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Voyager Eulogy 333

Posted by timothy
from the so-long-farewell-now-beam-down-my-clothes dept.
Chris DiBona writes with his "Voyager Eulogy" (below), commemorating (if not exactly celebrating) the end of the series that took the Star Trek world from the 25th century into the 21st. He does warn the reader regarding spoilers: "I do mention some, but they are clearly delineated."


When Voyager first came out I sort of considered it the red-headed stepchild of the franchise. It's premise, that the Voyager had been thrown 70k light years into the Delta Quadrant by "The Caretaker" and that it would take 75 years to return, was in my mind contrived and inconsistent with the model of physics that the Franchise had embraced. (There is no way it would have taken that long to return using high warp, remembering the restriction of high warp speeds was enacted by the federation only after Voyager was deemed lost).

So, like many, I ignored the show until much later in the franchise's lifespan. (It wasn't a coincidence that I started "catching up" with Voyager only after I purchased a Tivo.) I figured, what the heck, and put a season pass on the show. After watching it, I noticed that, like many of the Star Trek series, it had just needed to get its legs and have its characters get comfortable with the roles and the mixed bag of writing that came from the incredible hunk of crap that is Berman/Braga's idea clump (I won't grace them by saying they have brains).

That said, I started to enjoy Voyager, and I even came to like and look forward to watching it. I still do look forward to seeing the episodes I missed, as I'll just continue to exercise my denial over what the evil bastards at Paramount have done to the franchise to service my need to watch starships blowing stuff up. (Something DS9 served well in it's later seasons).

Seeing the season finale, I realize now that while I enjoy the series, I wish you could thumbs down particular ideas in the Tivo. Specifically, I'd like the ability to make it impossible to watch any Star Trek show that has anything to do with:

  • Time Travel
  • The Holodeck
  • Super Smart/Psychic characters
  • The Doctor getting reprogrammed by the nebbish aliens.

What happened to the writing that brought us The Wrath of Khan, for god's sake?

My beef with modern Star Trek aside, what made this particular episode of Voyager so disappointing? The use of time travel in the season finale, combined with reminding us of the logically inconsistent existence of the Borg Queen (played by the really great and terrifically creepy Alice Krieg, from First Contact), and frankly a lazy approach to ending the series, having the characters do things counter to their established ethics and morals to bring the ship home and wrap up the series.

Slight Spoiler
Also, the use of advanced weapons of the future to make it easy to deal with the borg was like playing Doom in god mode, pretty but boring, and in the end, pathetic.
End Spoiler

A pretty concise description of the poorly titled Endgame can be found here on the LogBook.

In the end, you'll feel like Voyager deserved a better ending and the Franchise, a better show. I think the tombstone on the series should read "Selectively enjoyed, despite itself." I'm afraid the same will be said about Enterprise, 7 seasons after its debut.

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Voyager Eulogy

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Babylon 5. And it was also one of the best series.
  • Man you are being SIMPLE!!!! Do you remember the first and last episode of STTNG? Well it was Q in each of them. And each time Q questioned humanity and what it represented. It was not about time travel. In voyager the first and last episode dealt the problem of making decisions and then living with those decisions. Remember the phrase "If I knew then I would have done it differently?" Well Voyager actually went through that in the last episode. Next time think it through a bit!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    With all TV sci-fi shows, I have finally decided to just enjoy them, and stop nit-picking them. Anything fails under microscopic scrutiny, even reality... I have found that when I just let go and enjoy them, I am far happier with the experience than tearing them apart. Just my 452 pesos.
  • Actually IIRC this rule was broken a couple of times (don't remember the specifics). They explained it by saying something about matching shield harmonics allowing them to beam through.

    *shrug*
  • Totally. I caught the same thing, but somehow couldn't explain to the people I was watching with that what SHOULD have happened is that the "future" ship would race up to it the first time, and shoot their little tachyon beam into it just as it disappeared into nothing. Which would, of course, make the plot resolution impossible, but would have made SENSE at least.

    Of course, the whole time-travel premise of the show is moronic -- if the issue is that the evil growing-backwards thingie will have made it so humans never existed, then humans never existed to make the growing thingie appear in the first place and so therefore did exist and around and around and around.

    Same with the Voyager bit. Since the future Janeway got Voyager back early, and therefore everything was happy and Tuvok didn't go nuts and so forth, suddenly the future Janeway had no reason to go back and change things and around and around and around.

    Caveat Scriptor: time travel is a cheap and easy way to bamboozle your readers/viewers in place of actually entertaining them.
    --
  • I remember the same from the premiere episode of Voyager.
  • the classic example being if you are on a train going at just under the speed of light and you run towards the front of the train, relative to the universe you just moved faster than the speed of light, but relative to the train you did not so it's all ok.

    There is no reletive to the universe (absolute reference). The entire train is contracted along the axis of travel so that the runner's speed + the train's speed would still be <c reletive to an observer on the track.

  • Beware of spoilers, but none should be surprises . .


    1) As usual, much of the episode didn't happen. OK, the fact that much *did* happen is unusual :)
    2) So there's that "other" voyager still going out.
    3) They blew their sophomoric time "paradoxes" worse than usual: "If you die, none of this will have happened." OK, then why doesn't the Borg dying have the same effect?
    4) the fast warp stuff. I missed any notion of a "ban" on hi8gh warp. It comes and goes inconsistently. The Enterprise (the real one) could cruise at 6 and hit 8, though 8 was stressful. Unless it was one of the episodes where each fraction above 7 was tough. Or where it could get to 9. Or where aliens took over (ok, so that was as common as the modern "didn't happen" episodes) and take it to 13. Up until they make a movie with the Excelsior and it's warp 13+ transwarp--which is dropped immediately after that movie. Up until voyager does an episode centered around hitting warp 10, the "theoretical maximum" (with instantaneous travel?). Star Trek never was consistent. BUt originally, they didn't worry about it, rather than making fools of themselves trying to be consistent about it. (Shades of Quayle's, "I stand behind all my misstatement.")


    hawk

  • She may not have played inthe earlier episode, but she did in this one.
    --
    Grant Chair, Linux Int.
    Co-Editor, Open Sources
  • Oh, I didn't know that. Still, I think that the 70k = 75 year travel time is incorrect. Correct me though if I am wrong.

    Chris
    --
    Grant Chair, Linux Int.
    Co-Editor, Open Sources

  • Good lord people. Its a TV show. Its meant to do nothing more then entertain us. Why is it that people these days are jaded by technicalities? The Sci-Fi genra was created by people who wish to push the limits of our imagination and 'go where no man has gone before' (sorry).

    Sit down... watch the show and enjoy it for what it is. A story. It doesn't need to be realistic. It doesn't have to follow a set of rules throughout the season saying that you can't do this because in show 42 so and so did this and that therfore making the thought of time warp using potatos and lemon juice is impossible.

    Whatever happened to the time when we watched a program/play/movie with no thought for minor inconsistancies or outlandishly cool toys like holodecks.



    - Xabbu - Sysop: clockworkorangebbs.org
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  • You'll notice that nobody's complaining that Voyager had torpedoes made of photons (or whatever), or that there are holographic projections that can be touched... they're complaining that consistency is not maintained. And they're right, that's distracting and annoying, and tends to make a story uninteresting.

    Science fiction and fantasy rely on a suspension of disbelief to keep the audience engaged. Well-written sci-fi establishes a world that may contain things that are impossible in the real world, but as long as internal consistency is maintained such things are easy to accept and aid the story rather than hinder it. If that is lost, well, so is the audience's attention, because the author has clobbered them with unimportant details.

    For instance, say on page 50 of a certain book it is explained that one can travel backward in time, but not forward. You, the reader, choose to accept that for the sake of the story. If on page 130, however, a character who could really use some forward time travel suddenly hops in a Time Car and zips ten years into the future, or discovers a Future Travel Particle, well...

    I'll grant you that some people take it too far, and go *looking* for inconsistencies that might otherwise have gone unnoticed and never bothered anyone. But as a rule, once a writer establishes some ground rules, he should stick to them.

  • Umm... I've seen every episode of TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager. As well as every movie, and even the cartoon series.

    TNG was by far the worst of them all.

    Or don't you remember Wesley Crusher, or the Black Ooze that got rid of Lt. Yar?

    Bleah, perhaps 10% of the episodes of TNG were any good and those mostly included the Borg.
  • When exorcising Windows it's understood that only a low level format will do.
  • Put another way, what did you want to see out of the finale?
    • Wesley Crusher makes a return and kills Seven of Nine.
    • Janeway shaves her head and becomes bald. They all do that in the end.
    • Paris figures out a way to defeat the Borg by modifying the engine from a 1955 Ford Thunderbird.
    • And in the mother of all deus ex machina plots, the writers of Voyager appear and magically transport the crew back home. They are then forced to apologize for the past five years of dross.
  • This seemed odd -- recall that Vulcans have a very long lifespan, so physically, he shouldn't appear 20 "human years" older.

  • Star Trek is always way off in the amount of time it takes to travel X lightyears. Sometimes they state it will take "2 days at high warp" to go 15 light years, but then they'll travel from one star system to another in a few hours.

    Maybe I'm wrong here, and I'm not taking into account the exponentially high speeds at the higher warp factors, but it's never seemed very consistent to me.

    Anyone have any idea when the ST:TNG DVD discs are coming out? It just says "Coming Soon" on the inserts in the TOS DVDs. Hopefully, they'll do box sets like the X-Files DVDs, in which a whole season is included in one set, but I'm sure that Paramount will want to milk all us fans for every last cent, and will sell only two-episode discs, so that you wind up having to buy 90 DVDs to get the whole series, rather than 7 box sets.

    My biggest gripes about Voyager are that it didn't have the quality of writing of DS9. Seasons Six & Seven of DS9 are the best Trek ever written, in my book. TNG has more of the best episodes (Best of Both Worlds, The Inner Light, etc.) but the story arcs of the Dominion War were the most engaging Star Trek to watch week after week.

    My biggest gripes about Star Trek are about the unreliability of Transporters and Holodecks. Nothing turns me off faster than "our transporters don't work because of a [particle] field on this planet", with the exception of the Holodeck program run amok. If the damned Transporters and Holodecks broke down that often, why would you ever use them? I'd be like Bones McCoy too, and stick to Shuttlecraft.

