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The fourth ‘Star Trek’ series to hit our screens, ‘Voyager’ follows Captain Kathryn Janeway (played by ‘Orange Is the New Black’ star Kate Mulgrew) and her intrepid crew to the edge of the Milky Way. Sadly the journey is not without its perils. Their mission to track down a renegade Maquis ship ends in disaster, resulting in many of the ‘Voyager’ crew being killed and the ship becoming stranded on the outskirts of the galaxy.
However, not one to shy away from a challenge, Janeway manages to unite the opposing factions and join forces on the 70,000 light year journey back to Earth that is set to take them a rather daunting 75 years.
Though the series was much maligned at the time, it did give us the first female Captain in the history of ‘Star Trek’. She was a bold yet complex character that brought home the idea that women can and should be portrayed as capable of taking command. These TV shows like ‘Voyager’ should be your next port of call if you’re looking for gutsy female characters that are not afraid to take the lead.
‘Scandal’ follows the formidable Olivia Pope and her team of self-appointed ‘gladiators’. They set out to publicly defend those that are not able to defend themselves and right the wrongs of the US government, all under the intense glare of the international media spotlight. Throw in an ongoing affair with the President for good measure, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a drama.
Despite ‘Scandal’ being based here on Earth, it’s a TV show like ‘Star Trek: Voyager’: the central character commands a team through a legal and political minefield, one which could easily claim the lives of everyone around her. With 5 seasons of double-crossing, betrayal and conspiracies, a day in command of a ‘Starfleet’ vessel might seem like a welcome retreat to Olivia Pope.
Though it only had a short run, ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ (or ‘TSCC’) received much critical praise for its interpretation of the story of Sarah Connor and its faithfulness to the feel of the original ‘Terminator’ movies.
Starring Lena Headey (who you may recognise from ‘Game of Thrones’), this is a TV show like ‘Voyager’ where the stakes are high and anything can happen. Our protagonist has to (quite literally) roll with the punches in order to protect her son, John Connor, and prevent Skynet from bringing about the end of the world as we know it. So no pressure there then.
Featuring one of the few stars within the Marvel universe that doesn’t have a superpower, ‘Agent Carter’ features our hero Peggy Carter trying to overcome the challenges of operating in a male-dominated world. She does so in a gloriously unapologetic fashion.
Based in 1940’s New York, the series begins where ‘Captain America’ ends as Carter balances the routine office work she does for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) with secretly assisting Howard Stark (the father of Tony Stark, aka Iron Man), who finds himself framed for supplying deadly weapons to the highest bidder.
Showing that cunning and an unshakable character can win as many battles as super strength (or a mythical hammer, or the ability to turn into The Hulk), Carter is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
We return to the vastness of outer space with these TV shows, one featuring the last human being alive and the other a band of mercenaries with rather dubious morals. As it turns out not everyone out there takes things quite as seriously as the members of ‘Starfleet’…
For another TV show like ‘Voyager’ we look to BBC and their sci-fi production about the crew of the ‘Red Dwarf’. Stranded three million years from Earth, the plight of the ‘Red Dwarf’ crew may ring a few bells amongst ‘Voyager’ fans. However, that is where the similarities end. With no Captain Janeway figure at the helm, this group of smegheads are left to blunder through the Universe in the vague hope of one day finding their way home.
The cult sci-fi comedy follows the adventures of the remaining crew members of the Jupiter Mining Corporation vessel ‘Red Dwarf’ after a freak accident wiped out everyone except lowly third technician Dave Lister, a curry obsessive and self-confessed slob. Joined by a hologram of his former bunk-mate (the thoroughly neurotic Arnold Rimmer), and the immaculately coffered descendant of his pet cat, we get to see what would happen if the last human being alive was also one the least capable.
While space cowboys and government brainwashing might seem as mismatched as Janeway and Chakotay, when put together they work perfectly — much like the ‘Voyager’ duo.
Following on from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Angel’, Joss Whedon crafted another pocket universe with ‘Firefly’. ‘Castle’ funnyman Nathan Fillion stars as Captain Malcolm Reynolds, who as it happens has a very different management approach to that of Janeway. We follow his short-lived adventures along with his merry band of misfits on board the temperamental spaceship Serenity.
The show was full of laughs, featured plenty of action and a will they/won’t they romance, and an outstanding chemistry and comic timing between its stars. No wonder fans were left outraged at the cancellation of ‘Firefly’ during its first season. The answer? A full-length prequel/sequel in the form of ‘Serenity’ that hit big screens in 2005.
If you’re looking for more TV series like ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ then aside from the rich ‘Star Trek’ universe that is yours to explore, there are plenty of adventures to be had both on Earth and in a galaxy far, far away.
‘Battlestar Galactica’ and ‘The 100’ are both brilliant examples of modern sci-fi, with ‘Jessica Jones’ presenting a darker and gritty side of Marvel that you may not have been expecting.
Have we missed any shows like ‘Star Trek: Voyager’?
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