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  #11  
Old 02-09-2010, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mmoore View Post
"Jumping the shark" means that they've run out of ideas, done something really stupid, and there's no turning back--it's pretty much all over but the cancellation. The term is taken from the Happy Days episode where Fonzie literally jumped a shark on water skis. Although the series continued for several years, it was never the same. It had crossed the line into complete absurdity: the point of no return.
Saw the original broadcast of that episode. Little did I know that television trivia history was being made!
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2010, 05:15 AM
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I don't know what season it was, but the VOY episode that had Janeway, Tuvok, Torres "partially assimilated" then "un-assimilated" was a shark jump if I've ever seen one.
That was the season 6 finale/season 7 opener, Unimatrix Zero. I don't think it was as bad as all that: it doesn't stretch credulity too much in terms of the crew's previous Borg experience: we'd seen the Doctor do some pretty amazing things with Borg-based nano-technology for a couple of seasons beforehand, so the idea that crewmembers could be assimilated-yet-not-assimilated wasn't so far-fetched. As for the rest... well, evidently your mileage may vary () but I actually thought the idea of Unimatrix Zero (the place, rather than the episode itself) was an original and intriguing idea - a rarity for latter-day Voyager episodes!

Now End Game... There's a potential shark jumper. It was certainly a massive anti-climax to the series as a whole, even if I thought it was virtually a given that the Borg transwarp hubs were always going to be the logical way for Voyager to get home.
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  #13  
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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  #14  
Old 02-09-2010, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mmoore View Post
"Jumping the shark" means that they've run out of ideas, done something really stupid, and there's no turning back--it's pretty much all over but the cancellation. The term is taken from the Happy Days episode where Fonzie literally jumped a shark on water skis. Although the series continued for several years, it was never the same. It had crossed the line into complete absurdity: the point of no return.

I don't know what season it was, but the VOY episode that had Janeway, Tuvok, Torres "partially assimilated" then "un-assimilated" was a shark jump if I've ever seen one.
Thanks for that bit of history mmoore, i did wonder where the term came from, and what it really signified. I guess, i does mean a moment, that was a turning point downhill. I guess what i really wanted to know was during which season people felt the show started going downhill in terms of quality and from which it never reached the heights it had previously. For me, TNG's last really good episode was 'Descent, part II,' the first episode of season seven, but which was actually filmed in season six. So, Season six was TNG's high point, season seven was downhill. And ENT's last really good episode for me was 'The Expanse.' The Expanse was a really good premise, but how it unfolded was silly. So, ENT's height was season 2, and season three the series went downhill. For DS9, and VOY, i have less of a sense because i never watched either series consistently through to the end.

Last edited by chator : 02-09-2010 at 07:59 AM.
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  #15  
Old 02-09-2010, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for that bit of history mmoore, i did wonder where the term came from, and what it really signified. I guess, i does mean a moment, that was a turning point downhill. I guess what i really wanted to know was during which season people felt the show started going downhill in terms of quality and from which it never reached the heights it had previously. For me, TNG's last really good episode was 'Descent, part II,' the first episode of season seven, but which was actually filmed in season six. So, Season six was TNG's high point, season seven was downhill. And ENT's last really good episode for me was 'The Expanse.' The Expanse was a really good premise, but how it unfolded was silly. So, ENT's height was season 2, and season three the series went downhill. For DS9, and VOY, i have less of a sense because i never watched either series consistently through to the end.
You don't like season 4 of ENT?
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:13 AM
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I don't think that VOY has ever jumped the shark. It had its fair share of bad episodes, it had some structural issues (perhaps more than any other Trek show) which have already been mentioned and like TOS and TNG its quality decreased towards the end.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:49 AM
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I think it's well known that VOY is by far my least favourite piece of series Trek but I have to agree that 'jumping the shark' was not it's problem.

(though I kind of agree with Moore's 'let'g go get borgified like it's nothing' Unimatrix Zero episode. After the trauma that Picard was shown to have gone through it really quite trivialised the horror of the initial idea of being consumed by them - the Doctor's ability to restore them notwithstanding).

It was a combination of all the excellent points that have already been made by most everybody else.

For me, I actually enjoyed the first couple seasons. It was strictly following the established TV Trek format by that point - Delta Quadrant gimmick notwithstanding - and was nothing special but it was enjoyable enough.

But ultimately it just became a collection of old ideas, styles that seemed ill thought out. Strand the ship, but don't really show the resource and psychological problems that could ensue. Don't really seriously go down the route of fuel and food shortages - it's all been said, no point restating it.

Plus, I was into darker and gritty Trek by then with DS9 - so on a personal level the whole thing was just too flimsy and lightweight in comparison.

But great points everyone!
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  #18  
Old 02-10-2010, 01:16 AM
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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)
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  #19  
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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Old 02-10-2010, 08:11 AM
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Voyager was the first Star Trek series that I saw all the way through. (Actually it is the only one I have seen every episode of.) I agree with many of the points made here except, I think Voyager got better and better. it lost it's way a bit in Season 6 with a few pretty lame episodes but in general, I think from Season 4 onwards it was great. I also have to say that Season 1 was fantastic too.

I thought the Kazon were a pretty rubbish enemy. i never took them seriously... maybe because they looked like the Oompa Loompa's in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. People often say there was not much discord between the two crews and to a point that is fair. Though they had Seska, the guy who helped Seska once she had defected, the 3 crewmembers who had to be retrained by Tuvok, Suder becoming a murderer and episode 2 when B'Elanna and Janeway went head to head. Had it just been in-fighting, many would have criticised it.

I agree that they didn't really explore the idea of food and fuel shortage and the ship seemed to be a self-fixing creation. Apart from in Year Of Hell, it never really suffered any damage that lasted more than an episode. Even at the end of The Killing Game, Janeway's log states that the ship is very badly damaged, yet they are walking down a corridor near the cargo bay that had absolutely no damage whatsoever.

Maybe because I haven't seen all of TNG, I do not think they over-used the Borg. I thought Seven of Nine was a great character. Though I would have preferred her to take a few more episodes to accept her fate on Voyager and become a "babe."

So to sum up. I think Voyager improved from the end of Season 3 onwards.
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