Customer Reviews: Star Trek Voyager - The Complete Fourth Season
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on July 7, 2004
Season four was totally awesome. I really never watched Voyager on a regular basis until season 4. There is no bad episodes!!! Even the weaker episodes are still good!
Season four had some major changes to it from the first couple of episodes in the season. Seven of Nine a half Borg/Human joined the cast, Kes left the series, Paris and Torres finally got together, the Doctor made contact with the Federation, the crew got a lot closer to home, and Voyager encountered the Borg, and many new and exciting enemies.
Season four will give you great episodes like "Scorpion, part II", "Year of Hell, parts I and II", "Message in a Bottle", and many more!!! The only problem with the season was a classic season cliffhanger to help bring in season five. This is no big deal since season four was the greastest of Voyager and one of the best of Trek.
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I love Star Trek, I have since it was first on in the 60's (my dad tells me I used to watch it in my playpen in 1966 when I was only a year old!). :) Anyway, I consider myself a pretty good Star Trek fan, I've been watching as long as I can remember.

Voyager never quite did it for me when it was new. I think part of the reason was that they removed themselves from the established Star Trek continuity. You didn't have all the familiar sights of the Federation and whatnot. However, over time, the show has grown on me, even moreso since it went off the air. I have several Star Trek season sets, but I don't buy all of them, mostly because of the price of the things, and the fact that I won't rewatch them a zillion times, the cost kind of keeps me from buying all of them.

Having said that, I felt that Season 4 was a must buy. The reason was the introduction of Seven of Nine. Her visual look aside, I felt Seven was a pretty complex character, and while Seven based stories seemed to dominate for awhile, I felt she was a good mix to the crew. The fact that Jeri Ryan was pleasing (a little TOO pleasing for some people) to the eye kind of made it difficult for some people to look past her breasts and see the good character there. A Borg as a crewmember? That was a pretty radical concept back when this was new. None of the fans really knew how it would turn out. It turned out pretty well, and in Season 4 you can see the genesis of the character.

Also, we lost Kes this season. The production staff was on record saying that they didn't know what to do with the character. Personally, I thought the character was fine. There were some wonderful Kes stories in the first three years of the show, and I liked that Kes was a character that didn't have these hidden agendas, didn't want to have a command of her own, etc.. She was just a "nice" character. And that was lost. Shame, as I thought Jennifer Lien was both cute and pulled off what they did try to do pretty well.

There's several REALLY good stories in Season 4. Obviously, the introuction of Seven in the first episode is great (that's one beef I have with these seasons sets; season ending cliffhangers are spread over two sets, and you don't get part 1 of this thing). Ones I liked a lot were "The Gift" (The departure of Kes), The Year of Hell Pts 1/2 (The crew evacuates Voyager and it takes some supreme beatings), Message in a Bottle (The Doctor is transported back to the Alpha Quadrant), The Killing Game Pts 1/2 (The crew is forced to play war games on the Holodeck), Living Witness (a fabulous story where the crew is depicted 700 years in the future in a soceity's museum; depicted wrong). Hope and Fear (Starfleet sends a ship to bring Voyager home?).

There's plenty more good stuff in this season, but I don't want to just sit here and list them all. There's a good episode guide over at for all these episodes, go check it out.

I gave this review 4 stars out of 5 because of the fact that I don't much care for what Paramount has done with the extras on these sets. They need commentaries, they need deleted scenes, they need a whole lot more stuff than the few flimsy documentaries they have included. I'm also not a fan of the actual packaging used on the Voyager sets, it seems pretty "cheap" to me. The episodes are great, so that's where the high mark comes from, but I'm disappointed in Paramount for dropping the ball on creating what could be really GREAT season sets; they seem content on just doing some work on them. What concerns me more is Paramount's history of releasing minimal releases, and then later on re-releasing them with far more extensive versions. They did that with all the Star Trek movies, I sure hope they aren't planning the same wiht the various TV show sets.
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on July 24, 2004
Seven of Nine! This is where the series got to be excellent again. Voyager was one of those series that I watched only because I was an avid Trekky. If I missed an episode in the first three seasons, I wasn't exactly heartbroken...but when season four hit, I would cancel plans to be home to watch it. I never missed an episode.

