Getting a re-release from Paramount Pictures today, in a fantastic new slipcase package, Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series comes home.
Premiering in January of 1995, half way through the third season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and half a year following the conclusion of The Next Generation, the series got away from the problems of the Alpha Quadrant, and threw the new adventure in the far off unexplored region of the Delta Quadrant. From there, it became part, Lost In Space and part Homer’s Odyssey as the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager tried to find a way across the seemingly insurmountable light years and get home to Earth.
For the first time, the show’s lead, and Voyager’s captain, was a woman, Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew). She and her crew were assigned to track down a group of rebels led by Chakotay (Robert Beltran) when a spatial anomaly sends both ships far into the Delta Quadrant (the other side of the universe) and marooning them there.
By bringing together two crews with conflicting viewpoints the show generated shipboard drama, even as they encountered strange worlds, new life and new civilisations. Over the course of 168 episodes the series gave us exploration, discovery and a simple mission – getting home.
With an expansive crew including the Vulcan Tuvok (Tim Russ), half-Klingon engineering officer, B’Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson), a holographic Doctor (Robert Picardo), a helmsman with a criminal past, Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) and an untried ensign, Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) the crew of the Voyager are almost prepared for what they will encounter. Along the way home, more will join their crew, including self-appointed morale office, Neelix (Ethan Phillips) and fan favourite, and recovering Borg, Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan).
The ship, smaller than most incarnations of the Enterprise, is nicely designed, familiar to the eye with its forward hull and nacelles, and unlike those ships, Voyager is capable of making planetfall. It added some nice visual drama, and while I will always be a fan of the original Enterprise, there is something about the sleek design of Voyager that I find appealing.
The series, like those that came before it held to Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a better future, while humanity proved itself out among the stars. And, just like the previous explorations, not all the episodes are winners, but the series, as a whole is increasingly solid and profoundly enjoyable the further it progressed through the seasons.
There are new dangerous enemies, spatial and temporal anomalies, and all manner of strange encounters as the crew try to find their way home, and it wouldn’t be modern Star Trek without a holodeck error or two. And while the ship follows Starfleet regulations, it is readily apparent that the years travelling together have turned them into a family, not just a crew.
And now, it’s all here, in one beautiful slipcase set, that looks quite at home with the rest of one’s Trek collection. It not only contains all the episodes of the seven year run, but also all the extras that were included in the previous release of the series – character profiles, behind the scenes of episodes, and seasons, a fount of information for the diehard Trek fan.
In the coming months, as my exploration of Star Trek continues, I will be tackling this series episode by episode, and just seeing this collection sitting on my shelf, along side the rest of my Trek collection fills me with anticipation.
So many wonders to behold and adventures to take. Join me won’t you?
Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series is available today from Paramount Pictures, your collection needs it!