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"Extinction" Derails Season's Early Strides, Says Deus
PROMENADE







Posted: 06:37:16 on September 25 2003
By: O. Deus
Dept: ENTERPRISE Reviews
Reviews Ex Deus

"Extinction"

Overall Episode score: 4.0
Performances: 2.0
Writing: 3.0
Direction: 6.0
FX: 7.0


Summary: Archer, Reed and Hoshi get turned into alien werewolves and spend a lot of time sniffing T'Pol and playing in the trees.

Review: The first portion of "Extinction" was so bad that about halfway through as Archer and Reed gibbered and capered through the trees, I began hoping that another blackout would strike the northeast. Of all the TNG episodes in the world to remake why in all the galaxy would ENTERPRISE choose to remake bottom of the barrel material like "Genesis" and "Identity Crisis?" Throw in a premise reminiscent of fine VOYAGER episodes like "Threshold," "Nemesis," and "Favorite Son" and you've really hit a high water mark in quality. ENTERPRISE's stated goal this season was to be all new and exciting, yet "Extinction" not only borrows wheelbarrows of material from past STAR TREK shows, but borrows from worst possible places.

In previous seasons, Andre Bormanis was responsible for some of ENTERPRISE's best work and "Extinction"'s second half occasionally shows glimmers of the quality of his past abilities. But even this show's best moments such as the mutated Archer's dream sequence in the alien city and the death of the contaminated member of the alien containment team have the stamp of the director, rather than the writer, on them. And "Extinction"'s worst moments aren't moments, but entire scenes in the forest with the alienated crew and T'Pol that might have only lasted minutes in objective time, but subjectively seem to run for hours. The idea of having the aliens speak an alien language before shifting to the universal translator's english is a good idea and worked well in "Precious Cargo" and "Dawn." But "Extinction"'s gibbering is more reminiscent of the altered English in VOYAGER's Nemesis. A good idea in theory, but painful to experience and combined with the mutated crewmembers acting like extras from PLANET OF THE APES, completely impossible to watch.

What made "Identity Crisis" a better episode than "Genesis" was that it was about the slow transformation of people into alien things. While "Genesis" like "Extinction" got the transformation over with as quickly as possible, assuming that the whole point of a classic 'transformation' story is in watching the werewolf scamper around the forest, rather than in watching the man struggle not to become a werewolf. The drama is ultimately with the human being rather than with the moster and with the choices that they make rather than with scenes of animalistic behavior. Had "Extinction" chose to make the aliens humanoid rather than animalistic, the moral dilemma Archer only manages to articulate in the final moments of the episode could have been a real part of the story.

Like "Tuvix," ENTERPRISE might have gone into interesting philosophical territory by, for example, broaching the question of whether the crew would be prepared to destroy the replacement aliens to restore Archer, Reed, and Hoshi, and whether Dr. Phlox would have gone along with such a move. It could have explored the moral dilemmas of the species maintaining the containment and contrasted their desperate tactics to protect their species with Archer's own desperate measures to save humanity as recently as in the last episode. It could have similarly articulated the desperate measures that drove the alien species the crew are transformed into, to doing what they did through the voices of the crewmembers themselves. But instead, "Extinction" has the aliens act more like werewolves sniffing each other, gibbering and leaping into and out of trees. Any potential for centering the episode around more than a formulaic VOYAGEResque plot in which T'Pol tries to reach Archer's humanity, the one-dimensional aliens obstruct Trip from saving the crew just long enough for a few commercial breaks and the Doctor comes up with an immediate solution to a problem no one else has been able to solve for decades, is completely wasted.

In the second half, "Extinction" makes a weak attempt to deal with the plight of an extinct species, but aside from Archer's excellent dream sequence, it mostly fails to do anything but force the poor actors to act like they're in a dinner theatre production of CATS. Where it tries to be "The Inner Light" or "Memorial," the episode mainly ends up being "Genesis" for its focus on having the crew pantomime animal behaviors rather than reveal human ones. But unlike that TNG episode, it's never so absurd or bad that it's actually funny. "Extinction" wants characters that behave like the devolved crew from "Genesis" to get the same kind of reaction as Picard's journey in "Inner Light." But it doesn't have the script or the performances or the genius to pull something like that off and what results instead is painful to watch. Even Blalock's T'Pol stumbles around dazed and confused with nothing to work with except fellow actors behaving like German Shepherds in a dog park.

