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Star Trek: Voyager Thoughts

So yeah, I’m probably a bit late to the party since Voyager ended like 20 years ago. However, I’m watching it from the start particularly since I really didn’t watch much of the series last time. So far I’m up to the end of Season 2 so far after getting all the way through Deep Space 9 (which I generally really liked). So here are a few semi-random thoughts about the series since I’ve been watching it.

First, I have to say that it’s not bad. Now, it’s not good either; the reviewers definitely had it right that it was pretty much just Star Trek for the sake of creating a new show. Generally the concept and central conceit of a Star Fleet vessel thrown to the other side of the galaxy is a good one, and while the characters do somewhat read like a who’s who of bland in the Star Trek universe, there are some genuinely interesting and likeable (and unlikeable) characters in the mix. The ship itself is also interesting in that it’s relatively small, and more of a military than civilian ship.

But the big problem I have with Voyager is this; it’s frustrating. I mean, they start with a genuinely good idea and squander it on pretty bland stories. And they are ALWAYS pulling their punches. Just when you think they’re going to do something interesting and the writers are given a few ways to end a particular story, they are always choosing the “safe” route that resets the universe back to the way it was ready for the next episode. I mean, in the last few episodes alone I’ve seen Voyager itself torn to shreds and magically rebuilt to showroom new condition (Deadlock) before the next episode, a genuinely interesting story about a transporter accident that creates a new lifeform (Tuvix) but is magically and “heroically” turned back into the two characters he was created from at the end of the episode… and almost the icing on the cake is Janeway and Chakotay stranded on an alien world that they can’t leave only to have them returned to the bridge by episode’s end like nothing ever happened.

These are all frustrating because a better writer (or head writer really) would’ve made very different choices in all three of these instances in order to at least draw some of it out over a few episodes. Yes, these would’ve been bold choices in the Star Trek universe, but I think one of the reasons Voyager gets reviled so much is this; the reset button is far too freaking obvious. And as a result there’s literally no sense of danger in any episode… no sense that any of the character growth we’ve witnessed is going to have any bearing on the character going forward.

Tuvix in particular had a genuinely interesting story apart from the sciencey-handy-wavey way he was created (merging two people together) and could’ve been ridiculous. And literally as they were about to get interesting with conversations about right and wrong, individual rights and so forth they decided that he just wasn’t valuable any more and “killed” him. You know what would’ve been a better resolution? Let Tuvix stick around for a few more episodes… maybe even finish out the season… then sometime in Season 3 have him contract some sort of illness or some side effect of his creation that can’t be fixed and THEN have the doctor figure out a way to split him back into the original two characters. Actually have the audience care more about his plight and those of the two characters who were temporarily furloughed.

Or shit… MENTION HIM AGAIN FOR GOD’S SAKE!! It’s like they spent time with this guy, had him around, ate his cooking, listened to his stories and made friends with him and now just completely forgot he ever existed. Never has his name been brought up again.

Anyway, random thoughts on ancient TV sci-fi. Just because. I will continue to slog through this show because I’ve almost set myself a mission at this point to watch everything modern Star Trek.

I am Gavin, and this is my blog.

-G

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