Star Trek: Voyager

Years: 1995-2001

Synopsis: Pulled to the other side of the galaxy by a powerful alien entity for its ultimately failed ends, opposing crews must come together to survive in wholly unknown territory.

Pros:
• Willing to change and improve itself as the series went on.
• Very self-aware, particularly with the Emergency Medical Hologram (Robert Picardo) directly providing that commentary. Many if not most of the debatable hard choices made by Captain Janeway were shown to have direct consequences, positive and negative.
• The almost improbable coming together of Federation and rebellious Maquis crews made for strong stories later in the series.
• The series being set on the other side of galaxy allowed for freer writing.
• The overall cast, especially in later seasons, powered the series.
• The EMH’s evolution into a complete being with a still terrible bedside manner was always fun, as Seven of Nine’s psychologically painful transition to something close to human was genuinely engaging.
• While Star Trek was always about equality and overcoming trials together, Voyager walked that walk further by having the most diverse and gender equal series up to that point.

Cons:
• The first few seasons can feel like a missed opportunity, and were not all that engaging.
• Never really embraced its early eccentricities of being kidnapped by a godlike alien and supposedly disharmonious crews.
• Was the true peak of ridiculous technobabble, particularly in how it was used to save them from difficult situations.
• The alternate timeline featured in the series finale has yet to be explored.

Discussion:
“Yes, Ma’am!”

A long time ago, I remember Johnathan Frakes (Cmdr. Riker) advertising the show in a very ship-centric way. Every series up to DS9 made the ship or home base of the series bigger. Indeed, even The Motion Picture in 1979 technically made the old Enterprise a little bigger than before. The Voyager was the smallest home for any Star Trek series up to that point, while the new series was to feature a theoretically decades-long journey back to Federation Space. Frakes more than suggested that it was to be a freer series with differing problems that would challenge the prior solutions. And you know what? Voyager fulfilled that promise. The writers did not seem to know what they were doing at first, more than prior series, but the self-awareness from the very beginning allowed them retroactively to turn that into a strength when they did figure it all out. Janeway made all the right decisions from the very beginning to create the most dynamic of teams, even if many of those choices were the lesser evil of terrible options.

Related:
Star Trek Franchise


Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes
S1 – 93%
S2 – 33%
S3 – 100%
S4 – 100%
S5 – 80%
S6 – N/A
S7 – 60%

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