Marill Re-Reads - An Intermission
(To give this a miss, click here to return to the Re-Reads menu)

Warning - If you read these reviews before the original and/or reboot episodes, or you have and maybe you just don't want future reviews slightly (and I mean slightly) spoilt; Be aware that even though I'm not planning on spoiling anything post The Love Spell as that isn't the point of this page, that I do plan on very very basically mentioning the Re-Reads I've done but not posted. What does very very basically mean? An example that may or may not be my true thoughts, so pretty much safe to read;

Interactions; maybe I'd have liked the beginning if it was how I remembered it.

How far should you be if you're concerned? When I wrote this I was part way through "Kiss of Death", kinda. I had read and reviewed 3/4 of it, skimmed the rest. So up to episode 11 of Season Two. If you're concerned, by all means skip this for now.


Ok, now that the warning is out of the way, just what is the point of this intermission? To be honest, there isn't really an important point. I've been in limbo for two months, with (I assume) high anxiety and as such haven't been able to focus on writing a new episode or even reviewing something without losing myself in a bigger than usual tangent (basically what happened with Bittersweet's). During said limbo I've been trying my best to plan ahead, while doing a lot of reading on the side. Both of which have left my head more cluttered than usual and so here we are.

Normally I'd keep it to myself (yes I am capable of not posting some stuff, scary huh), but some of it revolving around; Season One's storyarc, characters arc/intros. Season Two's continuation of them and evolution (or de-evolution, depending on your POV). The reboot of One and whether it's a suitable replacement (in a nutshell but I'll explain later on). The things I've forgotten about the series, good or bad, versus the stuff I remember, are they really that bad/good? My very different experience with Season Two's Re-Reads and the future of me doing these and more importantly, the future of the Reboot itself.

I'm hoping with this that it'll clear up some of the clutter, allowing me to focus once again on the reboot which was until I got sick, doing pretty damn well this year. I'm also hoping that someone may find all this interesting, or I'm just wasting everyone's time instead of only mine.

So here goes, take three of my attempt to organise this (yes, no exaggeration):


Does Original Season One work as an introduction to the series, despite my complaints about it?

This is something I think I wrote about at the end of Season One review, so forgive me please if I repeat (or even contradict) myself. I know Season One was no where near perfect but it was also not as bad as I liked to paint it. The question though isn't about the quality, it's the content. A few questions sprung to mind;

Does the first few episodes lure a reader in the way it's meant to? (ie does its tone only lure in people who want a mindless parody, or does some of its actual story interest people wanting to know what happens next?)

Does the whole season progress its arcs well enough to bring people back, and are they fulfilled and/or continued in later seasons?

Are the characters, or rather the "new" ones, introduced well enough to entice readers to come back to FV?

Is there anything in Season One that appealed to its reader to continue reading it up until the final one, and/or the prequels?

This one is more for later but it must be at least noted here; all the same questions but for the Reboot version. There are other questions I got for it, but again, laters.

To do this, or rather what inspired me to think about this, was to skim through the Re-Reads I did. The first question I think should be tackled first is;

Are the characters, or rather the "new" ones, introduced well enough to entice readers to come back to FV?

I can pretty much sum this up by saying; all of today's main characters get their time in the spotlight, while the re-occurring guest stars take a backseat role.

Roughly around the end of Season Three/beginning of Four, the massive main cast was cut down to what I considered the actual main characters, while everyone else were demoted to guest stars. Then I also promoted Damien to MC status, but hey, that's not technically applicable to original Season One so... skippity. Season One this is where the "new"/extra characters fall in order of appearance;

Main Characters: Craig, Kiara, Jessie, James and Morgan.
Regular Guest Stars/demoted Main Characters: Triah, Tani, Lilly and Emma.
Regular Guest Stars: "Damien"/The Boss and Phoebe.

Looking at this and from what I remember of Re-Reads Season One, yes the new main characters are introduced well enough;

Craig: Is introduced, we learn about his quirks (girls, the pad-list, his awkwardness) and some of his back story, even if Hunters was a bit sloppy in doing so. He remains a consistence presence in the season all throughout and gets some moments, if rare, to develop (Upendi mainly). He only suffers from not really getting an episode to himself, with both Hunters and Mental Illness hijacked.

Kiara: As well as can be expected for a kid character. She's born here so no backstory is necessary. For the first 3/4 of the season we see a lot of her and get an idea what she's like; pretty much adorable little devil, opposite to Naomi. Unfortunately she slips off the radar near the end in favour of Morgan.

Triah: Seems to be pretty much just there. Her introduction is overshadowed by newcomers James and Jessie, who were initially an attempt at making regular guest stars. Ouch, the irony. What do we know about her apart from that she likes to clean? Yeah.

Jessie: While Jessie is introduced ok-ish and has plenty of moments in the season to flesh her out and show the reader what she's like, in an entire series perspective we learn very little. Jessie's probably the character that was changed the most, and light spoilers, you start to see that happening from Interactions onwards. Season One she's very vain, selfish, utterly clueless and wimpy, and I think very unlikable. Learning about Jessie from Season One is a waste of frustrating time.

James: James takes a heck of a long time to really get going, but it's worth it. Obviously he suffers from me badly trying to figure him out, when at the time I did have Jessie worked out (until I THANKFULLY changed my mind in Season Two/B4FV) as the vain egotistical angry bitch. Unlike again Jessie, you see a lot in Season One that carries on into later seasons. I think out of the lot, we get to know him the most.

Morgan: You can't say Morgan doesn't get any introduction or time for readers to get to know her and like/dislike her. She pretty much takes over the series after her appearance despite J/J's efforts. While I can say a lot of the time she's right; impulsive gobby teen who tries too hard to be tough and cool, but is shown in Dark Frontier to have a softer, vulnerable side, allowing you to understand why she acts out. There are a few episodes like Upendi which ruin all that. Still better than most though, just see Jessie, yikes

Tani: Doesn't fare as badly as Triah does, but compared to Morgan who was introduced at the same time (and then look at James/Jessie/Triah who also had to share an intro ep), she gets very little and what we learn of her doesn't really carry over to later seasons. Well, with one exception and that's her crush on James. She goes from being slightly normal for FV with a level head to ... um, the sabotage we get in Season Two. And that's all I should say on the matter.

