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Old April 7 2014, 09:30 PM   #31
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

^ Some enterprising (heh) soul on the ground could have come up with something.

And in any case, a ship with advanced shields and weapons isn't infallible. The Defiant, faced with a prolonged assault by the rest of Earth's fleet, would have eventually buckled. One ship can't hold off for long against many.

The only thing I can think of is that the current Terran Emperor was not that popular, and so they jumped at the chance to replace him anyway. So maybe that's why Hoshi had such an easy time of it.
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Old April 7 2014, 09:40 PM   #32
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ Some enterprising (heh) soul on the ground could have come up with something.

And in any case, a ship with advanced shields and weapons isn't infallible. The Defiant, faced with a prolonged assault by the rest of Earth's fleet, would have eventually buckled. One ship can't hold off for long against many.

The only thing I can think of is that the current Terran Emperor was not that popular, and so they jumped at the chance to replace him anyway. So maybe that's why Hoshi had such an easy time of it.
If I'm not mistaken, I believe Mike Sussman's short story describes the battle with Starfleet. From what I recall, there was little political intrigue going on, just a lot of 23rd century muscle. Without being too spoilery I'll just say, the Defiant does MUCH more than simply place Emperss Sato in power.

Seriously recommend this book to any who want to see what happened after part II of IaMD.
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Old April 7 2014, 11:53 PM   #33
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ Some enterprising (heh) soul on the ground could have come up with something.

And in any case, a ship with advanced shields and weapons isn't infallible.
But having deflector shields in use against energy weapons that are literally one hundred ten years less advanced is a quantum leap in military technology. It would be like putting a fleet of wooden-hulled frigates like the USS Constitution (1797) up against the metal-armored HMS Dreadnought (1906). There's just no real competition -- the older fleet loses, even if there are a hell of a lot of them.
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Old April 8 2014, 06:19 AM   #34
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

I'm reminded of the E-D laughing its way through the ships in "Conundrum".
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Old April 8 2014, 10:16 AM   #35
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

The whole episode reminded of an analogy of a pirate movie set in the Star Trek mirror universe, and as such I'd say it was excellent (was it intentional?)

Dominic Keating's acting performance was great (I can't forget the look on his face and his split-second hesitation when Archer practically tells him to go ahead while he will stay behind and take the Gorn out next, once Reed and company have been killed), but Scott Bakula was rather overacting, IMHO.

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Old April 12 2014, 05:12 PM   #36
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

Good on the writers for having some fun at the end of the series. It was silly but entertaining. Whilst a lot of episodes had been silly and boring. It mad the tos ship look more advanced than the 2005 show which wasn't easy when replicating 60s sets
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Old April 12 2014, 05:46 PM   #37
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

Wasn't the Defiant bridge set actually left over from a fan production or something like that?

@Sci: Perhaps the Defiant couldn't have stood up to a direct assault, but how about sabotage from within? That's exactly what happens in IAMD II, isn't it? After Hoshi makes her demands, somebody on the ground could have secretly contacted one or more of the crew and convinced them to take her out.
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Old April 13 2014, 04:31 AM   #38
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

I believe it was a ramp-up of a continuing rebuild on the part of the producers that was allowed to be markedly accelerated due to the amortized cost structure that was possible once it was determined that the episode was going to be a two parter. At least I think that's what I recall.
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Old April 13 2014, 09:16 AM   #39
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Wasn't the Defiant bridge set actually left over from a fan production or something like that?
The Sulu Scope was from New Voyages/Phase II. The rest of the bridge was built for the episode.
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Old April 13 2014, 10:06 PM   #40
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

YARN wrote: View Post
There's something striking about this two-parter. It is ridiculous, overblown, and rather... ...dumb.
Berman, Braga and the rest of Paramount made some serious errors in implementing ENT, no doubt about it. They failed to recognize that, by going back to the "beginning", they were unraveling alot of assumptions regarding what the STAR TREK Universe was about; they were literally re-inventing the wheel, only they treated it like it was a prequel to TNG. This much is obvious. And then they got the bright idea to throw a dollop of TOS on top of it. Actually, as silly as it was, it was an entertaining flight of fancy. Much moreso than VOY.

