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Fri, Sep 6, 2013, 5:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Twisted

I had a LOL moment when Janeway asks Chakotay if he's OK with Neelix going with him. I almost detected a groan, or at least a nod to the floor. heh.

Anyways, this was a good episode... if Voyager were a 30 minute show. They should have just cut 22 minutes of fluff and shown us clips from the first season, or played us music or something!
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Tue, Sep 3, 2013, 3:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: The 37's

Some parts of this episode were hard to ignore. Like the glorious "cities" we never see, that we spent too long negotiating with Fred The Jerk, and that in 400 years nobody invented telescopes on this planet so they could see that these people walking around in plain jumpsuits were human...

I side with some commenters that think this episode is at the right time - these people have been traveling together for 5-6 months now (had this aired at the end of Season One)... that's the right time to test integrity of the crew with a temptation of a new life. It would have really been nice to actually hear the Captain's Address at 1400h (did I miss it or did it get cut)?

But to those above who complained about the sensors - it was established that there was some magic interference in this atmosphere.

However, in the end, I am one who enjoyed this episode, and agree mostly with Jammer. The ethical dilemma of Janeway is well done, even though in the end nothing is really gained or lost. (At least steal some Briori tech for yourself, Voyager!)
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Wed, Aug 28, 2013, 5:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Initiations

I enjoyed this episode, and find Chakotay respectable. But it badly needed a real B-story. There might have been more that Neelix could have shed on the Kazon through interaction.

My biggest quibble though is it seems like we've taken a step back in debris analysis technology... Picard's crew would have figured out where the shuttle was in a few seconds. It felt like Voyager spent half the episode analyzing chunks of metal!

Well, maybe they used all that crap they beamed aboard to rebuild the shuttle!
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Tue, Aug 20, 2013, 3:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Projections

Why all the bad vibes? Sure, it wasn't a proper "4-star" outing like The Inner Light or Yesterday's Enterprise, and at times it did feel a bit "Total Recall"-esque. But take a breath and a step back: this episode developed a character, was well acted, well directed, funny, and thought-provoking - everything we'd normally want from Star Trek.

3-stars. 3.5 if the writers had bothered to explain why the Doctor is sentient (he's a Moriarty-type hologram, that's why Barclay's involved!).
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Wed, Aug 14, 2013, 6:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Learning Curve

This episode was an opportunity to show us how 24th Century Starfleet humans react when forced to deal with other humans who, basically, have bad, non-UFP attitudes. There's no need to criticise Tuvok's "Full Metal Jacket" style approach to the problem - it is a method that, from my own military experience, works. But it's the 24th Century... there must have been another alternative that could have been offered to these people like:
A. go through quasi-Academy training and get to wear the uniform.
B. skip the training, wear the Wesley Crusher boyscout jumpsuit, and go watch the plants grow in the hydroponic farm, etc.

So while I disagree with Jammer's take on Tuvok, I agree this was a lost opportunity. However, I do not consider it to be the "real" season finale as the production company intended 4 more episodes to follow for Season One. Somewhere the "Powers That Be" decided otherwise. For a late-season, low budget bottle-show, it was OK.
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Thu, Aug 8, 2013, 12:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Faces

Well Jammer, you got your character episode. 5 stars for Roxann for this show!

But take the B'Elannas out of the picture and the rest of the story is pretty mediocre.

I'm tired of Starfleet people figuring out alien computers in a few minutes - I can't even figure out the Bluetooth in a rental car before I run out of gasoline.

As others have noticed, the rest of the prisoners get ignored during the rescue.

But worst of all, our Bad Captain's own integrity is compromised - that most emotional of speeches in "Phage" promised "deadliest" force... where was that? We're led to love/hate the Vidiians yet no action is taken against them in this second encounter. Janeway is not the type to be full of empty threats, nor leave other prisoners behind. That was very disappointing.

This is probably the best B'Elanna episode, but the bad guys win this battle.
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Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 1:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Cathexis

This should be a borderline 2 star. It is no worse than Emanations or Ex Post Facto, the other disappointments of this season; but if we had to pick a loser of Season One, this isn't it. My vote would go to Emanations for it's total lack of pace. At least this episode had some suspense.

My only quibble being I wish Tuvok had told us just what exactly those aliens wanted, and to see him apologize for phasering everyone and neck pinching Kes.
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Thu, Aug 1, 2013, 6:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Prime Factors

This, and not Ex Post as Jammer noted... is the real first Tuvok defining episode. No, more than that, this changed the way we look at all Vulcans. Suddenly they're a little more "transparent"... they just use logic to justify what they want to do, so really they are human. Wow. I think Tim Russ also started to get that after this episode too. Another great addition to the first season.

As for Harry... don't we all have a friend like that (or were/are like that ourselves?).
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Wed, Jul 31, 2013, 2:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Emanations

To put a positive spin to all the above, fully justified, "bleh" attitude towards this episode, I want to call attention to the really nice space sequences. There are some shots of Voyager with the planets, rings, and rocks that are at angles, and levels of detail that we have never seen before on a Star Trek episode. Clearly there were no "reused" space objects. On the DVDs, the quality is excellent. If there is ever a blu-ray for Voyager, the justification to upgrade from the DVDs will be tough.
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Mon, Jul 29, 2013, 1:51am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Ex Post Facto

I don't see the Tuvok development that Jammer says happens in this episode. To me he was just another boring Vulcan doing his job well. Maybe if the Tuvok and Paris conversation happened earlier than the end. Tim Russ is a great Vulcsn though.

