This was a fantastic pilot episode. It gripped me from the start, and also gave a great introduction to the show and the main characters. I have to say that the little text crawl in the opening immediately made me think of Star Wars, but it was good to get a bit of background, and showed that there were deeper things already going on in the Voyager universe.
It was nice to get introductions to all the characters, something that we never got with TOS, and I love that they're 'real' and interesting people, with fascinating backstories.
I already knew the Voyager premise, that they get lost 75 years travel away from home, so to see the scenes of Janeway talking to her partner was quite sad because I knew she wasn't going to see him again for a long, long time.
Harry Kim is sweet. I love his enthusiasm for his first post, his desire to impress and do the right thing, something we can probably all identify with from our first days in a new job.
Tom Paris is an interesting, and obviously conflicted character. I'm looking forward to finding out more about him.
The emergency medical hologram doctor is coooool! I'd caught a glimpse of him in some later episodes I’d caught, but hadn't realised that he was a hologram, so that bit took me by surprise.
Tuvok...I'm not sure what to make of him yet. I have to say, with my only previous experience of Vulcans being Spock, I'm a bit surprised to find a Vulcan as head of security, as I'd imagine they'd have found the role rather aggressive. Considering that Spock is my all-time favourite Trek character so far though, it'll be interesting to see whether Tuvok grows on me.
I'm not sure I saw enough of Chakotay and B'Elanna to make a real opinion yet, although Chakotay was obviously a competent Captain of his own crew.
Neelix seemed useful but a little bit annoying. And Kes...I haven't really seen her do much yet, although I admired her for standing up to her people and helping the Voyager crew.
So, onto the story. I felt there was some similarity with the short story 'The Machine Stops' by EM Forster. The concept of the Ocampa living underground and being taken care of by the Caretaker reminded me a lot of that story, particularly as the Caretaker was dying, and that some of the Ocampa tried to escape to the surface.
I found the holographic 'farm' a little bit distracting at first, but I loved the tension between the crew and the Kazon. I’m presuming they'll be a recurring race of 'bad guys' that we’ll see much more of in the future.
It was also fascinating to see that the Caretaker, who obviously appeared as a 'God' to the Ocampa, was in truth just a 'man', who had a finite life just like the rest of us. It made me think of the Wizard of Oz ending up being simply a man behind a curtain.
And what a brave and noble move by Janeway to destroy the Array, even though it was their only way to get home. I'll admit right now that, when she gave the speech at the end about how they will find a way home, I had a lump in my throat!
Well this was something of a ladies episode, with Janeway and B'Elanna teaming up to save the day. At the start of the episode I was thinking that I really didn't like B'Elanna (maybe that was the point?), she seemed to have all the aggression I'd expect from a Klingon, but none of the honour. But as the episode went on I warmed to her, was impressed with her engineering skills, and by the end thought it was nice to see her at least trying to make an effort with her team (saying 'please' ).
Again I thought Janeway was very cool. One fan criticism I’ve read of Janeway is that she gets involved a lot with the science and engineering functions, but I think somehow it works when coming from her, since you really can believe that she has the knowledge, compared to some of the episodes in TOS, where Kirk would have the answer to everyone else's problems before the real experts in that field did.
I also love the 'us and them' mentality that seems to be festering under the surface, between the Maquis and the Starfleet officers. It makes for good drama, and I'm hoping it won't all have been dissipated by B'Elanna's promotion.
Tuvok I'm warming to slightly, although I'm still not sold on the Vulcan head of security...yet.
And the poor holographic Doctor, shrinking away with nobody seeming to give a damn. He's a great character.
So onto the story. I liked that they tried to reference some real world science, even if their use of it was a little bit flaky. Singularities are a fascinating phenomenon, and I liked what they did with the reflections of the ship. I realise it was more of a mcguffin than anything deep, but it was still interesting.
Another great episode.
Time and Again
This is one of those episodes that I guess you could drive yourself mad over if you think about it too much. So the Voyager crew were responsible for triggering the detonation that destroyed the planet, and the planet wouldn't have been destroyed if they hadn't beamed down to the surface.
BUT the only reason they beamed down was to investigate the explosion in the first place.
Anyway, I thought this was a good episode. I enjoyed seeing Chakotay get a bit more to do, he handled command well in my opinion, and seems to be getting respect from the Starfleet Officers as well as the Maquis.
Paris is turning out to be a rather fun character too, and I'm interested to see where they go with him, and it was nice to see him and Janeway off the ship and interacting with people other than the crew.
Now unfortunately, I had a whole load of issues with the Prime Directive in this episode, how Janeway initially refused to help the inhabitants of the planet and warn them of the explosion for fear of breaking the PD.
