This is the oddest thing about Voyager. DS9 relied heavily on character growth, arcs, long standing story lines, recurring characters, and yet the series didn’t have a stable time slot. It was syndicated; its time could change often and could do so from market to market. There was no guarantee when it would be on. Voyager was given the run of UPN. It had a network, and a supportive one. It was a network that launched with Voyager being a key element in that launch. So the fact that every episode was either written or re-written to fix everything up at the end so that the next week things would be exactly as they were began this week…makes absolutely no sense to me.
The friction between the Maquis and the Federation crew could have EASILY been a great source for stories, and we could have watched as these two crews actually grow to like one another, and work well together to get back home. But instead the characters agree to work with each other too easily and too fast, only to once and a while says, “Hey! Remember how we were Maquis?” Why have TNG and DS9 do all that work to set up a premise you have no real intention of using?
Being trapped in the Delta Quadrant could have been a brilliant arc, the whole Year of Hell thing is a fantastic idea, for a whole SEASON…not two episodes with a reset button at the end. Actually put your characters through hell, and we might want to root for them, but instead the series just wrapped everything up each week, and our characters never grow or learn or anything. They just run into generic problem after convoluted problem after Borg attack after generic problem, only to finally make it home by some fucked up time meddling magic doorway ending.
The first three seasons were irritating due to their bad scripts filled with boring characters ridiculous plots, and an all around bad atmosphere. Season 4 started off with the hope of being a much better show, but it quickly fell apart and by Season 5, the episodes were just dull mediocrity. I don’t think they were as irritating with the bad story lines as the first three seasons, but from Season 5 on there is a definite sense that no one put any love or attention or care into this particular series.
I think a lot of the flaws in Voyager stem from the bad production team. When you read or hear about the cast and crew of Voyager, they never have glowing things to say. The original cast is always talking about how they know they were apart of something big, and the TNG and DS9 cast and production staff often talk about what a fun atmosphere and good working relationship everyone had. People pulled together to create great TV...and then there’s Voyager. The writers don’t seem to talk to each other, the cast don’t seem to be friends, the producers seem like they wouldn’t always back stories 100%, or they wouldn’t go the full nine when they needed to…I mean…what the fuck happened here?
Voyager is a failure of a series. It lasted seven years, but it limped through most of it. Unoriginal ideas and stories as well as uninteresting characters. Under the rule of Rick Berman, the franchise was taking a turn for the worse, but one last series would put the nails in the coffin.
NEXT TIME: Back to the Next Generation