First-Timer's Impressions of Enterprise

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Jimmy Bob, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. StarshipDefiant

    StarshipDefiant Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    I'm pretty sure they explained the baby, maybe not the best explanation ever, and a little foresight and planning could have had Phlox mention the theft in one of the episodes where Enterprise was at Earth or something, but oh, well. I personally thought Peter Weller was fantastic, my only beef is how Terra Prime suddenly seems to come out of no where. There's earlier hints at Xenophobia in many episodes in the earlier seasons, but no menion of specific groups, or that there is specific groups.
     
  2. commodore64

    commodore64 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Location:
    Communist Portland
    Ha! Couldn't agree more. I was definitely disappointed.

    Hmmm. I certainly don't think he was a minor character. I think maybe looking at the last few episodes, though, he was. Archer wasn't in IAMD. And Archer was barely in Demons/Terra Prime.

    He was he main character in the Vulcan arc and the Andorian arc.

    As to the new Archer. This guy has more confidence (based on experience) and grit. I mean, he's not likely to invite strangers aboard his vessel without an armed guard or some background information, believes all Vulcans aren't bad (having one kinda permanently faintly imprinted inside his head - pure genius), doesn't put up with shenanigans (tears Reed a new bleephole) and has more tricks up his sleeve (like going into space for a few seconds to evade the bad guys). Old Archer also has adopted Vulcan philosophy somewhat. In the beginning, he thinks they should be out saving every Tom, Dick and Harry. In Cogenitor, he begins to understand the value of different alliances and customs.

    I like ANIS, but let's use that plotline. Old Archer clumsily brings his peeing dog to a planet, gets his feathers ruffled and then apologizes to everyone and their dog (literally). He has to do some humiliating stuff to get the plasma injector, eating crow while he does it. New Archer finds out what the aliens want, studies up on their customs and brings an armed guard along with him. He gets that plasma injector with dignity and the people tell him they look forward to working with him again.

    I like the way Scott Bakula played Archer. You're right -- these are subtle differences, more about the man internally. He pulled it off.

    T'Pol's "smile" was more of a warmth than an actual smile, but I agree. Events leading up to TATV and TATV showed us that T'Pol is absolutely 100% lost.

    I think having her be Vulcan is precisely how she should be, but also missed the Vulcanly warmth she displayed.

    What a great analogy on finding Jesus. I was hoping T'Pol would get a little religion and figure out how to deal with it. Instead the writers wasted (imo) their time on writing Trip and T'Pol, but not bothering with a resolution. Stupid.

    I agree. I think she's sad, too.

    Interesting. I thought Trip/T'Pol really also hurt Trip, and not in a "she should've been with Archer" way. I mean, kind of like Odo in DS9, I wished Trip would man-up a little. I kind of felt like he was sad, too. He was sad to be with her. Sad to be without her. I gotta admit, I don't like to watch that. I want to know characters are going through some stuff to make them better people. Not so with Trip/T'Pol. In the end, it fell flat, without resolution, and de-manned (castrated Trip) to a certain degree. I mean, if a guy friend was so completely uhm, whipped (for lack of better word), I would think there was something seriously wrong with him. Like, he'd been abused as a child and was co-dependent.

    I also think it hurt Trip because before T'Pol, he was an incredibly sunny and fun character. It's like enjoying a nice bubbly refreshing drink and then having the carbonation go flat. Trip in season 1 and 2 was probably my fourth favorite. In season 4, he was my least favorite.

    Couldn't agree more. Phlox could've been just another Neelix, but John Billingsley really gave that alien depth and dimension.
    I think many of the characters devovled without that triumph -- that bit of "I overcame!"

    Well, sir, I have greatly enjoyed your analysis and discussion. I've found it to be one of the more interesting threads around, maybe because I find myself agreeing with the majority of what you write. ;-) Thank you for many hours of agreement and entertainment.

    Like Enterprise, I'm sad to see this review come to an end.
     
  3. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    The Pegasus

    You know, I don't really see what's so special about this episode. The 7th season of TNG really... it's really Voyagery, for lack of better image I want to convey. The series was it's best in it's 3rd and 4th season, when it felt like they were going somewhere and all those political plots and great Picardian speeches...

