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Old August 8 2013, 04:48 AM   #211
Melakon
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:14 - Stigma



TV Blurb: When Vulcan doctors learn that T'Pol has a disease, they refuse to help and threaten to return her to Vulcan. Meanwhile, Phlox's wife Feezal targets Trip as a potential playmate. Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by David Livingston.

A moral parable as only Star Trek can do them. The story was originally conceived as an analogy to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but there are other interpretations possible. The comparison can fit any ruling society that denies rights to a race, class, religion, or subculture that meets their disapproval.

There are good scenes with Archer, T'Pol, and Phlox together, along with their individual dealings with a trio of hardlining Vulcan doctors. Michael Ensign guests as Oratt of the Council of Physicians, and has previously appeared on TNG, DS9, and VOY.

The B-story comedy revolves around Feezal (Melinda Page Hamilton) lustfully pursuing an uncomfortable Trip, who is further baffled by Phlox's reaction on learning about it.

Dirtiest Line--
Feezal (to Trip): You can pull it out now.

Next: "Cease Fire"
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Old August 8 2013, 05:09 AM   #212
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

"Stigma" presents an A-plot that would have been timely and consequential ten years earlier. Meanwhile, though the B-plot has some amusing lines, if the roles had been reversed I don't think anyone would have found it as funny.
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Old August 8 2013, 05:23 AM   #213
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Skywalker wrote: View Post
. . .if the roles had been reversed I don't think anyone would have found it as funny.
It depends. If it were Trip being suggestive, people might think him a bit of a lunkhead. If it were Phlox chatting up female crewmembers, it would just be explained as another one of his quirks.

I think Feezal did go a bit far though, in the mess hall. She drags Hoshi into it, teasing both of them by telling Trip that Hoshi thinks he's attractive.
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Old August 9 2013, 09:07 AM   #214
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:15 - Cease Fire



TV Blurb: Pinkskin tries to mediate a dispute between pointy eared bastards and blue devils. Written by Chris Black. Directed by David Straiton.

Fan favorite Suzie Plakson adds an Andorian to her Trek portfolio playing Tarah, a strong-willed officer who doesn't agree with Shran's goals of peaceful negotiation with the Vulcans over a planetary dispute. Archer has the unwanted task of getting the two sides to cooperate.

This episode, though entertaining and providing more insight into the Vulcan-Andorian conflict, suffers a bit as there's a recycling of things we've already seen-- stubborn Vulcans, furious Andorians, and the Enterprise crew again getting captured. Along with more fisticuffs and firefights in dimly lit areas. For a change of pace, Archer beats up a woman this time. Meanwhile, Tucker has his hands full trying to prevent Vulcan and Andorian ships from sending reinforcements to the planet's surface.

As usual, Soval again tries to convince T'Pol to abandon Enterprise and Archer, but she refuses.

It's okay. The darkness of some scenes makes it difficult to tell what's going on sometimes, but I suppose it helps hide the stunt doubles.

Next: "Future Tense"
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Old August 12 2013, 06:29 AM   #215
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:16 - Future Tense



TV Blurb: A small craft with a dead pilot is discovered to be from the future. Then the Suliban and Tholians decide they want it too. And the times, they are a-changin'. Written by Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong. Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.

I'm a bit of a sucker for any story that presents subtle alterations of reality, so I liked this episode. There are intriguing ideas, interesting revelations by Phlox, a clever approach stylistically with the timeslips, and some impressive visual effects work.

We get to see Tholian ships for the first time in the series, though the Tholians themselves remain unseen. Thanks to Mike Sussman's love of battle scenes, we get to see the Suliban and Tholians fighting over who gets to take the future craft first.

Most of the regular cast is well-used, though Travis and Hoshi again seem confined to the bridge. Malcolm seems the most susceptible to the time hiccups, being the first to sense them when they occur.

