A Plain and Simple Series, #29

VOY "Concerning Flight" Or: I Floss With Pudding!

(Cronan Thompson)

[Or: I Floss With Pudding!]

        To think I have wasted years watching shows
like "The Tick" for cartoon characters with little
depth, no personality and a grip on reality that can
best be described as ethereal. Luckily Jeri Taylor,
after stumbling upon the realization that fanboys abhor
a vacuum, enlisted Joe Menosky to "write" 'Concerning
Flight'. [Some of you are probably insulted (if not
outright offended) by the comparison I just made.
Comparing Voyager to a show that was well written,
internally consistent yet canceled anyway is mildly
insulting to me yet I do it anyway. Why? In all the
world only three things make me laugh so hard I crack
my diaphragm: "The Tick", "South Park" and "Star Trek:
        I am quickly running out of analogies for
Voyager. Every thing from Porn to Pooh have I exhausted
in this private little war I wage against a foe so
pugnacious in its continued existence that it demands
the policing actions I have so righteously undertaken.
I believe the only analogy that strikes my fancy at the
moment is flossing with pudding (hence the title). You
see flossing with pudding is a task that few undertake
because the goal of flossing is to removal harmful
particles of food from ones teeth and gums whereas
pudding was designed to remove the chewing process from
digestion altogether. In 'Concerning Flight' Da Vinci
is the action of flossing while Janeway acts as a sort
of pudding substitute.
        If I were given one wish, it would be to
heckle, on video or audio tape, a writers meeting for
Voyager. Forgetting its sales potential for just a
moment, there isn't a single portion of this plot that
makes sense on even the most rudimentary level. The
concept, taking a renaissance genius an transporting
him to alien world where he must work in conjunction
with Janeway to save Voyager's main processor, is so
absurd that the mere suggestion should force a new idea
to be put forward. But this is not to be. Instead,
having witnessed a potential below the perception of
mere mortals, will bring this idea to fruition by
ponderously coating the enervated and impotent stratum
with unconvincing machinations. Those Lilliputian
detail workers will go to great lengths in their
operose vocation to create story elements with
long-lasting repercussions... none of which will
actually occur. Until advantageous to story cohesion
the fact that any holocharacter can now be downloaded
into the portable emitter and gain what amounts to
sentience will not be dealt with any meaningful manner.
The very idea that the geniuses of the Federation can
be recreated upon Janeway's whim to solve any and every
problem Voyager might run across was not only presented
with a pink a ribbon but drawn into focus by placing Da
Vinci center stage. And no, this is not a nitpick. The
point I am so deftly making is that several times I
spotted *good* ideas strewn amongst the wreckage. The
idea that great minds are great no matter the time
period was. This, like pictures of children huddled
under blankets in the war torn country of your choice,
did not alleviate the impact of the wreckage but made
it all the more sad.
        I have been writing these little summations for
long enough to know that they rarely ever change
anyone's mind. I seriously doubt that upon your
finishing of this you will simply admit to yourself and
others that someone else held an opinion more firmly
grounded than your own. I write them because I enjoy
doing so. So what I wonder is: do Voyager's writers
enjoy what they are doing? As short a time ago as 12
months I would have said, "Hell yes! They get paid
massive amounts of money." While I maintain they are
not suffering it becomes clear that they do not
approach each endeavor with the same creative rush most
writers get when creating something. Were they to do so
re-reading whatever they put on paper would be evident
in the end product. When I listened to the dialogue in
this episode it sounded coarse. It was as though they
simply handed in an outline. Exchanges between the
actors were acceptable but the dialogue they use could
have been cut and pasted from any number of other
episodes. Every scene was like a skit that relied on
its predecessor only to justify its existence. Janeway
and Da Vinci's valiant intrusion into a warehouse
secured by the Power Rangers and the scenes that
followed are probably the most schizophrenic in the
show. Taken individually as a whole they are a
narrative mess and taken separately they are hopeless
jigsaw puzzle whose peices have been dipped in rubber
cement. Take the events leading up to the gliders take
off. When they are approaching the hill top Da Vinci
runs out of breath. One might attribute this to his
program believing it were human if it were not for the
fact that roughly 20 seconds before Janeway told him he
wasn't human (we won't mention the phaser he witnessed
pass through his body).
        But hey! I was clearly thinking too hard. I
mean wondering why Voyager didn't fire back on the
ships who were shooting at them yet was more than
willing to attack innocent ships in 'Raven.'
        Yeah! It makes perfect sense to let someone
keep one of your valuable phaser rifles when about a
bazillion miles from a starbase. You won't need it.
Just cause you are attacked every other week by people
who you pissed off shouldn't mean a thing.
        That's the ticket! Serves me right for
wondering why Da Vinci did not realize something was
wrong when he ate or drank. God knows there is a good
explanation for this... I just wish she would return my
        *smack* And How dare I wonder exactly why Da
Vinci's patron would want the thoughts of a 400 years
dead inventor whose best ideas centered around building
obsolete gliders.
        I am sure I missed some essential detail that
brought together the fragments of what one must assume
was at some point in the past a story. Someone wanna
clue me in?

Plain & Simple Cronan
We replaced Janeway with dark, rich Folgers
crystals... let's see who notices

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