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Star Trek Rewatch

BolianAdmiralBolianAdmiral332 Torrance, CaliforniaPosts: 1,773Member
Hey, all...

So, I've decided to do a full rewatch of all the "Prime" universe Trek TV shows and movies. I've decided to start with Star Trek: Voyager. Below, is my review and thoughts on the pilot episode, "Caretaker". Enjoy!


Okay... we start off the rewatch with the pilot episode of VOY. My general overall impression of this episode is that it's probably the most solid of any of the Trek pilot episodes. The director makes it a point to include various little details throughout, which I feel really help improve the realism of certain scenes, which I'll elaborate on as I continue. During the rewatch, I took two full pages of notes on various aspects of the episode.

First off, Chakotay's Maquis ship. I love that they reused the original film era LCARS on the ship. IMO, it really helped convey that these Maquis ships are really older used surplus ships that were repurposed by the Maquis, and aren't top-of-the-line Federation craft.

Second, the scene with Lt. Stadi and Tom Paris in the shuttlecraft en route to Voyager, which is docked at DS9... I noticed a pretty strange and puzzling VFX goof. In the scene, they somehow use two different Type-6 shuttles, both with NCC numbers on their hulls which do not match Voyager's. The first time we see the shuttle, it has a 71325 NCC number, and the second time we see the shuttle, it has a 1701-D NCC number! The Enterprise is nowhere to be seen in this episode, and I'm fairly certain it's not reused stock footage, as I don't recall seeing a 1701-D shuttle flying around DS9 on any TNG or DS9 episodes. See pics attached for proof, which I used Photoshop to clarify a bit. So, assuming the 1701-D was intended to be an actual Voyager-assigned shuttlecraft, then that means that as of this episode, Voyager has one standard TNG Type-6 shuttlecraft on board.

When we first see Sickbay, we see two confirmed medical officers - the male Human doctor, and a female Vulcan nurse. Right after Kim and Paris check in with the doctor, and they walk down the corridor to the turbolift, another Vulcan in a blue Starfleet uniform can be seen walking away, in the opposite direction. It is not known if this Vulcan is a member of the medical or sciences division. The Human doctor, as well as the Vulcan nurse, and the Vulcan in blue from the corridor are also again seen in the Mess Hall scene, where Paris orders tomato soup.

As of the ship's departure from DS9, the Voyager has a crew compliment of 141, and her deck count is established as 15 decks. I love the Mess Hall food replicator wall, and wonder why they got rid of it for Neelix's kitchen, when they easily could have had both at the same time. IMO, dismantling those replicators is a waste of resources.

The First Officer, Lt. Stadi, the Human doctor, and Vulcan Nurse, are all confirmed dead, bringing Voyager's crew compliment down to 137, as of that point in the episode. When the crew begins to recover from being thrown into the Delta Quadrant, and the Bridge is in shambles, I really enjoyed the realism of the background dialogue being spoken by the Bridge crew in the background. IMO, it really helped convey that this is a real crew, all tending to their tasks during a crisis, in a professional manner. The same with Captain Janeway helping out in Engineering - I liked how it made her seem like a really accessible commanding officer, and one who also knows her ship very, very well. A true Starfleet professional.

When the EMH is first activated, there is one Starfleet crewman in a blue uniform on the main biobed. It is unknown if he is medical or sciences division. There are also two other crew members in blue uniforms seen during the welcoming bee on the Caretaker's array - one black Human female, and one white Human male. Again, it's unknown if they are medical or sciences division. The crewman in the blue uniform on the main biobed in Sickbay is still there, when the abducted away team returns to the ship. Yet another Human in a blue uniform walks past the Transporter Room as Tuvok and Neelix leave the room, after Neelix first beams on board. Again, is this a medical or sciences crew member?

In Tuvok's absence, we learn that the acting Security/Tactical officer is Mr. Rawlins. I absolutely love this guy - he exudes professionalism in everything he does on the Bridge. He remains calm, and assists with repairs while the abducted crew are gone. We see him in upcoming episodes, and I really love his character a lot.

I love how when we first meet Neelix, his camera is hidden among a bunch of clutter on his ship. I also like how he knows of the Caretaker, and his bringing ships into the Delta Quadrant. It gives you a feeling that tales of his exploits have become things of legend in the region. It's also interesting to note that neither Neelix or the Kazon have any knowledge of transporter or replicator technology, hinting that this region of space might be the boonies or backwoods hick area of the Delta Quadrant, lol.

