Happy Birthday Voyager!

Voyager

Re: Happy Birthday Voyager!

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:20 am

Voyager was a pretty troubled show behind the scenes, from what I've read here and there. Most of it's rumour, of the maybe-true, maybe-not, variety. But it does seem to make sense to me. Some examples...

The original plan was to have much more conflict between Starfleet and the Maquis crewmen. But after the pilot orders came down from the studio that this entire thing had to be downplayed massively. So having set that up as a fundamental asepct of the show, it was unceremoniously ditched.

Shortly before shooting began, Berman got the cast together at a luncheon and informed everyone that the Powers That Be wanted the aliens to be the show's "real stars", and that the human characters were forbidden to steal the spotlight. Since this meant lots of aliens and guest stars, it made it hard to write cheap "bottle" episodes. This is why the show focused so much on the EMH, and why we got the Baby Borgs on Voyager to pad out the "alien" crew.

Michael Piller wanted an increasing sense of desperation and a drift away from "Starfleet heroes". He's why we got less-than-perfect crew such as Seska, Jonas, and Suder. But Brannon Braga didn't like writing characters that other people had created, and Jeri Taylor hated all of them, so she killed them all off.

Both Kate Mulgrew and Garret Wang wanted their characters to be gay, but the producers chickened out. And Star Trek, which so often prided itself on having a multi-ethnic cast and breaking barriers of race and sexism (which it really didn't do nearly as much as it claimed it did)... has still never had one single openly gay character.

Janeway's character was so inconsistently written that Kate Mulgrew has expressed the opinion at conventions that the character may suffer from bipolar disorder.

When DS9 wrapped, Ron D. Moore was asked to come work on Voyager by Rick Berman. Brannon Braga was pissed at that, and took to relocating staff writer's meetings to his house without telling Moore about it. He was also amazed and disgusted at how little any of the crew seemed to care about the show. The last straw was reportedly when he asked what B'Elanna's reaction to a certain situation would be, and got the reply "We don't know, do whatever you want." As Moore put it, he could have sat in his office and done nothing all day, every day, just picking up the paycheque and everybody would have been fine with it - but he couldn't stand to make money for nothing, so he left.

Robert Beltran signed up to do the show specifically because he wanted to work with Genevive Bujold, who was signed to do Janeway. When Bujold left, Beltran lost his major reason for being in the show. He grew to actively hate Voyager, but they refused to let him leave. So for the last couple of years of the show, he got maybe a couple of lines in most of the episodes.

Garrett Wang was in line to be fired - that's why he got the 8472 infection in Scorpion 1, they were going to kill him in part 2. But in the season break he was voted onto some magazine's "Sexiest male stars" poll, so the producers decided he must be an audience draw and fired Kes instead.

Kate Mulgrew reportedly didn't like the Seven of Nine character much, especially once Seven became super-popular and started getting a LOT of focus in the episodes - and none of this was helped by the fact that Jeri Ryan was sleeping with Brannon Braga at the time.


Kind of amazing that it turned out as well as it did, really.
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Re: Happy Birthday Voyager!

Postby Teaos » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:58 am

Has a studio even sent downa directive to a show that helped it out in the end? Ever time I hear "Studio says X" it always turns out to be bad.
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Re: Happy Birthday Voyager!

Postby Reliant121 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:16 pm

If even half of that is true then it explains an awful lot of Voyager's problems...
"He was the best of us. They struck without provocation, there was no reason. Animals! Brutal! They deserve no mercy! Strike them down, follow them back to their base and kill all of them, all of them! No mercy!" - Delenn
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Re: Happy Birthday Voyager!

Postby Graham Kennedy » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:31 pm

Teaos wrote:Has a studio even sent downa directive to a show that helped it out in the end? Ever time I hear "Studio says X" it always turns out to be bad.

In First Contact, the reason we got the scene inside the "Borg Chamber" where E-E crewmembers were having limbs removed, holo-eyes put in, etc, was that one of the studio executives who watched an early version of the film felt that the nature of the Borg wasn't clear enough to the audience. She directed them to film a scene showing the Borg doing their thing more fully.

Seems like a nice addition to the movie to me.
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