Broken Bow: ENT Newcomer Thoughts

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Balok's Decoy, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Balok's Decoy

    Balok's Decoy Commodore Premium Member

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    I grew up watching Trek but ENT is one I have never really seen. But it caught my interest after I attended the ENT cast panel at Mission: New York last weekend. They were just so personable and funny that I felt I had to check it out. I was curious if that camaraderie also comes through in the show. I've only seen "Broken Bow" so far but I'm glad I did. What an excellent pilot. Here's a few of my thoughts on the first episode:

    • The NX-01 is gorgeous. I heard it wasn't well-received by fans when it first came out, so maybe I'm in a minority here. But I think the ship is just beautiful. After seeing this episode, I immediately logged into STO (finally on Xbox!) and bought the NX-01 replica.
    • Jonathan Archer seems like a captain I can get behind. Earnest and optimistic, doesn't like being talked down to, but also has a lot to learn. He has fighter pilot swagger.
    • The way this show addresses the animosity Humans have with Vulcans is expertly done. I found myself agreeing with Humans that the Vulcan condescension is tiresome and Humans need to stand on their own feet, but I also thought the Vulcans have very good reasons to be cautious. I know a Trek episode is good when it pulls my feelings in two directions like that.
    • The uniforms are great. Very different from other Treks obviously, but it's contextually effective.
    • Some of the special effects haven't aged well -- wish they'd used more practical effects.
    • I like that nothing seems to work the way it should. It reminded me a little of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol -- every piece of tech seemed to malfunction. It wasn't that up front in this episode, but it's cool how the Universal Translator couldn't decode Klingon syntax, and the transporter is still this weird, dangerous new tech. There's some Treknobabble, but it's not like the Enterprise-D where everything works like magic and when something does go wrong, it really confuses everyone, like, "Wait...this is the Enterprise. That shouldn't happen!" But in this, they're still working on ship technology. I like that.
    • T'Pol is just annoying enough to be a good source of conflict on the ship, but not so annoying that she's unlikable.
    • Now I understand the line in Star Trek 2009 when Scotty is talking about beaming "Admiral Archer's" prized beagle.
    • In general, I like the setting and the context for this show. I like that it's pre-Federation and that Humans are still figuring things out and just getting started with interstellar space exploration. It's great.
    So yeah, those are a few of my thoughts and feelings about "Broken Bow." What did you guys think of the pilot? General thoughts about the show, the pre-Federation setting, the tech, etc?

    EDIT: Oh, and the opening credits are cool visually -- I like the historical progression theme-- but yeah, that theme song doesn't work. It's not TERRIBLE, but ehhh, no. I didn't care for the Firefly opening credits either, and that's what it reminded me of.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  2. Kevin Thomas Riley

    Kevin Thomas Riley Admiral Admiral

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    In Engineering singing "Kathleen" with T'Pol
    I did this review some years ago:

    [​IMG]

    1-01-02 Broken Bow

    Reviewed by Kevin Thomas Riley


    When Star Trek: Enterprise premiered in 2001 it was met with equal portions of apprehension and excitement. First of all, it was just called Enterprise, with no "Star Trek" in the title, and was said to be "not your father's Trek". Well, it didn't quite turn out that way and it was early on met with much scorn from die-hard old-timers. I for one never really got why that was the case. I mostly enjoyed the first season even if it in hindsight could've been better and stayed much truer to its prequel concept. For me it wasn't until the second season it got boring over a prolonged stretch of episodes. While the show in the beginning didn't really deliver on its promises and expectations it was nevertheless a good show. It wasn't like Star Trek: Voyager that never was that consistently good. To me Enterprise was refreshing and what it sometimes lacked in plot and stories it made up for in characters, something Voyager never managed to do.