    I gave up on Voyager after the first season too, until I got my TiVo and started watching again. The local Fox affiliate would move it around every few months, it became impossible to keep track of which nights were reruns, and which nights were new episodes, but with TiVo, that got much easier.

    What I'd like to see is one Star Trek movie per year, featuring DS9, Voyager, and TNG crews. Have this year be a DS9 movie, next year Voyager, etc. They wouldn't even have to be incredible movies to make large profits for the studios, and to satisfy the fans. Part of the reasons that the movies can suck is because they include too much stuff geared at the non-fan, when many of us would love to have more movies with writing that is more consistent with the shows, but with better special effects. Something like the Best of Both Worlds on the big screen would be great, and please, Paramount, don't mess with the characters every single movie. Data gets emotion chips, Geordi gets eyes, etc. They're slowly eliminating all of the things that made each crew member special...

    That's enough of my Star Trek ranting for tonight...
    ---
  • Chris, your essay makes me wonder if you have even watched the show.

    Oh, you're spot-on with your criticisms of the writing, especially the over-reliance on time travel, but you're so far off on the premise that I hardly know where to begin.

    But I'll take a shot:

    1) The "warp speed limit" was set in The Next Generation, which went off the air in 1994. Voyager didn't air until 1995. The "speed limit" was set in an episode that aired in November of 1993, "Force of Nature", long before Voyager got lost.

    2) 75 years to go 75,000 light years is not at all inconsistent with the physics of the show, even if we assume (which we can) that the speed limit isn't being followed, either because they fixed the problem or because they just don't care. (Paramount's web page says they fixed the problem, in the case of the Intrepid class, with those funky folding warp nacelles.) Unless you think that the ship can maintain 100% engine output constantly for decades, the 75/75,000 number translates out to about Warp 8, which strikes me as a pretty good cruising speed for a ship which is only intended to go three years between refits.

    If you're gonna complain, complain about the REAL technical problems, not stuff that you simply don't understand fully.

    -
  • Aside from everything else wrong with the episode, why weren't they happy to be home. No one so much as said "hurrah". There was no glimpse of the ticker tape parades or anything. They seemed downright sullen to be back. Heck, if they didn't want to cheer about getting home, maybe they could have applauded the destruction of the transwarp doohickey.

    And most importantly... who won the frickin' baby pool!?!
  • Trek is a massive cash cow for Paramount, a major franchise for them. Because of this, they were far less likely to do anything that would cut off that revenue flow.

    Since we live in a capitalist society, the key question for the Star Trek franchise is not "How big is it?" but instead "How fast is it growing?"

    And, unfortunately, the hardcore (90% male) nerd market has been pretty much saturated. Starting with about the 3rd season of TNG, the francise made radical adjustments to gain more female viewership. This continued with Voyager (which after all was a "network" show), by trying to appeal to a much broader and less science fiction-oriented mainstream audience.

    Unfortunately, it was full of flat, boring, motavationless characters, no soap operatics, very little space operatics, and the over-simplified particle-of-the-week plots failed to appeal to both the Technical Manual crowd and their mothers. So, the show failed, both critically and more importantly in the ratings. If it didn't have "Star Trek" in the title, it would have been cancelled after a year or two, and the only reason it lasted as long as it did was the wise addition of some T&A to get back the spock ears group.
    --
  • And now that the parent has been modded down, it seems that you are referring to Chris DiBona's link.

    :)
  • Don't forget the distant, distant future concept of "sidewarp", mentioned briefly in the novel "Federation". :)

  • I think "We are the Bord" better describes the audience.
  • Boy don't I agree. At least with DS9, they dedicated 10 entire episodes to wrapping up the series, and even then it was a VERY rushed ending. With voyager, they tried to do it all in one episode. Well, they TRIED anyways.

    And it appeared from the last few years that they were progressing toward developing an actual technical way to get home. Barclay was responsible for many technological breakthroughs that provided the voyager crew with realtime communication with Earth. I was hoping they were going to lead up to a way to carry transporter buffers over that same medium, so they could slowly transport the entire crew back, but slowly since they only had 11 minutes a day to do so. Then as only a skeleton crew remained, something could go horribly wrong and spend a couple episodes surviving that crisis, resulting in a dramatic ending. That would have worked for me.

    Instead... we got....

    blah.

    A full two hours (minus a few minutes for a
    cliffhanger resolution at the beginning of the show) would have been nice. What charges would the Maquis face? how would they and Seven, and Naomi, and Echep integrate into society? Hell, even seeing Kim getting promoted would be SOMETHING.

    Oh well. Its over now. So be it.

    -Restil
  • I respectfully disagree -- I really liked Wesley Crusher; I thought that the child genius who, at first, is never given a chance to show his abilities (yet later saves the ship many times) is a character I can relate to (and he reminds me of Spiderman =). The Black Ooze may not have been the best idea, but the idea of Tasha Yar being killed by a force beyond our control for no reason was revisited many times as the characters realized life isn't fair.
  • by SMN (33356)
    DS9 was taken by surprise? DS9 was always expected to have 7 seasons, and it did. The finale wasn't anything thrown together; it was a seven-episode, well-planned arc. I find your post hard to believe. . . are you just another troll showing that posters can be wrong, but sound right, and be modded up, or do you have some serious evidence of this?
  • I agree. My favorite "kill-off" was Sisko joining the Prophets at the end of DS9 -- it was a fitting end for him, sacrificing his life to stop Dukat.

    I wanted at least Janeway to be killed off in the Voyager finale (how anyone like her after seven seasons of bad decisions?), or, even better, the entire ship should have been destroyed. It would have been a powerful end to the series, and bring some finality to a setting we won't see for a long time to come (since the next series will be in the past). Voyager has also always been ridiculously optimistic; a little realism would be nice, especially when the series won't have any movies. This ending was just too happy and perfect.

  • Which only goes to show that letting contemporary political issues seep into the framework of a science fiction series is a bad idea in the first place. Sci fi sucks when it doesn't bother to create interesting worlds out of conjecture, but merely transplants the present into technicological drag.

    Voyager was mixed, but after a while it made it on the strength of its characters. But I still wish I could nuke any holodeck episodes. There hasn't been a good holodeck/VR story since the Western episode of The Prisoner (excepting the Matrix and Zardoz, go ahead, laugh). Too often, it's a thin ploy to do a (non-sci-fi) genre piece that contributes nothing to the overall storyline.

    Speaking of The Prisoner, anyone know of a sci-fi representation of Virtual Reality - or even any discussion of it - that predates The Prisoner?

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • You've got a good counterpoint there... It's very useful when they wouldn't get the same points through otherwise. The first interracial TV kiss (Kirk/Uhuru) deserves more credit than my comment might have allowed for.

    But that's clearly in a different category than the "save the whales" plot in that damn Star Trek movie. Blech. Being provocative is different than being didactic. And I WANT to save whales. Look at my nick; I've read Moby Dick more than once...

    I should be more precise, but I cannot - at this time - clearly explain the difference between pandering and provoking. You've got a point.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • You can't physically travel faster then the speed of light.

    It's not that simple. There are solutions to the equations of general relativity that allow for space to be "warped" in such a way that, locally, c is not exceeded, but that overall give FTL travel. However, it's not clear whether these equations have any real physical meaning; some of the possibilities include things like incredibly massive rotating cylinders that "drag" the time axis into a spatial one, or large amounts of negative energy.

    Then there's quantum effects like tunneling, where a particle basically goes from one point to another without passing through the intervening space.

    Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

  • The original Constitution class Enterprise was captained by Kirk senior, then to Pike, then to Kirk junior. So who the heck is this new guy?
    I think there was a Captain April shown in the animated series, who was the first captain of the TOS Enterprise. The Kirk's father thing happened in a book. Which is more canon? (Or should I not even ask and go get a life?)

    But the Enterprise of the new prequel show is not the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 we know from ST:TOS; the prequel takes place before the founding of the Federation or Starfleet, and this is an earlier ship that "just happens" to have the same name.

    Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

  • You can't honestly tell me that the original Star Trek was that great. I mean, come on!. It was incredibly cheesy, and every single episode ended up with Kirk getting the hook-up with some freaky alien chick.

    I don't recall cheese in episodes like Balance of Terror or City on the Edge of Forever.

    Yes, there was the occasion Spock's Brain sort of episode. And if you're more into special effects and production values that plot, characterization, or meaning, then you'll want to go find something more eye-candyish. But it holds up after all these years because it was the smartest, most thought-provoking show of its time.

    Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

  • How many episodes were there that had them spend an hour getting REALLY REALLY CLOSE to getting home and then be thwarted?
    "Isn't this the one where they almost get off the island?"

    Chakotay! Drop those coconuts!

    Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

  • somebody explain why the ship that got janeway BACK in time, couldn't take the whole crew forward again?

    I think that was the reason she had Doctor Bob - excuse me, "Doctor Joe" score a couple grams of that experimental anti-chronon radiation drug (assuming again a few kilos for Voyager's crew was not available).

    And why the "healthy as the first day the doctor saw her" Janeway couldn't wait a couple more years for Deus Ex Machina Industries to come up with a sturdier time machine, that wouldn't burn itself out going one-way.

  • But, if it was growing backwards in time, why was it bigger 5 minutes in the future between the time they visited and saw nothing and Picard's realisation?

    it was a "paradox".

    So you're not allowed to analyze it. :-)

  • > On a side note, interestingly, in Popular Science they discussed how Warp drive IS theoretically possible.

    No it's not. You need infinite energy to reach 'c' (speed of light.)

    You can't physically travel faster then the speed of light. The equations of relativity contain: square root(1 - (v^2/c^2)) which you can see for yourself: http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/gbssci/phys/class/r elativity/reltoc.html [k12.il.us]

    At speeds above 'c', you have a square root of a negative number - something which doesnt' exist in the real world (aside from "phase" of a wave.)

  • One thing they should stop doing is trying to appeal to a wider audience. That is the reason star trek is dying.

    None of the episodes link (hardley any of them) and if they did it was so small it didn't impact the episode if you missed the first one. All the episodes were one in themselves. DS9 realized this at the last moment and made the last season very brilliant.

