Johnathan Archer -
Trip Tucker -
Lt Reed -
Ensign Sato -
Dr Phlox -
Ensign Mayweather -
OTHER STAR TREK SHOWS
The Next Generation
Deep Space Nine
OTHER TREKS THROUGH SPACE
The new Battlestar Galactica
Broken Bow - Part 1
The human race has been on the cusp of setting out into space for nearly 100 years, but the Vulcans have been holding them back for reasons best known to themselves. The arrival of an injured Klingon on Earth finally gives the push. The Enterprise sets off for the Klingon homeworld to return the injured warrior, but there are forces at work that do not wish him to arrive.
The idea of telling the story of the origins of Starfleet and how the human race came to the point of the original STAR TREK is a clever one and the set up in this first episode has some interesting and surprising twists. The idea that the Vulcans are not our friend and their placing of a potential spy in the midst of the crew makes for a surprise and immediately sets up a whole raft of possibilities for intra-crew friction.
The untried state of the ship (no photon torpedoes, no proper shields etc) and its potential weakness against other races and the inexperienced nature of the crew also has great potential.
The question of whether we will come to like the new crew is one that only time will answer.Top
Broken Bow- Part 2
Archer gets information from one faction of the aliens that kidnapped the Klingon explaining that it is part of a plot from the far future. Following an alien ship, the Enterprise tracks the Klingon to a space station inside a gas giant planet and Archer sets out on a desperate rescue mission.
ENTERPRISE is trying hard to please. There's a major phaser fire fight to start with, a gratuitous sequence of Jolene Blalock in a very tight vest and the setting up of what feels like a major plot arc, all within the space of the second episode.
The main problem here is the crew. Scott Bakula's captain talks to his dog, for heaven's sake, Connor Trinneer's good ol' boy schtick is grating and few of the others are making an impact as yet. At least Jolene Blalock makes for a convincing vulcan, tight vest and all.
It's still early days, but this is the crew that is proving to be the hardest to like.Top
Fight or Flight
Of all the ship's crew, Hoshi is finding the hardest to adapt to a life in the stars, so when the Enterprise discovers a ship full of aliens being sucked dry of their useful fluids, she really wants to go home. When another alien ship turns up to do the same to the Enterprise crew and their only hope is a third ship that doesn't understand them, Hoshi comes into her own.
It's quite nice to see a ship and a crew in the Star Trek universe that doesn't know exactly what to do all the time, who aren't sure of their place in the universe and their moral standpoints. That said, there's not a lot happens in this episode until the final gunfight and the speed with which Hoshi masters an alien language is well beyond belief.Top
Strange New World
The Enterprise comes across the first uninhabited new planet. Captain Archer immediately decides that they aren't going to wait for all the tests to be run and goes down onto the surface with a survey party. As night falls, half the team returns to the ship. The rest remain to study night creatures, but a storm drives them into a cave and then they start seeing strange rock creatures, rock creatures that T'Pol tells them do not exist.
This is an episode of two halves in which the first is pretty dull and the second comes alive with the tension-laced face-off between T'Pol and Tripp, phase pistols at the ready. The resolution of the conflict is a bit of a let down as well, but anything is better than the crew sat around a campfire telling interstellar ghost stories. Didn't they learn anything from the film STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER and its cringeworthy campfire scene?Top
Tucker goes aboard an alien spaceship in order to help them fix their warp drive. Whilst there, the female engineer shows him an incredible holodeck and some pebbles that turn you telepathic. What she doesn't show him is how she made him pregnant.
This episode is played completely for laughs, all at the expense of the pregnant Tucker. The jokes aren't new and aren't particularly funny. What does work well is the visit to the alien ship. Tucker has to go through decompression and suffers from the alien atmosphere at first. This is something that is more realistic than the usual everyone breathing the same air and living at the same temperature that is normal in the STAR TREK universe. Also, the technology is significantly different and more alien than just changing the writing.Top
The Enterprise is detailed to learn the fate of one of the first human colonies that stopped communicating with Earth 70 years earlier. They find that the surface of the planet is irradiated and the descendants of the original colonists are now living underground. Their water has been contaminated and Archer has to convince them to relocate to other caves, but how do you convince people who have hated your entire species for three generations without realising that they are part of it.
