I finished Voyager. Some of it was alright but I feel like it wasn't great and I had a hard time marathoning it. I know that there's some guys who like Voyager and I respect them, there's probably a lot to like here if you haven't watched TNG or DS9 before hand. But since I did watch those here is my screed. Star Trek Voyager: A Boring Journey to a Shitty Destination.Why darfox8 thinks Voyager wasn't a great standalone and how it missed an opportunity to break new ground.
If your brainstorming some new Trek series that are similar but different to TNG it's probably not hard to come up with the baseline premise of DS9 and Voyager. One is a stationary version of Trek, where the setting is a hotspot of space politics and action, and one is an isolated version of Trek, where the crew are still in a space ship but they're lost in space. One also managed to out grow it's meager and shaky beginning to become one of the best Sci Fi TV shows ever, with a memorable likeable cast, a dense setting and backstory, and story arcs that were ground breaking for the franchise. While the other show starts off somewhat promising but immediately plateaus right out the gate and then struggles for six season to identify the main players and the tone of the series. Star Trek Voyager is wasted time.
I was never comfortable with VOY's setting and I don't think the show creator were either. By setting I mean everything, the plot line the characters, and the premise. They go through love interest like they don't give a fuck. It's like they wrote all the characters name on two roulette wheels and as they spin two names swing by each other, they check how Ralph Wiggins
reacts, and then momentarily decide which they should pursue. B'elanna was into Chakotay and then not. Chakotay was into Cap Janeway and then not. Harry was into Seven and the not, some stupid redshirt twins and the not, some other shit and then not. The Doc was into Seven and then not. Nelix had Kes and then got dumped off screen(one of the lulzest things about this show). Kes was into Tom and then not. Tom is the exception, he was a "player" who finally settled down and I enjoyed most of that. This almost applies to Q as well but he's suppose to be flip floppy. I never felt that any one couple was a good fit. When Seven ends up with Chakotay in the end it didn't seem like these two character's "romantic destiny" being fulfilled; it felt like just another one of Chakotay's pairings on the roulette wheel, this is just the final one that queued up before the series faded to black unceremoniously.
This show was a cesspool of guest stars and lack of awesome classic players like Jeffery Combs. They had Andy Dick, The Rock, Georg Costanza, Sarah Silverman, and probably a bunch more I blocked out. Broccoli and Deanna Troi were some of the most exciting fun things about this show. When the z-tier characters are the coolest thing going on you know something is wrong. Fucking Luxana Troi might of been bearable in this show because she would of contrasted the muck that was everything else, and the audience would of felt some relief that she was somehow hurled across the galaxy away from the important stuff on DS9. All of this instead of Jeffery Combs appearing constantly as different constipated aliens. He appeared once as far as I know. Should of brought him back every season. This wishy washy bullshit applies to the main cast as well. They have Kes as the pretty(?) moe girl that nerds want to bone but they eventually eject her for a sexy(?) Seven of Nine whom has no shame and the nerds want to bone. I fucking forgot Kes existed until she returned in one of the single stupidest Star Trek episodes ever. No heart strings to be pulled but they act like I'd be happy they wasted an episode on her. And she was wasted in that episode, Kes fans would be PISSED. All you Kes fans out there... The best way to describe the casting and gimmicks this show employs is "aimless and desperate". I was never happy to see anyone show up or sad to see anyone go. Compare that shit to DS9 where my teets would lactate at just the sight of Quark or O'Brien.
Aimless and Desperate also describes the rogues gallery of VOY. They introduce boring uninteresting rehashed alien species, they go on to flounder any potential the species had to be interesting or fun, and then they're never to be mention again. There's like three fake Klingons in this show. Warrior Species whom suck ass. The Borg are OK I guess but they're not original. I remember watching DS9 and telling myself, "This is great and all, but I miss the Borg." be careful of what you wish for. The B's were never as scary or cool as in TNG. There were Borg episodes were I was bored, which is a travesty. Species 12345 was kinda neat, something completely alien. But they're quickly shoved aside and forgotten. Again, compare this shit to DS9 or TNG. Some classic ass Aliens in those.
