Originally Posted by HippyDave
I don't quite agree: I actually really like much of Voyager's first season. There were some great ideas: the Vidiians were a great invention until Lifesigns pulled their teeth in the 2nd season - even though Deadlock was great, I couldn't take them seriously as a threat after that. Unfortunately we didn't see enough of them - about four episodes all told, which was a real shame. They were far more interesting than the Kazon, but Seska's defection meant that the Kazon 'arc' was dragged out interminably: the only really interesting Kazon episodes were in season 2: Initiations (a rarity: a really nicely done Chakotay episode!) and the fantastic Alliances, which was a great deal of fun - I actually wish we'd seen more of the Trabe after that.
Yes, the Maquis 'conflict' was dealt with far too quickly in many ways, although I liked that the writers dealt with it head-on with Learning Curve: after the events of that episode, I'm not surprised that the few remaining Maquis (about 30-odd, if I remember my numbers) began to toe the line and settle into their new positions. Perhaps the writers' only real mistake there was making Learning Curve so soon - maybe it would have been a better idea to make that in late season 2 or even early season 3, after the events of the Basics two-parter, when it was clearly illustrated that Janeway had really become popular with the whole crew.
My only complaint about season 1 really is that there were a hell of a lot of spatial anomalies... Still, we were in the Delta quadrant and those episodes did help give the impression to the viewer that things were weird and different out there!
The Vidiians were underutilised and could have been the great enemy that the Kazons failed to be in the early seasons. I didn't actually mind the overall Kazon arc, it was good to see that Voyager was leaving a wake behind it as it passed through various territories and showed a nice continuity.
Still though season 1 had wayyy to many anomalies, Parallax, Time and Again, The Cloud, throw in a holodeck episode with Heros and Demons (great for the doctors character but completely lacking in originality in terms of theme), and then a couple of 'it's all their head' episodes for good manner, Ex Post Facto and Cathexis.
I reckon, these should have gone in favour of possible marquis mutiny episodes, build up an atmosphere of paranoia and tension eventually leading to trust and friendship over the course of a series, rather than a pilot. And actually running out of resources and not making it a trivial fixed by the end of the episode job.
Still though, you're right in that there were a lot of great ideas, and it's a lot stronger than a lot of season 1 TNG and DS9 epiosdes.