One of my favorite media blogs, the AV Club (Alasdair's other workplace), has posted a reflection on one of the most divisive Star Trek series of them all: Voyager. As much as I love the series, I can never overlook its flaws. It's a show with a premise that was never fully utilized, keeping it from ever exceeding its potential. Still, there's a lot to like about of its characters and few truly great episodes sprinkled throughout lackluster seasons riddled with tonal inconsistencies and forgetful continuity. The AV Club piece goes over what worked and what didn't work on the good ship Voyager.
Here are some bits from the write-up.
At the time of Voyager’s planning, each of the three executive producers was also overseeing some other arm of the Star Trek property ...Perhaps this creative overextension accounts for Voyager’s milquetoast introduction.
The main reason Voyager fails to make as strong an impression as its counterparts is its bland characters and repetitive stories. Like a Lost knockoff that retains the flashbacks but loses the intrigue, Voyager keeps telling the same stories about the same people, most of whom are defined by a single characteristic.
...Voyager essentially ditches the ensemble focus that defines the Star Trek sequels in favor of a classic trio, Janeway, the Doctor, and Seven. There’s no Kirk-Spock-McCoy tension, exactly. Janeway doesn’t balance the other two. But these core relationships are so compelling that defanged Maquis and eager-beaver ensigns can’t compete.
Voyager may have presided over the property’s decline, such as it was, but looking back, Voyager eventually found what it was looking for: not just plot resolution, but also a character study about strong personalities longing for a place they can call home.