Things I liked? The Doctor. The Doctor is the most tragic casualty of VOY. He deserved a great series to carry him but instead he had to hold up the whole seven season. He was the only constantly good thing. He was the only constant thing with consistent growths and arcs. He was good TV. He was fun and interesting and he made any episode he was featured in prominently better. His interaction with the crew might of fooled you to think that the cast was rich and layered but it was actually The Doctor's awesomeness radiating out onto others. To a lesser extent Tuvok was OK. Chakotay was OK. I enjoyed Neelix's interactions with Tuvock. At least the show runners had enough sense to put these two opposites together. Janeway is a pretty good Captain but she honestly ranks low for me. Maybe she too deserved a better show where her talents could of shined more.
There has to be an easier way! How could all this work right? Beside just saying "Be Better" or "Better Writing". I think the show could of been something special if it embraced the idea it flirted with once or twice. Voyager being a generational ship. They take so long to get home that the crew procreates and the younglings grow through the ranks and eventually replace the cast. Every Season or two the show does a 40-50 year time skip. As the audience you wonder who these new guys are for the first few episodes of the show. Both their character and their origin, their parents. The writers can be coy and not reveal a certain characters origin until way late so that the shippers are like freaking out wanting to know who Chakotay shacked up with. This of course means that The Doctor is the only recurring character throughout the whole series. He's a hologram who lives forever. Tuvok being a long living Vulcan could stick around for the first time skip, maybe two. Late in the series there could be an episode where there's a rumor of a haunted section of the ship. The kids are all freaking out saying "The ghost of Captain Janeway is still here and she's bitter that she can't be Captain anymore!" so the adults finally investigate and a fucking Janeway ghost appears and your like holy shit! But then she say, "Don't worry my child, I'm no ghost. 100 years ago when we fought Species 12345 one of them smacked me with their fluidic arm and a piece of my conscious got trapped on this bulkhead. Now that you scanned it with a Tricorder I can finally dissipate but before I go I want to tell you how proud I am of you all." The audience would be like, "Hooooly Fuuuuuuck. The feels and the legacy! They got Kate Mulgrew back for that thing awesome!" They could also show how alien species evolve over time. At first the shitty Kayson(SP?) are shitty but three season and a century and a half later they could be more enlightened and more willing to ally. Sure, hindsight is always 20/20. Who knows how this would of turned out if they actually did this but I feel anything would of been better than what we got.
There's such a thing as "StarTrekiness". StarTrekiness is a cool thing an episode might do. It can be profound or super smart but it can just be a nice thematic tie up of the plot. It can be poetic justice at the end of the episode. It can be just neat Scifi stuff. StarTrekiness is what makes Star Trek good and better than Star Wars. At the end of "Chain of Command" when Picard couldn't tell if he saw four or five light. At the end of "In the Pale Moonlight" when Sisko repeats "I can live with it" three time. When Picard started to communicate with the Alien Captain in "Darmok". "The Best of Both Worlds". "Far Beyond the Stars". These are StarTrekiness. VOYAGER HAS NONE OF THIS SHIT! It's all dull, lifeless, meandering, standalone plot lines. Never a takeaway from any episode. DS9 managed to bring along the StarTrekiness to it's multiple episode arc. Voyager sits comfortably in the standalone episode formula, uninterested in innovating which would of been fine, but it somehow forgot to bring the StarTrekiness to the party. This is the most damning thing anyone can say about Voyager. It invites direct comparison to TNG and it fails in the most basic Trek criteria. DS9 does all it can to grow out of it's shell but manages to honor the franchise through sheer quality and StarTrekiness. I wonder what Voyager would of been like with StarTrekiness.
Well that's it, I think. I wrote this very sleepy so forgive any dumb writing. Even more than usual.