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Enterprise: Getting Back to Basics

By hardburn in Media
Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 04:21:37 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

By now, most of the United States(at least those with UPN) has seen the pilot episode of "Enterprise". Many have been wondering how things will go in this new series. In many ways, it tries to eliminate older aspects of what we expect in a Trek series, but it also tends to embrace other aspects, especially those from the original series. I tend to focus more on subtle details than larger aspects of the show itself, on the belief that many of the details will be around longer while certain larger story elements may only last for a single show.

Spoilage warning: I discuss very little of the plot, but may focus in on elements you'd rather not hear about if you haven't seen it yet.

First, some quick acronyms for the uninitiated. TOS==The Original Series, TNG=The Next Generation, DS9==Deep Space Nine. I'll be using these frequently throughout the review.

Production Issues

One of the first things I noted was the music used in the promotional advertisements for "Enterprise", in which they used pop music in the background. It was a bad omen for the series, and one I very much hoped wouldn't carry over into the show itself. I was suitably disappointed when the opening title sequence used more pop crap. Star Trek has a very good composer, Jerry Goldsmith, who rivals Star Wars' John Williams. Whatever you might say about Voyager, I think the music used in its title sequence was some of the best yet in a Trek series. Nothing of the sort can be said for "Enterprise". On the other hand, this is exactly what I would expect from a show on the UPN network, a network that makes Fox look intellectual.

After we got into the actual show, I noticed that some of the camera work and lighting seemed to be quite different from other Trek shows. For instance, the big phaser battle contained a lot of wide-angle shots that showed the entire battle scene. Most Star Trek phaser battles use more close-up shots focusing on one or two people at a time. This sort of camera work reminds me of cop shows such as "Nash Bridges", and I think it really contributes to showing a much tougher, meaner universe then what we saw in TNG.

Notice, too, that the show was not named "Star Trek: Enterprise". I think the lack of "Star Trek" being appended to the title could mean a lot of things. Perhaps those two words should only be attached to the Federation, which has not yet been formed in "Enterprise". The creators may wish to get away from the stigma Star Trek has generated in the past, knowing that they need the average American to watch it to survive. Or perhaps this is a signal that they want to junk Gene's vision entirely and move in new directions.

Timeline Troubles

In the pilot, it is stated that these events take place about 90 years after Zefram Cochrane's first warp drive test. 30 years prior, Zefram Cochrane founded an advanced research facility to create a human starship, the result being the Enterprise.

Now let's check with the existing Star Trek timeline, as taken from "The Star Trek Encyclopedia", first edition. The information here is taken from canonical Star Trek sources, though it is possible that later editions of the encyclopedia have changed this. Here goes:

  • 2061: Warp drive invented
  • 2065: S.S. Valiant lost near galaxy's (mentioned in TOS series)
  • 2079: World War III; 37 million killed
  • 2117: Zefram. Cochrane disappears, believed dead
  • 2156: Romulan Wars begin
  • 2160: Romulan Wars end
  • 2161: United Federation of Planets incorporated. Starfleet established.
  • 2218: First contact with the Klingons

"Enterprise" would therefore take place 2150. Zefram Cochrane would have founded the research facility around 2120 (there are enough "abouts" floating around the dates that this could have happened before he disappears in 2117).

Big oops with the Klingons; first contact with them isn't supposed to happen for another 70 years. Additionally, in the TNG episode "First Contact" (not the movie), Picard describes first Contact with the Klingons as disastrous. However, while the "Enterprise" pilot doesn't seem to show a rosy first contact situation, it didn't seem disastrous. Perhaps later events will show more problems with the Kligons that will build off the First Contact.

Also of note:

  • 1992: Eugenics Wars begin (between genetically engineered "supermen")
  • 1996: Eugenics Wars end.

In one episode of Voyager, they traveled back in time to 1996 San Francisco. They should have beamed down into the middle of the Eugenics Wars, or at least the clean up that surely came after word. Since San Francisco seemed normal, this is another break in Star Trek's timeline (even if it's one that fits better into more current events then what was set in TOS). Some have suggested that previous fiddling with the timeline (particularly by Kirk) could have put off the Eugenics War. This gives the writers a very convenient excuse for any other problems with the timeline.

Out with the new, in with the old

Many elements of the new series feel a lot like TOS. When the doors open around the ship, it has that squeaky sound of the TOS doors. The color codes of the uniforms (such as yellow for command officers) are also similar to classic Trek. Communicators look and sound much like the ones Kirk originally used, and the phasers are a similar design to those used in movies numbered 2-6. Many of the controls used, though, are much more TNG-style, except for a certain scope-thingy (it was never explained exactly what it was used for), which looks very much like a TOS scope used a lot by Spock.

There are a few hand-to-hand fight sequences in the show, which reminded me a lot of the TOS fight sequences (even if the fighting style is different). TOS had at least one scene per show where Kirk was throwing punches, and it's rather nice to see Star Trek getting back to "another show, another fight".

Not everything is similar to TOS. The way in which the bridge's front view screen is used seems completely different from any other Trek series. Frankly, I think it's the way it should have been used all along. For instance, it uses text to supplement the visual information, and the image can be overlaid with information generated from the sensors, such as flight vectors and areas of radiation.

One very important (IMHO) similarity to TOS is the character interactions. Such interactions are often considered one of TOS's strong points, but they seemed to have lapsed in the more recent series. Like TOS, Enterprise has an uber-logical Vulcan science officer who seems even less tolerant of human emotions then Spock was. The ship also has a very quirky medical officer, though he comes from a race that have been traveling the stars a lot longer then humans have. I doubt there will be the same clash between the Vulcan and the doctor as there was in TOS. More likely it will come between the Vulcan and the first officer, with the captain again stuck in the middle. If there is something to be said against all this, it's that it is too much like like TOS; Enterprise needs to find new ways for the characters to clash to be interesting.

It seems to be rule of Star Trek that the weapons get weaker as time goes on. The progression looks something like this:

  • TOS: Hand phaser destroys side of building
  • TNG: Phaser causes sparks to fly
  • DS9: Singes some rocks
  • VOY: Makes the enemy feel a little warm

Being that this series takes place before TOS, a hand phaser ought to be able to eliminate a city block in one shot. I didn't see any of that, but a Kligon did destroy a silo with a hand phaser at the beginning of the show, so at least we get that much.

Klingon Brow Ridges and Other Galactic Mysteries

Klingon brow ridges: What up with them? Smooth in TOS, then bony in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". In every show since then, Klingons have been shown with bony brow ridges.

Almost. In one DS9 show, "Trials and Tribble-ations", the crew gets to go back in time, right into the middle of the TOS show "Trouble with Tribbles". Much of the show was spliced together using film from the TOS episode, so all the Klingons are shown to have a smooth brow (excepting Worf). The rest of the crew was apparently oblivious that Klingons ever had smooth brows, and they ask Worf what happened. Some sort of species-wide genetic change? Or are there actually two Klingon species? (That last one wouldn't work, as some of the same Klingon commanders that appeared in TOS showed up on DS9 with bony ridges). Worf only gives the reply "we don't like to talk about it", which isn't at all satisfying.

It is of note that Klingons in "Enterprise" have the bony ridges. I think the writers could make quite a story about how the Kligons acquired their ridges, and I hope they don't pass it off with some cockamamie techno babble in an off-hand comment some time during the series (although even that would be more interesting then the truth, that Klingon make-up cost too much for TOS).

