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Sun, Feb 26, 2012, 4:39am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

And so it ends. I echo many sentiments above - as an episode it's enjoyable to watch, even if it's basically a poor man's version of All Good Things hybridised with Timeless. I couldn't believe it when we suddenly saw two characters suddenly getting together for a doomed relationship, and discovering another character had a degenerative neurological disorder. The writers clearly ran out of their own ideas years ago.

There are some very questionable ideas, such as bitter old (yet curiously unwrinkled!) janeway -- who, YES, looks and behaves freakishly like a futuristic Margaret Thatcher -- deciding that she needs to play God and rewrite history just because there are some elements that didn't pan out well. Hell - that's LIFE, b*tch! And no matter how you much try to avoid the bad stuff, it'll find you. It's the way it works, life is about taking the good with the bad. I was uncomfortable at what appeared to be a casual act of genocide. Not a very Star Trekkian message for Voyager's last gasp. Just what was the message here? Star Trek's writers used to spend time considering such things. The message is not a good one...

As for the ending....Seven years -- seven YEARS -- of build up and supposed emotional investment -- all for a cursory shot of Voyager heading toward Earth for three seconds before the end credits roll. The ending was so horrifically rushed, almost as if someone looked down at their watch and though 'sh*t, we have to get them home - NOW!'. I fully agree that Voyager should have gotten home at least a couple of episodes ago - so many unanswered questions. Endgame? More like Endshame. So much wasted potential - but that's Voyager through and through.

Totally agree with Jammer. Voyager very much died as it lived. Towards the end of the show I'd accepted it was never going to be all (or even a fraction) of what it could be, instead it was what it was. But although entertaining, action-packed, yadda yadda as an episode, this is a wholly unsatisfying finale to a seven year series. Guess it all lives or dies on the writing, and the writers for this show were really just showing up for the pay cheque.

It is what it is though. Much like life. Unlike Admiral Janeway I won't try to mess with time just so I can go back and try to encourage the writers to create a decent ending...or series...
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Sat, Feb 25, 2012, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

Why didn't Janeway develop a single wrinkle in 26 years? Things like that bug me immensely. Did they run out of makeup budget, did Mulgrew refuse to the indignity of old age makeup...or are we expected to believe Janeway got regular facelifts?
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Sun, Sep 11, 2011, 4:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Haunting of Deck Twelve

Pretty much agree with Jammer's assessment. A pretty 'meh' storyline (Voyager's version of a 'ghost' is basically a technobabble monster - figures!), although it is well directed and conjures a reasonable sense of atmosphere at times. Way too many tedious scenes of people wandering corridors, however and a plot that has virtually no purpose or payoff.
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Sat, Sep 10, 2011, 4:34am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Life Line

I greatly enjoyed this episode too, it's always lovely to see Barclay and Troi (TNG was the series I grew up with, that and DS9), but the real star of the show is Robert Picardo however, who proves time and time again that he was the show's greatest asset. Charmingly done, funny and even a little touching. We have a winner.
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Fri, Sep 9, 2011, 3:27am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Fury

I totally agree that this episode totally raped the character of Kes, all for a second-rate, cartoony action-adventure plot. This is where Michael is completely wrong about the lack of need for focus on characterisation. A story lives or dies on its characters - if the motivations and believabilty aren't credible, the rest of the story falls down like a house of cards. Here Kes's actions are totally incompatible with the character we know and her motivations are cringe-inducingly flimsy. There's no solid foundation to this story. Extremely poor writing.

It makes me really sad that this is our farewell to the character. I actually wish Jennifer Lien had refused to do it and prevented this travesty from being produced. As it is, she seems deeply disenchanted with the script, if her performance is anything to go by. As someone above commented, the ONLY way they could have salvaged this pile of dreck would have been to make it clear that Kes was suffering senility or Ocampan alzheimers...that might actually have been quite powerful if handled well enough. But not this drivel :( farewell Kes...
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Thu, Sep 8, 2011, 3:31am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Muse

Loved this ep!! A unique story (although slightly spoiled by the fact it's hot on the heels of another episode that's about people impersonating the Voyager crew...oopsie), well told and surprisingly self-aware. I think Joe Menosky was definitely taking a few parting shots at the nature of the TV beast, and perhaps Voyager in particular. I found it clever, insightful and compelling.