    Here we have Riker. Funny thing, I was just recently watching (trying to watch) season 1, and Riker was so different there. For one thing, he now (in 7th season) looks so fat and ugly, while in 1st season he had just arrived from his latest soap-opera set (ah, 80's... soap-opera's about rich people at every corner) and looked good. But his character is also different. There's nothing in the way he acts in season 1 to assume this sort of background for him. It's completely pulled out from their asses in the last minute just like Travis's girlfriend. But that was how TNG did characterisation. Kinda like...

    For example Data in season 1 is this quirky curious boy, always smiling and speaking in a rather excited way, but in later seasons he is all roboty and emotionless.

    Retcon was TNG's middle name.

    One thing that speaks for TNG is it's style... there's a certain sense of dignity in the show. It's the aristocrat of the Trek family and it carries itself quite nicely. I always enjoy that TNG dignity, even when the episode is as shoulder-shrugging as this.

    This dark past thing is just so fake. And the "big choice" just laughable. but as I said, done with that TNG dignity which pulls it kinda through.

    But the worst thing that bothers me is all that judgement against the admiral. Am I seriously going to have to believe that this project wasn't ordered by the higher ups from Starfleet? That the admiral was acting alone by his own initiative and thus deserves a "naughty-naughty" from Picard? Yeah right, like Starfleet wouldn't do anything to gain the upper hand against a rival government.

    Picard sometimes is the most delusional of captains. He shouldn't take it out on the admiral, but become an anarchist terrorist and shake the foundations of the very system, if he really has a problem with what the admiral did. But of course, blaming the admiral is easy, because otherwise he couldn't continue on believing the comfortable lies of his beloved Starfleet and keep on quoting the master writer of the entire human race and history - Shakespeare :rolleyes: - all the time, like it settles everything.

    Also, having watched Enteprise and now going back to this futuristic era of TNG... it's just funny how many humans are there in the power center. MU-verse Terran Empire and Starfleet aren't that different. It's still all about humans.

    TNG is good stuff, Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart and Terry O'Quinn do a wonderful job... but I can't understand that what makes this episode so special that it could end Enterprise.

    These Are The Voyages...


    Nah, I didn't hate it. In fact I was really :drool: with the old TNG sets and all. Also funny thing, I was just watching The Pegasus and I can't believe how fat and ugly Frakes has grown in these 11 years. And Marina Sirtis was also... I was just :guffaw:when I saw her....

    Nothing wrong being older and weightier, Marina still looks attractive. It's just that those TNG uniforms... that fashion is just cruel. 2360's are a cruel time to be alive in... I would look pretty funny too in those clothes. Speaking of, is Marina in this episode older or about the same age that...that Beverly Crusher actress was in TNG?

    What the fuck was going on in their minds when they made those uniforms in the 80's?

    I can understand the intetions of this episode. "TNG started this whole spin-off era and TNG will end it!" "The Ultimate Full Circle!" "TNG approves of Enterprise!" "Betcha you weren't think that when you watched Pegasus!"

    It's just that... Pegasus? Was it really the top moment for Riker's character? It just doesn't mesh. It's so contrived. All that thing about following orders and Riker's choice...

    Like a certain cute girl stated before she flayed a man alive - "Bored now."

    And D'Eanna wasn't even in the original Pegasus.. oh wait that Picard's Day Scene, but that was about it.

    But I liked the idea of having these latest Trek characters sitting down and talking with an old Trek character. I kinda enjoyed the chef scenes.

    The only trouble is... well there are a lot of troubles... but the main problem outside of "other" things, is that... these people they pass to me as the Enterprise characters aren't the characters I've been following for the past 4 seasons.

    Their dialogue, their lines... it's really like it's a re-enactment or something. They're out of character. Small things are so off. All that... it was really like a holodeck program written by somekinda a hack writer for propagandistic purposes (Oh see these mighty founders of the Federation!!!)

    Bad. Just bad. It's like Braga never knew these characters and what they had been through and how they had changed over the years.

    In the end it was all about DNA. In his mind. Somehow. I assume.

    Trip's death. Serious dramatic mismanagement. I was like :borg:. Shran's "supposed death"... God... wrong. Everything just wrong.

