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    "Marauders" Adopts Familiar Formula to Mixed Results as Final Act Undermines Effective Setup, 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.
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    Posted: 07:11:26 on October 31 2002
    By: Steve Krutzler
    Dept: ENTERPRISE Reviews |

    Reviews Ex Deus

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


    Summary: Enterprise goes western as Archer and Co. help some townsfolk...err deuterium diners fight off some bandits...err Klingons.

    Enterprise has encountered the Klingons three times so far. But each encounter, including the overhyped "Sleeping Dogs," was essentially conducted in the 24th century 'grudging allies' mode. "Marauders" is the first violent, or at least semi-violent, encounter between the proto-Federation and the Klingons. Though, of course, "Marauders" takes great pains to emphasize that the Klingons are rogue bandits who don't answer to the High Council and the Federation never identifies itself as such because the series is seemingly unready for a state of open hostilities with the Klingons.

    Star Trek series have used this essentially Western plot for some time now, most recently in TNG's Insurrection and Voyager's "Homestead" (Both of which also featured a Shane-like relationship between a crewmember and a boy). The basic plot is a simple formula that works time and time again. Setup the hapless townsfolk, the gang of varmints who exploit them and the rescuer(s) who stage a showdown with the black hats. There are limited ways to tweak this basic plot, though the Original Series' "Errand of Mercy" did so with another Klingon showdown in a rather innovative way that redefined the basic relationship with the Klingons and raised questions about the real differences between Our Heroes and the Klingons. "Marauders" returns to the basic plot efficiently enough, at least until the final showdown.

    Mike Vejar's smooth direction lays out the deuterium rig-cluttered desert atmosphere and manages to really bring the town to life and give it dimension and history, even if the script reduces the characters to the same formulaic roles as in "Homestead" and Insurrection. All in all, "Marauders" may well tie Roxann Dawson's work on "Dead Stop" for the best directed Enterprise episode, of both seasons.

    The episode begins with the now-familiar notes of continuity as the episode follows up on the chain of events that began with "Minefield," continued in "Dead Stop" and hit a low point in "A Night in Sickbay." This time out the crew is looking to replace the deuterium they used as a bomb in "Dead Stop" (nitpickers will probably point out that in that episode, Trip said they could spare the deuterium and now Enterprise appears to be running dry). They discover a small mobile settlement that pumps the substance out of the ground with what look like futuristic oil rigs--the more technically knowledgeable nitpickers will probably find fault with the entire technological premise of the episode, which treats the deuterium as a futuristic version of oil. From here on in, it isn't long until the Klingons show up.

    Archer discusses the issue with T'Pol, who fails to disagree with him. While the Enterprise Vulcans are clearly more militaristic than those of the Star Trek universe, T'Pol seems rather blasť about the prospect of a fight. Up to now T'Pol has provided an opposing point of view as a valuable part of any discussion; hopefully this is not being truncated because of some brewing romance arc between the two characters. Archer's arguments essentially recap some of the basic debate from the first season's "Fight or Flight," right down to the formulation that asks what the right thing would be to do if the aliens were human. His argument countering any Prime Directive objection is out of place since Starfleet has no Prime Directive of its own at the moment and hasn't accepted the Vulcan Prime Directive. Based on a short-sighted studio directive with the intention of reducing crew conflicts, "Dear Doctor" rewrote Archer's scene to have him invoke the idea of a Prime Directive, but it's hardly Starfleet policy. And half the fun of a pre-'Original Series' series should be the lack of such constrictions. It's certainly odd to see Archer worrying about the Prime Directive in a situation where 23rd century Kirk wouldn't have given it a second thought.

    Archer shares the first of two good scenes with the settlement leader as he convinces him that he needs to defend his colony while repairing a crawler. The training scenes also proceed well with a variety of nice little touches like the colonists discussing their lizard problem and Hoshi giving a firearms lesson. All except T'Pol's ridiculous martial arts segment, however, which involves teaching the colonists how to dodge Bat'leths and only foreshadows how ridiculous the final showdown will be. Archer's second scene with the settlement leader references some more continuity and the character manages to argue realistic justification for his behavior without invoking any pregnant gazelles, while Trip's scenes with the obligatory youngster just demonstrate once again that Star Trek can't do kids or pets and should probably stay away from both.

