The Enterprise Docks at FanboyPlanet.com
Finally, a teaser
that lasted longer than Tasha Yar.
For the past few
weeks the scene right before the opening credits has been lasting about
fifteen seconds. Deep Space Nine used to let their trailer run
as long as 7 minutes on certain episodes, while Voyager would
roll sequences so short it seemed like the writers were having trouble
coming up with ideas (which they were). It's a great sign that Enterprise
won't be following in the steps of Voyager, not the least because
the Delta Quadrant is dumb.
As for timing,
this was the first episode where the action didn't fly by at warp 9.
Since the pilot we haven't had any serious character building moments.
Sure, Hoshi had to overcome her fears of failure, and T'Pol has had
to bite her voluptuous Vulcan lip more than once, but there hasn't been
much exploration of why the characters are acting the way they do.
On the pilot for The
Next Generation, Data's existence in the Star Trek universe was crystallized
when he told Riker that as a superior android he "…would give it all up,
to be human." On Enterprise we didn't even learn the name of Dr.
Phlox's people until episode 6, two weeks ago. By taking their time the
producers are building a lot more room into their storytelling, and it's
a good thing that we don't learn everything on the first night. But if
we went much longer without getting a tighter grip on who these star trekkers
are Enterprise would have very quickly looked like a Mighty
Morphin Power Rangers spin-off.
This story also
had a much more familiar structure to returning Trekkers and Trekkies.
Few of the Enterprise episodes have had an "A" story line and
a "B" story line. Episodes of the original Star Trek for the
most part didn't have B story lines. And it's clear Trek producers of
today are trying to replicate that breed of show. But the "B" story
line is so common to modern television it would be hard to keep it out
of every episode.
For this week's
"A" story line, Commander T'Pol has been sending a series of secret
messages to a Vulcan ship, which makes Captain Archer's eyebrow raise
when a Vulcan ship babysits the Enterprise's missions. Over in the "B"
story line Enterprise discovers the largest known comet, and sends a
team down to investigate.
The commercial for
this week's episode would have viewers believe that whole comet thing
was the "A" story line, since it got more commercial air time. Granted,
its scenes are more interesting than T'Pol arguing with Commander Trip.
secretly betraying us? Okay. Can you do that lip-biting thing
To make things
more accurate the commercial should have revolved around the overly
anal Vulcan captain. Now, Spock wasn't exactly Mr. Fun. Sure he knew
a lot of stuff, and he could read the minds of giant rock-like aliens
- but if you really got to know him, he's a pretty stale guy. With all
that said, Spock was never rude. Never overly rude, at least. He had
moments of correction, telling panicky cadets to sit down, and quiet
themselves, but he never went around insulting people.
But the Vulcans
of this time period sure seem to be very bitter towards humans. It's
one thing for them not to be interested in the same sorts of things
that fascinate humans, but we have yet to meet a Vulcan who wasn't a
jerk. Enterprise has been depicting the Vulcans as the 70-year
old geometry teacher that everyone avoids in high school. Mean, arrogant,
and stuffy. Spock would not be proud.
The tensions are
mounting. By taking their sweet time to introduce certain key elements
weeks after the pilot, Enterprise is suggesting long character
arc throughout the run of the show. Perhaps over that time the Vulcans
will find their space in the galaxy. Or Spock will have to travel through
time and teach them the true meaning of logic, and of becoming beloved
icons so you can make convention appearances for years after the show
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