How highly regarded is the animation/modeling work on this show? I have enjoyed it many times.
I have seen a few episodes of most of the star trek franchise, and to be honest, I tend to concentrate on the storyline mostly. While there have some good episodes, I think the graphics is not really groundbreaking, although expected in the new era.
I find the CGI in Voyager to be pretty okay given the standards of the late nineties. It’s not phenomenal by any standards, but it’s acceptable enough with a modicum of suspension of disbelief.
If only the same could be said about its writing. What a lot of wasted potential that show had. You come up with a stranded ship without any ability to resupply itself, and almost never acknowledge that. You come up with a crew that should be on the verge of mutiny all the time, and almost never acknowledge that. You come up with a situation that should test the captain’s principles at all times, and almost never acknowledge that. That’s not even mentioning the fact that nearly every episode has a technobabble problem with a technobabble solution. And Neelix. Sorry, I know that’s not the topic of the subject at hand, but I’ve been watching a fair amount of Voyager lately and it’s frustrating me.
The various Star Trek franchises have always demonstrated the effects of studio politics, and the fact that they often did not have the best screenwriting budgets. (The stories of the very first series being forced to steal from Mission: Impossible’s dumpsters are, of course, the stuff of legends now, but that sort of thing obviously still continued to happen.)
The notion of a stranded or marooned spacecraft is as old as Space: 1999 and the original (“Bonanza in space”) Battlestar Galactica, both of which of course took the idea from stuff that is older still.
When you say, “the standards of the late 90’s,” bear in mind just how fast all this stuff has been evolving. Computers were not big or sophisticated, although they were considerably bigger and more sophisticated than the computers of even three years before. Televisions were not high-def; nor was such a thing yet contemplated.
In the end, if you “enjoyed it many times,” then that is the (only) point. (Well, that, and “do you happen to remember any of the advertising?”)
You might find this interesting: http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/database/cgi.htm
And find this more interesting still…
(Make your own episode!)
I have to say I was always quite impressed by the opening credits. They still look nicely done to me, and I’m pretty sure they won an award (but then this is a show which also won an Emmy for outstanding hairstyling…). The in-show effects still look very watcheable to me; I don’t ever remember thinking any of the effects were off-putting. But maybe that’s because of other factors…
And Chakotay, the Universe’s most boring Indian rebel played by the world’s most boring actor. But on the plus side, there was the EMH and 7/9…
The really annoying thing about all those things you list is the “almost” bit. Very occasionally, there’d be an episode about them. But then in true Trek style everything would be absolutely fine by the end of the episode and never come up again, ever.
Ya, every serise had a few characters that were moan worthy. As for Voyager, Captain Kathryn Janeway made that whole serise for me. imho, she did a great job.
I’m guessing Beltran could have pulled off Chakotay if Chakotay had ever been granted any kind of personality… like most of the show’s assets, he was never developed much. That’s a shame considering that he ought to be highly rebellious and commanding, and expected to work with Starfleet’s most irrational captain. The reason people remember the Doctor and Seven is that they were the only characters who were genuinely interesting and managed to develop over time. It helped too that they were both played by skilled actors.
On the second point, this is what was great about DS9. Often during the course of an episode, things would get bad, and by golly they would stay bad for a while, not just be magically resolved after forty-five minutes. The one time Voyager decided to shake things up, the result was Seven of Nine joining the main cast. Good thing they never tried shaking it up again, huh? Who knows what levels of quality they could have risen to!
Agree there. I heard that Ronald D. “Battlestar” Moore was much more heavily involved in the writing of the later episodes of DS9, which might explain why it’s so very much darker than any other Trek. Probably the best of all the series, IMHO, but TNG will always be my favourite because I grew up with it.
I find it hugely ironic that Seven of Nine was one of the few who could actually act in Voyager. Given the choice of costume she quite clearly didn’t need to and I’m fairly convinced that this was just a happy accident.
I never understood why anyone like Janeway would be put in command of a starship. I’d like to think she actually becomes a closet alcoholic during the series and that’s why she does crazy things like fire on her own crew. On the other hand, she’s redeemed quite a lot in my eyes by fighting Borg with a batleth. In fact, Voyager did Borg episodes pretty dang well. Pity they had to go and have the crew relax in an Irish-themed holodeck…
I particularly like the Borg graphics, when the queen separates or joins her body it is quite impressive.
Yeah, but they insisted on bringing back the Borg queen all the time. The Borg were a lot more interesting before she came along… they were completely faceless and decentralized, which was what made them really scary. With the Queen they suddenly are much more humanized, and less scary by extension. Add on the fact that Voyager was defeating them with grim regularity, and they don’t seem very threatening anymore. TNG only encountered the “real” Borg three times (I’m not counting “Descent”) and that helped preserve their subtleties… they’re best used sparingly, I think.
One thing that struck me about the TNG-era Borg was that their insistence that “resistance is futile” seems to take on a more and more serious tone with every appearance. It is stated with absolute certainty, because the Borg want you to know that they will not lose. They may lose the battle, but they always win the war. That’s what makes them one of the most genuine threats that has ever appeared on Trek.