Why is the Trek community so negative about Voyager?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by ReadyAndWilling, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. ReadyAndWilling

    ReadyAndWilling Fleet Captain

    Jul 30, 2009
    I bring this up today because I just got home a little while ago from the local shopping mall. I walk into a great little store that sells basically everything science fiction. Books, DVD's, T-Shirts, memorabilia etc. So I immediately walk over to the Star Trek section and begin scouring over all the merchandise. I don't think I look like the typical Trekkie because I don't wear glasses, I'm not obese or sickly thin, but I'm muscular, with large arms and a large chest as I'm a competitive weight lifter. So anyway this guy walks up to me and asks if I'm a fan of Trek, I respond without haste, "Most definitely!". He asks if I preferred TNG or DS9. I say "Neither, Voyager is my favorite." He looks me up and down and makes a peculiar expression on his face like I just told him I believe the earth is flat. He says, "Oh, so you're obviously a fan of Jeri Ryan." Obviously he assumes I only watched the show because of her. I say "No, she did a great job with her character, but I just found Voyager the best of all the Treks." He looks at me and says "Oh." Then he just walked away.

    I can't be the only one who has noticed the overtly negative perception Voyager has within the Trek community.
  2. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 20, 2010
    Ward Fowler's gofer.
    I've noticed it more on here--most of the people I know IRL like VOY as much as, if not more than, the rest of Trek. But there's a definite snobbishness about VOY.

    I'm really just getting into the show now, not having watched much of it in its original run. On one hand, I like the show. On the other, there's been a lot of bad episodes (I just watched "Alter Ego"). Catching them as they come along, and without the entire body of work to put them into context, makes me understand where the negativity comes from.
  3. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2007
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination
    Well, I think this is partly a result of looking at Voyager in comparison to TNG and DS9, which IMO, Voyager doesn't do well next to them. Further, Voyager is seen as part of the "beginning of the end" of televised Trek, in terms of declining quality and ratings, before Enterprise put the final nail in that coffin. Finally, Voyager abandoned much of its premise early on, and as most of the rest of televised sci-fi was becoming serialized, Voyager, whose basic plot almost demanded it, tried to remain more like the stand-alone, episodic TNG.

    That said, as a sci-fi series, Voyager was still good, and I think it's really Enterprise that has more of the major negativity from Star Trek fandom.
  4. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 11, 2006
    Moncton, NB
    Well, there are members of the Trek Community who hate Voyager for the fact that it existed. Mainly these are Niners though, and the people who were expecting a show about the Fleeters quickly abandoning their morality so they could become remorseless space pirates. So it's more a case of "I hate that they stuck to their morals and were decent people!" than any legitimate critiques.

    That, and they were expecting the Maquis to be constantly plotting against the Fleeters and trying to take over the ship for themselves so THEY could be the space pirates since the idea of two groups with a few (but not major) differences overcoming their differences was repugnant to them.
  5. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

    Feb 19, 2003
    Melbourne, VIC
    I am a huge fan of Voyager and have great affection for the cast and characters they represented. But I say that in spite of the fact that the show had a massive amount of potential that it wasted. TNG was it's own deal. It was forging new waters in the way television was produced, marketed, and even perceived. So I can forgive the fact that it's essentially an anthology show- you can watch the episodes completely out of order and not much changes. This is how it was designed and is meant to be.

    Then DS9 happened, and the West Wing happened and 24 happened and the Sopranos happened and television grew up. But Voyager didn't, really. It was no more or less advanced than TNG was, eight years earlier- it was still anthology show in which almost nothing ever changed- episodes from the first season would seem right at home in the 7th. In fact, in the 7th season Chakotay goes BACK to the 1st season, and where in the TNG pilot this was a massive thing for Picard to see how different everything was, in Voyager it was totally meh and nothing was different, and that to me is the ultimate problem with Voyager. It had some great individual stories, but no consequences.

    It was immature.
  6. LeadHead

    LeadHead Director of Comedy Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2000
    Normandy SR-2 Comm Room
    I was a HUGE fan of Voyager until season 5. The cast of characters was fantastic, then all of the best ones were wasted when it changed over from the Janeway-Seven-The Doctor show. How so many great characters were neglected was unforgivable.

    Story Structure also had really become bad in the later seasons. Often times, there would be good set up, but the endings were weak.

    And of course the lack of continuing storylines.

