Man, this is weird, guys. Watching the pilot of Voyager is weird.
I think I remember finishing Voyager sometime in October/November of 2013--which, now that I type those words I realize that's a year and two months ago--but it seems like I just watched Voyager. I feel like I was just hanging out with Seven and The Doctor and Tom and B'Elanna. And maybe that's why it feels so weird--because the most memorable stuff about this series just hasn't happened yet. It's weird to see Chakotay's crew in their Maquis getup. It's weird the way everyone says Chakotay--especially B'Elanna--another individual whose name no one can has any ability to get out consistently. It's weird how obviously they're trying to make Tom into another Riker/Kirk type when he ends up happily married in what seems like no time. It's weird how everyone treats the Doctor and how high Janeway's hair is.
But it was fun, on New Year's--on a day that feels like such an optimistic beginning--to start this show all over again and to know how truly amazing it becomes. Watching it, I've already begun to miss Kes but look forward to Seven of Nine. I'm excited to watch The Doctor evolve and interested in the process by which Janeway goes from being like pretty much every other Starfleet (and Star Trek) captain to the matriarch of a close-knit, unbreakable, unsinkable family.
I've seen Caretaker a few times over the years. But the first and most memorable time I saw it was the first time it aired. I was still a kid but I'd spent all the previous years of my life watching TNG. At the time Voyager aired, my life was fairly chaotic. My mom had re-married. I'd gone to live with my dad who, after years spent almost entirely with my mom, seemed a stranger to me. I had moved around four times in the four previous years and now I was in yet another new town and new school with new kids and new way of life. I felt adrift in a strange new place and I would have to buck up and make it work. And that's what the Voyager/Maquis crew decides to do here. I think, in January of 1995, that's exactly what I needed. I signed onto Janeway's crew that night and I never left.