Author Topic: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.  (Read 8635 times)

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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2017, 10:34:04 PM »
It depends on which Janeway we're talking about, because she's the worst written character in all of Star Trek. It seems like the writers didn't even try to have a consistent plan for the kind of person she was, and her personality would drastically change from episode to episode depending on who was writing and what they felt the situation called for. She was willing to screw over millions of people and make an alliance with the most destructive force the Federation had ever encountered in order to get home, except when she insisted upon following Starfleet regulations to the letter in situations that could have helped them.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2017, 11:17:02 PM »
I really need to get back to Discovery at some point after watching the first two episodes. I'm curious to see what's been happening since I'll see IGN rate episodes in the 8 - 9 range and AV Club seems to have them around a B level yet oohhboy seems to be scorching every latest episode so who is correct?

As for Voyager, bland is probably a good way to describe the series. It just often seems derivative of what came before although once in awhile it can suddenly muster a spark of genius. One main reason that I would point to is that the Voyager doesn't seem interested in exploring or developing the characters much and is more interested in story concepts or bringing up some kind of moral quandary. That's not necessarily a bad thing but a lot of time they have a lackluster resolution or no resolution at all. At the same time, when they have delved into the characters, the results are often mixed but even though it has produced some weak episodes it has also produced some of the strongest in the series as well. One of TNG's strength's are the main characters on it. You could have an episode with them all sitting around a table in Ten Forward sharing drinks and shooting the breeze for an hour and that would probably make for a really good episode because they've got such good comraderie and rich backgrounds to tell stories from and for a writer to make such a premise work. Try doing that with Voyager's crew and a writer could have a tough time. On the one hand, you could come up with all manner of background stories for them to tell since they're pretty undeveloped yet at the same time they do have some established personalities that you have to reconcile with whatever you come up and work with those personalities bouncing off each other and I think that challenge would drive a writer nuts. They're just kind of one note characters.

Take Janeway, for instance. She's one of the more developed characters by default of being the captain and main character so she's going to factor into a lot of the show. Yet, even though we get an occasional glimpse into background, there's so much left undiscovered. With Picard, we got to see his family and how his brother resents him and his Starfleet career. There was also some past history and flirtation with him Dr. Crusher. With Sisko, he visited his father in New Orleans and had his son with him. We know what happened to his wife and there was the relationship with Kasidy.

With Janeway, she's engaged to a man, Mark, at the start of the show but we don't really get a lot of details about that relationship. We get a bit of it in the first episodes, there's another episode where she "hallucinates" a bit about him and later when they are finally able to get word back to Earth of their survival she learns he has moved on and the relationship is over. Other than that, she's pretty much a spinster. Did she have any other relationships before that? Any other loves that didn't work out? There are a couple times on the journey where she has sort of admired or flirted a bit with someone they've encountered but it has been nothing of major consequence. With the circumstances of Voyager what they are, she's not really willing to date a member of the crew so being able to do much with the character in a romantic relationship is pretty much a dead end which is a shame since that can be a great way to develop a character. It's one of the most common types of a story found in most shows and movies.

Even with her family history, we know her dad is a scientist and that was the big influence that got her into science. There's an episode with an alien that impersonates her father and that back and forth gives us some glimpse into her youth but it's one episode and isn't further explored which is a shame as I do think that is one of the better episodes in the series. What about her mother? I can think of any instance where she has been brought up. You'd think the mother/daughter relationship would or could be something to shade Janeway's character with especially since she sort of has a mother/daughter relationship with Seven of Nine. Heck, she's sort of got a mother-type relationship with other crew members like Harry Kim. Does she herself mirroring her in her actions with the crew? Or are there traits and behavior she is trying to avoid copying or imitating? Now that Mark has moved on, is there anyone else on Earth that she is hoping to see again if they get home? Is there anyone else waiting for her to give her more motivation besides doing it for the crew since it was her order to destroy the Caretaker array? If there is, Voyager don't care. It's got another time plot device it wants to have the crew engage in.

Heck, here's another quick and easy example. In the pilot episode, Tom Paris was kicked out of Starfleet. He tells Harry Kim a quick version of the events that basically go along the lines that something went wrong but it was covered up and he could have escaped punishment. He decided he couldn't go along with that and turned himself in and got booted out. Did the writers have an actual story in mind with more details to help form the background of Paris' character? If so, why not spend some time in episode finally getting into that? Maybe parallel it with current time predicament Voyager and Tom find themselves in. But no, after five seasons of the show, what happened to Tom and getting booted from Starfleet has yet to be further elaborated on.