    The only real flaw of "Marauders," however, comes oddly enough in the showdown itself, which normally would be the eye-candy payoff, but turns into some sort of strategy as bizarre as a Rube Goldberg contraption. The key problem can be traced back to Enterprise's desire to avoid open hostilities with the Klingons, which requires a non-lethal solution. Archer formulates the issue as 'standing up to a bully' because presumably the hypothetical bully is really weak and afraid of a fight. You have to wonder which show the writer was watching: Klingons like fights, they pretty much live for them, they spend their free time fighting and arm wrestling over daggers. Their elections end with a corpse on the floor. This formulation might have been plausible for some alien race of the week, but it's laughable when applied to Klingons.

    The actual showdown is even more more so. The entire strategy here was to lure the Klingons to the deuterium fields by moving the entire town and disguising the deuterium fields. This is a plot roughly equal in cleverness to Blazing Saddles creating an entire fake town to lure the villains in. But Blazing Saddles was a comedy and a spoof of Western cliches, "Marauders" doesn't have the same excuse. After all, it's Andromeda that wants to be like a Mel Brooks movie, not Enterprise. Yet the entire showdown plays out like a comedy routine, not something that anyone would survive even in the Star Trek universe.

    The crew rule out dealing with the Klingons themselves because then the settlers would be helpless against anyone who else came along. Although since the Klingons are rogues and no one else has ever come along before, there's no real reason to believe that anyone would. The episode assumes that dealing with the Klingons is some sort of impossible task, yet the Klingons beam onto the same platform every single time with their weapons holstered. A child could plan a successful ambush under those conditions and one that wouldn't require dragging a town around the desert. A bomb under the platform would take care of the Klingons or a ring of armed men surrounding the platform and waiting to gun down the Klingons as they arrive. Instead Marauders has the townspeople running around under the guns of the Klingons. Now, mind you, the episode claims that Klingons are nearly unstoppable and invincible warriors and two dozen armed men are no match for them in a fair fight. Apparently they're completely helpless when rocks are being thrown at them and wires are being raised to trip them up. The only thing the settlers seem to forget is to leave banana peels out where the Klingons can slip and fall on their backs.

    The goal of this encounter is to apparently make the Klingons really mad before surrounding them with fire, thus frightening them into leaving. Apparently the Klingons are too dimwitted to beam out and transport back down to another location and slaughter everyone responsible. But apparently they've been so terrified by the courage the settlers displayed in throwing rocks at them and tripping them up with wires, that they've decided to leave and never come back for fear that next time out they'll have to deal with the banana peels. And if four Star Trek series have taught us nothing else about Klingons, it's that they panic and retreat at the first sign of trouble. John M. Ford's classic Trek novel, 'How Much For Just the Planet' featured just this storyline with cream pies substituted for banana peels and tuxedos for ropes and it's a hilarious and offbeat work, but the "Marauders" showdown is just unintentionally hilarious.

    I've never been the biggest fan of DS9, but had it done this storyline the showdown would have either been intentionally hilarious or it would have been a dark story about the cost of freedom. Enterprise seems to think that you can have a non-violent story about people fighting for their freedom with trip wires and a strategy that's right out of Spy vs Spy. As in "Minefield," Enterprise is afraid to push the boundaries in storytelling or at least get somewhere near them. It's afraid to even sacrifice one of three minor colonist characters whom we'll never see again in favor of a bizarrely sunny ending. Had "Marauders" gone the DS9 route and actually finished with a dark ending that would have shown the settlers the price they had to pay for freedom and Archer the cost of his decision that might have challenged his naivete, thus providing a conclusion to his speech to the colony leader about his own uncertainty, it might have been a great episode. As it is, "Marauders" has some great moments and some strong scenes and even some low-key development of Archer and Hoshi with a tacked on screwball comedy ending that really doesn't do justice to the material.

