The Promised Rant

Well, I suppose that yesterday I promised all of you good folks a rant about the first episode of Enterprise (yes, I did watch it) and I suppose I should deliver. So, we have an episode of Star Trek that essentially starts with a 22nd-century redneck shooting a Klingon with a 'plasma shotgun'. We find out in the process that all starships should be made out of the same metal that they use to build grain silos in the Midwest, as evidently even hyper-futuristic weapons are unable to penetrate them.

We have Captain Archer, who unfortunately seems to have seized the 'least convincing starship captain' award from Captain Janeway. He just doesn't seem credible, not at this point. Maybe it's because the plot leads him rather than the other way around, maybe because he just isn't sold to the audience as anything other than 'dead guy's son'. (Nepotism is obviously still alive and well in the 22nd-century; I guess they haven't managed to 'conquer' it yet.) T'Pol is working hard on filling the 'catsuit' requirement for all Starfleet bridges, with a side order of snark...her character development is entirely 'the script requires'.

As for the Star Trek universe – I think if I'd come across Vulcans being as smart-arse as this lot, I'd be wanting to knock them down too. A 'thanks but no thanks' was probably appropriate at this point – and this is a huge missed opportunity, as a story based on the politics of aid with Earth as the galactic equivalent of a Third World country receiving handouts from the 'West' would have been really interesting, and totally relevant to today...which is, I thought, what Star Trek was supposed to be all about?

The other characters...well, I actually liked Tucker, Mayweather, Sato and Reed. As 'people behind consoles' they seemed to work rather well. I have a horrible feeling that for the last three, that's about the last we're going to see of their characters, but I suppose time will tell. Dr. Phlox...god. I don't care what they call his species, he's playing a damn Thermian from Galaxy Quest. Hopefully that's going to change at some point, though I guess I have a horrible feeling that it won't.

And yet...this is not the end of the story. Because I actually rather liked the plot; I thought it held together pretty well, introduced the series pretty well, and I don't mind the idea of the 'Temporal Cold War' as a good excuse for some interesting stories and to excuse any ret-cons that they end up doing over the course of the series; that's fine with me. It's pretty obvious at this point that the plan was to do some Temporal War stuff, move into the Romulan War, and then form the Federation in the last season...that would have been a good arc to watch. Pity it never happened, but I suppose there is the relaunch to enjoy.

I'm going to carry on with this. No more reviews of individual episodes, probably, but I'm going to do each season when I complete it. I have thoughts about Enterprise now, but you know what – they are probably far too heavily tied into what I've heard on the net about the show, and that's unfair as well. I'm going to judge this one on its own merits.

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