Voyager| Act 1, Take 6

By Fred Shedian
Posted at August 31, 1999 - 5:00 AM GMT

With the sixth season of Voyager coming in the not to distant future, I believe now would be a good time to follow in the footsteps of several others and give my take as to what may help the series improve.

Upon the return of the show, I believe several issues need to be addressed. One of the most important, and noticeable, is the total reliance on Seven of Nine to keep the ship afloat. Although I believe the character is interesting and has been developed in a quality way, this has come at the price of taking away screen time from other characters. Behind Seven has stood Janeway herself. Although it is important to develop the Captain, I believe overkill has taken place. Currently, in many ways, it appears as if there is a closer bond between Janeway and Seven than with her own First Officer.

Looking ahead, what would be good to see? Previous incarnations have spent time balancing the show between the ensemble. This is an activity that needs to take place on a dramatic scale. Although I am sure some young hormone driven fans will disagree, Seven needs to report to the Cargo Bay and regenerate for four or five episodes. Let's attempt to focus on the development of the other characters. In what ways? Let's explore that question.

Thus far, the First Officer of Voyager has been developed into a quality character. However, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding him. First, what happened with Janeway? Although I understand the writers decided against continuing the relationship, no insight was ever given as to what caused the termination of romantic interest. This could be an excellent story that would lead into other facets of this character we have never seen. We understand his heritage, but where was he between fifteen and thirty? What experiences did he encounter with the Maquis and how have they shaped him? Questions, that if answered, could provide for some very interesting episodes.

Lieutenant Commander Tuvok is a character that has a lot of potential. Regretfully, I believe that Tim Russ has been put on the back burner far too many times. Excellent episodes have been produced providing insight into this Vulcan, ranging from experiences on the Excelsior, to a love interest when marooned with Tom Paris. Yet, there is so much more that we have yet to understand. What took placed to make this man one of Janeway's best friends? Perhaps even stranger, why hasn't he experienced Pon Farr? He was with the Maquis for some time before Voyager was launched...making it close to seven years. Will he soon take an interest in Belana? Interesting questions that will hopefully be touched upon.

In my opinion, the past of Ensign/Lieutenant Paris was spoiled with one episode. Too much was given too soon. It is like reading the beginning and end of a book, but nothing in-between. The episode dealing with his demotion created a situation that gave away so much of this character, I believe many do not appreciate what happened. We know that stressed relations and irresponsible actions shaped his life. They have dictated his time in prison, family relations, and actions aboard Voyager. What happened to make this man into such an irresponsible person during his youth? We simply do not know. The history of this character exists between the ages of ten to eighteen, last day in prison, and his time aboard Voyager. We know nothing about his experiences aboard former assignments or prison. Although he has a love for history, where did this trait develop? How has this impacted his selections in life? We also have yet to see any quality "stress" moments between him and Tores. How is there relationship? What is happening with it? Their Damon Planet doubles were married. Will they be in the near future? These are developments I am sure many would tune in to see.

In next week's column, I will detail more about how other characters could be developed. Although I understand many may not agree with some of my suggestions and recommendations, I believe the point is clear that more character development needs to take place. Perhaps the answer lies with trading in the development of the Borg Collective for the development of the Voyager Collective? Anything is possible.

Due to the legal holiday in the United States, next week's column will be a day late. Look for considerations about the rest of our Lost in Space pioneers with "Voyager| Act 2, Take 6" on Tuesday of next week. Until then...

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.

Fred Shedian writes a weekly 'A Take On Trek' column for the Trek Nation.