Star Trek Voyager - The Complete Third Season
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While in pursuit of a Maquis ship in the Badlands, Captain Kathryn Janeway and the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager are pulled into the Delta Quadrant. After making a decision that saves an entire species from being destroyed, but leaves both crews stranded, they must join forces to begin a 75-year journey across 70,000 light years of space to return to the Alpha Quadrant, the Federation and home.
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The best of Season 3 includes:
Episode 7 Sacred Ground – Does science provide an answer to every question? Are there forces at work in the galaxy that we will never see or understand? Are they real if science cannot explain how they work? This is one of my Voyager Top 10. A careful examination of the differences between science, faith and wisdom, between ritual and mystery, between acts of will and acts of belief. This story is a call to end the conceit that science can explain everything.
Episode 10 Warlord – This could be the single best acting performance of the series with Jennifer Lien portraying both Kes and an ancient warrior as they fight for possession of her body.
Episode 21 Before and After – Kes (again!) lives her entire life in a reverse timeline. An interesting and novel variation on the time paradox plot.
Episode 23 Distant Origin – Have you noticed that Voyager never leaves our Milky Way galaxy? No story line goes to any great lengths to point it out. But because Voyager is still somewhere in the Milky Way, there is an opportunity to trace evolution based connections from Earth to the Delta quadrant. Of course, the familiar Darwinian debate travels too. An interesting new perspective.
Episode 26 Scorpion – The Borg versus Species 8472. This is like Godzilla versus King Kong. Opens the door to many interesting stories for the coming seasons.
The worst of Season 3 include:
Episode 11 The Q and the Grey - Let me get his straight. The Q is at war with itself and only Captain Janeway can save them from destruction? The Q are omnipotent and none of them ever thought to procreate? Members of the Q never die (see Season 1 Death Wish), but are somehow afraid of battle? Civil War setting and costuming makes it even dumber. There is no meaningful parallel.
Episode 13 Fair Trade - Neelix’s fears of worthlessness are not believable, given other Neelix storylines. Hiding his past from Captain Janeway is similarly hard to believe, as is putting Voyager in jeopardy. The premise is so far removed from credibility that the plot fails to engage.
Episode 25 Worst Case Scenario - Another candidate for worst episode of the series. If Seska had half the talents attributed to her in the arc of the Kazon stories, she would be running the Obsidian Order. It would have been a waste to use her to hunt down Maquis living in Cardassian space. Also, the Vulcan head of security somehow did not notice that his own supersecret training program had been accessed or modified? Someone with no familiarity with Starfleet turned a glorified video game system into a weapon of attack against all essential systems on Voyager? Come on!
The show has 1 obvious story arc from start to finish, about the Voyager trying to travel the full length of the galaxy to get back to Earth. But along the way they have plenty of mini adventures where the crew has to pull together despite their differences because they only have each other to rely on. That's the magic of Voyager. The main story arc is ever present but each episode is it's own story.
They face old foes like the Borg (who are everywhere) and friends like Q (because what's a Trek series without Q) and lots of new ones that they meet along the way. The individual episodes remind me of 1950's and 60's sci fi stories, only with much high production value. The show even eludes to it's throwback nature by having one of the characters loving to use the Holodeck to relive bad 1950's sci-fi.
Season 3 has a few throwbacks to previous Trek dogma. Parts of Star Trek 6 The Undiscovered Country are remade with Tuvok being a crew member of the USS Excelsior (commanded by Captain Sulu)and the Ferengi from the Next Generation episode who got lost in the Delta quadrant while testing a wormhole show up as the Voyager passes by the planet they got stuck on (and that they brought their Rules of Acquisition to). And of course it does what every Trek series has to do....which is land the crew back on 20th Century Earth as part of a time travel plot. It's tradition for Trek. It's good fun.
Voyager is a fun departure from the Trek series that proceeded it. It's still "Spacehip flying around meeting aliens" but it's not constantly arguing with the Klingons and Romulans.
It's well worth watching for the fun ride it is.