Intentions behind Archer?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by suarezguy, Aug 31, 2021.

  1. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    With Archer being the son of warp drive developer Henry Archer, did Berman & Braga intend for the viewers to wonder if he, including or especially in making first captain, benefited from nepotism?

    Also with him having that ancestry and being the captain leader fulfilling his father's work and dream, was he to some extent intentionally inspired by George W. Bush?
     
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  2. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe on the second one. The first one feels like an attempt at giving Archer something to prove and a chip on his shoulder regarding the Vulcans.
     
  3. garakvsneelix

    garakvsneelix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It's hard to tell. Intentional fallacy, death of the author, Qu’est-ce qu’un auteur?... choose your weapon. For me, Archer's characterization as a 'kid of anyone' reflected the status of mankind in the 22th century as a 'young, maybe childish player in the galaxy'.
     
  4. KennyBoo

    KennyBoo I have spoken............ Moderator

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    There were captains before right? Just not warp 5 ships.


    As for Bush..........I don't think W completed any dreams other than the 2nd term. So no---I don't think the writers were inspired much there.
     
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  5. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commander Red Shirt

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    I'd like to think they put that much thought into Archer, but watching Season 1 again... I don't know what they were doing with that character. He's all over the shop.
     
  6. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    It was Him and A.G. Robinson in contention, with AG probably going to get it untill he pulled out of the running.
    But as Harry from Night Court said, "I may have been at the bottom of the list, but I was on the List"
    They don't put a person as captain of a prototype ship just because of who he was, If he can't do the job, he wouldn't have been considered whoever he may have been. Plus you probably had a liteny of choices from admirals to other captains for the center seat.
    Now, fast forward 20-30 years, then yes, nepotism, cronyism, whatever -ism may have gotten someone a captains chair because there would be hundreds of them available.
     
  7. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

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    There was Archer, A.G., Gardner (the pick of the Vulcans, btw) on the shortlist to be captain. Archer was picked, with A.G. likely eyed for the NX-02 until his climbing accident.

    One of the early ENT novels briefly touched on how there was an alternate warp engine to Henry Archer’s engine a decade prior to the launch of the NX-01, but that it was a massive and significant failure. And Trip was present for the disaster.

    Looking at his various relationships, Archer is friends with Forest, Trip, Mayweather’s parents, Hoshi, and the Ericksons. And it’s implied that Hernandez was dating Archer prior to the launch of the NX-01, despite a disparity in rank. There's definitely a hint of nepotism present that surrounds Archer.

    But there also a sense that 22nd century Earth is community based where everyone knows each other. Possibly in response to various events the 21st century (Bell Riots, post-atomic horror). Mayweather’s dad still had to write a letter of recommendation for him to be the helmsman. And from a political standpoint, Starfleet just wanted an engine that worked to prove themselves to the Vulcans. Also, A.G. showed himself to be impulsive during the NX-test flight, so while he might have made the final two, those actions might have DQed him. So with that in mind, plus Starfleet not wanting to go with who the Vulcans wanted, that leaves Archer.

    Its possible that Archer’s backstory was influenced by Bush, as the casting and production of the show was early to mid-2001, not long after he was sworn in. But Archer's backstory could have been swapped with Mayweather's backstory, and the father-son dynamic would still be present.
     
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  8. Takeru

    Takeru Space Police Commodore

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    But Archer sucked at his job, he was impulsive, undiplomatic and often refused to listen to T'Pol because of his dislike of vulcan politics. He was an incompetent asshat he never should have gotten the job.
     
  9. KennyBoo

    KennyBoo I have spoken............ Moderator

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    So he was a HUMAN is what you're saying?
     
  10. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    Take into consideration how BIG starfleet was at that time. How many ships? 10 maybe? How many people qualified to even be in the running for captain? With a small pool of people, there will be some -Ism's going on. But not much choice in the matter.
    the NX was the first ship capable of any type of interstellar travel in a reasonable amount of time. In 2243 10 years before the show, they barely cracked warp 2, which was what? 8 times the speed of light? So thats 6 months to Alpha Centauri. With Warp 5 thats 5 days. A HUGE difference. Every captain, admiral, beagle would be wanting to command it.
     
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  11. Josh Kelton

    Josh Kelton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    It seemed strange that they had a Warp 5 starship, but never actually tried to reach Warp 5 until "Fallen Hero".
     
  12. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    "Warp 5" "On Paper"
    Its like Voyager can go warp 9.975, but never really did it. Usually very much more slowly.

    But even poping around at 4.5 there going a ton faster than before.
     
