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Back to the Delta Quadrant
on January 15, 2004
Although I have been critical of Voyager in the past, I must confess that it was nothing short of impressive in its first three seasons. The show had so much promise, its huge story arcs and original concept made it a show to watch. The first season had the show proving itself quite nicely, with riveting science fiction and the intense drama of two disparate crews trying to work together. This show certainly had the makings of a champion, and although it certainly didn't fulfill all hopes, it had more than a few good moments.
Voyager's first season put exposition on hold to give us great stories. The approach paid off, as many were hooked on the show from the beginning. One of the show's greatest strengths was combining human drama and science fiction in such a way that the season never got formulaic, and we certainly saw that here. "Caretaker" was a magnificent pilot that nicely set up the show, introduced the crew's principal enemies and some of the tumultuous politics of the Delta Quadrant, and had quite a bit of excitement and suspense. From there, we saw episodes dealing with classic Star Trek motifs like time travel (Time and Again), unusual life forms (The Cloud), and justice (Ex Post Facto, one of the season's best shows). The show also tackled unfamiliar territory, such as genocide (Jetrel, another of the season's best shows) and treason (State of Flux, where Seska defects to the Kazon). All the while we got to know (albeit less than in the second season) the various officers of the ship: Janeway, the stern but optimistic captain (and, in the first year, far from the sanctimonious shrew she became); Paris, the navigator and funnyman (he provided the best comic relief) and his friend Kim, the homesick wet-behind-the-ears recent Academy graduate; Tuvok, the wry Vulcan; the Doctor, a crotchety hologram (and also very amusing); and Neelix and Kes, the pair of aliens along for the ride. The first season did a good job of introducing them, although it wasn't until the second season that they really became more concrete.
The DVD is loaded with extras, probably to compensate for the fact that the set is exorbitantly priced. In any case, it's a must have for a collector or a fan.