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Caine
Thu, Jan 30, 2014, 5:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

After watching sevn seasons of this series ... THIS is ho it ends? Really?!

To be honest, I didn't care all that much about the first 90 % of the episode - all I wanted was the emotional release of these characters finally getting home to Earth!

Somehow I feel swindled! Where's the REAL ending to this series?

BOO!
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Caine
Thu, Jan 30, 2014, 4:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Seventh Season Recap

So, another Trek series comes to an end.

To me, this series has been a big disappointment

The technical side of the show was great: costumes and make-up, visual and special effects, sound and music as well as scenography and props. All stellar.

The creative aspects of the show is a whole other story, giving us a very mixed stew of quality - unfortunately far too often leaning towards a big bowl of fail.

It's not as if the WHOLE show featured a lack of continuity, an abandonment of basic premises, a huge amount of plot holes, bad dialog and bad characterization ... but MOST of the show did. That's a shame, because much of the talent on-screen was worth much more than what they got to Work with.

Despite the fact that I found most of the show frustrating, I actually (after seven seasons) ended up caring a bit about some of the characters.

In the end, though, Voyager stands out among other Star Trek shows as the show with the biggest wasted potential due to its overall low quality of storytelling.

I'm sad to say that Voyager, to me, is the worst Star Trek show (yes, I liked "nterprise" better).
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Caine
Wed, Jan 29, 2014, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

I watched these episodes as a kid, and now -36 years of age - I'm revisiting them on DVD (restored version with new visual effects).

I'm really disappointed. After watching this "first" episode I'm completely disillusioned. It's really bad.

Look, I know that things were different in the late sixties. TV shows was a while different ballgame altogether, with low budgets and a primitive way of telling a story than we're used to today.

But .... man, it's just so incredibly boring. The dialog itself is horrible and the bad timing just makes it even worse.

I was expecting to experience a sense of fun, kitchy nostalgia. Instead I'm just bored to tears.

Based on what this episode has to offer, I'm sorry to say that TOS has aged badly (even with new, improved visuals, which I applaud).

I can't see how anyone today would be able to genuinely enjoy this show - exept, of course, through a very strong sense of nostalgia alone.

I really wanted to love this, but I'm afraid that I just find it plain bad (not even "fun-bad").
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Caine
Mon, Jan 27, 2014, 10:56am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Imperfection

So ... all Borg drones have a cortical stimulator, right?

And they are places in the front of the brain, obviously taking up space that brain tissue normally would?

Wow ... good thing that Federation technology can apparantly repair removed parts of the brain, otherwise Picard, Janeway, Tuvok and Torres (and presumably many other droens-turned-back-into-individuals) would have to live out their lives with a Borg implant where a big chunk of their brains should be.

(Yes, this was sarcasm).
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Caine
Mon, Jan 27, 2014, 10:49am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Unimatrix Zero, Part II

On this episode:

I found the scene with the Borg Queen and the kid to be fantastic - other than that, a horrible mess. The fact that someone feels the need to write a very long post explaining how plot holes MIGHT be explained just cements the fact that the writers were incredibly lazy ... the big point being, that if the writers had done their job to any satisfaction, there should and would be NO NEED for such a list.
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Caine
Mon, Jan 27, 2014, 10:48am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Unimatrix Zero, Part II

In regard to Jammer's review:

I don't get why Jammer so often would come down hard on a Voyager story for being "predictable". Sure, the stories are predictable - every single TV-show has loads and loads of predictable episodes - among those shows are TOS, TNG and DS9.
There areonly so-and-so many kinds of stories you can tell, and only so-and-so many ways you can tell it. Star Trek is basically the same five stories told over, over and over again throughout the diffrent series (and movies) with basically the same crew of characters (with small differences inbeteween crews). There are only so-and-so many points of view you can use to tell the story, only so-and-so many plot-twist-devices you can use ... and so on.

Not even any of the TOS episodes where ground breaking or even original compared to the many, many years of storytelling, on TV, in books and so on, that had come before.

To me, the episodes of Voayger are no more or less tedious in their predictability than mos other TV-shows (including other Trek shows), and I feel Jammer wasn't being "fair" to the show when calling the stories predictable, inevitable and all the other stuff.