    Baywatch Babe 7 of 9 is there to attrach the male side who would not ordinarily watch the show. They could have left her borg implants in place and left her looking ugly and she would have filled the parts of the episodes were she has some technical thing to do.

    Particle and Anomally's of the week make things really crappy...
  • I feel his pain, the series could have been much better than it turned out. I enjoyed some of the episodes and short bursts of continuing plots but they were too few and far between. The writers avoided the overall situation presented in the shows premise rather than embracing it.

    It should have had a much grittier feel to it as the seasons progressed and the federation technology began to need repairs that just weren't possible. They should have been pushed together by circumstance to battle the odds for each other against difficult odds without easy outs. This would have forced difficult moral/ethical choices with some real substance to them and if the stuck to their ethics and came through (even a bit worse for wear) and lived with the consequences it would amplify their principles.

    The way it was written they stuck to the stated ethics but they were very rarely truely challenged and when they were they never paid a significant price for sticking to their principals even when faced with overwhelming odds. I think this is one of the reasons the series failed to ring true because moreso than in previous series the risks were greater and the consequences smaller.
  • My local station somehow cut off the end of the show. what happened after the last commercial break? I didn't even see the credits. was there a captain's log supplemental or something?

  • IIRC, Tasha was killed off because her contract was up and she didn't want to go on (at least at the price they were paying her), and Sinclair left because the viewers hated him. However, Sheridan proved to be a great character in his own way, while close enough to Sinclair to satisfy the gap, but different enough to be more than a Sinclair replacement. And then bringing Sinclair back as Valen was just great.

    --
  • Don't you remember? "You only have enough power for a one-way trip."

    She could create a rift sizable enough for the Klingons (and therefore Voyager), but once it was closed, they're SOL. And what good would it do to bring Voyager into the future?

    Anyway, it was a stupid way to end the series.

    --
  • The truth is, Voyager and DS9 are the worst of the bunch, essentially turning the Star Trek series into a soap opera in space. At least the original had some very out-of-this-world characters. The truth is, Farscape is closer to the original Star Trek than the Star Trek series is.

    ---=-=-=-=-=-=---

  • That sounds like a person who has given up programming and moved over to the dark side of management :-)

  • I don't think I've seen anyone who's seen all of Star Trek and doesn't think that Voyager was the worst of them all. It certainly doesn't compare to TNG and DS9, because those were thinking shows.

    You ruined the entire series for yourself, so if you want someone to blame look in the mirror. Take Voyager for what it is, and stop comparing it to the others.

    Excessive 'thinking' is a waste of the entire Star Trek universe. It is the future - and the future is about new tech, toys and places, not the same old political crap that goes on today. If I want reality I can go out in the Big Blue Room. This is sci-fi. Fiction. BULLSHIT. If you want to over analyse, go debug some code.

    Fuckin' hell - people think I'm uptight.

    Voyager abandoned all of this. The only concerted effort to maintain a story arc, with Voyager and the Kazons, was abandoned three seasons into the show. The rest of the series was just isolated episodes

    Like TOS? DS9 are just campers... they found 'emselves a high-traffic spot and pitched a tent. It's not terribly hard to keep a story line going when you're not going anywhere. Voyager is on the move, discovering brave new worlds and all that shit. The most possible would be to extend those Janeway-wants-to-go-straight-thru-enemy-space-not- around-no-matter-what-the-cost episodes into doubles or trilogies - there's only so much one can do in an hour (~40 minutes really). After that, they're out of enemy space and no longer an issue. There were only a few races in Voy that were capable of keeping up with or passing Voy, which is why the borg were relied on so much - they had the conduits. Everyone else was left behind in their own space.

    Voyager also abandoned continuity by completely forgetting about their limits on shuttles and photon torpedoes

    OK, I'm not going to fabricate excuses.. but I'm sure more goes on on a starship than what makes an episode. Doing deals with arms traders makes for some easy and obvious plots, but it's not exactly true to the spirit of Starfleet.

    they didn't come up with a witty solution like in TNG

    There's only so much 'wit' can do... unless said wit leads to cool new techs, or variations on existing ones. Sooner or later you're going to need equal/better tech or you'll just get your butt kicked. Game Over.

    they just inverted a new particle, or pulse, or weapon. This formula was used in 90% of the shows, including the finale

    I have to agree it was excessive.. but I'll take excessive technobabble over psychobabble any day.. this is the future after all.

    The Enterprise solved that with intelligent characters outwitting the Borg systems (Data "hacks" in), not powerful uber-weapons.

    Maybe he could upload them a virus off the Mac in the ship's museum? If you applied your own bullshit-detection algorithms to this as you used before then you should come up with the same 'yeah, right' conclusion. Ah, but you LIKE this series, so the BS detectors are only on half power.

    The largest continuity issue with the Voyager finale was that they were able to take a transwarp conduit right home to Earth

    They cheated.. that pisses me off. But lots of stories end with the hero dying or other unfavorable ending... learn to live with it. This isn't a holodeck - YOU do not write the story.

    The Borg are no longer menacing; they're weak and stupid.

    I think they've always has a darlek (sp?) quality about them.. supposed uber-baddies, yet.. why not just.. RUN AWAY!? I think this queen bitch fucked em - they were probably stong at one point, then this ego maniac managed to separate from the collective (unamatrix 0 style) and try to run em.

    There's little chance of another future series

    That's a shame. I don't know much (or really anything) about the next series, but it's going to have to be overflowing with this 'thinking' shit because there's nothing else going for it.

    All the cool new toys have been done in future episodes, so not only do we know what they are, we know what they DON'T HAVE. There's only so many oops-crashed-the-shuttle-into-the-planet-again episodes I can take before I start wishing for transporters.

    We've seen the Klingons and whatnot, AND how it turns out. All that's left are conflicts with minor empires that either fold or become our allies quickly. Any long running conflicts would need to have been in past episodes, otherwise we run into that continuity issue you keep bringing up.

    The only possible positive is the Kirk era fuck-the-Directive mentality... hoonin' about the quadrant kickin' butt. That would suit me fine. However I recall Kirk's Enterprise getting whipped and destroyed almost as often as not when attacked. I'm sure before shields are invented (given to them by God according to your logic - some magic that allows them to get shot and not depressurise instantly) they'll be avoiding conflict. I'm sure not all races invent space travel at the same time Earth did, so would probably be either more advanced and dominate, or be just starting out and be easily overpowered with little more than a nasty look.

    I can just tell it's going to be mostly drawn out policical and 'character building' crap.. making allies, etc. And I know I'm going to get really tired of the Vulcans (our first contact, and who aren't bent on destroying us).

  • If you are traveling faster than light, by the equation e=mc^2 you have infinite mass, and need infinite energy to make that infinite mass. This equation may break down in the "warp bubble" you are referring to, but no matter what you will get more massive as you approach the speed of light.



    Enigma
  • Shuttlecraft. Too small.

  • I think I remember reading somewhere that the rotating nacelles on the Voyager were supposed to be part of a new technology to limit that damage, making it one of the first ships allowed to randomly break the warp 6 restriction since it was imposed.
  • Sigh. It is so sad to watch the rapid decline of Red Dwarf. I have been a fan since I saw the first episode in 1991 or so. I would argue that the first two seasons were the best; it took me a while to get comfortable with the new Holly after Norman left the show, and I feel the dynamics of the two humans (well, one barely-human and one hologram--both viable targets) left alone in deep space with the Cat to play off made for a more original show.

    Still, after the addition of Kryten to the cast it recovered into a great show. Season five was pretty weak, IMHO. But six was great.

    When it comes to the last two seasons, seven had a few good moments. The rest of the moments were crap; in particular the Kryten vs. Kochanski catfights. They could have ended the series with them recovering an EMPTY Red Dwarf and heading back to Earth. Perhaps even let them get back to Earth somehow and cut to the credits just before they discover what is there.

    But no; we have to have them in season eight which has destroyed the entire makeup of the show. Bald with their hands over their crotch? Oh, that's sophisticated humor.

    But my biggest frustration is the changes the are making to the old shows. They are re-recording all of Holly sequences and messing with the dialog (Felicity Kendall's bottom has been removed, for example (that must have been painful).) How dare they mess with the old episodes??? Perhaps they want to edit in some scenes of dancing spaceships and dinosaurs with fecal incontinence.

  • I Loved voyager, fromn the word go, the first few season where a bit stiff, but there were still good episodes amoung them, towards the end of season 3 (After future's end) it really started to gain momentum. 9 times out of ten a *bad* Voyager ep is better than a *good* DS9 episode, IMHO

    (There is no way it would have taken that long to return using high warp, remembering the restriction of high warp speeds was enacted by the federation only after Voyager was deemed lost)

    The warp 6 restriction has been enacted for some time, it was mentioned in TNG a few times (Pricard was authorised to exceed warp 6 on a few occasions)

  • ... "It's premise, that the Voyager had been thrown 70k light years into the Delta Quadrant by "The Caretaker" and that it would take 75 years to return, was in my mind contrived and inconsistent with the model of physics that the Franchise had embraced. (There is no way it would have taken that long to return using high warp," ...

    Hmm, let's see : 70000 light years, 75 years to return, 70000/75 ~= 933.4 times the speed of light == warp 933.4 in the Star Trek model of "physics". Even assuming Voyager can go faster than warp 9-point-something, it's awfully faster than any conventional ST vessel.

    It seems to me there is no way it would have taken that *short* to return using high warp :-)

    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" - Ogden Nash


  • Regardless of how insightful your very long post may be, calling andromeda "another great show" made it lose all credibility with me.

    Also, the "thinking" shows of all the treks we're almost always the worst ones, because "thinking" usually made characters and drama take a back seat to the eureka of the last 15 minutes. I believe trek, in all its forms, was best with large scale drama, like wars, or spies, or secret weapons. In this type of framwork there's plenty of opportunity for drama, suspense and characters.

