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Steve Perry Has a Different Take On "The Andorian Incident", With Hints of the Federation's Origins Outweighing Negatives

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Posted: 15:30:10 on November 02 2001
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: ENTERPRISE Reviews |

Trek In Review
Written for TrekWeb by Steve Perry, edited by Steve Krutzler

"The Andorian Incident"

I had a feeling I would like this. I mean, with the return of the Andorians (apparently not from Andor), political intrigue, and Jeffrey Combs, it would be hard to go wrong. And it didn't.

"The Andorian Incident" had great tension, though it really wasn't the plot the made it interesting. I wasn't fond of using the transporter, I'm slightly bugged that Archer was so quick to turn to action (though I am amused that people call him a weenie, despite this decision), and I hate that the monastery was made into a mess. The screenwriter Dekker effectively built on each scene with what happened before, always a good thing. The plot was good enough, had a nice if not unexpected twist at the end (with that said, weren't you sympathizing with the Vulcans until the end?), and kept me interested, but it wouldn't be why I would recommend it.

What I really liked: first off, the dialogue was terrific. Enterprise's episodes haven't always been good, but they always have good lines, and this is no different. I loved the little things, about how Archer talked about Tycho Brahe and Trip noted that Vulcans think humans smell, only to be followed by a Vulcan asking T'Pol about that smell. I loved Phlox's conversation - maybe this would be how Neelix would be if Neelix were bright. Phlox has the same outsider perspective, but says things that cut to the bone. I like that.

Second, I loved the character work. Malcolm came into his own quite nicely leading the landing party. I've already mentioned Phlox's obligatory good scene, and Trip as always was sarcastic without going over the line. T'Pol showed tremendous conflict of interest (do you commit treason, if you help reveal your own planet's treaty violation?), and I liked her pouting over the blanket (typical woman, she proceeds to take the whole blanket for herself!). Much maligned Archer showed great cleverness, I thought, not only when first discovering the Andorians (how he and Trip seemed to communicate almost telepathically), but also in turning the tables on the Vulcans at the end. It really was the only way to resolve the situation, and I think people who disagree with it are looking through the lens of the TOS era, when all is well with the Vulcans.

On that note - third, it sets up so many fantastic possibilities. An Earth/Andoria alliance? Where does Vulcan fit in? Is this the makings of - gasp - a story arc? (We already know that Combs' Shran will return). For those of you who think it had a little too much action to be good Trek, keep that in my mind when thinking about it. Somehow these peoples will have a big falling out, yet somehow surmount it and form an alliance of peace. The epilogue, or lack thereof, built into my mind at least that this is going to be something with implications beyond next week - why else do it? You can see with Archer's characterization, the menace of the Klingons, FutureGuy, the mistrust of the Vulcans, etc., that a potential calamity might hit that will eventually bring us around to "infinite diversity in infinite combinations". This could be some good stuff, folks.

Some have said we learned little about the races involved. First off, given that we knew next to nothing about the Andorians before this (though, I hear they like baseball), I am amused that somehow any news at all is bad news. As for the Vulcans, we learned that indeed they didn't get along with everyone pre-Federation, and to boot, they can be quite devious. Maybe the mistrust humans have for them is deserved. Vulcan philosophy allows almost anything to be "logically" justified, including preserving peace by keeping other planets at arm's length, and by rolling over to attack in the hope that the storm will soon pass by.

We know very little "canonical" about the founding of the Federation, but you may have seen the first steps in that dynamic happening on screen. All in all, the episode was a terrific mix of great action, great dialogue, a nice plot twist, a touch of humor... all adding up to fantastic future possibilities. Bottom line: fanboys who complain about whether it's Andor or Andoria are missing the point. This is real Trek happening, a real story about the Federation's origins. And it's a pretty good story. Maybe you should enjoy that, instead of kneejerk bashing the writers for the 12th straight week over "Faith of the Heart."

    Some short takes:

  • Roxann Dawson did a great job directing, IMHO.
  • I thought the sets were great as well. Very well done.
  • So Vulcans have been in space for 3000 years, we can assume. Given the Romulan/Vulcan split, this makes some sense. Vulcans aren't expansionist, so the fact they haven't gon far doesn't particular surprise me. Given the history as offered in episodes like TNG's "Gambit," this revelations actually can work.
  • I don't mind the universal translator issue, as long as they use Hoshi enough to make her useful. I do mind using the transporter - maybe one person at a time, because that was too easy.
  • The only thing I found contrived was the Andorians not detecting the caverns, which can be glossed over but still bugs me.
  • On the other hand, the away team's failure to spot the Andorian ship seems all too realistic for these guys. :-)

About the Authors

Steve Perry is not the former lead singer of Journey. He is, however, a long time fan of all Trek, yes, even Voyager. He is currently in law school.

O. Deus has been a TrekWeb visitor since the site's 1996 inception. Along with being an ardent poster, he is a freelance journalist based in New York City. Deus has written reviews for TrekWeb for over a year and shares the duties with Steve Perry.

TrekWeb Reviews

  • "Shockwave" (Deus)
  • "Two Days and Two Nights"
  • "Fallen Hero" & "Desert Crossing" (Deus)
  • "Vox Sola" (Deus)
  • "Detained" (Deus)
  • "Oasis" (Krutzler)
  • "Acquisition" (Williams)
  • "Rogue Planet" (Deus)
  • "Fusion" (Deus)
  • "Shuttlepod One" (Deus)
  • "Shadows of P'Jem" (Deus)
  • "Sleeping Dogs" (Deus)
  • "Dear Doctor" (Deus)
  • "Silent Enemy" (Deus)
  • Mid-season 1 (Deus)
  • "Cold Front" (Krutzler)
  • "Fortunate Son" (Perry)
  • "Civilization" (Perry)
  • "Breaking The Ice" (Perry)
  • "The Andorian Incident" (Perry)
  • "The Andorian Incident" (Deus)
  • "Terra Nova" (Deus)
  • "Unexpected" (Perry)
  • "Unexpected" (Deus)
  • "Strange New World" (Perry)
  • "Fight or Flight" (Perry) Mission Logs

    Season Two (2002-2003)
    Prod #Title
    128 Shockwave, Part II
    127 Carbon Creek
    129 Minefield
    Season One (2001-2002)

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