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Old July 17 2013, 12:12 AM   #1
Melakon
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Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

I'm a little disappointed with the handling of the Romulans in the series. Specifically, that we find out what they look like as the audience, but the heroes remain unaware for canonical reasons. They could have been the Faceless Enemy for the entire series.

I know it was easier for storytelling reasons to show the Romulans to the audience, but with their prominent appearances in Season 4 we learn way too much about their appearance, personality, and even their war plans. But since the main characters never see them, that's supposed to be okay.

We still could have seen their ships, there still could have been threatening conversations via subspace radio. But we didn't really need to see what was happening on their ships and planet.

I'm sure this has been kicked around before, but I didn't see the entire series until about 4 months ago.
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Old July 17 2013, 05:10 PM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

Thing is, we viewers knew what the Romulans looked like and what their backstory was, so using them as a mysterious silent enemy would have had zero impact.

Plus, the surprise "OMG they're remote-controlling the ship from Romulus!" ending was one of my favourite moments from the series
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Old July 17 2013, 06:00 PM   #3
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

It didn't bother me that the Enterprise crew never saw the Romulans, either. But I think it would have been interesting if it was made clear that the Vulcan High Command knew (it was alluded to that there was a pro-Romulan traitor in the VHC), and kept it a secret from both the Vulcan population, and Starfleet out of fear of a scandal, a fear of a xenophobic backlash (Like Paxton's anti-alien movement in Terra Prime), and possibly the fear of Vulcans defecting to Romulus and embracing emotion. And it would have been interesting if Archer and the command staff on the Enterprise found out both what Romulans looked like, and that the Vulcan High Command knew.

What I don't get is why didn't Hoshi recognize that the Romulans were speaking a language somewhat similar to an ancient dialect of Vulcan?
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Old July 17 2013, 06:16 PM   #4
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

Yeah, I've been watching "Minefield" the last few days preparing for a review, and I also thought it strange that T'Pol didn't seem to recognize some of the root words in the Romulan transmission. Or if she did, she didn't tell Archer. It was obvious T'Pol must have been withholding some information, as she corrected Hoshi's pronunciation.
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Old July 17 2013, 07:26 PM   #5
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

The problem they had they couldn't have the Heroes see what the Romulans look like. see TOS "Balance of Terror"
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Old July 17 2013, 08:20 PM   #6
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

In the grand scheme of things it was correct to keep them "invisible" to Starfleet, for obvious canon reasons and because the Romulans had an interest in not letting their connection to Vulcan be known to Starfleet and especially the Andorians.

There are about 2.000 years between the exodus of the Romulans and their encounter with the budding coalition at the time of Babel One. With their longevity that's too few generations for any major genetic differences to occur (the ridges are already a stretch). That means, any weapon or chemical or biological agent that's effective against Vulcans is also effective against Rommies - and the Andorians must have developed plenty of those. So they have a vested interest in keeping their ancestry hidden.
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Old July 17 2013, 09:30 PM   #7
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

MacLeod wrote: View Post
The problem they had they couldn't have the Heroes see what the Romulans look like. see TOS "Balance of Terror"
Enterprise pretty much ignored everything else established in "Balance of Terror" (most notably that cloaking devices were only theoretical up until that point. Also Spock's mission broadcast tells of a far more primative level of 22nd century technology, and Scotty says the Romulan ship only had an impulse drive -- however nonsensical that may be), so why is the bit about them never seeing a Romulan more sacred?
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Old July 18 2013, 12:11 AM   #8
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

I do wish the Romulans had been the big bads from jump. I think it would've had more impact seeing them foster dissension instead of Future Guy and the Suliban. Or even if the Romulans used the Suliban, Orions, or others, that would've been cooler too and made it easier to keep Earth from finding out the Romulans true identity.

I also wish that we had gotten a Romulan War on Enterprise. If not taking up a season or several, then doing it in a TV movie or a straight to video movie.

I don't get why Berman seemed to misjudge the audience's interest in the Romulans. At least this one audience member.

I would've rather had them than the Klingons. Plus Enterprise could've been the show that fleshed out Romulan culture in ways that TNG/DS9/VOY also developed the Klingons. Ah, what could have been.
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Old July 18 2013, 02:53 AM   #9
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

^You mean to say "what should have been."