"Extinction" should get credit for continuity by tying in "Anomaly"'s Xindi database to this week's plot and lose credit for the continuity of including yet another skimpily-clad massage scene. In a better episode like "Anomaly" this type of material might have brought down the episode's average, but so much of "Extinction" is so bad that it barely stands out. Also, ENTERPRISE's third season seems to be in danger of following VOYAGER into a Gilligan's Island scenario in which the crew's search for the Xindi keeps getting sidelined into wacky adventures every week. The MACO's are curiously absent this episode even though there is an assault and rescue mission that should have required their talents. Obviously they can't and shouldn't use them all the time and guest stars of course cost money, but giving an explanation for their absence might have been a good idea. "Extinction"'s special effects are also a bit uneven with some great space-based scenes like the Enterprise streaking away from the planet with the alien quarantine ships in pursuit, and some poor ground scenes, like the alien city in Archer's dream sequence, which looks toylike.

Finally, while the touch of continuity provided by the Xindi database is nice, it would have better if "Extinction" had continued fleshing out the ongoing arcs like the MACO's, the Xindi, the crew's reaction to the Xindi attack and to Archer's actions in the previous episode. The aliens maintaining the quarantine could have by now gained some awareness of the Enterprise's previous actions in the Expanse such as their attack on the mining facility and their skirmish with the Osaarian pirates and might have drawn some conclusions based on these rumors. That would mean that Enterprise is gaining a reputation in the Expanse. Perhaps the episode could have shown the quarantine aliens making a report to a Xindi contact or Trip could have obtained more information from the Xindi shuttle. There are of course plenty of other possibilities that ENTERPRISE could have employed to strengthen its arc-based content in an otherwise throwaway episode.

Enterprise's "Impulse"
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About the Author
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.

Past Reviews
  • Impulse
  • Rajiin
  • "Extinction"
  • "Anomaly"
  • "The Xindi"
  • Season 2 Poll Results
  • "The Expanse"
  • "First Flight" and "Bounty"
  • "Regeneration"
  • "Cogenitor"
  • "The Breach" (Williams)
  • "Horizon" (Williams)
  • "Judgment"
  • "The Crossing"
  • React to this story below and see what others are saying at the STAR TREK BBS.
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    GET A GRIP
    By cousin o ( ) at 10:44:26 on September 30 2003
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    OK, i can't take anymore of this. You guys are really petty. Do you people know how many episodes of Star Trek there have been? (Oh wait, alot of you could probably give me the exact number and tell me how many there have been, and how many have been in production, as well as the exact number of paperback novels.)
    The show has been on for so long now that you're NEVER going to have an episode that's 100% original. You're ALWAYS going to have something be vaguely reminiscent of another episode at this stage of the game.
    I think the best thing you can do at this point is combine the existing elements in a new way, which is what "Extinction" did (and what alot of art does in the 21st century).
    Although there were echoes of all the episodes mentioned above, they are combined into a new hybrid to create a RELATIVELY new story. It didn't come off as a Frankenstein patch and stitch job, which would definitely be bad.
    If you're looking for something that's high concept (the premise can be described easily in one line or so), that's still within the framework of the "star trek formula", you'd be hard pressed to come up with anything that doesn't harken back to a previous episode in SOME form. So you guys are really being petty about this.
    Even if we were to tweak the episode (as someone suggested above) it would invariably come off reminding someone of yet ANOTHER past episode altogether (like "Tuvix", mentioned above).
    Did I think it was a great episode? I thought it was ok. Not great, not bad. But you people need to relax. I laughed at the guy who predicted it would be "genesis" meets "children of time" because it wasn't like "children of time" at ALL, and i thought the connection to "genesis" was tenuous at best.
    In "genesis" an accidental virus turns the crew into an earlier version of their own species. In "Extinction" a manufactured virus turns people into memebers of a different species with the explicit purpose of carrying on their race. The two are SIMILAR, but not exact; and i think to expect to more than that at this stage of the game is silly indeed.
    It's not that my expectations are low, it's just that i'm a realist about the creative process.
    Now, if you were to cite problems with the acting, directing, casting, childish sexual references, etc. in the past 2+ seasons I would have no choice but to agree with you.
    Complaining about the "non-originality" of an episode like "Extinction" strikes me as petty and churlish.
    If anyone disagrees with me on this, I DEFY you to present a ONEIf anyone disagrees with me on this, I DEFY you to present a ONE or TWO line premise here on the message board that could be a potential star trek plot that the rest of us won't immediately re
    cognize as derivative of SOME past episode of star trek or some other sci-fi show.
    Any takers?




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    I'm confused
    By Captain Chris ( ) at 12:29:54 on September 29 2003
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    I almost didn't watch this ep last night after reading all the scathing reviews here, but, since I haven't seen much TV at all this week, I decided that, as a Trek fan with an hour to kill, I was going to watch some Trek.

    So I'm confused. Did we see the same episode? I thouroughly enjoyed this one from beginning to end (although the end did seem a little rushed). There was action, there was tension, there was moral ambiguity. And it was never certain how the heroes were going to get out of it.

