Star Trek: Voyager
“It’s Dangerous to go alone; take these.”
Star Trek: Voyager was an American sci-fi series that ran on UPN beginning at the network's launch in the time before all actors on the network gradually became black. In the series, the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager develops special shielding to block this effect after one of their crewman, the Vulcan Tuvok, succumbs to the UPN effect.
The show departed from Star Trek's more traditional sci-fi emphasis, allowing women to appear on-screen wearing a surprisingly large amount of clothes, and it focused around the blending of two "families" — a Starfleet crew and a group of Maquis terrorists. Inspiration for the show is said to have come after producer Rick Berman read that a growing share of the marriages in the United States involved children from a previous marriage. Deciding to translate this to Star Trek, he wrote the new series to consist of two crews, one with a stern mother figure, the other with a father figure that used to be cool and hip, but now has only a tattoo to show for the days when he was cool. (Berman's next series was based on an article he read that revealed more and more Nazis are using time travel.)
This historically makes Voyager the only show that will ever be shown, where any government completely cooperates with terrorists that oppose them; as Janeway does becoming house mates with the Maquis. Brannon Braga swore on Gene Roddenberrys grave to prevent the hippy Utopia of his wife's Voyager from ever happening. So Bragga made Enterprise 24, which involved a time loop where every day was star date 9-11.
The crew of Voyager is stranded in the Delta Quadrant, where "the Caretaker" has pulled it in a fraction of a second, doing so by folding subspace manifolds to allow a quantum slipstream induction effect through concentrated tachyon emissions. As the show is only one hour long, it abbreviates this as "wormhole".
In the series, both a Maquis ship and a Federation vessel are whisked away to the Delta Quadrant of the galaxy by the Caretaker, a god-like creature that can pull people to him from any part in the galaxy, but for some reason chooses to look only inside one desolate area of space containing only plasma storms. The being possesses huge amounts of power, but of course his people never factor into any other episode or series. At the end of the pilot episode the Caretaker dies and his technology is destroyed, stranding the characters decades from home and forcing them to create a new blended crew. Early episodes focus on this blending, but later seasons smooth over the fact, rarely mentioning that the crew was not always together, with the main reminder of this fact being the iconic opening theme song, which recounted their origins. The fact that Voyager takes seven years to get back to Earth from the Delta Quadrant is incomprehensible; Janeway manages to get a few light years away from Earth, but has to revert back seventy thousand light-years to do the intro theme FOR THE 200TH TIME! But Voyager finally makes it back in Endgame after a two-part episode with no intro-theme allows the ship to quickly dock before the next episode can start ...
Later, as ratings dropped, it was revealed that Voyager had been transported to the same quadrant that was home to Star Trek's most popular enemy, the Borg, an evil cybernetic race — both organic and silicone-based. Later, the ship got its own silicone-based life form.
The premise of the program has often been compared to a high-tech version of Gilligan's Island played as a drama, except that instead of building everything with coconuts, the crew of Voyager used holograms and borg nanoprobes to solve every problem. Also, unlike in Gilligan's Island, the shuttle Cochrane reappears after it has been destroyed several times. Ultimately, the show's writers were fired en masse as a cost-cutting measure during the hiatus between seasons 6 and 7: The remainder of the show was written using Microsoft's Technobabble2000 software.
- Main Article: Captain Janeway
Captain Janeway was touted as the first female Captain to be featured in a Star Trek series. Nevertheless, the producers always kept open the option that if no suitable actress could be found, the part could be rewritten for a male Captain. This nearly happened when Eric Idle, the first person to be cast as Kathryn Janeway, quit the series during the first week of filming.
While a female Captain would seem to be nothing special in the 24th century, the decision to have a show revolve around such a woman was controversial. Unlike the Captains in the previous three series, Janeway would be the first Captain who would not "baldly go where no one has gone before". In fact, a shaved head is just about the only hairstyle that Janeway did not have in the course of the series. Unless you count the time she was assimilated, but that was all cleverly done with lighting and mirrors. Her hair is comparable in strength to ablative hull armour and is the sole reason for the destruction of the Borg.
If you were drunk you would think about it ...
