Enterprise: “Strange New World”

Sorry this is so late gang. I taped it on Wednesday, then I tried to…oh like you all really care about all that. Just read on for more psychedelic fun.

Strange New World

Cast & Crew

Director: David Livingston
Story By: Rick Berman &
Brannon Braga
Teleplay 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
Kellie Waymire as Elizabeth
Cutler
Henri Lubatti as Ethan
Novakovich
Rey Gallegos as Crewman

Original Airdate

October 10, 2001

What Happened

Enterprise discovers a new planet, uninhabited by intelligent life and
bears more than a passing resemblance to Earth. Not about to pass up a bit of
exploration, Archer and company shuttle down (against T’Pol’s warnings) to do
some research.

Finding nothing but nocturnal marsupials to study, Archer leaves a survey crew
(T’Pol, Cutler, and Novakovich) behind to take some readings. Tucker and Mayweather
ask to stay behind as well. They just want to go camping. After getting riled
up with ghost stories, the crew retires to their tents, only to be woken by
Tucker and an alien bug. Meanwhile there’s a storm brewing and the crew decides
to take shelter in a nearby cave.

Having reassembled into the cave, Trip realizes that no one brought the food.
Mayweather volunteers to go get it, but spots several vague figures in the dark.
Novakovich freaks and bolts, Tucker chases after him. T’Pol wanders back deeper
into the cave, leaving a petrified Cutler by herself. Cutlet eventually finds
her way back to T’Pol and sees her talking with someone (we can’t see who though).

The crew eventually reassembles, but Novakovich is still missing. Accusations
begin flying as the crew swears they’ve all seen something, but T’Pol has not.
In fact she denies talking with anyone at the back of the cave. After a failed
rescue attempt, Archer orders Novakovich to be transported out. Unfortunately
the transporters can’t filter out the debris and he’s brought up with some extra
“stuff” in his skin.

Dr. Phlox is able to heal the injured crewman’s wounds and discovers high concentrations
of a hallucinogenic compound in his bloodstream. Archer warns the crew, but
they are already deep in the grips of their respective terror, T’Pol included.
Speaking in Vulcan, Hoshi spells out Archer’s plan to fool Tucker into lowering
his guard. The ruse works and T’Pol stuns Tucker, then grabs the medkit beamed
down from Enterpise. Using it on the crew and herself, she waits for
the dawn and the shuttle.

Review

I see…That’s why they call him “Trip.” Sorry I just couldn’t resist.

I have to admit to being disappointed with this one. It was fairly cliché
and not very suspenseful. The first half of the episode felt a little too much
like Pitch Black (which
I recommend seeing over most of the recent Alien rip-offs). The rest
of the episode just didn’t feel like Star Trek. It could have been any old generic
Sci-fi show.

The acting was OK, but this episode may have been better off later on in the
season when everyone’s a little bit better established. A nod goes out to the
two guest stars for putting on a fairly decent performance given the limited
script.

Right now, I just don’t know where this show is going. We’ve had two horror-themed
episodes in a row and that just doesn’t sit well with me. Next week’s episode
appears to be more humor-driven, so who knows what could happen. I really enjoyed
the pilot, but two episodes later, the series seems to be running out of steam.
Maybe they’ll get back on their feet, maybe there’s a plotline waiting to be
explored. A lot of maybes here.

Here’s to hoping they can pull it off.

High Point

There’s still a sense of wonder in their exploration. I find hope in these
dark times with the belief that at some point in our future we can, once again,
do great things with each other, and not horrible things to each other.

Low Point

It isn’t so much a low point, as a point of confusion. Phlox initially misdiagnosis
Novakovich and may not be able to save him. The captain doesn’t say much, just
gives him a look, a really nasty look. And that’s it. No resolution to it. We
find out later that the crewman will be just fine, but nothing with regards
to the doctor. Is he upset? His confidence shaken? Will the captain trust him
from here on out? Nothing. I liked that the character’s can be fallible, but
without consequences, what’s the point of making mistakes? I hated this sort
of stuff in Voyager, and I hope I don’t have to see this on a regular
basis on Enterprise.