    Also, in other opinions, "earth, final conflict" is also horrible, but I still watch it for a small sci-fi fix. Farscape can be a very good show but for a while there it took a serious nosedive, must have changed writers or something and they didnt know the characters anymore. Lexx has been pretty good the last season with the fire and water planets, but its not really sci-fi, but then again, you could just have the robot head start babbling about transphasic fields or tetrion emmissions for a few minutes and it would have as much science as trek. Stargate is by far the best sci-fi series there is now, its got lots of drama, cool wormholes, good and evil, mythology, honor, intersteller politics, babes, guns, explosions, a pinch of timetravel, great characters and good humor. Can you tell I have Tivo :)

  • There seem to be a lot of people commenting about how fans of the show should just be quiet about the numerous (and sometimes glaring) inconsistencies that plagued voyager. Several things must be kept in mind when considering these gripes

    1) When you're dealing with technology that doesn't actually exist yet, you're bound to contradict yourself a few times. This is why the Star Trek series has always been plauged by various technology related mess ups. There are so many in fact, that books have been written about the inconsistencies in EACH series. I do believe that either because of the nature of the show or because people seemed so willing to attack it that more of these inconsistencies came to be noticed. In either event, they're going to happen, like it or not. You'll never convince paramount to hire a team of theoretical physicists to fact check the show. Not only would that cost money, but it would make script writing and post production a nightmare.

    2) Many people seem to be encouraging us to forget about the techno-blunders and just enjoy the show. I think you're all missing out on exactly what kind of person watches Star Trek. ST fans don't usually finish watching Voyager and then switch to Friends. Most of us like to think about the shows we watch. We WANT the show to make sense everytime, we want to find the mistakes, and we want people to fix them or at least abide by the same rules. It's the fan base the show has relied on so heavily. And I think it's here where the legit gripes come in.

    3) The blunders in this show were evidence not of a new problem the writers have, but how the show is marketed. I think if you look back, the inconsistencies in other Trek shows benifited the plot at large. When you start chucking together random technology with a wanton disregard for what's been done prior just to make the show look cool, you're going to upset people. At the same time you're going to lure in some viewers who want to see "stuff blow up" and Seven's rack. Voyager relied on big explosions and fancy technology to win it's ratings. In doing so, some people who wouldn't normally have watched tuned in, while other more "loyal" fans deceided to call it a day.

    4)In the end, Voyager wasn't so much a bad show, as it was a bad attempt at marketing. You have to know what your customers want if you're going to sell your product well. According to what I've read, Voyager is the worst rated of all the series, and rightly so. You can't try and use the lowest common denominator to sell a show that people who like to think like to watch. For God's sake, Voyager could never compete with temptation island or survior, it never should have tried. Hopefully the next series will speak more to the traditional demographic instead of tyring to lure people in with breasts and boom. Not that I minded the breasts :)
  • Why did the Dominion need the DS9 to get to the alpha quadrant? They don't care about federation Regulations.

    And when Q introduced the Borg by spinning the Enterprise into the Delta Quad (way before the warp six limit) they acknowledged that the introduction took place a hundred years before it should have.

    I know it's all stupid anyway, why am I talking about it?

    Trolls throughout history:

  • I watched Voyager because I liked to see Seven's T&A stick out thru that spandex catsuit ;-)

    I'd always hoped that the ending would be the ship getting home to Earth, and Seven would get to meet Data, now that he's got his emotion chip installed under his fingernail, upon meeting her, he'd say to her, "I'm fully functional and programmed in multiple techniques".
  • All you people remind me of the Episode of the Simpsons where Homer played the Dog in "Itchy and Scratchy"

    "Mister, when itchy ripped Scratchy's ribs out and played them like a Xylaphone, he struck two different ribs, but they played the same note, What is with that?"
  • I, too, ignored Voyager until later on (Kinda hard to watch anything on tv when you have no power or running water, much less cable). Once I did, I was fortunate to be near a local station that plays reruns every weeknight, so I got to watch pretty much every episode that aired. It sure was irritating at first to see Kate Mulgrew mugging the camera(Patric Stewart she isn't) as the music swelled just before some inane commercial took over the display, and even more recently, I thought the idea of 7 fighting The Rock was a desperate publicity stunt to boost ratings, but all in all, it was fun to watch the actors becoming comfortable with the roles, and to disagree with the author of this story, I thought the premise the series was based upon was interesting, and brought up things to consider.

    That said, I felt let down by the finale. (spoilage warning: I won't give it away if possible, but still want to air my gripes) The overall plot could have just as easily have been another weekly episode. Also, the last couple of episodes have felt kind of rushed. Why was Neelix so abrupt when he left the ship? It really wasn't like him to even discuss his plans with a very suddenly grown-up Naomi. IMHO the finale, for that matter, could have used an extra hour to flesh out some of the complications and twists they threw in there. Why not a two- or three-parter, instead of crowding everything into ninety minutes (show-commercials=@90minutes)?

    The "big" ending of it all was worse than anticlimactic. There was simply not enough time to finish the job. Now that I've become used to the characters, it's kind of dissappointing that the next series will be set two hundred years before Voyager... guess that leaves out any option for cameo appearanes, with the possible exception of Q. Oh, well, time goes on.
  • I wanted Janeway to die exactly 4 episodes into the Voyager series. What a pompous, bombastic, trite, and annoying character was she! I think she set the tenor for the irritating PMS edge every character of Voyager's crew had. When I think about their bitter, sharp, & naging conversations I just want to smack their faces raw. The painful death of Janeway by being sucked into cold space would be a just reward for enduring the years of nattering dialog by the Voyager crew. Bleh!

    Take the physical copies of the series and toss them into a burning trashbarrel. Spare the TREK fandom of the future from enduring this crap in rerun.
    • I disagree that tech deus ex machina is inherent to all sci-fi

    Quite right. It doesn't have to be that way. If you can forgive the muppets, give Farscape a try. Top quote? "Enough techno babble, gadget girl. Will it work or not?"

    • Shuttlecraft. Too small.

    No, no, that's old series shuttlecraft you're thinking of. Voyager shuttlecraft are transwarp capable starships with more firepower than a Constitution class cruiser, hyperbongo shielding, 27 parsec scanners, industrial grade trainspotters, cloaks, cargo bays, a gymnasium with sauna, and a wet bar. Or so it seemed, anyway.

    • the only reason it lasted as long as it did was the wise addition of some T&A to get back the spock ears group

    Introducing Jeri Ryan was the correct choice at the time, but I don't know if I'd call it "wise". Not in the long term. Long term, we might look back and view it as cynical, manipulative, exploitative, in fact the worst kind of dumbing down by committee.

    Picture the coked up pony-tailed 30-something creative team sweating over their Porche payments. "We need eyeballs! Get some tits in there. And make them big, and not those jiggly round ones. I want tits that you could carry beer glasses around on. Oh, a reason? I dunno, how about making her a Klingon? Got one already, huh? I should really watch the show more. What're those robot things called? Borg, huh? Any objections? OK, dig out a spandex unitard and let's buy us some flesh to fill it."

    • Actually, it's not exponential, it's a hand-drawn function that has an asymptote at 10

    Actually youngster, it's simply (c * (warp factor ^ 3)). That's Gene Roddenberry canon. All else is heresy. No, I shall not hear you. LA LA LA, CAN'T HEAR YOU. ;)

    • Warp 6 (Fed eco-limit, and cruising speed of TOS Constitution class) = 216 c = 324 years to cover 70k light years.
    • Warp 8 (TOS Constitution class cannae tak nae more) = 512 c = 136 years.
    • Warp 9.7726480591882512451878567688828 (just for argument) = 933.333333333333333333 c = 75 years.
    • Warp 14 (Excelsior transwarp, none of your "conduit" nonsense) = 2744 c = 25 years.
    • Sit down... watch the show and enjoy it for what it is. A story.

    Well, that's true, Voyager had a story.

    • Random alien: "Here, use this Sa'Mbeck'Ett device to get home."
    • Janeway: "No, this week's interpretation of the Prime Directive prohibits all use of Deus Ex Machina."
    • Borg: "Hoo ha ha! Resistance is futile. Look, just between you and me, I know it isn't, but we don't have a lot to work with here."
    • Tuvok: "Did you just mix 'I' and 'we' in that last utterance?"
    • Borg: "Silence! Prepare for assimilation. Get your affairs in order, find a good home for your pets, reverse the polarity of any Deus Ex Machines that you happen to have, and so on. Let us know when you're done, no hurry, take your time. We've got some correspondance to catch up on. Give us a call when you're good and prepared for assimilation, OK?"
    • 7 of 9: "Observe my mammary glands."
    • Borg: "Wow, I'd sure like to assimilate me a piece of that silicon. Hubba hubba! That's some serious augmentation! Hey, guys, come check out the implants on this drone!"
    • Janeway: "Good work, Seven. Now, while they're distracted, discount my earlier objection, reverse the polarity of the Deus Ex Machine and use it as a weapon."
    • Borg: "Note to selves: next time, make a note to selves about Voyager's location before engaging in protracted debate and then being vapourised. Oops, too late. Yeargh!"
    • Squinty faced Klingon chick: "The Deus Ex Machine burned out. Fortunately, I have figured out how to create Yobbazite Torpedoes out of discarded Chinese takeaway boxes and toenail clippings."
    • Janeway: "Plus, we all grew as people and learned a valuable lesson about friendship. I love you guys."
    • Crew: "We love you too, Auntie Cathryn."

    Sound about right?

    • I think there was a lot more to Jeri Ryan than the obvious

    Thanks for the link, it's very apt. I'll concede that there could have been some interesting character development based around Seven. The trouble was that Seven was never allowed to actually develop. By that, I mean that she we had a series of "Now I understand humanity a little better," plots but she never did. Every week it was the same old croaky voice delivering the same old stilted and dictionally exacting audio communicational infobursts (or whatever Borgspeak is for "Your inefficient and outdated hew-man conversations.") and the same old "I do not understand" lines. Seven remained substantially the same character from beginning to end, I assume because (as with most of the characters) they couldn't be bothered updating her writer's crib sheet.

    Besides, we've seen it all before, and better done, with Data (family and loyalty issues and all) and to a lesser extend with Spock, who was a genuinely fascinating character for any genre.

