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TrekWeb Newsbits: Extra coverage your crave!

Jan 05 | Palm Digital Media reports that the STAR TREK NEMESIS novelization was the #3 selling e-book in December 2002.

Jan 05 | Wigglefish has reviewed DS9: Rising Son and The Brave and the Bold, both 4/5 stars.

Jan 05 | The L.A. Times analyzes William Shatner's acting career.

Jan 04 | TREK novelist Peter David sounds off on the state of the franchise at his web site.

Jan 03 | Australia's TV1 will air a MAKING OF STAR TREK NEMESIS special on January 11th during its SCI-FI SECTOR @ 8p. (Thanks to 'Joe' for this)

Jan 03 | Cinescape has reviewed Pocket Books' THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, giving it an A- in its full review.

Jan 02 | FilkJerk and have ripped into Ronald D. Moore's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA script. (Thanks to 'Beth' for the tip)

Jan 01 | Dean Valentine, former UPN exec, has purchased a 49.9% stake in the Jim Henson Company with his investment group, according to Reuters.

Andre Bormanis -- Story Editor, ENTERPRISE
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    Writers Unwilling to Take Chances, Reducing Romulan "Minefield" to Walk in the Park, Says O. Deus!

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    Typhon Station is a very fastpaced PBeM RPG with skilled, experienced players and a warm sense of bonding and community. We play at the turn-of-the-century, 2400, and are located in the Typhon Expanses, bordering the Neutral Zone, proximate to the Romulan Empire, and near the Iconian Digs, and are on the first warning route of the original Borg Incursion.
    We have three stations to post from, SB 185, USS Odyssey, and USS Wraith. They all have general and particular storylines and all interact. This game is not for the faint of heart! The writing is superb and comes hot and heavy. We have some open spots and also we will consider character suggestions. So, longtime RPGers and novices, check us out. See if you want to make Typhon Station your home away from home.

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    Posted: 07:21:50 on October 03 2002
    By: Steve Krutzler
    Dept: ENTERPRISE Reviews |

    Reviews Ex Deus

    Written for TrekWeb by O. Deus, edited by Steve Krutzler


    Summary: Enterprise is menaced by the Romulan coast guard and Reed gets himself stuck on a mine while bonding with Captain Archer.

    If much of Minefield's Reed scenes seem distinctly familiar, that's no surprise since much of Minefield is essentially a reworked version of Shuttlepod One with a mine on Enterprise's hull substituted for a damaged shuttlecraft with an oxygen leak and Archer taking over Trip's role. The two characters start out uncomfortable with one another and then are trapped together confronting a crisis that seems as if it can only be solved by a sacrifice. The different personalities of the two characters cause them to first clash and then bond as personal revelations are pried out of Reed under the pressure of the situation. But where Shuttlepod One was effective, Minefield is less so; in part because we've now seen it before and because Reed and Archer don't really throw off any sparks.

    Shockwave 2 and now Minefield do suggest that the producers have decided to confront questions about Archer's command abilities. In Minefield, Archer's own command style is justified by contrasting it with Reed's more militaristic proposals as being more humanitarian. In part, Minefield's flaw also ironically comes down to the same issue for which it defends Archer: his laid back command style. Thus Archer's side of the dialogue is delivered lifelessly, as if Bakula is trying to order pizza on the phone or doing a publicity interview. The producers should be commended for finally recognizing that those questions exist, but Minefield really fails to challenge anyone but Reed and it's a form of challenge that we've seen before now.

    The new character development for Reed is interesting, but not really ground-breaking. It sheds some new light on the reason why Reed is so determined to prove himself and to maintain such rigorous self-discipline, but it does make you wonder if the only way to develop his character is to strand him in some trap in which he seems doomed to die and pry confessional revelations out of him. It may be a novel technique once, twice it begins to get old and a third time would be too much.