TNG and DS9 did a lot more with putting characters into relationships and pretty much gave all the characters a family history even letting you meet most of them over the course of those shows. Even though the premise of Voyager makes it difficult to allow for family visits, you'd think the characters would talk about them more. Perhaps create holodeck versions of them or create log/journal entries for them. The most developed family relationship is the Wildman's who are infrequently appearing characters which is pretty sad. Yet, that is why Voyager probably comes off as bland and lower tier in Trek series.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2017, 11:19:21 PM »
Janeway had babies with Paris.  Does that count?

Can I just say, I'm loving The Orville.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2017, 11:24:53 PM »
Janeway had babies with Paris.  Does that count?

Nothing in that episode counts. Star Trek fans have gotten together and all agreed that Threshold never happened.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2017, 11:28:55 PM »
Janeway gets increasingly unstable as the series progresses. Initially she is doesn't screw people over to get home. Eventually she gets increasingly single minded and will kill you should you get in her way like developing bio weapons, sparking civil wars, stealing technology etc.

Admiral Janeway is the end result where she wants to get the crew home so bad that she breaks every rule to do so including (attempted?) genocide of the Borg, time travel, stealing future technology, revenge. Her iron will to get home persists no matter what for better or worse.

All this however might have been inadvertent on part of the writers possibly because they were running out of space both literally and metaphorically. The number of multi year space jumps increase and they were over half way home, overwhelming hostile aliens and written themselves into infinite Borg space.

According to Mulgrew (More than likely an urban legend) she knew Janeway was increasingly crazy or a bit off from the start and played with that. It takes a crazy good actress to carry something like that.

Janeway's worse moment is her not mating with Q to get the crew home. This was a massive **** up by the writers. I laughed at Threshold but this episode was maximum WTF.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2017, 12:08:06 AM »
I've been meaning to get back to this thread a lot, though. It's just so much easier to watch the show and keep my reactions internal than typing it out episode by episode as much as I'd like to. However, I've still been watching Voyager since starting this thread. Just last week, I finished Season 5 so two more seasons to go. Yet, my enthusiasm for this series has dimmed quite a bit since my initial viewing of the show. Even though it was a pretty good episode and cliffhanger that Season 5 concluded on and I've been a bit eager to get to the conclusion at the start of Season 6, I haven't felt like starting that process just yet and have been watching other shows excite me a bit more like Community (just finished Season 4) and Rick and Morty (almost finished Season 1.)

When I do finish Voyager, (and I absolutely plan to keep going until the end which I wasn't sure would happen when I started this) then I'll probably dive into The Orville and STD (hee hee) at that point. I've got a lot more to say about Voyager and maybe I'll finally get into it in this thread but a couple of my current takes on the series are this: I actually kind of like it. I no longer think of Voyager with the dismal view I had which I discussed at the start of this thread. Yeah, there's a lot of wasted potential here and not just with the setting of the show but with the characters themselves as I've just mentioned a bit about in my previous post. That said, I've found myself reappraising and appreciating some characters more than I did before. My feelings with others are lukewarm but part of that is lack of character development or much in the way of spotlight episodes to make me care about them.

I think watching this with more time and distance from when I've last watched TNG and Enterprise episodes has helped since it keeps me from comparing the show as much to those other series which I do regard more highly and it's nice to be on a Starfleet vessel after sitting through all of DS9's ugly Cardassian décor so that's probably helped my reaction this time around. But I do think that distance is probably Voyager's friend and if it had aired 10 years after TNG then it may have been received a bit better as well. Unfortunately, having it immediately follow TNG kept it under the shadow of that show thereby aiding in it's less enthusiastic reaction by people such as myself. After an absence of Trek for so long until just this fall season, watching the series now and with fresh eyes has probably helped in me embracing the series a bit more warmly than I have up to this point.

This show actually changes a lot. Perhaps it has something to do with the creatives moving around behind the scenes. Pillar leaves the show after the second season, Taylor after the fourth and they are two of the three people who worked on creating it with Rick Berman. That may be a factor but then there's the mission of the show in getting home meaning Voyager is moving from point A to point B in space and thus isn't sticking around in regions and is leaving behind species it encounters in one section as it moves along on its singular path which in turn means losing some of the conflicts and intrigues created by earlier episodes. Again, that kind of limits development on the show when you lose all these potential conflicts that could arise when re-encounting species or creating a richer world for the show to play off of.

