on my Star Trek binge watching I'm now nearing the end of Voyager. I had always heard it's the "bad" one out of the three 90s shows, TNG, DS9 and VOY and I have to say I don't totally agree? TNG and DS9 both had more stinkers for me, it's just that VOY doesn't ever reach their heights (TNG had the best individual episodes, DS9 had the best overall story arc for sure). It's a bit mediocre but perfectly enjoyable for the most part.
I will say that it feels like it just never lives up to its potentially far more interesting premise. Stranded in the Delta Quadrant, with a crew of ex-terrorists and there's really SO LITTLE conflict?? I didn't need it to be a gritty survival drama or super dark, but it would have benefited more from a DS9 approach than the TNG one they were aiming for. Some serialised storytelling - they practically blow up Voyager in a bunch of eps, in the middle of nowhere and yet the ship is mysteriously back to pristine condition the next ep, there's almost never any "crap we need those parts and have no way of getting them" conundrums. And the maquis and starfleet are essentially best buds after ep 3, all the characters lose their edge. I know Paris and B'Elanna are a loved pairing but I found them surprisingly boring together for a half Klingon ex-maquis and a former prisoner rebel. Like Harry Kim in his naive optimism (a woefully underutilised character) should have felt more like a foil to other characters but they all turned pretty straightlaced anyway after the initial episodes.
also Janeway and Chakotay have great chemistry and so much storyline potential and then the writers get him with Seven out of nowhere. Why is Star Trek so bad at writing romance. Literally who asked for this.
Most improved character goes to Neelix probably, I found him annoying as hell in S1 but in later seasons he works very well (in smaller doses). Him and Naomi Wildmann are a nice friendship too. While I think replacing an eye candy actress with another eye candy actress is...hmmm, I will say that Seven is a much better character than Kes who I didn't mind but was mostly just there. Although Seven takes up a lot of screentime...some of the other characters start being very underused in comparison.