Enterprise Review – “Minefield”

Back from the abyss, Enterprise debuts a new episode, thankfully not written by Berman and Braga.

Enterprise LogoMinefield

 

Cast & Crew

Director: James Contner
Written By: John Shiban

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
Tim Glenn as Med Tech
Elizabeth Magness as Injured Crewmember

Airdate Information

Originally Aired: Oct. 2, 2002
Season: Two
Episode: Three
Production: 029

MinefieldWhat
Happened

While investigating a newly discovered Class M planet, the Enterprise
takes severe damage from a cloaked mine. While trying to assess the damage,
another mine attaches to the ship hull. Its proximity sensor is offline, so
it does not detonate. Lt. Reed, the only officer trained to disarm bombs, goes
out to try and disarm or detach the explosive.

Meanwhile, a Romulan ship decloaks and orders them out of the system, but with
Hoshi in Sickbay, the crew do not understand the message. Reed continues scanning
the mine when another magnetic limb is deployed and anchors itself to the hull,
right through his leg. Archer goes out to help. Working together, they start
to disarm the mine. All throughout, Archer tries to get to know the closed-off
armory officer. We discover the reason he didn’t join the Royal Navy like his
forefathers, he’s afraid of the water.

Unable to fully disable the explosive, Archer concocts a plan to separate the
hull plating, cut Reed free, and use shuttlepod hatches to shield themselves
from the ensuing blast. The plan works, and Enterprise escapes just before
the Romulans return to attack.

Review

Before anyone freaks out about continuity and all that, this episode handled
the Romulans just fine. In the TOS, all they establish is that the Federation
has never seen a Romulan, not a Romulan ship. In fact, there’s a war between
the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire sometime before TOS begins.

To help further, the writers establish that the magic cloak probe can’t see
through their cloak (at least on the ships).

So, here we are with a MUCH better episode than last week. I really enjoyed
this one, especially the ability to get to know Lt. Reed. Effective character
depth and sufficient tension to make it all worthwhile.

High Point

The HMS Clement piece was nice and dramatic. Now if only T’Pol’s "Carbon
Creek" story could have been as brief.

Low Point

The hull plating detachment looked so incredibly bad. Icky blue screening!
I’ve seen so much better from these guys.

The Scores

Originality: The bomb defusing thing’s been done, but that wasn’t really the
point here, it was getting to know Reed’s character. 3

Effects: I was enjoying the effects right up until that cheesy hull plate detachment.
Kudos otherwise. Anyone else note the detail of the ship interior through the
blast hole on the port side? 5

Story: Good character driven piece that allows us a pretty deep look into one
of the series’ most enigmatic characters. It also marks John Shiban’s (formerly
of the X-Files and The Lone Gunmen) first "Enterprise" episode. Nice
start. 4

Acting: These two have some pretty good chemistry, especially with their different
characterizations. I think we’ll see these to paired more often. 5

Emotional Response: I was into this one start to finish. 4

Production: That was one wicked looking mine and the hull set was convincing.
4

Overall: Much better than last week. But even so, the episode stands out on
its own. 4

Total: 29 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Featured Web Sites

The Romulans are coming, the Romulans are coming!

Next Time on Enterprise (Oct. 9, 2002)

Next Time on EnterpriseDead
Stop

Enterprise, in desperate need of extensive repairs, docks with a mysterious,
high-tech, automated space station that inexplicably and amazingly fixes everything,
making it almost too good to be true. While waiting for the repairs to be completed,
the Enterprise crew searches the unmanned space station and discovers its unique
and horrifying power source.

15 replies on “Enterprise Review – “Minefield””

  1. pdavis says:

    A bit disappointed
    I have been a bit disappointed that the writers have introduced cloaking technology so early on in the ST timeline. I was also disappointed in the ending. I thought a more appropriate solution would have had Phlox to cut Reeds leg where it intersected with the probe. Not amputate it mind you, just cut it so it could slide off of the probes leg. It would have been a longer healing process but much less risky. They could have then just jettisoned the hull plating like they did.

    Also, it was 30 seconds, I counted.

    • theangrymob says:

      Re: A bit disappointed

      Also, it was 30 seconds, I counted.