The only part that bothered me was the ending. If the craft was retrieved into the future less than a minute after its distress beacon was activated, why didn't those future hotshots simply backtrack and take the craft before Enterprise discovered it? Of course, then the episode never would have happened.

Line never before heard in Star Trek: "I always wanted to meet a stegosaurus."

Next: "Canamar"
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Old August 15 2013, 12:28 AM   #216
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:17 - Canamar



TV Blurb: Archer and Trip are falsely arrested as smugglers and placed on a transport to a prison planet. Meanwhile, T'Pol and Malcolm deal with the local government officer on the case. Written by John Shiban. Directed by Allen Kroeker.

I had to go through this one several times before I could even get an idea of what to write about it, which isn't always a good sign. It feels derivative of something for me, but I can't pin it down. I know some compare it to the film Con Air, but I've not seen that so can't judge. But it did give me memories of Air Force One, Cliffhanger, Die Another Day, and any number of movies set on Roman galleys during the 1960s.

As the above image shows, there are some nice effects. The story itself is pretty simple plotwise, but the strength is in its character scenes, particularly the conflict between Archer and career criminal Kuroda. I also liked that Malcolm was actively involved during T'Pol's discussion with the local official. There are more uncomfortable moments for Trip, putting up with an overly talkative benchmate, and a Nausicaan brute who doesn't take a liking to him.

For me, the real highlight was watching the work of actors Scott Bakula and guest Mark Rolston play out their 2-man scenes in the transport cockpit.

Blooper: Anthony Montgomery stumbles during a take of an action scene with many extras, showing more emotion than Travis was ever allowed.



Next: "The Crossing"
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Old August 15 2013, 11:59 PM   #217
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:18 - The Crossing



TV Blurb: Enterprise gets swallowed up by a huge alien spaceship, then its incorporeal lifeforms begin taking over the crew. Teleplay by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga & Andre Bormanis. Directed by David Livingston.

Another variation on the alien possession story, which is just the old ghosts/evil spirits stuff from thousands of years earlier. Despite that, I liked this because it gave at least 3 of the main actors something different to do.

Connor Trinneer does a fine job as the main spokesman for the incorporeal lifeforms. Dominic Keating and Linda Park also get a chance to get a little outside their usual characters. Keating does very well as Possessed Malcolm. I've not seen his other work, but he probably makes a great villain.

Astonishingly, Phlox, of all people, gets two big fight scenes, one of them with a Possessed Hoshi.

To hide from the aliens (and perhaps amortize the cost of the set), much of the crew takes refuge in the catwalk. Conveniently, the aliens can't pass through the osmium alloy shielding up there, as another touch of continuity with the earlier episode.

Non-corporeal (or noncorporeal) is how the aliens are repeatedly referred to, but that appears to be another case of Trek technobabble. Two dictionary sources only recognize the word incorporeal.

During certain low angles in the corridors with Phlox in his spacesuit, either the helmet is not attached to the suit, or the helmet has glass panels below the chin. I can't tell which.

It's not explained how Trip gets possessed the final time, when the crew is in the catwalk. Either that osmium alloy shielding isn't as protective as they thought, or he must have gotten taken before entering the catwalk. It's possible he's possessed by the same entity each time, who might be more experienced at hiding itself in a body.

At one point, Enterprise is outside the giant ship and possessions are taking place. Yet T'Pol later says if the creatures are exposed to space, they will die.

When the aliens believe their host bodies are about to die, they vacate. But why didn't one leave Hoshi when Phlox knocked her out? And why don't they just look for a new host when forced to vacate a body, as happens earlier before the crew hides?

The verbal instructions Archer gives Phlox for removing a maintenance panel and then rerouting atmospheric controls is almost as complex as when Reed gave Archer instructions for disarming a mine.

Next: "Judgment"
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Old August 16 2013, 08:34 AM   #218
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Melakon wrote: View Post
2:16 - Future Tense



TV Blurb: A small craft with a dead pilot is discovered to be from the future. Then the Suliban and Tholians decide they want it too. And the times, they are a-changin'. Written by Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong. Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.