Getting off the subject of foreheads, I think we could see some interesting events occur if the series is allowed to continue. In about six years from all this, the war with the Romulans begins. Hopefully, Star Fleet will have a few more ships come out of the shipyards before then (right now, it's just the Enterprise). In about eleven years, the Federation itself will be born, though this assumes that the timeline will hold up better then it has so far.

The Romulan Wars would pose a problem, though. Spock said in the TOS episode "Balance of Power" (I think) that the ships fighting it were not capable of visual communications, so they never actually saw what the Romulans looked like. It could be that the Romulans, being very secretive, simply choose not to make visual communication, but Spock seemed to indicate the ships were not technologically capable of it. This makes a rather large hole, as this Enterprise seems perfectly capable of visual communication (though it was never actually shown), and we are capable of such communication right now. It was even possible in the days of TOS; the moon landings sent TV signals to back Earth.

There are some intresting oppertunities for some cross-series stories. For instance, Q once mentioned in an episode of Voyager that the Romulan Wars were sparked by the actions of another Q. The writers would have to put it out of the notice of Our Heros, who would make a report about it to Star Fleet, and thus Picard would still never had heard of Q in "Encounter at Farpoint".

Should you watch it?

"OK, Mr. Fancy Pants Reviewer", you may ask, "is the show really any good?" I think we should give it a chance. There are several very interesting elements at work within the show that could make it a great series, if we give it the chance. If it turns out later that the writers have screwed it up, then we can go back to watch Babylon 5 reruns (bring back "Crusade"!).

I haven't mentioned what I think is the most important element of TOS: Compromise. Gene Roddenberry wanted to make a good TV show, but he had to deal with annoying things like ratings that the big corporate executives wanted. The executives would demand that Roddenberry make certain changes to the series to make the ratings higher. I submit that part of Roddenberry's brilliance was knowing what to give up and what to keep. The executives demanded that there not be a female first officer in the original series, so he gave it up, but he kept Nimoy for playing Spock. I think the producers of the current show need to learn the lesson of compromise; what should they give up to the corporate executives and what should they keep? This lesson may be much harder to learn, UPN being what it is, but it must be learned if the franchise is to survive.


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What did you think of "Enterprise"?
o Good 53%
o Bad 2%
o Ugly 6%
o Wait and see 33%
o Inshiro 4%

Votes: 45
Results | Other Polls

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Enterprise: Getting Back to Basics | 75 comments (71 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
I think it will be an entirely different show (4.37 / 8) (#1)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 09:26:26 AM EST

There's a lot of talk of continuity here which is only theoretically interesting to me--if the show is good, I'll watch it no matter how badly it clashes with "known" information. And if it's bad, having a brow-ridge explanation won't save it for me.

One thing I thought they got bang on is the "early space exploration" feel. The ship is small--even the captain's quarters can barely fit three people sitting down. And the crew is plausibly unfamiliar with the equipment. The translator chick (I never pick up names the first time around) walked into engineering at one point and pointed to the warp drive: "Is it safe to stand so close to that thing?" There doesn't seem to be any danger that their technology has made them god-like, which was one of the downfalls of TNG. They are just like us, only with slightly more advanced hardware.

I thought Bakula (and the writers) did a really good job with making a believable pioneer-type captain. Almost without exception the rest of the crew was sucky (the Brit's plucky loser attitude and the Vulcan's "I scorn humans and their puny breasts" facade in particular), but that may improve with time. Pilots are notoriously poor with character development.

Play 囲碁
Continuity (none / 0) (#46)
by squigly on Sat Sep 29, 2001 at 02:57:21 AM EST

Personally, I think is important not to contradict yourself (At least not obviously). It creates a distraction, and ruins the suspension of disbelief.

Little things like Khan and Chokov recognising each other in Star Trek 2 are minor trivial things that can be ignored, because it takes an awful lot of analyisis to spot these things. As long as they don't suddenly make Spock a full Vulcan or ressurect dead characters, these things don't matter.

The problem comes when they start assigning accurate dates to things. The Eugenics wars couldn't possibly have happened in the 1990's, because we were there. The voyager crew couldn't have gone back into the middle of a war because only the serious fans would have understood why this was happening. On the whole, I tend to simply ignore these things. If you want a rational explanation - The Encyclopedia is simply wrong (It's officially only semi-canon anyway), and the entire crew are really really awful at remembering dates.

[ Parent ]

DMCA (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by sab39 on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 02:40:42 PM EST

Actually, the reason nobody knows the dates is because all the information from the late 20th and early 21st centuries was stored in encrypted digital formats, and decrypting them is illegal. Probably someone in one of these wars that's supposed to happen blew up the AOLTimeWarnerDisneyNBC building containing all the keys... Thus virtually nothing is known about this period of time except what historians have been able to piece together, and they've got some of it wrong.
"Forty-two" -- Deep Thought
"Quinze" -- Amélie

[ Parent ]
Ah! Of course.... (none / 0) (#63)
by squigly on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 02:47:43 AM EST

That also explains why they've never seen Star Trek on Star Trek. Either that, or all the media corporations saw which way the wind was blowing, and moved to Ferenginar, with all their valuable IP.

[ Parent ]
Well... (4.25 / 4) (#2)
by Rocky on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 09:31:44 AM EST

> a Klingon did destroy a silo with a hand phaser at the beginning of the show

I thought I heard it mentioned somewhere that the silo had flammable materials in it. Grain dust is explosive, isn't it?

That's means the phaser shot didn't have to be as powerful as it appeared.

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
Good point (4.50 / 4) (#3)
by hardburn on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 09:36:14 AM EST

Yes, that is very true. Actualy, grain dust itself isn't explosive, but it is flameable, and when you put something flameable into a closed area, it becomes explosive. Gun powder will just burn if you dump it on the sidewalk and light it up; it's putting it in a very small area that makes it explode.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
things that explode (4.50 / 2) (#32)
by superflex on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 03:54:30 PM EST

grain silos are high explosion risks. depending on the air/fuel mixture, they can go "kaboom" fairly easily. most flammable materials, when present in the right air/fuel mixture, present significant explosion hazards, including grain dust, coal dust, etc.

another thing i just thought of; most people know that gasoline can present an explosive hazard. but the liquid isn't what explodes, it's the fumes.

[ Parent ]

Silo Explosion (5.00 / 1) (#10)
by ignatiusst on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 10:33:11 AM EST

I thought I heard it mentioned somewhere that the silo had flammable materials in it. Grain dust is explosive, isn't it?

I think the star fleet admiral on the pilot said that there was a methane explosion that caused the silo to explode..

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

Methane (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by kostya on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 10:34:06 AM EST

I heard them mention methane. Considering all the corn, I figured it was some gasohol or fermentation thingy.

Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
Worst Episode Ever! (4.37 / 8) (#4)
by snap on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 10:00:33 AM EST

Apologies to Comic Book Guy...

All the reviews I have read so far seem like they were written by the anal retentive SF fan from the Simpsons. Come on people, it is a television show. The writers are trying to create entertaining television, not create a coherent fictional history spanning several centuries. When faced with a choice between creating good entertainment and sticking to a strict timeline, I would much rather have good entertainment.

The klingon forehead thing is just way over the top. The tribbles episode of DS9 on which Wharf said "we don't like to talk about it" was clearly a farce. The entire statement is intended to make fun of the fact that there is no good explaination for the change, it was simply a design decision made by shows with better budgets than TOS. When an entire show is devoted to fun and silliness it is clearly not necessary for writers of future shows to be held to statements made in it. Lets not get out of control here.