      Man, and I thought commercial breaks were long enough already.

    • TechnoGirl says:

      Next Time On Enterprise…

      While waiting for the repairs to be completed, the Enterprise crew searches the unmanned space station and discovers its unique and horrifying power source.

      Which is worse….

      1. It’s a Cookbook!

      or….

      2. It’s running on Windows !!

      ??????????

      • fiziko says:

        Re: Next Time On Enterprise…

        Which is worse….

        1. It’s a Cookbook!

        or….

        2. It’s running on Windows !!

        ??????????

        I vote for

        3. Guy on leash running on giant hamster wheel.

  2. jbrecken says:

    Low point
    I would have chosen a different low point.

    It didn’t make sense to me that Reed was able to survive having the probe make a pair of holes in his spacesuit like that. Nothing even leaked out.

    • Jackolantern says:

      Re: Low point

      I would have chosen a different low point.

      It didn’t make sense to me that Reed was able to survive having the probe make a pair of holes in his spacesuit like that. Nothing even leaked out.

      Actually they covered that well. If you pay really close attention when the probe goes through his leg, you will see some blood come out and then some kind of grey sealant covers the hole. Makes since to include some kind of self repair kit in the suit. I mean if I am floating around and a little rock strikes me I dont want to decompress :-). What I had a bigger problem with is the hissing of the air as it came out of Reeds suit when he unplugged the hose. When will people learn that there is no sound in space!

      -Jack

      • theangrymob says:

        Re: Low point

        When will people learn that there is no sound in space!

        Oh they know, Sci-Fi film/TV decided a long time ago to ignore that fact. I mean, how crappy would the Star Wars dogfights be without TIE figher’s screaming and lasers blasting? Pick another pet peeve, this one’s not going away.

        • rickyjames says:

          Three Cheers For Joss

          When will people learn that there is no sound in space!…Pick another pet peeve, this one’s not going away.

          Firefly understands that sound doesn’t travel in a vacuum and is better for it. TVs blare out sound so much that when silence finally comes out of the thing, it’s really pretty arresting. Unless your dishwasher is going in the background.

  3. TechnoGirl says:

    TechnoGril Has Little To Be Grumpy At (for once)
    OK, First off Kudos to "the angrymob" for wrting these reviews and to Dave et. al. for doing this site

    I like ’em!

    Secondly, I did not realize (until I read this review) that this episode had not been by the Brennen and Braga monster so I now have scientific evidence that it’s B&B’s "stories" that I hate and not ST in general these days – I was getting worried!

    Liked most things about this episode but a few nits:

    1. Why was Reed so ready to call it quits and go to the great beyond instead of just losing part of the leg and getting the heck back in the ship? Maybe we could chalk this up to the Trek-Morphine Archer gave him….but if he could still figure out how to defuse the bomb then why couldn’t he figure out that life with half a leg was better than getting all blown up? Hmmmmm…..

    2. Maybe I missed something here but it seemed that Archer and Reed just spun around while holding those Shuttle Pod doors before the bomb blew up. What’s up with that?! Did I miss something because it didn’t look to me as if those suits had reaction rockets on them? They just sorta spun around in space….if so that’s really bad science . If they have some future-tyoe gizmo in their EVA suits that let’s them do this (super future Trek gyros or something) then a good writer will at least establish this somewhere in the storyline first. Unless I missed something – this stood out to me as either bad writing or bad science.

    3. I saved the worst for last so here it is: As the episode begins, Archer is told that they’ve discovered a new planet so what’s he do? Send down a few geological survey teams to check it out perhaps? Maybe a few Red Shirts at least and see if they all come back? Nope, he turns to his trusty science officer and right away proclaims "The crew needs some shore leave so find a nice place out there and send ’em all down."

    Is it just me or does anyone else have the feeling that the real Universe is probably a whole lot more dangerous then that? So why is the Trek Universe so damn warm and fuzzy ?

    I mean in the Babylon Five universe (really! liked that show BTW )if you just traipsed on down to a new planet then you were as likely as not to get your ship blown away by the exhaust gasses of some Old Ones or maybe turned into an evil Zombie by some Spider creatures or something. Point being that everyone had to be pretty careful because the Universe was a dangerous place. But in Enterprise these days apparently all you have to worry about is maybe poking yourself on the weird forehead appendage of the alien of the month.

