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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"Tracy has excellent taste."

I mentioned your post to Tracy. She agreed with you.

Many fans have noted a lack of Eugenics Wars going on during this episode.

Yes, I was going to say something about that. The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh described the "Eugenics Wars" as a kind of behind-the-scenes thing, yet in "Space Seed" Spock did mention a "war weary populace."

Another important development introduced this episode is the Doctor's [29th century] mobile holo-emitter, which allows him to appear anywhere, not just the sick bay and holo-deck.

WARLORD: Kes's body is taken over by the mind of a 200 year old alien Warlord. the normally soft-spoken Kes becomes a brash warrior, spotlighting Jennifer Lien's acting ability. My favorite scene occurs early on, before anyone (including the audience) knows she has been taken over. On a date with Neelix, she tells him exactly what I (for one) have thought about him all along. Too bad it ends up being Tieran, tapping her memories and speaking through her.

THE Q & THE GREY: The episode "Death Wish" (see p.4 of this discussion) has led to a civil war withing the Q Continuum, which leads Q (John DeLancy, that is) to seek to mate with Captain Janeway in hope that a human/Q hybrid would somehow unite the factions. (The backdrop is the American Civil War.) Suzie Plakson plays the "female" Q who eventually gets the honor. Best known (in the world of Star Trek) as being Worf's wife, K'Ehleyr, she probably has the distinction of being the only actor to have played a Klingon, a Vulcan, an Andorian and a Q. I say "probably" because there is at least one Star Trek extra who has played members of multiple races. Jeffrey Combs has played an Andorian, a Ferengi, a Vorta, a human, and a member of an unidentified race in the Delta quadrant. I used to say Mark Lenard was the only actor to have played a Romulan, a Vulcan, a Klingon and an Ape (but I had to include Planet of the Apes for that last one). 

MACROCOSM: A humanitarian mission backfires when a virus that makes COVID-19 look like the common cold bypasses the transporter buffers and is inadvertently brought aboard. Masking an social distancing will not help in this case, because this airborne virus looks like tiny mosquitoes. After incubating in its victims' bobies, more of them emerge from sores to infect others. They can grow to the size of volleyballs. An interesting episode to watch from a 2020 perspective.

FAIR TRADE: As Voyager moves out of space with which Neelix is familiar, he becomes increasingly desperate to contribute, now that he can no longer be an effective guide. In an effort to obtain star maps of the region they will soon be heading into, Neelix, quite inadvertantly, becomes immersed in a narcotics scheme which leads to murder, and threatens his relationship with Janeway and his position on the ship.

ALTER EGO: Harry falls in love with a holodeck woman and seeks Tuvok's help to supress his emotions, only to find himself growing jealous of Tuvok's relationship with her. As the story progresses, the holo-woman seems to take control of ship functions.

Too bad Harry couldn't ask Geordi or Riker for advice on dating holodeck women!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

ALTER EGO: Harry falls in love with a holodeck woman and seeks Tuvok's help to supress his emotions, only to find himself growing jealous of Tuvok's relationship with her. As the story progresses, the holo-woman seems to take control of ship functions.

CODA: This is the second episode in a row which takes a common Star Trek trope, in this case, a time loop, and turns it on its ear. Returning from an away mission, Janeway and Chakotay find themselves apparently caught in a time loop. Each time through, Janeway gets killed and the timeline resets. Eventually, she is joined by the "ghost" of her dead father, who apparently has an agenda of his own.

BLOOD FEVER: Ensign Vorick, a young Vulcan character who has been hovering in the background for several episodes, undergoes Ponn Farr for the first time. He chooses B'Elanna for his mate but she rejects him. But his contact triggers a response in her, and she sets about mating with Tom Paris. Both Vorick and B'Ellanna get it out of their systems by fighting each other. A future romance between Tom and B;Elanna is foreshadowed as a distinct possibility. Also, Borg activity is detected in the Gamma Quadrant for the first time.

Old Business: Back in "Future's End," a toy model of the S.S. Botany Bay, as well as a photo depicting its launch, can be seen ob Rain's desk. Also, this episode establishes that a large section of Los Angeles sank into the ocean following the Hermosa Quake in 2047. That's gonna come back to bite 'em on the arse in another 27 years. 

UNITY: Voyager encounters a Borg cube, abandoned for five years. Meanwhile, Chakotay has crash-landed his shuttle on a planet populated by the former collective, now free of Borg mind control due to an unusual set of circumstances. But without the link, the survivors have divided into d=factions and there is conflict. (An obvious metaphor for the break-up of the Soviet Union.) Chakotay's allies among the ex-Borg try to convince Voyager to power up a generator on the Borg ship to re-establish the link to achieve harmony among the factions. Janeway refuses and they seem to accept it, but when things come to a head, they take control of Chakotay's body and fire up the generator against his will. Harmony is achieved, but they had to resort to treachery to do it.

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