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a must for any Trekker,
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This review is from: Star Trek Voyager - Season 7 (Slimline Edition) [DVD] (DVD)After watching on-and-off re-runs of ST:Voyager on Virgin1 with its annoying adverts every 7 minutes and irritating screen ident, I decided to buy the whole series on DVD. I also have ST:TNG on DVD.
The main reason why I think both ST:TNG and ST:Voyager were the strongest of the modern Star Trek incarnations is because of their character development. When you are able to watch the entire series, you are able to see the characters change, grow, develop; you find yourself identifying with them. You become fond of them; they become like family. And that's why they work. In ST:Voyager, there was a strong theme of redemption which I liked: the idea that everyone deserves a second chance. For example, Tom Paris goes from being a criminal rogue to being the pilot of Voyager with all the responsibilities that goes with it, all because Janeway knew he could do better and become that son he always wanted to be for his father, Admiral Paris; a man in whose shadow he had always lived under. Then later on, we see a Borg drone (Seven of Nine, Jeri Ryan) be tamed, moulded and guided into becoming a loved and valued member of the crew; and ultimately we see her, with the help of the crew and in particular Captain Janeway, regain her lost humanity.
In ST:TNG, Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) brought so much depth to the character of Jean-Luc, so much history, that he became my favourite character. He was not only the captain, he was a father-like figure to so many in the crew, in particular to young Wesley Crusher. In ST:Voyager, my favourite character is Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew). In many ways she was the female Jean-Luc Picard: she was not only the captain of Voyager, she became a close friend and mother-like figure to all her crew. This is best illustrated by her nurturing, mother-daughter relationship with Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) who came to the series in Season 3. I only wish that relationship was developed further in the series; there was so much more they could have done with it. This is often where Star Trek falls down: they seem to focus a bit too much on the techno-babble and photon torpedos, rather than on human relationships, which ultimately is what Star Trek should be about. However, I think Voyager's predicament - a bunch of lonely humans stranded 70,000 light-years from home - allowed the writers to find the right balance.
As regards to Season 7, I don't think it was Voyager's strongest season; the final episode was, I feel, a bit of an anti-climax. However, I did like the guest appearance of Alice Kruge as the Borg Queen, tying in nicely to her appearance in the Star Trek movie, 'First Contact'. For me, Seasons 3 and 4 were Voyager's strongest seasons. Indeed, it is often the case that the third and fourth season of any series tends to be the strongest, as writers are able to 'let rip' and explore their characters to the full.
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Initial post: 29 May 2012 14:15:12 BDT
DS9 has way more character development than either TNG or VOY... which is why it is the best. Voyager probably has the least, with some characters like Tuvok, Chakotay, Neelix and Kim having barely any story arc or character development at all.
In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2012 15:52:53 BDT
There's relatively little character development for most of them simply by virtue of the fact that they are 70,000 light-years from home, away from everything they ever knew. They were starting from scratch, finding themselves again; learning to survive in a hostile environment, which actually did bring out a lot of character development in some of them: Tom Paris (compare how cocky and arrogant he was in season 1 to how he is in season 7), Be'lanna Torres (she mellows quite a bit, leaves her Maquis ways behind and becomes a fine Starfleet engineer), Captain Janeway herself to some degree (compare how pompous and self-righteous she is in season 1 to how she is by season 7); and Seven of Nine (the development of her mother-daughter relationship with Janeway could have been explored more; and her relationship with Chakotay seemed too rushed and again could have been explored more).
I do agree that some of the characters were weak, like Kes, which is the main reason why they replaced her with Seven. I also think Neelix's character seemed rather flat at times, and served only as comic relief in some episodes. There was limited character development with him, though: we find out what happened to his family, how he survived the attack on his planet; how he ended up wandering the galaxy selling junk to survive.
I think by the end of the series, though, they had all changed to some degree; the journey they had been on had changed them all irrevocably. And that surely is the point. The scope of the series, its setting, didn't really allow for much character development in the usual sense. And besides, back-story isn't always that interesting.
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