To me, Voyager WAS the weaest of all the Trek shows (yes, including Enterprise), but that has nothing to do with predictability of the stories.
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Caine
Wed, Jan 22, 2014, 9:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Sixth Season Recap

I'll keep it short and to the point:

Thorughout the series, Voyager has failed to make me care about it's protagonists. Therefore I fail to care about the show.

This goes for season 6 as well as all the other seasons.
I have no illusions of season 7 being any different.
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Caine
Wed, Jan 22, 2014, 8:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Unimatrix Zero, Part I

Why the HECK did the borg queen state everything she thought or saw on the screens out loud?!
Who was she adressing? The mindless drones sorruonding her (despite the supoposed mind-link between all Borg)? Or was she supposed to be excentric, talking to herself?
In a series full of badly excecuted exposition, this takes the cake. Awful, just awful. This in and on itself ruined the episode for me.

Don't get me worng: Susanna Thompson is not only a ridiculosuly hot woman (yowza!), she's also a very good actress. She's proven that in countless other roles over and over again.

I blame the script and the direction.
Don't act as if you're shocked - you've seen the rest of the series and know that I'm right.
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Caine
Wed, Jan 22, 2014, 7:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Life Line

@Joseph S.: Your powers of perception are impressive, Jedi Master! I hadn't noticed it, but upon reading your review of Thomas' performance I have to agree with you: her performance is stellar - understated but skillfully excecuted in such a way, that it carries a "ninja impact".

Reagrding th episode as a whole: I'm afraid I'm surprisinlgy unimpressed. "Surprisingly" because the script (apart from the huge plotholes) is actually really good, especially the dialog - ad because the acting is generally pretty good.

However ...

Normally I adore Picardo in the role of Doc. BUt in this epsidoe, as Doc vs. Zimmerman, I didn't buy it. It seemed overacted and annoying to me. I don't know, maybe it's because of the bad timing in the dialog between Zimmerman and Doc, quite clerly caused by the technical challnegs caused by having the same actor talking to himself - because, contrary to Jammer, I'm not at ALL convinced by the scenes where Picardo plays up against Picardo. The timing is, quite simply, off. It bugged to the point where it, more or less, ruined the entire episode for me, however great I otyherwise find Picardo, the script, the dialog, Schultz as Barclay and Sirtis as Troi (yowza, Marina Sirtis looked FIT, better than EVER!)

To me, this epsiode seems like a great idea, excellent actors and a really good script (save the plot holes) ruined by the techs working on the Zimmerman/Doc scenes (and possibly the director and the editor).

A casualty of the general mess that is "Star Trek: Voyager".
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Caine
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 7:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

@Latex Zebra:

Hehe, great! Please tell us what you thought of her after re-visiting the epsiode :)
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Caine
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 6:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

Did I like the character Kess and Jennifer Lien's way of portraying her in season 1-3? Yes, I did.

Did I like the idea of Kess returning with a huge chip on her shoulder, wreaking havok on Voyager in the proces in visuals that kind of makes youe think of the Terminator movies? You bet I did!

Did I agree with the motivation they gave Kess in order for her to return and wreak havok? Not in the least! There was NO part of it that I bought, even in the slightest. The words "character assassination" have been thrown around quite a bit here ... and I think that is very appropriate!

An otherwise pretty exciting episode ruined by the writers presenting us with faeces - as it was the rule rather than the exception on Voyager.

Boo hiss!
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Caine
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 5:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Muse

The comments about "earth days" are landing smack in the middle of one of my biggest gripes with Star Trek.

In a galaxy populated by thousands of sentient species, Earth customs seem to be suprisingly universal. This episode ("Muse") alone shows us a few of them: "a day" seems to universally be an Earth day, although we are quite frequently dealing with species from other planets; the customs of (from a human point of view) completely alien species are exactly the same as human cuatoms - in everything from using applause to show your appreciation (as seen in this episode), also including standing ovation; and the list goes on and on and on, from the "universal translator" (try coming up with a good explanation as to how THAT thing actually works) to aliens from worlds that have never heard of Earth calling a flower something like a "Talaxian Petunia" (or whatever).

An ENORMOUS amount os stuff in Star Trek doesn't make any sense. At all. And that's not even including the weird psudoscience.
While I aknowledge that it DOES seem necessary to ignore lots of the obstacles between cultures and species from entirely different planets in order to get the story moving along, a lot of it just seems so incredibly ludicrous, that I'm having a hard time ignoring it in order to enjoy the stories.

