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The Trek Nation - Voyager's Final Enterprise

Voyager's Final Enterprise

By Fred Shedian
Posted at May 24, 2001 - 9:28 PM GMT

As one might expect, over the next several days there will be thousands of reviews published online about Star Trek's latest series finale. I would like to indeed join those in giving commentary on this final adventure of Captain Janeway and crew, as well as point out some lagging concerns I have for Star Trek's next incarnation. Therefor, let us begin with Voyager's final performance.

Voyager itself is said to have needed to wrap up all of it's lose ends. This is something no other Star Trek show has ever been required to do. The Next Generation's movie existence was known before filming of the final episode was complete. In the same way, rumors and desire appear to still exist for the "cliffhanger" style finale Deep Space Nine presented. However, as many actors have stated, the chances of Voyager making it to the big screen are few and far between. As a result, most analysts claimed the show must come full circle.

I would say it did and it didn't. Endgame did an excellent job of incorporating many familiar Voyager faces, from Neelix to Icheb. Though I do have some issues with the adventure, which I will mention shortly, Voyager did make it home. However, it did not bring the show full circle. Though not as clear as Deep Space Nine's unsolved story arcs, Captain Janeway left some things unanswered in the Delta Quadrant which could provide a foundation for a feature film or perhaps TV movie.

These facets of Voyager which have yet to be fully explained? An obvious one to me deals with the Federation's first Ambassador in the Delta Quadrant, Neelix. Apparently he had constant contact with the Intrepid Class ship up to it's entrance into the transwarp gate. I feel for our poor Talaxian, who is probably sitting at his home wondering why Seven has failed to call him. One would only assume communications have come to the point where he can continue to speak with the Federation.

Another facet never explained is the impact Admiral Janeway had on the Borg Queen. There are several different aspects of this, many of which easily enter the realm of temporal mechanics. After all, since Admiral Janeway got home in seven years instead of twenty plus, she never went back in time. Therefor, since she didn't go back in time, she couldn't have infected the Borg Queen, but then Voyager wouldn't have gotten home, since...anyone else confused yet?

Putting that aside for a moment, given the "infection" of the hive mind, what has occurred with the Borg? Can the "Borg Resistance" actually make some headway now that the Queen has no contact with her drones? What about the Queen's ability to shift from one being to another, which was implied in First Contact? Several unanswered questions...ones that I for the first time believe Janeway should answer, not Picard.

Beyond possibly leaving some room for a future addition to the Voyager universe, although Endgame did provide some quality writing and entertainment, there were some major issues I found with the episode. Though I am not too interested in mentioning all of them at this stage, a major point I have is with the technology brought back from the future. Admiral Janeway's implication that the technology built in the Federation will combat the Borg shows that there have been many confrontations between the two. However, through all of this, the future Borg Collective is apparently unable to develop a mutation to combat the armor. Now, through all of this, would one not assume the future Borg Queen would have put all available resources to finding a way to combat this?

Yet, even if this occurred, a twenty-year old younger version of the collective is able to develop a way to combat it in a very short amount of time. I find it somewhat impossible to believe that Admiral Janeway would have all of the technological specifications about the armor and how it operates. That would be similar to thinking the President of the United States knew the finer details of a tomahawk missile.

This mission also raises questions about the Borg Collective's supposedly superior thinking. If the transwarp gateway provided an exit point in Sector 001, am I the only one questioning why the battle at Wolf 359 took place? Am I the only one wondering why the Borg didn't just send a fleet of ships through the conduit to assimilate Earth? I honestly cannot believe the Borg Queen would not assimilate the human race due to Seven of Nine. Even before her departure from the collective, this conduit appears to have been in existence. Why then did she fail to assimilate the human race before Seven was taken by Janeway?

Several questions like this do exist about Voyager's endgame, but overall I believe they will fade. I stated close to a year ago that if Series IV was going to survive with any type of integrity, it would need to have a very good final season. Surprisingly, the lack of Braga resulted in just such a feat. Voyager provided quality entertainment and did what I believe most of us were looking for it to do for six years. After watching Endgame, I leaned back and said "Wow...where did this come from?" I still believe it is an irony that it took this show seven years to come into focus, seven years to provide quality writing. If Voyager had started with Season 7, I have a feeling the show would have had much higher ratings.

I am personally glad the ship got home, I am happy the writers brought conclusion to the saga. Though Rick Berman does point out that the 24th Century is indeed a spent one, in ten years, an adventure in the 25th or 26th looks somewhat promising. The 2396 Starfleet seems to be an exciting place. To those who say we're out of space to explore, since when? Starfleet knows a lot about the Milky Way Galaxy...who knows what's in the galaxy next door.

Yet before such items can be considered, Star Trek is moving back into the past. Seeing the advertisements for Enterprise really made me realize how much I am looking forward to this show. I am one of those who is looking forward to seeing the "old" aliens and races of Star Trek. The adventures will be new, yet somewhat familiar at the same time. Though everyone continues to yell and scream about canon, it is an issue I think will be solved within the first thirty minutes of the show's premiere. As I previously talked about, this will cause many people to come to terms with what is really canon and what is not. For example, the founding date of the Federation (2161) has caused some controversy. The date mentioned may not be canon, apparently some state it is only mentioned in the book authored in part by Gene Roddenberry in the late 80's. Regardless if there is an episode to support it, this example underlines the type of "bickering" which is sure to fill fandom for the next several months and years.

The danger of continuity issues and a major concern about "rewriting" Trek is something everyone will have to be worried about for a very long time. People who complain about this perhaps do not truly understand why people are concerned. Many folks are beginning to come back to the Star Trek franchise after a hiatus during the DS9/Voyager years. The potential for Series V is mind boggling. People will be paying a lot of attention to the minor details, as many are looking for the type of "officer" found in the Kirk/Spock/McCoy generation.

This contrast might be best seen in the Voyager episode featuring the U.S.S. Excelsior. A comment by Kim and Janeway about "how different" things were in the 23rd Century underlines the political correctness many saw with the 24th Century version of Starfleet, at least when compared to the 23rd Century. People are looking for a return to the core of Trek, and Series V has the potential to do that. However, I question the presence of Braga on this show.

Braga's departure from Voyager appeared to do nothing but cause excellent writing. I am curious to know why, questioning his vision of the future and the filtering process he used for episodes. One can only hope Braga will realize that Series V is not supposed to be another Voyager. Perhaps if we're lucky, Paramount will remove him after the first couple of seasons.

In closing, Voyager did what it needed to do....departed in style. As we look to the Fall to see what the next incarnation of Star Trek will provide, one can only hope it is a bright future. Ratings seem to show there is indeed some major interest left in this "wagon train to the stars." Let's only hope the writing and producing provides the excellent adventures everyone is looking for.

As always, comments and remarks are welcome. Feel free to submit them to me at shedian@treknation.com. Please be sure to include your name and what column you are referring to. As always, I do try to respond to every e-mail I get, but it sometimes does take some time.

Until next time...

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Fred Shedian Produces the long running TrekNation column "A Take On Trek." For a complete catalog of Fred Shedian's columns, please click here to visit the Take On Trek website.