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Old 02-08-2010, 08:55 PM
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Default When Did VOYAGER Jump The Shark?

I don't know if a thread already exists on this or not, if so, I apologize, maybe someone can provide a link? If not, I'm curious about people's thoughts on this. Don't give me a specific episode or moment, just tell me which Season you felt VOYAGER began losing its way, and why. Thanks. For me, I'm not sure, but I believe I began tuning out in Season Five, not sure why exactly.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:47 PM
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I do not really regard each series as being separate, so I cannot speak strictly for VOYAGER, since I view it as merely one part of a single huge series that aired for 40 years straight. So I must say that VOYAGER suffered from having been released after Star Trek AS A WHOLE jumped the shark, which I would say started with the first season of Deep Space Nine. Star Trek on TV was all downhill from roughly 1994-2005. After TNG went off the air, I concentrated on the movies, which even still sucked with the sole exception of FIRST CONTACT. And while I loved Enterprise, it was a massive failure. This new STAR TREK movie is the highest point that Star Trek as a whole has reached since TNG went off air.

Back on topic, though, VOYAGER, like Enterprise after it, suffered from being released during the wake left behind from Deep Space Nine. For that, I find it blameless.
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral Archer View Post
I do not really regard each series as being separate, so I cannot speak strictly for VOYAGER, since I view it as merely one part of a single huge series that aired for 40 years straight. So I must say that VOYAGER suffered from having been released after Star Trek AS A WHOLE jumped the shark, which I would say started with the first season of Deep Space Nine. Star Trek on TV was all downhill from roughly 1994-2005. After TNG went off the air, I concentrated on the movies, which even still sucked with the sole exception of FIRST CONTACT. And while I loved Enterprise, it was a massive failure. This new STAR TREK movie is the highest point that Star Trek as a whole has reached since TNG went off air.

Back on topic, though, VOYAGER, like Enterprise after it, suffered from being released during the wake left behind from Deep Space Nine. For that, I find it blameless.
Is an interesting idea that Star Trek in general jumped the shark when VOY came on the air, I agree pretty much with what you've said, it never reached the popularity it enjoyed after TNG ended that it did whilst it was still running and the films, with the exception of FC were a disappointment. Saying that though, I thought DS9 was a great show bringing out many different stories types and being generally a lot more original and gripping than VOY ever was.

I'd say one of Voyagers big disadvantages from the onset was running along side DS9 for most of its run and having so much recent Star Trek behind it bogging it down. I think that by the end of the millennium the world had been saturated by too much Star Trek, so in that sense, not strictly Voyagers fault, just audience fatigue.

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Originally Posted by That Metal Beastie
The first time was after the great pilot episode. The pilot was, IMO, the best of all the Trek first episodes. Then it jumped the shark right into a pool of blandness. Part of the idea was there could be conflict between the Starfleet and Marquis characters but they seemed to all too quickly become a lovey-dovey crew. the most science fictional characters was Kes. But they copped out and never followed through with the great concept of a humanoid who's full lifespan is seven years. The showmakers didn't allow her to be much more than bland then they jumped the shark again and got rid of her because she was....bland!
Yeah the pilot was great, but then in the first season, that's pretty much it, everything else was bland and unimaginative, the only episode that sticks out for me is Eye of the Needle, and that resorts to falling back on an already established alien species. Voyager all too often fell back on tried and tested star trek themes and plot devices, many episodes you could cut and paste straight onto TNG, where the episode would probably have been better due to caring more about the characters. Kes was definitely a wasted character and the Marquis were wasted too... massive shame really.

Just to clarify though, I do like Voyager despite my criticisms here, I think it had shaky beginnings like all the other shows, peaked in seasons 4 and 5 then sadly dropped again, similar pattern to TNG really, just never peaking as high.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:16 AM
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Just to clarify though, I do like Voyager despite my criticisms here, I think it had shaky beginnings like all the other shows, peaked in seasons 4 and 5 then sadly dropped again, similar pattern to TNG really, just never peaking as high.
As well. I grew to love the show. Kate Mulgrew is awesome. The theme song is my favorite of all the shows. And it's Star Trek!
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:49 AM
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I don't think the series ever really jumped the shark - that would imply that the series became "silly" or had reached a point where suspension of disbelief was difficult. I do think the show reached a point - sometime early in season 6, IMO - where it did become more "safe" and predictable than it previously had been, but that's not quite the same thing.

