Star Trek Voyager: Fixing the Mistakes of previous Star Trek series, one episode at a time.
Lessons one to eight to follow. Sit up at the back, you will learn something.
Number One: We shall have a charismatic captain who is more interesting than a cardboard cut-out of herself. Result:
VOY: That one huge damn affirmative. She practically bleeds charisma, and has enough personality and back-story to keep anyone happy.
TOS: Okay, I’ll give Kirk this, he does have style. Annoying style sometimes, but style none the less.
TNG: That’s a negative. Wake me when its over, people.
DS9: Hell NO. One more brooding, self-pitying moment I’m going to foam at the mouth.
Number Two: Actually do something about the problems that assail you that doesn’t involve sitting around a large table forever until you just wish everyone was dead? (Thank you Onion News for that quip). Result:
VOY: Affirmative, we shall have meetings in the Briefing Room when we have sufficient time during a crisis, (got to get the full money’s worth out of the nice set, after all) but otherwise we shall have impromptu but thoroughly informative meetings on the Bridge, or on the planet/spacestation/whatever location of the trouble that we’re having.
TOS: That’s a negative, we will sit in Kirk’s quarters and yammer about the illogicalness of it all until the bloody cows come home.
TNG: Sweet Zombie Jesus, do these people ever have any adventures at all? (I know they have some, I’m just emphasising my point. That Briefing Table must feel like its the centre of their universe).
DS9; Hell no, we shall yabber and play with a stupid baseball whilst we talk, and talk, and talk. And then start unnecessary fights and get a lot of people needlessly killed.
Number Three: Shall we pander to and pussy-foot around bullying enemy species who push their luck with our patience, or not? Result:
VOY: No, we shall fucking NOT do that. We will show them the standard Starfleet tolerance and patience, but only until they push one time to many and then look the hell out. Light the blue touch paper and STAND WELL BACK.
TOS: Woah, I didn’t say to beat the tar out of some Andorian because he looked at you cross-eyed, down boy!
TNG: That’s largely a negative, but it is an affirmative with the Romulans: the skipper is way to nice to the frikking Romulans. Grow a pair man! Tell them to fuck off!
DS9: Okay, I said not to pussy foot around them, I didn’t say to go off in a stupid hissy fit every time somebody hurts your feelings. Sheesh.
Number Four: We shall look after our crew and not let them be senselessly killed by Alien Species A, B, C, etc, or by hostile anomaly/lifeform 1, 2, 3, etc. Result:
VOY: Damn, the woman’s like a lioness protecting her cubs. Do. Not. Mess. Sure, we shall have casualties, this is a dangerous profession after all, but not pointless and avoidable ones.
TOS: Holey moley man, try and have at least ten percent of your crew left alive by the end of the five year mission! (Insert commercial voice here) : Trouble with spear-wielding natives? Are booby traps and weird dangerous phenomenon getting you down? Then send in a Red Shirt and all your problems will be solved! Or leave Spock in command on a mission on a shuttle and let him leave two crewmen alone to be slaughtered by the gigantic natives! You’ll be rid of those pesky aliens in no time! (End commerical voice).
TNG: Um, we shall look after our senior staff, and Federation scientists in distress yet again, and nobody else. Oh, and for the record, that crewman in First Contact that Picard shoots? The guy lying in the corridor during the scene on Deck Six? Janeway totally WOULD HAVE SAVED HIM. Nanoprobes in his blood or no nanoprobes. So there.
DS9: Don’t look after yourselves, then it’ll be over and you can finally rest.
Number Five: We shall have a nice mix of action episodes, cerebral episodes, romance episodes, and the occasional comedy episode thrown in for old times sake? Result:
VOY: That’s affirmative. We shall have a close to perfect mix of these, though an extra bit of quiet introspection at the end of a few more episodes wouldn’t hurt, to consider all that has happened, to lead nicely into the next episode and answer all questions. (ie: The 37’s, Deadlock, Resolutions, Real Life, Scorpion, Restrospect, Equinox, Dragon’s Teeth, Flesh and Blood. Good scenes at the end, rounded them off nicely. Whereas: Learning Curve, Cold Fire, The Killing Game, Night, Barge of the Dead. I had a few questions at the end of them. The Killing Game in particular. Fantastic ep, but a few loose ends…)
TOS: Um, largely affirmative.
TNG: Woah, too much boring ‘not a lot action going on’ here. This is sci-fi, not daytime tv.
DS9: Sigh. Does anyone think about the consequences of their actions in this show, or shall we just use our brains to think of more ways to complain about stuff? Way to much whizz-bang-pop-killamajig going on here. Oh, and for the record, having two characters constantly saying they hurt each other during sex does not qualify as romance. It qualifies as irritating, lazy character development.
Number Six: We shall fully explore all of our characters. Result:
VOY: An unusual negative. One or two are neglected when it became apparent that others where more interesting and open to development. They are all explored, but some not nearly enough. Its safe to say Janeway, the Doctor, Seven, Paris and Torres have the most time spent on them.