    Next week: T'Pol gets her gun.

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

    Chat live with ENTERPRISE story editor Andre Bormanis here at TrekWeb November 14th! Submit questions now!

    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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    By RonMarshall ( at 20:29:49 on November 03 2002
    URL: | User Info
    There are a lot of flaws in this episode, but the one that bothers me most is that the writers do not seem to know what deuterium is. Deuterium is a real substance. It is one of the isotopes of hydrogen with a proton and a neutron in the nucleus. About 1 atom in 2600 hydrogen atoms is a deuterium atom. Because it has about twice the mass of ordinary hydrogen it is not that difficult to obtain. It is usually obtained from the hydrogen in water. It is not a liquid as the episode implied, but a gas. Where are the technical advisers? This kind of thing comes across as sloppy and dumb.


    Ron Marshall

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Errand of Mercy
    By Tom M ( at 22:36:32 on November 02 2002
    URL: | User Info
    You brought up a good point about Errand of Mercy and the original Star Trek. Sure it was white hats and black hats, but in the end there was that little twist where the two are blurred. Sure the Klingons are bad, but the willingness of the Federation to go to war doesn't make them much better, at least not in the eyes of the Organians. It would be nice to see some of this subtlety in Enterprise. The execs claim that these characters are more flawed, but would they really portray them in a less than flattering light? They don't seem to have the kind of courage the original Trek had. It's that kind of courage that makes a classic.

    As for the episode itself, the whole "move the town" plot from Blazing Saddles was just dumb in so many different ways and I just don't have the energy tackling that can of worms.


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

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Solid, but forgettable
    By Noxmagic () at 19:34:34 on November 02 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I'm split evenly between agreeing with Deus' review of Marauders and Steve's reply. This episode had several weak points, namely how easily the Klingons were dealt with. Like Deus wrote, Klingons are suppossed to be a legendary warrior race, one where their people will gleefully hack eachother to death over a vintage bottle of bloodwine. To have them chased away by little more than trip wires and somersaulting homesteaders was more than a little unrealistic. I do think Berman/Bragga did well in having the Klingons eventually be chased away. They were, after all, a small team of bandits, probably a rag-tag group of lazy losers who did not like to put much effort into anything they did. So, when faced with the prospect of having to continuously fight the homesteaders for their "loot," they decided to move on. However, like Steve wrote, the homesteaders should have been forced to pay a high price for their victory, as long as it was not the boy Tripp befriended. That would have been too much of a cliche. Another weak point with this episode is a picky one, but a possible error never the less. When Archer, Tripp, and T'Pol first landed on the planet in a shuttle pod, they were clearly shown to be the only members of the away party. So, when they were forced to hide from the Klingons, their shuttle pod was left out in the open unprotected. There was no one left in the shuttle pod to fly it away when the Klingons arrived. I guess the Klingons just somehow missed detecting the shuttle pod when they entered the planet's orbit. I also noticed that when the away party was preparing to leave the planet, Lt. Reed communicated to Archer that he would send a shuttle pod down to the planet at the landing coordinates. Why would this need to be done, presumably to shuttle the away team back to Enterprise, if they still had the pod they had traveled to the planet in waiting for them?
    This episode was probably written with an emphasis on luring viewers with a promise of a Klingon episode. I have no problem with this, although considering that Ent. is still a new show, every chance should be taken for character development. There were a few of these types of scenes, but not many. I like what Steve wrote concerning some nice character development scenes with Archer and the homesteader's leader. Unlike Deus and Steve, however, I was not distressed by T'Pol's agreeing with Archer. Its realistic that once in a blue moon, they will see eye to eye. I don't think her doing so in this episode signals a change in thier debating relationship. Another nice touch was the very short scene between Travis and T'Pol. I like how a young, well built man like Travis was nervous to engage T'Pol, a slender woman. Speaking of whome, her away uniform was, well, blatant eye candy. Its obvious Berman/Braga have pegged T'Pol to be Ent.'s Seven of Nine. T'Pol's waredrobe is annoying for the same basic reason Seven's was; its unrealistic to believe these types of women would wear such tight outfits. Seven was suppossed to be a no nonsense former Borg. Why would she go from being a Borg drone decked out in machinary and battle gear to wearing sexy cloths, carefully styled hair, and stilttos? T'Pol suffers from the same problem, although to a less sever degree. Overall, this was a solid, though forgetable episode. It was another beautiful appearing episode though, solidifying Ent.'s place as the best looking Trek series so far.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Face kicked Cylon butt
    By dropdeadnelix () at 16:27:54 on November 01 2002
    URL: | User Info
    I said to my girlfriend, "All they need is Trip with a blowtorch and this will BE an A-team episode."

