Star Trek: Voyager: Future's End   Rewatch 
June 22, 2017 3:19 AM - Season 3, Episode 8 - Subscribe

This is the time-jump of the starship Voyager. Its 1996 mission: To bring Dolly the Cloned Sheep to the 24th century. To prevent the launch of Fox News Channel. To boldly go and see the Spice Girls live! (Part 1 of 2)

Background information provided by those quasi-Cardassian totalitarians at Memory Alpha:

- Despite being credited solely to Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky, this episode's two-parter, according to Braga, also involved the input of other writers from Voyager's writing staff. "It was really a group effort," Braga explained. "It was me and Rick [Berman] and Joe Menosky and the group of writers we had there, at that time. We all had a lot of things we wanted to do."

- Brannon Braga was intent on using this episode's two-parter to set a trend. He recalled, "One of the things I knew I wanted to do was... I got this crazy idea in my head that we would do, we would make it a tradition to do great, epic two-part episodes." Braga also stated, "Voyager started its turnaround for us, personally and creatively, when we did the very first two-parter because we said to ourselves let's start having fun. What's fun to write is fun to watch and we've been toiling with the Maquis storyline and we've been having these angst-ridden characters deal with being lost and it's not much fun to write anymore and we felt that it couldn't possibly be all that fun to watch. Let's let it all hang out and do something insane... What seemed more insane back then – but if you hear about it now it sounds ridiculously antiquated – Voyager in 1996! And we conceived of big action sequences and big concepts with an epic villain [....] Things that we never would have thought of even attempting on The Next Generation or in the early days of Voyager. It's crazy, but we did it and we pulled it off."

- Brannon Braga was ultimately very proud of the creation of the Henry Starling character. "Henry Starling was our first great Voyager villain," Braga declared. "It sounds like a pat on the back, but I think we created great single individual villains and that was the first one, played by Ed Begley Jr."

- In fact, Ed Begley, Jr. was one of Hollywood's most notable environmental activists. Executive producer Rick Berman remarked, "Who better to play a man willing to destroy the environment of the solar system than the most committed conservationist in Hollywood?"

- Begley said of the episode's duology, "They were examples of the kinds of stories that Star Trek has done so well over the years, in films and on the TV series, in which they present the moral dilemma of how an action committed today can have profound implications on the future."

- The opportunity to perform material that was unusual for her drew comedienne Sarah Silverman to accept the role of Rain Robinson. "I'm a stand-up comic too," she remarked, "so I am always sent situation comedies. I saw so much more potential for real humor in this Star Trek, [and the opportunity] to act a little bit more in the realm of reality than in a sitcom [...] I'm unhappy with almost one hundred percent of all sitcoms that are on. I'm just not interested in them [...] but to be able to do a show which is an hour long that takes itself seriously enough that I can look at this character realistically, was just exciting. This was a person that you could go in a few different directions with, instead of like on a sitcom where the roles are so familiar already."

- The precision expected of her dialogue, in this episode's two-parter, took Sarah Silverman aback, somewhat. "I remember I wanted to change one word in the line," she recalled, "and they got the cell phone out. They called the producers. They called the writers. It was wild."

- Although she shared no scenes with Kate Mulgrew, Sarah Silverman was admittedly a fan of hers. "We would work 16-hour days, and they'd say, 'Okay, you can leave,' and I would stay to watch her," Silverman commented. "They'd say, 'How can you not go home?' but I feel like you have to take opportunities to see people when their work is really good. She's really an excellent, professional actor."

- Brannon Braga considered making Rain Robinson a recurring character on the show.

- Paris actor Robert Duncan McNeill enjoyed appearing alongside Tim Russ in this episode's two-parter (as well as the later third season outing "Worst Case Scenario"). "He and I sort of have this odd-couple relationship that [...] surfaced in the two-parter last year," McNeill stated, during Voyager's fourth season. "We have a comic side that comes out of both of us when we share the screen, so those episodes were a lot of fun."

- Tim Russ reminisced, "I'd have to say that 'Future's End' was the most fun episode to shoot. Those were two great weeks. We were outside the studio. We were in the city. We were running around all over the place, different locations and that's just a blast because shooting inside gets to be kind of boring sometimes."

