Star Trek: Voyager

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Fandom
Name: Star Trek: Voyager
Abbreviation(s): VOY
Creator: Rick Berman, Michael Piller, Jeri Taylor
Date(s): 1995-2001
Medium: Television series
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: IMDB page

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Contents

Star Trek: Voyager is the fourth live-action television series set in the Star Trek universe. It aired for 172 episodes over 7 seasons, between January, 1995 and May, 2001, and was followed by a short-lived 'Relaunch' series of novels[1] in June, 2003.

Show Synopsis

The show follows the adventures of the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager, stranded 70 years from home in the Deltra Quadrant, as they meet new species and try to find a way back to the Alpha Quadrant. In the pilot episode, Voyager winds up in the Delta Quadrant while tracking a group of Maquis rebels (a group of renegade Federation citizens), so the Maquis rebels they find are incorporated into the starship's crew. Tensions between the Maquis crew and Starfleet crew feature in early episodes, but this theme is abandoned in later seasons.

Voyager is the first (and only) series in the franchise to feature a female captain as a main character. The fact that the first thing the first female captain does is get lost has resulted in criticism from some fans.

The main characters are

Name Position Loyalty Species
Captain Kathryn Janeway starship captain Starfleet Human
Commander Chakotay first officer Maquis Human
Lt. B'Elanna Torres Chief Engineer Maquis Human/Klingon
Lt. Commander Tuvok security chief Starfleet Vulcan
Lt. Tom Paris pilot Starfleet/Maquis Human
Ensign Harry Kim operations Starfleet Human
Neelix chef private citizen (Delta Quadrant) Talaxian
Kes hydroponics, medical private citizen (Delta Quadrant) Ocampa
Seven of Nine astrometrics private citizen (Alpha Quadrant) Borg
The Doctor chief medical officer Starfleet hologram

The new setting was designed to allow for the invention of new species, including new enemies like the Kazon (often described as a pale imitation of the more popular Klingons). However, Q and especially the Borg (both from Star Trek: The Next Generation) also appear, and fans have criticized the show for making the Borg less frightening.

Fandom

Much of early Voyager fandom was centered around the alt.startrek.creative (ASC) usegroup and a number of general and pairing specific mailing lists. Much of the fiction produced by these lists were stored at multi-author archives maintained by their members, many of which were lost with the death of Geocities. After the show's conclusion, and the advent of livejournal, many authors migrated there.

Fannish Reaction

One fan, Randall Landers of Orion Press has some strong opinions, some of which are shared by other fans, about Star Trek: DS9 and Star Trek: Voyager:

"Rick Berman and Brannon Braga completely failed with their "vision" for Modern Trek. Next Generation was on auto-pilot when Berman took over, and Deep Space Nine was controlled by Michael Piller and Ira Steven Behr. Berman and Braga wrested control of Voyager from Jeri Taylor, and then ruined it (Chakotay/Seven? Puh-leeeez!). And then when they came up with this temporal war nonsense, I was critical from the start. They ruined the Vulcans by turning them into interstellar assholes. As a result, I couldn't stand much of Enterprise. I liked "North Star" and some of the Andorian episodes fairly well, but that was it. By the time they had turned the creative reins over to Manny Coto, it was too late. He tried, and was giving it a valiant effort, and then they came back in, wrote the finale, killing the most popular character, well, it was a giant "fuck you" to the fans, just as the "space nazis" of the Enterprise third season finale (they didn't expect the series to be renewed, so they put out this piece of crap as the finale) and Nemesis had been. Frankly, if they ever let Rick Berman back into the Star Trek studios, it'll all be over for Star Trek. His last ditch film effort was canned, so good riddance!" [2]

Fanfiction

The fandom was unusual in that it had two main het, slash, and femslash pairings, with fairly amicable relations between different groups of fans (many fans of one pairing were fans of another without perceived conflict).

Het

The fandom was generally weighted towards the het pairing in terms of sheer popularity, with those stories focused mainly on Janeway/Chakotay (the largest of the het pairings) and Paris/Torres. Others het pairings included Janeway/Paris, Harry/Seven, Doctor/Seven, Doctor/Kes and Chakotay/Torres. While a pairing of Chakotay/Seven was reviled by many fans as being introduced towards the very end of the series with no prior buildup, some fans were supporters of this pairing, such as members of csfic list.