Was there ever a colony in the STAR TREK universe that didn't get into trouble and stop communicating? ENTERPRISE might be set before all of the other incarnations of the show, but that doesn't mean that it can use all the old plots as if we haven't seen them before. There is almost nothing of interest here.Top
The Andorian Incident
Captain Archer decides to visit an ancient Vulcan Temple on a remote planet, but the landing team discover that a band of Andorians are already there, searching for the locations of what they believe to be a long-range listening post. Their preferred method of searching is the torture of their captives, but the crew of the Enterprise aren't as willing to lie down without a fight as their Vulcan counterparts.
A small group of crewmen trapped by superior armed forces looking for a way to escape through guile and technical skill isn't exactly original, but the raiding of the standard STAR TREK plot archives is forgiveable this time because of the playing around with the history of the Federation. The Andorians are suspicious, violent and brutal and the Vulcans are the stoic allies of the human race as ever. But are they really? It is this possibility of playing with the history of the STAR TREK universe that has been the real appeal of this prequel series and finally it is starting to show.
The final twist is also a nice upsetting of expectations, though most fans will have guessed it long before it happens.Top
Breaking The Ice
The Enterprise encounters the largest comet yet discovered by either humans or vulcans. Archer sends down a couple of men to mine a rare mineral from it under the watchful eye of a visiting Vulcan ship. When things go awry, the captain must decide whether to accept the arrogant Vulcans' offer of assistance.
What on earth (or in deep space) is this? Half of the plot is ripped straight out of ARMAGEDDON whilst the other half seems to consist of a letter home to some schoolkids that is played out in full, painful detail when a few moments' worth would have made the point. There's more padding here than in the captain's chair. T'Pol's personal dilemma is certainly more diverting than the rest of the storyline, but that isn't saying that much.Top
The Enterprise finds a planet with a preindustrial civilisation, but also detects a neutrino source that ought not be there. Investigations show that the local people are suffering a mystery illness and the epicentre is a curio shop, a shop whose owner seems to be as indigenous to the planet as Archer and the crew.
The exploitation of less developed races for the benefit of the more advanced is a story that comes straight from the history books and so it comes as no surprise that it ought to show up in this alternative history of the Federation. The rest of the story, though, has been done before in far too many first contact episodes of earlier incarnations. Surely the series can do better than this.Top
Nausicaan raiders attack a freighter and the Enterprise is turned aside from its exploration mission to go and assist. What they find is a commander who not only has a Nausicaan prisoner that he is torturing, but is willing to sacrifice the Enterprise away team to get his revenge. Captain Archer tries to save everyone's lives.
Space maybe the final frontier, but this is a western, pure and simple. The freighters forged the frontier in space with their long haul missions and now the faster warp ships are bringing all kinds of folk out to that they consider their territory. The law out her is survival at all costs and the arrival of the Enterprise gets in the way of that and isn't appreciated. The new sherrif in town needs to tread a fine line.
All of which sounds a lot more interesting than it actually is. By the end you just want the Enterprise to blow everybody up so that the talking will stop.Top
Whilst escorting a group of alien pilgrims to a spectacular natural event in the heart of a stellar nursery, Captain Archer learns that his orderly is not in Starfleet, but rather an agent in a time war. The chameleon-like Suliban serve the other side in a temporal cold war and there is a Suliban agent on board the ship. Caught between the two of them, Archer has to try and divine which of them is the more trustworthy.
There are revelations here about what is clearly going to be the plot arc of ENTERPRISE. Time travel has popped up all through the various incarnations of the STAR TREK franchise, but this doesn't much forward the case for its continuation. It's actually rather a dull story with some minor thrills as the Suliban goes on the warpath, but it really doesn't do much to excite.Top
An alien ship encounters the Enterprise and decides that it is weak and an easy target. Captain Archer has to agree and orders the installation of the untested Phase Cannons in the hope of fighting off the aggressor, but with the very real risk of blowing a bigger hole in the ship than the aliens could.
This episode contains everything that is wrong about ENTERPRISE the series. The ship has been out in space for months with all the necessary components necessary to bukld something as completely useful as phase cannons and nobody has thought to "Hey let's spend a couple of days getting these things set up"? I don't think so. And then it does take them just a couple of days where a fully equipped space dock would take weeks for the task.Top
Dr Phlox is given the task of saving an entire race from inevitable death when the Enterprise helps a ship from a pre-warp civilisation. He finds himself caught up in a battle between his ethics and his conscience when it becomes clear that stopping the dying could unbalance the natural order of the planet's society.