Richard Woolsey or Baldilocks The Doctor
Voyager 's doctor was a copy of the emergency medical hologram, never designed to be used for a long period of time, but pressed into service by necessity after the ship's entire medical contingent was killed by a plot device. The first holographic individual to have sustained contact with humans in an essential role, the doctor becomes a leading figure in support of photonic rights, advocating equal respect and treatment for holographic individuals. The question of such rights had already been raised in the previous Next Generation series of Star Trek by the hologram of James Moriarty, but since the doctor employed non-violent methods while Moriarty acted as a terrorist, the doctor was the first to gain major recognition in the Star Trek universe. The doctor is most often referred to as "The Doctor" and sometimes "Doctor X". (He was almost called Doctor Who but it was already taken.) The latter name was a political statement noting that he would take no name given to him by his non-photonic masters.
Throughout the series the doctor gains increased recognition by Voyager 's crew; first gaining the right to turn himself on and off (a bid for the right to turn seven of nine on was strongly rebuffed), then later the ability to go to the non-holograms-only portions of the ship. The acquisition of a mobile holographic emitter left no excuse for him not to be granted bridge and away mission duties. In one of the most noted episodes of the series, he engages the crew in a philosophical discussion over his rights:
- Doctor: I am a hologram. Hath not a hologram eyes? Hath not a hologram hands, dimensions, senses, affections, passions. If you prick me, do I not bleed?
- Janeway: Computer, override protocols and deactivate the emergency medical hologram blood-flow module.
- Doctor: Hey, no fair!
Sadly, this plotline became increasingly irritating as the series progressed; however, despite a letter-writing campaign by the both the show's viewers, the character wasn't placed in a giant alien microwave and nuked until he decompiled.
Because the doctor's personality was based on the crotchety scientist who programmed him, the doctor and all other Mark 1 EMHs were often quite difficult and ill-mannered. In order to rid the Mark 2 EMH of any and all annoying qualities, it was instead modeled after actor Andy Dick.
A controversial story arc in the show's seventh season had the Doctor looking more and more like Lieutenant Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Faced with a plethora of characters whom many fans found disinteresting, and test groups who were increasingly acclimatized to Seven of Nine's tight wardrobe and immune to its distracting effects, Voyager producers instructed series writers to study older Trek series for inspiration. Taking this direction too literally, numerous scripts were produced for the Doctor and Seven of Nine which had them basically do as Data had, and follow a personal quest to be more human. This shift came complete with dialogue for Captain Janeway, like Captain Picard before her, to utter the refrain, "It may not have been the [adjective] thing to do, but it was human" near the end of such episodes. In protest of these crass and unimaginative stories, the makeup department began decorating actor Robert Picardo in Data makeup, but the producers, sensing that the shift might bring back TNG fans alienated by several seasons of sub-par Trek stories on Voyager, decided to keep it. The makeup department was going to do the same to Seven of Nine actress Jeri Ryan in retalliation, but producers put their foot down, writing in a memo, "Ratings among every straight male demographic took a dive last time we made her look like a Borg. Ms.
Meal Ticket Ryan has to look mostly human. But no one cares if you do it to the Doctor."
Voyager's chief engineer B'Elanna "Bologna" Torres was the ultimate multi-cultural character. Not only was she half-Human and half-Klingon, but she also had a Latino last name. B'Elanna allowed the writers to explore both concepts of identity and the phenomenon of intolerance in a series of stories revolving around her upbringing as a half-Klingon in a human culture, and then later as a culturally human individual in the one-dimensionally violent Klingon culture. These themes could be echoed in the real world impact of having a prominent Latino character in a popular prime time drama. Thus, the series was continuing Star Trek 's legacy of advancing racial equality by presenting a prominent and non-stereotypical Latino character as a role model for children. Torres begins the series as a criminal, and then ends it as a mommy.
Pronounced CHA-ko-tay, Chakotay was part of a Native American colony (the source of his New Ageness) that was kicked so far away from their original territory that they ended up on a distant planet that was being handed over to the Cardassians by the Federation. Unhappy with the prospect of once again being squished into a small plot of land to work in a casino, Chakotay's father joined the Maquis, a resistance movement of people who aimed to spice up the Trek universe by acting like they were in Star Wars (you know, starting space battles and flying around asteroid fields/plasma storms, that sort of thing). After his father was killed, Chakotay quit Starfleet to avenge his father and fight for his homeland, leaving his friends at Starfleet to finish singing "Hakunna Matata" without him.
