Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Star Trek Voyager


The show Star Trek Deep Space Nine probably would not have existed if it were not for the extreme popularity of the previous series, Star Trek The Next Generation.  Deep Space Nine was different enough, taking place on a space station instead of a ship, that many Star Trek fans rejected it initially, but the show won over most of them with its great characters, and it became my favorite Star Trek series.

The next series, Star Trek Voyager, returned to the space exploration theme, with a "Lost in Space" plot.  However, right away I felt like it was "Star Trek Light".  The first two seasons were a little on the dull side.  It started as a pretty bumpy ride and slowly got better over its seven seasons.  There was a change about 2/3 of the way through the second season when suddenly the show became much more entertaining.

You can tell from the ratings on the Internet Movie Database that Voyager improved over time.  The last two seasons have no bad ratings unlike the last two seasons of Star Trek The Next Generation which were starting to falter.

In Star Trek The Next Generation, Captain Picard was a great character because he was strong but also highly personable, but Captain Janeway doesn't come across as a person that I would want to spend much time with.  She is essentially the star of the show and is good as a strong female character, but I know that many fans didn't like her.

At the beginning of Season 4, Voyager takes on a new sexy Borg character, named "7 of 9".  One of the actors on the show, Robert Picardo, publically expressed dismay saying that the apparent plan was to get men in the audience to drool so much that they would forget to change the channel.  Apparently, it worked, but having a Borg character also added a great deal to the storylines.  With the addition of "7 of 9", they had to get rid of the character "Kes" played by Jennifer Lien.  Although Kes was a likable character, she wasn't very deep and they had done about all that they could do with her.

Whereas the characters in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine were really great, only a couple of characters on Voyager really stand out.  The holographic doctor, played by Robert Picardo, and "7 of 9" got utilized more as time went on, crowding out other characters like Chakotay who was the second in command.  However, I never found Chakotay that interesting.

The Talaxian character Nelix has been described as the "Jar Jar Binx" of Star Trek.  Apparently, his character is supposed to be annoying for comic relief.  Although I liked the character, on rewatching the series he got on my nerves more.  Fortunately, Nelix matures over the course of the show, but he also becomes less important.  

The Vulcan character Tuvok, played very well by Tim Russ, deserves honorable mention, but there is only so much that you can do with a full-blooded Vulcan character that is not Spock.  However, he has some really interesting interactions with Nelix.

Later they added a precocious child character who was born on the ship named Naomi Wildman.  The little actress who played her, Scarlett Pomers, seems as good as most of the adults.  It is a delight to watch her interact mostly with 7 of 9, but also with the rest of the crew.

I did not think that I would enjoy watching Voyager again, as it is one of my least favorite Star Trek series.  I am happy to report that the show improved enough to redeem itself.

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