I like how they tack on that montage with William Shatner riding his horse. It reminds me of how self indulgent Mission: Impossible II was with Tom Cruise's mountain climbing (even Shatner did that in STV!).
I'll be posting some reviews of VOY after viewings. On another forum I have already posted ones for Seasons One through Two, but I won't post any of them unless you're that interested, so I'll put in my recent input, which is basically the start of Season Three.
"Basics, Part I"
Knowing the Kazon by this point, I already knew that it was a potential trap for Voyager, and these characters should have seen it coming. They know Seska is a manipulitive Cardie bitch, they could have figured out that the whole reason she impregnanted herself is so she could have an opportunity like this to fool them. Culla is a terrible villain. Instead of being a villain you can sympathize with like Dukat or one you love to hate like Winn, Culla is just annoying as Neelix. I like the Suder character, they'll have him killed off in the next episode, a big mistake. I think he would have made an interesting recurring character. So far every recurring character has been nothing more than cardboard cut-out stand ins with lines only made to further the plot than develop the characters. Again, DS9 brutally rapes VOY when it comes to that.
So my thoughts on VOY after the first two seasons? They could do better. They've done plenty of interesting things so far, but they really push it with Voyager taking heavy damage. I mean they were really fucked in "Deadlock", which I assumed we'd follow the Voyager that didn't take any damage, but we go with the crippled ship and on the very next episode their ship is fully intact and repaired with zero consequence?
I declare "Deadlock" to be the episode when the writers started getting lazy. Note emphesis on the word "started", they still respect many aspects of the premise of the show such as the consequence of killing 300 Vidiians and being cautious of any encounter in later episodes. But having the ship's consoles explode on every episode, Voyager getting multiple hull breaches, lost shuttles, reckless use of photon torpedoes, is becoming an annoying cliche. I'm aware later on we'll enter even more absurd territory.
"Basics, Part II"
I liked this more than the first part. Again, killing off Suder was a mistake, they should have just done that to Harry. Seska's death is pathetic. "OH NOEZ, EXPLODING CONSOLES EVERYWHERE!!!" And hey, for a show that ditched its premise about survival, they actually do some survival stuff on the planet, lol.
Did Brannon Braga actually WATCH The Undiscovered Country? I kept wondering that when I watched this episode. I'm not one for hating a Trek show for pulling off continuity gaffes, but it became too obvious here and it doesn't help that the episode itself other than Sulu getting the spotlight is a total bore. "There were no food replicators in those days", okay I'm aware that he never watched TOS under the advice of Roddenberry himself, but Braga should have had a consultant to get these gaffes right. "Damaged memories" or whatever plot device is just another way of saying "I don't care". Where the writers of DS9 were extremely careful of getting the recreation of TOS just right in "Trials and Tribble-ations", right to the point of every little inch of the set to match it, shows just how much they care not only for the show but also shows respect toward their fans. Voyager's does the opposite. But hey, it was nice to see Sulu in command, I had more fun watching his segments than anything else in Voyager in the long run.