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I forgot how bad Voyager was...


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted May 18 2012 - 10:32 AM

Currently watching season 2. I have come to the conclusion that Brannon Braga is the worst thing to have ever happened to the "Trek" universe. I just don't understand how one man can be such an insanely bad writer for Star Trek, yet given so much control of the series. I remember watching his episodes in TNG season 6, and 7 and just gritting my teeth in disgust. His Voyager episodes are just more of the same. Tehcno babble/horror stories that would be better suited for 'Tales From The Darkside' than Star trek. He just doesn't have a clue. Watching Voyager can be a painful experience.

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#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted May 18 2012 - 12:35 PM

Braga's bad, but I had a special dislike for Joe Menosky's work (of course, not every script the pair touched was toxic, as I see from looking at a list; but, when they were bad, they were awful). The Thaw! I have nightmares about how terrible that episode was. I bet he did the one where Chipotle kept seeing the moon to know he was dreaming (looked it up--nope). That said, I liked Voyager the first time, and when I rewatched it a year or so ago, I still liked it. I think I've seen everything but the seventh season three times through now. I moved in the middle of my last rewatch and didn't get back to that season. Any weaknesses with the writing are balanced out with how likeable the characters are, at least for me.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted May 18 2012 - 12:37 PM

Voyager has the least rewatchability and the most groans.  It never found its footing.  I can pickup and watch DS9 at any season.. 1-7, and find great episodes.  Even the 'eh' episodes were better than any high point of Voyager to me.  That's a problem.. a big problem.  
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#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Simon Massey

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Posted May 19 2012 - 04:16 AM

Voyager was my first way into Trek - bought a couple of episodes on VHS in the 90s and it got me hooked. I much prefer DS9 but still enjoy Voyager primarily because of the characters though I recognize there are a lot of weak stories in there. Season 4 seemed to be a turning point for me not just the fact they introduced Jeri Ryan :) but they did improve tremendously with how they dealt with the other characters. Jennifer Lien for example spent three seasons doing virtually nothing and the only characters that really showed any development were Janeway and The Doctor. They had the opportunity to use the conflict between the different crews at the start of the season and they didn't utilize it properly.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Tony J Case

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Posted May 19 2012 - 06:42 AM

Nothing like responding to a 5 year old post :)
Of course, I don't think either of these problems were insurmountable; they were the result of bad decisions being made at nearly every turn. What if in the pilot, instead of having everyone in a Starfleet uniform by the end, they'd opted to set up genuine conflict between the Starfleet,Maquis, and tag-along groups? What if the writers had kept a tally of every photon torpedo fired, so that when they ran into a Borg ship midway through, there was some genuine tension? What if they did, in fact, leave the CGI model beat up after a big battle and have shipboard systems start looking jury-rigged by the end of series? Heck, what if they did have to settle on a planet for a season while small groups left on runabouts and shuttle missions looking to trade for resources from a position of weakness?
That would have fit well with my idea of what would have been an awesome start to the series. So, here we are, 1995 (or whenever the hell Voyager was in pre-production) and I'm executive producer. The premise of the show - a ship lost in space trying to get home - would have been Top Secret. No leaks, no hints, no nothing. Guard that shit like the Nuclear Football. Just tell the fans it's another average Star Trek, but with a female captain and perhaps sell it as them chasing terrorists and doing security work for the federation - enough to set apart from Old School Trek and TNG.. And for the first five or so episodes, treat it like your average Trek. Get to know the main cast, set up the Terrorists with a running plot thread perhaps - play it completely straight and let everyone (fans and cast) get their legs under them. . . and then kick the stool away. Suddenly, without warning, the whole show gets flipped on it's head as the ship gets zapped to the other end of the galaxy and the premise of being a security force is thrown out the window for the Have To Get Home plot. And then do the above. That would have been much more awesome than what we got.

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted May 19 2012 - 07:16 AM

I like some of that direction; I think the existence of DS9 (a stationary environment) stopped a lot of that.. personally, Voyager in the end trended a bit like Stargate Atlantis (which I also didn't get into, and had some "eh" moments, but never the real lows of Voy)    Every touch involved sucked - the inclusion of Q, who they worked with, but couldn't barter with, aliens who were clunky and a definition of space that seemed to have defined 2 dimensional lines in the sand that made no sense at all.   In reality, I thought at the very beginning that there was a chance for a very different track - that Voyager would become a one-region show; they'd quickly settle on a planet, and use it as a "homebase" their new "starfleet headquarters" out of the light of where the caretaker was, and they would say "it's too far to make it home in our lifetime, and exploration in a straight line is stupid - but we can explore incredible amounts of space and map out everything from a central point; this will be our base, and we're going to build a whole new civilization".    I was waiting for that; I thought in the first few episodes we were on the virge of breaking into two nation states in the Macquis and the Federation on a habitable planet; and that the struggle over what they acquire through exploration, the things they find, resources, etc. would be central to the story - and from the first episode halfway in, that's where I thought this was heading..   But when it became "we'll form a straight line and go home" I thought: this is going to be gilligan's island in space, and a lot of episodes in a bottle;   that was a stark contrast to the fact that DS9 was building serious character backstories, political intrigue, infighting, and characters who made significant change in who they were.   It was.. just such a giant step back in storytelling that I couldn't really get on board.
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#7 of 9 OFFLINE   joshEH