    Finally, there's the inescapable point that Jeri Ryan was cast at least partly because of her tits (I would be PC and say "breasts", but I've been involved in doing some Star Trek CGI, and take it from me, as far as Paramount's creative weasels are concerned, they're "tits", and women are "babes"). I just couldn't see past them - literally or figuratively - to the woman or character behind them. Casting isn't accidental, or random, or blind. When Jeri was on screen, I always felt uncomfortably like I was watching "WWF Bitchslap", and no neural input was expected from me. Just watch the jiggling boobies, fan boy. Ignore the lack of writing or plot. Jiggling boobies. Jiggle jiggle.

    • Do you think the most powerful warship in the fleet (this is the concept behind the movie), the Enterprise, is going to have any of these cool new weapons that Voyager now possess?

    *cough* Genesis torpedo *cough*. "Dang, the protomatter is unstable, Genesis doesn't work. All we're left with is some sort of doomsday weapon..."

    • Enterprise" Vulcan 2nd officer in Maxim. Funny I have never seen a Vulcan which such a big chest.

    Now, now. I'm sure that she has a well rounded character with fullsome potential for growth and development and... ah, screw it... hubba hubba, the purty lady's got big tits, uh huhuhuh, shake it baby, yowza, whoop whoop. And so on. Yes, I too am viewing Enterprise with a great deal of trepidation. If I wanted to watch tits, stereotyped characters and risible plots, I'd watch V.I.P. But perhaps that's the audience they're targetting with Enterprise.

    • it had essentially lost the hardcore trekie audience [...] T&A got the core fanbase back

    They dumbed it down until it lost the actual SF geeks, then they dumbed it down even further until the geeks came back? Ouch. That's scary because it sounds so plausible.

    • the non-trekie females I know that watch the show didn't dislike the 7of9 character

    Good point. They never made 7 of 9 act like a bimbo - but mostly (says I) by making her neutral bordering on bland. As I say above, in a different setting (e.g. Farscape or Babylon 5), Seven could have been a fascinating character.

    • remind me of the Episode of the Simpsons

    OK, to paraphrase the immortal words of Comic Book Guy, "Voyager finale: Wirst. Episode. Ivir."

      • "in Popular Science they discussed how Warp drive IS theoretically possible."
      No it's not. You need infinite energy to reach 'c' (speed of light.)

    Q spare us from 1st year physics undergrads. Warp drive doesn't move the ship, it moves the universe. Watch more Futurama, or failing that, heed ye the words of Lucy Lawless in the Simpsons: "Look, whenever something like that happens, a wizard did it." ;)

    • You can't honestly tell me that the original Star Trek was that great. I mean, come on!. It was incredibly cheesy, and every single episode ended up with Kirk getting the hook-up with some freaky alien chick

    You lie! There was, hang on, um. There was the one with... no, wait... er. Ha! The one where Spock got to play finger hockey with the Romulan tart, and, er, the Gorn (Big Green Lizard) episode. Sure, Kirk fscked it over pretty good, but I don't think it was a female.

    • Rob Grant, basically stopped writing episodes

    Which is true, but strange, as Grant then went on to write an unrelated series, The Strangerers [imdb.com]. Imagine running a cheese grater over your eyeballs, then dunking your head in a bucket of vinegar. That was the first five minutes of The Strangerers. Then it got worse. Much worse.

    Meanwhile Doug Naylor has managed to scam the funds for a Red Dwarf movie [imdb.com]. Oh dear.

    Wow, suddenly I'm feeling nostalgia for Voyager. That's wierd.

    • in a show full of Janeways, Tuvoks, and Harry Kims, that "neutral", "bland" character really was one of the most interesting ones

    Blurgh, how true. Even the acting was monotonous, with flat. Stilted. Delivery. It was like watching statues in many of the scenes. Plus, they were always so earnest. The least utterance was delivered as though it was profoundly important. Even in the token "ha ha" scenes, everyone was so dreadfully serious and self aware.

    For me, the worst thing was that most of the characters were "Federation v4.0" die cast drones. Take away their superficial quirks, and Paris, Kim, B'Elanna, Chakotay, Tuvok and Janeway were largely interchangeable in any given situation. Only Neelix, Kes, and (bizarelly) Seven and the Doctor were actually distinctive in terms of their behaviour.

  • The real difference was, the STTNG episode was one of the best episodes they ever made ...

    I'd agree, except for one glaring error in the final moments of the final episode:

    When Picard realised that the "thing" (whatever the hell it was) was growing backwards in time, they raced back to its origin and lo-and-behold, there it was.

    But, if it was growing backwards in time, why was it bigger 5 minutes in the future between the time they visited and saw nothing and Picard's realisation?

    I caught that right away and it kind of ruined the whole show for me.

    Oh well.

    Ryan T. Sammartino

  • Here's a fun one, something I always wanted to do.
    1)Somehow, find a patch of land large enough to walk across.
    2)Then, find a way to *owe* that land to someone else. Maybe sell it without first owning it (I have a nice bridge, if you are interested)
    3)Take a walk across this patch of land.

    Now, in theory, land that I 'owe', has a negative value, as does any money I owe in my bank account. As land is generally measured by area, we will assume that this land has, for me, a negative area.

    Now to walk across it, I will be constructing a line through this negative area, which is equivalent to the length of one of the sides... since area = length * width, and area is negative, this path will of necessity be some multiple of i...

    Maybe its petty, but taking an imaginary journey strikes me as self defining in some strange way.

  • I always find it bit odd that the small subgenre of written science fiction that is time travel seems to be so popular in scifi movies and TV. I guess it's the allure of changing mistakes you made in your past. The problem is, it's fiendishly difficult to do a good story without getting yourself tangled in paradox, and I'm not entirely convinced that it's easy for all viewers to follow the tangled timelines.

    But it has been used often with entertaining effect in Star Trek: The Guardian of Forever where they go back and alter the course of the 2nd World War is a classic and I think the most popular Star Trek episode ever. But it had a real science fiction writer behind it, plus it was exploring the alternative history genre as well.

    The one with Teri Garr where they stop the nuclear space platform is good too (now if they would just come back and stop the Bush missle defense and militarization of space plan).

    And The Voyage Home is also a very entertaining movie that uses time travel to enable the classic "fish out of water" satirical societal outsider commentary.

    But from all of these, it's fairly clear that they take care to avoid interfering with the timeline.

    And the Star Trek universe law seems to be a single timeline one, where your changes propagate forward and back.

    The Next Gen episode where Q gives Picard a chance to change the course of his life was good, as was the series finale, which redeemed Next Gen to some extent for me.

    We also see the single timeline progation in the DS9 episode where Jake ends up as an old writer, with Sisko watching him as a kind of temporal ghost, until Jake repairs the timeline.

    The DS9 one where they go back in time to the Tribbles episode is cool.

    In Voyager, they had the one where they destroyed the poleric energy planet, but then it never happened because they undid the timeline change.

    Then the one with the huge ship that went around destroying planets, whose effects were eliminated when it was removed from the timeline.

    And Harry returns to Voyager when he re-enters the timestream and undoes the changes that had landed him on Earth.

    Plus which the doctor's entire portable emitter exists because of technology from the Federation Time Cops of the future.

    But here's where things start to break down.
    Why don't the Time Cops show up all the time to prevent any timeline alterations?

    Then in the Old Kes / Young Kes time travel one, they didn't follow the paradox through.
    Old Kes goes back in time to rescue Young Kes, so YK knows what is going to happen, this should break the timeline, but YK inexplicably goes on to become OK *again*.

    And then finally to the series finale.
    Ok, this Klingon gizmo apparently lets Admiral Janeway travel quite freely through time and space. Why doesn't she just go to before Voyager got sucked into the Delta quadrant, and stop them ever going there? There must be a 1000 ways she knows of to sabotage the ship harmlessly to prevent it from ending up in the badlands where it got grabbed. Or for that matter, why doesn't she just jump back and stop the construction of the Caretaker facility, or destroy it before it has a chance to grab Voyager.

    Then to make matters worse, the timeline is broken. 23-year-voyage Voyager makes Admiral Janeway. She goes back in time and interferes MASSIVELY with the timeline (future tech, killing the Borg Queen, destroying the transwarp dohicky, bringing Voyager back early). Ok fine that makes 7-year-voyage Voyager. But then, there's not going to be the same Admiral Janeway who went back in time, so as soon as Voyager arrives near Earth, that Admiral Janeway never went back in time, so 7-year-Voyager never arrives etc.

    This leaves aside minor details like the crime against sentients biological warfare against the Borg. Ok the Borg aren't attacking you, they've been leaving your ship alone. You can't just go and wipe their entire Unimatrix out. That's a war crime atrocity.
  • Red Dwarf had been running since at least 1989, I believe it is the longest running Sitcom on UK TV. It evolved over time, and consistency has never been a major concern for example the uniforms changed several times over the 7 seasons, generally as the budget increased, Lister had his appendix out twice. The gestalt entity known as Grant Naylor broke up during season 6, but the franchise was left open for other writers to continue (hey - open source Sci-fi). Robert Llewellan(Kryten) wrote an ep. It really should have died, so you can look at it in two ways(either accept every extra season or episode as a bonus and enjoy it while you can, or regard any additional material to a classic as polluting a 'pure artform'). Personally, both with Star Trek and red Dwarf, I regard any material produced with interest and enjoy it as it is. I'm not entirely sure about comparing RD and the ST franchises. One is a half-hour sitcom which just happens to be set on a spaceship(the sc-fi setting was originally not the principle driver, it was about two incompatible people forced to endure eachothers company, it could have been set on a desert island or in a prison(does season 7 make sense now?). Comparing ST with Babylon 5 (now theres a story with plot arcs, pity it died near the end and Crusade failed). cheer up, the producers(Paramount or the BBC) could spend the money in worse ways. This discussion resembles a post mortem more than a eulogy anyway
  • Didn't they mention in the episode that there were like 6 of those Hub's in the galaxy (not to mention how many might exist in the universe?) Also isn't the idea of the borg distributed. The queen should live on shouldn't she?
  • by Squid (3420) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @04:36PM (#194854) Homepage
    That episode also ruined Trek for me too - but not for the same reason. It was the first time I realized there's such thing as fanwank. Scotty is cool and seeing him interact with the 1701D crew was cool, and the retooled Old Enterprise bridge on the holodeck was cool, but aside from that, the episode was a particularly low-rent Next Generation dealing with an abandoned Dyson sphere and not a damn thing else. It wasn't a BAD episode per se, it just... by having Scotty there, it should have been a masterpiece, a classic, like "Best of Both Worlds" or "City on the Edge of Forever". Instead it was an ordinary episode disguised as a classic by Scotty's presence. Some fans can't tell the difference. But eventually I noticed the difference - and the episode became "less real" as a result.
  • I find it amazing that Voyager had an entire season to hit every bullet point in your list, but instead came up with nothing more than ten seconds of Voyager and Earth, then cutting to credits.

