My Promise as a Writer

I promise to entertain you to the best my twisted little mind can manage. I will take you from the light, and into darkness. I might even let you see the sunrise at the end of the journey, but that I can't promise. My stories will sweep the hair from you brow, leave your stomach in knots, and suck the air from your lungs. But no matter how far we descend, I will offer you a fragment of hope to cling to. I will treat you to dark fantasy, science fiction, horror, and anything that falls into the strange and disturbing. Will we re-emerge into the light? Well, that is the point of taking the journey. I hope you will join me on these adventures.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

11 REASONS WHY I HATE STAR TREK: VOYAGER #1



You can't spend five minutes with me without learning I love Star Trek. I love it all: phasers, tricorders, photon torpedoes, and warp powered ships. Well, not all of it. I hate Star Trek: Voyager. I hate it with a passion. I'd rather watch Captain James T. Kirk fight the Gorn on loop all day long rather than suffer through the best episode of Voyager. I was label to do just that for a number of years. I'd get the bug to begin a marathon, starting with Enterprise, having fun with The Original Series, and moving on to The Next Generation before concluding with Deep Space Nine. I'd even slog through The Animated Series, and drink lethal amounts of coffee to remain awake during Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture (which, by the way, was the only time a vessel named Voyager had any entertainment value in the Star Trek universe). The Voyager portion of the marathon would come to a whimpering halt before finishing the first disc of season one. Is this any surprise? Not at all! Voyager took a page out of the 1980's rule book for television in that the theme and opening credits were better than any and all episodes (even my five month old daughter is in agreement as she quickly looses interest when any given

episode begins). I was fine with ending the marathon early. In fact, I was happy. . . until J. J. Abrams made the fantastic Star Trek 2009. Due to old Spock's storyline taking place well after the era of Jean-Luc Picard, I am forced, almost to the point of a phaser shoved against my head, to slog through Voyager if I ever hope to watch J. J. Abrams' addition to the franchise as part of a marathon. That is where I am now, watching Voyager while dreaming of the day when I can pop the latest Star Trek movie into the DVD player. Here are the reasons why I hate Voyager:

1. Star Trek Voyager never needed to happen. I sometimes wonder if Rick Bermen and Brannon Braga forgot about all their work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. We encounter The Traveler in three episodes, and in his last appearance, Final Mission, he

takes on Wesley Crusher as an apprentice. The Traveler is a being with near godlike powers who can make ships travel thousands of light years in the blink of an eye. He also seems to have knowledge of events occurring outside of his influence (and without the need of a ship's computer to keep him updated).

By means of The Traveler and Wesley Crusher, Voyager would (and should) have been nothing more than a one or two part episode in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. What I see happening on the television screen in my head is The Traveler and Wesley boarding The U.S.S. Defiant with Benjamin Sisko in the captain's chair. I see them finding Voyager in the Delta Quadrant after The Traveler uses his faster than warp trick. Either he or Wesley transports to Janeway's vessel, and I see the godlike duo returning both vessels to the Alpha Quadrant. Problem solved! A seventy-five year journey? I say Wesley Crusher can accomplish it in a day. So think of that the next time you feel like saying, "Shut up, Wesley!"

Reason 2 (Part 1)
Reason 2 (Part 2)
Reason 3
Reason 4 (Part 1)
Reason 4 (Part 2)
Reason 5
Reason 6
Reason 7
Reason 8
Reason 9
Reason 10
Reason 11

Related Links:


Kirk fights the Gorn
Voyager Theme
The Traveler

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10 comments:

  1. No no no. Wesley and the travler would totes see the value in Voyager's experiences in the Delta quadrant. They make headway with the Borg, Q, encounter and learn about new alien species...plus it's a natural consequence of the human internal conflict between the Federation and the Marquis. They all needed to learn a lesson by having people they love die horrible deaths.

    You will never convince me, or anyone. Three words: SEVEN OF NINE.

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    1. Love your comment. Ah, Seven of Nine. . . Well, we will be getting to her soon enough. I believe that will be Reason #2 (Part 2). Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    2. Talk about an epic fail. They had an opportunity to do some great storytelling, and what did they give us? Ripped off TNG plots, techno-babble, gimmicks and schtick. I actually feel sorry for that cast. They have to live out the rest of their careers knowing that they got stuck with total crap.

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    3. p.s. forgot to say--I literally just finished my own marathon about 3 hours ago, so I'm pretty disgusted.

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    4. Gina, I couldn't agree with you more. Remember "The Year of Hell"? It's mentioned in season 3, and they give it a two part episode in season four. Um... That would have made an interesting season if the story was fleshed out for 26 episodes. Oh yeah, and nothing Kes talked about came to happen, like Janeway didn't die. Now do yourself a favor, and wash your mouth out with Star Trek 2009. Trust me when I say you will make you feel better,

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  2. I sincerely apologize if this sounds/is rude, but I wonder about the need to spend this much time and this many words tearing down a TV show you hate. I agree with you, Voyager has its problems for sure. I guess I just don't understand, if you hate it so much, why did you watch it? And why did you watch it closely enough to do this level of analysis? Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk. I think questions such as why the writers wrote such underdeveloped characters with such a bent toward cheesiness and political correctness are interesting. (My personal beef is why it was so important for Janeway to not have a sex life, ever.) I just don't understand the need to tear something down in such considerable detail. At the end of the day it's a TV show with some ok elements in the spirit of the whole Trek thing. Why the hate?

