original airdate: 02-18-2005
The sad reality
came crashing down this week when UPN aired “Affliction.”
While February 2nd will be the remembered as the day they
cancelled Enterprise, February 18th will be marked
as the day Star Trek as an entire franchise strapped
on its water skis and jumped the shark. This really is the
As a series, Enterprise will be remembered as a
failure. So it’s fitting that it would produce an
episode based on a premise so absurd it would nearly wreck
the entire Trek mythos.
Star Trek was resurrected on the big screen, in 1979, people
have wondered why the Klingons of the sixties looked like
guys in make up, while those in the late seventies looked
like guys in make up and prosthetic foreheads. This question
has hovered outside the reality of the following movies
and TV series. Deep Space Nine paid a loving tribute
to the discrepancy in their episode, “Trials and Tribulations.”
Sisko and crew were sent back to K7, and met Kirk as he
dealt with the legendary Tribbles. When Worf was asked why
the Klingons looked different from him he replied, “We
do not discuss it with outsiders.”
fun answer that should be good enough for fans. Because,
really, it’s not fair to stop with the Klingons. Many
aliens have received a make up upgrade.
We could also ask…
do the Romulans have raised foreheads on the Next Generation,
but don’t on Star Trek TOS and as late as
The Undiscovered Country?
do the Andorians have balls for antennae in TOS
but on Enterprise they’re practically prehensile?
did the Borg on TNG have pale white faces, but
on First Contact, and beyond, they were lined with
it’s cooler! There are some things that just don’t
need to be elaborated into a two part episode. If Enterprise
were to be continued into a fifth season we could look forward
to stories dealing with where the bathrooms are, or why
the captain’s chair doesn’t have a seat belt,
or whatever other ridiculous question nitpicking Trek fans
have been whining about for 35 years.
is FANTASY. Producing this episode plays to the short-sighted
attention of narrowminded extremist fans.
who was giving Enterprise a last chance this week
was undoubtedly caught offguard by its sad excuse for a
premise and overwhelmed by the constant references to older
episodes. Archer gives T’Pol pointers on a mind meld,
remembering that he had Surak’s Katra. The Klingon
plague that threatens their species is a result of their
attempts to duplicate Dr. Soong’s work with the Augments.
Continuity is cool. But these references are practically
forced into the story line.
this episode has some heavy merits. The crew of soon to
be smooth headed Klingons are the best we’ve seen
on Enterprise. James Avery, formerly the Fresh
Prince’s uncle, makes a fantastic general, and it’s
a wonder we haven’t seen him in make up before. Antaak
breaths a unique perspective into the life as a Klingon
Doctor. In a warrior society, medical science exists only
to win wars. Antaak is forced to operate like a Romulan
to get what he needs. Stealing medical research and disguising
himself as an alien to get into a conference isn’t
really tries to cover up its poor premise with other GOOD
Trek continuity questions. Lt. Reed is apparently a member
of the fledgling Section 31. If you didn’t want Deep
Space Nine then the ‘mysterious organization’
he contacts may have been just that. But for anyone that
watched Dr. Bashir deal with the independent covert organization
and its seemingly endless supply or resources recognized
Section 31 the moment it hit the screen.
explained Section 31 began before the Federation and it
acts in Star Fleet's best interests, but doesn’t answer
to its laws or regulations. They remained hidden from public
view for over 200 years. And now we’re getting to
see where it all started. This is the stuff Enterprise
should be made of. Not a question of, “Why was make
up so bad in the 60s?”
if they had been dreaming this story up last year, instead
of swimming through 25 episodes of Xindi crap they would’ve
realized its ridiculous nature. But now they’re grasping
at straws. Producing anything to get the public’s
attention. Screaming, “Look, we’ll tell you
why the Klingons got ridges. JUST WATCH!”
the show wasn’t cancelled in time to keep this episode
from hitting the air. And now it is forever part of the
Star Trek story line. Officially, Data’s
great great great great great grandfather was partially
responsible for making the Klingon’s have smooth foreheads.
Personally. I’d rather see them fight
an army of Tribbles. At least that campy fun wouldn’t
have desecrated one of the few quaint mysteries of Star
week… PART II. AKA the longest ski ramp ever.