    So that thing in the end of Terra Prime between T'Pol and Trip actually marks the end of their relationship? I was left with the impression that it marks the coming together in tought times. Jesus. To think that you people had to experience both Terra Prime and this thing in one day. I at least got to live in post-Terra Prime world for a few days.

    I am leaning towards the "TATV never happened!" camp, but not because I hate it... just because these weren't the same characters, but historical caricatures.

    Thank you, it's been a pleasure.
     
  4. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Blighty, guv.
    Good to see someone not completely hating TATV. Not completely.

    So, what next for you review-wise?
     
  5. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Hmm... how about nuWho? :p

    I don't know really. DS9 would seem like the obvious choice now, since it's now the only Trek I haven't seen. But I don't know... I'd like to do something different, but doing a thread about somekinda chinese fantasy show (like this one - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9NpprgshYQ) wouldn't attract people I guess. :)

    But perhaps a Philippine one? This one looks great - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQlkpFz0w4E

    So yeah, either Chinese Paladin, Encantadia or DS9. Or perhaps nothing at all. Or if anyone has bright ideas...
     
  6. commodore64

    commodore64 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Location:
    Communist Portland
    As much as I like #10, I was annoyed of the drop-ins on characters. I felt like, "Will you kindly die?!" (Phlox quote in IAMD.)

    I actually felt like Trip was honored by every character rememberring him in their own unique way. And I'd much prefer it (like nuWho) to people wailing and beating their chest. Usually when Enterprise goes there, I'm disappointed.

    I thought TATV was ... okay. I think most finales are disappointing in one way or another -- nuWho has some technobabble to explain how Galifrey reappeared with the Master hearing the heartbeat (drums) of the planet. I mean, I get it, but it's confusing. Among all the disappointing finales, this wasn't the worst and it wasn't the best. The most disappointings things to me were:
    * T'Pol. Lost. More lost than found and a terrible way to end her plight as a character.
    * Too much time spent on TNG characters, though I really enjoyed seeing them again. And that's really saying something, these were two of my least favorite during the show.
     
  7. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Blighty, guv.
    Over my dead topic. Though at my speed, you'd probably finish before I get to series 3.

    I think you should do TNG. It's the one that doesn't have a recent review thread, and I'd enjoy seeing someone go over it again.
     
  8. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Hmm... I'm figuring it's like 13 episodes a season. So a season in two weeks, two seasons in a month, thread should be over in two months at top. What's slowing you down? :p

    TNG huh? Actually there is a thread, it just doesn't have a very catchy name - http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=112011
     
  9. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    Blighty, guv.
    I'm very thorough. My last review took about 5 or 6 hours to complete, all in all.
    Damn, can't believe I missed that. How about reviewing the films?
     
  10. madison

    madison Cadet Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    That reminded me of one of my favorite Bloom County comic strips featuring Steve Dallas and his parents. I tried to find it online but no luck. Here's the transcript:

    Mom: That's the most adorable little colored girl playing outside.
    Steve: "Colored"? You're saying "colored people" in 1988? You know better, Ma.
    Mom: Then why the "National Association for Colored People? I don't think Negroes mind at all.
    Steve: Don't say "Negroes," Ma! You can't say "Negroes"!
    Mom: Can I say "United Negro College Fund"?
    Steve: You are baiting me, Ma!
    Dad: That's it. We're leaving.
    Mom: Stay put, Reginald. "Mister Socially Sensitive"isn't finished shaming his parents into enlightenment.
    Steve: Everybody just calm down. Let's agree to use the the New-Age term "People of Color."
    Mom: People of Color.
    Steve: People of Color.
    Mom: Colored people.
    Steve: NO!!
    Dad: We're leaving.

    I think that it can be very hard for some people to keep up with the current politically correct phrases. Some people have a habit of reverting to the first acceptable phrase that they learned. Maybe it's and age thing. It also doesn't help when the subject of the phrase is not always together on what the phrase should be.

    Every now and then you have to look beyond the words to the intent.

    Madison
     
  11. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Also, not everything in the world is America. Think about us poor folk who just don't live in a PC environment, and when we've just learned a new pc word, someone calls us evil racist for using that, because they just came up with a new pc word.

    That's imperialism that's what it is. PC isn't that humanitarian in the first place, it brought us token minorities and Chakotay.

