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Petrus4’s guide to ‘Star Trek: Voyager’
Voyager is my favourite Star Trek series, although for most people it seems to be the most infamous. It’s bizarre, it’s humorous, it often has fairly epic action, to the point of being low-budget Lethal Weapon or Die Hard, IN SPACE! It isn’t as strong in the first three seasons as the last four, but there are still some gems to be had. My job is to help you separate the gems from the viscous brown substance that they are hidden in.
The rules are simple. If I mention it, I enjoyed it for some reason or other, and I think you should watch it. Since reading Optical Data’s guide on this wiki, I’ve realised that Voyager actually has a lot more continuity than I thought. I don’t list every single episode here which somehow has continuation somewhere else. Instead, I only list those episodes which I personally felt to contain solid entertainment. Some of the episodes I list here are acknowledged as Voyager’s worst, and I will usually also admit that as well, where relevant. If those episodes are here, then it usually means that said episodes either still contained some element of humour which I liked, or had continuity which I considered too important to miss.
My Top Ten Episodes
This is the shortest possible version of this guide. If you are coming into Voyager completely blind, and don’t want to watch the whole thing, these ten episodes are the true unmissables out of the entire series in my opinion, (in chronological, not preferential order) and will also help you figure out whether or not you want to spend time watching more of them.
Year of Hell
E01S01. Caretaker: Pilot. Boldly going 70,000 light years in order to visit a holographic alien nursing home, and then adopting a homeless love child of the Night Hob from The Never Ending Story, and Hoggle from Labyrinth. Also, we get the series’ first recurring Big Bad, who turn out to be Space Rastafarians. Think Psychlos with anorexia, lower technology, and no John Travolta. As Chief Engineer, we also got Roxann Dawson/B’Elanna Torres, who went on to become the most chronic actor/character crush of my existence, so far.
E04S01. Phage: Space lepers steal Neelix’s lungs. Janeway rages at space lepers, orders return of lungs. Space lepers can’t give them back, but give Neelix holographic lungs instead. Janeway tells space lepers that if she ever encounters them again, she will end them as they have never been ended before. Space lepers look appropriately terrified.
E09S01. Prime Factors: Tuvok becomes insubordinate, and attempts to steal propulsion technology from space swingers.
E10S01. State of Flux: Space Rastafarians first seen in the pilot, blow up their ship after mishandling Federation technology, which they shouldn’t have. Voyager has a traitor on board, who turns out to be Chakotay’s ex-girlfriend. Small universe.
E13S01. Faces: Voyager provides masturbation material for Klingon fanboys.
E14S01. Jetrel: Voyager asks us a question. What if Robert Oppenheimer and Joseph Mengele had a love child, who was also born as a Talaxian?
E01S02. The 37’s: Amelia Earhardt and Bill Clinton meet up and shoot the breeze, in the Delta Quadrant.
E03S02. Projections: Voyager tries to provide the audience with the legal simulation of an LSD trip. This won’t be the last time.
E05S02. Non Sequitur: Voyager does Sliders.
E10S02. Maneuvers: The next episode in the “Seksa and the Space Rastafarians” arc.
E12S02. Prototype: It’s a B’Elanna Torres show. Enough said. Go and watch it immediately.
E16S02. Threshold: Voyager makes its own contribution to the cause of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Recommended not due to how good it is, but how bad. Do not watch while sober.
E17S02. Meld: Grima Wormtongue makes a special guest star appearance on Voyager, and he’s still a psychopath. Tuvok performs a mind meld with him because, as anyone can see, it was obviously the only logical thing he could have done. Chaos, lulz, and general merriment ensues.
E18S02. Dreadnought: It’s another B’Elanna Torres episode. You know what I’m going to say, don’t you?
E19S02. Death Wish: Q and son show up on Voyager. Serious Business ensues.
E20S02. Lifesigns: One of the space lepers from last season comes aboard Voyager, and temporarily becomes a holographic girlfriend for the Doctor. Romance and mild Glurge ensues.
E22S02. Deadlock: Harry Kim establishes his reputation as Voyager’s answer to Kenny from South Park, or Waspinator from Transformers: Beast Wars.