    Completely agree with this. I remember that the West Wing second season premiere and the Voyager 7th season premiere were aired on the same night. Going right from watching one to the other.... lets just say you could really see the change in quality.
  7. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Sep 12, 2009
    Perth, Australia
    This basically sums up how I feel.

    For me, Deep Space Nine was a huge step forward for Star Trek in it's depth of characterisation and development. Voyager was expected to do the same if not more, but it just stagnated.

    The first couple seasons of Enterprise suffered this problem as well and it wasn't until the third season that the production staff started treating the show like Deep Space Nine. And it shows - the third season despite all it's canonical issues, is one of the most dramatically intense and character rich seasons of Star Trek ever, not just for Enterprise.

    It's a shame Voyager didn't get the same treatment. It just felt like a show that went through the routine motions and never really took any risks.
  8. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

    Oct 30, 2009
    In the Before Time - the Long, Long Ago

    That's not what anybody is saying and you know it Anwar.

    Just because people expected character development, continuing storylines, and interpersonal conflict doesn't mean they wanted the Fleeters and the Maquis literally trying to kill each other or turning into remorseless space pirates.

    The facts are that 1.) a lot of the characters, not all but a lot, didn't get a lot of character depth or development (Kes, Kim, Chakotay), 2.) there were few continuing story arcs, and those the show did have weren't developed strongly enough or simply dropped mid-stream, 3.) two groups of people with different viewpoints aren't simply going to get along with no problems (if they had showed the Fleeters and Maquis overcoming their differences and learning to live in harmony with each other that would be one thing, but we weren't shown that - the Maquis just voluntarily start living the Starfleet lifestyle after Learning Curve because the scripts demanded it).

    That's why a lot of people have issues with VOY. Not because the characters weren't assholes, but because the show didn't live up to its potential.

    Now, let me say, again, that despite the fact that I acknowledge all of VOY's failings, I still love it for what it is. Could it have been more? Undoubtedly yes. Was it utter shit? Undoubtedly no.
  9. darkwing_duck1

    darkwing_duck1 Vice Admiral

    Nov 18, 2001
    the Unreconstructed South
    And this right here is the same attitude, only reversed.

    No one wanted them to "abandon their morality" or become "space pirates", but as pitched the show was supposed to show us a more nuanced view of 24th century humanity, as opposed to the Stepford Citizens of TNG, who never argued seriously, never differed in opinon, always got along in the end, etc.

    We were promised a crew that, by dint of their different origins (Starfleet and Maqis) were going to butt heads occasionally, who didn't like each other at times, but worked together because they HAD to to get home. Along the way, we would see them struggle with Paradise Saint syndrome. Would they do the "right" thing? What WAS the "right" thing? And no neat and tidy "wrap it up in the last act and it's over" endings. They had to deal with the consequences of what they did day to day. Instead, we got the dreaded "reset button"...

    What we got was that by the end of the pilot, everybody was in Starfleet uniform and happy and smiling and "Yes Mam, Captain Janeway! Second star to the right, and straight on 'till morning!"

    And Janeway herself was shown to be a frakking hypocrite on multiple occasions, the biggest example being when she cold-bloodedly and ruthlessly murdered Tuvix in favor of getting Neelix and Tuvok back.

    Then Seven came along...about 5 minutes after Brannon came...but I digress. Talk about a character (however interesting a concept) that the writers took every opportunity to shove down the viewers' throats. She was overwritten, overused, and overpowered. One sometimes wondered why they even NEEDED a crew with her around.

    And while we're on the subject of the Borg...talk about an emasculation...the entire Federation nearly fell numerous times to them but Janeway the AllMighty can kick their asses from here to the Alpha Quadrant and back...:rolleyes:

    Voyager was a good premise that was over-all horribly executed.
  10. number6

    number6 Vice Admiral

    I think people are negative because the show struggled through 7 seasons to live up to its potential. The show suffered from franchise fatigue and network tinkering. UPN kept changing their programming to find their demographic and VOY suffered as a result. that's why we had episodes with The Rock as guest star.
    TNG and DS9 were syndicated shows and their creative team were pretty much left to do what they wanted. This wasn't the case for VOY, or ENT for that matter.
  11. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 12, 2009
    Some key points here. Voyager just seemed to ignore what the industry was doing. Mike Piller saw it - continuing storylines, edgier editing, serialised to an extent etc - and tried to make steps in the second season, but it just didn't take off.

    The nature of dramatic television was changing rapidly, and Voyager just didn't notice. You watch a 2001 episode of Voyager, and it has the same "stage play"-ness, pacing, structure etc - as a 1987 episode of TNG.

