So what's with all the Archer hate?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by jibrilmudo, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In fact, Mirror-Archer was the most entertaining Archer ever got!
     
  2. bluedana

    bluedana Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I disagree with all the “Archer hate”; in fact, Archer is my favorite character among all of the series that I watched (I’ve only seen a few eps of VOY, so I may very well be missing some revelation there).

    Prior to Archer, Starfleet captains came across as right, all the time, even when they were wrong. Almost every TOS episode ended with Kirk smugging it up with Bones and Spock, and we, the audience, were supposed to acknowledge that he was, once again, right. This reached its apex with Picard (“he who is never wrong, and will tell you so, repeatedly”). Sisko was the first captain who, for me, showed a side of doubt, second guessing, and straight up shocking behavior that made him believably human. Archer takes that to a new level. Did he dislike Vulcans? Yes, and eventually, we’re shown why. But two or three eps in, he’s already giving T’Pol her props, even as she condescends to him daily. He’s not happy about it, and resists it, but he respects her voice. (I’ve said it before, but one of my favorite moments is in Fallen Hero, where he turns the ship around just because she asks him to; that’s trust and respect right there.)

    His journey may have been accidental, in the sense that I don’t think TPTB had any long view of his development, but his qualities were consistent. He would do anything for his crew, including lay down his life; he didn’t like to kill, but would if necessary; he swallowed his pride on numerous occasions, and was not ashamed to beg for his officers’ lives (see The Communicator and Stigma); he was the very opposite of a xenophobe – Vulcans and Andorians couldn’t talk to each other, but he could reason with both. And he would rather talk and negotiate and persuade than go to war. I think this character as he turned out had an openness and, yes, a naiveté that ended up being vital to the birth of the Federation. I much prefer that than the my-way-or-the-highway approach of Kirk and Picard (and early seasons Sisko). Bakula played Archer as a likeable hero, sometimes with feet of clay, always with a self-deprecating sense of humor, proud, but never pompous.

    And, frankly, some of the best dramatic notes were Archer moments, like learning about humanity’s fate in Twilight; going quietly to his death in Shockwave part 1; his deterioration and threat over Sim in Similitude; grieving the Admiral in The Forge, to name a few. Once TPTB stopped trying to make him swagger in a “Kirk-lite” manner, Bakula regularly hit it out of the park.

    I get that this isn’t a popular opinion, but then again, I had no preconceived notions about how Trek captains ought to act, and I appreciate Archer being a three-dimensional, warts-and-all character who grew and changed over time, something that is very rare in episodic television even today.
     
  3. trash80

    trash80 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thats a good assessment of Archer, i didn't like his character much in the first series but if you put it in context humanity didn't have a huge amount of experience in first contact and the like, some naivety might be understandable. As a character he really grew, especially in the Xindi arc. I'd rank him second after The Sisko in my Trek captain heirarchy.
     
  4. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I completely understand where bluedana is coming from, and I do recognize that they were in particular going for a kind of charming naivete with the human characters in ENT, including Archer. For my money, they quite missed that mark and mostly wound up with petulance instead, but of course mileage will vary.

    (I also agree that ENT need not have replicated the swaggering smugness of the other televised Enterprises. I do think there are ways to depart from that and still have the heroes look competent, though -- a different thing than being without flaws -- which I don't think was achieved consistently with Archer. In fact we have models for such protagonists in the historical pioneering astronauts to whom Archer is meant to be an heir.)
     
  5. Nero's Shadow

    Nero's Shadow Captain Captain

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    I always liked his character and also the actor as well . When he was casted I was really happy and shocked we got a good actor to play the captain !!

    Apart from been IMO a good actor he played his character very well he never backed down or sometimes didn't follow orders to the latter. Never understood his big grudge with the vulcans it was explained but he always seemed bitter.

    If Enterprise had lasted 7 seasons I'd loved to see archer promoted and seen him helping to sign the treaty that forged the federation.
     
  6. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This brings up something I have felt since the show was on, that TPTB should have cut down on Scott's dialogue similar to what was done with Admiral Adama in BSG.

    If Archer had been modeled after say, the character Kevin Costner played in "Open Range", he may have had an easier time performing the role and Archer might have been more intriguing if not more likable to the fans. Scott seems well suited to play "the quiet man", creating anticipation and tension for his dialogue, thereby kind of manufacturing a form of "charisma".

    Truth be told, I really didn't "dislike" Archer, I was pretty ambivalent about the character -- I just disliked the way Scott played him.
     
  7. Chanukahjes

    Chanukahjes Commodore Commodore

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    For the first season in particular, he seemed rather uncomfortable to me. It was like he didn't believe or like the lines he was delivering, I dunno. That was just my impression. Somewhere in there, though, he seemed to relax into the role, at least in my estimation. That was some time before the start of the third season.
     
  8. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

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    Captain Jonathan Archer....

    I had not (and still haven't) seen any of Bakula's other work. So I guess I'm much different than everyone else here. He had a clean slate with me.

    I loved the whole back-story with Archer. His father and all. Thought it brought some depth to the character the other Captains didn't have.

    I was impressed with Archer early on. I thought he jumped into his character better that the rest. Scott is a stand-up guy and took the role of Captain seriously.

