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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This guy mentions it at about

It was mentioned that the museum Doctor was his backup program. It was probably stolen when they took the other handheld devices. 

"Wasn't it meant to be a back-up copy of the EMH?"

Oh, thanks for pointing that out! (I guess I missed it.) No, really, thanks, because it saves what I found to be an otherwise thought-provoking episode (save for my misunderstanding). (I guess I could have just asked Tracy, come to that.)

It's still kind of a cheat if, as the guy I referenced says, the back-up had never been mentioned before.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Wasn't it meant to be a back-up copy of the EMH?"

Oh, thanks for pointing that out! (I guess I missed it.) No, really, thanks, because it saves what I found to be an otherwise thought-provoking episode (save for my misunderstanding). (I guess I could have just asked Tracy, come to that.)

"It's still kind of a cheat if, as the guy I referenced says, the back-up had never been mentioned before."

I listened to that clip and, just after 2:28, he questions why Harry and Kim didn't use the back-up earlier the same season when they could have used it to restore the Doctor's missing memories. I can extrapolate that, because of that crisis, the back-up was created immediately after. 

This episode reminds me of an episode of All in the Family in which Archie, Mike and Edith all relate their versions of the same event earlier in the day. You know the one I mean? With the plumber? (Ron Glass was in it.)

I don't think that I've watched an episode of All in the Family since it went off the air.

DEMON: Voyager is in danger of running out of fuel in a week. Seven of Nine discovers a source on a class Y planet, a.k.a. "Demon" class as it is so inimical to human life. Harry and Tom take a shuttle down to mine some dueterium, but both of their spacesuits are compromised and they fall victim to the planet's atmosphere. Janeway decides the best course of action is to land Voyager itself. A rescue party find the two men alive and well, not wearing spacesuits, and brings them back to the ship. Unfortunately, they can no longer breathe in an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere. their condition cannot be reversed, and Janeway struggles with the decision of leaving them behind.

I do remember this one, vaguely, but I didn't remember the resolution until I saw it again. 

ONE: Voyager encounters a HUGE nebula directly in its path. It would take a year to fly around it, but only a month to fly through it. Unfortunately, the nebula has extremely detrimental effects on humans, as well as (we discover after a time) ship's systems. The Doctor is immune to the effects (at first), and Seven of Nine is resistant. the only way the rest of the crew can survive the nebula is cryogenic suspension, leaving only the Doctor and Seven to navigate the ship. Six days from the far end, Seven begins to hallucinate. Then the Doctor goes offline. Then things get really bad. 

Ever since the character was introduced, almost every single episode brings her a little loser to being human, sometimes by baby steps, sometimes by leaps. (The "rape" episode did a lot to that end.) She's not there yet, but she's well on her way to becoming more human than Borg. I'm eager to learn what happens next.

HOPE & FEAR: I don't remember this one at all. This one picks up on the garbled message from Starfleet (see "Hunters"). Voyager enlists the help of an alien linguist to decipher it. Starfleet has invented a new form of transwarp travel (capable of traveling 60,000 light years in three months) and has sent them an entire ship, empty, for their use and the coordinates where to find it. Everything is not as it seems, however, and this is also the episode in which Seven finally chooses human over Borg.

It is also something of a milestone for me, personally. It is with season five that Paramount launched their own "network" and I was no longer able to watch Star Trek: Voyager. No longer will I have to try determine "Do I remember this?" or "Do I remember that?" From this point on, I haven';t seen any of it (with two exceptions). I am very much looking forward to seeing seasons five through seven for the first time. 

Jeff meant *a little closer to being human* in his review of ONE. 

Of course, I had to tease him about calling Seven a loser. (snicker) 

NIGHT: This one looks familiar. I know I said I've never seen anything beyond the fourth season, but I remember now something that happened. Back in the '90s, I had a friend who worked at an out-of-town newspaper. He was a "Trekie" too, and knew my predicament. He snagged a VHS tape of the fifth season opener off the review table and sent it to me. I had forgotten about that.

As the episode opens, Voyager is two months into a journey across a starless region of space that call "The Void" which will take years. the crew is going stir crazy, and Janeway has all but locked herself in her quarters, and is regretting her decision which effectively stranded them in the Delta Quadrant. I particularly liked Tom Paris's "Chaotica" movie serial holo-deck program. In 2021, the first part of this episode plays very much like being stuck in lockdown.

Suddenly, Voyager is attacked by a species who lives in this starless region of space. They are assisted by a member of another race who is running some sort of transport mission. It turns out that he is essentially "dumping toxic waste in the ocean" at the expense of the native lifeforms. He offers to escort them to the vortex he has been using to traverse the void if they will turn over the alien they captured. Janeway offers him the means to produce energy without creating the waste, but he refuses because it would cut into his profits.

Janeway is now stuck with a similar ethical dilemma to that which stranded them in the Delta quadrant in the first place. the vortex can be collapsed, but only from the inside. She decides to stay behind in a shuttle to collapse it and cover Voyager's escape, but the crew refuses. They bolster the aft shields and resolve to fight it out, collapsing it on their way. The heavily armed transort ship blocks their way, but the Void aliens come to Voyager's assistance, the transport is destroyed and the vortex collapsed.

This was a really good season opener with multiple plot-points, very well-structured. 

The void aliens who are being poisoned have an incredible look. Wow! 

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