Voyager three DVD
Voyager season three is out, featuring Janeway's sternest hairdo yet.
Paramount's DVD reissue drive is now halfway through Voyager, with this typically snazzy package. There is one problem, though. Don't they realise what they're doing to the second hand market? Every charity shop doorway is awash with VHS copies of The Next Generation. A few enterprising tramps have even started making little homes out of the boxes. Voyager's release will surely mean a landfill crisis - Paramount should be forced by law to provide free recycling.
But I digress. Voyager three comes with the sweet touch of menus featuring the just-add-water shuttles that the stranded spaceship obviously carried - well, it never ran out of them, no matter how many blew up, did it? There's plenty of extras, as always, although no commentaries; an omission that's standard for these releases, but weird and rather sad. I was really looking forward to hearing Kate Mulgrew commenting on whatever mad barnet the studio execs had forced on her that week.
The features that are on offer are varied - some very good indeed, some rather thrown together. Best of the bunch is the visual effects featurette which was both fascinating - when explaining CGI techniques - and charming - when recounting how a grisly pyramid of Borg corpses was made from lots of cut-up action figures. Also pretty good is the season three overview, though it is rather Borg-obsessed.
Two character profiles are offered: Neelix, which is competently done with lots of interview footage, but obviously only of interest to the 0.2 per cent of the population who don't detest the character, and Kes. Ah, Kes, played by Jennifer Lien, who obviously only ever did one interview about the role, and that apparently on the first day of shooting. Yes, Paramount, it really shows that she wouldn't come back.
Most inadvertently amusing extra award goes to the Thirtieth Anniversary feature, consisting of a bizarre and ill-assorted set of interviews shot at a party. The rag-bag of B-listers, guest stars and genuine Trek alumni includes Buzz Aldrin (good), Kate Mulgrew (very good), Kirsten Dunst (!) and the woman from Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman, who contributes the funniest moment when she shamelessly and irrelevantly name drops her own show.
Round it all off with strangely compelling extracts from the show's bible and the obligatory photogallery, and you've got quite enough. But what's this? I've accidentally pressed the wrong button on the DVD remote and suddenly Martha Hackett is chattering away about Seska, proving once and for all that yes, they are her real eyebrows, thank you very much. There are oodles more easter eggs, and picking your way around the shuttles finding them all is reet good fun.
As for the episodes themselves - well, this is Voyager season three, generally accepted to be the season before it got any good, so you take your chances. That doesn't mean there aren't some great individual episodes though - Worst Case Scenario is a cracker, for instance. But it does mean you have to wade through ill-plotted drivel like Real Life, in which the Doctor gets a family and it all goes goo-ily, heartbreakingly wrong. Bleaagh.
Never mind eh? Season four's just around the corner. In fact, I think I can already see Jeri Ryan's bosoms from here.