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Ent 007 - "The Andorian Incident"
The commercial previewing
this week's episode of Enterprise suggested that the Andorians
are a forgotten alien race to the Star Trek universe. Hardly!
Okay, so it's true
that Star Fleet didn't exactly enter into any wars with the Andorians
in the past 14 years (from Picard to Janeway). Nor did they visit any
of their colonies, or even see an Andorian roaming the bridge of any
of the past three spin-offs, perhaps because the producers of Star Trek
in the 80's and 90's felt the blue skinned antennae-growing warriors
were too goofy.
However, we did see
an Andorian lurking in the shadows every now and then. An Andorian roamed
the bridge in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In Star Trek VI:
The Undiscovered Country, when we see the Federation Council for the
very first time, we spot an Andorian standing tall and blue. Later on
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data's android daughter considered
an Andorian male as one of the last four finalists for her assumed form.
Thankfully, here in the new millennium, where Star Trek doesn't take itself
so seriously (which is good), we have doubled the number of Andorians
in one night!
We should welcome
back the paranoid militaristic aliens with open arms and open antennae.
They represent a new continuing villain for Enterprise. And further,
the Andorians underscore a theme that has been forming with the rest
of the aliens in the Enterprise universe. Everyone in space seems
so much meaner in this time period.
Of course the Klingons
are a very agitated people. First of all they know they will lose their
ridges in the next few decades, and then grow them back by The Next
Generation. But more importantly, in this time period they hate
humans. Something we're not used to, thanks to loveable and fluffy Worf.
The Vulcans, too, aren't
pleased with humans. While they shouldn't be pleased with anything (or
disappointed, because those would be emotions), it is very apparent they
don't think highly of Earthlings. And now the Andorians are hungry to
Are all the races
in this time period just pissed off? It's probably because replicators
aren't very efficient, and no one can get a good hot cup of Earl Grey.
Another theme that
has become noticeable lies within the construction of the show. The
teaser this week was the shortest one (AGAIN). It was about 15 seconds,
half the time of most commercials. But this is how the rest of the show
is paced out. Lots of action, with quick jumps between scenes.
We don't spend
a lot of time, like on The Next Generation, getting to learn
about each of the characters. Usually a B story line runs parallel to
the main theme of the episode to highlight the human condition. Something
like, while the captain fights off an alien invasion, the ensign finds
love. But on Enterprise there haven't been many B story lines;
it's always about solving the task at hand. This keeps things fun and
bubbly, like a good Romulan Ale (also not available thanks to replicators).
What do Deep Space Nine's Vorta clone, Weyoun, and menacing Ferengi
Brunt have in common with the leader of the Andorian terrorist, Shran?
They are all played by the same actor: Jeffrey Combs.
Combs played two regular
parts on Deep Space Nine. And now he returns to Enterprise
as (what we can assume to be a regular character) Shran. It's hard to
spot him, since the only time he's appeared on camera without makeup and
latex was in the DS9 episode "Far Beyond the Stars," where Captain
Sisko envisioned himself as a 1950's sci-fi journalist. Combs was one
of the two cops who attacked the captain on his way home from work (if
you haven't seen this episode you should go to Amazon.com
right now, order a copy of it, watch it, and then continue reading).
to the Star Trek world this week was Voyager's own bad attitude
B'elanna, Roxanne Dawson, who dropped her middle name (Biggs) somewhere
after Voyager returned home. She must have been as bored with
it as we were with Voyager You would never know by her level
of performance on Voyager that she had decent directing skills.
Entire scenes shot without a single line of dialogue, and the message
was sent just as loud, as if someone had said, "this is what I'm doing
The Andorians make
a wonderful addition to this ever-growing universe. Enterprise
is starting to prove the Star Trek skeptics wrong. They have enough
stories and aliens in this pocket of time to explore without destroying
the continuity of the rest of the Trek franchise.
And if their popularity
picks up enough, perhaps in the next Star Trek film the male
villains will be replaced with Andorians.
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