    With Broken Bow Enterprise started off in a great fashion. Compared with all other modern Trek pilots this is easily the best of the bunch. It manages to tell and exciting story and at the same time introduces us to the characters in an appealing way. Right of the bat I came to like and care for most of them. It was the characters on Enterprise that made me stay even when the show made a downturn in season two (well, that and spoilers for the upcoming season). The crew of the Enterprise seemed real to me in a way the other Trek crews haven't. That's probably because they're much more like you and me, closer to us in time than the more utopian crews of the 24th century. It is much easier to identify with this crew, and even with the resident aliens.

    So already from the onset Enterprise found its tone and style. It's a more down-to-earth (pardon the pun) show, grittier and more realistic. It is set some 90 years after Zefram Cochrane's first warp flight (as depicted in the movie Star Trek: First Contact) and after almost a century under Vulcan patronage the humans are finally embarking on their first really independent deep space mission. Untried we're going to make many mistakes but eventually learn from them in order to take our rightful place in the galaxy. The Vulcans have serious apprehensions about that, since they don't believe we're ready for it.

    One of the things Enterprise was (and still is) criticized for is the portrayal of the Vulcans, which didn't seem to mesh with the perception gotten from earlier (but time-wise later) Treks. In Enterprise they were deliberately made arrogant, condescending and over-protective. In short, the Vulcans were assholes and not the noble creatures some fans expected them to be. Ignoring the fact that the later Vulcans never were that saintly, I must say I really liked that the Enterprise Vulcans were different. It made for great drama and we got some very exciting and excellent episodes from it. Given how they were portrayed it is no wonder that humans feel a lot of resentment towards their "guardians", and none more so than Captain Jonathan Archer, whose engineering father had been hindered by them in the development of the first human Warp 5 engine. The flashback scenes with Henry Archer and a young Jonathan were good and you could see where our new Captain was coming from. "Don't be afraid of the wind!" And I very much liked the grumpy Vulcan ambassador Soval (or "Pointy" as young Jon called him), who'd turn out to be my favourite recurring character on the show.

    Anyway, the show begins as the experimental vessel NX-01 Enterprise is about to embark on its first mission (oh, I loved how Cochrane was the first to utter the famous phrase "to boldly go…"). Klaang, a stranded and injured Klingon gives the Earth Starfleet the excuse it needs to set aside protests from the Vulcans and launch ahead of schedule. Transporting Klaang back to his homeworld seems easy enough if it weren't for the Suliban, a new and creepy-looking race that has been bio-engineered. I liked the Suliban, they were sufficiently new and different from other Trek aliens and I am sorry that they never got the development I would have wished for in the series. But for the pilot they worked well. And Silik was a great villain.

    Another concept that looked intriguing at first was that of the "Temporal Cold War". It turns out a mysterious person from the future (dubbed "Future Guy" by the fans) are controlling a group of Sulibans named the Cabal. Different factions from the future are fighting with each other in the past in order advance their agendas and now Future Guy's faction for some reason wants to start a civil war among the Klingons. But the injured Klaang is carrying information that will thwart the effort and he must thus be stopped from reaching his homeworld. This is where Archer & Co comes in and gets the attention of Future Guy and his Suliban operatives.

    Over the course of the series the Temporal Cold War became a huge mess and the show's creators have admitted that they hadn't planned ahead about how to tell that story, let alone the true identity of Future Guy, which is a pity. Time travelling stories can very quickly turn messy and incomprehensible and if you don't iron things out in advance it will make little sense. However, in the pilot and some episodes after that, it worked even if one must question the wisdom of introducing the concept so early on. One thing that it reinforces though, is the notion that this time period, a decade before the founding of the Federation, is so important that it gets so much attention from the temporal factions of the future. But in hindsight I'd wish the show's creators had skipped this and concentrated on other more tangible prequelian concepts. Personally I'm quite weary with time travel stories (especially on Trek) and think there's a lot of other interesting stuff to be told, particularly in this era. So even if there's never any real resolve to the Temporal Cold War I'm glad they started steering away from it later on when they obviously had no idea what to do with it.