The funny thing is, that I (of course) had the same gripes with Next Generation and DS9 - but both of those shows frequently made me buy into the story and the characters in such a way, that I forgot the general shortcomings of the Star Trek universe.

I'm afraid Voyager very, very seldomly plays that same "trick" on me. This epsiode is an example of that. I kind of liked it. Nothing more, nothing less. I wasn't seduced, swept away or thoruoghly entertained. It's just ... kind of there. Meh.
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Caine
Mon, Jan 20, 2014, 10:04am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

Wow - was I the only one who fell in love with Kim Rodes?

Forget the fact that she's good looking (especially as an alien) - it's her presence on the screen that really got my atention. In my eyes a briliant actress with buckets of charisma - why isn't she a big shot movie or TV star?

Excuse me, I'll have to go track down Kim Rhodes so I can send her a really creepy fan letter about us being together forever ...
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Caine
Tue, Dec 10, 2013, 7:08am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy

Immensely entertaining episode! Voyager at its best!

I think that one of the main reasons the story works so well is because Doc's fantasies about saving the ship and getting the girls are very universal - adolescent or not.
Show of hands: who, more or less, has the same fantasies when they daydream about being part of the crew of Voyager or Enterprise? I know I do.

Getting the fantasies right is half the battle - the other half also succeeds due to great comedic timing by the director and the whole cast - first and foremost Picardo (what a great actor!).

What's not to love?

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Caine
Mon, Dec 9, 2013, 10:20am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Fifth Season Recap

To me, Voyager's 5th season continued the very good trend that season 4 started - as Jammer said way back then: season 5 feels like season 4 part II.

I think that's a good thing. Season 4 turned Voyager into "The 7 of 9 Show" with recurring characters The Doctor and Captain Janeway - introducing Naomi Wildman. All the rest of the cast seemed like background noise.
I liked that. Now the show suddenly revolved (more or less) around 7 of 9 and her struggle with, and discovery of, becoming human (especially in terms of being an individual AND an integral part of a "collectiive" such as the crew of Voyager). The writers seemed to pour all the care into the 7 of 9 scripts that they didn't pour into scripts about other charatcers. 7 simply got a very good characterization through and through, which we hadn't seen much of on this show up until that point.

Since most of season 4 and 5 revolved around 7 of 9, we mostly see the other characters in relation to her. Sure, there are lots of episodes not centered around 7 of 9, but almost every single one of them seemed quite clearly inferior to episodes centered on (or at least heavily featuring) 7 of 9. That's my impression, anyway.

It seems that the writers all finally agreed on a favorite character to love when they created 7 of 9, and the show changed, getting a lot better in season 4 and 5 than the previous seasons (while still suffering from huge plotholes and all that jazz).

I'm hoping that season 6 will continue the trend, focusing on 7 of 9's "journey towards rediscovering her humanity" (I'm watching the show from A to Z for the first time these days).
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Caine
Fri, Nov 29, 2013, 1:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

I was disappointed that the Hansens didn't even once stop what they were doing to look into the camera and go "Mmmmmbop!".
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Caine
Thu, Nov 28, 2013, 8:12am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

I absolutely loved this episode! A fun premise with lots of laugh-out-loud details, like Janeway as Arachcnia and the panicky robot.

Sure, not everything worked (backing out of the anomally at an increasing speed of quite a few meters per second and STILL being stuck after a minute? Voyager is only supposed to be 344 meters long, right?!) - but the things that DID work worked extremely well, at least for me.

On a sidenote: am I the only one who found Tom Paris seemed quite indifferent to what was going on whenever he was playing Captain Proton? It seems Harry Kim was much more into playing a part in the story than Tom was.
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Caine
Mon, Nov 25, 2013, 9:26am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

HAHAAA!

Underwater buldings, submarine action, attack of the 50-foot killer croc-dino ... I love it!

This is probably my favorite action-episode on Voyager so far. Paris as the rogue hero, flying in the face of authority and beurocracy to take action ad "do the right thing" really made me root for him.
The "shock-start" with Paris' demotion and incarceration, Janeway forced to fire at the Delta Flyer, Paris' letter to his dad - lots of great dtials in this episode!

