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    Far from Lifeless, "Dead Stop" Delivers First Success of Season Two With Classic Sci-Fi Theme, Tight Writing and Direction!

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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: 08:11:39 on October 10 2002
    By: Steve Krutzler
    Dept: ENTERPRISE Reviews |

    Reviews Ex Deus

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

    "Dead Stop"

    Summary: In a space age revival of an old fable, Enterprise discovers a station whose offer of repairs turns out to be too good to be true.

    In one of the closer intersections between episodes thus far on Enterprise, "Dead Stop" begins shortly after last week's episode. The Enterprise's hull is damaged and so is Malcolm's leg. The situation seems problematic until, in what is the first of several continuity references, Enterprise gets directions from a Tellarite freighter to a repair station (though in light of what happens later in the episode it may be reasonable to conclude that there was no Tellarite freighter at all). Where the natural instinct of a Voyager episode might have been to populate the episode with some weird foreheaded Alien-of-the-Week for the crew to pit their skills against, "Dead Stop" goes for the ghostly feeling of an automated computerized station. A place that is seemingly empty and at once filled with an unknown presence. And it works.

    The writing team of Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong, who up until this point had churned out mediocre and mostly forgettable episodes like "Civilization," "Fusion" and "Strange New World" manage to deliver here, greatly aided by Roxann Dawson's smooth and crisp direction and some of the unquestionably best lighting on the series thus far. Dawson displays here some of the potential she demonstrated in "Workforce, Part II," infusing every scene with an uneasy atmosphere. Despite the seemingly lighter subject material, "Dead Stop" manages to have the sense of danger and tension that "Minefield" simply did not. Bakula, meanwhile, displays the anger and frustration he should have been showing in last week's episode. While Mayweather's eventual resurrection is no real surprise, nor is the menace posed by the station, the way they come together is effective and one of the few surprising twists of an Enterprise episode thus far.

    From the eerily white interior of the station's corridors to the dank yellow conduits (visually suggesting that the pristine package is an illusion with a grimmer interior), to the computer itself, suggestive of The Matrix's towers of human batteries on a smaller scale, "Dead Stop" is overshadowed by a mostly unspoken menace. Like much of classical Star Trek and much of science fiction, the show returns once again to the theme of human violation by technology. Somewhere between "Spock's Brain" and the Borg, "Dead Stop"'s repair station is indicative of a smaller evil with plenty of unspoken implications. By not addressing its history, the writers suggest that Enterprise might return to the subject at some later date or that it's a mystery best left alone. The final scene of the station's broken parts slowly repairing themselves again is one of the best narrative uses of FX since the conclusion of Voyager's "Year of Hell, Part I" showed pieces of Voyager's hull being ripped away and flying directly into the camera.

    With its classical Star Trek themes, "Dead Stop" is an Enterprise episode that achieves the series goal of being strongly suggestive of an Original Series episode. "Dead Stop" nails the sense of isolation and dislocation produced by space travel, the responsibilities of command and the strangeness of what might be out there. It's one of the few Enterprise episodes where the crew of the Enterprise could be easily interchanged with the original Enterprise crew.

    And the episode certainly has no shortage of continuity references. We encounter 24th century technology like the Replicator and the Protoplaser for the first time, along with more than a few Star Trek universe tidbits, even not counting the "Spock's Brain" premise of the episode itself. While it might be nice if Enterprise had stayed away from 24th century Next Generation technology--after three races with cloaking devices, two holodecks and numerous other gadgets--the provervial starship seems to have sailed on that one.

    "Dead Stop" also functions well as an ensemble episode, with nearly every crewmember having an important scene or two. Hoshi gets to deliver the premature eulogy for Mayweather, Phlox has his own well played autopsy scene and Reed and Trip have their own little adventure before being bawled out by Archer in one of his rare displays of command ability and suggestive of TOS's own "Trouble with Tribbles." Mayweather contributes most to the episode by being dead, of course, which gives him an important non-speaking role mostly in absentia. One might even argue that the station's willingness to take the least important member of the Enterprise senior staff in exchange for its repairs was still quite a bargain.

    Next week: Archer shows us how well he balances the twin priorities of dog ownership and starship command.

    Opinion Poll: Don't forget to vote in this week's episode poll!

    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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    Dead Stop
    By Beaumont () at 11:58:45 on October 14 2002
    URL: | User Info
    Could this be the early stages of the Borg?