    I really like the ship, the NX-01. I love the dark and cramped "submarine" feel it has. Critics have said that it looks too advanced for its era but I cannot agree there. The visual style of the original series, which is set a century later, is more sleek and clean and it's no stretch of the imagination to see vessels develop into looking like that. Kirk's Enterprise sure has a certain sixties feel to it but at least to me it looks futuristic enough (cardboard notwithstanding) to be a credible successor to the NX-01. Besides, design styles change too, not just technology. This also goes for critics that argue that the NX-01 looks too much like the 24th century Akira class. I have to admit that I had no idea what an Akira class vessel looked like when I first started watching Enterprise so that one never bothered me. Suffice to say is that I find the NX-01 exterior aesthetically pleasing. Who knows, why couldn't the legendary NX-01 class have inspired ship designers of the later 24th century? Besides, there are only so many designs you can make if you want to keep the saucer/nacelles concept. And don't start with the "Daedalus" class! That ball-and-cylinder design looks butt ugly and I'm so glad they didn't go with that one.

    As mentioned above I came to like (most of) the characters on this show. At first it did have an ensemble feel to it, but as the series went on it developed more into the Big Three show, which was a pity. I don't mind that the biggest focus is on the major characters - it worked well enough for Kirk, Spock and McCoy on the original series - but I don't see why that has to mean that the minor characters take the backseat. In the pilot and early episodes we did see that the entire cast had potential. We have Travis Mayweather - the young helmsman from a family of Boomers, human freighters that lived all their lives in deep space. We have Hoshi Sato - the very talented linguist, needed before the era of perfect universal translators. We have Armoury Officer Malcolm Reed - the stuck up Brit with trigger-happy fingers. We have the alien Doctor Phlox - a Denobulan with a taste for alternative medicine and his menagerie of animals, not to mention his quirky smile ("Optimism, Captain!"). They all had great dynamic and the potential to tell interesting stories. And they felt real and they were all likable.

    But lets focus on the Big Three. First we have the Captain, Jonathan Archer. I have to admit that he turned out to be one of my less favourite characters on the show. For me I've always liked Trek not because of but despite its Captains and Archer unfortunately was no exception. Aside from Kirk (who still could be overbearing at times) no one has really measured up. I came to find Archer petulant, bigoted, often rude and incompetent. It is all very well to have characters with flaws, especially since this is an earlier Trek era were humanity indeed has many flaws, but common sense is common sense no matter the time period and the writers didn't do him any favours by depicting him like they did. Inconsistent portrayal was another big fault. When his alleged "super" qualities were shoved at the viewer they didn't mesh with what he been seen to be previously. Thankfully, for most of the time in the pilot Archer came off good, even if his resentment towards the Vulcans (if understandable) was a bit over the top.

    Second we have Sub-Commander T'Pol, the Vulcan Science Officer, who for many reasons was to become my favourite character (and not just because of her extremely tasty looks). She's forced onboard as an observer/chaperon by the Vulcans for this first mission but decides to stay afterwards, a feat no other Vulcan has managed, despite the availability of nasal numbing agents. T'Pol changes a lot over the seasons but even from the start it is obvious she's not your garden-variety stoic stiff Vulcan. Her emotions aren't quite as in check as perhaps they should (but then again, even Soval raised his voice in the pilot). I rather like this idea of a flawed Vulcan, even if "flawed" might be the wrong term. There's no reason to think that all Vulcans should be the same. They're individuals too and frankly I think T'Pol's version of a Vulcan is much more interesting than, say, Tuvok was on Voyager. Being the first Vulcan to serve with humans for lengthier periods must also mean you're more tolerant and receptive of other points of view. While T'Pol keeps spouting the Vulcan party line she is nevertheless forced to concede that her, and the Vulcans, view of humans aren't as cut and dried as she first suspected. It is a give and take. She must overcome her prejudices towards humans and likewise, her fellow human crewmates must overcome theirs. It is interesting to note that on at least two occasions in the pilot she does that and goes along with what at first would seem like "reckless human actions". First she agrees to go ahead with the mission to retrieve the captured Klaang after Archer has been incapacitated and she's assumed command. Then in the end she goes along with an attempt to rescue Archer from the Suliban helix. Both of those times she was swayed by Trip, the cocky Southern Chief Engineer.

