Voyager rewatch. Random thoughts.

Bean

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#61
I'd much rather watch the worst season of TNG than the best season of Voyager. That should put it into context.

At least when TNG was awful it wasn't the writing exactly. It was either an earlier episode where they hadn't found their groove yet, or it was an idea that simply didn't work out. Sure there were a few stinkers but most of them were just "I didn't care for what they were trying to do there" as opposed to plain old bad writing like Voyager.

I think the only episode of TNG that I would say is on the same level of crap as VOY was the Robin Hood one with Q. And even that one had some great one liners that didn't come off as horrible as Janeways "witty retorts".
 

Cymro

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#62
A lot of it was just too cheesy/campy early on. But they talked a lot about humanity's potential to grow. However cynical I may get, the idea of humans becoming more than we are and eventually becoming something we can't comprehend right now just captivates me.

"Angel One" is a perfect example of early TNG. It feels a bit silly, and they really aren't subtle about what they're doing, but it's entertaining, the character interactions are decent, and the way the main plot resolves is actually quite brilliant.
 
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Bean

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#64
On the sex thing, I noticed that Voyager seemed to be written by 10 year olds when it came to dialogue. They couldn't come right out and say anything, it all had to be dorky innuendos and such. Watching the Seven/Chakotay crap in the final season exemplified that. Every single conversation they had was nothing but stupid, geeky innuendo. It's as if the writers would start to write some adult dialogue and then collapse into giggles and blushing.

TNG handled it a hell of a lot better without being over the top like say BSG or something.

Now that I think of it, that pretty much sums up most of Voyager. It's like it was written by teenaged virgins.
 

Bean

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#65
the idea of humans becoming more than we are and eventually becoming something we can't comprehend right now just captivates me.
Oh I agree totally! That's one of the things I loved about Q in TNG. He knew something about humanity that our characters had no clue about. I've always loved that Q took such an interest in them because of that.

When he appeared in Voyager and even DS9 he was just there for the sake of it. With TNG he was there for what seemed like malicious reasons, but there was usually a subtext to it.
 

Cymro

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#66
Agreed. Good example is 01010100101 or whatever the fuck it's called. Riker is sexually attracted to a hologram, but the hologram is actually REALLY FUCKING SEXY, and actually is the perfect woman. Intelligent, witty, mysterious.

Angel One. Tall, blonde, fit, strong, it's not gratuitous in any way, and Riker knows exactly how to act and what to say.

Even in "Justice", you have basically a perfect, Ayrian sex planet, and Wesley aside, the WHOLE crew is thinking the same thing. Which is perfectly human, and the fuckers (my new name for the Edo) are fine with it too.

Cut to Voyager. Basically, nobody gets laid for seven years, but in the mean time, two people and one hologram spend four years fantasising about taking advantage of what is effectively a sensitive, autistic little girl who was raised by a sick religious cult, and the person who finally does it is a man who has the charisma, drive and intelligence of a plastic cola bottle cap. Bravo, Braga, fucking Bravo.
 

Cymro

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#67
Oh I agree totally! That's one of the things I loved about Q in TNG. He knew something about humanity that our characters had no clue about. I've always loved that Q took such an interest in them because of that.

When he appeared in Voyager and even DS9 he was just there for the sake of it. With TNG he was there for what seemed like malicious reasons, but there was usually a subtext to it.
Yeah. I remember those early days on Trekweb when everybody said TOS or DS9 were the best series, and (you and?) I always maintained that TNG was the best.

I actually enjoy DS9 more now, and it was definitely the most consistently well-written, entertaining thought-provoking show out of the bunch, but the optimism, and the central idea that TNG presented of humans exceeding what we are now, and evolving into something greater is really what got me into Star Trek in the first place, and is why I always think of the show in such high regard. When I was 10 years old or whatever it was, and Q said "That is the exploration that awaits you; not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.", it was a revelation to me, that was the meaning of life, and that was why I loved Star Trek, and still do.
 

Bean

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#68
That has to be one of my all time favourite Trek quotes and it captures my love of the franchise perfectly.

And yes, I remember the DS9 vs TNG days. I still maintain that TNG is superior. Not because it was better written than DS9 but because it embodied the spirit of TOS so well. It felt like a natural continuation of the themes and ideas explored in the original The show wasn't about spaceships and phasers, it wasn't about interpersonal conflict and beguiling antagonists. It was about where we are and where we could one day go as a people.

Don't get me wrong, I love DS9, and it the writing was some of the best on TV at the time, but the first few seasons sort of wandered, and the final few turned it into an action adventure show more often than social commentary. Even gems like "In The Pale Moonlight", which is in my top 10 Trek episodes, weren't so much social commentary as they were drama. Which is fine, but that's not the core of the franchise.
 

