Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Episode 11: State Of Flux

Well here we finally have the Seska centric episode, is she or isn’t she the traitor?  One can only wonder in suspense.  I can’t believe this episode was also called Seska before it was changed to the one above.  One unfortunate thing about the episode was this was one that Janeway had to be cross in, fortunately she wasn’t in it too much.

If you want my opinion, and presumably you do otherwise you wouldn’t be wasting your time here, this episode seems to make Chakotay a tad... naive, or at least galactically stupid as a titular character was called in Lois & Clark.  I love how the Maquis ship had the two spies Tuvok and Seska on it.  I’d actually rather have seen a series set on it, even a sitcom where they keep getting in each other’s way would be good.  Admittedly Chakotay did punish Seska for breaking into the kitchen and making mushroom soup, so he can’t be all bad.

Seska did have a point though, if Voyager was a Cardassian ship they would’ve been back to the Alpha Quadrant by this point.  Mind you if it were any other Federation ship it would’ve been too, but there you are.
I am liking Tuvok more and more as the series progresses which is good since Paris seems to be regressing since we first met him in the pilot.  So that’s Tuvok and the Doctor that are good in the show.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Episode 10: Prime Factors

The start of this episode is promising, opening as it does with some of the crew in the mess hall mocking Kim for his uselessness with women.

Later on Kim's almost going to prove them wrong by actually getting off with an alien chick but then ruins it with science.  And after months in the delta quadrant Janeway's going to get some too, Kim barges in and ruins that too with his seemingly endless pursuit of unfeasible ideas to get back home.  Harry Kim: Professional Alien Cockblocker.

The main alien reminded me of a rather bored Bond villain rather than a leader of a race of pleasure seeking aliens which didn't help the episode but amused me.

I did like that the reason the Voyager crew couldn't get home this week was because of this races own set of binding laws, maybe it should've been called Prime Directive 2: The Irony of Kirk's Gold.  Of course the fact that no-one in the Federation seems to care about their own Directive it comes as no surprise there are similar people who are the same among the aliens. 

I also liked the transporter that worked over fourty thousand light years, they could've kept that in one or two more shows.  Or even why didn't malfunction and transport them another fourty thousand light years in the opposite direction?  It's not as if, it would have affected them getting home eventually.

The main thing that let the episode down though was that after Tuvok, Torres et al disobey orders they effectively have nothing happen to them.  Janeway just gives them a stern talking to, that'll learn 'em.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Episode 9: Emanations

So Voyager finds a new element in a planet's rings - I won't even go into THAT.  Turns out the new element is from alien bodies which are appearing there and then eventually appear on Voyager.  Halfway through the episode the alien bodies were still appearing on Voyager, eventually Torres decides that's because of the Warp Core or something.  Janeway orders the ship to travel half a light year and lo and behold the situations fine again.  Surely it wouldn't have taken a Particle Physicist to think that if she'd have done that earlier there wouldn't have been a problem?

Oh yeagh, and Kim ends up transported to another planet which is something to do with the death and philosophy.  To be honest the main point that the Star Trek universe is somehow someone elses afterlife didn't even occur to me until I read up on the episode afterwards because let's face it if someone, you know, transports in a type of machine I'm gonna think think they... wait for it... transported there.  But that's the Voyager writing staff for you.

So despite Kim 'dying' he's in pretty much the entire episode so that happened.  But never mind all that at the end of the episode despite Kim feeling fine and them being lost in unfamiliar space, alone against the galaxy Janeway orders him to have two days off so he can "write about it, if you feel like it.  Paint.  Express yourself in some fashion." - How did the Kazon, never mind the Borg not ahnilihate these people?

I leave you with a theme I shall come back to from time to time; What the hell is an Ensign doing on the senior bridge staff anyway?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Episode 8: Ex Post Facto

So here we are at Season Three Episode Fourteen, A Matter Of Perspective already.  No wait, this is a Voyager Season One episode masquerading as it for obvious reasons.  Couldn't we have had Yesterday's Voyager instead?  Interestingly the original idea for the episode was an alien race who added the first and last memories of the victim to the perpetrator as punishment.  This would’ve made a much better story than shoehorning it into a whodunit.

So anyway, Riker... sorry, I mean Paris and Kim end up down on a planet with a scientist and his wife, I'm sure you can guess who got who.  Bizarrely though Kim isn't actually annoying in this episode either, probably to do with the fact his bubbly freshman personality wasn’t evident much after he’d been tortured.
Tuvok was probably the best written character in this episode though showing himself to be good as investigator.  A Vulcan of all people, who knew?  However his investigation was the more interesting part of the episode, even if it did go a bit Agatha Christie towards the end.

