This section is devoted to trivia about the seasons themselves. Nothing to it really.
Please Note that this has been a WIP for quite a few years now.
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4th December 2000
24th June 2001
Number of Episodes
29 (28 numbered, 1 special)
Holo Q (Thrown Key doesn't count since most of it is a Season Two episode)
My Favourite Episode
Worse Case Scenario 2
My Least Favourite Episode
World Domination. Aggressions Part 2 would count if I didn't tolerate/sorta like Part 1.
If it were not for a few issues while writing Aggressions, Fifth Voyager would have been written in the script format.
Prepare For Trouble was originally going to be a parody of Survival Instinct. With no ideas for it, a follow on to World Domination was planned instead.
World Domination was the first episode finished, but the online/official version was completely rewritten.
The first episode written and completed which remained mostly the same was Timeline.
Timeline's original draft wasn't written in script format. I hadn't decided the series' format at the time.
Apart from a few episodes, Season One was supposed to be sci-fi/fantasy with some humour mixed in, mostly exploring the differences between original episodes and this series due to being based in a different dimension. It only turned into a parody while writing Aggressions Part 2, for no reason that I can recall other than being a stupid and impatient 15 year old.
Despite episodes such as Collective Instinct and Unforgettable being in the season listing since the beginning, James and Jessie didn't exist when the series started. Timeline for example did not have them in, those scenes were all that was new. Unforgettable would have revolved around Chakotay again, highlighting the changes between the original Voyager and Fifth Voyager. However Collective Instinct's original storyline has been forgotten.
Aggressions wasn't only meant to introduce Craig and technically Kiara. I wanted regular guest stars like Foster, Thompson, Sid etc... but I didn't want to make anybody official unless they worked while writing the episode. Aggressions' regulars didn't work thankfully and so never appeared again.
Hunters ended up trying to introduce new regulars, as well as a new main character, when Aggressions failed. Ironically two out of four of the regulars joined the main cast, while its new main character was demoted to regular guest star.
James and Jessie were supposed to be those regular guest stars, but were promoted before Unforgettable was written. The other regulars introduced that stuck around were one of the Foster twins (the evil, less regular one) and Threepwood, who was just named after a video game character.
If I stuck to my original vision there would be no writers, no Team Rocket mottos, perhaps only one Pokémon battle and Damien would be a serious villain that would be killed off at the end of the season.
Even though I had no idea if FV would ever get passed the first season, I still planned a list of episodes for the next seven seasons. Not much is left of those other seven seasons in the current series, although there are a few stragglers.
The season was written in the wrong order, as I was still new to this and struggled with certain episodes. Back then I skipped episodes I was stuck on, just so the site was updated. This meant that the season cliffhanger wasn't the last episode released in the season. Upendi was. It also meant that Season Two could not start until it was done, even if Part 1 was already long finished.
I wanted every season to have some sort of arc; a re-occuring storyline to keep things interesting. Season One's original arc however was supposed to be just the "things are changing" theme, then Morgan being introduced to put a spanner in the works. The released version ended up mixing that with the Damien/Boss and Seventh Voyager storyline. Originally that was supposed to be in only two episodes; Mirror Universes and World Domination.
I wanted to write a Voyager fanfiction series, I just didn't know how to do it. There were several different attempts to do so, but I quickly either lost interest, got stuck on it or came up with a new idea. My original attempt was going to be sent to the Star Trek novels' publisher, so I'm glad that didn't get as far as a few chapters into the second book. Not that the books were very long, at all.
Before this I had my own series which I wrote very little of, and the first and second incarnation of it were Star Trek rip off's. I tried to incorporate my original ideas from it into these fanfiction series. The first would use the Kiara appearance, brought on by Q as a way to thank Janeway for saving the Continuum. There was no paradox, no other character in the form of Lena. The child would simply grow into that character.
The second attempt scrapped that in favour of my love of alternate dimensions. An entire series was going to be original episodes with one slight difference, which would turn it into something very different towards the end. It was obviously far too difficult for me at the time to actually write. Unfortunately I lost what I did for this, which was a big shame as the premise of that one episode was used for Alternate Scorpion.
The third was there to make jokes, point out things I thought were issues, still introduce new characters. It wasn't supposed to be the series, it was a different Voyager series being filmed by different actors. I imagine some of my own storylines being used in that regard. Luckily this one didn't work out.
The fourth I was trying badly to make use of what I had tried before so they weren't wasted, but still make something new. I remember focusing on the "what if" alternate dimension elements, the Kiara appearance, and the paradox from my not-Voyager (but was cos I was an unoriginal little brat) series. I still wanted to redo original episodes with an alternate dimension spin on them. I still wanted to use Kiara, as it was just a fanfic not a novel, and I could practice writing her for my so called original novels. I came up with Morgan, named after Novel-Kiara's surname. Like with my novels she would appear as a future self of a child character on the ship.
There were differences with her from the start. In the novels Morgan would appear first, be around for a few years and then Kiara would be born. "Timeline" would happen later. Morgan would stop Kiara's assimilation, effectively erasing herself from history. The timeline would go nuts, so to speak, and because of it Morgan wouldn't be erased after all. In FV the appearances were swapped, and the "Timeline" incident changed drastically.
I did want things to be different so the plots of my series weren't spoiled. I ended up cancelling the series all together as I finally realised that I couldn't publish a series that would parody/steal other works. Clever little brat wasn't I, not.
By the time Morgan was picked as a main character, so was Kiara. An episode list only consisting of originals I wanted to do and Timeline was created. Aggressions, which was the chapter of Kiara's birth, came next and I decided Scorpion was the perfect episode to go with it. Scorpion was where I developed an interest in Voyager and I also had other reasons too, reasons that related to the plot (of the reboot cos the original barely touched it).
The last episode to be planned in would have been either Prepare For Trouble replacing Survival Instinct, or special Test of Time. The latter I do not remember when I added it to the series. As it was James and Jessie's backstory, I assume that it was put in after their creation and called a special so I didn't have to rearrange episode numbers. If I'm wrong, the episode probably revolved around other established characters (that weren't paradox related) like Craig, Triah and... that's it really. I still think it was added after James and Jessie were brought into the cast, as I don't remember another version of Test of Time at all.
A Whole Different Series
Turning the first episode into an unfunny parody with fourth wall elements obviously affected everything else in the series. A lot of it were original episode rewrites and crossovers with my novels. Even the Season Five storyline existed in a very basic fashion back in 2000. I chugged along, determined not to change Season One's plans. That wasn't a good idea as evidenced by the season now. Episodes that were meant to just show differences and have new characters in, became bizarre parodies (Timeless, Voyager Conspiracy) or were completely overtaken by random rubbish (Hunters, Year of Hell, Muse). The episodes that were to develop the true meaning of the series were either done properly and so looked out of place amongst the madness (Timeline), or their point was lost to the abyss (World Domination, yuck).
Season One wasn't the biggest casualty in all of this. I had better plans for Season Two. Season One was the starting post, it would have more original episode parodies to establish the series. Season Two would be where FV started running toward telling my own stories. It still did for the most part, but the series' new nature got in the way a lot of the time.
Season Three meanwhile changed completely. The only things that were there before were Witchcraft (the original Season Two cliffhanger and Season Three premiere) and possibly Sweet... although what season that was originally in, I have no idea. After that luckily I started to try and change the tone back to what it should be, all the while keeping the silliness the series was(n't) known for.
I sound bitter, sure I am. This is what the reboot was originally created for. It was a second chance to do the Season One I wanted without chickening out. However without the original, obviously the series wouldn't exist at all, something about it kept me going. Also the silly fourth wall jokes, Damien, the random stupidness like Annika's latest antics... All of that may not have happened at all if I hadn't lost my mind, I think, during the second half of Aggressions.
Note: There is a separate entry for the reboot of this season. It's below the main seasons and prequels. Click here to skip straight to it.
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1st July 2001
10th March 2002
Number of Episodes
30 (29 numbered, 1 excluded for being previous season's cliffhanger, 2 specials)
Fair Chance, however part 2 is in Season Three. Second longest that isn't a part of a season cliffhanger is Disconnected.
My Favourite Episode
My Least Favourite Episode
The Love Spell so far, but I can see Atamit and Return of Third Voyager making a go of it.
Like Season One, I tried to keep the original episodes and order that I planned for Two. However only the first six or seven episodes are the same as the original plan. Memories ended up being cancelled due to my terrible state of mind at the time. I wanted something violent, and so Saturday Night was created. After that the order was the same at least up until Kiss of Death.
As mentioned in S1's, I wanted every season to have some sort of arc; a re-occuring storyline to keep things interesting. Two's ended up being the war between the Ligers and their enemy, with Voyager being dragged in because of Damien.
Originally though Damien wouldn't make an appearance at all. Only his influence with Seventh Voyager and the aliens would be the cause of the problems. The drama revolving around Dimension Jump and the changes to his character meant that I could do something different.
There's some elements of the original plans in the earlier Season Two episodes, revolving around Damien's successor which if I remember right would've been eventually Alex, the child introduced in Mirror Universes. His backstory was unfortunately abandoned/forgotten as soon as Damien literally took his place, in more ways than one, and will be explored in Reboot Season One & Two.
The barebones version of the story didn't have any war with another race. That was stupidly concocted on the fly during Dimension Jump's writing. It may not sound interesting, and you're probably right, but the plan was Damien's successor manipulating him and his ship into power to control the Ligers. Basically they'd be challenging Lilly and her brother's already weakened claim to the throne. It explains why Mirror Universes was all gungho about Alex becoming a king instead of a boss.
Seven was supposed to be killed off during Thrown Key. However due to the birth of C/7 I decided that the character should stick around for me to torture and/or make fun of. Her storyline wasn't planned ahead, I made it up as I went along. Good thing too, as Saturday Night was a last minute addition.
My favourite episode of the season was based off a dream I had.
My least favourites were a last minute rip off of a film I'd just seen, and well... the best way to describe the second one is the 2001 version of an angry Facebook rant. I can't even remember what I was going to do in the episode, other than introduce the Ligers and Duncan. That's how bad it is.
The background story of Dimension Jump and why it is what it is instead of the plot I've forgotten, will probably never be told.
The episode Precise Timings was created as an experiment. I wanted to see if the series' intended premise would work, and if I could write it. I also didn't want it to give away that was what it was either. It had to appear like a regular episode.
The Resurrection originally had its own subsite due to it being a "movie" event. Oasis of Abatua got the same treatment.
The Resurrection was going to be one of the Voyager novels I wanted to do. It would have been less "The Mummy" than Resurrection.
The Curse of Voyager not only was going to follow that ^ as a book, but it was also a chapter in an earlier series I wanted to write. The basic storyline and the events surrounding Kiara and the drone were all that was taken from both.
Fair Chance is based on yet another novel premise I came up with as a kid, mixed in with that earlier series I mentioned.
Season Two started off the episode banner. It was originally intended to only advertise upcoming and currently released episodes. They were later added to the episodes themselves so they wouldn't be wasted.
The episode banners were originally twice as tall as the current standard. Some of the less eye stabbing ones were cut down to fit the new standard size. A few that couldn't have this done due to its design still remain. Ones that were awful that I still wanted to have episode banners for were redone. These were during Season Three's days I believe, and like most of my writing then they are awful in a much different way.
Kiara was supposed to age rapidly due to her being half Q. Bryan however was picked to age as I wanted somebody to be played by yet another Buffy actor. Sigh. So Kiara aged suddenly in one episode so he could be too.
To go with the very slight change of style (you know, endings and storylines. Those were some crazy ideas), there was also an opportunity to change a character I really couldn't stand. Sometimes characters develop into the new persona, like they're supposed to. Not James. He did a 180 in the first few episodes. I had tried in Season One but I dunno why I didn't stick with it.
In the end it was decided that I'd leave a few coy lines and situations that would hint that there was more to it than just a change of heart. At least that allowed me to write him how I wanted to in the prequels, instead of his Season One character.
I remember planning and memorising Kes' explanation to Morgan/Lena about her new found telepathy. I thought it was the best thing ever, you know instead of just revealing it in True Q along with the Kiara plot twist like planned. True, saving her telepathy for True Q was dumb but so was this. This isn't foreshadowing, it isn't even exposition. It's all lies anyway. I just wanted a bloody Kes cameo. Morgan slowly developing this ability and then having Kes either mention it or just smile knowingly in Precise Timing probably would have been better. Ahem.
To avoid accidentally spoiling the James/Jessie Love Spell and pregnancy plot, but to still give out spoilers as I liked to do that, I leaked to a friend there were new characters called Bryan and Duncan Paris in Season Two. At the time Duncan was merely a placeholder name based off Robert Duncan McNeil, Tom's actor. Using a name associated with Tom was to throw anyone off. I ended up liking the name for him so it was kept.
I had basically decided from Season Two onwards to cut down on the original episode "parodies", as by that season onwards their journey had taken them in a completely different route than original Voyager. There was also the reason that Voyager had reached its seventh and final year, it helped that I really disliked the seventh season. It didn't really pan out until the following season; The episode YWF was created during my brief WWE/F whatever obsession, so naturally Tsunkatse was chosen. Bittersweet was a bastardisation of Virtuoso.
I never thought I'd get to Season Two. When I did I went a little mad, I suppose. Certain storylines in Season Two onwards, as well as developments on the whole series' premise, meant to me that I needed to show what happened before Aggressions. The prequel series was quickly developed while I was still preparing Season Two's premiere.
I thought of adding new characters to make up for the lack of Lena and Kiara, as well as a far too young Craig. These were brought into Thrown Key's second part to be tested in the field. I didn't exactly have high standards. As long as they managed a scene without seeming too forced, to me, then they'd make it into the prequels.
Right away Season Two was changing from its original plans. I was already getting a little tired of the parody nature of Season One, as well as my awful habit of rushing episodes to the ending because of "lack of time". True, it still happened in this season but a lot of the time the endings did start to improve even a little.