Funny! (5.00 / 1) (#11)
by pallex on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 10:33:51 AM EST

"anal retentive SF fan from the Simpsons"

they had me thinking more of the geeky weirdos from Galaxy Quest!

[ Parent ]
Galaxy Quest (none / 0) (#47)
by johncoswell on Sat Sep 29, 2001 at 08:10:40 AM EST

Actually, the comment by the Enterprise crew about the transporter turning them inside out had to have been a Galaxy Quest reference...

"The creature turned inside out!...and it exploded!"

johncoswell - http://www.coswellproductions.org
[ Parent ]
no suspension of disbelief? (none / 0) (#68)
by ethereal on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 10:21:06 AM EST

I bet you don't care when there are pages torn out of your favorite book, either, because after all, it's only entertainment and doesn't have to really be consistent, does it? Doesn't bother you at all when D'Artagnan is described as a Spaniard in one chapter of The Three Musketeers (to make up an example), even though he's really a Frenchman. After all, he could still be entertaining that way, right?

The fact is, for many people that actually keep track of relevant details, inconsistencies are a pain to watch and take away from the impact of the series. It's not a problem if you just want to see swashbuckling on an episode-by-episode basis; but if you actually care to watch a long story arc and identify with the characters that are involved, then it makes it tough if their characterization, technology, and ideas about the past have to change all the time.


Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Brow Ridges & opinions (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by Elkor on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 10:07:27 AM EST

Personal theory on the brow ridge thing:
Genetic warfare between the Klingons and Some Other Race (Romulans? The aliens that are genetically "evolving" themselves from Enterprise?). The Other Race introduces a genetic germ that was supposed to disrupt Klingon DNA but instead caused them to lose their brow ridges for a few generations, as well as prematurely killing off the existing generation that had brow ridges.

Of course, I am just making all that up. I admit to being disapointed seeing the brow ridges myself.

I did appreciate how the comm officer detected the shivers in the ship, it makes sense because of her sensitive ear.

I also liked the detox scene. Woohoo sports bra.

Lastly, the potential conflicts between the first officer and the vulcan science officer will be offset/compounded by the mutual attraction they will feel, because of course Vulcan logic cannot deny the viability of the FO's genetic material, as will be demonstrated by his numerous acts of courage/heroism/capability. And the FO will like the Vulcan's.... sports bra.

These are just my opinions and have absolutely no bearing on reality. Or even various forms of fiction.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
An Official Answer (4.00 / 4) (#7)
by acestus on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 10:20:35 AM EST

I used to own a book called something like "The Star Trek Guide to Aliens." It was a full-color book of the races we see, along with history and culture.

The Klingons had three entries -- brow ridges, no brow rides, and no brow ridges (with pointy ears.)

The book explained that Klingons, being masters of genetic engineering, had engineered sub-races to interact with humans and Romulans back in the early days, as they didn't like direct contact with alien races. Strange, but it was the 'official' answer at the time.

This is not an exit.
[ Parent ]
Very odd (5.00 / 2) (#13)
by hardburn on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 10:40:22 AM EST

This is very odd, particularly since episodes of TNG and DS9 indicated that Klingons hate genetic engineering! Maybe they liked it for a time, then started hating it. That would explain why they "don't like to talk about it".

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
Have you seen those ugly Klingons... (none / 0) (#58)
by SIGFPE on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 07:12:10 PM EST

...without brow ridges? No wonder the Klingons took a dislike to genetic engineering.
[ Parent ]
What about Kahless? (none / 0) (#72)
by preliminary on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 09:04:16 PM EST

You remeber the Klingon priests in that TNG (or was it DS9?) episode resurrecting Kahless from a DNA sample? Explain a) the pretty advanced genetical engineering and b) Kahless, with ridges, certainly predating TOS. I'm aware of several loopholes, but given these events the later development of brow ridges seems less probable.

[ Parent ]
The problem (5.00 / 2) (#21)
by MrAcheson on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 12:54:38 PM EST

The big problem with the whole cosmetic changes idea is that we see three Klingon generals from the original series as both brow ridged and non-brow ridged Klingons throughout the different series. Kang shows up in TOS and Trek VI and then again older in DS9. Coor (sp?) and Koloth also show up in that ep of DS9 with brow ridges.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.

[ Parent ]
Canon (5.00 / 2) (#27)
by MrAcheson on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 03:01:06 PM EST

You forget that if it doesn't show up in a live-action TV series or movie its not canon. So this really isn't the official reason its just some authors reason.

You should also notice that the TOS Klingon language is not the same as the current one. James Doohan (I believe) made up the TOS Klingon on an Episode by episode basis, but a linguist actually created the current relatively complete Klingon language for the movies.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.

[ Parent ]
I was thought it was pretty obvious... (2.50 / 2) (#40)
by _Quinn on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 05:18:08 PM EST

... remember when they made fun of Worf about the 'grand crusades' to eliminate the tribbles, after he called them a 'great menace'?

The brow ridges have something to do with the tribbles; perhaps many Klingons were violently allergic (e.g. died) when they encountered tribbles, and those who weren't grew brow ridges. Throw in a little genetic engineering, or a tribble-carried retrovirus, and you've got permanent brow ridges. Either that, or as some other poster said, the Klingons were big genengineering fans, but they screwed up the anti-tribble virus, and it triggered the brow-ridge mutation -- which is why they've sworn it off.

Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]
Don't worry about the timeline (5.00 / 2) (#9)
by Kellnerin on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 10:31:08 AM EST

Nothing you think you know matters, because they're all just pawns in a temporal cold war! How convenient -- finally they've come up with a catch-all that explains all the inconsistencies of the previous series ...

it's under my skin but out of my hands
I tear it apart but I won't understand
I will not accept the greatness of Man
--tears for fears

Worst part: soft core porn (4.11 / 9) (#14)
by kostya on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 10:54:30 AM EST

Ok, sure, you might disagree with me, but I really think it takes away from the whole episode.

Put it this way: yes, Kirk did every women he could and Riker did anything biological compatible (and then some). But it always made sense.

7 of 9 was an obvious ploy to suck you in via boobs. Ok, whatever. But her character had enough (eventually) that made her tolerable. Although I would have been pleased if they had done a Deana costume change and slowly changed her character from a boob display case to a vital part of the crew who's boobs aren't the whole focus.

Back to Enterprise and "sense": what the hell was with the "gel" scene.

I offer only this. Is TaPau and Tucker incapable of washing themselves? Are they unable to lather up with soap and wash themselves in the morning? Because if they are able to, why do they need to stroke one another and apply gel to each others ear lobes? I mean, what the hell were the writers thinking.

SENSIBLE: Tucker and TaPau slick up with gel, which is erotic in its own right, and then TaPau, unhindered by human sensibilities strips down and gels up some more. She then asks Tucker if she missed a spot and does a little twirl. Tucker gulps and finds a towel to "place" for personal modesty ;-)

PORN SHOT: "Oh Tucker, I'm a super intelligent Vulcan, but I can't seem to get the hang of this gel. I keep missing my ears! <giggle>"

Veritas otium parit. --Terence
Soft Core (4.66 / 3) (#16)
by MrAcheson on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 11:42:22 AM EST

I don't think the big appeal of 7 of 9 is the boob thing. Granted, it helped but if you think Voyager got better because more people were tuning in to stare at her breasts your missing something. 7 brought dramatic tension back into the show. She alone among the crew would say "your full of crap captain." Initially this tension was supposed to be caused by the Maquis/Starfleet conflict, but the horrible writing of the first season failed to properly develop that. So in comes 7of9 and the show gets better.

