Star Trek Voyager Season Three Rewritten
A Look in History
Star Trek: Voyager came at a very pivotal time in pop culture. The first two Treks and DS9 respectively only had your basic media coverage to spread the word. Magazines, news reels, Trek conventions full of devoted followers who probably knew more than you'd ever imagine about what went on behind the scenes.
Now, we all ready knew that Voyager was coming along. Jonathan Frakes told audiences during a special behind-the-scenes episode of Next Generation. (I dimly recall it was before some major marathon or special or whatever) I was in fourth grade at the time and Voyager began about two years later.
It was the first Trek my mother really got into, because, One: There's a woman captain and Two: Kate Mulgrew was an up and coming TV actress in a lot of shows my mother watched, like Ryan's Hope and Cheers.
Crawford's Random Thoughts About The Borg
1: Why do the Borg need life support in every section of the ship? And before you rush to the comments section with, "Well they need oxygen for their organic parts" stop right there. In First Contact we see that the Borg can clearly work in the friggen vacuum of space without so much as a defensive remark about how the cold is effecting their *ahem* implants.
And we know First Contact is a part of canon because it is referenced several times during Seven of Nine's run.
Oxygen may be needed in the maturation chambers, where Borg bring fetal and infant organisms for assimilation. It may even be required for the actual assimilation areas of the ship, but these are areas that are specifically designated for the temporary housing of potential drones during and up to the assimilation process.
You don't need oxygen in every section of the ship. And it certainly isn't required to generate the level of heat the Borg like, so using oxygen for every nook and cranny doesn't seem like an efficient use of resources. It certainly doesn't seem like a smart move when you consider how many times Starfleet has been able to infiltrate a Borg cube with the intent of blowing them up.
How hard would it be for the redshirts to operate if you kept the critical areas of your ship free of lifesupporting chemicals and gasses? Or at the very least, if you do need oxygen for the entire ship, how about turning it off when those wandering non-drones armed with phaser rifles are declared a threat. Slows them down and the Borg aren't effected by the temporary drop in O2. Everyone wins.
2: Why do the Borg only ever send one ship to Earth? I get that they prefer efficiency before overkill, but the great thing about overkill is that it generally guarantees a kill. When one cube isn't quite doing the trick, two takes the bitter taste down a notch.
3: If you're going to travel back in time to when Earth wasn't advanced enough to defend itself, why attack Earth in the twenty-fourth century first? Haven't you realized that when you give the Federation time to figure out your plan you pretty much lose? Did you assimilate a James Bond Villans appreciation club before going to Earth?
Before the Caretaker even aired, the writers at TV Guide were all ready gushing over several major points. And, because of the Internet, (which you'll notice I tend to site quite a bit on my hubs) a lot of fans were all ready making speculations about the direction Voyager would take, especially when they found out that Voyager was going to be stranded in a previously uncharted part of space.
First, there was the fact that the ship could land. Well, this was a full year before The 37's, so naturally if that ship didn't land soon then forum posters all over the Internet would begin calling foul. And at this time in late 1995, the Internet chatter was all ready having a major effect on the ratings of major TV shows.
So we got our landing starship, twice.
The second major point that had a lot of Next Generation fans practically wetting themselves over was the fact that the Borg were in the Delta Quadrant. So naturally, even though space is infinitely vast, with literally millions upon millions of possible routes from point A to point B, Voyager would inevitably run face first into a Brog cube like Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner into a wall.
But...what the hell? A decayed Borg corpse on a planet full of aliens who were forced to live underground? A colony of ex-Borg drones? Seriously. That was what we were treated to over the course of season three, right up until the species 8472 concept was introduced in the two part episode: Scorpion.
Now I'm not saying the Ex-Drones were a totally bad idea. But it was poorly executed and in this instance, Janeway showed some real tunnel vision by only giving the collectivists their assistance. How did she know the collectivists were the good guys?
Yes, they saved Chakotay. But their plan of "uniting" their attackers by re-establishing the Borg showed lack of regard for what said attackers were thinking, or for that matter, whether or not they were the bad guys to begin with. Perhaps the fact that the people who had stolen a good chunk of their lives and forced them into a blind slave labor in the first place want to do the same thing again is what has them a little miffed.
In the end, season three was even more wasted potential. Especially now that one of the Federation's most insurmountable and persistent enemies was going to be up Voyager's ass like a swarm of wasps to an Olympic-sized pool full of honey. Just like the tension between the Federation crew and a handful of guerilla soldiers, not to mention Janeway and Chakotay, the looming threat of the Borg and the challenge of having to cross their space should have been built up rather than suggested at three or four times and finally dropped on us in the two part finale.
So it's with that in mind that we open Season Three with our old friends the Vidians.
The Story Arc: Plot A
A Vidian ship has been tailing Voyager for a while; scanning warp trails, following leads on other planets, and getting into dangerous firefights with other races who are quite frankly tired of being pressed into donating organs.
Finally, paydirt! A disabled Borg shuttle craft is floating in space. The Vidians are naturally cautious, but the chief medical officer senses pay dirt. The Borg have replicating technology and prosthetics. For the Vidians, studying Borg technology could lead to a cure for the Phage. Worse case scenario, all they find are a bunch of drones, but hey, if one of those drones happens to be a Klingon then that could give them the cells and DNA they need to find a cure as well.