Six episodes in and Season Two was doing pretty well. I was proud of my work on it, and I'm sure that a majority would agree that it was a huge improvement over the first six episodes of Season One.
Episode six is where it started to go downhill though. The episode needed a few edits made to it, it inevitably caused a few problems behind the scenes. By the time it was released and episode seven was due to be written, things had changed drastically. I realise I may be sounding vague, that's on purpose for a reason. The timing of what happened didn't help either. It was September 2001, I was sixteen and starting college, and during my own personal mess something huge happened. It makes me feel guilty for even mentioning my own personal events due to being close to the dates it happened, let alone whinging about them.
Nevertheless, what happened I've promised myself that I'll never mention the details of again on this website. What I can say is that I used to do just that. I used this site as my blog for better or worse, and for a while it was because it was my only sanctuary from what was going on, and so it suffered as a result. Never again. Unfortunately as it still affects this series, with episodes such as Dimension Jump that remain as horrible proof that something occured all those years ago, I still need to say something.
Anyway I've been vague enough. The events in between episodes made me turn Dimension Jump into something I hadn't planned. I still regret it to this day. It's been so long, I don't remember what I really wanted to do with it that isn't already in there (Ligers introduction, Duncan's birth). It didn't just affect Dimension Jump. I ended up cancelling Memories as I couldn't focus on it. I instead replaced it with the mindless violence and rubbish that was Saturday Night.
I think when it came to F9: Control Failure, as well as what followed; Precise Timings, Resurrection, even Kiss of Death, things had calmed down slightly (I think at this time, could've be later). I could focus a little more on the writing. The episodes IMO did show improvement. All but Kiss of Death were written how they were supposed to be, and what I was feeling during the mess didn't get in the way.
For reasons I don't remember the pivotal episode True Q didn't get released at the right time, at the very least in full. The series appeared to continue without it, despite there being an important plot development. I know the majority of True Q was written in between episode 12 and the special, where it should have been. I remember the ending being written much later, and the episode archive claims the episode was released then. I refuse to believe that I left True Q offline and continued to release episodes spoiling it until the new year. I know guess work and assumptions isn't good for "background information" but it does seem a bit silly to exclude this information.
Anyway 2001 was almost over. The events I've tried to be vague about had all but gone, and I (stupidly) believed I could write an episode that not only told my side of the story, but what I thought was fairly too. I wanted to own up to my part in what happened, that there were two sides to it. No good or bad guys in it. It would have went well with the plot it shared the episode with, had I wrote that part correctly. Anyway I thought I did an okay job. I think my only mistakes there were not using a better example to show it, and for not realising that even a "both sides to an argument" type story was still saying too much. Now it's getting hard to remain vague, especially cos the episode still exists mostly untouched since 2001. I'll leave it nameless in this page, although I've probably given it away on other pages.
I thought late 2001 was bad. 2002 was the beginning of a long painful part of my life, and because of it everything was affected. Fifth Voyager was definitely no exception.
Late Season Two did suffer a great deal. Episodes generally IMO were a lot weaker, and some were just embarrasingly painful. One particular episode (Territory) that had been planned and even partially written a year before ended up not only being rushed, but had its true point completely forgotten about. I think I just copied what I had written on paper and improvised an ending. This was only the beginning.
I think writing FV was merely a distraction at that point in time. I know I stopped caring at some point. Even though the much larger events didn't occur until Season Three, I think in the last eight or so episodes I was already starting to slip.
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5th May 2002
14th May 2003
Number of Episodes
28 (28 numbered, 1 excluded for being previous season's cliffhanger, 1 special)
The Chain Reaction
Hell Break Out
My Favourite Episode
My Least Favourite Episode
Put The Knife In, closely followed by Mars & Venus. It's a tough choice.
An episode called Director's Cut was originally in episode 17's place. It was deleted after a few years and the episodes surrounding it were re-numbered. Games Matrix was a special before this happened.
Season Three was originally planned as a character season. Apart from episodes such as Witchcraft, the action would be quite minimal. Each episode would revolve around one character. Nothing really important would happen but character development. The episode titles were all based on song titles and lyrics. It was changed rapidly while writing Season Two. Although song titles still haunt this series.
The season premiere episode was supposed to be Witchcraft. From my very poor memory I vaguely recall not being ready to write Witchcraft, and I also thought it wasn't suitable for a Season Two cliffhanger anyway. I kept it as a cliffhanger for Season Three, just because. I brought forward Fair Chance as it went with the season arc revolving around the Ligers and their enemies.
The "movie" Oasis of Abatua was originally going to be a Season Two episode, keeping the Iinan and Unu storyline exclusive to that season. The death in the episode was added when it was moved to Season Three.
Even though the original point of the season was chucked away, this season's arc still revolves around the characters and not outside influences, for the most part. Janeway's secret is revealed, James' dark turn, Jessie's death and the effects it has on her (and James technically) for the rest of the series, Lena having to learn responsibility, Harry's optimism dying, Chakotay starting to doubt things, etc... The differences between the original idea and what's there now is that things do still happen too. A lot of the episodes have that as a focus and of course the tone shift. Season Three's original plan was dumped for being too "cheery". Now look at it.
As stated in Season Two, Season Three was greatly affected by having a couple of bad years, leading to depression. I still feel like I'm whining by saying that. I didn't see the problems with the series at the time, but now I can (and hopefully you do too) understand why the whole season took a darker turn.
The big Janeway plot twist at the beginning of Season Three was planned back in Season Two at the earliest. Various hints/foreshadowing are in that season, that hopefully you wouldn't notice if you didn't know the twist yet. It's so well/poorly (delete as appropriate) done that even I can't remember when I decided on it.
The Enterprise's appearance was rudely foreshadowed by Q in Holo Q. I say foreshadowed, it was direct and blunt but hey, Season One! I had planned in its appearance before the series even started. And yes, I do have a silly obsession with it. It would have appeared in Season Four instead, but the cliffhanger involving it was brought forward.
And no... Season Four's storyline would have been in Season Seven if that remained the same. Season Five's was going to be Season Eight. Thankfully the prequels and Fair Chance's move sorted this big mess out.
When Witchcraft was finally demoted to single episode, I had to choose a new cliffhanger. I remember humouring End of the Line and Half of the Heart as the cliffhangers, but in the end a conclusion that didn't suck to the Iinan storyline was picked.
This season has recently had a huge shake up in its ranks; the Monkey Island parodies episodes were deleted and replaced by an expansion of The Games Matrix episode, turning that into a five episode saga.
I've wrote quite a lot about this in the episode trivia for S3, and I don't want to copy it as the page itself references the opening paragraphs. Instead I'll try to write it anew here. Just in case the original was better, here's a link to Season Three's trivia.
Now remember, I can't fully explain everything that happened behind the scenes. I'm hoping what I've said or going to is enough.
As you'll know from Season Two's trivia, the season caused a few issues behind the scenes. Issues that influenced some episodes, or just plain distracted me from others to the point of ruin. I mention Dimension Jump as the instigator, but it wasn't. It was Games Resistance. It's no use checking that one as what caused the problem is no longer there. Basically put, GR was the lit match that was accidentally dropped onto the ground, Dimension Jump chucked fuel into the flames intentionally. There's another episode in this story of vagueness though. Time was the water already putting out the fire. This third episode came along and tried to help by fanning the flames, allowing it to spread and burn down the forest.
Yeah, there's a reason I haven't tried to publish anything yet. My metaphors suck, I know.
After that third episode things did start to get really bad for me. It's hard to explain when I've commited to not sharing the details of what the issue was and how it unravelled. Basically everything was going wrong. I no longer felt safe anywhere, even in my home. I was starting to get paranoid of everyone, online and offline. Online wise I was leaving forums as nobody believed me when things happened. I felt like I was being ganged up on, pressured out for being a troublemaker. I was afraid of saying anything in the end, just in case I was being watched. My own forums weren't safe from this. In real life I was convinced that I was being stalked and/or spied on, due to some coincidental messages online and from things that were said to me by strangers. I was even convinced that one or two of my friends had turned on me. Or that new friend was just somebody who befriended me because of this.
Again, yeah I'm struggling here trying not to share specific information, so I'll move on.
Basically put I was already a mess while I wrote Fair Chance Part 2. By the time Oasis of Abatua started in May 2002, that's when the crap truly hit the fan. I didn't just have to contend with the stuff I've already said too much about (I may edit later), other things started to happen.
Note: B4FV2's Paper Bag was later used as a biography episode for me, and it covers a lot of what happened then. I struggle to read it because of that.
I'm actually not sure if I should share this. It feels wrong to do so. I'll change the text colour to black for some of it, the white gives you the jist. My parents not only split up, they physically fought over money... apparently my money, in the next room. I had to literally pull them apart. Next thing I knew I was being asked who I wanted to live with as one was moving out. It took a while before this happened and everything was painful and awkward until then. This stupid family drama proceeded to screw me over for the next four years. My 21st birthday is a "funny" story on its own.
Not long after this break up happened, a family member died. As an eery coincidence I was due to write Jessie's death in Oasis of Abatua at that time. I ended up dubbing this later as the May curse as not only did all the bad stuff, even minor, happen in May 2002, it would happen in the next few May's to come.
This all lead me on quite a dark, turbulant few years. Again I may change the text to dark when I write something I feel like I shouldn't share. At least this time it's not because it's about other people, it's about me still being ashamed of it. I shouldn't be, so I'll try not to. Because of what was going on I couldn't concentrate at college, I remember staring blankly at an exam paper and never writing a thing on it, and so I ended up flunking out. They even sent me to a counsellor at one point. Determined not to be beaten again, I re-enrolled on a different course, an easier one, but once again I left. The paragraph about my paranioa, baseless or not, explains some of the why behind it.
Back when I was at school I was considered a swat (UK version of a nerd I suppose), I was shy, reserved and afraid to step out of the line. The first college course was an advanced one, a one I just managed to get in by a narrow margin as the last two years of bullying was so bad I skipped school a lot. By 2003 I had dropped out of college twice with nothing to show for it, quit two jobs after little more than a week because I couldn't handle it, and ended up signing on the dole. Meanwhile the stuff I mentioned above was still happening. I was piggy in the middle in my family dramatics, alone and without the capacity and strength to cope. I've got a lump in my throat and holding back tears as I write this, remembering how bad it was. My words can't really begin to explain what I felt at that time. All I can say is that I felt so hopeless, lost and alone that I did contemplate suicide many times. I self harmed. For god's sake I cut myself when my dad screamed at me for getting an omelette stuck to the pan. I've NEVER told anyone. If I keep this here and upload it, I'll be surprised.
To say I was a mess back then was an understatement. And yet I still kept writing. At the time Fifth Voyager was my escape from everything. I could do whatever I wanted there. Sure, sometimes writing can help you battle demons, I mean it does now. I wrote Within Reach while suffering from a huge breakdown that had me screaming in the street. However that wasn't the case for the majority of Season Three. The Jessie plot was dark to begin with. I think because it was already a rough tale about losing one's sense of self, which maybe I identified with, who knows, that I could expand on it further. Instead of her just spending the rest of the season dealing with the trauma of her death and resurrection, while trying to control her new powers, she had to suffer from an attack she couldn't stop too.
That wasn't it. The whole season is littered with bad things like this. Janeway and James' storyline had far more bumps in it than I imagined; her comparing him to his father, his crass attitude at times about it (I mean wow, I reference it in S5 but I forget that he calls her a whore/slut a few times), the incident between her and Jessie's dad. Speaking of her dad, the stupid overreaction just written to make drama. Yasmin wasn't handled well and she was actually quite a clever idea for me, something I tried to salvage with an explanation scene in Season Five. Harry and Chakotay both have their dark sides showing, Chakotay is at one point on James' side after the attempted murder, just because Janeway asked for a divorce. Seriously, wtf? Was my own situation interfering there? That's a scary thought. And yes I've only this minute considered that as a possibility.
Sandi's back story is awful too. She's happy go lucky because she was drug raped so that's how she copes, and before that she was grouchy and mean. A back story I tried to retcon a little in the rebooted Sibling Rivalry, which showed Sandi as a level headed girl looking out for her brother. For god's sake, I tried to write C/7 even if it was spell influenced.
Even Damien steps up his dark game in Season Three, though I still tried to keep him funny at times. His being behind Jessie's murder (never intended), forcing Yasmin to kill James in front of his kids (wtf no. I'm not saying he's not twisted enough to like this, but that's low even for him). I know this is Season Four's half of Scary But True but Damien forcing people into a ritual so they could die horribly in the next life... god no. Him controlling the demons that attack Voyager and Enterprise. Hmm. Yes Damien thinks he's evil, and don't get me wrong he is twisted in many ways. The point of him was always that he was the villain you couldn't take seriously, even when he was winning. Which wasn't often. Fair Chance was always supposed to be his biggest triumph, well not always, when I decided to resurrect him anyway. However most of the time he's still the deluded master villain wannabe, when he's really just the guy who attacked a starship with rabbits and bad celebrities.
I think I've more than made my point here. I was severely depressed and I thought that writing was helping me. I thought Season Three was the best thing I ever done, even in the early days of Four. It wasn't until things had calmed down and I was starting to recover, that I realised what a mistake I made.
I know I've been very negative on Three's background information, but Three wasn't all bad, all the time. Despite its issues, the season still managed to do what I wanted it to do. It still had the James and Janeway plot twist. I actually think James' grief while Jessie was gone was handled well for the time. Akoonah Matata seemed like it was written on a good day, which is always nice. It tried to fix that ridiculous "DRAMA" thing I did at the end of Fair Chance 1 to get B'Elanna and Tom to fall out. Pokémon and writers were slowly phased out. It managed to contain two weddings. I also think Seven's storyarc in the season was quite good. Including Akoonah Matata there were still some good episodes in the season, so it wasn't all doom and gloom.
All in all to sum up, Season Three went through development hell, as it was unfortunate enough to have been started just at the beginning of my dark days. Rebooting it will not be easy.