    Not less than 5 seconds later...BANG...Trip is capping off the well with a blowtorch...I neearly fell off the couch.

    I love it when a plan comes together.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Not bad
    By Steve Krutzler ( at 10:01:10 on November 01 2002
    URL: | User Info
    After I watched "Marauders" I watched the Tribute to Gene Roddenberry featurette on the new TNG S5 DVD set for my review (to be posted in a day or two) and listening to Gene speak from 1988 really colored my opinion of this episode. Mainly, Gene says he welcomes young people coming in and doing new things with "his creation" because he knows it'll live a lot longer than he. Rick Berman makes a rare interview appearance on this set as well, talking about Gene, who died during the fifth season. He says Gene's vision was one of an uplifting depiction of the future. Watching "Marauders," I can't help but think the episode does exactly that. It's very uplifting. No one gets killed, the bad guys get chased away and the colonists reclaim some self-respect. Very uplifting.

    The episode itself has some great direction and cinematography as Deus comments in his review. The photography of the deuterium mining equipment and the desert set was excellent and a welcome change from the drab, gray sets we usually endure. I also thought the mining colony was well designed and looked good on film against the blue sky of the California desert, even if I think they could've stuck some colored "alien" looking moons or something in there to better make us feel like we're not in the California desert. Obviously the alien makeup is never going to change, if for no other reason than expense, so perhaps they should focus on the environmental factors in future episodes to better convey the futuristic, sci-fi elements. All in all, the visuals of "Marauders" were a welcome change, right down to different costumes for the crew. My eyes thank you.

    This episode also did some great stuff with Archer. Both his solo scenes with Tessic were very well written and acted by Bakula. Archer is starting to appear much more commanding and sure of himself. I could do without the constant use of 20th century cliches ("teach a man to fish..."), however. Why not have Archer start with "there's a saying on my world..." and have Tessic cut him off with "teach a man to fish? [laugher] yeah, I get it." Obviously the universal translator would translate Tessic's own version of the quote into the one we all recognize :-). But I think there can be more faith in the audience and the dialogue can be much sharper if it avoids having to boil down the "moral" of the episode to one line, usually an Earth trusim. For instance, why not have Tessic, after recognizing the moral for himself (showing that he's Archer's intellectual equal and thus competent to be the leader of his colony rather than being educated by Archer), challenge it with something along the lines of "that may be a truism, captain, but I think it'll take a lot more than a fishing line to reign in this Klingons" ?

    This brings me to the only major problem I have with the episode. I think Tessic should've been casted older so it would make more sense as to why he was reluctant to fight back. They casted him as a sort of "weanie", which conveys cowardice, which I think was the wrong angle. I don't like the idea of Archer et al being the only bastion of common sense in the universe and making out like these colonists needed Archer to point out to them that they could fight back. If Tessic were old and frail (like the old man in Seven Samurai) then it would've conveyed that while he may perfectly be aware of the NEED to fight back, his age precludes it and informs his decision-making differently. I also think it would've made sense to have the colonists come up with part of plan to deceive the Klingons, again, showing them as competent and not just helpless fools who would continue getting victimized into oblivion if it weren't for the Enterprise stopping by.

