Would Voyager have been better if it had more character development?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Voyager' started by The Overlord, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Would Voyager have been better if it had more character development? It seems like Seven and the Doctor were the only characters with any real development, everyone else seems very static, especially Harry Kim and Chakotay. This video outlines this point pretty well:

     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well it likely wouldn't have hurt it, if there had been more character development. I'm not saying there wasn't any but there could have been more.
     
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  3. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    He says that Voyager had relatively static characters. That's only partly true. Chakotay, Kim, Tuvok didn't change that much, but Janeway (from a newbie captain, a bit overmilitaristic to hide her own uncertainties to a captain and community leader who feels mostly at ease in her role), Neelix (changes from cynical cheater to dependable crewmate), Paris (from ladies' con man to loving husband ), B'elanna (from angry young girl to someone who gets better at accepting others in her life), 7 of 9, and the EMH (these last 2 are very obvious) all change significantly - that's the majority of the cast (not sure on Kes - I saw some change but she stayed only three years).

    He also says that the same is true in TNG - mostly static characters. I agree on that. Though Picard changes over the years.

    Then he says that at least the TNG characters were strong whereas the Voyager characters are not. I think that's also debatable. In my view, on Voyager Janeway, 7, and the EMH rate as 'strong' characters, Kes, b'Elanna, Tom, and Tuvok as mid-tier, and Chakotay and Kim as weak. On TNG, I'd only call Picard and Data really strong characters, I'd put Riker, Geordi and Worf, as mid-tier (though with several strong outings), and Beverley and Deanna generally as 'weaker' characters though they too have some strong episodes.

    So on the face of it, Voyager doesn't come out weaker than TNG in my view in these respects, even though I usually see TNG as the better series. However, voyager is 7 years younger and viewer expectations had moved on, whereas Voyager tried to stick too much to the 'old' format which I think has been its bad fortune.

    One flaw TNG had that Voyager doesn't have in my opinion is that it could take itself too seriously sometimes. Voyager knew how to make fun of its own premises and also how to make believable how a sense of family grew between the crew over the years.
     
  4. RunningValkyrie

    RunningValkyrie Captain Premium Member

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    You have covered most of what I wanted to say. :)

    The sense of family slowly growing amongst the crew was the thing I liked most about Voyager.

    My least favourite character is Chakotay so I’m happy we didn’t get to see more development of his character as the character was quite boring and I would have found any more development dull to watch.
     
  5. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It depends on how that character development had been handled.

    In fact, there were a lot of characters development on Voyager. The only one who didn't develope was Kim who remained "young ensign Kim" for the whole series and Tuvok who basically remained the same. Not much development for Chakotay and Neelix either.

    I must admit that I haven't watched seasons 5 and 6 since 2001 and I haven't watched season 7 at all. I've watched seasons 1,2 and 3 several times and also watched all of season 4 recently.

    However, I'm not sure that I like some of the character development which I saw on some of the characters either.

    Chakotay was sadly neglected by the writers, Torres, Neelix, Kim and Paris also. I think Paris became boring in the later seasons. I did prefer him as he was in seasons 1-3.

    Kes had some development but then the writers only destroyed her, I don't think I will call that development.

    I didn't like the development of Janeway either, she became rather nutty in the later episodes.
     
  6. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, the problem voyager delt with, and it hampered character development, was the " at the end of every episode reset" Sure you had characters grow, but they were still put back in there box at the end of the day.
    If they were given some more freedom, then you could have changed the characters, made each of them go on there own journey during the series. Have Janeway have a mental breakdown and have chacotay in charge for a few episodes. Have Tom screw up royaly, and show him cleaning plasma ducts, or showing him with the "Lower Decks" crowd. Have Kim cross train, first year in ops, then in security, then engineering etc. Have B'lanna have to fix stuff, I mean show her going to planets and space stations looking for replacement parts, fuel etc. have a Blanna / neelix duo. Have a multi episode where someone gets left behind, or thought dead, and follow them on there journey to get back to voyager.
    Whole lot of ideas for character development, but as said, they had to be put back in the box and voyager be polished clean by the next episode. Great concept, waisted.
     
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  7. Tracy Trek

    Tracy Trek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And it's for both these reasons that I liked Voyager better than TNG.
     
  8. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The characters were really the problem. They were fine especially for a show that isn't arc related. I just think the show ran out of idea's in what you can do with the concept. The concept already was to close to TNG and TOS and then you got the early seasons of Voyager and even DS9 even though that show had a different format. The sameness of the Berman era were you get little change or growth just finally hit a creative brick wall. Which they then tried to keep going yet again with Enterprise but I think people were now truly looking for something new and Voyager never really offered anything all that new to the franchise.

    Jason
     
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  9. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I really agree here. Voyager would have been the perfect series for on-going arcs. Instead that seldom happened and I don't understand why.
     
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  10. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have to disagree here. Voyager had excellent characters who would have been perfect for on-going arcs if they had been handled properly.

    Voyager's biggest problems weren't the characters but the writers. They weren't up to it. They had lots of opportunities to come up with an exceitng, very special show and they totally blew it.

    Voyager wasn't bad but could have been so much better.
     
  11. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Your right. I actually made a mistake in my post. I notice I typed the characters were the problem when I meant to say they weren't the problem. It was kind of a typo type of mental slip. I actually like the characters I just felt the stories had dried up in the later seasons. Mostly because I just think Berman Trek had simply been on to long at that point and they weren't willing to make enough changes to the format to deal with that. They were still acting like Berman Trek was in it's prime and people wanted more of TNG which I think people actually were wanting to see Trek expand and grow at that point.


