‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ wants you to know it’s okay to like ‘Voyager’


This write-up consists of delicate spoilers for time two, episode three of ‘Star Trek: Reduced Decks.’

This week’s episode of Reduced Decks, “We’ll Normally Have Tom Paris,” manages to squeeze two references into its title: a time just one The Following Generation installment referred to as “We’ll Normally Have Paris,” and the name of a major forged member of Star Trek: Voyager, Lieutenant Tom Eugene Paris. But aside from that intelligent bit of wordplay, the title also carries a further this means: That as substantially as we’d like to ignore about the much more uncomfortable moments of the Star Trek franchise, they even now happened and they weren’t all poor. Even, and specially, Voyager.


Viewer reactions to Voyager have been rather polarized around the course of the 26 decades since it premiered. Back in the ‘90s, a lot of supporters ended up psyched to have a “real” Star Trek clearly show once more, just one that took area on a ship that was consistently exploring, contrary to the comparatively stationary political drama of Deep Area Nine. But clunky composing soured a lot of people’s opinion on Voyager, and towards the conclusion of its run the clearly show was identified much more for Seven of Nine’s skintight outfits and its slate of visitor stars of the 7 days, which includes Jason Alexander and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Soon after the clearly show went off the air, the franchise stopped going forward in its timeline, selecting to investigate Starfleet’s founding in Company and rebooting the total universe wholly with the 2009 Star Trek film. When supporters ended up thrown a bone with a brief cameo by Admiral Kathryn Janeway in the very last TNG-period film, Nemesis, Voyager would in essence disappear from the Star Trek canon until the overall look of Seven of Nine in episode 4 of Picard.

Trae Patton

For supporters of The Following Generation, Picard experienced its upsides: We got to see Troi and Riker as a loved ones, and Data got a greater sendoff into the afterlife. But for supporters of Voyager, it was something but optimistic, with the dying of a supporting character and a rather grim existence for fan-beloved Seven of Nine.

Star Trek: Reduced Decks rolls back the clock a little bit, as it normally takes area a yr immediately after the occasions of Nemesis, creating it our very first actual see of the Star Trek universe’s rapid future immediately after TNG, DS9 and Voyager. The Dominion War is around, Romulus is underneath a new routine and the crew of the USS Voyager are in essence celebrities immediately after seven decades put in in the Delta Quadrant Picard normally takes area virtually twenty decades afterwards, when the luster would have been long gone.

Matt Kennedy

Right here all the things is just shiny and new and deserving of commemorative plates — a bit of a odd point to exist in a submit-shortage society, but this is a comedy collection, immediately after all. And in this week’s B-plot, Brad Boimler is wanting to get just one of his plates signed by a exclusive visitor to the USS Cerritos: Tom Paris. Or, as Brad refers to the former Voyager crew member, “Creator of Fairhaven, Captain Proton himself” as well as the very first human to crack the transwarp barrier. Straight off, that is a reference to three of the goofiest, oddball and some say worst episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. And just in scenario you forgot what was so poor about the very last just one, Mariner asks “is he even now a salamander?,” simply because that is a point that happened in the episode “Threshold.”

Undeterred (and maybe even inspired) by the weirdness, Boimler is all hyped to meet his hero. Even immediately after the ship’s process does not realize him and will not enable him by means of any doorways, he normally takes to the Jefferies tubes to make his way to the bridge to meet Lt. Paris.

In a way, it feels like a metaphor for how the fandom feels about Star Trek: Voyager now. When every person admits it experienced a large amount of dumb moments, people in fact produced it much more endearing. The famous line “there’s coffee in that nebula” would inspire astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti to provide a duplicate uniform with her and wear it on a mission back in 2015:

And who can ignore the notorious “Tuvix” episode, where crew users Tuvok and Neelix ended up merged into just one getting thanks to a transporter accident? Even though the resulting particular person was healthful and satisfied, the conclusion was produced to drive him to break up back into his ingredient persons, inspiring the recent internet rallying cry “Janeway murdered Tuvix.” Even Janeway actor Kate Mulgrew entered the discussion, responding to a tweet from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. When you have got politicians associated it is not definitely a fandom in-joke any longer.

Maybe it is time to give Voyager a bit much more credit score. It’s not as fantastic as TNG or DS9, but it even now has its fair share of supporters. I recall a time when it appeared like it was consistently running on Spike Tv (now the Paramount Network), as opposed to Deep Area Nine, which is seldom rerun thanks to its serialized mother nature. Past yr I sat down and rewatched the total Star Trek franchise, which includes Voyager, and saw pretty a number of episodes I experienced missed the very first time. I identified myself having fun with some of it, cringing just as usually, and at some point remembering why I experienced stopped observing the clearly show for a while back when it aired. In standard, I feel like the show’s major challenge was missed likely, like the way the conflict in between the Starfleet and Maquis crew users was swiftly smoothed around, how it underutilized a lot of of its forged, and why on earth did Harry Kim never ever get promoted.


Having said that, it is not the work of Reduced Decks to reveal or redeem Voyager. Boimler and Tom Paris are only the B-plot in this article, with the major drive of the episode getting Tendi and Mariner’s mission to decide up a package deal for Doctor T’Ana as well as Rutherford’s quest to come across out how a certain useless officer is alive once more. The episode just asks us to think about what it would be like to be a Starfleet officer and listen to about all of Voyager’s adventures in the Delta Quadrant. Bizarre and goofy? Of course. But truthfully, they are also really neat.

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