    The story was paced well. The introduction of the aliens explained, at just the right time, the opening sequence. The brutality of these aliens was already becoming obvious, but their motivations were finally presented. They were neither good nor evil (actually, the same could be said for all three species in this ep) The part where they had to kill one of there own, without a moments hesitation, showed to what lengths they were willing to go to contain the virus.

    Also, as the story progressed, we learned more about the mutated aliens from the mutated crew. The fact that they were communicating better seemed to be a subtle indication that they were still mutating. As they got better at communicating, their plight became more sympathetic. I felt bad for them when they found their city in ruins. I even understand a little of Archers motivation in saving the virus (though I didn't agree with that aspect of the story).

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    Enterprise Shot Inside a Library?
    By pratzen ( ) at 13:49:12 on September 28 2003
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    Does anyone else notice how timidly most of the "Enterprise" actors deliver their lines - as if they're afraid someone will hear them? Becula is nearly always monotone regardless of the plot situation he's in. The actors playing T'Pol, the doctor, the bridge crew, all follow suit with timid little mutterings. The only actor speaking like he has a set in this cast is the one playing Trip.

    Compare the vocal performances of the "Enterprise" cast in your mind to comparable roles played by the actors in any of the previous Star Trek series and you may see why many of us suspect there's a plot at Paramount to finally murder this franchise by deliberately boring the audience to death.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    Did someone actually OK this episode ? and would they admit to it !
    By mus ( ) at 22:49:10 on September 27 2003
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    Is this the worst episode of Enterprise ever? The simple answer is YES! Awful, awful, awful.

    It really amazes me that someone read the script and said "Wow this sounds great letís do itĒ. I can only assume it was the same person who choose the new revamped theme music (and donít get me started on that)

    Can Science Fiction shows ever do drama based character episodes without resorting to changing the leads into bizarre mutants for 35 minutes before the end of the episode when they are "shock horror" returned to normal?

    After the good work in the previous episode this is a real let down. There was no tension to speak of, as we all new that everyone would come out unscathed, which made the tension music when Archer and Reed fought over an egg full of maggots even more laughable.

    I normally watch all Star Trek episodes at least once, from start to finish but this was the first time I really couldn't stand it and I found myself fast forwarding - anything to avoid listening to those awful velociraptor impersonations.

    As somebody famous once said "Worst episode ever" I feel really sorry for the actors. I wonder if they felt sorry for us the viewers?

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    I'm surprised that no one has compared this to "Masks"
    By Cap'n Calhoun ( kosstamojan@yahoo.com) at 02:41:15 on September 27 2003
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    It seeems like that was what they were trying to do:

    Alien device/virus recreates crew member(s) as (a) member(s) of its own species, both physically and mentally.

    "Masks" + "Genesis" - "Memorial" = "Extinction"

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    Excellent episode!
    By Hbasm ( ) at 18:09:44 on September 26 2003
    URL: http://home3.inet.tele.dk/huas/st_enterprise/ENT-page1.htm | User Info
    What an excellent episode! I enjoyed it far more than Anomaly. Maybe I belong to a minority, but I have no regrets. A healthy society does not only consider the majority, and Star Trek is supposed to reach different kinds of people.

    In my opinion, there was nothing bad in this episode. I got into the atmosphere very quickly, and was kept there all the time. Where "Anomaly" was trying to portray a tough mission with difficult decisions, "Extinction" was more of an adventure. These episodes are usually my favourites.

    Some people may laugh and feel pitty for me, but I think you should read on and consider that "Extinction" can be taken seriously just as much as a political episode.

    When Archer and his fellows were transformed into an unknown species, it was visualised with more expertise than ever before in Star Trek. It was also a new story twist, to have the crew react so instantly to the planets enviroment - or the virus, as it turned out to be.

    I was reminded of what it's possibly like to be an animal. The species turned out to be intelligent beings, but very controlled by their instincts. Their behaviour was strange, but eventually, humans are just as driven by instincts. We've just become used to it. In our everyday we don't think about the similarities between humans and primitive lifeforms on Earth.

    But it's a vital part of science fiction to show us who we are, and to understand our world. Not so much in terms of politics, but in terms of science and philosophy.

    "Extinction" is a good example of this, and has great entertainment value. Star Trek has a reputation for being out of this world, and doesn't take the current scientific facts too seriously. I think that's great because tomorrows science will proove todays wrong anyway. That said, I think this episode paid attention to every detail. The result is that everything felt right, nothing was cheap or unbelievable.

    Its rather rare that Star Trek manages to show us aliens who are *really* different from humans. This attempt turned out rather well. The entire episode was a great piece of acting! I praise the actors for their work! Also the director, and who ever was involved with this. The sets were great, the camera angles were strange and allowed for a unique feeling.

