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RickR

Rewatching Star Trek: Voyager

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I assume we have Star Trek fans here and it's ok to post opinions.

I've been slowly rewatching Star Trek: Voyager this year after finishing (and loving) DS9. 

I did watch Voyager during it's original TV run.  My opinion of the show was always negative.  My original opinion of DS9 was "good but not great", but after a modern re-watch, I moved it into a solid "great".  So I figured that Voyager needed a re-evaluation.  Maybe my opinion was clouded by the fact that I had newborn babies back then, and fatigue and the hectic nature of life clouded my feelings.

I've made it to season 3.  So far, the show is actually worse than I remember.  I have no complaints about the actors or characters.  They all seem fine.  Props to Tim Russ, who really does an excellent job with the difficult task of portraying a Vulcan.  Robert Picardo as the holographic doctor is also a stand-out.  Essentially, it's the writing that I don't like.  It's so lazy and predictable.  They are trying to get home, yet they constantly meander all over the place for various nonsensical reasons.

To go a little deeper, last night I watched the cliffhanger/conclusion episodes "Basics part 1 and 2".  They were OK.  Kind of interesting.  But there are HUGE wasted opportunities.  <SPOILER ALERTS>. 

  • Suder dies.  Why?  He just became a very interesting character.  Imagine them keeping him as their "fixer" for future episodes where some heavy handed violence is needed.  Wasted opportunity. 
  • Chakotay's baby - Surprise!  It's not his baby!  Why not?  Imagine the opportunities to explore that storyline of raising that child on the ship.  The spirit of Chakotay's father made a compelling argument for that baby...and then they just drop it????  Lazy writing.
  • Seska just drops dead.  What?  There's no comeuppance there at all.  Don't we deserve better?

Sadly, I can nitpick most of the episodes in a similar fashion up to this point.  In many cases, it's almost a "Gilligan's Island" syndrome where they stupidly waste an opportunity to get home for some ridiculous reason.  Example, that episode with the trapped Q.  RickR's suggested dialogue:  "Before I render my verdict, I request that one or both of you send us home or at least closer to home."   I mean, honestly...the minute a Q shows up, I don't care what you have to do...beg...borrow...steal...just get the Q to snap you home. 

No worries, I'm going to keep watching knowing that it does improve.  And I still love the Star Trek franchise in all it's incarnations.

What do you guys think of Voyager?

 

Edited by RickR

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I recall being super excited for the 2 hour premier on UPN...and then being super let down. I never really watched it after that.

Interestingly, in recent years my wife and I both watched TOS & TNG and my opinions on both flipped. I used to like TNG more, but after re-watching both, I found myself enjoy TOS more. Don't get me wrong. TNG is a fine series with some great episodes, but also a lot of mediocre episodes.

So Rick, how would you rank TOS, TNG and DS9. I didn't get into DS9 originally, but might give it a go later on.

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I think that it is one of the better series, post-TOS. You get to feeling for these unfortunate folks that get stranded in the Delta Quadrant, 75 years from home. TOS is still the best series. I also like Enterprise. Those three and the animated 1970s series are the best in the bunch, in my opinion. :O)

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Thank you guys, I value your opinions.  There are no wrong answers!

1 hour ago, nosweargamer said:

So Rick, how would you rank TOS, TNG and DS9. I didn't get into DS9 originally, but might give it a go later on.

Leaving the modern series out for now (I like those very much as well), here's my ranking:

  1. TOS - I grew up with this, and it still stands up.  I think the character of "Spock" as portrayed by Leonard Nimoy is one of the best characters in all of TV fiction history.
  2. DS9 - When it first aired, I hated the religious aspects of this show.  As an older adult, I think it's a lot deeper and more meaningful than I considered.  Avery Brooks as Ben Sisko is absolutely outstanding.  One of my favorite characters in all of Trek.  The father/son relationship of Ben/Jake is subtle but powerful.  The other thing I'll say is that DS9 is consistently good start to finish.  There are a few stinker episodes, of course.  But overall, it's good in every season.
  3. TNG - Season 1 is unwatchable IMO.  Things get a lot better after that.  Really good acting.  But there are so many mediocre episodes.
  4. TAS - Good stories, but horrendous animation.
  5. VOY - As mentioned in my first post. 

