Kayla, Jared, and Laurie celebrate Star Trek: Voyager‘s 25th anniversary by choosing two standout episodes, one from each category: pre- and post-arrival of Seven of Nine. They also discuss the early plans for the series that never happened, from conflict between Starfleet and the Maquis to some of the original character descriptions, and look at the show’s overall legacy.
Tell us YOUR favorite Voyager episodes in the comments, and tell us why you like them.
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It’s not holding up very well with age. Enterprise, which I think was actually an inferior series, looks a lot better than Voyager to today’s next generation of viewing audiences.
I disagree, I think it’s aged fairly well. Does it look like it was made 25 years ago? Sure. So do all shows made 25 years ago. Or if not all, then certainly the vast majority of them.
It’s going to look worse considering it’s all in Standard Definition. TNG when it was only available in Standard Definition also looked decidedly dated. Now TNG HD looks like a lovingly restored classic vintage car would. It’s still a show from late 80s/early 90s but it looks fantastic non-the-less.
Voyager is more akin to an old Volvo sitting in a garage that hasn’t been worked on or driven in 20 years or so or something lol
It’s good to get a non-sentimental, objective response from someone who gets it. I clearly said “to today’s next generation of viewing audiences”. It’s just not that appealing looking “as is.”
It is what it is.
The same SD masters have been distributed since the 90s. The show was shot on film so an HD upgrade will look great when the time comes but it isn’t a priority at CBS right now.
Don’t be silly, it’s aged very well. I re-watched the whole thing last year and the show didn’t look dated at all. Some episodes like Dark Frontier still have convincing special effects.
I commend your unapologetic subjectivity and sentimentality.
It aged well enough.
I used to be lukewarm about Voyager, but did a rewatch recently and enjoyed it much more. Happy 25th!
I agree locked down as we have been means many Scifi fans simply have the time to enjoy any series they want to watch including Voyager yes im guilty as well.I found binge watching the episodes much better than waiting a week to see more it stands the test of time really well.
Out of all the Star Trek series, Voyager remains my favorite !!!
Voyager doesn’t have a strong connection to my burning heart but a fun show anyway. The Next Generation is more meaningful to me personally
Janeway as a woman is someone I look up to and respect.
I love Voyager more today than I did when it was on. I watch it tons these days. And everytime Janeway smiles makes me smile! Mulgrew made her feel so human .
It had it’s issues but still a great show overall! Certainly better than the new shows on now but enjoying LDS a lot at least. Hoping Discovery will be as good as Voyager got this season at least. Or better.
Happy birthday Voyager!
Janeway is my favorite captain of any StarTrek series, Captain Kirk, And Captain Picard are close seconds, but for a reason I’m not sure of, . . . Janeway is my favorite !!! 😁😁😁
Yeah Janeway is amazing, no doubt! Kate Mulgrew put a lot of life into that character and made her very appealing. I know originally people described her as the female version of Picard, but personality wise they couldn’t be anymore different. Janeway was always very nurturing and open to her crew with a great sense of humor. She isn’t standoffish at all and what made her a lot of fun to watch. The irony is the Picard we now have today has basically turned into the male version of Janeway lol.
And of course she will always be famous for being the first full time female captain. That can never be taken away from her. I still remember just how much people hated the idea at the time and claiming it was done for PC reasons and all of that…which is funny since it’s literally no different when you hear people crying about over Discovery, including the new casting additions announced this week. In a few years no one is going to care like no one remotely cares about Janeway having the nerve to be a female captain today. It just proves history always repeats itself over and over again.
I think Janeway was written a bit more strongly in the early season than later, but she’s still my #3 favorite captain behind only Kirk and Picard. And she’s not very far behind them at all. I think some of that might be due to how much I like Kate Mulgrew herself, but that’s fine by me, I see no need to make much of a distinction.
I like scientific method too Laurie. It’s an effective episode with a strong premise. It gets knocked for being similar to other episodes. Also Jared is right. Riker is the worst, mostly. The writers never knew what do with him, hence why they wanted to replace him with a double of himself.
Kayla, I recommend you watch Meld from season two. I think it’s the best Tuvok episode, and I’d argue the probably the best Vulcan episode ever. Certainly up there with Amok Time in terms of how it explores Vulcan psychology. I also love Unity, the quiet, thoughtful, and (imo) smartest ever borg episode.