I'm a bit of a sucker for any story that presents subtle alterations of reality, so I liked this episode. There are intriguing ideas, interesting revelations by Phlox, a clever approach stylistically with the timeslips, and some impressive visual effects work.

We get to see Tholian ships for the first time in the series, though the Tholians themselves remain unseen. Thanks to Mike Sussman's love of battle scenes, we get to see the Suliban and Tholians fighting over who gets to take the future craft first.

Most of the regular cast is well-used, though Travis and Hoshi again seem confined to the bridge. Malcolm seems the most susceptible to the time hiccups, being the first to sense them when they occur.

The only part that bothered me was the ending. If the craft was retrieved into the future less than a minute after its distress beacon was activated, why didn't those future hotshots simply backtrack and take the craft before Enterprise discovered it? Of course, then the episode never would have happened.
You've sorted of answered your own question. The couldn't simply go back and retrieve it earlier, because if they did the Enterprise would never find it and activate the distress beaon. Meaning they wouldn't know to go back and retrive it. Don;t you just "love" Temporal Mechanics?
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Old August 19 2013, 07:36 AM   #219
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:19 - Judgment



TV Blurb: Archer gets hauled before a Klingongaroo court for assisting refugees from one of the Empire's abandoned territories. Teleplay by David A. Goodman; Story by Taylor Elmore & David A. Goodman. Directed by James L. Conway.

(It took 4 tries to get a screenshot with sparks that I liked, those suckers were fast.)

The episode consciously styles itself after Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in both story, production design, and visual imagery. Klingon justice also seems to resemble Cardassian justice as shown in DS9: Tribunal, with the sentence determined before a public show trial begins.

It's really Trekvet J. G. Hertzler's show, as Archer's appointed attorney Kolos. An advocate for the defense for fifty years, he remembers the days when Klingon Honor was more than empty words by boasting hypocrites.

Hertzler is equally met by another veteran, John Vickery, as prosecutor Orak, who confidently struts about playing to the crowd in the galleries calling for blood. This was Vickery's third appearance in Star Trek, and each time he built a character markedly different from the others.

Granville Van Dusen serves as the Magistrate of the trial, and all three of these actors are responsible for the success of the courtroom scenes. I usually don't like courtroom type shows, but they sometimes work better for me when it's in alien courtrooms. Unfortunately in Star Trek, those different justice systems between the major races tend to resemble each other in terms of what justice actually means.

We also meet a Klingon named Duras (Trekvet Daniel Riordan), who has been demoted for his failure to capture the refugees. Apparently an ancestor of the same Duras family that gains prominence 200 years later, he unfortunately comes off as just another angry Klingon. Riordan however, really put his teeth into the part. He had also played the angry alien Starfleet officer that Wesley Crusher bumped into during one of his unannounced academy tests.

The prison mines of Rura Penthe also appear in the final act, which feels incredibly rushed in how Archer escapes. T'Pol has to put a plan into motion too quickly, which is only explained through dialogue.

It's a good homage show, but the ending is just too hurried.

Next: "Horizon"
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Old August 19 2013, 07:52 AM   #220
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Fun fact: the idea for "Canamar" came from the original ending for "Judgment," with Enterprise trying to rescue Archer from a prison ship. I dunno how "Canamar" ended up being produced first, but it would have been cool if they'd instead taken that idea and turned it into a two-part storyline.
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Old August 19 2013, 07:56 AM   #221
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Yes, I was going to comment that I thought it might have worked better as a 2-part story.