I will leave Enterprise off for now as it deserves a rewatch too.  Using just my memory of it's initial run, I'll rank it 4.5.

 

Edited by RickR

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More on DS9 just because.

  1. My absolute favorite episode of Star Trek (any series) is "The Visitor" (season 4).  It stands alone - you can watch this episode if you've skipped the rest and you won't get lost.  Highly, highly, highly recommended.
  2. "In the Pale Moonlight" (Season 6) is another great one.  It's a lot darker than anything on any other series, which was something DS9 could get away with.  "Slippery slope" is the theme, and it's so well done.  But you need to be familiar with what's come before to really enjoy this episode.
  3. "Trials and Tribbleations" (season 5).  I can't emphasize this enough -- if you haven't seen this episode GO WATCH IT NOW!  You don't need any background other than TOS, which I assume everyone has. 
  4. Klingons!  The Klingons were really fleshed out in DS9.  Worf, Gowron, General Martok.  You'll see the return of Kor/Kang/Koloth (with the same TOS actors!)  Come for the Starfleet, but STAY for the Klingons.
  5. Ferengi! TNG invented the Ferengi, but made them silly and ridiculous.  DS9 fleshed them out.  A sign of excellent writing.  If the scene of Quark comparing "hoomans" to root beer doesn't make you stop and think, you aren't paying attention.

 

 

Edited by RickR

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OMG, The Visitor has to be the best Star Trek episode ever.  The music for that episode was played with some scenes playing in the background when I went to the Star Trek Ultimate Voyage concert.  I can tell you that I don't think there was a person in that entire theater who didn't at least have wet eyes.  You could hear sobbing as the orchestra played this one.

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31 minutes ago, - Ω - said:

Take note though, that "Discovery" is not on my hard drive

That's understandable.  I've watched all three seasons of "Discovery".  My opinion:  It's good, but flawed. 

  • Season 2 is the best of the 3 seasons.  Anson Mount as Christopher Pike is really good. 
  • Of the main characters, Doug Jones as Saru is does such a good job.  His character is the most "Star Trek"-y part of the show. 
  • Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham gets a lot of flack.  Undeserved.  I think she is really good. 

On the bad side: 

  • They redid the Klingons for no good reason. A super dumb decision.  Look past it if you can because season 1 is FULL of TOS Easter Eggs. 
  • There is a "turbolift" scene in season 3 that is so preposterous, it takes my opinion of the whole show down a full notch.  So dumb.  So, so, dumb. 

It is a more modern style of TV series.  Like the newer version of Battlestar Galactica, there aren't any "stand-alone" episodes to enjoy.  Every show builds on to a full-season story arc. 

Edited by RickR

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My favorite episodes...

 

DS9 - Past Tense  (Parts 1 & 2) -   I combined both these episodes into one "mini movie".   One of my favorite genres in SF revolves around time travel.

ENT - Storm Front (Parts 1 & 2) - I also combined these two episodes.  These two can stand on their own, even taken out of the ongoing storyline.

TNG - The Inner Light 

TOS - City on the Edge of Forever - Yeah, another time travel related episode, of which there were three in TOS IIRC.

PIC - I cannot pick one in this series as all 10 episodes were part of the same storyline.

VOY - Blink of an Eye - A stand alone episode covering the development of a civilization in a few hours due to a time differential.

FAN - 4 Years War (Prelude to Axanar)

 

 

 

Edited by - Ω -

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DS9 was much better when I rewatched it a couple of years ago. I had always liked Voyager, but I was dumb and young. Upon watching it in full last year, I still liked it. But only because it was still a dumb sort of fun. 

ST:V really needed to stick to it's concept and stop pretending they were simply exploring most of the time. There are great episodes around though, and if you can be patient, they are worth the wait.

ST:V is still leaps and bounds classier than STD though. I was really hoping it was cancelled after season 3, but it still looks like a 4 is on it's way.

It's gross, but I have never seen all of the ToS episodes. I am slowly going through them with my son, so it is taking a while, but we just finished Season 2.

 

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