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Star Trek: Voyager

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40 minutes ago, SmithW6079 said:

I've been watching "Voyager" on Heroes & Icon channel, and if I didn't hate him the first time around, I absolutely despise Neelix this time: his bragging, the way he pushed himself into everything, and most of all, his controlling, obsessive behavior with Kes. 

I mean, during the original run there weren't the instantaneous social media fan reactions that there are now, but producers and showrunners still heard from viewers/critics and had to have realized how unpopular Neelix was. Right? Their reaction to increase his presence mystified me: "It's a shame he's restricted to the kitchen! Let's make him an ambassador so he can also go on almost every away mission and provide extra counsel to Janeway! Who better?"

It didn't seem like Ethan Phillips was ever asked to tone it down or modify his fussy mannerisms to make Neelix more palatable, either.

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And speaking of Kes, how did they meet if the Ocampa were squirreled away underground by the Caretaker?

Kes left her home through the passageway that she told the crew about later. I guess they met while Neelix was trying to make a deal with the Kazon.

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It was established in the pilot that Kes was an adventurous/curious sort and found a way to escape the underground city and explore the surface (where she encountered Neelix).

 I totally agree about Neelix.  What an annoying, intrusive character.  I'd say useless but the idea of having someone who knows the races in an area was interesting....just horribly executed.   That Morale Officer deal was just crap, though.  I wish they has dumped with him and Kes to make way for Seven of Nine.  They could have picked up a new minor character who was familiar with the area on the other side of Borg space.

 H&I is in the early second season.  Most of the episodes have been fairly weak (although most of them are holdovers from season 1).   The 37s has some god interaction with Janeway and Earhart but you have to overlook the WTFness of aliens going 70,000 lightyears to pick up some day laborers and the eye rolling ending with no one choosing to leave Voyager.  Projections is watchable but has  an air of desperation to it, being the second holodeck gone awry episode in the first 20 of the series, bringing in Barclay and starting the "holographic doctor has the hots for the bangin alien babe" trope that would just get worse once Seven of Nine showed up.

 Mulgrew/Janeway is really carrying the show at this point.  Picardo's a good actor, but the Doctor's milling around sickbay and being annoyed schtick is thin by this point and while Neelix is at the forefront, as previously discussed it's not in a good way.  Everyone just sort of fades into the background.  Harry even gets an entire episode devoted to him and it's boring.  

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I disagree with you about Kes. I liked the character, and I think she had good chemistry with the rest of the characters. Like them, she was an explorer by nature, so she fit in. It was unfortunate that they stuck her with Neelix so much. She and the doctor made a good pairing, as did she and Tom.

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2 hours ago, SmithW6079 said:

I disagree with you about Kes. I liked the character, and I think she had good chemistry with the rest of the characters.

Even when she became horny >tortured > vengeful Kes?

She was a calming presence and did get along with/fit in well with the rest of the crew. So many of her scenes were originally with Neelix, though, so ugh. I didn't mind her (until Fury) but thought she was featured too heavily at the expense of other characters.

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H&I is about halfway through season 2.   This is where one of the most annoying things about Voyager starts:  the ship being severely damaged week after week.   There's a crashed shuttle breaching the hull, they lose life support on half the ship, they lose propulsion, weapons, the deflector dish.   There's sparks, steam, explosions, rocks!  (Why are there rocks from exploding consoles??)  The ship is, according to the impassioned cries of the designated officer of the week, literally about to come apart at the seams.  Which would all be well and good, except the all put back together by the start of the net episodes, no mention--much less sign--of the the previous episode's damaged that reduced the ships to a drifting piece of space junk.   

 Also annoying is the stupidity that has to be accepted for some plots to work, most notably anything with Seska and the Kazon.   The Kazon are able to breach the ship with a shuttle, get out of locked cargo, more freely throughout the ship, know how to transport off the ship (after stealing a single tiny piece of equipment that can create a transporter), manage to beam off the ship and lock out the crew from their own transporter.  Seska meanwhile can hack/replicate Starfleet encryption, override the transporters , defeat the shields, integrate Kazon and Starfleet technology, find hidden ships and basically out maneuver the crew at every turn.  You'd think she should have been up for chief engineer rather than Torres at the beginning of the show.  I liked Seska and she had a lot of potential but they took the lazy way out and turned her into a mustache-twirling cardboard villain who has whatever super dooper skills are necessary for the plot.  To make matters worse, in a plot worthy of a daytime soap, Seska impregnates herself with Chakotay's DNA.  WTF?  The Cardassian having twisted feelings for a Maquis angle could have play well until they had to turn her into a crazed ex from a Lifetime move trying to hold onto her man.

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Seska quickly devolved, I agree. Having her show up again after she left was particularly disagreeable to me.

Edited by lordonia

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6 hours ago, Maverick said:

To make matters worse, in a plot worthy of a daytime soap, Seska impregnates herself with Chakotay's DNA.  WTF?  The Cardassian having twisted feelings for a Maquis angle could have play well until they had to turn her into a crazed ex from a Lifetime move trying to hold onto her man.

That plot line was partly born out of necessity.  The actress who played Seska really was pregnant at the time (and according to her, her size was no exaggeration!).

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There's a crashed shuttle breaching the hull, they lose life support on half the ship, they lose propulsion, weapons, the deflector dish.