I like the concept of the Decon chamber. Its a good thing to have on the ship. However that scene was shot entirely inappropriately. The camera work said "look greased hottie". The dialog said "serious command discussion while captain is injured". The two don't especially mix. If they'd just shot the damn thing matter-of-factly it would have worked, but no they had to go with a shower scene film style. I guess I have to blame the episode director.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.

[ Parent ]
That's funny, but implausible... (4.00 / 3) (#30)
by Ialdabaoth on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 03:34:21 PM EST

...given that network television is obviously an enclave of eunuchs. I've yet to see proof that network TV has balls. Even NYPD Blue got tame, and The Simpsons seems to revere the mainstream as much as it lampoons it.

Then again, there's Harlan Ellison to consider, who said: TV doesn't suck. It gets sucked in The Glass Teat.
"Act upon thy thoughts shall be the whole of the Law."

--paraphrase of Aleister Crowley
[ Parent ]

the gel-bath scene (none / 0) (#70)
by juju2112 on Sat Oct 13, 2001 at 03:59:37 AM EST

I think the scene was just there to show you how nervous and uncomforable TaPau makes everyone with the way she acts. She probably didn't think anything of the gel-incident. Almost every other scene with invoving her talking to another member of the crew shows the human crew being totally put-off. It's just good-ol' culture-shock. :]

-- juju

[ Parent ]
Better than I thought it would be.. (3.85 / 7) (#15)
by DeadBaby on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 11:09:01 AM EST

A lot of people keep saying this is a new direction for Trek but I honestly don't understand that. The pilot episode could have been used for any other trek series without much trouble. (In fact, there's a TNG episode that's pretty similar already) The actual characters are bland even by Star Trek's standards. A dreamy eyed captain, a stoic Vulcan first officer who I'm sure will get more human as the show goes, a wise cracking doctor, a frail little scared women (Brings back memories of TOS) to scream now and again.

Overall, I actually did like the first episode but I think everyone needs to realize Star Trek is pretty much dead. Until they producers are willing to think outside the box that Gene created 30 years ago Trek will be nothing but a re-hash of things we've already seen. I thought the idea of series V being based on either a plot arc (Ala Babylon 5) or a more episode based show that followed various people around and showed us the gritty side of the universe and what happens when Star Fleet isn't around would have been much more interesting.

And what the hell was that scene with the erotic lube job? I mean I've seen some trashy stuff on TV but I believe given how inappropriate and contrived this scene was in relation to the rest of the episode it takes the award for the single most trashy, self serving and sexual objectifying scene I've ever seen in my life. Yes, it appears vulcans have very hard nipples and breast implants and enjoy getting rubbed down by well built humans. (Also, if they had some sort of bug from the plant surface why did they only need to rub lube on each other's lower backs and stomachs?)

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
"Get a life people.. It's a TV show!" (3.93 / 15) (#17)
by jabber on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 12:00:43 PM EST

William Shatner said it best.

Reviewing the show is good and fine. The comments on the tech (viewscreen), music, how the wide-shot implies a bigger, more dangerous Universe.. I can appreciate all that.

Trek has never been very good at character development, with notable exceptions in key personalities. Enterprise is just getting started and the writers are getting to know their audience, the characters, and one another. Let's give them time.

As for picking up on timeline inconsistencies.. Give it up.. My GOD people! The show has run for decades.. It's only overweight, jobless fanboys who have the sort of time to keep track of every subtle nuance and reference.. It's just a TV show!! It's entertainment, not a religion.. Don't look for truth in fiction. Is it's there as some profound social commentary, great, but it supposed to be fun, not a dissertation. Keeerist!

And the spontaneous mutation undergone by the Klingons can easily be explained with advancements in prosthetic makeup.. The fact that Paramount even flirted with the subject shows that they have a sense of humor about it.. If they felt the artistic need to bridge the gap between DS9 and TOS, they could have picked an episode without Klingons, and left the matter out entirely.. They didn't, and some exec probably thought that "We don't like to talk about it" was fall-down-funny.. That's all..

Good God folks.. Sometimes, you make Galaxy Quest seem like a documentary..

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

WHAT!?? (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by hardburn on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 12:26:42 PM EST

Sometimes, you make Galaxy Quest seem like a documentary..

You mean it wasn't!??

(Actualy, there was a indy documentry (with the woman who played Tasha Yar) about trekkies)

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
Trekkies (none / 0) (#45)
by jasonab on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 10:11:20 PM EST

(Actualy, there was a indy documentry (with the woman who played Tasha Yar) about trekkies)
It's actually called Trekkies. I saw it a few years ago, and it was truly brilliant. I think you have to be somewhat of a fan to appreciate it (and know where the people are coming from). You'll definitely shake your head several times in complete dismay. :-)

[ Parent ]
Casual fan.. (3.75 / 4) (#23)
by DeadBaby on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 01:14:38 PM EST

I'm a casual star trek fan at best (I haven't watched Trek since mid-TNG) and I noticed a ton of factual problem with Enterprise already.

I don't mind much about it, it's just a TV show and it happens but if you're going to do a prequel you do really have to ensure you're not ruining your own universe.

Star Trek has went out of its way to ram in as much technobabble as possible and now they're paying for it.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
[ Parent ]
Gaping holes and oversights (4.66 / 3) (#28)
by jabber on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 03:10:09 PM EST

I'll grant you that anyone who deals with the Star Trek Universe for a living should not allow for a huge plot hole or a major contradiction. Small inconsistencies that are ok in the 'local' context of the show, and don't mesh with something from some season of some related series, but are fine in the 'here and now' are really not a problem.

If it is big enough to break the suspension of disbelief in a casual viewer, it's way too big. If it causes empassioned debate among FANatics, well, that's probably a good thing - otherwise fandom degenerates into the study of a future history where all facts are indisputible, and conversations degenerate into "What Picard was thinking at the time" - which is absolute BS since fictional characters are incapable of thought. :)

Technobabble is a big problem. It (and the occasionally really bad plot (macro viruses? sick cheeses?), or plot device (Q was good once or twice, not more.. Hugh the Borg? Please!!) is what pushed me away from being a consistant fan of the show(s). After all, why do they always have to wait 53 minutes before reversing the polarity of the tachyon flux on the chronosynclastic infundibulator to emerge unscathed? Why not learn from your experience and just put a knob on the stupid thing, and fiddle with it before the first commercial break??

Between that and the eyecandy crewmembers, I just found it hard to feel any sort of hope or inspiration in the Trek future. For all of it's cheesy acting, I thought the B5 Universe much more pallatable. The good guys made mistakes. They died. They stayed DEAD, and it affected the other characters for ever.. Time travel was used only once, and not as a convenient plot device, but as a MAJOR component of the 5 year story arc.. There was a series long story arc - while Trek only had spurts of sequentiality, save maybe for DS9's Cardassian and Dominion plotlines.. And the thing that made B5 worth watching for me? Physics actually worked. ;) Oh, that and strong, intelligent female characters - Trek tried, but it just didn't work in spandex..

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Excuse me, but . . . (none / 0) (#34)
by hardburn on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 04:22:30 PM EST

For all of it's cheesy acting, I thought the B5 Universe much more pallatable. The good guys made mistakes. They died. They stayed DEAD . . .