We at the SCI FI FREAK SITE have never really been sure about the Prime Directive. Artificially dabbling in the development of lesser races certainly doesn't seem like a good idea, but the difference between saving one life and a whole race is just a matter of numbers. Why should it be OK to share all kinds of information, including medical, with warp-capable species just because they can travel faster than light and not the others? Isn't that a bit elitist to say the least? Anyway, the Prime Directive hasn't been written at this point so it shouldn't matter, but all those old arguments surface once again.
The rest of the episode is very worthy, but oh so terribly dull. This is especially thanks to a terrible voiceover (it's a letter to a colleague, something that didn't work all the way back in STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION episode Data's Day), but there is some lightening of the mood by the good doctor's trying to work out whether he's dating or not.Top
Surveying a gas giant, the crew of the Enterprise discover a damaged Klingon vessel in the lower atmosphere. An away team boards the ship, but are stranded by a female Klingon officer. Whilst they try to discover a way to get the ship out of the crushing gravity of the planet, Captain Archer must find some way of eliciting help from the hostile Klingon.
Been there, done that. Another recycled storyline, but at least this time it is done well enough that it maintains the interest, something that can't be said of all the previous efforts.Top
Shadows of P'Jem
The Vulcan High Command find that T'Pol has failed in her task of looking after the interests of the Vulcan people following the attack on the P'Jem monastery (see The Andorian Incident) and so determine to remove her from the Enterprise. When she and Archer are taken prisoner by faction in a civil war, it gives them both the chance to consider what this will mean to them.
A planetary civil war? Enterprise officers taken prisoner? A rescue attempt considered? As with Sleeping Dogs it's painful how familiar this plotline is, but as the characters are beginning to grow on us, so the situation with T'Pol actually means something. It's never in doubt that she isn't going to leave, but it's reassuring that we actually care.Top
Tucker and Reed return to their rendezvous coordinates to find that the Enterprise has been destroyed in an asteroid collision. With no warp drive they have only a few days of breathable air and no hope of survival as space is a bit too big to expect another ship to stumble across them.
Two men in a lifeboat bicker for an hour. That's what this epsiode is and it might have been an interesting examination of the characters involved were it not for the fact that they are possibly the two most annoying people ever written. An hour spent in their company with nothing else feels like an eternity and all you really want is for them both to die so that you can switch off.Top
A Vulcan ship requests help from Enterprise, but the crew seem to be somewhat different from normal Vulcans. They belong to a sect that is trying to master their emotions and integrate them into the logic. T'Pol spends time with one of the members who tries to encourage her to break off her logic shackles. The results prove illuminating.
Whilst we're all for stories that explore the dramatic possibilities of a show's characters we usually expect for there to be some sort of plot as well. T'Pol is disturbed and uncertain and had an emotional response once. We get the introduction of the mind meld and some pretty pictures of a nebula, but that is about it. As a result, it's hardly rivetting stuff.Top
The Enterprise encounters a planet that is no longer part of its solar system. It is, therefore in perpetual night. There they encounter a team of friendly aliens on a sacred hunt. Archer sees a beautiful human woman in the jungle and wonders if he is hallucinating. When it becomes clear that the prey is a sentient lifeform capable of telepathy and shapeshifting then he decides it is time to take action to end the hunt.
First off, this episode makes total nonsense of the many times that it was said Odo of DEEP SPACE NINE was the only known shapeshifting alien encountered by Starfleet. If the makers of the show can't even be bothered to consider the timeline when writing the stories then how can they expect the audience to take the show seriously. One small comment about the need to keep the shapeshifters' secret to save them from further exploitation would have been all that was needed to preserve the sense of it, but that seemed to be just too much to be bothered with.Top
The crew of Enterprise are gassed into unconsciousness whilst a Ferengi party start to strip the ship. Only Tucker, in isolation at the time, remains conscious to thwart their plans.
In The Last Outpost the crew of Captain Picard's Enterprise encounter an unknown race known as the Ferengi and completely fail to recognise them. It would appear that Captain Archer's Enterprise was completely incapable of keeping any sort of records of any kind. This blatant disregard for the canon of the franchise shows disrepect to the shows that have gone before and to the fans that have enjoyed them.