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12th July 2003
18th January 2005
Number of Episodes
29 (28 numbered, 1 excluded for being previous season's cliffhanger, 2 specials)
Closing of the Eyes
Web of Deceit
My Favourite Episode
Closing of the Eyes
My Least Favourite Episode
Connection Effects. Before it was replaced by Dissidia, Flesh Eaters was my least favourite.
Season Three did start this, but Season Four did it on a far grander scale. There were far too many main characters in FV, and they were clogging up far too much of the episodes. When you have more new characters than originals, you've gone too far. Somewhere during writing of this season, the main cast was narrowed down to Lena, Kiara, Craig, James and Jessie, then True Colours and Burnt Out And Falling happened. Even the originals were not safe from this. The cast reduced to regular guest stars still hung around, they were not evicted immediately, just had their roles gradually toned down.
Typically though two new regulars were added; Zare and Daniel. Damien was also made a main character due to his inclusion in Season Five.
The story arc was basically explained in the banner advertising it; "the journey doesn't end when you reach your destination." Voyager's home, eventually Enterprise is too, but obviously life goes on. Things are still happening. The home events are gradual, they build up to the final five. You're not supposed to see the mess that comes. I'm quite proud of the arc, even 10 years later.
The reboot started properly in Season Four, after a failed attempt to reboot Caretaker. Flesh Eaters' replacement Dissidia gave me hope that I could write again. Aggression took my attention away eventually, and the rest is history.
The season, or at least the later half of it, is based on the ending to a novel series I wanted to do long ago. A new series would follow that, and that series is now known as Season Five.
As mentioned in S2's trivia, I had intended to cut down on the original episode "parodies" after Season One, since the whole point of the series was to show my Voyager's path straying further away from original's. It didn't pan out. Season Three despite its faults did just that. However S4 got back into old habits. The trouble was I had a love/hate relationship with Voyager's sixth season. There are eps there that are my all time favourites (hello Voyager Conspiracy, Memories, Muse and Deck 13's inspiration Haunting of Deck 12), but it also has some of the biggest stinkers (FU Fair Haven and Fury). Also the seventh did have one or two classics amongst the turds. Season Four could easily do a FV version of Shattered, based on a different ship to change it up even further, while abusing Lena and Tani's temporal implants. I had the idea to mix Equinox with the Softmicron plot, which primarily turned into Stop Or Die (some scenes were in earlier ones). So much for brief.
The original sequence for episodes 11 to 13 changed due to huge changes being made to Stop Or Die, see below. I'm unsure of the exact order. I believe it was: "Equinox", Shattered, and True Colours. Equinox and Shattered may have been in each other's spots though.
Shattered's intro hints that it was before "Equinox" as it has the discovery and confrontation with Ransom, BUT the story was already spanning multiple episodes. One day I'll find an old episode list.
Stop or Die was basically Equinox, with the differences only being Lena as the captain, the Enterprise and the Softmicron being the victims of the Equinox. I didn't want another original episode clone. These 3 things were not minor differences, the episode couldn't be another Dark Frontier, these things create a different story. I needed time to think about it, so True Colours and possibly Shattered were brought forward.
I'm glad I took the time to do this. Having True Colours first, Lena's loss of her daughter really helped give her role in Equinox a little something that was hers, not Janeway's. I also liked how differently she handled Ransom in Shattered, ultimately deciding to work with him instead of locking the crew in quarters as her mother would.
True Colours was episode 13 for a brief time and despite it being 12 for 11 years, I still think of it as such.
Speaking of Lena... I'll keep it brief, it's more appropriate elsewhere anyway. She was always the apple of my eye, I'll admit. Her and Kiara technically were from the days they were the Kidz Trek Voyage "scene hoggers". I didn't see the irony of her being Seven's replacement, only to do the same crimes I accused Seven of. S4 was my attempt to flesh her out, grow her up and show that was IMO a better developed character instead of telling.
Epilogue was originally two episodes, one with the same title and the other the original, original Queuing Forever. QF had nothing to do with the S5 episode with the same title or Death of the Soul. It was simply the Voyager half of Epilogue's plot. I felt as they happened at the same time, and that their stories weren't very long on their own, that they should be one conjoined episode.
The slower part of the season, This Just In to Decent Proposal, were meant to be the crew winding down episodes with so many damn hints at what was coming you'd probably miss them all. They're meant to deceive, they're meant for multiple readthroughs, they're also meant to develop the key characters involved.
This Just In does a subtle enough job, I think. Connection Effects failed, as once I started writing it, I wasn't really feeling the story at all and it shows. Web of Deceit is a funny one, as I think it was meant to be just a character episode, but ended up with one very vague hint. Hmm. Decent Proposal is the biggest one. I hope it still isn't that obvious until you at least get midway or near the end of Season Five.
The wedding episode Something New filled the slot "Queuing Forever" left. Beforehand the wedding itself likely would have taken place in Happy Ever After or in slot 23 (Corporal Form).
The rebooted episodes were Half of the Heart, Dissidia/Flesh Eaters, Sibling Rivalry and Happy Ever After.
Half of the Heart was missing half of its plot, so new scenes were written.
Flesh Eaters was an old Season One era made up on the spot plot idea during a silly conversation, that shouldn't have been an episode. Dissida replaced it.
Sibling Rivalry didn't live up to its title that well. Zare's motives counted on the reader to know the prequels, so Zare vs James and Lena meant little. Kevin and Sandi's story had little point. Reboot fixes that with new scenes.
Happy Ever After was the only episode of the season with a writer cameo, which I wanted gone. Since that side story was needed somewhat, it was better to rewrite those scenes from scratch.
Burnt out and Falling originally was based within the series finale. I felt it made more of an impact and made more sense following Closing of the Eyes. Double whammy of pain.
Corporal Form was a part of Season Five, only brought forward when an episode called Genocide didn't work out. It was filler and worked well enough in S4, it also meant I could have one more episode before Closing.
Genocide was based in between Closing of the Eyes and the finale. I don't remember anything concrete about it. I believe Damien was to be involved, and it'd be a prelude to the finale revolving around the Softmicron. I'd have to hunt down very old notes to know for sure.
Despite my Burnt Out comment about being part of the finale, the finale wasn't four episodes. From an old notebook I found and my memories of it, the order and amount of episodes changed at least twice before I settled on the trio I have now.
The S3 era notepad had a very (I hope) unfinished Season Four list, though to be fair it was written after The Chain Reaction which I know I drafted on holiday. That had five episodes in the finale with some very interesting episode titles that never made it; The Final Millennium, Universal Disaster, Life & Death (Is this Closing of the Eyes or Burnt Out? Can't remember), Game Over (after seeing that title I became 99% certain that this was renamed Illegal Operation very last minute) and Inside of Two Evils.
My memories have the finale reduced to a trilogy, but not as we all know it; The Final Millennium, Burnt Out And Falling and Inside of Two Evils.
I believe the Game Cube part of the story took full reign of The Final Millennium, since Ylara and other scenes about her in the couldn't happen yet. Burnt out and Falling would follow as the crew/Slayers try to find a solution in between disasters. The Sphere would then arrive in Inside of. It looks like Illegal Operation existed before this with a different name, but this was in the shorter episode era and I maybe thought I needed more episodes to tell it? I dunno. I couldn't tell you, can't remember unfortunately.
The basic story and a very specific idea of how the final battle went down, that's all I had a few months before writing, which is why the episode titles and order were all over the place. I think Closing of the Eyes time was when it all came together.
Things were starting to get better. I had started to put what happened behind me, my interest in FV (or anything) was returning, and I had a storyline I'd been itching to write since I was a kid coming up. I wanted to get it right, so thankfully I got my s### together for it. The season did have a weak start, but was already a huge improvement on the previous season (with the odd exceptions like Akoonah Matata and Chain Reaction).
I had a lot to do, and unlike in 2005-2007 it wasn't off putting, it was encouraging me. That's probably why episodes like Half of the Heart and Flesh Eaters were rushed and/or rubbish. I wanted to get to the good stuff.
The season has a bit of everything; bitter break ups, fueds between ex's, tragic deaths, murder, horror (if you're afraid of spiders), questionable decisions (Evil C in Rites, the season cliffhanger), unresolved mysteries (True Memories, Lullaby), newborn deaths, betrayal. Lena has her own arc that's full of twists and turns, some you may miss. There's even stuff in there that (I'm hoping) people won't have noticed the significance of till much later. This is why I was so proud of Season Four, everything I wanted for it worked and 90% of it still is good today. Unlike Season Three which was my favourite until I was fully over my issues.
The story that I wanted to tell started out so simply. The two ships are separated. Lena loses her command security net, her parents, and has to make all the decisions herself. While this is happening the main villains are explored to prepare for the big finale. Instead of the ships remaining separate for the whole season, as it may appear, the Enterprise is brought back by Q for the second half. There would be plenty of episodes in between that and Closing of the Eyes to build up to the final bunch of episodes.
As I said earlier, the season was based off a book I wanted to do. A one I'll never do, which is why it's in FV. What comes before it isn't the same, but the finale of the book is virtually identical. The main villains attack the "heroes" home world, while their allies secretly change space to their liking. There's a big battle and one of the ships, the lead one is destroyed suddenly (and no, I don't think I ever considered using Voyager. I'm sure it was always Enterprise). Some of the main characters were still there when it did, the rest evacuated in time. The book ends. It's also the end of that particular series.
I decided at some point, quite early on I remember, to shake things up even further. Closing of the Eyes and Burnt Out And Falling were created to go before or in between the finale. Everything in between Dark Page and them were the empty slotted story arc episodes of Season Four. They were there for the sole purpose of building up to the final five. To let people's guard down with easy going silly episodes, nice weddings and sometimes fluff. To continue Lena's horrible arc leading to Burnt Out. Not to mention keep up the more hidden elements that I mentioned earlier.
The season did take a little longer than the previous ones, and with good reason. I'm surprised it didn't take longer. Of course it's nothing compared to poor Season Five, that's another story.
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13th June 2005
31st January 2016
Number of Episodes
30 (29 numbered, 1 special)
My Favourite Episode
That's a tough one. It's a tie between Five, Three's A Paradox and Death of the Soul.
My Least Favourite Episode
WARNING: Obvious spoilers for Season Five are within.
Season Five is based on the storyline for my discarded book series called Millennium. It would follow on after the similar cliffhanger in a previous series of books.
This storyline always was the final season of FV, no matter what number it was.
It was originally Season Eight's storyline.
Season Five was picked to be the final season for two reasons; obviously the number 5, and if you counted the prequels there would still be eight seasons as originally planned. One more than original Voyager.
This season's arc does something similar to Season Four's. I wanted it to seem like the season would be about Voyager's search for the Enterprise, if it is that, while dealing with the huge character issues that started in Four. Then Death of the Soul turned it around to reveal the bigger picture. Or at least start to. Voyager isn't just trapped far from home, they're trapped in something by their enemy and they're not the only ones. Right when they're figuring things out and/or dealing with it, something bigger happens. It's meant to be a confusing season for everyone.
Damien was added to the main cast just because of his addition to the crew here.
Even though I was being very secretive about the plots from Death of the Soul onwards, I gave away Kiara's return in the news pages. To this day I have no idea why I was so blunt about it.
Lena's return however was kept to myself. Not only that but the cancelled spin off Slayer, which was based in the future, had Ylara in the guest stars list with a bio and everything. Craig's was also edited as if she was still around. Just in case. The only hint was Heaven Sent's title.
Future episode synopsis that were released, and there weren't many, that had to mention the Enterprise were either reworded or replaced with the Leda. Speaking In Riddles for example mentioned the Leda having to turn around and go back to rescue Voyager, when the Enterprise was the only one with them at the time.
This is currently the longest running season of the whole series. Ten and a half years. If you exclude the hiatus, it was still roughly five years. Hopefully it remains the longest running. I imagine Season One's reboot won't take anywhere near as long as it has.
I'm still not sure why but Season Five contains some of the biggest episodes of the series. Yet that isn't the real reason why it has taken nearly eleven years.
Writer's block slowed the season down gradually and then slammed on the brakes between episodes 1 to 7 (including the special). The series remained effectively dead from 2008 to 2012, with the only release in 2007 being Meets the Eye. 2008 was worse with a failed attempt to write Death of the Soul unfinished and part 1 of Caretaker's reboot.
Sin Deep was changed quite a lot to accomodate the fact that the spin off, Slayer X, wasn't going to be written anymore. The episode was to be released side by side, or at the very least paired with when Slayer's version "Voyager In Time" was released. It was to avoid certain spoilers within that series, mainly revolving around Roxanne, while the others were more about avoiding future Season Five spoilers (like Lena). The first person scenes were added, but for most of the episode I tried to gradually reveal the spoiler, and eventually decided to keep it unspoiled after all.
The idea for the season's storyline was created no later than 1999 (1997 at earliest), but I couldn't write it just yet. I had earlier books to do. I also wasn't capable of finishing much of anything. It wasn't until I discovered fanfiction existed that I eventually started to finish things. Once FV was created, I thought it would be a good idea to test the storyline as a FV season or two. Where's the harm? I'd probably never get to that season, right? I'll likely have moved onto my novels and forgotten about it by then.
Kids huh? I wasn't the brightest, and I guess nothing's changed. During Season Two I had already dumped those novels for mostly being unoriginal. The books this season is based on though were my most original work. Once I thought about it far more deeply, it fit Fifth Voyager well. Development soon started the build up to it in Season Two, using one particular episode of Season One as a starting point.
Bare in mind, and I really shouldn't be THIS honest, only the very basic idea of Season Five existed at this point. I didn't have episodes other than the Season Four finale trio. I didn't know what the characters would be doing or who had even survived to that point. Remember, I was probably fresh from writing something like Disconnected or Interactions. As I said, I shouldn't be this honest and be so negative. Even the basic story I had at the time was pretty impressive for someone like me, and I thought of it in the late 90's. I couldn't have been more than 15.
