Star Trek: Enterprise – “Chosen Realm”

Enterprise is back, minus the tasty Jake 2.0 chaser.

Chosen Realm

Cast & Crew

Director: Roxann Dawson
Written By: Manny Coto

Starring
Scott Bakula as Captain
Jonathan Archer
Connor Trinneer as Chief
Engineer Charles "Trip" 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
Conor O’Farrell as D’Jamat
Vince Grant as Yarrick
Lindsey Stoddart as Indava
Tayler Sheridan as Jareb
David Youse as Nalbis
Gregory Wagrowski as Ceris
Matt Huhn as Triannon
Kim Fitzgerald as Crewman

Episode Information

Originally Aired: January 14, 2004
Season: Three
Episode: Twelve
Production: 064

What Happened

A Triannon crew which Enterprise rescues from a crippled ship turns out to be a group of religious extremists who hijack the NX-01 to eradicate the "heretics" on their homeworld. Furthermore, when the group’s leader, D’Jamat, learns that Archer’s crew has dared desecrate the Expanse’s mysterious Spheres — which the Triannons consider holy shrines of the "chosen realm" — he demands that Archer choose a crewman to be put to death.

Review

Blah. A month-and-a-half recess and this is the best they can scrounge up? What happened to the thread from last episode? Did we just forget about the prisoners and the virus?

Religion is a mixed bag with Star Trek. On one hand, you get stuff like the Bajorans from DS9, on the other you get Star Trek V and episodes like this. Dull and unimaginative. Can we just get on with the story-arc? Please?!?

High Point

Phlox’s diversion in Sick Bay. I needed a good chuckle. “Do be careful, we haven’t found an antidote to the venom yet!”

Low Point

A password! C’mon people, just use a freaking password! And please tell me they made back-ups of their database.

The Scores

Originality: Religious zealots have been portrayed so much better in Trek. 3 out of 6.

Effects: Some cool space battles and a ruined planet. 4 out of 6.

Story: How these bumpkins manage to subdue an entire ship, crack the ship’s computer in mere minutes is beyond me. 3 out of 6.

Acting: The mains are good, but some of the smaller guest roles are really weak. 3 out of 6.

Emotional Response: Was anyone surprise Archer chose himself? 3 out of 6.

Production: Same old ship, same old sets. 4 out of 6

Overall: Predictable and often irritating script. A little more effort and this could have been far more poignant and enjoyable. 3 out of 6.

Total: 23 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Next Time on Enterprise (January 21, 2004)

Proving Ground

Andorian Imperial Guard Commander Shran and his warship track Enterprise down in the Delphic Expanse to offer Captain Archer help as an ally, and together, the two former adversaries plan to steal a prototype of the Xindi’s planet-destroying superweapon. As a confrontation with the Xindi looms, Lt. Reed gets help fixing the NX-01’s damaged weapons systems from a striking Andorian female, Lt. Talas, a contentious officer with her own agenda. [Video Preview]

Additional Notes and Comments

If you’re interested in what’s in TheAngryMob’s review queue, check out my What’s Coming page.

TheAngrymob

21 replies on “Star Trek: Enterprise – “Chosen Realm””

  1. is says:

    You got it…
    23 out of 42… heh

    It was trek, and lousy trek at that.

    the biggest thing I noticed was the utter stupidity of the crew and the god-like ability of the aliens to take over. not even remotely believable.

    • NoPoet says:

      It was poo
      I thought it was Trek by numbers.

      The gullible crew who allow aliens to walk all over the ship, including areas which should be restricted e.g. the engine room. The Starfleet flagship taken over by wimpy, unconvincing aliens played by hams, quicker than the Reservoir Dogs would take a toy shop. The false emotion which falls flat from everyone except the main characters. The extras who stand around waiting to get killed. The pointless, rushed “religious” overtones which do not enrich the Star Trek universe. The tagged-on space battle with most of the action taking place on the bridge while people shout about what’s happening outside.

      Someone tell me if there are any Trek cliches which this episode missed. It wasn’t even a Disaster Duo epic. Are they writing under assumed names to fool us? If so, the drastic quality of their turgid, self-assaulting plotline still shines like a devil worshipper’s candle on Hallowe’en night.

  2. ixitar says:

    Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
    This was just a rehash of ‘Let That Be Your Last Battlefield’ using religion instead of racism.

    • dcheesi says:

      Re: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

      This was just a rehash of ‘Let That Be Your Last Battlefield’ using religion instead of racism.

      Yeah, and I thought the ending was a bit over the top. They’ve been fighting all these years, and only now decide to go nuclear!? The timing seemed a bit convenient to me; although I suppose if it had happened earlier, this whole episode would never have happened (and that would have been a good thing… ;)

      BTW, the TOS episode was more believable; they had been chasing each other acrosss the galaxy for years, and were completely out of touch with their society. Plus IIRC they weren’t in open war when they left(?)

