Thursday, July 20, 2017

Star Trek Voyager

Well, my wife and I finished watched all the episodes of Star Trek Voyager. It's an okay show. The two previous Star Trek shows both got really good in Season Three. Voyager waits until Season Five, before getting good. I wish the show had improved much earlier, instead of improving past the halfway point.

My main problem with the series is its wasted potential. The premise is that our heroes are stranded, 70 years from home. It's almost impossible for them to get back alive. Also, half the crew is dead. They're forced to team up with their mortal enemies in order to survive. About two episodes in, neither of these things matter anymore. Everyone acts like normal officers on a normal mission, to the point where they could be only 7 days from home, and you wouldn't know it.

When the show started getting good again, they remembered the "stranded far from home" premise, and we had about five memorable episodes that take place in our home galaxy. These episodes starred Barklay or the Doctor. There was also a neat subplot of our heroes getting letters from home.

They didn't go back to the premise of "half the crew are former rebels", which I guess makes sense. They've been acting nicely for five years. No need for them to suddenly turn evil, although we did have a mind control episode where they did just that.

I think something which dragged the show down was the large cast. It's got too many characters, and remember, the original Star Trek had three main characters. The other characters were mostly just props, although Scotty the Engineer managed to become an ascended extras. Voyager wasn't able to successfully juggle so many characters; I think they should have gotten rid of a few of them.

I'd suggest getting rid of Harry Kim. I liked him a lot, but he was unimportant to the show. I'd also get rid of Chakotay, who was in basically every episode, but it felt like he wasn't. It felt like he was missing, for a season or two. It doesn't help that his main character trait is "stoic"; the show has too many stiff characters as it is. I think it was the right decision to get rid of Kes; as the DVD commentary from the producers said, she just didn't work, even when they tried multiple things with her.

The Doctor is great, as is Seven of Nine. I'm sure someone must enjoy the Neelix/Tuvok dynamic, or else they wouldn't keep showing it. I'm ambivalent about Captain Janeway. It's clear that fans of the show love it, when Janeway is forced into a rough situation, and she makes tough decisions, like in "Year of Hell". I personally don't like that. Yeah, it's nice to see her kick butt and take charge, but I'd like to see her do that, without being forced to go through awful situations first.

My wife and I are split on how we feel about the other characters. She hates the Bellana/Tom romance, which is basically the only romance on the show. I liked Bellana as a character, although I didn't like her gratuitous nude scenes. Tom has an interesting backstory, being the criminal son of a celebrated admiral, but I think there were too many "Tom plays with his newest car/obsession" episodes.

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