    As the series went on, I had a few problems with the character. Some the way he was written and some concerning Scott's acting.

    If you have read my season one reviews they kept having him put down T'Pol because of his distaste for the Vulcans. Initially I could see this but time and time again she proved her loyalty to her captain and they just kept beating the dead horse. I believe Archer would have been able to put his "preconceptions" behind him sooner. He was more mature than that.

    I personally love ENT seasons 1 & 2. I don't think Enterprise nor Archer "needed" season 3 to become a great Star Trek Captain. Archer was always at his best taking the high road, being level headed and outsmarting his foes. Season 3 put him in a completely different situation. Arguably more pressure than any other Star Trek Captain has ever faced. Singularly charged with saving humanity? ... with no help??? I can understand the pressure and how that burden kept pressing and pressing. He didn't need to act like a tough guy to be the tough guy. When he did, it did not resonate well with me.

    This is where I'll address Scott's acting a little. From chewing butt in his Cabin, to the mirror universe, etc.... he does not do "mad" or "angry" very well. I don't think it's in him. I can understand the story put the character in situations where that reaction was appropriate, but he just doesn't play that part very well and I believe Archer was at his best when he kept his cool and used his brains.

    I believe ENT Season 4 was Star Trek's finest season, not only because of the nature of the stories but because the writers got it right with Archer and how Scott best played him.

    It's moments like his conversation with T'Pol in Trips cabin in TATV, his speech to the counsel in Terra Prime, his guidance to Hoshi throughout her first couple years in space, his ability to earn Shran's trust and his good natured inner self that made Archer special.
     
  9. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
    I'm with you completely on this. As a guy who saw much of TOS as a young adult in '66 - '69, I'm not a Trek newbie by any stretch. ENT is my second favorite series, just a smidge behind TNG. I'm just starting my second trip through the ENT DVDs (no Bluray yet) and enjoying it all over again.
     
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I agree with this. Bakula is a fine actor, but his range only goes so far when it comes to being angry. He's more convincing when he quietly simmers rather than rants.

    Otherwise, I thought the character of Archer was appropriate for ENT and I thought one of his defining moments was in season four's "Home" when he finally faced all that he had been through in first three seasons:

    "I lost something out there, and I don't know how to get it back."
    --Captain Jonathan Archer

    Archer went in as an eager (if not slightly naïve) explorer not really knowing what he was in for and, IMO, that was befitting the series. He made mistakes, compromised some of his values, and had to take a long look at himself afterward and reevaluate. I do think that after his "trial by fire" in the first three seasons, Archer was of course a better captain. It could definitely be said that later captains benefited from lessons learned by Archer.
     
  11. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. The Vulcans knew better. Archer didn't.
     
  12. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

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    I'm going to wait for the price to come down to purchase the Blurays. I seem to say the series I'm currently watching is my favorite :) T'Pol is my favorite character though.

    A couple of Archers finest moments for me were his speech in Terra Prime, his little talk with T'Pol about Trip in TATV.

    Lot's of good with his character and Scott's acting.

    One thing I didn't like was how they kept saying that he and he alone had to start the federation. Let his actions speak for themselves, you don't have to keep shoving it in our faces.
     
  13. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    I had no problems with Bakula's acting, but I don't see how he could not come across as smarmy with the dialogue they gave him. Too many indignant speeches about how Enterprise was doing things it was never intended to do. Too many prescient asides that served as fan service. His dialogue often out of tune with his character's development: he was maturing faster than his lines did. I also felt that his attitude toward the Vulcans/"xenophobia" would have made sense if the show's first season had been on Earth; B and B couldn't pivot fast enough to have it make sense otherwise.
     
  14. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have to write this down before I forget it.

    Last night I dreamed I was watching a Star Trek pilot I had never seen for a series I hadn't caught up with. It was set in the Guild Wars universe (which I've been playing). Archer was the captain and in the pilot he was running around the encampment of the "aliens" telling everyone what to do. These aliens lived in a caste system and Archer was lecturing them about how this was unenlightened and threatening to knock them on their ass if they kept up their unenlightened ways. I was watching this thinking "wow he really is a jerk in this, I will have to complain about it on the bbs.."

    And the chorus says..

    TEACAKE IT IS TIME TO GO OUTSIDE
     
  15. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

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    "smarmy" ... had to look that one up :lol:

    It was B&B's intention to make the first year on earth, but UPN wouldn't have it.
     
  16. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not sure what Guild Wars is, but that might have been an interesting episode. Earth terrorizes third world planet... Forrest comes up with Prime Directive to keep him from doing that again. Better than Dear Doctor genocide anyways. ;)
     
  17. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I wish we had seen more rogue human groups in Trek. There's no way everyone was sooooo evolved that you didn't have rogue groups getting what they wanted out of planets that hadn't hit space yet. Certainly the Klingons did. Not having money only works in the Federation and I suspect it only works on specific Federation worlds and outposts , not on every Federation planet. I would imagine there would be plenty who would rather make their own way.
     
  18. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Location? What is this?
    Heretic! :scream:
     
  19. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The evil human club in Star Trek is also known as the Admiralty. ;)
     
  20. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes you might get rid of the need for money but you can't get rid of the need for power.