The episode ditches strumming guitar earnest tones of "Long road" (the most despised opening music in all of Trek) and replaces it with macho sounding fare with dynamic military images in the background. Things go bang! Indeed, the two-parter is filled with a lot of pew-pew! action and the characters are simple and action-oriented.
I do not understand your hostility for the theme music. Maybe it's just me, but I actually thought Russell Watson's song sounded grown-up and one of Berman's best attempts to articulate the ideals of TOS, setting it to music and embedding it in every episode.

It seemed to be a refreshingly creative way to bring the old "Space, the final frontier..." theme narration into 21st-century TV format. I thought it worked very well.

The whole point of ENT, as I understood it, was that these characters, and Earth overall, had evolved technologically and were in the process of stepping into their own future (deep space flight, the Coalition/Federation, high-tech prosperity, etc.) but those characters and their society still had alot more in common with you and I than we saw in any other TREK.

As for the gratuitous explosions and nasty action and infighting exhibited in "Darkly", that's to be expected. It was the final entry in a long list of Bermanian treks that tried to capitalize on "Mirror, Mirror". The only one of these alterniverse shows to ever impress me was "Yesterday's Enterprise", and they never followed up on that one.


The episode feel like a critique of fan-service, even as much as it caters to it. It functions as a guilty pleasure, but clearly does not aspire to be anything more than a guilty pleasure. This was fun as a change of pace, but you couldn't sustain a series with dialogue.

Enterprise failed, but this episode seems like the series making a case for its own virtues. Sure, Archer is stupidly earnest and plucky (like an oversized human version of his Beagle), but consider what might have been... ...surely plucky Archer is better than the MacBeth version? If so, we might be inclined to reappraise the virtues of the regular show.
I agree that ENT had many things about it that were controversial with longtime TREK fans, and that it could've been better-implemented. Having said that, how many TV shows do you know of that stay on the air for four consecutive years that are branded a failure?

If ENT in general and "Darkly" in particular left a bad taste in anyone's mouth, it's probably because (1: the show's makers were obviously running out of ideas; IIRC, Berman himself thought Paramount should not do ENT... (2: While ENT had some great story ideas like "First Flight", the overall lack of a creative direction with the show was getting pretty obvious, probably contributing to problem #1... (3: Hollywood, being silly as it is, recognized that Berman's shows had strayed too far from what TOS was all about, so naturally they sought to compensate by dumping the Starship Defiant into our laps; problem solved, or so they thought.

"Darkly" was fun, ENT had potential, Archer (and Bakula) were pretty good as the captain of the Starship Enterprise. But just like your Daddy's T-bird, you aren't gonna have much fun with this cruiser if you don't put any gas in the tank and you don't have a destination to drive to. At least "Darkly" was a fun little jaunt to the hamburger drive-in for a couple Saturdays. Just don't expect Brenda to fall in love with you over it.
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Old April 14 2014, 10:41 AM   #41
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

Wingsley wrote: View Post
Berman, Braga and the rest of Paramount made some serious errors in implementing ENT, no doubt about it. They failed to recognize that, by going back to the "beginning", they were unraveling alot of assumptions regarding what the STAR TREK Universe was about; they were literally re-inventing the wheel, only they treated it like it was a prequel to TNG.
I couldn't agree more. When I learned that Series 5 was going to be a prequel, I thought it was a bad idea, mainly because (just like the Star Wars prequels) I had my own preconceived notion of what the time of the founding of the Federation would have been like, and there was no way that the present lot at UPN was ever going to deliver what I wanted. And I'd bet that a LOT of other fans felt the same way. Plus, as you say, the whole tone of the show made it look more like a TNG prequel (actually more like a continuation of VOY, only with a different ship and a different crew, and the time period was irrelevant). We got the Borg, the Ferengi, the Nausicaans, Risa, Holodecks, Klingons, Nemesis-looking Romulans and Remans, and a ship that looked like one of the First Contact background ships. Absolutely nothing that even remotely screamed "TOS prequel."
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Old April 14 2014, 11:42 AM   #42
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

Those nacelles on NX-01 were pure TOS. And the old communicators and sound effects. And T'Pol's Spock Scope.