    Also there are multiracial environments outside of America, fortunately without the PC craziness.
     
  12. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Actually, you're a bit mistaken on that. Well kinda. Sure Brazil can be considered a racial paradise of harmony... but there's a real element of class warfare there with the upper class consisting mostly of whities and poorer classes of persons of colour.

    And Russia... that is factually a multi-ethnic and multi-racial land, mistakenly believes itself to be white only. Thus you can see sometimes people with clearly mongolian facial features worshipping on the great altar of Hitler and Aryan race and beating some caucasians (people from the Caucasus mountains region -georgians, armenians, etc. - not considered "white" in Russia) and black tourists to death.

    So yeah, while PC sucks, things could be worse. Eventually, when more peole have mixed, even "people of colour" will fall out of use, when people start seeing it as a divisive term it is.
     
  13. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic chain mail is the new black Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    chillin with Grogu
    Jimmy Bob, now that you've resorted to arguing with yourself about contemporary socio-cultural issues, does this mean you've run out of things to say about Enterprise?

    If so, it was a kick to read your first impressions about a show so many of us have watched and discussed to death. Thanks for the fresh perspective. :techman:
     
  14. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Thanks. I am trying to do this final concluding post, but procrastination is my middle name.

    Have to think about it. It would definitely be far less time-consuming. And I could just do it in "hi, bla-bla, okthxbye" way.
     
  15. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    basking in the warmth of the Fire Caves
    You should definitely watch DS9. From your reviews, it seems that you like characters who act like real, flawed people, and who get to develop and change throughout the series, rather than technobabble, safe stories, and bland characters who always remain the same - so it would seem that DS9 would be just the right show for you. And unlike with ENT, you wouldn't have to complain about travisation - one of the most amazing things about DS9 is that every main character and a whole bunch of recurring characters were fleshed out, given a lot to do on a regular basis, and everyone actually had a lot of character development. Even those I found annoying or a bit dull in season 1 eventually turned out really interesting and likable. It's one of the strongest shows I can think of in terms of characters, not just in SF.

    Or maybe Philippine fantasy shows could be interesting as well, but then you'll have to PM the download links to everyone so we could watch it with you. ;)

    Too bad they don't make Turkish Star Trek anymore... (or do they?) :p
     
  16. commodore64

    commodore64 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Location:
    Communist Portland
    ^ You know, my one complaint about DS9 is that it takes a while and a lot of dedication to get there. Right away, I liked the idea of a religious (but nice) planet of people at the edge of a wormhole they believed to be sacrosanct. It took a while before things got moving (the war), and to take characters to their natural conclusion.

    Hey, if Enterprise had seven years and was allowed to wane a bit, I'm sure it would've waxed more. ;)
     
  17. Jimmy Bob

    Jimmy Bob Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    The Big Epic Final Post

    Ah, laziness feels good. Been slacking this off for weeks. Anyway, I made it big so it would at least give away an impression that I put some thought behind it.

    1) Enterprise compared with other Trek

    TOS was just a sci-fi anthology. It's characters were merely just basic traits with lines. It's only in the films when TOS characters were developed. But it was a good sci-fi anthology, with writers like Harlan Ellison. It is kinda like Twilight Zone... in space and with the same cast all the time, but TOS is about that bizzare, horror and wonder out there. You can just watch one episode or the entire series and you'll know everything that there is to know about the characters and the show. It's that kinda show.

    Season 1 of TOS is the greatest. The other two, not so much.

    TNG is also a sci-fi anthology really. Kinda. At first the show has a more political goal. It's a maniphest against Reagan's America. Everyday, Picard and the crew stumble on random situations that are similar to something in Regan's America and then they all spend the episode telling each other how primitive those people just are. One episode even had people from Reagan's America aboard the Enterprise.

    But then something changed. It started to develop the characters. It gave them a certain sense of personal journey. Previous events were remembered. It started to develop the universe. It was a sci-fi anthology, but instead of making political slogans, it turned into somewhat of a space-opera with many political episodes. And that was when the show was it's best. That was when Stewart's leadership acting really became so empowered, that you felt like you could learn from him actual leadership. And... I guess you can. I heard there was a Picard self-help book out there.

