Any love for The Enterprise Incident?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Cutie McWhiskers, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

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    Makes for a roaring 50 minutes of television that holds up.

    I watched the TOS-R edition. The inclusion of new angles and with both Romulan and Klingon design ships is a real treat. Especially during Enterprise's escape... the CGI feels like authentic TOS, from designs and placement and execution and proves that upping f/x can work, unlike regarding a certain movie series or BBC sci-fi parody show that both did the same thing but not successfully. At least Red Dwarf knew it was a sci-fi parody, but there wasn't much it needed to build onto scenes... Red Dwarf isn't a spaceship doing space Western battles every other week, it's about the last human being verbally accosted constantly by a hologram generated by the ship's computer in order for him to stay sane, and they're stuck by and large in his cabin.

    First things' first:

    * they could have done more, in this story and in season 3 in general, to expand on what appears to be a Romulan/Klingon alliance. A shame this never got explored any more in TOS (or TNG or DS9).

    * Scotty really is a miracle worker in getting the alien cloaking device technology to interface with his ship in the span of one hour despite having any schematics to work on, but I did like how he recognizes (theorizes?) the device should be fitted into the Deflector system, which is one of two systems that it would be compatible with and there might be reasons he would not say "shields" - chiefly power consumption, but the episode was focusing on selling urgency and not a litany of Treknobabble. Just enough was given that feels sufficiently plausible in-universe. I ultimately rolled with it but I've seen sci-fi that glosses over details far worse that everyone else goes batbleep crazy over for no reason and this episode actually handles enough technobabble with deftness... never mind the rest of the story is so good it's easy to forgive that the 50 minutes are almost up and they have to go for climax and closure...

    * Would the Romulans send over two high ranking Centurions as hostages, which aren't put into the brig until Scotty orders it some several minutes later and only after the Commander hails the Enterprise to tell him the Captain has been locked up? The Romulans are noble as they are chess players, but...

    * ...Spock states the Romulan Commander is being clever, which he says is unbecoming for a Romulan. (ouch) Yes, the Commander retorts Romulans are several complex things but there's no reason they cannot be clever, which they clearly were shown to be. As would TNG on several occasions. Which suggests Spock is trying to wind up the Commander, which is fair since she's spending half an hour trying to wind him up as well as turning him on.

    * Not sure how the Romulan Commander would have that nice lengthy dramatic spat with Kirk... in her own quarters, no less

    * or when she's spending half the episode trying to all but beg Spock to marry her. It's played out with such dedication that it works, but it's not surprising that Spock would remain unswerving loyal to the Federation despite the rather valid points she raised, which might - for a while - make audiences wonder if he's going to change sides as well.

    * Amazing that they didn't choose to do an autopsy. It is plausible they would not know of a "Vulcan Death Grip" (Chapel didn't know, Spock probably found a way to do a covert mindmeld to fill McCoy in the juicy scoop that had transpired.)

    Now onto the good stuff!!

    * The episode is a nonstop thrill ride, setting up the audience's insecurities over the captain's actions beautifully. Even after the game is revealed, the tension is still there in the episode and the tonal shift remains as compelling

    * the ending where the Enterprise punches up warp 9, followed by chase, with Romulan Commander (I did love how she latched onto Spock at just the right time) yelling at Subcommander Tal over the open channel to destroy the Enterprise. complete with spot-on incidental music, it is a fantastic scene on all levels and really ups the stakes. Yeah, we all know Scotty will save the day but the setup and acting are so good and played with absolute conviction, how can it not be liked!!

    * Kirk playing insane so his crew won't be on the hook is quite novel for sci-fi of the time and a trope that could and should make a proper comeback, especially as it's not drawn out for half a season. Which is a risky narrative to attempt, even for a show with long-established characters now in its third season where there is a bit more creative leeway but even then... that and DS9 already did the trope of rank infiltration via the Founders and all...)

    * Great casting throughout

    * William Ware Theiss outdid himself with the Romulan Commander's civilian dress - from one angle it looks like groovy 60s wavy lines but from another it's actually a visage of oversized lily petals draped around. It's brilliant as far as an optical illusion goes and the best creative trickery is with pattern placement and size, not as much with "is it blue/black or gold/white" based on whatever ambient lighting is shone upon it. A very impressive outfit and he's been known for countless, spectacular designs... he was a genius.

    Definitely a highly recommended episode.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    I like the episode, I think the CGI blows.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Clear as mud. What? And what does one have to do with the other?

    Chapel did know "There's no such thing." Or maybe you meant some double negative where the Romulans don't know that there's no such thing? Your sentence construction is sometimes a tad baffling.

    Contradictory. How can it be simultaneously a "trope" and "novel"? And it's not novel. Playing insane is an old chestnut on TV drama.

    I find the episode pedestrian. It feels to me like a 1st season episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which was more spy/espionage-oriented than the show ultimately became. I can just imagine Richard Basehart chewing up the scenery as Shatner did.
     
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  4. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like it but I'd like it more if there was more of a mission impossible vibe. In a technological arms race it seems silly that ships can't detect the incoming transporter beam. And why would they keep shields down? I think if there was a contrivance to get the Romulans to lower their shields and/or Kirk piggy backed alongside another transporter signal, the episode would have fewer plot holes.

    Someone in another thread mentioned that the death of his wife would have been a good reason to speculate about Kirk's odd behaviour.
     