The whole Temporal Cold War arc was a stupid decision for the writers to go with. The show should have followed this pattern:
-Build up to the Earth-Romulan War.
-Entirety of the Earth-Romulan War.
-Formation of the Coalition of Planets.
-Formation of the UFP.
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Old July 18 2013, 03:13 AM   #10
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

In some ways, Season 4 was what Seasons 1 and 2 should have been. We could have seen the bungled first contact that led to strife with the Klingons. The Tellarites could have been introduced early as was done with the Andorians. The events of "Minefield" could have been the beginnings of the Romulan War. There was so much background already established, the Temporal Cold War was unnecessary.
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Old July 18 2013, 01:13 PM   #11
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

I would have preferred if we'd never seen the Romulans on screen throughout ENT, seeing as how they were to be the faceless enemy. For example in the episodes that feature the Romulan drone and the introduction of the Aenar, they could have either cut all the scenes with the Romulans or just shown the Aenar hooked up to a machine with people talking off camera. Then at the end of the episode, as the crew ponder on who was behind it cut to visual of a planet with the drone approaching flanked by a couple of Romulan birds-of-prey.

Its kind of obvious why we saw Romulus in those episodes, in order to establish the Remans in another branch of the franchise outside of Nemesis and the name Valdore.
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Old July 19 2013, 01:22 AM   #12
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

I didn't like the whole "Oh you mean you won't just kill one of your own crewmembers because it will help you be on your way faster?" thing. It seemed like the writers were remembering Romulans as 'The villain people' rather than as Romulans.
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Old July 19 2013, 05:07 AM   #13
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

DarKush wrote: View Post
I do wish the Romulans had been the big bads from jump. I think it would've had more impact seeing them foster dissension instead of Future Guy and the Suliban. Or even if the Romulans used the Suliban, Orions, or others, that would've been cooler too and made it easier to keep Earth from finding out the Romulans true identity.

I also wish that we had gotten a Romulan War on Enterprise. If not taking up a season or several, then doing it in a TV movie or a straight to video movie.

I don't get why Berman seemed to misjudge the audience's interest in the Romulans. At least this one audience member.

I would've rather had them than the Klingons. Plus Enterprise could've been the show that fleshed out Romulan culture in ways that TNG/DS9/VOY also developed the Klingons. Ah, what could have been.
It would've been really cool to see a more fleshed out Romulan culture and language...given that there's nearly 1700 years between Earth's encounter with them and their exodus from Vulcan, that seems enough time for them to have at least a different accent and a few new words (US vs UK English), slightly different accent, words, and grammar (Afrikaans vs Dutch), and at most a more conservative grammar with new words and accent that is by now radically different from Vulcan, while still seeming similar (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian vs Latin). Take the existing Vulcan Language Institute work on this and make some changes and there's your Romulan.

Kevman7987 wrote: View Post
^You mean to say "what should have been."

The whole Temporal Cold War arc was a stupid decision for the writers to go with. The show should have followed this pattern:
-Build up to the Earth-Romulan War.
-Entirety of the Earth-Romulan War.
-Formation of the Coalition of Planets.
-Formation of the UFP.
This would've been a-ok for me. I was hoping to see something about the Romulan War and the Daedalus class ships throughout Enterprise, and then the early UFP, with explanations of why we got our (TOS) bridge and ship designs - something that Chris Bennett's Choice of Futures does nicely. I did enjoy seeing the other Earth vessels in Enterprise, and seeing a modern take on Daedalus would've been really cool.

Maybe I'll do my own re-write of Enterprise leading up to the war...
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Old July 19 2013, 07:31 AM   #14
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

I would've preferred if Romulans were not portrayed that much as Beatles fans in all Star Trek.
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Old July 19 2013, 10:15 AM   #15
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Re: Romulans as portrayed on Enterprise

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
Its kind of obvious why we saw Romulus in those episodes, in order to establish the Remans in another branch of the franchise outside of Nemesis and the name Valdore.
?

Which is more likely: That the writers of ENT -- who are, by the way, not the same guy as the writer of NEM -- wanted to have minor tie-ins with a two-year-old movie that had failed at the box office, and so structured the entire Romulan arc around that?

Or that they just wanted to be able to tell us a parallel story from the bad guy's POV, and added in some minor NEM tie-ins after that?
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