I just watched S2 "Dreadnought" last night on H&I so this comment made me chuckle. The ship is hit with some kind of phaser or something and all the control panels on the bridge start sparking and smoking. What a crappy ship! Shouldn't it at least be designed so that if the outer hull is hit with anything the electronics on the bridge don't explode?

I remember during its original run that I was extremely frustrated with this show, because it had separated itself from the rest of the franchise, but on re-watch it tends to hold up better than Deep Space Nine. With the exception of Neelix, the cast is stronger and the episodes are better written. Although I do remember being regularly annoyed with B'Elanna. Kate Mulgrew was excellent as the captain and I loved Tom, Harry, Chakotay and the Doctor.

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I watched Voyager during its original run as well and generally liked the show despite some of the weaknesses others have noted.  

Getting a little ahead here, I picked up seasons 4-7 earlier this year from Amazon and enjoyed the episodes more than the first time around.  One question, again about the ability to rebuild something after it was utterly destroyed in the prior episode - with the Delta Flyer that was supposed to be a state of the art shuttlecraft, where did they get the materials to keep rebuilding it all the time???

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12 hours ago, VCRTracking said:

He should have watched Enterprise's "Cogenitor" to understand why the Prime Directive, as draconian a law as it is, was ultimately necessary.  Actions that are motivated by good intentions which in turn are based upon wrong impressions lead to more disastrous consequences than the problems those well-meaning actions are intended to solve.  See also the original series' "Patterns of Force."

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On September 5, 2016 at 6:50 PM, lordonia said:

Didn't they build the entire thing in two weeks or something?

Yeah, they built it pretty fast.  I think they had to for some mission or competition, I don't remember what the exact motivation was.  

About the Prime Directive, it helps add to the story.  There were times where it was discarded for good reason, like trying to help a society that wasn't growing or thriving (I think the episode was The Return of the Archons)

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26 minutes ago, Cobb Salad said:

Yeah, they built it pretty fast.  I think they had to for some mission or competition, I don't remember what the exact motivation was.  

About the Prime Directive, it helps add to the story.  There were times where it was discarded for good reason, like trying to help a society that wasn't growing or thriving (I think the episode was The Return of the Archons)

Actually, that episode was about the results of violation of the Prime Directive 100 years earlier when a Federation Starship (the Archon) visited the the planet. The Enterprise was simply undoing what the crew of the Archon had already done.

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There are several instances where the Federation could have saved an undeveloped culture from extinction but wasn't supposed to because of the Prime Directive.    In "Pen Pals" a geologically unstable world was about to kill the inhabitants.  The Enterprise was able to stabilize the planet, but only did so as a violation of the PD (and only then after Data committed the first breach of the Directive by contacting an inhabitant of the planet).  In "Homeward", Worf's brother beams the inhabitants of a dying world to the holodeck so they can be transported to a new planet.  They were supposed to think they were just crossing the ocean, but a mishap leads one of them to discovered they're on a starship (and I think he ultimately kills himself overwhelmed with the knowledge...hate the episode and haven't seen it in a while).   I agree not actively going in and interfering with a culture is a good idea.  It's the basis for many sci fi stories that advanced aliens come in and "help" us humans because we're apt destroy ourselves with war, disease, overpopulation, etc. and that rarely works out well.  But it seems clear that in instances where a race is about to be extinct through no fault of their own and the problem can be solved without them knowing it's inhumane not to help.  The question is, where do you draw the line.   And what happens if you end up inadvertently contaminating their culture when saving them?   Is it better for them to survive even if they develop some false religion based on alien influence?   

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I think that was often the debate between the show.  Where do you draw the line?  I think one of the questions asked was a fair one;. What gives them the right to decide what culture deserves the right to survive?  The show showed quite aptly that a single moment could change the destiny of a species.  Who Watches The Watchers had a Primintive Vulcan like people revert back to superstition after a single encounter with the Enterprise on TNG.       

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TOS did several episodes showing the long-term impact of contamination ("Patterns of Force"/intentional violation and "A Piece of the Action"/unintentional pre-Prime Directive).   I wish TNG had done something like that so we could have seen a take with a less campy angle.  Instead it was always them creating a problem and watching them try to clean it up--which left us never truly knowing how badly they changed things.  Voyager had  a fairly decent story about unintentional contamination in "Blink of an Eye" where they get stuck in a orbit of a planet where time passes far more rapidly than normal.  Voyager being there for a few days translates to centuries on the planet.  Ancient astronomers spot the ship in their rudimentary telescopes and the entire civilization develops around progressing their technology enough to reach "the sky ship".   Voyager was seen as some sacred object that shaped their culture and religion and wars were fought over it in a race to be the first to get there.  

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I've started rewatching Voyager on Netflix, for the first time in years. And I have to agree with those who say Neelix is an awful character. When I watched the first time around, I just found him annoying and cloying, but now he seems much more unpleasant. Somehow he feels it's his place to tell others what their emotional responses to events should be. I just watched the episode where they first start getting letters from home, and he outright tells Tuvok to stop working and read the letter, offended that Tuvok's logical brain tells him that the letter can wait but his work cannot. He's a dick.

Of course, the best character is Seven of Nine (which is why I decided to watch from season 4 onwards, rather than start at the beginning). Jeri Ryan's incredibly dry, deadpan performance makes Seven's occasional bouts of frustration or irritation, her sharp put downs, so much funnier. I understand why she took over the show, because she was really the character who brought life to it. It wasn't just about how she looked and how they costumed her, it was that she was something new and different in Star Trek, and they handled her journey towards humanity really well. 