    The real reason for viewer anticipation of Minefield of course was the first appearance of the Romulans on Enterprise. Yet this is somewhat anticlimactic, in part because Enterprise let the rabbit out of the hat some time ago by gratuitously featuring cloaking devices numerous times in violation of canon. Thus the Romulan cloaking device is not a shocking thing to the Enterprise crew, but a matter of "Oh, there goes another cloaking device." It might have been more effective had the aliens in Silent Enemy been Romulans, thus helping to prepare Enterprise for a violent first confrontation. But in Minefield the Romulans react to Enterprise in much the same way that every Alien of the Week reacted to Voyager. The Romulans have been traditionally cunning as well as xenophobic, it's what makes them interesting. But Minefield really doesn't feature them doing anything more than playing Coast Guard. They're never even particularly intimidating. Had Trip or T'Pol actually chosen to pursue the debate with the Romulans over the human view of the value of a single life, something interesting might have arisen from the clash of the two philosophies. But like the Borg on Voyager or the Klingons on DS9, the Romulans in Minefield were expected to be interesting because they were Romulans and not because anything genuinely interesting was happening.

    Like both of the previous episodes this season, Minefield never succeeds because it never takes any real chances and never ventures into dangerous territory. There is no real argument among the crew in favor of jettisoning Reed. Nor is there any real possibility that this was going to happen. What if the first Romulan strike had killed a significant portion of Enterprise's crew. In Minefield's first moments after the strike, the effect appears to be genuinely devastating. The kind of attack that brings to mind TOS's Balance of Terror or Wrath of Khan or Voyager's Year of Hell. But it quickly gets reduced to Hoshi whining in sickbay, instead of the kind of real devastation that would have fueled Archer's anger. What if more than one member of the senior staff was seriously committed to the idea of jettisoning Reed, over Reed's protests. That could have been the kind of conflict to really bring some sparks to this episode. What if the episode had actually taken a chance and amputated at least a portion of Reed's leg. But of course we know that kind of thing would never happen on Enterprise. It never even happened on TNG, when Piller proposed replacing Picard's arm with a prosthetic one after Best of Both worlds. And that really is the problem with Minefield, we know the formula and we know the status quo will be maintained. The fact that Archer can't seem to bring himself to take the situation seriously only decreases any suspension of disbelief on the part of the audience. So for all that the episode may be called Minefield, it in fact consists of taking easy choices.

    Minefield does demonstrate a pretty impressive display of Enterprise's special effects. From the original hit on Enterprise that reveals exposed decks and is reminiscent of some of the hard hitting scenes in Wrath of Khan and Year of Hell to the redesigned Romulan vessel, which merges the TNG green streamlined look of Romulan ships with the TOS Bird of Prey shape, Enterprise's effects tend to be more consistent than that of previous shows and Minefield in particular looks pretty good.

    Minefield also contains a few more references to Earth, including the revelation that humanity has yet to evolve beyond watching soccer matches and even manages to have Reed call it football, instead of soccer. Apparently soccer might actually outlive baseball, though not water polo, or apparently football either, if the Fusion reference by the Vulcans is to be taken as current. As in Silent Enemy, we learn that the Royal Navy still exists. Though there is not yet any explanation forthcoming as to why individual countries need military fleets, as opposed to research boats and coast guards.

    All in all Minefield is a decent enough action episode but spends too much time on a repetitive Reed storyline too reminiscent of Shuttlepod One and never gives the Romulans anything interesting to do.

    Next week: Enterprise discovers that alien space stations don't take American Express.

    About the Authors

    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 and columns for TrekWeb for over two years.

    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 and contributes reviews when his busy schedule permits.

    TrekWeb Reviews

  • "The Catwalk"
  • "Precious Cargo"
  • "Vanishing Point"
  • "Singularity"
  • "The Communicator"
  • "The Seventh"
  • "Marauders"
  • "A Night In Sickbay"
  • "Dead Stop"
  • "Minefield"
  • "Carbon Creek"
  • "Shockwave, Part II"
  • Season One Re-cap (Deus)
  • "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) Mission Logs

    Season Two (2002-2003)
    Prod #Title Airdate
    128 Shockwave, Part II 9/18/02
    127 Carbon Creek9/25/02
    129 Minefield10/02/02
    131 Dead Stop10/09/02
    130 A Night In Sickbay10/16/02
    132 Marauders10/30/02
    133 The Seventh11/06/02
    134 The Communicator11/13/02
    135 Singularity11/20/02
    136 Vanishing Point11/27/02
    137 Precious Cargo12/11/02
    138 The Catwalk12/18/02
    139 Dawn1/08/03
    140 Stigma2/05/03
    141 Cease Fire2/12/03
    142 Crash Landing2/19/03
    143 Canamar3/??/03
    144 The Crossing3/??/03
    Season One (2001-2002)

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    Wow looks like this talkback will pass a hundred posts by tommorow
    By O. Deus ( at 22:13:34 on October 06 2002
    URL: | User Info
    That's actually more than the Shockwave 2 and Carbon Creek talkbacks both combined...


