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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DRONE: A transporter mishap causes Seven's Botg technology to merge with the Doctor's 29th century holo-emitter technology, and before you know a baby Borg is born. This is like the "Hugh" episode of TNG done right

For some reason I was reminded of this meme from some years ago.

And, for some reason, that reminds me of the poem Data wrote about his pet cat.

ODE TO SPOT

Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature;
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

O Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

EXTREME RISK: Voyager vies with the same race they encountered in The Void to retrieve a space probe lost deep withing the atmosphere of a gas giant. Both ships are in the process of constructing a new type of shuttle which would withstand the pressure and allow them to get close enough to the probe to beam it out. Meanwhile, B'Elanna is experiencing major depression after learning the the fate of the Maquis last season. 

IN THE FLESH: This episode begins unexpectedly with Chakotay and Tuvok at Starfleet Headquarters. It turns out that, in reality, they are aboard a satellite of an elaborate and highly accurate reconstruction. The simulation is being run as a prelude to infiltration and invasion. the "humans" manning the base are actually species 8472 in disguise. Chakotay infiltrates them but is soon discovered. Instead of escalating into war, this discovery leads to diplomatic negotiations. 

Species 8472 is extremely dangerous and is even capable of defeating the Borg. What Janeway didn't realize at the time she allied with the Borg to defeat them was that the Borg, not species 8472, were the aggressors. Species 8472, of course, is unaware of that fact. This episode gives me hope that even Democrats and Republicans can work together. Maybe.

I'm really enjoying these "new" episodes of ST: VOY.

Did Ray Walston play a gardener in that episode?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

IN THE FLESH: This episode begins unexpectedly with Chakotay and Tuvok at Starfleet Headquarters. It turns out that, in reality, they are aboard a satellite of an elaborate and highly accurate reconstruction. The simulation is being run as a prelude to infiltration and invasion. the "humans" manning the base are actually species 8472 in disguise. Chakotay infiltrates them but is soon discovered. Instead of escalating into war, this discovery leads to diplomatic negotiations. 

Species 8472 is extremely dangerous and is even capable of defeating the Borg. What Janeway didn't realize at the time she allied with the Borg to defeat them was that the Borg, not species 8472, were the aggressors. Species 8472, of course, is unaware of that fact. This episode gives me hope that even Democrats and Republicans can work together. Maybe.

I'm really enjoying these "new" episodes of ST: VOY.

"Did Ray Walston play a gardener in that episode?"

Yep, that's the one. (Boothby.) 

He'll always be "Uncle Martin" to me.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Did Ray Walston play a gardener in that episode?"

Yep, that's the one. (Boothby.) 

ONCE UPON A TIME: The Delta Flyer (that's the new shuttle they designed and built in "Extreme Risk") has crash landed on an inhospitable planet. One of the crew trapped aboard is Ensign Naomi Wildman, the mother of the little girl who Neelix has grown close to. Neelix spends the episode trying to distract her from the harsh realities of the world with the help of a popular children's fantasy holo-novel (similar to Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz) and he finds out that you just can't do that.

TIMELESS: The episode begins with two snow-suited figures trekking across a frozen waste. Who are they? What are they looking for? The camera pulls upward to reveal Voyager frozen under tons of ice. this show has really gotten good at "teaser" opening scenes. I read somewhere that the fourth season is considered Voyager's best, but I have already mentioned, I'm enjoying the hell out of these episodes I've never seen before.

The time is 15 years in the future. The snow-suited figures are Chakotay and Kim, the only survivors of the fate which befell Voyager. They are fugitives and are being pursued by Starfleet. (Levar Burton makes a surprise cameo appearance as Captain LaForge of the Galaxy Class Starship Challenger.) Voyager is trapped beneath the ice on a planet on the outskirts of the Alpha Quadrant. Chakotay and Kim have a plan to alter time so that the accident never happened with the help of Seven's Borg implants and the holographic Doctor.

15 years ago, the crew had cobbled together a "slipstream" device which would speed them on their way. It required Chakotay and Kim to fly ahead of the ship in the Delta flyer because reasons. A miscalculation by Harry caused Voyager to fall out of the slipstream and crash, while he and Chakotay continued their journey. They spent the next decade and a half trying to find Voyager and set things right. However, the plan the settled upon is in violation of the Temporal Prime Directive. 

I doubt if it's a spoiler to tell you they succeed, but what makes the episode particularly satisfying is that Harry and Chakotay learn what their alternate future selves did. An all-around good episode. 

INFINITE REGRESS: Seven of Nine develops (for want of a better term) Borg multiple personality disorder. she begins to manifest the personalities of dozens of individuals the Collective have assimilated, including a six-year-old girl, a Klingon Warrior and a Ferengi. Excellent performance by Jeri Ryan!

Also, this episode begins to develop the relationship between Seven and Neelix's goddaughter, the young Naomi Wildman. I hope they continue along those lines. NOTE: I misidentified her mother, Ensign Wildman, as "Naomi" a couple of posts back. As far as I know, Ensign Wildman's first name is so far unrevealed (or I missed it). 

According to IMDB, Ensign Wildman's name is Samantha.

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