The Ocampa homeworld is established to be the fifth planet in its solar system. The location used for the Ocampa underground city is the Los Angeles Convention Center. I observed that when B'Elanna is trying to escape the Ocampa hospital room, there is a rip in the fabric of her white hospital robe, on the back of the right shoulder. It's somewhat disappointing that the whole issue of the Ocampan "illness" which manifests itself on Kim and B'Elanna is never further explained, nor do we ever see the two of them being cured of it on Voyager. BTW, it would seem that all the Ocampa in the city are wearing COVID-19 masks, lol.

When Tuvok goes to Neelix's guest quarters, there is yet another Starfleet crew member in a blue uniform, walking in the corridor. Once again, we don't know if this is a medical or sciences officer. On the Ocampa planet, we see three Kazon small vessels landed. One of these presumably belongs to Maje Jabin, of the Kazon-Ogla sect. Neelix's hand phaser is very small, much like the TNG "cricket" Type-1 phaser. This would appear to be a Talaxian equivalent of such a weapon. Underground, an Ocampa hands some moss-medicine to Kim and B'Elanna, but it's never stated or shown if they ever consume the medicine. I tend to guess they did not, since without a tricorder, they wouldn't know if its completely safe to do so.

The Ocampa live in a vast underground city, yet somehow, there is "sunlight", or the artificial equivalent of it seen in their "sky". Where is this light coming from, and what is supplying the power for it? The Caretaker? We learn that Kazon particle weapons are blue in beam color. Two of the small Kazon ships initially attack Voyager, and one of them is under the command of Maje Jabin. One of the big Kazon motherships shows up, to assist Jabin, but is destroyed. The two small Kazon ships survive to fight another day.

Voyager expends two tricobalt devices to destroy the Caretaker's array. We do not know yet if this is the entirety of Voyager's tricobalt device compliment or not. It is established that there is another Caretaker alien in existence, which is female. Tuvok tells Janeway he can activate the program to return them to the Alpha Quadrant, but it will require several hours to implement. We then learn that the Caretaker has activated the array's self-destruct mechanism, which is damaged when the Kazon mothership impacts with the array. I am convinced at this point, that there's nothing Janeway could have done to save the array. Even if she had not fired the two tricobalt devices, the damage resulting from the Kazon's collision would have eventually rendered the array useless, IMO.

All in all, I really enjoyed this pilot episode. I like the Kazon as enemies, despite their lower technology level. My only two wishes are that one, more of the original crew had survived longer, like the Voyager's First Officer, Lt. Stadi, and the Vulcan nurse. I would have liked to have had them keep Chakotay's ship around for at least a few more episodes, and would have liked to have seen Neelix's shuttle outside of Voyager, as we know now that it's way too big to actually fit inside Voyager's shuttlebay. Also, the issue with the actor playing Tom Paris, and the "incident" from his past - although it's at least implied that this is a different person than TNG's Nick Locarno, I suppose it could also be possible that he (and his father) changed their last name to Paris, to avoid shame from the incident. Who knows, lol. Anyway, those are my thoughts on "Caretaker". What do you think? Let's discuss below!



  • BolianAdmiralBolianAdmiral332 Torrance, CaliforniaPosts: 1,773Member

    Okay... episode two...

    This was a solid episode, with a nice spatial mystery and a good B-story, with B'Elanna and Lt. Carey. Right off, there are some interesting observations to take note of throughout the episode.

    Early in the episode, Tuvok's point to Chakotay is a valid one - that there is essentially no longer a Maquis crew... they are now one combined Starfleet crew, operating within the confines of Starfleet rules and regulations, and that Chakotay should be setting an example for them.

    Throughout this episode, we see Seska in a blue uniform, and, as has so far been the tradition, we do not know if it's meant to be a medical or sciences division post. However, later in the episode, Seska is seen on the Bridge, manning the Engineering II station (see attached pic), still in her blue uniform. Seska is also seen in Engineering itself, when Carey informs B'Elanna that the Captain wants her to attend the staff meeting, again, as before in her blue uniform. There is also one Human male, and one Human female on the Bridge in blue uniforms, during the scene where the ship is returning from the singularity. Again, unknown if they are medical or sciences division, but the female does appear to be manning one of the Bridge science stations.

    Following up on "Caretaker", we learn that Voyager lost a Transporter Chief, a Chief Engineer, an Astrogation Plotter, plus an unknown number of medical staff, though we know that the CMO and nurse were lost. This makes at least 5 crew members lost, which would bring the crew number down to at least 135, which conflicts with the figure of 137 from the end of "Caretaker".

    We learn that the EMH channel is Monitor Input 47.

    Janeway and B'Elanna use a Type-8 shuttlecraft in this episode, which remains intact. This brings Voyager's shuttle compliment to one Type-6, and one Type-8 shuttle.

