I just made the easiest joke in all of the internets to make about Katheryn Janeway, that she has a smoker's voice. Theres lots more to be said about her that won't be attributed to what is merely a annoyance then anything else.
In 1995, Paramount finally did something that they had been planning on for nearly 16 years, have it's own network on TV and a Star Trek show as it's flagship show. The time finally came and with The Next Generation had ended 6 months earlier and Deep Space Nine puttering along in the ratings, a new spaceship based exploration show with familiar settings and characters was ready for the Star Trek universe and hopes were high. Whats more, a woman was the lead unlike the other three shows previous and the now unisex "Where No One Has Gone Before" was even changed on the cover of Entertainment Weekly covering the shows premiere was back to the older "Where No MAN Has Gone Before." Hopes were high and well...Voyager failed to impress. Janeway was part of the problem.
Janeway had a background in science and was just given command of one of Starfleet's newest babies the Voyager, a small Federation ship that has new computer systems, a fast warp drive with positionable warp nacelles and can even land on planets. A versatile ship that you would be surprised can survive for extended periods of time away from home which was what Star Trek: Voyager was about. This one ship stranded on the other side of the galaxy makes Voyager the only representative of Star Fleet in this neck of the woods until the Federation learns how to travel that length of the galaxy and catch up. That means you would think Janeway would be on her best behavior right? Well......it's one of those "when I feel like it" things.
Janeway on a whim would decide what rules would be followed and which ones not. The rules could be the most pious and mighty things that we have absolutely no say in they're meaning-or if it got inconvieniant they'll just ignore them, screw the consequences and we'll be off. I may not have seen a lot of Voyager but I have seen enough episodes to know that when people brought this up in talks about Voyager and Janeway in particular as I thought back on it, they were right. Theres two great examples in two of Voyager's better episodee: Equinox and 30 Days. In Equinox, Janeway learns of another Federation ship, even smaller and lesser equipped then hers out this far has been surviving like they have been, but it involved criminal experiments on living creatures to supercharge they're warp drive. The other Captain cites regulations involving survival needs being a just means but Janeway gets on a high horse and says that it's never easy but you do what you can without breaking the rules. In 30 Days, Janeway busts Paris for trying to assist in another planet's politics where if Voyager didn't interfere a group on the planet was going to be exploited and oppressed by another. Janeway's love for the Prime Directive kicks in and sure enough, steps in to stop Paris from trying to help others.
The Prime Directive if you didn't know was Star Trek's oldest rule of non interference of another alien culture to prevent the Federation from exploiting them. It was the Federation's job to stay out of the way of their development and not to influence them. When you really think about it, anyone on those worlds who comes into contact with Voyager is going to have some level of influence put upon them.
So in essance we really don't know why Janeway did what she did. It was either flipping a coin or calling upon a Magic 8 Ball or maybe or lack of coffee one morning is what makes Janeway decide to help or not help others. There have even been times where it's been discussed that if Voyager does NOTHING via Prime Directive that entire species could go extinct. Sometimes it was admirable when Janeway did this since it showed what being a Captain would really be like and what if we were in her position, could we do the same thing.
Janeway wasn't just a scientist or a Captain, she did NOT shy away from grabbing a phaser and getting action going when danger threatened the ship. While I still think of Kira as the face of women in action on Star Trek, Janeway does get some notice for being the star of the show and having been put in ugly and violent situations time and time again. Kira though was introduced to me first and much more endearing.
That brings me to the physical, no Janeway isn't the prettiest thing on two legs aboard Voyager but she isn't repulsive either, her hairstyle certainly helped in those matters since it went from an ugly bun do' in season one to a decent bob by the end. The voice and it's ring of Pall Mall isn't annoying to me, but hey I'll still make fun of it. Maybe if Janeway's self rightous and self serving attitude wasn't attached to it, I wouldn't mind as much and leave the voice alone.
Janeway might have been a better character if the show Voyager itself was better and the writers capitolized better on story ideas instead of coping out and keeping things average. Second, a better handling of what the Prime Directive meant to Janeway would have certainly been a plus so that it didn't change week to week.
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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