Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Episode 75: Scientific Method

Yay, it’s another episode where an alien race is secretly experimenting on the Starship crew. Really, you’d think StarFleet would have issued shoot to kill orders by now.

So these aliens seem to have it in for the various members of Voyager. Of the main bridge, Janeway is being made more tetchy, Neelix is being turned into another species and Chakotay prematurely ages (wonder does he regret his tattoo now). Oh yes, and Torres and Paris get more randy, well that’s their excuse.

The best part of this was having Seven and the Doctor collaborate to bring down the aliens as it was nice seeing the Doctor take on a more leaderish role than he normally does. More good news for this episode is that they didn’t lose a shuttlecraft! bad news is they’re cursed . No wait, that’s not it, oh yes, another crewmember dies. The crew really should have a Voyager dead pool.

As an aside and something I noticed in this is I love how even in the 24th century people have to hand deliver data rather than sending it over their computers. Seriously, Tuvok travelled all the way from the bridge to engineering and back just to give a data pad to Torres. Couldn’t they even have a pneumatic tube messaging system?

Lastly there’s a part where Chakotay asks Janeway if he’s boring her. Well....

Monday, 29 August 2011

Episode 74: The Raven

So this is the first episode of Voyager that Bryan Fuller has written. That’s him who’s gone onto be involved with great shows like Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies. Y’know, ones that are cancelled.

In this Voyager is on the border of B’omar space trying to negotiate passage through it when Seven starts experiencing hallucinations and believes she is being called back to the Borg. Not the best of timings to go nuts and flying off in a shuttlecraft. Doesn’t she realise they hardly have any left?!

The thing with the B’omar (apart from their clothes look like a hockey mask and stained glass windows met in a trash compactor) is they seem not to want the Voyager crew to see their space. Needless to say then they reticently grant them passage through it so long as they go really slow and take the scenic route. Wait, what?!

I’m actually liking the character of Seven now. It’s probably by way of her whole attitude that every time she looks at one of the crew you could imagine her saying “You sicken me” to them. It’s also a nice counterpoint to the usual non-human wanting to become human, with her she doesn’t want to and would stay in her alcove all day. Well, who can blame her.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Episode 73: Revulsion

The Voyager crew seem like the most crazy and wacky funsters ever. I mean, get this right, Paris and Kim for a merry jape programme Tuvok’s computer controls to say “Live long and prosper” every time they’re pushed! How hilarious is that? Data should’ve learned comedy from these guys, never mind Joe Piscopo.

Voyager gets a distress call from a ship where the crew has died but the distress call is from the ship hologram (Leland Orser who plays it particularly well). The Doctor needless to say is understandably curious, it’s not every day you meet a holograpic person, well it is if you’re on Star Trek. As often with these meet ups though he turns out to be a homicidal maniac. It would’ve been better though had we not known had a suspicion of that with the teaser.

In the B story of this episode Seven and Harry Kim have to team up to do a project. Kim who’s fallen for a hologram before needless to say fancies her. Is he an idiot? Seven would literally break him in two.... hmmm.... damnit! They should’ve got together. Oh well, at least fun was had at his expense at the end by Chakotay. Go Chakotay! I know, I sicken me too.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Episode 72: Nemesis

Exciting times. No, not the episode but I’ve thought of a new drinking game, just take a shot anytime a character says the word ‘Nemesis’. Downside is you’d be unconcious within ten minutes, which is also the upside coincidentally. As an aside this game would also be suited to these reviews and the words ‘dull’ or ‘boring’.

For the first twenty minutes I thought this was vying to be one of the worst Voyager episodes yet since we’re just treated to Chakotay and a few caricature military aliens on a planet. This is after he crashes a shuttle craft (third to crash in three episodes, how many do they have?!) I was even pleading for Neelix or even Harry Kim to be involved to liven things up. Thankfully though it does get mildly better and the ending of how Chakotay was brain washed was in it’s small way quite good.

It doesn’t help thought that since this is the Delta Quadrant and supposed to be completely different that the Kradin look almost identical to the Nausicaans from TNG and DS9.

Seven doesn’t feature at all in this one which was a surprise since the way the season was going so far I was beginning to think she’d be the subject of every episode. Actually in this one it might’ve helped.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Episode 71: Day Of Honor

So for this episode instead of a Vulcan ritual, this time it’s a Klingon one. Equal opportunities and multi culturalism abounds in this series!

An alien race who’ve been decimated by the Borg (Borg eh? I wonder if they want revenge on any of the crew?) try to appeal to Janeway’s charitable side. Which is all well and good until they start threatening Voyager for more. Meanwhile Torres is conflicted about a Klingon ritual and she’s having a bad day. I can just imagine her Twitter account now “Damn now they’ve sent the Borg to engineering. #worstdayever”.

