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Title: Star Trek: Voyager - The Complete Series

Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :3stars:

HTS Overall Score:76




[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=92993[/img]
Summary
I have to admit that there is always the “odd man out” show in every franchise. You know, that one show, or season, or film that just considered a bit of a guilty pleasure. “Star Trek: Voyager” happens to be that one for me out of the Trek universe. Initially it was “Enterprise”, as that was a drastic change in pace from all the other Treks’, and I used to LOVE “Voyager” being that it was the first show that I actually watched religiously. Don’t get me wrong, I had seen most of TNG and was starting in on “Deep Space Nine”, but “Voyager” aired when I was in high school and on a night when I didn’t have any homework. Thus, it was the one show that I could sit down and watch week after week without interruption. Now the roles are reversed as I have gained a newfound respect for “Enterprise” and age has changed my views on “Voyager” a good bit. There used to be an old Trek joke amongst fans that said “just because they did it on “Voyager” does NOT mean it’s a good idea”! Ironically, that pretty much sums up the series. The whole show just never seemed to catch on to the masses the same way “Deep Space Nine” or “The Next Generation” did, and despite my youthful ardent adoration of the show (or at least my adoration of Seven of Nine) I have to admit that it is probably the weakest of the Trek shows (albeit still a lot of goofy fun).

“Voyager” shares the distinction of being the only show to really run right alongside ANOTHER “Star Trek” show for most of the airings. Well, almost. “Deep Space Nine” did star out during the last season of “The Next Generation”, but “Voyager” actually started out it’s premiere right when “Deep Space Nine: Season 3” was premiering as well. So, for about 5 years the two shows would air during the same week. I kind of wonder whether I would have continued watching “Voyager” so adamantly if I had been able to view “Deep Space Nine” at the same time (my high school work schedule wouldn’t allow it) and compare the two shows side by side. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion I would have just continued watching because even weak “Star Trek” is still fun “Star Trek”.

While “Deep Space Nine” decided to change up the show by staying in one place, “Voyager” did the exact opposite. Captain Kathryn Janeway (the series’ first female main captain, played by Kate Mulgrew) and the newly minted super-fast ship Voyager are tasked with hunting down a group of Maquis raiders (introduced and expanded upon in “The Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine”), a group of freedom fighters who are working outside the law to fight off the Cardassian invaders. Following them into the badlands, both the Maquis ship and Voyager are suddenly yanked from the Alpha quadrant all the way to the other side of the galaxy. Waking up in the Delta quadrant (some 70,000 light years away), the crew finds out that they’re now effectively stuck on the other side of the galaxy with a 75 year trip ahead of them. Kathryn Janeway realizes the futility of the initial mission and teams up with commander Chakotay (Robert Beltran) of the Maquis and blends the two crews in order to pool resources and get home faster.

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=93001[/img]
Now that they have 70+ years ahead of them, Janeway and Voyager have to find alternative methods of getting home, and encountering new friends (and foes) to bolster their alliances. That includes meeting Delta quadrant natives Neelix (Ethan Phillips) and his Ocampa companion Kes (Jennifer Lien), and having to deal with a Starfleet crew blending in with rebels. This created quite a few complications in the bonding process, and there are several episodes in the first several seasons where we get to focus on the officers and the Maquis getting into a few squabbles. However, this blending of the crews also gave us some of the best characters, with Robert Beltran becoming one of the best known first officers in the franchise, and Bellana Torres and Tuvok also becoming fan favorites. Little tidbit of information. Robert Duncan McNeill who played Lt. Tom Paris is basically the Jonathon Frakes (Commander Riker) of the show. While he played a few characters outside of “Voyager” here and there, he really got a love for behind the camera work and has a hand in pretty much EVERY sci-fi show and made for TV movie out there, either as a director or producer. He’s directed episodes from “Chuck”, “The Mentalist”, “Supernatural”, “V” and countless others. Not to mention producing and the like.

However, “Voyager” had a rocky start. The first few seasons were kind of trite and seemed rather “blah” in comparison to “Deep Space Nine”, which was already kicking into high gear. I don’t blame the FIRST season, as first seasons are always rocky, but by season three the ratings were starting to decline. So what do you think could fix it? Yup, a hot woman with a skin-tight outfit. And this was not just ANY hot woman in a skin tight outfight. She was an ex BORG in a skin-tight outfit! Pretty much the double play smash hit if you’re a Trekkie. Season three was when Voyager encountered the Borg for the first time (who would become a long-standing villain for the captain as we find out that the Delta Quadrant is their home base), which allowed for a captured Borg played by Jeri Ryan to become “human” again. I have to admit that I fell for the obvious ploy of a hot woman in Star Trek, but I also fully admit that Seven of Nine became one of the best developed characters on the show besides the Dr. (Robert Picardo, who is pure magic).

Still, the show never got over its simplistic beginnings, and even though it matures as it goes along, “Voyager” still maintains a healthy amount of ludicrous behavior. Captain Janeway never really became as Iconic as other Starfleet captains, and her overly soft demeanor didn’t help. Then there’s the Borg themselves. The single best villain of the old “Trek” universe, but one that soon became a crutch within “Voyager”. It wasn’t good enough to have the Borg show up and wreak havoc, but the powers that be turned them into the biggest lap dogs of the show. Villains who were sincerely TERRIFYING in “The Next Generation” and the subsequent movie “First Contact”, soon became a “villain of the week” as Janeway and her crew outsmarts and out fights them time and time again. The only consolation with the Borg is that we get a much more detailed look at their internal power structure, and the season 7 finale was an epic blast. I still rewatch those last two episodes every once in a while, because it almost rivals “First Contact” for a human vs. Borg send off.