    Trip and the boy had few scenes and I think the kid did some of the best acting on STAR TREK. I think Deus says this was a weak point but I never got that embarrassing feeling that I usually get when TREK does kids. When Trip finally assumed the father role at the end, telling the kid to do as he says, I bought it, and frankly, Trip makes a nice big brother/Dad.

    The climax was a little lacking. My problem isn't so much with the Klingons leaving. I think that makes sense. As others have pointed out, the goal wasn't to kill them out of vengeance, it was to make it not worth their while to keep ravaging the colony. I think they accomplished this and the Klingons weren't interested in a fight. Although it could've been better hinted at, these Klingons clearly were different from the honor-seeking 24th century breed. Worf's Klingons wouldn't steal deuterium from a helpless colony. So to my mind, these Klingons weren't interested in fighting anybody or taking part in a battle. They were interested in stealing deuterium like the marauders they were, much closer to the TOS-era Klingons. Sure, Korok's dialogue could've been a little smarter to better associate these Klingons with the TOS breed, but the difference was apparent nonetheless.

    Mainly I think the showdown lost some of its fire when the fight stopped to spend a couple minutes trying to lure them over near the drill heads (or whatever they were). It started to lag and sort of sucked the life out of the climax. But it was efficient enough and accomplished the goal of thwarting the baddies and stiffening the village. It was uplifting, damnit! :-)

    I think the show also deserves credit for the nice VFX of the red Klingon transporter and the brief glimpse of the prequel Klingon cargo cruiser. Very nice work there. Some people have mentioned the music, but I hardly noticed it so I don't think any progress has been made there. Too bad, too, considering this was definitely an "action/adventure" kind of episode that could've benefited from a more bombastic score.

    Overall, "Marauders" does what ENTERPRISE is trying to do. The decision is pretty simple for Archer et al. The line about bullies "not back home, not out here" pretty much sums up the human aspect in this episode and it works for me. We're not dealing with any complex politics or ethical issues. It's a small village with a band of baddies hastling it and our heroes ride in on horseback and save the day. It's basically Seven Samurai / Magificent Seven to the T. It worked for those films, why not here? Did it really challenge my intellect or hold me on the edge of my seat? Well, no. But did it show the human sensibility of Archer and his crew and their willingness to do what they feel is right? Definitely.

    Notes to Brannon: Be careful about making T'Pol too agreeable in the future. I agree it'd get old to have them bickering about every little decision but let's not jettison the difference ala Voyager's Maquis. If you have the money, please encourage the use of VFX to better alienize the "strange new worlds" we're visiting each week with interesting background landscapes, skies and other environmental elements that will clearly take us somewhere we couldn't go on a Sunday drive. Finally, don't be afraid to utilize subtitles and alien languages when alien characters are speaking without our heroes present (i.e. the teaser); some more UT presence would also be welcome... shouldn't Hoshi accompany an away team if communication hasn't yet been established, just in case there are UT problems?

    All in all, "Marauders" continues the improvement over last season.


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

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    By Brikar ( at 08:45:11 on November 01 2002
    URL: | User Info
    All I could think of during those shots where the KLingons are just walking toward them and the colonists are just pointing their weapons waiting was of that DS9 episode "Rocks and Shoals" where we had a similar setup- THe Jem'Hadar are coming toward Sisko and his gang... And Sisko opens fire, and they slaughter the Jem'Hadar.

    That should have happened here.


    "Sometimes, when I think about two girls doing a spell, I go and do a spell all by myself."- Xander

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    I know what this episode reminds me of.
    By Cybie () at 23:40:47 on October 31 2002
    URL: | User Info
    any given episode of the A-Team.

