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The face of evil
I won't lie, I've seen more than a few episodes of the 1990s television series Star Trek: Voyager. I started watching it out of boredom, but lately I've become fascinated by a unique characteristic amongst all the Star Trek shows:

The character who captains the ship is evil.

If you've never seen the show, it is advertised as the story of the journey of a single ship, helmed by a plucky and yet vulnerable "Captain Janeway", struggling against all odds to get her crew home safely. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The more I watch this show, the more convinced I am that the writers intend to illustrate that StarFleet captains are psychopathic, remorseless scourges upon the galaxy. The Janeway character is written as a flawed, sociopathic woman whose military dogma and clumsy aping of real human emotions destroy the lives of everyone who crosses her path.

(Warning: spoilers ahead)

Here, for example, are the plots of some actual Voyager episodes. (And I want to just emphasize that I am not making these up, these are the real storylines):
  • Caretaker (pilot episode)
    Janeway's ship is stranded hopelessly far from home. Her 175 crew will never see their families again. An alien artifact can easily send them home, but Starfleet policy dictates that she destroy the artifact instead, stranding them for decades.

  • Time and Again
    Janeway explores a nearby planet and inso doing, destroys the civilization on it with clumsy use of transporter technology.

  • Prime Factors
    An alien smuggler offers to send Janeway's crew most of the way home, but she refuses because his proposal is against StarFleet policy.

  • Resistance
    Janeway plays upon the sympathies of a demented old man, posing as his dead daughter so that she can exploit him as a distraction during a prison break for her crew. He dies.

  • Alliances
    Janeway colludes with an alien diplomat to assassinate the leaders of their enemies at a fake peace conference.

  • Threshold
    Captain Janeway and a crewman join together in a transcendant experience in which they omnisciently experience the entirety of the universe together. As part of this process, they undergo accelerated evolution and become advanced beings, mating with each other and producing offspring. Later they are reverted to their human forms, where Janeway never again acknowledges their experience together or shows interest in their children.

  • Dreadnaught
    Janeway sacrifices the ship to protect some people she doesn't know, because she doesn't trust her engineer to save them. The engineer saves everyone anyway, against Janeway's direct orders.

  • Death wish
    Janeway uses her authority as captain to force an alien species to allow one of their own to commit suicide, against the morals of the aliens.

  • Deadlock
    Janeway orders the destruction of Voyager with all hands aboard to give herself an advantage in a parallel universe. All but two of the crew are killed. Episodes after this one follow a completely different group of characters aboard a different ship who look the same as the dead crew.

  • Innocence
    Janeway orders her crew to willfully defile an alien burial ground because they want to look for fuel for the ship.

  • The Thaw
    Janeway tricks and murders an alien consciousness.

  • Tuvix
    Janeway forces a new character into a fatal transporter experiment at gunpoint. As he dies, he forgives her. The episode ends with Janeway looking stonefaced and remorseless.

  • Resolutions
    Janeway is stranded for months with her first officer on a woodland planet, all alone. He falls in love with her, and she seems to reciprocate. But the moment they are rescued, she assumes her command authority over him, assigns him tasks, and never again acknowledges their relationship or their time together.

  • Prey
    A new crew member saves the ship from destruction by an overwhelming fleet of more powerful enemy ships. Janeway angrily punishes the ship's savior and revokes her access to primary systems.

  • Dragon's Teeth
    Janeway revives a despotic alien race from a 900 year stasis in exchange for shortening Voyager's trip home by a few percent. The aliens wreak havoc on other cultures and Voyager's crew barely escape with their lives. The episode concludes with Janeway blaming a crew member who had a small part in the events for the entire consequence of the aliens' actions, even though it was in fact Janeway who decided to revive all but one of them.

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