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Star Trek Voyager Companion Broché – 2003
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On Monday night, January 16, 1995, the United Paramount Network signed on with the newest installment of the Star Trek series, Star Trek: Voyager. Lire la première page
Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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Star Trek voyager est une bonne série: le début est un peu laborieux, une fois le pari d'une femme capitaine gagné (l'actrice canadienne Geneviève Bujold a d'ailleurs jeté l'éponge après un demi-épisode!!), l'intrigue peine un peu à se mettre en place. L'équipe est pourtant excellente et le casting très réussi: le docteur hologramme est l'un des meilleurs personnages de toutes les saisons Star Trek. Le problème est le manque d'imagination des premiers épisodes. Les grands ennemis des deux premières saisons, les Kazons ne sont pas très originaux, à part leur cheveux sales, ils apparaissent comme des Klingons au rabais. Les préleveurs d'organes, l'idée est bonne, mais un peu gore et ne mène pas bien loin. Quant aux Malons, les pollueurs de l'espace, j'ai bien peur qu'ils ne soient petits joueurs comparés aux vrais humains (pas ceux de la TV...). La série trouve un second souffle et décolle enfin avec la confrontation avec le Borg (puis l'alliance avec ceux ci contre les terribles 8472) qui amène la superbe (mais glaciale) Seven à bord. Les saisons 3 à 7 sont superbes et le feu d'artifice de l'épisode final est mémorable. Tout cela est épluché en détail dans ce livre (en anglais facile) et vous donnera envie d'acheter ou de revoir les coffrets des saisons.
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While "The Next Gen Companion" never quite lived up to the depth and background provided in "DS9 Companion", it did at least have more details on the series and trivia about the making of the various episodes. It seems with each succeeding volume associated with a Trek series, that we get less information. By the time the one for "Enterprise" is ready for release, we'll probably only get a brief synposis and no pictures. It's a pity as "Voyager" deserves better.
While "Voyager" wasn't as initially groundbreaking as "Next Gen" nor as complex as "DS9", it recaptured the sense of adventure that was at the heart of the original series. The quality of the writing for "Voyager" was very high, indeed although the series itself got less respect than the others.
"Voyager Companion" provides a good overview of the series but lacks the detail and trivia that made "DS9" great as a companion book and even "Next Gen" with its background on the films. It's a pity as the series certainly more than held its own against both Trek series and other competition as well.
Anyway, the Voyager Companion is a shockingly bad release given the wonderful nature of almost every nonfiction Star Trek book that has preceded it. Almost devoid of behind-the-scenes info, it instead gives the types of pointless tallies (shuttlecraft lost, contacts made with the Alpha Quadrant, etc.) that you can find in almost any obsessive fan's website. Given the high standards set by the Next Generation and DS9 Companions, it seems the author would, Paul Ruditis, would only have to copy the format to ensure success in this book. Instead, he seems to want to drag us into the fictional Voyager world without explaining how the creative process for the series went.
Admittedly, that's not completely accurate, but it is very close. A reprint of the writer's "bible" from the first year of the series - with its page and a half of commentary is a nice addition, and each season's chapter does have an opening section that talks a little about the changes the producers brought to the series every year. There are also occaisonal text-boxes that highlight characters, races and aspects of the show, but the neat behind-the-scenes stuff has to share a lot of room with quotes taken from episodes. What little actual commentary from the creative forces of the series exists is reduced to a very small fraction of what you got in the other two Companions.
All in all, I find it very, very hard to recommend this book. I'd save my money for 2004's expected season box sets of Voyager instead. Here's hoping, though, that one unfortunate nonfiction Star Trek book doesn't bring the entire line to a screeching halt.
Why? Content. Let's look at the deep Space Nine Companion. With the same cover price, it includes 725 pages versus the 528 in the Voyager book. What does it do with those extra 200 pages? It goes into several pages on each season, filled with anecdotes and explanations for why things happened as they did. Most every episode warrants 2-3 pages of synopsis and back-stage information, often with quite revealing information. Even if you watched every episode there will be plenty of new information and backstory. It was also enjoyable just to read.
The Voyager book? 2-3 pages of overview for each season, counting an almost full page cast photo. Each episode is largely covered with just a rather terse synopsis with minimal background and cast/crew recollections. That's it. Bare-bones to say the least. One would be better off saving their money and going to any one of the hundreds of Voyager fan sites on the net and printing out their synopsis collection.
All in all, a very disappointing effort, easily the worst of all of the Star Trek Companions. If you really want it for completeness sake, I'd advise waiting a year or so until there are several in the bargain aisle of your local bookstore ... ... this book should have been on par with the DS9 book, and it falls far short of that level.
1. Episode summaries in an easy to access format. For truly fabulous episode reviews, I love the Delta Blues website (Jim Wright's Voyager reviews). But when I am choosing episodes for my children to watch, I like being able to flip through this book quickly to find episodes that aren't too old for them.
2. Pictures. They are black and white, but I still enjoyed them. There are at least two pictures per episode.
3. Trivia. There is very little trivia in this book - most of it is tagged onto the end of a synopsis in the 1-2 sentence "episode logs", but whenever it is included it is interesting.
4. Character reviews. There are several pages devoted to each crew member. They describe the character's first appearance on Voyager. They describe the growth of the character throughout the series, and various actors reactions to the character.
5. The Voyager bible (4 pages). It is interesting, to see the background the actors were given and how they breathed life (at least, most of them did) into the characters on the screen.
Well anyway, I see I'm in the minority to have enjoyed this book, but the only series I watched with any regularity was Voyager, so I am not comparing this book to other apparently far more superior books in the Trek series. As a companion to the DVDs, I think it is very useful for choosing what episode you might want to watch.
The Voyager Companion by Paul Ruditis follows all 7 years of the 4th incarnation of Star Trek, Voyager. The book is set out much like it's predecessor companions, giving details of each episode in production order, with accompanying stardates and production personnel and actors. The book does a fine job of giving all the details of the show, outlining the stories for each episode, and giving summaries at the end of the technical information and character development.
The book also features multi-page sections devoted to each of the cast members, occuring approximately one in each season, although some seasons feature two. The character sections are particularly good, and feature quotes from both producers and actors alike.
The Companion also includes a nice summary of Voyager's crew manifest, showing every named crewmember over the 7 years, with their accompany rank, affiliation (Starfleet or Maquis) and status (alive, dead, or departed the ship).
Where the book fails is with the behind the scenes information that made the other companions so good. Aside from the small introduction to each season and the character pages, there is virtually no behind the scenes information. And the comments of the production personnel are all positive, and do little to point out any mistakes in the show. Having such a sanitized book as this only goes on to prove that there were production problems with Voyager, problems that the producers want to hide. If the producers had the honesty to admit the problems with Voyager (there were some, not that many though) it would strengthen the show's repuation, at least in my mind. We're all human, we all make mistakes. Wisdom comes from accepting responsibility for mistakes and making provision for them not to occur again.
It would have been much more interesting to read a balanced view of the show, featuring detailed behind the scenes information in conjunction with the detailed episode data.
But overall, this is a fairly good book, and a fine tribute to the strength of the Voyager series. If you like Voyager, then you should read this book.