- CGI Effects Director Ron Thornton extremely enjoyed the creation of shots involving Voyager's interactions with a contemporary Earth in this episode's two-parter, such as the newsreel footage at the end of this installment. "We were able to do Voyager flying over Los Angeles, and that was great fun," Thornton enthused, "doing some nice hand-held shots that were supposedly shot with a video camera of this UFO, which was really Voyager flying over LA." Ed Begley, Jr. was impressed by the effects of this episode's two-parter. "I got a kick out of the special effects," he raved. "For a TV show, they really pour it on. They certainly have the best computer graphics on TV. It's film-quality stuff."

- This episode's duology was the first of several two-parters that were produced to air during the all-important sweeps period, soon to become an annual event on Star Trek: Voyager, and eventually led to two-hour movie nights in future seasons of the series.

- There's a very subtle gag in this episode involving the communicators. Right after Voyager receives the "Greeting from Earth" message from Rain Robinson, Harry Kim proceeds to contact the away team on the surface. As the captain's communicator beeps, all of the native Angelenos walking past the away team immediately reach for their cellphones to answer them.

- In the fifth season episode "11:59", a browser called "Browser Hound" by Chronowerx is seen briefly on-screen.

- Although this two-part story is mostly set in 1996, there is no allusion made to the Eugenics Wars which, according to both TOS: "Space Seed" and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, took place at this time. Prior to this episode's first airing, Jeri Taylor told a convention audience, "I think that those of us who entered into the Nineties realize the Eugenics Wars simply aren't happening and we [the writers] chose not to falsify our present, which is a very weird thing to do to be true to it." Furthermore, in an audio commentary for Star Trek: First Contact, Brannon Braga states that it was decided not to have the Eugenics Wars in this episode because "it would just be kind of strange." This decision was also made, however, because Voyager's writing staff didn't want to bog the "Future's End" two-parter down by having to explain the Eugenics Wars to the majority of the audience (who, according to the series' research, were irregular viewers of Voyager and not hard-core fans of the series). The DS9 episode "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" (produced soon after this one) mentions the wars as having taken place in the 22nd century and not the 20th century, which may account for the wars' exclusion from this episode's two-parter (although writer Ronald D. Moore himself admitted that the DS9 episode's dating of the wars was merely an error on his part–recalling the already iffy "two centuries" quote from "Space Seed" and then forgetting that the DS9 episode took place 106 years later, despite Joe Menosky suspecting differently). Ostensibly regarding the Eugenics Wars, Moore also admitted, "I was a little surprised when they didn't mention them in the Voyager episode." The novel series Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars later sought to retcon them as a secret history in which various Augments, largely fighting amongst one another, were responsible for numerous real-life calamities from the early 1990s, making seemingly isolated events all part of one wider conflict; ironically, Los Angeles, the city whose untouched-by-war appearance brought their existence into question, is actually portrayed as an EW "battlefront", its 1992 race riots being one such incident.


"Well, Kathryn, you got us home."

- Chakotay to Janeway


"We could've worn our Starfleet uniforms. I doubt if anyone would've noticed."

- Tuvok on the fashions worn by the late 20th century inhabitants of Los Angeles


"For all l know, she could be my great, great, great... great grandmother."
"She does have your legs."

- Janeway and Chakotay


"Shall I respond, sir?"
"Absolutely not."

- Marie Kaplan and Harry Kim after Rain Robinson sends an extraterrestrial greeting to Voyager


"Come on, take off your shirt."
"And risk dermal dysplasia? No, thank you."
"Aww, Vulcans. Deep down you're all a bunch of hypochondriacs."

- Paris and Tuvok, discussing the California sunshine


"You stay right where you are...you quasi-Cardassian totalitarian!"

- Captain Braxton, insulting a police officer


"Your curves don't look so great."

- Tom Paris, on Rain Robinson's Fourier analysis


Poster's Log:
I enjoy this two-parter a lot, but I feel like the first part is a bit more solid than the second. So much great stuff in here. Paris and Tuvok are a perfect pairing for Trek-style time-travel hijinks, and the casting of the always-great Sarah Silverman was inspired. Ditto Ed Begley Jr. as the goofy villain. (Here's another of Starling's incredible technological innovations: Pt. 1, Pt. 2, and behind the scenes.)

