Enterprise Review – “The Communicator”

Here we go again!

Enterprise LogoThe
Communicator

 

Cast & Crew

Director: James Contner
Story By: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Teleplay By: Andre Bormanis

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
Francis Guinan as Gosis
Tim Kelleher as Lt. Pell
Dennis Cockrum as Alien Barkeep
Brian Reddy as Dr. Temec
Jason Waters as Soldier

Airdate Information

Originally Aired: Nov. 13, 2002
Season: Two
Episode: Eight
Production: 034

The CommunicatorWhat
Happened

After losing his communicator on a pre-warp planet, Reed, along with Capt.
Archer, return to retrieve it. They are captured, accused as spies in a tense
cold war. After several attempts to explain away their "differences"
they are sentenced to death, so their bodies can be examined.

The two are eventually rescued by their crewmates using their stolen Suliban
cell ship. They recover their lost technology, but T’Pol reminds Archer that
the contamination has already been done.

Review

This episode may stand out in the grand scheme of things if (and only if) they
come back to explore the cultural contamination. Part of this series’ biggest
contribution to Trek lore will be to rationalize and define the Prime Directive.

Sadly, by itself, this entry is just plain dull. Everything came off as a little
too cliche in a few too many places.

High Point

Trip cloaking his hand. It was a nice break from the rest of the episode.

Low Point

Why are all interrogators portrayed the same way? If this is what reality’s
like, always tell the truth when questioned. They’ll never believe you.

The Scores

Originality: There was a nearly identical fourth season TNG episode along the
same lines, First
Contact
(not to be confused with the movie). 3 out 6.

Effects: For a pre-warp culture, those were some cool looking fighters. 5 out
of 6.

Story: It’s an important piece in the road, just not handled well. 4 out of
6.

Acting: Reed and Archer were good, but their scrapping the bottom of the barrel
when it comes to the guest cast. 3 out of 6.

Emotional Response: No surprises, just a bit of humor when Trip accidentally
cloaks his hand. 3 out of 6.

Production: They went on for several minutes about the architecture and then
they show us…what? 3 out of 6.

Overall: Just because we need to cover certain topics doesn’t mean you have
to do it so poorly. 3 out of 6.

Total: 24 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Next Time on Enterprise (Nov. 20, 2002)

Next Time on EnterpriseSingularity

On a "typical" day on Enterprise, the crew finds their routine tasks
turn into uncharacteristically strange obsessions over trivial matters. The
crew’s increasingly erratic and often humorous behavior includes: Archer’s preoccupation
with writing the preface of a biography about his dad; Trip’s fixation on adjusting
the Captain’s chair to perfection; Hoshi’s obsession with her cooking; and Reed’s
concern with a Tactical Alert.

TheAngrymob

12 replies on “Enterprise Review – “The Communicator””

  1. Daemonik says:


    Just wanted to comment on the fact that I won’t be adding to this discussion on the pathetic state of Trek due to my recent purchase of the Lord of the Rings extended version.

    Which is a comment in itself in that I’d rather sit through a 3+ hour movie that I’ve already seen a dozen times just so I can see how the extra 30 minutes of footage looks (simply gorgeous btw, shouldn’t have been cut in the first place) than suffer through another episode of Enterprise.

    ‘Nuff said.

    • jayhawk88 says:

      Re: …
      Agreed about the LOTR special edition. My roommate and I sat there watching it and more than 3-4 times wondered aloud why they would cut some 20-30 second scene that explains so much as far as character background and motivation. Boromir(sp?) first lusting after The Ring at the council session comes to mind off hand.

      I know releasing a 3:45 movie is probably seen as suicide by a lot of suits in Hollywood, and cuts have to be made somewhere, but watching that special edition was almost like watching another movie. They could have re-released this in theaters I think.

      What I want to know is, when this trilogy is all said and done, what the hell is the all-in-one trilogy box set going to look like? Jesus, better start saving for that bad-boy now.

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Re: …
      Funny you should mention that, as that’s exactly why I watched neither Enterprise nor Birds of Brey this week. I think I had a much more enjoyable evening, even after I resolved the issue with Office XP breaking my DVD decoder’s drivers…grrrrr…

      And, jayhawk88, I am saving, I am! The Argonath bookends are sweet, and along with all the other extra goodies in the collector’s set it’s well worth the extra price.

      The Ultra Mega So-uncut-it’s-longer-than-the-books Collector’s Edition Lord of the Rings Trilogy DVD Set(tm) in 2004 will include the life-size versions. :)

  2. rickyjames says:

    What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicator…

    Everybody else is giving short shift to the commentary, so will I, Survivor Thailand’s comin on…

    Lots of stupidity in this one. Let’s take six other devices, including phasers, to cause disclosure if we’re captured while getting one communicator back. Let’s go to work on some Helix ship we don’t even understand to get us out of this mess. Let’s make our captors even more paranoid about their enemies and increase the chance of war by talking about weapons the enemies don’t even have. Let’s kill unique prisoners by hanging them an hour after getting them in custody while we’re still trying to sort out their lies. Let’s have a firefight among a dozen armed people a dozen feet from each other without any of our side getting hit….

