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Old April 18 2009, 09:42 PM   #1
commodore64
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Opinions about Trip

Occasionally someone will accuse me of not liking Trip. I wanted to make my views clear and hopefully generate thoughtful discussion. (All of this is my opinion, so feel free to read everything that follows below with that in mind.) I hope it's okay. HR, feel free to shut it down if it seems like it's on the cusp of turning nasty.

I'll start out by saying Enterprise is one of the few series that I actually enjoyed all the characters. I haven't since TOS. Typically, there was someone who annoyed me for one reason or another, which lessened my enjoyment of that Star Trek.

I can best describe my feeling by saying: Trip is Bones.

I liked TOS. It's my favorite of the Treks. It has a very specific formula in lots of aspects where the hero is heroic and gets the girl, he has a logical, smart sidekick that counterbalances the emotional sidekick. I liked that formula. As a team, they travel the stars and explore. Now, Bones occasionally said things I didn't like, but overall, I still like him. That doesn't mean I enjoy watching Bones-oriented episodes. Those are usually my least favorites. But I enjoy the mix where Bones, Spock and Kirk are together. I think Kirk is better friends with Spock -- there's something about the two that seems to feed off of each other in a more interesting way.

I hated watching "romantic" episodes with Bones. Since Bones was my least favorite character, I thought the whole idea of a romance with him was dull because it featured him for 45 minutes or so without much of the other more interesting characters. I feel the same way about Trip.

Like Bones, I sometimes feel the character is overacted. What does that mean? "Jim, I'm a doctor, not a brick layer!" I mean, really? No sh*t Sherlock. Some of you may hate when I say this, but ... I thought in the Forgotten Connor's reaction was over the top in the same way it grates on me when Bones says, "I'm a doctor not a magician [or insert other non-doctor job here]."

Like Bones, Trip is a funny guy and starts the series as the captain's friend. Archer turns to Trip for help that's bigger than just the engineer, especially in seasons 1 and some of 2. Also like Bones, I never felt like Trip yearned for anything and possibly that's what weakens him as a character to me. Kirk yearned to travel in space and believed his job as captain was sacrosanct. Spock yearned to be more Vulcan-like and to seek logic (at least in the series). Bones just was a role: doctor. I think the same thing about the characters in Enterprise. Archer yearned. T'Pol yearned. Trip didn't really do any yearning, which means growth was harder for that character to achieve. (And frequently why I say that character didn't grow.) Yearning is the reason you write as a writer. You want the characters to accomplish something greater than themselves, go through pitfalls and then come out on the other side successful. When I look at Trip, I think "storyline." I don't see him contributing to the storyline in a way I thought was compelling.

Like Bones, Trip is a stereotypical Southerner. He has big emotions, a large accent and a big heart. Unlike Bones, Trip doesn't sound like where he's from. I've lived in Florida and Texas, so I know what people from that area sound like. In fact, I have a bit of a Texas/Miami accent. So, I fault the writers for thinking you can substitute one Southern state or city for another. I think if Berman was smarter, he would've asked Connor where he thought Trip was from since Connor already had an accent for him. (If Connor knew where Trip was from and used the accent he had anyway, well ... I think it's Connor's fault.) I didn't like that they frequently referred to him as a Floridian when he clearly didn't sound like one.

Like Bones, Trip makes decsions usually based on his heart, and that's a reason to love him for sure. Sometimes these decisions weren't ones I'd want a character to make. I think I've read many of you feel that way about Archer, so maybe you can understand. And yet, I don't mind him making heartfelt decisions; I wouldn't expect the character to do any less. By the way, he doesn't really "grow" in this area, at the end he continues to make the same heartfelt decisions he did when he started.

Like Bones, I can see why people are his friend. I can also understand why he's liked by fans -- he, like Trip, is the everyman. If thought about TOS and who the "most popular guy aboard the ship" was, it'd probably be Bones. He's social. He likes to smile. He has charm about him. He knows everyone on the ship, and everyone on the ship knows him. I like seeing that in episodes. I like seeing Trip in that role. I like seeing him as the guy everyone likes. I like that he knows everyone's name aboard, smiles a lot and uses his Southern charm. That doesn't mean I want him to the captain; that's not his role. The captain makes unpopular decisions (and I don't mean just to some fans here). Trip can't by his very nature. When he does, like in Twilight, he becomes "the captain."

Also like Bones, I would say he was an incredibly competent, but not a superstar. Bones is not the neurosurgeon of the century. For example, his work to save Sarek and Spock in Journey to Babel conveys why he's on Enterprise. He's a star. And yet, he needs to use "the Teacher" to save Spock in Spock's Brain. Trip does some cool stuff like figure out the intermix ratio, but we didn't frequently see him in a superstar engineer role (like Scotty for example).

