Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Star Trek Voyager

My family finished watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, so now we're moving on to Voyager. The pilot episode was pretty good, and it did a nice job of introducing the various new characters. I like the premise that our heroes are lost in space, trying to get home, even if that premise was already used on Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space. I also like the premise that our heroes are forced to join forces with pirates, in order to survive.

If I could make a comment on Star Trek in general, though, their strategy seems to be "throw a bunch of characters and things together, and see what sticks". They don't seem to get the characters nailed down, until Season Three. At that point, they figure out what they want the characters to be like, which characters are best for which situations, and which actors have chemistry with each other. (Examples: Wesley Crusher leaving the series, Beverly Crusher returning, Quark changing from main villain to nice guy, Dr. Bashir and O'Brien going from office enemies to best friends.)

The second episode was not very good. It felt like a rehash of the cool time loop episode from Next Generation. The premise is that our heroes are trying to save a ship that's being sucked into a collapsing star. But it turns out the other ship is THEM, from the future! They're caught in a time loop. This particular time loop is one-time-only, so they have to escape from the star before they die.

I think I mainly disliked this episode, because at one point, Paris asks what started the time loop. The loop has a specific end, so why doesn't it have a specific beginning? Captain Janeway handwaves the time loop's creation, by saying that effects happen before causes, with the result that effects BECOME causes. What? That's not how "cause and effect" works! That's when the episode lost me.

The best part of the episode was the B plot, which is the two captains trying to figure out who should be the ship's main engineer, after the two engineers get into a fistfight.

The third episode is also a time travel episode. Two in a row? This one was better, because they were sent back in time (not forward in time), to prevent a planet's destruction. It was neat, seeing them try to figure out what causes the planet's destruction, then seeing them trying to stop the disaster.

Still, the episode has the same illogical explanation that their time travel caused their time travel. Argh!

I did like the ending, where Janeway realizes that the crazy time travel is the catalyst for the planet's destruction. So instead of travelling through time, she sits back and does nothing. That completely erases the timeline. I don't think I've seen a time travel story before use the solution of "sit and do nothing" to change a timeline.

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