When Starfleet's attempts to stop Chakotay by sending him space-blankets filled with Small Pox fail, Captain Janeway sends Tuvok to infiltrate Chakotay's ship so she can track it, a move which ultimately leads to both of them being trapped in the Delta Quadrant. There, Janeway makes him Voyager 's first officer so that he will give up terrorism following the successful model for dealing with terrorists established in the mid-21st century when Osama bin Laden was named Vice President of the United States. Tuvok, Janeway's ever loyal companion and next in line for first officer, threw a fit about the lack of logic in "terrorist affirmative action" and mentioned something about making a hull breach the size of a quarter in a cargo bay filled with the Maquis and promptly headed to the mess hall to take his frustrations out in a "pugilism exercise" with Neelix.
Chakotay is the only human being in the entire galaxy stupid enough to still follow an Earth religion in the 24th century.
Tom Paris, son of a Starfleet admiral and a former officer himself, was a Maquis convict when Captain Janeway offered him the chance to redeem himself by tracking down Maquis ships. Eager to get out of New Zealand (and who could blame him?), Paris accepted. While Paris was the ship's most skilled pilot, he was often removed from the helm so that he could serve as the ship's head nurse. This was especially prominent after the ship lost its female nurse. Throughout various timelines and evolutionary statuses, Tom Paris was the only crew member to have sex with each of the show's original cast of female main characters, which was rather predictable, since he was the only remotely fuckable male character on the whole ship.
Tuvok Shakur was simultaneously the chief security officer on Voyager and an intergalactic rap sensation. Such a combination would not manifest itself again until two years later when Homeboys from Outer Space was aired. Because Tuvok was a Vulcan, the man portraying him was not allowed to act or express emotion in any way. Initially a leading crewmember, he spent the majority of the ship's voyage in the background where any significant character developments were avoided.
During his final years he becomes obsessed with drawing boobs on pieces of paper and cannot differentiate between Janeway and the wall, due to their similarly curveless shape.
Kes was a member of the Ocampa species, a peculiar race of aliens with a short nine-year life span, who lived under the protection of The Caretaker, the powerful being who brought Voyager to the Delta Quadrant. Owing to her short life span, when Kes joined the crew, she had both the mind of a naive and impressionable two-year-old and the body of a twenty-something sexpot. Through her time in the series, Kes served as a more caring and feminine foil to the stern and commanding Janeway, showing affection for several of the male characters, particularly those with odd or unfortunate configurations of hair.
As the show progressed, various episodes explored Kes's developing psychic powers. In one episode she is able to sense the missing consciousness of Captain Janeway. In another, she is able to perceive that an entire episode has been erased by poor temporal mechanics. Kes's powers begin to fully develop when Tuvok begins to teach her and she suddenly manifests powerful pyrokinetic abilities. After her abilities get powerful enough, she
ascends to a higher plane of existence leaves the ship.
Though the juxtaposition of Kes's adult appearance and her limited experience allowed the writers to explore the Star Trek universe through the eyes of a child — someone who wouldn't question what all that technobabble means — the character was criticized as being demeaningly submissive. Critics charged that Kes was meant simply to be the ultimate geek fantasy, a beautiful woman with little to no life experience and low standards in men who was also a pyro. Producers for the show refuted these allegations, saying that they would never try to gain male viewers by degrading women, and that besides, the ultimate geek fantasy was a large-breasted dominant woman with no emotion and pieces of metal attatched to her face.
Seven of Nine
- Main Article: Seven of Nine
Duties on board Voyager:
- Human incubator of Borg nanoprobes, envied by Tuvok
- Freed Borg drone "assimilator"
- Offerer of cold, logical viewpoints, like Tuvok
- Borg information database
- Attractive singer in holodeck environs
- Increaser of time in bathrooms for male Voyager crewmembers, particularly Tuvok
- Plays the role of "the Borg Smurfette"
- Only known human to efficiently and effectively spark the Vulcan libido
Seven continued in her role for over fifteen years, until Homespace Security learned she was an Arabic number and put her on the no-fly list.
You may note that there is
no now a section on Neelix. This is because the authors of this article have elected to be merciful. Certainly more merciful than Berman and Piller, who subjected the world to this mutton-chopped, mohawk-wearing Jar Jar-prototype for seven fucking seasons. You know, back before Gollum and Dobby taught whiny nerds what TRUE annoying and "scenery-chewing" was.
