'Voyager' DVD Reviews: Looks Great, Less Filling

By Michelle
February 24, 2004 - 10:28 PM

Like its initial run on television, Star Trek: Voyager's first season arrives to mixed reviews on DVD. Most reviewers seemed to feel that the episodes have held up well and admired the packaging, but many were disappointed with the lack of commentary and features given the high price of the boxed set.

  • Actress Kate Mulgrew now has a home near Cleveland with her husband, an Ohio politician, so the Cleveland Plain Dealer claims her as one of their own. "We might be biased, but we prefer Mulgrew" to Genevieve Bujold, who originally had the role of Janeway, as the paper's review notes, "even if the writers did keep challenging her authority by having top officers disobey her orders." The packaging also scored well in Cleveland.

  • DVDFile.com's Mike Restaino, a fan of the films more than the TV shows, found wading through a season of Voyager to be challenging given the quantity of storylines and character conflicts. He enjoyed it from "Caretaker", though was unimpressed with the visual effects and said that "as always with a Trek show, there are plenty of crappy episodes and overly sentimental triteness." Calling Voyager "the best-looking Trek series yet", Restaino praised the visuals and sound. He found the extras to be quite brief, was disappointed in the lack of commentaries and noted that there were no DVD-ROM extras, making the $129.95 price tag "a bit steep."

  • The Digital Bits graded the set a B- across the board for video, audio and extras, with Bill Hunt admitted that Voyager was never his favorite series and its characters never really grabbed him. Though he had been looking forward to giving it a second chance, he found the video quality on this DVD set "very good, but not great", and thought the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix wasn't "quite as immersive as one might like." Like most reviewers, Hunt found the most interesting featurette to be "The First Captain: Bujold", stating that it's fairly obvious why the original Janeway actress was recast. He praised the packaging, "a plastic book-like affair, each page of which holds a disc...attractive and (most importantly) very sturdy." Fans, he said, would love it.

  • Digitally Obsessed 's Matt Peterson an A-/B average, stating that "Caretaker" is "really one of Trek's greatest pilot episodes" but noting that one of the show's greatest flaws, "its redundant 'will they get home this time?' tease that pops up in multiple episodes", is generated from the outset. The episodes focused on "ideas that are central to the human experience", he found, were somewhat uneven in the abbreviated first season, with the excellent Hiroshima parallel "Jetrel" offset by too much retread on the holographic storylines.

  • Home Theater Forum called Voyager "the embodiment of the wilting rose on the vine that is the Star Trek franchise", stating that the show has no lustre but "continues to be mildly comforting for those in need of a Star Trek fix." Despite some criticism of the minimal disc and cover art and "somewhat cumbersome package", the look and sound of the episodes receive praise, and the extras all seem to have impressed. "But I think at a price approaching $100 at retail, this abbreviated season will be a tough sell," the review concludes.

    The first season of Voyager on DVD is available from Amazon.com. It can be ordered from there, Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk.

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    Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.