logical non-scientist that was very well played by Russ.

    The irritation and non-Starfleet Neelix is exactly what I loved about his character. He took the piss out of the overly serious Starfleet. He could knuckle down and play it straight when the situation called for it, but he simply didn't know that he had to be serious, so he wasn't. I loved that. Like Garak or Quark. Non-human and non-Starfleet characters who just were, despite what the human/Starfleet characters thought of them.

    I loved the fact that Doc Zimmerman's bedside manner was shit. It was a great play against type. Like a Vulcan security officer (Tuvok). Or a Ferengi Starfleet officer (Nog). Or a Klingon conn officer (early Worf).

    The EMH is the only character other than Data who could reasonably be so generally competent. Most Starfleet officers are hyper-competent as is. Even a doctor could jury-rig a bit of kit or hit a mark with a phaser. But with Doc Zimmerman he could simply load another database into his matrix and go. So it did make sense... after a fashion.
     
  3. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Don't get me wrong, I actually love VOY a lot, and I think when it was good it was very, very good. But I'd be kidding myself not to recognise that a lot of it was fundamentally disappointing, relative to its potential. And I seriously think much of its problems come back down to it being, as I said earlier, 'Star Trek: Generic'. :)

    I agree that we hadn't had a Vulcan regular for years. But that doesn't mean the decision to include one wasn't driven by an almost checklist like mentality. It felt like VOY was self-conscious about it's being Star Trek, in essence by replicating the Star Trek that went before it, instead of forging ahead with a brand new take on the familiar franchise.

    I don't doubt that this 'checklist mentality' was also partially driven by VOY being the first Star Trek show to be on a network since TOS. Somebody, somewhere, decided to play it safe...
     
  4. Starborn Dragon

    Starborn Dragon Captain

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    I don't hate it, I don't love it.

    But I do enjoy it.
     
  5. Jeri

    Jeri Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The OP is not talking about "different expectations;" the OP has observed "hate" for the show here. The OP is correct, and hatred is uncalled for.

    I have been watching Star Trek since September 1966, and VOY "seemed fresh and new and exciting" to me, too; so I don't think that's the issue.
     
  6. hux

    hux Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I must admit, it wasn't until I came here that I was aware of Voyager being considered weak or Harry being considered an awful character

    I must also admit, I have been influenced by it a little (especially in regards to Harry)
     
  7. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's why I love Kirsten Beyer's novels. Almost every character gets an opportunity to shine or to develop. As Voyager fan I'm a bit biased, though.

    I heard about people hating starships with females as captain. Females would be too emotional bla bla bla....... Therefore they refuse to watch a show with a female captain.

    These narrow-minded people are not among my friends, though.

    But there a indeed people who have difficulties to accept females as superiors, I've met some of them.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Well, among the the common complaints about Voyager is that it was just "more of the same," that it was trying too hard to mimic TNG, that it played things too safe and didn't push the envelope where Trek was concerned.

    None of which would be an issue to someone, like the OP, who had never been exposed to Trek before.

    "Hey, this is just a warmed-over version of that other show I never saw!" :)

    Still, personally, I think that just the EMH and Seven alone justify Voyager's existence.
     
  9. Jeri

    Jeri Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Greg Cox, I think the OP wouldn't bother posting about "common complaints" made. What prompts the question is the bile and vitriol directed at the show.
     
  10. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you don't love it leave it.

    I simply do not watch something I don't like. Obviously bashing (via social media) is cool for some people. On the other hand: people keep talking about Voyager, even if they don't like it. It's better than being forgotten in the first place. People who criticize should consider some of the things they say, though.
     
  11. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    I think the internet created an exaggerated image of the hate shown for Voyager. It's 'Negativity bias', if you ask the average person to describe things they liked and things they disliked about something, they will describe a few general things they liked and several specific things they disliked. So the negative voice sounds louder than the positive voice even when the positive and negative feelings are equal.

    People were frustrated at Voyager because they wanted it to be as good as the series they liked more. Also there were some obvious missteps at the beginning, like making Neelix too annoying and making the Kazon the primary villains even though they were not very interesting.
     
  12. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The internet has a habit of doing this generally, I find.

    It's like a echo chamber where the same six opinions float back and forth ad nauseum. :brickwall:

    I know if I'm talking to someone and they're virtually paraphrasing criticisms I've seen in a SFDebris or RedLetterMedia review or whatever, then chances are they've never actually watched it or made up their own mind.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  13. jmidnight_99

    jmidnight_99 Captain Captain

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    Voyager rules. The only thing weak is the same lame criticism. Voyager had weak acting? How about Levar Burton? Tell me that wasn't pretty bad acting. Weak characters? How about that Major Kira character? Anger isn't depth, in fact it's pretty one dimensional, and gets pretty boring. And what the hell was the point of Counselor Troi? A different spin on the Vulcan telepath role? Weak stories? Thank heavens for the Dominion war, because without it there wasn't even a point to the DS9 series.

    No, Voyager rules. Lots of stories that were better than TNG, lots that weren't. But I just love it.
     
  14. Galekarens

    Galekarens Commander Red Shirt

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    Well if Amazon's ratings are "skewed" or not (since lots of products there get negative reviews would seem spending money on something doesn't "majority" equate to liking it per se) that there are many favorable Voyager reviews there indicates that many "people" do like it, so appears to dilute the notion that so many folks "hate" it. (As the thread's title seems to infer.)
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  15. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kirsten Beyer's Voyager novels (at least the German translations) are among the top ratet. Fans wouldn't buy the novels if they don't like the show.
     
