Star Trek: Enterprise

“Cold Front”

3 stars.

Air date: 11/28/2001
Written by Steve Beck & Tim Finch
Directed by Robert Duncan McNeill

"It's good to know Earth will still be around in 900 years."
"That depends on how you define Earth."

— Trip and Daniels

Review Text

In brief: Entertaining and intriguing, albeit with no possible answers and an indication that the whole arc-to-be is the ultimate paradox plot.

Time travel rarely makes any logical sense, and it doesn't make much sense in "Cold Front," where characters from the future explain to characters in the past that they're trying to keep other characters from the future from altering history from the way it "should" play out. How in the world is one supposed to know the way history "should" play out? If you're a product of everything that came before, how can you possibly exist as any sort of sentient constant that can identify one timeline as correct as compared to another? Even assuming you could exist as a constant that was created from one possible reality, to assume that is the "correct" one is little more than making an arbitrary judgment based on what you think you know.

That's the quandary in "Cold Front," which establishes what may be a major story arcs on this series — that of the "Temporal Cold War," first hinted at in the pilot. "Cold Front" brings little in terms of useful logic to the table, but that might be the point; Captain Archer is thrown for about as much of a loop as we in the audience are. By the end of the story, he has no answers — only more questions — and we're in the same boat.

To be sure, I liked "Cold Front," which is in the spirit of solid entertainment rather than deep significance. I didn't quite love it, perhaps because it lacks the ability to blow us away with truly compelling drama or grounded storytelling. Most of the concepts here are well traveled in Trekkian lore, as is much of the execution and the inherently circular logic. But I liked the underlying spirit: This is, simply, two doses of elusive weirdness and one dose of reaction with heavy trepidation. Captain Archer finds himself completely out of his element, which I found gratifying. Time travel isn't a known proof here as it was on the other Trek shows; to Archer, it's more like science fiction.

The mystery is laid out when crewman Daniels (Matt Winston) comes to Archer and tells him that a Suliban operative named Silik (John Fleck) has boarded the Enterprise disguised as one of the peaceful guests who are on board to witness a nearby cosmic event. Daniels has been a part of Archer's crew all along, but he has apparently never been just an ordinary crew member; he's an operative from roughly 900 years in the future assigned to stop timeline manipulation in the 22nd century. Silik is the Suliban whom Archer fought at the climax of "Broken Bow"; he works for a mysterious entity from the future (but from earlier than Daniels' time frame) who employs the Suliban to manipulate the timeline by proxy.

The Temporal Cold War, according to Daniels, is the struggle involving those possessing time-travel technology — between those who maintain the idea that interfering with the past cannot be permitted, and those who would change history to benefit themselves. Daniels, much to Archer's dismay and amazement, takes the captain to his quarters, where he uses a device that shows how people from the future monitor the intersecting timelines of the past. It's a massive, graphical 3D array of streams, colors, and icons representing, I guess, all of known history.

Scott Bakula's performance is key in his scenes, where Archer's universe is revealed to him as a toy to be manipulated by those who are hundreds of years in the future. Archer is astonished and overwhelmed; Bakula sells these scenes with an understated performance that conveys his surprise through a sort of stunned quiet.

The bizarre irony here is that Archer finds himself in a situation where motivations and consequences go in opposing directions as far as the Enterprise is concerned. Archer's ship is caught in the middle of a mess far bigger than its own role in it. Consider, for example, that Silik prevents the Enterprise from being destroyed in a near-cataclysmic accident (or was it an accident?). When Daniels lays everything out on the table for Archer, the dilemma is complicated by the fact that Silik is allegedly working on the amoral side of the Temporal Cold War ... and yet his mission was to save the Enterprise from destruction. Was history "supposed" to include the Enterprise being destroyed? Daniels doesn't say.