I actually really liked the first few seasons of the show. It was Season 4 that I found myself slowing down in how fast and how much of the show I was watching. It hit me then just how much had changed from when I was first watching and that change in effect was causing me to lose some interest in the show. Even though Season 4 is considered a strong season for Voyager, it was disappointing to see how little resolution there was from much of the world building the show had been doing in those opening seasons and that this trend would probably continue as Voyager continued its single line mission. While I think the writing has improved somewhat, it is hard for me to get invested into the show that much since pretty much most of the species and aliens they encounter probably won't be around much to matter aside from The Borg at this point. (It doesn't help that I know how this series will end with the writers deciding they need to wrap things up so here's Janeway messing with time travel to warp the crew home and destroy The Borg at the same time so that's that.) Perhaps that is why the writers focus more on quirky plots than character development. Who cares how the crew interacts with other species since they probably won't see them again.

I also think Year of Hell is overrated.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2017, 12:41:57 AM »
Voyager is well before the expectation where everything has to be serialised yet its premise is to be serialised but wasn't to the extent you would think it should have been.

It was stuck early with the incorrect backlash from DS9's increasing serialisation where there was a demand to go back to a TNG like show which I personally didn't want since we have plenty of TNG. So I was very interested in Voyager's premise.

The first couple seasons are rough but it is Trek and as bland as it gets the stories aren't an insulting mess covered with pewpew or continuous WTF endings inconsistent to it's own rules and characters from the first second.

It really doesn't help that the writers absolutely insist it is part of the prime timeline when even the hardcore fans of the show say it should be treated as a reboot inside it's own timeline/universe as it takes every opportunity to break canon. It never should have been given the Star Trek branding which was clearly a cynical move that has been intentionally destructive to the franchise.

Add the fact the writing is just terrible, trek or no trek it is a bad show.

You have fucked up big time if so many people are proclaiming The Orville is real new Trek series dick jokes and all despite the insane irrational hate for Seth MacFarlane.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2017, 12:55:50 AM »
Janeway gets increasingly unstable as the series progresses. Initially she is doesn't screw people over to get home. Eventually she gets increasingly single minded and will kill you should you get in her way like developing bio weapons, sparking civil wars, stealing technology etc.

Admiral Janeway is the end result where she wants to get the crew home so bad that she breaks every rule to do so including (attempted?) genocide of the Borg, time travel, stealing future technology, revenge. Her iron will to get home persists no matter what for better or worse.

You know, having just thought about the ending of the show again in my previous post, this comment about Admiral Janeway makes sense. Going back to the lack of relationship potential for Janeway they basically just started making her character a lot more single-minded in her pursuit to get this crew home. It's almost her only motivation besides the side project she starts to take on with Seven of Nine for awhile. It's something that is really brought out in Year of Hell which is where they really made Janeway extreme in doing whatever it took to keep Voyager moving through space towards Earth. I'd say that is probably the turning point of the Janeway character which is ironic since Year of Hell basically resets at the end.

But imagining that this tougher (and slightly crazier) Janeway is the logical development of the character then it makes sense that Admiral Janeway in the future would be willing to screw Starfleet protocol to get the crew home sooner. At least Harry Kim had the justification of being responsible for everyone's death when he decided to mess with time. Admiral Janeway still got the crew home. She just didn't like the result and how the journey affected the crew. Yet, it raises an interesting concept. With Admiral Janeway speeding up the arrival of Voyager and limiting her own time in the Delta Quadrant, how would that affect Captain Janeway of that time? If the long journey had made her a bit crazy then how would shortening the journey affect her personality and character? Guess we won't know and we probably don't need to care since the writers clearly didn't.

Quote
All this however might have been inadvertent on part of the writers possibly because they were running out of space both literally and metaphorically. The number of multi year space jumps increase and they were over half way home, overwhelming hostile aliens and written themselves into infinite Borg space.

Perhaps although the show seemed to come up with multiple possibilities for how the ship could get home without needing a time-traveling Janeway to do it throughout the series. The biggest and earliest possibility was that of a second caretaker which they encountered once in the second season and then they decided to apparently scrap that and there's been nothing about the caretaker aliens or anything about that potential since.

Quote

Janeway's worse moment is her not mating with Q to get the crew home. This was a massive **** up by the writers. I laughed at Threshold but this episode was maximum WTF.


