Enterprise: "Terra Nova"

With all the new laws congress is inacting, I could just come over there and make you click “Read More” but it’s so much more satisfying when you give yourself over to me willingly.

Muhahahaa! :::ahem::: Sorry, too much Mtn. Dew today.

Terra
Nova

Cast & Crew

Director: LeVar Burton
Written 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
Erick Avari as Jamin
Mary Carver as Nadet
Brian Jacobs as Athan
Greville Henwood as
Akary

Original Airdate

October 24, 2001

Terra NovaWhat
Happened

The Enterprise is ordered to check out the long-lost terran colony of
Terra Nova. Shortly before communication was lost 70 years ago, heated words
had been exchanged between the colonist (who wished to be left alone) and Earth
(who wanted to send more colonists).

What the Enterprise finds, is an abandoned colony and no trace of the
colonists. Only some primitives that want the landing party dead. After a brief
firefight, Reed is captured and the remaining members of the landing party shuttle
back the ship to regroup, but they don’t go empty-handed. T’Pol managed to scan
one of the primitives and discovered that they are human.

According to sensors, the area around the colony is highly irradiated, and
Archer is dead set on figuring out the cause. He returns to the planet with
Phlox to recover Reed and make contact with, what he hopes to be, the decendents
of the original colonists. The Novans (as the call themselves) take Archer and
Phlox to Reed, where he can be treated. Phlox reveals that Jamin’s mother, Nadet,
is dying of lung cancer. Archer offers to take Nadet and Jamin back to Enterprise
where she can be treated. The leave Reed again (poor fellow) and return to the
ship. The Novans aren’t particularly fond of humans. They don’t see themselves
as human, and blame humans for the ‘poison rain’ that drove them underground.

Tucker and T’Pol think the have the solution to the ‘poison rain’ problem.
A large asteroid hit Terra Nova not long after tensions built between Earth
and the colony. The radiation was so intense that only young children, who could
build up an immunity to it, would survive. A recovered communications log shows
that the colonists assumed the asteroid was a weapon of somekind, and the Earth
was hell-bent on wiping them out.

After curing Nadet, Archer shows her an old picture file. In it it shows a
woman with a child named “Bernadette.” Archer asks if this could be
her. Another problem shows up when Phlox tells them that the underground water
supply has become contaminated and they need to move. Jamin and Nadet both refuse
to see the truth and are shuttled back to the surface with Archer and Mayweather.

The shuttle lands on an unstable portion of cave and drops several meters down.
Once they get out, the find an injured Novan, Akary. Working together, Jamin
and Archer free the pinned man. Seeing the risks that Archer took, Nadet realizes
that they are one and the same and asks Jamin and the others to believe her
when she says that she’s one of the humans.

Review

Alright! An episode that you can sink your teeth into. A nice blend of action
and drama on this one. Everyone contributed well to the overall storyline, even
Hoshi. T’Pol gives us a hint of what’s to come with her abbreviated ‘Prime Directive’
speech. A lot of people hate that directive, but T’Pol reminds us that it is
there for a reason.

One major piece that I didn’t like was the ending. We assume the Novans were
moved, but what next? Did they leave them supplies? Technology to learn from?
Communications equipment to get in touch with long-lost relatives? Loose ends,
gotta hate ’em!

High Point

I particularly liked the way Archer is show as a compassionate man, determined
not to lose a crewman, and desperate for each and every mission the Enterprise
takes on to be a success. There’s a lot of pressure put on a captain and I really
like the way he shows it in his face and mannerisms.

Low Point

Was that supposed to be scales, mud, or I don’t know what on the Novan’s faces?
Kind of cheesy really.

The Scores

Originality: Not quite like anything my memory. 4

Effects: Really bare-bones on this one. Just the standard stuff. That is to
say, nothing bad, but nothing out standing either. 4

Story: I was really into this one, start to finish. Even my wife, who usually
doesn’t watch these, had me tape the last 15 minutes when she put the little
one to bed. 5

Acting: Bakula is great! Good supporting cast as well. I’d really like to see
Erick Avari in more stuff, rather than stereotypical characters. 4

Emotional Response: No real suspence here, but I was very interested in how
the story would play out in the end. 4

Production: Styrofoam caves and rusty colonies. The ‘pinned man’ set was well
constructed, however. 3

Overall: Enterprise is starting to fit together. Kudos to LeVar Burton
for directing a bang-up episode (as he usually does). 5

Total: 29 out of 42

Stills & Video

From StarTrek.com

The Andorian IncidentNext
week

The Andorians return for the first time since TOS, and they mean business.
A bit of a Halloween treat for old school Trekkers with “The
Andorian Incident
.”