    But seriously though, these had to be the worst Klingons in history.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    By DiLune () at 18:42:53 on October 31 2002
    URL: | User Info
    The climax of the show was the biggest letdown of the entire season. Do you all recall the scene where Hoshi and Reed show the colonists how to shoot correctly? What was the point of that? The Klingons arrived and they couldn't hit the broadside of a barn! Maybe they showed them how to hit a target so they could intentionally miss the Klingons. I dunno. And then, after the stop drop and roll routine from T'Pol they do some sort of keystone cops routine where the people in the gullies shift slightly to the left. Then the Klingons, out in the open, also shift slightly. What?!? These are the fearsome warrior terrorizing the colonists? If they had gone back to the right in the gully would the Klingons then have walked to the right?

    The only explanation that I can buy is that these were failures as Klingons and were reduced to simply raiding for Deuterium. But how could this band of idiots terrorize the colony?

    I know, gripe gripe, but when the Klingons transported down to the planet they transported to the same spot in the colony...after it had been moved 15 meters. When they transported to the same exact spot wouldn't it have been 15 meters away from the middle of the village? Wouldn't their sophisticated computers (more advanced than Ent) have noticed the difference? I want some reality with my fantasy here!

    But I give the show a 6 anyway for the white catsuit and reminding me of Natalie Portman in SW II.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    What the hell was that . . .
    By Locutus () at 16:51:28 on October 31 2002
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    I think any fan of the show could have concocted a better climax than this drivel provided; God knows we were all imagining one!

    Enterprise has absolutely no bite whatsoever; at least the original series would have killed off a token Redshirt in order to demonstrate the cost of command.

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    I think that...
    By Spockjaw () at 14:01:09 on October 31 2002
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    ...if Blalock's martial arts stunt-double keeps kicking ass, I will keep watching loyally.

    ~Phlox Rocks

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    Various Comments
    By alphanova7 ( at 13:26:04 on October 31 2002
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    I thought the episode was average, not great, not terrible.

    A few comments.

    1. T'Pols cat-suit is illogical. There is no logical reason for her to wear that outfit on an away mission.
    2. The Klingon's would've NEVER given up like that. They would've stormed through the fire and killed the miners with their bare hands, or died trying, and reveled in the GLORIOUS BATTLE! Even I wouldn't have been spooked by the fire and the vague threat, "We'll be ready for you if you come back," and I spook easily!
    3. Might as well kill Travis off. Sure, we know him better than most extra's, but he doesn't get any more screen time than most extra's!
    4. When the Klingons were first approaching the planet, the Enterprise sensors detected them. Why didn't the Klingon sensors detect the Enterprise? This may be nitpicky, but it didn't make sense to me.
    5. A plea to B&B-Please don't make T'Pol so agreeable. Her prickly relationship with Archer (and the other crew members) was far more interesting, fun, and realistic! She doesn't need to be so overtly pro-Enterprise. Subtle support of the Enterprise and her crew would provide better drama and engage the audience more effectively.



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    You're too kind.
    By Greenspan () at 12:46:57 on October 31 2002
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    This review wasn't critical enough. As you pointed out, this is a recycled plot. How sad that Star Trek not only recycles plots, but chooses one from a bad movie like Insurrection. This episode was so bad, I couldn't even watch it. The ending was predictable since we've seen this story a hundred times before. If the writers had any guts, they'd have written it so that things backfire and Archer's meddling does more harm than good. But instead they play it safe, and have Archer and crew help the kids on the playground stand up to the bullies. How lame. Why did they even bother having them be Klingon? They could've been some AOTW and it wouldn't have mattered. They were a poor excuse for Klingon warriors.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    To Mr. O Deus
    By enterrpise_yeah () at 12:28:28 on October 31 2002
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    I am sorry to say this but it seems you entirely miss the point of the episode. The main point of this episode is to stand against bully by yourself (eventhough you may receive some help), like what the village elder did at the end of the episode (also the rest of the villagers). The reason why Ent didn't fight the Klingon in open, is not that they want to prevent confrontation tho these Klingons, instead they want the villagers to stand up and fight against the Klingons, so the Klingons realize that these people cannot be bullied anymore because now they can stand up by themselves, not just because of the help of others (Ent).