TOS: Negative. Only if your name is Kirk, Spock or McCoy.
TNG: ULTRA-NEGATIVE, unless your name is Picard or Data. ‘And next up, the Picard and Data Show! To jointly go where no bald guy and android has been before…’ Hmm. William T. Riker? Who the hell-? Geordi LaForge? Who the hell’s he? I always kinda liked old Geordi. Half the engineer Torres is, but a decent guy nonetheless.
DS9: That’s a negative! We shall resort to having two underdeveloped characters from TNG to fill out the crew! And the rest (save Kira, she’s alright) shall be too annoying to need developing!
Wow, minus points all round there. This should have been addressed, methinks. Have less characters! Five or six, with three additional guest starring roles. Recurring roles. Like that Cardassian feeb from DS9. I may dislike it intensely, but that was a good idea. But all the shows had casts that were just slightly too large. Ah well, ensemble shows always have this problem. Nobody’s perfect. Thank god. I like the flaws personally. Gives it more character, more flavour. Moving on.
Number Seven: We shall explore interesting and fresh locations and meet interesting new aliens and lifeforms on a regular basis, as befitting a show about EXPLORING and the future of humanity amongst the stars. Result:
VOY: That’s another massive AFFIRMATIVE. I was going to list all the species and lifeforms and new worlds Voyager encounters in its odyssey, both the ones seen and the ones referenced but not actually seen in episodes, but when I started to compile a list…just take my word for it, there is a shit-load, and eight-five percent of them are interesting and cool to watch and learn about. The other fifteen percent we either see too briefly, or come under the ‘referenced but not seen’ tag. Quite a lot of Borg, but I love the Borg and love the way Voyager takes them on, so that’s great for me!
TOS: That’s kind of an affirmative, but there are issues here with poor make-up and sets. Again, budget constraints more than laziness, which is a saving grace I suppose.
TNG: Too much Federation colonists and same-old same-old aliens here. Neutral Zone patrol? Again? really? I know its an issue, but there are other Starfleet vessels out there up for some adventuring. Now, I like Federation citizens, but I don’t need to see them all the time. I know they’re there. Can we please do some more exploring?
DS9: They hardly fucking go anywhere! What’s to explore? The Entertainment Boulevard with those goddamn gameboards? Bajor? Seen it already! An occasional foray through the wormhole is not enough! This is a show about exploration! It is your trade people! SO DO SOME.
Number eight: We shall have a cool looking ship for our intrepid crew to gallivant around in. Result:
VOY: That’s affirmative. The USS Voyager. Look at them lines. What a beauty. She’s like the Ferrari of the starship world, only with phasers and a warp core. I’m sure there’s plenty of cup holders to boot.
TOS: Hmm. Its kind of…angular. Great ship, but the lines aren’t quite as pleasing to the eye as they could be.
TNG: Nope, negative, nadda. Its about as aerodynamic as a bowling ball. And, and I know ‘aerodynamic’ is the incorrect word here, but I don’t care. ‘Subspace/warp field’ isn’t half as amusing a put-down. I don’t care how powerful it is, it looks weird. If someone put a model of the D on a desk it would fall forwards with an ungainly jolt and a sound ‘clunk.’ Improvement is made with the E, but it looks like its been stretched to far on a rack. However, its sleeker, so that salvages a few points.
DS9: Wow, surprise, yet another resounding negative. The station is a weird looking creature at the best of times, though I find the round docking ring makes sense, (I prefer Starfleet Starbases, much better looking) and the Defiant, nippy as the little bugger is, looks like a dinner plate with three bits of wood stuck onto the sides. Never a good look.
Side Note: I do not fail to include Enterprise here as a subtle insult to the series, but I don’t know enough about that particular saga to give it adequate analysis. From what I’ve seen, it strives to be a bit different to all the other shows/movies, and that was probably its downfall with the hardcore, old-school and fucking boring fans which give other Trekkers a bad name sometimes. It seemed pretty good to me, different yet relying on the good old Trek stalwarts as well. I may personally fiercely like one show, and not so much the others, but I won’t deny enjoyment of the other four series to other fans. I like to voice my opinions, I’m not going to go to a blog of someone who likes TNG or DS9 and rag on their show for being shit. I might make fun of them, but never at a personal level. I have my opinion, they have theirs. Freedom of speech, I love it. Once I know more about ENT, I might include it here.
Side Note 2: The hypocrisy of anyone who says Voyager has more technobabble than previous Trek’s beggars belief. What the fuck-? Are we watching the same shows? In TOS Scotty spouts technocrap out of every darn orafice, TNG is like one long god damn science lesson, although somehow managing to make the fascinating subject seem dry. DS9 is less guilty of this trend, but its still present and correct. Voyager has the technobabble that is present in all Trek. No more, no less. As it should be.
Voyager out. For now.