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Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series (DVD Review)

Paramount is continuing on with its re-releasing of all the Star Trek iterations in new packaging and whatnot.  Last year saw the full original crew release in celebration of 50 years that included the full series run, the animated series (A debut on Blu-ray) and the films featuring that crew.  A few months later we got new packages of the original series, The Next Generation and the standalone release of the Animated Series.  Just last month saw Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine repurposed in new full season sets.  I think these these recent ones were set to coordinate with Star Trek: Discovery’s premiere, but that got pushed back.  The last such of those releases is the full season Series of Star Trek: Voyager on DVD.  And that’s the one we are here to cover today.  Up front, these are the exact same discs that have been out the whole way, its just different, “shelf space saving” packaging this time around.  But, lets dig in and check it out anyway.  I’ve included pictures of the new packaging in this review, as well as listed the bonus material (Easter Eggs included) so you can confirm you already have this.

Series 

While searching for a renegade starship, the U.S.S. Voyager is pulled 70,000 light years into the far reaches of space.  Now, Captain Kathryn Janeway must lead her crew on the long journey back to Earth.  During their travels, they will encounter some of the most dangerous alien species in the Galaxy.  It’s going to take everyone aboard to survive and navigate their way home.

I need to start off by correcting a brain fart I had last month when I wrote about the full series Blu-ray release for Star Trek: Enterprise.  In that, I said that Enterprise was the first Star Trek show (Since the resurgence with Next Generation) to be on a network and not sold strictly for syndication.  WRONG!  That show would be Star Trek: Voyager.  Voyager was wanted for and helped to launch UPN back in the 90s.  UPN would also house Enterprise later on.  For those that don’t know UPN, it later joined with a network called The WB and formed what is now The CW.

Voyager’s hook from the start was its Captain.  Or, should we say the Captain’s gender.  While we had seen other female captains on the other shows, this is the first series that would be dedicated to and have one command the ship for the run.  Kate Mulgrew would take on Captain Janeway to what seems among the fanbase to be some divisive ends (Which is kind of a good thing).  The show didn’t stop at her though, it boasted one of the most praised shows in terms of feminism, presence and strength of its female cast.  Take for example, Jeri Ryan’s super popular Borg regular Seven of Nine.  From an outside view, she’d just look like latest hottie on the bridge.  But what they were able to do with the character was much more than that and featured some good writing and legitimacy for this character.

This vessel’s mission was one that sort of was teased at in a Next Generation episode and fully explored here.  A ship lost out in the reaches of space that has forever to get home.  While it had that basis, Voyager took more to the traditional likes of what was expected from Star Trek and hung closer to The Next Generation in terms of how it did things while also taking popular traditions and continuing them (the Borgs and Q).  Next Generation had been off the air and Voyager would be the perfect contrast to Deep Space Nine which was taking a whole new bold direction on Star Trek.  While, yes, there were 2 Treks on at the same time, they made for two completely different vibes and experiences.

Star Trek: Voyager is a pretty fun show.  I see people being hard on it a lot and some maybe think its the worst.  Even so, being the worst would just mean last, I don’t think its bad.  It got to run for its full 7 seasons, which seems like it was the “endgame” for these Star Trek shows in the wake of Next Generation.  It features its own unique, fun crew and adventures while also holding on and honoring time old traditions of the series (As well as things that had been picked up along the way).  Maybe you’ve picked around at it, gave up (before the days of DVRs this happened a lot for reasons that didn’t have to do with the quality of a show), didn’t watch much of it or missed it altogether…if you enjoy Star Trek, you really should go back to this one.  I scored this a 4 here, because I don’t feel its a 3.5, maybe just shy of a 4, but I feel this one is worth rounding up.

Episodes

Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series features every episode from the show’s 168 episode run across 47 discs.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-2 NTSC

Resolution: 480i

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Layers: DVD-9

Clarity/Detail:  I knowwwww…believe me, I’ve badly wanted this and Deep Space Nine on Blu-ray, but its not happening.  What we are left with are crappy SD streams and then these DVDs.  And honestly, these DVDs are serviceable.  No, they aren’t amazing and there is an entire galaxy of restoration improvements that could be done, but what matters most is that the episodes are watchable.  And, they are.  Maybe there’s a generational gap that may not see it that way, but this is the hand we are dealt.  And if you enjoy the show, you’ve pretty much always seen it like this, so it should be not bother.  No, there’s nothing standout, but its okay and the show is good enough and Trek enough for me to not really worry too much (But damnit, I’d like a Blu-ray haha).

