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Star Trek Voyager - The Complete First Season
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The complete first season of the TV series Star Trek Voyager.
Star Trek: Voyager began life in 1995 with some truly fascinating prospects in its two-hour pilot episode. Opening in the 24th century, a setting contemporary with that of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and carrying over story elements from each of those series, "Caretaker" finds Starfleet Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) stepping into the middle of Federation troubles with the Maquis, an army of rebels violently resisting the interplanetary organization's treaty with the brutal Cardassians. In the process, both Voyager and the Maquis ship under surveillance are accidentally catapulted out of the galaxy's Alpha Quadrant (the familiar stomping grounds of Starfleet personnel) by a benign but dying being called the Caretaker. Voyager ends up in the unexplored Delta Quadrant, some 70,000 light years away.
So much seemed dramatically promising in this debut, especially the unwieldy alliance of Starfleet regulars and hostile Maquis, and the likelihood that a lifetime spent in isolation, trying to get home, would lead to the development of a self-contained society on the ship, yet Voyager never entirely made up its mind what it was supposed to be about. The curiously cheesy sets and fascinating, progressive management style of Janeway (half mommy, half taskmaster) were also new developments in Star Trek culture. As the 16-episode season continued, character backstories were developed in such episodes as "The Cloud" (arguably the best episode of the season), "Eye of the Needle" (underscoring Janeway and the crew's sadness), "State of Flux" (in which a search for a traitor reveals a past romance between Commander Chakotay, played by Robert Beltran, and sexy Bajoran engineer Seska, played by Martha Hackett), and "Jetrel" (which explores the character of Neelix, the Talaxian played by Ethan Phillips, during a parable about scientific ethics and moral responsibility).
Among other notable episodes, "Phage" strikes a nice balance among character development, story hook, and moral and emotional conflict when Neelix is literally robbed of his lungs by the Vidiians, a once-civilized people who are combating a deadly disease called the Phage by stealing organs. (The disease would return in "Faces," a fine showcase for Roxann Biggs-Dawson as Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres.) "Emanations" stirred controversy among the series' producers and some fans for its philosophical look at death, and "Time and Again" is a unique time-travel story in which Janeway and Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) get caught in a subspace fracture that places them just hours before they know a planet is going to be destroyed. In "Prime Factors," latent tensions among Voyager personnel erupts into serious conflict, an issue revisited in the season finale, "Learning Curve." Despite a pat ending that resolves the Maquis conflict much too easily, the episode drives home the fact that Voyager and its crew are all alone, making the most of a difficult predicament. --Tom Keogh and Jeff ShannonSee all Editorial Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
Now I have to say that in all honesty, I did not like the show as a young adult when it first arrived on TV. Action is used as a last resort and agreeing to disagree is a common theme.
But as an adult I see a lot of value in this type of approach to the Voyager's end goal which is to get home with minimal casualties and more than a few positive relations for the future Federation.
The DVD "case" is cool to look at but not practical at all. The first DVD has little protection compared to the others. The top and bottom plastic halves of the case slide off up and down, exposing a book-like arrangement of DVDs, all uncovered on the top side. See my photos. The "book" pages protect all but the top DVD. With great care sliding the cover off and on, which tends to catch, I should be able to keep them well protected when accessing the discs.
My biggest gripe is with the menu. It reminds me of the TOS menu. It has cool graphics, sound, and animation with the ship flying into place, one for each episode, followed by your picking the correct ship to access the episode you want. There is no continuous play. Every time an episode ends you have to go back through this entire process to pick the next episode. It's cool once or twice but gets old quickly. If there was an option to see just the episode titles without all the animation that would be great. This format is maddening and frankly a bit juvenille.
I am praying that someday this series will get the recognition it deserves and be released in Blu-ray format. Until then I'll continue to collect all the seasons and put up with this crazy menu. What choice do I have? I love this series.
I take issue with the price. This season aired 17 years ago. It's only 15 episodes (all subsequent seasons featured 26 episodes, I think) on five DVDs. Why is it currently priced at more than $51 (a figure that randomly jumps to more than $60)? That's more than $3.40 per episode at the current price.
In addition, the DVD packaging of the Voyager series is disgraceful and insulting to the legacy of the series. It's packaged as if the product was meant to be temporary and disposable, which makes the pricing even more frustrating and unfathomable.
One would think that the first season would be most likely of all the seasons to be "value" priced in order to hook consumers into starting -- and continuing -- a collection of the complete series. Sadly, not the case here. A frustrating side-effect of this greedy pricing model is that Voyager box sets are one of the most bootlegged DVD sets you can find. Just try to buy new or used, supposedly legit copies on auction sites and you'll see what I mean. You'll probably spend about $20-$35, but there's no telling what you'll get for your money. If the price was reasonable for the official product, maybe there would be less of a market for bootlegs.
Paramount should do right by the fans of Voyager and the Star Trek franchise, a franchise which fans have made one of the most lucrative in the history of entertainment media.
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