I’ve just recently finished watching Voyager. It’s a coincidence that it also happens to be the show’s 20th anniversary. I’m exhausted watching this terrible show and it has taken me months (over a year?) to reach this point. I went back and started watching all of Star Trek in chronological order. I blazed through shows, movies, and even The Animated Series, but when I finally got to VOY, it all went to a screeching halt.
VOY is the worst Star Trek show of all. It doesn’t have one major problem with it that you could ignore or hope later seasons fix it. It’s got small to medium problems that add up to one mess of a show. Here are seven of them.
7. THEY’RE AWAY FROM THE FEDERATION
In theory, this should be an excellent idea. It’s what got me to watch at first. One ship by itself in hostile space, trying to make it home. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? However, it never quite worked out that well. We never quite got to see them interacting with different alien cultures and what impact they had on them. When they did, they came out like pompous asses who were always right. They Federation isn’t infallible, but for some reason, Voyager always seemed to be.
6. DIFFERENT LOCATIONS
Adding to that is the fact that they’re always constantly on the go. They do from time to time, encounter interesting aliens and cultures but most of the time you never hear from them again. I never understood whether it was because that alien’s space was so small or that the writers only had one story to tell. Voyager never felt like the Enterprise D or even the Defiant. It never felt like a home or a character like those two did even though a lot of show took place on the ship. Of course, maybe the writers didn’t want to tell another story with some of those alien races.
5. WEAK RACES
The Delta Quadrant is what I like to call the ghetto of Star Trek. Almost all the races are technologically weak. Even though Voyager is alone, she has no problem dealing with those ships. The Kazon were supposed to be the big baddie, but they need water and are jealous and memorized by Voyager’s transporters and food replicators. Much like how the Ferengi were in TNG S1, the Kazon became a joke. While there were a few strong races like the Hirogen or the dinosaurs, those were rare.
4. MADE THE BORG WEAK
Just by comparison, all the weak races in the Delta Quandrant made Voyager look strong just by standing next to them. However, the Borg were still a threat, and I must admit they built up the Borg quite well in those early seasons. Unfortunately, as the series limped along, they not only kept running into the Borg and defeated them every single time, but they sought out the Borg. I guess since the Borg weren’t any sort of threat to them since Voyager kept bitchslapping them.
3. THEY GOT STRONGER
A single ship alone in hostile space, it sounds like they should get fucked up, amirite? Yet as the seasons passed, not only did VOY always be right and defeat the Borg, by the end of it, they were a far stronger ship than when they started. They had all these upgrades and even built a little mini ship that was more powerful than most ships. It never made any sense.
There was an episode involving the Equinox, and that ship was what Voyager should have been. It was damaged and limping through space. Its crew had to make drastic comprises of the Federation moral code. Now THAT’S the show I wanted to watch! Instead of everything going perfectly and former enemies getting along, the Equinox had the drama and conflict to carry a show. Those characters I may not have liked, but at least I would have remembered them.
2. FORGETTABLE CHARACTERS
There have been so many memorable characters in the history of Star Trek that I suppose they were bound to mess up sooner or later. Enterprise was also casted terribly but that mainly had to do with the fact that they were all models and looked very similar and hot. In VOY, I couldn’t tell if it was the casting or the acting that messed things up.
There were only three characters that were any good: the Doctor, Seven of Nine, and Tuvok. It’s a shame they weren’t given more time in the show. Those three always shined when they were on screen. They explored their humanity and brought conflict or dry witticism. They were also fun at times. When it came to the other characters, they were so incredibly boring or whiny.
Yet as bad as watching Chakotay getting in touch with his “Indian” side or Paris being a man-child “playboy” were, they’re still only the number two problem with the show.
1. NOTHING MATTERS
This is by far the biggest problem with VOY. There are so many episodes where by the end of it, everything gets reset and it was like nothing happened. Whether it was the “Year of Hell,” the one where Harry Kim died, the one where Voyager crashed, and so on, nothing carried over and nothing changed. Now if you compare that with Deep Space Nine, where characters grew, died, or went crazy; ships were destroyed; and deals were made and alliances were broken. Every choice on that show mattered and you could see those effects ripple throughout seven seasons.
With VOY’s constant reset button, it made me wonder why did I bother watching those episodes anyway?
After 20 years VOY hasn’t aged well. However, while I don’t regret watching it, I’m not going to watch it again. Now if you’re interested in watching it, I would suggest watching it in order, that way you can bounce around between TNG and DS9. Here’s a site I wish I had known of earlier. http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/startrek/st-episodes-1.html If I did, I would have finished watching all of Star Trek a lot sooner.
Now onward to greatest of all Star Trek shows, Deep Space Nine…