And we get what is undoubtedly Garrett Wang's best line read so far in the series, as quoted above. That one gets me LOLing every time. So, so perfect to his character, his character's rank, his character being saddled with command under these circumstances. Really all of the main cast's interactions with this story are spot-on in terms of feel.

It is of course impossible not to note that the show concept is extremely similar to The Voyage Home, right down to the crew's whimsical misuse of era slang (compare Kirk saying "LDS" with Paris saying "groovy"), but "Future's End" is almost as fun and sweet as TVH, so I for one don't begrudge the similarities.

If I have a gripe, it's that the Starling plotline is a bit tough to swallow: this freaked-out hippie turned out to be some kind of reverse-engineering prodigy? And then was dumb enough to try to steal technology from even further in the future? But whatever, he probably fried a few brain cells pre-1967, if you know what I'm sayin'. And it's not like The Voyage Home was super-plausible either. Besides, the proof is in the pudding: the wacky concept does result in a damn exciting two-parter, with a free-wheeling feel that's not common enough in the franchise. So kudos to Braga et al. for deciding to try something "crazy." When the results are this fun, even us Trekkies are willing to repeat to ourselves, "It's just a show, we should really just relax."

If you missed it in the big Eugenics Wars item above: "the majority of the audience [watching VOY when it aired], according to the series' research, were irregular viewers of Voyager and not hard-core fans of the series." If that's accurate, it explains a lot, and supports some of our suppositions in previous FF discussions (like my own remark about "Sacred Ground" just this week!). As of now, I fully expect Discovery to operate under that same "not catering to the Trekkers*" mentality, for good or ill.

* = BTW, I don't know if this is my own personal terminology or I got it from some documentary or something, but to me, "Trekkies" means people like me—the pretty darn hardcore fans who have seen every episode, consumed some "expanded universe" content like STO and some novels, and have Opinions—whereas "Trekkers" means all that plus you've been to a Trek-specific convention and you own at least one uniform. (Or perhaps more simply: a Trekker is what a Trekkie would be if they had a greater disposable income!)

Poster's Log, Supplemental:
Halloween Jack and I discussed how to handle VOY's two-parters that aren't season-ending cliffhangers (which we were already posting separately, rather than as one thread). We landed on the notion of posting all such episodes separately (as was done in the FF DS9 threads), except for "The Killing Game," both episodes of which were originally aired back-to-back on the same day.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (16 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Starling plotline worked fine for me, because I'd read Steven Levy's book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution some time ago, and some of the 70s-era personal computer pioneers were indeed post-hippies who were grooving on the bits and bytes. In fact, you can think of Starling as an expy of Steve Jobs, who was very hippie-ish (he had difficulty impressing early would-be investors in Apple because he refused to wear shoes) and also was not that technically adept himself, but saw the potential in the work of others, most importantly Steve Wozniak's. There's also another book, The Day After Roswell, written by Philip J. Corso, a former Army officer with a distinguished record, who insisted that much of modern technology was reverse-engineered from the Roswell aliens' craft. (Of course, we here know what really happened.) It's still a stretch, but not so much because of Starling.

My struggle to suspend disbelief tends to center around Braxton, who starts out the episode not only trying to destroy Voyager with everyone aboard, but also expecting Janeway and the crew to go along with it. Seriously, dude? And then there's the matter that Braxton apparently left all of his systems wide open so that Starling could gain complete control over them; imagine a time traveler from our era who went back to the time of Henry V and not only had no sort of biometric or password protection of his time machine's systems, but had it set up to translate commands from Old English. The obvious explanation, which would seem to be confirmed by Braxton's future appearance in "Relativity", is that he's already mentally ill, and thus not only literally expected the crew to lay down and die, but couldn't regain control of his ship and technology from someone who (we'll find out in the next episode, I think) isn't even aware of all of the capabilities and dangers of the tech that he's exploiting. Given that the 24th-century Federation is aware of the possibility of a predestination paradox, I don't see any other way that someone from the temporal arm of Starfleet would run right into one.

Regardless, I really did like this episode as well. Ed Begley, Jr. gets that certain sort of predatory gleam in his eye as Starling, and even though I run hot and cold on Sarah Silverman's comedy, she's perfect as Rain. And even though it might have been a better fit to have Chronowerx in Silicon Valley, I'm glad that they decided to go to Southern California for once, instead of the San Francisco area. They made especially good use of Griffith Observatory, which of course is already known for various appearances in the movies, particularly another one that involves time travel. And they didn't miss the chance to refer to another Trek time-travel episode, as well.