    DS9 was taken by surprise when they found out they weren't going to have another season, and still, they did a better job of wrapping up loose ends. It was rushed, but the well-informed fans knew why, and those who weren't still got a damn good story. What would you prefer: Particle-of-the-Week Torpedoes, or the Cardassians turning on the Dominion, and the Founder responding with a scorched-earth attack on Cardassia Prime?

    We're not scare-mongering/This is really happening - Radiohead
  • by Graymalkin (13732) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @11:58PM (#194856)
    Voyager wasn't such a bad concept, it had the potential to REALLY open up the Star Trek universe by showing a part of the galaxy that had never been explorered by the protagonists. The trouble was in the writing. TNG started off pretty weak, most of the stories felt like rehashes of ideas from the original series. THen season three hits and they've got a much larger budget, cooler looking uniforms and you've got Mike Piller and Ron Moore busting off some badass sci-fi. The end of season three/beginning of season four was some well written sci-fi drama, one of the most often acclaimed. Same with seasons 4/5. DS9 had Ira Steven Behr who practically single handedly fleshed out some of the most memorable characters from the series namely Quark and the Grand Nagus. Voyager started strong with some good writing by Piller but slowly Bannon Braga seemed to end up doing alot of writing and Rick Berman just sat back and let teleplays cross his desk that involved little character development or plot. There was no analog for Best of Both Worlds or Redemption in all the years Voyager aired. It was pretty sad because they had had some excellent writing, Braga was the co-writer of All Good Things for chrissakes. I was disappointed that Voyager couldn't seem to retain decent writing but I think alot of that had to do with Rick Berman being in charge of it all. He just let crap get produced. Then again maybe he was as odds with Paramount because they were shelling out beacoup dollars for a show that didn't really compete against any of the other networks offerings. Anyways, I hope Paramount follows the Fox gameplan and releases the series' seasons on DVD (as been done with x-files).
  • by SMN (33356) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @06:34PM (#194857)
    I just watched the finale again right after finishing my last post, and taped it for good measure.

    After the second viewing, I feel even more strongly that the finale brings out the worst in the series. It relies entirely on inventing all-powerful future technology while abandoning Janeway's (already horrible) character. Let's count the number of things fabricated to make this episode possible: tachyon immunizations, anti-tachyon pulses to close temporal rifts, Klingon time travel technology, retractable armor for ships (which mysteriously malfunctions at one point, so that the future Harry Kim must help Janeway), transphasic torpedos (while Voyager used its supposed allotment of 32 torpedoes in the first season alone), transwarp hubs, nueral interfaces, a quick allusion to future stealth technology, Borg adaptations against various aforementioned technology, a borg-killing virus, and the ability to hide inside Borg spheres. Am I still missing anything? Oh, at the last second they realize they can destroy the hub and get home, with no explanation, overcoming another plot obstacle. I bet that if I watch it again, I'll find more.

    And then there's Janeway. The future Janeway is great - devious and cunning, and she appears to have been truly scared and changed by her experiences. On the other hand, the present Janeway is an entirely different person than she was in the beginning of the series -- she abandons the Temporal Prime Directive, after numerous occasions in which she refused to allow the ship to get home because of Prime Directive issues. I sure hope that she gets Court Marshalled and jailed when she gets back (anyone who saw the last Captain Braxton time travel episode: "You are hereby placed under arrest for crimes you will commit"). It's completely, 100% out of character for her to do these acts, let alone for her to accept Admiral Janeway as really being a future version of herself. She's too damn stubborn to listen to anyone else.

    Not to mention the inherent time travel issue that comes up all the time and is never explained: now that Janeway's home, you can be sure that Starfleet will make sure she can't try to go back in time again. If so, then she won't guide the crew home, and we'll revert to the alternate future. In that one, Janeway does help the crew, and we go to the "real" future, which then brings us to the alternate future again. . . etc, etc, etc. This issue comes up in many episodes, where the actual time travel negates the reason for time travel in the future, which leads to this temporal paradox.

    By the way, did anyone else notice that Ron Moore was cited in the credits as Visual Effects Supervisor? Wasn't he the writer who left the show because he saw that putting Berman and Braga in charge was stupid?

  • by Trumpet (42631) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @03:15PM (#194858) Homepage
    There are a lot of reasons why Trek is in the state that it's in, but the main ones are Rick Berman and Paramount itself. In some ways, the death of Trek started in its own popularity.

    Trek is a massive cash cow for Paramount, a major franchise for them. Because of this, they were far less likely to do anything that would cut off that revenue flow. Basically, they couldn't take risks whith the story, because that might cause people to stop buying Trek stuff, and take a few precious pennies away from Paramount.

    Rick Berman is equally afraid of losing that income, because it would mean him losing his job. Now, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps this is because higher-ups have tied his hands. He's not the kind of person who can revitalize the franchise.

    By far, the best thing to do was to end Voyager gracefully and end the Trek franchise for a while. Bring it back with new blood in a few years, and bring it back to the spirit of the original, episodes and characters that actually take chances and make the audience think. Then, maybe, Trek can get back to where it should be.
  • by Velox_SwiftFox (57902) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @03:53PM (#194859)
    You can't honestly tell me that the original Star Trek was that great. I mean, come on!. It was incredibly cheesy, and every single episode ended up with Kirk getting the hook-up with some freaky alien chick.

    He was just obeying his Evolutionary Prime Directive.

  • The restriction of high warp speeds (speeds above Warp 5) was made in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode called "Force of Nature" (originally aired 11/15/1993, so this would place it in the "middle" of the last year of Next Generation). In it, they explain that continued usage of warp fields, particularly the stronger ones created at the higher warp factors, on the same area of space gradually breaks down the fabric of space and makes it unstable, and that this unstable space would, if exposed to warp fields enough, break into a permanent hole into subspace.

    Thus, the Federation decided to put a restriction on their ships that the highest speed they could travel would be Warp 5, unless prior permission was granted or an emergency occurred. This limit would be in place until research was made to either fix the damage to space or make modifications to new and existing drives not to damage subspace so much.

    (Yes, this sounds an awful lot like some of the stuff the EPA and various environmentalists come up with from time to time... and that's the message the episode was trying to get across)

    Now, Star Trek: Voyager was started in the fall of 1995 (or, in the universe of Star Trek's terms, about a year and a half after the events of "Force of Nature"). There was a line in the pilot episode, I believe while Lt. Stadi was taking Tom Paris to Deep Space Nine to board Voyager, where it was stated that Voyager had been equipped with engines that were more friendly to subspace and allowed them to bypass the Warp 5 restriction set by the Federation.

    Now, I may be wrong about the point at which they stated it, but they did say it. Also, this being a year and a half after the events of "Force of Nature", it is possible that they had already done enough research to produce the correct kind of engines.

    As to the point of Voyager taking 70 light years to get home:

    In the first episode of Voyager, as Lt. Stadi was taking Tom Paris to Voyager, she stated Voyager's top speed was Warp 9.975. Now, I don't have the Voyager Tech Manual (Shame on me, I know!), but I do have the Next Generation tech manual, and in that manual they state that the Enterprise can withstand it's highest speed for about 15 minutes, about .25 below that for about 6 hours, and about .75 below that for about 18 hours, before ripping itself apart or needing serious repairs. I would think Voyager would follow similar rules.

    To keep Voyager from ripping itself apart or stopping every so often to do extensive repairs (which are required at a Federation Shipyard, which Voyager didn't have access to), Janeway probably had them traveling about Warp 7 or 8. That, of course, would still be much less than the 70 years they stated.... more like about 55-60 years or so, but still a long time. However, remember, Voyager was designed to be a short range ship, and probably wasn't stocked completely full of enough fuel (Dilithium) or supplies for a trip that long. In fact, I highly doubt if the supplies they had on board if even fully stocked would take them much more than 3 years at continuous warp. That, and think of the effect you have during a long trip (I know you probably haven't traveled 3 years continuously, or even one year continuously, but seeing nothing but blurs of stars going past month after month gets awfully boring!!)

    They probably factored in the possibilities of meeting new species, shore leave, finding species to trade with, stopping and fixing the ship in the middle of nowhere when it broke down, and maybe even stopping for a year or so to set up a mining operation to mine more fuel (which they'd have to do this at least a few times during their trip). If you think about it, those tasks, multiplied by about 20 or so times each (and that's being very modest, if you've seen the series), would ultimately end up adding about 5-10 years on their trip (and add in the mining operations, another 10-15 years). That's about 70 years.

    OK, so you say that isn't so. To put it in easier terms: How much time does the average person (worldwide, not just US) sleep in a day? Let's say 7 hours. 7*365 is 2555 hours, or 106.46 days. That's a little less than a third of the year, spent snoozing.

    Let's say Voyager meets one race every 2 months, and spends a week with them, exchanging information, trading, getting some R&R. That's 6 weeks a year. Keep that up for 9.6 years, you've actually only traveled 8.6 years of that time, and actually spent 1 year worth of time stopped.

    It is possible to see Voyager spending 70 years out there, unless you wanted the crew to be insane by the time they get back. Remember... "All work and no play make Homer Something something". "Go Mad?" "Don't mind if I do!"



    icanneverbereached@sogoaway.com aint my address.
  • by NoWhere Man (68627) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @07:13PM (#194861) Homepage
    One of the biggest problems in the last episode was with some of the ideas they brought in with the last seasons.
    For instance, in a number of episodes in the 29th century there is a whole part of the federation devoted to keeping the timeline from being disrupted. They have atleast 2 vessels capable of traveling through time to prevent violation of the "Temporal Prime Directive". So where were they when Admiral Janeway went on her little trip?

