The ENT and Melakon

Discussion in 'Enterprise' started by Melakon, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
    IMO, a fair and very witty assessment. I may be the TNG mod but I'm just as big a fan of ENT and it is good to see some thoughtful attention given to the series.
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks, Mutai Sho-Rin. For me, the acting and directing do the best with what they can from an imperfect script. It keeps the episode from being a complete disaster for me.
     
  3. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic Phloxist Moderator Moderator

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    I am one of the ENT mods :D and I enjoyed this episode. Perhaps because I saw the preview (signaling a comedy episode) and went into it with that perspective. And I think Bakula and Billingsley are gold here. Sure, weird tone shift between the comedy and the dying dog (!!?!) plotlines arguing with each other, but these two actors handle it well, imho.

    Agreed! I love you, Scott.

    And touches like the funeral dream are just wonderful. Besides resulting in one of the best bts photos ever.
    [​IMG]

    Yes! Whatever one might think of ENT, it had great production values, skillful directors, wonderful actors. Made up for the inconsistent writing a lot of the time.

    Entertaining review, Melakon :techman:
     
  4. BruntFCA

    BruntFCA Commander Red Shirt

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    I've always liked ANIS, it gives Phlox a lot to do and it makes Archer interesting even if it is in a "WTF is wrong with this guy?" kind of way. I also think the hate is overblown, I mean for better or for worse at least it feels very original, a lot of episodes in the first 2 seasons have a very "been there, done that" type of feeling but not ANIS.
     
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    HopefulRomantic, that's a great cast photo. Is there a larger version available?

    =
    2:06 - Marauders

    TV Blurb: Toshiro Mifune and friends help defend a mining colony from Eli Wallach. Teleplay by David Wilcox; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by Mike Vejar.

    Apparently intentionally based on John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven, which was based on Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. I'm not sure whether Archer is supposed to be Yul Brynner or Steve McQueen. The method used to trick the stupid bandits reminded me of the ruse used by the citizens of Rock Ridge in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles. In any case, I think the Roger Corman produced Battle Beyond the Stars directed by Jimmy Murakami does a better homage.

    A saving grace of this episode is it appears much of it was shot on location. The biggest plot hole for me was why the bad guys didn't notice their previous transporter coordinates were different.

    For those who like inspecting actors' backsides, about 15 minutes in there's about 30 seconds of Archer, T'Pol, and Trip walking away from the camera. As if anyone would try to slo-mo such a thing.

    Trivia: In the 1983 film Twilight Zone: The Movie, episode guest star Larry Cedar played the Gremlin on the Airplane Wing in the "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" segment. John Lithgow had played the distressed passenger who was previously played by William Shatner in the original episode.

    Next: "The Seventh"
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  6. DeepSpaceWine

    DeepSpaceWine Commander Red Shirt

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    From the TOS forum, you've indicated you watched TOS first-run. Have you watched TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT first-run as well? I ask because I was a regular viewer of Star Trek series since the early '90s and regularly tuned in week after week but a block in Season 2 of Enterprise, right after "Dead Stop," just sucked out all of my motivation to watch. I missed some episodes, watched some episodes but was half-zoned out (watching them again, I noticed a lot I didn't remember, unlike other episodes). Only with "The Catwalk" & "Dawn" did I get back into it. I've heard something similar from others about that block having the same effect on long-running Star Trek fans. Just wondering when you tuned out of Enterprise and what made you tune out.
     
  7. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I watched every one of the series in first run as long as I could. The times that I missed episodes and Enterprise's last seasons were not by choice, but due to changes in financial situations (usually for the worst). There was never a time that I stopped watching any Star Trek series due to being disappointed or bored with them. I can't say that about other television programs.

    I've long had the opinion that science fiction is the most theatrical form of visual presentation because of its artificiality, and I think Star Trek has used that theatrical sense consistently better than anyone else.
     
  8. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ANIS:

    I love ALL the Phlox stuff. Who wouldn't want to see the ablutions and grooming habits of an alien up close and personal? We never even see anyone brush their teeth in Star Trek.. DO WE? NO WE DON'T!! That's why Enterprise is showing us brave new worlds with the toenail razing and the tongue cleaning.. ALL HAIL ENTERPRISE!

