Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Star Trek Enterprise Retro-Spective "Strange New World"

So far I've been pleasantly surprised by my retro-perspective of "Enterprise". "Strange New World" continues that, but not by the same degree as the others. Our crew has found their first 'Minshara' Class planet. That obviously is where Class M comes from in TOS. So they come down against T'Pol's recommendation. (Let me just say here and now that I didn't like that Archer continued to pick on T'Pol like that. Just as the First Officer has to respect the Captain, especially on the bridge, the Captain has to respect the First Officer. Especially on the bridge. But we are seeing Archer's character growing. I just didn't care for it. ) All seems well, and Trip, T'Pol, Mayweather, Cutler, and some poor guy who seems destined to be a red shirt in a later life spend the night to continue research and sleep under the stars. Mayweather tells a ghost story, and then we have a real dark and stormy night. A storm sets in, trapping our crew on the planet, in a cave for the night. Cue dramatic music. Soon everyone but T'Pol starts to see and hear things that aren't there. When I first saw this, way back, I stopped being interested. So...

Crewman Cutler hears T'Pol talking to someone who isn't there. Trip and Tucker see rock people. And our red-shirt-to-be runs out into the storm... and lives long enough to get beamed up. But he is sick, oh yes, quite sick. He beams up with pieces of trees and bushes embedded in his skin. Phlox removes all that but discovers remnants of a psychotropic compound in this blood. The compound is slowly breaking down, so we all breath a sigh of relief. Archer figures that if our increasingly paranoid landing party can avoid killing each other overnight they should be fine. But no. In what struck me as one of the episode's better moments, Phlox has to tell Archer he missed something, and the crewman may die. The same goes for the landing party. It was one of Phlox's best moments, and one of Archer's. But on with the show. Our crew is going increasingly nutty in the cave. Trip is starting to target rock people and shout and sweat. Finally, Archer and T'Pol pull a fast one on Trip. Medicine gets injected, and we're all okay. Even our future red-shirt is okay.

If that all seemed rather lacking in detail, it's because an hour after I watched it, I'd lost details. That pretty well sums up my opinion of the episode. While people are settling into their roles, and the episode wasn't a bad one, it was forgettable. The ghost story thing was fun, there were some fíne performances, but I don't see myself going back to it like I do many others. And before I forget, let me point out that while it is a fun and even understandable idea to bring Porthos down to the surface, it hardly seems responsible.

Thumbs up, but not with great enthusiasm.

Next up... "Unexpected"

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