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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Most of these I've probably seen three times before: the original broadcast, the repeat, the video tape.

I recall that the recurring heels in the early days - the Kazon and the Vidiians - were kinda lame.

I agree, BUT... due to the nature of the show, Voyager soon left them behind on their journey back to the Alpha Quadrant.

I "Ex Post Facto," Paris is falsely accused of (and punished for!) murder. the punishment is a psychic implant which causes him to relive the last moment s of his "victim's" life every 14 hours.

After having taken a week off, we watched "Emanations" (an episode about the "afterlife") last night, which I found to be thought-provoking when I first saw it and I still enjoy today.

In "Prime Factors" Voyager encounters a race with "spce folding" technology capable of traversing 40,000 light years in a single jump. Captain Janeway, of course, tries to secure this technology (or at least the use of it), but the society has its own version of the Prime directive and refuses. Janeway is faced with the decision of honoring the society's rules, or securing the use of the technology through clandestine means. She decides to uphold Starfleet's principles, but several of her senior officers (including tuvok!) conspire behind her back to obtain the device on their own.

I see everything through a political lens these days, but it is refreshing to see someone in power adhere to a principle rather than to betray that principle motivated by corrupt self-interest. 

In "State of Flux," the question is: "Why would one of the Maquis crew betray the Voyager crew? Why would a Starfleet crew member? We're all in this together." As it turns out, the answer is to secure a power base in the Delta Quadrant. But the answer is so distasteful that the culprit turned out to be neither Starfleet nor Maquis, but a (surgically altered) Cardassian spy. Is it just me, or does anyone else see political parallels in virtually everything

In "Heroes and Demons," an alien entity takes over Harry Kim's holodeck "Beowulf" program. when Janeway realizes the entity is sentient, she sends the holographic doctor in to set things right. It's true Star Trek, dealing with a "new life(form)." 

CATHEXIS: Chakotay returns from an away mission brain dead. No time to morn, though, because almost immediately an alien presence begins to inhabit the crew and control their actions, leaping from host to host. [SPOILER] Turns out, the away team did return with an alien presence, but the one they thought was the threat was actually Chakotay. 

FACES: A Vidiian scientist splits B'Elanna into two separate beings, one completely human and the other completely Klingon. Then he infects her Klingon self with the Phage virus. (Seriously? Can't I get away from real-world parallels?) This episode is like "The Enemy Within" on steroids. "Evil Twin" stories have been done to death since then and they usually bore me to tears, but this one was interesting. I have even heard of bi-racial fans identifying with this episode.

JETREL: Nelix confronts J. Robert Oppenheimer Dr. Ma'bor Jetrel who created the Atomic Bomb Metreon Cascade which killed Neelix's family.

A couple of days ago (on another thread) I asserted that I was not a "politically correct" individual. I have taken sensitivity training, however, as well as classes in how to identify and prevent bias, sexual harrassment and racial discrimination in the workplace among others. Still, there's something going on in Star Trek: Voyager that I would not have noticed had Tracy not pointed it out to me. and now that I've seen it, I can't unsee it. 

Captain Janeway is very... uh, shall we say "hands on"... when it comes to her crew. Even Captain Kirk was not this touchy-feely. Well, maybe with women crew members. Then again, Janeway is always touching primarily (perhaps entirely) male members of the crew. Either sexual mores have loosened up considerably by the 24th century (and if Gene Roddenberry were still in charge I'd say that would definitely have been the case), or the Voyager crew has grounds for a class action sexual harassment case when they get back to Federation space.

I was always surprised that Janeway never kept an ensign around for "stress relief". You have to figure that she was perhaps the loneliest person on the ship! She usually separated herself from the crew, content to give Chakotay the occasional sly glance!

By a happy coincidence, I got my Star Trek Voyager comics from Marvel out of storage. They began in 1996 with their "Paramount Comics" line consisting of VoyagerDeep Space Nine, Starfleet Academy and Star Trek Unlimited which focused on TOS and Next Gen.

Unfortunately, Voyager's first ten issues are very mediocre. No one is likeable, not even Kes or Harry. They have no personalities save those who have one trait: Paris (cocky), Doctor (grumpy) and Neelix (annoying).Everone is scowling and look like they're wearing bad plastic masks of themselves and there is little effort to expand on any other crewmember. 

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