Voyager revised part 1All right. So I'm doing a creative writing/thought experiment. Here's the scenario. Star Trek: Voyager has had two seasons and thus far, it sucks. I'm brought in (because I'm a super awesome writer who can do anything he wants) to fix it.
I've got to say, the first thing to pop into my mind was the Anabasis. For those of you not familiar with that, it's an ancient document written by Greek historian Xenophon. It details the adventures of 10,000 Greek mercenaries. They were hired to help in a civil war in Persia. They wound being on the loosing side. They found themselves deep in a hostile enemy empire with no support. They had to improvise their leadership, change their own army around and then march on foot back to Greek territory. It took years and they had to traverse hostile terrain, deal with aggressive locals and fight off Persian armies all along the way.
If this sounds like the perfect template for a stars
The characters we'll review today are...
B'elanna Torres- A half Klingon/human member of the Maquis. She's got rage issues (punching people for disagreeing with her) and is a wash out from Star Fleet Academy. She's the chief engineer assigned due to necessity. She's famous for being unable to identify poop with a tricorder. Her plots mostly revolve around her fixing something, getting angry or having sex.
Tom Paris- He was meant to be the Kirk or Riker of the crew. He actually comes off as one of the better members of the cast, owing to the fact he's smart, competent and likable. He's widely criticized for being ridiculously good actually. He's an expert in tons of things, including piloting, engineering (invent a warp drive that can reach infinite speeds), etc.
Kes- One of the most liked characters in the show. She's a psychic alien rescued from the Caretaker and joins Voyager as her new home. She sometimes serves as the Troi of the show. The big complaints about her are her relationship with Neelix (mostly because they loathe Neelix) and her ridiculous anatomy. What I mean by that is the ocampa, her species, have unbelievable physiology made up on the spot for drama.
Harry Kim- To quote SF Debris "poor dumb Harry." The actor in this role was told to be a wooden as possible. Ouch. Harry is mostly remembered for being boring, though the writing team seemed to be bent on killing him fairly often. Helpful hint. If you want us to care when you kill off a character, make that character interesting first!
B'elanna Torres- Tie more of her attributes to themselves. Imagine she's angry all the time because she IS a washout. Make sure she is actually is the best for the engineering job but then emphasize that's still not good enough under the circumstances. She's able to use Maquis tricks to pull non-standard, duck-tape-it jobs most of the time, but doesn't grasp the higher level stuff. She constantly studies to try and catch up, but is struggling.
Imagine a plot line where she's convinced she can handle the job, despite some buried reservations. She fucks up, and someone gets killed because of it. Does she continue to try and improve herself? Or does she quit engineering? Which option is the best for her? Which is the best for the ship?
Tom Paris- I would recommend two things. Make him extremely good in two or maybe three fields. Or just really intelligent and charming. Don't make him a wunderkin in everything.
Second thing. Make him a total asshole. He knows how good he is, and how valuable he is to the understaffed, isolated and resource poor Voyager. Having once been a convict, he is disenfranchised from the Federation system, but shares none of the ideals of the Maquis. He walks a fine line, always trying to see how thoroughly he can exploit those around him while not outweighing his usefulness.
Kes- She is actually the character I'd change the least out of all of the original cast (with one possible exception). Her newness to the Federation could make her a good outsider character to explain things to. Her lack of involvement in their politics make her easily approachable by the audience and she even found herself a nice niche as a nurse. I would NOT include the bullshit physiology of her species though. Might give her some new stuff (always a popular plot point with aliens) but I'd keep it... you know... NOT STUPID! If necessary, some of the dumber or more outrageous elements can be retconned away as being artificial induced by the Caretaker as a means of population control.
I do kind of like the idea of her species being used as sex slaves, but anyone who follows my page isn't surprised by that.
Harry Kim- Honestly, it's easier to leave him out entirely. Heck, the writing cast didn't seem to care about him, why should I? Some people might argue an idea put forth by SF Debris about the Year of Hell, but that's way in. I'm more interested in seeing them be interesting in the first place than making a bland one interesting. I guess Harry could be used as a running gag. Torture him, but do it for comedic purposes, rather than lame attempts at pathos.
If I was going to do anything with Harry, I'd have him fake his own death so he can jump ship and live on a planet he's happy on. Get rid of him and subvert some expectations.
That's it for this installment. Next installment I'll discuss the failed break out character, Neelix, and arguably the best character of the show, the Doctor.
In other news, I might put up a topless version of the Princess Bubblegum picture.