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Old January 9 2014, 05:48 AM   #47
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Re: Watching ENT despite the continuity flaws.

Christopher wrote: View Post
I don't agree. Granted, UPN put pressure on the producers to make a show that was similar to Voyager, against the producers' wishes. (Berman and Braga wanted the whole first season to be like "First Flight," a Right Stuff-style narrative gradually building toward the start of the mission.) But despite that, I feel that ENT season 1 did a great job conveying a sense that these were pioneers doing everything for the first time, just beginning to feel their way as deep-space explorers and figure it out as they went. The VGR crew were out of their depth because they were in new territory, but they were seasoned veterans at space exploration in general, so it didn't capture that pioneer flavor quite as well.

Also, the astropolitical situation was relatively reversed. Even though Voyager was on its own, it was generally more advanced than the cultures around it, aside from a few isolated exceptions. It was traveling through a lawless region of the galaxy where its technology was coveted (at least in the early seasons). It was more a traditional American/European "frontier narrative" formula where the peoples on the frontier are backward or savage compared to the protagonists expanding into it. (The Borg were certainly advanced, but they were basically space zombies rather than a civilization per se, so they fit into the traditional "frontier savage" trope.)

But NX-01 was a vessel of a nascent starfaring people expanding into a space already dominated by more advanced and powerful states, and having to deal with the realpolitik that it faced there. It was a more modern, post-colonial approach to the frontier narrative, giving more agency to the nations that already occupied the so-called "frontier." And thus it was an interesting deconstruction of Star Trek's longstanding human-centrism and implicit America-centrism.
Huh. I guess you and I watched two completely different shows, because I got none of that. I was turned off of ENT for the same reason I was turned off of VOY: Because it was the same boring formula of mainly human ships' crew visiting alien/planet of the week that I could care less about. And when it wasn't doing that, it was giving gratuitous displays of decon-gel soft porn, masseuses, and frat-boy mentalities for the nascent spacefaring people of which you speak. And the real nascent spacefaring people, the Boomers (of which Travis was one, and obcenely underutilized), was featured for perhaps one or two episodes. Not to mention that the technology wasn't really all that different from the 23rd or 24th century. Akira-style ship? Check. Shuttlecraft? Check. Starfleet? Check. Transporters? Check. Phasers (aka phase pistols)? Check. Communicators? Check. TNG-style rank pins? Check. Klingons? Check. Token black guy? Asian? Brit? One or two alien crewmembers? All check.
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