As Jammer said (great review btw), this style of storytelling is perhaps not aimed at Voyager's target demographic (exhibit A: Michael's response above!). But heck, this is what I'm looking for in my Trek. I love intelligent TV and that's one of the reasons I love the previous incarnations of Trek and struggle with Voyager and Enterprise. This episode seemed very Trekkian and I'm glad to see any break from the usual formula and mindless action scenes. Like the best television, it has a pertinent message and it makes you think.
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Wed, Sep 7, 2011, 4:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Live Fast and Prosper

This episode is pretty ridiculous. It should have acknowledged its ridiculousness and played it as an out-an-out comedy instead of trying to inject it with some seriousness, philosophising and character 'insight'.

Michael's repeated rants about hating anything to do with character focus are quite funny and of course I usually disagree (characters are the engine of plot), but here I'm in agreement, this wasn't the episode to try to put in some stilted 'character development', I'd much rather they'd made it funnier instead.

Sure, there are some amusing moments (and the best thing about the episode for me was the Tuvok impersonator who got totally carried away with his role - loved it). As Jammer said, the tone was uneven...in fact it was all over the place. Its mildly entertaining but weak. If you're going to do comedy, then go for it, don't water it down, otherwise it ends up being neither funny nor dramatic, just a mediocre 'thereness'.
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Tue, Sep 6, 2011, 5:00am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Good Shepherd

Another enjoyable episode, kind of hybrid of Lower Decks and Learning Curve. I agree with two points noted above: this ep would have been better suited to the first 2-3 seasons. The entire crew has been through HELL by this point, these guys 'wetness' seems a bit unlikely given this. And yes, it was a gigantic damp squib of an ending that wasn't dramatically satisfying. We needed to *see* some change in these characters as they returned to the ship to make the journey worthwhile, not just a glib comment by Janeway. It was as tough the writers ran out of time.

I enjoyed the guest characters though - so much so I kind of wish they could be grafted onto the main cast. There are so many pointless 'hangers-on' in Voyager's main cast of characters. I'd happily dispense with Harry, Neelix, Chakotay and Tuvok in order to make way for someone like Harren, who struck me as the most potentially interesting of the three. Even Celes and Billy had a freshness about them that could have reinvigorated the series a bit. I'd love to see them in the series again...but I know that's 99.9% unlikely (forgive me if I'm wrong, I don't think I've seen any Voyager beyond this point).
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Tue, Sep 6, 2011, 4:46am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Child's Play

Elliot, this Voyager > DS9 fixation you have is an argument you're unlikely to win in many places other than your own mind. I actually think Jammer is more than generous when it comes to Voyager's ratings. Many others have been far less forgiving when it comes to this show.

I enjoyed this ep; the themes are quite familiar, but it's perhaps the first time we've seen an ex-Borg reuniting with family. It was well-executed and engaging. I knew there would be some kind of twist at the end (and it IS a twist), but wasn't expecting this. I liked it, and does nicely explain the events of 'Collective' (forward-thinking? Impressive!!). I wish there had been a little more foreshadowing, however, maybe some indication that Icheb's parents weren't all they seemed. It came a little out of the blue. The best twists are those that are unexpected, yet when you look back you can see they've been cleverly foreshadowed and fit in with the rest of the story. Still - above average episode, I'd give it a healthy *** too.
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Sun, Sep 4, 2011, 1:41am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

A really neat premise and a botched execution, par for the course for so many Voyager eps.

This could have been a compelling and thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be human, exploring issues of race, identity and belonging. But what we had was a lame, two-dimensional and completely uninspired by-the-numbers script that strictly goes through the motions, with an inevitable reset button ending.

I can accept there are Voyager characters we've never heard of, but as Jammer pointed out, the fact this episode completely p***es all over continuity is pretty insulting. The Harry relationship was shoe-horned in simply to involve one of the regular cast, as otherwise it's an episode about a random guest character (and y'know, who cares?), but I kept thinking "what about Libby?" All we needed was a single reference to the fact she existed. Blatant rewriting of history. Never cheat your audience...it's kind of like biting the hand that feeds you.

