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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DARKLING: Kes has broken up with Neelix and finds herself attracted to a native on the planet they are visiting. Meanwhile, the Doctor adjusts his programming by adding behavioral subroutines. Soon, the "B" plot subsumes the "A" plot and the episode becomes "The Doctor and Mr. Hyde." 

I watched all of Voyager, but it's amazing how many of these episodes have completely fallen out of my memory.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

DARKLING: Kes has broken up with Neelix and finds herself attracted to a native on the planet they are visiting. Meanwhile, the Doctor adjusts his programming by adding behavioral subroutines. Soon, the "B" plot subsumes the "A" plot and the episode becomes "The Doctor and Mr. Hyde." 

I watched all of Voyager's first four seasons (until the launch of the Paramount Network), and it's funny: some of them I remember very well, others not at all. Robert Picardo's performance as an "evil" Doctor is remarkable, yet this is one I have no memory of. I used to love Jonny Quest, yet when I read the Comico comic book series, I had no memory of Jezebel Jade. Yet I had strong memories of the episode in which Race Bannon dyed his skin purple to impersonate a local god (now partially censored by the PC police on DVD), yet that's one of two episodes which featured Jade. 

I watched every episode of the original series countless times, but I suppose a lot of that is due to the fact that for much of my childhood, it was the only Star Trek there was. The later series I've re-watched my favorites only.

RISE: Voyager has volunteered to help a planet being assaulted by meteors. Tuvok and Neelix lead an away team to the surface to save some scientists who have made an unusual discovery about the meteors. It turns out that the meteors are artificially created and controlled by an aggressive race who simulates a natural disaster to get a planet's population to flee a continent, then they move in and take over. The shuttle is damaged upon landing, and atmospheric conditions are such that they cannpt contect the ship or beam out. The crux of the action deals with the landing party's efforts get a sub-orbital "elevator" to take them above the cloud cover so they can escape, but one of the natives is a traitor. This episode is a good character study of the relationship between Tuvok and Neelix.

I'm trying to ad lib lyrics to the Voyager opening theme but it's difficult because Tracy keeps shutting me up.

FAVORITE SON: Here's another episode I have no memory of. Harry Kim, acting on his own, inexplicably fires upon a ship Voyager is talking with. A battle ensues and Voyager sustains heavy damage to its warp core. Unable to flee, they seek refuge on a planet Harry chooses. The inhabitants defend Voyager from its pursuers. Apparently, Harry's mother was implanted with this Taresian DNA before he was born, and now it's drawing him home. The concept is presented in a plausible manner, but the whole thing ends up being a hoax for the matriarchal society to perpetuate itself. The story is an obvious riff on Odysseus and the Sirens, but it is also reminiscent of one of the animated episodes.

PAIR WITH: "The Lorelei Syndrome"

BEFORE & AFTER: Kes finds herself slipping through time as a result of exposure to chronoton radiation. The episode begins on her deathbed, some six years hence, and follows her as slips backward along her own timeline. She awakens with 98% of her memory gone; I wonder how this episode would play (from Kes's POV) to somepne who had never seen the show before...? 

REAL LIFE: The Doctor programs a "holo-family" for himself to interact with during his off duty hours. The family is ideal, right out of a 1950s sit-com. When the doctor invites Kes and B'Elanna over for dinner on the holodeck, B'Elanna is put-off by the unreality of the Doctor's "home life." With his permission, she programs several "random elements" to make the program more realistic. Tragedy strikes and, while the Doctor ultimately faces it, his also abandons the program.

In the B-plot, Tom Paris vanishes while investigating an astral eddy between space and sub-space, but don't worry: he got back okay. 

DISTANT ORIGIN: This episode is serious science fiction, all A-plot. Impossibly, Voyager encounters a space-faring race evolved from Earth dinosaurs 20 millions years ago(!). A plausible (?) theory is put forth how this could have happened, but the crux of the plot deals with the dinosaur scientist accused of heresy, like Galileo. 

Your post prompted me to watch this episode. In April 1997 we were still working, often long hours. At the time I was recording a number of TV shows on two separate VCRs. Pretty sure Voyager was one I was recording, but sometimes "mistakes were made" and something didn't get recorded. I'm sure I've never seen this one before.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

DISTANT ORIGIN: This episode is serious science fiction, all A-plot. Impossibly, Voyager encounters a space-faring race evolved from Earth dinosaurs 20 millions years ago(!). A plausible (?) theory is put forth how this could have happened, but the crux of the plot deals with the dinosaur scientist accused of heresy, like Galileo. 

"It's amazing how many of these episodes have completely fallen out of my memory."

"I'm sure I've never seen this one before."

I'm sure I have seen this one, but I don't remember it. It also amazes me how many of these episodes have fallen from my memory. I would have watched every episode of the first four seasons at least once each. Seasons one and two I remembered quite well, but season three has been about 50/50 hit or miss. I recall some Seven-of-Nine episodes quite clearly; I wonder why so many of these third season episodes have fallen through the cracks of my memory...? 

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