FACT: Neelix' Bolian soup was made from 100% real Crewmen Chell. This gave it a hideous, glowing, radioactive, blue color enjoyed only by Janeway and resulted in Kes's destabilizing and melting Tuvok's head.
FACT: When he made cheese, Voyager fell ill. The actual ship itself.
FACT: The mess hall's stench is comparable to the smell of Chakotay's cider after incubation for seven years.
FACT: Neelix' hair spaghetti is potent enough to strip the hull plating off Voyager.
FACT: He cooks everything in a Wok, with a forest fire underneath, INDOORS, in the oxygen-rich environment of a spaceship.
FACT: His outfits are actually an extension of his body, the tubules are actually supplying his brain with a drug that forces him to be abrasive and horrifying to small children.
Extras with lines
Who? You may ask. Even though your memory is trying to reduce the painful experience, the fact remains that there was a character on Voyager named Harry Kim. He had no major role, personality or character whatsoever, which was represented dramatically by his persistent inability to establish or maintain a lock on anything. This caused the writers lots of problems, which they solved by having him die in about every episode. He died in 105.6 per cent of the Voyager episodes. Kim was able to die in a number of episodes exceeding 100% primarily due to his deaths in season 8, which aired in an alternate timeline where network executives ordered an additional season. Fortunately, Kim sacrificed his life in order to erase this horrendous alternate timeline, and only viewers unlucky enough to have temporal shields had to endure it. Additionally, he was played by a guy named Wang. Jokes on the subject were outlawed because ... it's just far too easy.
Where Tom met Kathy. Where Kathy met Chakotay. Where Harry met Bulimia. Where Harry met Tom. Where Tuvok reunited with Kathy. Where Tuvok met naked Neelix (and subsequently went blind). Where Neelix saved Kes. Where Kes bitchslapped her Uncle Toscat. Where the gang met the Doctor. Where Seven of Nine didn't exist yet.
Where the show had potential.
Voyager Gets a Cold (a.k.a. "Learning Curve")
In this episode we learn that the "bio-neural gel packs" that Voyager uses in its circuitry really serve no function except to become infected by space cheese, which the ship's designers did not think an exploratory space vessel would be exposed to. This episode focuses on the less-seen low ranking crewmen, who must save their superior officer, Tuvok, when an accident happens. Since all these lower ranking crewmen are members of species we never see on the bridge and are blue (or green or whatever), we can conclude that even in the 24th century the "colored" man is still being put down.
Bio-neural circuitry is well known to be slower and therefore "more cool and laid back than the old electrical shit" regardless of the fact that it takes a doctor, four nurses, and a half dozen engineers to figure out what's going wrong with the ship instead of just the engineer in the traditional "basically at the speed of light" electrical circuitry.
Voyager meets Amelia Earhart ... So that's where she went ... The Delta Quadrant ... All the way across the galaxy ...
This episode establishes that the writers have no problem letting Earth be the focus of events absolutely anywhere in the galaxy. They will pull shit like this again. And again. And again.
Threshold (a.k.a. the "Muddy Mudskipper" episode)
Tom Paris breaks thirty years of Star Trek canon by going faster than Warp 10, which causes him to mutate into the Elephant Man. Then he kidnaps Janeway, flies her faster than Warp 10, which causes them both to devolve into mudskippers, have sex, and give birth to a bunch of baby mudskippers in an alien swamp. I really wish I was making this shit up. I really, really do. But enough about your mudskipper fetish. This was the first (and so far only) episode to ever have been removed from Star Trek canon.
No really. It's that bad. So bad that the events depicted never actually happened in the Star Trek universe. Yeah.
Like all poorly conceived episodes, this one starts with a transporter accident, in which two characters — the boisterous Tuvok and the quiet Neelix — are turned into one being. What does this, you may ask? A flower. So for those of you keeping track at home, that's 24th-century Technology: 0 – Flowers: 1.
When a way to reverse the effect comes only after a long time in which Tuvix has established his own independent identity, the episode raises important questions about the ethics of destroying one life to save others, and about who has the greater right, the one existing or the two which once did? Surely these are tough moral questions upon which one cannot act lightly. But then Janeway just does it anyway, because we're coming up on five minutes left in the episode; on top of which, most of the crew agreed that Tuvix "wasn't as hot as Neelix".