But anyway... I had S5's basic storyline in my head while doing episodes with the villains involved, their cubes/spheres, and anything else that could be related to it. I hoped that it would help build up ideas for it on how, and who should be involved. I don't know when exactly that episodes started to appear in a list for it, but it did quite early on.
Season Four was the real prep work for Five, as I've mentioned. There were a few instances in Three as well. Despite its awful history, it did give me some good ideas in the end.
To cut a long and boring story short, and I should really do that more often, Season Five had most of its episodes listed in order with some already plotted out when Season Four was still ongoing. I was dying to get started and so I picked a starting date soon after Four was over.
It was only in the days/weeks leading up to that date that things did start to go wrong. This time I had nothing to really blame for it. No behind the scenes problems, my depression was all but gone, no college flunking, no illness, at most there were temp jobs at Christmas (the season was due to start in June). Nothing. I assumed at the time that I was so knee deep in B4FV3, which was doing very well, that it was making it difficult to multi task on another great season.
I didn't realise it was the start of a much deeper problem. I had become so obsessed with (not) getting feedback for my work, that it upset me when episodes I thought were great were ignored. The big fiasco with Closing of the Eyes on fanfiction.net sealed the deal, I remember that well. I also remember that and Burnt Out getting positive comments on my own damn forum, so what the hell was I thinking? I was a mess. I can't even explain to myself what my mindset was then. I didn't believe good feedback, I still wanted any good or bad, but when I got the bad I expected I took it like a spoilt brat.
Nowadays all I think happened was that my confidence was shaky to begin with. I always thought I was rubbish. It was on the edge and I pushed it over with my obsession. It may have been all right though if I didn't have such high expectations and detailed plans for Season Five. I finished B4FV3 because it mostly wasn't like that. Even Alternate Scorpion just had a few must have's in it. I had no room for flexibility and at the time it was a disastrous thing for me. I had Death of the Soul/Dead or Alive to write next, where the crap hits the fan, and I just thought "I can't do this". I couldn't delay it either. No reboot to keep me in the spirit of writing, no episode could go before it.
I left it too long that even that distraction of a reboot didn't help. Before long bad things were happening again, and I was right back in my Season Three dark days. I am thankful I couldn't write Season Five during this. It would have been ruined.
If it wasn't for a conversation with someone I met on a completely unrelated forum, where I discussed my desire to go back and re-do Season One, Season Five would still only have 8 and a half episodes. After a few reboot episodes, four years after my last attempt at a comeback, Season Five was back in action.
I think I needed the time to be honest. I started in 2000 and I did nothing but write FV, mostly non stop. There were usually a couple of months gaps between seasons, and most of those times I was writing a prequel series as well. I needed to stop for a while. I regretted it at first, but now I've accepted it. Yeah sure I'll still make jokes at my expense cos of it, it's harmless. I managed to write Death of the Soul in a short space of time, I did it exactly how I wanted. Not only that, but I've kept on going. I never thought I'd be able to write Dark Clouds for example. Whether that's a good thing or not is debatable, it's a matter of opinion of course, but in mine it's excellent. I doubt I'd have been able to do it back then.
Yeah sure everything from episode 9 onwards has taken twice as long as any other season, but since it's mostly my best work I am not (always) complaining.
On another note, Season Five itself has developed as it has gone on. Even though a lot of things were developed in advance, I have had room to be creative with other things. Some stuff has changed from the original vision to fit the story better, to make it more interesting. I only hope my opinion here is shared by at least one person.
Ten and a Half Years In The Making
The break certainly has its benefits. Season Five's story is long, there's a lot of subplots, character arcs and these kind of things shouldn't be rushed. Even during the block the ideas for it were worked on, altered and expanded upon. If Season Five had continued on around 2007 until the end, then it would be completely different to what it is now.
Sure, there's issues with a ten year old WIP season. The biggest is it's difficult to remember every little part of older episodes, whether they're a few months old or a few years old. Every episode now is stalled by having to research little things like "does character know about Annika yet". Before this, the seasons generally had a development time of a few months upto a year, so remembering details like that was rarely an issue. Season Five's heavily planned arc and its many subarcs certainly don't help here. There's a lot to keep track of.
Anyway, the point of this section was to go through the benefits of the long development time. I'm going to start where the comeback began, with the biggie. This is long, so if you're not interested, you can skip to the prequels.
WARNING: Obvious spoilers for Season Five are within. If you haven't read the episode, don't read its entry here.
Death of the Soul
Previously known as Dead or Alive, Queuing Forever and Paradise. Sometime before the season went into a deep slumber, there was this trilogy planned to be in episode slots 8 to 10. Meets the Eye and Responsibility would have at least one scene each to foreshadow the events. When it was still three episodes, the story would start out slow. A training exercise with James and his trainees would end up with their shuttle being captured by the Softmicron. Only they don't know who's captured them. The escape attempt leads James to discover Voyager's true whereabouts. He keeps it to himself until the following episode. Meanwhile Jessie and Duncan's relationship is developed when she falls ill. The plot was to explore Duncan's character, primarily to show that he isn't just a carbon copy of his dad but a good combination of both parents.
Queuing Forever would follow with the events that were shown in the visions. All sorts of monsters would attack from within. A different type of forcefield would be used, while the Slayers and other Security members clear the paths. Apart from who's in these scenes, the storyline is the same. The ship ends up badly damaged and they're forced to find somewhere to land. Kiara would then make her appearance, leaving the episode on a "cliffhanger".
Enter Paradise, the real casualty in this. It was removed at first for being too similar to a B4FV3 episode that ended up cancelled too. In the end it didn't fit with the season arc's premise and so I didn't bring it back when the series returned. The planet Voyager lands on is dying. The land is weak, no living plants or trees, the people there are dying of hunger, no power. For some reason though the crew love it there and decide to stay. Naturally there are a few characters who are suspicious of this. The Chosens and Kiara. The latter's reason is that Q are more aware of these things. They'd eventually find the source of the problem; a Game Sphere tower. Once they landed the Soft trapped them in a more localised sphere. The tower would be destroyed but the planet was doomed.
There were a few issues with Paradise, I imagine I could have made it work. However with the many years I had to think about it, another way to tell the story became more feasable and interesting to me. It wasn't even "many years". The new idea was developed no later than 2008, one year after Meets the Eye. The three episodes turned into a "movie" called Death of the Soul. This movie would be the comeback. I think you know the rest.
A lot of the elements from the original trilogy did end up in the final version. You can see the basic story is still there; a trainee team is captured, James discovers the truth, big battle on Voyager, they do end up on a planet just differently, Kiara's return. The movie version though was planned to a lot of detail back then, so when the series returned with Queuing Forever and Death, nothing much was really changed.
If the episode/movie was released in 2008, a few little details would be different and that's all. In fact most of them happened when Queuing Forever separated from it; Kiara's return being earlier. The events being based not long after James' vision, whereas in the movie the crew would have had at least a month to train and prepare (as they discussed in the released version). Jessie and Damien's capture being earlier. The amount of trainees that went on the mission, all of them went in the original.
The ones that were in Death of the Soul itself were far more minor; Jessie and Damien's storyline had only been basically planned, so where they ended up wasn't decided yet. I guess that isn't all that minor, as if they ended up with Voyager, it would have changed the shield part of the story quite a bit. I don't think I considered bringing them back there though.
When the episode was developed, there was a spin off series still being planned called Slayer X. It was based in the future, which did give me an excuse not to write it until FV was finished, but that's another story. Anyway the point is there was an episode in that which was a time episode going back to Sin Deep, called Voyager In Time. The original version was going to go back to a prequel season, before it was changed to a tie in to Season Five. The overall story of Sin Deep hasn't changed one bit. Voyager or Leda run into the aliens from Grove of H'Taria and Loved Up, they're in trouble and some of their people are missing. The ship is visited by time travelers, you know who they are, to deal with the problem.
The problem, vampires are trying to hitch a ride on this alien ship, hoping to take over their home world. The episode would be tied in with the prophecy the aliens talked about in the previous two episodes, but leave it debatable about which of the time travelers was their chosen one. Or even have it seem feasable that two of them are, or all of them.
The episode didn't develop much further than that until the series made a comeback. The big difference was that Slayer X was long cancelled due to FV struggling. I also thought that if FV, a Voyager fanfiction series, was having trouble gaining readers, then a spin off starring the next generation would appeal to no one but people who already read FV.
This created a few problems. Sin Deep wasn't supposed to bring in these three already named as if you knew them. No, I didn't care for that. I didn't expect all FV readers to instantly take to Slayer X, assuming that would be stupid. Still, the character of Roxanne still needed her backstory around in some fashion. In the end it had to go into Sin Deep or her role in the story would either have to go completely, or just confuse or mislead everyone.
The episode of Slayer X that did this was intergrated with Sin Deep. When I got closer to writing it I had decided to tone it down a bit. I still wanted some mystery there. I wanted it to be left to interpretation. You may think then what was the point, what with what I said above about not confusing the reader. The original Sin Deep had no flash forwards/backs or whatever. I think I even avoided James being in the same room with Roxanne. Don't quote me on that though. The future characters would simply show up, pose as crewmembers, they'd show up now and then until they were discovered. Their identies would be known to everyone but James and Jessie, who are kept out of the loop for obvious reasons. They defeat the vampires and go back to their present.
It never assumed you knew who they were. It left hints for people who had read Slayer X so they'd know. Then the Voyager cast would discover this and work with them. Only James and Jessie don't know anything.
As for Roxanne in this original plot? Original Sin Deep didn't try to explain anything, it just states what the Slayer X cast know about her in the beginning before her back story is revealed. She's just another Slayer who knows them. Her backstory episode was after Voyager In Time, if I recall correctly.
Finally, because there was no back story, no flash forwards, there wasn't any plans for a first person narrative from Amy and Roxanne. All third person.
Lifestyles of the Lost & Helpless
Based a little later in Season Five, this episode was always devoted to character development as the ship and crew are mostly doing nothing. It's an episode to reflect on the episodes before. That's never changed.
Most of the individual character stories are the same as originally planned. Tom's struggling to bond with his daughter. Nathan tells James his secret. Ylara and Damien clash. Chakotay's trying to deal with his guilt from his previous actions. Kiara finds out the truth about Lena and Ylara.
Some stories changed all together. Some were new, while others were developed from what was there before. The idea that Neelix would be telling the episode to the children was a new one, giving him something to do in the episode. Harry's depended on where the episode ended up, and since it was after Sin Deep his storyline revolved around Tira.
If this was released back then some of the stories may have been based around episodes that were planned in first. Three's A Paradox for example. It's probably the only example as Season Five did lose a lot of minor/filler episodes. Although at one point I remember putting Hush Now a little earlier, so that could have been based before Lifestyles, severely altering Kiara's part.
Subplots that were abandoned in favour of new ones, or changed a lot; Craig and Daniel would be bickering as they used to. Craig also would be giving Ylara a hard time still. Damien's "friendship", relationship, whatever the hell it is, with her would be explored further. He was also briefly planned to have a love interest. That was changed into Annika stalking him, but hey. James and Jessie also were to have a brief issue in their relationship, which was only removed as it made no sense, was OOC, and was related to cancelled episode Distorted Image. You're not missing much.
I think by Lifestyles I was trying to write better, differently. Character's feelings and thoughts were being explored now and then. If the episode was released long ago, the episode itself could've been written quite differently.
There's A Paradox
There's a whole chunk of examples in its own Episode Trivia entry. This however is a perfect example of how the writer's block benefited the season. As stated before, I was experimenting with character narrative, first person etc... Three's A Paradox is a favourite of mine now as I don't think the episode would have worked if I kept the third person narrative throughout. It works because during Craig's story, you're with him. You "see" what he does, you know what he's thinking. There's no scenes in his story that he wasn't there for. The episode would have been a big mess if I wrote it back in 2007/2008.
I didn't even have the format figured out. What was I going to do? Who knows, I don't remember. It certainly wasn't split into three separate parts. Imagine Chakotay's story going on in whatever time he ends up in (remember, there's a lot), then the scene skipping to see what Craig's doing in BC. It doesn't work. I do remember though that the current way came about when I thought, keep the episode in chronological order. That meant Craig's story was on its own anyway, why should James and Chakotay have to mix and match? Chakotay's unfortunately would be lost if his was mixed with James', the size difference is ridiculous.
James' story was even bigger as well. As mentioned in its Episode Trivia, he was in the past far longer, he was meddling a whole lot more. The resolution was different. All of the stuff that got removed from the final version, wasn't supposed to be in the episode in the first place.
Three's A Paradox, once it became a time travel story (instead of a character biography) was supposed to throw James back in time to when Jessie was little, so he could save her from demons but not because she was killed by them, but because their attack would harm her mentally. She wasn't supposed to know he was there, they weren't supposed to have long chats, all the things that made the axed story creepy IMO. All those extra's that didn't make it would have ruined it. What's there now tells the same story. I never liked it, so don't ask me why they were almost in Three's A Paradox. I still can't explain Hunters.
Chakotay's story being different is the big one truthfully. I hadn't worked it out back then and I likely would have improvised if forced to write it all those years ago. Craig and Chakotay's story would have had too much in common, and Chakotay's likely would make no sense. So yes, Three's A Paradox is better for the wait.
This one had to be mostly in Craig's point of view. Even back then there was no getting around it. You had to know exactly what he was seeing, or the episode would not work. I probably would have tried as I'm sure I would have known that then. Would it be written better, worse, at an earlier time? That's up to you to decide.
The main thing would be that Kiara's story would be in a separate episode called Hush Now. The episodes merged together perfectly. I didn't really have to take anything out, change things. It fit. Having the two separate would have created two very similar episodes released side by side.
