Does Voyager get better?

So I really dug Deep Space Nine on DVD. Never got a lot of chance to watch it when it aired as we were without television at that point. Picked up the first DVD set way back when and stuck with it all the way. Beauty.

Based on that joy I picked up the first season of Voyager a few months ago and watched it.

Not as good. Not exactly bad but not as good as DS9. Kind of dull. Most characters not all that interesting, yadda yadda.

I tell myself, “Self, NextGen sucked ass the first two seasons and ended up being really good. Even DS9 got stronger as it went along. Give it another go.”

So I pick up Season 2 used for about 1/3 list price.

And the first episode has them meeting Amelia Earhart for God’s sake.

So what’s the deal? Is it going to get better or what? I know some people really don’t like Voyager but most of that always struck me as unreasoned hatred. And I discount that because when DS9 started there was a similar ‘it sucks!’ movement about.

It actually gets worse. Much much worse.

It has its moments…but they’re only moments. For the most part it’s really weak.

It’s the only Trek show I didn’t worry about missing episodes of.

I’ve been beaten to it, but I’ll say that aside from a small handful of episodes, you’ve already seen the best of Voyager.

They wring a few decent stories out of Seven of Nine once she shows up. (And I’m not saying that only because of Jeri Ryan’s drop-dead hottiness—the gal can act and she had a not-bad character to work with.) But by no means should you spend money to attain even these episodes. At most, rent them from Netflix; even more preferably, keep an eye out for the occasional 2 AM rerun.

I stuck with it much of it’s entire run, pretty much on the premise that anything Star Trek is usually better then anything else in it’s timeslot(I’d rather watch a crappy episode of voyager then any episode of *Friends *. It had some good episodes, but still the weakest of the series.

My primary complaints:

  1. THe ship was always spick and span even after being nearly trashed the week before, unless it was a two parter.

  2. Being across the galaxy from the nearest starbase only meant they had to go without coffee a little bit.

  3. Unlimited-Shuttlecraft.

  4. Either Janeway or I don’t understand the prime directive. I always thought it meant you can’t mess around with pre-warp civilizations. Janeway seems to think that you can’t do anything remotely interesting with the civilizations you encounter.

I seem to be in the minority here, but I liked Voyager. It did start out slow - the first few seasons are ones I don’t mind missing when Voyager is on (it’s shown 3 times a week here in Cleveland). But once Seven of Nine appears, the show really takes off. Her episodes, and many of the episodes revolving around the Doctor were very good.

I’ve really liked most of the Trek shows. My favorite is Next Gen, and then Voyager. I like many of the DS9 episodes as well. I just can’t get into Enterprise though…

Cor Blimey it’s a bit rough having to pay for Trek. Sky One (base level satellite/cable channel) has for living memory shown at least one Trek show every day of the week. It’s currently (re)showing season one of Enterprise (which I’m taping) and season lord-knows-what of Voyager (which I’m not taping) at the weekends they show a couple of ep’s od TNG and another Voyager.

Before Enterprise came back I was taping VGR I spotted this sequence of shows from season 5, aired Monday-Friday:

Thirty Days
Latent Image
Bride of Chaotica

Not a bad run of shows. I didn’t watch them off tape since I’ve seen every ep of Voyager at least twice, but I do remember them all as being more original than the run of the mill Voyager stories. Also Neelix features in none of them (this is a good thing). I guess I’m saying that some Voyager ep’s aren’t too bad, but yeah it’s a pretty low hit rate. Later on they meet the Borg far too bloody often.

Unrepentant Trekkie here.

I loved it.

So there.

It’s never going to compare to Deep Space Nine (but really, what can?) or The Next Generation but if you’re a Trekkie, it’s decent viewing. I watched the series up until about S5 and only stoppped then because I got a job and was never home on Wednesdays anymore and I have some weird aversion to watching things on tape sometimes.

Sure, some of the science is hokey and the characaterization isn’t the best at times but name one sci-fi series where the first isn’t true at least half the time and any show that never falters in its writing.

With that being said, I’d still go the Netflix route.

Count me in the “It sucked worse than CopRock” crowd. Not even remotely watchable.

Voyager had no seasons in which it hit its stride; it merely had a few scattered bits here and there that were mildly interesting. There were far too many time travel episodes, far too many holodeck-gone-mad (as well as Doctor-gone mad) episodes, far too many alien-race-could-cut-return-trip-in-half-but-Janeway-has-moral-objection episodes, far too many we’re-horribly-screwed-but-we’ll-just-use-this-temporal-anomaly-to-put-everyting-right-at-the-end episides.

Offhand, I can think of only one Voyager episode whose concept and execution scored highly. The ship was stuck in an orbit around some weird planet where the closer you were to the surface, the faster time moved. Thus, we’re shown multiple generations of aliens gradually inventing better instruments and finding out what Voyager was, including an astronaut who spends about an hour on the ship, then returns to the surface to find fifty years have passed. That one episode, whose name I’ve forgotten, was well done. Any other positive memories have been buried in a sea of crap.

I’ve been catching it in reruns lately on UPN, and have seen most of the 3rd and 4th seasons in the last few months. Out of all those episodes, the only ones I could heartily reccomend are “Unity” (about a colony of ex-Borg), Mortal Coil (in which Neelix briefly dies and is forced to question his deeply-held beliefs) and, to a lesser extent, "Distant Origin (about dinosaurs in space!).

I would have liked “Year of Hell” very much except for

the horrible literal reset-button ending. I wish they’d had the guts to leave that timeline existant, with perhaps another episode about the crew doing extensive repairs and dealing with all they went through.

Aside from those, everything is pretty much blah. Despite that, I like the characters, and it is sometimes good.

Sadly, this is the reason the Trek franchise has been driven into the ground. No matter what garbage is put out with under the name Star Trek, a certain group of people will eat it up. Star Trek V and Voyager should have been warning signs that the franchise was being abused badly and should be put on the shelf awhile but no such luck. Instead of quality shows and decent (if repetitive) story lines, we get garbage such as the episode where Voyager found Amelia Earhart on some alien world. As soon as the ship picked up that old Ford truck, I knew it was all over.

So there.

I’m in a very smile minority, in that I liked Voyager. Don’t know how much of that is because I grew up on it (anyone feel old all the sudden?), because I admit it’s not great. But it’s kinda fun, at times.

For some odd reason, I absolutely loved the ep. “Thirty Days.”

I liked the ep with the dinosaurs.

I’m being sarcastic.

Or am I?

I have to say that Voyager was the first “new” ST series where half the characters weren’t performed poorly and/or annoying as hell. Hated Harry but the rest were tolerable, which was a far better percentage than the other two.

Still, as stories go, I wish they would’ve milked more out of what being away from Fed. supplies and resources would mean. I don’t remember their stories being generally any lamer than the others (though I’ll admit to abandoning DS9 early); then again, I wasn’t a faithful viewer so I may have lucked out in that regard.

Kirk would have had them all home by the end of season 2.

At the latest.


Give DS9 another try. If you have Netflix, order Seasons Four through Seven. You’ll thank me later.

Voyager had a lot of problems. First of all, Janeway personified the smug, politically correct goody-two shoes Federation. Second, that big old Reset button got pressed far too many times. And third, how come, if they’re warping across the galaxy at Warp Very Very Fast, do they keep encountering the same bad guys?

But mostly, the creators of the series put themselves in an impossible position. If the Voyager comes across an advanced enough species to help them, then series over. If, more likely, they run across bad guys mean enough to do them, then also, game over. So basically, you have a bunch of meaningless conflicts, punctuated by retread scripts from previous Star Treks.