Rating:

Not Rated




Video :4stars:

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=93009[/img]

It's strange how just a couple of years can make a difference. “Deep Space Nine” was only created 2 years before “Voyager” started (with a 5 year overlap) and the first couple seasons of DS9 are nigh unwatchable (though they do get progressively better). “Voyager”, on the other hand, starts out rather well and gets incrementally better, making it one of the best looking Treks out there IMO (besides the cheap CGI that was prevalent back then). There’s some banding, and there’s the typical shimmering that rears its ugly head, but overall I’m rather impressed with the old DVDs. They’re nothing to write home about, but Paramount did put out some very nice looking encodes for “Voyager”. Colors are bright and warm, with the reds, blues and yellows of the Starfleet uniforms contrasting nicely with the slate blue and grey of the ship itself. Most artifacting is kept to the shimmering and banding, but there are hints of blue creep in the credits and a few instances of macroblocking. Nothing wild, but they seem baked into the source as I’ve seen those same artifacts on Netflix recordings as well.







Audio :4stars:

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=93017[/img]

Much like "Deep Space Nine", we are given the original 2.0 audio from the TV broadcasts as well as a remixed 5.1 Dolby Digital track (both of which were available on the original season box sets from 10+ years ago). The 2.0 is smooth and clean, but the 5.1 mix is a slight improvement. The 5.1 isn’t a hugely encompassing track, but it is certainly acceptable considering the source never was recorded, or intended, to be listened to in that manner. Vocals are crisp and clean, with no sounds of distortion of misplaced dialog. The center channel takes the brunt of the weight, There's some decent imaging with the Borg encounters, and the sound of phaser banks firing always make for a grin inducing situation. bass is pretty light, but it does get boosted a bit with the incredible orchestral score that "Voyager" boasts.









[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=93025[/img]
Extras :3stars:
Season 1
• Braving the Unknown: Season One
• Voyager Time Capsule: Kathryn Janeway
• The First Captain: Bujold
• Cast Reflections: Season One
• On Location With the Kazons
• Red Alert: Visual Effects Season One
• Launching Voyager on the Web
• Real Science With Andre Bormanis
• Photo Gallery

Season 2
• Braving the Unknown: Season 2
• Voyager Time Capsule: Tuvok
• Saboteur Extraordinaire: Seska
• A Day in the Life of Ethan Phillips
• Red Alert: Visual Effects Season 2
• Real Science with Andre Bormanis
• Lost Transmissions from the Delta Quadrant
• A Special Text Trivia Version of "The 37's"
• Photo Gallery

Season 3
• Braving the Unknown: Season Three
• Voyager Time Capsule: Neelix
• Voyager Time Capsule: Kes
• Flashback to "Flashback"
• Red Alert! Amazing Visual Effects
• Real Science with Andre Bormanis
• Photo Gallery

Season 4
• Braving The Unknown: Season Four
• Time Capsule: Seven Of Nine
• Time Capsule :Harry Kim
• The Birth Of Species 8472
• The Art Of Alien Worlds
• Photo Gallery

Season 5
• Braving The Unknown: Season Five
• Voyager Time Capsule: B'elanna Torres
• Voyager Time Capsule: Tom Paris
• The Borg Queen Speaks
• Delta Quadrant Make-Up Magic
• Photo Gallery

Season 6
• Braving The Unknown: Season 6
• Voyage Time Capsule: Chakotay
• One small step: A Mars encounter
• Red Alert! Amazing Visual Effects
• Guest star profile: Vaughn Armstrong

Season 7
• Braving The Unknown: Season 7
• Voyager Time Capsule: The Doctor
• Coming Home: The Final Episodes
• Real Science with Andre Bormanis
• The Making of Borg Invasion 4-D









Overall: :4stars:

“Voyager” is the guilty pleasure of the “Star Trek” universe. Sure it seemed fantastic at the time, but when you compare it against the vastly superior “Deep Space Nine” and even “The Next Generation”, the goofy series just isn’t as good. Still, it’s nowhere near a train wreck and still stands as some of my most watched Trek seasons. What red blooded American (or whatever nationality you are) boy wasn’t tuning in every week to see Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine? Like “Deep Space Nine” I would LOVE to see a remastered Blu-ray boxset, but the chances of that happening anytime in the near future are pretty much slim according to all reputable sources. The boxset is basically the EXACT same DVDS as the old 2004/2005 sets, but just put into one of Paramount’s “mega” clamshell cases (3 to be precise) and housed in a nice cardboard box. For those of you who aren’t a fan of the clamshell boxes they are re-releasing the individual seasons in slim packaging as well (or for those of you who just need one or two seasons to complete your sets). While “Voyager” is not the crème de la crème of “Star Trek”, it’s still a fun show and this is easily the most cost effective way to complete the series (at under $100 for 7 seasons it’s pretty much the cheapest I’ve ever seen it get). Recommended..



Additional Information:

Starring: Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Robert Picardo, Jeri Ryan
Created by: Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Mpeg2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English DD 2.0
Studio: CBS/Paramount
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 7778 Minutes
DVD Release Date: March 7th, 2017



Buy Star Trek: Voyager - The Complete Series On DVD at Amazon



Recommendation: Recommended




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