Going to attempt a full rewatch of Voyager, the Star Trek of my heart, alongside the excellent @TheDeltaFlyers companion podcast, already two episodes deep and the childhood feels are strong
"Caretaker" was such a strong start, possibly the first good pilot of a Star Trek series, and still probably the best. It was the first one to feel like a TV movie rather than just a necessary hurdle to introduce the characters and concept.
Certainly very bold for the introductory episode to feature the main characters threatening an old man on a bench
"Parallax" was the next episode and again, pretty good. Also historic as it is the first episode of Trek I ever saw. First tragic signs of technobabble nonsense already apparent here though, and probably the last time the Maquis/Starfleet interplay was interesting.
Interesting trivioid from The Delta Flyers recap of this episode, Garrett Wang would bristle whenever people would compare "TV acting" unfavourably to "film acting" because whilst film actors would have read-throughs, rehearsals and hundreds of takes to get a scene right...
...TV actors in the 90's, when series were putting about 20+ episode seasons, simply did not have the time. On Voyager there was no read through or rehearsal, actors would be performing the scene for the very first time in costume, on set with the cameras rolling...
...sometimes having never run through it with their scene partner(s) first. They would only shoot 2 - 3 takes before choosing one to put in the can.
This does explain why modern shows, with larger budgets and fewer episodes, seem better acted than older shows. Not because the actors are any better, but because, presumably, they have more time.
This knowledge makes the real barnstorming performances from Trek, such as Picard being tortured in a Cardassian prison or Avery Brooks' performance in Far Beyond The Stars, all the more remarkable IMO.
Time and Again next, fairly humdrum and remarkable only for the egregious extremely human-looking aliens and truly awful fashion
The plot is also clearly an anti-nuclear environmental story, which is...aggravating.
It's also only episode 4 and we've already pressed the reset button which is going to get pretty well worn out over the next seven seasons
In a later episode (I forget which) B'Elanna calls Tom Paris a pig and watching him dragging Harry Kim on a creepy double date with some twin sisters makes it very hard to disagree. Paris would not have survived Me Too.
There are about 140 people on the ship, which is basically everyone in my current office + everyone in my previous office. Not many at all and if you start shagging around things could get awkward quickly.
And then you're stuck on a ship full of your exes for 75 years.
The Phage. This one freaked me out as a kid, the whole concept of Neelix having his lungs stolen and forced to live the rest of his life in a claustrophobic restraint was pure horror to five year old me. First contact with the Vidiians, who are brilliant and sorely underused.
Despite the horrifying concept, this episode is actually genuinely funny in places, mostly as a result of the Doctor's sass
Meanwhile, Neelix's desperate attempts to make jokes as the dreadful reality of his situation sinks in is actually far more touching than I remember.
Janeway deciding that she won't murder the Vidiian who's using Neelix's original lungs and also that she can't keep them locked in the brig for the seven decades it will take to get back to the Federation so she'll just let them go is a total power move
Also, I don't know whether it's my older eyes or the unforgiving quality of the stream, but the Starfleet uniforms in Voyager really suck. Super baggy, thin and creased all the time, they look like the overalls you use to go paintballing.
In fact, they're almost as bad as the onesie pyjamas from The Motion Picture, and they stick with these costumes for the entire seven seasons.
DS9 switched over to the far uglier but cinema screen ready First Contact costumes halfway through it's run. Make no mistake these are horrible, but at least they look like they've got some substance to them.
Odd that Janeway's most iconic quote comes from an episode where she's completely and weirdly out of character
The thing I remember most about this episode from when I was young was that I just didn't get it. From the weird scenes in Sandrine's with Paris' creepy holographic harem to the antics stitching the cloud creature's wound shut, it just didn't make a lot of sense
I seem to have attempted a rewatch recently and gave up at the precise moment Chakotay opened his medicine bundle.
Probably the weakest episode so far, though the Doctor continues to be more genuinely funny than I remember
Savour these moments, soon the Doctor will develop a taste for opera and become less irascible and will be all the poorer for it.
Seriously, how did the Doctor go from eliciting genuine chuckles to starring in an episode opposite Andy Dick (!) and being the less funny of the two?