Lilly/Emma: These two barely get any separate time to shine, even compared to the wonder twins James and Jessie, so keeping them together here. Cursed from the start with the worst episode ever as their introduction (and James/Jessie thought Hunters was a poor start, ha!), neither really have much of a character between them. Lilly's past as a Kidz Trek lead is nowhere in sight, instead she acts like a writer with 99% of her dialogue being of the fourth wall variety. While she gets a starring role in the few episodes she's in, she isn't really her. As for Emma, poor Emma. Near the end of the season it seems almost everyone is loud, rude, drunken, violent naughty school kids, so by the time Emma appears as an opinionated, sometimes disobedient teen with a drink problem she had no chance of standing out as her own character. She blended in too well. That's not a flaw with her, but with the lazy way I wrote EVERY character by the end of One.

So in summary; are the new cast introduced and developed enough to lure in readers to the Fifth Voyager world? Yes, but not in Season One. Okay that's not entirely fair, as stated Morgan, Kiara and James, especially since all three have moments of "hmmm? what's that about" throughout which may encourage people to read further, which I'll go into later.


Does the first few episodes lure a reader in the way it's meant to? (ie does its tone only lure in people who want a mindless parody, or does some of its actual story interest people wanting to know what happens next?)

Years ago my answer was absolutely not, that's why I tried to make the prequels appealing (and failed at the first hurdle). Nowadays I'd say Season One does it better than the prequels. B4FV Season One had little going for it in the first few episodes that made it stand out as an AU fanfic, while Season One at least had the mystery pregnancy, dimension talk (even if it were bad/wrong), and the kid from the mystery pregnancy showing signs of being abnormal.

Looking at it now, or more accurately within the last few years with the Re-Reads, I'd still say Season One as a whole is superior to B4FV Season One (although Reboot Caretaker is without question miles superior to Aggressions. No f-ing contest) but that's not saying much.

I guess the answer depends on how many the "first few episodes" are.

What happens in the first, I dunno, three episodes?

1) Janeway suffers the mystery pregnancy fanfic trope, denies it happened normally and...accepts it?

2) J/C have a daughter

3) Kes literally disappears

4) We are introduced to possibly two villains The Boss and Damien, both of which are pretty meh.

5) There's Pokémon?

6) There's writers, and they know the Voyager writers, who pick fights using Pokémon to challenge for the writing rights to a fanfiction no one knows? okay?

It's not looking good. What about the first five episodes?

6) A few more new characters appear, two of which are already part of the Voyager crew and so now we know them, they're part of the main gang

7) We still dunno if the baby was made normally or not, no one has said anything, so we assume the whole thing was utter denial.

Uh... how far should I go here? Personally if I was reading this and I didn't like it, or didn't care what was going on five episodes through, I'd probably give it up.

If I'm to be fair and go up to ten episodes, yes maybe the first "few" episodes might interest people to go further, but they still gotta get through five pretty much uneventful episodes. To be sure, what happens in the next five episodes;

8) There's a weird time episode where Kiara, the baby we still dunno if was conceived normally or not, has a vision/dream of Voyager crashing which comes true. - If the episode is all a dream, instead this kid has a rather intricate dream with so many details there's no way a 1 year old could've dreamt it up. Both versions, still strange.

9) Original episode The Fight only has Chakotay affected by the aliens in Chaotic Space due to a faulty gene. This version not only does his daughter, who had a weird vision in the previous episode, develop the same symptoms, but another new character James hallucinates so badly he's assaulted by his dead abusive father in his quarters. Or something, it didn't make much sense. Then there's the Holodeck messing with but I'm sure that's far less suspect looking.

10) There's a so called evil Voyager and the Boss character controls it, and they want the new characters despite having their own versions because...

11) Kiara's a telepath? whut? No reason stated for the others

12) James is a hacker

Well, better but again, the first five episodes may put people off before they get there. And yes the last one isn't very interesting, but still. It really depends on your definition of the first few. In my definition, no Season One does not do enough to lure people in.


Does the whole season progress its arcs well enough to bring people back, and are they fulfilled and/or continued in later seasons?

One of the things I noticed during my Re-Reads and recent skim of them, was that Season One had a lot of plot threads in it and because of that, failed to really focus on even just one long enough to hold interest. I'm going to go through the episodes briefly and quickly type what comes to mind regarding its focus or point.

Aggressions: Kiara's appearance
Mental Illness: Damien/Boss
Year of Hell: Pokémon
Hunters: new characters (James/Jessie/Triah)
Unforgettable: James/Jessie ship
Once Upon A Time: Kiara
Timeless: Kiara hints
The Fight: Kiara and James hints
Mirror Universes: Seventh Voyager/Kiara bad hints (what's fanfic dimensions???)
Worse Case Scenario 2: filler
Collective Instinct: Borg arc start/James hint
Holo Q: Power Rangers
Demon2: Erona
Timeline: Morgan/Kiara paradox
Spirits: filler
Test of Time: J/J backstory
The Voyager Conspiracy: filler
Fugitives: shippy/Erona
Dark Frontier: Morgan backstory/development, Borg arc
Upendi: filler
Muse: filler
Fair Haven 2: shippy filler
Too Q: Season 2 spoilers foreshadowing
Fear: filler
World Domination: pain... but no seriously, Lilly intro, Damien/Seventh
Prepare For Trouble: Damien
VTV Live: jesus more filler
Voyager's Drinking Game: filler disguised as stirring the pot for S2
Thrown Key Part 1: Borg arc/Morgan development

I've missed a few things out during that but it gives you an idea what I mean. Season One is busy, and unfortunately it was meant to be. It was designed to be a mixture of original episodes in an AU perspective and new episodes, some of which revolving around the paradox. Of course it's busy, but that's no excuse. Lets summarise it:

Paradox: 2
Character introductions: 4
Seventh Voyager/Boss: 4
Character development/backstory: 6
Something's up with Kiara hints: 6 (I counted 4 but Fugitives and Too Q should count)
Something's up with James hints: 2
Borg arc: 3 episodes
Erona: 2
Filler: 10 (Was 9, but I counted Year of Hell cos what else is it)
Other: 2 - Holo Q (hints to future villain) and Too Q (foreshadower), interesting.

