Enterprise Review: “Dawn”

After a three week break, we wish we could go on another…

Enterprise LogoDawn

 

Cast & Crew

Director: Roxann Dawson
Written By: John Shiban

Starring
Scott Bakula as Captain
Jonathan Archer
Connor Trinneer as Chief
Engineer Charles Tucker III
Jolene Blalock as Sub-commander
T’Pol
Dominic Keating as Lt.
Malcolm Reed
Anthony Montgomery
as Ensign Travis Mayweather
Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi
Sato
John Billingsley
as Dr. Phlox

Guest Cast
Gregg Henry as Zho’Kaan
Brad Greenquist as Khata’n Zshaar

Airdate Information

Originally Aired: Jan 8, 2003
Season: Two
Episode: Thirteen
Production: 039

Precious CargoWhat
Happened

Trip Tucker is alone on a test mission aboard Shuttlepod One when he is fired
upon by a territorial alien and forced to land on the night side of a moon.
As he tries in vain to contact Enterprise, he discovers his alien foe has also
made an emergency landing nearby, and the two nemeses must contend with each
other as the extremely hot rising sun threatens their survival.

Review

Well, John Shiban is now as guilty as Berman and Braga of the horrible sin
that is plagiarism. It was a little creepy how some of our readers made the
"Enemy Mine" comparisons and were so perfectly on the money.

And here’s a big nit-pick: Sure Trip doesn’t want to leave his buddy behind
and they can’t beam Zho’Kaan up. How about beaming something down to the planet.
Who knows, a tent or tarp for shade, a fan to cool off, or (just maybe) some
FREAKING WATER!

High Point

Trip throwing the rock away instead of attacking Zho’Kaan. This show gets too
dialogue heavy and preachy. Sometimes non-verbals are a better (and often more
dramatic) ways of getting your point across.

Low Point

Could this dialogue be any more pointless or predictable:

Zho’Kaan: "When I attacked your ship, I’m glad I didn’t destroy it."
Trip: "That makes two of us."

The scene was meant to be a charming summary of their newfound friendship and
it turned into something silly and trite.

The Scores

Originality: "Zammis!" And that was much more entertaining. 1 out
6.

Effects: Some at the beginning, then…nada. The alien make-up was nice. 4
out of 6.

Story: Zzzzzz. Hmm? Oh yeah. 2 out of 6.

Acting: Trinneer tries to make the most of truly trite, pointless dialogue.
4 out of 6.

Emotional Response: Other than dire hope that the episode would get better,
nothing. 2 out of 6.

Production: Oh look, another cave. 3 out of 6.

Overall: Shiban fails us as a writer. The future seems pretty bleak for Trek
fans. 3 out of 6.

Total: 19 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Next Time on Enterprise (Jan. 15, 2003)

Next Time on EnterpriseA
Night in Sickbay
Originally Aired 10/16/2002 (See
Fiziko’s Review
)

Archer spends a fretful night in sickbay with Dr. Phlox after Porthos, Archer’s
pet beagle, picks up a deadly virus on an alien planet. Meanwhile, crew members
believe Archer’s increased stress level is due to Porthos’ illness, but Dr.
Phlox suspects it has to do with Archer’s repressed sexual tension and urges
Archer to discuss it with T’Pol.

TheAngrymob

15 replies on “Enterprise Review: “Dawn””

  1. vanyel says:

    Yeah, but…
    It *was* so much Enemy Mine I was wondering, ok, how are they going to get Tripp to learn his language in only one day, I mean they hardly even changed the *makeup*! But on the other hand, Connor Trinneer never ceases to amaze me with his acting ability. He pretty much made this episode worth watching. I’d say the UPN powers must be sorry they didn’t pick him as Captain, except it’s much more believable for a subordinate to be going off on away missions and getting all the good stories (well, ok, just “stories”). Maybe not the Chief Engineer, but probably better than the Captain.

    Please, please give me back Firefly!