    • TPol says:

      Re: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

      This was just a rehash of ‘Let That Be Your Last Battlefield’ using religion instead of racism.

      Yes, it was. So what? The rehash is as relevant today as the original was in its own day. During the days of TOS, racism was a much bigger issue than it is today. That was the time of the civil rights movement. Today religious extremism is a much bigger threat.

      I was kind of mad to see the original story line be replaced by something that seemed made to order for the war effort of the moment. I found it very refreshing that they have the guts, at this moment in time, to show that religious extremism can only end in destruction, no matter if you wear a turban and follow one prophet or if you wear a cowboy hat and follow a different one…

  3. dkichline says:

    I give up
    I started out with so much hope. I have not watch Enterprise pretty much at all this season. I am now watching Smallville. And believe you me, judging by what people are saying about it at work, and what I read here, I am not missing a thing.

  4. neuronbob says:

    Could be worse
    This one wasn’t so bad. While some aspects of the story were just plain
    not believable, I think the main actors did a good job.

    The acting has improved, but the writing is still for s*&t.

  5. Kaki says:

    The spheres
    The episode itself was so drippy with old-school sci-fi morality-play elements and so many plot holes that it was hard to like any part of it.

    Oh the other hand, we learned more about the ever enigmatic spheres. Since we are obviously supposed to be wondering about what these are, I would like to hear what theories other have cooked up.

    One of my pet theories: someone is using them to obsure this region of space from the rest of the universe/timeline.

    • is says:

      Re: The spheres

      The episode itself was so drippy with old-school sci-fi morality-play elements and so many plot holes that it was hard to like any part of it.

      Oh the other hand, we learned more about the ever enigmatic spheres. Since we are obviously supposed to be wondering about what these are, I would like to hear what theories other have cooked up.

      One of my pet theories: someone is using them to obsure this region of space from the rest of the universe/timeline.

      Personally, I think that the makers created them… and will return for those who have kept the faith… heh.

      No really… I would bet a million that the writers have no idea… they’re just pulling this crap out of their colelctive arses… which is why it stinks.

      • Daemonik says:

        Re: The spheres

        The episode itself was so drippy with old-school sci-fi morality-play elements and so many plot holes that it was hard to like any part of it.

        Oh the other hand, we learned more about the ever enigmatic spheres. Since we are obviously supposed to be wondering about what these are, I would like to hear what theories other have cooked up.

        One of my pet theories: someone is using them to obsure this region of space from the rest of the universe/timeline.

        Personally, I think that the makers created them… and will return for those who have kept the faith… heh.

        No really… I would bet a million that the writers have no idea… they’re just pulling this crap out of their colelctive arses… which is why it stinks.

        There is a mysterious race of beings that was used a lot in TOS to explain why humanoid species were so prevalent in the universe. I think they called them the Preservers, as many of their worlds were transplanted human civilizations that had otherwise died out on earth.

        Perhaps these sphere’s are supposed to be some construct of theirs.

        In the end it doesn’t really matter, regardless of what flights of the imagination we can come up with, B&B will manage to make whatever they end up being suck.

        • babasyzygy says:

          Re: The spheres

          There is a mysterious race of beings that was used a lot in TOS to
          explain why humanoid species were so prevalent in the universe. I think
          they called them the Preservers, as many of their worlds were
          transplanted human civilizations that had otherwise died out on earth.

          Oh, nice recall… it could work, but I don’t buy it.

          The mysterious race you’re talking about from TOS (as opposed to the
          mysterious DNA-planting race from TNG), the Preservers, were most
          strongly mentioned in the episode The
          Paradise Syndrome
          . They at the very latest operated when the
          Mohican, Navaho and Delaware tribes were still around, presumably pre
          -1492 (or those history-recording Europeans would have written about
          them).

          The spheres, we’ve been told a number of times, were made a thousand
          years ago.

          We then would have to believe that the Earth was the
          origin of Meramanee’s people. If the Preservers placed us here, they
          would have to have been operating more like 10,000+ years ago at the
          latest. The impression I got was that we were supposed to believe that
          the Preservers placed all humans on Earth, that Earth was not special in
          any particular way.

          Still I guess it’s barefly plausible, though the Preservers would have a lot
          of
          explaining to do about putting humans in the loop of a simple asteroid
          deflection system when they can make these huge automated spheres
          that are much much more complex and still seem to be operating pretty
          well (although who knows… perhaps the spatial anomalies are caused by
          a breakdown in the system).

          My bet is that the sphere system is a time-travel-related
          thingy.