I plough on, Eye of the Needle and Ex Post Facto just sort of...happen. Ex Post Facto notable for some truly terrible film noir dialogue, it's far too early in the run to start playing around with homage.
Emanations is an episode I don't remember at all, I'm not all that certain that I've even seen it ever before. Dead bodies from another dimension start popping onto the ship through rifts in spacetime. Really weird premise (and it's a Harry Kim episode )
Still, some great #OutOfContext content again
I note as well that this is episode 9, and all talk of the fuel and supply shortages that were plaguing the ship in earlier episodes has just trailed off. The whole premise of The Cloud was Voyager needed to fill up its tanks and it came away from that encounter even worse off
Guess they stopped at a petrol station off-screen at some point?
It's also a bit weird to me how we've not seen any recurring villains yet, the Kazon haven't reappeared since the pilot and the Vidiians have appeared only once so far.
I also completely forgot that there was, essentially, a mutiny in this one. Which proves I just forgot that they did actually make more of the fact that the crew was composed of, essentially, cops and criminals, forced to work together.
Given how regularly Voyager had space battles later in the series, to the point where they became dull and uninteresting and just something to get through to fulfil the Action and Spectacle quota from the network, the lack of them so far 10 episodes in is quite surprising.
There was the one in the pilot, and a little slap fight in Ex Post Facto, but other than that there's been nothing.
State of Flux; B'Elanna acts out every dev's and engineer's fantasy with regards to a demanding, overbearing manager. There's also something about them finding out a recurring background character is actually a spy, NBD
Also, megalol that they lock up Lieutenant Carey when they think he's the spy, but he's not shown again in this episode after he's exonerated, or indeed ever again until season 7, rather giving the impression they forget to let him out of his quarters for six years.
The behind the scenes explanation for this is (genuinely) that the writers thought they'd actually killed him off at some point (but it was actually Ensign Hogan) and didn't realise until season 7, when they brought him back for one episode and killed him anyway
Heroes & Demons: Holodecks are dumb. Episodes where the holodeck goes wrong are dumber still. There have been no good holodeck episodes in the history of Star Trek except Our Man Bashir, which just openly acknowledged its own dumbness.
The only good thing about this episode is the Doctor, who is still funny in a not annoying way. A carbon copy of this episode (Bride of Chaotica!) was done later in the series, but better (though still dumb).
Bride of Chaotica! aside, I believe Voyager regrettably has the highest concentration of naff holodeck episodes.
This is not to say every episode featuring a holodeck is bad. Take Me Out To The Holosuite, Flesh and Blood, It's Only A Paper Moon, Living Witness, all great, but they just feature the holodeck as a setting or a plot device nstead of being about the holodeck going wrong
As soon as there's an implication that the 24th Century equivalent of video games can literally kill you or put your entire ship in peril it just becomes ridiculous.
Also, circling back to Heroes and Demons, why is Voyager, a ship stranded on the other side of the galaxy with no hope of support or resupply wasting energy by keeping the damn things running in the first place?
Because they've talked about her a lot on @TheDeltaFlyers, I googled the actor who played Freya and her official website is still up and has not been redesigned since 1999 and is just a gem http://www.kelesa.net/marjoriemonaghan/
Cathexis: Voyager tries its hand at a spoopy tale as random possessions drive the crew to paranoia and, honestly, it's good! I have almost no snark, it's just a solid episode with a good mystery and the outcome is a genuine surprise.
Also, it turns out the standard side-arm phaser can do this and it's utterly bizarre that we don't see it that often. So many situations where being able to zap a whole group at once might have been handy.
Also, Tuvok is left-handed. Southpaws representin'
The lighting and direction in this episode are magnificent though, usually well-lit sets plunged into half-shadow and the overall feeling is one of claustrophobia. Probably my favourite episode of season one.
Not even going to say anything more about it because it would spoil the story, if you like sci-fi or are Trek curious and have a spare hour, it's not a bad watch.
Faces: I remembered this one being about B'Elanna being separated into her Klingon and Human halves, I did *not* remember that the villain murders a redshirt and WEARS HIS FRICKIN' FACE because he thinks Klingon B'Elanna will find it attractive OMG
It's still pretty PG, you don't see him get killed or his face get RIPPED OFF, he's just taken away and then the next scene is the baddie wearing his mug. But it's still surprisingly intense for a primetime show.