The fact that there are only two episodes devoted to the main premise of the entire series (Timeline and Aggressions) is honestly pretty shocking. There were more Borg and Seventh Voyager episodes.

Then there's the other fact that the second half of the season has most of the filler. While I complained that the first five episodes barely did anything to lure in potential readers, I'd still argue that if you want this much filler in the season, don't put it at the end of the season. 28/29 episodes were far too many and doing this makes it look like I couldn't fill in the gaps. I know 27 out of technically 29 of the episode titles and barebones plot were laid out in advance, but looking at this I wouldn't blame anyone for calling me out as a liar.

Getting back to the remainder of the question, a reminder

Does the whole season progress its arcs well enough to bring people back, and are they fulfilled and/or continued in later seasons?

Lets take a look and as a spoilerless-ly as I can, shall we

To be absolutely fair, two of the above need to be merged as they are related (and no, as of The Love Spell this isn't a spoiler, nice try *wink*). I'll start there since they're #1 on importance.

Paradox/Something up with Kiara

I think more should've been done with Kiara's origin part of the story. Her mysteriousness vanishes within the scene it's brought up in, forgotten about until Fugitives, forgotten again, reminded of in Too Q and that's that. Without those, readers have no reason to ever think Kiara's appearance in the series is not only strange, but important to the series premise. The series literally exists because of her AND Morgan's separate existences, not only because Morgan appeared and split from her. The series allows the reader to not find this out or forget about it if they thought this.

Apart from that it does what it's meant to do; Show that something is strange with Kiara while at the moment keeping Morgan relatively normal. Leave hints that there's more to come in later seasons.

And keeping it vague, yes the series continues this plot thread.

Seventh Voyager/The Boss/Damien

Touchy subject and tricky to answer. Seventh Voyager and The Boss were meant to be Season One only villains, with the exception that Seventh would have minor influence in Two only. Background issues changed this plot around quite a bit, so it's not really fair to properly answer this like above.

The only critiques I can give are;

Seventh Voyager really adds nothing to the season, and feels more like filler than any kind of threat. I think if they weren't in S1 we'd miss nothing.

Damien/Boss did re-occur a lot, and sometimes he provided a laugh or two. He wasn't meant to be a threat and he wasn't, despite Prepare For Trouble and probably World's attempts to make him seem so, so I'd say that was done right. Speaking of Prepare, that went places it never was meant to. Sure Damien's original original persona was a smidgen of a one episode only threat and meant to die twice, but once he was changed in Aggressions 2 that part of the story didn't change and it should've been to suit the new character. World/Prepare forget that Damien was merely comic relief and treat him like his nameless past self, and it didn't work at all.

I can't go into what happens after, it's touchy and more importantly, not planned sooo, moving on.

The Borg Arc

Now I'll admit, this I think was created on a whim, unlike the planned paradox and Seventh Voyager storyline. I do not remember the original pitch for Collective Instinct, which would've had other characters as its stars due to James and Jessie not yet existing. The new version essentially tried to make up an explanation for the Borg's threat level going down like a vertical roller coaster, but more importantly the Borg Queens' very different "command" approach.

I love the idea of it, but there's so many missing pieces. Collective Instinct is the biggest example here. I can see from reading it that I had planned the whole thing (barring one major S3 spoilery detail I'll not mention), but it won't be as apparent to a new reader because it doesn't say anything. The Borg Cube that assimilated James/Jessie crashed, why? I don't think the episode mentioned or asked when or how they were disconnected, and again why? The best part is why does Jessie flip out while James, apart from a hypospray chase, doesn't. And don't say "lol Jessie lost her hair", James at this part in the series is a big pansy and drama king and they're sooo twin like they do everything together, so why? How come no one in Timeline thinks that the Morgan/Tani sphere situation is similar, or heck that leading into someone wondering if its related. Then no one wonders why the Borg are suddenly crazy, even with a few strangely disconnected ex Borg's onboard.

No one asks, no one answers. That's the problem. Because of that the story goes on as if the questions were answered or it's not important to, and it takes me 10+ years and a 200 episode special to vaguely answer it, just in case I needed to do it properly in CI's reboot. For me it ruins the entire story. It's a shame as again, I loved this idea and you can tell that from the reboot episodes, I'm sure.

And no, it doesn't get fulfilled. It does nothing until said 200th episode special and maybe a very vague reference in Season Four's finale. Like Seventh, it's a waste of time but at least it gave us the Borg Queen versus Janeway poster scene.


In summary, with so many plot threads going on, most of which are unresolved or forgotten about, Season One is quite hit and miss. On the negative side first; a reader could be impatient, and think that a certain plot's been forgotten about during the wait for the next related episode. Or think it's too busy or unfulfilling and not bother.

On the other hand, many different arcs could be a good thing if a certain one doesn't interest someone. I mean if no one liked Seventh Voyager and that was the only focus of Season One, and it almost was with the writers and Boss, then no one would want to finish it and continue into Two.


Is there anything in Season One that appealed to its reader to continue reading it up until the final one, and/or the prequels?

Ho boy, why did I ask myself this one as I knew it'd be difficult for me to answer.

Compare Aggressions Part 2 (or just the review, why inflict the original on anyone) to a later Season Five entry. Therein lies the hint of an answer.

Aggressions Part 2 is mindless crap, badly disguised as a parody, which thinks its a clever parody with a deep paradox at its heart.

Lets pick, I dunno a lighter post-writers block Season Five episode for a tad fairer comparison. What about Shadow? That is as close to a filler as late Season Five gets. Without spoiling anything, the crew must travel through an anomaly which makes people hallucinate their desires but the catch is, everyone else can see them (with exception cough). It's got a good story behind it, some character development, and does try to land a few jokes throughout. IMO it pulls all of that off, it's a favourite of mine for a reason

It's not fair to compare Aggressions to Shadow, quality wise, as Aggressions was written when I was 15 with only Kidz Trek and draft World/Timeline as my experience, and with Shadow I was 28 with 200 episodes (plus a few reboots) under my belt. The point is to judge what they both are and what they tried to do.