11 replies on “Enterprise: "Terra Nova"”

  1. cantremember says:

    didn’t they already do this on voyager?
    …can’t really remember but I think I’ve seen this plot somewhere before. A bit disappointing really, along with the badly done studio caverns and the silly radiation make-up.
    However, I do like the show, Bakula is excellent (hasn’t had a single bad episode yet) and the rest of the crew ain’t that bad either.
    It’s not like your normal Trek series and I don’t really know what to expect of it which is refreshing after all those Voyager yawners…
    I looks like they’re still doing the character introductions, can’t wait until they *really* get started with the main plot
    Didn’t see the puppy this time, maybe they read the previous review comments and cut it away (for the record, I actually thought the puppy was cute..wouldn’t mind too much if they kept it in the series)

  2. rickyjames says:

    Down In The Dirt, Not Up In The Stars
    This seemed like a dreary and confusing episode, to be honest I think this was the worst one so far. Lots I didn’t get which made the premise seem contrived…OK, something happened and they had to go underground. Why were the adults killed, leaving the kids ignorant of their history? What was the deal with the second ship besides a plot device to get the kids to hate humans? The planet wasn’t big enough for two handfuls of people when the first handful couldn’t even survey out far enough to find there were uncontaminated areas? Where did the second ship go? Why didn’t it help?

    Somehow the whole approach to colonization seemed very 1950s here – spend nine years getting there and drop all your spacecraft assets in one area – no multiple landing sites for scientific survey, no satellites left in orbit for comm or nav, nothing like a plan that even NASA today would come up with, much less 100 years from now. When everybody acts dumb so they can withdraw into a cave as the main mystery, it’s not much of a plot – kind of like Miri from TOS (lost kid survivors of an accident) without ANY drama or embelishments.

    Also, let’s think about it here. We’ve got a pilot episode where the main alien port has everything underground in narrow dark corridors. We’ve got the dead ship of draining bodies where the power is out and you walk thru narrow dark corridors with flashlights. We’ve got the pollen episode where they hide in a narrow dark cave with flashlights. We have the pregnancy episode where Trip is in a ship which is claustrophobic closet of narrow corridors. Now Terra Nova where we’re back in the caves again. In the first five episodes of Enterprise, three (a full 60%) take place officially in caves and the other two have a definite claustrophobic cave motif. We ought to name this thing Cavern Trek.

    Now here come the Andorians. The big deal is, they’re Andorians. Whoopie. Hope they give us a real plot and some dramatic tension, not just blue makeup. And I REALLY hope this isn’t a story set in a cave….

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Down In The Dirt, Not Up In The Stars

      This seemed like a dreary and confusing episode, to be
      honest I think this was the worst one so far. Lots I
      didn’t get which made the premise seem
      contrived…OK, something happened and they had to go
      underground. Why were the adults killed, leaving the
      kids ignorant of their history? What was the deal
      with the second ship besides a plot device to get the
      kids to hate humans? The planet wasn’t big enough for
      two handfuls of people when the first handful couldn’t
      even survey out far enough to find there were
      uncontaminated areas? Where did the second ship go?
      Why didn’t it help?

      There was no second ship. A meteor hit the planet,
      releasing massive amounts of radioactive fallout into
      the atmosphere. The people on the planet mistook this
      fallout as an attack from a ship, but it was a natural
      occurance. The only survivors were children because
      their immune systems were more capable of handling
      the fallout, while the adults died. They fled to the
      caves to avoid the fallout, which came in the form of
      rain.

      I think that covers all your questions
      except
      the ones about their colonization plans, which I don’t
      understand either. That seemed like a plot device to
      make sure they couldn’t escape the natural disaster.

      • rickyjames says:

        The Second Ship
        While I didn’t get the details as they zipped by, I’m ***sure*** they talked about a second ship arriving at the planet some time after the first ship had made landfall. The way I got it, the second ship tried to make contact with the colonists upon arrival after a nine year voyage, the colonists said go away (a stupid response I didn’t hear justified), then the meteor hit, and because the colonists had just had a nasty contact with the second ship, the colonists mistook the meteor as an attack in response to their refusal to grant landing rights. This misunderstanding is why the children hated humans. The second ship went away (must not have looked out the window to see nuclear winter settle over Terra Nova) and reported to Earth that the colonists wanted to be left alone. There was no further radio contact, later explained by the disturbed atmosphere blocking transmissions which were actually attempted. Thus the mystery of Terra Nova was born. Again, this is the way it came across to me as a viewer…a tenuous but somewhat contrived chain of events to set up the situation that “Enterprise meets cave people who don’t want to come out” which pretty much sums up the episode for me. Confusing buildup for boring payoff. No character development except for Bacula showing his usual promise if he were just given something solid to work with…

      • dcheesi says:

        Re: Down In The Dirt, Not Up In The Stars

        Where did the second ship go?
        Why didn’t it help?