For a lot of the episode Torres and Paris end up in suits in the middle of space by themselves and they have to confront their feelings for each other. Feelings everyone knows about, I could’ve told you several episodes ago. In fact I’m sure Species 8472 could too. They’ve probably got a similar blog to this one.

The alien race in this, the Caatati (looks like the letters I normally get in Scrabble), start by being pathetic to get charity, followed by bringing more ships to demand more from them. So what do the Voyager crew do, they build them a generator so they can power their ships of course. Well, Seven did actually. Because she’s feeling compassion now which results in the Caatati not wanting to kill her anymore. Of course it does.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Episode 70: The Gift

So then with Seven arriving last episode someone must leave and unfortunately it’s Kes. I’ve said often in these reviews that Kes, especially when she’s not with Neelix, is one of the better crew members.

Basically this episode involves Seven (I get the feeling that’s all I’ll be saying from here on out) being more integrated into the crew and wearing her jumpsuit along with Kes discovering her psychic powers have increased, so much so she must leave Voyager. But her parting gift? She gets them 10 years closer to home. Obviously she didn’t want to give them the whole 70 years, she’ll get them another 10 years for Christmas.

One interesting thing from this story is the Borg enhancements put on Voyager in the Scorpion two parter are still on it in this story, so why couldn’t they have done stuff like that before and not have it all resolved in an episode? I’m sure people didn’t turn it on, see the enhancements and turn it off in confusion. More likely they turned it off for a variety of other reasons.

As mentioned the bulk of this episode is about the comings and goings of Seven and Kes. Unfortunately it appears to be a very Seven heavy story with Kes consigned almost to a ‘B’ plot which is a shame for her last regular story and really there are other characters on Voyager who they could have gotten rid of and no-one would’ve noticed, I really don’t need to name them do I?

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Episode 69: Scorpion Part II

Here we are then with Season Four, the halfway season of the series. What better time then to introduce a new character, Deep Space Nine did it after all. So here we have the introduction of a new character, the infamous Seven of Nine.

Voyager and the Borg go ahead with their bargain, which just delights Chakotay (well, it might, who can tell with this guy?). The Borg need someone to deal with Captain Janeway face to face so they send their sexiest Borg, and it’s the aforementioned Seven.

There’s a bit more of the tension between Janeway and Chakotay in this one, especially when Janeway is out of action and Chakotay reverses her decision but this episode is definitely all Seven (the Borg as opposed to George Constanza’s offspring). It’s difficult to say if she’ll be any good in the series since she’s just playing an automaton in this one but her journey to humanity could be good (Hi Data and the holographic Doctor and... well you get the idea).

As with most two part stories this conclusion isn’t as good as it’s predecessor, that might be because it just doesn’t live up to the epic promise of Part I and unfortunately feels more like a run of the mill episode.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Episode 68: Scorpion Part I

And here we are at the end of Season Three and Voyager has finally reached the edge of Borg space. In the episode though it seems there’s a different alien race to be wary of. CGI Species 8472 can obliterate the Borg so Janeway faces a difficult choice.

I like that finally Janeway it seems will virtually do anything to get the crew home, and in this case, do a deal with the devil of the Star Trek universe. Chakotay though (how does he stay tanned on that ship? Couldn’t that power get them home?) thinks differently which leads to a good scene between the two, his parables notwithstanding.

The finale also sees the first appearance of the holographic Leonardo DaVinci that Janeway confides in. Well, who can blame her, she probably looks around the bridge and thinks “Y’know I’ll just talk to someone on the holodeck.”.

While I’m here, and it was in this episode again, what’s with the contacting an alien ship and leaving it about a second before the officer says “No response.”? It’s probably because they used to go out and don’t want all the awkwardness, “Nah, they’re not in.”. Of course in this case it’s Tuvok and 8472. *shudder*

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Episode 67: Worst Case Scenario

You know what would be a great way to fill the first ten minutes of an episode? You do? PIty you weren’t on the Voyager writing staff then because this one has it being a Maquis mutiny holonovel which would’ve made the show a lot better if it was real (and would’ve made Chakotay’s character more interesting in an instance).

Torres discovers the aforementioned holodeck program and soon a lot of the bridge are playing it but it’s unfinished. When Tuvok and Paris go to finish the program another program by Seska (her of died in Basics Part II fame) starts trapping them in the holodeck with...and altogether now... the safety protocols off.

So they have a program that pits some of the crew against the rest and Janeway thinks that it’s a good idea to finish it so everyone can play. I mean, it’s not just me that thinks that it’s a bad idea, it’d be in Captaining 101 at the Academy surely because there’s got to be a whole semester for holodeck problems. Speaking of, when people are trapped in the holodeck they can never be gotten out, are the holodeck walls made of diamond or something?

