Intentions behind Archer?

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

  1. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    I'm also of the mind that they didn't intend, or even really consider the nepotism angle. I agree with those who felt making Archer's dad a prominent warp engineer/scientist who was stymied by the Vulcans was a way to give Archer personal stakes in achieving his father's dream but also a reason for his grudge against the Vulcans.

    The Bush comparison though I think is more apt, not that Archer was conceived that way, but when I think of the Xindi attack on Earth and 9/11, Bush could've become an inspiration for Archer.

    Ironically, considering this thread, Conner Trinneer played a younger George W. Bush in the Tom Cruise movie American Made.
     
  2. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    With Archer in the first half of the show, it like there were two personalities to him that might have been able to co-exist with stronger direction, but the lack of cohesion made both halves come off worse as a result.

    On one hand, there was the young kid calling himself Admiral Archer that just wanted to explore; in many ways a regular Joe test pilot that ended up in the unlikely position of Starfleet Captain. He didn't necessarily project authority all that well, and was rarely effective with the big speeches, but he did have an affability that allowed him a gradually trusting relationship with his crew.

    Yet there was the other Archer, the one bitter towards the Vulcans, rushing to get the Enterprise in space, and often very certain about his moral righteousness in numerous situations. It got the ship into trouble more than a few times, and made him ill-suited for most diplomatic scenarios, however his sheer determination (often not entirely logical) in his goals did yield some dividends.

    While very tricky, there is a way to make the two aspects of him work in the context of the show. The issue with Enterprise was that poor characterization with him (and much of the cast) rendered "Archer the every man" less likable because of his pigheaded certitude about his decisions. Meanwhile, the harder/rigid particulars he had were stripped of much of their credibility because how out of his depth he seemed.

    Much of the time it seemed like the creative direction was projecting all the weaknesses of both portrayals with neither of their strengths.
     
  3. ScaryKittenRomantic

    ScaryKittenRomantic boo! mew! Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Hopeful Romantic - carving jack-o-lanterns
    It's not really about the time passage, but about focusing on the context of the OP's questions, which asked whether Archer's character--whose dad was in the same business because he was building a Warp 5 engine for Starfleet ships--was inspired by President Bush 43 because his dad was also President.
     
  4. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    If Archer is supposed to be an allegory for Bush and influenced by him, then – if ENT had in fact continued – does his popularity decline after his return from the Delphic Expanse, in part due to the Earth-Romulan War? And his reputation goes through a period of rehabilitation after time away from the spotlight, and a more controversial captain rising to be the new face of Starfleet?
     
  5. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    I mean, the central lesson of the Xindi War is one of peace and understanding after the attack.

    So...if he was originally Bush, he completely went in his own direction.

    Even as early as Season One's "Detained" served as a better metaphor for Guantanamo more than Japanese internment.
     
  6. flandry84

    flandry84 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Location:
    Sunshine cottage,Lollipop lane,Latveria
    I’d like to know what Archer was doing before he took command of the Enterprise.
    Was he commanding a vessel or was he just a test pilot ( and I don’t mean “just “ to sound derogatory).
     
  7. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    I do get the impression he was trying to get the Enterprise assembled as a lifelong project.
     
  8. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2021
    Archer starts as an ass. His decisions, his orders, even his retorts make very little sense like when T'Pol says: "You've lost the Klingon." his response is "I didn't lose the Klingon, he was taken."

    What did he think she meant by "lose the Klingon", that he misplaced him?:lol:

    Frankly, I have a hard time taking him seriously.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    One just wonders what it takes to achieve that in the UESF of the early 22nd century. Would Archer need to attend parties or break speed records or study hard or whack alien skulls? Where would he get the pull within the organization? Or would he just help out Dad hold the hydrospanner?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    I get the impression it actually did involve a lot of brownnosing and dealing with Earth government with Vulcan interference. The first episode shows that Archer was micromanaging a huge amount of the project and the majority of people are ambivalent about a human-led deep space exploration mission to begin with.
     
  11. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    I always simply assumed the purpose of Archer's portrayal was to show that we as humans, and as a human society had gone about 2/3rds of the way to becoming those TNG-era perfect humans but weren't quite 'there yet'.
     
    Charles Phipps and garakvsneelix like this.
  12. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    I felt that Archer was meant to represent the irrepressible power of the human spirit and a guy with a "go forth and do things" attitude. The theme of the show, for better and worse, was that humans were meant to push boundaries and exceed our limitations. Unfortunately, they chose to make the "Straw Vulcans" (Strawman) representing the forces vaguely keeping humanity down and isolated. The problem being that the producers really didn't read the room well because Star Trek fans love Vulcans.