        There was no second ship.

        It took me most of the episode to figure this out. The way they set it up, it sounded like the second ship did go despite the protests; I was expecting a big ‘the settlers killed each other’ explanation in the end. It wasn’t until later on that I realized that the second ship never went, which caused certain things to make much more sense in retrospect. It would have been nice if they had made this clearer at the start.

    • hoggoth says:

      Re: Cavern Trek
      One word: Catacombs!

  3. Lord_Of_The_Beer says:

    Better…. but…
    Again Continuity is my big problem. The Terra Nova system is colinized 200 years? by the time of TNG/DS9/STV but I have never heard of it, in any series. – (that is kind of a
    self answering question mind you – they just do not have the population. And nobody would want to explore it anyways it has been found.

    I suspect that Terra Nova will be the subject of more plots in the season(s) ahead.

    On the whole I enjoyed it. There were plot holes you could drive a ship throw (Nobody bothered to send a ship out to check in 70 years? Amunition working after 70 years? Why was there a tree undreground? Why did they not detect the Novan’s with scanners? Where does the dog ummm Go?) But it is Star Trek so I have come to expect these things.

    Lotb

  4. Jethro says:

    Yeesh, bring back the Pregnant Man plots
    I actually thought this was the worst episode yet. How can you possibly call this original? I’ve seen/read/heard this exact plot so many times before. Heck, TOS had quite a few The Planet Where All The Adults Died For Some Unknown Reason episodes…

    Ok, so all the adults died from radiation fallout. How did the children know they have to move underground? Who told them? All the adults died! And how the heck could the adults NOT KNOW it was a meteor? Talk about a forced plotline!

    All-in-all this episode bored me and I was really glad I had Farscape to watch right after it. Enterprise is still on my Benefit Of The Doubt list cause the first couple of seasons always suck, but they’re even worse than I expected.

    I do agree, Bakula is doing a great job. Too bad he has all these horrible scripts to contend with. He and Pierce Brosnan should form some sort of club.

  5. MajesticFiles says:

    Hmmmm…where have I seen this before
    I know…Mad Max-Beyond Thunderdome! We even have mud on the face and wierd hair to make the effect complete. Now if there was only a captain who had promised to return and save them all we’d have had an exact match.

    I agree, the plot seemed contrived to make the survivors hate humans. I’m also not sure I buy in to the theory that young children built up an “immunity” to the radiation. I don’t remember those kids in Chernobyl (sp?) here on Earth looking so hot.

    I hope this series and the FX continue to get better…that Cave Trek comment was right on. When are we going to see the type of set quality they had in STNG? This is TOS stuff, and I’m not talking about the technology.

  6. rickyjames says:

    Now HERE’s Something That’s Scary
    Last night my wife is flipping channels and comes across a TOS episode. Nothing else is on, so she stops there for me so it can be the “background noise” while we get ready for bed. I tell her this is a special TOS episode – the very first one with Kirk, Where No Man Has Gone Before with Gary Lockwood and Sally Kellerman. Haven’t seen this one for a LONG time so I settle in to watch it. Spock is weird (Nimoy is still getting into the Vulcan thing), the color and cut of the shirts is all wrong, they’ve got a different doctor because Bones is not on the Enterprise yet, but guess what…despite the cheesy sets and simplistic special effects, it was a GREAT story. Better, dare I say it, than anything Enerprise has done yet. There was lots of facial close-ups. There was sincere disagreement among the crew over whether they should kill Kirk’s friend Gary Mitchell or help him. Shatner was just getting into the Kirk role and his intensity seemed fresh, not the parody we have all turned it into. He didn’t feed his dog or pose for pictures make comments that a starship marches on its stomach or don’t scratch the paint or too bad we don’t have a water polo pool onboard. He was in command of a starship and by God he was exploring strange new worlds and the people those worlds turned his crew into. The contrast between the very first TOS and the first few Enterprises are extreme – and not favorable to the latter. Yes, TOS WAS cheesy and Shatner DID go overboard and there WERE dumb episodes – but in the beginning TOS KNEW what atmosphere it wanted to try to represent, and it WAS an atmosphere to which its viewers responded. Enterprise’s BIG problem is that it hasn’t locked onto a motif that anybody gives a damn about. It sure ain’t caves. Hope they try something different, something RIGHT, while there is still time.

  7. transitman says:

    Terra Nova and Dr. Phlox
    All in all, I found the episode enjoyable, and interesting.
    I also happened to catch that Dr. Phlox is a “Denubian”. Now we have humans, a Vulcan and a Denubian on the Enterprise. I think the franchise handled the introduction of characters and their home planets well.
    I look forward to more exciting episodes.
    And yes, even those blue Andorians. Gotta love to hate them.

Comments are closed.