    And thus we come to Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III, also a favourite character of mine, and it seems for a majority of fans as well, and that's not surprising. Trip is certainly very relatable. He has an easy going and down-to-earth personality and is very likeable. Despite his Southern drawl he doesn't come off as a hick. He's actually very intelligent; probably one of the most gifted engineers in Starfleet so it's no wonder Archer picked his old friend for Chief Engineer. Perhaps unfortunately he also picked up on Archer's disdain for Vulcans but with him it's not so deeply rooted.

    Trip nevertheless challenges T'Pol from the start. I just loved the way those two bicker and fight. From the start those characters had some great chemistry and it is easy to see that this was inevitably going to lead somewhere down the road. Challenging each other and overcoming differences would be the hallmark of the Trip/T'Pol relationship. While it took them many seasons (and a lot of misdirection and angst) to eventually come together, for me at least it was evident from the start where they were heading, right from the first non-handshake. Show creators Berman and Braga also admit this in their DVD commentary. Before Enterprise I was certainly never a part of the sub-set of Trek fandom that is called 'shippers but I unexpectedly got caught hook, line and sinker with Trip and T'Pol from the very beginning. I have no idea how it happened, it just did. But whenever they graced the screen the chemistry just oozed and I got excited. I've always found the "opposites attract" thing appealing and fun to watch and an emotional human Chief Engineer and a cool logical Vulcan Science Officer would be the very definition of that. That's not to say that they haven't things in common. They're both "geeky" scientists, if from different starting points, and that makes them work well together, as when T'Pol helps to modify the sensors in order for them to track down the Suliban ship in the pilot.

    I would be amiss if I didn't mention the infamous decon scene in this context. The interaction between Trip and T'Pol in the pilot would certainly have worked well without it. It wasn't seeing those two attractive characters rubbing decontamination gel on their semi-naked bodies that made me think "whoa, now those are going to end up together"! The scene has however, I must admit, grown on me over time. I recognize that it was a blatant attempt at titillation and I remember thinking "what the hell are they doing" when I first saw it. At least in this regard Enterprise wasn't my father's Trek. While miniskirts, catsuits and skimpy outfits never had been a stranger to Star Trek this was taking it to new levels. Anyway, the contrasts are big. We have Trip and T'Pol talking about some serious stuff about whether to abort the mission or not but unless you focus on that it gets lost under the lights in the decon chamber. It is interesting to note, however, that while they both have a heated argument they can hardly keep their hands off each other. Both Trip and T'Pol, while sharing some apprehension about the other species, are very curious about the other too. So besides the titillation factor I do think that was the other thing that scene tried to convey. Neither of them is prepared to dismiss the other off hand. And in the end T'Pol decided to go along with the mission. Or maybe I'm just trying to give too much credit to this controversial scene?

    I have some minor nitpicks with the pilot. There's the "Rigel" thing that they unfortunately inherited from earlier Treks. I'm surprised Archer never heard of it since Rigel (Beta Orionis) is one of the most well known stars in the sky. Unfortunately it isn't very suitable for having a life-bearing planet (let alone ten) since it's a hot blue super giant that is extremely young. So chances of life to ever have evolved in that system are pretty much non-existent, and since it's in the process of burning out fast none will come. But stars in science fiction and stars in reality have never made much sense. I just wish they writers weren't so lazy about it since it's fairly easy to gather the astronomical facts.

    Then there's the location of Kronos, the Klingon homeworld. All of a sudden it is not that far away since it doesn't take the NX-01 that long to reach it (and this in an era with much slower warp speeds). A big error on the writers' part. Why couldn't Archer have delivered Klaang to some outpost or something? Even in the original series we never got to see the Klingon homeworld.

    But all in all, I liked Broken Bow very much and I give it a grade of 9- on my 10-grading scale. Maybe I'm too generous but this pilot really got me hooked on the show, which is a feat in itself after the huge disappointment that was Voyager. Excellent work.
     