The Scores

Originality: A little too close to “The Amok Time” and other Sci-fi
horror films for my taste. 2

Effects: Most of what we saw was good (shuttle’s failed landing), but began
to drop in quality later in the episode (Rock people?). 3

Story: Ill-conceived, and poorly put together. We just don’t know the characters
well enough to be interested in this sort of stuff. 3

Acting: Mid-level stuff at best. 3

Emotional Response: Like last week, we find another horror-type plot, but we
just can’t be scared by a TV show. We also just don’t care about these people
that much right now to be gripped by their paranoia. 3

Production: While it’s nice to see real outdoor settings, it only makes the
fake rock of the cave interior shots look that much worse. 3

Overall: Give me some real drama, real peril. This just doesn’t feel right
for Star Trek. 2

Total: 19 out of 42

Stills (From StarTrek.com)

10 replies on “Enterprise: “Strange New World””

  1. dcheesi says:

    Phlox in Flux?? (Sorry I couldn’t resist ;)
    I was also expecting more of a blowup from captain over that one, but if you think about it, he’s right to restrain himself. If it had been a human doctor, they probably wouldn’t have known what was going on until it was too late; either they wouldn’t have found the chemical, or they wouldn’t have recognized it as a hallucinogen(or poison).

    Although it wasn’t stated in the script, I think the reason for the doctor’s failure to see the poisonous side-effects was due to a limited knowledge of human biochemistry; obviously it hadn’t had such an effect on other species. And the failure to find the pollen was a limitation of the ship’s scanning tech[nology/nique].

  2. Kaki says:

    Inept space travelers…
    I think the show is doing quite fine. I really don’t know about all this “running out of steam” thinking, I mean, we’re three shows in; wouldn’t it be good of you not to generalize on small amounts of information. How typically primate of you.

    So far the list of things I like still has a positive derivative. I like how the vaulted starfleet crew is ignorant and inept, that they basically bungle, trip, stumble, and blindly luck into making it through. All without seeming as truely incompetent as Kirk and his crew, meaning that they seem to be learning a bit as they go. I liked the ship’s weapons being next to worthless too. I grew up watching TNG and thinking “wow, I wish I could live on that ship”. Watching this trek I can’t help thinking, “hmmm, they might have to pay me pretty well to get on that bucket.” Transporter accident, good. I’m waiting for the survivors to form an “Are We Really Us?” club.

    You are right that Novakovich should have died. I liked his crazed dash into the woods and “go to hell” reactions, but this show needs a high mortality rate (not just of security officers). They rushed down to that planet with no clear agenda or understanding of the place, and it should have bitten them hard on the ass. I’m sure it wouldn’t have helped the image of the transporter either… second person to use it, died shortly thereafter.

    Anyway, was anyone else besides me thinking near the end of this episode that a planet with such readily available psychedelics is going to make a great place for a vacation colony? I seem to recall some space-hippie types on the original series, another mystery explained.

    Oh, and narry a whisper more about that temporal cold war. Good. If they only ever develop that one during season cliffhangers and the series finale, so much the better.

  3. Jethro says:

    3rd Episode Syndrome
    I may have this totally wrong, but isn’t the 3rd Episode always the Some Of The Crew Get High Off Some Previously Unknown Substnce episode? Was “The Naked Time” and “The Naked Now” the 3rd episode of TOS and TNG?

    What I did like about this episode is that the first Earthling to walk on a totally alien planet is Scott Bakula’s puppy. You can be sure Picard or Kirk would NEVER allow THAT.

  4. YaRness says:

    a note on the captain’s “nasty look”
    when the doctor isn’t looking, you see the captain hesitate in the doorway, and look like he’s about to go back and apologize or say something else, but then kinda firms up or finds some kind of resolve in himself and goes ahead and leaves without further comment.

    the way i saw it was, instead of babying the doctor and trying to make him feel better, he stuck with the chastisement. this better establishes the kind of performance the captain expects from the doctor. the doctor will still feel bad about it, but he’ll work harder in assessing the next difficult situation that comes around.

    or, in short, the captain stuck with the decision to be the captain, and not act as the doctor’s friend and turn around and console him and say everything is alright. something that’s necessary when you are in command, so everyone is clear on where they stand. (ok maybe the second version wasn’t so short :p)

  5. jayhawk88 says:

    Star Trek Script-O-Tron 3000
    The show’s been OK so far, but what really has me irked is the pattern all the shows seem to be falling under:

    – Crew discovers something unknown.
    – T’Pol (sp?) gives them lots of stern warnings against acting rashly.
    – The crew all giggle and smirk at Mother T’Pol, and basically say, “We’re humans, that’s just how we do things” as they totally ignore her warnings.
    – Great Peril ensues. They escape, and someone learns a valuable lesson about the true meaning of friendship/things aren’t always as they seem/never run with plasma injectors.

    These first two regular eps read like they were written with a Mad Libs book.

  6. GusherJizmac says:

    Somewhat offtopic, Enterprise on DS9?
    Was watching a DS9 re-run, and it was the episode where Dax dies. In that episode, there’s a big attack from the Klingons/Romulans/Federation on some Cardassian planet. Anyway, during the battle, I _swear_ that the Enterprise from “Enterprise” flew by and got shot down. It looked just like it, even having the somewhat-darker-than-other-federation-ships tint to it. Anyone else see this?

