night of Star Trek. Action. Drama. Sex. And of course - let
Enterprise will be running its season finale. So for
some odd reason that only the TV programmers understand, we
enjoyed two brand new episodes of Archer's Adventures. The
first hour explored the Captain's years in Star Fleet leading
up to his commanding the Enterprise. And the second hour dealt
with a horny Vulcan. Or at least that's what we were supposed
to think. (More on that later.)
Flight" is actually a touching story. It's a shame that
it had to be the opening act for this week's double feature.
learns his dear friend, A.G. Robinson, has been killed while
hiking Mt. McKinley, he takes to a condensed nebula to work
out his mourning. After Archer makes it clear he wants to
be alone, T'Pol forces herself into his one man mission, and
then plays therapist to his grieving by tricking him into
talking about his pain. She sure does understand human emotions.
In a series
of flashbacks Archer tells the tale of the first warp 2.5
flight in human history. As a member of the highly elite NX
program, Archer was skipped over to be the first space monkey
to fly the new NX Alpha. Instead he sat at control, feeding
information to Robinson. And Robinson's test flight brings
up a very interesting question. The kind of math word problem
you'd find in a 24th century text book.
NX Alpha leaves Earth and travels at warp 1.9 for about a
minute, then jumps from warp 2.0 to warp 2.2 in about one
more minute, then how far has he traveled before the warp
field destabilizes, and he is forced to jettison the cockpit
and destroy the test ship?
skip to the back of the book and find the answer. Here it
is: Saturn. Which brings the kind of question that makes almost
everyone think. Just how fast is warp 2?
I'm sorry I asked. 'Cause I just know there is some super
geek who is reading this right now and is reaching for his
The Science of Star Trek book, already constructing
the first three sentences of his very clever e-mail, that
would go something like, "Actually, warp speed is measured
by an inflating variable "
Trekkie. (If any of you could see the initial draft of
this column, you'd know that Kevin can't be bothered to even
spell, let alone do math. -- Editor)
a train leaves Chicago at...wait a minute...who the
heck is still taking trains?"
get me wrong. I love Star Trek. But it just seems odd
that they can skip all around the galaxy at warp four point
something, but when it comes to test flying, it takes them
forever to get to the middle of our own solar system.
And then to make matters
even more confusing, Robinson makes his way back to Earth
and into the cargo bay before taking off his space helmet.
there are no warp 2 ships that take only minutes to get to
Jupiter, then somebody had to go get that guy and tow him
all the way back.
of unloading him near a hospital or even a debriefing zone,
he comes to the NX hangar?
because it's at this exact moment that Archer meets Trip for
the very first time. Odd, because Trip was a lead engineer
on the NX program, but never met Archer, a lead pilot, until
the day of the biggest test flight in the program's history?
A little too convenient.
the relationship factor between Archer and Trip is inversed
to the number of personnel in the NX program "
goes on to drop a few decent inside jokes. In a flashback
Robinson tells Archer, "Every time there's a problem
you won't be able to ask Star Fleet for help. Or the Vulcans
- unless you decide to take one with you." Ha ha ha ha.
Archer tells Trip, "If I ever get my own ship I'll sign
you up," and Trip says, "I'll hold you to that."
I guess he did just that! Ha ha ha ha!
that's a good one.
Iceman tells Maverick "YOU! Are still dangerous. But
you can ride my tail anytime..."
end however, "First Flight" is pretty decent story.
Cleverly bookended with Archer and T'Pol's search for dark
matter anomalies, which concludes with a cosmic fireworks
display. I'm talking about the dark nebula, not Archer and
T'Pol making it.
on T'Pol making it, let's engage the
second hour of this week's TWO HOUR ENTERPRISE EVENT at
warp factor 2.5!