Also, all the Tuvok episodes are great. Meld I mentioned, Alter Ego is one no one likes our talks about but its actually a sweet story about tuvok and his relationship with Harry, among others. Gravity explores similar themes, but is also great. Repression, from season 7, is similar to worst case scenario. Also good, regardless. Obviously, the dark frontier and year of hell, and equinox two parters are amazing as well. Finally, personal choice, I love Extreme Risk, which no one likes, but it’s about Belanna dealing with guilt and trauma and them using science to build a new exploratory vehicle. That’s kind of great.
Voyager is actually the best and most reliable of three golden age series by a country mile,, but apparently it will be another decade or two before the trek audience admits that.
This is blasphemy but Tuvok is my favorite Vulcan. I love them all and Peck is a great Spock so far but Tuvok is the most interesting to me and yes in many great episodes!
And a lot of fans love Voyager today… just not on the level of TOS or TNG maybe. It’ll live.
I myself can’t imagine preferring him to Spock, but I love that you can! Either way, I think Tim Russ was great in that role, particularly anytime Tuvok and Neelix had a scene together.
I love Spock! (I LOVE SPOCK PEOPLE!) but Tuvok was the first full Vulcan we got to know and I just love his humor out of all things and yes his relationship with Neelix provided plenty of that. Russ has great comedic timing, even for a Vulcan.
Russ isn’t actually Vulcan, he only plays one on TV.
Even for playing a Vulcan. Left out a word. ;)
I remember showing Voyager to a friend for the first time (SO long ago) and she was all about Tuvok. “That’s the coolest guy I’ve ever seen on TV,” she said. You are not alone in your Tuvok appreciation.
I think a strong argument absolutely can be made that Voyager is better on an episode-by-episode basis than either TNG or DS9. I prefer it to DS9; TNG has a nostalgia factor that Voyager will never surmount for me, but I don’t think the gap in quality is anywhere near as severe as it was thought for a long time to be. Boy, those were pretty good years to be a Trekkie.
Yeah I’m appreciating the new Trek today, I am, but I still really miss the 90’s shows in so many ways.
These are great! Thanks so much for the thoughtful suggestions.
Ooh, looking forward to listening to this. For my money, “Voyager” is a genuinely great Trek series, and I’m glad it’s resurging a bit.
TNG and Voyager are more feel good Star Trek and that’s what most of us want at the moment I’m thinking. 2020 is essentially a yearly Halloween of horror and we all need an escape to something lighter.
Yeah, that makes sense — you’re probably right.
For me, this is huge. I like (positive) escapism in my Star Trek! Been watching a ton of TNG lately and now onto Voyager. Really loving it.
Love Voyage. Been watching Star Trek since 60s. I love the Halodeck and Voyages episodes of Irish Halodeck town.
Voyager gets a lot of unnecessary negativity. It is still a great Star Trek series and brings a lot to the franchise.
I do agree with a lot of people that the series had a lot of missed opportunities. Year of Hell over a year, more over-arching stories, conflict between the crew in the early seasons should have lasted a lot longer and some characters that didn’t get a lot of character development.
The content still holds up today and tackled topics in a really strong way.
The funny thing is I don’t think Voyager really does get a lot of hate today. I mean pretty much every website I go now it looks exactly like this thread, ie, people acknowledge its problems but most genuinely like the show and point out the great qualities it had; it just may not be their favorite one.
But yes, many people still don’t like it and think it sucks and they have valid reasons to feel that way just like people who hate Discovery, Enterprise, DS9 and on and on and on. Not every show is going to be beloved, even if the consensus is mostly positive. And I do think the main issue with the show has just always been the whole reset problem as you alluded to since fans thought it should be more serialized and probably the most serialized at the time. So thats definitely a valid issue.
Sadly Voyager’s premise really called for a style of story telling most networks were still not willing to do then. But ironically if they rebooted that show today it wouldn’t even get on the air unless it was serialized from the start. It just tells you how 180 the mind set has become in terms of story telling. Now it doesn’t mean it will be a BETTER show (DIS and PIC kind of proves that) but it would certainly be a better model for its premise. If it was syndicated like DS9 was, they probably could’ve took a lot more risks with it from the start.
But I never heard anyone say Voyager shouldn’t be considered canon even when it was on and there was real division about it like Discovery is getting now. At least most accepted it was very much a Star Trek show just not a great one.