    "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."

    George Washington

    "The American people are slow to wrath, but when their wrath is once kindled it burns like a consuming flame."

    Theodore Roosevelt

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    By Steve Krutzler ( at 17:42:47 on October 06 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I checked out Michelle Erica Green's "Minefield" review over at TrekToday (a great read, by the way) and loved this excerpt:

    "If I weren't sure I'd just watched an episode of Enterprise, I'd swear I just witnessed a piece of hurt/comfort fan fiction complete with manly emotional revelations, fears of inappropriate fraternization, over-the-top threats of suicide, and the titillation of the captain telling the tied-down lieutenant to pee in his spacesuit. When Archer stuck his oxygen tube into Reed's suit to save him, I felt like I was reliving The Love Test episode of Space: 1999. Not that I'm complaining -- those were the good parts of "Minefield," given the by-the-numbers ticking-time-bomb plot and the now-you-see-them-but-you-don't Romulans."

    And wait until you read her cutting remark about Reed's fears of drowning coming to pass with his own urine.

    Now, who was it that was droning on about Deus being negative? I just read his again and I must say compared to MEG it was generous, LOL. Not that I'm criticizing MEG, it's a great review, a lot of which I agree with. But I think clearly the case cannot be made that Deus is the only un-positive reviewer around these days...


    -Steve Krutzler
    ==V/-/== Rocks

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    By Noxmagic () at 22:11:09 on October 05 2002
    URL: | User Info
    Before I read the many opinions posted here concerning the latest Ent episode, Minefield, I'm going to post my own "untainted" thoughts. Minefield was another sound, well rounded episode of Trek, but then, I've written this about every episode of Ent so far this season. I probably sound like a broken record. However, this happens to be the truth as I see it so far this season. I enjoyed seeing that the Ent writers are introducing the Romulans, since in the season after next season, they will be waging a war with Earth (according to the timelines established on TOS and in the Trek Encyclopedia). Its not too out of bounds to think that humans, i.e. the Enterprise, would have had some contact with the Romulans once or twice before all out war breaks out with Earth. After all, something has to spark this war. I also found it realistic that T'Pol would be aware of the Romulans, only as far as what the Vulcans in general know about them. This early limited knowledge by the Vulcans of the Romulans makes sense, considering that if Earth fights a war with them for four years the Vulcans would have to be aware of the Romulans existence long before it was discovered by the Federation, including the Vulcans of course, what the Romulans true nature is (they are a direct off-shoot of the Vulan race) by Kirk's Enterprise crew a century after this incident with Archer's Enterprise. I additionally enjoyed Minefield's excellent special effects (amongst the best on television, including cable shows) and continued attempts to flesh out the Ent characters. This detail, however, did somewhat bother me. Once again, in order to flesh out the relationship between two characters, they are somehow stranded together. While this has been done very well by Ent (see season one's Shuttle Pod episode) this is beginning to happen far too often on Ent. We've already had Trip and Reed stranded together, Archer and Trip, Archer and T'Pol, and Archer and Mayweather stranded together for the sake of character development. Considering we are only a few episodes into Ent's second season, this is going to the well once too often. I was also bothered by how Reed's punctered space suit sealed itself off. During the STNG movie First Contact, set roughly 200 years after Ent, Worf's space suit is punctured, but it does not have this self sealing feature. What gives? Why would this type of technology be available in the 22nd century, but not the 24th? Out side of these two somewhat nit-picky problems I had with the episode, I enjoyed it overall. Well done Ent writers!
    Now, to get a little off topic, I find it puzzling that so many self described Trekkers never seem to like anything Star Trek beyond their one favorite show. Usually, if a Trekker aproves of only one Trek series, it tends to be the original. People, please keep in mind that all of Trek can't be a carbon copy of the original series. It wouldn't make sense to create four spin-off series of TOS and design them all to be just alike. What would be the point? Regardless of which series is your favorite, if you don't like current Trek, and right now that means Ent, then don't watch. Just ignore the Trek that bothers you so much. Like all forms of television or movie entertainment, Trek is suppossed to be fun. Something to do that is entertaining. If it frustrates you, why watch?

