Star Trek Voyager – Season Three
Sound: B- Extras: B- Episodes: B-
So by now, for its third season, Star Trek Voyager
had come into its own and much faster than The Next Generation did. That did not make it a better show or more
progressive, but it did establish it as its own separate show enough. For that, the producers deserve credit and
the effort and ambition put fourth to make this the best season yet is
commendable, even if the result is not up to the par.
For one thing, the same flat acting style continued in a
way that undermined the series and as it ran this way through other series,
eventually caused the implosion of the entire Star Trek franchise. The acting was not as good as the feature
films and not as amusingly classic as the original series. The quasi-militaristic direction of the
franchise brought it to a somewhat dehumanized state and it was very slowly
wiping away Gene Roddenberry’s original vision of what this show was supposed
to be about.
The ideas of exploring space with an optimistic,
progressive outlook was slowly being eclipsed by a Blade Runner wanna-be
vision that was about nothing and said nothing much. The Voyager characters became developed enough at this
point to do more with them than was being done, and Kate Mulgrew’s Captain
Janeway is even given a love interest.
Instead of undermining her character, as it does on most female lead TV
series (think Bionic Woman), it actually helped her here.
Having happened after the feature film Star Trek – First
Contact (1996), The Borg are reintroduced for this 1996-1997 season in
clever new ways that made for the highlight of the entire series to date. That even ends the season. Q, who becomes even more interesting in this
series than in The Next Generation, starts to surface more in this part
of the franchise. The episodes are as
Basics Part II
End Part I
End Part II
and the Grey
Scorpion Part I
The show definitely is hitting some kind of stride here,
but the aforementioned limits just hold it back too much, but that was also the
language and form of the show at this point and the core audience was set. If I were not forced to watch these three
seasons, I would not have as much respect as I do for it now, but I also see
how the whole franchise slowly went down.
This burned out Roddenberry’s original vision and what was here managed
to still be a hit, but it is DVD right now keeping it alive more than anything
else. All of Star Trek was
considered an evergreen franchise that would always be a huge success, but
Paramount and the producers have overextended this second generation of Trek,
but no next step was considered and that is why the feature films have ended
for now and only the odd Enterprise series is alive. We deserve better and so especially do
fans. It will be up to Paramount and
the producers to decide to take the big risk that brings the greatness of Trek
out of its unnecessary slumber. Here,
they got back only to a few basics, but not enough at the season’s beginning to
keep the franchise alive fully to today.
There are more good moments, but also some strange ones.
The full frame image is still softer than it should
be. As compared to the first season
box, this is similar to the second season set very slightly more refined and
Paramount decided to put even more money into the show. In one supplement, a producer talks about
the show not being on the cutting edge with digital effects, but there is still
so much digital imaging used that it is still counterproductive to the
narrative. Shots that should not be
looking digital and soft are ever obnoxious throughout. This will still look a bit better than the
broadcast equivalent, but only some fans will tolerate it. The sound is once again remixed for Dolby
Digital 5.1 AC-3 and 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds. They are still about even this time, with
the 5.1 not sounding as phony as it did in the first box, but it is far from
the best 5.1 mix, even for a TV show.
The .1 LFE/subwoofer signal is somewhat of a plus here, but some fans
might still again prefer the 2.0 mix.
Extras include Braving
The Unknown: Season 3, Voyager Time Capsule - Neelix, Voyager
Time Capsule – Kes, Flashback To Flashback, Red Alert - Amazing Visual
Effects, Real Science with Andre Bormanis and Lost Transmissions -
interviews. They are all interesting,
but some of them are building a larger picture of the entire cast and their
characters that should really add up by the time the entire series arrives on
- Nicholas Sheffo