    I enjoyed Janeway's enthusiasm with B'Elanna, during their exchanges in the Briefing Room. I also loved how Lt. Carey was so gracious to B'Elanna, after her promotion. As I said... all in all, a solid and enjoyable second episode.

  • FreakFreak943 Posts: 4,099Member
    edited June 25 #3
    I liked this episode, but my biggest issues with Season 1 from this point onwards is that all the friction between the Starfleet personal and the Maquis disappeared.

    I think I would have been better story point for the rest of the season were both crews have not fully integrated and there are still issues that flair up thought-out the season.
    I would have liked that by the end of the season, that while they had agreed to be a Starfleet crew, given their situation they now do thing a little on the Maquis way just survive.

    It would have made the show from being just a copy and paste of TNG, which is what it turned out to be in those first few seasons.
    Post edited by Freak on
  • BolianAdmiralBolianAdmiral332 Torrance, CaliforniaPosts: 1,773Member

    Okay... episode number three...

    Pretty standard fare, regarding time paradoxes and the Prime Directive. Not too many huge surprises or notable instances. However, there are a few things worthy of some note...

    As with "Caretaker", I really enjoy the added level of realism given, with the background dialogue of the Bridge crew, during the initial shockwave, and also when Kes enters the Bridge for the first time. We never really had that on the Bridge of the 1701-D, when the ship was jolted or whatnot, so I like that Voyager has so far added this level of realism to the crew reactions.

    No new crew observed in any blue uniforms in this episode.

    The Class-M planet is in a system with a red dwarf sun, yet the lighting level during daytime on the planet is like that of Earth, so it must be very close in orbit to the red dwarf star.

    The repetitive colors of the native clothing the aliens wore was the butt of a joke between my friend and I in high school - we referred to the planet as the "Charlie Brown shirts planet", lol.

    Mention is made of Transporter Room 2 on Voyager, so we know there are two confirmed transporter rooms thus far. According to Tuvok, there was a Polaric Test ban Treaty put into effect in the year 2268.

    The child's scream in the alien city is actually pretty chilling... it got my attention, and I could really feel the terror behind it. A small thing, but the kid has some decent acting chops.

    The exterior location used for the alien power plant is the Japanese Garden at the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant.

    I like the EMH's observation that Kes' brain is not on file. The same should hold true for Neelix. The alien handguns resemble semi-automatic pistols, yet presumably fire some form of energy rounds. I like how Kes somehow retained knowledge of the polaric disaster - it made her somewhat El-Aurian-like in that regard.

    All in all, a good episode, very enjoyable to watch.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801488 Posts: 9,714Member
    edited June 27 #5
    I watched all of those episodes not too long ago. They're decent, but nothing monumental as Star Trek goes. Caretaker did a great job of setting up the series and introducing us to the main cast and the Ocampa, Talaxians and Kazon. (it's always nice to get new aliens, and Voyager has gobs of them) I thought having the ship launch from DS9 and having the interior we saw be the set of Quark's was really nice. It was cool that Quark was the character they had in it too, rather than a more obvious choice, like one of the Starfleet or Bajoran Militia main characters. I know from seeing him in interviews that Armin Shimerman was honored to play the character who "passed the torch" to the new series.

    The next two are pretty standard Star Trek episodes. Nothing to really hate or be super thrilled with in either. I did like the chemistry between Roxanne Dawson and Kate Mulgrew in "Parallax." It was clear early on that Torres would be made chief engineer, but I like how they didn't just give her the position. She had to impress Janeway to be made a senior officer. "Time and Again" is one of those episodes that slightly annoys me because, at the end of the episode, nothing actually happened, yet the have the old cliche of one person on the ship knowing something was altered. But, neither were bad episodes. The series was still finding its footing at this point.

    Now, the next episode on the list has a pretty significant impact for the series, as it introduces another of the early season baddies....
    Post edited by evil_genius_180 on
  • BolianAdmiralBolianAdmiral332 Torrance, CaliforniaPosts: 1,773Member

    Okay... right off, this episode was much more powerful to me now, since I can relate to a lot of what went on in it, which I'll elaborate on as we go.

    First, a few notable things... we see one Human male in a blue uniform walk down the corridor as Chkotay and Janeway are on the way to the Mess Hall. As always, it's unknown if he's sciences or medical division. Supposedly, Janeway has a private dining room, which to me, makes no sense, on a ship as small as an Intrepid-Class. Picard didn't even have a private dining room on his Galaxy-Class ship, so, yeah...

