After watching DS9 for the first time the whole way through and finding my new favorite Trek, then watching Enterprise which I also enjoyed but not as much as DS9 and TNG, I'm now giving Voyager a second chance. I've started that journey tonight. Watching this series is a little different than watching DS9 or Enterprise which I had watched very little of. I was actually faithful to Voyager up until sometime shortly after Seven's arrival, then I watched sporadically through the finale. I remember finding Janeway's voice annoying, then I found Seven's voice annoying...two annoying voices! Aggghh!! Okay, I know that's sort of like complaining about hair (go ahead, call me "Slut"), but I eventually got used to those voices. The bigger problem for me was there were so many lost opportunities along the way for this show to take some risks and be truly great. I would shake my head and say to myself "they should have done this," or "wouldn't it be great if they did that." Keep in mind, I went off to college during the later seasons, so that partly (probably mostly) explains my sporadic viewing later on. So now I'm watching it again and filling in with the episodes I missed. And I'm honestly kind of excited about it! I just finished watching "Caretaker." I'll tell you right off that VOY has the best show opener and best theme of any Trek in my opinion. I love Goldsmith's sweeping theme and the absolutely breathtaking visuals. Love, love, love. I remember also being in love with the ship design. I really wanted to get a Voyager ship model when I was in high school along with an Enterprise C, but with what little money I had I opted to purchase Trek scores on CD. I was new to CDs and was amazed by them. Back then, they all came in those long, thin cardboard boxes. Anybody know why? I think my first purchase was the score for Star Trek IV because that was the only Trek CD available in whatever store I was in. Later, I fell into the trap of BMG Music Service. Remember that? I also purchased the Trek films on VHS gradually until I had the whole set. Wowee! Boy, did I wear those out! I love that DS9 is featured in the episode. Wish there was more of that. To me, Paris had the strongest showing early in this episode. He had attitude, but he was also a flirt and likable. You could tell he was hardened a bit from his past mistakes, embarrassing his father, his time with the Maquis and being imprisoned, but he also had a soft side. Great character. I liked the first officer (pre-quadrant jump). It's a shame he was killed off instead of...well, I won't go there. I think it would have been great if the guy who played the first officer was actually the Captain initially and then sort of build up his character more in the beginning. His death would have more impact. Then Janeway, the first officer, would have to pick up the pieces and be tested to see if she's really ready to command a crew of mixed allegiance. But I'm sure the writers didn't want to insinuate that a woman wasn't already qualified to be captain, even if that was not the intent. Got to be PC and all of that. Still, I think it would have made a stronger story. The EMH is a treat. I remember loving his arc when I watched. I also remember finding the array to be an annoying part of the pilot episode. All of the records on those ships and they create a hillbilly hoedown to make them feel at home? Ridiculous. And based on the sound she was making and the look on her face, I wasn't sure whether Janeway was experiencing pleasure or pain when she was injected with the giant needle! Neelix just makes me laugh. I'm sure he's one of those characters you either love or hate. And B'elanna...well, I had a huge crush on her the first time I watched this. And Mariah Carey. And my high school Spanish teacher. The trip to the surface of the Ocampa underground was way too long. I remember it being suspenseful the first time I watched, but this time it was just a drag. People hate on Archer for being dumb, but Janeway has the ability to get the crew back home and she decides to allow the array to be destroyed? Whaaa??? Use those crazy "tri-cobalt devices" to destroy the remaining Kazon ships, give Neelix the Maquis ship, a lifetime supply of water and a couple of those tri-cobalt deals and ask him to destroy the array as soon as they leave, and for Pete's sake set the thing on the array to send them back home. Boom, all problems solved. I can understand the Maquis crew giving in and working with the Voyager crew, but wearing the uniforms? So quickly? Get real! Let's have more tension! I did enjoy Janeway's speech at the end. But I wanted the last shot to be the EMH in a dark sickbay saying, "is anybody going to turn me off?' As I recall, watching VOY during its original run was when I really started to notice the "wallpaper music." I love some of Jay Chattaway's work (especially in ENT), but this episode doesn't rank very high for me. All in all, a weak way to introduce the situation, but a nice intro for some of the characters. The climax and resolution were especially weak. The only visual tension we actually witnessed between the Kaizon and the Ocampa was a couple of bruises on Kes. I understand that the Ocampa are helpless and dependent on the Caretaker and the Kaizon have ships and weapons and are obviously presented as somewhat ruthless. But Janeway's decision at the end would have made more sense if the Kaizon had proven to be more of a tangible threat. Perhaps they managed to capture some Ocampa over the years and treated them as slaves, tortured them, kept them as hostages or something - anything to add more tension visually. Or perhaps the Ocampa could have been (or at least appeared to be) a far less advanced culture. Out of a possible five emoticons, I give this episode three smilies, a scream and a wtf: I really should just give it two smilies, but I think nostalgia kicked in.