Similarly, the (apparent non-) issue of Voyager's progress toward the Alpha Quadrant is just another indication that the writers, in their utter disregard for the story they were telling, had no real love for this show. It seems clear that Ron Moore was right - there was no love or passion for Voyager on the part of the writers/producers. This series was about the paycheques alone, and that's really sad.

I remember now why I gave up on Voyager first time around and I'm struggling to find the motivation to keep watching this time. I don't like bashing the show...it actually makes me sad. *sigh*
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Wed, Aug 31, 2011, 4:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

The episode - *meh*. Nothing to add to the comments above. There should have been an injunction to prevent Voyager's writers from ever using the holodeck, because it just became more and more ludicrous...

Oh, and I couldn't resist this:

Elliot: "many of Voyager's fans recognise that this lacking is more than compensated for by the brilliant philosophical/psychological development over the course of the 7 year run."

"Brilliant philosophical/psychological development" - Voyager? Really?? You're serious?

I approached this series a second time with an open mind, wanting to like it and to a certain extent I do generally, it's entertainment - but little more. The writers just didn't have the skill, or maybe the inclination to deliver genuine philosophical and psychological development. The characterisation and the philosophy are all pretty shallow and always come second-fiddle to whatever the concept-of-the-week is, almost never extending beyond that episode's 45 minutes. Even back in the late 90s, this had already come somewhat untenable for TV drama. Alas, Voyager has all the depth of a puddle. I accepted that a long time ago. I guess we all have our own perspectives though, and if you see depth where I can't see any, good for you.
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Tue, Aug 30, 2011, 4:21am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Collective

Voyager really did kinda ruin the Borg, didn't it?

I rewatched TNG recently and, up until Descent at least, the Borg were truly something special - and were actually genuinely scary (still to this day Q Who and Best of Both Worlds convey their terror and danger immensely well). The Voyager writers just didn't have the skill to maintain that. With every episode, the Borg became less frightening and even less Borg-like (now they're just like regular people in cyborg costumes, completely gone is that sense of alienness). The Borg are now little more interesting than the other 'great' races Voyager gave us, the Kazon, the Hirogen, the Malon.

The idea of a ship of Borg children maybe seemed like a different twist on the old Borg themes, but we've seen all this before and the fact they are children further blunts the Borg's impact. This episode isn't scary, it isn't tense, it certainly isn't original or groundbreaking and it isn't even particularly entertaining to be honest. We've seen the whole thing of drones becoming individuals umpteen times and the plan to release a disease or pathogen on the Borg and the moral implications thereof are directly lifted from "I Borg". This one just didn't hold my interest. Worst Borg episode yet. And what's with the lighting on Borg ships now - why all the LIME GREEN?...it actually looks a bit hokey.
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Mon, Aug 29, 2011, 4:29am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Tsunkatse

Meh. Cynical, ratings-driven dreck. The very name "Tsunkatse" is an anagram of "Stunt Sake", which gives a clear indication of exactly what this episode was blatantly intended as. Frankly I find WWF and related shows imbecilic and creating a Star Trek crossover was totally misguided. Maybe it could have been worse, but as it stands only thing this ep really has going for it are classy performances by two of DS9's most loved guest stars, Jeffrey Combs and in particular JG Hertzler. I noticed that Seven's cell actually reused part of the set from DS9 (the airlocks, painted white here) which kinda made me sad...
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Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 4:37am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Memorial

Hmm. I liked this episode better the first time around, when it was called “Remember”.

“Memorial” is entertaining and well-paced with some good directing and a great score by David Bell, but it’s way too derivative and obvious. I’d guessed what was happened long before the ‘big reveal’ and this was like a needle in a balloon in terms of shattering whatever emotional resonance and intrigue was there. For me, “Remember” was a far more effective episode. I’m surprised no one else has drawn the parallel because the story is basically the same.