Now...Seven of Nine was a great addition to the cast. Not to downplay Kes, but she bored was just another telepath like Troi. It was done and needed to end. Seven of Nine alone made the show more interesting because of the dynamic she brought into the show. Using Borg innovation to gain an advantage with the many challenges of the Delta quadrant was a good move to revive the show. The Borg, are porbably one of the single best "villans" on television. Who doesn't know the line "Resistance is futile"??

I'm a nut about the Borg and reintroducing them was what made me want to watch. So while I say Seven of Nine are the three words that describe Season 4, I partially mean Jeri Ryan, but even more so, I was just psyched about reintroducing the Borg into the series. Even in Season Three, the two best episodes were Unity and Scorpion Part 1, primarily because of the Borg involvement.

Last...the Year of Hell episode is in this season. Next to the Series Finale, the Year of Hell was the best episode produced for the series. Can't wait to get this one!
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on July 26, 2004
Season 4: 9/28

Season 5: 11/2

Season 6: 12/7

Season 7: 12/21
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on July 13, 2004
The fourth season of Voyager is one of the best. Season four marks the introduction of Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine in "Scorpion, part II" and Jennifer Lien's character Kes leaving in "The Gift." The two parter "Year of Hell" is by far the best Voyager episode(s) ever produced. Other excellent offerings are "Scientific Method," "Message in a Bottle," "The Killing Game," "Living Witness," and "Hope and Fear."
Voyager is my favorite Star Trek series, and the fourth season is a must have for any Voyager fan.
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on September 6, 2004
It finally had to happen. There were clues from Season 3 that it was going to happen, there was going to be a run-in (or several) with the Borg in the Delta Quadrant. Once again, Janeway makes a bad mistake in her assessment of striking up an alliance with an alien race just to save her crew and get home. Her only saving grace this time was that they were taking on a more formidable adversary in Species 8472 from fluidic space (as if taking over this space was not good enough for the Borg) and that if she made this deal with the devil, the devil in turn would grant her and her crew safe passage through Borg Space. There would be more run-ins throughout the series, especially when the crew discovers how to use trans-warp coils and the conduits they open up to get through space even faster than just warp speed. Especially with the not-so-willing-at-first assistance from 7 Of 9, Tertiary Adjunct Of Unimatrix 01, the grown-up collectivized version of a human girl by the name of Annika Hansen, whose bohemian parents some years ago were pursuing an anthropological study of a mythical race of cyerbernetic organisms called the Borg some 20 years before.

But there's more to this season than just the Borg--the Year Of Hell, which started out as Kes' premonition in Season 3, became a reality for this crew--or did it? We may never know unless we have seen the episode. Kurtwood Smith from "That 70's Show" plays a scientist who discovers how to use time as his weapon to bring back his dead wife, only to discover that when he manipulates on part of the timeline, it screws up other parts of it--and then realizes that they would not be so screwed up if it weren't for the fact that Voyager is in the wrong place and that this wild variable seems to thwart the very results he is seeking. And so he undertakes to destroy Voyager only to find out that Voyager turns his weapon against him and in the end, we wonder whether or not the "Year Of Hell" really happened.

We are also introduced to the Hirojen, a race/tribe of hunters whose entire culture is predicated on the hunt and the pursuit of prey. They discover Voyager at this communications array that can relay information to the Alpha Quadrant and Janeway and her crew use it to successfully communicate a message to Starfleet. The Hirojen swoop in and destroy the array and then pursue Voyager. In the end, this hunt forever changes the Hirojen when they finally capture Voyager and discover the histories of Earth and Kronos as they force their hunters and the Voyager to relive these events.

Of course, the communications with Startfleet Command yield some continuing disappointments for the crew, when the Maquis learned that most of their comrades in the Alpha Quadrant were wiped out by the Dominion--something that the Cardassians could not do by themselves if you followed "DS9". It also yielded more bad news for the crew when they finally deciphered all of Starfleet's message back to them--that there was no way to get them back home quickly but if they find a way, they will let Voyager know. Just like "Basics", it hammers the fact into the Voyager crew that they still out there alone in the Delta Quadrant.