About the Trekker-Trekkie thing: my perspective on the difference is that it's mostly a matter of semantics that sprung up due to the early coverage of Star Trek conventions in the media. Gene Roddenberry often complained that various print and TV outlets would always make a beeline for the goofiest con-goers to interview and take pictures of. I think that there was a definite campaign to relabel Trekkies as Trekkers; IIRC, there were buttons and bumper stickers to that effect. It probably became less of a thing after TNG became really successful and more Trekkies started coming out of the closet.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:11 AM on June 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


Particle of the Week: Surprisingly absent, given all the shenanigans present.
Pointless STO Comparison of the Week: 29th century stuff is huge in recent Star Trek Online metaplot episodes. The timeship featured in this episode can be obtained via cash shop currency, and are deployable as combat pets from a future ship in a recent expansion. (Braxton himself does not appear - events in the episode Jack referenced are as good an excuse for his exclusion as any.)

Ongoing Counts: Rolled forward again.
* Maximum Possible Photon Torpedoes: 24.
* Shuttles: Down 3.
* Crew: 143.
* Other: 47 bio-neural gelpacks remaining, maybe 25-50% of the escape pods should be gone at this point.
* Credulity Straining Alpha Quadrant Contacts: 8.
* Janeway's Big Red Button: 2 aborted self-destructs, 1 successful.

Notes:
* I like this story.

It's true that it's crazy bullshit - the paradox presented by Braxton is especially flimsy, the notion that Braxton didn't secure his ship is ludicrous, etc. etc. etc. I'll even note that Braxton's sidearm has inconsistent effects: while Tuvok's weapon is presumably set to stun, Dunbar's wipes out a pickup truck but leaves no scorch marks when he misses. I noticed dozens of things I could potentially complain about here.

However, I don't really care about any of that because this is a fun story. Tom and Tuvok are a great pairing. Chakotay and Janeway are fun. Sarah Silverman is a lot of fun as Rain here - they avoid a lot of the usual pitfalls with a character like her by making her immediately wise to how ridiculous Tom's cover story is. Ed Begley Jr. was a great one-off villain. Even Neelix and Kes are fun here. Oh, and Harry Kim's first time in the big chair was a pretty awesome disaster.

I'm perfectly willing to offer them suspension of disbeilef about how silly this all is because they kept it moving and they kept it light. I even like Janeway lampshading how ridiculous temporal paradoxes are, and how they just give her a headache. (Normally, I might feel like it was the writers sort of pleading for leeway, but this is such a Trek cliche that I'm totally with her there.)

I also think it's fine to just skip the Eugenics Wars. I don't think they had any choice, really: it would've been an entirely different story, and given the way time travel works in Trek, it just means TNG-era Trek takes place in an slightly different timeline from aired episodes of TOS. (IMO, this was already the case after First Contact, which made a number of adjustments to the story of Zephram Cochrane to make the whole thing flow better.)

So... hm. Yeah, I guess I'm staying lighter on discussion for this half. I'll want to talk more about the bigger issues with the Trek universe stories like this pose after the conclusion, but not here - none of the bigger questions are specific to this story, which is an example of Trek doing time travel pretty well, IMO.

Re: Trekkie/Trekker stuff -
I'm with Jack: I remember a concerted effort to relabel Trekkies. I never really got that myself, and I don't think the distinction much matters in the modern era (where comic book movies and other nerdery dominate the box office).

As of now, I fully expect Discovery to operate under that same "not catering to the Trekkers*" mentality, for good or ill.

Also: this is almost certainly going to be the case. I'm hoping that's a good thing - there's a lot of stuff that could be improved upon in Trek, (some of the worst things I complain about in Voyager are innate to the whole franchise), but I'm not going to get my hopes up.
posted by mordax at 3:47 PM on June 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


lso: this is almost certainly going to be the case. I'm hoping that's a good thing - there's a lot of stuff that could be improved upon in Trek, (some of the worst things I complain about in Voyager are innate to the whole franchise), but I'm not going to get my hopes up

But this would seem to be at odds with the strategy of making Discovery the tent pole for their new stupid streaming service. Who else but committed fans are going to pay money for a new Star Trek series?
posted by DiscourseMarker at 5:47 PM on June 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


But this would seem to be at odds with the strategy of making Discovery the tent pole for their new stupid streaming service. Who else but committed fans are going to pay money for a new Star Trek series?