Aggressions was meant to be the AU Scorpion with Janeway pregnant, but HAD to waste time building up to Scorpion because *shrug*. On the way stupid fourth wall jokes jump in my head and I write them, the mood of the episode switches from mostly serious with a few jokes to bats$$$ insane can't even call it a parody, it's making fun of nothing. It fails at the story that was planned for it, and it fails in its new attempt to be funny. It also makes zero sense, though to be fair 3/4 of Part 2 nothing's going on to make sense of. Failure all round.

Shadow was in the middle of a season long arc, and was meant to be a breather after all the drama of the last few episodes. Some of the hallucinations were meant to be lighthearted, some funny, while others would still be pretty hard hitting (a certain bridge scene comes to mind). From beginning to end there's something interesting going on, and I still chuckle at the few scenes that are meant to do that. It doesn't go off the rails, and it (I hope) makes some sense.

And again, that's one of the lighter Season Five examples. Even then the style of these two episodes couldn't be any further apart. Compare Aggressions to Closure, they're not in the same ball park, the only thing they have in common is their series title.

This is why I did the reboot, I knew the answer to this. The odds of anyone reading Aggressions, liking it and continuing onto Season Five and (this is important) still liking it, is astronomically low. Now the odds probably aren't as bad if this Aggressions/Season One liker had started when I did, because Season Five ended up the way it did because I grew up and so would they. Tastes change.

I know, I know that people can like different kinds of things at the same time. Yes someone might like Aggressions' craziness and like Closure's bleakness, violence and character driven storyline. I just figure that FV's potential readerbase pool is tiny; this is a fanfic series of a long over TV show that wasn't popular, doing its own thing with a mostly new cast. It's eight seasons/200 episodes long, and a lot of the episodes are quite long. I haven't advertised it in over a decade, my writers block and no episodes for years would've put people off visiting.

So, my odds are low already without adding a massive genre shift that is more likely to do either of the following instead;

a) Put people who might like Season Four/Five/B4FV3/Reboot material off with the old school craziness of Original One/Two/B4FV1 before they even get there, and/or know it turns out like that.

b) Put people who might like Original One/Two/B4FV1's style off when they get to Season Four/Five etc... or nowadays with Reboot One being finished, be put off immediately by the first episodes they see being the reboots, even if they start with the prequels (Reboot Caretaker).

I'll admit, FV's so called sense of humour is consistent for the most part. It's still wacky and blunt a lot of the time, so maybe I'm making a mountain out of molehill.

You still gotta admit no matter what your stance is that the genre shift between Aggressions Part 2 and Season Five is pretty huge. Thankfully though, Original Season One is no longer a default starting point anymore. It had been though for 17 years and that's still means to me that it's worth talking about.

Now before I move onto Reboot Season One as I kinda promised at the beginning, I feel I need to go over the Re-Reads and its effect (or lack thereof in some episodes cases) on the Reboot.


Has doing the Re-Reads taught me anything, or is it a continued waste of time?

I honestly find it sometimes a little bit of harmless fun, and yes helpful with the episodes I have yet to do. However, it has left me wondering when I'll safely be able to relax on the reboots and move on from FV. The Resurrection pretty much set me off down that path, but Bittersweet grabbed my hand and dragged me down it. On a positive note though, I have been surprised by a lot that I forgot I'd done, mostly good stuff. I only remember the bad it seems, unless it's Bittersweet's tonedeaf unintentional plot twist. I did remember that, I just refused to believe it until I read it.

Unfortunately the Re-Reads project started years after the Reboot one did, and so the earlier Season One 'boots didn't get the same duty of care that the ones post Reads did. Unforgettable still has the weird Jessie/Tom beat down. Mirror Universes still ignores the plot hole that Voyager didn't need to deal with Seventh, they could fly off with no repercussions. Hunters didn't need to be a fourth wall-y timeloop of pain. I think personally the quality of the reboots has improved since the Re-Reads, with the added penalty of some episodes taking longer since I knew of more problems in the originals I wanted to fix. Ohwell, no pain no gain.

What did I learn then that helped or even didn't help, but got me thinking anyway?

Now bare in mind, this part was mostly planned in my head as a "fun for me" little list, as the first things I thought of were the running gags/memes like Harry's gorry bodies and unfortunately a one that starts off in Games Resistance (though there are signs of it earlier in Interactions, so soon). So yeah, lets go!

A) Out of all the writers characters, the most annoying has to be Marill by a longshot. I find myself telling me/her to stfu the most.

B) The worst of FV either involves them, or is caused by them, so I'm safe to say that the worst idea I ever had for Fifth Voyager was to co-star the Writers. You name it, it's probably them; Fanfic dimensions retcon only happened to accommodate the writers and their nemesis. World Domination, enough said. Original "Damien" turning into a joke/fun character into a villain they take seriously enough to murder twice, which fueled the S2/Dimension Jump fires I'm sure. Team Rocket mottos. Heck Dimension Jump full stop.

C) James wasn't the worst extra/new MC character in Season One, not by a long shot. I'd give that title to narcissist makeup Jessie.

D) There was a lot more foreshadowing to certain twists for Season Two/Three in Season One than I gave myself credit for. I must've had the ideas sooner than I thought.

E) Hunters isn't the WORST EPISODE EVER, not by a long shot. I knew it wasn't the worst, at least. It ended up tying 11th out of 20th. 11 and a half (Aggressions 2) episodes were worse, shocking me further.

F) Tom ends up truly deserving a lot of his abuse. His behaviour is extremely creepy and is why he ends up getting arrested in the reboot, briefly.

G) At first I seem to try with the characters, but near the end I see a base template for the newbies. They must be disobedient, loud, obnoxious, acting like naughty school children, drunk (there's a reason James' line in S5 about being drunk through the whole of Season One still makes me smirk) and rude. This happens around the time Lilly and Emma appears, and the latter doesn't get a chance, she just gets the template slapped on her. Even Lilly/Firera gets imprinted in places.