E24S02. The Thaw: What Barney the Dinosaur should have been. Despite my flippant description, this is seriously one of Voyager’s greatest episodes in my opinion, even if only because the level of weirdness here exemplifies Voyager’s contribution to Trek as a whole. Recommended.
E26S02. Tuvix: Tuvok and Neelix develop an intimate relationship. Janeway gets in touch with her inner Jack Kavorkian.
E28S02. Basics, part 1: Die Hard With a Voyager, part 1. Grima Wormtongue plays Bruce Willis, and we get Space Rastafarians instead of Alan Rickman. Seska sets a trap for Voyager. Chakotay takes acid, has a conversation with his dead father, and as a result, decides that voluntarily falling into Seska’s trap would be a good idea. Janeway and the rest of the crew get dumped on a barren planet.
E01S03. Basics, part 2: Die Hard With a Voyager, part 2. Grima gets shot in the back with a phaser rifle before he can say, “Yippee Kiyay.” Paris and some Talaxians also help save the ship. Voyager goes back and rescues Janeway and the crew, and none of the crew consider staging a mutiny against Janeway and Chakotay for getting them into the situation in the first place. Seska dies, and Space Rastafarians leave for the last time.
E03S03. The Chute: Paris and Kim get sent to a Space Prison and meet a 1960s version of Karl Marx, who’s still a homeless person.
E06S03. Remember: B’Elanna Torres/Roxann Dawson episode.
E07S03. Sacred Ground: Voyager does Contact, but also adds a dash of Shirley McClaine’s Out On a Limb, and a pinch of Labyrinth.
E08-09S03. Future’s End: Voyager meets a time travelling version of Lex Luthor, who looks more like John Farnham. The Doctor gets shot at by some rednecks who think he’s a demon, and they get back to the future with the help of a crazy homeless person.
E10S03. Warlord: Kes gets possessed, and then gets dangerous. Kes’ finest hour, and the episode which Kes/Jennifer Lien’s fans will usually talk about, when they explain why they think she was awesome.
E16S03. Blood Fever: On rewatching this episode, it is a lot more awkward than I remember. The opening scene where Vorik essentially tries to rape B’Elanna is particularly cringe inducing. Most of the rest of the episode is good, and we get continued clues about Tom and B’Elanna’s developing relationship, (especially in the final scene) but some of the stuff with Vorik is forced, and just comes across as off-key.
E17S03. Unity: Chakotay goes on summer camp with the Borg.
E18S03. Darkling: The Doctor goes postal. Kes and Neelix break up.
E19S03. Rise: This episode is fairly thin, and doesn’t really have much that is exciting or interesting. The one reason why it is worth mentioning, however, is that it has some good character development and interaction between Tuvok and Neelix. Tuvok does not like Neelix, and Neelix confronts Tuvok about this. Personally, I’m not sure how justified I feel this was, simply from the point of view that if there is one thing I’ve learned about Vulcans, it is that it’s completely inappropriate for anyone to expect a Vulcan to react or behave in non-Vulcan terms. Most of the character conflict that occurs with Vulcans, anywhere in Trek, happens for this reason; Humans or some other more emotional race will expect a Vulcan to react to them with Human psychology or emotion, and they will typically then initiate conflict with the Vulcan when that does not occur.
E20S03. Favorite Son: “They killed Harry again! You BASTARDS!” Part Three of Voyager’s Trifecta of Doom. Mostly included for surreal comedy value. You may, however, need therapy afterwards.
E21S03. Before and After: Kes’ Excellent Adventure.
E22S03. Real Life: The Doctor gets a holographic family. Seriously good episode, from which the Doctor gets a lot of character development.
E25S03. Worst Case Scenario: The last episode of “pre-Seven Voyager”, and a decent one at that. Seska comes back for one last encore performance.
E26S03. Scorpion: The point at which Voyager grew the beard according to consensus opinion. The first major appearance of the Borg, and Trek’s first non-rubber headed alien race. Strong action, very nice CGI for the time, and a decent story. John Rhys-Davies is seen for the first time as a hologram of Leonardo DaVinci.