Hush Now Kiara's plan was slightly different in execution. Instead of Q she planned to use witches. Bare in mind this episode would have a sequel called Friction much later, now cancelled for many reasons. Kiara's plan wasn't stopped, she was just manipulated by the witches and Craig was all she thought she could count on to help her. Like Unforgiving, he'd convince her not to resurrect Lena and she eventually listens.
Unforgiving would follow, showing Craig's guilt manifesting in his hallucinations. Thanks to Kiara he's able to see them for what they are, or rather what he thinks they are, and so they stop. Try Harder Next Time would come next and you know what happens there.
The same two storylines are told, and IMO are told better. Time certainly helped this episode(s).
Try Harder Next Time
Time here gave me the opportunity to tell this story differently. That I'm definitely thankful for. The original version wasted a lot of time, it also had the most pointless side story in the whole season. Well next to Distorted Image anyway. Craig and Daniel try to resurrect Lena but there are consequences for doing so, and how the pair handle it explores the characters best and/or worst sides. Craig for example is supposed to be a good guy, always wanting to do the right thing. Losing Lena destroyed that and this episode is the next step to trying to restore it. Daniel's meanwhile was meant to show his old "Ronnie" personality still existed deep down. Selfish, callous and stubborn. He does genuinely care for Lena, that needed to be shown.
The finished version I think does this fine. It didn't need the convoluted plot that would have been written if it weren't for the hiatus. Like with Three's A Paradox I tried to show too much to tell the exact same story, and there was just no need. I really disliked the scenes that didn't make it, I'm sensing a pattern here.
Since even the plot wasn't decided all those years ago, just the basic premise and the knowledge that it followed Try Harder Next Time's original story, this episode definitely would have been different. It was Lena's return episode, it was meant to show the aftermath. I wanted to see how the rest of the season fared before commiting to an actual story. I knew S5 would change as I went through it, something like for example Chakotay's development might not have gone as far, would have changed his part in the episode if I planned it in advance.
The episode would also not have another attempt to do first person. It's not something I ever want to do full time in a story/book, but I enjoyed the freedom that comes with it, so I get it ^_^ It's also at the same time confining. Doing a full episode in one person's POV means they have to be in every scene. Dark Clouds could have done that easily, but I chose to do that differently.
This is another episode I'm glad I waited to write. I don't think there's an episode here that I regret waiting for.
What can I say? Shadow didn't exist in the original line up. It's an arc episode. It's supposed to continue the arc from wherever it was up to before, and carry it until the next one. Basically it had to bridge the gap between Try Harder Next Time and Parental Advisory. Try Harder was always supposed to allow Voyager to discover the Enterprise, but still not be close to solving its mystery or retrieving it. Parental Advisory they had to look suspicious to the Erayans, so they'd think Voyager either knew a way out of the sphere or were behind it.
The gap that Shadow is in though wasn't always there. It was left over when Hush Now was merged with Unforgiving, and moved. All the empty slots were later in the season, after PA. Five didn't exist either, and I remember various filler episodes filled the gap that Shadow needed to initially. Friction was one, as well as Where Is Everyone. They would have done it instead.
The first empty slot reserved for the story arc would have been Bounds of Illusion and Within Reach.
I really love Shadow and I'm glad it exists. Friction and Where is Everyone are better untold. Well, Friction wasn't all bad. Changes to Death of the Soul and Hush Now made the episode impossible. I'll talk about what Friction was about someday, but not now, this isn't the place. The fact is that if I didn't have all those years to organise Season Five, plan things and get new ideas, instead of writing it, Shadow would only exist as numerous subplots in much weaker episodes.
As I said above, this did not exist for a very long time. I'm sure I was in the writer's block when I came up with it. 99.9% sure of that. It was inspired by a random thought that Lena's back story did deserve to be explored, that Friction wasn't strong enough to deal with her feelings and fears over her resurrection. Season Five had taken priority over a movie event that would finish B4FV3, a movie that would have covered her back story. The original plot would have been simply "Four", mixed in with Lena's current situation. It didn't take long to develop into the story it is now.
The fact that it didn't exist when I started S5 should tell you how I feel about the hiatus. I adore this episode.
I think if this had been written in thee old days, it would have ended up a single parter like I thought. Other than that the episode followed the same plot I thought up all those years ago. Would it be different then? Of course, but nothing like the others. It just might be a little shorter, that's all.
Bounds of Illusion / Within Reach
I'm keeping these together as they were created that way. Like Shadow these were the empty slots of the season to develop the arc. Unlike Shadow though, the developments that had occured over the years had given me new ideas about what to do with this particular part of the story. I can't go into it in much detail as I risk spoiling future episodes. These two would have done something very different, I'm sure.
Speaking In Riddles
Like Parental Advisory, this episode closely followed the original plot for it. It however changed a few details, which ended up creating new scenes like the opening and the scenes with James & Nathan. When Riddles was planned I had no idea how and when I was going to bring in Nathan, what his character would be like and how his relationship would be with his sister and James at this point in the season. When I got back into writing again I decided to include him in this story, mainly due to the development he had been getting in the episodes leading up to it. I thought that if I didn't use him now I never would. So yeah, the season so far has been improved from being written later than I planned, so Nathan's part in Riddles wouldn't exist. I only had Nikki around originally for laughs. Not exactly clever, was it?
Ruins / Say It Again With Emotion
Ruins definitely never existed. Until the days before release it was a part of Emotion. Jessie and James' part of the story hasn't changed. That is what I had in mind, all of it. How it would have been written in the past though might have been a bit, should I say simplistic or more simplistic than it is now. I doubt it would have needed to be split in two, even with the arc "subplot" in the background.
A lot of the dialogue in these scenes have been in my head a while, so this theoretical 2007/08(/09?) version of Emotion wouldn't be THAT different. I just think the character actions wouldn't have been mentioned as often; the photo bit was always there. Jessie's toy clean up was but I figured it would be written simply like "Jessie picked up the last toy when the door chimed". Not four paragraphs long.
Even then I think I still would have underestimated its finished size, just not so much that I'd have to split it up into two.
I'll be honest here. I don't think I would have released this back in the day. If I did it would be butchered. All of the hard(er) scenes would be changed. The girl who was attacked probably would have only been in a coma. Nathan, or rather Demon Nathan would have either just hit Jessie once and chased her*, or the attack would be as brutal but not shown. I doubt I'd have been able to write James' hallucinations that well, but as they're important I'd still try. If I had gotten to it, the final part may have been told and not shown. Even when I was writing the episode, I was concerned about how I was going to present it.
If I didn't have my writer's block hiatus around Meets the Eye and Death of the Soul, Dark Clouds would have done it instead. Only I doubt I'd have been able to return as easily. Death was a fun adventure, there was room to be flexible with it, add stuff etc... Dark Clouds had a plot I couldn't budge from. I imagine most of Reboot Season One would have been done before I'd been able to continue Season Five with DC.
Lets assume for a moment that DC wouldn't have strayed from its plot and still made it online in my pre-writer's block days. Not likely but this is all in theory.
The episode had a set path to follow, there were a few strands along the way that could go if other scenes compensated for it. A couple of scenes were far less frigid than others, so I could have flexibility with them. I'm blabbing again but I think the main differences between what's released and what would have been released, if I was able to write it without chickening out, would be very small.
I doubt I'd have written it as well. That's a given. That would have helped it not become the longest episode of the series so far. Though without Five, Death of the Soul would be the challenger. I don't know.
The scenes I ended up taking out may have made it; Sasha falling ill and having to stay at home with Jessie. Some of the flashbacks that were replaced with newer ones. There were a couple more incidents with James hallucinating. None of them ended up being needed.
Scenes that were altered may have stayed the same; *Jessie and Nathan's fight ended because it took place in her quarters, not his. Sasha was home, the baby too. Sasha was planned to run out after getting her sister to another room and shout for help, prompting the demon to stop her, Jessie pursues but he grabs Sasha first. James intervenes to save his daughter not Jessie. Was it necessary? No, the point's still there. Nathan isn't himself and he proves it by going too far. Attacking his sister is too far enough. The other scene was moved and altered. James talks to Sasha, and it's clear to everyone including her he's not himself. The original was based when he was having the hallucinations, so his behaviour is even more obvious. I felt it was far more effective to do it when he's still "fine".
Then there's the scenes that weren't there in the original, which won't have made it; Tom and Harry's card game. The scene in Security Office where they take a break and stuff their faces. All scenes that made the episode a little less depressing to be honest. I felt the episode needed some nice scenes, but not to lighten the mood, no. To make the bad scenes even more effective. I feel a lot worse for James for example when Jessie and Lena help him deal with the case better, only for the case to stab him in the back later.
I imagine there's more examples, but Dark Clouds, if it had been written at all, wouldn't have changed too much from its original vision.
Forget this is or was an empty slot, you know like Bounds and Shadow. Forget that the season storyline was developed further while it was written, so future episodes would be affected. Forget it all. Just look at the episode. REMEMBER, spoilers are within. I'm only warning you as this episode was very new when I wrote this.
Dark Clouds may have prepared you for it, but crap truly hits the fan in Echoes. Something has gone down between DC and this, and the characters refuse to say what it is. Time has passed since then. If it had happened that day or yesterday, somebody could ask "hey, what's going on?" and it would seem natural. Only two weeks have gone by, everybody knows... unless they're Damien. The questions have been asked, now they're on a mission to answer them. It's really difficult to write a story like this and I could have easily not done it all. How on earth do you write a story where the crew are dealing with a situation that didn't happen in an episode, without shouting unrealistic exposition to explain it to the reader? I'm learning to show rather than tell, Echoes was my way of doing that.
I wanted to avoid saying such and such happened. I wanted the facts about it to come out naturally in conversation. Sometimes it didn't work, I'll admit. One person talks about the object involved while another talks about the person, which shows I'm trying to avoid giving it away so soon. Later though, if it came out in conversation so be it. It's natural. Dialogue and conversation is probably my only strength in writing, besides coming up with convoluted time paradoxes. I imagine or I hope that the point where a reader figures out what happened is different for everyone.
True Memories had a similar thing going on. It never reveals what happened, ever. It failed as it was meant to be left open ended, you're meant to think that the explanation isn't the right one. I don't think it does that. I hope that I've learned from it.
It isn't just that, that makes me doubt this episode would have existed pre-writers block. It's lots of things:
How the hell I've managed to go ten years without explaining Chakotay's arc one way or another, is a mystery. I think after Emotion I would have caved by now. Though that scene wasn't originally planned into Emotion in the first place. After Responsibility I feel like I chickened out with him, that the development wasn't gradual enough. I dunno if I would have managed to continue his story this way back then.
I was never good at space battles, and I'm still not. I hope there's been some improvement. I used to do it the way Star Trek itself did it, have all the action inside the ship. Echoes had many scenes rewritten as I felt I was explaining too many things. Showing the ships doing things probably wouldn't be happening as often.
As mentioned, I write dialogue a lot. Conversation between characters flows out of me easily. That's not always a good thing as evidenced in the old, OLD days of Season One. Here though, a lot of things were getting explained or described by the characters. They were rewritten or replaced. I wouldn't have done that a few years ago.
Tom's character arc. That's all. I've treat him like crap over the years and I can't even explain it to myself. I found his early season traits annoying but I never disliked him. I let him command Voyager and despite it starting as a joke, well something for the characters to joke about, he's fit nicely into the role IMO.
The planets that are visited in the episode, it's hard to say what I would have done back then. I didn't want all these dying and occupied planets to seem the same, I wanted to keep it interesting. If it wasn't for Bounds and the idea behind it coming to life, I'd still be struggling. The planet Erayas looked horrible in my head, when you could see it at all. So yeah that helped me develop the planets that came later. Ruins' opening world, the militarised one, what you can see of Ruva from orbit, the final planet they evacuate, and the unnamed one that closed the episode.
I could go on but I think you get the point. I hope. The whole episode is packed, all of the stories that go on in it had to fit together. I dunno if it works, I just know I would have given up trying to do it in the older days and likely would have chickened out on some of the stories. The main one behind it for example.
What was between Dark Clouds and Closure always focused on the story arc and the characters, excluding one. One particular character would be AWOL. I think you know who I mean. That hasn't really changed I guess. How I was going to present it, the story behind it, its tone was completely different before. It's another example of how things change over the years when there's time to think about it, and then when the previous episodes are actually being written.
This episode would definitely be a completely different animal just a year ago, I think, let alone six or seven.
Out of Mind's Eye
Like a few others this episode, for the most part, would not exist at all. It was a part of Closure until the last "minute". The development over the years expanded the opening to Closure by quite a bit, enough to create a single episode. The scenes off the top of my head that definitely would have existed but in Closure itself would be the Jessie and Janeway meeting, their talk about what happened to James, Janeway's later scene with James in Sickbay would be the first one they had, and Lena and Janeway's reunion. A lot of them went how I pictured. I imagine if they were written years before, they'd be a tad more simplistically written.
It may be surprising for you to know that Closure's plot was bigger than what's there, if you exclude the stuff I didn't mention in Out of Mind's Eye. It likely was a similar length to Closure's cutscenes to be honest. The plot from the rehearsal dinner up until James' near death scene is exactly the same. The released build up is smaller, what with James' recovery taking longer in the original plot. His depression/PTSD was quite a bit different too. The Rachel parts of the story haven't changed from the plot I came up with years ago. The ending depended on where I was up to in the season arc, so whether or not that would've been here or in any episode following it is difficult to say.
The aftermath scenes with Jessie and James were longer. Note that Jessie's battle to convince him and his hints that they should be apart were the same in the old plot. And yet originally the Rachel revelation almost drove her to leave instead, so James would have to convince her. Some of that is still there with his speech about starting new family traditions. It didn't feel right everytime I thought about it. It made more sense for it to be the way it is now.
So at the same time, Closure would have had a longer middle section, but wouldn't have about half of Out of Mind's Eye in it, and would be written far more simply. That's it in a nutshell.