H) I clearly didn't like Tuvok back then. It's sad to see how much crap he gets.

I) Despite hating Seven, she's not treated that badly until the later written episodes, when clearly the C/7 ship was learned of. Tom is treated worse.

J) Now we're into Season Two territory so beware, but then again you'll have seen Thrown Key 2/The Love Spell's Re-Reads if you're here, and the evidence for this one are all throughout both of them.

While Season One was squeamish about it, Season Two more than makes up for lost time in the shippy department. It's TOO damn much in fact. Thrown Key's ending is just full of forced pairing up, it's awful. It's like, what happened? Did puberty happen haha (no but S2 screams hormonal teenaged girl writing first fanfic, doesn't it)

K) Definite spoilers for Re-Reads post Interactions.

James is probably the only redeeming part of the series at the moment. IMO he deserves to be in a different fanfic/book... anything. I know, this is very braggy for me, but I feel it's true. Apart from a few odd-one-out examples, he's consistent, three dimensional, has great development and intricate back story which affects his personality and actions, is usually the star of the better episodes. This part's subjective but he's pretty likeable, funny and despite some of his muck ups, someone you can root for.

However what I've really learned is that the series at the time doesn't seem to think so. I make him go through the ringer now, but hey, that's because he truly shines in stories like this. I like to show him off. Looking at Season Two I don't get that same feeling. There's moments in S2 where he says or does something so weirdly OOC, or he's crapped on for no reason. It feels like to me, that he was usurping Morgan as the better(bestest) character of the show, and I (sub/un)consciously didn't like that as Morgan was Fifth Voyager and he was a lowly whim ex guest star turned MC, and so sabotaged at every turn.

Also the making him do his violent/heroic things "off screen" is telling/proof of this. Can't have him do cool stuff, that's Morgan's job!!!1337


Will I be moving on from FV (Reboot and/or Re-Reads) anytime soon?

While I said "yes I'll be rebooting Season Three and B4FV1", I had in the back of my mind that both of them would be more of a side project. Season Two would be as well once it reached a certain point. I said this though while I was still reading Season One, or just finished with it, OR still early in Season Two where I expected a lot of work to be done anyway.

I've gone beyond the point where I thought about either stopping Season Two to rush through B4FV1 (ala B4FV2's reboot), or slowing down and sharing the time between it and my first book. What episode was that? Dimension Jump. While it wasn't instantaneous, Saturday Night wasn't a bad entry, the episodes that followed began to make me question my plans.

Actually it was a skim through of An Apple A Day (minus a Re-Read, I was just curious) that got me re-evaluating anything. It was one of the eps in my head where I thought it wasn't that bad, average, basically a one I didn't need to worry about. But even that was making me rage. Because of that, I decided to keep rebooting after Dimension Jump, but still hopefully have my book on the side. Other episodes I looked at it sealed the deal in the end and made me think; it's going to be a long time before these reboots are consistently quick jobs, allowing me to work on my book at the same time.

So what changed? In a nutshell, I forgot and underestimated what Season Two (so far) was like. It wasn't like Season One, which did surprise me sometimes but left me with the same "it's okay, not bad for its age" opinion I had when I started. Season Two is on a whole other level. I guess the only way to show it without releasing all my Re-Reads so far, is to give you a basic before and after reading opinion on the episodes so far.

This is where the majority of any spoilers will be for the next 9 Re-Reads, and again I must note, I'm trying to keep them light. These are mostly opinions not story spoilers. Any story spoilers will be minor. If there are big ones, they'll be coloured like so.

Thrown Key Part 2:
BEFORE: Improvement to Part 1 once it got going, still a weak opening to the season.
AFTER: Part 2 craps on Part 1's efforts and wastes everyone's time. I was right about one thing, a weak opening to the season.

The Love Spell:
BEFORE: Rapey and unfortunately needs to remain canon drivel, co-starring out of place Morgan foreshadowing.
AFTER: Rapey and unfortunately needs to remain canon drivel, co-starring out of place Morgan Is Super Duper Awesome, all bow before the Sue, foreshadowing and ass kissing

BEFORE: Not without its fixable issues, average episode with good character development.
AFTER: Not without its fixable RIGHT NOW issues, average episode that needs its ending fixed and yes the good character development is still good until it falls off the rushed ending cliff.

BEFORE: Outstanding Season Two aged entry until it rips off its inspiration. James takes the MC helm and shines, proving himself worthy of rising up the main character ranks to battle it out with Morgan.
AFTER:  Outstanding Season Two aged entry until it rips off its inspiration. James takes the MC helm and shines, proving himself worthy of rising up the main character ranks to battle it out with Morgan. I could do without the JAMES ISN'T A KILLER being spouted every other scene, it's laughably unfunny. Yes that's not a mistake.

BEFORE: Best episode of the season uncontested. A rather mature storyline for 16 year old me, which I stuck with and didn't chicken out on. Has a few minor issues that can be deleted from a reboot, but otherwise a perfect entry for S2.
AFTER: Best episode of the season so far uncontested - though Kiss of Death could be an unlikely challenger. Still a rather mature storyline for 16 year old me, which yes I didn't chicken out on but the episode wastes so much time on useless drivel it has to rush the beginning of the main plot. Once you get to the good stuff, it's still great. I'm still not sure WTF happened at the end.

Games Resistance:
BEFORE: Poor until they get to the Games Matrix, then it's a fun romp with some foreshadowing and a not bad introduction to the villains of the series.
AFTER: The only poor part in the first half is the Pokémon Game Cube. My biggest complaint in this is the episodes insistence in ignoring Morgan's Slayer comments throughout the season (oh I'm one, James is probably one... and Kes' saying she's one) as she doubts she is one, and doesn't mention James when the subject comes up. Then the Deathmatch/Hunt resolution. It's so so weird.

