Twenty years ago today, the USS Voyager was thrown into the Delta Quadrant, where it would spend the next seven years trying to get back home.
It took me a long while to actually appreciate this series. Maybe because it was airing the same time as Deep Space Nine. And I loved (and still love) that series best out of all the Trek series. But DS9 and Voyager were the most dissimilar of the bunch. The former was on a stationary space station in one sector of space; the latter was on a ship that was constantly on-the-move. The former was in the familiar Alpha Quadrant, focusing on several of the already-known alien species but occasionally introducing something new; the latter was the unknown Delta Quadrant, focusing on new alien species but occasionally going back those previously established. The former could call up Starfleet any time they needed them; the latter couldn’t. The former on serial storylines; the latter was more episodic. And so forth and so on… Night and day stuff.
On one hand, it was interesting to get back to exploring. And to do the isolation and survival-stories than they really couldn’t do in the other Trek series. But throughout those seven years, they may have been able to take Voyager out of the Alpha Quadrant, but they couldn’t keep the Alpha Quadrant out of Voyager. Writers kept finding some way for familiar alien and storylines to keep popping up. But on the other hand, a lot of things got “watered down” — the Borg as an adversary being one of them (although they did explore more of the inner-workings of the Borg than The Next Generation ever did). They could only put them at a disadvantage so much before it would be next to impossible for them to recover.
I watched Voyager until DS9 went off the air. And then I stopped until right before the end. It wouldn’t be until years later that I’d go back and see all that I missed. And I found, it was still a good series, one that had a lot of interesting stories. Isolation from the Alpha Quadrant. Civil rights for holograms. Seven of Nine’s human development. Insurrection: Alpha. Species 8472. The Hirogen. The Delta Flyer. Captain Proton.
So happy 20th, Voyager! It was a very good journey.