I had a hard time with Janeway’s decision at the end to not only keep the memorial operational but to patch it up. Why exactly? Does creating and perpetuating suffering somehow change what originally happened? How does that advance the cause of peace in any way? Have to disagree with Jammer’s assertion that this episode was filled with “genuine Star Trek attitudes”. I found the moral stance a little off-balance. Again, Janeway makes a highly dubious decision and completely shoots down the rest of her crew. The bitch had a real attitude problem.
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Fri, Aug 26, 2011, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Virtuoso

,,,worse guest performance than that of the actress playing Tencoo? Although, to be fair, I guess it could be in part due to the way the character was written.

(sorry this is split in two, another technological glitch, I wish I could edit my comments!)
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Fri, Aug 26, 2011, 7:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Virtuoso

I actually enjoyed this: a bit of silly, inconsequential fluff and it's always nice to have a break from the usual Voyager format of angry bumpy-headed aliens and exploring consoles. The first half was deliciously fun, but the second half lost it a bit. Stepping out of comedy and trying to milk it for intellectual debate (the Doc's rights as a sentient being) and pathos (the goodbye scenes), was a mistake because it then expected us to take what was essentially a very silly comedy premise seriously, and I couldn't quite do that. Switching genres halfway through a story is a bit of a cheat on the audience and renders this uneven.

Two things that occurred to me during the ep: firstly, is the singing thing part of Picardo's contract, perhaps? And secondly, has there ever been a worse
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Fri, Aug 26, 2011, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Blink of an Eye

Loved this ep. For some reason it reminds me of my favourite Futurama episode, "Godfellas", when Bender is floating through space and witnessing the rise and fall of miniature civilisations upon his body. Also quite similar to Farscape's "The Locket".

I thought the premise was beautifully realised, and enjoyed seeing the way this civilisation progresses over the centuries while it's more or less business as usual aboard Voyager. It was handled really well, although the isolated (and quite lengthy) scenes on the planet featuring throwaway characters fell very flat for me...it's hard to invest in random characters that have no purpose in the story other than to depict the way a culture is developing. I also find that the Voyager writers are generally not good at creating compelling, three-dimensional guest characters and that trend continues here. But the alien-POV does work much better when Jin from Lost (always great to see a Lost actor) comes aboard Voyager. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it's effective.

While there's not a great deal of emotional resonance to the episode, I still found it interesting, engaging and compelling. For all that it riffs on TOS's "Wink of an eye", it still manages to feel quite fresh and also manages to capture that quintessential Star Trek spirit.
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Thu, Aug 25, 2011, 3:54am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Fair Haven

Not content with one episode of Irish stereotypes (TNG's Up the Long Ladder), Trek takes another swipe. There's actually a little bit charm at work here, but it calls on too much suspension of disbelief regarding the capabilities of the holodeck - for Voyager depicts it as almost magical.

I also think it damages Janeway's character having her in a relationship with a hologram (and not a sentient, self-aware hologram like the Doc, either). There was actually something borderline sleazy about the way she was programming in her preferred specifications...how is this much different from some saddo blowing up an inflatable sex doll? It just doesn't sit well. It makes janeway look a bit stupid (and extremely desperate) and it highlights the general stupidity of Voyager's writers when it came to their (over)use of the holodecks.
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Wed, Aug 24, 2011, 3:33am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Pathfinder

Oops that was meant to read "ultimately poignant change of pace" but got garbled somehow - gotta stop posting from mobile devices :-p
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Wed, Aug 24, 2011, 3:30am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Pathfinder

Very enjoyable ep - but not a four star effort, as it certainly doesn't sit alongside the best of the best in terms of Trekkian masterpieces. It is an engaging, fun and ultimately poignachainring and it's great to see Reg and Deanna again (although I couldn't get over the design of Reg's apartment - it didn't look particularly 24th century at all). The plot is pretty basic and wholly predictable but that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the ep. The gold is in the characterisation and the details
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Tue, Aug 23, 2011, 7:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

Sorry, but I found this episode a load of utter nonsense! It fails in every way that DS9's Inquisition succeeded - namely, in Inquisition the conspiracy was so brilliantly concocted by the writers that it was actually extremely plausible. In that episode I actually DID begin to wonder if Bashir had been a sleeper agent or whatever. The way they tied together all the details so perfectly almost made you believe they'd been planning the episode in advance for years. Extremely deft writing! Alas, Voyager's writing staff don't have the skill to pull that off, not if this is anything to go by.