Depth:  Nothing really amazing here.  The image is flat, with a couple moments here and there that prove to interesting, but nothing more.  Then again, you are likely not expecting much here.  A lot of the CGI in space kinda renders hollow-like.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and bit lighter.  Lots of defects tend to pop up in the dark areas.  Sometimes things can look a little blocky on deep dark backdrops and night.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are all right.  Uniforms tend to pop some colors on there.  Greens are stronger, especially when they visit a grassy or wooded area.  Yes, this is very much what color will look like on a DVD in terms of dinginess, but its palette is good enough to not make it a horrible ordeal.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones do manage to keep their look throughout, with minimal flicker.  Details really only show up well in close ups as further out shots result in hidden textures and features as well as a smoothness that typical happens on DVDs with older television.

Noise/Artifacts: Oh just your regular DVD compression issues, artifacting noise and more.  It sounds awful, but its still fine and watchable.

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 Surround, English Dolby Surround

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  Star Trek: Voyager comes with a pretty nice, adequate 5.1 track, or you can go with how everyone watched it broadcast with 2.0.  Either way, you get a solid experience with some pretty good, well rounded and realized effects.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  Ship hums, phaser fire, explosions, stompings, crashes and “sci-fi stuff” all gets some bumbling from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation:  A lot of the time the rear channels are used for some good ambiance, but here and there every so many episodes you’ll get one where there’s a nice surprise in the mix in terms of uniqueness and impact of the back channels.  Front speakers accurately depict placement and movement.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and clean, set to good volume to be heard at all times and accurate to the speaker’s positioning onscreen.

Extras 

Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series is a 47 DVD disc set.  Aside from a text commentary on the first disc of Season 2, all the bonus material is always featured on the final disc of the season (In all but one case, that’s Disc 7).  With these discs being identical to the ones that have always been on Blu-ray, all the same bonus materials carry over with no additions, subtractions or alterations.  Since the packaging is the only new “feature” with this, I’ve provided photos so you can have a look at it.

Season 1

Disc 5

Braving The Unknown: Season One (SD, 10:50) 

Voyager Tim Capsule: Kathryn Janeway (SD, 15:15)

The First Captain: Bujold (SD, 8:41) 

Cast Reflections: Season One (SD, 8:42) 

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:43) – Kate Mulgrew on “Caretaker”

*Easter Egg (SD, :58) – Michael Piller talks about how the “Janeway bun” came into being (Studio execs didn’t like her hair down).

On Location With The Kazons (SD, 5:38) 

Red Alert: Visual Effects Season One (SD, 10:34) 

Launching Voyager on the Web (SD, 6:07)

Real Science With Andre Bormanis (SD, 9:02)

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:31) – Brannon Braga on “Phage”

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:27) – Vaughn Armstrong on “Eye of the Needle”

Photo Gallery

Season 2

Disc 1

Special Text Trivia Version of “The 37’s”

Disc 7

Braving The Unknown: Season Two (SD, 16:30) 

Voyager Time Capsule: Tuvok (SD, 13:57)

*Easter Egg (SD, 2:02) – Kate Mulgrew on “The 37’s”

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:34) – Kate Mulgrew on “Deadlock”

Saboteur Extraordinaire: Seska (SD, 6:42)

A Day In The Life Of Ethan Phillips (SD, 7:03)

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:52) – Dan Curry, visual effects producer, goes over storyboard to pre-vis and execution for the show.

*Easter Egg (SD, 2:23) – Robert Picardo on “Lifesigns”

Red Alert: Visual Effects Season 2 (SD, 12:51) 

Real Science With Andre Bormanis (SD, 11:26)

*Easter Egg (SD, 4:19) – A music video by Tim Russ

*Easter Egg (SD, 2:22) – Brannon Braga on “Threshold”

Photo Gallery

Borg Invasion 4D (SD, :57)

Season 3

Disc 7

Braving The Unknown: Season Three (SD, 13:10) 

Voyager Time Capsule: Neelix (SD, 12:05) 

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:49) – Martha Hackett on “Worst Case Scenario”

*Easter Egg (SD, 3:14) – Kate Mulgrew on “Macrocosm”

Voyager Time Capsule: Kes (SD, 12:03)

Flashback To “Flashback” (SD, 13:36)

