Star Trek: Voyager - The Complete First Season
Paramount Home Entertainment -
1995 - 733
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In the mid-1990s, the Star Trek empire that Gene Roddenberry brought to life never looked better. Strong, healthy, and eager was Paramount studios. So while Star Trek: The Next Generation was about to go off the airwaves and Deep Space Nine was going strong, they wanted a new Trek series on the air. To top it all off, Paramount studios was about to introduce its own television network, UPN, and they wanted the new series dubbed Star Trek: Voyager to lead it off.
Captain Kathryn Janeway
So after the green light was given, the producers went to work on this 4th incarnation of this classic series. One of the first things to be decided was that if the show was going to be on a starship again, it wouldn´┐Żt be the Enterprise and the ship would have a female captain. Another sharp turn was taken to not have our crew take on the alien races we are already familiar with, instead this crew on a ship that would be named Voyager, would be flung to the other side of the galaxy, and face new aliens and dilemmas all the while trying to get home. Once final casting was decided, the network gave the go to launch the series and it premiered in January 1995.
To start the series off with a bang and to give the audience some sort of knowledge of what the heck was going on, we start with the newly christened starship, U.S.S. Voyager, commanded by Capt. Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), and her senior officers Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill), Ensign Harry Kim (Garrett Wang). The crew leave DS9 looking for a runaway Maquis ship in the badlands. While they are there, they get caught in a wave that flings them to other side of the galaxy in the Delta Quadrant.
´┐Ż Episodes I and II: Caretaker´┐ŻAfter being flung into the Delta Quadrant, Voyager and the Maquis ship encounter an array in space which is flinging energy pulses towards a nearby planet. The Maquis crew led by Chakotay (Robert Beltran), B´┐ŻElanna Torres (Roxann Dawson), and a Vulcan spy Tuvok (Tim Russ)--who is on a mission for Capt. Janeway--are helped by Voyager´┐Żs Emergency Medical Hologram doctor with their injuries and they agree to team up with Voyager to find the one responsible for transporting them to the other side of the galaxy. They beam onto the array only to find an Earth-like setting in which a bunch of country folk are having a party. After some investigating, they find it is only a hologram. They are sent back to the ship by the array. It is decided to find out where the array´┐Żs energy pulses are directed and go to the planet to investigate. On the way, the crew runs into an interesting character, a Talaxian named Neelix (Ethan Phillips). Janeway asks Neelix for help in investigating the source of the energy pulses. Neelix tells Janeway that the energy pulses are aimed at a planet in which the people are called the Ocampa. The planet is desolate, no water to be found, and no Ocampa either, or so it seems. Instead, the crew runs into a race of aliens who inhabit the desolate surface, the Kazon. The Kazon´┐Żs are a bunch of nomads who are like gangs with each gang possessing something another gang needs. The Kazon tell the crew that the Ocampa live underground but one has escaped, Kes (Jennifer Lien), whom they have captured. Once they barter for her freedom, the crew continues to investigate why the energy pulses are directed at them and to find out whether that same being sending the pulses can send them back home. The crew learns that the pulses come from a ´┐ŻCaretaker´┐Ż who has provided their power for decades. The pulses become more frequent, banking enough reserves for 5 years. It is surmised that the Caretaker is dying. Before that happens, the crew rush back to the array to get the Caretaker to send them home. Too late, the caretaker dies, and Janeway is forced to destroy the array. Now faced with no other choice, the two crews decide to permanently join together to find a new way home. And off they go.
´┐Ż Episode III: ´┐ŻParallax´┐Ż: The crew discovers a ship which seems to be stuck in a quantum singularity. It is up to Captain Janeway and new Chief Engineer Lt. B´┐ŻElanna Torres to save the day. Meanwhile, the Maquis and Federation crew are becoming adjusted to being with each other as well as to their situation in the Delta Quadrant.
´┐Ż Episode IV: ´┐ŻTime and Again´┐Ż: During an investigation of a devastated planet which was once inhabited by a humanoid race of people who only wear orange and yellow shirts, Captain Janeway and Lt. Paris are sent back in time one day before the annihilation of the entire planet. They later find out that the crew´┐Żs attempts at rescuing them are the cause of the planet´┐Żs destruction.
´┐Ż Episode V: ´┐ŻPhage´┐Ż: Neelix is attacked by a group of aliens named the Viidians who are suffering from a really bad case of acne called ´┐ŻThe Phage´┐Ż. They steal his lungs in order for one of their race to survive. Capt. Janeway works with the doctor and Kes to get his lungs back.
´┐Ż Episode VI: ´┐ŻThe Cloud´┐Ż: Searching for a natural place to find some ways to replenish the ship´┐Żs energy supply, the ship flies into what they think is a nebula, but instead is a giant being in space that they rip apart in order to get inside. Now they must figure out a way to repair the damage in order to relieve their guilt.
´┐Ż Episode VII: ´┐ŻEye of the Needle´┐Ż: Ensign Kim discovers with galaxy´┐Żs smallest wormhole in which only a micro probe can fit through. They retrofit a probe for communication and yes, they do connect with the Alpha Quadrant, too bad it is with a Romulan from 20 years ago.
