STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Review by Mark Wiechman
Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Roxann Dawson, Jennifer Lien, Robert Duncan McNeill,
Robert Picardo, Ethan Phillips, Tim Russ, Garrett Wang, Jeri Ryan
Video: Full Frame 1:33:1
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo and 5.1
Length: Seven discs, 20 hours, 16 minutes
Release date: November 9, 2004
trusted me and I killed them!"
Kim, I didn't spend all those years in an ice bucket so that I could listen to
you berate yourself! If you want to
wallow in self-pity, fine! Do it on
your own time!"
you see? History is repeating
itself! I destroyed Voyager once
and I'm doing it again!"
has got to knuckle down and change history, and that someone is you!"
my humble opinion, time-travel is a greatly overused plot gimmick in science
fiction, for several reasons. First
of all, to our knowledge it is scientifically impossible since nothing can
exceed the speed of light. Only by
going faster than the speed of light would time go backward, according to
Einstein's theories. Secondly, if
it were possible, plenty of damage could be done to history, with every
alteration having infinitely diverse consequences.
Third, it would be all too easy to alter history for personal gain.
It is best that this remain fantasy.
Although, if it were possible, it would wonderful to prevent several
major disasters, such as the sinking of the Titanic. Occasionally, time travel does work as a plot device, if the
situation is grave enough.
In this fifth season of Voyager, the one-hundredth episode was produced (Timeless) and it is an excellent one, comparable to the original series' masterpiece City on the Edge of Forever. Any series, which reaches one hundred episodes, is obviously a success, and this episode was truly special. It reminds me of the night lookout on the Titanic going back in time to see the iceberg and warn the ship's crew in time.
short version of the story is this: engine modifications and advanced physics
have revealed a way for the crew to finally get home through slipstream (which
is similar to hyperspace, another fiction that is still a very useful plot
device). It involves incredibly
complex calculations, and before the attempt is made, Tom Paris and Harry Kim
discover that in simulations, the ship falls out of the stream every time,
sustaining heavy damage. But since
the problems do not arise when try it on their shuttle, Ensign Kim suggests that
the Delta Flyer go ahead of the ship and transmit slight changes in the ship's
course, much like a tug boat guiding a bigger ship through tricky passages.
However, Harry accidentally sends incorrect data to Voyager, which causes
Voyager to sustain damage and fall out of the stream.
It eventualy loses all engine power and navigational control, and fatally
crashes into an icy planet, where the ship is entombed in ice.
Harry and Chekotay, who was also on the Flyer, make it all the way back
to earth, but have to live with their guilt over the tradgedy.
They eventually go back to the planet and try to transmit new information
back in time with Borg technology. As
the above exchange shows, it does not qork as easily as he thought.
Wang turns in an incredible performance as the guilt-ridden, bitter and
broken man desperately trying to fix his mistake.
This Harry Kim is completely differently from the obedient little ensign
we know from the other episodes.
do not understand some of the reviews of this season, which rank it as a poor
one. This season saw bolder story
lines and more raw emotion from all crewmembers (such as Be'Lanna dealing with
depression and anger in Extreme Risk),
perhaps due to the change in executive producers. An example of a big step forward in Star Trek lore is the two-part Borg masterpiece Dark
Frontier, in which we learn about how Seven of Nine's parents studied the
Borg in great detail, but became the first humans to be assimilated.
One wonderful feature of the DVD set as with some other Star Trek series is that two-part episodes, if shown in the same
season, are shown as one episode without any break---more like a movie than TV.
with prior seasons, the picture is crisp and clear, despite the fact that so
many special effects were done before the digital revolution and so many dark
scenes. I could not detect any
fiction rocks in 5.1!!! While the
rear speakers are not used as much as in some adventure movies such as X-Men,
they are still used mainly for background effects and explosions, and the
dialogue is still heard easily in the mix.
Voyager always featured excellent sound production and mixing, as good as
any on TV, and that translated well into the DVD mix.
two excellent profiles of Robert Duncan McNeill, who plays Tom Paris, and Roxann
Biggs-Dawson, who plays the half-human half-Klingon spitfire B'Elanna Torres),
are probably the two most interesting profiles so far.
They both possess enormous range as actors and their characters are
extremely volatile, and of course their characters marry in the series.
If you have read my prior reviews of the Voyager
series you know how bored I was with earlier special features and with many of
the early episodes, but they definitely got more interesting as the series went
features include Braving the Unknown: Season Five, The Borg Queen Speaks
(interview with Susanna Thompson, who was rejected for this role in First
Contact, but was excellent in this reincarnation), Delta Quadrant Makeup Magic,
and the obligatory photo gallery. There
are also the usual easy-to-find Easter Eggs which have short but interesting