But I do find Star Trek as a franchise to be too cold and remote to ever really love. The characters are all so stiff and unrelatable. Even the supposedly wilder ones like Paris and B'ellana are still buttoned up tight. I guess this was part of Roddenberry's vision of how the future of Earth's military should behave, but it makes it very hard to warm to anyone.

In this rewatch, I still like Janeway and the Doctor, and Seven. Tuvok is better than I remember, but suffers even more from the coldness (which at least makes sense for, him, given that he's a Vulcan). The rest of them though? I wouldn't miss any.

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But I do find Star Trek as a franchise to be too cold and remote to ever really love

This series in particular, or Star Trek as a whole? Personally, I liked the family feel vibe we got from the Next Generation crew.

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On 9/8/2016 at 10:05 PM, Cobb Salad said:

Yeah, they built it pretty fast.  I think they had to for some mission or competition, I don't remember what the exact motivation was.  

About the Prime Directive, it helps add to the story.  There were times where it was discarded for good reason, like trying to help a society that wasn't growing or thriving (I think the episode was The Return of the Archons)

Voyager had to dump the warp core and it fell into some kind of nebula or something where they couldn't get there with the ship. This is the first time they met the Malon (the garbage collector/toxic dumper species) and they wanted it to too, but they couldn't reach it either. Both ships started building delta flyers and Seven spied on them and realized they would be finished 2 days before they would. So Tom and crew risked it, got the Warp Core, and won the day

How I know this off the top of my head but I can't remember stuff I studied in school is beyond me. 

Re: Prime Directive. it became very dogmatic in the end (and I think it really "hurt" Voyager).

Actually, for me DS9 is my favourite because it's so character driven, while Voyager was very TNG lightish. What really hurt (in my opinion) is that they forgot what the show was supposed to be about. Maquis + Starfleet against each other. They could have done two whole season (in my opinion) based on that alone (you could still have the Kazon plots etc if needed), but the end could have been that episode where Tuvok had that holostory/training problem. I just felt that Janeway trusted Chaktoay way too fast (and vice versa). Also a storyline thread I thought they could have done - is that while they had to hold onto Federation ideals - it would have been interesting to truly see Janeway be more and more maquis in nature (which i think she was with a lot of her actions) while Chakotay became more and more Starfleet (like have this actually acknowledged and shown and touched upon countless times). 

I also think the episode that hurt the series was Alliances. The risk would have been Janeway making alliances, maybe push against what the Federation had become (an ignorant, judgemental Paradise - which is understandable, if we remember DS9/Sisko saying it's easy to be dismissive and ignore issues when you look out the window and see Paradise on earth. Living on the edge of the Federation, and for Voyager smack in the middle of the wilderness - you have to adapt, you need to use the ideals you have, and make it work in a different way. Forge a new society. But Janeways speech pretty much signified that Voyager (and for the most part, Enterprise) will forever play it safe. Seen here)

 

There were so many videos explaining this better than I and if I can find one (or some) I'll add to it. 

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15 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

I've started rewatching Voyager on Netflix, for the first time in years. And I have to agree with those who say Neelix is an awful character. When I watched the first time around, I just found him annoying and cloying, but now he seems much more unpleasant. Somehow he feels it's his place to tell others what their emotional responses to events should be. I just watched the episode where they first start getting letters from home, and he outright tells Tuvok to stop working and read the letter, offended that Tuvok's logical brain tells him that the letter can wait but his work cannot. He's a dick.

Of course, the best character is Seven of Nine (which is why I decided to watch from season 4 onwards, rather than start at the beginning). Jeri Ryan's incredibly dry, deadpan performance makes Seven's occasional bouts of frustration or irritation, her sharp put downs, so much funnier. I understand why she took over the show, because she was really the character who brought life to it. It wasn't just about how she looked and how they costumed her, it was that she was something new and different in Star Trek, and they handled her journey towards humanity really well. 

But I do find Star Trek as a franchise to be too cold and remote to ever really love. The characters are all so stiff and unrelatable. Even the supposedly wilder ones like Paris and B'ellana are still buttoned up tight. I guess this was part of Roddenberry's vision of how the future of Earth's military should behave, but it makes it very hard to warm to anyone.

In this rewatch, I still like Janeway and the Doctor, and Seven. Tuvok is better than I remember, but suffers even more from the coldness (which at least makes sense for, him, given that he's a Vulcan). The rest of them though? I wouldn't miss any.

DS9/TNG aren't (i don't know if you watched it).  I do know that the actors were told from the get go to be more stiff (that's why Harry Kim is so... Harry Kim), and everyone is sort of stand offish. 

TNG was truly family like (so was TOS esp. in the movies). DS9 was family, but you also had that genuine hate/disgust. as well. and I feel out of all 4 series, DS9 had the friendship angle down pat. like Bashir/O'Brien were truly best friends. where as Spock and Kirk were best friends but you still had that underline of Captain/First Officer etc. 

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19 hours ago, AndySmith said:

This series in particular, or Star Trek as a whole? Personally, I liked the family feel vibe we got from the Next Generation crew.

