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On TV Today's Date:


original airdate: 04-09-03

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.

Cute detail.

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 some-moon."

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 all.

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 the second season of DS9 comes out this week.


Kevin Miller

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