Michael Piller Looks Back At Voyager

By Christian
April 12, 2001 - 9:38 AM

During Voyager's first two season, the show was helmed by Michael Piller, one of its creators. Though he left the position of Executive Producer for year three, he went on to serve as Creative Consultant for the show, and as such has quite a few interesting reflections on the past seven years of 'Voyager'.

"I think it's a lot to ask of Voyager to have left a very specific legacy after two other Star Trek incarnations came so close before," he told the official Star Trek site, when asked about the show's legacy. "I think at its best, Voyager dealt with interesting philosophical issues, but I always saw it as a more entertaining, more exciting version of Star Trek than its predecessors. I think the characters worked particularly well on this show."

Piller thought this was also already the case during the show's first season, though not everyone always agreed with that. "I continue to believe that the second season of Voyager was greatly underestimated. And that continues to be my greatest disappointment with my involvement on the series. I think we took a lot of risks and were quite ambitious in our storytelling that season. I liked 'Death Wish' on which I collaborated with my son. I remember the episode 'Tattoo,' about Chakotay and his finding Indian ancestors in the Delta Quadrant, as a particularly thoughtful script, although the final cut did not quite turn out the way I hoped it would."

"As for episodes that I respected that I was not involved in," he continued, "I think special mention has to be made to the introduction of Seven of Nine, the character who put the series on solid footing. Also, this last season's episode 'Lineage' in which Torres manipulates the racial identity of her baby's DNA."

There were also some things Piller didn't like as much about the series. In later seasons, he disapproved of giving the Doctor his mobile holo-emitter, and for a while he felt there was an over-abundance of holodeck stories. Also, he would have liked to see more character conflict. "The one thing that I look back on and think would have made the series more interesting would have been to keep more conflict going between the Maquis and the Starfleet characters, at least during the first season or two. I think there was an opportunity missed early on to slowly create a group of characters that had to grow to know and trust one another. Because of those concerns, we essentially solved the conflicts and they were a pretty bonded crew probably from episode three or four on."

Despite this, Piller seemed very pleased with how Voyager eventually turned out, and he ended the interview by saying "that the last season of Voyager has been one of its best." For more from him, including his thoughts on how writing for Star Trek has influenced him with other writing projects and also some recollections of his time on 'Voyager', please check out the full interview.

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