Sunday, September 11, 2016

Voyager

As a Starfleet vessel, Voyager was pretty cool. The opening credits of the show - the best of all the Trek series so far, with Enterprise a close second - shows off the ship extremely well (though I always imagine Janeway at the beginning saying, "Mr. Paris, why are you flying us into the path of a solar flare?"), and that lovely Jerry Goldsmith theme serves as the perfect compliment. Voyager TruFans® may know how often during the series they used that rotating-nacelles trick at the end of the credits, but I don't. What was it for, anyway?

The Delta Flyer was a great idea. I've never liked the looks of Starfleet shuttles and runabouts prior to Voyager - too boxy and unimaginative, relatively speaking. The Flyer was practical in the sense that it was a tough shuttlecraft that would avoid the cliché of getting shuttles destroyed three or four times a year - not a good idea on a show about a ship lost in space (though I don't think they avoided that cliché entirely). And the retro touch, with buttons and levers, made it truly unique. The Flyer was an inspired and welcome addition that was put to good use.


I tend to agree with the common complaints about the cast: Chakotay was boring, Tuvok was underutilized, Neelix was annoying, there was no good reason to keep Kim an ensign. The show didn't have enough of an edge. The Starfleet-versus-Maquis conflict didn't last nearly as long as it should have. I'm not saying they should have stayed separate, but I don't think they got enough juice out of that contrast in philosophies. The probable reason why was DS9. Voyager's predecessor was never fully appreciated in its lifetime (that's changing now) and Paramount wanted to go back to basics with Voyager, especially since it was the so-called "flagship" program of the UPN network.

I suppose bringing in the Borg was inevitable, and it did give us Seven of Nine, a surprisingly good character (though I wish her arrival didn't mean Kes' departure; I liked her), but making them Janeway's bête noir was a mistake. Do you think about things like the Omega Particle or Unimatrix Zero when you think of the Borg? No, you think HOLY CRAP THE BORG THEY CONSUME EVERYTHING THEY'RE UNSTOPPABLE WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO? Maybe if Seven were a supporting character instead of a feature player, it would've kept the Borg at something of a remove, but no, they rubbed her in our faces. She was a good character, but her development came at the expense of others.

Voyager was middle-of-the-road. It didn't suck, but it didn't push the envelope creatively as often as it could have. I know it has its TruFans® because I see them on Twitter, palling around with Jeri Ryan and Garrett Wang and Bob Picardo and Robbie McNeil. To me, though, it's the show of missed opportunities. I wish it were otherwise.

------------------------
Related:
Kathryn Janeway

Previously:
Alternate Enterprise NCC-1701
Enterprise NX-01

2 comments:

  1. The "more" that we wanted from the show kept me watching the "what we have".

    The opening: today there are less than 30 second openeings to programs that I must fast-forward, but with "Voyager" I sit back and relish every second. Goldsmith!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bibi and I had a conversation about the Voyager theme while we were at the Intrepid show. She said there was one part of the theme that always gives her chills hearing it. I suggested it was the bridge - you know, the part where they fly through the planetary rings? That's my favorite part anyway.

    ReplyDelete