'Star Trek: Voyager' - TV Review

What I'm about to write is based on a slightly odd viewing history: I watched Season 1 of "Voyager" (16 episodes - Seasons 2 through 7 all have 26 episodes) and half of Season 2. I then followed Den of Geek!'s "Top 10 Star Trek: Voyager episodes" guide, and threw in the two episode show ending finale for good measure.

Den of Geek's comment about Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and the "Prime Suggestion" is entirely correct: in one episode she holds the Prime Directive up as inviolable, and in the next she says "we can't watch these people suffer!" and breaks the Directive like crackers in her soup. And she flip-flops like a beached fish from week to week.

And then there's Neelix (Ethan Phillips). Not as hated as Jar Jar Binks, but he's up there. At least he's not a complete coward nor a racial stereotype, he's just ... really off-putting.

On a more positive note, "The Doctor" (Robert Picardo) an "emergency medical holographic program" who was never intended for long term use, is a bit irritating but they make really good use of his development over time.

Then of course there's the rather notorious "Seven of Nine" (Jeri Ryan), a gorgeous woman in a catsuit who joined the crew from the fourth season onward. She's not a bad character, but that was somewhat overshadowed by her outfit and her effect on adolescent male fans.

Because Voyager has ended up in the "Delta Quadrant" in the first episode, 70,000 light years from Earth (about 70 years travel time with Voyager's technology), this allows the show runners to invent a new set of aliens with slightly different facial protuberances and slightly different behaviour patterns than those we're used to from the other shows.

Approximately 1/4 of the episodes included time travel. This is their weak-ass excuse when they can't think of anything else to do, and it's routinely used as a do-anything-you-want card, because everybody can die and then at the end of the episode the last heroic measure saves the timeline and we reset. Often without the staff even knowing that whole horrible alternate timeline happened to them. It's an incredible cop-out because they try to generate drama by killing off important cast members, but you never take it seriously because a reset is coming at the end. (It was an equally bad idea when Marvel did it, I'm not aiming this just at Star Trek.)

Some of the episodes recommended by Den of Geek were quite good - I particularly enjoyed the three primarily involving the Doctor: "Message in a Bottle" (one of the most absurd, but also the most fun), "Living Witness," and "Latent Image" (in which the Doctor - and indirectly the command staff - has to deal with the consequences of the Doctor being mostly human and the threat of PTSD).

I couldn't see sitting through the whole series (in fact the first season and a half was a bit much), but there's definitely some fun to be had with the series.