Enterprise Review: “Future Tense”

Sorry gang, the flu bug kept me bed-bound all weekend. Here’s the latest!

Enterprise LogoPresent Tense

 

Cast & Crew

Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
Written By: Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong

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
Vaughn Armstrong as Admiral Forrest
Cullen Douglas as Suliban Soldier

Airdate Information

Originally Aired: February 19, 2003
Season: Two
Episode: Sixteen
Production: 042

This WeekWhat Happened

Far beyond where any Earth vessel has ventured before, the Enterprise crew is shocked to find a small craft adrift in space that contains what appears to be a human corpse. Trip Tucker and Malcolm Reed discover the craft holds some strange secrets, and the mystery deepens when the Suliban arrive making claim to the salvage. On top of that, Captain Archer is confronted by the Tholians, who also aggressively try to procure the enigmatic vessel.

Review

At this stage, I’m just thrilled not seeing any alien princesses, shipwrecked engineers, or caves. Even so, the episode holds up on its own. The plot was full of questions, and few were answered. That’s not a bad thing. It’s good to leave the audience hungry, keeps them tuning in for more.

High Point

Rewiring the torpedo. I mean, who hasn’t days like that?

Low Point

The whole Vulcan cross-mating sub-plot. It was interesting at first, but did Archer really need to turn it into a bigotry issue? The episode had enough conflict without it. And I think we’re all agreed on the fact that they’re pushing the Vulcan culture as far as we’ll buy it.

The Scores

Originality: An interesting twist in the Cold War arc. 3 out 6.

Effects: The new (old?) Tholian ships looked impressive. 5 out of 6.

Story: No clean ending here, which leaves us hungry for a little bit more. 5 out of 6.

Acting: The guest cast wasn’t interesting, but the main crew is still in good form. 4 out of 6.

Emotional Response: Some good humor and strong emotions coming from both sides
of the negotiating table. 4 out of 6.

Production: The ship interior was, well, alright. But it was supposed to be dead and lifeless, right? 4 out of 6.

Overall: Another good outing. See what happens when you let people do their jobs Rick? 4 out of 6.

Total: 29 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Next Time on Enterprise (Feb. 26, 2003)

Next Time on EnterpriseCanamar

Upon leaving the Enolian homeworld in a shuttlepod, Archer and Tucker are mistakenly arrested and placed on a prisoner transport vessel bound for the penal colony Canamar. Before the error can be rectified, one of the alien inmates engineers a takeover of the transport, leading Archer to engage in a dangerous gambit.

TheAngrymob

19 replies on “Enterprise Review: “Future Tense””

  1. TechnoGirl says:

    Future Imperfect
    Blech….another sucky romp through deep space….
    How come the friggin’ Tholians want the earth ship?

    How come the Suliban ships can easily outgun the Enterprise in a past episode but not in this one?

    How come the T’Its believes Vulcans and humans can’t mate (when they obviously can) and still gets to be ship’s Science Officer?

    And lookee here! Deus ex Space Machina and all the bad things dissappear in the end and we’re left just as squeaky clean as we were in the beginning! How conveeenient….

    Blech…. B&BTrek STILL Sucks! What hacks! :(

    • TechnoGirl says:

      Re: Future Imperfect
      Oh yeah one more thing….

      NEXT WEEK ON ENTERPOOP…..
      Enterprise encounters a disabled Borg vessel and brings aboard one of it’s strange occupants who calls herself named 36 of Double-D. While the Doctor removes 36’s implants (ahem), the T’Pol becomes jealous and both decide to fight it out with a werestling match in the mud flats of Pornos Seven.

      Meanwhile, after their Borg encounter, Trip and Merriweather smear decontamination goo on each other and each discover the other’s frighteningly similar secret that one summer Space-Scouts Camp….

      • Cerberus7 says:

        Re: Future Imperfect

        T’Pol becomes jealous and both decide to fight it out with a werestling match in the mud flats of Pornos Seven.

        If I wasn’t so repulsed by “implants,” I’d find that more entertaining than half this past season.

    • Daemonik says:

      Re: Future Imperfect

      Blech….another sucky romp through deep space….
      How come the friggin’ Tholians want the earth ship?

      How come the Suliban ships can easily outgun the Enterprise in a past episode but not in this one?

      How come the T’Its believes Vulcans and humans can’t mate (when they obviously can) and still gets to be ship’s Science Officer?

      And lookee here! Deus ex Space Machina and all the bad things dissappear in the end and we’re left just as squeaky clean as we were in the beginning! How conveeenient….