    [​IMG]

    I know for a fact that in the new JJTrek series we will see actual toilets.

    Oh and the rest of it? Shite, utter shite. The sexual tension stuff belongs in some lameass 80's summer camp flick. Awful.

    What I don't understand is A. Hugo?! WTF? And B. How could they not realize the tree/beagle BS makes Archer look like an idiot? "Oh we want to show how humans were naive when they first went to space.." Well if we dumbass 21st century folk can watch this episode and think he's a diplomatic idiot something is seriously wrong.
     
  9. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. The really awful part of the entire episode is that for the rest of our lives, we will see Rick Berman and Brannon Braga referred to as Hugo Award nominees. The only other ENT episode nominated was "Carbon Creek".
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    2:07 - The Seventh

    TV Blurb: T'Pol tracks down a rogue Vulcan operative who disappeared nearly 20 years earlier. Written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. Directed by David Livingston.

    *YAWN*

    I'm not sure why, but this episode did nothing for me at all. I've watched it at least 5 times in the last few days and it's just boring, boring, boring for me.

    It's more of a character study of T'Pol and her relationship with Archer more than anything else, which is a good thing I suppose, but the whole episode seems dull and uninspired.

    I was pleased to see Bruce Davison in the episode, as I've been a fan of his work since early in his career over 40 years ago. But he's much better an actor than the character he's been given here, which seems beneath his abilities.

    The script is too much of T'Pol doubting herself, too much bad guy escaping and getting recaptured (more than once), burning buildings, and other events that seem written mostly to fill time rather than advance the story. There are way too many closeups of faces for my taste.

    I get the feeling they knew it was a crappy script, and just tried to do what they could with it.

    The only really interesting part for me was when Trip has to be "acting captain", including posing as Archer. At first he seems to enjoy some of the perks, like holding court in the captain's dining room, but soon gets worn down by all the demands and requests made of him as a temporary captain.

    I knew reviewing the episode was going to be difficult, as Memory Alpha gives little background information, and Bernd Schneider's Ex Astris Scientia site goes into a rant ripping it to shreds.

    Next: "The Communicator"
     
  11. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think I'm one of the few who loved The Seventh. I thought it a welcome break from the more pedestrian ENT stories of this season.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It would've been better if the guy had actually been innocence.
     
  13. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    2:08 - The Communicator

    [​IMG]

    TV Blurb: Reed and Archer are arrested by the locals after misplacing a communicator during a visit to a pre-warp civilization. Teleplay by Andre Bormanis; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by James Contner.

    I don't remember seeing this one during first broadcast, so this probably aired around the time I started to miss episodes (not by choice). I've read reviews here and elsewhere that seem to really hate this episode. There are problems with it, but after about a half dozen viewings this week, I find some interesting things in it.

    Part of the problem is the story is a rehash of things we've already seen done in the series and elsewhere. Archer and a member of his landing party get captured by aliens, interrogated, tortured, and finally rescued in the last few minutes. In some ways, the story is the same as DS9: Little Green Men played straight. Then they add on an ending with an exciting firefight and escape just like all the other exciting firefights and escapes seen in any movie with a helicopter.

    As often happens with ENT, there's good work with character relationship scenes though the story feels like something we've seen before with names and events shuffled around.
    The planet and its inhabitants aren't even given a name this time around, though they seem to be on a technological level with early 20th century Earth before WWII. Unfortunately, like other aliens who have captured the crew, this militaristic government is portrayed as sadistic bastards during interrogations. Yes, Archer gets punched around again. And just for good measure, Reed gets punched too.

    There are several good Reed moments, reminding us of his sense of military tradition. Besides insisting he deserves punishment for his carelessness, when facing impending execution he shows his usual stiff-upper-lip shtick with the usual "I'm not afraid, sir."

    There's a good scene featuring only the guest cast, as they test a confiscated phase pistol, registering shock and awe at the power of particle weapons.