Other than that, this episode doesn't add to this Franchise at all - clearly just a writer having a bit of fun... But come on, it's still season One!
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Sat, Jul 27, 2013, 5:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Eye of the Needle

I thought this episode was really a borderline 3.5 stars. This is a story you will only see on Star Trek, and it was well tailored to Voyager. At this point I'm really starting to get to know the characters and maybe even like some of them.

But I agree with the 3 stars. Unfortunately it deals with Time travel again, and I'm a little unhappy with the writers inserting Telek's death at the end - how could the Federation computers have that detailed knowledge of the Romulans? They do not become allies against the Dominion for about 4 more years! They could have given the crew some hope, but instead the writers really killed all morale on Voyager. Next episode better be a mutiny!
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Mon, Jul 22, 2013, 2:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

I feel so late to this party...

Ignoring the technical possibilities above, I agree with some others that our Bad Captain made another Bad Captain decision. She condemns her own crewmember to death and lets the murderers go. What "Alpha Quadrant morals" is that? And who'd want to follow a Captain that would let you die and let your killer go?

(Un)fortunately, the writers saved Janeway's butt in the end. But the correct decision should have been for Janeway to enslave them until they could "harvest" new lungs for Neelix without murdering anyone else. Personally, I would also have taken the opportunity to rob them of their dilithium too.

For that, I think it deserves half a star less, though I did enjoy the crew interactions, as annoying as Neelix can be, as well as the new, very unique, aliens. I hope we see them again and some of Janeway's "deadliest force" is used.
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Fri, Jul 19, 2013, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Time and Again

While writing this script, someone somewhere noted that the most popular Star Trek episodes deal with paradoxes and time travel ("Relics", "All Good Things"... just to name two). So is the entire Voyager first season going to be time travel? We are not that gullible.

Two time travel stories in a row is bad storytelling. But what really irks me is they don't even make the effort to explain the paradox at the end, or give any of the characters any growth out of it. Well, except Tuvok, who is now established as having nobody to tell him to "Shut up".

Clearly there were set and make-up budget constraints but, unlike many of the above, I actually enjoyed this episode more than Parallax. It should get an extra half star from Parallax's 2.5. It is an entertaining plot. It is an interesting premise of "do you warn them or not? and even if you do, will they believe you?". We do see some of the Paris / Janeway relationship, and we get more of a look at our Bad Captain's decision making. So we, the viewers, get insight into the characters without them gaining anything. That's a uniquely sci-fi story element that I hope will get filled some time in the next 170+ episodes...
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Thu, Jul 18, 2013, 6:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

OK, I understand there was (is?) a syndication market to appeal to, but it's only Episode #2! Last week, at the end of the episode, our Bad Captain just stranded us 75 years from home. Everyone at home thinks we're dead. We're alone here with no Starbases... Is our ship going to last 75 yrs? Are we going to live that long? Should we have kids to take over the ship? etc etc... Yet everyone is acting like they're just out for a jaunt from Earth to Risa. If I were a crewmember, I'd be right mad.

Like many above, I enjoyed the Janeway/Torres development in this episode, but it could have done with a lot less running around black holes, and a lot more mutiny. Like really, a time travel/paradox episode for the second episode already? We barely know the crew or the ship.

I don't think this deserves 2.5 stars, because the technoplot is a write-off.
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Thu, Jul 18, 2013, 12:46am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

I've been following Jammer on and off(more off) for over a decade, but never felt the need to post until my new commitment to all of Voyager. A few years ago I rewatched all of TNG, but TNG is to me, like many others, sacred. It's the show that defined much of my morals and career choices in my youth. So I don't need to read or comment on reviews even as good as Jammer's are.

Then came DS9 and, seemingly at the same time, Voyager. It was a bit too much Star Trek for me in 1995, and I was disappointed with DS9 and Voyager when I did watch it wback then. Now having just finished rewatching DS9, the characters became so real, so familiar, I was sad to see them go, and even felt a bit lost having just spent almost 7 years rewatching TNG and DS9.

After some time, soul seeking, and discussion with friends, I decided I wanted to continue my 24th Century adventure and committed to actually watching Voyager. Which brings me to this comment - I guess I have high expectations after all of TNG and DS9, and I enjoy reading all the opinions on the new-to-me Voyager. Well enough Trek rant, what do I think of Caretaker and what Jammer says above?

I actually think Caretaker is a great pilot. Clearly a lot of money and effort was spent to make it look spectacular, and the cast was done properly (even Neelix - just think of Benson when he talks). However, I agree with many that there are serious flaws that provoke the need to comment on a review website.

First off, I don't buy the Kazon as bad guys. They are no Klingons, or even Cardies. I like my bad guys smart. These guys belong on Mad Max.

Second, I really, really like the attempt to put the Captain in a serious, TNG-like, moral dilemma at the climax. Most unfortunately Janeway immediately proves herself to be a Bad Captain (you're going to see me use that phrase a lot). I don't think Kirk or Picard would have gotten their whole crew stranded like Janeway did. Bad Captain, or bad writer.. you decide.

I have one counterpoint to Jammer, and that is I fully agree with Chakotay as 1st Officer. It is a hark back to Shakelton and his mutineer... keep your enemies close. Great stuff.

Some superb performances too for first outings in their characters.. particularly Robert Beltran and Jennifer Lien. If this is how the rest of the series is going to go, I don't feel so bad for committing!

One final point - the quality of the DVDs is excellent, unlike the TNG DVDs, or the early DS9 DVDs. Voyager looks great on HDTV!
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