The irony for me is Voyager, to this day, the only spin off show I fell in love with in its first season. I loved it when it came on, really loved the premise and the crew right away. Janeway still wasn’t my favorite captain but I took to her right away. Now that said, I never fell in love with it the same way I did for TNG and DS9 either. Even though I had issues with those shows at the beginning I grew to love them feverishly. In many ways although TOS is what me a fan of Star Trek, those shows is what made me a fanatic of it. But I always loved Voyager, even with her flaws, it just never got to the level I felt with TOS, TNG and DS9. Still love it though!
So I just read an article today about Voyager in that there was a plan to end the series at the end of the 3rd season due to low ratings. Year of Hell was going to be the 3rd season and series finale. I had no idea till now. So the producers came up with a plan to drop one character and pick up a sexy new character and bring in the Borg. The dropped character was almost going to be Ensign Kim, but then People came out with Garrent Wang as one of the 50 Beautiful People which saved him. The rest is history. Of course, the source is whatculture, so I’m not sure of the validity.
No I don’t think that’s remotely true. Ratings dropped but even in third season Voyager was still one of the most popular shows on UPN by far (but yes that’s not saying a lot lol). The network definitely wanted them to find ways to shore up ratings and bring in some hype for the show but it was never faced with real cancellation that early on. UPN couldn’t keep most of their shows past two seasons, Voyager was really their only reliable show to even keep an audience, even if it was shrinking.
Now by the time Enterprise came around, things had changed a lot because the network came under completely different management by the year 2000.and they wanted to compete more directly with the WB by attracting more younger and urban (read: black) demographics. And wrestling had became their big bread and butter by then. So a lot of things had changed when Enterprise had came on and Star Trek was no longer the driving force of the network. But the first five years of UPN’s existence, Voyager was really the only show even keeping that network alive.
So there are two Voyager episodes that I really like that are not very famous:
The last episode of season one is Learning Curve. It is weird that this is a final episodes of a season since it is just a regular episode. But I really like it since it does highlight the tensions and differences between Maquis and Starfleet. It also brings back the problems of integration of the Maquis into the Voyager crew. I think that it shows Janeway as a real caring captain, a shepherd guarding and guiding her flock. I also like Tuvok as a drill sergeant.
The other episode is very similar to this: The Good Shepherd from season six. In this, Janeway takes three under performing crewmen under her wing on an away mission to bring them up their work ethic. Again, she is showing her capacity of an empathetic captain, more so than any other Trek captains. Also, I very much identify with Harren, the guy stuck in the bowels of Voyager because he loved it down there. He could also focus on his theories. That is what I would enjoy doing if I was in Starfleet. I will say, if he aspired to be a cosmologist, he should how that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, not 16 billion (at least according to current Hubble constant value).
So, like the podcasters: that is my choice for a pre-7 and post-7 Voyager episode. I always liked episodes that dealt with Starfleet stuff or day-in-the-life stuff in space. Like Lower Decks, Data’s Day, even Playing God from DS9 when they were chasing voles. The epic stuff is ok once in a while, but I would rather more mundane stories like The Good Shepherd and Learning Curve.
So I have to disagree that with the assertion that they never addressed “appearancism” in the show. See: VOY: “Nemesis” ep. 4×04
The point is made where Chakotay is helping the Vori fight the monstrous-appearing Kradin, and it turns out the Vori are the aggressors in the end.
Hey Laurie, I really like “Scientific Method” as well, and even though it feels like a bit lighter rehash of TNG’s “Schisms”, I have warmer feelings for it since I watched Voyager’s take on that story first. It’s funny, scary, with an unusual premise that’s just good science-fiction.
As for Voyager being the inferior, disliked series – it’s different where I live, in my country we’ve had only two seasons of TNG in the beginning of the 90s, no TOS ever (at least back then), and the two shows that created most of the Trek fanbase here were DS9 and Voyager, both shown on satellite channels available to public. TNG had the disadvantage of being shown on a channel that wasn’t available in the whole country. And since DS9 was arguably deeper and more difficult to watch and digest, most young fans embraced Voyager as the light-hearted, adventure-of-the-week show that it was. Even now most fans here acknowledge that even though it’s not the best Trek there is, it’s still their favourite.
As ever thanks to Kayla, Laurie and Jared for the pod-cast which I really enjoyed. I’m in the midst of completing a complete re-watch of TNG (nearing end of Season 4) and Enterprise (just started Season 4) and wondered what to watch next. Well you’ve answered that for me! It will be a complete re-watch of Voyager which I did enjoy at the time and will no doubt do so again. Of all the series DS9 was the one I just couldn’t get in to and wonder if it’s time to re-evaluate through a re-watch?
Seven Of Nine!!!