    So Archer came off as a human supremacist when he wasn't just attacking his race's own allies.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    The audience loves Spock, by and large. Vulcans are Spock's arch-enemies. So I think the writers guessed pretty well there.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Soval Express the best in that episode where he compared humans and Vulcans saying which species the humans reminds him most of. he said Vulcans. so he is trying to get the humans to not make the same mistakes that the Vulcan did

    And as usual of an overprotective parent.. The kids lash out, are rebellious and have a general hate for the parents for keeping them down.

    While I love Enterprise ,Archers characteruzation for me is a weak link in the show.
     
  15. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    The Great Barrier
    Archer was no less unpredictable, impulsive and sometimes downright inept than Kirk
    And sometimes he was just as heroic, stoic and held his ground under extremely bad odds, just like Kirk
    I like Archer because he's not perfect, and god forbid any sane person would want to be compared to Bush, Senior or Junior
    And I like Kirk because he's the benchmark
    But hey, let's have another character assassination on Archer.
     
  16. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    King Daniel Beyond
    It really annoys me how little backstory we got for Archer. New York. Flight school. Test pilot. Second-choice captain of Enterprise NX-01.

    There are some H U G E gaps there. What the hell qualified him?? Did he captain or even serve on another ship, ever? A mission like Enterprise's would have been planned YEARS in advance. The course of the ship designed for maximum exploration. Instead, they fart around going wherever they feel like with zero oversight, and it leads to a huge attack on Earth.

    Having recently read the early series bible, I'm dismayed how little there is in there too about anyone or anything. It's like they didn't think anyone would notice or care and would just be like, MOAR STAR TREK EPISODEZ.

    Sigh.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    I'm pretty sure the whole point of launching was to deviate from the planned mission. That is, the planning would have been done together with Vulcans, resulting in it being a Vulcan plan - and Starfleet always hoped to somehow create the circumstances that we saw here, with the Vulcans facing the done deal of the ship "accidentally" being outside their reach and free to start roaming in defiance of the plan. Archer sailing to Qo'noS simply was the best possible such scenario.

    It then simply goes meta: the writers would be as ignorant of the future course as Starfleet was, and perfectly happy with this.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2021
    Archer keeps bumbling around. He decides to get Klaang to Chronos which had been previously established to be a thousand light-years away ( It would take several years to get there at warp five) but now it's been retconned... next door!!! Anyway, he then embarks on a mission where he has no idea what he's doing. there's no plan of exploration (any star that Archer can reach in a lifetime is visible from Earth and could be thoroughly analyzed, including the possibility of having M class planets) So instead of planning to visit the ones that are likely candidates they go here and there and decide on a whim to go down on a planet not knowing if they're going to get poisoned in the process. Of course, since it's Star Trek even a random moon has a breathable atmosphere. He's beat up by the Andorians but he likes them better than his Vulcan "allies" and later Archer also beats up a prisoner which makes one wonder if the "peaceful Earth" still practices torturing prisoners. Otherwise, you'd think Archer would have said something like "Those barbarian Andorians, we've stopped beating information out of people more than a century ago." In many respects, I find that series disappointing and Archer is the main reason why.

    He's gloating because he found a comet that the Vulcans overlooked. We have about a trillion comets in the Kuiper belt! A comet is nothing!
     
    Charles Phipps likes this.
  19. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    What the ship does, as the writers say, isn't captain archers fault.
    They did have a plan, for the first year they went in 1 particular direction, investigating whatever they found interesting. by the end of Season 1 they were 100 lightyears away.
    Maybe they were told, go 100 ly away and then turn left and circle Earth at 100ly radius and explore. They had the vulcan database, but the vulcan's were probably not really invested in studying comets etc.
     
    Charles Phipps likes this.
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    I gather that a key part of the mission would be to try and find faults in Vulcan data, to ascertain whether mankind and Starfleet was being lied to. Finding unmarked comets might be mildly interesting there. But studying things the Vulcans had not studied would be of at least the next level of interest and importance, even if this meant that said targets were uninteresting in absolute terms. And finding enemies of Vulcans ws probably one of the items on Archer's secret list.

    How much interest Archer actually had in checking the boxes in that list is unknown. Probably fairly little, and the interest would diminish rapidly, too, but the forces behind Archer might be putting their trust on him, misunderstanding his attitude towards Vulcans somewhat.

    Timo Saloniemi