    Here’s what I think. The only thing that would have saved this ep would have been in the end if Archer had reluctantly been forced to drop a smart bomb on the communicator location to destroy it, taking out innocent life, and having Reed face the internal and external music for causing that to have happened…

    • rickyjames says:

      Re: What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicator…
      PS – In keeping with the Classic Movie aspect to Enterprise lately (Seven Saumeri, Apocolypse Now), my title (in case you don’t get it) is an allusion to the classic 1967 (?) film Cool Hand Luke. Great movie. Go rent it for the boiled egg eating scene alone. Better than this ep of Enterprise, anyway.

      • Daemonik says:

        Re: What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicator…

        Cool Hand Luke. Great movie. Go rent it for the boiled egg eating scene alone.

        Funny, I always thought the scene with the woman washing her car was more memorable. :)

        • rickyjames says:

          Re: What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicator…

          Funny, I always thought the scene with the woman washing her car was more memorable. :)

          You are of course correct, dude. Actually, the more I think about Cool Hand Luke the more it seems to have in common with this Enterprise ep. I’m starting to wonder if the scriptwriters were in a what-classic-movie-can-we-rip-off discussion, said my title tag line above as a joke, and by God came up with The Communicator. What a scary thought. Both are prison stories with sadistic wardens. Enterprise has a sort-of Vulcan in T’Pol, Cool Hand Luke has a Classic Vulcan in the Guard With Sunglasses Who Never Talks. And crap certainly plays an important role in both….

    • SciFi0964 says:

      Re: What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicator…

      Let’s have a firefight among a dozen armed people a dozen feet from each other without any of our side getting hit….

      Well doesn’t that go with the A-Team feel the creators are going for? I believe someone made mention of it in an earlier episode. T’Pol can replace Mr. T. Trip for Murphy. Cpt. Archer for Hannibal!

      Comment:

      Okay, how many times must a landing party go into a dangerous situation to investigate another culture, only to be found and put at risk? Sure it’s good for a plot complication, but by my reckoning the friggin Federation is run by morons who perportedly never learn over several generations that any personal contact runs the risk of exposure. Sure this is the begining of the creation of this organization, so a few problems are to occur good for a story.

      For being such educated individuals, the characters can’t seem to think to:

      1)Make a checklist of all items taken down to planet.

      2)Make sure the items are onboard the shuttle before returning to the ship.

      3)Fly back to ship afterwards only after all items are logged & stored.

      True it’s a minor point, but I would have been more impressed if they discovered the communicator missing before getting back to the ship. That at least shows some awareness and intelligence within the characters.

  3. rickyjames says:

    Beating Around The Bush
    You know Enterprise is REALLY in trouble when the commentary here is all about Lord of the Rings, Survivor Thailand, Cool Hand Luke and The A-Team…

  4. is says:

    not bad, and yet not good.
    I liked this one a lot more than the last two. The cloaking thing and the use of the cell ship was a good thing. Good to see that they’re not stupid enough to chuck the cool tech in the cell ship. The guest actors were all dressed up to look like Nazis, which is an interesting and often used method of audience manipulation.

    The whole show could have been topped off and improved a lot by one simple thing. Have two crew members get shot and have to be drug into the ship. It’s easy, you don’t have to kill em, and it would look WAY more believable.

  5. GrimSean says:

    Enterprise – Meh
    I wasn’t paying too much attention to the episode whilst it was on, as I have a paper due tomorrow and have been working on it all night. The only thing I realized whilst watching “communicator” is that they basically took the plot from one of the more memorable DS9 (non-war plot line) episodes – the one where Quark, Rom and Nog turn out to be the Roswell Aliens – added some violence, and came out with an even worse episode. Of course, they could have also stolen from TOS – you know, the Gary Seven episode where they capture the fighter pilot?, or perhaps the plot from the TNG episode where the crew went back and met Mark Twain (just a bit of a re-write), or the Voyager Episode that wasn’t very good and they time travelled (take your pick).

    I’m having a lot of trouble getting into Enterprise for this reason – I’d like some ORIGINALITY… it’s just not seizing my imagination and saying “look at this, this is neat, aren’t we bright for doing this?”, it’s more of a “We are the Star Trek, you will be assi…er, watch us!”

    Meh… I’m going to watch the LOTR:FOTR Special Edition agian – which I waited for, and is the only version I’ve seen, which, from what I heard, was a good move on my part.

    • TechnoGirl says:

      Re: Enterprise – feh

      – I’d like some ORIGINALITY… it’s just not seizing my imagination and saying “look at this, this is neat, aren’t we bright for doing this?”, it’s more of a “We are the Star Trek, you will be assi…er, watch us!” Meh… I’m going to watch the

      I don’t think we are EVER going to see originality from “The Star Trek Franchaise┬«” untill Brennon and Braga release the death grip they have on the series.

      Much of the originality that we saw in TOS and TNG came from the accepting of scripts from writers new to ST like Ellison or Gerrold or Blish…. but as long as the B&B team need the dough (presumably to stuff up their noses) we’re going to be perpetually stuck with whatever dreck that they wish to put out.

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