After I watched the first season of Star Trek: Discovery (on DVD), I decided to kill the time before the release of season two by watching the other Star Trek spin-offs, starting with Enterprise (season four only). After that I moved on to The Next Generation and following that, Deep Space Nine. (It took me seven months to watch seven seasons of TNG, but an entire year to finish DS9.) Up now: Star Trek: Voyager. It took DS9 a while to grow on me (and, until this past year, I had seen the episodes only once each), but I thought Voyager picked up the baton from TNG and ran with it.

I watched all of seasons 1-4, and I was also a member of the Columbia House Voyager VHS club. (I never did cancel my membership; the tapes just stopped coming. It was a huge rip-off, anyway, in comparison to the DVD sets; my VHS tapes are now worthless (in terms of resale value). Unlike DS9 (of which I have only the initial episode for $4.95), I watched the Voyager ones, and am familiar with many of the episodes simply by the title. 

I stopped watching after season four because UPN got squirrelly about how they distributed the show. TNG and DS9 were first-run syndication, but Voyager launched what was intended to be a new network, the United Paramount Network. By the fifth season, though, a station couldn't buy just that show; they had to buy the entire slate of UPN programming. I lived in St. Louis at the time, and had access to six or seven channels: the three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC), the local PBS channel, two local stations, plus a local religious network. None of them wanted the whole package. St. Louis was the 45th largest television market in the country at that time, and we couldn't get Star Trek!

A letter-writing campaign was directed at Larry Rice, the owner of the evangelical station I mentioned earlier. Star Trek is not exactly the kind of programming his station carried, and I'm sure the desperate fans wouldn't have deigned to watch his channel under any other circumstances. A word here about Larry Rice: technically he was a "televangelist," I suppose, but he wasn't one of those millionaires in white suits and wearing gold rings. The office where I used to work in downtown St. Louis was right across the street from his facility, and when supply trucks came in, he was right there in his shirtsleeves helping to unload. Every Thanksgiving, the line was around the block to feed the homeless. But I digress.

I remember some of the local coverage when Voyager debuted. Tuvok was described as the first African-American Vulcan. "African?" "American?" "Vulcan?" Well, he was one of the three. Tim Russ may have been the first African American to play a Vulcan, but that's different. I also recall some controversy surrounding the casting of Robert Beltran as Chakotay. IIRC, Beltran is an Indian, but not of the same tribe as Chakotay. the woman originally cast as Captain quit early on, too. 

Because I have never seen seasons five through seven, I am really looking forward to this series. I have a friend who used to work on a newspaper, and he snagged a VHS of the final episode from the review table for me to watch. I did watch it, but I didn't allow myself to retain any of the the details, in anticipation of the day I would be able to watch the entire series. I don't know how much detail I will go into here, but I don't anticipate taking as long to get through this as I did DS9.

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I the first episode (as I'm sure most of you reading this will know), Captain Kathryn Janeway pursues a Maquis ship into the area of space known as "The Badlands" and Voyager is hurled to the Gamma Quadrant via a distortion wave, 75 years from home at maximum warp. both crews combine when the Maquis ship is destroyed, and they add Tes and Neelix to the crew.

In 2014, my former company underwent a merger with another company, and the experience was just exactly like the second episode. Just. Exactly. Like it. What I remember most about this episode from before is the description in the TV Guide. [SPOILER] It said something along the lines of: "A ship in distress is found trapped in a stellar anomaly, and the ship is the Voyager itself." [END SPOILER] Way to go, TV Guide! that revelation wasn't made until well into the second half... according to my timer, 30 minutes in to a 45 minute (with no commercials) episode. That still sticks in my craw, even after all these years. Still a good episode, though, especially because of the temporal dynamics in which the effect (Voyager's distress call) preceded the cause (Voyager responding to the call before it was in distress).

Employees of any two companies undergoing a corporate merger should be shown this episode. Now I have a whole other reason to appreciate this episode.

