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Old August 30 2013, 02:45 AM   #231
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:23 - Regeneration

TV Blurb: All contact with an arctic expedition is lost after they discover strange cybernetic creatures buried in the ice. Enterprise is ordered to rescue the apparently kidnapped researchers after a freighter leaves orbit at unusually high speed. Written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong. Directed by David Livingston.

Yes, it's showtime for the Borg again. I'm going to ignore all that stuff about the Borg not identifying themselves, Starfleet somehow not putting 2 and 2 together for 200 years, and whether this episode should have been written in the first place. Everyone else has already discussed that enough over the last ten years. It's here, and we have to deal with it, just like episodes from the other shows that don't win the "Most Popular' contests. So I decided not to focus on that aspect of the production.

The opening arctic sequence immediately evokes 1951's The Thing from Another World. For those counting, I was released into the world 3 months before the film was, but it is not a biography. We don't see Enterprise or its crew until Act 2, ten minutes in.

I'm not saying this because he might be reading, but thank the Great Bird that Mike Sussman's name is on this episode. He and Phyllis Strong do what they need to do with the story, and it's mysterious, fast moving, and presents a tough choice for Archer.

It's only natural that Borg stories appealed to the production staffs, as there was a wealth of stage set props and costumes to use. Obviously this was a way for a series to save money by reusing these items, but it also challenges a writer to somehow put a spin on the usual Borg story.

Borg shows also present challenges for directors, cinematographers, effects teams, stunt teams, and actors. So I sort of think the Borg shows appear because they're not only challenging, but to some degree fun to do for everyone.

My favorite moment is when two recently Borgified drones escape into Enterprise's Jefferies corridors/tubes. The scenes move quickly with security teams, phaser fire, and Archer making one of the most difficult decisions presented.

The whole sequence is complemented with an appropriately tense score by Brian Tyler.

So love it, or hate it. If any other writer had gotten the assignment, it could have been worse. Sussman's own Trek geekiness helped save this from being a disaster.

The season's blooper reel has a couple of outtakes showing that it wasn't all deadly serious for the cast.

Next: "First Flight"
Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard: For duty and humanity! --Men in Black (1934)
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