Friday, September 30, 2016

Star Trek Enterprise (Season 1d)

Season 1c - 2a

Something glaringly jarring about Enterprise is the discrepancy of technology. We are supposedly exploring the early days of Earth in space. This is way before things like the holodecks. We don’t even have the Prime Directive yet!

It should be a series about exploring a lot of issues that would challenge people first coming onto the interplanetary stage. But it feels like the writers are more interested in pushing Trek universe further. Things like new aliens we have never heard of before, super advanced technology that—in universe—will take another couple centuries to develop, and foes that Trek has established won’t be encountered until centuries later. All of this makes us think that the storytellers wish they were working on a different show. Maybe this “Time War” storyline will fix the discrepancy, but Trek’s history of time-travel stories predict it will likely just make things worse.

Episode 20: “Oasis”

This episode starts out like a haunted house story, but quickly chickens out. Instead, we get some of that technology that won’t be developed for another couple hundred years. Somehow, a solitary, guilt ridden, engineer is not only able to create the tech; but also does it on a level beyond what we will see in the other shows.

Episode 21: “Detained”

This episode is trying to be super thoughtful and preachy, but feels very cookie-cutter. Not only is the story-line—taking the new enemy and pointing out that the entire race is not the enemy—super predictable for Trek… The episode feels like a stunt to get Sam and Al back together. And to get one of our heroes disgusted as an alien. And… how does translator technology work in this era? I’m confused. Why even have a linguistics expert on the crew if the translators work this flawlessly? Or do these new aliens speak English?

Episode 22: “Vox Sola”

Oh, wait… the translators ARE needed again. And how does a race get to the point where eating is a sexual taboo? One can envision how a culture would let legalism extend to the point where people must cover their bodies completely, but this is ridiculous. The main story-line here tries to be scary, but the threat is too quickly contained and then we realize that we are dealing with and appendage with intelligence?

Episode 23: “Fallen Hero”

This episode is well crafted and entertaining, but ultimately just fabricated intrigue.

Episode 24: “Desert Crossing”

So this episode takes that preachy episode from a couple weeks ago and makes it a big mistake and lesson learned for Captain Archer. Are the writers reversing course and saying that internment camps were OK, or just that it is a mistake to do good for others? The continuing progress towards the whole “mind your own business” philosophy of Trek.

Episode 25: “Two Days and Two Nights”

For a mad-cap, comic, embarrassing, vacation-gone-wrong story this episode has very little mad-cap comedy. But the hints at a larger story-arch might be effective at keeping me interested for more…

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