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6 Reasons Star Trek: Voyager Never Really Worked

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The next Star Trek movie is about to begin filming, and all indications are that it’s probably going to be a reboot of the classic Khan storyline. That makes it the perfect time to take a step back, and examine just how we got here, to a place where a franchise which used to be all about going forward is now suddenly throwing it in reverse and instead revisiting the past. Pinpointing the place where Star Trek first started to go wrong is easy, as any serious Trek fan will tell you, things began to go south with Voyager.

Voyager was the fourth Star Trek series to arrive on television. The three which preceded it were all, in their own way, resoundingly successful. Even Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, though it never quite got the ratings of Next Generation, proved to be a solid critical, award winning success. Then came Voyager

It’s not that Star Trek: Voyager was a disaster. The show lasted the Star Trek requisite seven seasons and among those seasons had a few truly inspired moments. Voyager didn’t kill Star Trek but it was the beginning of a trend which would kill it. It was in Voyager that we all started to sense something might be going wrong with Gene Rodenberry’s vision, and it only got worse after Voyager went off the air. The next Trek series was cancelled early in its run. Almost none of the Next Generation movies were any good and what’s worse, by the end no one was even showing up to see them. Voyager didn’t kill Star Trek but it signified the beginning of the end. The things which did kill the franchise, putting it in a tailspin which could only be solved with the current reboot, all started here.

Here are the six biggest reasons Voyager never truly lived up to its Star Trek potential.

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Comments

  • Bob Andreas

    Star Trek was always about solutions and Voyager was not until Barclay showed up. and Once they were in contact with Star Fleet, the lost premise was lost

  • Hyperbole

    Some okay points but the article is far too negative. This was one of the better SciFi series of the 90’s and ran (a solid) seven seasons. Sure there were some fail moments, but those occur in almost every series I’ve seen.
    “All too often the show feels more like fan service than an actual storytelling venue.”
    This is every TV show ever made bar a tiny number of exceptions. And this is why sci fi fans also read books.

  • Ray

    I disagree on all points. Janeway was perfect, I fell in love with her right away. She was a great mix between feminine and authoritative (sometimes females in authority can come off as “Bitchy”…which I did not feel from her character at all). Torres was good…maybe you call her bitchy, but I call her sassy. Chakotay was a gorgeous and strong character and in no way did I feel he was racist…but he did highlight the Native American culture. (If anything the writer of this article was very stereotypical in his piece on Chakotay). Most all of the characters we interesting and their storylines within the show were appropriate. Anyone could find any fault in a premise simply because it did not go where they wanted it to. I do not think the technology argument
    can even stand…it is a technology advanced future…why wouldn’t it be use? My least favorite character would be Tuvok…but even he delivered for the most part.

  • RockyDmoney

    Sorry but Neelix as one of the shows best characters? You’ve got to be kidding me! This proto-JarJar was one of the worst characters ever created

  • Harvey Smith

    Simply saying that any show was shit shows how stupid the commenter was. I thought that Voyager was very entertaining . That is what TV is all about, entertaining the masses. I always wondered why the Doctor did not have a real name but since he didn’t why didn’t they just call him Doctor who? Kes was an unwelcome part of Voyager but when Jeri Ryan replaced her, that brought the show up a few notches. She had a very droll way of answering questions. Ensign Kim should have been promoted on the show and not stayed an ensign, in fact they could have used an unseen crewman to take Kim’s place after Kim was promoted.

  • Mike Lundrigan

    i loved voyager it was a great tv series i dont know why people didn’t like it im not saying it was as good as the next gen but it was good, also the next gen movies were good i couldve done without first contact but inssurection and nemesis were pretty good and i seem to be the only one that loved the one with Captain Archer wish it went 7 seasons but yeah the newest star trek movies wern’t that good in my opinion the first one was better then the one with kahn

  • sounder

    The voyager stories should have went bigger and bolder. Weak sauce writing was a problem. Lack of vision was the other issue.

  • Athena

    Your al wrong, Voyager was Great!!

  • DDeck

    While there are parts of Voyager that were entertaining, the truth is that I could not go one episode without finding inexcusable flaws. Janeway was a large part of what was wrong as her character seemed to be border line schizophrenic, one week doing something intolerable by all Star Fleet standards and then next week reprimanding, demoting, suspending or taking other disciplinary action against one of her senior officers for doing practically the same thing. A captain is captain not a king and as such is not beyond reproach for their decisions and actions but too often we hear the line “I’ve made my decision” which equated to “Sure it’s stupid and wrong but it’s what I want to do so we’re going to do it or I will throw a Captain sized fit.” Week after week of that same dribble was just unforgivable. Add to that the crew had to be on the worst ship in the fleet. Why was it the worst? Because it could not go one week without something failing and usually at the worst possible time. The ship could not undergo one single attack without losing weapons, shields, hull integrity… you name it. No other ship in the history of Star Trek episodes seemed to fail as much or as often. It was so bad that the banter regarding systems failure started to sound like this-
    Crewman: “Alien ship detected and they are arming weapons”
    Captain:
    Crewman:”Captain?…. Captain?…. uh you want me to do anything?
    Zang… Boom.. Voyager gets hit with 3 quick volleys from the Alien ship.
    Crewman: “The shields are offline.”
    Captain:”Guess we’ll have to take evasive action, get us out of here.”
    Crewman: “Warp drive has inexplicably and conveniently failed and we’re down to 1/2 impulse”
    Kapow!!!! 3 more direct hits to Voyager, sparks fly, fires start all over the bridge.
    Captain: “Arm the weapons”
    Crewman: “Weapons were disabled in the first volley, sorry captain.”
    Captain:”Try to hale them again.”
    Crewman:”Yeah well keep shooting Tex, but the Comm was the second thing to go.”
    Captain: “Re-route power to…”
    Kaboom!!! 3 more volleys of fire to Voyager.
    Crewman:”Not gonna happen all the relays just blew out.”
    Captain:”Well since I am gonna die can I get a last cup of coffee?”
    Crewman:”Replicators are on the fritz again so you are going to have to make it yourself.”
    Captain: “I’ll be in my ready room writing my will and throwing a hissy fit”
    Crewman: “Of course you will… we’ll figure something out which will likely be unplausible and use our technology in a way it was never designed to work but which will take us only a few presses on these nifty glowing panels to accomplish”
    Captain:”Call me when it’s over.”
    Crewman: “Ok everyone time to be ingenious and defy the laws of physics and all practicality!”

  • rosie1843

    I hate it when people write articles with lame ass titles like the one for this article. All you had to say was that “STAR TREK VOYAGER” didn’t work for you. But the title for this article seemed to hint that “all” STAR TREK fans feel the same as you. And they don’t.
    So, spare me your bullshit.

  • sobad

    Bad characters? Bad story? Under-utilized possibilities? One-dimensional ethnic stereotypes? Check, check, check, and check. That’s bad writing folks! Voyager is absolutely indefensible, people that try to shower it with praise reveal their own bad taste with every sentence.