All things said this episode wasn’t too bad, but it just felt there were too many things missing from it to say it was good, but that’s true of most of Voyager really. Incidentally, if you’re doing the Janeway death drinking game, take another drink.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Episode 66: Displaced

Aaaand we’re back to normal with another uninterestingly mediocre episode.

This episode starts with an alien suddenly appearing on Voyager with a crewmember disappearing at the same time, this practice then repeats itself. Excellent, they’re replacing the crew! Unfortunately the aliens are somehow more dull than the actual crew is already, plus Chakotay somehow is the last to go. Turns out the aliens are doing this deliberately so they can steal Voyager and leave the crew in a habitat with food and entertainment from Federation culture. Oh no, it’s a Holiday Camp! And what Holiday Camp wouldn’t be complete without a wacky neighbour? I’m just glad they didn’t take him with them. Incidentally the habitat looks incredibly similar to their Paxau holodeck resort (and yes, I had to look up the name).

These aliens really are pathetic, I’ve no idea how they managed to ensnare 93 other starship crews like this, since Tuvok quite easily uses technology from the replicators in the habitat to A-Team himself up some technology of his own. Oh and speaking of Tuvok, it turns out there’s another Vulcan rite mentioned. I kind of wonder how Vulcans manage to find time to join Star Fleet or be Amabassadors.

Did I mention this was mediocre? I’m sure I must’ve.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Episode 65: Distant Origins

And now a great episode? What the hell is going on? I don’t even know what to believe in anymore. Of course it might help that its told from the perspective of an alien archaeologists and Voyager doesn’t even appear for the first twelve minutes.

This episode follows Gegen, a Voth molecular paleontologist (who wouldn’t want that on a business card?) who also happens to be a biped that’s evolved from the dinosaurs. He’s trying to prove that they originally came from Earth but the Voth doctrine doesn’t account for this and so he finds himself charged with one crime, heresy against doctrine and heresy by thought... two crimes.

I like how basically both the Voyager crew and Gegen want to get to Earth, but for differing reasons obviously. Another thing is that this alien species actually seems real and three dimensional as opposed to others we’ve seen. They’re even much more technologically advanced than the Federation, at one point the entirety of Voyager is beamed into their ship, how’s that for belittling someone. But of all of Voyager did Gegen really have to kidnap Chakotay? Surely there are more memorable people he could’ve got than... um.. whatsisface.

Along with Projections and Death Wish (both second season), this is another episode I’d definitely recommend. So that’s 3 out of 65 so far, for those of you playing along at home.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Episode 64: Real Life

Ah a pretty good episode at last. And it doesn’t really have anything to do with time travel, scifi or anomalies. Well the B story does but I’ll treat it with the contempt it deserves.

Basic story is the Doctor in his continual mission to become more human every day starts his own holodeck family. As they’re too perfect and sycophantic, Torres offers to shake things up a little in the programming. Probably in revenge for The Darkling and who can blame her. What’s great is that the family start out like a humourous 1950’s sitcom family and then the story turns and becomes more serious and emotional. Even the fact it’s only a holodeck family is focused on at one point when the Doctor can’t deal with it anymore and turns them off.

One of the surprising things about this one is Tom Paris. He’s actually back to his best before he started annoying me There’s a nice scene between him and Torres (even if she is reading Klingon Porn. Klingorn?) plus he gives the Doctor sage advice. Whether this lasts is another matter entirely. Probably as much as the space tornadoes. Speaking of which...

As I hinted the B story consists of the Voyager crew trying to take energy from space tornadoes. Yes, I like saying space tornadoes. But anyway it filled the episode I guess.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Episode 63: Before And After

So yeagh, it’s Voyager and it’s a time travel episode. What are you gonna do? Let’s just get on with this, maybe it’ll be a good one, it starts off well enough, Janeway’s dead.

Well, I’ll give them this at least it’s a different slant on time travel and it’s not a terrible episode, it does help that Kes is the main focus too, but most of Voyager isn’t terrible, it’s just not good either. We start off in the future where she’s dying and starts travels backward in time to various points but as she does so only has memory of the future. Which isn’t the best way to find out your daughter’s married to Harry Kim to be honest, but we’ll try not to think about the social ramifications of Ocampans only living to nine years old and move along.

Part of Kes’ temporal wanderings involve her trip to what the crew in the future called the ‘Year Of Hell’, when Janeway died, the Doctor was offline for months and the ship was attacked constantly by the Krenim who we’ll meet in a two-parter of the same name. Now that’s what I’m talking about, a bit of danger in their lives, they are after all one ship as opposed to a fleet of ships which they were in the Alpha Quadrant. By rights they’d have been annihilated now by the many bands of marauding aliens if they weren’t incompetent marauding aliens.

Lastly the Doctor’s hair in the future. It’s a betrayal of all folically challenged people everywhere! Oh to be a hologram...