    Nice moment: Archer's silent reaction when Malcolm has a desire for Epsom salts to soothe his aching feet.

    Oddly, the transporter isn't used for the covert cultural survey, and isn't suggested as a possible way to retrieve the lost communicator. This might be due to a transporter episode scheduled a few weeks later.

    The "surgical alterations" to disguise the crew peel off as if they were applied with liquid latex rather than sutures.

    And in case anyone misses the point of the entire story, T'Pol delivers the moral message at the end.

    Next: "Singularity"
     
  14. jespah

    jespah Commodore Commodore

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    The story is also kind of a straight version of the aftermath of TOS's A Piece of the Action.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Communicator was a solid hour. I've been trying to watch Vanishing Point and just can't muster the energy to care about what's up with Hoshi.

    It's like a 'Lisa' episode of The Simpsons.
     
  16. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, "Vanishing Point" disappointed me on several levels, and I'll get to it later. I sort of like the idea of using a screenshot like I did for "The Communicator". There's an outtake from "Vanishing Point" I might use.
     
  17. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    2:09 - Singularity

    [​IMG]

    TV Blurb: Archer gets writer's block, Hoshi gets cooking, Malcolm gets alarmed, Trip builds a comfy chair, and T'Pol's fears of humans being irrational creatures is confirmed. Written by Chris Black. Directed by Patrick Norris.

    The story is told mostly through flashback, and if you've been reading along so far, you know that I think flashbacks are an overused device on Enterprise. I don't see why this story couldn't have been told in "the present", and the shifts in tense seem an unnecessary distraction.

    There's not much of a plot really. Enterprise is caught in a radiation field that causes the crew to obsess over trivialities rather than their assigned duties. T'Pol has to save the day and everyone aboard.

    Most of the characters are given something to concentrate on other than their actual work-- Archer has to write the preface to a biography on his father, Trip tries to build the biggest, bestest, Captain's Chair ever, Malcolm has a whole list of changes he wants made to ship security, Hoshi tries to perfect an old family recipe, and Phlox decides that Travis' headache is the key to something even more serious. The Phlox scenes are good, with the horror of how dispassionate Phlox can be amidst the lighthearted tone of the situation. John Billingsley again shows why he is so good at being Phlox, who is presented here as a dangerous menace. If anyone isn't really served by the episode's premise, it's poor Travis again. For a good part of the episode he's unconscious on a bed thanks to Phlox's shenanigans.

    I didn't find it boring, but it certainly felt like a reworking of scenes we'd probably seen before strung together as character vignettes. The ship in danger plot also felt like something we'd seen too many times before. This was essentially a "bottle show" filmed entirely on the standard sets, and a few visual effects shots of the radiation cloud.

    Remarkable line: "If this were a military situation, you'd be taken out and shot!" (Malcolm to Trip, and then a fight breaks out)

    Next: "Vanishing Point"
     
  18. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    The only worthwhile thing about "Singularity" is that it was the genesis of the tactical alert. Or, if you prefer, the Reed alert. :ouch:
     
  19. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As lame and campy as it was, I liked the concept of Reed alert. The episode was silly and fun to watch, even if it was all over the place. But I guess that was the point.
     
  20. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    2:10 - Vanishing Point

    [​IMG]

    TV Blurb: Resident phobiamaniac Hoshi reluctantly uses the transporter for the first time, and fears something went wrong. Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by David Straiton.

    This starts out promisingly enough, but I have to question Trip's decision to beam aboard first to reassure Hoshi. He's in charge of the landing party, and he should have just told her "Hey, enough of your attitude Ensign! Beam up. That's an order!" But if he'd done that, it might have been a shorter episode.

    Unfortunately, the episode uses one of the oldest plot devices in film history. It was even used in every one of Gerry Anderson's SuperMarionation puppet series. I don't want to give away the ending straight out, so I made a special image that anyone familiar with American films can recognize:

    [​IMG]
    "And you, and you, and you, and you were there!"

    But an outtake from the episode of Connor Trinneer clowning around on the gyroscope exercise machine says it best, as one picture is worth one thousand words:

    [​IMG]

    Next: "Precious Cargo"