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Star Trek: Voyager- The Complete Series DVD Review

Star Trek Voyager

“Star Trek: Voyager” is a low point in the franchise.

If you’ve never dipped into “Star Trek: Voyager,” now is your chance to absorb all 7 seasons of the series with this new repackaged complete series DVD set. The series, for those that aren’t in the know, follows the adventures of the USS Voyager and its crew members Captain Janeway, Chaoktay, Tuvok, Tom Paris, The Doctor, Harry Kim, Neelix, B’Elanna Torres, Kes, and later Seven of Nine. Over the course of 172 episodes, the story revolves around the ship’s travels through the Delta Quadrant, alien encounters, time travel, the Borg, technology, the Vidiians, the Maquis, planet exploration, numerous medical emergencies, a visit from Q, the holodeck, the introduction of 7 of 9, telepaths, the USS Equinox, a marriage, the departure of a main character, guest appearances by past Trek cast members, and, of course, everyone trying to get home.

Back in the 90’s, I remember liking “Star Trek: Voyager” well enough to watch it on a fairly consistent basis. As I grew older and my Trek fandom blossomed over time, however, Voyager began to fell out of favor for a number of reasons. For one, the series has not aged well. At all. Not only does the show look and feel corny, but the writing simply doesn’t stack up to the likes of TOS, TNG or DS9. Where are the classic episodes? Where are the poignant and relevant stories that stand the test of time?

Another major issue is that unlike DS9 which was doing new and interesting things with the franchise in the same time period, Voyager felt like a step backwards for Trek. It was essentially a new “Lost In Space” and it was recycling stories that we had seen before. It was running on empty. On top of that, the show was squandering its potentially engaging premise, desperately trying to win over fans with ratings ploys like adding Seven of Nine, overusing the fan favorite Borg, and adding a new big villain (Species 8472).

As disappointing as the series was overall, the diverse cast of characters managed to keep it afloat. It was great to finally see a female Captain and Kate Mulgrew certainly brought her own flair to the character. Even though Tuvok was more or less a Spock wannabe, the character still proved to be a winner thanks to Tim Russ. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that the holographic Doctor was easily the best thing about the entire series. Not only did he bring much needed humor to the show, but the character also felt like a fresh addition to the Trek universe (hence why he crossed over into the film world). Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeil) and Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) also proved to be memorable characters who rose above the often mediocre material they had to work with. Even though the characters weren’t entirely successful from start to finish, Chakotay (Robert Beltran) and B’Elanna (Roxann Dawson) were different from the norm. As for Neelix (Ethan Phillips), Kes (Jennifer Lien) and 7 of 9 (Jeri Ryan), they too all had their moments thanks to some involving character arcs.

I couldn’t end this review without mentioning the theme music by Jerry Goldsmith. It is so grand and inspiring that the show often feels unworthy of it!

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 4:3. How does it look? Sadly, we may never see a Blu-ray edition or a restoration, but as standard definition transfers go, it’s pretty solid.

Audio Tracks: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo. How do they sound? The 5.1 track doesn’t disappoint and the Stereo track is fine if you like that sort of thing.

Extras:
* Photo galleries for each season.
* Voyager Time Capsules for Kathryn Janeway, Tuvok, Neelix, Kes, 7 of 9, Harry Kim, B’Elanna Torres, Tom Paris, Chakotay and The Doctor. These extras contain enlightening interviews with the actor portraying each role.
* “Braving The Unknown”- Featurettes about each season.
* “The First Captain: Bujold”-Easily the most interesting extra on this entire set is seeing footage of the original Janeway actress.
* “Cast Reflections: Season One”- Self-explanatory.
* “On Location With The Kazons”- A set tour.
* “Red Alert! Visual Effects”- Breakdowns of the FX for the first 3 seasons and season 6.
* “Launching Voyager On The Web”- A piece about the first Star Trek: Voyager website in 1995.
* “Real Science With Andre Bormanis”- An interview with the science consultant for the first 3 seasons and season 7.
* Text trivia for “The 37’s” episode.
* “Saboteur Extraordinaire: Seska”- This extra spotlights the character Seska.
* “A Day In The Life Of Ethan Phillips”- A sort of video diary of Neelix actor Ethan Phillips on set.
* “Borg Invasion 4D”- An ad for the attraction at the now sadly defunct “Star Trek Experience.” A making of extra is also included in the season 7 set.
* “Flashback To Flashback”- A featurette about the episode “Flashback” which features George Takei.
* “Trekkies 2” trailer.
* “The Birth Of Species 8472”- A featurette about the villainous alien species that debuted in season 4.
* “The Art Of Alien Worlds”- Images and interviews about various alien planets, cities and so forth.
* “The Borg Queen Speaks”- An interview with actress Susanna Thompson.
* “Delta Quadrant Make-Up Magic”- The make-up work is spotlighted here.
* “One Small Step: A Mars Encounter”- A featurette on the “One Small Step” episode.
* “Guest Star profile: Vaughn Armstrong”- The title says it all.
* Storyboards.
* “Coming Home: The Final Episode”- Last but not least is this bonus feature about the series finale “Endgame.”

Overall Thoughts: To me, “Star Trek: Voyager” stands as the weakest Trek series to date. It did some things right, but it did a lot wrong. It’s easy to see why it’s the most divisive Trek series. With all of that said, I am sure there are plenty of people out there that will find much to enjoy about this sci-fi series not to mention many Trek fans out there will want this set for collecting purposes.

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April 28, 2017 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , , , ,

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