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  3. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

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    I enjoyed Broken Bow. I would rank it below Emissary and Caretaker but above Encounter at Farpoint.

    Something else that confounds me is the holier than thou criticism of the decon scenes. Trek now isn't allowed to be sexy? This procedure makes sense as a precursor to the transporters detecting and filtering everything harmful out. It's not like they just threw the gorgeous female in there by herself, lots of equal screen time for males and females here. It’s seems very progressive.

    I was impressed with Backula from the start. He’s better at being a “Captain” out of the gate than any of the spin-off Captains.

    Personally I wish they would have not gone out to space so soon. I would have preferred to have seen more the struggles we saw in in First Flight to open the series.

    Love all members of the cast. Nice to see Vaughn Armstrong’s face in a meaningful part in trek for a change. Great actor in my book. Also love how the Vulcan’s are different than we know them to be. Room for growth and back story there. Loved how Archer had to go get Hoshi.

    Loved the new alien species as well. Just because we hadn’t ever heard of the Suliban doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. I’m glad we got to meet more “new” species as the series progressed as well as the old familiar ones.

    The "look" of this series is AWESOME!. The attention to detail in the design of NX-01 is out of this world!

    8 of 10 for me. 10 had they stayed home for awhile.
     
  4. eyeresist

    eyeresist Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh yes.
    Yes, as with early NASA astronauts, he came up through the test pilot program.
    Yes, occasionally they forgot that when they did a TNG/VOY retread, but they don't get enough credit for what they did achieve.
    The thing to bear in mind is that Porthos was caught in a timeloop within a transporter buffer and evolved into the Q. Once you realise that, everything makes sense!
     
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  5. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I did exactly what the OP did with "Enterprise" last year (made a thread about it here too). I agree, "Broken Bow" is an excellent pilot. Lots I liked about it, including more emphasis on action.

    I thought the whole series was really good, and just don't understand the animosity toward it.
     
  6. apollo1984

    apollo1984 Commander Red Shirt

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    I have never considered that before, but you are correct it does put TNG into perspective and why Q put humanity on trial and why he took a interest in the latest captain of the Enterprise. :)
     
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  7. Long Syntax

    Long Syntax Captain Captain

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    It's comforting to hear of fans giving ST:ENT a first look - or even rewatching and coming a way with an appreciation for the series. Enjoy your viewing experience! (as I've told my daughter, you only get to watch something for the first time once)
     
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  8. Mommy

    Mommy Ensign Red Shirt

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    Broken bow really wowed me because it gave the impression that ENT was going to be the series that was going to finally break away from the TNG formula. I was even impressed by the use of "faith of the heart" vs the use of the more traditional instrumental theme song, just because it was "different".

    Loved the introduction of such strong animosity between the humans and vulcans. Spicy spicy!

    The decon scene did piss off a lot of ppl eh? Me, I ain't ashamed to admit it; I thoroughly enjoyed its sexiness...:drool:

    Same here.

    I was heartbroken when it was cancelled.
     
  9. Archersgal

    Archersgal Ensign Newbie

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    Mommy-I am totally agreeing with you! Theme and intro were different and that was what I liked about them both. Starting with the credits, that was different because you didn't see the actors face, but you did see the names. As for the rest of that it was a nice progression of space travel. (Trying to bridge the two times.) Now the theme, that was a nice touch because if you listen to the words, it talks about having faith to reach the stars-etc...The uniforms reminded me of NASA uniforms too. Just wish they didn't give up on it
     
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  10. Rahul

    Rahul Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh, you should definitely check out Enterprise! It had a rough start, but the latter half of the series is IMO some of the best Trek has done.

    As I see it:
    Season 1 and 2 of TNG were awful, but they were chock-full of new and creative ideas. ENT has a bit smoother start, but it seems very repetive in the beginning, rather like a continuation of VOY than a completely new series, and was missing something some new and fresh ideas. There are actually quite some good episodes, especially during the second season, but they are burried between many lame episodes that felt very similar, so they didn't stand out very much. Basically every episode was required to have a bad guy and end with a phaser fight. That got REALLY repetitive. It's season 3 and 4 that are the full glory. The action quota stays equally high, but it was only then that the action felt plot necessary, rather then by executive notes.