    I welcome this adventure. It fits well into the premise of "The Expanse" and keeps in touch with the old mission of exploration. It was certainly not a political episode, or an episode about warfare. Fortunately because I don't like war.

    Extinction was spicy and something that only Star Trek can do.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    From Promise to Crap
    By Weyune ( ) at 16:00:09 on September 26 2003
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    I have actually enjoyed just about every episode to date.

    This one started out well and I was glad to see LeVar directed it. But once the crew started to mutate it all went downhill.

    I have been watching the first 2 seasons with my wife, trying to get her into Star Trek - this epsiode really took a step backwards. I was actually embarresed for the show watching this week.

    I hope they get back to their main story next week.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    Brain? Brain? What is Brain?
    By Helen ( ) at 15:03:07 on September 26 2003
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    Glad I missed this episode (on purpose). I was afraid it would be another "Spock's Brain" or "The Mating of the Lizard People at Warp 10"...

    Gosh, why do they do turkeys like this? To drive away audiences after a promising start to the season?

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    Not Season 3 ep AT ALL
    By Zelig ( ) at 06:45:52 on September 26 2003
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    What a dissapointment this episode was. Desides the fact that this was a bad and borig episode which without a doubt it was, it shows how bad this two guys strategy for the show is.

    I mean, They have three weeks all for themselfs to start the new Xindi Arc and insted of planing an exiciting Three parter episode much like DS9 did at some points, they choose to do this mediocre season opener, nice second episode and "what the hell does this has to do with it?" Extintion episode that is like the worst of season 2 episodes.

    Think how well they could have introduce us the Macos, explain the dangers of the expanse, even put in sexy stuff with more sense in a 135 minute story.

    But i guess is asking too much from these two. Seems their brains can't concive stories longer than 45 minutes.

    Real shame, and a wasted oportinuty like no other. Next week with Smallville on the air we'll see how bad this episode really was.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    Not that bad
    By Noxmagic ( ) at 23:54:18 on September 25 2003
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    While I can't totally disagree with the major points that Deus makes in his review, I did enjoy Extinction more than he did. I was, like Deus writes, disappointed with Ent. blantently recycling past Trek story lines, but this was easily my biggest problem with this ep. Unlike Deus, I actually got a kick out of Bakula, Park, and the dude who plays Reed acting like so many extras from Planet of the Apes. Also, I enjoyed the overall look of this ep., due no doubt to Lavar Burton's direction. Maybe he should simply become their unofficial director. In any event, this ep. wasn't up to par with this season's first two, but I don't think it was nearly as bad as Deus and many other posters here make it out to be.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    You want originality?
    By johniccp ( ) at 19:21:24 on September 25 2003
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    Some (English majors) say, "There's nothing new since Shakespear". After almost forty years of Star Trek, some of the episodes might have similar plot lines and/or use of characters. After relaxing a bit, here's my list of relatively minor complaints.

    Mutating from one spieces to another in under a minute was hard to believe.

    T'Pol/Trip relationship adds depth missing from other crew members. Could other non-Archer characters have friends or outside interests too?

    I missed the great music from last week.

    When plots don't make sense (Dr Phlox should try curing AIDS/cancer/cold next) I wonder if there's a book that B&B tried to teleplay into 45 minutes and something was left behind on the cutting room floor.

    My tape recorder awaits next week.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    Major Bummer
    By Edzo ( lordedzo@hotmail.com) at 19:03:19 on September 25 2003
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    I'm writing this first, reading everyone's comments later.

    "Identity Crisis" was never one of my favorite TNG episodes, so you can imagine my feelings about "Extinction."

    Layering three actors in puffy-necked latex and having them jump around like apes and make funny noises does not an episode make.

    And would someone please tell me why Jolene Blalock is playing the "damsel in distress?" For heaven's sake, she's a Vulcan! Start kicking some butt! Stop swaying around like you're Fay freakin' Wray!

    I kept waiting for this episode to pick up the pace. It never did.

    The single coolest moment of the whole show was when Archer/ape guy is dreaming and the *real* Archer steps around the corner. Too bad the story didn't go that route.

    That's it. Very underwhelming. I live in hope that that's the last crappy episode we'll see for awhile.

    A guy *can* hope, can't he?

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    This IS Trek.
    By GhostPoet ( ) at 18:33:21 on September 25 2003
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    How can anyone call themselves a fan and not like this episode? This IS Trek.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    HUMMM
    By CW ( ) at 18:28:40 on September 25 2003
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    Well i wonder how much you paid attention the episode if you did not notice that MACO's were part of Trip's away team to rescue the Archer, Hoshi, Reed and T'Pol!!!!!!!