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:21) – Interview with Robert Picardo

*Easter Egg (SD, 3:38) – Tim Russ on a moment in “Blood Fever”

Red Alert: Amazing Visual Effects (SD, 16:56)

Real Science With Andre Bormanis (SD, 10:40)

*Easter Egg (SD, 2:40) – David Livingston on “Distant Origin”

Photo Gallery

Borg Invasion 4D (SD, :57)

Season 4

Disc 7

Braving The Unknown: Season Four (SD, 21:07)

Time Capsule: Seven Of Nine (SD, 13:44)

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:45) – Short interview with Jeri Ryan

Time Capsule: Harry Kim (SD, 14:09) 

The Birth of Species 8472 (SD, 9:35)

*Easter Egg (SD, :56) – Another short Jeri Ryan interview.

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:26) – Ethan Phillips discusses part of “The Killing Game Part II”

The Art of Alien Worlds (SD, 10:42) 

Photo Gallery

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:30) – A brief interview with Brannon Braga.

*Easter Egg (SD, 2:50) – David Livingston talks “Hunters”

Promotional Trailer: Trekkies 2 (SD, 1:53) 

Season 5

Disc 7

Braving The Unknown: Season Five (SD, 20:15)

Voyager Time Capsule: B’Elanna Torres (SD, 16:53) 

*Easter Egg (SD, 2:46) – Garrett Wang talks “The Disease”

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:49) – Kate Mulgrew discusses “Counterpoint”

Voyager Time Capsule: Tom Paris (SD, 15:05) 

The Borg Queen Speaks (SD, 6:54) 

*Easter Egg (SD, 4:16) – David Livingston discusses “Infinite Regress”

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:49) – David Livingston discusses “Night”

Delta Quadrant Make-up Magic (SD, 19:34) 

Photo Gallery

*Easter Egg (SD, 4:56) – David Livingston and actor Tim Russ discuss “In The Flesh”

Season 6

Disc 7

Braving The Unknown: Season Six (SD, 16:57) 

One Small Step: A Mars Encounter (SD, 9:23) 

*Easter Egg (SD, 2:06) – David Livingston on “Spirit Folk”

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:34) – Kate Mulgrew on “Fair Haven”.

Voyager Time Capsule: Chakotay (SD, 12:06)

Red Alert!: Amazing Visual Effects (SD, 17:18)

*Easter Egg (SD, 3:01) – Tim Russ on “Unimatrix Zero, Part I”

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:58) – Jeffrey Combs on “Tsunkatse”

Guest Star Profile: Vaughn Armstrong (SD, 10:11) 

Photo Gallery

*Easter Egg (SD, 3:11) – LeVar Burton discusses the relations of the Star Trek shows and Voyager in relation to his experience on Next Generation.

Season 7

Disc 7

Braving The Unknown: Season Seven (SD, 18:12) 

Voyager Time Capsule: The Doctor (SD, 15:10) 

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:23) – Robert Picardo on “Critical Care”

*Easter Egg (SD, 1:28) – Danny Curry goes over a model of how the trap worked in “Unamatrix Zero, Part II”

Coming Home: The Final Episode (SD, 12:38) 

Real Science With Andre Bormanis (SD, 14:02) 

*Easter Egg (SD, 2:57) – Jonathan del Arco on “The Void”

*Easter Egg (SD, 2:24) – Danny Curry on the Borg Queen and “Endgame”

The Making of Borg Invasion 4-D (SD, 9:34) 

Photo Gallery

*Easter Egg (SD, 4:34) – Danny Curry on the visual effects for a building shown in “Workforce, Part I”

Storyboards

Summary 

Star Trek: Voyager, while not my favorite Star Trek series, is still Star Trek, still fun, still enjoyable and has plenty to bring to the table and easily proves its worth.  This new set is insanely simple to break down.  If you already own every season of Voyager, there’s no need for this.  If you’ve never owned it and don’t mind the consolidated packaged with an incredibly reasonable price, now’s the time.  They Season 1-3 and Season 4-6 portions have actually been available by themselves at Best Buy for a little while now already.  This just adds 7 and collects them all in a nice sleeve. I have a feeling this (Along with the Deep Space Nine set) are going to see some bolstered sales from longtime Blu-ray holdouts (Myself included) finally breaking down after the news of its high definition unlikelihood.  For fans, and those of us who don’t depend or count on streaming (Or it being forever), this is a must have.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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