´┐Ż Episode VIII: ´┐ŻEx Post Facto´┐Ż: While on an away mission, Lt. Paris is accused of murdering the husband of a woman who he is infatuated with. His punishment is to relive the murder every day for the rest of his life. Capt. Janeway and crew are determined to prove his innocence.
´┐Ż Episode IX: ´┐ŻEmanations´┐Ż: The crew investigates a ringed planet that contains a potential energy source. Upon beaming to one of the rocks which makes up the rings they find a bunch of corpses which are transported there through a vortex. Ensign Kim gets caught in one and finds himself on a planet in which the people look forward to death, thinking that when they die they move on to the next emanation or higher form of life. Kim convinces one of the citizens to switch places with him to get back to the ship, even risking death.
´┐Ż Episode X: ´┐ŻPrime Factors´┐Ż: The crew comes into contact with a race that are known for their fantastic hospitality and it is discovered they have a technology that can fold space and can possibly send the crew almost half way back to the Alpha quadrant. However, these people have an ulterior motive, they are only interested in the crew´┐Żs stories.
´┐Ż Episode XI: ´┐ŻState of Flux´┐Ż: Voyager discovers a badly damaged Kazon ship with stolen Federation technology aboard. It is discovered that this stolen technology is the direct cause of the ship´┐Żs bad shape and the only way the Kazon got this technology is from a traitor on board. It is discovered that a former Maquis crew member is not only a traitor but also not a Bajoran.
´┐Ż Episode XII: ´┐ŻHeroes and Demons´┐Ż: During a visit to the Holodeck, Ensign Kim, Tuvok, and Chakotay disappear during a simulation of the ancient play ´┐ŻBeowulf´┐Ż. To prevent any solid people disappearing, Capt. Janeway decides to use The Doctor to defeat the program´┐Żs entity, taking on the form of ´┐ŻGrendel´┐Ż in order to get the crew back.
´┐Ż Episode XIII: ´┐ŻCathexis´┐Ż: Returning from an away mission in a shuttlecraft, Chakotay is in a coma while Tuvok appears not to be himself and starts to sabotage the ship. It is then discovered that an alien being has taken over Tuvok and a mysterious spirit is flying around the ship trying to save it from the alien being which has taken Tuvok´┐Żs body.
´┐Ż Episode XIV: ´┐ŻFaces´┐Ż: Captured by the Viidians, B´┐ŻElanna´┐Żs Klingon half is taken out of her to create a 100% Klingon clone. Her clone seems to be able to fight off ´┐ŻThe Phage´┐Ż disease which the Viidians suffer from. One error, the Viidian doctor falls in love with the Klingon B´┐ŻElanna who escapes and kills him. Meanwhile, the fully human B´┐ŻElanna needs her other half to escape from the prison.
´┐Ż Episode XV: ´┐ŻJetrel´┐Ż: A scientist directly responsible for killing thousands of Talaxians is looking for Neelix telling him he has a disease as a result of the weapon the doctor created. Neelix must put aside his hatred in order to be cured.
´┐Ż Episode XVI: ´┐ŻLearning Curve´┐Ż: Tuvok is assigned a bunch of Maquis malcontents and starts an extensive training class for them. When the ship runs into another problem, causing the ship to almost fall apart, Tuvok and his students face death in trying to escape from a cutoff portion of the ship.
Despite being a full screen transfer from a TV show, the DVD quality is very apparent with this latest Star Trek series. What is impressive about the first season of the show is that numerous location sites were chosen showing the audience various types of planets with different terrains, brightly colored nebulas, and the sleekness of the new ship. We see desert planets, underground cities, the usual cave sets, new aliens with nice makeup jobs, and a new ship with a different style warp core and rooms. Clearly the technology improvement is seen quite easily.
This is an impressive item for the first season DVD of Voyager. This DVD box set is offered in 5.1 Digital Surround Sound, and you can tell from the moment you put the DVD in your player. The menu comes at you from all sides and all your speakers start acting up. Your front speakers of course pick up the majority of the sound, however the rear speakers do remind you they are on from time to time with background noise and ship flybys along with occasional phaser fire. Your sub-woofer will rumble mainly during ship flybys and battle sequences but also during some dramatic music moments. All in all, not a bad audio mix even though we are talking about a TV show.
The fifth disc of this disc set contains nothing but supplements for the real Trekker in your home. The choices are good ones: a featurette talking about how this new show came to be, an interview with our first female captain, Kate Mulgrew, and a look at some cast reflections on the first season, much never before seen footage of the first actress to portray Janeway (she lasted a day and a half), a visit to an on-location set, a look at some visual effects, putting Voyager on the web, and a interview with a science consultant showing how much real science they try to incorporate into the show. Be sure and set aside about an hour for these niceties. I should also note that the menu is also nicely designed.
A good beginning for what will become another great Star Trek series. Voyager´┐Żs first season was much better in terms of writing and acting than the other two spin-off series of the original Star Trek. TNG´┐Żs first season was awkward, DS9´┐Żs first season was almost not worth watching, but here we have the makings of something big. From the first season to the last, the goal of this crew is a noble one, to get home.
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