    This episode also ruins anyone wanting to watch Star Trek 10. Do you think the most powerful warship in the fleet (this is the concept behind the movie), the Enterprise, is going to have any of these cool new weapons that Voyager now possess? I seriously doubt it. Voyager could take out 5 borg ships whle the Enterprise works on one of them ...

    I actually feel kind of sad that the borg are now virtually gone
    For anyone who hasn't seen the episode or missed it: Admiral Janeway eventually travels to the Borg home base [Unimatrix 1] and infects the borg with a virus. It completely destroys the home base and virtual cripples them. It doesn't destroy them completely, however, which leaves room for them to make a comeback.
    Now the federation can deal with more pressing matters, like the Romulans (Star Trek 10). Good thing they have those super advanced weapons! They can smit thier enemies now!

    Its also too bad that Voyager won't become that really cool museum that Admiral Janeway told us about. The Federation is gonna rip it to shreds! Come on! Borg technology, future Federation technology, Slipstream Drive,...I think there was even something called a Delta Drive from earlier episodes.
    I'd certainly have a field day.

    Voyager had its ups and downs. To be honest Voyager had a really good final episode. It was very entertaining, but I think it has ruined Star Trek. At least for the future side of it.


    I hope Enterprise is going to go alot better. They already taken care of the Baywatch side of things to make sure 7 of 9 finatics are happy. "Enterprise" Vulcan 2nd officer in Maxim [maximonline.com]. Funny I have never seen a Vulcan which such a big chest.
  • by OmegaDan (101255) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @03:31PM (#194862) Homepage
    Thats exactly how I felt -- anticlimactic -- The show faded end showing voyager coming home ... I was thinking "god, what are we gonna do for the next 2 hrs if they got home in the first 60 seconds?" ...

    They should have cut the (lame) subplots -- the romances -- the baby -- and had a 10 minute "coming home ceremony" scene at the end where the crew was honored with medals and stuff :) this might have given that sense of accomplishment you seek ... -- that would have cost ALOT of money to do that correctly -- lots of extras -- lots of matt paintings -- lots of difficult effects shots -- and I don't think they wanted to spend on the last episode.

  • by demaria (122790) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @08:51PM (#194863) Homepage
    It's awesome when a main character is killed off.

    Why?

    Because it puts the audience in disbelief and uncertainity. This is what made Babylon 5 so interesting. Imagine if Picard was killed off at the end of season 1. Happened in B5 (Sinclar was reassigned off station).

    It makes it interesting, and makes those oh-no-is-he-gonna-die moments better. I never expected Tasha to be killed. And she was. BAM! Major surprise. Good drama.
  • by Pxtl (151020) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @04:34PM (#194864) Homepage
    While that was also the day I realized Trek sucked, because they took a Dyson sphere and made it into a little 1-episode filler thing with a neat guest star. I hate in when writers read about some cute little concept, say oooooh, lets make an episode about that, and then not follow through with the research. The Dyson sphere would probably have enough surface area to remap every inhabited planet in the Federation and beyond onto its surface. I remember someone saying that the size of the earth to the sun is like a single pea 80 feet from a 3 foot beach ball. Imagine replacing that pea with an 160-foot sphere, and you can realize the scale of this thing.

    And they made it a little side trip. Those bastards.
  • by MeowMeow Jones (233640) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @03:18PM (#194865)
    But it's not a federation restriction, it's allegedly a physics restriction.

    Allegedly, high warp speeds send you back in time (see Star Trek IV: Save the Whales) just like light speed would mess you up without wormholes. So then they invented the trans-warp bullshit which is to warp as warp is to normal space.

    Trolls throughout history:

  • by cryptochrome (303529) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @11:44PM (#194866) Journal
    Seriously, when Star Trek was started people were overly idealistic and special effects were limited. Those two things have been bogging the franchise down ever since. And frankly, I thought DS9 was the best of the bunch, simply because it actually had a plot and characters that went somewhere, even if the station did not.

    In any case, Farscape is by far the best SF on TV yet in all ways, much better than trek, and consistently so. (The only things that came close were Alien Nation, which was very subtle and thoughtful, and Babylon 5, which was epic and diverse).
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday May 28, 2001 @01:35AM (#194867) Homepage
    • The Borg are no longer menacing; they're weak and stupid

    Quite. The Borg are basically zombies, and zombies are basically stupid and lame. However, it is possible to make a good zombie film, by showing them as relentless and inexorable. You can knock down a hundred of them, but they'll still keep coming, never tiring, never sleeping, always assimilating. Eventually, they'll wear you down.

    Star Trek forgot that. "Resistance is futile" should not be open to debate. The moment they started talking to the Borg, they become a stumbling, moronic joke. By the end of Voyager, the Feds were figuratively tweaking their noses and giving them wedgies. Frankly, I had a lot more sympathy for the industrious Borg than I did for the annoying Feds and their incessant lucky breaks and changing of the rules.

    Rot in Pieces, Voyager.

  • by Salieri (308060) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @03:41PM (#194868)
    Actually, it's not exponential, it's a hand-drawn function that has an asymptote at 10, where it takes infinite energy to go at infinite speed and occupy every point in the universe simulatenously.

    That was the model until Voyager's Threshold, which establishes that going at warp 10 simply makes you turn into a giant lizard.

    --------------------------------
  • If we really want to debate how many Starfleet angels can dance on the head of a warp 10 pin, here’s some fodder from Star Trek Chronology. If we’re gonna geek out, we should geek out with authority. :-)

    Recalibration of the warp scale

    Starfleet used a different warp factor scale during the original Star Trek series (set in 2266-2269) than was in used during the time of Star Trek: The Next Generation (2364). The older warp scale was generally believed to designate speeds at the cube of the warp factor, so that a warp factor of two would indicate a speed of two to the third power, or eight times the speed of light. By the time of Captain Picard's Starship Enterprise-D a different mathematical formula was in used that established warp factor 10 to be an infinite value at the absolute top of the scale. (“Threshhold” [VGR] establishes warp factor 10 to be the mysterious transwarp phenomenon first mentioned in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.) It is not known why the warp scale was recalibrated, or when this happened.

    The warp scale recalibration had actually been suggested by Star Trek: The Next Generation story consultant David Gerrold, who proposed an absolute warp 10 speed limit for story reasons. He felt that some original Star Trek series episodes relied too heavily on scenes in which artificial danger was created by having Scotty worried that the Enterprise might blow up because of a high warp speed. Gerrold wanted to prevent episodes of the new show from having the Enterprise-D crew endangered by ever-increasing warp speeds. Putting warp 10 at the absolute top of the scale accomplished this goal, and making the scale asymptotic made it possible for the occasional god-like entity to cross the galaxy in the space of a commercial break.

    A second recalibration of the warp scale apparently occurred in Q’s anti-time future seen in “All Good things” (TNG), since we saw ships traveling at warp 13 in 2395. We know even less about this second recalibration, and frankly, we don’t even know if it will come to pass in the “real” Star Trek timeline.

    Star Trek Chronology, by Michael and Denise Okuda, Copyright © 1996 Paramount Pictures. ISBN 0-671-53610-9.

    So ST:TOS warp 9 would be 9=729 times the speed of light, and Voyager warp 10 would be the speed at which Voyager got back to the Alpha Quadrant and ended things so abuptly.

  • by bwandrews (322370) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @02:59PM (#194870)
    What's the 25rd century again? :) Ben
  • by Pyrion Celendil (455058) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @03:26PM (#194871) Homepage
    You're thinking of the "slingshot around the sun" effect warp has on the spacetime continuum, not the Warp Six limitation the Federation imposed on all space travel within the Federation's territories.

    The Warp Six limitation that the author mentions was the result of a TNG episode that demonstrated that old school warp drives and their warp fields slowly damaged subspace at speeds greater than Warp Six. The "folding" nacelles on Voyager were the result of the development of a new design of warp core, the M-ARA/II, which became standard on all Federation starships. In order to get the correct warp field for an Intrepid-class starship, its warp nacelles had to be modified to "fold" upwards during warp travel, to alter the geometry of the warp field. Ships later designed around the M-ARA/II warp drive, like the Prometheus, Defiant, and Sovereign, don't have this requirement as they already have a newer design of warp nacelle to control it automatically.
  • by chrisd (1457) <chrisd@dibona.com> on Sunday May 27, 2001 @03:17PM (#194872) Homepage
    I don't remember exactly which one, but the reason was that any warp travel and exceptionally high speed travel especially, caused irreperable harm to the fabric of space time, and the federation decided to limit the speed starships could cruise at the warp 5 or something. I'm sure somoene reading about this knows a bunch more than I do about this.

    Chris
    --
    Grant Chair, Linux Int.
    Co-Editor, Open Sources

  • by OmegaDan (101255) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @03:16PM (#194873) Homepage
    The last episode of Voyager was an omage (or ripoff:) to the last episode ot STTNG ...

    If you recall the last episode of STTNG, Picard was struck with some syndrome, and was operating in 3 time periods ...

    The voyager finale was kindof a low-power copy of that same structure -- Janeway operating in 2 time periods simultaneously, TUVOC was sick (as opposed to janeway/picard).

    The real difference was, the STTNG episode was one of the best episodes they ever made ... the Voyager episode was such a hack its obvious the writers weren't even trying -- they tucked in the loose ends with a sledgehammer -- manufactured drama -- and tried to end with a bang by destroying alot of the borg which you know will come back eventually in some episode/movie/series -- and ALL done while relying on their "techno babel" ... somebody explain why the ship that got janeway BACK in time, couldn't take the whole crew forward again?

  • by Salieri (308060) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @08:43PM (#194874)
    How many episodes don't end with specially engineered nanoprobes, or shield modulation, or a special retro-virus designed by the doctor, or some such nonsense solving the problem.

    A lot of episodes end like that, which is why I concluded that tech-driven Voyager isn't as good as TNG, which did it less frequently. Even when they did use tech, they often used it with a strategy we can all understand and apply.

    However, I disagree that tech deus ex machina is inherent to all sci-fi. Just because something is set in a sci-fi universe, doesn't mean a sudden invention has to resolve all the character conflicts.