Untitled had a slightly different solution to the Game Sphere, long before Death of the Soul was created. The new and current one was a WIP throughout the post 2012 part of the season. Shadow was the episode that set the new version in motion.
I'm not saying that the original idea would've been Untitled had I written it before the writer's block. That idea was already being rubbed off the drawing board then (Death of the Soul replaced Dead or Alive's trilogy episodes 2007/2008). The new/current one was still being worked on, so it wouldn't have been that either. So I don't know what Untitled would have been like. Of course I would have had the previous episodes to work with and come up with something. A part of me hopes that it wouldn't have been as good as what I did figure out for this episode. I'll never know, and I'm happy with the rest of S5 so it's not worth worrying about.
I'm not talking about the entire premise, that's the issue with being OTT vague. Voyager was doomed from the onset when this season premise was added to FV. The Game Sphere was going to be destroyed at the source. The Enterprise would go home alone. Etc, whatever. Details like the final Game, Nathan's fate, how exactly the battle was going to go. I'll tell you now, the plan was only to end the Sphere. I left the Games Matrix a little open ended, at least in Untitled.
I can't remember if the movie after Back To Normal was still around then. If it was already cancelled then Untitled would have been still about the Game Sphere being destroyed, and the Enterprise on its way home. Character arcs being resolved etc... If the movie was still around, Untitled would be shorter, its second half continuing into Back To Normal.
Back To Normal, or the old "movie"
I've used that as the header as what I'll be talking about is the current 2015 Back To Normal plot, which was going to be the movie. I don't know when I cancelled it, so I'm not sure if it should be counted for this pre-writer's block hypothetical. This way is easier.
I came up with the idea for individual or paired character chapters this year, so the theoretical 2007-09 version of this story would've been the usual 2-3 or even 4 parter. Before I decided on the character chapters, the episode was going to be 8 parts like Caretaker. I doubt I decided this all the way back then, it felt like a recent idea.
The story itself would basically be alike. I had a good idea what I wanted to do with it and where it was going. The differences lie in everything that did change in episodes 9-28, primarily character based.
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3rd September 2001
12th March 2003
Number of Episodes
My Favourite Episode
Outside of Time and Ex Post Facto. I can never decide.
My Least Favourite Episode
Rules & Regulations
The prequels were created when Season Two plans started to hint at events before Aggressions. When Season One was new the idea was that Aggressions was the point where original Voyager and Fifth broke off from each other. Once One developed it wasn't applicable anymore.
Before the prequels existed FV would have been eight main seasons. Three were taken off to make B4FV, so the series would end in Season Five instead.
Originally it was titled Before Fifth Voyager. The B4 isn't just a simplified text message version of Before. It has a hidden meaning, hinting towards the main premise of Fifth Voyager. It's hard to explain without spoiling everything. If you've read the episode titled Five, you may understand the meaning behind the prequel's title.
The series had a poor start. Caretaker was written to be a lot like the original, which was difficult for me, just because I thought the events would be mostly the same as nothing had really happened besides one thing. Wrong.
At the time Caretaker had the longest writing time for an episode until probably Meets the Eye in Season Five. Death of the Soul would have the title, if I didn't make its unfinished Part 1 a separate episode.
The season suffered the same issues as Season Three, since it was written mostly at the same time.
B4FV1 was little more than a setup season. The point of creating the prequels didn't start until the second season, so I had the challenge of making the first season differently interesting. I failed.
New characters were created as some of the primary characters of the main seasons were either not around, or weren't old enough. They were tested in Season Two before the prequels properly took off. None of them ended up being in the main cast in the end, only regulars.
One of the biggest challenges was to not only have Damien around for the prequels, but to make sure whatever he did wasn't threatening enough because of their early attitude towards him. Also what he does in One had to be hinted at, at the very least at some point, which a B4FV3 episode eventually did.
The FVDA were chosen as a means for me to make fun of celebs I was getting sick of hearing about. I've always preferred to use my bad humour to deal with things like this. It's better than getting mad, something that's caused me far more trouble.
As a way to distinguish the prequels from the main seasons, the amount of episodes were reduced to 22 and the "last time" recaps were added to every episode. The latter has been gradually phased out. There also wasn't supposed to be specials either, but the Mind Games move from the second season would have screwed up the 22 episodes rule of the third season if it wasn't a special. It's still 23 episodes so why did I bother, heh.
Caretaker's Reboot was finished in 2017 (technically in 2016 but released in 2017), the original version is now no longer canon.
Warning: Spoilers for Season One. There is one part that is a spoiler for a Season Five episode, but that will be noted at the time.
You hopefully know the story by now. FV was created with a simple-ish premise, the Lena and Kiara paradox and its effect on Voyager. Kiara would appear out of nowhere, things would change from then on as a result. Later her future self would appear, where they would discover Kiara is doomed to be assimilated and become her. Of course a lot changed during writing. The series didn't take itself that seriously, but the premise remained there. What's that got to do with B4FV1 though?
The original idea was that Kiara herself was what caused the dimensional split from original Voyager to FV. Apart from the few flashbacks in Aggressions, everything should be different from season four onwards. The Morgan/Lena part of the paradox was still being developed behind the scenes, as apart from the order of her and Kiara's appearance, the story was exactly the same as my old novel series. I'm not sure when, but somewhere during Season One I decided on the basics. In the end the changes meant that the branch off point couldn't have been when Kiara appeared. It was much sooner.
I wanted to show what happened before, primarily to the characters. It took a while to figure out how to do it. Its format, whether or not to just have flashback episodes, how to do it without spoiling Season One onwards. In fact would I be able to do Season Two if I was doing the earlier years? My mind was soon made up. The first three seasons would be a separate series all together, a prequel. The seasons would be shorter than the main, as its focus would be on character history/building. It being a prequel meant it didn't have to be read first, so it didn't interfere with Season Two+.
The title seemed easy enough; Before Fifth Voyager. I decided to change it at some point, to make it not only shorter but have a hidden meaning to it, a one related to the FV side of it. Yes B4 materialised as a slang/text way of writing Before, but it was chosen properly for the 4 part of the title.
Spoilers for episode 17 of Season Five:
As far back as Season One, no later than very early Season Two the Fifth part of the title was developed. I'll admit, the series was originally called that before it was written because it was a Voyager from another dimension. The number itself was a personal callback to my previous unpublished work.
It worked out though as it all came together in my head.
Is thee Voyager. Star Trek: Voyager.
Had yet to be determined at the time. It was a stepping stone, and I had so many things to build it with.
Was experimented with in Precise Timings. I believe some dimensions are split off when a decision is made. Two choices, two paths. But I also believe time travel works like this. You go back in time, kill your grandfather, go back to the present and everything is the same. All you've done is created a separate reality where you weren't born, your reality is fine. You can't go back and kill him, you wouldn't exist to do it in the first place. The separate reality theory makes time travel make more sense to me. Precise Timings plays around with Third Voyager this way.
Morgan's appearance in the past makes Janeway and Chakotay return to Voyager before they get trapped in Resolutions. Two months or so of Voyager leaving and going back for them doesn't happen. Their relationship doesn't get addressed. Change. The episode was to see if this worked written out. There were a few things missed out to avoid spoilers as the cause is different. However the scene Kes shows Morgan is Third Voyager's details and kinks being worked out. It's passed off as just another time travel experience. This is Third Voyager though. Its real cause would lurk in the prequel's shadows, hidden. Resolutions doesn't happen. I know most people would consider the episode a minor one, not something that would make a difference. In my imagination it does.
This was the meat of the planning. It was Third Voyager up until a certain point where one event splits them up. Only what splits them apart isn't the moment it happens, it's future events. Something in the future alters something in the past, forcing the dimensions to branch off. To keep it remotely vague still, the paradox with Lena and Kiara kicks off properly here. Everything else before it is setup.
Well you know what this is. This is the dimension the series takes place. Where does it branch off though? Somewhere in the prequels. For the most part of course. It's a little more complicated. The point is, you have a reason for the 4 in B4 Fifth Voyager sitting right here.
The season had a difficult time, and because of that a poor start. I never really liked Caretaker and I honestly didn't know what to do with it. The main changes that I was talking about were not planned until the second season, and I wasn't sure how different I wanted Season One to be. Do I start "normally" and slowly wade into the chaos of "style" that main Season One is, do I jump straight into it, or do I try to pretend it doesn't exist and keep it how I imagined the series anyway?
In the end I went with jump straight in, it seems. In hindsight it wasn't a completely terrible idea. I like that the series tries to be funny, not take itself seriously sometimes. I just didn't want it being silly all the time. There's two TV shows that come to mind, which I think basically describes what I like to see FV as. Scrubs and Futurama. Both are funny, to the point of ridiculousness sometimes, and yet still had time for brilliant dramatic moments like My Screw Up, My Lunch, Jurassic Bark, Luck of the Fryish (if you're unfamiliar with either series, the episodes I named are infamous enough for a google search). I'm not saying FV pulls this off. It tries though, and that's the point I'm making.
B4FV One though, was written in the in between period. Main Season Two had tried to grow from the parody I didn't want FV to be, and it came away 50/50 to be honest. However the season was awash with behind the scenes drama, which leaked into the writing of main Season Three, when most of B4FV1 was being written too. I know that I decided to make B4FV1 lighter since Season Three was quite dark at times. This however just made a second Season One IMO, which is a shame as at this point I badly wanted an alternate starting point for new readers and B4FV1 being just as slapstick, underdeveloped and messy as S1 didn't help with that at all.
The season's a missed opportunity. There was nothing to really develop, storyline wise in it other than what original Voyager did. It was the best chance to properly introduce the characters, fairly. This is what the reboot will very likely do instead.
The season didn't really find its footing until Ex Post Facto IMO. It was 100% daft sure, but I had a fair amount of the cast within it and I didn't try to make new characters take old roles. The story worked as it still used Tom, Tuvok and Janeway. That episode is how I should have done the other original episodes like. I don't NEED to use the new characters instead of old to change an episode. It's just a shame I didn't give myself time to follow it with a decent Emanations. I realised by this time that Ex Post's style was the way, but instead of giving the episode back to Harry, I just mad fun of the fact that James had a habit of stealing episodes from people. Better than going in ignorant sure, giving it back to Harry would have been better though.
Ignoring the so called "new" episodes in between, the season continued to do a just OK job with the original parodies. Prime Factors is relatively harmless as it keeps the original cast in their place, but copies Ex Post Facto by bringing in the FVDA as the "secret" villains again. State of Flux didn't do much different, it just made fun of Janeway's bad mood that I imagined in the original and chucked in another reasonable suspect for the episode. It was the so called new plot in Cathexis that ruined Deception, not Cathexis itself. Learning Curve did replace old with new, but it did it right with only a few minor issues.
The new episodes after Transfigurations however were terrible. Rules was a parody of a comedy, where in order for my cast to take part in it I had to make them drunk. Even then they're OOC. Tomorrow's Voyager was so bad I had to do a similar plot again in B4FV3, just cos I knew I could do better. As stated already, Deception was ruined because of its new story, which was coated in cheese and was inspired by real life events, souring the cheese (cue bad cheese to Sickbay joke). Obsession didn't learn from Rules, and parodied the same comedy series. Apart from the ending it was better, still bad though. Second Chance was a wasted opportunity; I remember getting stuck and just rushing to the end cos that's what I did back then.
Elogium seemed to be the last bad episode, another one where I just shrugged off my ideas for it and wrote the easier way. B4FV1 was re-energised by the final trio of Paris Camera, 2003's and Outside of Time. Outside was everything that most of B4FV1 should have been. Half decently written (for me), written to an actual end, included all the ideas, had a good almost serious story but still managed to throw in some jokes. It's a shame it's one of my favourite season finales, the season it belongs to doesn't deserve it.
Since B4FV1 had very little plans for it, while B4FV2 was where everything would kick off, it was decided that a few things from the latter should be moved into it. One of those things was the James and Jessie relationship, with the Tom trying to make it a love triangle part. I had envisioned it while writing the beginning of main Season Two, and so it was referenced there. It made more sense being in 1 than 2, as with only 22 episodes each, there wasn't much time to develop it. We're talking about Tom and James bickering over it, coming to blows. Two/three episodes later James and Jessie get together. By episode 14 Resolutions is happening and well... you know the story. For me, it made their relationship too rushed. It may work for other pairings to have them go all the way in a few episodes, but for these two insecure people it made more sense to have it be a season.
It probably shouldn't have been in episode three where it all kicked off. Or rather six. I don't mind Tom and James clashing almost immediately. I liked that idea that Tom would be trying to woo Jessie since the beginning, while James doing his protective routine with him, and have that go on for many episodes. The relationship starting up was badly done and ironically rushed, it kinda ruined it all.
On another topic, the struggle to figure out a way for Damien to be included in the prequels was interesting to say the least. It's a bit inconsistent in the season, and some of B4FV2, and that's to do with just winging it in the end. I wanted Voyager to be aware of him eventually but he couldn't be seen as any kind of threat, not that he is that often in the main seasons. I wasn't sure whether to have him be in charge of his group or not, and it's obvious it took me a while to make up my mind.
The season took a year and a half to complete, most of that was writing Caretaker. It really doesn't show.
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19th May 2003
1st January 2004
Number of Episodes
21 (22 numbered, 1 excluded for being previous season's cliffhanger)
Up In Smoke
In The Flesh
My Favourite Episode
My Least Favourite Episode
Run or Hide
As stated above, the prequels were created to further show the differences between original and Fifth. It also though was to have the one episode where the Fifth timeline separates in the first place.
The original premise of the prequels was inspired by the thought that I had characters like Craig, then James and Jessie, become apart of the main crew in Season One quite literally out of nowhere. For three seasons (not years, that's another thing I'll talk about) the senior staff would deal with the same things, then this teen kid appears in Alter Ego's luau party and everyone knows him (like every bad fanfiction! I was doomed from the start). At least James and Jessie were introduced as some previously unknown Marquis, befriended by the new kid thus introducing them to the series... the only thing Hunters probably did right. Never thought I'd type that. The prequels would bring the new cast into the mix or at least show what they were doing those three seasons.
