In the age-old tradition of Star
Trek: Voyager, Enterprise opens with a mysterious
teaser. As the title sequence rolls the audience should
be asking themselves, "Oh, my! Why is Captain Archer in
a Klingon trial?"
But with the number of commercials
UPN has been running to promote this TV event, the only
question the audience actually asks is, "Oh, man. Does this
look like a Star Trek VI rip off, or what?"
Why, yes. Yes, it does.
Captain Archer finds himself in the
middle of the Klingon bureaucracy. Their judicial system
is more concerned with sentencing people than with finding
justice. And now Archer will be sent to his death, because
his defense attorney doesn't feel like challenging the system.
Hey, look! A slight variation from
The Undiscovered Country.
For those of you who need a recap of
the last numeric Star Trek film, Kirk and Bones were
found guilty of killing the Klingon ambassadors who had
been sent to establish better Klingon-human relations. The
heroes were innocent, too, but their trial only lasted about
ten minutes on the silver screen. This week half the episode
took place in the courtroom, giving us plenty of time to
ask more questions.
T'Pol? What happened
to Al and Ziggy?
Here's a good one: first of all, what
is with the translators? Now we can assume that none of
the Klingons are speaking English, since they've only known
of humans' existence for like two years. So the universal
translator must be in effect, which poses a continuity problem.
Kirk and Bones had to listen to bulky hand held speakers
to get the Klingon translation. A council of translators
converted the trial into English so they could participate.
Remembering that Kirk and Bones are
in the future, we know Archer has less sophisticated technology.
So, then WHY could he understand everyone without any problems?
If the UT is on line there must be
one problem. He can't understand the word "grag," or whatever,
which means enemy. Clearly not a word the peaceful UT refuses
to understand. The Klingon audience's chant is the only
word Archer couldn't understand, but everything else was
in perfect English.
On the unmarred side of the continuity
coin, the large gavel-like ball the "judge" swings with
a dramatic spark looks a lot newer than it did on ST VI.
Also cute was the exact replica of
the courtroom from the film, although this one is tinier
than the movie version. The budget for law must increase
over the next century or two.
Speaking of ripped off ideas - Archer's
sentence isn't death, but "life on the dilithium mines of
Sound familiar? Do Klingons only have
two sentences, death or dilithium mines? Kirk and Bones
were sent to a dilithium mine, and were later freed thanks
to Spock's prison break. Archer was freed thanks to T'Pol's
prison break. Different Vulcan. Same plot.
Redundant themes aside, this was a
very good episode. We're learning more about the Klingon
people, which is very commendable considering how much we
already know. They have a working language for goodness
sake! It's a FICTIONAL CULTURE with a WORKING LANGUAGE!
But the creators of Enterprise
must continue to write new original stories. This is a near
impossible task, but let's be honest here - we've seen it
With the Trek market flooded
with poorly planned out Voyager episodes, the average
Trekker/Trekkie just isn't that interested anymore. Solid
characters with new stories is the only thing that will
save Enterprise from sinking. This week's episode
was a fun homage. But we've got to have new stuff, otherwise
we just might as well watch the originals on DVD. I hear
season of DS9 comes out this week.