Oh yeah, John Sheridan (sp?) stayed dead for like, um, five minutes :)

Then there was that one "Day of the Dead" episode in season five where a few characters came back, including Mr. Morden and Kosh (at least for one last cryptic comment). Then they went back to staying dead :)

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
Uncle!!! (none / 0) (#38)
by jabber on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 04:44:58 PM EST

Well, umm, yeah, there was that.. Umm..

But you have to admit that Sheridan's death was a big piece of the plot, and all the characters made a really big deal out of it afterwards... In fact, it affected the entire plot from that moment on. And before hand as well, as a matter of fact.

The neat thing about B5 is that, with a few exceptions, you really can't watch the series out of sequence - because then the arc breaks down. Star Trek OTOH is designed to be shuffled in reruns, with few exceptions where multi-part eps need to run in a burst sequence.

While I agree that this is a fundamentally different story telling strategy, it requires ST plots to be episodic and neatly wrapped up in the space of a show or two.. B5 was both episodic and epic, and straddled the line between ST and spaghetti western very well. It required more of an attention span, and perceptiveness in the casual viewer. An attentive viewer of ST would spot plot devices coming from left field, while the attentive viewer of B5 was rewarded with references to seemingly irrelevant past events, and hints of things to come. Paying attention improved the experience in B5, while diminishing it in Star Trek.

After a while, B5 catered only to the consistant, faithful viewer by excluding the newcomer through a pre-existing complex plot. Not good if you want to grow your audience mid-season, but a wonderful experience for everyone who got in on the ground floor.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Factual problems are the fun (none / 0) (#44)
by uweber on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 08:26:34 PM EST

I don't know but finding the errors and loughing at theme it is the most fun - kinda like finding waldo!

[ Parent ]
whoa whoa whoa (4.25 / 4) (#24)
by DesiredUsername on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 01:16:10 PM EST

"It's only overweight, jobless fanboys...

I may be overweight and I may (soon) be jobless and I may be a fanboy....I forget where I was going with this.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Thank You. From a Fan. (3.00 / 1) (#25)
by StephenFuqua on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 02:04:42 PM EST

I consider myself a big Star Trek fan. I've seen every movie, all of the original TOS and DS9 (and fair portion of TNG, a little VOY). I've even had many dreams about ST. So I consider myself a big fan.

And you know what? I don't think I really care if the timeline is exact. As long as the majority of details are consistent, I will be happy. And for the most part, I was happy with this episode. I don't expect the writers to study every mundane detail and off-hand comment from previous series/movies in order to insure 100% accuracy. That's just asking too much! Just give me something I'll enjoy! And get rid of that lousy music, please!

[ Parent ]
Oh for pete's sake (4.42 / 7) (#33)
by Karmakaze on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 03:59:48 PM EST

(sorry for the lack of quoting, some admin at the library decided that cut and paste was too dangerous a tool to leave in the hands of civilians)

Hey, some people enjoy world-building. Which means they enjoy watching TV shows that do world building. I rather doubt most fans would decide a show is crap because some continuity editor got a color sheme wrong. On the other hand, it's nice to see internal consistency.

In science fiction (and fantasy), you're deviating from the established rules of the world we live in. This means that in a (well crafted) science fiction story, you need to be a little more careful about keeping the "new rules" consistent. Otherwise you get a series where every problem is solved by deus ex machina, and that gets really boring really quickly.

I don't mind details being lost, but many errors are a sign of sloppy storytelling.

As far as the cheese grater foreheads go, it's a change in the production technology that they thought was neat enough to justify a break in continuity. And then, in one episode, they made a joke about it. Most Star Trek fans I know thought it was funny and let it go.

The obsessive Star Trek fan who writes his dissertation on warp technology is not really representative of the fandom any more than the guy who goes to a football game in subzero weather dressed in nothing but shorts and body paint is really representative of sport fans. They're just the ones that make more interesting clips for the TV digests.

[ Parent ]

DUH!s ex machina? (3.00 / 3) (#37)
by jabber on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 04:31:00 PM EST

you need to be a little more careful about keeping the "new rules" consistent. Otherwise you get a series where every problem is solved by deus ex machina

What, you mean like, Star Trek?

Sorry, couldn't help myself.. :) You have to admit, continuity breaches not withstanding, the ST franchise has more than a "good show's worth" of rabbits up its sleeve.. Nothing ruins the experience for me more than a contrived solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem..

"We'll just twiddle the hickey-dooey and twaddle the whatchamacallit and everything will be ok.. Cross your fingers everybody.. YAY!! It worked! I'll be sure to put it in my log.. " Umm, yeah..

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Right.... (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by Karmakaze on Sat Sep 29, 2001 at 02:54:41 PM EST

(again, no quoting because of annoying crippled library computers)

That deus ex machina is annoying was my point. Hence, fans complain about loose continuity because that's the first step in allowing this sort of lazy storytelling...

[ Parent ]

Klingon theory (3.71 / 7) (#19)
by dennis on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 12:37:04 PM EST

The best theory I ever saw for the Klingon's new ridges is that they were actually their spines - shoved up over their heads from having their asses kicked by the Federation.

This one will F the fans up... (3.75 / 4) (#20)
by CrazyJub on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 12:43:51 PM EST

Ok, guy from future is mucking up the past which means........the normal Star Trek time line no longer applies.

I love it, with ONE episode, they have completly changed the future, and left every possibility open.

First contact with the Klingongs was SUPPOSED to be in the distant future. Nope, not anymore. The war with the Romulans, might not even happen.

So keep that in mind while you critique the show, it's a whole new ball game. It looks like with the simple landing of one Klingon has made the arguments of "But that doohicky was'nt invented until stardate 2967.3!!!!!!! "

Another thing, no stardates anymore.....ahhhhhh.

hey... can you help me?? (3.00 / 4) (#22)
by flummox on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 12:55:13 PM EST

does anyone have the episode on mpg or mov format available for download? i totally missed it...

there we were enjoying some nostalgic games of "crazy taxi"... i look up at the clock thinking "enterprise is on today"... but, the clock laughed and said, "8:55"... DAMN!!

if anyone can help, please let me know...


cap'n flummox

"Good Evening. For those of you who have candy, I hope you brought enough for all of us."
- Maynard James Keenan
Sunday (none / 0) (#29)
by Volta on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 03:14:51 PM EST

At least in my market (Boston), it is showing again at 1800 this Sunday. I'd guess that chances are good your local UPN will be showing it again soon...

[ Parent ]
Usenet & IRC (none / 0) (#48)
by smaugy on Sat Sep 29, 2001 at 08:22:45 AM EST

You can get it in VCD-compatible mpeg format from the newsgroup alt.binaries.startrek - search for a subject containing "e01x011"; there are two CDs.

You'll undoubtedly also be able to get it from any IRC channel with "trek" in the name and with >50 users in it (Dalnet or Efnet, probably).

Easynews.com offers a free trial of either three days or 1 gig, and they have a web interface which is quite nice (it decodes binaries and you can download them all as a single .zip; quite cool).

[ Parent ]
Morpheus (none / 0) (#75)
by RandomAction on Sun Nov 18, 2001 at 01:57:19 PM EST

I got the first eight episodes from Morpheus, it's a bit hit and miss, and you need to be carefull of the spyware it installs.

[ Parent ]
It's the best thing since TOS (4.90 / 10) (#35)
by localroger on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 04:23:14 PM EST

I almost didn't watch it. I liked the new opening credits. I liked the modest slide showing Earth from space with the show's title superimposed. I liked the emphasis on human interactions and the FX which were brilliant but not over-deployed.

