Created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor, based on Gene Roddenberry’s universe
Starring Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Roxann Biggs-Dawson, Jeri Ryan, Robert Duncan McNeill, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Garrett Wang, and Tim Russ.
- All twenty-five fifth season episodes
- Braving the Unknown: Season 5 featurette
- Voyager Time Capsules for B’Elanna Torres and Tom Paris
- The Borg Queen Speaks
- Delta Quadrant Makeup Magic
- Photo gallery
Released by Paramount
Rating: NR, suitable for audiences 12+
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 TV aspect
My Advice: Pass.
The geriatric Star Trek franchise creaked along in 2000 with this fifth season in the Voyager series, boldly going where Lost in Space had gone before. Despite a few bright spots in choice episodes, the characters were still mostly unlikeable and the writing strove desperately to rise above the creative constraints of the show’s premise and established continuity. The biggest problem here is a heavy over-reliance on the Borg as a constant source of dramatic tension, setting them up as the big scary problem to overcome in nearly a fifth of the season’s episodes. There’s also just a little too much time-travel weirdness thrown around to give the writers excuses to escape the conceits of the show.
[ad#longpost]As in previous seasons, the best of this season comes from shining the spotlight on “secondary” crew members whenever possible. Kim (Garrett Wang) gets a couple of scripts in which to shine this season, and they make up some of the more enjoyable episodes of the season. Teamed up with crewmate Chakotay (Robert Beltran), we see Kim in a possible future in which Voyager crash lands, killing the rest of the crew, and the remaining duo must figure out a way to send a message back in time to avert the disaster that led to their being marooned on a harsh arctic planet. He also gets a little romantic action, violating several Federation directives, and lands himself a case of alien clap for his troubles.
Seven of Nine (Ryan) continues to get some spotlight in her second season, confronting the Borg Queen (Susanna Thompson) in the season’s two-part centerpiece. The interplay between those two characters makes for some memorable TV, as Seven fights the lure of rejoining the Collective while Janeway and Co. frantically try to figure out a rescue plan. Seven also gets thrown back in time to avert a sabotage on the ship during Janeway’s first day onboard (which makes one wonder why they can’t go back in time and simply avert the disaster that led to them all being lost in the depths of the Delta Quadrant in the first place). Most interesting of the Seven of Nine episodes, though, is the weird romance with the ship’s hologram doctor in “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
As with all Star Trek sets, this one is heavily stacked with bonus material, making it a treasure trove for die-hard Voyager fans (all two of ’em). Thompson gets a featurette of her very own, as do the ship’s token crewmember couple. There are the standard season overview and FX features, and a still photo gallery. It lacks for commentaries, as all the seasons have in any of the Trek shows. Someone should at least attempt to bribe the Okudas into doing text commentary as they have for the movies, but perhaps even they are not die-hard enough Trekkies to stomach this part of the franchise for long stretches.
Given that the sum total of solid watchable episodes here numbers less than half of the total season, this really isn’t one to add to the collection. A rental would be sufficient to pull out the highlight episodes and enjoy them, or perhaps setting up the Tivo to catch those episodes when they air somewhere in syndication.