Tuesday, April 13, 2004

A Trekker's lament

I've been a fan of Star Trek since I saw my first episode of classic Trek, which was "Plato's Stepchildren". (I was in the hospital recovering from surgery, at a young age. Star Trek was not on the TV menu at home when I was a child.) There has been so much Trek since then. I've watched and been a fan of NextGen, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager...to varying degrees. But it was all Trek. I'm not having such a good time with Enterprise.

Recently it's seemed as though they are belaboring the point that in the pre-classic Trek historical period, humans were not (or won't be) nearly as highly evolved. This point is coming across very well, but I'm not sure how intentional it is. I just saw the rerun the other night where Lt. Reed and the Marine commando major had to batter each other like crazed 11-year-olds up and down the halls of the Enterprise. It was awful.

Paul made an interesting point recently which was that in Stargate SG-1, you can believe Col. O'Neill being a ruthless SOB on occasion because his background is in special ops. Capt. Archer being as cold-blooded as that, which he has been a LOT lately, is hardly believeable because he was a test pilot before becoming a starship captain. The Xindi-inflicted Sept. 11th notwithstanding.

The Enterprise episode featuring Sim, the copy of Trip that was made so that Dr. Phlox could harvest his cloned neural tissue to save the real Trip, was really disappointing in the cold-bloodedness of Capt. Archer and the Tale of Two Cities ending. It would have been so much more interesting if Trip had died and Sim went on to assume his role on the ship.

Besides which...and this seems to be the "early Trek humans are more primitive" thing again...Captain Picard would never have sacrificed Sim for his neural tissue once it became clear that Sim was distinct from Trip, especially after he saved the Enterprise. Both Picard and Capt. Janeway would have said something like, "This man is a member of my crew. Phlox, you're just going to have to keep Trip on ice and find some other way to save him." That could have taken half a dozen episodes and been hella interesting.

Sometimes I wonder if the current writers of Enterprise have ever actually watched any other Trek series, or if they were just hired with resumes full of The Commish and Lifetime movies. Or, perhaps there are just way too many executives from Paramount lurking around the set. I have no idea. I am just a disgruntled fan.

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