I do think the PD is a great concept, and it makes for some fascinating storylines, but on a personal level, I feel like the Captain’s sometimes adhere to it too rigidly, especially when there are lives at stake. Conversely, I know there are other times when Captains completely disregard the PD if it goes against what they want to do.
Annoying, but at least it makes for good debate.
What a great idea for a story, an alien race that can remove and harvest body parts. Very creepy.
So as usual, I started this episode finding Neelix annoying...but seeing him feeling alone and scared in the restraints in sickbay I really felt for him, and by the end it was almost nice to have his old self back again.
The Doctor was also great in this episode. I love his dry sense of humour, and it's interesting to see that he's starting to actually think about things and almost act like a 'real' person.
The concept of holographic lungs I did find very silly, although it did explain the concept of how the Doctor works (I kept wondering how a hologram could interact with solid humans). Transporting organs I didn't have as much of a problem with, and it's probably an unfortunate probability that in the future, any technology we invent, someone somewhere will use it for selfish or malicious purposes.
Not that the aliens were malicious as such. I actually found them quite tragic, and I’m looking forward to seeing them in future Voyager episodes. It's a scary thought that there could be a whole planet's worth of them scouring the galaxy and stealing organs.
Now this has to have been my favourite episode so far. Janeway is just fantastic. She's so like me in a morning, needing her coffee before she can do anything.
I did feel a little bit sorry for her at the start of this episode, because, while the crew seem to be forming bonds and growing close, she, for very understandable reasons, is still aloof from them all, and seems not to know how best to connect with them.
In TOS, Kirk had Spock and Bones to lean on, but for Janeway there doesn't seem to be an equivalent...yet. Which is why I loved her scenes with Chakotay. I like that they are exploring a more spiritual angle with him, and while it’s a very clichéd picture of Native Americans, it does set him apart from the rest of the characters. I really enjoyed seeing Janeway meeting her animal guide. It's such a shame she was interrupted and I hope she goes back to it.
Tuvok annoyed me a little at the beginning, the way he belittled Harry on the Bridge. His comment about it being inappropriate to admit you'd never seen something before to me was totally unwarranted, and also quite a 'snipe' for a Vulcan. I'm glad Harry got his own back, as it were. I expect I’m going to see much more tension between these two.
Once again, Paris was great. Considering the darker tone of Voyager in general, I think a character like Paris is essential to provide some lighter moments. His 'bar' was fantastic (this is the first time I've ever seen a holodeck in action), although the 'French' woman had a dreadful accent. I loved the concept of people on Earth picking pockets 'just for the tourists'. Very clever.
There were also some nice moments between Torres and the Doctor. I adore his character, and his dry, sarcastic wit.
As to the actual plot of the nebula really being a 'creature', it reminded me of the TOS episode 'The Immunity Syndrome'. I'm glad that Janeway saw the importance of repairing the damage they had done to it.
I adored the scene at the end when Janeway visits Paris's bar, and it was nice to see Harry making an effort to integrate her into their group. I hope there'll be more scenes of the crew having 'down time' because it's great to watch.
Eye of the Needle
What a sad episode, that they thought they'd found a way home, but then all of their attempts were seemingly thwarted (although maybe the Romulan really did give the chip to someone else). I presume there'll be many more of these 'we may have found a way home - gosh darn it, that won't work' kind of storylines.
An important episode for the Doctor. I like the relationship developing between him and Kes, and it's quite a testament to how caring she is that she has considered him almost human all along. I think she surprised Janeway when she asked the Captain to take better care of the Doctor, and obviously Janeway modified her approach to him because of Kes's words. It was a nice moment when Janeway told him that he was now a fully-fledged member of the crew, and offered to give him control over his own de-activation. It's also highly significant I guess that he wants a name. I wonder what he'll choose...
As to the wormhole storyline...I've always loved Romulans, and R'Mor is another great character. He was incredibly brave, offering to be transported onto Voyager before they'd even tested the transporter link with a human, and also it was very honourable of him to offer to save the messages for twenty years and then deliver them (then again, their honour is one of the qualities I adore most in the Romulans...if I don't count the STXI Romulans anyway!)
It was also nice in this episode to see Harry Kim getting a bit of respect from the rest of the crew, and even though Tuvok thought that he might be being 'over enthusiastic' (darn Vulcan!), Janeway had full confidence in Kim all along.
Poor Chakotay didn't seem to get much to do...I'm starting to see what a lot of fans talk about with him being a bit of a 'wasted' character.
I suppose with Voyager it's kind of a different approach than TOS. In TOS, they may have had one or two episodes that focused on another crew member, but they always had time for the 'main three', Kirk, Spock and McCoy. In Voyager they seem to shift the focus more strongly from one episode to the next, which keeps things interesting, but then means that certain characters get 'left out' a little bit.
Anyway, a good episode, and I'm really interested to see the Doctor develop further.