So to recap: I like everyone in Enterprise. It's rare. I see Trip very much as Bones, with a specific role. Do I like Trip-oriented shows? Meh, depends. I like Shuttlepod One. Will I stay up late to watch it? Probably not. Do I see the character as valuable? Sure, and definitely within his role. He's not my favorite. I like perhaps underdog characters who yearn. And in my opinion, that's not Trip.
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Last edited by HopefulRomantic; April 19 2009 at 12:22 AM. Reason: modified thread title
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Old April 18 2009, 10:20 PM   #2
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Re: Opinions about Trip

commodore64 wrote: View Post
Trip didn't really do any yearning, which means growth was harder for that character to achieve. (And frequently why I say that character didn't grow.)
Trip grew from a stereotype southern bumbling southern Gomer Pyle-like character (one I truly disliked in the first two seasons) into a much more grounded character in seasons 3 and 4.

He also grew from being a guy who distrusted, disliked, somewhat frightened by Vulcans, to being a guy who espoused IDIC in some of the most profound ways ever seen in a Trek series (among regular characters).

The charater also grew into a pretty good acting captain.

And speaking of yearning, after the carnage for the character that were seasons 1 and 2, in season 3 at least, Trip's storyline centered around his yearning for vengence against the Xindi for killing his sister, fellow crewmen, and other humans.
He's not my favorite. I like perhaps underdog characters who yearn. And in my opinion, that's not Trip.
You may have hit upon the reason I liked the T/T storyline, because in it, Trip was the underdog and was yearning (although he and TPol alternated in this role).

Not trying to change your mind about Trip, just pointing out some on screen stuff that I believe you may have missed or contradict some of your beliefs about the character.
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Last edited by HopefulRomantic; April 19 2009 at 12:22 AM.
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Old April 19 2009, 12:32 AM   #3
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Re: Opinions about Trip

I've tweaked the thread title to make clear we're all talking about the topic, rather than the people posting on the topic. As you all are aware, the idea is to focus on the posts, not the posters.

This discussion will work as long as everyone behaves in a civil manner, whether they agree or disagree with the opinions presented. There is no "right" or "wrong" to personal opinions, just different points of view. Okay?
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Old April 19 2009, 12:50 AM   #4
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Re: Opinions about Trip

i think for one thing some of the stuff you say about bones is pretty off the mark.
spock for one highly respected the connection between jim and bones.
if there was something going on with jim especially if it was mightly serious spock would go and get bones involved.

and despite the bickering between them in their own way spock and bones were very close. it is why spock asked bones along during amok time.

and here and other places bones has to think of something in the midst of a crisis to save the day.

and he did yearn.
i think it came across that bones came to space later on,,, that it wasnt natural to him like it seemed to many of the crew.
but for the chance to get out and learn new things and meet new people who put himself through stuff he really wasnt comfortable with.
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Old April 19 2009, 02:09 AM   #5
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Re: Opinions about Trip

Without going into a long diatribe about why I loved Trip as a character (which I did) I will go a step further then the OP and say that Trip was a combo of McCoy and Scotty from the TOS model. (at least for the first season, and some of the second) Trip yearned alright, he yearned for his engines (Scotty) and was the comic relief (Scotty and McCoy), a good friend to the captain (McCoy) and a foil to the resident Vulcan (McCoy again). But these are simplistic character comparisons, and don't really hold up past the first season, and somewhat into the second. The characters (all of them) of Enterprise were more rounded and focused by Season Three, and less copies of TOS.
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Old April 19 2009, 02:17 AM   #6
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Re: Opinions about Trip

I don't see Trip as bones. Fact is I don't see Trip as any of the characters of TOS. He is the one who is different.

He is chief Engineer but not at all like Scotty.

He certainly is not like bones in any way of manner. Bones was the CMO and as that he ws equivalent in status to Kirk and he adressed Kirk as Jim most of the time.

Trip was not of equal status as Archer and adressed him as Captain always.

Bones ws very good in his field. Trip was a standout in his field, he had to be given the range of knowledge that was reqauired for his position.

The Trip character was not handled well in season 1 anf 2. bones however was handled properly and hiis character had continity all through the three episodes of the Original Series.

Bones was a popular character but so was Scotty both being about the same in the fans view.

Trip was a very popular character in the series probably the most popular. I believe he eclipsed Archer in popularity.

The Trip character did grow from season one through season 4. He was used as Comic Relief at the beginning but by the Terra Prime arc he was a grounded principled person .


Trip to my mind was not bones. He was Trip a character of the Enterprise series not TOS.
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Old April 19 2009, 02:21 AM   #7
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Re: Opinions about Trip

Trip may have started out with the temperament of McCoy -- sardonic, laid back good ol' boy who appointed himself morale officer. But he sure didn't finish that way.

