Shadows of P'Jem
airdate 02-06-02

There will come a point when comparing Enterprise to Star Trek Voyager is stale and obvious. This isn't the time. Enterprise has been high quality television, with clean writing and intriguing characters in a totally believable world. Voyager was the generic brand Star Trek, leaving nothing to the imagination and continually ripping off from The Next Generation.

Since the New Year, episodes have become progressively better and better. Following that trend, Shadows of P`Jem not only told a fascinating story, but did what no episode of Enterprise has done so far: woven together pieces from previous episodes. Shadows of P`Jem dealt with the problems created by The Andorian Incident. The Andorians aren't a drop in, blow something up then leave kinda villain. Their involvement on Enterprise will be a detailed saga.

Sorry. We're just here to blow something up and leave.
And this is a good thing! Look at Voyager. Sure, there were developing story lines. The Borg Queen kept turning up with six Borg cubes, and those crazy Borg kids posed problems periodically. Seven-of-Nine, the former Borg, would even often disagree with the captain. But each week it was the same old same old. Nothing ever really developed, and there wasn't much of a change between episodes. The only difference between the last episode and the first episode was there were a lot more Borgs running around.

Even the camera work is more interesting on Enterprise. Shooting in wide screen for HDTV allows for broad sweeping shots. The last scene of Shadows of P`Jem, with the Captain leaving sick bay, looked like something from a film.

Most of Enterprise feels like a film. And not just because it's filmed in wide screen. (Most of us don't really get to enjoy HDTV anyway - and if you do, you should be sharing with the rest of us). The action sequences have the tempo of a film. The musical underscore is dramatic, but not obtrusive. And Enterprise is FUNNY. Any good action sci-fi movie needs comedy. The most memorable moments in Star Trek history involve Tribbles falling on Kirk's head, or Data swearing for the first time on the big screen (the silver screen - not your HDTV - you selfish pretentious owners of HDTV).

It's good to be the Captain.
T'Pol's status as "That Hot Vulcan Chick" buys the writers a lot of ideas. But so far there hasn't been anything too repetitive. There will be a point when we get tired of having another member of the crew notice in a sexually tense moment that the uptight Vulcan Chick is hotter than the reactor core. But for this first season it's still okay to have Captain Archer being held hostage and try to escape by rolling on the ground, tied to T'Pol, wiggling to get free. His Star Fleet Uniform catching on her skin tight suit, as they grunt to become free - to let their passions run free - free like wild horses. Neigh.

In fact, it's more than okay.

Voyager had a lot of film like qualities in place. There was a time when that show had promise and intrigue. But the reason it failed was poor planning. Enterprise has longevity seeds buried deep into its roots.

Enterprise has lured back a lot of viewers that Voyager lost, hence the comparison. (Come back -- it's safe now...) Of course according to the preview for next week, the Enterprise will be destroyed. (See? Just like one of the movies!) That means either time travel, a dream episode, or the series is over, and they're bringing back Voyager.

Less work. More Borgs.


Kevin Miller

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