I want to resurrect this thread because I freaking love Star Trek. So just to stir up some conversation I'm going to take a different stance on a few points you made Sarge. First let's start with a background:
I have grown up watching Star Trek TNG. I love it. A bonding experience with my brother and father. TNG is and will remain as my most favorite of the series and not just because of nostalgia, I will touch more on that later. I will go through these but a little out of order and surprise surprise I'm saving TNG for last.
Voyager - Is fantastic because of the story line and a few of the characters.
Lets start off with what I disliked and end on a good note! I expect some hate and backlash from this but I despised B'Elanna. Her character made sense, don't get me wrong, I can't image being half human while trying to figure out the rage and insanity of half Klingon inside of you. So I understand how they designed her character but I couldn't help but get tired and sigh a bit when there was going to be a heavy B'Elanna episode. She would whine and be a constant pain in the ass to everyone, this was the leading reason why she was such a turnoff for me.For Janeway, she seemed to just be a female Picard. She stuck to her guns and made the hard decisions when they were necessary. She was a Starfleet Captain through and through, that much was very apparent. Her original decision though to destroy the Caretakers array in order to keep the technology out of the hands of the Kazon is dumb. She has a duty to her crew and mission. The Kazon are pretty thickheaded so it could be a very long time before they even figure out how to use the technology. What's to say they will just cruise on over and start attacking the Federation? They know NOTHING about where Janeway comes from, the likely hood of them using this technology in such a manor is a far reach at best. Also, isn't Janeway MUCH more worried about the Borg who are well known to be in the Delta Quadrant? Janeway messed up and I don't think she would make this big of a mistake being the kind of Captain that she is.
Now for the GOOD! I will touch on two characters that I really think made the season a hit. Our friends the EMH and Feelix. The take on the EMH was quite fitting and easily lovable. Though the laws and physics that govern holographic 'people?' in the realm of Star Trek seem to cross lines across all the series, this one really delves into the mysteries. Its fun to see the doctor begin to explore what it is to come 'alive' in a sense. Many of the Doctor episodes remind me of Data trying to become more human but without too much of the same. They are funny and laughable at times but also dark as you seem them realize that humans deal with emotions and difficult decisions every day. Now for Neelix...I will say at first I hated him. I thought his character was going lack substance and be nothing more than a comedic relief. I'm glad I was wrong. Like any good Trek character he shares knowledge and experiences with the crew and embraces the 'bartender' role of the ship. Like Guinan! One off the most standout Neelix episodes for me is "Tuvix". What a fantastic Voyager episode! I think I teared up when Tuvix knew that he was about to be executed. I am constantly rotating through series TNG,VOY,DS9,ENT, but every now and then I deviate from my lineup and watch this episode...so good.
DS9 - I am currently working my way through this one so it's pretty fresh in my mind. It is a phenomenal series and deserves more accolades than it seems to receive; at least from the Trek people that I talk to. If I remember correctly, the show was only made after Roddenberry passed away because he shot down the idea of a Trek series on a starbase more than once. He didn't think you could tell the necessary social stories with people marooned on a starbase. How wrong he was!
Again, starting with the dislikes. Bajorans are setup to be a defeated people, they were raped and savaged by the Cardassians for decades. Holding on their religious values makes sense in this context. The problem I have with this is the story becomes so boring so quickly. You see a constant struggle for power over a powerless people. It's not compelling and I think that's why they eventually focused more on the Cardassian/Dominion story arcs. You get tired of seeing the kai and Vedek assembly fight for "power." Here is where Sarge might ban me from the site... I am not a big Sisko fan. Though he does do certain things well, I didn't like seeing him get sucked into the Emissary role as much as he did. He manages it well in the first few seasons with a few hiccups here and there, but to end the season with him the wormhole aliens didn't sit well with me. In the first episode Picard gives him a stern talking to and lets on the fact that he doesn't think he's right for the role. Rather than vindicating Sisko at the end of the series and showing that he is a good captain, I think you find out that he isn't a good fit for a captain. Almost a dark ending. Though I thoroughly loved the series, the ending just ruins it for me.
Now for the GOOD! This series does a FANTASTIC job of exploring so much more of the core species of the quadrant. The Romulans, Cardassians, and Ferengi are finally brought into the spotlight and they are wonderfully written in. You get a strong history lesson with the Cardassians when they focus on their Bejor occupation within some of the episodes. The Romulans are still a bit elusive and mysterious but the Dominion War story arch adds to it without giving too much. This is exactly how they should be portrayed. The Romulans are pretty close to a xenophobic society so the series plays on this well. What better characters than Quark and Nog to represent the Ferengi. The shenanigans that they are constantly getting into lend very well to a starbase centered series. I love the portrayal of this money grubbing, quick witted, entrepreneurial race.
It's getting late so I will finish my post tomorrow but I wanted to get this out tonight. So perhaps some of you can read it and start loading your magazines with ammo!