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, May 23, 2012


4. The aliens were imagined by Mrs. Smith's kindergarten class. I can clearly see how the board meeting must have begun when the producers and writers sat down to discuss the alien life forms in Voyager's Delta Quadrant. "This is a section of we have not yet explored. The lifeforms here must be like nothing we have seen before in Star Trek." That is a fine start, but in the first episode we are introduced to three alien races that will make continued appearances in the series: Talaxians, Ocampans, and Kazon. Let us take a look at them, but first I must worn you they make tribbles like a highly cultured society.

The Talaxians are represented by the character of Neelix, and they pretty much look like bipedal hyenas. Unfortunately, they are not funny like hyenas--other than their looks. Talaxians are traders, and that is as far as the writers got in seven seasons in developing their culture. They come across as Ferengis on Valium. From outward appearances, it seems the main contribution of the Talxians is bringing back the mullet after a millennium long hiatus. Business in the front and party in the back never before looked so ridiculous. Yes! Voyager managed to destroy an already ridiculous hair-do.

Ocampans are another poorly conceived alien culture. We know they live for nine years, and perhaps one in three hundred kajillion (or some such huge number) have telepathic abilities. And that's about all we know of the Ocampans, aside from an inability to take care of themselves. The only thing to differentiate them from humans in appearance are their ears, which resemble those of Vulcans albeit a touch bulky. So much for strange new life forms, especially since a nine year life span does not constitute strange. Such a device lends itself to the absurd. I'm unable to imagine a race capable of achieving anything beyond rudimentary stone tools when the members live no longer than the average domesticated dog, unless the Ocampans require little to no sleep, and come equipped with mental prowess capable of making Vulcans look like village idiots. Such is not the case assuming the character Kes is a standard representation. Naive comes to mind. I find nothing remotely interesting in connection to the Ocampans.

Perhaps the greatest unintentional joke Voyager played on its viewing audience was the Kazon. These aliens have what looks like coral reefs, rocks, and ferns growing out of their heads as though it were hair. I suppose they are the Vikings of the Delta Quadrant as they like to raid, prize warrior abilities, and have a bad attitude. Star Trek already had an alien race like this long before Voyager was discussed in board meetings. That race is known as the Klingons. In fact, the Kazon are nothing more than Klingons minus the culture, cool ships, honor, and humor. I would go so far as to say the Kazon are what Klingons would be like if the forehead ridges were reversed so the bone grew into the brain. Well, the Kazon do have rocks for heads after all. What else do we know about them? Nothing.

These races set the tone for all life forms encountered in Voyager. More will be explored in Reason 4 Part 2.

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

Author Links:
Shadows Beyond the Flames
J. M. Tresaugue Books


  1. Argh, I am so far behind! Had many distractions over the past few weeks. Stupid life getting in the way of the Internet.

    So I cannot defend the Telaxians. There is no excuse for Neelix. And I agree that the Kazon and the Ocompan societies lack complexity. I do think that this was intentional - they are in a part of the galaxy where aliens are disparate, disorganised - there is no equivalent of the Federation here. They are basically tribal, and I think it gives the Star Trek writers a chance to explore the more worrying post-colonialist implications of the Federation, inherited from the original series. I wish they'd made more of this though.

    1. Penni--Nothing to worry about. Life happens. I only hope the distractions were good, and not the frustrating kind (like ant invasions.) Now, let's see if I can do this without coffee. French roast, wherefore art thou?

      The idea of space carved up into small chunks is a fine idea, might even be a great idea. Throw in a bit of border scuffling, inward mentality of the governments, and life on Voyager is a bit less pleasing. Would have worked if they made it grittier. (They also limited themselves by naming the show after the ship. What happens when Voyager is destroyed, and they are forced to seek out another ship to continue the journey? The show is no longer Voyager once the ship goes the way of all Enterprises.) Seems what I have written here is familiar. Oh yeah! That's because you wrote it first, and wrote it better!

  2. I think it would have been a better series (more Babylon 5 ish in terms of building sustained tension over the whole series) if the ship, and the Federation values, had deteriorated throughout the series.

    We did have a hospital visit (croup) but no ants, so yay for no ants. Also our Internet connection has been iffy. And just life with three kids - I know you know all about that.

  3. They should have made the Ocampans the bad guys and Kes a villian. Would have made for a really great story line, especially if she and her Ocampan friends telekinetically blasted them right into the middle of Borg space. That would have made for great TV.

    Also, getting back to Janeway---wasn't Voyager her first command? They really should have played on this inexperience, especially for a first command getting the ship pulled 75 years off course. It would have made for a much better dynamic between her and Chakotay, the experienced officer who abandoned federation ideals to join the Maquis. There could have been great professional tension there.

  4. I can agree with you more on Star Trek; Voyager. I've been a big Star Trek fan since I was a kid and liked every series they had on excpet this one. The Kazon with the rocks sticking out of their head was just the final nail in the coffin for me. In general I also found Voyager to be just plain BORING!!!!!!

  5. I didn't mind the series star trek voyager. I just hated the Maquis terrorist groups.