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Posted May 19 2012 - 10:39 AM

"Why Ronald D. Moore Left Voyager."

This interview more or less sums up everything I feel about this show. (Moore might seriously piss some folks off with this, though -- heads up.)

Reading this, you can pretty much tell that he worked out all of his Voyager-frustrations when Battlestar came along.

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#8 of 9 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted May 19 2012 - 02:51 PM

Josh- Great link.   This paragraph sums up everything I thought:    
Quote:
Moore continues. "It’s not truthful. On DEEP SPACE NINE, that was the watchword. We wanted it to be true. There was a lot of truth in DEEP SPACE NINE, a lot of difficult questions that we tried to answer, and some difficult questions that we couldn’t answer. DS9 was a real place, a truthful place; it was a place where we explored things on a real level. But VOYAGER doesn’t go there. It just will not go there. You are trying to tell the audience on the one hand, ‘We’re so far from home, and it’s going to take us so long, and we really wish we could get home. It’s rough out here.’ Janeway wrings her hands about all the things that she has sent the crew through. Then, it’s off to the holodeck. You can’t talk with any kind of a straight face about food rations and energy conservation, and having a real kitchen in the mess hall, when at the same time you’ve got the holodeck going. It’s such a facade, and no matter what kind of technobabble bullshit you come up with, the audience intuitively knows, again, that’s not truthful. There is no reality there. That would not happen. Even on GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, they didn’t have the Skipper and Gilligan sitting in the Minnow, watching color television. But on VOYAGER, who cares? We want the holodeck to run so we can go do period pieces, and we can do dress up and we can do fun adventures on the holodeck, and we don’t want to give that up. Okay, but don’t try telling me at the same time that you are really out scraping by and barely making it out there on the frontier, when none of their hair is out of place, and their uniforms are pristine, and the bridge is clean every week."
  Damn is that true; one of the great factors of DS9 was that they were in a difficult situation and it wasn't always technobabble problems.   A lot of times, the key problems came from misunderstandings, fear, religion, politics.. so many general concerns came up in DS9 that came across as "true", where you could believe the premise - sure it was SciFi and by default unreal, but that doesn't mean that the motives and actions of the characters within the world they were placed couldn't feel real.   DS9 did that very, very well.  It changed characters, it addressed real conflict - and all of the characters changed in big and small ways that seemed to "pay off".  To me, it was always my favorite Trek, but over the years, it has become one of my favorite SciFi shows for how damn good it was from beginning to end, it's one of the few that I can watch all the way through and say "wow, when I first watched these, the Kai episodes in S1/S2 just .. hmm. but now, years later, you realize how serious all the political unrest was, and how all the squabble really defines later seasons.."  And so on.   Voyagers problem really is that there is no change agent, there isn't an effective thing that says: this character is seriously different then they were when this show started.   The ship is different.  the structure is different.     Think about this, a "C" character on DS9 - someone like Keiko O'Brien had this as a character arch through DS9:  She follows her husband to a new post, is unhappy that she's leaving behind her career and comforts, after a downspell on her dislike of the new facility she decides to make due, and become a teacher & botanist within the station, until she gets an option to resume her career in plants; she has a kid, she loses a first child, and by the end of the series, she encourages Miles to follow her home so that they both can have teaching careers at Starfleet Academy.   Now, think about that - that is a "C" character, someone who is on the show "every now and again".  And their storyline shows real growth and change.  Hell, I could argue that Quark's mother had more character development on DS9 then ANY character on Voyager.  
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#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted May 20 2012 - 06:50 PM

I've enjoyed most of Voyager, although there were certainly some dreadful episodes. But I think each of the series had the occasional lousy episode. Of course I never bought the show for repeat viewings. I bought all of Next Generation and Enterprise. Voyager I just catch in repeats if I'm in the mood. Probably one of the few here but I've never seen DS9, not a single episode. No real explanation, guess I was busy and maybe in a non-Star Trek phase of life.
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