    For me the first two seasons of ENT are a bit of a shame. The really good Enterprise only starts with season 3 (as did TNG, DS9 and VOY after 7o9 was introduced). But shamefully we got only two more seasons. I firmly belive if it ran for 7 full seasons, it would have been one of the most beloved Trek series. As it is, we stand with half a mediocre one and half a good series.

    My opinions to your comments on Broken Bow:

    Indeed! The complaint was that she looked to much like tha Akira-class from First Contact. That's true, but that's how designing works: if you stumble upon a great background design, why not use it for a hero ship? She really is gorgeos, looks both homely but also realistic, and also has a very unique design compared to the other Trek series main ships, yet is clearly a Star Trek design.

    I had my problems with him. He seems too confrontional to the Vulcans in the pilot, not in a natural way but a rather forced conflict. And since I saw "Crimson Tide" the image of a submarine captain walking his dog around the ship, the dog peeing on the nuclear launch pads, and some ensigns having to clean up the mess afterwards are forever burnt in my mind, and I could never NOT think of it when he was cuddling Porthos. But yeah, Archer is has a nice "test pilot" vibe, as if he came out of a NASA school. A certain professional blandness, compared with his down-to-earth attitude I rather liked. I was annoyed by the flashbacks in Broken Bow though.

    Yeah, I didn't like that part. I liked that there was conflict between two good fractions. But it was overly forced, and felt to personal, instead of political. But the enthusiasm of Admiral Forest was great to watch!

    I LOVE those uniforms! They scream "astronauts" all the way!

    Hm, I think they have aged better than some practical effects from the TNG era. All in all, I think it's amazing what they did with a tv budget, so I'm more forgiving with singular bad vfx shots.

    My only complaint here is that the transporter room is stuffed into a corridor. It should be an enormous, giant, new piece of scary technology, like walking directly into a giant particle accelerator. As it was, it looked more like a regular piece of treknology like on DS9.

    I really hated early T'Pol. Mostly because she looked like short-term-post-facelift-surgery. It took me a while to get warm with her. As a general rule, as soon as her outfit becomes colourful instead of grey, I actually love her.

    At which point the dog must have been an impressive 80 years old! What a beast.

    This is probably the most unique selling point of the show, and something they should have IMO more emphasized. What I was really annoyed with was during the first episodes how the crew was "disappointed" with the strange lifeforms they found. Dompare that to REAL astronauts that that totally giddy just simulating spaceflight and would get a whole room enthusiased if they ever touched an alien rock, it hurt the atmosphere a bit during the first few episodes.

    I hated the decon-chamber scene. In theory, it was a nice idea. A decon-chamber was both new and felt totally right as a piece of technology. Using it to show your characters naked was a nice idea to add some eroticism into the show. What was annoying was them rubbing each other in oil, while Trip was complaining to downright whining about how everyone was mean to them... Imagine how amazing this scene could have been if they behaved professional, and were seperated by a cover panel, only to remove that cover panel to talk face-to-face when the discussion gets heated (instead of whiny). Good opportunity, missed by mediocre writing.

    I love the openings! Visually they are my favourite credits of them all. The song? Eh... Just not exactly my type of music. Firefly had at least a more memorable voice. ENT's was just bland indie-pop. I'm wondering what would have happened if they would have put a few more bucks in the hand and paid a more well-known artist to create a theme song? Maybe they could have asked Rihanna?;)
     
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  11. eyeresist

    eyeresist Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just want to see the deleted scene of Q berating Picard for not having a dog.
     
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  12. Balok's Decoy

    Balok's Decoy Commodore Premium Member

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    Thank you all for your comments. It seems that ENT has a strong fanbase, which is nice to see!