Why mention the above in B4FV2 and not 1? Two and B4FV3 was where the majority of the planning took place. One of the first episodes slotted into the prequels was Resolutions, before it was a saga. It's the main reason that the new characters had priority over the original cast. Yes I complained here and in other pages, and for good reason. The prequels style should have been a mix of Four Out Of Five, Ex Post Facto and the Facing Fears saga. Not James takes another original MC's place in an original episode. In fact only Symbiogenesis comes to mind, and that still used an original MC.
On the otherhand B4FV2 is notorious for chucking James into other people's stories, but not have him completely replace them B4FV1 and Season One style. B4FV2's better moments were when I didn't cheat like this and/or gave extra characters something completely new to do.
I regretted James' inclusion in the Seska arc, until I remembered Worse Case 2. Or techincally when rebooting it. The origin was right there, all along. It started in B4FV1 to keep continuity right. Jessie always hated her it seems, and/or vice versa.
I guess there are multiple and smaller arcs in this season, but it's better than 1's right? One is the Seska storyline, yawn. The next is James and Jessie's relationship (yawn?) mixed in with James' Slayer revelation. Resolutions is an arc on its own. Then there's Damien and his crew's occasional alliances with Voyager. I counted four off the top of my head. The rebooted version toys with a side villain for three episodes, you know who I mean. Rihanna and the mighty brainwashing fruits.
Due to a few misunderstandings over how long a season is in months/years in Voyager's early seasons, the dates were altered during the reboot. B4FV3 suffered the most, and I'll obviously explain that there.
Apart from the premiere, the season has already been rebooted. Although I'm still tempted to briefly edit Broken Wreck's ending. I've always hated it and I've wondered for a while now why Jessie didn't once talk to James about his life changing revelation. No, just act silly and jealous a lot. Good job.
Tom being forced into Security for most of the season, and I guess this happened in B4FV1 first, was inspired by his Ensign stint in the original series. It was also nice to have a running gag after I accidentally put him on the bridge in the first few episodes.
Near the end I tried to organise a marathon of episodes, based around the 4th December in 2003. The reason was so I could concentrate solely on Season Four. Episodes were written and released out of order because of it.
In the end Season Four ended up taking longer due to mammoth episodes like Closing of the Eyes onwards, and I ended up writing B4FV3 alongside it after all. Dunno why I was in such a rush, to be honest.
The Resolutions Saga was created as I always thought the idea of crewmembers trapped "forever" on a deserted world, needed more than one episode.
Damien originally made another alliance with Voyager to avoid the series being cancelled by Fox, thus erasing himself as well. Thankfully the villain was changed to something else as later Damien tries to destroy Voyager himself many times, which would also mean he'd erase himself as there'd be no series. Fourth wall storylines create problems, news at eleven.
As Part 2 season premieres usually get counted as a previous season's episode, I was left with the issue of B4FV2 only having 21 episodes instead of 22. Also the cancellation of Images in the Mind/Mind Games reduced it to 20. I did consider adding a special, or maybe even adding in Mind Games as a special later on when I could write it, but in the end I decided on winging it. It didn't really matter, especially when the no cliffhanger and MG's reappearance ended up making the next season 23 episodes.
I started with quite a good premise for a series. Obvious spoilers for the main seasons, episode 13 of Season Two at the latest: Janeway and Chakotay would be "gifted" with a daughter they couldn't/shouldn't have, in mysterious circumstances. The future version of her appears on a Borg ship warning them that the present day one will be taken very soon. They later discover the daughter was given to them by Q. All of this playing out in a parallel dimension to original Voyager, and because of it their journey begins to differ minorly at first. The further they go, the greater the differences.
It meant that the, at the time, two new characters would have no previous history with the crew. The first three seasons wouldn't need writing, they'd be alike. What's the point?
Before I started to write the series, the two new MC's turned into a few. Fortunately though the same could be said of them. Lilly, Triah, Tani, Nikki and Phoebe would be introduced within the series. The series would still make sense starting in Scorpion, or more accurately Q and the Grey if you count Aggressions' flashbacks.
Then there came Craig. A young teenager who had lived on Voyager all this time, that couldn't really do anything until he was of age, which he is come Season One's time. Sketchy but still workable. It didn't, but that's another thing altogether.
The series began and the real reason of this novel becomes clear. James and Jessie became MC's. Now I had two adult (well they didn't act it in S1, still!) characters who had been onboard all along. No problem right, they were brought into the main cast's circle thanks to other new MC's Craig and Kiara. That's fine. As mentioned above, Hunters did something right by not assuming the two were best mates with all nine main characters, giving the impression they were around in every episode of Season 1-3. No, Craig the kid with no job yet as he's still young, is tasked with looking after the Captain's daughter. He bumps into these two and they help him entertain the kid. The Captain and first officer would be more aware of them as their daughter knows them. They were nobody bridge officers, and now the higher ups have basically noticed them.
So what's the problem? By the time I was ready to begin with Season Two, I had grew attached to the newbies. I had started re-developing James from the ground up, which of course inevitably lead to me wondering just what he and Jessie did while the main crew were on their adventures. Why was Jessie so freaked out about the Love Spell incident, and why did she think it would ruin her and James' friendship? Was her story she told the Doc true about a ritual, exaggerated a little, etc...? (Note I wasn't literally not sure about this. I already had Grove of H'Taria as part of an untold backstory). Just what did Craig do when he was a pre-teen on a small ship like Voyager? With the arc I was planning for James, why wasn't he more involved in some situations in early seasons? If in Worse Case 2 he was meant to be their best hacker, how come no one heard of him until Hunters? Why wasn't he used?
It was then I realised how much the series had changed from the original premise. Yes it was still about Kiara and Morgan altering Voyager's path unintentionally, and yes it was supposed to be a parallel dimension to the original series. That's mostly not changed. What did change was not only these three pre-Season One characters. They lit the fuse, but the fuse was already there. Morgan and Kiara's story came from my cancelled novel series, which at the time I was still gonna do, so I wanted to change it so it wasn't an exact copy. In came the plot twist of True Q very badly foreshadowed in Love Spell, Timeless, The Fight. It's only badly if you didn't notice the hints, which is very likely due to how badly written they were.
Fifth Voyager didn't branch off from Q and the Grey when Kiara appeared, or even when she was discovered in Coda. No, it happened long before then. I had the opportunity to tell a few pre-Aggressions stories, showing these differences and better intergrating the new characters into the series.
This left B4FV1 as the James and Jessie show, but I was very young, my only vice taken away (oh the days of no Cherry Coke *shudder*), I had so many things going on, I don't think my heart was in it at the time. B4FV1 was designed to keep as many original episodes in as possible, as "nothing had changed yet". There was just a trio of other people that needed to be behind the scenes a lot of the time. Barely contributing, yet still mixing with the cast. Have some new episodes that focused on them. Bring Damien in so he didn't come out of nowhere either. It was a setup season, nothing special. This season was where it would slowly kick off.
The background stuff plaguing B4FV1 and Season Three was either gone or going away. Things were improving. I had a lot of plans for B4FV2, it was more important that I didn't screw this one up than the previous season. A lot was riding on it. I do believe B4FV2 did okay, but was scuppered by being rushed for Season Four, which was being written at the same time.
Things started out a little shaky with Outside of Time's cliffhanger resolution being a bit half hassed due to the break in between writing Part 1 killing my mood for it. Then the completely revamped episode 2. In The Flesh, in title only, originally being the season cliffhanger, or at least I have memories of it being so looooong ago. Since it was a new idea, the episode suffered. Little to no planning will do that, "funnily" enough.
I remember Crying, Dying was the last one before a much needed holiday. The episode was improved by changing things up not the way I usually would; chuck in Jessie, James or Craig in someone elses spot and call it a day. But by switching perspective to the other Voyager in Deadlock, exploring a character's past which would hint that the old "the dimensions split up in Q and the Grey/Aggressions" days were over.
Whenever I remembered getting stuck on, due to its very similar story to er... whatever the Chakotay runs off to deal with Seska episode (that title always eludes me, which is why it has a new name in FV). I wrote a lot of it during my holidays, and I'm in two minds whether that helped it not suck as much or if it made it worse. I wasn't keen on the Seska arc, that trivia point about Worse Case 2 is a good reason why I decided to use it in the prequels. The fact of the matter is, I didn't like it as I couldn't put my finger on why I didn't like Seska. I know why I didn't like the Kazon. They felt like a poor man's Klingon which you couldn't take seriously. I liked the idea behind why they pestered Voyager, but not the way it was portrayed. I do like Alliances though, it was the only Kazon episode I did like until I began to appreciate Basics.
I figured out my dislike of Seska in recent years. I didn't dislike her. I was indifferent to her. I just didn't feel her motivation, her character or anything. She was just this villain Mary Sue who could outsmart everyone, and like Seven most fans seemed to think she was fabulous. I couldn't see it. It probably doesn't help that I don't get the Cardassians or like the Bajorans (shocking, I never got into DS9, I wonder why). I get the spy angle, I do. I don't get why she was so obsessed with revenge against Voyager. Okay, fine she's mad that she lost her chance to get home. Join the queue. Wouldn't that mean she was mad at Janeway? Why drag everyone else into it? I remember her "explaining" this, at the very least about Chakotay, describing him as a lapdog to her so that was justification enough. Her best friend B'Elanna, yeah sure she had it coming. Groan.
In my eye she had a hissy fit because Chakotay strangely enough didn't trust her after the truth about her came out. How dare you distrust me after I infiltrated your crew and tricked you into a relationship, so I could leak information you chatted with me about to your sworn enemy. You know, the people who slaughtered and took over your planet. No big deal. I'd be outraged too, wouldn't you? Poor Seska! She's the true heroine of Voyager, the evil Voyager crew can go F themselves.
Excuse me, my sarcasm metre exploded on me twice. What did she expect exactly? As for teaming up with the Kazon in a forced gotcha moment, again I just don't get it. A shared hatred of Voyager, closer to Cardassians than Humans are, okay fine. Still not really feeling it. I know it sounds like I was more than indifferent to her. The thing is these thoughts about her didn't click until recently. I didn't get her, didn't see her as interesting. She was just there, gloating in their faces. Once I figured out what was the matter, yeah it's a mild dislike which comes out in more recent work like rebooted Sweet Sensation and Worse Case Scenario 2. Too bad nothing really came to mind while writing Whenever. Which I've only realised I've written four paragraphs about. I had no new ideas for it, moving on.
After Whenever and my holiday was out of the way, the series picked up the slack. Notice I didn't say season. Season Four started the same month as the next episode, Do's and Don'ts. That one was always a risk, as I wasn't sure if people would read the prequels first in a chronological order, or as an afterthought of the main seasons. I figured that the series should cater for both type of readers, especially in later years when the prequels and then the series was over... which is the situation now. Do's and Don'ts introduces Lena before her actual debut in Timeline if you read the series chronologically. It's a backstory planned to show what happened in between the flashback scenes depicted in Season Two's True Q and her arrival in Timeline. There was no way around it other than cancelling the episode all together. The episode would spoil in the "chronological order" path.
At first I thought the best way would be to have her and the shuttle appear, but not reveal too much. Since the James and Janeway relation was already revealed, it seemed okay to touch on that. Unfortunately I forgot all that and Lena blabbed way too much. Something I'll likely edit out, namely the Kiara stuff. The episode should still have a mystery or sense of intruige left behind if its read chronolgically. What did Q mean that he fixed it, where is Lena, does she still exist, will she exist later, will Voyager be destroyed in the future? I guess the episode does do that, but there's no need for Lena to mention the pregnancy in her story. It ruins the Kiara surprise. If someone reads from the beginning it should be considered by at least one person that Kiara is her, Timeline re-enforcing the theory. Mentioning Lena's unborn daughter being kidnapped screws over the whole thing. In fact, here's some trivia for you, I'm going to edit that out now.
Moving onto Broken Wreck, which setting was inspired by the holiday I mentioned earlier, where I got to see from a distance an abandoned town/city. I had a basic idea for the episode, and that was to introduce the Slayers and Zare, and chuck James into his first related mission, which would end in tragedy for Zare. The place and the who hadn't been decided until that trip.
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31st August 2004
3rd October 2006
Number of Episodes
23 (22 numbered, 1 special)
My Favourite Episode
It's difficult, I love In The Eye and Coming of Time for vastly different reasons. I'm gonna go with The Coming of Time for now as it was easy to write and has 1 issue with it I can think of. In The Eye has a couple at least.
My Least Favourite Episode
Another tough one as B4FV3 for me was consistent. Silent Scream, just because I never liked the storyline but not doing it would've meant changes to a few main season episodes.
Cherry Coke, Blood Oath, Q and The Grey and Grove of H'Taria were the only episodes, apart from Resolution and obviously Caretaker, that were planned for the prequels when it was created in 2001. Blood Oath was originally going to be in the main seasons, much later too.
The episode "Interactions" from Season Two and the idea for Grove of H'Taria were the initial spark that inspired the prequels.
This season's story arcs are basically Season One setup and James' downward spiral. Setting up Season One involved moving a few characters around, explaining James and Jessie's absence (and character assas... change in S1), everything involving Damien, Kes' growing abilities, and obviously the important one; Kiara's appearance.
Due to my misunderstanding over how much time had passed in the first three seasons of Voyager, episodes and certain plots were shuffled around to fix my mistake. During the reboot B4FV2 was edited to take place earlier than it did before. B4FV1 remains untouched.
The movie Dimension Rewritten was planned to end the season. It would follow the alternate Voyager to its demise. I was struggling with Season Five and I was advised by some to continue with that. Thankfully. The plot for that was used in other episodes.
B4FV3 ending on an alternate version may seem out of place, but with Aggressions already covering Scorpion and not really starting with a resolution to anything, I had no idea how to end it. Worse Case seemed an odd idea for a finale. Though it is the final episode of the prequels for the main cast. Oh well.
