Fourth 'Voyager' Set Offers 'Hope and Fear'

By Michelle
September 28, 2004 - 9:22 PM

When Star Trek: Voyager began its fourth year, several critics claimed that the show had finally come into its own with the addition of Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine and an increased Borg presence. Now that the episodes are available on DVD, reviewers of The Complete Fourth Season have largely echoed that impression, giving the set mostly very high ratings.

  • Matt Peterson of Digitally Obsessed gave grades of A for style and B+ for substance, saying that although "Seven of Nineís high episode count unfortunately detracts screen time from other undeveloped characters", overall "character development is improved this season." Two-parters "The Year of Hell" and "The Killing Game" come in for particular praise. But in the end, Peterson says, "one must ask if these adventures really need to take place in the Delta Quadrant. Where are the broken rules, the risks, the unforeseen situations that should play throughout the run?" As for the technical specs, the image transfer is the clearest yet and the sound is excellent as well. Only the extras came in for real criticism, as Peterson found them uninspired and redundant.

  • TrekWeb's BWilliams awarded the set 4 stars of 5, recalling such episodes as the Torres/Paris love story "Day of Honor", the Vietnam allegory "Nemesis" and the revisionist history of "Living Witness." Williams noted that the transfer quality has improved steadily with each release, so "this latest set of VOYAGER on DVD looks and sounds really great", but found the packaging rather minimal for the money. The extras, he said, focus on fourth season changes like Seven of Nine's arrival and Roxann Dawson's real-life pregnancy, which required some creative filming to hide as Torres was not pregnant. "A combination of an excellent DVD presentation of the episodes, solid audio and visual representation, and a nicely balanced mixture of extras, makes the fourth season of Star Trek: Voyager a good addition to any DVD library," he concluded.

  • Over at Home Theater Forum, Scott Kimball labeled this set of episodes the series' strongest season despite "a casting adjustment that threatened to turn Voyager into a sci-fi version of Baywatch, but the show managed to avoid that distinction to a degree." Though he began to feel that each episode was bookended with a lesson for Seven of Nine, he felt that the addition of the character made the pluses outweigh the minuses: "The addition of Seven of Nine did create the opportunity for some exciting shows, added tension to the crew, and eye-candy to the screen." The quality of video and audio transfer received high marks. In conclusion:
    Above average video and audio quality for a television series, combined with the best overall season of Voyager, result in a DVD set that should please any fan of the series. Some very interesting featurettes, combined with a bit of fluff, add up to over 80 minutes of special features. Overall, this is a good season package for Voyager fans. Recommended.

  • DVD Fanatic's Dan Phelps said the fourth season set shows "just how much the series had matured and how firmly it stood in its footing." He cited numerous episodes worth watching, including "Nemesis", "Concerning Flight", "Message In A Bottle", "Hunters", "Prey", "The Killing Game parts 1 & 2", "Living Witness", "Demon", "One" and "Hope And Fear", while singling out "Year of Hell" for superlative props, models and special effects. Among the special features, "Braving The Unknown", which contains interviews with writers and producers, and "The Birth of Species 8472", which demonstrates the computer animations for this new villani, received special mention. The set received an A+ for its episodes, an A for the extras and an A overall.

    Star Trek: Voyager: The Complete Fourth Season is available now from Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. It will be released in Europe in November and may be pre-ordered as a Region 2 set from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de.

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