    By way of update, if anyone is curious, I've since watched through "The Andorian Incident." And I gotta say every episode has been really good! It's well-written, well-acted, and I've enjoyed every story so far. I've found most of the stories are active rather than reactive -- as much as I'm loving my TNG binge too, my one big point of criticism with TNG is that the stories are so often reactive. That is, the crew kinda stumbles into a problem, or someone creates a problem FOR them, and then they have to resolve this issue that came to them. Whereas with ENT, I feel like most of the stories are active -- the crew actively goes seeking for someone or something, and then the drama ensues. Not saying one show is "better" than the other, just something I've noticed.

    And the theme song has actually grown on me. Never thought that would happen.
     
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  13. apollo1984

    apollo1984 Commander Red Shirt

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    I have always liked the theme song I felt it was humanity desire to descover themselves, through the means of progressively exploring, from sail boats and our own planet, to early space exploration and finally the NX-01 heading out even further
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
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  14. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Watching Broken Bow for the first time. I am aiming to watch an episode per day for the 4 seasons. I never understood the fan hate ST ENT received, except for TATV.
     
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  15. Yanks

    Yanks Commodore Commodore

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    IMO Enterprise had the best opener. Broken Bow was outstanding.
     
  16. Sakonna

    Sakonna Captain Captain

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    I am also watching Enterprise season 1 right now for (sort of) the first time... I technically watched most of season 1, in that the TV was usually on when Enterprise was, but I was so not into it and was often barely paying attention.

    I was also surprised to remember that Enterprise had premiered right after 9/11, which I had completely forgotten. I was in college in NYC at the time and living near the WTC, and was stressed and perpetually drunk in the aftermath, and couldn't really be bothered to care about this show.

    So it's interesting to revisit it now and see it's much better than this negative impression I've carried of it all these years. Probably the two episodes I've had the most fun rediscovering so far are "Strange New World" and "Silent Enemy", those were both excellent. I'm struck by how "Strange New World" is the same basic idea behind TNG's infamous early failure "The Naked Now", but executed successfully. They're both episodes where external forces causes characters we have just been introduced to to start behaving insanely, but whereas "Naked Now" just feels like drunken weirdness, "Strange New World" successfully uses this device to illuminate these new characters.

    "Unexpected" was one I was surprised to enjoy, as I know the consensus is that it's a terrible episode. I think it's biggest mistake is not using it's time properly: Tucker is a good character to put in this kind of predicament, you could really get a good mix of comedy and actual emotion out of it. They should have spent much less time on the alien ship and the gimmickry of finding them hiding in their engine wake, and more dealing with Tucker being pregnant on the Enterprise after and coping with what that means if they can't find the aliens again.

    I know "The Andorian Incident" is positively regarded, but it actually leaves me a little cold. I like the ideas behind it, I'm just not gripped by the execution somehow.

    I hated "Cold Front" -- then and now, I thought that Temporal Cold War story was a total dog.

    Next up in my (re?)watch is "Dear Doctor", little nervous how that one will turn out, I know that one seems to have a lot of vehement detractors...
     
  17. KennyB

    KennyB Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2001
    Location:
    The Fens
    Very nice to read your thoughts. I think time has been kind to the NX-01. When it came out there had just been too much Trek on for a while.........I think had there been a little bit of a break it would have been better received. It always felt the closest to TOS series for me and I loved the prop/costuming/ship designs.
     
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  18. Ralphis

    Ralphis Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    On-Demand
    When Broken Bow first aired, I thought for sure that 'Future Guy' was a future Romulan. I even remember pausing the tape and convincing myself that I could see the Romulan ears! Oh boy, I'd love to have that time back.

    I was a little hard on Enterprise when it originally aired. I've since re-watched it with my nerdy Trekkie fanboy nitpicks toned down a few notches, and I found myself enjoying it for the most part. I still think seasons 1 and 2 are a little rough at time, but overall, I like it now.
     