I got to tolerate Neelix after a while, but I never cottoned to Kes as a character.

Kes is pretty and she has a deep sexy voice.

I never did get used to Neelix.

The idea of Kes was interesting, but I feell like it wasn't carried off well.

Kes and her race were an interesting concept. Does anyone know if it was used in a previous science fiction story? 

Neelix never bothered me much and Kes was there to be the "space babe" like Troi and Dax, despite her "jailbait" status. Her age was there to be controversial. She had some good moments but was under-utilized. Not as much as Harry Kim but still...

Something else occurs to me apropos "African America Vulcan" regarding media coverage, and that is the reference to Captain Janeway as "Star Trek's first female captain." What about Admiral Nechayev on numerous episodes of ST:TNG? Did they think she skipped over the rank of captain? There were also numerous other female captains and admirals featured, but I didn't think to make note of them while I was watching until it was too late. (And yes, I know what they meant, but that is not what they said.)

Why does Tim Russ play Tuvok as if he's constantly constipated? 

It used to annoy me that Neelix referred to Tuvok as "Mr. Vulcan" until I realized that, whe Tukok introduced himself, he said , "I am Vulcan." I guess Neelix assumed his name was Tuvok Vulcan.

"Time & Again" bears one striking similarity to "Parallax" (in that effect precedes cause), but it took 20 years and me watching the episodes back-to-back for me to notice it. I don't care what the rest of y'all say... Voyager is off to the strongest start of any Star Trek show ever, before or since. 

Well, nyeah-nyeah-nyeah!   ;)

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I don't care what the rest of y'all say... 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Something else occurs to me apropos "African America Vulcan" regarding media coverage, and that is the reference to Captain Janeway as "Star Trek's first female captain."

That annoyed me, too. I guess for publicity purposes it wasn't as clumsy as saying "Star Trek's first lead character who is female."

Why does Tim Russ play Tuvok as if he's constantly constipated? 

I know that Tim Russ was a huge Star Trek fan before he played Tuvok. I guess that was his interpretation of a Vulcan.

In order to be "logical," one must keep his forehead constantly wrinkled.

In "Phage," Neelix's lungs were stolen, "harvested" by a race who has fallen victim to a debilitating disease and must steal organs to survive. I might have guessed this episode was based on the "kidney stealing" urban legend, but apparently the writing staff wanted a complex, multi-dimensional and layered villain to explore.

In "The Cloud," Voyager flies through a giant  "space amoeba," injuring it, and they must make things right before moving on.

In "Eye of the Needle," Voyager discovers a tiny wormhole back to the Alpha Quadrant, big enough to send a message through. They discover someone on the other side of it, but a double twist lies ahead.

I remember all these stories so well. I'm really looking forward to getting to the seasons I have never seen before, and that expectation is propelling me forward. All of the individual stories so far have been pure "Star Trek" in terms of exploration and discovery, but I'm really enjoying are the character bits as each progresses in his or her (or "its" in the case of the EMH doctor) own arc.

I dimly remember these episodes.  Most I doubt I've wathced since they were first broadcast.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

In "Phage," Neelix's lungs were stolen, "harvested" by a race who has fallen victim to a debilitating disease and must steal organs to survive. I might have guessed this episode was based on the "kidney stealing" urban legend, but apparently the writing staff wanted a complex, multi-dimensional and layered villain to explore.

In "The Cloud," Voyager flies through a giant  "space amoeba," injuring it, and they must make things right before moving on.

In "Eye of the Needle," Voyager discovers a tiny wormhole back to the Alpha Quadrant, big enough to send a message through. They discover someone on the other side of it, but a double twist lies ahead.

I remember all these stories so well. I'm really looking forward to getting to the seasons I have never seen before, and that expectation is propelling me forward. All of the individual stories so far have been pure "Star Trek" in terms of exploration and discovery, but I'm really enjoying are the character bits as each progresses in his or her (or "its" in the case of the EMH doctor) own arc.

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