 

4 hours ago, Daisy said:

DS9/TNG aren't (i don't know if you watched it).  I do know that the actors were told from the get go to be more stiff (that's why Harry Kim is so... Harry Kim), and everyone is sort of stand offish. 

TNG was truly family like (so was TOS esp. in the movies). DS9 was family, but you also had that genuine hate/disgust. as well. and I feel out of all 4 series, DS9 had the friendship angle down pat. like Bashir/O'Brien were truly best friends. where as Spock and Kirk were best friends but you still had that underline of Captain/First Officer etc. 

I never watched Deep Space Nine, but I watched The Next Generation, on and off. To be honest, I found that too cold and formal as well. Although not to the same level that Voyager is. It just seems to be an aspect of the Star Trek world that human beings are less expressive and spontaneous, more ordered and disciplined. I know this was a deliberate choice by Roddenberry for TNG, because one of his overriding concepts for the show was that humanity has overcome all intra-species conflict and now lives in a state of harmony. Which troubled the writers no end, because it meant they couldn't use personal conflict to drive any stories.

There were often conversations in Voyager (and if I'm missing examples from the other shows that would disprove my point, I accept that) about how people were family and friends and important to one another, but I just didn't find it convincing, when coupled with that standoffishness.  For example, the Tom Paris/B'elana Torres romance. This was supposed to be the bad-boy, maverick pilot and the fiery, ex-terrorist half-Klingon engineer, you'd expect some passion and heat and downright sizzle. There was none of that. Star Trek is just too sanitised, I think.

For someone who adored the down and dirty scifi of Farscape and Battlestar Galactica, I've always found Star Trek lacking in that way. I remember Ben Browder pointing out once that Star Trek characters rarely ever touch one another casually. And once he'd pointed it out, I seemed to see instance after instance of two characters talking, both standing stiffly with their arms by their sides. It's jarring. But it's a very different vision of the future that has its own appeals.

I am enjoying this rewatch for some of the ideas and stories (even the ridiculously goofy ones, like the 'Allo 'Allo holodeck adventure where the deadly alien hunters decide to LARP with the captured Voyager crew) and for the characters I mentioned that I liked. 

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but I watched The Next Generation, on and off

Maybe you should watch it fully, to really appreciate the family/friendship aspects between the characters, then ;) There were lots of great scenes establishing the camaraderie between the crew that were probably missed by the casual viewer. But I guess that's a discussion for TNG page.

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For someone who adored the down and dirty scifi of Farscape and Battlestar Galactica, I've always found Star Trek lacking in that way

To each their own. I enjoyed both types of shows, and for me, one style isn't better than the other.

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On 11/09/2016 at 11:13 AM, AndySmith said:

Maybe you should watch it fully, to really appreciate the family/friendship aspects between the characters, then ;) There were lots of great scenes establishing the camaraderie between the crew that were probably missed by the casual viewer. But I guess that's a discussion for TNG page.

I never saw anything in the episodes I watched to suggest it was a show I'd want to invest time in. None of the characters ever really resonated with me at all. I don't think any of that would change if I tried to force myself to watch them all. But I'll accept that they had richer relationships than I saw when I watched.

Anyway, as for Voyager, here's another thing that's bugging me during this rewatch: The amount of times the reset button is hit at the end of an episode. Something momentous happens, someone has a life changing experience, they discover valuable knowledge or technology (or all die, as happens more than once) and then it all just gets undone at the end. Either through a narrative 'redo' or just through the writers never coming back to the subject. I suppose it happens with a lot of sci-fi series, but it seems particularly noticeable on this show.

Perhaps this is why I liked Seven of Nine so much (apart from the fact that I was a 15 year old boy when I first started watching it). She had a much more serialised 'journey', and watching her grow and learn felt like a thread that ran through the show, with clear progression.

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@Danny Franks: If you enjoy Babylon Five, Battlestar Galactica, serialization, and the occasional "Don't Touch!" approach to the Reset Button, I really recommend that you give Deep Space Nine a try. Some points to consider:

--The series takes place on a space station, so by definition they can't warp away from all their story lines - it uses serialization much more than the other series, and really much more than TV in general was doing at that time. It might not feel that way the first two seasons, but stick with it. You'll see.

--The series has non-Starfleet regulars and recurring characters, so the "static" feeling you get from Starfleet personnel is definitely not the status quo. There are also a lot of alien characters.

--If the sanitized feel of the Federation is something you find unpleasant...well, I can't get into spoilers, but let's just say there are certain themes and plotlines scattered throughout that will resonate with you.

--The showrunner for Battlestar Galactica, Ron Moore, was a major writer for DS9 along with a cabal of like-minded people. DS9 is the Star Trek series that draws the most parallels and comparisons with BG.

--Two words: Kira Nerys. Possibly the most dynamic and well-realized female character in all of Trek.

--It's pretty much a given for most DS9 fans that each subsequent season is better than the one before it. There's some dissent about the seventh, but not much and on the whole fans consider the series to have more or less fulfilled the promise it showed.

--The most rabid fans of The Next Generation and Voyager are usually the ones that rate DS9 as the least liked of all the Trek series. Therefore, if you're *not* a big fan of TNG or VOY...you see where I'm going with this.

I can't promise you'll love it, but if you're intrigued by the pilot I encourage you to keep watching. I think at the end you'll have considered it a worthy use of your time.

Edited by Miss Dee
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The most rabid fans of The Next Generation and Voyager are usually the ones that rate DS9 as the least liked of all the Trek series.

