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H S Rivney
Sun, Oct 8, 2017, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Civilization

Something no one has mentioned - this episode was shot the week of September 10-14, 2001. Ring any bells? The actors and crew had a TERRIBLE time working during the 9-11-01 aftermath. Any criticism of the actors should be suspended in totality for this episode.
That aside, I'm fond of this episode but it does have several areas that could be improved:

1) The aliens should have been a LITTLE less humanoid. The parallels are too convenient, but that happens a lot in Trek. They've only got 45 minutes to tell the story so they have to take shortcuts somewhere.

2) The timing seemed off - the actual "time". They've already gone 78 light years? Maybe it should have been 28 or 38, but 78 seems wrong. The other timing: how many hours actually passes and how long is a day on that planet? Seems like Riaan's little cottage had light streaming in whether it was night or day, morning or afternoon. Did Archer hang with her all day until they went to watch the back door of the shop? Maybe that is when they had a little time to flirt or get familiar?

3) T'Pol is jealous. Really jealous. Is this the behavior of a Vulcan, even a slightly emotional one? Spock was half human and didn't make snot remarks to Kirk about his behavior with aliens. She told him to "enjoy your tea" with the venom of a rattlesnake, and I can only attribute that to the director.

4) The writing is predictable, with the exception of the Malurians turning out to be scaled under their masks. That was a cool twist. It was pretty standard, but as Trek goes, I would have liked to see something slightly different happen. Riaan's reaction to the various space age technology was unremarkable.

5) Sets were budget. You can see the wall shake when Bakula jumps up from behind a well to a doorway so he can shoot at the oil lamp, towards the end. Maybe they were just too tired to notice during the shooting - remembering 9-11.

6) Transporting the reactor from the basement to the transporter room, then re-transporting it into orbit in time for the Malurian ship to crash into it. WHAT? Just transport the thing into orbit. Why the need for a stop mid-way inside Enterprise? Ain't that a little, um, DANGEROUS?

7) transitioning at the end. The medicine to cure the people with the disease just showed up, and Archer with it. It's bothersome, again, back to the timing. What happened between destroying the reactor and the morning (?) the liquid arrives.

8) Did Archer spend more time on the planet with Riaan or go back to Enterprise? His lines from the writers were uninspiring - "you bet." I did like the inside easter egg to TOS - a little romance is part of life - indeed, unless we are all test tube babies in 2150, without sex there won't be 10 billion humans on Earth, so it's not unreasonable for Archer to feel close to Riaan if he's spent 5-6 days down there with an intelligent, attractive female, to kiss her goodbye.

This story could have been really developed much better, but I hardly blame the characters, or the cast and crew. Shannon, thanks for saving me MORE typing.
I give it 3 stars and see it for what it is - a plain wrap Trek that shows the crew how interfering might be a bad idea, as a prelude to Dear Doctor where they are asked again for HELP - the Prime Directive is part of Archer's invention. Fans need to stop slamming him for "not being Picard" and take Archer for who Archer is -the first captain of a deep space ship in Starfleet, 8 episodes in, and filmed the week of our 9-11 terrorist attack.
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