Every ST clone since TNG has amplified certain themes derived almost directly from ST fandom. The exploration of space is bold and heroic and humans are the goodest (ethically) and baddest (in a fight) folks in the sector. Every series needs an increasingly unbelievable threat to top the last one, which must then be overcome or managed, meaning a new and even more unbelievable threat is needed. ST clones have boxed themselves in worse than Dr. Who did in its final days.

Enterprise allows a fresh start. It's much closer to TOS -- both some good and some bad points, but it's refreshingly different from the clones and movies that have followed TOS. It takes those themes that have been ignored and amplifies them. For years people complained that no real starship captain would go into the middle of every situation; and since Capt. Picard that's been the case. Enterprise gives us a captain who is Kirk's role model -- the original brash and impulsive captain who is obviously creating the mold into which Kirk will later grow.

Zephram Cochrane gets to pen the "boldly go where no man has gone before" fanfare from TOS. Yet these are regular people who wear baseball caps and T-shirts and short shorts when out of uniform. The equipment is all experimental and lacks the seamless taken-for-granted quality that all the clones (except to a limited extent DS9) have had. Nobody knows if the transporter will turn them inside out or whether the "phase pistol" will really work when they fire it. (And they're reminded it would be best not to confuse the "kill" and "stun" settings, this being a brand new toy and all.)

Humanity in Enterprise isn't the order-imposing justice-dispensing force it is in the other clones, but an infant culture making its first steps (some of them awkward) into the Universe. There are many dramatic opportunities here which do not require the Universe to be at risk of exploding. In order to accommodate this they all but junked the clone timeline, and even a few episodes of TOS -- we all know there was no "eugenics war" in the 90's. So this is a timeline that will grow through TOS (less a few episodes) to a potentially very different future from the one illustrated in TNG, DS9, et al.

In other words, for once we actually don't know what will happen next. I'm actually looking forward to seeing the next episode.

Another point is that the fandom-driven clone ST future did not have the stomach to make the Federation screw up too badly or very often; nearly every bad thing that happens is the fault of some other race or some totally unforseeable discovery. But in the first scene of Enterprise an earthman panics and blows away the victim of an interstellar pursuit. Enterprise seems to be trying hard not to be fandom-driven but to be an original idea, free of the hobble every new writer is warned about: You can't love your characters so much you never let them screw up or lose.

Think about it. When has the doubletalk modification to the whoozit generator not worked? The most charming scene in the entire pilot is the expression on the captain's face when he realizes he has materialized in the dreaded transporter chamber, and the crewman who has just saved his life apologizes. I realize they can't let the transporter scramble an important character, but let's face it; none of the other clones' characters has faced that kind of uncertainty on a daily basis from their own equipment and their own inexperience. These characters do not come to us as heroes. They come to us as knights valiant, who must prove their heroism. I think they'll get lots of opportunities once they figure out which position on the phaser is "stun." :-)

I can haz blog!

After getting beamed.... (4.50 / 2) (#56)
by Elkor on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 03:41:00 PM EST

I had heard that Bakula's comment upon materializing was supposed to be "Oh, Boy" a la Quantum Leap, but that was apparently canned.

I wish they had kept it. It would have been a nice touch.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Cool...and some nitpicks. (4.00 / 3) (#36)
by regeya on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 04:28:20 PM EST

I only wish Paramount would get their collective heads out of their collective asses and figure out that they need to put these shows into syndication. For all the TV-watching public in the U.S. that claimed to have never watched TNG, you never would have guessed it from the ratings. At its peak, it even beat out Roseanne a couple of weeks, which was quite a feat.

Okay, a nitpick: FYI, Jerry (and his son...wuzzizname) Goldsmith aren't the only composers to have scored Star Trek productions. Name the first person to score a Star Trek production, unless you lack the courage to do so. (BIG HINT! HAW, HAW!!!)

And from what I've heard, beings from the future are tampering with the timeline. A convenient way of allowing the writers to muck with the timeline without making the full-on hardcore Trek nerds just too mad. (C'mon, people, it's a f*cking franchise, and it's fiction.)

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

His name be Alexander. :-) (none / 0) (#50)
by JazzManJim on Sun Sep 30, 2001 at 08:55:57 PM EST

And his music was pretty sophisticated for the type of television scores which existed at that time. He also went on to do some movies, too.

And as for that earlier rant about Trekkies, I wish to quote Dogbert:


"Hostility toward America is a religious duty, and we hope to be rewarded for it by God...I am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of the so-called superpower that is America."
(Osama bin Laden - 10 Jan 1999)
[ Parent ]
Well, (2.69 / 13) (#39)
by trhurler on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 04:53:12 PM EST

One need only read this interview to see why I hate Trekkies. Star Trek has the potential to be a mildly interesting waste of time, if only we were to round up and execute all the Trekkies. As it stands, the show is evil. It creates and strengthens the worst escapist moronic tendencies in people who are already social rejects, turning them into nearly subhuman wretches who probably aren't worth the food they consume. To put it in terms the typical Trekkie can understand, they're so annoying that rather than converse with one for half an hour, I'd choose Vogon poetry. An interview with Jolene Blalock says it all. A horde of Trekkies mobbed her, earnestly telling her that "We are a peaceful, well meaning people. Do not fear us."

(Yes, I know there are perfectly reasonable people who watch Star Trek. There are also perfectly reasonable people who smoke crack, but as with ST fans, they tend to die, become unreasonable, or quit the habit before too long.)

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Am I the only one who found it trite? (4.28 / 7) (#41)
by watchmaker on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 05:23:44 PM EST

I'll admit, I've never been a huge Trek fan. TOS is, for me, cheesy like the old Adam West batman shows. Pure Camp.

I watched the premier of TNG and knew it wasnt any better, because Encounter at Farpoint was uncomfortably forced. They looked like a bunch of actors clumsily reading cue cards.

There was a span in the middle of TNG that was actually quite good. Mostly in the Post Tasha Yar era. And mostly because Patrick Stewart can act his way out of most any situation. In the end, I wandered off from that series, didnt even see the last episode.

As for the movies, ST:TMP was an art school project gone awry. Wrath of Khan was a hell of a fun romp. and the movies went down from there. I had originally thought that the Whale movie was the pinnacle of suck, but it was later replaced by the one where they search for god. Which was very shortly replaced by First Contact. Johnathan Frakes should be euthanized before he decides to direct again.

I never saw an episode of Deep Throat 9. I never saw a single episode of Voyager. I subconsciously applied my dislike of Trek onto most other scifi shows, so I've never seen an episode of Farscape, Lexx or Babylon 5 either. With B5, I probably regret that. But by the time I'd heard that it didnt suck, I'd missed so much I couldnt get into it.

At about 7:45pm I was still trying to decide whether I would give Enterprise a shot. I had no reason to believe it would be any good. I did a little soul searching. The reason I've always disliked the Trek universe is, I just can't buy into the whole enlightened human crap. I just dont see human nature being overcome to the point where there are no wars, no possesions, no hate, and everyone lives together in peace and harmony. (On earth, that is.)

At about 8pm I decided to give the show a shot. I'd read about how Bakula was going to be playing an bit of a renegade and how it was about Humanity coming to grips with it's new found ability for sustaind interstellar travel. I figured, being in the past, as far as the existing trek was concerned, there was alot more opportunity for a more realistic Human Nature to come through. I vowed to give the show a fair shake and not let my feelings about the rest of the genre color my opinions. There's so little of value on TV, I'd love to have something to look forward to.