    • theangrymob says:

      Re: Somewhat offtopic, Enterprise on DS9?

      I _swear_ that the Enterprise from “Enterprise” flew by and got shot down. It looked just like it, even having the somewhat-darker-than-other-federation-ships tint to it. Anyone else see this?

      Please don’t swear…kiddies may be present.

      At any rate, what you most likely saw was an Akira class starship. These made their debut during the opening battle of “First Contact.” The new NX-01 bears more than a passing resemblence to these ships. Both have no secondary hull and sport similar nacelle configurations (with an arch from one to the other).

      The main differences are that the nacelles are swept down on an Akira and the NX-01 Enterprise has its navigational deflector on the front of its saucer (rather than underneath).

      Here are some fairly respectable rendering of the Akira(Forward/Ventral View | Aft/Dorsal View) from desktopstarships.com.

      So fear not Gusher, you aren’t losing your mind. It was just some swamp gas catching the light from Venus reflected off a weather balloon…

      This was kinda fun. Anyone else have a starship question they need answered? I know waaaaay too much about these things.

      • Lord_Of_The_Beer says:

        Re: Somewhat offtopic, Enterprise on DS9?
        Do you know if there is a Star Trek Star Ship Reconition (sp?) Guide out there anywhere. Web Or Book.

        I have wanted one for a while now, but I have never found one.

        • theangrymob says:

          Re: Somewhat offtopic, Enterprise on DS9?

          Do you know if there is a Star Trek Star Ship Reconition (sp?) Guide out there anywhere. Web Or Book.

          I have wanted one for a while now, but I have never found one.

          Some of the various Technical Manuals (TNG/DS9) have some great stuff regarding the Enterprise-D and the Defiant. They are all published by Paramount. The old FASA Star Trek RPG had some good ones (though there are some non-canon ships in there).

          A quick check on Amazon shows a Star Trek: Starship Spotter. It’s due out in November. Maybe I’ll get it and post a review hereabouts.

          Web-wise, the motherlode is ST-Intelligence.com. Go forth and download!

  7. rickyjames says:

    Getting Its Sea Legs
    Well, so far Enterprise hasn’t been about strange new worlds as much as strange new characters. The original iceball shown wasn’t about the world, it was about the humans as fish out of water among the aliens there. The viewers knew more about the Klingon home world than the crew – nothing strange there. The first slug they found (offcamera) they ripped it away from its home and almost killed it, then stopped on the first real strange new world shown just long enough to drop it off as the primary goal…certainly an away mission of historic importance in the history of Starfleet and certainly the genesis of the Prime Directive! Here comes the next strange world but it’s a global Switzerland garden-of-eden – not even an Alice or a knight running thru the trees, only pollen for the obligatory Amock Time episode to christen the series. I agree with the earlier comment about Star Trek can’t sustain itself on horror, so why the emphasis on draining bodies and ghost stories and rock phantoms? To me, the cramped quarters and the shifing light thru the window of planetfall and the sun as a star in the sky is where the emphasis should be, but its symbolized by Archer’s dog – just too plain cute, overkill to get you to LIKE Enterprise RIGHT NOW, doggoneit! They have promising elements and Bakula is great but everybody else just hasn’t gelled for me yet. Tucker is some kind of cross between Bones and Tomme Lee Jones that wavers between amusing and annoying. A sexy vulcan is arguably a contradiction in terms and somehow the wrong emphasis to put on T’Pols shoulders. Hey, I’d like to see some real conspiracy and paranoia where T’Pol REALLY IS some kind of Vulcan spy in an ongoing plotline – why does Earth and Vulcan need to see eye-to-eye this early in their joint history, especially given the appropriate feelings the Earthlings have that are ripe for the generation of conflict? It’s episode 3 and TPol is already saying listen to your inner Vulcan, master your prejudice. Isn’t that what we have had four series and almost 25 years of stories about already? For crying out loud, let Tucker be revealed as a secret member of some 22nd century anti-Vulcan group based in Selma called the VVV! Let’s see people as they really are! The other characters are pure cardboard – the grinning excited helmsman, the uptight translator, the clown man-at-arms who’s weapons don’t work. I would SO much love to see this guy go on an away mission with an antique 44 magnum strapped under his arm, the most powererful handgun in the universe, and him whip it out to blow some alien bad guy’s head clean off…

    Here’s hoping that Entrprise finds its legs. It has the potential to be great. But it’s going to have to break convention to be great…not recycled plots ot messages of tolerance or catsuit Vulcans. They need to get you to care about somebody for a few episodes…then kill them off in a dramatically important (ie, NOT Tasha Yar) manner. Space is the final frontier. It is dangerous and it is worth it. That’s the only message that will save Enterprise.

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