Why I love the show....
10.) Season 4
- The best season of televised Trek ever, IMHO. DS9 Season 6 gives it a run for its money, but the multiple two and three part episodes are simply too amazing. And, of course, all the fanwank. A lot of people don't seem to like how the show really layered it on during this season, but I absolutely LOVED every bit of it. From the mention Vulcan inner eyelids to the shout-out to the Hurq invasion of the Klingon homeworld, it was all fantastic. After all, in a prequel series, isn't that what people were expecting from the get-go?
9.) The realistic uniforms and design
already went into what all I love about this.
8.) T'Pol in her white desert uniform
7.) T'Pol and Hoshi in the decon chamber
- Sue me, I'm a man.
6.) ENT > VOY
- As far as I'm concerned, ENT was VOY done right. Even in the first two seasons, there's better internal continuity, less technobabble and more enjoyable characters. When the show shifted and moved into more DS9-style serialization in Season Three, it only got better in my opinion. And Season Four simply blew me away with how good it was.
- I liked him from the beginning. I loved how he was a much more flawed character than any of the other captains. A lot of people complain about that, but I say "what did you expect?" Earth was just starting out in interstellar affairs and it's not fair to judge the man who goes first against men and women who come after him and can learn from his mistakes. Even the antics of A Night in Sickbay
were understandable for me - he's new to this, he's completely unprepared for the realities he has to face.
I've seen two analyses of Archer that I thought were good descriptions of him....
I.) Kirk is the "action hero." He's the one who gets in fights and has a lot of physicality. Picard is the "thinking hero." He's the one who uses his mind to win at any challenge. Sisko is the "emotional hero." He's the kind of person who will let his emotions control him, for better or worse. Janeway is the "anti-hero." She's the kind of person who is willing to break the rules and do some very, very questionable things, but we forgive her anyway because we *almost* always agree with her decisions. Archer is the "tragic hero." He's a man who is unable to rise to the challenges he faces, try as he might and has to rely on others to help him (notably Trip and T'Pol, but to a lesser extent the rest of his crew.)
II.) He's sort of like the American Founding Fathers. Let's take probably the best known Founding Father for comparison - George Washington. Washington is today revered as the man who won the American Revolution. However, if you look at the actual historical facts, he wasn't that much of a military commander. His first military command, in the British Army, was such a resounding failure that it helped start the French and Indian War. During the Revolution, he only won three battles over the course of years and years (one of which he only won because of the element of surprise and another only because the French navy helped him tremendously). He was constantly outmatched, outperformed and outmaneuvered. Yet, his legend has grown ever since the end of the Revolution.
That's similar to what they were trying to do with Archer, in my opinion. They wanted to show that he was a Founding Father of the Federation, but that he wasn't a god among men - he was flawed, deeply, as both a military commander and as a diplomat. That makes a lot of sense to me and I greatly appreciate it. After all, I greatly respect many of the American Founding Fathers, even though they were also deeply flawed men - most of the ones I admire owned slaves, for crying out loud!
- An very fascinating character. Her decision to join the Humans even though no Vulcan had ever spent any significant amount of time with them, just so she could hide her own Vulcan shortcomings is very good character stuff, IMO. Just like I love Archer for not being like Kirk or Picard, I love T'Pol for not being like Spock.
And, I thought Jolene Blalock did an outstanding job in the role. It is true that I've seen her in some other works and she's been abominably bad, bad, bad in them. But, for whatever reason, I thought she nailed the role of T'Pol perfectly - almost as if it were custom-made for her.
- One of my biggest pet peeves about Trek in general is that Rick Berman was so adamant that Andorians not be used. They're a very intriguing race I would have loved to see much more of them. Thankfully the make-up people were able to convince him to let them be on ENT.
- As much as I love Andorians, I love Tellarites even more. I find them even more intriguing and would have adored being able to explore their culture as much as we explored the Andorian one.
- What needs to be said?
This is Jeffrey Combs' Trek Magnum Opus, IMHO.