    But on the other hand the i do agree with you in the fact that this episdoe really reminded me of "Threshold" and "Memorial" But i thought that it was a good episode. I liked that scene at the end with Phlox and Archer. I though that it did justice to the whole Xindi arc.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    B&B always saddle the weak with the strong
    By aquirius ( ) at 17:16:27 on September 25 2003
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    It is just as I feared. I think some positive buzz was generated by "Anomaly", so some casual viewers stuck around this week to see if appearances were being kept up. But sad to say "Extinction" is no "Anomaly". I predict that next week's "Rajin" will suffer badly. Watch and see if it happens. It's a shame because the synapsis for "Rajin" actually advances the Xindi arc very nicely.
    "Extinction was not an terrible mess, but a wasted opportunity to (1) uses the material to its fullest potential, (2) to hook in casual viewers to tune in week after week. Watch "Rajin" rating will be down. The same thing happened last year. "Dead Stop" generated buzz and "A Night In Sickbay" killed it. They should have done a Season 2 second half, "Cease Fire", then "Future Tense", and then "Canamar". This line up really hooked some viewers. Season 3 needed to hit the ground running from the start, but it didn't. I was not inpressed with the Archer gets captured again plot of "The Xindi".

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    There were some redeeming qualities
    By Steve Krutzler ( s_krutzler@trekweb.com) at 17:15:50 on September 25 2003
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    On the whole, I'd say this is the weakest of the three new episodes. First let's cover the major problems, and these are flaws that I think are generally endemic of late-era TREK as I suppose we could say ENT qualifies as:

    There were some major problems with believability. Granted, the concept itself is pretty far-fetched, but that they would completely mutate in a matter of minutes was pretty difficult to swallow. Furthermore, the flame-throwers just seemed wholly anachronistic for a warp-faring species. Surely it would take a couple minutes to incinerate a living humanoid and as we saw their remains were never totally eradicated. Horribly inefficient and likely must an excuse to inject some shock value into the piece. Again, that Phlox could resolve what the other aliens couldn't in 2/3 of a century was just stretching credibility and happens far too often. Why not have T'Pol also be effected and then have them find the key to the cure in the ancient city? Finally, the alien contaminators were just bad. TREK needs to stop creating no-name species every time they need a filler episode. When in doubt, just don't use alien species, or don't show them. Those plastic costumes, the forehead ridge, and the bad actor were just embarrassing. T'Pol was also acting far more fearful than a Vulcan should--she seemed just like any other person in a freaky situation.

    "Extinction" does have some redeeming qualities, however. First of all, from the beginning you do get a sense that this isn't just another random episode by Archer calling T'Pol down to mission contrl in the middle of the night and you had a general feeling of forboding, as opposed to the general "we've found an interesting planet, let's go explore, yippee!" mood of last season. The continuity with Trip's "treatments" was also good from a story-arc standpoint.

    The episode also managed to leap above most of the season one and two ENT fare by injecting some much needed "interest" in the way of the alien flashbacks, the ruins, and the general predicament. Although it was executed rather predictably, at least I was compelled somewhat by the sci-fi notion behind the episode and showing the subterranean city gave the show some "oomph" to make up for its pedestrian antics.

    Finally, the ending was pretty good. I share Deus's criticism that the script had much more potential to be tied into the ongoing themes of season three. Good dramas don't merely have "filler" episodes, they build on the themes of the season and although the plot doesn't always have to be directly about the Xindi or the general arc, good drama weaves multiple layers of meaning beyond the mere plot at hand. There was a lot of potential for examining Archer literally transformed a week after demonstrating quite a startling emotional transformation (torturing the prisoner), but this was nowhere to be found. The ending did recoup a bit, however, by tacking on some moralizing about the ancient civilization. Although Archer's ordeal was arguably grotesque, he still has far more humanity than the contaminators and he's not going to do to the Lekik (or whatever) what they tried to do to him.

    I think the biggest weakness of a script like this is that it undermines the whole notion of the Expanse. This story could've taken place outside the Expanse and for all we know, it did. Add two more no-name species to the list of aliens living in here without, apparently, too much of a problem. Perhaps tying the lost civilization into the Expanse would've been more interesting. Of course this may still happen and maybe we'll learn of it later, but right now, the space looked normal, the aliens looked like the usual variety, there were no signs of spatial anomalies, and they certainly weren't very alone in this region. If they wanted to do a transformation story, why not do it with Expanse anomalies, like how the Osaarian intimated last week that the anomalies "do things to a man's face." This would've been more relevant and avoided the pitfall of hyping up this big Expanse journey and they giving us a seemingly unrelated, run-of-the-mill aliens of the week story three weeks in.