    But somewhere in the line, the characters stopped developing, and the show became somewhat of a technobabble tales anthology, instead of a really fine space tales anthology it was. Also the last season was a "we're pretty good show, aren't we" self-fest.

    Season 3 and 4 were the best of TNG.

    Now Voyager was very promising in the beginning. It had awful writing from the beginning, but you could kinda enjoy it in the 90's show way, and it promised rather interesting moments. Personally I digged the whole Seska and Kazon storyline, with them having counting resources and torpedoes all the time. It wasn't exactly impressive, but things happened, and the characters had tension between them.

    Then cue season 3. Nothing happens. DQ is awfully dead and boring place. Introduce the borgs and Seven. Awesome. Season 4 - one of my favorite Trek seasons ever, has a really clear beginning and ending, and a sense of danger. And Seven's character is still interesting.

    Then season 5 happens. It's not like there had been any real character development before, but suddenly season 5 took the most basic traits and focused on them extra largely, making them somewhat comical characters (more comical than they were before). The show turned into a sitcom without the humor. It was Gilligan's Island in Space!, and my god it was awful. I haven't actually got past season 6, just because all the episodes were so awful. I watched it until Rock appeared, and that was it. Dreadful stuff. It wasn't a 90's show anymore, but a 70's one.

    As said, season 4 is the best of VOY.

    Now Enterprise at first is really just Voyager improved. It's not really a noughties series yet... but actually I've noticed that things that we later define a decade by start to appear only in the 3rd or 4th year of the decade. The first few years of a decade are always like the stereotypical mental image of the previous decade.

    Anyway, the characters aren't so stylized and heroic. They're impulsive, judgemental, ignorant, backwards and so on. The only problem is that ENT treated it more like a style than actual dramatic content worthy to be explored. But somehow, despite it's writers, Enterprise characters belong to the most developed (in these four Treks) characters (also, the least developed characters if we go by Travis). Seeing how Archer, T'Pol and Trip change over the years is really something.

    Second season sucks, obviously. My order would go like this 3-4-1-2. And with season 3, Enterprise really delivered something awesome. And season 4 was a collection of different stories. Back to anthology again, but with a lot more hours to tell those stories.

    2) Religion in Trek

    This is just my attempt to compare these series in other ways too. Like their approach to religion and spirituality. And also excuse my procrastination, by trying to show that I did try to put some thought into this final post.

    TOS relationship with spiritual stuff is in that sci-fi bizarre way. Gods are in-universe characters. Bizarre characters. Kirk often beats them in a philosophical fist-fight as a testimony of liberated human spirit of the new era.

    TNG is secular humanism. Religion and spirituality is bullshit. Only a secular humanist is truly the noble soul, religions are just means of mental slavery, and religious people slaves of social control. Only the secular ideals of the overtly humancentric Starfleet are means of social control that don't enslave. Everyone is happy and has plenty of free sex and philosophical debates.

    But then something happened in the 90's. Trek has always mirrored the attitudes of it's decade. And...

    Lot's of shows in the 90's featured native american characters. Due to perhaps Dances with the Wolves. And lot's of shows in the 90's flirted with wishy-washy new age spirituality. Sometimes in somekinda feminist new age spirituality.

    Which brings us to Voyager. Voyager takes the "there's more to the universe than we can explain" attitude right from the beginning, when Janeway is together with Chakotay, trying to find her spirit guide. Janeway is constantly experiencing some new agey spiritual experiences. One episode was even written by an actual "celtic feminism" new age guru.

    And also Chakotay. The new age native guy, with his spirit guides and the "sacred bones" of his people. It's a little bit of bitchslap towards the previous Trek shows, but perhaps not so surprising, considering that in european history, romanticism also followed enlightenment. And thus new age spirituality would follow TNG's secular humanism.

    Chakotay is also a little bit of bitchslap towards native americans, with his generic shamanism and generic amerindian culture. To explain how wrong Chakotay is, I give you chakotised versions of other characters.

    Janeway – the semi-celtic druid, who worships various irish female deities and is a general symbol of empowering matriarchy.
    Tom Paris – the viking warrior, who casts runes and chants crazy stuff.
    Harry Kim - a korean shaman, who practises tuvan throat-singing to speak with the spirits of nature.
    B'Elanna Torres - a klingon-aztec priestess, who channels between the realm of the dead and the realm of the living.
    Seven - a valkyrie, Odin's personal servant, who takes the souls of the dead to Valhalla.
    Tuvok - a voodoo vulcan.

