Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by gakelly, May 4, 2019.
Hello! a year was not long enough. Thank you for the greeting
Not only was "Parallax" a poor episode, but it was followed by "Time and Again" (the infamously terrible Amelia Earhart episode). The next week was a repeat episode if I recall correctly.
By that time the show had suffered a severe audience fall-off. The fourth episode introduced the Vidiians, finally getting things back on track. I will never understand why they sleepwalked out of the premier with a pair of goofy episodes.
Time and again was another time travel episode. Janeway and Paris went back in time...the creators decided to go all in with time travel gimmicks because they obviously had no ideas about what to do with the show. You would think a show that is just in the beginning stage would have had some ideas on how to develop the characters after the pilot.
The crappy Earhart episode was the 37s, truly one of the worst shows of any Trek franchise ever. Terrible dialogue, awful plot, 20 minutes of guest actors babbling about how they are going to report the crew to somebody. Ugh. Total garbage.
The problem with this show was the premise itself. I get the idea, but Star Trek was always about humanity at its finest, exploring outward. Voyager was lost in space and trying to get home.
The other shows in general, had a premise where they would meet new people, and expand humanity's reach in space, in a positive, peaceful way. Optimistic.
Voyager, by its very premise, had to fail in its mission, which was to get home.
In order to do that, they had to make Janeway incompetent. No better example of that than when they actually found themselves in 1996 Earth, and didn't immediately slingshot around the sun to the 24th century, or travel at near light speed and let Einstein physics get them there. The ending of that episode involved Janeway just weakly capitulating to the time police, without argument.
Janeway encounters Q. The episode ends with Q owing her a favor. Does she say, "get them home?" No. That's just idiotic.
They discover Warp 10. It turns them into salamanders. But this is curable. The Doctor can fix everyone. So do they do try it again? No. Incompetent.
It was like Gilligan's Island in many facets.
Plus, Voyager was a copy of a copy of a copy. The writing staff had trouble coming up with original scripts, and they often violated canon and made sloppy mistakes. No better example of that than Flashback, when it was clear that the writers were being forced to do a tribute to TOS and didn't even bother to watch ST6 beyond the first scene.
There were a lot of issues with the show, and it's a shame.
The derivative-ness may be disappointing but I think you should consider the context. TNG was a big success but had ended, DS9 was already considered a mixed success at best, series 4 was literally created to succeed TNG and given those reactions it also makes sense that it would pretty much be a continuation of it as well.
Most shows have status quos and/or overarching story elements that aren't, respectively, changed or resolved until the end.
Well TNG was initially very different from the original series-and was pretty disliked for that (and to an extent still is) so if Voyager is too similar I don't think that applies to the previous shows.
It wasn't a 100% literal metaphor. I wasn't saying that TNG or DS9 were copies of TOS. I was saying that VOY was a much inferior copy of TNG.
The problem is the overuse of technobabble solutions, it's Voyager's deus ex machina.
Technobabble and reset endings.
Like every Star Trek show
"Time and Again" was when I knew it was going to be a weak show. It was the kind of episode that would usually come along after writers have run out of ideas after several seasons of being around. Instead they jumped right in with that.
Some shows age better than others. VOY hasn't aged well at all.
It's like..the 3rd episode of the first season. What shall we compare it to? Code of Honor? The Naked Now? A Man Alone?
It's easily better than those, and it the premise had not been used in Trek before. It's not a bad episode.
That's nothing but "whataboutism." The fact that TNG's third episode ("Code of Honor," since apparently you aren't sure) was awful and DS9's was mediocre doesn't make "Time and Again" any better.
No doubt @NewHeavensNewEarth 's opinion would have changed if the show had significantly improved after that, proving that the early episodes were only Early Installment Weirdness. As things went, though, it's a defensible enough position.
Being better than "Code of Honor" isn't much of an accomplishment. The other is arguable. And if we absolutely have to make comparisons with the other "third episodes" in the franchise, well, it's utter shite compared to "Where No Man Has Gone Before."
Maybe not the exact plotline, but time travel b.s. wasn't anything new.
Considering the context makes the problem more understandable, maybe, but it doesn't make the problem go away.
The reset button was really annoying. In Basics part II, the damage to the ship should be considerable, yet they are ready to go when Janeway still has dirt on her face!! How long did the repairs take? Minutes!!!
I believe Voyager went wrong when it was decided to put it on network TV.
Even worse, it was the anchor show for a brand-new network, pretty much assuring it would run the commensurate 7 years no matter the quality of the product.
Roddenberry was lured back to do TNG partly because of the syndication scheme. He had ZERO desire to be beholden to network executives and nielsen ratings. I think he understood well before many of us did that sci-fi is a niche product that just can't compete on network tv. Note the numerous failures of even good sci-fi on networks over the last 40 years. That The Orville is somehow surviving on Fox astounds this sci-fi fan who remembers how highly rated the original BSG was before it's unceremonious cancellation after 1 season.
Seven of Nine seems to be 70% derided in this thread, and her appearance on the show is well documented as a network request, as was the decision to center so many episodes around her character. Add that to the wrestling show (to cross-promote UPN's wrestling hour) and you start to see how much being on a network can hurt a sci-fi show. There are a zillion other instances of this kind of thing all through Voyager's run, but you get the idea.
DS9 couldn't have happened on a network, nor could New BSG or even the 3 Stargate series. Just look at Enterprise. The network demanded more Trek like Voyager and TNG, and that's what we got for 2 years. Ratings fell off a cliff. Then, they took a risk (Trek being far less important by 2003) and the show improved for year 3 and improved dramatically for year 4, but it was too late to save it by then. Ent probably would have survived if it had been on the Sci-Fi Channel. But those ratings on a network? Forget it.
That is my long-winded answer to what I think is Voyager's problem.
But the show did significantly improve, and Time and Again isn't even a "bad" episode to begin with. Are you raising the stakes on an already silly criticism and claiming that "Time and Again" was the height of Voyager?
"Time travel bs" is an inherant part of every Star Trek series ever made, and even many of the films. To criticize a Star Trek show for having a time travel episode is asinine... and dishonest. People like Time travel stories. That's why every series kept making them, and continues to. Voyager in particular, did very did very creative things with time travel plots to make them unique and interesting, and a lot of these episodes have been highly praised.
"The problem" isn't some universal value that exists for all. For many, "the problem" doesn't exist, and for some of those posting here that it does, they can't decide what it is, but it's fun to say "I think the problem is..." when you don't like something, even you give multiple answers to pile on more.
However the line was along the lines of "we have NO way of replacing them" not that "we have no way of immediately replacing them." the line as spoken appears to be a definite article.
The whole point of the line was to highlight to the audience that they have limited resources which means they will have to be careful in how they use them.
If they could repair or build something using parts onboard ship or that could be replicated then they have a way to replace them..
At the end of the day the writers imposed that limitation it's not unreasonable for me as a viewer to hold them to it. If you (the writers) aren't going to ignore self imposed limitations then don't impose them. If you want to write yourself out of it all it would have taken is about 2 seconds of dialogue at then end of a captain's log. i.e. "Engineering reports they have found a way to replace of photon torpedoes". The exact way isn't important more so it treats your viewers with a little respect by saying we know we said this before but we are changing that.
"A Man Alone" was better.
I personally like a lot of season 1 DS9 episodes, including A Man Alone, but I know it's been rated poorly by certain places like Jammer's reviews & The Pensky File, who have done episode by episode critical reviews on Star Trek.
So I'll say this, if you can find the value in the A Man Alone, then surely you can also find the value in Time and Again.
The Harry Kim episodes were not the best.
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