Sure, there are (as always on Voyager) stuff that doesn't make much sense ... but this is one of the episodes where this nonsensical stuff doesn't steal focus from the story, at least not for me. Maybe that's also due to the great pacing of this episode ... someone barely says somehitng moronic, then we're off into the underwater adventure on planet Raindrop.

I love it! 3,5 stars from me :)
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Caine
Mon, Nov 25, 2013, 9:02am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

I'm in two minds about this episode.

On one hand I think it's a good example of what Trek does best: tackling big ethical and moral issues, making valid arguments for both sides, letting the answer be up to the audience(regarldess of the chloice our main character ends up making).
The execution is great - the dialog is really well written, the delivery by the actors is passionate and emotionally engaging (not something Voyager usually does well).

On the other hand ... contrived plot with huge holes and character discrepancies and .. well, stuff that just plain doesn't make much sense at all.

I understand when people say "don't let details that dont make sense spoil the rest of the episode for you" - and I wish I could follow that advice to just shut out those details.
I love the taste of a good moral dilemma presented with good dialog, but ... when delicious strawberries a presented on a plate of faeces, it kind of ruins the whole dish for me, no matter how much I like strawberries.
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Caine
Mon, Nov 25, 2013, 8:39am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

To me this episode marks the point where Jeri "Eye Candy" Ryan made it absolutely clear that she's more than a walking, talking wet dream.
Sure, I'm still convinced she was hired (and dressed) to keep the male audience coming back for more week after week, but luckily they also got a skilled individual at the same time they hired that killer body and big blue eyes.

Ryan's acting is stellar - she glides in and out of the many characters seemlessly, making each and every character believable (and sometimes hillarious) with a lot of empathy.
Wonderful job!

The girl playing Naomi Wildman should also be commended: she's not just adorable, her way of delivering lines is great and she has a superb screen presence.

A different note about the episode:
This is one of the VERY few Trek episodes I've seen that made me question whether children should watch it. The sequence where Tuvok is inside 7's nightmare is really disturbing!
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Caine
Mon, Nov 25, 2013, 8:09am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

I enjoyed this episode a lot - and that's coming from someone who despises time-travel episodes.

The visuals in this episode were just great, details like Voyager under the ice and the celebraion in slow-motion just made thus episode stand out to me.

I also loved many of the little character moments, somethign we generally don't get enough of on this show.

It's just too bad that this episode, like most of Voyager in general, doesn't do human drama well. The episodea are usually filmed and edited in such a way, that we don't get a chance to "linger" on the emotinal impact on a character. Some TNG or DS9 pacing would've meant a world of difference for the way we perceive older Harry in this episode - as it is, we get a sense that he's bitter an all that, fine ... but we never get under his skin, the epsiode doesn't make us feel what he feels. As a consequence, I (as a viewer) don't really care whether he suceeds or not, it's all more or less a matter of going through the morions, getting from point A to point B of the story.

So, to me this episode is enjopyable and entertaining - not "great" or "fantastic" or even something I'll remember a week after watching it, unless I really strain my memory.
But that's just the nature of Voyager as a whole (in my eyes).
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Caine
Wed, Nov 20, 2013, 6:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Once Upon a Time

To me, this episode was quite brilliant!

It set out to let us see Voyager through the eyes of a child, and I enjoyed that fresh perspective. I think it was very well written, very well directed (especially the scenes involving Naomi) and very well acted.

I really liked the addition of the "classic holonovel that every child knows and loves". It just made sense. The fact that a character in the program recognized Sam Wildman - now all grown up - was very sweet (was that a tip of the hat to Peter Pan?) - although entirely illogical.

The girl playing Naomi was absolutely wonderful! Stellar performance and screen presence!
A lot of details centering around her perception of the world where great - such as her attitude towards 7 of 9.

All in all a traditional story of the acceptance of loss (Neelix) told from a refreshing new perspective (Naomi) - and given the eyes through which we saw this story play out, I'm not at all disappointed with the happy ending.
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Caine
Tue, Nov 19, 2013, 9:33am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Night

Ah, another new season ... and, sadly, another new mess.

I'd really, really love to like Voyager as a series - but the writers just make it impossible for me. The amount of things that just make no sense, be it practical stuff or crew behaviour, piles up to a point where I just can't ignore it, try as I might. It's a shame, 'cause the show actually has a lot of good stuff tugged inbetween the total brainfarts.