In hindsight Worse Case suited a B4FV3 finale quite well at the time. Its main plot was a lot of silly fun, and it lead into further silliness with the original Season One.
Eighteen Months or Two Years?
Regarding the fact above about the time misunderstanding, that inspired a lot of change in the season. What did I misunderstand? I'll admit now, I still have issues. By Endgame they've been lost for seven years. Seven seasons, yep fine. Voyager was launched in 2371, so that should mean the last episode was 2378. That's true, so again I'll say fine. Night cemented that Voyager had four years behind them at the beginning of Season Five, so that said to me they were in their fifth year. It's the first three seasons where I got it all so, so wrong.
I originally assumed Season One=2371, Season Two=2372, up until Season Seven=2377. At the time I only had watched everything before Scorpion at least once, only re-watching the ones I liked. One of the first things that made me change my mind was Samantha Wildman's pregnancy. That started pre-Season One, and it wasn't until Season Two she had the baby. That's a long pregnancy, I thought. Strange though, I ignored it and kept that the same. It was later the comment in a Season Three episode basically saying "we've been here 18 months". Aggressions then was later decided to cater to that and have Season Four's Scorpion based in 2373. 2371 for the lost date, 1 and a half years added to that. Since the episode mentioned was early, add a few more months leaving it as a clean two years. Keep it simple I thought.
It seemed like a year or so later I forgot all about this and went back to one season is a year. I had the stardates backing me up as well. Every season the first two numbers together would go up by one. Voyager was launched on a 48(000) number. Resolutions 490 etc..., Season Three started the 50's. The series ended with 54's. Naive yes, it was simply the seasons making the number go up, not the year. Since Aggressions was based in 2373, I needed three years before it...
Sooo I ended up with Caretaker being based in 2370 for some reason. The only one I recall is the one above, which on its own is ridiculous as I've always known what Voyager's launch year was. Aggressions was unmoveable on March 2373 because of Kiara's birth, with the Season Six part of FV's first season being based in 2376. Really, the clues about how wrong this was, it was there all along. At least Season Two, with the majority of it based during Voyager's final season, eventually went into 2378.
Samantha was pregnant for a good year or so, as before. Seska's baby did the opposite and was born in such a tiny timeframe. In my defense, Voyager left that impression as well. A whole season went by for one pregnancy, while Seska's lasted half a season. In a season that apparently couldn't have been longer than nine months long if you remember the "18 months in the third season" comment. At least that line explained Samantha's pregnancy but really made Seska's look ridiculous. I used the excuse that they probably did; half alien babies may have different pregnancy times, or completely alien in Seska's case.
Which brings us to another pregnancy related to this actual season, and the problems the above caused to that storyline. Jessie's. Janeway's as well technically, as again the birth was set in stone, or html if you'd prefer. The plan originally was to have the pregnancy plot begin in a different episode. Which? You might have guessed it if you know Season Two well enough. The Grove of H'Taria. You know, the episode that began as an untold backstory before the prequels were made, which was created to help make Interactions what it was. The episode that contributed to the prequels existing in the first place.
Yeah, this problem was so big in my eyes that I had to completely rewire B4FV Season Three's first half of the season, alter an already canon yet unwritten episode, and go back to B4FV2's later episodes to make sure they fit with the new plan. It didn't occur to me that the 2370 Caretaker and the following two seasons were so wrong it was obvious, and that I should change them. It did later, then came the issue that some episodes needed to be based in particular months (Eye of Ramn for example).
Why though? It all comes down to Grove of H'Taria's proximity to Q and the Grey as well, that was a factor. The two were meant to be side by side, because of the whole thing with the insane Q's jealousy and his later part in the ending of the story. This was already canon due to a Season Two episode released as well, this time being True Q. If Grove was first, which it could've easily been, then the Q knowing about the pregnancy and going barmy about it would make sense still. He's Q, he could find out before she's showing, you see, especially if he was trying to well... make history repeat itself with Jessie.
The main issues though was that I was left with very few months between Grove and Aggressions, not much time for a pregnancy plot to develop. Or two for that matter, at the same time. Then there was the comment in Interactions from Jessie herself, that the incident was in the second year of the trip. Bit of a funny thing to write if I planned Grove for Season Three, hmm? Not if you remember that I noticed the 18 months malarky and chose Aggressions' year based on that.
Since I had already finished B4FV2 in May 2372, I was left with 7 months to work with. All right? No, wrong. H'Taria was planned to be where it is now, or even later. I had already planned for the birth to be in Alternate Scorpion, mirroring Kiara's in Aggressions. Because of the already planned dimensional changes between the two, the episode had to be based in January 2373 (mainly so the episode was still in "Season Four" time, and it was meant to take place at the same time as original Voyager's). Jessie was not giving birth to a healthy fully Human (no half alien excuses here!) baby in January 2373, even with her record. Even if I based episodes 1-10 in a space of a month (no, just no), she'd have a premature baby at six months. Later season spoilers. Amy was born at six months, her twin died during birth. Amy herself was tiny and sensitive, she had to be kept at the hospital for I think a few weeks. End.
I remember the panic when I put all of these pieces together. It was all a big mess. I wasn't keen on changing already canon events mentioned in the main seasons. The alternative was a huge date re-arrange, which isn't as easy as opening the episode file and changing the date from April to January for example. B4FV1 and 2 need to be based in less time, some episodes are tied to dates (the coma in early 2, Jessie's birthday in 1, Resolutions arc etc...). I'm going to have a field day with B4FV1 when I reboot it. In the end I decided that Jessie had already altered the story of H'Taria in Interactions anyway, she never mentioned the actual pregnancy to begin with. It could happen in an earlier episode. I took nine months off January 2372, resulting in April 2372, which was perfect as the episode No Matter What was based then.
Yeah it ruined a lot about Grove of H'Taria and later episodes. Jessie's fear about the pregnancy was justified, and her reasons for telling the H'Taria tale slightly altered to explain why it could cause a rift between her and James made sense. Thankfully her character helped this work a little, what with her being easily embarrassed by people knowing her private life. She told the H'Taria story to avoid the Doc knowing she slept with James, who she admitted was her boyfriend anyway in that story. Whether or not the pregnancy started in that episode, the Doctor would've still been thinking "what's this got to do with what we're talking about?" So moving the pregnancy to before it was fine in that respect. It was just the last minute "oh yeah, the aliens believe that doubt will kill the baby" superstition in Loved Up that should've been mentioned in Grove, but was forgotten. That was an annoying problem.
In the end I prefer that the baby happened because of their feelings for each other, during their relationship. Not during a ritual they had to do. I know that helped me make the decision in the end. I had to stop treating these two adults as squeamish kids worried they'll get cooties from each other (slight overexaggeration but hey), as I never saw them as that at all.
I feel there is some blame for the date disaster should go in Voyager's direction here. It still doesn't make sense. They spend seven years in the Delta, from 2371. By Season Five they've spent four years there, which is fine as it was the first episode of it. But a good few episodes into Season Three it's 18 months. When did the years catch up with the seasons? Season Three or Four? Both? This means both seasons took more than a year to catch up. I'm due a re-watch of the series as I fancy a decent prep for the reboot now it's all that's left, so I'm gonna take note of when things take place if mentioned. I do think that they decided to do one season=one year thing sometime in the post-Scorpion seasons, but forgot or didn't care about the first three seasons. To be honest, I need to check if my DVDs have the years I thought in the beginning on them. My "first" editions of all but 2 seasons mention a year, and meanwhile in other series/movies text on them. I think they did contribute to the problem.
The above was in background information, so you're welcome ^_^
4th December 2012
7th February 2018
Number of Episodes
Too Good To Be Q
My Favourite Episode
Pretty torn since the majority is new. First is Aggression for being 1 of the reasons the series was revived (and it's still fun for me to read through years later so the new buzz isn't a factor).
Second choice is Test of Time for not only being so much fun to write, but doing the James/Jessie backstory justice this time.
Third is Upendi. I used to think this was a highlight of the original Season One, and over the years the feeling's been tainted by the slut drama at the beginning/middle of Part 2 and all dat unintentional racism. With that gone, I'm back to loving it.
My Least Favourite Episode
Secret of the Revenge, only because Part 1's reboot started out so lazy.
The new Year of Hell is based on the plot for a discarded movie (Dimension Rewritten) that would have followed B4FV3's Alternate Scorpion. The episode Five uses the rest of it.
The idea that the new Year of Hell still has lingering effects for a few more episodes, was inspired by finding out that original Voyager's fourth season was going to have a season long Year of Hell. Whether that's true or not is irrelevant, it was still inspiration. I would have loved to see it.
This season probably broke a record by having four episodes on the go; Night, Timeless Fight, Timeline and Tales of Voyager.
That record was recently broken by having Spirits, Test of Time, Dark Frontier, Fugitives and still Tales of Voyager in my WIP folder at the same time. Though it's technically not record breaking since Tales will be left until it's almost time for its release.
The reboot exists to fix the issues I have with Season One. The well known problems were the OTT silliness and the very parody like writing. If you can call it that. There's more issues than that; Pokémon, somebody exclaimed, even more muttereds, Team Rocket motto's, writers, even more basic narrative, rushed endings, storyline's disappearing into the ether, suppose, James and Jessie's original personalities, World Domination makes no damn sense. You get the idea.
The reboot DOESN'T exist to remove all of the silly elements of the series and make it a dramatic sci-fi series. Even in Season Five I have Seven of Nine as an immortal Twilight vampire, wearing sparkly/striped catsuits while stalking Damien. She even sniffs a yoghurt pot he ate from and stuffs it into her bra. This is the same season that has Dark Clouds in it. I never wanted FV to be all serious, all the time. That was far too boring for me in 2000 and is still true today. I just wanted there to be a plot alongside the jokes. Season One could only seem to do one and not the other. That was the issue that I want to fix.
I started to talk about this in Season Five's entry and then I thought it should be here. Obviously. For so many years I wanted to redo Season One. Everytime I thought about it, I thought I can't change anything. I shouldn't.
During the writer's block I remember adding a person I chatted to on a forum to my msn list. Someone I used to debate unrelated things with. That person I don't think ever knew about Fifth Voyager or what it was. She just knew I was a writer going through a rough patch. I mentioned that I hated my earlier work, that I wished I had taken more time with it. I dunno if I said this to her, but I was worried that my lack of feedback was because Season One was "scaring" people away before they got to the good stuff in later seasons. Who'd read Season Four before anything else?
I said I'd rewrite it if I could. I have so many ideas for it, and I know I'd write it better "now". She asked me why don't I do that? I imagine I answered the same way as I always did to myself. "I can't change what's already there on the site." I was so damn stubborn. Apart from Hunters' ending, I was so against changing anything. I had no idea why.
She asked why not? The fact that there was someone completely neutral (sort of, we mostly disagreed and that's why I liked to chat with her), that asked me the question when it was always just me. I was then forced to think of a god damn answer, a different one. I couldn't. The seed was planted.
The idea was that I'd rewrite the seasons I didn't like, but still keep the originals. Despite it being Season One that gave me the idea, I started with Caretaker. The reason why was because out of the two; Caretaker and Aggressions, that Caretaker didn't fit in, while Aggressions was just as mad as what followed it. Caretaker was mostly the same with some new scenes in it. I didn't think for a second that I made excuses in the first place, that the episode would be the same as original Voyager's, because I didn't know HOW to make it different.
No wonder my first attempt at rebooting failed. Sure Caretaker Part 1 was a huge improvement; it was different and I'm happy with it. At the time though my writer's block didn't see it as such, and I couldn't continue with something I didn't like.
It took a few years before I could try again. I thought I should try somewhere else. Where I was supposed to start? Season One and Aggressions itself. The issue though was that apart from Meets the Eye, the last episode I wrote was Alternate Scorpion. Aggressions was supposed to be based around Scorpion. I was quite literally writing the same episode again. I was again trying to think of a way to make it different, and apart from the point of the title, I couldn't. It didn't help that not only was I still suffering from an accident that left me with a bad back for life, but there were a few family crisis' going on. Lets just say there was one too many hospital visits. Aggression was left alone for a year.
My next attempt started with the idea of fixing the few problems with Season Four. The biggest issue was a terrible episode known as Flesh Eaters. I came up with an idea to replace its main plot and started to write it. It was something new, there was little risk involved as the season would be mostly left alone, and it was an one off episode. Just a fun episode to write. I didn't finish it until the following year, but my interest was sparked and I went back into Aggression with a renewed optimism. I knew what to do to change the episode, the original draft was moved around accordingly and before I knew it, two months later, the episode was completed.
It didn't stop there. I continued on into More Or Less, known then as Year of Hell. YOH itself got a few scenes written too. I was inspired to work on another Season Four episode, and that was fixed quickly as well. I was finally back. I just needed a smaller place to start, somewhere I didn't have to worry and just write. Dissidia essentially saved the series. I just wish I could find a way to thank the girl that gave me the initial push. With MSN gone, the replacement Skype never working, and the exit rant from the forum I met her on stopping me from going back, I dunno how. She probably won't remember the idiot who left the forum after telling people to stop being so overdramatic about everything. That's telling, isn't it ^_^
Anyway work started on trying to re-order the new Season One. Year of Hell was moved to make room for a Gift episode, or half of it anyway. I ended up writing episodes such as Hunters and Unforgettable before anything else. The reboot was going fine.
10th March 2018
Number of Episodes
7 and a half episodes so far
My Favourite Episode
At the moment my favourite is Disconnected
My Least Favourite Episode
Actually a tough one for once. I'd say Game Over.
10th November 2016 (Games Matrix Saga only)
Number of Episodes
Technically 6: (The five Games Matrix saga episodes and Scary But True Part 1)
My Favourite Episode
Two Far was the most fun to write
My Least Favourite Episode
For some reason Fourboding had me stuck for a while, so that.