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Deus, an EXCELLENT review...
    By Beckett ( at 18:08:39 on October 05 2002
    URL: | User Info
    it stimulated a lot of conversation :) well done, I'd say it was a success.


    Helm, Warp One, ENGAGE!

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    this ep on the surface is an SP1 redux-
    By Bucky () at 15:22:21 on October 05 2002
    URL: | User Info
    - and I like SP1 more because its just a straight characterization piece. But I liked this episode because it threw in, well, more eye candy. Rommies, mines & explosions, oh my! Not to say FX make an episode, but some solid FX when combined with a good story help.
    I also liked this episode because you actually, hell, saw the entire bridge crew contribute to a single problem. It wasn't just the standard VOY / ENT episode where 2-3 crewmembers get into trouble and everyone else has to help them out. This episode showed the entire bunch working as a team and it worked.
    I also thought the writting in this episode was actually sharper than it usually is on ENT. Probably one of my favorite lines was T'Pol's realization that she couldn't bother to talk Archer out of the situation. I found Archer to actually come off, for once, as a pretty damn balsy Captain too. He just didn't come off as a dork, but somebody who threw thier hat over the wall for his crewmember. And I have a soft spot for Reed because he's such a wierd little screwball at heart.
    And the Rommies DID act like VOY villians, but its good to keep them in the background and menacing. Not to reveal too much about themselves. It was just a little treat thrown in for the fans. Cuz, face it, if it was just some random Alien of the Week, the flaws of the episode would seem much more pronounced. throwing a little continuity bone to the fans keeps them interested.

    all in all, very good character ep with some good tension & solid performaces. Blows the hell out of last week's and Shockwave II's lackluster conculsion.

    (PS - everybody stop ragging on Dues. I don't always agree with him, but its easy to see where he's comming from & gives well written reviews.)


    speed kills but beauty lives forever

    The Smashing Pumpkins 1988-2000

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    I think a Poll is called for.
    By Anonymous Coward (anon@ym.ous) at 19:48:14 on October 04 2002
    URL: http:// | User Info
    May I suggest that the PTB on this web site post a fan poll over the fate of the current reviewer. Please do not take that to mean as to if he should e let go or not. I believe that his constant negativity serves a purpose, and at worse it provides some much needed comic relief. No, I suggest that a question be posed to the visitors of said site as to if they would like to have several divergent opionions. More than just one "in house" reviewer. Trek Today does that, and I think in general they have become a much more credible site than Trek Web has sunk to. Someone with perhaps a more positive, or indeed even a more balanced view than what is being presented here. I would think that even if only 1/3 of the respondents agreed with that premise it would indicate a need for change on this site.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Too much for my nerves
    By Hbasm () at 17:00:20 on October 04 2002
    URL: | User Info
    It seems to me, that most people who care to reply here are doing it because they are unsatisfied and tries to find an outled for their frustration.

    Where the rest of us, or at least a lot of us, says "bravo" and clap our hands, like I usually do after having seen an episode of Enterprise.

    And when I am so happy, I don't want to come here and spoil my mood with all that constant negativism.


    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Little Things
    By DiLune () at 02:14:46 on October 04 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I wanted to see Archer raise his arm to wipe the sweat from his forehead only to be denied by the faceplate. Sweating bullets as you disarm a bomb poised to destroy your ship and crew, and you can't even wipe your face! Classic.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Best of the season, better than most last year
    By Steve Krutzler ( at 17:29:53 on October 03 2002
    URL: | User Info
    Well I have finally seen "Minefield" and digested many of the comments from other fans. Personally I think this is (obviously) the best episode of the second season. But we're only three eps in you say? Naturally, but I can safely say that this episode was better than most first season episodes as well, so at least that's saying something.

