Imperfection's AffirmationBy Fred Shedian
Posted at October 15, 2000 - 3:02 AM GMT
Quoting a famous comedy personality, "What in the name of all that's Holy?" This week, science fiction saw two stunning activities take place. First, Star Trek: Voyager's writing staff produced an episode that had the caliber one would have expected on TNG or DS9, followed by the conclusion to the Andromeda premiere. Today, I'll be touching on both shows yet again. However, before I begin I would like to address an issue which some have asked about.
Per several questions I received this week, I will continue to be posting my "Takes on Trek" first, followed by any other remarks about shows like Andromeda towards the end of the column. I am planning to continue my primary focus on Star Trek. The franchise it at an exciting point and you can rest assured I'll continue to give my remarks as long as anyone reads them. However, per the large amount of mail I received this week, I do also plan on continuing to give some attention to shows such as Andromeda. At a future date, this may or may not spawn into a separate column but for the time being they will both be here. I would also like to take a brief opportunity to thank the hundreds of people who read the last edition of the column. The amount of those reading came close to breaking an established daily record. I hope you continue to do so in the future.
Taking a look at the issues, and "Imperfection," I have to say I was a little shocked. The plot this episode revolves around is one that has been done hundreds, if not thousands, of times before. In essence, someone gets sick and someone else has to die to save them. Yet, the writers did an excellent job making this episode into an emotional roller coaster. Despite it being yet another episode revolving around Jeri Ryan, I must give credit where it is do. The answer as to whether or not Seven of Nine would survive was something I believe everyone knew the answer to. However, the question about Icheb's survival was pivotal. This is a young man that, for all purposes, has attached to his "mentor" like a child does to his mother.
The acting by Manu Intiraymi is what made this episode the excellent adventure it was. This young man's performance makes me wonder what the future will hold for him. The emotional punch Icheb produced made you hope everything would work out. As most individuals know, in the fictional world and in real life, things do not go according to plan. I had a strong feeling that this episode would feature the end of these younger members of the Voyager crew. However, I was shocked and very surprised to see that Icheb did survive this adventure...a development I am very pleased with. I sincerely hope that he is incorporated into other episodes during Season 7. In recent times, I have found the character relationship between Seven and the Borg "kids"/"teen" a more believable/natural setup than the one established between Seven and Janeway.
It is an episode like "Imperfection" that reminds me of what potential Voyager had six/seven years ago. Regretfully, it takes seven seasons of writing before they are finally able to start producing quality entertainment. I can only hope that we'll be able to enjoy quality writing for the remainder of the show's existence, perhaps helping to put a dent in Series IV's reputation as being a disaster.
Changing dimensions, I would like to give a few remarks on the conclusion to the Andromeda series premiere. Overall I did find the episode enjoyable, however I must also say that it was somewhat predictable. I'm not completely sure there is much that one could have done to correct this problem, as it is very hard to "combine opposing forces." Star Trek: Voyager had this problem, and had to use a similar formula in order to merge Starfleet and Maquis.
Captain Sorbo did an excellent job in this episode, but I must admit that I found the performance of the other actors lacking somewhat. This may be due to the fact that the premiere was shown in two parts. I honestly think the reaction to and impact of this adventure would have been a lot better if a two hour premiere had been chosen instead of spreading things out over two weeks. I'm pretty sure the WB network could have done something to help in this process. I also have to ask...am I the only one that found the mood/tone of the background music annoying at certain points?
I sincerely hope that the writers of the show search out new storylines and create inventive ways to explore old ones. Looking at the trailer for next week's adventure, I have to say I raised an eyebrow. However, if these "children's" appearance is handled properly, I am sure it will be a quality episode.
I must also express some reservations about the way in which the show is being advertised. A lack of nationwide publicity has made me wonder if someone dropped the ball. A perfect example would be to review the world of the Internet. With the target audience computer savvy, it would seem logical to have an established web presence. Yet, I was shocked to find that of five television station websites I visited...only two had established "Andromeda" sections, with the other three simply listing the show on their schedules with a minor banner ad.
I sincerely hope this situation corrects itself and perhaps it already has. However, I hope that the show's chances of survival are not cut short by a lack of assistance from executives. The FOX network carried this out when they failed to provide any real advertising for "Space: Above & Beyond," a show many say would have been a hit if more folks had known it existed. I would hate to see another science-fiction show fall victim to the same crime.
As always, I love to hear from the readers. Please send a self addressed stamped e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I do ask that your name and the article you are referring to be included in your correspondence.
Until next time...
Fred Shedian writes a weekly 'A Take On Trek' column for the Trek Nation.