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  5. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Great episode. One of my favorite Romulan stories in the franchise.
     
  6. wayne66

    wayne66 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I just watched the episode this week and I did not notice when did McCoy find out that Kirk was faking it. Did Kirk fill McCoy in on what was going on(off screen) when Spock was talking to the Romulan commander? Did McCoy know that Kirk was not dead from the famous Vulcan Death Grip, while they were still on the Romulan ship?
     
  7. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I've always liked this one, but I wonder why no ship ever has it's shields up the entire time, I don't even think they mention shields.

    I also find the cover story of Jim going rogue a bit troubling, how can the crew ever trust him again? Or if he starts acting irritable will everyone get tell themselves to get ready to invade enemy space?

    I really don't like how some posters disrespect the Romulan Commander, she's playing the big game, seduce Spock and he can deliver the Enterprise, she can come back to the Praetor and she's pretty much in the driver's seat with an intact Federation Starship. It was all very plotted, she knew who was in command and who the first officer was, there's spies everywhere.

    I want to hear what @Phaser Two says, he doesn't like this one, but he didn't say why.
    You're the expert on these people, but you've always left out that one point. Why? I'm very interested in why.
     
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  8. Push The Button

    Push The Button Commodore Commodore

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    Sit down, mister.
     
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  9. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, it's a classic episode and I love those original three Klingon ships rather than the new CGI mob! Sub-Commander Tal looked pretty frightening I thought when he appears on screen and vicious enough to order the complete destruction of the Enterprise on a whim! :vulcan:
    JB
     
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  10. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I liked it
    Years since I've seen it so I won't get involved in pros and cons
    It comes nowhere near some of the TOS episodes that I don't like
     
  11. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've always liked the episode but I hate the newer CGI effects. I just finished reading David Gerrold's "The World of Star Trek" and he specifically cites this episode as terrible and proceeds to rip it apart. I didn't happen to agree with him but it was interesting how over the years the status of the episode seems to have grown and is consistently up there as one of the best 3rd season episodes in most polls.
     
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  12. BK613

    BK613 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I like the episode but it is not one that you want to think about too much. For example, just exactly what was Strafleet's plan if Spock didn't encounter a Romulan who had the hots for him?
     
  13. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Gerrold is kind of a tool, unfortunately
     
  14. Green

    Green Commander Red Shirt

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    It's a really fun episode with some nice character stuff and interplay but it makes no logical sense how the plan was supposed to work. Love the new CGI.
     
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  15. Green

    Green Commander Red Shirt

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    Does Kirk speak Romulan? Does a never mentioned "personal" universal translator work so perfectly that someone you are standing directly in front of not know you are speaking another language and a device is translating? After season one their ability to infiltrate alien cultures and not be detected was rubbish.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    This is Star Trek. Just best not to ask. :lol:
     
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  17. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Gerrold's been perfectly nice to me the few times I've met him. I think because he was friends with D.C. Fontana, he knew how extensively her original story had been rewritten, and so he took pains to point out how dumb the resulting rewrite was.

    Personally, I've always found "The Enterprise Incident" rather overrated. I like the idea of it, but it's got a lot of cheesy touches to it that wreck it for me. But the biggest handicap for me is Joanne Linville's performance. I don't buy her as either a ship commander or as someone Spock could conceivably be attracted to. She's so easily fooled throughout that I just wonder how in the hell she got a command in the first place. So suffice it to say the episode doesn't work for me.
     
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  18. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    Not in my top ten (or twenty) of TOS, but in the better half of S3 (which I guess could be deemed "faint praise"). Two franchises I watch with little desire to "critically assess" the work are Trek and Bond (mostly because I came to them in childhood at around the same time in 1973), so while I can acknowledge many of the shortcomings pointed out (for this episode, Trek overall, and in Bond), I'm not terribly motivated to find fault in them.

    As noted just above, I too "like the idea of it" better than its execution. Of course, I could say that about much of Trek (across all iterations) if I was so inclined. S3 of Trek is not among the best of Trek (far less so the best of TV) but it entertains me all the same. Wouldn't cry if all copies of the Lights of Zetar went missing, though.
     
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  19. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I love this for the basic premise, Shatner's acting (my God he puts everything into every muscle), the score and the last 15 minutes. Where it loses steam are int he endless Commander/Spock courtship bits. Oh and Sub-commander Tal is great. Jack Donner is wonderful in this. It's highly ranked third season, mid-range overall.
     
  20. Push The Button

    Push The Button Commodore Commodore

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    I don’t dislike this episode, but it does strain the credibility of Treknology, such as it is, almost to the breaking point:
    1. The cloaking device is conveniently small and light enough to carry around like a vacuum cleaner. It could (probably should) have been the size of a school bus, and integrated much more solidly into the Romulan ship’s systems. Imagine trying to steal a radar system from an aircraft carrier.
    2. It is easily found and identified by Kirk, and also easily disconnected, without being broken or electrocuting him in the process.
    3. Scotty is able to quickly figure out how this alien device that he has never seen before works, and manages to splice it into Enterprise’s deflector shield control in about ten minutes without anything burning out or exploding.

    Now you could counter by saying that Starfleet learned the technical details of the cloaking device from a Romulan spy well in advance, but this is never suggested in the episode. Even if true, Scotty was obviously out of the loop until the last minute, the one person that would have needed to know the theory and specifications in order to get it up and running so quickly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019