    For example, Darth Vader lies in the arms of Luke Skywalker after (spoiler!!) throwing the Emperor into the Death Star pit.

    He says, "Luke... help me take this mask off."

    Luke says "But you'll die."

    Since it's character-driven sci-fi, Vader simply says "Nothing can stop that now. Let me look on you with my own eyes."

    It it were Star Trek, Vader would have said: "Maybe if you tried recalibrating my helmet's obtronic resequencer to generate an isometric pulse, it'll restore your crushed lung with a isomorphic replacement."

    --------------------------------
  • by SMN (33356) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @04:03PM (#194875)
    I don't think I've seen anyone who's seen all of Star Trek and doesn't think that Voyager was the worst of them all. It certainly doesn't compare to TNG and DS9, because those were thinking shows.

    In TNG and DS9 (excluding the first few DS9 seasons) -- and now Andromeda, another great show -- most episodes consisted of a problem which was usually overcome by wit, intelligence, or skill from the crew. For instance, in TNG, the Borg were always these physically invincible enemies, and the crew had to come up with some intricate plot to overcome them. DS9 also made viewers think, usually using displomatic issues (the various alliances formed by the various races) or religious ones (the role of the prophets, as God or fate, affecting the lives of the characters). DS9's resolution of the many, many plot arcs in the last 7 episodes showed great planning and the great character development throughout the series, and it was a very fitting sendoff that ended the series in the proper spirit.

    TNG and DS9 also relied heavily on continuity of certain plot arcs. In DS9, this is obvious. In TNG, it was a bit more subtle, but after rewatching most of the series and reading through the Star Trek Encyclopedia, I think that realizing the small way in which each and every episode was somehow connected to the larger themes makes the show seem even better. And the TNG and DS9 characters showed growth and development while still remaining consistent to what we knew of them.

    Voyager abandoned all of this. The only concerted effort to maintain a story arc, with Voyager and the Kazons, was abandoned three seasons into the show. The rest of the series was just isolated episodes -- I could miss any one, and not care at all because it had no bearing on the larger outcome of the series. There were a few small attempts at bringing back some old characters toward the end, such as Lt. Carey and the aliens who blackmailed the Doctor in the next-to-last episode, but only fans who truly followed the series (especially online) noticed these links, and they were not at all important to the plot of the individual episodes.

    Voyager also abandoned continuity by completely forgetting about their limits on shuttles and photon torpedoes. I found several sites online a while ago tracking those, and they lost the amount they started with many, many times over. Characters -- except the Doctor -- almost never developed, either, as an experience in one episode would be forgotten the next (this was fixed a bit in the last season).

    Worst of all, Voyager was not a "thinking" show -- every episode was solved by what many call the "particle-of-the-week." Every time Voyager was in a seemingly inescapable predicament, they didn't come up with a witty solution like in TNG -- they just inverted a new particle, or pulse, or weapon. This formula was used in 90% of the shows, including the finale. Chris DiBona picked up on this a bit in his review -- the producers have made the Borg weak and feeble with the paradoxical Borg "Queen," weapons from the future, and a magical Borg-killing virus. Whatever happened to TNG's Best of Both Worlds, when one Borg Cube took out the entire Federation fleet? The Enterprise solved that with intelligent characters outwitting the Borg systems (Data "hacks" in), not powerful uber-weapons.

    The largest continuity issue with the Voyager finale was that they were able to take a transwarp conduit right home to Earth -- if the Borg could do that, why didn't they transport right to Earth in The Best of Both Worlds? The Borg are no longer menacing; they're weak and stupid.

    Voyager's finale also exploits the worst lapse of character yet. Janeway's always been a goodie-two-shoes since episode one, opting to follow the Prime Directive while her people suffer and die. Why is it that she's now willing to accept help from the future? If the character refuses every opportunity to get home with even the slightest repurcussions, why is it she's willing to accept such a blatant violation of her own principles in this episode? The future Janeway in this episode showed that she had changed and developed enough to accept this, but the past Janeway has totally abandoned her character. Finally, the series has backed Star Trek into a corner. There's little chance of another future series, because Voyager keeps inventing magical technology to solve everything. Worst of all is Time Travel -- as soon as one race gets time travel, they can just go back and do what they like. If any race beats the Federation to it, they'll go back and take over history. And there are many races more advanced than the Federation; if not, the ships would face no challenges and the show would have no premise. If the Federation develops time travel, then there's nothing to stop their peaceful existence, and there's nothing left to drive Star Trek. That's why they need to go back in time now; I just wonder what they'll do after the new series.

  • by icemind (191210) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @04:13PM (#194876)
    Correction, Red Dwarf WAS a much better show. From the start it just got better and better until we got the countless superb episodes of Seasons 5 and 6. And then, season 7. And Kochanski, who isn't funny and can't act her way out of a paper bag and just ruins the whole damn show. It was great when it was the 4 of them, they were each unique and played off each other superbly. Now we have Kochanski who is a pointless and even detrimental addition to the show, clearly a desperate attempt by the makers to add something "new" to a show that didn't need it. And don't get me started on the even more pointless addition of the rebuilt Red Dwarf and its entire crew (of which we've mostly seen the unfunny Captain Holister and not much else). Red Dwarf reached its peak when they were flying around in Starbug which offered so much opportunity for creative and funny situations, and very quickly hit rock bottom when they came up with the lame story lines of season 7 onwards. It's almost tragic.

    One of the writers, Rob Grant, basically stopped writing episodes (he only did one in S7) and it's clear he is the talented one able who actually came up with original and funny jokes and episode ideas. Seasons 7 and 8 have, if they're lucky, one or two mildly funny jokes per show, the and premises just aren't nearly as original. Legion, Inquisitor, Wax World, Quarantine, Demons and Angels, and of course the hilarious Gunmen of the Apocalypse. Each of these episodes is more memorable than season 7 or 8 in their entirity, not the mention the fact that they're so desperate for ideas that they are stretching single episodes into three instead. It's a deep shame that I have to say this, but I'd rather they ended what was once a superb series that I adored and watched almost religiously rather than continue to milk it and further tarnish its image. Star Trek is, IMO, average, switch-brain-off-and-kinda-enjoy-it TV viewing, and while it's not doing the world any good it ain't doing any harm either. Red Dwarf, unless you're watching a series 1-6 re-run, is now almost unbearably bad.

  • by localroger (258128) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @03:12PM (#194877) Homepage
    Star Trek was a great idea for its day, but let's face it, its day ended before 1970. Paramount did many stupid things during the course of the original show which caused it to deteriorate and finally die prematurely; they foolishly did not bring it back until the entire craft had matured beyond the premise of the original series.

    Is there really anything in the Star Trek universe worth saying that has not been said a dozen times in each series, five dozen times total, and at least twice in a movie? The pseudo-physics of the ST universe suffered the same fate as the pseudo-technology of Dr. Who, snarled up in contradictions and failures of vision that kept turning everything into metaphors for modern events. However, while Dr. Who dealt with its 20-year albatross of a history with tongue in cheek and a certain amount of wit, ST is so deathly serious about everything that it has ended up looking ridiculous.

    Let's remember, kids, that the original concept was Captain Hornblower in Space according to Gene Roddenberry himself. Anybody remember Captain Hornblower? Let's just say that the number of episodes where Kirk and Spock end up in a dungeon stripped to the waist was in theme.

    So we've lost the charming elements that made ST such a hot item with the K/S ladies and replaced them with, hmmm, let's see, androids instead of Vulcans. Boy that is so imaginative. And now we have the technology to show the Holodeck (always in the specs, not filmable in 1967) and the Earth (from the original ST bible, according to David Gerrold: we do not show the Earth, that's why we have starbases). But what has really been added? NOTHING .

    No more series, no more episodes, no more movies. I'm sorry to say it but, while ending ST in its original incarnation was a premature mistake, bringing it back has turned out to be a much, much, much bigger mistake. Let's bury this dog before it completely skeletizes and think of something new.

  • by Salieri (308060) on Sunday May 27, 2001 @03:33PM (#194878)
    Deus ex machina is a phrase referring to a plot device in Greek drama. The various characters would spend the whole play getting tangled up in conflict. In the end, instead of the characters finding a way to right things themselves, a god would come down and make everything right, since gods can do that without consequence. Today, we use deus ex machina as a derogatory term for a drama, and refer to the use of some contrived, improbably force to come down at the end and provide a cheap way out of the conflict.

    Spoiler warning. After seven years, that's how Voyager ended, in my opinion. Did the crew use their years of experience with the Borg to get past them? No... they were blessed with a visitor from the future, who brought weapons to make them invincible to every enemy. They were then free to use Borg transwarp conduits (which didn't bother me as much since they've been established since season 6 of TNG).

    Put another way, what did you want to see out of the finale? Here's what I've been imagining for seven years:
    • The crew arrives home
    • Emotional farewells between crew members and uncertaintly about their future
    • Commendation or other acknowledgement by Starfleet
    • An investigation into the psychological effect of unexpectedly seeing one's loved ones after seven years of isolation
    • Will Seven of Nine be accepted by humanity and be able to live alongside billions of humans?
    • What role will the Doctor play in liberating repressed sentinent holograms, as referred to in recent episodes?
    • Whatever happened to Kim's fiancee?
    • etc.
    The producers, however, assumed that I had only one question, and wrote the entire episode under that assumption:
    • Will they make it back?
    I wanted an hour or more in the Alpha quandrant providing closure to the series. But instead they held out the contrived suspense to the very last minute, giving us only one single shot of Voyager approaching Earth. Completely unsatisfying end to seven years' anticipation.

    I mean, all in all, it was just another episode. How many episodes were there that had them spend an hour getting REALLY REALLY CLOSE to getting home and then be thwarted? This episode was about getting REALLY REALLY CLOSE for two hours, and then being successful. I didn't want to see another episode about getting really really close. I wanted to see an episode about returning home!

    Sigh... well, it's not important enough to get too worked up over. But still, their priorities were in the wrong place. It's that kind of substitution -- giving us more phasers, nebulae, and "transphasic torpedoes" instead of human drama, that makes Star Trek suck today compared to the days of TOS and TNG.

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Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

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