    Secondly I question your argument about the prime directive. Archer never mention anything about prime directive. Next Archer is a human, it is impossible for him not to see from humans point of view (btw we all humans).

    The next point is you are trying to make Enterprise as DS9 show. My friend once asked me what about StarTrek that I like about? I answered him by saying StarTrek is not only a science fiction in space, but it is more than that. It teaches us moral value as human being. That what I liked about StarTrek. TNG is the true testament of this, so does Voyager less in TOS and DS9. Some may argue that DS9 or TOS did teach us many moral statement, perhaps it is true but in more "darker" way.

    Thus by saying that, as I said above the main idea of this episode is to stand up agaisnt bully. Killing the Klingons is not the solution (as we are in real world, should we accomplice this by killing one that bullies us??). The Klingons leave because they feel that people that they can easily bully cannot be bullied anymore (also they are in very disadvantage position).

    The last point I want to mention is that you argued that this episode contain many similiarity to some of Treks episodes. You, me and many others people probably have watch Trek since TOS,..but many dont...dont you remember the first time you watch Trek, you feel that this show is more than just another science fiction, that you actually like it??? I guess the feeling would also be mutual to many new comers into Trek world... You, me probably can say "oh, it is pretty similiar to this and that" but to many others it is a new thing. The show is not just for you, me and *fanatic* fans (just joking =) ) but also to many other people, dont you want your children to watch it too =)

    All in all, I just would like you to consider all these points. It will make your days feel wonderfull and you can write more excellent reviews. Thank You for you time reading this. =)


    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    By Theo () at 12:24:42 on October 31 2002
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    It was a cute story, but nothing in it made me go.. "cool!"

    Moving the town? I thought the same thing as O.Deus - Blazing Saddles.

    Just too many inconsistent behaviors from everyone - T'Pol agreeing to the plan (she really is becoming his lap dog), Klingons for not just firing a photon torpedo at the settlement when they left and Archer for not bringing his dog down to fight the Klingons.

    Funny that they are going to have an episode about getting a communicator back, but Tripp gives the kid the schematic to Enterprise on a nice PADD that probably has very sophisicated technology.


    Not the worst (better than watching re-runs), but definitely had problems.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    A good followup opportunity would be...
    By One of One () at 11:30:03 on October 31 2002
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    if at some point later in the season, or maybe early next, Enterprise happens back to the planet and finds all the miners slaughtered by the same band of Klingons. This would be effective in showing Archer the price of interfering in the affairs of others.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    I don't agree
    By gul_garak () at 09:45:45 on October 31 2002
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    "I've never been the biggest fan of DS9, but had it done this storyline the showdown would have either been intentionally hilarious or it would have been a dark story about the cost of freedom. Enterprise seems to think that you can have a non-violent story about people fighting for their freedom with trip wires and a strategy that's right out of Spy vs Spy"

    If it would have been DS9, half the settlerts would have died and the boy would have ended with a peg leg!. Then the moral wouldn't be, "Freedom has its price" but rather, an small mining operation in a desert planet is not worth it, we should have asked the Enterprise to take us home.
    The style of the episode is how Star Trek is, look at Insurrection, no Ba'Ku died, or even some TNG eps about figthing for freedom like "The Hunted" where the only deads where a few guards at the prision (which wasn't even shown, so you can compare it to this ep background of the kills when they tried to fight the Klingons before)
    Also, if they would have been fighting to free an entire planet of Klingon ocupation, then of course!, many thousand people would have died. However that was not the case, it was a few dozen settlers, agaist 7 low level Klingons (Remember it wasn't a Bird of Prey, it was just an small ship). Also, the strategy was becouse they did not what to kill the klingons, if they had done so other klingons would have come for vengance.
    Finally the klingon Captain said they didn't care about the place, they could get their supplies anywhere they wanted.
    I didn't see anything wrong with the Ep, other than UPN crappy transmition (I don't know how they expect for anyone to watch the show when they take down an up the volume every 2 mins - and I'm not talking about just a little).
    ** Forgive my poor English, but it is not my first language**