    Trek as a franchise just took its eye off the ball; DS9 noticed and tried to do some things about it - but they forgot to mention it to the writers down the hall, and unfortunately, Voyager paid the price.

    I think it should've had a more serialised element - this DOES NOT mean every episode follows on from the last. DS9 didn't, did it? Not even in the last two years. But Voyager's story, as was said above, almost "demanded it".

    Voyager had SO MUCH potential - I really enjoyed season 1 back in the day - but it was just disastrously wasted. I stopped watching in season 3 and no comments around here have convinced me to visit all those episodes I missed...
  12. RegFan

    RegFan Commodore Commodore

    Dec 15, 2009
    What I don't like about Voyager is that it was always simply average. Very few episodes are memorable. As Trek survivor just said, the show had so much wasted potential. What was the point of the premise if what they really wanted to do was just another TNG?
  13. SRFX

    SRFX Captain Captain

    Sep 12, 2009
    Perth, Australia
    I too enjoyed season 1 when it first aired, and I've just recently finished re-reviewing it and it still holds up okay to this day.
  14. kimc

    kimc Coffee Mod Admiral

    Jan 2, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN USA
    This is what I believe is a perfect illustration of why there is so much negativity about Voyager. As much as we like to believe we're all living in a liberated 21st century the fact of the matter is that some are not ready to see a woman captain a starship. This was even more true in the mid 90's. That's why the UPN suits were so nervous that they even spent time worrying about Janeway's hair and did not give Mulgrew full reign to portray her until "Death Wish".

    No, Voyager is not a perfect show and I say that despite loving it to pieces. Then again, none of the Trek series are.
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    Voyager was flawed, but I like it for what it is. In fact, after seeing Stargate Universe's spin on the concept, I appreciate Voyager more than ever:lol:.
  16. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Sep 15, 2006
    Italy, EU
    Actually, I think these two posts are a perfect illustration of why there is so much negativity about Voyager. According to some people, if you don't like the show, you are either amoral and degenerate, or a sexist pig. Good way to win friends and influence people.
  17. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 30, 2008
    I do it mainly out of peer pressure. You can't make friends over on the DS9 forum if you don't rip Voyager apart on a monthly basis, people call you a freak and laugh at you. :(

    Seriously, I don't think Voyager was a bad show, but DS9 had changed my taste in television while Voyager just seemed to be content doing the same sort of thing TNG did for 7 years. I don't watch anthology shows any more (not drama anthology shows anyway), and that's because I found myself hooked by DS9 and I find anthology shows too simple in comparison. Voyager was on the air at that time when my taste in TV was changing, and it could be frustrating to watch Voyager and not have it change with me.

    I kept waiting for that episode where Voyager would become the epic series I wanted, something on the same level as the introduction of the Dominion, or the start of the war, but it never happened. I thought Scorpion might be that episode at first, but the show just returned to standard fare after that. :(

    In fairness, you're comparing the best season of one of the greatest shows of the last decade with one of the weakest seasons of Voyager, and the resolution to "yet another Borg story". Even if Voyager had managed to resurrect Shakespeare and convinced him to write the opening episode of season 7, it still would have fared poorly against In the Shadow of Two Gunmen.
  18. Adm_Hawthorne

    Adm_Hawthorne Admiral Admiral

    Dec 26, 2002
    Not really sure anymore
    This is really the best answer to your question.

    I could not have said it better myself.
  19. Mr. Khan

    Mr. Khan Cadet Newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
    I've never really felt that Voyager was a bad show, but it just never did anything special or took enough risks. (Ironically, I believe that when it did decide to take risks, like "Year of Hell" or "Scorpion," it was great TV). As others have said, television was becoming more serialized in the '90s, and Voyager didn't keep up with the times. This is likely the same reason the first two seasons of Enterprise are so poorly regarded compared to the later two. Planet/Anamoly/New alien of the week stories are all right some of the time, but not the majority of your episodes, especially after what we saw on DS9.

    Basically, I felt the show was dull dramatically, and didn't do enough to justify keeping up with it week after week after a while.
  20. LeadHead

    LeadHead Director of Comedy Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2000
    Normandy SR-2 Comm Room
    Voyager had some great episodes and outstanding premieres. Basics, Scorpion, Year of Hell, just as examples.

    My point was that by this point in the series, it had gone so downhill that watching one after the other was just sad for Voyager. Which was sad for me too, since I had been such a fan at the start of the show.