Especially since Janeway seems to be more receptive about Q's purpose for the request as the episode moves along. That said, I don't think it would have gone over well with a lot of the audience (particularly women) if the first Trek series with a woman captain as lead had the resolution to being trapped in the Delta Quadrant resolved with the female captain accepting the proposition of alien to sleep with him to get home. That said, for a character who would later be willing to break all manner of rules and use time-travel to complete this homeward bound mission after giving so many speeches and orders that the crew stick to Starfleet protocols in the early seasons, sleeping with Q (or touching his hand if I recall the actual Q mating procedure at the end of the episode) is one of the easiest and almost painless resolutions that could have been taken by Janeway if she was so guilt-ridden over stranding the crew in the Delta Quadrant and basically kept her Starfleet values intact. Really, though, it is the writer's fault for coming up with that premise in the first place. Even worse is how Janeway helps Q in his war against the Continuum and the crew saves his life but Q does nothing to return the favor or offer to send them home despite this aid but if Janeway had accepted his offer of mating with him then he'd have done so and that's the only way he would intervene in their behalf. It's another example of the writing being focused on a couple concepts like Q in a relationship / dating, the fallout of Q's last encounter with Voyager and then slipping up in the execution and/or resolution of the story. Just like Threshold.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2017, 01:22:50 AM »
The cost to get home was so low it was absurd. People have prostituted themselves for far lesser immoral reasons. Yeah it wouldn’t have gone down well with a number of viewers but would have been in character and understandable even if they disagreed due to their personal morality.

Even Q reason for the offer was noble even if the offer itself was prostitution.

Everything about it is as bad hence why I really don’t care about threshold. The episode that needs deletion is that one.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2017, 01:36:22 AM »
Janeway had babies with Paris.  Does that count?

Nothing in that episode counts. Star Trek fans have gotten together and all agreed that Threshold never happened.

I've been watching the whole Voyager series on DVD and I've watched the special features they've included with all the seasons. I bring this up because there is a brief clip included with Braga talking about this episode since he's the one responsible for writing it and he admits that he failed on the idea / concept of what he had in mind when writing the episode and the way it has sort of tainted his reputation. He says people will point him out in conventions with a sort of derision as the guy who wrote Threshold and basically ignoring all the many other episodes he's written for Trek over the years and many of them quite good.

That did cause me to consult IMDB/Wikipedia about him because up to that point, I'd only really known him as an executive producer of Trek with his name at the end of the opening credits of Enterprise along with Rick Berman. I was surprised to find that he began writing on TNG and did write some of the good episodes for it including helping to write "All Good Things..." which was an excellent ending for that series as well as helped write Star Trek: First Contact. He helped co-create Enterprise, which I still like a lot, and was showrunner on it and responsible for writing multiple episodes of it. In my youthful naivety, having not watched DS9 and a smattering of Voyager episodes from the last seasons as well as not understanding the world of TV Business like I do now, I use to see Braga's name (along with Berman) and though that they were the people who succeeded Roddenberry in controlling the Star Trek franchise since their names were listed as the executive producers on Enterprise so they must control it. I never even knew about Micheal Pillar or when exactly Roddenberry died. So, when Enterprise was cancelled and Star Trek began its long hiatus, I always associated Braga's name as one of the guys responsible for killing Trek particularly by diluting it with the Voyager series. But now I see I was wrong. Despite early and great success with his TNG writing, he's clearly not perfect as Threshold and the Series Finale of Enterprise prove but he's responsible for a lot of the high points across the Trek franchise so I've let go of that irrational resentment and can more easily overlook a dumb episode like Threshold on his behalf.

What's further interesting in the battle of The Orville VS Discovery is that Braga is actually one of the producers for The Orville which now makes me more interested and optimistic about that show's potential than Discovery which, even 10 years ago, would have been unthinkable on my part. I'd have thought not having Braga around would be a good thing but now it is another sign of potential trouble for Discovery.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2017, 01:45:25 AM »
Voyager is well before the expectation where everything has to be serialised yet its premise is to be serialised but wasn't to the extent you would think it should have been.

It was stuck early with the incorrect backlash from DS9's increasing serialisation where there was a demand to go back to a TNG like show which I personally didn't want since we have plenty of TNG. So I was very interested in Voyager's premise.

The first couple seasons are rough but it is Trek and as bland as it gets the stories aren't an insulting mess covered with pewpew or continuous WTF endings inconsistent to it's own rules and characters from the first second.

It really doesn't help that the writers absolutely insist it is part of the prime timeline when even the hardcore fans of the show say it should be treated as a reboot inside it's own timeline/universe as it takes every opportunity to break canon. It never should have been given the Star Trek branding which was clearly a cynical move that has been intentionally destructive to the franchise.

Add the fact the writing is just terrible, trek or no trek it is a bad show.

You have fucked up big time if so many people are proclaiming The Orville is real new Trek series dick jokes and all despite the insane irrational hate for Seth MacFarlane.

The instances of "breaking canon" in Discovery are usually easily explained away, you just don't seem to want to. You've made up your mind that it's bad (yet you still continue to watch it for some reason, despite your correct statement earlier in this thread that we're living in an age of near infinite entertainment options) and you're taking every chance to criticize it.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2017, 04:01:43 AM »
You have got to be kidding me right? Almost every piece of technology or reference breaks canon in some way that have no possible explanation other that "Writers don't give a **** and Trek is nothing but branding". "usually" is not the word I would use.