    All in all, I rate this episode a 6/10. It had more interest and a little more inspiration than most S1 and S2 episodes, so that counts for something. It also tried to make itself "about something" in the last few minutes, which is at least more than many episodes even bothered to do in the last two years. That said, for ENT's new direction to be a success, this kind of episode better be the rare exception for the rest of the season, or they better blow our socks off with some interesting revelations about the lost civilization to explain away their seeming irrelevance and utter normalcy in the midst of the "spooky" Expanse.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    Dues: Good review, but wrong series comparison
    By Maestro ( ) at 16:16:18 on September 25 2003
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    Though I DO see this as pretty much a filler ep, I think you're comparing the Xindi arc to the wrong 60's TV series.

    It's really more like The Fugitive, not Gilligan's Island. Archer is like Doc Kimble and The Xindi are like the One-Armed Man.

    Though the driving force for Archer/Kimble is to find the Xindi/One-Armed Man, all too often he will be embroiled in generic crime capers/alien of the week, but we do get the episode where he actually encounters One-Armed Man/Xindi, giving us a little bit of payoff but leaving us wanting more.


    Perhaps the Fugitive model might be being followed a bit TOO closely though: even though The Fugitive and The Invaders are credited for setting the standard for arc-based series such as The X-Files, the producers have pretty much admitted that they REALLY wanted to do Westerns, but the market was saturated at the time, so the searches for the One-Armed Man and the Aliens, respectively, were really just to provide the Impetus for the hero to head to a different town each week.


    But they have X-Files alum John Shiban on board, along with Brent Friedman, who run the brilliant but short lived Dark Skies(which had an ambitious multi-year arc) so I figure the arc is in good hands.

    Looking forward to Raijin and The Shipment. Some real meat there if spoilers can be trusted.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    Wow
    By Brikar ( ) at 15:03:13 on September 25 2003
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    You paid a lot of attention if you didn't see any MACOs.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    • RE: Wow by Cyrus @ 15:36:24 ET on 25 Sep
      • RE: Wow by Brikar @ 15:52:55 ET on 25 Sep
    No surprise--"Anomaly" was, indeed, an anomaly. . .
    By Michaelj ( ) at 13:13:02 on September 25 2003
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    . . . after all, did we REALLY think that B & B had finally learned the rudiments of TV drama? That T'Pol in revealing pajamas is no substitute for taut writing and directing? That having your main cast members grunt under heavy latex for endless minutes might not be the best way to win back your core audience, let alone the regular viewers you'll need to make your show a success? It would be nice, I suppose, if Mike Sussman could write every "Enterprise" script from this point forward, but that probably wouldn't be fair to him. And from the previews, next week's show looks even worse.

    Face it, folks--this show is done.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    Toylike?
    By MaxPower ( ) at 12:44:51 on September 25 2003
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    Quote:
    like the alien city in Archer's dream sequence, which looks toylike.

    That is just nonsense. That was a beautiful looking scene. Of course it could have been better but for a TV show and a TV show budget they did a great job on that city.

    [ Reply | Quote | Parent ]

    I was surprised
    By Merlinus Ambrosius ( ) at 12:28:02 on September 25 2003
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    Usually, when they do a "Crew Muation" trek episode...it sucks. I was surprised that extinction wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. My one complaint is that this episode could haved used the situation to explore certain characters....but it didn't, it just went for the "what the hell is going on" bit. Which isn't bad....just not very original. But all in all, it wasn't a bad episode...it just wasn't great either.

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    Ientity Crisis is not bottom of the barrel
    By W Epemenundus Edrastus Blab ( justin52240@msn.com) at 12:15:22 on September 25 2003
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    "Identity Crisis" is the best scarry Trek episode that I know of. By that, I mean it is actually pretty frightening. Watch it with the lights off.

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    I disagree! (mild spoilers)
    By MikeNinNH ( ) at 11:13:52 on September 25 2003
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    You can't be too analytical about what is ultimately supposed to be an entertainment experience - don't forget, you need to heavily suspend belief to buy the theory that you can just mutate to another species then back again - but based on the reaction of those who watched with me, as well as my own reaction, I have to disagree with this article. All six of us enjoyed it, and given that we often come away from ENT disappointed, I take that as a good sign. Yes, there were opportunities missed to improve the episode, but that's true for 90% of all Trek episodes regardless of the series you're talking about.

    I disagree with the acting being unwatchable. We thought that Bakula & Company did a good job making the alien language sound believable, just as believable as most Klingonese sounds. Yes, there was a resemblance to the Planet of the Apes actors with their movements but many folks consider the first POTA movie to be a true classic, and the makeup on this episode blows that movie away. And despite the makeup, you could see on Bakula's face and hear in his voice the anguish at what he finds of the underground city. The actor playing the alien captain got the point across nicely that he wasn't a bad guy, but a good guy in a bad situation.

    No doubt this episode takes cues from other Trek mutation stories, but if you want totally original stories, good luck - it's all been done before, on Trek and other sci-fi series. Instead, it's the interpretation of these old concepts is what counts, and they did a good job of it here.

