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 was proceeding at a good clip, then I allowed myself to get distracted. Plus, it's not often I attempt to watch three hour-long shows in "reruns" at the same time. I'm eager to keep up with Voyager, but I'm recording Bonanza at the rate of two episodes per day, and my DVR is filling up. Plus, I still need to finish season two of Land of the Giants.

LIFESIGNS: The holographic Doctor attempts to cure a member of the race afflicted with "the phage," a physician herself. He does so by putting her body in stasis and transferring her consciousness into a holographic replica of her body, one built from her DNA and unaffected by the disease. Then he proceeds to "fall in love."

INVESTIGATIONS: There has been a subplot boiling for several episodes now concerning Paris' increasing insubordination. I didn't remember that at all, and kind of dismissed it. In this episode, it comes to a head, with Paris asking to be put off the ship. I still didn't remember it, but figured his ploy must be a ruse of some sort and, indeed, it was. the plan was to have him infiltrate Seska's Kazons and sniff out the traitor still aboard Voyager. Janeway, Tuvok and Paris cooked up this plan but kept Chakotay in the dark (because they wanted his reactions to be genuine). the plan works and the traitor meets the same fate as Jill St. John in the first episode of Batman

DEADLOCK: Apparently, the word "veggies" is still in use in the 24th century. I have been know to avoid restaurants which use that term instead of "vegetables." It's like in late 2018, when someone pointed out that Die Hard was a Christmas movie. I waited until 2019 to watch it, then discovered that this was the movie that messed up "yippy-yi-oh-kai-ay." (I knew it was a movie, but I didn't know which one.) Oh, well. Neelix said it and he's an idiot so I guess I can overlook it.

"Deadlock" is the episode I've been waiting for, one of my favorites! (I thought it was first season, though.) If Voyager hadn't already been one of my favorite "Treks," this episode would have made it one. this one really fired my imagination. Without giving too much away, Voyager encounters an alternate universe version of itself, and one of the main crew actually dies.

There is now one other episode I find myself eagerly anticipating. I don't know the title, though. If fact, I thought it was a late TNG epside, but I'll point it out when I get to it.

INNOCENCE: Tuvok is stranded on a planet with three alien children. They are afraid of their own people, and other children with the group have already gone missing. They believe some sort of monster in a nearby cave takes them at night. By the time we find out what's really going on, well... it's kinda far-fetched. The episode does a good job of depicting Tuvok out of his comfort zone, interacting with three illogical, emotional children.

THE THAW: Voyager discovers a planet wracked by natural disasters 19 years ago. An automated message informs that the survival pods are set to open 15 years after the recording was made. Obviously, something has gone wrong. Investigating further, they discover some life pods, with three left functioning. Entering a virtual environment created by the pods, Torres and Kim find themselves in a chamber run by an evil clown, who embodies fear and holding the three remaining survivors prisoner. It''s a 24th century version of "Kirk vs. a computer," another episode I had no memory of whatsoever.

TUVIX: A transporter accident melds Tuvok and Neelix into a single being. I remembered this one as the flip side of the episode in which B'Elanna was split into her human and Vulcan parts, but it's much better than I remembered it. It raises a real ethical dilemma when Tuvix does not want to be "un-merged." The actor who plays Tuvix is equally believable as Tuvok as he is as Neelix.

Klingon?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

 I remembered this one as the flip side of the episode in which B'Elanna was split into her human and Vulcan parts, but it's much better than I remembered it.

Yeah, I was just testing you. ;)

RESOLUTIONS: Janeway and Chakotay contract a rare illness for which no cure can be found. After spending nearly a month in stasis (on the planet on which they contracted it so as not to infect the crew), they are revived. Janeway puts Tuvok in command and orders Voyager to resume its journey home.Disobeying orders not to contact the Vidieans (the race which steals organs seeking a cure the "the phage"), Tuvok puts the ship in danger in a last ditch effort to find a cure. As Janeway and Chakotay prepare to spend the rest of thier lives on the planet, their relationship evolves from Captain/First Officer to that of man and woman.

BASICS, Pt. 1: The entire crew is abandoned when the Kazon take control of Voyager

SEASON THREE:

BASICS, Pt.2: The Doctor and the reformed serial killer Suder (see "Meld") must turn the tide aboard ship, while Paris tries to get the talaxians to take on the Kazon in battle. Seska is killed, and Chakotay learns that he is not the father of her baby after all. It is at this point, IIR, that Voyager leaves the Kazon behind. 

FLASHBACK: A Vulcan mindmeld transports Janeway and Tuvok back to Captain Sulu's Excelsior concurrently with the movie The Undiscovered Country. This was my favorite episode at the time of its release. It guest-starred George Takai, Michael Ansara and even Grace Lee Whitney (whose acting was embarrassing). Man, I wanted to see an ongoing TV show featuring this cast!

As I recall, this episode, along with DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations", were intended to celebrate Trek's 30th anniversary.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

FLASHBACK: A Vulcan mindmeld transports Janeway and Tuvok back to Captain Sulu's Excelsior concurrently with the movie The Undiscovered Country. This was my favorite episode at the time of its release. It guest-starred George Takai, Michael Ansara and even Grace Lee Whitney (whose acting was embarrassing). Man, I wanted to see an ongoing TV show featuring this cast!

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