Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Mutara Nebula 1967, Apr 18, 2013.
Mike, it's a real labor of love by everyone on the production, many thanks.
Among the mirror universe stories it was by far the best and among the four TOS remembrance stories it was also the best. I also don't think that it was too fanwanky as they did new stuff: convert a slow, dumb rubber suit alien into a swift, intelligent one and make the Constitution look more modern than the NX.
I'll be honest: When I first heard "Enterprise" was planning to do a mirror universe episode, there was more than a little eye-rolling. I think DS9 went to that particular well a few too many time, leaving me more than a little sick of the MU.
Fortunately, we got something much more in line with the original "Mirror, Mirror", with some terrific callbacks to some other original elements as well:
When I heard they were planning to redo the "first contact" scene, I thought there was no way they could pull that off without James Cromwell. Admittedly, it would've been nice if the "Board the ship, take everything you can!" line had come from Cochrane himself, instead of that bearded dude, but it's a minor point.
(Alternatively, they could've brought back the young woman who played that Townsperson with the pretty eyes in "First Contact" and have HER say it, which would been even more twisted! )
Life on the mirror NX-01 seems to be pretty consistent with what Kirk would encounter a century later, with the torturing of crew members and unrealistic number of mutiny attempts.
But what we remember, of course, from the episode is that lovingly-reproduced Connie Defiant. IIRC, that was the initial concept for "Future Tense". While it would've been neat to see the prime universe crew reacting to this ship from the future, I think, in retrospect it was better used here: I don't really buy the idea that you can't let the prime-Archer see this ship from the future, given all the other sh!t from the future that he ended up seeing, but it would be almost impossible to come up with an excuse for him to make full use of the Defiant's power in the way that mirror-Archer did, let alone have the crew (especially T'Pol) put on some TOS-era uniforms.
It did occur to me that the ship's name never actually comes up once in Part I. It would've been a nice moment to have Archer read the name off the hull, or perhaps the dedication plaque, and a casual viewer not familiar with "The Tholian Web" might've been a bit confused, perhaps even mistaking it for the Enterprise, but it's not a big deal.
I am grateful that this episode effectively silenced critics from the early days of "Enterprise" who complained that the NX-class seemed more advanced than the Connie. Kind of hard to stick to that argument after seeing the Defiant blast the hell out of Tholians, Andorians, Vulcans, and finally the Avenger.
The CG Tholian and Gorn were all right. They weren't really what stuck with me from the episode, but frankly, it's hard to produce a CG/motion capture character that does, (other than Gollum). I would've have minded having the prime crew run into the Tholians again, however. They're a distinctly different foe than most of the other ones we've encountered, and, like the Andorians, it might've been nice to give them a few episodes to shine after being a peripheral race in Star Trek for so many years.
One minor gripe I had was with a couple of the characters introduced in the 2-parter, i.e. Admiral Black and the alien slave. There's nothing wrong with the performances (what's not to love about Gregory Itzin?) or even the characters themselves per se. It's just that we're been introduced to the mirror counterparts of characters we've never seen before. I can of a few other characters that could've filled the Black role: Admiral Leonard (the only one of the trio of office from "Broken Bow" who was never seen or mentioned again), Commander Williams, A.G. Robinson, or Captains Ramirez or Hernandez. There's probably one or two guest aliens they've encountered in past episodes who could've filled the role of the poor SOB who tells Archer there's a Gorn on board (Silik, perhaps?).
It's a pity they couldn't have stuck mirror-Shran somewhere on the Avenger too, but again, minor gripe.
The paranoid mirror-Archer's hallucinations of his prime counterpart were kind of fun (reminds me a bit of "The Alternative Factor", now that I think of it). We never really got to see too much in past episodes how mirror universe characters react to the prime universe (that's one thing I wish "Mirror, Mirror" had done more of), so that was fun. John Billingly's more sadistic Phlox worked really well too. (If you want to see him do an evil character REALLY well, check out the two episodes of "Cold Case" he did). Little moments like Malcolm twitching when Enterprise is destroyed also fit pretty well.
I don't know if I would've cared to revisit the mirror universe again (as I said, DS9 went to that well a few too many times), but as a stand alone 2-parter it was a great story from a great season.
Finally, how frickin' awesome was the opening sequence? Glad they took the time to do that. The mirror universe isn't one of Star Trek's more plausible scenarios (An empire where promotions come from mutiny and assassination would run out of capable command personnel pretty quickly, and the constant warfare makes it unlikely that the same individuals would be born, live at least long enough to meet someone and produce children at the exact same time as in the prime universe), but hell if it isn't fun (in small doses).
As I posted in the Anthony Montgomery thread he told a con this week that Manny Coto told them they were going to do a 2 or 3 part MU episode in season 5. It would be all about Empress Sato with Travis as her right hand lover.
It was entertaining, but the best part was the revamped theme song, and that opening teaser might be the best opening teaser of the series.
Totally agree. Even though I don't like the episodes much at all I rewatch the opening teaser on youtube because it is so awesome.