  2. ack_oz says:

    just an added note…
    The director of this episode was Roxann Dawson, who played Torres in Voyager…

  3. Boglin says:

    Devil’s Advocate

    While I have never seen theangrymob commit this offense, I am finding that some people are startnig to trash Star Trek simply because it’s trendy. Therefore, I have decided to defend this episode, simply because I think no one else will.

    First, there are the complaints that they have ripped off Enemy Mine. Well, duh. Every sci-fi show I’ve seen that deals with space exploration has ripped off Enemy Mine. I’m pretty sure that the plot had been used long before Enemy Mine. To be frank, I’m rather amased that, to the best of my recollection, Star Trek hasn’t used it before. And, granted, this isn’t the best implementation, but this isn’t as much plagarism as it is cliche.

    As to the banal dialogue, well, it’s tough to get good dialogue when you only have one character that speaks English. And yes, there were a couple of points that were pretty awful, but there were some parts that I thought were nice. I liked how, at first, the alien was picking up Trip’s speech as a way to pass the time, rather than as some high minded attempt at communication. I also enjoyed how they portrayed a warrior race that was still open to reason. Let’s face it, almost every sci-fi show always makes the warriors arrogant buffoons, but here we had a military captain who would listen to logic.

    Finally, I liked the small touches with the alien species. The way he didn’t use the standard head gesture (Why is it that every other species does?) The fact that, as a lizard, the alien obviously wouldn’t be able to sweat. An excuse for not using the transporter besides ‘It’s broken’ or ‘There’s too much intereference’.

    This is not one of the best episodes. In fact, it’s not in the top half, but to say that John Shiban has failed us, or that this episode has put the entire franchise in trouble, I believe is an overstatement.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Devil’s Advocate

      First, there are the complaints that they have ripped off Enemy Mine. Well, duh. Every sci-fi show I’ve seen that deals with space exploration has ripped off Enemy Mine. I’m pretty sure that the plot had been used long before Enemy Mine. To be frank, I’m rather amased that, to the best of my recollection, Star Trek hasn’t used it before. And, granted, this isn’t the best implementation, but this isn’t as much plagarism as it is cliche.

      The only comment you made that I don’t agree with was this one, and it’s not really disagreement. (You said you didn’t remember Trek doing this, but they did. The fact that they did doesn’t automatically mean you remember it, though.) There was a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in which Geordi and a Romulan were stuck on a planet with heavy interference. They could only beam out from near a beacon within a certain time window. The interference injured the Romulan’s nervous system and Geordi’s visor, so Geordi had to carry the Romulan, following his directions, to reach the beacon.

      As lackluster as last night’s episode was, it wasn’t terrible. If we hadn’t just come out of a “Trip is stuck on a planet with an alien (princess)” episode, I think it would have been better received. One mediocre episode following a very similar mediocre episode will always seem like crap. Don’t blame Shiban; blame B&B for authorizing the production of two very similar episodes so close together in the season.

  4. is says:

    I liked it.
    after the last few episodes that were utterly and totally 100% crap, this one is a breath of fresh air. Mind you, it was a predictable breath of air, but it was better than the last few.

    The alien’s affirmative nod was one of the first things I noticed that I liked. Usually, trek is so “human-dressed-as-alien” that something like this stands out tremendously. I thought there are some decent humorous parts in there too, and Trineer typically a great actor.

    I also liked the Vulcan admission of “we didn’t do so well”, and the slight raise of humans at the end. Thats not something you see everyday.

  5. rickyjames says:

    I’m Beaming Up And Out Of ST and UPN
    I’ve been a fairly regular contributor to Enterprise comments since it started but this is my last. I just got word that UPN has passed on picking up Firefly; then I came home and started watching this ep on the Tivo. I said “Enemy Mine”, stopped watching after ten minutes, and proceeded to take Enterprise off my TiVo season pass. If I can’t watch Firefly on UPN I sure ain’t watchin’ any more of this crap. I’m not even gonna miss T’strutherstuff. UPN took the sky from me.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: I’m Beaming Up And Out Of ST and UPN

      If I can’t watch Firefly on UPN I sure ain’t watchin’ any more of this crap. I’m not even gonna miss T’strutherstuff. UPN took the sky from me.

