Ah Voyager. The series that held the distinction of being the most derided of the Star Trek franchises until Enterprise came along to usurp that title. Critics thought it was underwhelming, fans thought it was repetitive, both thought it was overly reliant on cliche and technobabble. For it’s duration the show slowly declined in the ratings till it finally limped to the requisite (or trekquisite?) seventh season and came to a whimper of an end. It is seen as at best flawed and at worst the thing that ushered in the decline and ruin of the franchise. And I firmly fall into the latter’s camp.
So imagine my surprise when a friend of mine, someone whom I like quite a bit and whose opinion I respect, told me offhandedly that Voyager was her favorite of the series and went so far as to say that it was better than DS9 and Next Generation. Now saying that anything other than the original series is better than NextGen is just crazy talk but aside from that I was intrigued. She explained her reasoning, recapped her favorite episodes and told me to give it another chance before writing the thing off. After all, she asked, had I even seen more than a handful of episodes? No I had not.
I remember when Voyager was announced. I adored the Original Series, loved The Next Generation and enjoyed Deep Space Nine so the prospect of a new series was exciting. Now to be fair it was the mid-90s and I was in my mid-20s so I wasn’t as focused on TV as I might have been in the past. I was living in San Francisco, working nights, staying out too late and being generally irresponsible so at the time I was not giving a third spinoff of a late 60s scifi show a lot of time to grow on me. I would only catch episodes as repeats and usually out of order but even still Voyager struck me as, well, bland. The characters were rehashed or mashup versions of the characters on the other shows and the episodes themselves were uninteresting and from what I could tell mainly took place on the holodeck. I stopped watching completely after a while and only considered coming back when I was told that a new character, a tall blonde in a catsuit that would make Emma Peel blush was added to the show. Now I am a fan of tall blondes in catsuits but this was sufficient reason to go back to the show. No, Voyager would be forever the bland misstep in the Star Trek family.
That is until a friend told me to give it another chance. And I’m a sucker for second chances. Also if I’m honest I want to like it. I am fan of Star trek and I want to enjoy Voyager. I would love to put it up there in the pantheon of stuff I like.
And so equipped with a blog and a Netflix subscription I will venture off to the Delta quadrant with Janeway and the crew to revisit the adventures of the starship Voyager and hopefully find something new and exciting to enjoy.
I will do one episode a week starting Wednesday. This will not be a review feature, rather just a short paragraph or two of my feelings on the story and the impression it left afterward. That is unless I feel the need to go off on a tangent on either why I loved or hated the episode or a character or theme in it. Knowing my tenancy to get nitpicky over Star Trek related material this is a distinct possibility.
Well here it is. I am simultaneously excited to begin this project and dreading having to do it. That should keep things interesting. I will commit to one season start to finish with an option to renew depending on the level of enjoyment that is achieved. Or number of holodeck episodes I have to endure.
See you soon. Engage.