Oh, and:
The power goes out all over Vo├Żager. On the holodeck, Paris and Seven turn on a flashlight and we see that:
1) Although there's apparantly no power on the holodeck (lights went out), Paris and Seven are still surrounded by the set from the Holonovel
2) ... and everything is in black and white (or rather: grey).
*tripple facepalm*
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Caine
Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 3:11am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

To me, deciding to do an episode about the consequences of wrongly accusing someone - and having our main cast be the accusers - is a gutsy move. I, for one, applaud it!

Unfortunately I think the execution of the plot was handled horribly clumsilly!
The story and the actions of most of the characters completely lost all credibility to me, when the Voayager crew turned on a plate. When they discovered that their one solid piece of evidence against Kovin wasn't valid after all, they went directly from "let's try to stay objective and find solid evidence against Kovin to prove his guilt before we accuse him" to "tis piece of evidence didn't point towards Kovin's guilt, so 7 of 9 was wrong and imagined it all". What?! That doesn't make any sense!

The disappointed/angry stare that Janeway gave 7 of 9 after Kovin blew himself up didn't make any sense either. What's she mad at her for? What did 7 of 9 do wrong?

Furthermore I found the conversation between Doc and Janeway at the end to be unbelievable. After 3 and a half years, Doc hasn't learned enough about "the human condition" to see that mistakes happen and it's important to learn from your mistakes? Sure, he was - understandably - emotionally affected by his mistake ... but to the point of committing personality suicide? Really? Really?!

I do, however, believe that Kovin's behaviour was understandable - i.e. him panicking and trying to escape by all means, not listening to Janeway's assurences that "it was our mistake". As he said early on, in his culture, getting accused is the same as being convicted. In his eyes, he has been convicted of a horrible crime (whether he committed it or not is not really the point here) and frantically tries to escape, no matter what.

An episode with a good premise but horrible excution on some pivotal points. I'd give it 1,5-2 stars.

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Caine
Mon, Nov 11, 2013, 10:01am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Prey

To me, this show is an ecxellent example of Star Trek when it works best - i.e. putting the spotlight on a very interesting dilemma without "handing" us a solution. I love that stuff!

On one hand, 7 of 9 is - obviously - in the right: refusing to hand over the "prey" to the Hirogen puts Voyager at high risk ... as it turns ou at SUCH high risk that she would probably have been detsroyed had 7 of 9 not disobeyed the Captain's orders.

On the other hand Janeway is taking a stand for the morally right thing to do.

Now, some of the comments above point out that Janeway is moraaly in the wrong here, because she needlessly endangeres the ship and the crew.
I, however, would argue that Janeway is doing exactly what she and her fellow Starfleet officers have been trained to do: to protect the weak and defenseless from the violent "bully", no matter the personal cost.
As RenC pointed out in the post above this one, Picard has done it before with Q ... in fact we've seen him do it time and again in TNG.

The Starfleet officers are eesentially saying "we do not bow for bullies - you may be able to destroy us, but we will keep doing the RIGHT thing ... you will NOT dictate our actions!"

You might argue that this is stupid, because it'll end up getting you killed. On the other hand you might argue that this is the only right way to act if you want to gain any respect from other species around the galaxy in the long run.

Is it realistic? Well, I don't think I would personally have the courage to stand up for what I think is right in the face of nearly cetain destruction - but then again, I'm not a Starfleet officer, and I didn't sign up to serve on a tarship encountering dozens of species in vast, cold space.

7 of 9's position on all of this is pragmatic. Janeway's position is idealistic. Neither of those views are necessarily wrong - but from previous experience (i.e. many episodes in the past)we know exactly which position Star Trek takes!

The really great thing abput this particular episode - to me, anyway - is that it DOESN'T say that Jabeway is right and 7 of 9 is wrong! This wouls normally be the Lesson of the Day (tm) from an episode like this, but not here - this episode lets the question linger in the air.

In my own personal oppinion Janeway was in the right - but I understand how others think that 7 of 9 was in the right.
What I DON'T understand is how some people can write off Janeway's view as stupid or even immoral, when she is taking the Classic Star Trek Captain Stance (tm) here.
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