Some of Janeway’s Command Mistakes: Anyone know of Star Trek Voyager?

09 Jan

After watching many Star Trek Voyager episodes over and over again, I began see some pretty major command mistakes Capitan K. Janeway made over the 7 year series run.  Here are some of the highlights:

The geneses of the series. She destroyed the machinery that could get her and her crew back to earth. I understand that the series needs a starting point but she put her own agenda ahead of her crew’s safety.

The way Janeway handled the Borg and Species 8472. During their travels home Janeway et al comes across the Borg on several occasions.  They are a terrifying race of soulless evil drones that “assimilate” anything they believe will add to their “hive” collective.  There is a species (No. 8472 according to the Borg Catalog) that consistently kicks their teeth in.  Species 8472 consistently kicks the shit out of the Borg—the only species that has the ability to do so.  Naturally, Janeway and her team almost instantly come up with the proverbial firing solution to exploit this race’s weakness.  Her haste to get across the Borg expanse (instead of going around it) she makes a deal with the devil himself: the Borg.  Janeway decides to share this deadly technology with the Borg without consideration of the bigger picture.  One of the consequences of her shortsighted policy is that several races are exterminated because they depended on 8472 to keep the Borg at bay and it worked until Janeway’s discovery of their weakness.

When I saw that 2 part episode, I exclaimed to my stepdaughters that Janeway should be paraded before a tribunal in chains for a show trial then locked up to answer for her crimes.  The girls are serious Janeway supporters I think because of the female role model thing—which is OK of course.  Low and behold, a couple of episodes later one survivor of an assimilated race tries to trick Janeway (and almost gets away with it) because 8472 was an effective buffer to keep the Borg at bay.  This alien’s entire species was exterminated so Janeway could shave a couple of years off of her journey.

Every time the character 7 of 9 bitches about Janeway’s various decisions and refuses to comply she is 100% correct. On numerous occasions the former Borg 7 of 9 commits outright mutiny and refuses to comply with some self-righteous Janeway policy.  7 of 9 forcefully argues each time that she is putting the crew at risk without justification.  Naturally Janeway only punishes 7’s disobedience (as is her right as Capitan) with some punishment—like locking 7 in the cargo bay never addressing the merits of 7’s arguments.

I know this is a simplistic overview of theory which would deserves much more examination in order to make a thoroughly convincing case.  However, I realize that putting a show made in the 1990’s on trial is a little too much a little too late.  But for Netflix, frankly, it would not be possible.

Viva la Netflix!!



Posted by on January 9, 2016 in Movie Reviews


4 responses to “Some of Janeway’s Command Mistakes: Anyone know of Star Trek Voyager?

  1. Bonnie at Tarot Salve

    January 11, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Good post, and good points. Not everything Janeway does is a mistake, though. I like her willingness to let crew members make their own choices even when it turns out that their choices are mistaken–like when Tom flew a test flight at warp 10 (was it warp 10?) even though he had a rare blood anomaly that put him at risk for potentially fatal side effects, even though Harry Kim could have easily flown instead–and then Tom did nearly die from the side effects of his trip. Or when the doctor decides to resign his commission and relocate to another planet, which Janeway clearly knows is a bad idea, and eventually the doctor realizes it too. You might say that it was a mistake for her to allow these crew members to make these choices since the loss of them would adversely impact the rest of the crew. Maybe that’s true. But part of being a good leader is motivating people to do things, not just forcing them to follow your rules.

    Janeway also chooses to give certain aliens the benefit of the doubt, wisely. And, as in the military, she has a “no one left behind” policy–she goes above and beyond to rescue crew members who have been trapped in untenable situations on away missions.

    You mention Seven of Nine’s criticisms of Janeway–well, Seven of Nine wouldn’t even be on the ship if Janeway hadn’t made a dubious choice to keep her on board and rehabilitate her.

    Finally, Janeway is scrupulously fair, and takes care not to develop any too personal relationships with crew members, simply to maintain her fairness and not become partial. That’s a hard choice for a captain who expects to spend years of her life on the same ship. But she does it uncomplainingly. She also sacrifices herself uncomplainingly when she feels that by so doing she can protect the crew.

    Oh, and one last thing–note that Janeway is a science officer and has no hesitation in getting her hands dirty with the rest of the crew. Unlike Kirk or Picard. She’s a woman of the people.

    These are just a few stray thoughts off the top of my head, but I COULD go back and document Janeway’s good decisions, if you insist! I think you should give her another chance.


    • jpfmovies

      January 11, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      All good points, however, what I am talking about is pattern of activity for putting her crew second when faced with either rather trivial detours or major conflicts where she thinks being a self righteous leader will set yet another bad example for the crew only demoralizing them. She is the one that got them into the problem and owes it to the crew to put her “Science” or other nonsense in the back seat to get what the crew deserves–the fastest way home possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bonnie at Tarot Salve

        January 12, 2016 at 7:43 am

        In all fairness to Janeway, though, she doesn’t write the scripts… :-)

        Liked by 1 person

        • jpfmovies

          March 20, 2017 at 3:22 pm

          Of course, I am not taking away form her performance as an actress, in face I believe she is quite talented. They can only work with what is put in front of them.



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