    Everyone's ancestors were tribal and animistic in some period or another. So why is being "tribal with animistic beliefs" the native american thing?

    Enterprise takes a more relaxed attitude towards religion and spirituality. The stuff exists. Some characters try to find hope in it. And that's it. No message. Nothing to prove. Religions exist. They have their positive and negative sides. Some characters are religious... or spiritual (I think T'Pol qualifies more as spiritual, though she has a religious baggage... that "sinful woman" scene in the jazz bar comes to mind). Everything is open to interpretation. Gods or supernatural beings don't exist in in-universe. In fact, the universe of Enterprise is the most secular. Just humans and aliens, with their little cultural baggages descending into or overcoming prejudice. On the other hand, Ent doesn't feature religion that much like the other shows did. But what little we saw, I'd say Ent was much more relaxed.

    3) Humanity in Trek

    Okay, I have to admit that TOS isn't that fresh in my mind and so I'm mostly going by vague recollections. In Tos there isn't that grand vision for the future of humanity we see in later Trek. It's just some guys, the main cast is like something out from the various western shows of that time, working together. The minor characters are all diverse and everything... but somewhat offensive. At least Chekov, he definitely is an offensive russian stereotype. And ridiculously nationalistic.

    TOS is about romantic heroes having diverse sci-fi bizarre experiences and then ending it all with a meaningful line.

    In TNG humanity already serves to exist as somekinda utopian vision, where humans run the galaxy with their enlightened and progressive values. And there are all bunch of evil aliens trying to undermine these values. The good aliens are assimilated into the human culture, where they do keep to get cultural differences that are unique to their biology (telepathy for betazoids), but overall, the universe attunes itself to the globalized tune of Federation culture, and every "civilized place" has McKirk.

    As visions go it's not that bad. I sometimes find TNG utopia very positively uplifting, but my only problem, probably from personal biases, is that humans are a little bit too nationalistic too fit into this utopia. Picard is either all "the french civilization was the greatest ever with it's truly wonderful culture" or "Shakespeare is the greatest writer of all times. Every alien should read it if he or she wants to be truly civilized." Both these piss me off a little bit. But it doesn't happen that often. Mostly depends on the writer. I'd like my humanity to be without "the glory of my ancestor's culture" nationalism in sci-fi utopia, thank you.

    Voyager humanity is pretty much like the TNG utopia. There was a moment where it seemed like they would take a more honest approach. I mean, the Maquis are awesome by their anti-federation values alone. And Federation showed it's true imperialistic expansionist colors with it's reaction towards them. This bajoran-amerindian alliance is just an awesome idea. But alas, in Star Trek (unlike in Star Wars), the rebels aren't the good guys. The Maquis were quickly written into severly misguided individuals, and the only enlightened way was to adopt the starfleet culture, and everyone who didn't was just "evil!" and had to die. And on top of this, Voyager somehow lacks the positively uplifting element of TNG. It's perhaps just too fake, or perhaps it doesn't question itself and just blindly follows the TNG status quo about humanity as the absolute truth. The characters are also ridiculous when trying to be "ethnic".

    Enterprise isn't doing an utopia. It doesn't have a mission to show what humanity should be. And surprisingly, even though it takes place in the next century and thus it would be logical for them to be more, the characters are less nationalistic than they are in other Trek. No one is waxing poetical about the "glory of his people". They come from recognizable places, but that's it. There's a more unified human identity. There are no nations who say that they've protected Europe from islam for 1000 years, or places that say that they've been fighting colonialism for 600 years. Humanity as a whole was stupid, and humanity as a whole overcame war and poverty. No better or worse people. No distinction. No one is protecting some culture from some other culture. Unique differences still remain, but that's only logical in this time. In fact new human cultures were born – the boomers.

    Of course, humanity is really united by it's dreams of traveling in space, and slight prejudice against aliens. But I guess it must have been a blow to humanity's self-esteem to find out that despite all their accomplishments and debates over which human civilization was the superior one, or which race, or which culture – that despite all this emotional superiority, they're really just some backwards peculiar corner of the galaxy.