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  13. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    What they should've done is have Archer be the ideal captain on paper but be in for a rude awakening when it actually comes time to be humanity's first interstellar explorer. Sometimes he gets it right, sometimes he gets it wrong, sometimes he needs to ask for help.

    And on the other side of that coin, because Mayweather is a spacer, you could've had an interesting situation on the bridge where the lowly ensign is more qualified than everyone who ranks ahead of him.

    But nope.
     
  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I think the irony is they wanted to give Archer a personal stake in how much he hated the Vulcans (not realizing that was an unattractive trait). Archer feels like he's attempting to fulfill his father's dream.

    But I don't think there's many "children of scientists" benefiting from neptoism in the military.
     
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  15. XCV666

    XCV666 Premium Member

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    I don't think they considered the nepotism thing at all, initially, or it did not dawn on them, anyway. I think they may have thought that having Archer exhibiting some good ole human racism towards the Vulcans due to how his father was treated (which doesn't make sense.. he's an inventor but he doesn't get handed the blueprints by the very people the Archers want to get on a level playing field with so he has to invent the damn thing.. so Jonathan archer is angry?)could be used as a long arc to show how he wasn't racist anymore. But it was a bad look.

    They did not handle it well, especially early on. Broken Bow's "Guess Who's Coming to Captain's Dinner" scene was cringey. It felt like the writer wanted you as the audience to pile on with the inhospitality and aggressive conversation T'Pau was receiving. Archer gets his southern fellow good-ole-boy from the engine room to belittle and discomfort his female XO. Great first day in the captain's chair, Archer! Maybe that was not the intent of the first scene. It actually put me off the show. I had been enthusiastic about a prequel series but this was not what i was looking forward to. Two more episodes in, I felt the show was digger meat, and stopped watching. I missed some good stuff, but I admit, I did not bother with it till it showed up in streaming. Pity, it really got good, later. Despite Archer.

    I don't think Shrub had anything to do with the character creation. The show may have aired after 9/11 when his popularity briefly soared, but during the writing process he was no more than a man whom many, fairly or not, felt had had an election handed to him unfairly by the court. Apart from a series of gafs, the only thing of note he'd done had been to allow China to capture one of our oberservation planes, hold the crew prisoner and then chop up the plane after taking whatever they wanted from it. Yeah, that one gets forgotten. Anyway, he wasn't exactly good character building material, and neither was his dad.
     
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  16. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    There's a decent Death of the Author that Archer was racist against Vulcans and dismissive of progressivism among other cultures.

    Hence why in Cogenitor he's mad at TRIP rather than the aliens who drove a cogenitor to suicide versus willingly going back.
     
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  17. garakvsneelix

    garakvsneelix Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    And on some meta level, this really was his task. When I dream about the future, I really dream about an united manhood and ships, that boldly go where noone has gone before. Back then, Archer should be a 'link' between us and Trek's humanity in the 23rd and 24th century. He should be the guy, who helps to fulfill Rodenberry's dream...
     
  18. ScaryKittenRomantic

    ScaryKittenRomantic boo! mew! Moderator

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    VCV330, the ENT forum is not an appropriate venue to pass judgment on any real-life political figure. Please reference President Bush only within the parameters set by the OP regarding Archer "fulfilling his father's work and dream," and take RL political discussions to Misc or TNZ. Thanks.
     
  19. XCV666

    XCV666 Premium Member

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    I was putting the initial question into the context of the time. Is there some diplomatic method of discussing twenty years ago that would pass your litmus test better?
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which may have been the very qualities being sought for.

    The mission of NX-01 really wasn't to explore space: Vulcans had already been there, done that, drawn the star charts. It wasn't to defend Earth, either: she wasn't armed for that, wasn't sticking around to do that, wasn't ever called to do that.

    What the ship with the novel deep space engine was required to do was to raise holy hell in outer space so that Earth would finally get noticed. Puttering along following Vulcan safety guidelines wouldn't achieve that; at best, it would achieve the exact opposite, establishing Earth as a worthless vassal of Vulcan. Earth wanted to export the un-Vulcan, indeed anti-Vulcan quality one might call rage or hatred or perhaps spunk or spirit of adventure. Having a pseudo-Vulcan in command just wouldn't do there.

    Which actually means choosing a former test pilot was a really odd choice. Whoever heard of an impulsive test pilot? (Except of course in connection with spectacular crashes.)

    But Archer being a test pilot was a late invention. Having him be the unexpected candidate, the outsider, the one Starfleet Captain who had never helmed a warship and didn't wish to, would serve the stories well, both in in-universe terms (the un-Vulcan approach) and in show-specific ones (the everyman, the wide-eyed wonderer, the new guy who gets to question everything and be his own cabbagehead in expository scenes).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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