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Tenebrae

Janeway's Third Way

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The third way... definitely a Voyager special... for example... Recall, if you will, the TNG episode where Picard is faced with the dilemma of a planet facing something to do with its volcanoes - with the time traveller guy who is pretending to observe but is actually a fraud who stole the machine and is just there to steal stuff. Upshot is, Picard has the choice to either do nothing - leading to the certainty of tens of thousands dying or he can go with Data's plan to try and rejigger the planet - which would either fix everything right up... but might millions of people if it goes wrong. Basically, your classic TNG episode with Picard wrestling with the moral implications - not to mention almost pleading with the faux time traveller to tell him what happens, that he might save lives.

 

I can almost - though it pains me - imagine the scenario playing out in Voyager. They'd come across some planet of aliens with the same problem and Janeway would be more than willing to take the time and resources to help a bunch of idiots they'll never see again - because it's not like she's going to need those to get back home 70,000 light years away or anything. Naturally, they try something to fix it... and it doesn't work. Nope, it makes things worse. After Janeway has reprimanded everyone for sucking so much, they all go back to the meeting room and after sufficient padding, someone will go "What if we could have our cake AND eat it"... There wouldn't be the moral/ethical dilemma - just a treknobabbled solution that would magically fix things without any risk.

 

I think this is the real problem Voyager had... at almost every opportunity, polymath Janeway's magnificence is hammered into our heads... and yet, it's almost always because of situations described as above. If you have to choose between A - which is bad - and B - which is very bad - then you just spout something about the quantum manifold being repolarised to a phase variance of 47 and you've got C - which is just dandy.

 

Oh, sure - there are occasions when the dilemmas aren't resolved so easily but I'm sure we can all think of clunking examples of this... the most obvious being Endgame... A choice between going home or giving the Borg a bloody nose... of course, there's no need to choose! Treknobabble skillz ACTIVATE! And amazingly, both feats can now be accomplished. So much a for a dilemma. Obviously... There ARE exceptions but more often than not we have a situation that's resolved without any trade off or compromise. Sigh...

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I love Trek! anyone who "knows me", here or anywhere else, knows that. But let's face it, that pretty much sums up the basic forumla for writing a trek-like story/scenario. granted, voyager did it the morst, but they all used that basic formula.  kinda sad, but true. none the less, you/we love it, or you/we wouldnt be here, reading posts like this!

 

nice post! kinda deep!

 

@tenebrae

you have inspired me to start a new topic. look for it!

 

-b33z

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That's something I've always asserted, Voyager and a lot of Enterprise were the logical conclusion for Berman's direction of the show. All the soul was stripped out whenever possible and a rigid formula was added in that dictated the structure of the vast majority of episodes - if you see a GOOD episode, chances are it ignores that and dares to be different...

 

But you have that regular "Janeway IS GOD!" notion hammered into your head. It's like they think she's the ultimate captain... despite the fact she constantly fraks up... and that's EXCLUDING blowing up the array. Living Witness is hilarious because... it's really not THAT far fetched. Janeway busting in, meddling her ass off, running away etc. Not to mention inflicting suffering on her crew and everyone that's around... Likewise, anyone watching Scientific Method with a cynical eye will surely notice how "crazy" Janeway isn't really... well, not that crazy at all... or rather, not any MORE crazy.

 

Threshold sums it all up for me... Yes, we can probably agree that was the worst episode of Voyager - and probably Trek - ever made... but the FACT, the fact it was made speaks volumes of what Berman and Braga had driven the show to... I suppose I could concede that things improved slightly when they brought 7 on board - because they actually USED her... too much, I think... but then, Voyager was horrible for a secondary cast. Really horrible. When the only secondary cast member that gets any real screen time is the 7 year old kid... you frakked up... but I digress.

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OMG! Voyager Threshold? The hair stands up on the back of my neck. A tingling begins in my toes and heads upwards forcing me forward as I sit watching. Suddenly my popcorn is full of puke. No doubt the worst Voyager episode ever!!! Jesus, Mary and Joseph save me.

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I've been rewatching Voyager lately and found it more enjoying than I did before. It just depends in what light you're watching the show. I've found that if I pay less attention to 'credibility' and imagine the show being written for the enthousiast 12-year old, that the show becomes much more interesting in this 'new' light. Even Neelix becomes enjoyable. :cyclops:

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Big hats-off in this category, naturally goes to DS9. Episode, I believe, was called "Children of Time", where the Defiant is forced to land on a planet and they find a society formed by their own descendents. Sisko has a choice of doing as he is supposed to, which would condemn his people to a life on a planet two centuries in the past where no human beings will run into them until the 24th century - or condemn the planet's flourishing human colony to non-existence.

Not only does Sisko and crew decide to abandon their loved ones back home and stay behind, but Odo totally bones up the plan and the planet's population winks out of existence. It's a SORT OF tidy end. No extra O'briens and Bashirs and Siskos - BUT everyone has to live with themselves, especially Odo.

Kudos.

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"Children of Time" was a good episode... Mostly because Sisko is presented with a difficult choice AND is ready to basically strand himself and his crew in the gamma quadrant in the past to allow these people to survive. Actually, I love the fact they're presented with a "have your cake and eat it" solution that turns out to be a lie to ensure the survival of the colony - because you know 90% of the time, that stuff usually works right off the bat and everyone is happy.

 

That's a very good example, Underscore... And why DS9 will always be a superior show to Voyager.

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DS9 had more people doing it than just Berman and Braga. VOY had Micheal Piller's influence for a while but this ended in season 3, the one he wanted to make great like TNG season 3. Alas this did not come to pass, he was forced out and the series went the same old direction until 7of9. Even then the series never really picked up from 'Caretaker'.

 

The problem for me was, how far can this series concept go? The ship was stranded and trying to get home. It works for a bit but eventually the concept gets old and dry, and ultimately restrictive for the writers unless they are amazing - which they were not.

 

I felt TNG had more potential then VOY, ENT but not DS9 because that show proved they could be their own show and succeed. TNG could have gone a billion different directions over the course of the series. VOY was more restricted because the whole story was them getting home. This was rather dull after a while and very limiting, unless you make the big decision to bring them home and put the series on a different direction for it's remaining seasons. Again this poses a serious problem. By putting so many barriers in the way Berman, Braga and the other writers made their own job so difficult that success would be fleeting.

 

They had sown the seeds of their own franchise's collapse and left Gene Roddenberry's universe in pieces.

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