I was intrigued by Janeway's 'impartiality' in war between the two planets which involved sneaking to one planet then eventually flying the entire ship into orbit, while ignoring the other planet entirely.  Also, Chakotay's Maquis tactic to confuse the alien ships wasn't exactly the Picard Manoeuvre, actually it wasn’t even the Wesley Manoeuvre either.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Episode 7: Eye Of The Needle

Okay yes, this one did feature time travel... again.  But wait, it’s actually good, easily the best of the episodes so far.  Basically it’s a story about people getting their hopes up and then dashed, maybe that’s why I liked it.
Kes even gets some nice scenes, this time with the Doctor and his burgeoning personality.  The parts about him getting to feel more like a part of the crew were touching in that respect.  The Doctor is incidentally reminding me more and more of Hugh Laurie’s House.

I also liked the scenes between Janeway and the Romulan with her desperate to win him over through his cynicism and mistrust.  It worked especially well in the beginning of his relationship and there was only his voice to connect with.

Ironic though in the end, that it’s Tuvok, a Vulcan would be the one to dampen everyone’s enthusiasm after the Romulan left.
I’m actually even struggling to think of anything intrinsically bad about this one.  Kim’s doe eyed enthusiasm worked for the theme episode and Neelix wasn’t even in it.  I did think while watching it, the best way to blow up a Romulan ship is to convince them you’re in the Delta Quadrant and then beam a test cylinder/bomb to them.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Episode 6: The Cloud

This episode features a space anomaly which needless to say doesn’t really say anything new, in fact, it’s more a combination of bits of previous episodes so I’ll leave that part and just say it wasn’t the best.  Though it does result in a great rant from Neelix about how they have to “find some space anomaly today that might rip it apart!".  I know I used the word “great” and “Neelix” in the same sentence but he was pretty much the focus of all the good parts.  Was nice to actually see Kes and him interacting as if they were in a relationship.  Janeway’s dismissal to him after he wants to leave the ship was pretty good too.  Iindeed I actually didn’t mind him in this episode, well, until he appointed himself Moral Officer. 

As you may have guessed the character stuff was the saving grace of this episode.  Janeway and Chakotay bonding over him teaching her to find her animal guide was a nice touch.  I wasn’t that keen on the new Chez Sandrine set which seems to be Voyager’s equivalent of TNG’s Ten Forward.  Probably didn’t help it featured Janeway inexplicably potting four balls from break in pool, but the character bits in those scenes didn’t feel right.   

Also Kim was being annoying again, especially to Tuvok earlier in the episode.

I’ll leave you with the best moment of the episode, the Doctor (quelle surprise) when commenting whether the ship did harm to the anomaly "Let's see, you ran your ship through it, fired phasers at it, and blew a hole in it with a photon torpedo. I'd say it's a pretty good chance that you did some fairly significant..."

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Episode 5: Phage

Thankfully it’s not another time episode, but give it...uh... time.

The character focus of this episode seems to be the relationship between Neelix and Kes which I just don’t believe in.  True, Kes isn’t the most interesting character unfortunately but at least they’re trying to do things with her.  But Neelix isn’t one of them, sure we’re told they’re going out but aside from that they don’t seem to have any chemistry.  Kes has more chemistry with the Doctor, but then it is the Doctor.    Speaking of the Doctor it’s good to see more of him in this and more of his personality to take a more prominent role.

The Vidiians in this episode are a good original concept and they’re more than just evil for evil’s sake (unlike the Kazons).  Another idea I like is having the replicators rationed and using a kitchen with a chef. 
Anyway, so Janeway in this episode lets the aliens go towards the end because otherwise would be “wrong”.  Uh, what?  She has a crew member without lungs in sickbay (admittedly Neelix) and she doesn’t want to take the lungs back from the Vidiian?  And it turns out Neelix only needs one of the lungs anyway so they could’ve both theoretically survived since the Vidiians have superior medical knowledge.

Also if you’ve seen the Futurama Star Trek episode where they mock Trek’s overuse of metaphors to make things simple for the audience, I think they may have watched Voyager.  There’s about three of things in this episode alone.  Alas “balloon and something bad happens” wasn’t in there.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Episode 4: Time And Again

Hey, it’s a time travel episode!  Excellent, haven’t seen any of them in a while... oh wait.  Plus just to make it even better there’s an annoying kid in it.  At least Ken Biller the story editor realised this too after the event though when he said “"If you remember, there's a kid that Paris is accused of threatening, and you ultimately wished he had."  So yeagh, I didn’t like this one.  The best thing about it was Paris’ line to Kim “Maybe you should run a self-diagnostic” but then even they seem to know this since the line’s in there twice.

This episode isn’t even saved by character stuff since there doesn’t actually appear to be any.  Even Paris who I’ve started liking in the previous two episodes didn’t seem to be himself with a lot of generic lines.  At least Neelix wasn’t annoying since he was hardly in it.

The Prime Directive is given prominence in this one, with Janeway arguing for it and Tom against/or not really caring.  Which brings me to the ending or lack thereof.  They might as well have been free with one bound.  Indeed nobody remembers the events of the episode except the viewer, which is just especially cruel if you ask me. 

Good things about it then.  Hmm, well the Doctor is good as normal.