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    Comedy
    By Michael ( ) at 10:31:47 on September 25 2003
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    It was so bad that I started laughing. It was embarrassing to see Star Trek come to this. I was hoping that Archer would be incinerated as that may be Enterprise's only hope. Who is in charge of this series? How could they possibly let this episode on the air. It would have been better to show a rerun - or an episode of "Married with Children." Please UPN, do us all a favor and put this show out of its misery.

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    Extinction was above average for Ent.
    By Red Shirt ( ) at 10:23:10 on September 25 2003
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    Sorry to disagree with you Deus but I thought there was a lot more to like in Extinction (a lot more than when I saw the promos at least). Bakulas acting was great. I really liked the evolution curve of the mutation from essentially primates to intelligent beings and the mystery decon race could potentially be allies in the expanse.

    Biggest disappointment were Blalocks and Parks flat performances and a totally rushed conclusion, it seem like an entire act with Phlox reverting the away team and negotiations with the mystery race was left out for commercial time and that is too bad really.

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    Great Job Deus!
    By Lt_Sartre ( yodaoldboy@hotmail.com) at 10:17:48 on September 25 2003
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    Yes, I say you did a great job. Not about the review since it will only air on Sunday where I am, but with overall, acting, FX, writing and directing grades. It gives people a general idea of the episode without reading a spoiler-filled review and I was about to ask for something like it. Great idea Deus!

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    Sigh
    By Victor ( ) at 10:14:47 on September 25 2003
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    This review is TRUTH.

    There is no need to repeat any of Deus's observations because he has done such a great job of illustrating the episode's many failures.

    If Anamoly reminded me why I once loved Trek, Extinction reminded me of my soul-burning disgust for Voyager.

    It was boring. The story missed all of the potentially interesting moral and ethical dilemmas posed by the subject matter...

    And worse, Archer's insistence on keeping the virus made no sense.
    The virus is NOT synonymous with the civillization....the culture, the PEOPLE are all dead you nitwit.

    Star Trek viewers should be too smart for this kind of drivel.

    The virus is an unethical attempt to propagate a species at the expense of another. Destroying it is the VERY HEART of ethical behavior. I don't mind Archer being unethical, but what possible rationale would there be for keeping a virus capable of mutating his entire crew...a virus that could mutate and become untreatable _ an unintentional bio-weapon.

    The idea that an engineered, bio-weapon should stand as a monument to a dead civilliazation or (Archer's argument) that the engineered virus was the last living part of the civillization is bogus on every level I can think of.

    I can hear Kirk laughing and Spock shaking his head.

    This decision was nonsense in its purest form.

    Victor

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    • RE: Sigh by Fuzzball47 @ 21:40:25 ET on 25 Sep
      • RE: Sigh by Kilroy @ 20:58:04 ET on 27 Sep
    Right on Deus
    By Akita1999 ( ) at 09:58:22 on September 25 2003
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    This episode was junk. Didn't like it. It's an inferior rehash of prior Trek episodes. If you're going rehash an idea, you ought to improve upon it. Extinction didn't manage to improve on the idea at all.

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    Hmmm.
    By timmer33 ( ) at 09:50:29 on September 25 2003
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    Well, on the surface it appears as though it was a bad episode. But if you dig deeper, you find that actually ....

    ... it is still a bad episode!


    However, there were some nice touches, I have to admit. Rather than do a mutating story, they threw in the plight of a lost culture and Archer's attempts to save that culture from total destruction. Perhaps they will reappear and we can finish the episode off properly. I enjoyed the flame throwers too. Also, the dream sequence was a nice little bit -- especially when Archer stepped into the frame at the end. A bit of his consciousness trying to communicate?

    However, the bad didn't just outweigh the good, it buried it! Here are some points:

    - Just seeing the pic of Archer in makeup you could tell the ep was going to be bad

    - This seemed like a standalone episode. You know, I bet B&B couldn't keep the arc going (or didn't think they could) so they told some writers to write some standalones just in case. I think this is one of them.

    - T'Pol is a vulcan. Vulcans are strong! Remember Spock throwing people around when he was "angry?" Well, T'Pol seems like a weakling.

    - Why not ask that new species about the Xindi? They might have some answers for them!

    - The animal-gibberish being spouted by Archer/Reed/Hoshi was a distraction. Thank god it ended soon, but they should never have done that in the first place. Sure, have them speak an alien language, but they don't have to act like monkeys!

    This episode will push ratings down next week. Why not show GOOD episodes at the start to hook viewers? What are you thinking B&B? As I said last week, I am frustrated by the lack of consistency in ENT. TNG's 3rd season was uniformly great. There wasn't a bad episode, starting right from the season opener EVOLUTION.