      I wouldn’t be so quick to blame UPN for this. From what little I’ve heard about B&B, it’s possible that they put pressure on UPN to pick one show or the other. I haven’t heard anyone claim this is the case, but it seems plausible to me.

      • rickyjames says:

        Re: I’m Beaming Up And Out Of ST and UPN

        B&B, it’s possible that they put pressure on UPN to pick one show or the other….

        You know, hadn’t thought of that and actually has a sheen of possibility about it. And would be another reason to eject Enterprise from my TiVo.

      • GrimSean says:

        Re: I’m Beaming Up And Out Of ST and UPN

        If I can’t watch Firefly on UPN I sure ain’t watchin’ any more of this crap. I’m not even gonna miss T’strutherstuff. UPN took the sky from me.

        I wouldn’t be so quick to blame UPN for this. From what little I’ve heard about B&B, it’s possible that they put pressure on UPN to pick one show or the other. I haven’t heard anyone claim this is the case, but it seems plausible to me.

        Yeah, just imagine if all those hard-core Trek fans out there noticed a show with a great cast and storylines that weren’t stolen from old movies. It would be Chaos I say! Chaos!

        Friggin’ morons.

        What I want to know is why there hasn’t been a backlash from the upper echelons of the network towards B&B over these last few episodes. I know the stereotypical Network Exec is clueless, but I would hope that that’s just a stereotype and that someone would notice the plagiarism that’s going on with Enterprise (this is what, the third or fourth episode this season that’s essentially a rehash of an older movie, isn’t it?).

        As to this actual episode, it was all right, except for the fact that it was ENEMY MINE! If you do a summary of the events in the show, it’s almost point for point taken from the movie (or short story if you prefer). For instance:

        Alien shoots down Human over hostile moon, but also crashes;

        Alien captures human using laser pistol;

        Human turns tables on alien, but then takes higher moral ground;

        Alien and human end up working together,

        and so on – that’s four major plot points right there (and I’m not including the learning of languages or the sharing of food!), and in my book, that’s plagiarism!

        And I think I’ve fulfilled my rant quota for the week, so I’ll end there.

        • IdahoEv says:

          Re: I’m Beaming Up And Out Of ST and UPN

          As to this actual episode, it was all right, except for the fact that it was ENEMY MINE! If you do a summary of the events in the show, it’s almost point for point taken from the movie (or short story if you prefer).

          It’s more than plot points, even! I’m sitting there watching it with my girlfriend, complaining that it’s a rip off of “Enemy Mine”. Then our housemate (who refuses to watch Enterprise) comes home and walks into the living room. He takes one look at the screen, knowing nothing of the plot, and says “Hey that alien looks just like the one from Enemy Mine!”.

          Couldn’t be bothered even to make the alien’s make up look different…

          The only major difference was that the alien doesn’t die at the end. You know, I’m not a huge fan of gore and violence, but it’s really weird to have two years of combat, battle, hazards, explosions, transporter accidents, minefields, etc., yet everyone – even the bad guys – escapes unharmed from every episode. Gets hard to accept after a while.

          • GrimSean says:

            Re: I’m Beaming Up And Out Of ST and UPN

            Then our housemate (who refuses to watch Enterprise) comes home and walks into the living room. He takes one look at the screen, knowing nothing of the plot, and says “Hey that alien looks just like the one from Enemy Mine!”.

            Couldn’t be bothered even to make the alien’s make up look different…

            Which pretty much makes the only thing they didn’t manage to theive from Enemy Mine be Louis Gosset Jr, and it almost would have been more palatable if they had.