Slash and Femslash

Fan art depicting Capt. Janeway. This art was used in The Cardassian Mask, a fanzine published around 1996. Artist: L.R. Bowen. She writes: Mechanical pencil in various lead weights. For the zine printing itself I toned it in Photoshop.

Chakotay/Paris, with their enemyslash dynamic, and Paris/Kim slash had a strong following right from the beginning. After Seven of Nine joined the crew, Janeway/Seven became the pairing that heavily drew Xena/Gabrielle writers into the Voyager fandom and B'Elanna/Seven with their more antagonistic relationship followed soon after.

Notable Stories

Vids

Fanzines

For a list with Voyager zines see: Star Trek: Voyager/Fanzines.

Communities

Archives and Websites

Endgame, the Final Episode

Voyager's final two-part episode proved to be extremely controversial within the fandom. Not only did it feature time travel and a heavy Borg presence, two story tropes often singled out as being over-used throughout the show's run, but it saw the sudden introduction of a romantic relationship between Seven of Nine and Chakotay which was unexpected for everyone as there was no previous interaction that indicated a romantic interest on either side. This development was seen as being little more than a calculated slap in the face of the fans because it killed several popular ships at the same time. Such was the negative reactions to Endgame among the J/C shippers that a 'Die Seven Die!' challenge to the ASC ultimately garnered over 100 responses[3] and spawned a short-lived sub-genre of Seven death fics.

Discontent was so widespread that two separate groups of fans began virtual season projects to provide fans with alternate, more satisfactory endings to the series. One group of respected BNFs decided to collaborate and re-write not just Endgame, but the entire second half of Voyager's 7th season. The result was the Voyager Virtual Season 7.5 project [4], an acclaimed but ultimately unfinished work spanning three 'seasons'. Another group of fans, led by Executive Producer Thinkey opted to begin their virtual season after the events of Endgame, and Voyager Virtual Season Eight (VVS8) was launched in June 2001.[5] A second season -- Voyager Virtual Season 9 -- followed, and the combined seasons were known as the Voyager Virtual Season Project (VVSP).[6]

Endgame was one of the reasons Orion Press discontinued all of its non-Classic Trek zine publishing. From Randall Landers explains on the press's webpage:

Why did Orion Press drop all of its non-Classic Trek material from the website?

Answer: This was not an easy decision for me to make, and it hurt a lot of people's feelings, including some very dear friends. Long time readers know that we have published 152 non-Classic Trek fanzines over the years from 1987 until 2001 (that's slightly more than the Classic Trek zines we published, especially if you discount the reprint anthologies). We sold more copies of those 152 non-Classic Trek fanzines on average than our Classic Trek fanzines, got more acclaim and won more awards for them, and were even recognized as THE fanzine source for Next Generation and Voyager zines. But in May 2001, Voyager's producers (Berman and Braga) unleashed the series finale, "Endgame," on fandom, and I sat there, stunned in complete disbelief, at how fans had been crapped upon by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga (something they would do again in the Enterprise series finale and in their last Star Trek film, Nemesis). I made the decision then and there to shut down our non-Classic Trek operations. I gave everyone notice to save their TNG, DS9 and VOY stories to files (many did, many more did not), sent all the TNG, DS9 and VOY zine masters back to their editors (none of them really kept their zines going), and basically I divorced myself from Modern Trek. Oh, it pissed off some friends of mine who felt that I had somehow betrayed them, and while I can't understand that, I do feel for them. None of them really seemed interested in trying to keep their zines going; they had come to rely on Orion Press to publish all their stuff. I, however, decided to not only maintain our Classic Trek website, but to expand it further.[7]

References

  1. Trek Today article on the Voyager relaunch. Published February 16, 2003
  2. from Orion Press: Questions and Answers, accessed March 10, 2012
  3. Die, Seven, Die Story Archive
  4. Virtual Voyager Season 7.5 Project homepage. Accessed Novemeber 2, 2008.
  5. Lisa. Voyager Virtual Season 8 Launches, published on 22 June 2001 at TrekToday. (Accessed 9 March 2011.)
  6. Voyager Virtual Season Project
  7. Orion Press, accessed 12.7.2010
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