      In a rare bit of defense for Enterprise, I can understand T’pol not believing that humans and vulcans can mate. Where we have Spock as evidence, it’s still a couple hundred years to his birthday. In the meantime there’s the fact that we can’t breed with other lifeforms from our own planet, sohow can we breed with an alien lifeform that uses copper oxide to carry oxyen in it’s blood? We have more in common, genetically speaking, with cockroaches than we would with an alien.

      I assumed the Tholians wanted the ship because they could detect the temporal radiation coming off of it and wanted it for study.

  2. Jethro says:

    Cop-out!!!
    First of all, this is the first time in months I’ve actually watched Enterprise the same week it aired – only one day after! And it’s the one week the review is late (:

    Sadly enough, I think this episode can be summerized down in three words: “Bring Back Firefly”. God, the last two week’s Farscapes were crap and they were better than this. Speaking of which, how come Farscape doesn’t get a weekly review?

    Some of the plot for this episode was ok. I do think the temoporal cold war crap is one HELL of a cop-out. This is supposed to be Trek way-back in the past (well, kinda), but they keep sticking the Future in it. The Strange Ship from the Future just vanishing in the end – no answers, no explenations, nothing – was yet another cop-out.

    The vulcan/human/whatever crossbreed thing… I think they’ve stretched the whole thing where we (the audience) are ‘smarter’ than the characters a bit too thin. I’m surprised there hasn’t been an Ensign Raymond Tiberius Kirk yet. (Tiberius being a long-running family middle-name).

  3. Daemonik says:

    Tiiiime… is on my side…. yes it is…
    Okay, my great beef with this episode, and this series plot arc in general, has to be this bullcrap temporal war.

    Take the ‘disappearance’ of all the evidence this week, and the captain’s speech about how to the time travelers, ‘time’ was not an issue. Okay, so if they could hear the distress beacon in the future and then travel back in time to moments after it was turned on, wouldn’t it be just as easy to travel back a little earlier and prevent the whole mess from happening in the first place?

    • OrangeCarrot says:

      Re: Tiiiime… is on my side…. yes it is…

      Okay, so if they could hear the distress beacon in the future and then travel back in time to moments after it was turned on, wouldn’t it be just as easy to travel back a little earlier and prevent the whole mess from happening in the first place?

      There’s the whole causality situation to think of there. If they picked up the beacon before it was turned on… then it was never turned on. So, getting it just after it was activated kept the paradox in check.

      • Daemonik says:

        Re: Tiiiime… is on my side…. yes it is…

        There’s the whole causality situation to think of there. If they picked up the beacon before it was turned on… then it was never turned on. So, getting it just after it was activated kept the paradox in check.

        If so, then they didn’t need the beacon because Enterprise had found the ship and made a report of it to Starfleet. Thus it became ‘history’ for the time travelers.

        So somewhen uptime there was a scientist who was scheduled to make a trip back in time to what he knew was going to be his own death…..unless knowing he was going to die they left a clone and damaged ship for Enterprise to find, activate the beacon on and thus preserve the loop…..

        See, this is why time travel stories suck.

        • fiziko says:

          Re: Tiiiime… is on my side…. yes it is…

          If so, then they didn’t need the beacon because Enterprise had found the ship and made a report of it to Starfleet. Thus it became ‘history’ for the time travelers.

          They assumed it was a beacon because it seemed to be transmitting. I don’t trust them to identify the real purpose of technology 1000 years more advanced than their own. (I still don’t quite believe that they could supply power to it, unless it was designed with them in mind.) I prefer to believe that the Enterprise crew got it wrong, and that device was the thing that was intended to bring them back to the future. It wasn’t “recovered,” but rather Trip sent it back. The moment of time travel was the dissappearance. This is not a perfect explanation, but it’s one I’m more comfortable with.

        • TechnoGirl says:

          Re: Tiiiime… is on my side…. yes it is…

          See, this is why time travel stories suck.

          Noooo….this is why badly written time travel stories by hack writers suck. For just one example of how it should be done read Heinleins “All You Zombies”

          • y42 says:

            Re: Tiiiime… is on my side…. yes it is…

            See, this is why time travel stories suck.

            Noooo….this is why badly written time travel stories by hack writers suck. For just one example of how it should be done read Heinleins “All You Zombies”

            Argh! Now I have another Heinlein to read!

            Is that one full of canabibal martian sex fiends too? : )

            • TechnoGirl says:

              Re: Tiiiime… is on my side…. yes it is…

              Is that one full of canabibal martian sex fiends too? : )

              No..If I told you *anything* about the story it woudl ruin all the plot twists….suffuce it to say that it’s sufficiently weird

  4. scharkalvin says:

    Where was the good Dr?
    Anyone notice that the ship from the future was larger on the inside than on the outside? Like Dr Who’s Tardis! And being stuck in a time loop? Like where was the good doctor hiding?