The season finalé was not a cliffhanger. If anything it was a reminder to Janeway about what the consequences were of assisting the Borg in their fight against Species 8472 and that the Borg were more than happy to use the weapon that Janeway helped them build against other species and peoples--whom they could not assimilate before because their DNA structures were too complex. This also would become an issue in later seasons until the Series Finalé when eventually she would have to make another that would either save her crew and deliver them home then-and-there or spend 16 more years trying to get them home the hard way.
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on January 9, 2006
I am a Star Trek fan. I have watched the saga since age 5. When Voyager began I was so glad to see another updated vessel on a mission. Unlike some other fans I was bored with DS9. Voyager really takes off in season 4 with some excellent episodes. The season contains what is reported to be one of the cast's favorites - Killing Game I & II. Seven is probably the best Star Trek character EVER and this is where it began - SEASON 4. The writing and storyline improved and the character building was, I believe, better than any other Star Trek series. The character building was also excellent. Season 4 contains 2 fantastic 2 parters - Year of Hell - which is an excellent time based story and the already mentioned Killing Game - a great portrayal of sci-fi/realism that is plausible and entertaining. Season 4 and 5 are the BEST overall for Voyager.
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Season 4 of "Voyager" showcases "Voyager" at the beginning of its peak form away from the shadow of big brother "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine". Janeway and her crew encountered the Borg at in the season ending "Scorpion, Part 1". In Part 2 Janeway makes a pact with the devil; she agrees to stay with the Borg to develop a weapon against Species 8472. The Borg bit off more than they could chew; Species 8472 is from fluidic space and the Borg encountered them through an interdimensional rift in space. Janeway develops the weapon but is incapacitated before being able to launch it. This two part episode cranked up the conflict and threat to Voyager. Now the ship had to continue their journey without encountering the Borg again. The Borg Drone Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) remains aboard against her will initially but, ultimately, as she begins to regain her humanity becomes part of Voyager's family. Seven of Nine provided the series with the perfect foil for some of the other characters; in many respects she is the Data or Mr. Spock of this series.

Other outstanding episodes include the two part "Year of Hell" with guest star Kurtwood Smith ("Robocop" and "That 70's Show")in a tale of time travel gone wrong. Annorax (Smith) uses a temporal weapon to continuously alter the space time continuum constantly altering time and exposing Voyage to new and different perils. Some of my favorite episodes involve Janeway's Da Vinci program. Da Vinci (the marvelous John Rhys-Davies of "Sliders" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" fame)becomes a key to helping the Voyage crew relocate their stolen technology when his program is stolen as well. "Waking Moments" focuses on a monster not unlike Freddie Kruger who stalks his victims in their dreams but, unlike Kruger, this alien wants to keep his victims alive so he can feed off their fear.

The Predator inspired Hirogen appear in "Hunters","Prey" and the two part "The Killing Game". "Prey" is a strong episode that deal with Seven of Nine's conflict about helping a species that is the enemy of the Borg. "The Killing Game" written by two of "Next Gen's" best writers (Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky)tells the story of what happens when the Hirogen take Voyager. They subject the crew to brainwashing and put them into holograhpic simulations (with the safety off)putting them in harm's way essentially creating a killing field with Voyager crew members as the victims. "Demon", "One" (which was recently remade for "Enterprise")and "Hope and Fear" round out a season of strong episodes.

Overall, a fine collection of episodes and one of the finest seasons produced of "Voyager" Highly recommended. The picture quality is comparable to past sets although I'm still not a big fan of the packaging (I'm getting used to it though). The extras including interviews with Jeri Ryan, writer Brannon Braga and other cast members about the transition from season three to four and the shift in the character dynamics with a new character aboard are interesting. They fail to resolve one major issue, though, which is the fact that the changes in the show were designed to improve sagging ratings by introducing strong villians and a character with more incommon with Spock, Odo and Data. It certainly worked for, while the first three seasons had their great moments, the intense conflict created by Seven of Nine's introduction and the story possibilities made an interesting show even more intriguing.
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on October 17, 2004
Season 4 of Voyager commences with two of the series' most compelling episodes. Scorpion Pt. II resolves the cliffhanger of season 3 and introduces Seven of Nine, who is at first decidedly unattractive as a Borg drone. The Gift completes at least her physical transformation into a surly fembot. This season lavishes attention on the character of Seven, who quickly becomes both complex and likeable owing in large part to a well-crafted performance by Jeri Ryan. Her unapologetically sexy contribution to the Voyager ensemble still causes controvery among fans, but certainly Ryan gives it her all from the first time she appears until the end of the show's run.