I'm a "rabid" fan of TNG, and I find DS9 to be the second best Star Trek series, and pretty good series overall as well.

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That's why I said "usually", @AndySmith. :) I feel you, because I'm a big fan of both as well. I've just noticed detractors of DS9 tend to cite its differences from TNG/VOY (depending on who you're talking to) as the main reason they don't think it's a "real" Trek series.

Admittedly I might be oversensitive; DS9 is my favourite Trek.

Edited by Miss Dee

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Personally, I've seen it go both ways, from both sides. Yeah, TNG and DS9 are both different, but not sure why is has to be an "either/or" choice. A person can enjoy both shows.

As for Voyager...it had it's moments. But I couldn't put it on the same level as either TNG or DS9. I'd file it under "Lots of unrealized potential" more than anything else.

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So I've come to the end of my rewatch. Well, I say 'rewatch' but honestly, the last dozen or so episodes are new to me. I lost track of the show back when it was first airing, because I went away to university as the final season started. I knew the gist of how it ended, but never bothered watching.

I have to say, the final episode feels like the perfect example of everything that showrunners don't get about fandom. I know there will be exceptions to this, but I'd wager that most of the loyal fans who stuck with all seven seasons of the show wanted to see what happened when the crew finally got home. To see if all the plans they made, all the friends and family they spoke of, would be as imagined. To share the emotions of getting back to Earth, to see the reactions of people back home to their experiences, and perhaps even to see how the crew reacted to going their separate ways.

But no. Instead they served up a half-baked 'Future Janeway saves the day' yarn, complete with a final, underwhelming scrap with the Borg. And the episode cuts off at literally the moment they get home. It felt rushed (which perhaps it was), abrupt, ill-considered and massively underwhelming.

Personally, I would have much preferred a final episode that was plot light and character heavy. A final chance to take stock of where everyone was, and how different it was, to be back in the Alpha Quadrant after all this time. Maybe even explore the idea that they can't really feel comfortable back home, and end the show with them all deciding to set out on another (less distant) adventure.

Yeah, it was just a disappointing way to end.

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It's just a shame that, because of how much time has passed, there will never be a TV movie to catch up the characters. They never made it to the big screen either. A shame. I wanted more of Seven...would she ever fully become human once on earth?

Edited by DisneyBoy
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18 hours ago, DisneyBoy said:

It's just a shame that, because of how much time has passed, there will never be a TV movie to catch up the characters. They never made it to the big screen either. A shame. I wanted more of Seven...would she ever fully become human once on earth?

The first two Voyager novels published after the series finale, Homecoming and The Farther Shore, answer that question and many others. Homecoming picks up exactly where "Endgame" left off, and tells just how difficult it was for the crew to readjust to the way Earth had changed since the Dominion War ended.  It also tells how Seven and Icheb were persecuted because of their Borg heritage (Icheb, in fact, is almost beaten to death on his first day at Starfleet Academy and is only saved by Tuvok's timely intervention).

Both novels are fascinating reads, and I highly recommend them.

Edited by legaleagle53
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I've never seen this one before and started watching the higher-ranked/reviewed episodes. Well, it labor under the same issue as TOS and TNG. It's just not serialized enough for me and overall a bit stiff and flat. The only character I formed some kind of attachment to was Janeway, she had a lot of edges considering the rest of the show, so I was grateful for that. I also liked her friendship with Chakotay.

Maybe a stupid question but is there a rule that every Star Trek must have a character that learns "to be human" over the course of the series? I couldn't stop rolling my eyes with Seven of Nine, an overabundance of stories about her and that bloody "outfit"! Did they HAVE to put her in that? Seriously, I started skipping much more after she was introduced. So irritating. It seemed that the camera kept pointing at her boobs in almost every bloody shot.

I liked the Doctor but he got on my nerves a bit too. Overall, this could have been so much more interesting and grittier similar to the new BSG but I guess I'm not alone with that opinion. They were in such a unique situation that could have been explored in much more interesting ways.

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Huh, well whatever the attributes or detractions of Voyager, I'm at least a little surprised to wander into a forum I thought would be dead-dead-deadinsky only to find that several other people are doing what I'm doing:  Star Trek Voyager:  The Refuge Rewatch.    

It's not a very challenging show and it had its stumbling blocks but apparently part of its enduring value is that it has a strangely comforting, low-stakes (kind of remarkable, given the premise) , stories with little emotional peril.  My husband and I started a rewatch because behold the horror that is our political and news cycle at present and there's never anything new on in summer.  There's something weirdly soothing about Voyager, even when it is at its most annoying.  Reading through the last page of posts, it's cracking me up that I came by to complain about, who else? Neelix!!  

More specifically, the character that combines every horrible aspect of Neelix and removes any of his balancing traits (as annoying as the dude was he was the most emotionally accessible character on the show) , the terror that was Tuvix.  Holy Hannah, that was easily the most abrasive creation ever conjured in a writing room.   So I was wandering in because....we weren't supposed to find him sympathetic, right?  He's manipulative (pressuring Kes to talk to Janeway on his behalf) , sure survival instincts run strong, but he just seemed so cowardly and weak for arguing that he had as much right to live as either Neelix or Tuvok.  At the end when the Doctor is forcing Janeway to deliver the separating isotope (or what the hell ever that was) we were honestly stumped: were we supposed to think Tuvix had a point?  Because we're both pretty much pacifists and we were ready to volunteer to take on the task via a spot of fourth wall breaking.   

