"Star Trek: Voyager; Where is the Love?" Long the stuff of both casual and serious vilification, Star Trek: Voyager is the show that so many Trek-fans love to hate. It suffers from most of the usual ST ills: it's driven by all too "easy ideology", the science is (almost) always secondary to the immediate needs of the plot, or the drama, or both, and the like. After thinking about it over the years, I've come to the conclusion that Voyager was not merely a bad program, it was an annoying one. It annoys people in ways that few other serious shows seem to have the ability to do. Why? Since it's summertime. How 'bout let's find out why in as much detail as you care to muster? I know that I could never pinpoint what really made me dislike parts of the show. In fact, I think one-quarter of the program is actually decent (or better). The problem is is that the other three quarters are bad, and not just "bad" either, but "bad" because they're so mediocre (as if mediocrity were one of the chief goals of the producers and writers---and, boy, did they ever succeed, if that's what they were trying to do). Like the little girl with the curl in the story, when she was good she was very good (but not often), but when she was bad, she was very, very, very bad. It's bad enough that this is one program I can't possibly consider buying DVD season sets of. They're too expensive and there're just not enough good episodes to justify the expense. From the more generic standpoint, I never did like the "lost in space" aspect of the show. As huge as the ever expanding Federation must already be in the so-called "Alpha Quadrant" alone, I found it totally artificial for the writers/producers to put the characters on the other side of the Milky Way to produce a "finish-line" of sorts for the series. Couldn't the crew have been making their way home from some distant part or edge of "Federation space" instead? And, yes, that would have made it a different show. (Hopefully, a better one, too.) Maybe the most maddening aspect of Voyager for me was the "Are we there yet?"-syndrome it aroused in me (and, I suspect, in many others, as well). Some of us stuck it out through the series hoping (against hope, as it turned out) that the program would "straighten up and fly right", to put it in old-fashioned terms, but, unlike DS9, which went from barely mediocre to superb action/drama, Voyager never did. It did for a short while in the second half of the third season give the impression that it had turned the corner and might blossom in the future with the episodes that led up to the first Voyager appearance of the Borg, in "Scorpion". I consider this to be the high point of the series, in fact. After that, unfortunately, there were just a few peaks with a whole lot of low plains and deep, deep valleys. It has been said that Voyager had a "darkness" about it, and that that's what turned some people off. Well, if there was a specific darkness about it, it was mostly lost on me. I would've welcomed it heartily. I would say, as a matter of production values, however, the lighting of the Voyager bridge-set was a wonderful relief from the overlit, warm, "comfy" feel of TNG. My motto is: if you want to feel like you're travelling to strange places, you need the setting to look the part. I don't want to feel as though I'm in my living room looking at that big old tv view screen. I want to feel weird, and weirded out by the end of each episode. The other Voyager plus in this regard is the villains, which are some of the best in all of Trekdom: the intelligent living-corpse society, the Vidian Sodality; the Borg collective (before cheap-sweeps-weeks overexposure); Species 8472 (before it was wussified in "In the Flesh"). I find I didn't, and don't, much like the main characters (as you will be able to tell from the list below), although some of them I can respect. Janeway never bothered me so much, but some of the others . . . . . Here below are listed some of what were for me the highlights and the lowlights of Star Trek: Voyager. good Voyager (Voyager-"turn-ons" ) "Prototype" (war of the robots) "Scorpion" "Phage" "Night" "Dragon's Teeth" some of the, if not the, greatest ST villains: the Vadhuar, the Vidians, Species 8472, the Melon, the Borg (see below) "Distant Origin" (believable or not) "The Thaw" (Okay, so I like some cheese with my ham! I'm a sucker for the science of dreams.) bridge & ship lighting bad Voyager (Voyager-"turn-offs") the Borg the Doctor seeking name/personality/family life Neelix the Clown ('nuff said?) Paris with his zipper down Paris playing 20th-century games including holographic episodes with Dr. Chaotica Q-episodes "Year of Hell" "11:59" Kazon (esp. their 'do's! "DON'T!") Kes time-travel stories/temporal prime directive: "Futures End" (ugh!) Reginald Barclay Janeway's holonovel adventures some terrible CGI there in the later seasons If there's enough interest expressed in this thread, I may come back with specifics on some of these. I would like to find out from the detractors more specifics of their complaints about the show. (Too generic: "All the people on Voyager were psychotic"; "Janeway the nanny" (one of Mr. Briggs's repeated complaints.)) Despite all that's generally been said, Voyager seems to be a show that has its own corps of earnest defenders, as well. If you're one of Voyager's lonely voices of defense, do please join in and tell us what kept you watching over the life of the series. Detractor comments should basically address the following question: Was there anything you can point to that made Voyager for you distinctly annoying, among all the versions of Trek you've seen? Janeway's nobility, for example, that is, her willingness to sacrifice her crew (as in "Prey", by protecting a member of Species 8472 aboard her ship from the Hirogen hunters), as well as their chance to get home, would not count as "distinct" in my mind. It has a long tradition in post-TOS Trek. The Sisko-, Picard-, and Archer-characters have all suffered under the onus of the "Noblesse oblige"-dictum of the franchise (which was discussed in the "STAR TREK Gripes and Pet Peeves" thread ). (Spock mentions "our duty to other life-forms" in "The Galileo Seven", as well as elsewhere, but one gets the impression from TOS that Kirk himself would have little, if any, of this.) So, what irritated you about Voyager? Or what attracted you week after week? Either way, detractor or supporter, please be specific. Give examples, where possible. Oh, and tell us for how long (how many seasons) you watched.