Star Trek: Voyager picks up the space exploration threads left over by The Next Generation and was the flagship show to launch the UPN network. To say at the time both were underwhelming wouldn't be too far from the truth.
Captain Kathryn Janeway is the commander of the Starship Voyager, a smaller more compact ship compared to the virtual ocean liner of a vessel that Next Generations Enterprise was. Her first mission has her routing the Maquis, a rouge sect of Federation citizens fighting for their homeland after the Federation sold them out for peace with the Cardassians (Deep Space Nine's long running alien foes). Finding who shes looking for however has her ship stranded some 80,000 light years from home via a spatial hazard. Some of her crew are dead, and the Voyager isn't equipped to handle a long tern detachment from Federation space and begins a LONG trek home. Some people say that the show is better then others think and mileage may vary but all I can think of is how much better the show could have been.
Take into account the length of time the ship will take to get home, roughly if the ship travelled at it's top speed all day and night it would take a good 80 years to get home. It's a small ship with a small crew where supplies aren't going to last and violent and primitive aliens are everywhere in this neck of the woods. Makes for an exciting show right? Well no. Unless it was a two parter, very rarely did this crew ever really experience any kind of real danger of supplies dwindling or people starving. Photon Torpedoes somehow always were replensihed as did the shuttlecrafts always getting rebult or having another one roll off some imaginary assembly line. Random crew men just appeared instead of having a steady cast of extras recurring roles and having it really come to mean something when they died. Any time the show came to giving the show a foreboding feeling of an uncertain future, they would hit the proverbial reset button and by the next episode things were usually back to the status quo.
The cast of characters weren't always the greatest either and didn't gel with viewers the way they should have. While were spared the blowing hot and cold attitude that Sisko usually had in Deep Space Nine, there was nothing really special about Janeway short of her smokers voice and ever changing hairsyles. Chakotay and Torres are Maquis members who get important postions aboard the ship as First Officer and Cheif Engineer respectfully but Torres was only marginally more interesting a character as a Klingon/Human hybrid and the mileage of a Klingon was used up mostly with Worf from The Next Generation. Harry Kim got a token role of being the optimistic youth on board and Tuvok was the Vulcan security cheif. I only wish they could have had more going on. Tom Paris whos dad is a Starfleet Admiral and thought of his son as a dissapointment for ending up in jail gets some dimension. The holographic Doctor who after Voyagers displacement becomes the only member of the medical staff and gets some good episodes especially after he finds a way to leave his sickbay confines. Lastly are the passengers. Kes an alien who has a lifespan of 9 years, Neelix a nomad travller who's anthropolgoy skills come to aid the crew and finally and eventually Seven of Nine, a vapid and icy former Borg who's been rescued from the Borg collective and quickly becomes a focus of episodes.
That brings me to another point. The Borg. The most fearsome and scary of Star Trek's foes gets SEVERE overexposure in this show to the point that the Borg just aren't much of a threat anymore let alone cool as Voyager keeps finding ways to defeat them. It's unavoidable that in Trek lore they are traveling through Borg space.
Star Trek never always had it's secondary characters in mind for all episodes but this show sometimes really goes out of it's way to shortchange the cast. Seven of Nine, the Doctor, Tom Paris and the Captain are the attention hogs on this show. The rest of the crew has a token show here and there but largely it's those four we get shows about.
Arguabbly the weakest of the Trek shows and one that really could have been something special. This show could have had Deep Space Nine's rough edges in the far reaches of space on the traditional space ship setting but alas it didn't come to be. Voyager to be fair did have some pretty good episodes but they were usually the two parters. I'm rating this one low only because when I see this show all I see is a big missed oppertunity instead of an average Star Trek show that played it too safe.
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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The fourth entry in the evergreen Star Trek franchise, the UPN network's Star Trek: Voyager was set during the same timeframe (though definitely not the in same location!) as the syndicated Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Caught in a sudden plasma storm while hunting down a ship full of Maquis terrorists, Starfleet Command's Voyager was thrust some 75,000 light years away from its home base. Now trapped in the Gamma Quadrant with their Maquis quarry, the Voyager crew, headed by Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), was forced to form an alliance with the enemy. As it turned out, both the Voyager and the Maquis vessel had been deliberately relocated to Gamma by a mystical entity known as the Caretaker, who hoped that the combined crews would fulfill his mission to protect a less resourceful race known as the Ocampa -- and to remain eternally vigilant against the evil Kazon, who, during an early skirmish, had killed several members of both Janeway's crew and that of Maquis captain Chakotay (Robert Beltran). Surviving members of the Voyager roster included Lt. Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill), who like Janeway hailed from planet Earth, as did Starfleet Academy rookie Ensign Harry Kim (Garrett Wang). Carryovers from the Maquis vessel included the Native American Chakotay, who became Janeway's first officer; B'Elanna Torres (Roxann Biggs-Dawson), a mercurial half-human, half-Klington who replaced the Voyager's deceased chief engineer (and who later married the headstrong Tom ...