Very true. I could well imagine the CBS honchoes having a sort of "if we build it, they will come" mentality regarding All Access, which might cause them to dismiss concerns like who the tentpole is intended to appeal to, or whether it's any good. That would all be disastrous, of course, unless some other All Access offering turns out to be a surprise breakout hit, or the demand for old I Love Lucy episodes is way greater than I suspect.

I also think it's fine to just skip the Eugenics Wars. I don't think they had any choice, really: it would've been an entirely different story, and given the way time travel works in Trek, it just means TNG-era Trek takes place in an slightly different timeline from aired episodes of TOS. (IMO, this was already the case after First Contact, which made a number of adjustments to the story of Zephram Cochrane to make the whole thing flow better.)

Really cool point about the wars' omission. Maybe when Kira and O'Brien accidentally went to the '60s, the mere fact that they gave those two zonked-out hippies the peace sign somehow prevented the Eugenics Wars from happening. Maybe one of them was a friend of Starling's, and was somehow inspired by Kira and O'Brien to go to India to buy an authentic sitar, and crossed paths with Khan while there, and now I'm just being silly.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:22 AM on June 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


But this would seem to be at odds with the strategy of making Discovery the tent pole for their new stupid streaming service.

The thing is, starting a new streaming service is already insane, and that notion isn't so different from the one that got Voyager airing in the first place: it was a tentpole for UPN, and they thought not aiming it at fans was the right call. (And while I agree with this specific narrative choice, that was generally a terrible idea.)

Maybe when Kira and O'Brien accidentally went to the '60s, the mere fact that they gave those two zonked-out hippies the peace sign somehow prevented the Eugenics Wars from happening.

Wouldn't be any stranger than that New Visions comic. :)
posted by mordax at 7:42 AM on June 24, 2017


*searches Memory Alpha for "New Visions"*

Well, that…is certainly a concept.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 1:42 PM on June 24, 2017


It is indeed a fun episode. Sure, it isn't tight with continuity and some of the character actions are perhaps not in line with what we might expect in a more seriously considered study of who they are. (I mean Voyager is attacked by a ship from the future with a weapon that could easily destroy it and all the most experienced command personnel go on the away mission leaving Harry in charge?) But it works from the perspective of the character seen in lighter moments, where Janeway just can't resist visiting past earth and Chakotay and Tuvok come along since there really isn't much better options other than Harry in the cast. It's writing with an eye more on enjoyment than deeper purpose, and that's more than fine when it isn't pushing things too far from a character point of view and it does provide the hoped for pleasure.

I liked how they handled Braxton well enough. I thought his almost immediate attack on Voyager was intriguing, amusing, and a fun little exaggeration of character that fits well enough with what they do with him later. The same with Starling, in a sense, making him "bad" enough to pose an interesting threat, but with an eye clearly cocked on providing entertainment that sticks close enough to the "reality" of the show to not be entirely disruptive.

I don't quite get what Braga is saying about this being a "crazy" choice, I mean it's a bit of a change of pace for Voyager, though they've tried "light" episodes before, the Ferengi one just a couple of shows past for example, and it isn't really out of line with some of the previous stuff on TNG, Time's Arrow is not so far off from this I think, TNG also had a few other two parters that seemed to be aiming at what Braga was talking about, and obviously ST:IV is a clear predecessor, but whatever the case, it works well enough so it isn't a big deal, just another example of the writers saying things that seem a bit at odds with what we see and remember from the other series. It does feel like they're purposefully trying to grab something more from TNG for this show hoping to broaden its popularity a bit.

Oh, and regarding the Trekker/Trekkie thing, my memory associates it with the announcement of TNG and the old school hardcore fans wanting to differentiate themselves form the new "poseurs" who were coming late to the game and may even, horror of horrors, prefer TNG to TOS. It's the same deal that comicdom went through a while back with the rise of the movie and the dread discovery some women may find interest in comics and threaten to irrevocably alter the stunted male preserve that some fans clung to.