The Gift also marks the unfortunate departure of Kes (excepting an even more unfortunate and misbegotten return for one episode in season 6), and although no other regular will disappear from the show completely, many will find themselves in the background this season given Seven's prominent place.

A number of solid episodes follow the season's impressive start: Day of Honor provides Torres and Paris a chance to float in space and explore their relationship, and Nemesis finds Chakotay with some young alien soldiers "glimpsing" among the "trunks." Revulsion introduces us to an obsessive-compulsive hologram, The Raven to Seven's (that is, Annika's) eccentric parents, and Scientific Method to some invisible alien contraptions that are torturing the Voyager crew. Following these is the two-part Year of Hell, a fantastic episode with a Captain Nemo-like villain and an increasingly Captain Ahab-like Janeway.

After this climax a few weaker episodes follow, including Random Thoughts, with Tuvok again playing detective (a role he first took on in season 1's Ex Post Facto); Mortail Coil, which gives us a view of Talaxian spirituality; and Waking Moments, with its sound and fury basically signifying nothing.

Things get good again with the hilarious, Niles-and-Frasier team-up of two EMHs in Message in a Bottle, which also puts Voyager back in contact with Starfleet and introduces the Hirogen, a towering hunter race also seen in Hunters, Prey, and the two-part Killing Game. This last is certainly imaginative, but like Concerning Flight it involves Janeway allowing aliens to make off with Voyager's technology. I wouldn't be so concerned about this if the captain hadn't been so determined in earlier seasons to keep Federation stuff out of Kazon hands.

Things get iffy from here on out in the season, although it certainly never descends to the level of the worst of season 2. Vis a Vis, Unforgettable, and Demon all seem unexceptional at best. Both the Omega Directive and One invite us into the inner workings amd motivations of Seven, and not for the last time. Living Witness, a standout, gives the Voyager crew a chance to wear grimaces and leather gloves and even makes an important point about history amidst the fun. Hope and Fear wraps up the season nicely if not spectacularly, with a brief return to where we started this segment of Voyager's journey, in Borg space.

The extras, along with Easter eggs, are about what we've become used to with the Voyager DVD sets, although Real Science has been omitted and a feature on matte painting added. In general this season provides some of the highest highs of Voyager and none of its lowest lows.
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on October 5, 2004
Star Trek: Voyager's fourth season was the show's darkest chapter. It was also a major turning point for the show. The biggest change was the addition of the ex-Borg Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and the absence of Kes (Jennifer Lien), who left the ship in "The Gift" after she began to evolve into something that would have destroyed Voyager. 

Season Four also had two huge 2-part episodes. This is the favorite season of Voyager for most fans of the show, myself included, with very little disappointment from the episodes.

Season Four begins with the conclusion to Season Three's explosive season finale "Scorpion". We are introduced to Seven of Nine towards the beginning of this second part to the episode.

The season premiere flowed right into the second episode of the season, "The Gift", which picks up right where "Scorpion, Part II" ends. This episode is Star Trek at its best with superb writing and wonderful performances from the actors. The scenes between Janeway and Seven of Nine are excellent, escpecially when Seven of Nine has a break down in the Brig. The final scenes with Kes are compelling and her rush to the shuttle bay is very exciting.

Voyager finally makes contact with the Alpha Quadrant in the comedy-driven episode "Message in a Bottle" in which The Doctor is sent to a Starfleet ship using an immense network of Hirogen relay stations. Andy Dick makes a perfect guest star performance as EMH-2.

The 2-parter episode "Year of Hell" is one of Voyager's best. "Year of Hell" has tons of action and awesome visual effects. You can't miss the ending where Janeway smashes Voyager into the Krenim weapon ship.

The other 2-part episode entitle "The Killing Game" may not have compared much to "Year of Hell" but still made a good episode.

There is no cliffhanger to Season Four, but the final episode, entitle "Hope and Fear" brings the season full circle, tapping into Janeway's alliance with the Borg in "Scorpion".
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