Tuvix: the character that proved Neelix actually could have been a lot, a lot and I do mean a lot, worse.  

By the way, I adore FarScape and BSG and whereas I can absolutely see the point that the Treks have a level of emotional restraint that often just feels like emotional distance from the characters, I think that's precisely why we drifted towards a rewatch of Voyager during otherwise turbulent times on the TV.   There's something reassuring about watching these almost entirely unflappable people in ridiculously high stakes situations over and over (the Vidiians scare the bejesus out of me) and they barely heave an exasperated sigh in the face of things like, "Oh, it's totally unlikely I'll ever see anyone with whom I had a personal connection again, ever, in my lifetime....but far from having the existential mope to end all existential dilemmas, I'll just report for duty on this Starfleet vessel, as a Maquis ....because that makes....er....sense?....and we'll all work together towards our common goal of ....almost certainly dying in space long before we ever get home.  No need to make a fuss about it."  

Aside from Neelix, Super Fusser Extraordinaire, the closest any of them ever came to acting like "Motherfucker!  Thrown to the ass end of the universe, to live out my days being chased by ...whatever the fuck is going on with the Kazon and here's hoping we can't catch that Phage shit, because damn...."  which would have been far closer to a real emotional response of a flesh and blood human, was when Tom Paris was participating in a long con to thwart Seska.  

I think it's the only time Tom ever mentions the "Yeah, if I'd have just sat in jail for another four months I'd be back on Earth....instead I had to take a shot at redemption and now I am thoroughly boned and humped while we're at it" aspect of his personal story.  

I gravitated towards a Voyager rewatch because, great googly moogly, these people are not overly prone to whining.  Instead, they are mostly game for eating whatever the fuck it is that Neelix is trying to pass off as food and showing up for an endless duty roster with no planned shore leave for the foreseeable ever.  

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Great post about Tuvix, stillshimpy. I found that to be one of the more disturbing episodes. No, they weren't going to "kill" him or otherwise "destroy" him. He would still exist . . . as two separate entities, just as he had before the transporter incident. 

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On 9/25/2016 at 11:40 AM, stillshimpy said:

"Oh, it's totally unlikely I'll ever see anyone with whom I had a personal connection again, ever, in my lifetime....but far from having the existential mope to end all existential dilemmas, I'll just report for duty on this Starfleet vessel, as a Maquis ....because that makes....er....sense?....and we'll all work together towards our common goal of ....almost certainly dying in space long before we ever get home. No need to make a fuss about it."

Ha! That's true but I did appreciate that Voyager had a lot more crew rebellion and unease than any of the other Treks. I think all the major players had disagreements with or shouted at Janeway at some point. That always felt more realistic to me than someone like Picard always being boringly right.

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16 hours ago, lordonia said:

I did appreciate that Voyager had a lot more crew rebellion and unease than any of the other Treks.

I'm not sure DS9 doesn't have it beat: there are a couple of "crew rebellion" episodes, the Maquis infiltrator (no names, if you haven't seen it) and then there's the start of Season 6, with a SERIOUS split between those on the station

Spoiler

when Kira is seriously - and rightfully - PISSED at Odo linking with the female Changeling.

I guess it all depends on how much you consider them all "part of the crew".

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I did appreciate that Voyager had a lot more crew rebellion and unease than any of the other Treks.

Given the set-up of the show, there should have been much more crew rebellion and unease than what we saw, and compared to the other Trek shows.

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I found that to be one of the more disturbing episodes. No, they weren't going to "kill" him or otherwise "destroy" him. He would still exist . . . as two separate entities, just as he had before the transporter incident.

 
 

Precisely, he was just being returned to his original state and had only been alive as an individual for a month or so.  Just from the standpoint of fairness, there was a whole ship of people there who knew and cared about Tuvok and Neelix. They weren't the only people who would experience that loss and Tuvix arguing that their feelings lived on in him, kind of proved the point: he wasn't an individual, he was a compilation of not just genetic material, but the memories, feelings and sense of self of two other people.    

Even the way he argued for his right to live over (again, the "instead of ") Neelix and Tuvok, essentially proved why undoing this was just repairing that damage. 

Edited by stillshimpy

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6 hours ago, AndySmith said:

Given the set-up of the show, there should have been much more crew rebellion and unease than what we saw, and compared to the other Trek shows.

 The funniest part is, the producers quit doing any Starfleet/Maquis tension because they thought the show was heavy and wanted to have fun.  

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The funniest part is, the producers quit doing any Starfleet/Maquis tension because they thought the show was heavy and wanted to have fun.

Hehe, I can almost see the line of logic with that and understand why they would have thought that:  the Maquis integration did go much more smoothly than it should have but since B'elanna was part of the Maquis it kept calling on the actor to have to do that "I'm a raging half Klingon" and that really just usually played as someone with anger issues, in need of counseling.  So part of what seemed to doom the Maquis conflict was that it really sort of reduced B'elanna's character to this "I'm constantly -- and not very successfully -- trying to stop from hitting things!"  