    And I guess, from an in-universe perspective, one could look at why humanity in TNG is more nationalistic than in ENT, that it's because in ENT humanity was suffering from a collective inferiorty complex, but in TNG humanity was running the place, and those aliens were just so "weird and peculiar", and humans so "superior" that they just had to search for the roots of their superiority in their ancestral culture and that's why so many people are all about "the glory of my ancestors."

    What else could I rant about. Hmm.. what about...

    4)Aliens in Trek

    Actually I find myself getting tired from ranting, so I try to keep it short this time.

    Let's see. In TOS, the universe is bizarre and so are aliens. Aliens also take cues from fantasy. I mean they're more like fantasy races with collective traits. Elves love nature. Vulcans are logical. Orcs are evil. Klingons are orcs. It's that sort of genre. There's not that much thought put into them. Alien empires also tend to stand for Soviet Union or something like that. As I said before, TOS really started to create Trek as we know it now, with the movies. The series is something else.

    TNG is the one that gives flesh to these mere cliff notes of Trek universe. Aliens have noble and distinct cultures, worthy of respect. Or dread. There's a slight funny thing about TNG. Aliens part of Federation are not given much thought. No one romanticises those. They're us, so why should we overtly respect them. But aliens outside of Federation are respected, admired, loved. So really, in TNG if an alien culture wants to have human respect, it needs to be strong enough to decline from being part of Federation.

    There's also the thing that aliens are defined by their collective culture. Cardassians are cunning. Romulans are manipulating. Klingons are brutal. It really gives a lot of depth to these cultures, but from a collective standpoint only.

    In Voyager, aliens are defined by their biology. B'Elanna isn't a broken overtly defensive woman, because she has daddy issues, but because she is a latina klingon. A double temperament coctaile. "It's not you, it's your biology!" And Tuvok must repress his emotions because he is a vulcan, and all vulcans are murderous perverts deep inside, and that's why they have to control their emotions. Klingons go to klingon hell because of their biology. Native americans have sacred bones of their ancestors because of their biology. American-Irish women act like Katherine Hepburn because of their biology. Biology dictates you, and wherever you will go after death. Biology is you. Seska is evil because of her biology. There is no culture, there is no gender, there is no sexuality, there is no you – there is just biology.

    Enterprise tends to show aliens as individuals defined by combination of their individuality and cultural background. And aliens are sometimes better people than humans. But mostly, in ENT aliens aren't that different from humans. Individuals with personal biases, prejudices and cultural baggages going through this universe trying to be their best to whatever they believe in. Like Kolos in Judgement.

    Ugh... rant makes me sleepy. Anyway, that was my big final epic post. Hope you liked it.

    Well, Bill. I hope you got your answers. My name is Jimmy Bob, and this was my thread. Thank you for reading.
     
  18. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    basking in the warmth of the Fire Caves
    :guffaw::guffaw::bolian:


    This was a brilliant analysis of the 4 Trek shows you've seen, and I agree with almost all of it (although I think you were too harsh on TOS - the portrayal of alien cultures was not nearly as one-dimensional as you make it out to be; Vulcans certainly were showed to be a quite complex culture, Romulans as well even though they were in just 2 episodes, and even Klingons weren't always just one-dimensional baddies, they had their moments in "Errand of Mercy" and "Day of the Dove"; also, some of the TOS characters were quite layered - Spock, definitely - but, as you said, they just were never allowed to change and develop in the show proper; they would show a different side to themselves in an unusual situation, but by the end of the episode, they'd be back to normal). You pointed out very well some of the reasons that ENT did well in comparison with TNG or VOY or TOS, and why it is a much better show that people give it credit for.

    I can't wait to read a complete comparison of all the Trek shows, after you have seen DS9. Reading this, I can't help thinking how different would that comparison have to be, since DS9 is very different on all those accounts - in what it's about and the degree of serialization (though I guess it's the closest to seasons 3 & 4 of ENT and the middle seasons of TNG in that regard), the treatment and development of characters, role of humans and aliens, and especially in treatment of religion.
     
  19. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    inside teacake
    Dude. That is SO awesome.