Klingon, ignoring the look they are culturally completely different in 10 years time empire wide? Story wise why would everyone suddenly come to a nobody and "We come in peace" is all they need to set them off?

The timeline is ours as Elon Musk exists so the Khan's eugenics war didn't happen nor did world war three. Prime Trek history got erased.

Spock's foster sister is completely unspoken of despite his mother's appeals to emotion and support.

There is no way in hell spore drive research wouldn't continue even if such an instantaneous method of travel was destroyed locally. No to mention a surrogate would be found to run the drive that wasn't somehow unethical or is restricted to emergency situations or times of war.

They have no reason to call Mudd Mudd as whoever that is is a completely different person who only exists as a reference. Yet out of all the things they try to preserve in the timeline is Mudd being free to go with Stella despite committing high treason?!

Vulcans get given yet another super power because the writers are hacks.

Both the Klingon and Vulcans are comically racists. I can't wait to see how racist the next set of aliens are.

Not being able to beam people somehow because the moment the heart stops they are dead then proceed to beam a very dead person later on?

This is stuff just off the top of my head without needing to read references which I don't in the first place. They could have avoided the outrage if they if it was a straight reboot with nothing to do with the prime universe. As much of a hack JJ is at least he tried to split the universes.

I watch it as it is a fascinatingly bad show where the act of taking it apart is the entertainment. What are they going to **** up next in the most stupidest way possible? Are they going to write a coherent story? What rules are they going to violate that they themselves have established?
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2017, 02:45:41 PM »
Pretty much all of the things you listed are easy enough to explain, and most are fairly consistent with previous Trek.

Reconciling the Eugenics Wars with real history has always been an issue with Trek, including a Voyager episode where they travel back to the '90s and everything's fine. There's a series of novels that does an admirable job of fitting them into our history. It also has nothing to do with World War 3, which is still decades away.

Klingons were always fairly racist, as were the Vulcans in Enterprise. Mudd's way more consistent with his original portrayal than you think he is, the tone of the original series was light but if you look past that he was into some pretty dark stuff.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2017, 07:04:35 AM »
It has always been understood that history diverge around the 60's and it isn't our universe. There is no argument about this.

Voyager messed up but that doesn't give STD a pass for making the same avoidable mistake. STD use is made worse by the fact Voyager gave us a pretty good episode from that mess. I am pretty forgiving if you get a good episode out of it but in STD is was nothing more than a reference that pissed over history.

I said they were comically racist not they weren't racist before.

Sure if you dig enough you will find some dark stuff but at the end of the day he is a con man way over his head who is a pain in the ass for Kirk who punished him with irony not a guy who walks away from High Treason.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2017, 07:17:29 AM »
Where is it established that the timeline diverged that way? I've seen people suggest it as a way of explaining differences like that, but I don't think it's ever been said on screen. Either way, a different timeline wouldn't necessarily prevent Elon Musk from existing and doing the same kind of stuff.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2017, 07:36:16 AM »
We know it diverged before the eugenic wars by 2 decades if not more by Khan's existence. The technology has to be developed, he has to grow up, gain power, create his country, arms build up, fight the war and lose while building his spacecraft not to mention the devastation the war caused.

Based on technology alone it's not our universe and it diverged even sooner than the 60's how significantly advanced they were to us. Khan made an interstellar sleeper ship but yet Musk who yet to achieve anything of note that past space agencies have already done?

Elon Musk is another example of name dropping for the sake of name dropping.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2017, 08:27:01 AM »
Again, you are making a lot of assumptions that aren't canon and not giving them any benfit of the doubt. If you're going to be that picky about continuity you could find all kinds of similar examples in every Star Trek series to date.
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Re: Star Trek: Voyager. Series Review.
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2017, 08:40:38 AM »
Why should I give them the benefit of doubt? They have proven their incompetence by not being able to write an episode without screwing over basic story telling and doing something insanely stupid. Vapid name dropping is the lest of their crimes.

As I said before I am willing to give the benefit of doubt or a pass if you get a good episode out of it which is something they failed time and again as they fundamentally don't know how to tell or write a good story. The very premise the show is built on is broken like the Voyager episode of Q mating with Janeway. They started in a hole and have continued to dig down without breaks.

As I said before Trek is nothing but branding for STD, another vapid name drop.
I'm Lacus. I'm fine as Lacus!
Pffh. Toilet paper? What do you think cats are for?