Watching the pilot episodes is always a little jarring because B'elanna and Harry being taken by the Caretaker contains a bunch of material that reminded me that they really did take her in a different direction, over the course of the series.  Other than her self-injury program in the Holodeck , that "Grrrrrr!"  *throws herself bodily against metal doors because that is likely to make a difference* "GAH!"  *punches it for good measure* Harry supplies that perhaps that isn't going to help *B'elanna throws herself against the door, perhaps even harder*.   

I've never really liked the Klingons as developed on TNG.  They just don't make a ton of sense to me.  To be space-faring, scientifically developed people, they sort of have to value things like scientists and engineers.   So there was sort of a legacy of things not necessarily making a shit-ton of sense when it came to the Klingon cultural structure.  I know the Klingons are supposed to be the Warrior race, the Viking stand-ins that scifi loves so that they can have some conflict and sometimes peril, involving a more volatile people.  Unfortunately volatility as a personality trait doesn't marry well with scientific discovery.  

So anyway, they clearly did just abandon Maquis conflict within the ship but I can almost get why because with the glaring exception of Chakotay, who was usually just dull and handsome, the way they played out that conflict was to hit a bunch of really abrasive notes.  Like they couldn't figure out how to have conflict without having people just get all yelly, constantly, to illustrate it.  

The conflict lacked nuance and rather than have it be there as an underlying note, they just pitched it.  

For all that, though, I still like the show.  They had them experience enough lucky breaks to help lessen their journey, that it was mostly believable that these folks still held out hope of getting back home.   

Sometimes there's a lot of value in watching "I'm rooting for the obvious good guys" TV.  They had some conflict but relatively little.  Some of the stuff they encounter is genuinely creepy as hell but I guess in the long run I liked not having to chose sides in the ship.  I genuinely enjoyed how often Janeway was breaking the rules, occasionally wrong and occasionally in conflict with the crew though.  That stuff was made of awesome. 

Although, here's one of the shallowest things I will ever say and I apologize upfront for it.  The age difference between Ethan Phillips and Jennifer Lien was really distracting to me.   I know they were playing of the Okampa only living 9 years thing but it still just felt slightly slimy.   They're both capable actors, Lien gave it the only college try and Ethan Phillips seems an entirely nice man, but at nearly twenty years it was just going to be one of the first things you noticed about the actors right away.  Then for whatever blessed reason, the makeup chosen for Neelix made him look like he had mutton-chop sideburns,  jowls for days and what always visually read to me as liver spots, so he seemed to be just shy of ancient.  I missed Kes when she was gone but I practically lit a candle to a minor deity in charge of Squick Removal when those two broke up and I didn't have to watch the very fresh-faced Lien pitching woo with what appeared to be her granddaddy. 

The actors basically would have looked like a May/December romance anyway and the makeup team just went from broke on it.  

Then just in closing here, for the moment, I was kind of taken aback by the Tom Paris poll because it seemed a random shot at show that has been off the air for close to fifteen years but also?  Wow, would I ever have given the "if he was gone, I doubt I would have noticed" prize to poor, freaking, Harry Kim.  I know every crew needs the wide-eyed rookie but I felt honest pity for the actor with some of the stuff he had to play. 

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The Klingons had scientists and science officers, they were just looked down upon. I mean, it makes sense to me that the warriors would be respected more, since that is what their culture was based on.

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The Klingons had scientists and science officers, they were just looked down upon. I mean, it makes sense to me that the warriors would be respected more, since that is what their culture was based on.

 
 
 

It does not make sense that a culture that looks down on scientists and science officers would then rely on space exploration to build and expand their culture, or conquer others.  "We have active contempt for that which makes the mechanism of our expression of that culture possible!" isn't ironic to me, it's nonsensical. 

The disdain for these lowly, non-warriors is the part that makes zippo, zero, zilch and less than sense.  The Klingons are Warriors and supposed to be the Space Vikings, who take their Warrior show on the Warrior road via space exploration.  They should be prized because they make the continuation of that warrior culture in anything other than civil wars possible.  That disdain for scientists is the part that just doesn't fit with that picture.  

It's not a profession that thrives when the societal castoffs are the only people encouraged to join it.   I kind of doubt that the Vikings looked down on their ship builders.  Although it's possible because there isn't a lot known about how the ship builders were viewed, it was the Viking warship that made them as formidable as they were.  

I get what you're saying, the show structured in reasons, they just never clicked for me as making any sense, at all. 

Edited by stillshimpy

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It would have been perfectly possible to portray the Klingons as more like Space Samurai - you still get the honour based, warrior culture but without quite so much contempt for non-Warriors (obviously, by the Voyager years, a bit late to be changing their "Values", though).

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See above because I completely agree, John Potts

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(obviously, by the Voyager years, a bit late to be changing their "Values", though).

I think Voyager actually acknowledged  a couple of the Klingon missteps in the finale story with the Imogen.  The Imogen commander, who died and whose vision was not necessarily shared by others, was to try and evolve their way of life, so that they didn't die out.  He had a tough row to hoe and his methods were a tad alarming, what with the 974th example of : Holodecks, who will they try to kill this week?  

But I guess the way I've handwaved the missteps in the Klingon culture with kind of a balance between, I know what they are going for, even if I think they whiffed it all the way back in TNG by creating this nonsensical "we disdain the brainy....while desperately needing them!  I love the smell of Irony in the morning!"  thing.  

