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
Video: Full Frame 1:33:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Stereo
Length: Seven discs, 91 hours 46 minutes
Release date: July 6, 2004
the third season, Voyager finally got
it firing on all cylinders. Like
most series, it took a season or two to reach its potential.
Being married to a TV addict, I watch more prime-time garbage than is
good for anyone's health, but then I also have her to thank for discovering this
wonderful series and sticking with it through its first two good but uneven
seasons. The second season ended
with the first part of Basics, in
which the crew becomes stranded without technology on a hostile planet, and the
third season opens with the conclusion of this excellent cliffhanger.
Outstanding two-part episodes would become one of the series' trademarks
of quality, as described in the extras on Disc 7.
This season ends with Part One of "Scorpion", another classic.
Three also boasts one of the best ST episodes I have ever seen, “Real
Life”, combining the great directing and writing of the original series with a
new idea (in this case, the holographic doctor).
Since the good doctor is always trying to understand humanity better, he
creates a holographic family, which is so perfect as to be nauseating.
Then B'Lanna Torres introduces some random problems which any family
could encounter, and everything goes haywire.
It was a very simple idea and story but somehow does not feel clichéd,
it is completely convincing. Much
of the credit according to the cast should go to director Anson Williams, whom
you might know better as Potzie on Happy
Days. What a director he has
turned out to be!
interesting episode is “Flashback”,
in which Tuvok has some repressed memories violently come to the surface, and
Captain Janeway has to help him bring the problem to a conclusion in a mind-meld
which builds greatly on the concept from the other series.
It also features George Takei as Sulu, in an expanded version of a
storyline from the sixth Star Trek movie, which did in fact feature Tim Russ as
a Vulcan. Thus the best elements of
the original series are combined with great new ideas which add color the
ever-expanding science fiction tapestry.
interesting fact about this series, which is pointed out in the extras, is how
good the visual effects are in their complexity. Today, CGI would simply make it all happen, but watching
these episodes, you cannot tell that this was the peak of non-digital effects.
They are so real; it is almost a shame that it is so easy today to do
them even better.
list: Basics Part II, Flashback, The Chute, The Swarm, False Profits, Remember,
Sacred Ground, Future's End Part I, Future's End Part II, Warlord, The Q and the
Grey, Macrocosm, Fair Trade, Alter Ego, Coda, Blood Fever, Unity, Darkling,
Rise, Favorite Son, Before and After, Real Life, Distant Origin, Displaced,
Worst Case Scenario, Scorpion Part I
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 visual flaws.
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.
The extras are so much more interesting, just as the
shows are as well. I can't give it
four stars since there are no commentaries on the episodes themselves, even the
more interesting ones, but the interviews here--even with Neelix, my least
favorite character---are great and informative.
I was actually sorry they ended!
include: Braving the Unknown, Season 3: Writers and producers Rick Berman,
Brannon Braga and Jeri Taylor discuss highlights of the Third Season, including
"Basics Pt. 2," the two-parter "Future's End" and
"Scorpion. Voyager Time
Capsule: Neelix: A new interview with Ethan Phillips and others discussing his
role as Voyager's resident Talaxian, Neelix.
Voyager Time Capsule: Kes: An interview with Jennifer Lien and others
discussing her role as Kes. A Flashback to "Flashback": A look at the
episode with guest star George Takei, Includes interviews with Takei, Tim Russ
("Tuvok") and an exploration of how scenes from Star Trek VI: The
Undiscovered Country were recreated for this episode. Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects: Visual effects wizards Dan
Curry and Ronald B. Moore provide an inside look at spectacular scenes from
Season Three episodes, including "Basics Part II," "Future's
End," "Scorpion" and "Distant Origin". Real Science with Andre Bormanis: Andre Bormanis introduces
famed astrophysicists who examine the reality of space phenomena as seen on the
show, includes comments on the Wormhole seen in "False Profits" and
the Supernova in "The Q and the Grey".
Lost Transmissions: Interviews with cast and crew discussing Season Three.