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    By Trek47 ( at 09:40:06 on October 31 2002
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    "nitpickers will probably point out that in that episode, Trip said they could spare the deuterium and now Enterprise appears to be running dry"

    Not to be too nitpicky, but it was warp plasma that they could spare for payment, not deuterium.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    too soft
    By psp1 () at 09:36:53 on October 31 2002
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    Usually, your reviews are dead on. However, this time I think you are far too charitable to this really weak and poorly thought out plot.

    The whole set up was so artificial. No self-respecting group of 80 people would tolerate being totally abused by 7 warriors (Klingon or otherwise). It seemed like they were there only as plot contrivances for our heroic crew.

    In the end, the assumption is that the Klingons will not be back. HELLO, who is buying this ending? If you humiliate Klingons (which is what the colonists did), they will come back with a vengeance. They would have preferred to die as warriors rather than be humiliated into returning to their ship. You can be sure that these Klingons will not only be back, they will bring some of their buddies with them. They would probably make sure they will slaughter the entire colony so that none will remain to speak of the humiliation inflicted upon them. (This might make a good follow up show, actually. Our crew thought they were doing the colonists a favor, only to find they did not understand Klingon pschology at all- an enraged Archer then hunts down the Klingon marauders).

    This episode was an unintentional farce.



    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    WRBW Orlando SUCKS!!!
    By Tbar ( at 09:26:41 on October 31 2002
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    The orlando station decided to pre-empt Enterprise for a NBA game (Orlando Magic). So where do they put this weeks episode?

    Saturday at 5pm? What the hell kind of time is that?

    Thank god I have a Tivo.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    All too familiar story...
    By BWilliams ( at 09:03:57 on October 31 2002
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    When I saw this episode, one thing went through my mind: Star Trek meets A Bug's Life. That's just what it came off as.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]

    Jesus wept......
    By Lovok ( at 08:36:42 on October 31 2002
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    Thank you O'Deus

    See here in Austraila, we have to wait until next year to see 2nd season Ent. Now being a Romulan fan I thought..."Oh no I will have to wait too long...all these cool plots involving Romulans and Klingons nicely forshadowing the coming period of classic trek."

    Also after some of the 1st Season Episodes-I was ready to down tools on this series.

    Thank you for freeing me of any concern I'm missing out-

    The Ferengi episode will never be forgiven nor the times I fell asleep (Even the worst Voyager eps kept me awake barely) like "Risa" and "Rogue Planet"

    What happened its like candy floss!-its weird its there you can touch it but is nothing as you taste its light and dissolves.

    Enterprise is Candy floss with a star trek label attached to the stick.

    But I have to bring up some points I'm curious about

    You describe alot of the actions of the Klingons from TNG (In paticular most of them appear in Redemption pt1 and pt 2)and DS9. Yet you claim these actions suit a one off race.

    These actions define the Klingons-I do not get what you are saying. That in the Ent time they should be more civilised? They by the 23rd-24th centuries turn to what is now the established (In TOS, the MOVIES, TNG, DS9 and even VOY)Klingon way?

    This episode really showed that if you establish a warlike race-you stick with it with all the drama that entails -not sidestep it with intelligence insulting slapsticks A-team no one really gets hurt style resolution.

    I will watch when it comes on-just to get my own take of it-just like the other episodes-sadly I will not be lookig foward to them.

    Personally I loved the way TNG handled the Klingons-I was glad when they were given a lot more focus in DS9. They came alive to me-unlike the Cardassians, yes bitter grapes from the Romulan fan, but I always loved the big 3 (Feds, Roms, and Klingons) and wanted to see more development on all.

    Just curious why not a fan of DS9?

    Even though I felt a large share of the episodes were flawed they have more substance than this current series.

    [ Reply to This | Parent Comment ]


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