In "The Seventh," early season 2, he couldn't even make a decision in Archer's absence.

Later in the same season, he would prove he had the right stuff to be captain during "Cease Fire," putting Enterprise between the Vulcans and Andorians to prevent escalation of the crisis. Almost overnight, he had become confident, self-reliant officer material (an overdue development, IMO, considering he was second in command until T'Pol moved in).

I strongly disagree that his character never grew over the years. This is a man who never saw the Xyrillian baby he carried; tried to help a cogenitor and cost Charles its life, at the same time damaging the friendship he had with Archer; lost his sister to a horrific attack; spent months nurturing hatred for those responsible; discovering he had a son and never knowing whether Lorian survived the battle; fell in love with T'Pol and lost her to Vulcan tradition; and watched his infant daughter die.

The Trip of seasons 3 and 4 is nothing like the wise-cracking comic relief we saw in seasons 1 and 2.
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Old April 19 2009, 02:37 AM   #8
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Re: Opinions about Trip

Trip may have started out with the temperament of McCoy -- sardonic, laid back good ol' boy who appointed himself morale officer. But he sure didn't finish that way.
You know, I never ever thought Trip was Gomer Pyle. Instead, I thought his accent was bad and was stereotypical in that he was opinionated (like Bones), emotional (like Bones), big hearted (like Bones), etc. Gomer was a dummy. Trip wasn't.

I didn't see Trip as the self-appointed friendship/welcoming officer either. I just thought he was a friendly guy that people liked. Yeah, he stopped being as friendly which I thought was a mistake. I mean, why change that piece of likability about him? I mean, that's why I liked him and probably why I like Trip from season 4 the least.

From Shuttlepod One, I thought he was a great acting captain. Reed kinda fell apart, but Trip kept his head. Nothing about his actions made he think he was an idiot. And I thought the point of The Seventh wasn't to show how incompetent Trip was, but rather how he wasn't ready to be captain. (Not really a big surprise since he was only 32-ish.) I don't think seasons 3 or 4 changed my mind.

Trip was the underdog and was yearning (although he and TPol alternated in this role).
Yearning for a girl isn't really the kind of yearning I'm talking about. I mean the kind of yearning that drives a character. A girl (or man for that matter) in my opinion isn't the thing that drives a human being. Instead it's to be the best engineer possible, to explore space, to interact with a species you are curious about, to show your family that you are their equal, etc. Trip didn't have that.

Now, GB brought up the Xindi arc and his need for revenge. The problem is that fell apart by like episode 3 of that season. I thought really the most compelling part of The Forgotten is how Trip finally meets Degra and suddenly feels that fire -- the need to smash the guy's face in. But other than that, he really lost that drive. And I thought that was a writing mistake.

BTW, thanks HR.
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Old April 19 2009, 04:15 AM   #9
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Re: Opinions about Trip

When I first saw Enterprise and the decon scene I assumed Trinneer had been hired only for his looks and probably could not act. In fact, much of the cast struck me that way. Connor has said in interviews that it came down to him and a bunch of guys that looked like models. He happened to be the only one that could act. After watching enterprise through 4 seasons I realize that BnB and the people in charge of casting managed to pull off exactly what they wanted, a good looking crew made up of people that can act. Trinneer has my respect as an actor, but he REALLY had to earn it.

He does seem on the verge of overacting at times, but not from the acting. It is his expressions. He makes his characters come across as wearing their emotions on their sleeves. Part of this may be from his stage experience. Your expressions have to be magnified to a live audience to pick them up past the second row. While his expressions help make Trip very likable they can also get old after a while. You see those same expressions in most every part he has played since.

To me he is most like Kirk from TOS. Friendly, protective, always gets the woman, and had the most scenes in the series without a shirt. In TOS, guys watching wanted to be like Kirk and women wanted to be with Kirk. Archer did not take that roll in Enterprise, Trip did. When Archer met an alien he ended up in a fight. When Trip met an alien he ended up in a love scene. Just like Kirk.

His accent never bothered me. It always sounded like someone that may have had a southern accent at some point and had to lose much of it. That happens when you go into a scientific field. Speak with a southern accent and your perceived IQ drops about 30 points. Believe me, I've been there and had to lose much of my hillbilly accent. That only thing that bothers me is cap'n'. I don't know anyone that pronounces captain that way.
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Old April 19 2009, 04:42 AM   #10
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Re: Opinions about Trip

As someone who went to Texas A&M, I now never under estimated a guy with an engineering degree with a Southern accent. In fact, I went to Texas A&M thinking guys with an accent weren't as smart. Big mistake! Some of the smartest people at the college where guys and gals with a very strong accent. I now never underestimate anyone based on accent.