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Oops, they did it again...
    By Noxmagic () at 21:36:01 on October 12 2002
    URL: | User Info
    ...and produced another solid Ent. episode. Forgive me for going a little off topic, but I've felt that through out their first season and so far this year, Ent. has consistently produced quality episodes. Its nice to read that many fellow Trekkers finally believe so as well, based off of their reactions to Dead Stop. Speaking of which, I agree with essentially everything Deus wrote in his review. However, I do wonder if Deus implies in his review that in order for Ent. to be truly great, it has to somehow mimic the original series. I'm not sure I totally agree with this sentiment, assuming this is indeed something Deus believes. While I do love TOS, and to a limited extent believe Ent. should from time to time offer the feel of TOS since it is set roughly 100 years before it, Ent. should have its own feel. Like I've posted before, there's no reason to create spinoffs from TOS if they're designed to be close copies. Nothing will replace TOS, so why try? Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to watching Insurrection. Speaking of which, can anyone explain to me how the Sonna could have possibly been pushing ketracel-white as a drug for years in the Alpha Quadrent, when it was first introduced into the Trek universe as a drug specifically created by the Founders to control the Jem'Hadar?

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    several nice directorial references to other sci-fi films / franchises
    By Bucky () at 17:00:08 on October 12 2002
    URL: | User Info
    to be fair - I watched this episode on my computer at 5 AM while dopped up on cough medication so I might have been seeing this BUT this is what I picked up.

    The first shot of Trip, Archer & T'Pol entering the station through the white coridor was very much ala "2001: A Space Oddesey"with the Astronaut in the red space suit walking down the coridor.

    The sub-corridors of the space station, while a nice contrast with the prestine white conditions totally flashed me back to the scene in "Alien" where the Captian of the Nostromo was crawling through the air vents to get away from the alien. Specifically, the irising shut of the vents was straight out of that scene.

    Was that Roxanne Dawson doing the voice over for the station? sounded like it to me. if so, that's similiar to her doing the voice-over in "Dreadnaught", a rather underrated VOY ep, by the way.

    that big damn gold yellow thingie in the middle of the station - looked like a total TOS era prop to me.

    anyway, yeah, great episode. By far my favorite part was Trip stalling for time with the computer. cutesy little moment, sure, but it worked and was well in line with Trip's character.


    speed kills but beauty lives forever

    The Smashing Pumpkins 1988-2000

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Could it be so simple?
    By Skaalaar () at 12:37:13 on October 11 2002
    URL: | User Info
    According to media analysts, the performance of the first three Season Two episodes was disappointing. The reviewers weren't very pleased, either.

    Both "Minefield" and "Dead Stop" weren't written by B&B, got remarkable ratings, and were rated quite well in user polls and partly even in professional reviews.

    What does this mean for the bunch of upcoming ENT episodes written by B&B? Did I wrote down something everybody already knows? Would you call that just written nonsense of a boy who has too much time?


    Ceterum censeo: They ruin the franchise!

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Excellent show--give us more like this!
    By Steve Krutzler ( at 19:00:14 on October 10 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I think "Dead Stop" is right up there with "Broken Bow" and "Silent Enemy" as one of ENTERPRISE's few really tightly scripted episodes. Deus pretty much hit all the nails on the head in his review but I have to chime in and say this episode was great. It really had a TOS-like feel to it, especially with the ending shot. The heavy continuation from "Minefield" was great, and consistently one of the major things that ENT does completely differently (and successfully) from all previous STAR TREK. Even DS9 sort of set its serialized installments apart from its standalones, whereas ENT continually makes reference to the continuing events in its standalones. In fact, you probably didn't notice because it made so much sense, but "Stop" demonstrates what VOYAGER never did: show starship damage episode to episode.

    Deus is also spot-on about the crew having adequate things to do all around. The continuity was also handled well with regard to character relationships, e.g. Archer dressing down Reed in the Ready Room, as well as Reed leaving his "sense of adventure" in the Romulan minefield. The discussion about the replicator technology was also welcome and not intrusive like the holotechnology last season. And it was nice to see Trip/Reed continuing their friendship, last seen I think in "2 Days and 2 Nights."

    The score picked up extremely well in the final moments of the show, giving us the "Broken Bow" theme that we haven't heard in a while, something distinctly different from the musical cues used in previous series, again another good accomplishment for the episode. The perspective of Archer from behind the computer was just excellent sci-fi writing. It epitomized the themes running throughout the show: man vs. machine, machine taking life, mysterious station. You wonder who's looking at Archer from behind the screen and whether it's nobody or someone we didn't see, the effect is just plain excellent. They didn't over do it, either. In the end, there is no traditional denouement where the alien builders warp in and apologize for the trouble of their misguided station or any silliness like that. The question remains whether any aliens built it in the first place or have visited it since. This was really one of the few ENTERPRISE episodes to use a science fiction theme and develop it into what was pretty much an original STAR TREK story. It was also, as Deus points out, an excellent ensemble show and something they should do more of.