    OK as for humans and Vulcans mating and having offspring, it WAS mentioned on TOS (or maybe in one of the movies) that Spocks parents required some help from medical science to pull this off. Spock was actually a ‘test tube’ baby. So in t’pal’s time it might not have been being actually impossible, but socially impossible. Let’s face it the Vulcans are going to rid them selves of a LOT of taboos in 150 years!

  5. y42 says:

    Digital cable sux
    Ya know, from reading the comments here, and the reviews elsewhere, I’m almost happy I can’t get Enterprise around here.
    I could if I got digicable, but it sux0rz so very much (I like to channel surf, wich is forbidden in digital cable).

    I did get to watch the intro at friend’s house (who does not mind the digital weaknesses, but does mind Star Trek), and as pretty as the pictures were, boy does that song suck. (Hmmm…using the word suck a lot…must be a freudian thing.)

    Anybody else wish they could see good ol’ cap’n tightpants kick Archer in an engine? ;- ) Or at all for that matter…

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Digital cable sux

      I could if I got digicable, but it sux0rz so very much (I like to channel surf, wich is forbidden in digital cable).

      How does digital cable forbid channel surfing? I can do that on my digital box.

      As for seeing Archer kicked into an engine, I’m torn. On the one hand, that would mean that Firefly was back on the air, which would be an extremely good thing. On the other hand, even though I don’t think Archer is much of a captain, I don’t think he deserves death. I’d rather see him get pulled off the mission and given a desk job back home, with a more military individual taking his place, since it has become obvious that a pure explorer isn’t right for the job. We can then have Archer building the Federation in the background with the new captain leading the crew, explaining why Archer is so important in the temporal Cold War without expecting us to believe that Star Fleet’s first Warp 5 vessel was led by a guy who’d bring his dog on an away mission to a planet with extremely touchy inhabitants.

      • y42 says:

        Re: Digital cable sux

        How does digital cable forbid channel surfing? I can do that on my digital box.

        You don’t have a 3 second delay with every single change of channel on your box? Around here, when you change channel, the screen turns black, there’s a delay, and then the signal slowly(to me) descrambles in big square blocks.
        The other way to navigate is to trust their schedule, and the one month I had that setup I’d get at least a false reading a week (that I’d notice).

        I like to go clikclikclicking through the channels at breakneck speeds, and there is no way to do it with the boxes available around these parts.

        Not to mention that when there’s interference (bad weather), instead of having a snowy picture, you get a NO SIGNAL message, or the image is overrun with big green blocks, or freezes on a frame…I just think that digital cable is obviously inferior to regular analog cable for the consumer, and is only superior(sic) in the added controll it gives to the evil cable companies.

        I like to switch channels really really fast…

        • fiziko says:

          Re: Digital cable sux

          You don’t have a 3 second delay with every single change of channel on your box? Around here, when you change channel, the screen turns black, there’s a delay, and then the signal slowly(to me) descrambles in big square blocks.
          The other way to navigate is to trust their schedule, and the one month I had that setup I’d get at least a false reading a week (that I’d notice).

          It’s closer to one or two seconds, but I never really thought that was a problem. It flashes the name of the show on the bottom, anyway. In my experience, that’s fairly accurate. (It’s only been off with things like the last minute change on John Doe a few weeks ago, and other things that give less than 3-4 days notice in scheduling.) Remember, the digital cable listing provides have to go on what the stations give them. If frequent mistakes only seem to happen on one or two stations, blame the station.

          • y42 says:

            Re: Digital cable sux

            It’s closer to one or two seconds, but I never really thought that was a problem.

            If you don’t mind the wait, its not a prob for you, but I find it very annoying.
            There’s a game I like to play, where I try to change the channels in a way to make the various people speaking to form a complete sentence. That game is impossible with a 1-2 sec delay.

            I did try the damned thing for a month (to get ST:TNG reruns on Space…but the first time I watched it they ran an ad saying they were stopping next gen and replacing it with deep shit 9), and was not satisfied.
            If they would let me pick the channels I want, I could get over the various annoyances I already named (and plug another TV in the analog signal they also provide to play my sentence-making game), but the monopoly has me buying their package deals before I can get to pick individual stations, and the gorram CRTC forces me to buy crappy canadian content…and bottom line: I can live without Enterprise(from what I read about it), and with Buffy on saturdays, but I refuse to pay for the golf channel.

  6. Legend says:

    Vulcans & Humans mating bit…
    I dunno. What I got out of the whole thing about vulcans and humans (especially the little bit at the end of the episode) was that it had more personal undertones between T’Pol and Archer. Something on the lines of “So, do you think we’ll ever–” “Not likely.”

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