The sight of Connor Trinneer wandering about the ship in his underwear is also fairly unedifying (unless he appeals to the female contingent). The episode as a standalone is certainly not a patch on the similar Starship Mine from STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION.Top
A visiting trader leads the Enterprise to a crashed ship that might be a source of spare parts, but for the fact that it is protected by the spirits of the dead. There are people on the ship, but they are not quite human and they are keeping secrets.
Oh dear, this is a story that is ripped straight out of DEEP SPACE NINE episode Shadowplay. They even reference it by having Rene Auberjonois who played Odo in DEEP SPACE NINE as part of the cast. There is some slight pleasure in digs at Engineer Tucker's last brush with an alien engineer (Unexpected), but they really need to stop plundering old storylines if they can't disguise them any better.Top
Captain Archer and Ensign Mayweather are placed in a detention centre that was started to protect innocent Suliban from the backlash against the miliatrised members of their race, but have now become prisons. The commandant insists that he is doing everything for the good of the inmates, but his methods are far from humane.
The internment of Japanese civilians is the starting point for this tale about prejudice and fear. It's as subtle as having your brains smashed out with a sledgehammer and the brief surge of action towards the end does nothing to forgive that.Top
When a first contact situation goes hopelessly wrong, Hoshi the interpreter takes the brunt of the (self-inflicted) blame. When an alien comes aboard and starts coccooning the crew, it falls to Hoshi to find a way of communicating it before it kills its captives and the rest of the crew.
There are elements of ALIEN's cocooning process in this particular nasty, but the episode soon degenerates into a 'take it home and all will be well' storyline. It's not like we haven't had any of those before. The failure of the first contact gives the only spark of entertainment with Ensign Mayweather having to apologise on behalf of the whole human race in order to get the information that is needed.Top
Just before the crew can go on shore leave on a pleasure planet called Risa, the Enterprise is sent to collect a disgraced Vulcan diplomat following an incident. She turns out to have been a hero of T'Pol's and she also turns out to have a whole bunch of heavily armed warships on her tail.
A more original story set against the show's own mythology and the effect is immediate, providing a more entertaining and interesting experience. Of course it helps that the Vulcan ambassador is Fionnula Flanagan giving a wonderfully eccentric turn as the ambassador, but it also plays heavily on the continuing mistrust that the humans have for the Vulcans and the continuing close-lipped nature of the aliens. After all, the show would have been five minutes long if the ambassador had simply said 'I faked my disgrace because of a highly secret diplomatic mission and need to get to the Vulcan ship fast'.Top
Captain Archer and Commander Tucker are invited to the surface of a desert planet by a tribal leader whose ship they help repair. There, they learn that they are not simply enjoying his hospitality, but that he wishes them to join a planetary conflict as his allies. An attack leaves the two starfleet officers alone in the desert and struggling to survive.
Apart from the fact that all of this comes about because of exaggerated tales of the events of Detained told by the freed Suliban is the only original or fun thing in this entire episode. Sure, it is laying the groundwork for the introduction of the Prime Directive and first contact protocols, but that's no excuse for the dull execution of a dull story. At least guest star Clancy Brown attempts to inject some life into it. His efforts, sadly, fail.Top
Two Days and Two Nights
The crew of Enterprise finally get to the pleasure planet of Risa for a the titular two days and two nights of shore leave. Whilst Hoshi studies new languages, Tucker and Malcolm find out that not is all as it seems in the bars and the captain learns that meeting new ladies isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Hard to understand why anyone would go to Risa as bad things seem to happen to every starfleet officer who goes there. Sadly, what happens here is inconsequential enough to be downright dull. Occasionally amusing moments with an incoherent Doctor Phlox awakened prematurely from hibernation are not enough to make up for the rest.Top
On an approach to an alien colony planet, the shuttlepod causes an explosion that wipes out several thousand colonists. The Enterprise is ordered home, but then word comes from an unusual source that they have been set up by the Suliban and events are set in motion that leave the ship in imminent threat of annihilation and Archer stranded in the far future.
This final episode of season one is a set up for the cliffhanger and as such is both rushed and unsatisfactory. Whilst we are left with some curiosity as to how the writers are planning to get out of this, if we never found out we wouldn't exactly cry ourselves to sleep.Top
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