Returning CommentsBy Fred Shedian
Posted at March 12, 2000 - 6:00 AM GMT
To start, I would like to thank those who expressed their concern regarding my recent hospital stint. I am pleased to report that, although not perfect, my condition has returned to a tolerable state. Once again, thank you for your concern, prayers and letters.
Upon my return, I was very lucky to see that a relative had tapped all of the Voyager episodes I missed. Regretfully, the hospital television circuit failed to pick up the local UPN station. In any event, I must say there have been some surprises. Although a couple of bright spots, I must say overall I am disappointed...and notice the feelings of a title change to "Star Trek: Seven of Nine" reappearing. Before I continue, I will express my apologizes now. My comments are not in chronological order, please forgive me if I am discussing events which are a month or two old.
Without moving into too great of detail, I would like to say I believe the "Children of the Borg" idea is a nobel one. The idea itself is sound, if the children are the center of attention. Although several scenes with Jeri Ryan would be appropriate, I am much more interested in how these children/young adults are adapting to life as individuals. There is always a place for "Fun will now commence," but beyond this...I couldn't care less if Seven finds the children "disorganized, chaotic." This makes me wonder if she did any research on humanity.
The Fair Haven simulation was another good idea. The first episode dealing with this simulated village was an excellent example of character development. For once, we were able to see a side of Katherine Janeway that didn't have something to do with acting like a stepmother to Borg-Babby Boomer. Regretfully, the most recent of the Fair Haven episodes seemed to be a fill in for writers block. As I am sure many reviewers of the time stated, this episode was about nothing more than another holodeck malfunction. You would think after having them for over ten years they'd get the technology working properly.
An episode I have to say I am truly fascinated by is the recent incarnation if Ensign Lindsey Ballard. For a moment (note: 0.03 seconds) I believed she might actually stay on Voyager. I was hoping this would indeed mark a good twist to the saga, allowing for further and better character development of Kim and this Ensign...together and on their own. However, the Voyager writing staff allowed another great opportunity to pass them by. The parts of this episode dealing with Janeway attempting to act as a counselor made me almost beg for a Counselor Troi hologram. In the end, the predictable ending occurred...leaving everyone wondering "What was the point?"
Throughout all of the recent episodes a non-episode related problem seems to be developing...the promotion department. Although these people are tasked with the hardest jobs of anyone in the television industry, am I the only one who seems to be having the episodes spoiled for me after simply watching a thirty-second clip? I mean, you don't know the ending but can take a wild guess. The recent episode dealing with the return of the eldest Borg child is a good example. Via the promo I could tell Voyager would find the parents, they'd try and use the kid for bate, Seven would get ticked, Janeway would become step-Mom of the universe and Voyager would probably save the kid since there was a scene with a fight against the Borg. Although not a ten out of ten episode, this story was a good one. At the end I felt cheated more than anything, not by the writers but because it had been spoiled for me.
Looking ahead to the episode "Good Sheppard," without any online previews, I can guess it will be about a group of either insubordinate or "lost" officers. Like an episode on TNG or a couple of years ago with Voyager, the group will use a senior officer as a mentor..get involved in a crisis, become a team after this officer is injured and all will be right with the universe. Is there a chance the episode could deal with a futile attempt to teach a group of spoiled brats how to work together, with the turning point being a death or major injury (as seen on other dramas)? Not in the Delta Quadrant...
On another note, I would like to close with a small remark regarding a movie I recently saw. Many people may or may not have seen "Mission to Mars." I myself was not supposed to see it, due to Doctor's orders, but went anyway. I am sorry to say that a promising movie seemed to be a bit too "out there" for me. If simple things like the gravity aboard ship, the World Space Station and other minor things were removed...it would have been great. However, you are going to tell me we're going to have a World Space Station in orbit by 2020 when we're having to fight Russia to get them to build the living quarters for the International Space Station (which is already a year behind schedule)?
Finally I would like to make an appeal for feedback. As the writer, my job is done in the dark most weeks. I have no clue what those who read think, unless I am told. If you, as a reader, would like to hear my remarks on a particular issue regarding Trek or relating topics, please let me know. If you simply read the article when it is published, I'd love to hear from you. If you agree/disagree with my remarks, put them in an e-mail and pass it along. I respond to every letter I am forwarded and would love to hear your ideas for the column, comments and thoughts on what I write. Remarks can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. From there, they will be forwarded to me within a day or two....then you can look for a response a couple of days later. I sincerely hope you, the reader, will take me up on this request.
Until next time...
Fred Shedian writes a weekly 'A Take On Trek' column for the Trek Nation.