    First allow me to dispense with certain complaints. First, the use of the cloaking device. While this is contrary to TOS continuity--at least inasmuch as the Federation's knowledge of it anyway--I think it goes without saying and without too much bending backwards that the existence of the Temporal Cold War makes continuity up for interpretation. While I admit that subscribing to this may open up all of TREK history for tampering, there is one thing in particular that made this particular violation work for me. Mainly, that the Enterprise has quantum sensors for the "Shockwave" experience. Since they have these 31st century sensors it goes without saying that the cloaking device of the 22nd century could certainly not shield itself. If they hadn't used the temporal sensors the argument would be, well, why not? The only way here for them to avoid this problem would be for the Romulans not to use the cloak at all.

    But the ideal solution ties in with something else "Minefield" should've done. That is, raise the stakes. Immediately after the med techs picked up Hoshi, another mine should've struck the ship. As others have pointed out, there should have been deaths and far greater damage owing to the fact that they strayed so far into a cloaked minefield and that we need more damage to make the Romulan threat truly menacing. Here, the director and the writer failed to convey the Enterprise-in-crisis-situation adequately. Sensors should've been knocked out--the quantum sensors should've been destroyed, thus removing the problem of having the Enterprise using 31st century technology at will in every other episode. In addition, the transporter should've been nearly completely destroyed, removing that from the repertorie of potienal "alternative solutions" that needed nullification in order to facilitate suspension of disbelief. This is somewhat lazy. The writers failed to tighten the script in this respect.

    But this seems all that is wrong with the episode. While Deus and others say this is a Shuttlepod One redux, I disagree. In fact, I found most of the Archer/Reed interaction well-written. Lines like "can I have some more" and "you're sort of stuck here" were sufficiently contemporary enough to satisfy that need without resorting to idiotic profanity. I do have a small beef with what someone below has termed Reed's martyr complex. Heroes don't foist themselves into martyrdom, it is foisted upon them, and as such it really just makes Reed seem cowardly to be going on and on about sacrificing himself for the ship. Had he done it without telling the story of his valliant Great Uncle (who, by the way was in the Royal Navy, when... 80 years earlier on an Earth still recovering from WW3?) and his sacrifice, then it wouldn't have come off so selfish.

    But all in all the episode is much better than either of the first two of the year and far superior to most of last year. Archer and Reed are evolving and we got a good look into both characters here. Some say the defusing of the mine was unnecessary and boring but while I may agree a minute or two could've been excised, I thought the story of Reed pinned to the hull and Archer out there rescuing him was a good one. Far better than the contrived crap of SP1 where Reed and Trip get drunk and have no real basis for believing what they did in that situation. "Minefield" is also absent mashed potato solutions to technoscientific problems, putting it above SP1 just by default.

    There are several other semantic issues that upon reflection can degenerate the positivity I felt for this show after first viewing. And I question whether it's really valid to sacrifice that for what are, arguably, tiny problems. Whether the Romulan ship design has a bird pattern on it or not is, let's face it, immaterial. Things like T'Pol seeming to not know that the Romulans are Vulcan offshoots or Hoshi recognizing a similarity in language can be rationalized away by the likelihood that both will be addressed in future Romulan storylines.

    The solution to the mine problem worked for me, even though I don't understand how shuttlepod plating can be any stronger than the outer hull of the Enterprise, which was eviscerated by the first mine blast.

    But I digress. I think "Minefield" is a step in the right direction toward a better blend of plot and story with character development, unlike SP1, which was an entirely contrived "character piece" with no interesting story to keep it going. There are plot holes... like how did the Enterprise get so deep into the field and only hit one mine, and the utter silliness in Mayweather piloting the ship out using a joystick and nothing but the visuals of the viewscreen--this is a giant starship, not an automobile.

    But when I forget these and reflect on how I felt after watching the show I am forced to conclude that I enjoyed it and what's more, I don't recall any "embarrassing" moments where my face turned red listening to dialogue or where the story seemed to be a complete retread of another story. Sure the disarming-a-bomb story is tried and true, but this particular story of a crewman having to disarm a mine on the hull of the ship and getting stuck has not been done in TREK before to my knowledge and that made the episode enjoyable to me.