(deep announcer's voice): "Janeway ... Torres ... Kes ... wish they all could be California girls?"
I don't have a joke here. I just wanted you to remember that promo for a moment and share in my pain.
Seven of Nine makes her first appearance. Fans have no idea what they're in for.
Year of Hell
In this two-part episode, originally aired at feature length, Voyager does battle with the Krenim Imperium, whose weapons are based on temporal technology. The crew is initially confused by the way the size and capabilities of their foe keep shifting. At first they assume it is merely poor continuity in the writing, but soon they realize that the source of this is a Krenim scientist named Red Foreman who has the ability to put his foot up your ass, Eric.
Red Foreman once used his foot to defeat the Krenim's greatest enemy, your ass, but in the process he destroyed a crucial genetic trait his people needed to defend against a virulent plague. Now he uses the weapon in an attempt to restore the Krenim Imperium to how it was in That '70s Krenim. The only important plot point you need to know is that there's a collision course and starships involved.
Bride of Chaotica!
This is arguably the only good episode in the entire series, because it completely rips off decent Science Fiction from the 1930s. When Tom Paris and Harry Kim are on the holodeck playing dress-up as Captain Proton and his lame sidekick, Voyager suddenly becomes caught in a kind of black hole. Because of this, the holodeck stops working, and photonic creatures enter the holodeck themselves. The characters of the dress-up game, most notably the evil Dr. Chaotica and his adjutant, Lonzak, act as though these photonic creatures are invaders from the Fifth Dimension. Because the photonic creatures don't know what physical stuff is, they think that Chaotica is real and the people from Voyager are the holograms, and they start blowing up the ship as Chaotica attempts to destroy the invaders with his Death Ray.
In the meantime, the people from Voyager make up some half-assed plan to have Janeway pose as Arachnia, seduce Dr. Chaotica and destroy the Death Ray. Also, because the Doctor is a hologram, he's going to be the president of Earth so he can talk to the invaders. This all of course works perfectly, and Voyager escapes from the black hole, after which not a damn thing has happened.
As told — by many still surviving members of the primary Trek community this disaster — by many of the world's greatest members of the Star Trek International Council this paradigm of technobabble — by many of the smarter fish heads of waterplanet earth this strange earthbound relic — by many of the 31st-century Federation Time Agents totally disregarding the Temporal Prime Directive this amazingly rich source of temporal incursions — caused interspatial quantum mindfucks and other neural failures among every and any half of the intertimely beings in what is called the spatial Seven of Nine paradox. The events in the episode grew interdimensional beyond fiction to go and kill your grandfather before you do it when he was seven. Or nine.
What if the world around you is fake; a computer simulation designed to keep you complacent and docile? What if you aren't here at all, and instead you are a borg drone? Eh, see how they threw in the Borg so it isn't copyright infringement?
In this episode, Voyager's resident silicone-based life-form, Seven of Nine, discovers that there is an underground resistance within the Borg collective that is based around an imaginary shared world that some drones go to while they regenerate, becoming their real selves again. This allows Seven to take on the Borg queen, leading to the ultimate showdown of pasty big-breasted women with metal things in their faces. Five hundred nerds died of exhaustion when this episode was aired.
In which Admiral Kathryn Janeway meets Captain Kathryn Janeway, and a few hundred stars go nova. The Admiral wants to send everyone home, while the Captain wants to be the police chief of the Delta Quadrant. Modern Day Janeway wants to continue being tough on the Delta Quadrant though she knows that doing so will end up with about twenty-four more Voyager crew-people dying, including many with names. Also, Tuvoc will go insane (and portray a less than mediocre imitation of "Rain Man") unless he has mind-sex with a member of his family, any member, including one of his kids.
In the end, they compromise and do both. The Admiral is assimilated by the Borg Queen, but since the Admiral had the flu, she gave it to the Borg, which allowed the Captain to take Voyager home via a portal into the Earth solar system that the Borg never used for some reason.
Also, B'Elanna Torres has Tom Paris's love-child. Naturally, everyone's thrilled because in the 24th century, no one cares if you're a bastard or not (which the baby is not since they were married earlier in the final season after two years of barely seen courtship).
- Tom Paris was the first person to break break the warp ten speed limit, after which he evolved into a giant
salamandermudskipper, kidnapped Janeway and had baby salamandersmudskippers with her in an alien swamp.
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