Full disclosure: I only ever watched Star Trek in high school. I have only hazy memories of ST:TNG and DS9 (like I thought Troi and Worf were wicked cool, but that it was weird Picard was French with a British accent), but really like SF/F, and know a fair amount about the ‘verse.
On a whim, though, I started watching Voyager. I’d heard it improved on the issues I had with Babylon 5 (like that B5 is constantly the adventures of white boys in space!!!!!!!!!!) and plus there’s a black Vulcan. Basically, Voyager is the Gilligan’s Island of Star Trek
The Voyager got flung out to the Delta Quadrant because of a super powerful alien, and it’ll take them 75 years to get back home to the Alpha Quadrant. There’s no other Federation vessels, and they have to make deals with the locals while still remaining a Starfleet crew. So far there’ve been traitors (two, one of whom was so traitorous she lied about being Bajoran and stole someone’s sperm to make herself pregnant and also lied about being raped), a couple food shortages, and several near disasters.
I’m not gonna start reviewing from the first ep, since I’m nearing the end of s2 now, so am gonna use this intro post to talk about things I’ve already noticed, going character by character.
She’s so awesome, and I love that she’s constantly channeling Katherine Hepburn.
On a characterization level, I love that the characterizationfor her is pretty consistent in regards to what she knows; you hear right away that she’s a former science officer, and her knowledge of science is casually referenced in nearly every episode. She’s never the audience-stand-in for when someone needs to do an explanation of what a proton is or whatever, in the way I sometimes felt like Picard was. She’s a little more gentle in her leadership style than I’d like, but that’s because, I think, she’s not in a place where she can be a hard-ass.
2. Harry Kim
Uhhh why does he keep getting kidnapped? I swear, he’s just like Mary Anne from Gilligan’s Island. He dies or gets kidnapped like every other episode.
I’m glad she’s mixed, I guess it’s interesting that they did an ep about that, but seriously, if she hooks up with Tom Paris I’ll scream. He’s such a jerk AND responded in the exact wrong way in “Faces” when she was confiding in him about her childhood as the only person of Klingon descent in her colony when he was all, YAY you’re human now, YAY! after she’d been split into her two ethnicities. There’s, uh, also a lot to say about that as a plot line. Besides the racefail, there’s some great stuff re: her bonding with Janeway over SCIENCE! and her loyalty/personal integrity. I really dig her.
I know some people criticize the actor for being so wooden, but seriously, his lines suck, every time he does something “native” there’s a magic flute playing so you KNOW he’s being MAGICALLY INDIAN, and yeah. I’d phone it in too.
Oh, I love Tuvok, and how you can tell he’s five seconds from cutting EVERYONE ON THIS SHIP.
I especially liked “Innocence,” and the chance to see him not just as a Vulcan but as a Vulcan parent. It was especially satisfying to me because I keep telling people that Vulcans are really passionate people who use meditation to get along with all the other species (who are super annoying in close quarters).
Look, I know she keeps mentioning she’s just two, but are her years even the same as human years? And why would her age in human years even matter? What the shit. Either she’s practically a child in which case it’s skeevy that Neelix and her are boning, OR her species has a different definition of adulthood that everyone else should step off and respect. Everyone being like KES YOU’RE A CHILD would be as annoying as people going TUVOK YOU’RE ANCIENT because he’s damn near 200, and it’s weirdly infantilizing. I’m a little annoyed at how flat the actress’ voice is. I suspect this is a director decision, because even when she’s mad she uses dulcet tones, and her voice makes me think of what Jessica Alba said about director instructions to conventionally pretty actresses, and how she was sometimes told to not show emotions because it made her face ugly.
7 & 8. Neelix and Tom Paris
They bore me, but at least Neelix is funny.
9. The Doctor
He, Tuvok, and B’Elanna are the least annoying characters. If there could be an ep where they’re all vaguely annoyed at each other while actually making the ship GO without interferance from the Quizon, Tom Paris, or Neelix, and Harry could avoid getting kidnapped… well! Janeway could take a break in the Holodeck.
Next Monday, I’ll post a review of ST:V s3x1, which is called “The Basics: Part II.” The series is on Netflix if you want to watch along!