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Old 02-10-2010, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by samwiseb View Post
I would have to agree it wasn't any one thing Voyager did; it just never really seemed to take off. Maybe it was what Berman, Paramount/Viacom, and UPN wanted: a show that stayed solidly and safely within the TNG template following the (perceived) lack of success with DS9.

I think past comments made by Kevin, Horatio and others regarding the "phases" of TNG may have helped me to better isolate why VOY just never connected for me:

DS9, I believe, was very much an outgrowth of TNG's middle years, when the show was largely focused on family and politics. I don't claim to know most of the writers of DS9, and which of them besides Rom Moore were involved with TNG (or when)... but it's always been my impression DS9 got first dibs on TNG's more qualified veterans, while VOY inherited whoever stayed behind on TNG in its final years (including Brannon Braga, whose gimmicky stories from 'Imaginary Friend' onward have consistently turned me off).

It's probably more complicated than that, and I'm sure memos passed around regarding DS9's performance -plus the fact VOY was a network show- still had a lot to do with the direction.

But I have to be honest; I was pretty much completely turned off of TNG in its final year. All the magazine articles of the time regurgitated that TNG was ending "at the height of its success" (always those exact words), and to see the Neilson ratings that was apparently true. Eps like 'Dark Page' and 'Attached' seemed to be all the rave among fans, but to me they embodied what had become the worst of TNG. I felt like the show fell off after fifth season's 'Unification', occasionally hitting such gems as 'The Inner Light', 'Starship Mine', 'Relics' or even 'Ship in a Bottle', but just never fully came back.

When Voyager started, it seemed right off the bat to attract TNG fans who had tuned out of DS9 (and the pilot was quite impressive, even though it had more than a few on-the-nose moments. Actually, DS9's pilot was fairly on-the-nose too). But the show really just looked like more of what TNG had been doing in those final years. Despite some interesting story ideas, VOY in my opinion seemed perfectly content to be the eighth-thru-fourteenth seasons of TNG. By its third season, I had tuned out. (Continued to stumble across Rick Berman magazine interviews talking about bringing Q, Riker, Barclay and and Troi over, though)
Excellent post samwiseb. And yeah, Voyager's biggest problem was Berman and Paramount's pathological fear of being anything other than safe and formulaic. This was Enterprise's problem, as well, until the fourth season. Thank you Manny Coto!
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