Aug 4, 2011

[TV] Star Trek Voyager: Season 5

Star Trek Voyager: Season 5Star Trek: Voyager will always have a soft spot in my heart for one reason or another. Maybe it's the way that Janeway orders coffee, black in that nails-on-a-chalkboard voice of hers. Maybe it's how pathetic the bromance between Harry Kim and Tom Paris really is. Or maybe it has something to do with how B'Elenna cab only decently manage the emotions of rage and sad vulnerability. Whatever it is, I love the show and I felt it was a good call to use this as a way to introduce my partner to the wonderfully geeky worlds of Star Trek.

The fifth season was definitely a mixed bag. The addition of Seven of Nine does make for some interesting episodes and some highly tropey ones as well. The show has its own internal set of amusements as manifested by the on-going holodeck stories that seem to shift in theme with every season. But hey, at least we don't have to deal with the annoyance that was Kes, right?

But still this season had a lot of good points that kept the voyage pretty fun. Admittedly I think there were more weird and quirky episodes that I would have liked, but then what can you do, right? You just take the good with the bad and all the fun stuff in-between to boot.

Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction series created by the team of Rick Berman, Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor. It's the fourth Star Trek franchise to hit the airways (the Animated Series notwithstanding though).

This season marks the addition of the Delta Flyer to the arsenal of the Voyager crew. This custom shuttlecraft was designed to be a lore more versatile than your typical shuttles and for the most part less disposable. It was the brainchild of Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) with the added benefits of some Borg-inspired enhancements care of Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan). The Delta Flyer certainly became a focal point for more storytelling outside of Voyager itself and it certainly beat the cramped confines of classic Class 2 shuttles and the like.

This season's recurring alien antagonist took the form of the Malon, a race that we only know because of their salvage operations involving the venting of toxic theta radiation into space. Thus once can't help but limit your thinking of them as garbage men with really big ships. Were it not for the fact that they totally kicked Voyager's tail time and time again, I would have ranked them lower than the Kazon or something.

The season did have some interesting story concepts though. A few that come to mind involve a weird training facility for aliens potentially invading Earth in In The Flesh, Voyager trying to smuggle telepaths through Devore space in Counterpoint and how The Doctor (Robert Picardo) discovers that some of his memories had been erased in Latent Image. Although the season also meant we had to deal with Chakotay (Robert Beltran) trying to speak to aliens via hallucinations in The Fight, but then I generally dislike Chakotay episodes on principle.

Bride of Chaotica! (Star Trek: Voyager)Image via WikipediaAnd of course we had this season's ultra-campy holodeck concept being Tom Paris and his blasted Captain Proton adventures, which I guiltily enjoyed. It's a shame they didn't exploit this story concept as much as they had past holodeck scenarios, but I suppose it can't be helped at times. But man, Bride of Chaotica! remains a true gem among Voyager episodes.

The season did have a major kick of a season finale - definitely one of the better stories out there, at least for me. Then again, maybe I just enjoyed seeing John Savage in a Starfleet uniform.

Definitely not the best season but not the worst either, I'd like to think they did more good than bad. For me it helped that they avoided too many Chakotay-focused episodes and they made sure to have Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) expand her range a bit more. And they didn't even have resort to pulling in Q into the story. At least not this season.

The fifth season of Star Trek: Voyager was a bit campier than some of the others with a lot of fan service. But then maybe that's what made this season so fun and thus helps it stand out compared to the others, but it may be a matter of taste. Still, I think it still merits 4 excuses to pull the Borg into the story out of a possible 5.




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