As for CBS, they are likely relying on hardcore fans to tune in since what else are they gonna do? It isn't like they have lots of other options for new Trek that might expand the continuity. I suspect the Netflix connection will eventually prove the more popular, but that's a guess since I have absolutely no idea what else CBS is relying on to lure fans to their new service. Old episodes of Maude? Whatever the case, I think it'll be a disappointment for CBS overall in regards to their service, but maybe not so bad more generally and hopefully Netflix will pressure them to keep it going for a while. It won't be an exact analog for previous tv versions since the method of delivery is so different that old ratings comparisons won't directly apply, but that still won't guarantee they'll feel the revenue expended on the show is worth that which is coming back, so who knows how long it'll last? Just hope for good reviews and some dedicated support I guess.

Back to the episode: One thing that struck me is how much better the Paris/Tuvok pairing works for humor's sake than Neelix/Tuvok when the jokes are roughly of the same sort. Neelix has some added emphasis on needling Tuvok that Paris can't match, and that's fine, but if much of the attempts at humor had been focused more from Paris it would have worked better overall and broadened the character interactions more as a whole. Neelix would have been better served being a bit less Tuvok oriented and had more time interfering with/helping other characters, in his Neelixy way. He could have provided more balance for cast screentime as more of a generalist rather than having him be more intimately involved with individual story lines. Move some of that more in depth personal interaction to Kes.

All told, this is a fine bit of work for the show. Not an episode, or episodes, I consider Voyager's absolute best work, it's too light hearted for that, but the kind of work that makes the show worth tuning in for. Any complaints would be mostly minor and largely missing the tone of the episodes, so I have none to add at this point, we'll see after the next one how it works in larger context with the series overall.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:13 PM on June 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


- The Trekker/Trekkie thing definitely dates to well before TNG, or even The Motion Picture; I remember it from the seventies, popping up in various fanzines. (I could have sworn that buttons were even for sale in the Lincoln Enterprises catalog, the Roddenberrys' mail-order business, but I can't find any examples online.)

- The thing about the landing party(ies) reminds me that I was thinking that it would be more, well, logical not to have Tuvok be in the away team, since it would be better to send all-human teams to pre-First Contact Earth, in case any of them got hurt. But, as with various aspects of the episode, I had to stop myself from fretting and enjoy Rain being about as non-Edith Keelerish as she could be.

- Ugh, New Voyages. I used to be a huge John Byrne fan back in the day, as in about forty to thirty years ago, but his art has declined in inverse proportion to his general attitude becoming more peevish if not outright obnoxious. (He said that he couldn't buy Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, because he tends to think of blonde Latinas as being hookers, mostly.) The New Voyages "comics" are nothing like the old TOS photonovels, which were nice if you wanted to just look at Trek episodes at your leisure and didn't have a VCR (most households didn't at that time); they're just sort of clumsy remixes of screen captures from TOS, with a few digital additions that are nothing like Byrne's classic comics work.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:01 PM on June 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


The Trekker/Trekkie thing definitely dates to well before TNG, or even The Motion Picture; I remember it from the seventies, popping up in various fanzines.

I'm sure you're right. My memory of it was just that there were some debates over nomenclature among the fans prior to TNG, though the details on it are foggy and it was mostly ignored outside the fandom, but once TNG came along my feeling was some of those debates moved from being about the better name to something more exclusionary. But I was never all that deeply involved in the culture, just knew of some aspects of it secondhand from friends, some sci-fi/comic cons, and from picking up the occasional mention in other sci-fi/cult media related mentions.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:57 AM on June 26, 2017


The away crew thing does also sort of bring to mind questions about how the rest of the crew onboard Voyager would react to being back to Earth, but unable to go down there. There would be, I imagine, some crew members seriously weighing the choice between wanting to stay on 20th century Earth rather than going back to the Delta quadrant for the rest of their lives. If there was ever a time for some members to disobey orders, mutiny, or otherwise just try to get away from Voyager this might be the time, assuming they didn't see 20th century earth like we would the 18th century or something completely unknown. It might be they do, but it doesn't quite fit what we see of their "modern" earth in the show which isn't all that far off 20th century living aside in most aspects.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:08 AM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


If there was ever a time for some members to disobey orders, mutiny, or otherwise just try to get away from Voyager this might be the time, assuming they didn't see 20th century earth like we would the 18th century or something completely unknown. It might be they do, but it doesn't quite fit what we see of their "modern" earth in the show which isn't all that far off 20th century living aside in most aspects.