    Man, disappointing doesn't even say enough. I notice the votes actually show how bad the ep was! There are a lot more for 5 or lower than usual.

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    Good Review, Deus
    By Brian Langlois ( ) at 09:32:56 on September 25 2003
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    I agree for the most part, but I didn't think it was as bad as you obviously did. I too found myself bored in the first half, but things picked up when the other ships arrived. Where were the MACO guys in this one? I would have sent them down to the planet. That's what they're there for, right? The thing I like most about this episode though was the end where Archer keeps the vile of the virus. I'm thinking that maybe, despite his speech about preserving a species, he sees this thing as a possible weapon or bargaining chip and I would be surprised if we don't see this come up again. Overall, I rate this one average but certainly not as good as our first two episodes of this season.

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    TNG's "Identity Crisis" is bottom of the barrel????
    By GreginWA ( gsaum@yahoo.com) at 09:25:04 on September 25 2003
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    Surely, you jest! "Identity Crisis" has always remained a highlight of Season 4 for this Trekker. I thought it made an excellent episode. I loved the setup. No one knew what was happening to these people. They all thought it was an illness. Turns out they were metamorphing into aliens. What a neat concept, and a great episode to carry it out. Bottom of the barrel, indeed!

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    Unfair
    By StarFleet Captain ( webknight21@msn.com) at 09:21:56 on September 25 2003
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    Ok, Deus, with all due respect to your opinion and to you, I find your review too harsh and unfair. Yes, this episode disappointed me on different levels too, but it wasn't as bad as you are making it seem. I want to say that I agree that the city scen was kind of toylike. So, its obvious that you and I have an eye for this sort of thing, but keep in mind that this is a TV show...Not Star Wars Episode 3, with their 100-200 million dollar budget. It was nicely done, by comparison to some jacked up animated painting that we are so used to seeing. And I thought the goround sequences were awesome BTW. I give the FX department a 9.5

    Now, with the first half issue. Yes, it was slow, but well executed. The acting that was done in these scenes were spectacular with the exception of T'Pol. I would give more points for acting. They did their best with what they had to work with.

    Could this episode had been witten better? Yes, absolutely, the writing was mediocre, but the execution and production pushed the result slightly above that.


    NOTE: The following is a rant not directed just at you. But when I read your review, i felt I could no longer stay quiet

    What is Wrong withyou people??? DO you not like women? (not the females readers of course) What is wrong wit a small erotic scene in the show? Every other show does it. Yes, its to boost ratings, o deal with it. ENT needs its ratings boosted. Every other good show is pushing the envelope with how far they can go with scenes like this.. and it sells!!! ENT is simply catching up to modern times and trying to compete. Am I the only one who thought this scene to be tastefully done???

    End of Rant

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    Spot on Review... Way off episode
    By NAFF ( NATHANGSHARP@HOTMAIL.COM) at 07:38:48 on September 25 2003
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    You are on the money with your review, Deus.

    To quote a phrase from elsewhere, this episode was about as welcome as a skunk at a church picnic.

    The early T'Pol/Trip scene added nothing we haven't seen anymore... why not try developing some of the other characters instead?

    Has Star Trek sunk this low to have T'Pols pyjamas leave nothing to the imagination? Well, yes it has... again.

    The 'CSI moment' was out of place and I agree with you, some of the city scenes weren't some of the finest SFX we have seen from the show.

    I didn't understand why T'Pol insisted on staying on the planet. But I can understand why Blalock is hedging her bets and appearing on Stargate SG1.

    I didn't understand how changing DNA gave the mutated crew new memories and quite frankly by the end of the show, I just didn't care.

    The only good thing about this episode was the surprise of seeing Mayweather in the Captain's Chair and an attempt to show who takes over when the senior staff are off the ship. Oh dear. The words straws and grasping come to mind.

    I kept waiting for a twist in the story, some kind of payoff, but it never came. Maybe Archer keeping the virus to use against the Xindi might have been in-keeping with the previous episode's development of his character.

    After last week's suprisingly good episode, this was a big letdown. The direction was flat and the acting wooden (especially this week's Guest Alien). Maybe it is time to stop using ex-Trek stars to direct... is no-one else willing or available? Get last week's Director back, he was damn good!

    And those bloody caves were back too. I think after watching dozens of DS9 episode again on DVD recently, I know every fissure in the set walls.

    Finally, I note Trekweb had the episode voting up many hours before the show aired. And guess what, dozens of people voted had this show as excellent! How is this possible? Had they seen advance tapes? I don't think so.

    This makes a mockery of this web site. Mind you, the voting was probably done by that prize-chump, Faxanadu, who seems to be leaving rude remarks after people's comments recently. I'm sure he thought this abbomination of a production was great television.

    The ghost of Voyager returns. For the first time, I can actually say I could write a better episode myself.

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