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  19. SpaceFlotsam

    SpaceFlotsam Cadet Newbie

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    I am watching Enterprise again on Netflix, starting this week. I am only a few episodes in, but I already like the series more than when it came out. I had very high hopes when it originally aired, but did not connect with it. I first thought the characters were rather bland but upon second viewing appreciate them more. I still think there is too much homogeneity of some of the main crew which is somewhat expected considering their first exploration but could have stood more nationally diverse representation. It feels as though the US is leading the space program, but what about other Earth cultures? We have an African American and Asian which are more obviously American or western based, but I would have liked to seen someone obviously from several other continents (British character notwithstanding). I am a Caucasian American btw,; however, I would have anticipated that more nations would have been represented on Earth's first voyage into space if not other off-world species. The show could have taken the opportunity to explore the cultural and language differences and the evolution of Earth nations into peaceful relations with the space exploration program as a catalyst; that would have offered opportunities for a lot of internal, continuous dramatic variety and reduced the need for any gimmicky story lines to maintain viewer interest. This would have been very timely to current events b/c of globalization and immigration increasing around the world the past 20 years.

    I don't have a favorite character yet but I don't dislike Scott Bakula as much as I did the first time. I still don't love him as a Star Trek captain, but he will probably grow on me. He just doesn't play the arrogant 'Airforce' captain rolevery well I suppose and maybe miscast. He is a very solid actor in his own right, but so far I don't feel he has excelled in this particular role. Maybe that will change with time.

    Never made it to seasons 3 and 4 when they came out but hear they are the best of the series. One big disappointment is the human acquiescence to having a Vulcan as first officer and felt she could have been merely a science officer and still be sufficiently antagonistic to the captain. The conflict could have been enhanced by a first officer who was less angry at/had less history with the Vulcans and influenced Archer to come around eventually to befriending them while making a nice internal dramatic triangle to start the series off. But the creators appear to want to focus on the antagonistic relationship between the species which seems somewhat out of sorts with the somewhat more peaceful relationship in later ST series. Dunno why they felt that was important to them, but guess that was their best idea at internal conflict. The writing is not superb for this reason but overall the series is still pretty entertaining.

    The series is quick to get into unexplored space but the ship was not really advanced enough for that risk this early in human exploration (weapons and shield wise), so I found the fast start somewhat unbelievable. But the first episodes are remarkably better written and developed than TNG which I have been re-watching also and have found to be extremely painful to get through. Picard's character, in particular, is hard to stomach at the beginning of TNG even though the character ages very well over time and is one of the best of the ST world.

    I am not looking forward to the awkward time travel episodes; if they are truly bad I may skip ahead in the series but may bear down through them so as not to miss the development of various characters.

    Some of the other stuff that bothers people doesn't me as much. For instance, ship design was fine as others have said here that the ship has much less actual technology than later series. The uniforms are great. Even though my education is in computer technology and security, I tend to nitpick less on those aspects of the series and more appreciate the character development, moral direction, and human development angles. Over time, those are what make more compelling drama and one of the reasons that I still appreciate TOS as much as I do.

    As far as the sensuality early on between T'pol and Trip, it doesn't bother me. This is part of the human condition and I have never understood why some believe Scifi genre should play down this aspect of human existence. I didn't think the shower scene was particularly risque given today's TV standards either. Exploring the human condition in all aspects makes for a much more compelling and interesting story, especially against the backdrop of exploring new species on other planets, afaic, but to each his own.
     
  20. John Sinclair

    John Sinclair Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 29, 2017
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I never got to watch it when it premiered, only as a re-run and after I seen a few other episodes. I liked the opening visuals and the song but felt they never fit together. The "Temporal Cold War" I thought was a really bad idea. It's story would have been better introduced after the show was established or in another Star Trek show. It probably would have been better if the Suliban were being manipulated by the Romulans.

    I liked the cast, they seemed to fit their characters better then the other first season Trek shows where I felt the actors struggled to make the character fit the story. The Trip and T'pol scene I loved and felt it added some realism to the series. Same with the NASA uniforms. I hated the rank pips but learned to ignore them. Wish the had done something like TOS - banding on the sleeves.