I mainly try to ignore it because I think it is a byproduct of the sheer desperation of the writers to include drama back on TNG without having the verboten inner-crew-conflict.  So they just created something way too broad, to which they fully committed and then just sort of tried to back away from it by centimeters.   It's not lost on me that B'elanna is the most talented engineer that Janeyway, et all have ever seen.  The implication being that the Klingons are damned good at this stuff even if they don't prize it.   It's the "....uh....technically they ought to be revered as near wizards, making everything possible"  thing that I have to try and ignore.  

I do think that Voyager actively tried to have slightly more depth to their warrior species starting all the way back with the Kazon who were willing to chase Voyager all over the damned Delta Quadrant, not just because of Seska, but because they coveted their technology. 

Edited by stillshimpy
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But they could still employ the services of scientists without having to revere them or treat them well. The scientist were probably just seen as a means to an end to help develop ships and weapons. If the Klingons wanted to go out and conquer space, then it makes sense for them to use whatever resources they had - in this case, scientists - to get them there.

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to portray the Klingons as more like Space Samurai

They do have elements of being Samurai. When they decided to feature them on TNG and onwards, that's what the whole "warrior code" or whatever you want to call it was drawn from. They couldn't be true analogues of Samurais, since Samurais were just hired guns (and much more reactive than proactive, which wouldn't work as long term characters in the franchise). You still needed an aggressive edge to the Klingons, which was already there from TOS, otherwise they would have been boring semi-antagonists. Mixing this new aspect of teh Samurai with the already existing aspects of the Vikings made them much more fascinating and interesting.

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But they could still employ the services of scientists without having to revere them or treat them well.

That's the part that makes zero sense, AndySmith.  It's not that common of a skill, you know?  You can't view a vital part of your society as being just "eh, whatever, someone must grow the food we eat, but we look down upon those that scratch in the dirt as the servants of the warriors, who are everything!"  you only get to treat segments of the population who basically make the whole thing possible with such disdain if you (believe) you have a limitless supply of them.  

If the best minds aren't encouraged to go into science and aerospace, then the Klingons get to stay the fuck home and kill each other.  

Unless what they are trying to imply is that all Klingons have this super-developed aptitude for science and therefore, it isn't a rarefied skill set.  

That's possible and maybe that's what they tried to imply with B'elanna.  I don't think they ever stated that as part of the Klingon lore in any of the series, but I may have missed it as the Klingons deeply bore me.  I have a hard time believing that but fully admit, that's probably because I see science as the path to all things reasonable and warrior cultures as embracing the worst, least-evolved parts of a sentient being. 

Edited by stillshimpy

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It is if you're dealing with an alien warrior society. Through our eyes, it doesn't make sense, but for a culture like that? It could work.

The scientists might have seen it as them being duty bound to serve the empire in that way, regardless of how they were treated. And I may have overstated when I said not treating them well...I mean, they weren't treated like dirt or like slaves, but at the same time, they weren't respected as the best warriors were. They were just unappreciated by the general Klingon society.

With regards to B'elnna, I'm not sure the writers were really trying to say much with regards her to her engineering skills being somehow linked to her Klingon heritage. She was smart because...she was smart.

I guess it comes to mileage and how it varies. The Klingons worked for me, though I can see how they might not have worked for others.

Edited by AndySmith
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The Klingons worked for me, though I can see how they might not have worked for others.

Plus, I think that when it comes to science-fiction, there will be individual "okay, that is world breaking, instead of world making...." material.  Clearly, the Klingon's just irk me but I can also see choosing to focus on the story being told, rather choosing to look at one aspect that doesn't quite work.  I can see the appeal of a story that is about a people, trying to incorporate that which is the essence of who they believe themselves to be while also trying to evolve and grow without abandoning that essence.  It just never quite got there for me because...and this is something I know I've referred to before....in scifi there are always the "just go with it" moments that your brain can kind of leap nimbly through, or past, in order to enjoy the larger story.   Like the universal translator does not explain lip movements matching up but we all know, that would have been hell to write for and film so....just go with it.  

The Klingons have that, I fully admit, relatively minor stumbling block and if you're drawn in by the larger story that becomes the price of admission.  "Does this technically make a lot of sense? No but I'm willing to just shelve that objection because I care about the larger story" or when you really care about the larger story, figure out ways to make it work.  Like, maybe the Klingons really do just have this natural aptitude and that's why it can seem like they treat crucial personnel like they're to be looked down upon.  Maybe those traits just coexisted and aren't really that dissimilar.  After all, there is an element of conquering in science too.   Who knows?  I can totally seeing liking the story and just figuring out how to make it fit. 

It didn't for me but in the spirit of full disclosure....my mom is from Scotland and I ended up studying some of the available history on the Clan skirmishes.  The bloody-minded Scots likely were always going to make the Klingons tough for me to take because they remind me of them.  "We're so busy infighting, we're losing everything! Let's fight each other some more! Whaddya mean we're our own worst enemies and kind of annoying?" <--- insert burr as needed.  

I figure it's kind of like the time-travel-headache tons and tons of viewers understandably get, that I never do.   Do I see their point?  Yeah, of course, but the freaking AU and time-travel stories are made specifically to delight me, so I happily just go with it.  It's a completely valid point for people who can't get past it, just was never my tripping stone.  

For the Klingons, I tripped on that detail and it caught me so much, I lost an appreciation for the work they put into the rest of the story.  I will say this, though, the casting directors on all the shows deserve some appreciation because they found actors who were incredibly good at their craft.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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