Speaking as a woman, I never wanted to be with Kirk. And I never wanted to be with Trip either. I thought Spock was the hottie, mostly because he was the cool one. I also thought Archer was the guy to be with as the hottest one, not that hot matters.
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Old April 19 2009, 06:00 AM   #11
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Re: Opinions about Trip

I find Trip to be a unique character. I also read and heard Connor say that he actually thought Trip was from Oklahoma. He was surprised when they made him from Florida. As a guy who lives about four miles from the Oklahoma border (in Texas) and that is where half of my family is from, he does have more of the Oklahoma sound in his voice than the deep south. While he does have some of McCoy and Scotty's qualities I think he was handled very well. I also liked everyone in the Enterprise cast and their characters. It also was a first form me since TOS.
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Old April 19 2009, 06:15 AM   #12
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Re: Opinions about Trip

commodore64 wrote: View Post
Yearning for a girl isn't really the kind of yearning I'm talking about. I mean the kind of yearning that drives a character. A girl (or man for that matter) in my opinion isn't the thing that drives a human being. Instead it's to be the best engineer possible, to explore space, to interact with a species you are curious about, to show your family that you are their equal, etc. Trip didn't have that.
But he was "yearning", whether you liked what he was yearning for or not. Sometimes yearning for a man or woman can be quite compelling as the thing (or one of the things), that drives a character. Not saying whether it was or not in this case (compelling, that is), just saying that it can be.
Now, GB brought up the Xindi arc and his need for revenge. The problem is that fell apart by like episode 3 of that season. I thought really the most compelling part of The Forgotten is how Trip finally meets Degra and suddenly feels that fire -- the need to smash the guy's face in. But other than that, he really lost that drive. And I thought that was a writing mistake.
Okay, in this case, you may not have liked the way the "yearning" was written, but it was "yearning" by Trip nonetheless.
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Old April 19 2009, 08:53 AM   #13
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Re: Opinions about Trip

Very interesting topic. Trip is my favorite character, but why? Everybody on Enterprise was a good person, everybody was good-looking, they were a wonderful cast alltogether. I suppose I like Trip because he cared. From the begining, on "Broken bow" he was the one who cared about someone maltreating a woman behind a closed door, about the child suffocating, about Archer losing his dream when T'Pol wanted to go back, etc. There are so many cases that this is shown.
Everybody on the show had his special path to take and Trip's path was the one I identified more. I believe that he was used to express some aspects of humanity that are very important and he certainly was the heart of Enterprise.
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Old April 19 2009, 12:27 PM   #14
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Re: Opinions about Trip

Penguin wrote: View Post
He is chief Engineer but not at all like Scotty.

He certainly is not like bones in any way of manner. Bones was the CMO and as that he ws equivalent in status to Kirk and he adressed Kirk as Jim most of the time.

Trip was not of equal status as Archer and adressed him as Captain always.

Bones ws very good in his field. Trip was a standout in his field, he had to be given the range of knowledge that was reqauired for his position.

The Trip character was not handled well in season 1 anf 2. bones however was handled properly and hiis character had continity all through the three episodes of the Original Series.

Bones was a popular character but so was Scotty both being about the same in the fans view.

Trip was a very popular character in the series probably the most popular. I believe he eclipsed Archer in popularity.

The Trip character did grow from season one through season 4. He was used as Comic Relief at the beginning but by the Terra Prime arc he was a grounded principled person .
Agreed 100%! Trip not Bones, PERIOD!
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Old April 19 2009, 01:08 PM   #15
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Re: Opinions about Trip

commodore64 wrote: View Post
Yearning for a girl isn't really the kind of yearning I'm talking about. I mean the kind of yearning that drives a character. A girl (or man for that matter) in my opinion isn't the thing that drives a human being. Instead it's to be the best engineer possible, to explore space, to interact with a species you are curious about, to show your family that you are their equal, etc. Trip didn't have that.
I agree that the characters didn't show enough ambition. Realistically speaking, a crew would train for years to get chosen for the first human space ship of exploration. They'd be very high achievers, would train for years and be desperate to go. That kind of yearning for that level of excellence would be a big part of their personalities. That's why I find Hoshi's reticence in everything to be weird.

I would imagine these characters, to have far more protective pride, even arrogance in their work than they show. There would be professional tensions and concerns between them, especially at first. If Trip's the best engineer they could find for this ground breaking mission, I would imagine him to be far less laid back and easy going, especially at first.

They all get on too well. The writers should have watched 'Alien' and written human characters that conflict with each other more. After all, that's what human beings are like!
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