  16. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Whilst no doubt some pople hate VOY no doubt the same is true of the other shows some pople hate them. Perhpas VOY and ENT generate a bit more hate than others but I think dissapointment might be a better way to describe how some pople feel about them. As Greg Cox mentioned if VOY was your introduction to the world of Trek then you have nothing to compare it to, if however it's your fourth after TOS, TNG and DSN you start to compare it against those, and those who explore the other Trek shows after VOY will compare those shows to VOY. And they might find those lacking.

    VOY wasn't a bad show some of it's episodes are very good, there are things I liked about it others I didn't but I could say the same for any show. At the end of the day I feel as if VOY didn't live up to it's premise. Most of the stories could have been told just as easily if the setting had been in or around Federation space. To me that it's a failure of the premise.
     
  17. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Voyager suffered from conceptual problems. Mainly due to being rushed into production compared to the longer time and effort Micheal Piller and Rick Berman put into developing DS9.

    It came at the wrong time, it should've been after DS9 (like Berman wanted) and...

    ...Okay, this can be a bitter pill to swallow...

    ...The plot just wasn't sustainable. The whole "Lost Ship" thing only has about 2 seasons worth of stories in it to begin with, and the internal tensions only had about 1 season worth of life in it too.

    After that, they either needed to make a new plot beyond "Voyager is lost" or they should've just brought them home.

    Hiring some bad actors who were phoning it in from day one was also a bad idea (Chakotay and Kim).

    But you have to admit the audience's nastiness to the show from right after Caretaker didn't help matters.
     
  18. Ghost

    Ghost Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I do wonder, what if the premise had been that Voyager was sent to the Delta Quadrant rather than being lost in it.
     
  19. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Was there really that much "nastiness" right away? I don't recall a huge fannish uprising when the show debuted.

    If anything, DS9 seemed to get more flack in its early days, for not being set on a starship (remember all the "boldly going nowhere" jokes?), or Enterprise for its controversial choice of theme music and the goofy "decontamination" strip scenes. And, of course, TNG was initially controversial simply because it didn't have the original crew. And then there was Wesley . .. . :)

    Personally, I always thought that "Caretaker" was the best of the latter-day TREK pilots. Lord knows it was better paced than "Encounter at Farpoint."
     
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  20. Overgeeked

    Overgeeked Captain Captain

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    That's a rather odd assumption to make. Instead of people simply agreeing or having come to basically the same conclusion, you'd rather assume that they randomly decided to hate something enough--without even having watched it--to find several common negative arguments and spend their time parroting those argument on dedicated fan forums?

    So you're arguing that the acting on Voyager wasn't weak because you think Levar Burton's acting was weak? That Voyager didn't have weak characters because other character were weak? The flaws of other series have zero effect on the flaws of Voyager. That other series had flaws doesn't somehow erase VOY's flaws.

    I disagree. The conceptual problems you mention are an issue, but they weren't the biggest problem with VOY. They could have kept up the crew dissent storyline going the entire time, they simply chose to quash it in the pilot, with only minor reappearances later. The fact that VOY was "lost in the delta quadrant" wasn't a conceptual problem, and it didn't necessarily run out of plot, it's more than they lacked the courage of their convictions in actually following through with the repercussions, ramifications, and consequences of these two storylines.

    The integration of the Maquis with the Starfleet crew could have had enough drama to sustain the entire seven year run, if they hadn't defanged that in the pilot. The crew constantly second guessing the bridge officers, the bridge officers constantly questioning the captain, that could have worked quite well as a constant source of internal drama. Instead of it being a single episode of a holonovel mutiny, have constant politicking between the crews, set up a black market economy on the ship (instead of a single gambling pool episode), have a season where they build to a firing mutiny, have a season where the Maquis actually takes over the ship and runs things how they see fit. And a build up of the Starfleet officers retaking the ship. But of course everyone's using the stun setting because they can't afford to kill off anyone because if they lose too many people they can't fly the ship.

    And no, being "lost in the delta quadrant" didn't only have a few seasons of story to it. The writers and producers simply failed to follow through on it. Resources and supplies, repairing the damaged ship. Loss of crew. All of these should have been real and constant problems with the show. It's a small ship with 150 some odd crew. They can't suffer many casualties without a loss of efficiency, and if they lose too many, they reach a point where they can't actually operate the ship. The moral dilemmas that could have been played out. Man. It was a juicy concept that was all but pissed away. Crew trying to leave and settle a planet, the captain refusing, needing them to stay so the rest could get home, crew escaping the ship, the captain having to go get them back...

    So yeah, they could have taken the great concept presented in the pilot and done wonders with it, they just chose to go with the safe and everything's perfect, ain't humans grand approach that we had in TNG. Nothing wrong with it, but they had a great premise and pissed it away to openly ape TNG, which was a mistake considering it was just ended the year before and for many fans of a generation TNG defined Trek on television.

    They certainly abandoned ship rather quickly. The ratings went from 13 million to 5.8 million within the first season. The second season rarely rose above 6 million, and subsequent seasons slid downward by about 1 million per season, on average. Whether they flooded the net with nastiness, I don't remember, but they sure didn't want to watch.

    Agreed. It was very well done and set up the premise of the show perfectly. There was no mistaking exactly what the show would be about after that. If only it could have delivered better on the promise of the premise.
     
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