To The Journey

April 20, 2007

Wednesday night Katie and I watched the final episode of Star Trek: Voyager. We’ve watched the entire series now, via Netflix. It took us the better part of a year, and has been a happy weekly ritual for us for that entire time.

My initial reaction to Voyager was that I’d try it at first, and if we didn’t like it we could stop watching. Many comments I’ve heard over the years on the show were profoundly negative, and I expected to have to swallow some bile in order to sit through the series. We muddled our way through the first season, and the show was *just* entertaining enough to keep going. The writing in the first season is bloody weak, and the character of Janeway is … gaah. Katharine Hepburn meets creepy starship Captain, there.

What kept us watching, through the first season and into the second and third, were the other characters. Tom Paris, Bellana Torez, and (of course) The Doctor made the show well worth watching as they schlepped their way through the shithole of the galaxy: the Delta quadrant.

Eventually, I realized that I’d even grown to kinda like Janeway .. mostly. Just as in previous shows, the writing had gotten stronger and stronger with each passing season. Ongoing storylines like the struggle with the Kaizon, and the ship’s eventual confrontations with the Borg, kept viewers involved in the lives of the crew … good times.

We really picked up watching the show earlier this year, as we cracked into the fifth and sixth seasons of the series. The addition of Seven of Nine changed the dynamic of the crew greatly, and (despite reservations again) Katie and I grew to like her quite a bit. It’s hard to hold Jeri Ryan accountable for the awful outfit the production staff put her into, and she definitely showed her chops as an actress during some of the damned strange episodes they put her through. Good times.

We’re going to watch some random stuff for now, before we jump back into another series. I think we have a Studio Ghibli movie and some old mysteries on the way in the near future. We’re not even sure what that ‘next series’ is; Battlestar Galactica would be the natural choice, but we’re not sure if we want to go right back into sci-fi so soon.

It’s very satisfying to have gotten through the seven long seasons of this show. Essentially the only television we’ve watched for the last however many months, it’s nice to be able to look back on the plot threads with clear eyes.

My only quibble, really, is the incredibly weak-ass ending to the show. The last episode before the two-part finale is an ill-conceived doctor-specific show that makes him out to be an ass. With that sour taste in our mouths, we move right into the incredibly lame deus ex machine finale. Grar.

Seven years worth of enjoyment, and the stupidity they put on display in the last episode shows precisely why Enterprise tanked. Asshats.

Despite that, I’m really glad we did it. A great show, a great franchise. I hope however the new ‘re-invisioning’ movie doesn’t make a mockery of Gene Roddenberry’s vision.

One comment

  1. I wanted a fellow Voyager fan to talk to this last week. First I wanted to gush about a terrific episode I saw (Muse, where Bellona crashes on a bronze age planet and inspires a Greek-type play) then I wanted to rant endlessly on an episode that was not only the worst Voyager story I’ve yet seen, but possibly the worst episode of any show I’ve cared about (Fury, where “Kes” “returns” to wreak “vengance” for some unexplicible “reason”). But now I’ve just seen Imperfection (where Ichep risks his life to save Seven’s) and I’m back to being startlingly happy with the series. Brian does not share this with me, though, so I have no one to talk to about these ups and downs, alas.

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