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, June 13, 2012


6. Setting course for plot holes and do nothing episodes is a scientific specialty of Star Trek: Voyager. There are one hundred seventy-two episodes of Voyager, resulting in a minimum of one hundred seventy plot holes, or so it seems. But never fear! I will confine myself to the first episode, thereby attacking the whole reason Captain Kathryn Janeway (there is a cumbersome name for you!) sentenced her crew to a seventy-five year return trip to The Alpha Quadrant and Earth.

After going through a rift in space created by some bizarre satellite/alien thing called The Caretaker, the crew of Voyager find themselves in orbit around a settled planet. There are rock headed Kazon on the surface in shanty towns, and Ocampans beneath the bedrock in what appears to be a Logan's Run paradise (minus the murders at age thirty since the Ocampan life span is about the same as your dog.) The Caretaker had brought Voyager to the Delta Quadrant (some how sensing the ship's presence across the universe) with the intention of making babies. That failed. The Caretaker's purpose for mating was because he/it was dying, and feared for the continuation of the Ocampan society, a justifiable fear since the damn satellite had been taking care of its pet dogs for so long they could no longer feed themselves--much like your dog if you locked it in the bathroom while on vacation. A threat of invasion from the Kazon also existed, though I do not know how serious this was since we saw only the one shanty town and the two ships which Voyager and Chakotay's Maquis ship did a fine job of thwarting. The Caretaker's response to the threat was to use its last power to take pot shots at the planet until all the entrances to the Ocampan underground paradise were sealed. The rationalization was this would afford the Ocampans time to learn how to take care of themselves. I'm not sure how being buried alive will cause anyone to become self-sufficient. More likely it will only prolong death until the air runs out. (And if you are thinking their air is supplied by generators: What happens when those generators break down and the puppy-dog Ocampans are unable to repair them? Sadistic!)

Janeway sighted the Prime Directive, the Federation's none interference policy, as her excuse to go along with The Caretaker's plan. I simply think she is sadistic, preferring to see millions of people buried alive over returning her crew home safely. The Caretaker's plan was faulty at best, and Janeway jumping on board rather than reprogramming the satellite to send them home is unjustifiable. There was a better solution. The Caretaker was in possession of a vast library of data the Ocampan's could have benefited from accessing. Just a thought. (I postulate the Prime Directive dictates they had no business in the Delta Quadrant--particularly those sectors claimed by governments other than The Federation, as in the entire quadrant--and were obligated to temporarily seize control of The Caretaker.)

Slightly less obnoxious than plot holes are the, "do nothing" episodes. These are episodes in which nothing matters at the end, typically found in time travel episodes concluding with only one or none of the characters remembering what transpired. This is different, though similar, to hitting the reset button at the end of each episode (a TNG scientific specialty) with the intention of retarding character development and maintain the status quo. Reset episodes have the potential of entertaining the audience, where as the do nothing episode is a complete waste of time as nothing matters because nothing really happened.

The episode Before and After in season three is a perfect example. Kes finds herself in the future with no knowledge of how she got there, and has no grasp of the situation she is thrust into. A decent hook on the surface. Kes spends the episode traveling back in time, and a temporal paradox must be resolved or something or other will come to an end. Eventually the crew of Voyager succeed in saving her butt, yet she is the only one who remembers what happens. And those future moments where the episode begins, when she is older and married to Tom Paris? Yeah, they do not matter either since she leaves the ship at the end of the season. So much for her daughter and grandchild. So much for the death of Captain Janeway in The Year of Hell--dumb, dumb, dummmmb! Nothing in the episode mattered. A complete waste of the viewers time. (Wait a second! Paris made babies with Captain Janeway, and followed that up with making a baby with Kes. I bet B'Elanna Torres is next!)

There are more episodes in Voyager that fit these parameters. You can take my word for it, or watch Voyager for yourself. Should you feel the need to torture yourself, I promise to stand ready to provide comfort. No one should have to go through this alone.

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

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  1. Do you know what drove me crazy (pun intended) about this show? That they explain in the beginning why they have no counsellor on board (I forget which episode), yet at no point do they bother to train someone to be a counsellor! When Kes comes on board, she trains to become a relatively unnecessary nurse, & says she hopes to become a doctor one day. The ship already has a doctor. What it NEEDS is a counsellor! The isolation, difficult integration of crews etc... my god, how could they NOT relegate someone to this role? It definitely reflects America's attitude to mental health care at the time- that it's not a 'real' issue. They don't even create a holographic counsellor! When people are stressed, they just go play/vacation on the holodeck (cause that'll fix 'em). The same way there's no real Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that lasts for more than half an episode. The characters are regularly assaulted, kidnapped, accused of crimes they didn't commit, incarcerated/mentally punished, forced to survive in harsh alien climes, make decisions under pressure that have terrible, unexpected tragic consequences, are basically living on adrenalin most of the time in this unending tour of duty- and everyone's FINE. Like when B'Lana kind of lost it over the news of all the Marquis deaths... Chakotay did some common sense tough talk & she was pretty much right as rain by the next episode, despite having serious self-harm issues prior to that. Sorry for the long post, but I felt it was really quite rude, the way the show inferred that mental trauma is easy to get over if you focus on the task at hand. What a message for young audiences! Bravo ST: Voyager :s

    1. Gil, your comment should have been reason 12! That was fantastic! Thank you!