    Bravo for "Dead Stop," best episode of the year so far!


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

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    The review is biased! Fire the reviewer!
    By Archangel () at 17:30:37 on October 10 2002
    URL: | User Info
    The positivity that I continually see here every time I load this review sickens me.

    Just kidding, but I'm waiting for someone to say it :)


    "The weak and the cowardly have no place in shuffleboard."
    --Phil Hartman ("Worf," SNL)

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    By Karmuega () at 16:50:30 on October 10 2002
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    It was a good show and I agree that it was a good Classic sci-fi Theme episode. BUT for once I would like to see an O.Deus' episode review that treats Enterprise as a show of it’s own without having to go back and compare it to the TOS, TNG, DS9 or Voyager. Granted some comparisons are justified (like comparing Dawson's directing stile to her previous shows) but can we at least get through one single review without having to read “Voyager’s alien of the week” line? We get it!!

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    "The Dank Yellow Conduits..."
    By Phaser1701 ( at 16:41:55 on October 10 2002
    URL: | User Info
    When Archer and T'Pol broke into the computer chamber, my first thought was, "Ah, the ugly underbelly of the station." Indeed, this was where the Station's ugly secret lay. Good catch, and very nice review.


    Honi Soit qui Mal y Pense...

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Inside Joke
    By dropdeadnelix () at 14:06:04 on October 10 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I think "death" Mayweather was something of an inside joke, in that he is the character least liked and least used. In my mind he's been the front-runner for the Tasha Yar Award...the crewmember most likley to end up dead.

    I agree with Deus that the use of FX to actually enhance the plot is a welcome push forward from the FX as "Ohhh Ahhh."

    The early scene of the spiderweb-like docking portion of the station adjusting/openning to fit the Enterprise was cool, errie and slightly suggestive of the trouble to come.

    Archer's little gambit with the Plasma was Picard-like, reminding me of some of my favorite TNG.

    Solid writing and good directing.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Better, but still. . .
    By Michaelj () at 12:45:27 on October 10 2002
    URL: | User Info
    Well, I certainly found this better than last week's show, as at least it didn't desecrate the memory of a classic TOS episode, was competently directed (Dawson may turn out to be a real talent), and did have a line or two of dialogue that wasn't instantly forgettable. But, ultimately, it's still another episode constructed around a sci-fi "gimmick", which is always a poor substitute for genuine human drama.

    It just astonishes me that given the current state of the Trek franchise, they still refuse to take risks with the characters, giving us mostly the same pablum, week after week.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    What I don't understand is...
    By G'Kar ( at 11:21:42 on October 10 2002
    URL: | User Info
    We have a repair station that is programmed to assist people, and to upgrade its abilities by abducting the same people its programmed to help. Why would aliens so benevolent build a machine that would hurt people? Why would aliens so hostile want to help other people in the first place?

    Does the repair station do anything besides repair ships and abduct people? Are there other machines built by the same race that benefit from the upgrades that this machine makes whenever it assimilates someone?

    Is this plot even supposed to make sense?

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    great ep
    By sky () at 11:14:45 on October 10 2002
    URL: | User Info
    In nearly 40 years of watching SF, I figure I'd seen it all, but this ep was refreshing, especially for a New Trek ep. Maybe it was the shadowy elements pointed out by O. Deus, but this ep had some of the mystery of the early TOS eps, the "Outer Limits" ambiance found in quality 60s science fiction. I always say that I'll bash B&B when they goof up and praise them when they do well, and this time I give B&B two thumbs up!


    "When I was your age, I didn't watch television! I LIVED! So... move out of your parent's basements!"

    -- William Shatner on SNL, 1986

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    By Tom M ( at 09:48:48 on October 10 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I could tell the moment they mentioned how small the base's computer must be that we were headed for "Spock's Brain" territory, and true to form, the episode offered little surprises. Yeah, like I believed Mayweather was dead. The rigged plasma cannisters at the end were a bit suspect, since you would think that such an advanced station would be able to detect relatively primitive explosives. Oh, but the cameo of the Nomad probe was nice to see, even if it didn't have anything to do with the episode.


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

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    I think a Poll is called for...
    By DarthSpock () at 09:24:46 on October 10 2002
    URL: | User Info
    That heading just seems to get everybody all bent out of shape... I couldn't resist.

    I really liked the last episode. It seems to me that every episode so far this season has been an improvement on the previous one. One thing I thought would have been interesting for future episodes is if the repair station had remained destroyed. It would have have made it alittle more isolated, and hostile, for the ENT crew if the people in that region thought that they destroyed their favorite Juffy-Lube repair station.


    "I am not sure what disappoints me more... your cowardice or your stupidity."

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]


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