    So when the ship got blown up just after after Archer proclaimed "Shore leave for Everybody!", I said to myself, "Good! – that Dumbass!"

    So did I just miss something – or could this have been one of the actual points of the episode – that Archer needs to be more careful? I’m not sure….but if I can figure out here in the 21st century that sending the crew down to an unknown alien planet for shore leave is probably not a good idea then I’d expect a 22nd century starship captain to be able to do the same.

    Any one else felt odd about that little nit?

    • Daemonik says:

      Re: TechnoGril Has Little To Be Grumpy At (for once)
      I have a few nits to add myself.

      1: Even if they cut Reeds leg off, wouldn’t the state of prosthetics be to a point by then that he wouldn’t even notice the leg was gone? Or better yet, shouldn’t they just be able to grow him a new one? I never could understand how medical science worked in Trek, super rare diseases are cured by the end of an episode, but something as simple as replacing a limb or organ (LaForge’s eyes) is completely beyond them.

      For what it’s worth, why didn’t they cut the hull plating loose and then risk beaming Reed away?

      2: Speaking of using those plates as blast shields, shouldn’t the shockwave that hit them have caused the plates to slam into Archer and Reed hard enough to have broken some bones at least? Something?

      I do remember seeing them using reaction jets to launch away from the section of hull plating and to spin around though.

      3: Enterprise blindly enters a mindfield and hits a mine, the subsequent trip out of the minefield takes the better part of an episode with trick maneuvers to avoid the newly discovered mines. So, how did they get so deep into such a vast minefield without striking a mine sooner?

      Also, the mine that they did hit left a sizeable hole in Enterprise and decompressed several sections yet NO ONE DIED! WTF???? At least you could count on TOS to kill a few Redshirts now and then, apparently prior to TOS they had personal fate deflection shielding that prevented such messy things and lost the technology by the time Kirk made the scene. Are extra’s so expensive that Enterprise can’t afford to pay for a few anonymous death scenes now and then?

      • TechnoGirl says:

        Re: TechnoGril Has Little To Be Grumpy At (for once)

        For what it’s worth, why didn’t they cut the hull plating loose and then risk beaming Reed away?

        Dooh! So obvious I completely missed that! Why didn’t they just beam him out of there??

        Speaking of using those plates as blast shields, shouldn’t the shockwave that hit them have caused the plates to slam into Archer and Reed hard enough to have broken some bones at least?

        Rightous point!

        I do remember seeing them using reaction jets to launch away from the section of hull plating and to spin around though.

        OK I missed that – good to know !

        Also, the mine that they did hit left a sizeable hole in Enterprise and decompressed several sections yet NO ONE DIED!

        That rankeled me as well – 5% of the ship gets blown away and no one dies?? Hmmmmm…….

        • rickyjames says:

          Re: TechnoGril Has Little To Be Grumpy At (for once)

          That rankeled me as well – 5% of the ship gets blown away and no one dies?? Hmmmmm…….

          I think Enterprise is only supposed to have a crew of 90 or so, and 5% of that is only 4 or 5 people. They aren’t scattered individually around the ship, but are concentrated in engineering, bridge, mess hall, etc. so randomly taking out 5% of the ship is probably gonna kill either nobody or a LOT of bodies. And as we know, on fuzzy ST nobody (hardly) ever dies; even Nimoy and Shatner rise from the grave in sequels and vanity books. NX-01 seems EXTREMELY roomy for its crew size and sometimes I wonder why Archer got stuck with a cabin where he has to duck to avoid a bulkhead as he paces. My biggest gripe is why they so conveniently find a garage in space next week. Yeah, right. I say let it go around the rest of this season with the side blown out. To me that would be cool as well as gritty realism. One of the few Voyager stories worth remembering took this approach, “Year of Hell” or something like that…

          My pet peeve “bad science” this week was the whole minefield concept as it was presented. They were rolling the credits before I could stop rolling in the floor laughing. DS9 had an ep where they mined the wormhole and that made some sense – protecting a relatively limited volume of highly strategic space far from the gravity of a planet. This minefield was just plain stupid. Sometime I’ll have to calculate just how many trillion mines it would take to get the density shown around a whole planet. The “slaloming carefully to get out” scene was idiotic – the Romulans have warp and cloaks but no video/magnetic/thermal/blahblahblah sensors to detect and detonate on the passage of nearby ships? They gotta rely on physical contact? Hooray, the Romulans have achieved German WWI technology. Also, mines that are similar enough to Earth’s that an EOD guy could disarm them. Gotta love that ST anthromorphic principle.