That's par for the course for Mirror episodes, though.
Actually, in one of the podcasts, they note that none of the main cast were definitively killed off, so they could potentially use them again in later episodes.
Yeah, I always assumed Archer was still alive. I figured that they just drugged him.
But Soval is dead and if you don't have MU Soval you lose all the classiness of the MU!
I hated the Deep Space Nine episodes except for Intendant Kira.
This, on the other hand, was pure fun.
I think it was all downhill from Mirror Mirror which rocked.
Just watched it recently. Definitely one of the best ENT episodes.
Thanks for stopping by, Mike! Yes, this is a fantastic two part episode, and a highlight of ENT's (unfortunately) last season. Kudos to all involved, behind and in front of the camera.
IaMD is still fantastic today. Mike, I know this was your baby and you when above and beyond in every aspect of this episodes production to get it as perfect as possible. I'm glad you got them to agree to make it a two parter so you could get the funds to really make the Defiant set look amazing.
I first encountered ENT in reruns, so I was behind the times. That having been said...
"In a Mirror, Darkly" was the umpteenth attempt by the Berman sub-franchise to capitalize on the "alternative universe"/"alternate reality" trope, and, looking at these stories strictly on their plausibility, I would say that the only one of these that holds up is "Yesterday's Enterprise". None of the others ever made any sense. It's all "let's try tinkering with the sets and costumes and get all the characters to act like Nazis, for a neat-o story idea" gimmick.
From a brainless action-adventure standpoint, at least "In a Mirror, Darkly" was kinda fun. The Gorn thing was obviously unintentionally hilarious. The whole Defiant/"The Tholian Web" take was silly. Kirk & crew found the Defiant derelict in space, with her systems obviously slowly going offline and the ship, in McCoy's words, "dissolving". Defiant was not salvageable. But it was neat to see Scott Bakula and the ENT gang wearing TOS uniforms and trying to learn (waaay too quickly) how to use Federation technology. It was neat to see the (suddenly revived) Defiant kick serious ass.
One serious gaffe in IAMD part 2 was when the Defiant had sustained direct hits which apparently violated her hull when she battled the Avenger; yet after the battle there is no visible damage and it seems like the battle never happened. That was just plain ridiculous.
I absolutely do not buy the whole Tholian scheme to lure a ship from a future they shouldn't know about subplot. That was goofier than TNG's Sela story arc.
Actually, I regard YE as superior to all of these "alternivserse" shows, including the original "Mirror, Mirror". At least YE had some serious plotting and concepts behind it, restructuring the TNG Universe because some strange event altered history, an idea vaguely borrowed from "City on the Edge of Forever". YE took that notion seriously and thoughtfully told a story based on where such a mishap could logically lead. "Mirror, Mirror" and its TNG/DS9/ENT descendants had no such underpinnings, instead wasting the viewer's time by using the "alterniverse" concept to romanticize a dystopic, nazified, perverted revision of Roddenberry's "sunny side up" vision of the future. Silly and tasteless.
I didn't feel my time was wasted...
And if you did feel that way, why did you watch it? Not like the episodes claimed to be anything other than what they were.
I agree about how this should silence critics who thought nx enterprise looked too advanced. the defiant looked sleek awesome next to the other ships.
over all I think it held up well.
oh and read I Claudius. the period of roman empire from near the time of death of augustus to Claudius ruling is full of assassinations ect or watch it with Derek Jacobi.
I agree that it was a serious gaffe, but maybe the explosions were actually sparks when it comes to hull of an advanced ship.
On this one I think you are wrong. That made sense, a lot of sense. Tholians detonated a tri-cobalt torpedo in the gravity well of a neutronic star and it opened a rift between dimensions. They had no idea it was also a time rift. They learned that only when Defiant was lured in. Tholians wanted to lure a ship from another dimension to learn if it is safe to go through. The fact that it was from the future and that passing through the rift drove the crew insane was just a nice bonus.
And actually Mirror Universe concept was introduced in Star Trek by Roddenberry. After all, Mirror, Mirror was his creation and in that episode the people were even crueler than in IAMD. Advancement in career was always made by killing people above you.
I'm going to disagree with your characterization of IaMD as the same type of alternate universe story that YE was.
YE was an alternate timeline set in the real universe involving real universe characters, in other words, the characters we had known from the beginning of TNG.
IaMD is an alternate universe set in a universe which is not the real Ent universe and involving alternate characters who were not the characters we had known from the beginning of Ent. Thus there is little emotional investment in these alternate Ent episodes. The emotional investment in the YE characters had already been established because they are the real[/] TNG characters.
YE had the easier task of seeming more meaningful and "important" because it involved the regular TNG characters but in a different timeline. Had we gotten to know the alternate IaMD characters better (which was the original plan) we may have had a much more satisfying experience with them. Mirror Mirror was no less disposable.
My point is that it was easier to create a more serious and impactful episode in YE because it used the regular TNG characters with their reality altered into an artificially created different timeline.
If you'd like an example of the level of profundity that could have been reached given time, read the compilation, Glass Empires.
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