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Bryce
Sat, Apr 21, 2012, 6:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Disregarding for a moment the show's conclusion, I would say that this episode was about a 5 out of 10. Average. Not good, but not awful.

However, realizing what the purpose of this episode was; specifically to show the viewers that the Prime Directive might be a good idea, and that Archer & Co might be thinking along the lines of creating such a directive, I have to say this episode was an utter failure.

I've heard that the script originally had a completely different ending, but the Powers That Be Suits over at Paramount made the writers change the script to show total unity amongst Archer, Phlox and crew, and to tone down any "inter-crew" drama.

We can only speculate about what the original ending was, but all it would have taken to make the story MUCH more compelling, is that Archer & Phlox provided the antidote, and then have the antidote turn out to be lethal to the Menk. Or to have the antidote be so production-intesive that it requires all then land and resources of the Menk, and thus they are utterly wiped out.

This would have left us with a much more believable and compelling argument for why the Prime Directive is something that Starfleet needs to think about. It would've also provided us with a much more interesting drama, if let's say, Archer ordered Phlox to provide the antidote against Phlox's wishes. Then later when it turns out that giving the antidote leads to the destruction of the Menk, Archer would have to live with those consequences, which would add some character to his rather bland characterization, and it would also provide a great motivator for going ahead with the Prime Directive. But I guess that would go against Star Trek's almighty Reset Button.

Instead we are treated to a bit of Nazi propaganda which basically boils down to; if you're not genetically pure enough to survive without the benefit of medicine, you are genetically inferior and deserve to die!

What a waste.
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