          The worst aspect was the “mines floating serenely” bit. Put that many individual objects in orbit at different altitudes and they’re gonna rapidly take on a distribution of relative speeds that are in the thousands of MPH, particularly relative to a ship that comes into a “random” orbit from a “random” heading. Our mental images of “serenely drifting” space objects come from very carefully choreographed rendevous maneuvers beforehand. Most space objects whiz by each other at incredible speeds. Once before it blew up, Challenger’s windshield was hit by a flek of paint from a 1960s American booster (they IDed the chemistry after landing). The relative speed of impact was thousands of miles per hour, the kinetic energy involved was equivalent to a bowling ball hitting at 60MPH, and it left a pit in the winsshield an inch deep. Lucky it wasn’t an astronaut EVA visor. That’s why its so funny to hear about mine yields of “megatons” – their kinetic energy levels just from being in orbit are more than sufficent to destroy Enterprise.

          • TechnoGirl says:

            Re: TechnoGril Has Little To Be Grumpy At (for once)
            <BLOCKQUOTE TYPE="cite">
            the Romulans have warp and cloaks but no video/magnetic/thermal/blahblahblah sensors to detect and detonate on the passage of nearby ships? levels just from being in orbit are more than sufficent to destroy Enterprise.
            </BLOCKQUOTE>

            Actually <g>…. if I recall correectly (?), the Romulans don’t have warp drive technology at that time as was brought out by the TOS episode, "Balance of Terror", where it was pointed out that they only have impulse drive technology . I think that later in the series they aquire warp drive technology from the Klingons.

            BTW I agree with pretty much all your points regarding the bad science flaws.

  4. is says:

    good overall episode.
    I’d have to agree with all the bad-science points cuz I noticed most of them.

    I thought the thing that stood out most was Reid’s attitude. He’s basically in need of some serious therapy or some anti-suicide drugs. That and the unplugging of his air supply LOL… spare me.

    Not only did it make noise, but it disconnected so easily. Personally if I was in space, I’d want a friggin air hose that needed special tools to remove. And secondly, it took just a few seconds for his air to run out. I guess maybe there could have been a regulator inside the helmet and ZERO decompression countermeasures…. I guess. Seems far fetched though. Reid could have gotten away from that situation so easily.

    Trip was cool as usual, dirty, lookin like he actually works unlike the squeeky klean regular crew. and Hoshi… lol COME ON. took her what… 5 minutes to figure the language out when they have a serious computer on ship that couldn’t figure it out? She’s a wimp but wow, good thing she’s around! heh I don’t ever remember the Romulans being so NICE as to warn you and just shoo you away. They always seemed aggressive and smart. Add cloaking tech to that and I don’t see why they wouldn’t just kill enterprise and go home.

  5. DragonSilk says:

    Liked it Much
    I like the episode a lot. It kept my interest as well, but I did wonder about the transporter thingy. Maybe it was offline or maybe they wouldn’t be able to differentiate between Reed and the bomb and have to transport them both in.

    Also, if you remove a leg without a tourniquet, your patient is going to bleed out in something under 4 minutes. The main femoral artery, once cut, does a really good job of emptying the body of blood. I would imagine that would be the first reason NOT to take the leg. In fact, I think the Captain said something like that when Reed first mentioned it, but I sure could be wrong.

    I also have to agree with the comments about the helmet. If you have a self sealing suit, the least you could do is make the helmet a little more resistent to catastrophic oxygen loss.

    Did anybody else notice that Reed put on his own suit and the Captain had to be helped out of his?

Comments are closed.