All token stuff though. Five minutes into "Broken Bow" I realized this wasn't the prequel I was expecting. I just tried to enjoy it for what it was - and IMO it was at it's very best when they said "fuck the timeline!"* and did the Xindi mission.


*Then season four comes along, with so many prequels and tie-ins one has to assume all those changes led TO the Trek history we know, rather than away from it.
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Old April 14 2014, 11:51 AM   #43
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

Dukhat wrote:
When I learned that Series 5 was going to be a prequel, I thought it was a bad idea, mainly because (just like the Star Wars prequels) I had my own preconceived notion of what the time of the founding of the Federation would have been like, and there was no way that the present lot at UPN was ever going to deliver what I wanted. And I'd bet that a LOT of other fans felt the same way.
To be fair, the show makers can't be held accountable for the fans preconceptions about what they'd theorized must have happened in Federation history. I mean, realistically as you've identified this is the real problem ENT encountered all along: that a lot of things that we'd assumed over the years, but which had never actually been confirmed on-screen, suddenly turned out differently to how we'd all imagined them. It's no wonder fandom found it difficult to overcome that...
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Old April 16 2014, 07:18 AM   #44
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

Lance wrote: View Post
To be fair, the show makers can't be held accountable for the fans preconceptions about what they'd theorized must have happened in Federation history. I mean, realistically as you've identified this is the real problem ENT encountered all along: that a lot of things that we'd assumed over the years, but which had never actually been confirmed on-screen, suddenly turned out differently to how we'd all imagined them. It's no wonder fandom found it difficult to overcome that...
But that was the entire problem. The only reason why Series Five was a prequel was because they had run out of ideas for what a Star Trek show should be about. Some UPN suit decided that, "hey, it worked for Star Wars, so let's do it for Star Trek!"...even though the jury's still out on if it actually "worked" for SW. But that's a whole other story.

If you're going to make a prequel to one of the most beloved and popular television shows in history, then you have to do it because you love and honor that show, not because you've just run out of ideas of what to do. That's the mentality of Hollywood at present, producing shitty sequels to hit movies from thirty years ago because no one has an original bone in their bodies (or remaking hit movies with soulless replacements).

In the case of ENT, the executive producer himself claimed to not have watched TOS. Really? The show you're making a prequel of, you've never seen?

There was all kinds of backstory to the formation of the Federation, whether it was the old FASA roleplaying games, or the licensed Trek novels of the 70's and '80's. Granted none of that was canon, nor were they obligated to follow it, but they could have at least done some research. But the show was never really about being a TOS prequel. It was about being a prequel to TNG and VOY, and not a very good one at that. It was more like a prequel in name only, as most of the scripts, characters, sets, props, ships and aliens could have been used for the 8th season of Voyager. By the time they figured that out, they did a 360 and went completely overboard with the TOS references. But by then it was too late.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I just tried to enjoy it for what it was - and IMO it was at it's very best when they said "fuck the timeline!"* and did the Xindi mission.
I'll have to take your word for that, since I stopped watching the show halfway through the second season because I thought it was crap, only to resume watching around the fourth.
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Old April 19 2014, 03:23 AM   #45
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Re: In a Mirror Darkly: A Critique?

I think ENT's most basic problem was simply this:

They'd been doing it too long.

I mean, by late 2001, when ENT premiered, Rick Berman had been on since TNG Season One in 1987 -- fourteen years. Branna Braga had been on since, IIRC, TNG Season Season Four -- eleven years. On top of this, both were under intense pressure from UPN executives to keep ENT according to TNG-style formula, to keep from experimenting creatively and innovating, to keep Star Trek from evolving along with the rest of the television medium (which was, after all, just starting to enter the Modern Golden Age of Television, with programs like The Sopranos, The West Wing, and Six Feet Under all being contemporaries of ENT).

So when you combine these things, you have a recipe for creative stagnation. It's really no wonder that it took Manny Coto, with his willingness to innovate a new storytelling style (successive three-episode arcs), his willingness to embrace Star Trek's political heritage (e.g., the Vulcans planning to invade Andoria on false allegations of their developing a Xindi WMD as an obvious allegory for Bush invading Iraq), his fresh take on how to link ENT with TOS, and his over-all sense of fun, to make ENT such an enjoyable show in the fourth season.
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