Bean

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#69
Actually the two parter "Chain of Command" is a perfect example of what I mean about DS9 It was a fantastic episode, a classic for sure. But it wasn't "pure Trek" if that makes sense. It was drama. So even TNG was guilty of that once in a while.
 
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#70
I'd much rather watch the worst season of TNG than the best season of Voyager. That should put it into context.

At least when TNG was awful it wasn't the writing exactly. It was either an earlier episode where they hadn't found their groove yet, or it was an idea that simply didn't work out. Sure there were a few stinkers but most of them were just "I didn't care for what they were trying to do there" as opposed to plain old bad writing like Voyager.

I think the only episode of TNG that I would say is on the same level of crap as VOY was the Robin Hood one with Q. And even that one had some great one liners that didn't come off as horrible as Janeways "witty retorts".
Ohhhhh no. Crap like "Night Terrors" and the episode with Crusher's family ghost are right up there with "Threshold." At least "Threshold" had an interesting, high-concept sci-fi idea buried in it, even if Braga really needed RDM around to fix things.

DS9 was a lot more subtle about the social commentary, but it was there. The Bajorans and the Cardassians were obvious stand-ins for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and there was a whole lot of subtext about one being's terrorist being another being's freedom fighter, what happens to your lofty ideals when faced with a truly existential threat, etc. "In the Pale Moonlight" is loaded with that stuff, it simply doesn't club you over the head with it like TNG was often guilty of.
 
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Cymro

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#71
Actually, a lot of the problems with Voyager were inherited from TNG. Season 7 even feels a bit like Voyager, which is something I blame on them having basically the same team.

But after (and during) the run of TNG, Star Trek placed less emphasis on exploring man's place in the universe, or ideas about the nature of thought, space and time, what life is, and whether humanity can overcome it's flaws. One of the reasons Battlestar Galactica was so good was RDM visited these themes, albeit from a different perspective.

I've seen a lot of interviews with Bill Nye, where he advocates investment in space programs because they encourage an interest in science in a way nothing else does, which is that they are the best way of answering the two questions that every human has asked since we first developed the ability to do so: Are we alone? Why am I here? Examining those two questions is what makes compelling Sci-Fi.
 
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Cymro

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#72
I'll also say that one of the things that early TNG did better was basic dramatic presentation. Before Berman really took over, the show had more interesting and cinematic lighting and music that if a little 80s, was at least there, and set the mood. From season 4 of TNG, right up to the end of Enterprise, Trek was characterised by way too much fill lighting and music that was just "there". Even the most dramatic parts of the DS9 war were just scored by forgettable horn notes. I think the last time TV Trek actually had a dramatic score was this the borg engaged - YouTube
 

Bean

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#73
I can't argue with your take on the music. Even DS9 suffered from a lack of truly remarkable scoring.

This all comes down to Berman He wanted everything to be "copy/paste". He treated production of these episodes like an assembly line.

Though I will say that I think the music at the very end of that episode is definitely more memorable ;)
 

Cymro

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#74
Maybe. I always remember the "We have engaged the Borg" part because that weird synth-choir sound is very out of the ordinary for Star Trek, and without the music the scene wouldn't be anywhere near as tense.
 

Bean

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#79
She was an arrogant, opinionated bitch. I hated the character.

I see where people can draw comparison to Mccoy, but Pulaski was different in all the ways that count. Mccoy was all about "if it's not broke, don't fix it" whereas Pulaski was an egotist that simply had to have everything her way no matter what.

She looked down on Data. The parallels you could draw between her and Data and a modern day Republican and a black man are spot on.

Crusher was far from an interesting character, but I was thrilled when she came back. I was even more thrilled when Pulaski seemed to vanish without any explanation or fanfare.

EDIT: And just to be clear, I'm sure they wrote her knowing that some people would react to her the way I did. She was certainly well written in that regard, but sometimes she was just too much for me. I'm glad they dumped her.
 

Cymro

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#80
I think it's good to have a character that not necessarily everyone will like, doesn't have the same perspective as everyone else, and acts as a foil for the lead. Whedon loved to do it, that's how we got Cordelia, Spike and Jayne.

The way she talked to Data was reflective of how a lot of people would feel (according to "The Measure of a Man", a lot of people in Starfleet too) about the idea of treating a robot like a person, and I think she naturally would have overcome that prejudice eventually had the character continued. And that's the arc; nobody liked Quark or Bashir when they started out, but as the series progressed, their personalities mellowed, and they became part of the family like everyone else.

And I really would have liked to see the friendship with Worf develop, there was something really charming about that little scene.
 
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