Not to mention the fact that all of their recreation seems to revolve around 20th century Earth. Still, the gap in time is probably a bit much. Like, most of my recreation lately seems to revolve around (an idealized version of) 14th century Europe, but given the choice, I'd have to be damn desperate indeed to actually want to LIVE in that actual time. From a Starfleet officer's perspective, things we wouldn't think twice about would be practically intolerable, like spending four hours in a car, or doing laundry.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:51 AM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


True, but weigh that against the value of Voyager's database and I'd suspect some might be tempted to Biff it, or be better Starlings. It'd be a big step from a post-want 23rd century, but being top dog can be pretty appealing too, at least compared with having to deal with Kazon and other Delta quadrant dreck for the rest of your life.
posted by gusottertrout at 4:18 AM on June 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, there is no real need for these episodes to be seen outside of the previous timeline exactly. It could just be that Starling's rise acted to prevent the eugenic wars by providing tech that made the underlying conflict less necessary seeming. Same timeline to start with, but new results due to the events we're witnessing. (How that didn't radically change other events leading to the Federation's rise is a separate issue of course, and one could maybe track any additional changes between the time of TOS and Voyager and blame Starling for those too.)
posted by gusottertrout at 4:30 AM on June 26, 2017


Responding back here instead of carrying stuff forward to the new thread. (I assume that's the etiquette.)

Ugh, New Voyages.

I skimmed the first one and it was horrible, yeah. Very jarring. Reminded me of clumsy fan photo manips.

Like, most of my recreation lately seems to revolve around (an idealized version of) 14th century Europe, but given the choice, I'd have to be damn desperate indeed to actually want to LIVE in that actual time. From a Starfleet officer's perspective, things we wouldn't think twice about would be practically intolerable, like spending four hours in a car, or doing laundry.

Agreed. I feel like they sort of addressed this with B'Ellana and Chakotay talking about it, too. Like, that wistful, 'wouldn't it be fun, but nah' talk in the shuttle.

Incidentally, there is no real need for these episodes to be seen outside of the previous timeline exactly. It could just be that Starling's rise acted to prevent the eugenic wars by providing tech that made the underlying conflict less necessary seeming.

That creates multiple timelines, at least by the theory that Trek mostly cribs from. Like, you don't change the past, you create and inhabit a new past while the old past still exists in parallel. This is explicit as of nuTrek, where the JJ films take place in the 'Kelvin timeline.'

TOS had Eugenics Wars in the 90s, while TNG-era Trek had them later, (First Contact), and Enterprise had them not at all.

Of course, per the new thread, Trek is inconsistent about even this, but I prefer it because otherwise stuff is created from nowhere - like, the tech from Braxton's ship is the genesis for the tech from Braxton's ship, which is paradoxical. But if it came from an alternate timeline, it's not paradoxical, it's just messy, if that makes sense?
posted by mordax at 9:28 AM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


That creates multiple timelines, at least by the theory that Trek mostly cribs from.

The problem with that, for both this episode and many others in the franchise, is that it removes the possibility for correction as once a change has been made there is no fixing it since it's a new timeline, which makes the temporal police pointless and all their fretting about not contaminating a timeline largely empty of meaning. They, essentially, want to have it both ways, where timelines matter in maintaining future continuity and where they don't so they can write what they want without problem. Personally, I find the way shows and movies play with timelines to be about as exciting as their fetish for prophecies, and generally working about the same way, where they often aim for a big oooh moment based more on confounding viewer expectation based on previous genre experience more than any deep thoughts on the metaphysics involved. Which is fine since most writers surely aren't all that equipped to deal with such things anyway.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:50 AM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


assuming they didn't see 20th century earth like we would the 18th century or something completely unknown

Given the standards of medical treatment in the 24th century, being subject to late 20th century medicine might well seem as horrific to them as living in a pre-antibiotic era would be for us. See also McCoy's comments about the state of 20th century medicine in TVH.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:41 AM on January 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


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