    They still need to tighen things up and be more ambitious. Had "Minefield" killed ten crewmen, let the ship run into three or four mines, explain away the alternate solutions and maintained a more threatening level of anxiety regarding the Romulans, then all the minor stuff--including discontinuities with regard to cloack devices--could be easily ignored.

    As it stands, "Minefield" is one of the few truly "good" episode if you were to compare it against the best of previous TREK. It was a character story that grew out of the situation, it wasn't a retread and successfully setup for the future. It's something to build on and I don't think it's worthy of some of the vituperative rhetoric some are throwing at it. Go watch SP1 or "Fortunate Son" or "Vox Sola" to see how far ENT has come.


    -Steve Krutzler
    ==V/-/== Rocks

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    An almost total misfire
    By Michaelj () at 15:48:49 on October 03 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I had hopes for this one going in, since it was written by ex-X FILES scribe John Shilban who was at least up till last night an unknown quantity (but isn't any more, alas). You had the first contact with the Romulans and a tense situation on the hull of the Enterprise, potential dramatic gold they managed yet again to spin into straw. What a dud!

    I could live with the blatant continuity errors (did these clowns, knowing the fans would be paying close attention to this show, even bother to watch "Balance of Terror"?) in the interest of a good story, but "Minefield" failed to provide that on just about every level, with plot dynamics esstentially recycled from last season's far more effective "Shuttlepod One," character revelations that really weren't very interesting, a ridiculous denoument, and direction that failed to capture any sense of the ship being in a crisis situation. (They might have even dealt with the fairly interesting question of what a politically unified 22nd century Earth needs with a Royal Navy, or the impact of Reed's obvious martyr complex on his future career.) But worst of all, like so much of modern Trek the story takes no risks with its subject matter at all--we know Reed will not be sacrificed and that the mine won't explode, yet the producers waste entire minutes of screen time on the defusing procedure, as if anyone would find that dramatically interesting.

    I still have some hopes for NEMESIS, as it was written and directed by fresh blood, the trailers have looked promising, and Brannon Braga had nothing to do with it. But it's now official: I've (reluctantly) given up on Enterprise.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Pretty Lame, Boring
    By Edzo ( at 14:14:05 on October 03 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I thought "Minefield" was boring. My apologies to all Reed fans, but I just don't find him interesting. The teaser was painful. The poor guy was trying so hard to be enigmatic that it resulted in a lot of stumbling gaps between the dialogue. Archer wasn't much help either. He's often like a doting servant trying to make everyone feel "comfortable." Then he just "explodes" into "command mode" without warning. Schizophrenia!

    Despite protestations to the contrary (see Braga's interview in the latest "Star Trek: The Magazine"), Berman's team is trying so hard to "make" things happen (e.g., let's make Reed the "mysterious man") that they won't ever just "let" things evolve on their own.

    The extended "talking scene" on the hull, while Archer tries to disable the mine and chat with Reed, was too long (over 15 minutes straight, I think) and it was just boring! Uninteresting. These two have no chemistry, and putting them in a "talking heads" situation like this was a mistake.

    Obviously, the Romulan stuff was more interesting. Why did they mine the area around that planet, or was it even they who did it in the first place?

    Curious that the Romulan language wasn't recognized as derivative of Vulcan by either T'Pol or Sato.

    And the cloaking situation should probably just be dismissed at this point. According to Enterprise, the Romulans weren't the first to employ this kind of technology. However, by the time of "Balance of Terror," Spock's comment is that the Romulans have a "*practical* invisibility screen," and he even acknowledges that such technology is possible ("the selective bending of light, but the power cost is enormous"). So maybe Spock has heard of it before, just never seen it applied. It could have happened that way.

    Strange, though, that Stiles would not have heard of cloaking technology, since several of his ancestors fought against the Romulans in the (upcoming) war. He even knew that Romulan ships were painted "like a giant bird of prey," although that doesn't yet appear to be the case in "Minefield."



    "Ohhhh, you wicked, wicked monkey!"

