VOY Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2 (Netflix S1 E1): Caretaker
Voyager has a lot of great premises, and the establishment of these ideas is the main reason the premiere gets a 4. The concept of getting lost in the delta quadrant provides a lot of opportunity to both build an entirely new set of alien civilizations and add some serious ongoing stakes for the crew to overcome. The premise of a Maquis crew and Federation crew being forced to combine would conceivably be a way to examine federation ideals and build interesting relationships between characters. Even the more immediate premises for the Caretaker and the Ocampa are cool. This all earns this episode a 4, but it’s a depressing 4 because Voyager doesn’t follow through the ideas in the rest of the series.
You can read more about this episode at Memory Alpha
Trek.fm gives this episode an 8/10
StarTrek.com contributor Jordan Hoffman gave it 3/5
File under: Tom Paris: Best Pilot Ever
File under: Prime Directive
Trek.fm’s Charlynn Schmiedt has a very good review of this episode. There are a few issues I’d like to address.
She closed her review with this paragraph:
As far as pilots go, I think this is an excellent introduction overall. I like the way the characters are introduced and I like the story until we reach the point where Janeway decides to destroy the array. I would have rather seen a situation where Voyager’s chances for getting home are ripped away by the Kazon, or something to that effect, rather than Janeway destroying the array because she must follow Starfleet regulations in a place where no one gives a damn about them. The emotional fallout from a situation like that would have been better for the story IMO, with the same ending.
That’s an interesting thought. It really might have had a strong impact if someone like the Kazon destroyed their only way home. That would make being lost in the delta quadrant truly tragic, and would make their struggle to get home much more sympathetic. But I do like the situation Janeway is forced into for this episode, and making her decision the cause of being stuck in the delta quadrant raises issues that ultimately I find more interesting than what sympathy is gained from the Kazon being the cause. By making Janeway’s decision the cause, it could’ve theoretically created some interesting tension with (probably Maquis) crew members that become angry about it. This may not count for a lot since this conflict really wasn’t taken advantage of, but at this point I liked the writer’s choice. It being a matter of Janeway’s loyalty to Starfleet regulations also creates an interesting beginning to a potential story arc about the role of Starfleet rules on Voyager. For example, as Voyager faces the threats of the delta quadrant, perhaps Janeway’s view of these rules would bend a little. They have a clear distinction between her view of Starfleet rules in the beginning and her views of it by the end when she is more desperate (like the old Janeway that appears in Endgame). Again, you may not count this for a whole lot because they could’ve been a lot more deliberate about this character arc throughout the series. Basically I thought the writer’s choice was a good one, and very interesting, but I wish it would’ve had a better follow up.
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