          • jsimon12 says:

            Re: I’m Beaming Up And Out Of ST and UPN
            Heck, same thing happened to me. I was at work, the Tivo was recording Enterprise, and my wife who isn’t a Trek or Sci-Fi fan calls me up and says that Enterprise is ripping off EnemyMine, and starts jokingly says “ZAAAAAAAMEEES!!!!”. So I figure she is making fun, I watch the first 20 minutes, and damn if it isn’t the same makeup. Oh well, Trek is going in the crapper.

  6. scharkalvin says:

    Plot reuse — dawn
    Well it may have been a ripoff of “Enemy Mine”, but I think it was well done. Not as good as the movie, but good considering they had to limit it to 45 minutes (after you factor the commerical time).

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, there are only so many original plots, many movies reuse some plot elements from others, some even take the whole story and re-tell it. STTOS episode “The balance of Terror” reused the plot from the war movie “the enemy below”, and did a good job of it. The scifi move “Outland” was nothing more than “High Noon” set in outer space, and it was also a good re-telling of a good plot. Nothing wrong with this sort of thing. STTMP (start trek the motion picture) was sortof an expanded verison of the episode “the changeling”
    come to think of it. Any other examples?

    Off on a tangant, is T’Pol supposed to be the same T’Pol who latter was a major political figure on Vulcan in STTOS episode “Amok Time”? She would have been about the right age, for Vulcans anyway.

    • GrimSean says:

      Re: Plot reuse — dawn

      Well it may have been a ripoff of “Enemy Mine”, but I think it was well done. Not as good as the movie, but good considering they had to limit it to 45 minutes (after you factor the commerical time).

      I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, there are only so many original plots, many movies reuse some plot elements from others, some even take the whole story and re-tell it.

      In my mind, it’s one thing to reuse plot elements from other sources, and a very different thing to reuse the entire plot. I have nothing against remakes/re-imaginings of movies or television shows because they are going into it with the intent to redo the original. However, when it comes to something like Enterprise, (a series which IMHO had a lot of potential when it started), rehashing plots and plot devices so blatantly, that’s plagiarism. I really wouldn’t have been so upset about this episode stealing the majority of Enemy Mine, except the alien makeup even looked a lot a like – that definitely crosses a line, plus there’s also the fact that they could have changed it so as to not resemble Enemy Mine as much fairly easily – Trip could have gone down to the moon to rescue the alien, for instance, rather than having been shot down (which is exactly what happened to the human in Enemy Mine) and been trapped there when his engines failed.

      Good examples of reuse-of-plot / remakes are “Fistful of Dollars” and “Last Man Standing”, which are both based on Akira Kurosawa’s “Yojimbo”, one of the all time great Samurai films. They follow the original in a general sense and borrow some essential scenes (Fistful is almost a shot-for-shot remake, just in english and with more guns than swords), and once you know that you can see the similarity.

      As to your “only so many original plots” statement, if that were true why does anyone bother to create new things? You might want to stop reading David Eddings books (he’s notorious for reusing his plots) and branch out into other areas in order to find some new stuff. There’s plenty of original material out there, and I don’t think the human imagination is in any danger of running out.

  7. Go-T-Boy says:

    Star Fleet’s survival training sucks
    All in all, I thought this was an ok episode; saved, as many have pointed out, by Trinnear’s performance. I did, however, find myself screaming (mentally) at the television for them to GET INTO THE FRICKIN SHADE PEOPLE! There he is, looking out over a wonderful vista which shows plenty of useful topology, providing more than enough shade for everyone and he sits there, with his top off, in the full glare of the sun. Later on, Phlox explains he’s recovering from sunburn.. Well, duh..

    I also agree heartily that beaming down a fresh supply of water would have been the obvious thing to do. Archer, however, was probably too busy practicing for his next wooden delivery of clap-trap to think about it in too much detail.

    Here’s hoping for better in the next ep.

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