Those of you that know me or follow me, know that I’m a bit of a Trekkie. What you may, or may not know, is that I’m not the biggest fan of Star Trek Voyager. In fact, subjectively or objectively, it’s the worst Star Trek show. The chemistry between the characters and the majority of characters themselves are flat. There some interesting plots but by the end of the episode, it was basically just a dream as things get reset. The ship ends up stronger and more powerful by the end of the series for being alone in a hostile part of the galaxy.
Yet despite all that, it amazes me is how much people love it. I don’t know what they see in it. For some reason, the best Star Trek show, Deep Space Nine, gets very little love, but VOY gets a ton.
Recently, I’ve been randomly watching Star Trek episodes, and this includes VOY. Netflix, if you’re listening, you’ve got to put a random feature for your TV shows. Come on now. I would watch The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, and Friends for years.
Anyways, that got me thinking to what my favorite VOY episodes are. To be honest, it was kinda easy to narrow down as most of the show was crap. However, what surprised me was that most of the episodes are pre-season 4 when VOY “got gud.” Non surprisingly, none of them reset when it’s all over.
5. MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
This episode involves The Doctor being transmitted to the Alpha Quadrant on an experimental Federation ship, taken over by Romulans! He, along with fellow Emergency Medical Hologram, Andy Dick, must save the crew and the ship from the Romulans.
Now, I’m not a fan of Andy Dick, but he was excellent in here. The Doctor was by far, the best thing about VOY. Any episode featuring him is usually good. Even that terrible holodeck episode dealing with Beowolf. Yet, what I love here was interaction between the Doctor and Andy Dick. We’ve watched the Doctor grow beyond his programming over the years. Andy Dick has not so everything is new to him. Plus, he’s the more recent, “better” version of the EMH so there’s a smugness to him.
We also got to see some old the classic villains of Star Trek in the Romulans. The episode makes it feel as if VOY is in the Star Trek universe instead of on some side of the galaxy no one cares about. And did I mention there was a kick ass ship in the Prometheus that splits into three!
4. DISTANT ORIGIN
Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? You would think that with millions of years that at least one species of dinosaurs would have been evolved enough to leave Earth. Well, according to “Distant Origin” there was one.
One of the many downsides of VOY is that because of it’s premise, it always felt disconnected from the rest of the ST universe. Not only that but it never really added anything on its own. This episode added a lot. It told the origin of a species of dinosaur and what happened to them. The Voth were one of the strongest aliens VOY ever accounted. With the exception of the Borg, the Delta Quadrant always felt like a ghetto. Everything was just so technologically weak. Maybe that’s why it was easy to assimilate everything.
VOY always managed to get out of every situation due to…well, them being awesome, I guess. Yet here was an enemy that they couldn’t get out of and if they didn’t capitulate, they were going to lose their ship and be thrown in prison. And the dinosaurs weren’t even enemies per say. They had their own issues to deal with and really didn’t care about VOY one little bit. It’s just that they were a huge road block that VOY couldn’t get around or move.
It’s a shame there wasn’t a follow up episode to it. Star Trek Online does a decent job at it, and while that’s a good video game, it’s just not the same.
3. DEATH WISH
Ah, Q. One of the best things to come out of The Next Generation. While Q is a trickster, there are a few of his episodes that are more philosophical like “Tapestry” and “All Good Things.” “Death Wish” is one of those. Another Q, named Quinn, wants to die. Why would an omnipotent being want to die? Now Q, oddly enough, represents those in the Q Continuum that don’t want him to die. Voyager plays the part of arbiter in this courtroom drama.
It’s a very well, thought provoking episode. Plus, it raises a few questions about the Q and their place in the universe. It’s also the first time we glimpse the Q Continuum. It’s a shame, there were more Q episodes in VOY that were all terrible as this one was almost perfect.
2. THE THAW
When I was a kid, Freddy Kruger used to scare the shit out of me. However, because of him and the A Nightmare on Elm Street movies, I learned to control my dreams, my emotions, and my fear. “The Thaw” has a bunch of aliens dealing with their own Freddy Kruger and Ensign Harry Kim gets to experience it first hand.
Like all the good ST episodes, it asks some thought provoking questions, plus Fear is played by the wonderful Michael McKean. The Doctor also gets a rare chance to shine because pre mobile emitter, he didn’t have much to do. What’s weird is that the aliens who were responsible for everything, kind of play second fiddle. I can barely remember they’re even there. Which is the complete opposite of The Voth in “Distant Origin.”
In the fantasy world, things may be a little silly with the circus performers, but as everyone knows, clowns are scary.
1. CONCERNING FLIGHT
Some of my favorite ST episodes are basically “dumb” episodes. Whether they’re playing baseball, learning to dance, going to Risa, or whatever the case may be, I enjoy them. Not everything needs to be life or death or full of drama. Sometimes things can just be fun.
In this episode, Janeway’s hologram, Leonardo Da Vinci, is somehow kidnapped off the ship, along with a bunch of other Federation technology. The captain and Da Vinci must get it back as they explore the New World!
John Rhys Davies is one of my favorite actors. He will always be known to me as The Professor. The Professor shines here and I love the interplay between him and Janeway as they explore the New World. CATALINA! I wish he was on for more than two episodes. Sadly, he wasn’t. Instead, they had one of Tom Paris’s terrible holoprograms always running. The Professor basically played the fresh character with no experience, but because he was Da Vinci, he was a genius and looked through things with those eyes. Even if he was a few centuries late.
Those are my top five Voyager episodes. It felt good to rewatch them again as I don’t plan to rewatch the entire series anytime soon. What are your favorite VOY episodes and what do you feel I’m missing?