That’s right, Star Trek is back in a big way! Check out my first review of many.

If you missed it, you may be able to find it on this Saturday (at least that’s when they used to re-run Voyager).

Broken Bow

Cast & Crew

Directed by James L. Conway
Teleplay by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga

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
John Fleck as Silik
Melinda Clarke as Sarin
Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Jr. as Klaang
Vaughn Armstrong as Admiral Forrest
Jim Beaver as Admiral Leonard
Mark Moses as Henry Archer
Gary Graham as Soval
Thomas Kopache as Tos
Jim Fitzpatrick as Commander Williams
James Horan as Humanoid Figure
Joseph Ruskin as Suliban Doctor
James Cromwell as Dr. Zephram Cochrane

Original Airdate

September 26, 2001

What Happened

In her first mission, the Enterprise and her crew are called into a service ahead of schedule to return a wounded Klingon operative, Klang, to the Klingon homeworld. Before they leave, Capt. Archer must convince his superiors
that they’re ready, and not to continue cowing to their Vulcan allies. He obviously succeeds and the Enterprise takes off for deep space, heavy one Vulcan science officer. T’Pol and an odd alien physician Dr. Phlox.

As helmsman and “space-boomer” Ens. Mayweather puts the engine’s through their paces, Archer and Ens. Sato are called down to sick bay. Klang has regained consciousness and isn’t thrilled to be restrained in unfamiliar
surroundings. Sato struggles with translating, but can’t seem to figure anything out. Suddenly the ship drops out of warp and loses all power. By the time Archer and company can figure out what’s happened they lose their klingon cargo, but manage to kill one of their intruders, a genetically enhanced Suliban.

T’Pol suggests that the Enterprise return to Earth, their mission a failure, but Archer refuses, determined to retrieve the klingon and return him home. Sato gets the translator working and manages to pull together some of Klang’s ranting, including the name of a planet, Rigel, and a few proper names. T’Pol confesses that Rigel X was the klingon’s last stop before crash-landing on Earth. Desperate for answers, Archer sets a course for Rigel X.

The main bridge crew takes a shuttle pod down to the planet surface (since nobody trusts transporters) to see anyone remembers seeing a 7-foot klingon. They locate the Suliban that Klang met and enlist her aid. She informs the Captain
that the Suliban have been waging a war within the Klingon Empire making it appear that one faction is out to kill another. She also tells the Captain that the Suliban are waging a Temporal civil war. Unfortunately she is killed as
they make their way back to the pod. Archer is also shot, though not fatally. T’Pol gets the crew back to the ship and is about to return the ship to Earth before Cmdr. Tucker talks her out of it (yes I’m sure the gelatinous rubdown
didn’t hurt either).

When Archer comes to, he finds that the Enterprise is chasing a Suliban warp trail, something their sensors shouldn’t be able to do. It appears T’Pol has finally decided to aid Starfleet and enhanced their equipment resolution. They briefly lose track of the ship they are pursuing until they realize that it’s ducked into a gas giant. Readings from the warp signatures show that several Suliban ships have made this planet home.

Punching through the outer planetary layers of gas, the crew finds, what appears to be a large space station. It is, in truth, a collection of smaller craft, hundreds of them, magnetically latched around a larger central core. After capturing a Suliban ship, Archer and Tucker fly it in and dock with the station. After a few minutes of searching, they find the Klingon and manage to free him. While setting up a magnetic disruption device, Archer is separated from Klang and Tucker. He orders them back to the ship and to come back and get him later.

Tucker and Klang reach the Enterprise, but T’Pol wants to leave orbit and return their passenger. Tucker feels it’s worth the risk to go back and get him. Meanwhile Archer finds the Suliban command chamber where they’ve been taking orders from a mysterious humanoid in the future. He also meets up with Silik, apparently the head of the Suiban Cabal. A cryptic conversation follows, but it appears that Silik is privileged to more future information than would seem healthy for our main villains. At any rate, Archer manages to outwit his opponent in a classic Trek-style shoot-out and gets beamed out in the nick of time.

The Enterprise, now safe from harm, receives word from Starfleet command that she is to remain in deep space and continue exploring. Archer offers T’Pol a permanent position onboard as science officer, which she accepts. The Enterprise warps off to yet another destination, ready to boldy go…

Review

Star Trek is back! Sending the series backwards in time is just what we needed to see. Space travel is once-again, exciting, wondrous and new. Humans are…well…human. We’re ready to grow up, stretch our legs, and do what we love to do: Explore. In light of what we saw on September 11th, it felt so very good to think of humanity in terms of all the good we can do. All the accomplishments we’ve achieved, and where we can go from here.

But enough sentimentality, recent events aside, this show has real promise. The cast seems enthusiastic, especially Bakula, and they seem to all have their parts figured out. The humor was, by and large, funny. A lot of the technology
we take for granted in Star Trek is, in fact, very scary. Transporters and warp drives are truly frightening when you think about it and the show accurately conveys that to the viewer.

One drawback to the series could be Sato’s constant worrying and fear. With Lt. Barkley is was funny as a recurring character, but it may get old really fast in a series regular. Another touch-and-go aspect will be T’Pol and Tucker.
The tension between Spock and McCoy was a well-balanced blade. Copying it may make for great Television or could be the show’s undoing. I’m rooting for the former.

All-in-all, a great start, I’m very excited to see what comes next for the Enterprise and her intrepid crew.

High Point

There were a lot of enjoyable moments in “Broken Bow,” but one in particular stands out: The scene establishing mankind’s relationship with Vulcans as they discuss Klang’s fate (check out the video clip below). It really gets the ball rolling and sets up the tension for the remainder of the episode (and probably the series).

And I’d like to tip my hat to whomever had the brainstorm to choose “Faith of the Heart” as the show’s theme. Poetic brilliance!

Low Point

I was a little disappointed with James Cromwell’s cameo. It seemed rushed and incomplete. My guess is the actor agreed to do a bit for the show, but didn’t want to undertake the hours of make-up required to make him look the appropriate age (by my rough reckoning, he would have been at least 120-years-old when his speech was delivered). Mind you this is just my own mental ramblings…nothing substantiated.

There were some technical details that didn’t jive too well (i.e. Armor plating going off-line?) but it’s a pilot and we, as audience members, may not grasp all the technical nuances for this time period. As such, I can overlook it. The real problem is when you have glaring technical goof-ups in your seventh season (ahem!).

The Scores

Originality: I like the new villains, lots of room of to play around. Since it’s all retro, nothing here is really ‘new’ per se, but it did feel fresh and inviting. 4 out of 6

Effects: Good stuff all around. The new ship looks great, as does all of the alien craft. 6 out of 6

Story: Good way to get the story going. I love the awe and wonder each crew member experiences throughout the show. 4 out of 6

Acting: Bakula is dead-on for Capt. Archer. I’m sorry I doubted him. The rest of the cast has a pretty good feel for their characters and I look forward to seeing more of all of them. 5 out of 6

Emotional Response: There’s a lot of high energy in the opening sections, including the opening credits, but it does taper off by the end. 4 out of 6.

Production: Top notch! Felt like a movie for most of the beginning. 5 out of 6

Overall: Well done and well acted. I can’t wait till next Wednesday! 5 out of 6.

Total: 33 out of 42

Stills & Video

(From StarTrek.com)