          • NoPoet says:

            Re: The spheres
            While your ideas are sound, I think they’re a bit complicated for B&B. If it doesn’t involve breasts, time travel and people who stand in front of one anothers’ guns during a firefight, then it is not the truth of B&B’s Star Trek.

        • NoPoet says:

          Re: The spheres

          There is a mysterious race of beings that was used a lot in TOS to explain why humanoid species were so prevalent in the universe. I think they called them the Preservers, as many of their worlds were transplanted human civilizations that had otherwise died out on earth.
          Perhaps these spheres are supposed to be some construct of theirs.

          As if B&B know or care about anything that happened in TOS. Enterprise’s relation to the rest of Trek is non-existent at best. Any tie-ins Enterprise manages to achieve with TOS will probably be a coincidence.

  6. pachyderm says:

    to look on the bright side…
    at least next’s weeks episode looks promising..

  7. jxliv7 says:

    the intro theme music

    say, is it me, or starting this season did they add some drumms and rhythm to the theme song, “Faith of the Heart”?
    i’ve tried to d/l various MP3’s on the internet, but they are all (to me) the older, slower, guitar version.

    p.s. i hope they don’t really cancel this show. without my weekly dose of Vulcan — Jolene Blalock as Sub-commander T’Pol — i’ll be pissed…

    • NoPoet says:

      Re: the intro theme music
      Your ears do not deceive you. That noisome assault on the brain which B&B call a “theme song” really HAS been made even worse. So I lost £20 on a bet that this could never happen.

  8. vanyel says:

    Completely missing the point
    Though I do agree with the Low Point, I think the key criticisms of this episode are wrong: yes, this is making the same point about religion the TOS did about racism, but religion *is* the major current issue, as racism was at the time of TOS. As I told my housemate when he was watching it, “this is an episode that won’t air in the Middle East anytime soon” because it so clearly points why religious intolerance is silly. Yes, it uses a sledgehammer, but it seems that’s what it takes to have a chance of getting through to these idiots. I’d donate to a fund to distribute this episode throughout the Middle East in faint hope it might make a *few* people think.

    I also think the Emotional Response criticism is misplaced: it wasn’t *supposed* to be an emotional decision. We would expect no less of Archer, and as soon as he mentioned “we have this device”, I knew he was going to trick them into transporting him. My biggest complaint about this is that even in TOS (Day of the Dove), intraship transport was a very tricky matter. Given this transporter’s flaky rep, he could very well have been doing what he told the Prenom he was doing. I also wonder if, since everyone else left (which I didn’t think quite right either), maybe T’Pol just pulled him back out of the pattern buffer rather than actually transporting him. Anyway, *that’s* the weak part of this scene, though I liked it as a solution.

    As for the complaint about how easily they took over the ship, while I agree, they did run rampant through the computers too easily, when you’re the main hope for the human race and they’re clearly willing to blow you to kingdom come, it’s not at all unreasonable to play along for a bit, galling as it would be.

    And the complaint about B&B is off base — this was written by Manny Coto, who seems to be popping up a lot, though I haven’t compared episodes to see what I think overall…

  9. Temsi says:

    You mean you’re still watching?
    I stopped watching Enterprise a while ago.
    As a fan of Scott Bakula, I thought I had stayed on board longer than most…

    B&B should have their writing and producing privileges revoked, and be sent to the Gulag for ruining a great franchise.

  10. madhack says:

    The most annoying part
    I was most annoyed that they trivialized the differences between the warring factions so much. It may even be that they were trying to make a point in that, too, of course: “my god” vs. “your god” is as silly as the world being created in 9 days vs. 10. The problem with that is that the people who would really have been affected by this generally wouldn’t make that connection.

    Stuff like this is, IMO, best when it causes people who would not otherwise do so to think about how their own actions might relate to what they’re seeing. The very people who most needed to be emotionally connected to what the episode was trying to get at (rather than intellectually, since it wasn’t exactly a subtle point) were the ones most likely to say, “oh, well, my religious disagreements aren’t nearly that trifling.” The effect is ruined.

    • usscaverns says:

      Re: The most annoying part

      they trivialized the differences between the warring factions … the world being created in 9 days vs. 10.

      They could have expanded on this and fixed it. For example, hearing this Archer could have asked, ‘One day? Is that what this is all about? Doesn’t that seem like a small difference to be killing each other over?’. To which he is answered, ‘But the 10th day is the day we were given souls. Saying it took 9 days is saying we have no souls!’
      Or some-such explanation…

  11. Twage says:

    Arg.
    Not only was it a plot hole-ridden remake of an original series episode that didn’t deserve to be remade, it also threw abortion in there for no reason. I mean, was there any point in doing that except to alienate half their audience? It wasn’t even an important part of the story!

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