MacLeod, I think you're right.
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Old August 19 2013, 01:31 PM   #222
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Glad you mentioned John Vickery. He played the warrior Neroon on Babylon 5 and was exceptional in giving life to that character.
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Old August 19 2013, 03:54 PM   #223
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Vickery, Hertzler, and many others are prime examples of why Star Trek so often preferred actors with classical theatre experience for its regulars and guests. They really do bring a style to performance that you rarely see in other series or films. I think it was Kate Mulgrew who once compared acting in Star Trek to acting in a theatrical period piece. The most memorable Klingons are often those actors with a background of many years on the stage. A lot of television actors (especially young actors) simply don't have that kind of experience because they've exclusively worked professionally in television, and only know how to play contemporary characters.
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Old August 21 2013, 06:40 AM   #224
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:20 - Horizon



TV Blurb: Travis plans a trip to visit his family on their freighter Horizon, but gets bad news before he arrives. Meanwhile, T'Pol is urged to attend movie night. Written by Andre Bormanis. Directed by James A. Contner.

Travis finally gets an episode to carry on his own, and Anthony Montgomery gets some film for his showcase reel. We get to learn a lot about the Mayweather family, their freighter, and their crew. Other than some pesky pirates, the major conflict is Travis butting heads with his (older?) brother Paul, who serves as ship captain. Paul feels Travis abandoned the family when he joined Starfleet, and now resents his presence.

Unlike how many other television programs would approach this, the conflict is resolved without a big fight scene as done in TNG: Family. But Travis says "on Enterprise" so many times, it's not surprising that Paul might want to punch him in the face.

We get to see what daily life is like on a civilian vessel, where every day is casual day with no official uniforms.

There is some good effects work with freighter vs. pirates scenes, as well as sequences when Enterprise does a science survey of space phenomena that isn't a threat for a change.

The comic subplot involves T'Pol trying to get out of going to movie night, finally attending (while shushing Phlox), and then reviewing the film (Frankenstein, with Boris Karloff).

Minor highlights include T'Pol commenting on Trip's musical talent, Archer teases with a little bit about his life before Starfleet, and we again see the NX's "sweet spot" that Travis first found in "Broken Bow".

It's another character development show really, with a few camera shake scenes on the Horizon to stir things up.

Next: "The Breach"
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Old August 25 2013, 06:00 AM   #225
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2:21 - The Breach



TV Blurb: While Trip and a team try to rescue Denobulan scientists from a planet that wants them removed, Phlox meets a member from a race his planet warred with 300 years earlier. Written by Chris Black & John Shiban. Directed by Robert Duncan McNeill.

Getting to this episode took longer than I expected, I wanted to have it in place before Friday. I believe we're now into episodes when I was unable to regularly watch during first run, and that I didn't see until earlier this year. I'm ashamed to admit that it took me quite a while to realize the significance of the title.

The Denobulans and Antarans were once at war, centuries earlier. When Phlox has one as a patient, there are tensions as each one is the first of his species to see the other in that time. Things get more complicated when the patient Hudak (Henry Stram) refuses to let Phlox touch him.

Phlox tells Archer the history between their peoples, and refuses an order to treat Hudak because Denobulan medical ethics govern that the patient's will is the priority. Archer then has to try and convince both men to resolve their differences.

So as I see it, "the breach" is the rift between Denobulans and Antarans. Is Archer the bridge? His diplomatic skills seem to have improved as he deals with both men.

As a Phlox-oriented show, there is a lot of detail. We learn of his grandmother, who lived during those times, and the hatred she spewed. We learn of Phlox's difficulties with his own son, who seems to be some sort of Denobulan skinhead. We see his quarters again, and those with the new Blu-Rays can probably pick up much more detail in the furnishings than I'm able to.

Phlox's temper shows up again, initially curt with others, even Archer, and finally lashing out in a rage after Hudak's endless taunting.

We see that Phlox keeps tribbles in the sickbay, but not as pets or for their healing properties.

John Billingsley was not entirely satisfied with the script, but enjoyed his scenes with Henry Stram, and praised Robert Duncan McNeill's direction.

Guest star Henry Stram is the son of American football coach Hank Stram.

Could the name Hudak be a reference to M. Leigh Hudec, aka Majel Barrett?

Next: "Cogenitor"
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