I do think some of the characters jumped the shark, though: witness the Doctor's transformation from an intriguing and likeable curmudgeon into brain-dead comic relief, for one. Some characters that had rarely been well served really faded into the background: other than the last-minute romance with Seven, who can remember Chakotay doing anything interesting after One Small Step? I always think that was a case of the writers punishing Robert Beltran for daring to critique the way his character had been used.

People complain about Voyager being turned into the 7-Of-9 show, and they do have a point: but quite honestly, by the end of the series, she was, by far, the character with the most potential for interesting storytelling. No wonder the writers used her so often!

For all its shortcomings, I can't dislike the show, and always enjoy watching it. In fact, last month I started watching the show from the beginning for the first time since its original run. I'm up to season 3 now and am thoroughly enjoying it. The first season in particular was/is a lot better than I remembered it being.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Roysten View Post
Yeah the pilot was great, but then in the first season, that's pretty much it, everything else was bland and unimaginative, the only episode that sticks out for me is Eye of the Needle, and that resorts to falling back on an already established alien species. Voyager all too often fell back on tried and tested star trek themes and plot devices, many episodes you could cut and paste straight onto TNG, where the episode would probably have been better due to caring more about the characters. Kes was definitely a wasted character and the Marquis were wasted too... massive shame really.
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!

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Originally Posted by Roysten View Post
Just to clarify though, I do like Voyager despite my criticisms here, I think it had shaky beginnings like all the other shows, peaked in seasons 4 and 5 then sadly dropped again, similar pattern to TNG really, just never peaking as high.
I have to agree with pretty much all of that, though I actually think Voyager had a slightly better final season than TNG did. Both series definitely peaked around the 4th & 5th seasons, IMO.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:19 AM
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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.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:03 PM
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The first time was after the great pilot episode. The pilot was, IMO, the best of all the Trek first episodes. Then it jumped the shark right into a pool of blandness. Part of the idea was there could be conflict between the Starfleet and Marquis characters but they seemed to all too quickly become a lovey-dovey crew. the most science fictional characters was Kes. But they copped out and never followed through with the great concept of a humanoid who's full lifespan is seven years. The showmakers didn't allow her to be much more than bland then they jumped the shark again and got rid of her because she was....bland!

They replaced her with Seven of Nine, who turned out to be a good character but they jumped the shark again by pretty much making it the 7 o' 9 show! And they relied too much on older concepts, The Borg and Q, because they couldn't seem to come up with new ones that catch on.

You know, I could go on but the problem was, IMO, fear of being different from what had come before, of being safe. It was like someone decided that ok, we've a female captain and some Marquis on the ship and they're all lost in space so we can write variations on the same themes in that different wrapping and we'll have something bold and different. Wasn't so. I don't know how much of the problem came from Berman or from Paramount but while I didn't hate the show by any means, I found it to be a huge bundle of unfufilled potential.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:11 PM
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts AA, I'm sure there are many who share your thoughts. But I guess I was thinking series wise, not in terms of the whole franchise, but in those terms, I guess I do agree that VOYAGER wasn't as fresh and original as DS9, however, I thought ENTERPRISE was surprisingly fresh compared with VOYAGER. Also, I'm more addressing the qualitative factor than the popularity of a series, or the Star Trek brand, which can be manipulated through marketing gimmicks.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:58 AM
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Although I don't watch Voyager as much as the other series (it's the only series in which if I were asked to describe an episode just from the title, I'd find it a struggle Season Four onwards). I actually enjoy the earlier seasons more, and while I've nothing against 7 of 9, I think the Borg were overused towards the end.

I don't think they really jumped the shark, so much as failured to live up to its premise, yes the crew spent seven years looking for a way home, but the conflict between Starfleet and Marque crew members forced to work together just wasn't built on the way character conflict on DS9 was. And there was no sense of the crew getting more desperate as time went on (unlike Season Three of Enterprise) so no matter how many shuttles were destroyed or torpedoes fired, the ship never seemed depleted of resources. The show should have been more like 'Year of Hell' all the way through.
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