Tuesday, April 2, 2013

100 Greatest Moments: Voyager Edition

I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the Star Trek magazine special's greatest moments from the franchise as they reflect each of the series:

8) Nazis! ("The Killing Game Parts I & II") 
What the magazine argues perhaps without even realizing it, with both this initial moment and the others that follow, is that Voyager was always a fan's version of Star Trek, which is funny because it was the fans who struggled so much to reject it.  Yet it's Voyager that perhaps did the franchise itself better than any other incarnation. (#85)

7) Quinn argues for suicide ("Death Wish")
Another irony of the series is that it features one of the best Q episodes. (#80)

6) Janeway resets time ("Year of Yell Part II") 
"Year of Hell" was one of several "movies" that the series did, two-part episodes that were originally aired back-to-back on the same night.  It's also the best of them, and the best counterargument to the fans who thought Star Trek could pull off what Battlestar Galactica later accomplished, a bleak journey filled with one disaster after another, and a toll that visibly worked itself on the crew.  You'll think differently after watching this one.  Also arguably the best "reset button" episode of the franchise. (#78)

5) 69. One dies ("Drone") 
Another great irony of the magazine's selections is that they make a mockery of another classic argument against the series, that it basically ruined the Borg.  The magazine and I both defy you to watch this moment, and the episode around it, and still try to make that claim. (#69)

4) Janeway's Borg encounter ("Scorpion Part II") 
The fourth season began with the control of the show's first real clash with the Borg.  And the debut of Seven of Nine, whose continuing bid for humanity proves that it's far more difficult to disconnect from the Collective than simply breaking free of the hive mind. (#59)

3) the Voth establishment rejects science ("Distant Origin") 
Another really awesome selection is the magazine's acknowledgment of "Distant Origin," one of the best episodes in franchise lore.  The whole point of Voyager was that it was supposed to make getting back to the basics of franchise storytelling easier.  And episode like this one proves that no matter what fans think, this was a good idea. (#55)

2) the natives set Voyager free ("Blink of an Eye") 
A similar moment, and just a cool episode, is this one, which features the ship getting stuck in the orbit of a planet that spins faster than the norm, meaning civilization advances from primitive to advanced in moments.  The magazine rightly distinguishes the moment where this becomes more than just nifty storytelling. (#52)

1) Janeway and the Borg Queen ("Endgame")
Janeway is represented twice in the final episode of the series, one as her contemporary self and the other from the future.  It's Future Janeway who visits the Borg at their home, believing she can finally undo all her feelings of guilt by finally getting the crew home.  It's incredibly curious, and perhaps telling, that this is selected as the defining moment of the series, which featured the first female to helm a Star Trek, matching wits with the defining female villain of the franchise.  Janeway always had an indomitable will (it can perhaps sometimes be forgotten that she lost her fiance when the crew was stranded on the other side of the galaxy).  How better to prove it? (#30)

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