    -- Robin Williams as "Mrs. Doubtfire"

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    I guess that most of us Trek fans are Stupid
    By Anonymous Coward (anon@ym.ous) at 14:04:22 on October 03 2002
    URL: http:// | User Info
    It never ceases to amaze. The same negative review from Captian Zero, who as far as I can remember hasn't linked a single Trek idea since TNG days. Then the same chorus of yes men who want to agree with him. And yet the episodes are constantly rated very high by true fans. I guess the average fan must be pretty flipping stupid. Then of course I don't sit there with a pen and pencil waiting to write down anything that isn't considered canon. You know what. Captain Zero's reviews area a complete waste of time. How is it possible that the lead singer of Journey hates everything that Enterprise has ever done, and yet the fan polls show a constant amout of fan paise for the show. Their is a major disconnect here, and it's not on the end of the fans. It has to do with this reviewer. I think Trekweb needs to add some balance here. But then of course Trekweb and Balance are not 2 terms that equate

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    In a word...
    By Tom M ( at 10:01:44 on October 03 2002
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    ...tedious best describes this episode. This plot was a cliche back when Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea was on. And didn't they do this story on Gilligan's Island? The cliche was played out by the numbers right down to the last minute reactivation of the countdown sequence. Nevertheless, this is just a backdrop to the character drama, which in this case seems to serve little purpose other than to set up that "Reed trapped on a water planet" episode that we now know is inevitable. After two Reed episodes we now know he is a fairly boring man. As for the ending with the pod doors and the explosion, the less said the better. That belonged in one of the lesser Indiana Jones sequels, not Star Trek. It was just plain ridiculous. Why didn't they use the transporter? After all, the situation was certainly grim enough to take a chance with it. Maybe I missed where they explained that, my attention did tend to wander at times.

    So how about those Romulans? It seems pretty obvious that the writers never really watched "Balance of Terror". They know only what they read in a synopsis. The lesser details about the cloaking device and the fact that Romulan ships during the 22nd century were known for the Bird of Prey markings on their hull. They only knew about the main part of the episode, that BOT was the first face-to-face encounter with the Romulans. Apparently they were totally oblivious to the finer plot points.

    So much for "airtight continuity", but after all this time it isn't really that surprising. The best description of B&B can be found the Voyager episode "Scorpion", with Chakotay's parable of the wolf and the scorpion. The Wolf offers to let the Scorpion ride on his back while he swims to safety, yet the Scorpion stings him and they both die. The Scorpion's only rationalization for why he did it, condemning them both to death, is that "it's my nature". The same can be said for why B&B sting us every chance they get. It is their nature, and just as surely as the Scorpion killed the Wolf, B&B are killing the animal they are riding on the back of. Star Trek.


    " go with bold entreaty whither no man had gone before..."
    - HP Lovecraft; "The Dream-Quest of Unkown Kadath" (1926)

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Is this what passes for drama?
    By Tom () at 08:14:31 on October 03 2002
    URL: | User Info
    So talking about your family and troubled childhood is what passes for drama on this show. Chatty little moments like that might be interesting, but to drag them out over an episode is a waste of the viewers time. The episodes seem to be getting worse and yet the polls on trekweb rated this episode excellent by 32%. One wonders especially since the plot is a "been there, done that" -type. It's amazing how better crafted TOS seems after 35 years compared to this series. Enterprise spends too much of its budget on production values but it seems not so much on the writing. The "eye candy" design of the show is wonderful but a diet of just candy gets unappealing after awhile.

    And the logical flaws boggle the mind:

    (1) How did the Enterprise get so deep into such a dense minefield and hit only a single mine? Travis is portrayed as having to really work to get them out without hitting anything, yet they penetrated it so deeply before hitting anything.

    (2) It seems the Romulans are deep within what would be Federation territory else Enterprise is already in Romulan space. Given the inferred age of the mines, it seems the Romulans are pretty well established at this planet. Enterprise has limited warp capability (Romulans have none at this point according to TOS). Could Enterprise wander into Romulan space after only a year and only at warp 5 max speed? Or have the Romulans, at impulse, spread out so far by this time? Both seem to rub up against TOS continuity.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]


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