Dimension Jump:
BEFORE: Hateridden trash
AFTER: Hateridden, bloated with too much going on for nothing trash

Saturday Night:
BEFORE: Average episode, nothing memorable about it. Could do without the Duncan scenes, they make me sad.
AFTER: Better than I thought episode with a few problems. The James versus Annika moment is recently noticed legendary status though, I wish I had popcorn. Could do without the Duncan scenes, they still make me sad, well the last one didn't.

F9 Control Failure:
BEFORE: Average but better follow up/fix to Dimension Jump. Can't really remember much about it though.
AFTER: Convoluted when it shouldn't be and very boring main plot, taken over by a side plot that had me tearing my hair out. I liked Dimension Jump more and yet F9 still scored better *shrug*. Male character is sexually assaulted but who cares, lets have his assaulter and possible love interest bicker as if it's a triangle and have the interest (who is usually very very private and denial-ly) spill their darkest secret to not only her, but the new character who also sexually assaulted someone. Did I mention this episode was boring? Again, I'm baffled as to how this scored better than Dimension Jump and The Love Spell, I'm gonna check when I'm done with this. It ain't right.

Precise Timings:
BEFORE: Sneaky foreshadowing/series lore world building episode disguised as a time travel episode. Okay but nothing to write home about.
AFTER: Sneaky foreshadowing/series lore world building episode disguised as a time travel episode. Okay but nothing to write home about.

The Resurrection:
BEFORE: Possible Resistance top spot booter, halfdecent rip off of a film that doesn't always seem like it's ripping it off. Some character development and a fun little adventure.
AFTER: After spending most of the first half (2 parts!) with soap opera rubbish, mainly the storyline of James adding another women (or two) to his restraining order list and being blamed for it by his assaulter, her crush, and HIS crush/crushee, I was ready to give up. Parts 3 and 4 are an improvement but not enough to save it, let alone overtake Resistance. Honestly, it should've ripped off more of The Mummy, we could've avoided some pain.

Kiss of Death - so far:
BEFORE: Pretty poor episode, especially Tuvok and Naomi's storyline. Only good part is when James snaps over his abuse from Tani and gets payback.
AFTER: Pretty enjoyable episode overall, with the poorest part being the brief Tani and Jessie OMG SLUT match. Though I think the reason why Tuvok's story happens is problematic and lazy, it's actually a little funny and when it's not it's merely meh. While I haven't finished its ReRead, I did skim the remainder of the episode and found little wrong. I really misjudged this one. If this beats Resistance it'll be a moment for the FV history books haha.


That's that. How many episodes was I wrong about? Truly wrong about, not minor stuff like The Love Spell's Morgan obsession or Dimension Jump's bloatedness. Lets see; Thrown Key Part 2, Resistance, Games Resistance, Saturday Night, F9 Control Failure, The Resurrection, Kiss of Death.

And that's not even halfway through Season Two. I know from reading An Apple A Day up to a certain point, and Bittersweet until it set me off so I skimmed the rest, that Season Two needs more time and care put into it than I thought. I badly want to work on my first book, and yes it probably should be number 1 priority, but I fear that if I have FV second one of two things will happen; a) I'll take twice as long to finish the reboots, and believe me there's still a few years left, or b) I'll get absorbed into my book(s) and the reboot will stop before some of the problem episodes are done. I know b) seems farfetched but, this is what happened to Kidz Trek via FV. It's not that unrealistic.

I don't know what I'm going to do. My new plan is get Season Two's reboot done, then Fair Chance Part 2, Oasis and New Earth. See how I feel then, I should be still ahead in the Re-Reads* so I'll know what Season Three will need. If I'm okay with it, with the exceptions I already know about, then I'll go back to my original plan of rebooting the episodes I badly want fixed; Around the Nebula (yes that's been edited/fixed already, long spoilery story as to why it needs more), Mars and Venus (must replace this), Put The Knife In (ohgods) and a slight edit of The Deception as Put The Knife In's rewrite will affect it greatly. As for B4FV1, I've considered leaving it be if I'm weary and willing to move on by the time it's due, or already moved on. It's not the greatest, but I can live with it as it is, even if the transition from Reboot Caretaker to Parallax is jarring.

*As for the Re-Reads, well, believe it or not but these things tend to take up a few hours over the course of a few days. Yes FV was a one episode a month series for a few years, but it rarely takes me the entire month to write one episode. I'd definitely wear myself out if I wrote everyday without a break. I do want to continue the Re-Reads but I must figure out a more efficient way to do them. Season Two is already increasing in size and the reviews are two pages long, so imagine a Season Five Re-Read *shudder*. I know the problem, sometimes I quote just so you can follow the story, and then I bloat the review even more by attempting to joke about said quote. I should be pickier from now on, it might take some practicing. To be honest I dunno if Season Five will be done, cos the point of the Re-Reads was to critique my ancient material and as said my Re-Reads don't take THAT long. Still though, I thought it'd be neat to have an official ranking of episodes. Hmm. I think the best way is to do the prequels before it, maybe do what other reviewers do for shows like Buffy/Angel, alternate between them by release dates.

Then I remember Season One's Re-Read didn't go in release order, so f$$$ that nonsense, I wasted 15 minutes figuring out a schedule for nothing. Haha, I'm the greatest at time wasting. I'd likely do Season Two first and I'd choose either Three or B4FV1 depending on where I'm up to in the reboots. If I'm miles ahead, B4FV1 first, then Three. Four doesn't need rebooting so it'd be tricky after that but that's a long way away yet.

At least with Re-Reads I can do them in my spare time when I'm not in the mood for book writing. Having Reboot Season Two, a book and the Re-Reads on the go is overkill though. I think Re-Reads will have to take a backseat at least until I reach Kiss of Death in the reboots.

Moving right on...


Does Reboot Season One work better as a replacement starting point for the series? Or does it have the same and/or even different problems?

I judged original Season One on character introductions and development, plot arcs, the appeal of the first few (3, then 5 and finally 10) episodes to see if they'd draw people in, so it seems only fair to do the same here. To make it a better starting point than original One was the main goal of the reboot after all. It does need further critique on whether or not it added more problems, as well as fixing other issues original One had. One thing at a time though. First;

Are the characters, or rather the "new" ones, introduced well enough to entice readers to come back to FV?