Seven's theories are so utterly ridiculous and ludicrously unfounded that she comes across as a delusion, ranting IDIOT. To a lesser extent, Chakotay, Janeway and B'Elanna come across extremely foolish for entertaining her nonsensical theories. The writers seem to think that by firing off enough quick references to previous episodes in a short space of time they can somehow confuse us into believing Seven's conspiracies have legitimate basis. But I didn't believe a word of it for a second. Way too many plot holes, characters behaving like brainless idiots and a writing staff demonstrating how weak they actually are at creating solid plotting.

This is just the pits. Maybe it would have worked if they'd played it as a comedy, because it actually comes across like a very bad parody. It's just all the more unforgivable given that it's played absolutely straight. Idiotic.
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Tue, Aug 23, 2011, 3:31am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: One Small Step

An Ok episode, but it didn't do as much for me as it did for Jammer and others. I'm glad it's a deviation from Voyager's standard aggressive-alien-of-the-week formula. But I wasn't moved by it. I didn't feel I was given much reason to care that much about Kelly (hope that doesn't make me sound heartless - it reminded me a bit of DS9's Sound of Her Voice which left me similarly unaffected), so I was strangely unmoved by all the log entries at the end, which seemed oddly placed in terms of the episode's structure and pacing. The plot itself was a bit stale and hackneyed and Chakotay's characterisation also seemed off - but that could be because he didn't have much of a character at all at this point in the series. Finally, I had to raise an eyebrow at the fact Voyager's crew was holding a funeral/memorial service on the bridge of all places. The bridge??
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Sat, Aug 20, 2011, 6:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy

I may have stopped watching Voyager by this point originally (at the time I was much more into Farscape, which I still consider a vastly superior series in ever way), so maybe that's why I didn't remember this.

Between this and 'Someone to watch over me', it seems Voyager is as capable as DS9 at producing enjoyable, fun comedic episodes, when it's so inclined. This is a hugely enjoyable romp - I didn't think it was quite the classic others are hailing it as, but I was entertained throughout. Lightweight but bags of fun. It peaked, however in the hilarious teaser - I was initially wondering if this was going to be a Buffy-esque musical episode. The rest of the ep was lovely, but nothing could eclipse the Doc's singing at Tuvok, that was one of the hands-down funniest moments in Trek ever!
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Sat, Aug 20, 2011, 6:47am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Alice

Like a couple of others have noted, Chakotay's line that "we already have a full complement of shuttles" elicited a reaction somewhere along the lines of: bwa-hahahahaha! That was definitely the most memorable part of this otherwise mediocre episode, which raised a lot more questions than it answered (that's sometimes not a bad thing, if the questions are intelligent and thought-provoking; these unanswered questions on the other hand stem from a rather half-baked plot that doesn't entirely make sense).
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Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 9:20am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Equinox, Part I

Not the most outstanding season finale Trek has ever delivered, but entertaining fare nonetheless.

As others have noted, they really kind of blew the potential of the premise by the lack of subtlety. The questions the story raises are long overdue, having been ignored far too long by a series that's never been keen to explore the full implications of its premise. But what could have been a very relevant and probing exploration of upholding morals is spoiled by the fact that Ransom is so obviously bad - there are no shades of grey here, for his actions are clearly repellent and immoral. It's clear all along who the 'goodies' and 'baddies' are, and I for one would have preferred a more complex and subtle approach - one that makes you think and one that maybe even called Janeway's approach into question. But the writers never had the guts to question Janeway's actions and motives - she was always right, because she was the captain. That approach is a bit too cartoonish for my taste.

BTW, Elliot, your continual anti-DS9 rants are getting pretty tedious. These are Voyager reviews. I imagine hardcore Voyager fans must be vexed by the fact DS9 had far greater critical acclaim, but some things you just have to let go of.
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