I didn't think Star Trek did proper body horror (excluding, y'know, the Borg) until DISCO's Context Is For Kings, when the crew of the USS Glenn get all twisted and turned inside out, but it seems I was wrong.
The redshirt in question, Lt Durst, was only introduced last week so it blunts the impact of his death quite a bit. Said this before but Voyager has a small enough crew (140 - 150) to have got a decent supporting cast going to pick off over seven years, but they never did it
Lt Carey has already been put on a space bus until they bring him back just to kill him in season 7, Lt Hogan was only around for a few episodes before they killed him too, Sam Wildman, who hasn't even turned up yet, just sort of disappears, as does Vorik
This sort of thing would make sense if they had a rotating crew, but the whole premise of the show militates against that. The only recurring characters of not we got were Naomi Wildman and Icheb who were children, and therefore annoying.
Also, on the topic of Samantha Wildman, she's not introduced until Season 2, where she discovers she's pregnant (by a partner back home, so conception would have taken place before the first episode). That is...a long time to take to realise you're pregnant.
Jetrel: Another surprisingly horrifying episode where Neelix has to confront the fact that he's a survivor of a weapon of mass destruction being used against him homeworld. Pretty obvious Hiroshima/Nagasaki allegory, but quite a good episode nonetheless
The idea that Neelix is an annoying character isn't really holding water so far. Maybe I've softened in my old age, but he's been quite genuinely funny and kind so far and now also, as I had forgotten, has quite a tragic backstory.
Learning Curve: A sort of fine episode that, due to production issues behind the scenes, serves at the finale for the entire first scene. The source of the single best out of context line in all of Voyager, if not all of Star Trek itself
The biological circuitry in the ship catches a viral infection and to purge it they give the ship a "fever" by dialling up the temperature and I must say, as I am suffering through a heatwave atm, the Voyager crew are a Mood.
This episode does feature my extremely niche pet peeve of a burst conduit suffocating everyone in the room because there's apparently not a single emergency respirator anywhere on any Starfleet ship
But that's it for season one, four more episodes were actually produced for this season but were aired as part of season two, so this season just sort of tapers off with a bottle episode.
SEASON, not scene.
It's too hot https://twitter.com/StewCElliott/status/1292166576305770498?s=20
It's too hot https://twitter.com/StewCElliott/status/1292166576305770498?s=20
The 37's: I remember little me liking this episode a lot, most likely because Voyager landing its whole ass on a planet was (and still is) pretty damn cool, despite the diddy little legs it sits on.
Anyone who asks why Voyager doesn't tip forward whilst landed given that it's extremely front-heavy is just not getting into the spirit of things and is possibly forgetting that Voyager's shuttle bay is infinite in size, containing thousands of shuttles as a counterbalance
The story is quite implausible, even for Trek. Quite fortunate that the only Federation starship in the Delta Quadrant, which is there accidentally, just happens by the planet to which Amelia Earhart and a bunch of other 1930's randos were abducted.
Of course, they find it by bumping into the shitty truck floating around in space. Don't think too hard about why the farmer's truck was jettisoned into space but Earhart's plane was nicely parked on the planet's surface. THAT IS NOT IN THE SPIRIT OF THINGS.
Anyway, sort of fine episode. 6/10. Feels a bit weird though to have a scene where Earhart's navigator confesses his love for her given that they were both real people and Earhart was married to someone else.
This ep should have been part of season one, but was held over and is the season two opener. Massively underwhelming when you think of it like that, for the show to come back after a long break with such a meh instalment. Thankfully DS9 was batting a thousand around this time.
Legit quite happy right now though because there's only three more season one holdovers to go before we hit season two proper and the quality really does start to pick up
American TV trailers are fascinatingly awful and someone has uploaded every single one for Voyager to YouTube, this is the one for the The 37's
And this is next week's episode
They're just so bad. They're shoddily edited and give away pretty much the whole plot of each episode
Initiations next, I really liked this one as a kid and it holds up even better today. Aron Eisenberg was a real talent and is sorely missed. No images of it because I forgot to turn on OneDrive's screenshot saving setting on my new PC. You get what you pay for with this thread