The first draft of Aggression started out with the opening to Scorpion Part 2 which introduced James first (and the scraps of that scene still remain in the beginning of the official released version), then proceeded to go in chronological order with the intention of "B4FV3" flashbacks imbedded at certain points. I never got that far before I restarted with draft 2, which became the official release. My first change was to create a new opening scene that'd introduce the new cast who are already on the ship. Crew evaluations pretty much point out the new cast, have the original cast discuss them and what they do briefly. I'm not sure now if it was a good idea, it's subjective, but at least it was different and didn't feel like these new characters weren't shoved into the limelight out of nowhere like Hunters and pretty much Aggressions Part 1 did. This new scene established that the original crew already work with these three characters (and know about Damien), so it's less jarring. At least I think so. Then we actually get introduced to them, lets check it out.

Craig: Pretty much is introduced the same way he always was, via Tom in the flashback to the luau scene, which was only edited, a rarity in Aggression. The new premiere integrates him into the story a little more, giving him a job and throwing him into the action. It was also nice to have the new addition of him meeting James early, developing their friendship and adding to it, with the meek/timid young Craig being bullied by Thompson, James sticking up for him and Craig in his own way dealing with it on his own, likely earning quite a bit of respect from James (not that he'd admit it lol). He gets a nice arc in Season One that isn't only GIRLS DROOL, so in Craig's case Reboot Season One's already one upped Original One.

James: I'm glad I made the decision to bring him in, in the first episode instead of Hunters. HOWEVER, there is a catch with this. B4FV Season Three's final few episodes were written when there was never any plans to rewrite One, and so I bulls$$$$ a reason for him acting like he does in it. And since that was before Re-Reads as well, my memory of his behaviour wasn't completely right. Now while I didn't decide to write him as I remembered in Original One, because why would I, I still altered his behaviour since later seasons mention him acting differently. I dunno if it's noticeable as it's not as in your face as making him Team Rocket goofy hides from girls James again, all I did was make him cheekier basically. He's meant to be more like his younger 20/21 year old self, compare Aggression with Reboot Caretaker and you may not see the differences in him. That was my intention. He's ruder and he tended to pick more fights, and grumpier too. I'd say the only difference between Caretaker and Aggression, is I wrote James to be a bit more, broken/wearier than he was in the prequels because SPOILERS he went through some s$$$ in B4FV2 and primarily B4FV3.

Oh god I go off on one. While I'm okay with the world weary/seen some s$$$ version of early Reboot One James, his tendency to aggravate people on purpose in Aggression I wish I didn't have to do because of my retconny actions in B4FV3. Otherwise, James gets some awesome character development so we learn about him all over again, while at the same time the season tries not to show newbies everything, leaving beyond some ???'s for Season Two and Three's later twists. Another win I think, though this one was harder cos Original James wasn't all that bad.

Jessie: I'm very fond of what I've done with her in this season, and I didn't have to try hard to beat Original One's attempts to develop her. Aggression and a few others place a question mark over her head regarding her time off apparently sick, and her behaviour being more aggressive and catty than usual. Though that's more intrigue for the prequels than later seasons, but nm. Jessie gets quite a bit of time to develop her and show her backstory. Test of Time now is a highlight and paints quite a picture of mainly her, but James as well. I think Reboot One does a good job of showing what's to come with her, and as mentioned what's been but not too much. 3 for 3 so far.

Kiara: Apart from keeping her age right, I don't think Reboot One does anything different to Original. I suppose she doesn't disappear as often in the second half, another plus. Still a kid, with shows of promise being less in your face "omg she's a telepath". Nothing really else to say.

Morgan: Definite improvement here. As soon as Morgan appears she's her, a troubled teen with a big mouth who is very, very naive. I imagine some will disagree with Timeline Morgan, what with her being more sullen in that at times. Yeah I'd agree, it's just my problem with original Timeline was that Morgan was so blah about her story. She shouldn't be. She witnessed her parents dying, was immediately assimilated, disconnected at two years old, then spent 13 years on a Borg sphere still with implants on, living with other Borg damaged kids, most of which blamed her for what happened. Her being upbeat 24/7 or merely blah about it is just, no. She's not meant to be this sociopath who takes all this crap on the chin, or at this point at 15 years old being strong enough to hide her feelings on the matter. I think Reboot Timeline showed a more human Morgan, and that I wanted people to see. Especially when original Timeline Morgan acts nothing like Morgan in every other episode afterwards. Anyway, as before Dark Frontier and Thrown Key are the biggies that show a more vulnerable side to her and explore her character. Then you have Upendi which I thought was a good character building ep for her. I think Reboot makes Morgan more consistent, inline with how her later character turns out, and gives her a few more moments to shine.

Then there's Damien, and we all know I'm in favour of every change I made with him. The further away he is from his source material, the better.

Meanwhile the ex-MC guest characters (Tani, Triah, Lilly and Emma).

Triah still unfortunately gets a bit of a shaft, with the excuse of "she's not a MC anymore." BUT, she still gets more than the original. Test of Time's few scenes were nice I think, and I always dig her relationship with step brother Craig. That flashback is still too cute. Like everyone, she no longer falls into the new FV character template file of crazy, naughty kid drunkard. Always a plus.

Tani I think remains pretty much the same as she did before. I know she has a few more catty jealousy scenes with Jessie, which unlike the scenes they were in preparation for in Season Two, I really enjoyed writing and reading. So another one for the improved column, if only slightly.

Lilly, what can I say. 100% upgrade there. She's no longer Firera, she's what I remember of Kidz Trek Lilly. I think World Domination has left plenty of intrigue for her story to come in Season Two, and in the few episodes she's in shows some promise personally. Much better.