The Vidians board the ship. The drones are mostly inactive or dead until someone gets an itchy trigger finger, inadvertantly re-activiating the drones. The Vidians, being too weak from the Phage to make effective drones, are quickly killed by the Borg. However, another cube emerges. Is this the one that assimilated the Kazon vessel in the last episode?
It must be, because the Borg have a detailed catalog of all of the alien races they've assimilated and the Vidians have been harvesting and transplating organs from other races for years now. While the Vidians themselves are basically useless as drones, the Borg still recognize organs that are unique to several species located in the Alpha Quadrant, including Species 5618: AKA, Humans.
They quickly assimilate the ship and discover that Voyager is the source of the replicator found on the Kazon vessel. Now, Voyager isn't a threat as far as the Drones are concerned. It's the Borg's MO not to bother you unless you have something they want or unless you're caught wandering through their ship, trying to kill them or trying to change the station on their car stereos.
However, the Borg are now adamently interested in assimilating Voyager. Remember, we the viewer, have seen First Contact. We know the Borg Queen is much more complicated than the hive and that she does not like to be defeated. Humanity has time and again resisted the Borg's attempts to assimilate their world and it undermines her major mission statement of Resistance is Futile.
That's right. Resistance is Futile. Not "Third TIme's the Charm". At this moment, now that we are here and ready to bring your planet into the fold, there is literally no point in trying to put up a fight. So if you can hand over all of the keys that'd be great.
The season opener ends with the Borg Queen seeing what her drones have seen aboard the Vidian ship. We then see an image Voyager, taken from the Vidian computers and fade to black.
Major Character Development
Neelix and Kes break up. Kes still misses Tanis, but feels his presence strangely. Also, she has been in telepathic contact with the Ocampa who remained behind on New Earth. The few of them that remained with Voyager were crucial in saving Kes when she was taken over by an alien warlord, but it was during this time that Kes finally grew tired of Neelix's jealousy issues and decides to end it. They'll still be friends, but relationship wise that's as far as it will ever go.
The Holographic doctor begins to break down after being run for nearly two years. This will fuel the Plot B story Arc of the first half of season three. Tom will be torn between Sickbay and Conn as he and Kes have to take on much of the Doctor's responsibilities in Sick Bay.
The EMH Diagnostic program will have a slight character arc of his own that lasts beyond the one episode he got in the original version of Voyager. Because I don't waste potential characters.
Plot C will occur as a sort of uncomfortable love triangle develops between Chakotay, Janeway, and a new character by the name of Declan Cole. Declan is one of the new crew members who signed on from New Earth and it turns out his ancestry leads to Indiana, where Janeway is from. This leads to several scenes of bonding which are quite uncomfortable to Chakotay. (Hey, he showed her his medicine bundle, dammit.)
Of course the relationship angle for Janeway will all come crashing down on her when Q shows up again. (Yeah, Q is still in my version of Voyager because I happen to think Delancy plays very nicely off of Mulgrew.)
Tom and Be'Lanna are developing their relationship after an incident with Jeri Taylor's Vulcan son causes Be'Lanna to go into Pon Farr.
Tuvok and Neelix have it out on a planet being pounded by asteroids. Tuvok admits that maybe he was being a bit of an ass, but he also points out that Neelix has issues regarding personal space and accepting limitations that other people give him.
Other Character Developments
One of the new crewmembers is going to provide our gay character. His infatuation with Tom Paris will be a focus of one episode and a source of amusement for Harry Kim abd Be'Lanna.
Harry himself will have a bit of a reputation when he accidentally declares his love for the wrong Delany sister to the one who actually likes him. Captain Zoom to the rescue.
As stated, the EMH's cascading is going to take place over the course of the episode. Remember what I was saying about crew relations being strained over the deaths of crewmembers? Well, how bad would it be if the closest thing you have to a functioning medical officer was slowly slipping into dementia?
Kes is still technically a nurse in training. Yeah, she can teach herself quite a bit, but there are procedures she is not qualified to do and yet, as she has signficantly more experience than Tom Paris she is now the senior medical officer. Tom only has two semesters of organic chemistry. That does not a doctor make.
And what could be even worse than having the doctor slip on you at a crucial time? Having the Borg show up and try to assimilate your ass.
So with Captain Janeway's hands tied up with the Borg, it's up to Kes, Tom, Be'Lanna and the EMH diagnostic program to solve the problem of the Doctor. Oh and Tom has to pilot the ship as well. That's going to put ten years on your face.
The Two Part Season Finale
For those of you who thought I was dropping the Captain Braxton storyline...you were so dead on I want to give you a cookie for your astuteness. But yeah, the Time Ship Federation Future crap is done. Dead. At least, until we get to the Year of Hell, which, by the way, will actually go on for a year and not just one friggen episode.
And yes, the Doctor still gets to leave the ship. Sit tight and watch.
The Two Part Season Finale involves a showdown with the Borg Cube. There's more than enough action and drama to cover season two and the build up to this moment is a far better introduction than the writers gave us originally.
People are killed, including Janeway's potential lover, which I know is kinda cliche but character deaths happen. It's a fact of life.
In addition to sacrificing himself by grafting his program to the doctor's. The EMH-Diagnostic Program utilizes Borg technology, acquired during the initial battle, to create a mobile emitter for the doctor. This allows the doctor to leave sickbay and rescue a number of crewmen who would have otherwise died.
Two main characters dead (Declan and the EMH-D) and Voyager once again largely crippled from the Borg battle, the crew limps on.