Voyager thoughts

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  • #27091
    k8track
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    I’ll come out and say it right off the bat: I do adore this show, unabashedly and unironically. I always enjoyed it from the beginning, but it was never my favorite. But I realized how much I truly loved it a few years ago when I converted all of the episodes to mp3 format and listened to all of them in my car as one listens to audio novels or podcasts. I grew to appreciate them in a whole new way, particularly the character and issue-driven (and dialogue-heavy) episodes. [Side note: conversely, the hardest episode in all of Trek to just listen to, with only audio and no video, is Arena from the original series.] I have wonderful memories of driving around northeastern Iowa in the summer of 2014, where I was living at the time, and listening to these episodes as I drove.

    A few months ago, my brother and I finally started rewatching the entire series, and I have really been enjoying it. I look forward to watching the next episode each night. I will say that, as much as I love it, it does have many flaws and peccadillos which jump right out me as I watch each episode, stuff that I never thought deeply about or even noticed at all before. It’s kind of fun to point them out and discuss them with my brother.

    I’d been meaning to create a thread here to discuss some of these nuggets. I’ll just start with an episode I watched a couple nights ago, Virtuoso. One thing that bugged me ever since Kes left is the fact that they decided to stick Tom Paris in sickbay as The Doctor’s medical assistant, based on the flimsy premise that he had a bit of field training at the academy. From a drama standpoint, I totally get it; The Doctor needs to have someone to interact with in sickbay. From an actor’s standpoint, I also get it; I’m sure the last thing Robert Duncan McNeill would have done would be to point out how little sense it made for him to be the medical assistant and to talk himself out of performing extra scenes (just as Walter Koenig didn’t do in Star Trek II in the Ceti Alpha V scenes).

    But from an in-universe standpoint, it makes ZERO sense at all. Especially when you realize there are literally other medical personnel on board. Every so often, sporadically, you will see some of these blue-uniformed, mute extras very briefly in some sickbay scenes. Blink and you miss them. But when you start thinking about it, it melts your brain. At least it does mine. One particularly egregious example is in the episode “Latent Image”, in season 5. The Doctor calls for an emergency beam-out for himself, Harry, and Ensign Jetal from the shuttle directly to sickbay. The very second they arrive, The Doctor says, “Prepare these people for surgery!” Immediately, out of nowhere, four mute crewmen (three with blue sciences uniforms and one gold uniform) come in with stretchers, help move Harry and Jetal to the biobeds, and then skitter off, never to be seen again. WHY AREN’T THESE PEOPLE IN SICKBAY ALL THE TIME??? Why aren’t THEY the ones assisting The Doctor?? Tom Paris is the conn officer, the main pilot. THAT IS A FULL-TIME JOB.

    The episode Virtuoso takes this to an absurd extreme when The Doctor wants to leave the ship permanently. Who will The Doctor’s replacement be? One of the medical personnel whom we’ve (rarely) seen? Nope, Tom Paris, the pilot of the ship with some field training. It just boggles my mind.

    I know there are some other things in earlier episodes that I would like to point out and discuss. I’ll need to go back and see what I’ve watched and see if anything comes to mind. Still, as deeply flawed as this series is, I still love it, and it’s fun to watch the whole series over again and rediscover the magic. It’s a feel-good series. I don’t see myself doing that with Discovery or Picard.

    #27092
    ubikuberalles
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    First thought out the top of my head when pondering the mute crewmen: they aren’t officers, they’re crewmen. That’s why they can’t become the medical OFFICER. They probably can’t even be nurses as those need to be officers too. Those crewmen are med techs, at best. True, they can still be of great service to the Holodoc: they can take patient vitals, give injections, prepare the patient for surgery, etc. etc. They can’t prescribe anything, they can’t treat the patient, they probably can’t diagnose the illness. Also, they can’t talk as they are extras in the show (oops, I bumped into the fourth wall).

    At least, that would be my response if I was a hapless writer on a Voyager panel at ComicCon enduring the outraged questions of angry fans (waving posters of “Free Tom Paris!”).

    BTW, Steve HATES Voyager so I would love to hear his take on this thread. 😀

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by ubikuberalles.
    #27094
    k8track
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    I am absolutely fascinated with all of the mute background extras. I pay close attention to all of them in every show I rewatch. Not just Trek. I swear I saw a young Steve Carell in a 1984 Cheers episode. My favorite scene is when Geordi is having a one-sided conversation with Russell in the episode Tin Man. Just absurd.

    Don’t say anything, they’ll have to pay you!!

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by k8track.
    #27096
    ubikuberalles
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    Great, now I’ll have to go home and watch tin man. Thanks! (I’m not going to look for the Steve Carrell episode in Cheers).

    #27102
    ZLoth
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    But I realized how much I truly loved it a few years ago when I converted all of the episodes to mp3 format and listened to all of them in my car as one listens to audio novels or podcasts.

    It was a simpler time, when we were more dependent on plot and actor’s performances rather then special effects to deliver the story. It’s too bad that Plex in Android Auto will only do music and podcasts. Oh well, there is always the feature request.


    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925

    #27106
    k8track
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    Here is a screenshot of the scene I was referring to with the (faux) Steve Carell, from Season 2, Episode 17, “Fortunes and Men’s Weight.” February 2, 1984.

    steve

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by k8track.
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    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by k8track.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by k8track.
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    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by k8track.
    #27130
    Earl
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    Rustling noise


    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Earl.
    #27133
    k8track
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    Then Riker walks in, yells “Tracee!!” and chases Russell around the warp core.

    #27137
    k8track
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    emh staff 1

    emh staff 2

    See?? The Doctor does have a staff after all!

    #27138
    ubikuberalles
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    Does he take his staff to the mines of Moria, hit it on a stone bridge and shout “You shall not pass!”

    #27139
    k8track
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    Indeed, he smacked all the words right out of them.

    #27140
    Earl
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    He just says “you shall not speak!”


    #27164
    k8track
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    OK. So something that really melts my brain in this show (and I’m sure all Star Trek series are guilty of this — I’m looking at you, The Naked Time) is how casually, cavalierly the crew will touch stuff with their bare hands. Stuff that should not be touched without gloves. They do have gloves, right? Spock wore them in Star Trek II. Anyway, I recently watched the episode “Live Fast and Prosper.” Near the beginning of the episode, B’elanna is removing a faulty power/energy cell (which Neelix had acquired in a shady trade) with nasty, acidic, alien gunk all over it… with her BARE HANDS. Seriously?? Are you kidding me?? What’s the deal? Here’s a nice pic:

    bare hands

    I never really used to think about this stuff when I watched these shows back then. But now it just blows my mind. What truly, absolutely leaves be flabbergasted, however, is their refusal to don environmental suits when the situation calls for it, which is pretty much every away mission ever, really. But the absurdity truly reached new heights (depths?) in the episode “Juggernaut”, in which B’elanna (what is it with her?) beams on over to a Malon freighter filled with noxious, radioactive fumes… WITH NO PROTECTIVE SUIT. Sure, The Doctor gave her an inoculation against the radiation, but she’s still choking on the vaporous fumes. By all rights, she should be DEAD. Unreal.

    #27170
    ZLoth
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    Which leads to the question…. does OSHA exist in the future?


    “All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925

    #27171
    ubikuberalles
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    OSHA was shutdown in the aftermath of WWIII (or whatever Deep Space Nine called it) when they (OSHA) declared the whole planet was unsafe.

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