I absolutely love Emma's introduction to the series. A huge heel turn from the disaster of original World Domination. Her scenes with James I enjoyed so much, I have to do more of them now. Now I must admit, I can't take the full credit for this. I mean yeah she's inspired by a very good friend of mine, so there's that of course. But, she was introduced to James first because I already knew these two would play off each other, and that's again thanks to said friend. It's hard to explain; all I can try to say is that a while ago we would do crossovers (her book and FV) which we kept to ourselves, they were just for fun. James and a similar character would constantly clash, and later on be friends but still have this to and fro of annoying each other going on. So yeah I hoped his chemistry with that character would transfer over to Emma. I think it did personally, and I still keep meaning to ask this friend is she liked it or not. She hasn't had much chance since, again with her being a guest star now. That's my only complaint I think. Still a massive improvement to the original. She no longer blends in and becomes an offensive overexaggerated character, like everyone else did late Season One.

So in a nutshell, every character's been improved and so I can safely say yes, yes the characters do more than enough to encourage readers to keep going. I mean yeah, I'd expect some characters not to be liked, and that's okay, but I'd hope not all of them. Why this is more important than the original cast, is because they have more to prove than them I say. I'd assume that most or all of my readers over the last 17 years are Voyager watchers, s they know the characters and know who they like already. Yeah sure FV does its own thing, but still, you go in expecting these same characters. The newbies are something fresh and they need to be appealing, especially since they're not just extras, most/all are vital to the series' overall story.


Does the first few episodes lure a reader in the way it's meant to? (ie does its tone only lure in people who want a mindless parody, or does some of its actual story interest people wanting to know what happens next?)

Now I just noticed how long this page is, and my speechifying is tiring me out. I'll try to do what I did with the original here, and list what happens in the first 3/5/10 episodes.

First three;

1) We're introduced to 2 more characters than before (4 in total; Craig, James, Jessie and Damien).

2) The Scorpion event is different.

3) Janeway once again has the mystical pregnancy fanfic trope. It doesn't "forget" that J/C deny doing this the normal way, but it doesn't mean they're in denial. You're left with no evidence denying either.

4) J/C again have a daughter.

5) Kes is contacted by an older self, warning her of danger. Hints to the paradox that forms the entire series.

6) Kes' discussion with Neelix and then James about missing memories of an event that took place before the main series, another mystery to get onboard with

7) Voyager is attacked by 8472 and suffers a catastrophic overload which powers down the ship. Ignoring the reset button element of Year of Hell, Voyager are left still damaged for many episodes. During the erased events, you get the idea that this incident that people have forgotten bits of involved James, and there's tension there.

8) Deck Thirteen has something wrong with it, and its the catalyst for the overload.

9) Kes leaves, the only with memories of the alternate events of the Year of Hell

More definitely happens in the first three episodes, even with a mostly erased third episode in both original and reboot. I'd like to hope that there might interest some new readers to continue.

First five is a little trickier. Hunters Again and Unforgettable are very filler-y. I think there's just;

10) A couple scenes showing a mystery character scheming behind the scenes, but in a silly way so nothing to "worry" about.

First ten;

11) Four Out Of Five, while mostly "new" character development stuff that's important, keeps the Voyager damaged arc going as well as the strange Deck 13 mystery.

12) The so called evil mirror Voyager is introduced, same as before. Not much of a threat there.

13) An episode that was episode 11 in the original shows the Borg having connection troubles after the assimilation of James and Jessie. The crew never figure out why, although Seven acts like she's figured it out and is suspicious. This is the start of the Borg arc, creating some further possible interest in the season.

14) An awayteam retrieve what is supposed to be a great power, but is only holographic creatures, to combat a Q who has a grudge on them that they have no memory of.

Yeah, so Reboot One definitely has a bit more hooks to reel people in than Original in its first 3/10 episodes. True there could be too many, since Reboot One still had to use the same ones the Original did but in a different order. And now it's got the Deck Thirteen plot as well. More storyarcs might be considered a negative on Reboot's side. Still gotta admit, the first three episodes are more lure-y than the originals.

Noting I'm skip the unfair question;

Does the whole season progress its arcs well enough to bring people back, and are they fulfilled and/or continued in later seasons?

Since some of Reboot One was written during the fifth season, with the majority of it being written after the entire series was completed. It gives it an unfair advantage to Original One. And apart from Deck Thirteen, the storyarcs follow the same basic path as the original versions.

As for Deck Thirteen, yes that does. It sparks up, creates interest and is then resolved in a way that leaves some questions open for later seasons. And again, its resolution was already written when I did half of it.

So, that leaves one last question

Is there anything in Reboot Season One that appealed to its reader to continue reading it up until the final one, and/or the prequels?

Also unfair, since the goal was to get people who'd like Season Five to read the series. Season Five and Reboot One were written more or less side by side, with the exception of the first 8 episodes of S5. The trouble is what happens in between, with mainly Season Two and a few choice entries of Three. But yeah IMO it does its job and sets things up nicely.

Before I did this, I was a bit worried that Reboot One would be less effective as a first season than the originals. I'm not as worried now. However there's one last question that's exclusive to Reboot that prompted my worry in the first place.

Did Reboot Season One's new material cause any new problems, like for example jokes about the originals, or retconning a later episode I planned to rewrite.

Early Reboot One does have a few Hunters Again moments, which I insisted that I'd stop doing. The point was to make it so Reboot Season One was the default, a replacement for Original. Having Hunters Again taking the piss out of Hunters is not a good way to do that. I think I start to cut that out after Collective Instinct, so at most 8 episodes suffer from fourth wallness. Top of my head Collective Instinct and Hunters Again are the worst for this. While I like the silliness of Hunters Again, I know it's a problem in the season for this reason. New readers aren't gonna get a lot of the jokes.

As for the retconning, I'm not too sure yet if that's happened. I have admitted that the Re-Reads has reminded me of a lot, so if there is anything, I don't remember it.

Actually, yes there's the Pokémon problem. Season One a few characters had their own. Home Sweet Holodeck and Memories of Fury are the only episodes that have them, and they're not called Pokémon or named, only described. No one's gonna know who Victreebell is (Memories of Fury), then there's the biggies Games Resistance and The Slayers which are gonna leave a lot of ???'s over new readers heads.

Of course there's the writers as well, while thankfully aren't as scene hoggy in Season Two so far, are still around though.

I'm hoping that's it, because both of these points are making me worried and annoyed that I've fallen behind again. It's okay, I did this for a reason. My head is clearer now, and it's alleviated more worries than caused.