    The attack on Neelix is pretty chilling, and to see him struggling to breathe is heart-wrenching... say what you will about Neelix, but Ethan Phillips is a good actor... he really did a good job with that scene. I also like how the EMH convinced Paris of the realism of holotechnology, lol. Among the organs in the Vidiian repository is a Kazon liver.

    This is the episode where Neelix's jealousy begins, regarding Tom and Kes.

    This episode made me cry this time, because I can relate to so much of it from personal experience. I'd spent literally 8 months in the hospital between 2019 and 2020, due to issues which ultimately required a liver and kidney transplant, so I could relate all too well, with how utterly frustrating it is to be confined to a hospital bed, and have to rely on others do do even the simplest things for you, like scratch an itch. I've also had moments where I did the "I'm the patient, you should listen to me" routine. I also know all too well, how trapped one can feel after a long time in a hospital bed, and how badly they want to just get out, no matter what.

    The hall of mirrors effect in the asteroid was cool. I liked that. I also liked how when the phaser sweep was activated, it kind of resembled the look of a Tholian web, lol.

    I like how the EMH reiterates that it's a supplement to the medical team, not intended for extended or singular use. We finally see Seska in a yellow engineering uniform, as she IS in Engineering. We are also treated to some more realistic background dialogue from the engineering crew, when the warp core goes offline.

    We learn that the Vidiian government is called the Vidiian Sodality. I like how open and brutally honest the Vidiians are, in explaining the Phage to us. This scene also made me cry, because the two Vidiians are such good actors, that they really convey the total despair their people feel, and force you to feel such sympathy for them, and feel sorry for them, knowing that their culture was once beautiful, artistic, and had a thirst for exploration. The Vidiians are my favorite of the Voyager enemy races. I wish the ship had remained in their space longer.

    All in all, a great and powerful episode. I really enjoyed it.
  • BolianAdmiralBolianAdmiral332 Torrance, CaliforniaPosts: 1,773Member

    Okay... all in all, a basic space life-form episode The ship inadvertently enters a space organism, injures it, and must find a way to fix the damage they've caused. Solid enough story and episode.

    A few notables...

    Janeway tells us that the ship has been in the Delta Quadrant for several weeks now.

    Leaving the Mess Hall, we see one Human male in a blue uniform. We also observe one female in a blue uniform walking into the turbolift outside the Mess Hall. I cannot tell if she is Human or Vulcan. There is also a Human male and one Human female in blue uniforms IN the Mess Hall, when Neelix tells Janeway she should set an example, by not using her replicator rations. We see another Human male in blue in the corridor outside the Mess Hall, as Janeway leaves for the Bridge.

    The little banter between Tuvok and Kim on the Bridge is cute, but unrealistic, IMO. According to Chakotay, the ship currently carries 38 photon torpedoes, which quickly becomes 37, after Janeway orders one torpedo to be fired.

    It was cool to see a small centrifuge being used in Engineering, to analyze a sample. IDK why I like that, but I do. The scene with the EMH on the viewscreen in the background on the Bridge was amusing, where he tells the crew about all the weapons they fired at the creature. We see yet another Human female in a blue uniform in the Mess hall. Voyager then launches one microprobe. We don't know exactly how many of these types of probe Voyager carries. At the end of the episode, Janeway tells us the energy reserves on the ship have been depleted a further 20%.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801488 Posts: 9,714Member
    "There's coffee in that nebula."
  • BolianAdmiralBolianAdmiral332 Torrance, CaliforniaPosts: 1,773Member
    Turns out there wasn’t, lol. I love the look on Janeway’s face, when she sees the stuff Neelix is pouring into her coffee cup in the morning, lol. Also, it’s ironic that Janeway sees a lizard as her animal guide, then later turns into one, to have space-babies with Tom.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801488 Posts: 9,714Member
    Yeah, we don't really talk about "Threshold."
  • FreakFreak943 Posts: 4,099Member
    But you still got to Review "Threshold". LOL
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801488 Posts: 9,714Member
    Freak wrote: »
    But you still got to Review "Threshold". LOL

    Indeed, that's how a total watch through works. You take the highs and the lows. And, with Voyager, there are some pretty bad lows. Some really good highs too, but I think that series has more bad episodes than the others. I don't know if they just ran out of good ideas or what.
  • FreakFreak943 Posts: 4,099Member
    I think it more a case of the writers wanting to do things but Berman saying no.
    We all know that the Year of Hell was meant to be a season long story, but Berman said they could only have two episodes and that what we got.

    Now can you imagine how good it would have been if they had done a season long story. It would have change the show up and stopped it being a basic copy of a TNG.
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