So I finished watching Star Trek Voyager over the weekend. I enjoyed it, but it seemed a little more uneven than Star Trek Enterprise. There were some episodes that I really loved and there were some episodes that I had to fast-forward through in order to watch. I think the problem is that the series had a tendency to focus on certain characters too much and didn’t always work to mix the characters together as well as they could have. I think too, that the way STV used the “subplot” didn’t really ring as true as it did with other Star Trek series. Sometimes the subplot was used to great effect and really enhanced the story and at other times, the subplot was barely developed or didn’t have as much effect as one would have hoped it would, which made the main plot seem lifeless.
I think the problems that I’m having with the series as a whole are more on the writers/showrunners side than on the actors side. I really liked all of the characters on the show–both new and old. Having watched the entire season in a short span of time, I feel that there are two parts to Voyager: Kess/Pre Seven of Nine and Post-Kess/Seven of Nine. The Kess/Pre Seven of Nine stories focus more on Capt. Janeway’s desire to get her crew home, while the Post Kess/Seven of Nine stories focus more on recovering Seven’s humanity and socializing Seven into Voyager’s crew. The quest home, while still very much a plot structure, gets subordinated to the ideas of what it means to be human. And Seven isn’t the only character who goes through this storyline–The Emergency Medical Holographic Doctor is also a central figure when it comes to this plot line as well.
I want to be clear–I liked this series! It is a more complete “conceptualization” of what Star Trek is as a series than Enterprise was, I think. The fact that it ran for seven full years, however, hurts it when comparing it to Enterprise which ended in its fifth season because you can see the “choppiness” and “uneven” nature of the stories even more readily the longer the series goes on. I “fast-forwarded” through many more episodes of Voyager than I did with Enterprise because the episodes lacked the necessary tension to drive the stories (and the series) forward.
OVERALL SERIES GRADE: B- (mainly due to inconsistent writing/episodes), B+ for characters and overall characterization (only for that aspect)