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    1. Nearly three months have passed, and I'm finally responding to your comment. Wow! Please except my apologies. First off, thank you for taking the time to read the blog, and the additional time to respond.

      Why do I watch a show I hate so much? I might have mentioned somewhere before I am compelled to watch a series from beginning to end. Granted, each Star Trek spin-off can be viewed independently or as a portion of a greater whole. My mind tells me I can't have the full experience without watching every last second--including The Animated Series. That is why I watch Voyager. I guess, in a sick way, it completes me. Also, to date Voyager gives us the last time George Takei appeared in Star Trek. Can't miss that! I am making progress with this affliction. Take Star Wars the Clone Wars for example. I have avoided the series rather successfully since the fifth episode of season 1, so not all is lost.

      Why did I watch Voyager closely enough for such an in depth analysis? This is how I watch TV and movies. I pick it apart, reassemble it, and see what remains. I like to see what works and does not work in storytelling. The analyzing is an automatic process for me. There are times when I sorely want to shut it off. Like with The Avengers. The final battle was shaping up to be something we had seen before in so many superhero movies. I could not enjoy the movie after that suspicion was confirmed. That was a truly sucky moment in my life. (Please, weep for me!)

      Janeway actually did have a bit of a sex life. There was the moment with Paris when, as lizards, they made babies. She also enjoyed a holodeck romance, which I found as creepy as when Jordi fell in love with the holodeck version of an engineer. When it comes to the holodeck, we are talking about making out with the ship's computer. The Doctor, Data, and Sherlock Holmes I would not flinch at since they are sentient. The other holodeck romances amount to a computer program to be manipulated by the user. Virtual sex dolls? Perhaps.

      Why the hate and why rip apart Voyager with such fervour? This is a two parter. First, it is a criticism, and, admittedly, highly opinionated review of the show. As The Agony Both posts suggests, discussion of anything Star Trek is not yet over. I simply felt like tossing some thoughts into the discussion. The second reason was to expand contact with other Star Trek fans. By doing so, I encountered people who agreed on some or even most points. I also received comments from people who fully disagreed with me. The latter was a wonderful learning process. There were some items I missed about Voyager that I would have continued to overlook if not for the fans who schooled me. Penni Russon left some wonderful comments if you care to take the time to read her counter arguments.

      Lastly, I don't think you are a jerk.

      Thank you again!

      A link to The Agony Booth: http://www.agonybooth.com/recaps/Star_Trek/Voyager/Threshold.aspx

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  3. i was with you on voyager being embarrassingly awful
    right up until you said the new films were good??
    oh dear

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    1. You know, I have to let that comment about Star Trek 2009 stand for no other reason than for integrity. When I wrote this blog series, ST 2009 was the latest film with the sequel making little if any progress toward a script. I had seen ST 2009 all of once, and came away two things: 1) The fast pace; 3) Leonard Nimoy. There were a few things that bugged me like apple eating during the Kobayoshi Maru, and Kirk climbing from cadet to captain in the space of a day or two (and without graduating Starfleet Academy). That simply does not happen. I was willing to let the errors slide until subsequent viewings revealed more. And more. And more. I am not even talking continuity issues since with a franchise as large as Trek continuity will grow to the point of requiring a team of fact checkers. (That seems expensive at first blush.) Plot holes. The infamous lens flares. The actors performing impressions of the original cast members rather than actually, oh I don't know, ACT! Then Into Darkness hit theatres. We all knew who Benedict Cumberbatch was playing, making the denials and secrecy rather tiresome. I actually hated seeing him in that role because he was not Ricardo Montalban. Add on top of that the frustration of witnessing a great actor who deserved his own unique character. More plot holes. More lens flares. Nice to see Old Spock, but unnecessary to the plot. Another tedious tug of war over the captain's chair. And I truly hate the Chris Pine version of Kirk.

      Shatner-Kirk had a reputation as a playboy. We knew when he spoke of love that he truly meant sex, but that three letter word was not permitted to air in the 60s. We also knew Shatner-Kirk actually cared for the women, and they knew the relationship had an expiration date. This style of romance was rather prevalent in science fiction in the decades surrounding TOS. (I give credit to Stranger in a Strange Land.) Those brief romances contained true meaning for both. A connection, intimacy, and appreciation were present in Shatner-Kirk's short lived romances.

      Pine-Kirk has none of the old charm, charisma, or emotional depth. To put it bluntly, I see him as a womanizer and asshole.

      Spoke too soon on the Abrams movies, and got called out on it. But like I wrote, I will not edit the foolishness since such an action would be dishonest. Hope you appreciate the revised opinion on the reboot.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  4. Wow some hard words on Voyager here, you've clearly watched more trek than me so I'm not going to argue with you! Personally I loved the show but for entirely different reasons than one may think... It transports me back to my high school years, sharing a love of Star Trek with my first "true love" and all the other things I was going through as a teen... I did hate Kes though and had the meanest crush on 7 of 9... Guess there's no accounting for taste! When I think about it, and now that I'm watching it as an adult, I can see the wooden acting, the malodrama and what passed as political correctness in the 90's but nostalgia is still nostalgia and I love it!

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