    Jason
     
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  12. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    Those are great ideas. These were the kinds of stories I wanted to be told on Voyager, especially when it came to Janeway who I felt was inappropriately iron tough for that kind of reality. I wanted the character to have some perspective of the horrors of being alone in outer space with a possibility her and her crew may never get home. I hated Paris as a character, he came off as a Will Riker wannabe, but I would've like to see him get stranded and follow him to his journey. Nah, I think your idea would be more effective if it's a character I actually like... like Kes, or B'Elanna or Tuvok, but your idea would really connect if the show was introducing a new character; we would need those 2 episodes to get to know the character.

    How scary to be at the far side of the galaxy and a engineering part, which could be found anywhere in the Alpha and Beta Quadrant but not in the Delta Quadrant? The part can not be replicated and without it the ship can't leave the system. This kind of idea you could take anywhere and it could be a suspense theme, or a comedy IMO. It would be fun to have an open thread to write some Voyager stories, even go further and do a real story thread where members could take the story to something interesting, but NOT implant stupid or silly stuff that would hamper the idea.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  13. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    By it's very nature, VOY is a show that should've been serialised, which would only have helped tell a better story and allow natural growth with the characters. They should also have been willing to let go of characters that just weren't working, such as Chakotay or Kim, and introduced new ones to help unsettle the status quo once more.
     
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  14. Sybok Was Wrong

    Sybok Was Wrong Commander Red Shirt

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    Harry Kim "worked" just fine for what he was. I thought he was a likeable person/character. He had positive energy, and seemingly, the writers always had him get beat up by some aliens, which was rather amusing. I have no problem with Harry Kim!
     
  15. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You know the show might have had a good final couple of seasons if they had embraced Ron Moore during his short stint with the show. He could have maybe even elevated it but they kicked him to the curb because they didn't really want to change at that point. I think also at some point they were just playing out a string. Berman and Braga were more interested in getting "Enterprise" up and going than really making sure the show goes out with a bang.

    Jason
     
  16. chris of nine

    chris of nine Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    As the reset button has come up again.....

    How much time elapses in VOY universe between episodes?

    If repairs are ongoing between them and the writers don’t want to waste script and screen time showing that, is that so bad?

    They do write repairs, into some eps, but economically.
     
  17. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    But how much screen time do you have to waste? Take showing internal repairs for example, plenty of time with have conversations between characters in the corridors simple have extras in the background doing repair work, replacing panels etc.. No screen time really wasted.

    We are told early on that they have no way of replacing their photon torpedoes, so that means that there is some part they can't replicate. So by extension their might be other parts of the ship that can't be replaced same goes for shuttles if they have no way of replacing there torpedoes then a more complex thing like a shuttle should also be impossible to replace. Perhaps I'm being overly critical but I am going by the information told to us, the writers put it in so it is not unreasonable for me to hold them to it, unless they tell me otherwise. Want to get out of it would have taken 2-3 seconds at the end of a Captains' Log with a single sentence along the lines of "Engineering reports they have found a way to replace our photon torpedoes". So not really much screen time wasted.

    Sure they might have made repairs at facilities along the way but would they be able to replace hull plates with the same materials that Starfleet uses, just because Starfleet uses it doesn't mean every race does. The ship in general always looked like it had just left Utopia despite not having ready access to Starfleet repair facilities. And yes the other ST shows did this as well having the ship look like new nearly every episode but they at least had access to Starfleet facilities

    They could have brought back the dead crew member from "Latent Image" which caused the Doctors mental breakdown in "Ashes to Ashes" how would the Doctor react to that?

    When Paris got demoted they should have promoted Kim it would have changed the character dynamic between the two and perhaps led to new story ideas.

    As has already been mentioned the premise of VOY leaned more towards a serialised approach but what we got leaned more towards episodic. So much wasted potential and for me that is the biggest disappointment about the show.

    Sure I get some people like the show as it is, great for them. But I felt it could be so much more than it was.
     
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  18. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I see no problem with Chakotay and Kim. It was the writers who were the problem.

    Chakotay was a great character. he had the potential to be as good as or even better than Riker. In episodes like "Caretaker", "Maneuvers" and "Nemesis" when Chakotay is alloewed to shine, then he's brilliant.

    Kim also had potential. In many of the early Voyager books, he's actually doing something and is more useful and important than in the TV-episodes.
     
  19. LJones41

    LJones41 Commodore Commodore

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    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

    This is my reaction to reading the above post and watching the video clip.

    One of the main reasons I became a big fan of "Star Trek Voyager" was because of its strong characterization.

    However . . . would it have helped if the show had been led by a white man? Or just a man? It amazed me that a franchise that was founded on liberal principles now has a fandom that is dominated by so many bigots.

    Now, I would never claim that "Star Trek Voyager" was flawless. It's not. In fact, NONE of the Trek shows are. Not "Original Series", "Next Generation", "Deep Space Nine", "Voyager", "Enterprise" or "Discovery". All of these shows have their flaws.

    But I'll be damned if I agree with the original post or Steve Shives' theory that "Voyager" had poor characterization. That argument is simply a joke to me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  20. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

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    This was something I felt should've been done during DS9's war seasons; letting go of Bashir, O'Brien, Rom or maybe even Kira would've been uneasy and a reminder how serious war can be. It could've open the doors for new characters while reflecting on the ones lost.