At a point when the audience is still unsure of who these characters are, the last thing that should have been done was an episode where their worst vices are magnified.
You mean like in "The Naked Time"? Or "The Naked Now"?
When you put characters under pressure, you learn things about them that you would otherwise never know. That's the fun of episodes like these. I can see why the writers would do it right off the bat -- to help the viewers learn more about the crew.
Archer refuses to perform the necessary scans and goes down to a planet full of deadly toxins in order to bring his dog for a walk
Is that why he blew off the scans? For Porthos? I must have missed that line.
Seriously, if Archer had done the scans, they wouldn't have gone down there. Scratch entire episode. Since the writers clearly wanted to do this episode, I agree that they should have shored up the reason Archer thought it would be safe. The scans don't recognize the alien spores as a toxin, or some such.
and he flies a shuttlepod through a storm even though there are qualified pilots on Enterprise.
I figured Archer, as a former test pilot, would have been the most
qualified pilot, since Travis was on the surface.
The "Captain Redshirt" count... hey, I bought into the idea that Archer wouldn't order somebody to do what he wouldn't do himself, especially if it were perilous. He's not General Patton; he's an explorer. The so-called "self-sacrificial streak" was used consistently for the character, and it worked for me.
Of course, future Starfleet captains would never, ever allow personal feelings get in the way of... hmmm.
Count Zero wrote:
There were a lot of nice little touches in the episode, like the photo they take at the beginning, the campfire scene, Trip and Travis fighting the bug in their tent.
Agreed on all points. There is something totally cool about the idea that 150 years from now, humans will still enjoy telling scary stories around a campfire. And the bug thing was a scream.
And Novakovich didn't die! Maybe you should count "hoary old cliches avoided."