At 8:39pm, I turned off the TV. That would be right after the phase shifting freddy krueger faced wall crawlers stole the poorly made up president from the Fifth element from sick bay.

What was wrong with it?

  • Makeup effects were laughable. In TNG Michael Dorn WAS a klingon. In most episodes I never saw a human.
  • The effect of the technology was jarring. In most cases the technology available seemed way ahead of what was ostensibly available in TOS. Yes, yes, it's just a TV show with a much higher budget. In the end, TV is about the suspension of disbelief. I couldn't accept the "reality" of the show without an odd feeling that these people were more technologically advanced than kirk and crew. For what it's worth, I felt the same odd discomfort in The Phantom Menace, as it's radically more advanced than episode IV.
  • The acting was horrid. They were, just as in Farpoint, a bunch of actors standing around awkwardly.
  • The vulcan, though well built and fun to look at in a testosterone sort of way, doesn't work. If we buy into the whole Trek mythology, Vulcans are pure logic and zero emotion. Any military crew, which this team is, needs at least a subconscious cameraderie. T'Pol will never be able to be "One of the guys." With spock, he could, because he was half human. The Vulcan as a character is a wonderful character study. But you can't sell any popular entertainment with a protagonist with no emotion. In the end, she's just there for the tits. She'll never be a fan favorite for her character, because she doesnt have one.
I just couldn't force myself to watch anymore than 39 minutes. The acting was like watching a train wreck. And yes, I did miss the Gel Bath. But if I was interested in seeing a naked emotionless woman, I could just as easily check out a copy of playboy while I listen to the woman on my phone tell me I've dialed the wrong number.

Vulcans aren't quite Vulcans (4.16 / 6) (#43)
by ghjm on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 08:01:32 PM EST

I think they're trying to spring a surprise on us with regard to the Vulcans. Did you catch the scene where the Vulcan ambassador raises his voice to Sam Beckett, er, I mean, whatsisname. And Little Miss Vulcan certainly seems motivated by her emotions for someone supposedly emotionless. What it boils down to is that Vulcans are not, and have never been, born without emotions - they follow an applied discipline that teaches control of them. It looks like the Enterprise-era Vulcans either have not fully developed this discipline, or have not yet adapted it to dealing with these annoying humans. So I think perhaps her character has a chance to be somewhat interesting after all.

At the very beginning, when Scott Bakula is looking over Enterprise and says something like, "she'll be ready in three weeks" in a conclusive tone of voice, did anyone else fill in the unspoken line "...so why haven't I leaped yet?"


[ Parent ]
Good point. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by Greyshade on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 06:38:27 AM EST

Does anyone know where on the 'master timeline' the split between the Romulans and Vulcans took place? Would it be far out of scope of the timeline of the show to have Vulcans still adapting to this new philosophy?

[ Parent ]
Few thousand years (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by hardburn on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 09:19:11 AM EST

IIRC, that split happend a few thousand years before TNG. So much time had passed that when they first realized that Vulcans and Romulans were offshoots of the same race in "Balance of Power" (TOS), Spock was as surprised as everyone else (is surprise an emotion? Well, put in the Vulcan equivilent of surprise and that's what Spock was).

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
Just remembered (5.00 / 1) (#64)
by hardburn on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 01:05:37 PM EST

I just remembered that there was a TNG episode that mentioned the rift formed only a few hundred years prior, possibly only about 100-200 years before first contact with humans. Other episodes placed it at a few thousand years; strike another one for consitaincy.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
Patrick Stewart probably saved TNG (4.66 / 3) (#54)
by WhizzKidd on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 07:12:55 AM EST

I personally think that Stewart was the main driving force in TNG for the first couple of seasons. When TNG first aired I was about 10 or so and I thought it was the worst idea in the world. I had been a fan of TOS and I quite liked some of the movies (I think "ST3: The search for Spock" is the best of the original movies, they went downhill after that), I didnt think it was really possible to recreate the magic of the original series and it was all just a crass attempt to cash in on the Trek franchise (yea, I was a very cynical child =) ).

After I actually watched it I was pleasently surprised. Stewart in the role of Picard played as strong a captain as Shatner's Kirk did, and in the later seasons I reckon that he carried the role in a much stronger fashion. The rest of the crew got off to a weaker start, but as time went on and TNG characters/universe developed I decided that TNG was the benchmark for all Trek series. As for the other series, I thought DS9 was "OK" (it had its good bits, but far too many failings) and Voyager was very good (setting it in the delta quadrent gave them the oppertunity to do lots of cool stories that would otherwise mess up the rest of the Trek universe). You should at least give Voyager a chance, although by now its probably too late to catch up on the entire plot.

I wont comment on Enterprise as I havnt seen it (I live in the UK). Maybe it'll turn up over here sometime in the coming year. As for Farscape/Lexx/B5, well, I've seen a few eps of Farscape and its pretty tripe but strangely addictive, if I bothered to turn on my TV more I might watch it. Lexx is a true masterpeice, at least during the first season. The second season is pretty poor, its directionless and I couldnt really get a grasp of what the point was meant to be. Season 1 manages to be so excellent because its so bad, the plot is wafer thin, the acting moreso and the special effects are very obvious. I put it down to that "low budget magic", though if I find out they spent a lot of money on it I will be sorely dissapointed. I never got into B5 for pretty much the same reason as you. I saw the first few episodes, it looked a bit pants and by the time I heard it was excellent I'd missed too much.

As for having a character "just for the tits", be thankful that they didnt do it halfway through the series like they did with 7of9 in Voyager. Apparently she gets quite a bit of crap from the hardcore trekkies (which I think is a little unfair) because they feel she replaced Kes who was a much "better" character and they feel it was done to add blatent sex appeal to the show (as if Captain Janeway wasnt enough, mmm, dominant older wimmen <g>).

As for everyone living together in peace & harmony on earth, its the inevitable global communist revolution, duh ;).

[ Parent ]

Don't forget the Klingons (none / 0) (#71)
by epepke on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 04:46:25 PM EST

TNG didn't start to get interesting until they started building stories around Klingons. Up until then it was pretty much all Chardonnay and hot tubs.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
vulcans (4.50 / 2) (#69)
by ethereal on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 12:05:52 PM EST

If we buy into the whole Trek mythology, Vulcans are pure logic and zero emotion. Any military crew, which this team is, needs at least a subconscious cameraderie. T'Pol will never be able to be "One of the guys." With spock, he could, because he was half human. The Vulcan as a character is a wonderful character study. But you can't sell any popular entertainment with a protagonist with no emotion.

Definitely - they might as well have used a robot with no emotions in her place, since we know that mechanical beings with no emotions could never share in any camaraderie either. What a lousy idea - an emotionless being on a Star Trek series - it is to laugh, ha ha ha!

But non-sarcastically, though, Vulcans do have emotions, they are just taught from a very young age to control them. It is the relationship between the seemingly-emotionless Vulcan and the incredibly emotional crew (even TOS was more restrained than these guys :) that will be interesting to watch.


Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

older technology or not? (3.66 / 3) (#42)
by eurisko on Fri Sep 28, 2001 at 06:49:40 PM EST

i must have been mislead by the previews and online articles about this new series, because the crew seemed to posses every last bit of technology we've grown used to in the other four series'. the only difference seemed to be in their attitudes toward the technology. i realize that the technology had to be introduced at some point in the past, but i guess i'm just disappointed that the phaser and the transporter were both introduced in the first episode. and i was really hoping warp engines weren't "the norm" already. it guess i was hoping to see the introduction of the different technologies sometime in further episodes, and not all at once in the very beginning. but hey, that's just me.

The first human being who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.

New Tech (5.00 / 1) (#57)
by arcterex on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 06:04:53 PM EST

Completely agreed. Some very cool stuff could be done (and problems to be solve created) by not having all the new technology. Imagine encounting an alien race with phaser technology and all you have is a good ol' Colt 45 (or the future equivelant thereof). The fact they introduced two of the 'new' technologies so quickly makes me think they are going to turn the show into another version of TNG, with basically all the same tech, just a different crew :( I still have my hopes up though, and will continue to watch until they completely dissapoint me!

The fact that they also introduced time travel (an intergalactic temperal civil-war IIRC) was also very dissapointing. It seems that TNG and Voy (I wasn't a DS9 fan) were just filled with episodes where time travel, temporal rifts, or such-like were used as plot devices to save the day, solve problems, or introduce some sort of wacky-zany problem to be solved. I really <I>really</i> hope that there is none (or very very little) time travel used in 'Enterprise'. IIRC TOS only had time travel in one or two episodes, and having a prequel filled with it just doesn't seem right. That and it gets *really* tired after a while, especially when you could create some extremely cool stories based on what we know must happen between Enterprise and TOS timelines.

[ Parent ]
DS9 (none / 0) (#61)
by fluffy grue on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 11:33:18 AM EST

I didn't watch DS9 very much, but the impression that I got was that instead of time travel, they used the "Mirror, Mirror" universe for much the same thing.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Romulans and Visual Communications (4.66 / 3) (#51)
by locke baron on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 04:59:52 AM EST

Possibly it was the Romulans who didn't have visual communications capability? We see that they're pretty far behind technologically speaking (until the Klingons give them a shot in the arm, at least in terms of power and weapons tech), since even in Balance Of Terror their ships still don't have warp, don't appear to have the same type of defensive shielding that Fed and Klingon ships of the era had, and, at least based on bridge shots, they still don't have a 'main viewer', which both Federation and (at least in ST:TMP) Klingon ships have.

Just a theory, and probably an overanalysis...

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
did anyone ever consider... (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by Greyshade on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 06:32:22 AM EST

That it might not have been a hardware issue? What if they just had differing methods of encoding the visual signal?

[ Parent ]
Quite probable. (3.50 / 2) (#60)
by locke baron on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 07:21:41 AM EST

This is not only possible, but likely in the extreme. I imagine we'd have the same problem if we were to meet aliens (assuming our tech level or greater) IRL.
The other suspect is crypto. Considering the highly secretive and autocratic nature of the Romulans, it's possible that their comms hardware was outfitted with cryptographic devices which couldn't be disabled by Romulan comm officers, and couldn't be cracked (at least not in time) by the Federation.

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]
In defense of consistency (5.00 / 5) (#59)
by SIGFPE on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 07:25:48 PM EST

I'm often bothered by inconsistency in Star Trek. But not because I want to build a 100% consistent chronology of every event. It's important because it plays a crucial part in dramatic tension.

Suppose an alien is running free on the Enterprise. If the crew suddenly forget that the ship has internal force fields it deflates the action. It feels like they are engaging in pointless behaviour trying to track down an enemy that could easily have been caught last week.

Additionally it's fun to try to preempt the actions of the crew. Many episodes of ST are like puzzles with the crew trying to figure out how to solve a problem. It's more fun if the audience can participate and try to anticipate the next move of each party. In order to make this work you absolutely need consistency. If this involves obscure facts that only regular viewers will get this makes those puzzles particulary satisfying. Unfortunately the ST fans know more obscure facts than the scriptwriters (many of whom surely aren't Trekkies themselves) so you can never be sure whether that obscure and crucial seeming fact is ever going to be acted on.

Basically ST isn't Friends or Sopranos. It's not just about touchy feely stuff and personal relationships. It's about facts (at least fictional facts ;-) and they are crucial to the working of ST.

The Second Episode (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by A. Craig West on Thu Oct 04, 2001 at 07:05:46 PM EST

It might be that the other Trek shows have lowered my expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised to see an approximation of the laws of physics in Enterprise. The shuttle was actually using thrusters in something like a Newtonian manner... There were still technical glitches, of course. What exactly were they breathing on the planet at the end of the episode, for example? I also like the way The Enterprise is quite possibly the most underpowered ship out there. It's weapon systems are primitive. This should give some room for more interesting, non-technobabble solutions. Most of the Star Trek technobabble was used to 'explain' why they couldn't wave their magic wand^H^H^H^H side-sensor array at the beginning of the episode to solve all of the problems. This time, they don't have the magic wand in the first place. Hopefully the writers can restrain themselves from giving the crew magic solutions to the problem of the day...

My thoughts exactly (none / 0) (#66)
by hardburn on Fri Oct 05, 2001 at 09:09:51 AM EST

After seeing the second episode, it did seem that they are trying to get away from always having technolgical solutions. The second episode featured a "Universal Translator" (it was also called a "translation matrix" by the captin), but it doesn't work very well and it ended up that their human translator did a lot better job then the UT did.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
After watching 2nd episode... (none / 0) (#67)
by darthaya on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 11:38:25 AM EST

I like it more and more now. :)
Space exploration had become easier and easier with the help of transporter and phaser(sp?). There is no more thrill and fun watching them, and they are becoming more like a soap with more advanced technologies.

I'm not a trekkie (none / 0) (#73)
by Grimster on Sun Nov 11, 2001 at 08:47:04 PM EST

I watched "TOS" as a child and it was good entertainment.

I watched a bit of TNG, it seemed to "sterile" everyone too perfect, no flaws it seemed.

I don't reckon I've seen more than a full episode of DS9.

I watched a bit of Voyager, it seemed allright (except the ship would get smashed and be 100% tip top shape next show, come on man, show us some cohesion).

But I've got to say I really am enjoying Enterprise a LOT, they're telling pretty good stories so far, great character interaction, character development, the characters actually USE THE BATHROOM (oh my), and they HAVE FLAWS (oh my again).

A very "human" Star Trek, I'm very impressed so far, it's a very entertaining hour of television. It's one of about 2 shows I actually go out of my way to watch (Southpark is the other).

--- Do Not Click! Grimster
Music & Consistancy (none / 0) (#74)
by Janir on Wed Nov 14, 2001 at 01:55:33 PM EST

I really like the music for Enterprise. It is maybe more 'pop' than ever before, but IMHO it sets excatly the correct mood of the show. Enterprise IS going to be different, not just in timeline, but how the stories will be presented. It may have more of a mass appeal, but that will be good for the show as well.

I agree timeline consistancy is a problem. Throughout the TNG and later, there has been a attempt to be consistant and is needed disregard TOS where needed, but the inconsistancies between post TOS shows and movies should have been dealt with better. As for the ridges on Klingons, they won't do anything about it. There isn't a 'explination' that the writers will come up with. The "Trials and Tribble-ations" was an attempt at a fun episode and Worf explination was just a poke of fun to 'explain' the differences that were between the '60s and '90s shows. That part was just a bit over analyzed in the original post. Its something that just gonna be 'glossed over'.

Enterprise: Getting Back to Basics | 75 comments (71 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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