Should Archer even trust Daniels? He obviously has information about things that no one else does. But as T'Pol points out, does that necessarily make him a time traveler? (Up to now, no one in this century has any evidence that time travel really exists; the Vulcans treat the matter with skepticism.) More importantly, if Daniels is a time traveler who says he needs Archer's help, how can Archer know that Daniels is the good guy? Just because he says so? Archer's situation is an impossible one to be in, because he has to make important decisions based on woefully incomplete information. I submit that a big reason Archer trusts Daniels is because Daniels is human. Or, as Daniels curiously says, "more or less" human.

I'm not sure this is a great idea on Archer's part, since manipulation by gaining the trust of those in past timelines would be a perfect way for an operative to change history. In one scene, Archer is confronted by Silik, who makes that very point. Daniels' claims could simply be servicing his own ends, for his own faction in the temporal war. Indeed, how can Archer possibly choose a side in this conflict at all? Damned if you do; damned if you don't.

That question is part of what makes "Cold Front" fascinating. Here's a situation where we're not sure what to make of the players — where the various sides of the struggle are shrouded in gray areas and we don't know what's right or wrong, what's true or a lie, and even if we did, making the right decision could mean the Enterprise "should" end up destroyed. Good luck, Captain Archer.

What's a little disappointing is that the story itself doesn't play this aspect more prominently. It would rather choose to make Daniels our friend and Silik the enemy, and favor a conventional chase premise over more detailed examination of the logical dilemmas. Ultimately we have Silik blasting Daniels into oblivion, and Archer tracking Silik through the ship and walking through walls with Daniels' phase-shifting technology (which is, conveniently, smart enough to know not to let Archer's feet pass through the floor). When Archer has Silik apparently cornered, Archer talks rather than taking action, allowing Silik to slip away, and earning Archer a D-minus for the day in my grade book for intruder capture.

This at least leads to a payoff that is a great visual image, where Silik escapes the Enterprise by opening the launch-bay doors and jumping right out of the ship, floating toward a Suliban vessel waiting to rescue him. Now that's a dramatic escape. I also enjoyed the ominous take on Daniels' quarters, which Archer has sealed until further notice. This is a contrivance to postpone dealing with fallout from this story until the writers feel like it (why wouldn't Archer investigate Daniels' quarters right now?), but at least it's a contrivance done entertainingly, with tones of menace.

Of course, there's one other underlying issue to briefly discuss, which is that the Temporal Cold War could be held up as an excuse for explaining away things on Enterprise that contradict events that happened on the previous series. Are we witnessing a sly device the writers have created to let themselves off the hook for things they might contradict? Nah, probably not — the canon timeline would inevitably be the same one as created (or altered, wink, wink) in this version of the past. Unless, of course, the writers themselves have beamed over to another reality.

In any case, something like the Temporal Cold War is a nightmare for logicians and a paradise for those who enjoy paradoxes. Perhaps we should just concede that if it's entertaining, it's effective.

As for anyone who claims to pass through centuries of history in an effort to keep the timeline "right," I hereby submit them as another Trekkian puzzle for the Timeline Gods to sort out.

Previous episode: Fortunate Son
Next episode: Silent Enemy

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Comment Section

35 comments on this post

    Hard to believe that Storm Front was the conclusion to the TCW. I can't believe they used this concept with no plausible way to conclude it. Big mistake for the series in my opinion.

    This was my favorite episode of the series, at least early on. I later realized that they had no freaking clue about what they were going to do with the TCW plot, so a potentially important early episode like this that COULD HAVE set up a ton of integral pieces a la Babylon 5's "Signs and Portents" ended up being a useless action adventure.

    The problem is that time travel is not necessary in this episode. You could just have two people, who both proclaim to be good guys and the other guy is evil. Usually, though it is solved in a more interesting way than for one guy to simply shoot at the Captain (or protagonist) and hence prove he is the real enemy.

    Good time travel episodes *have* be time travel episodes. City on The Edge of Forever, the most famous time travel episode, prevents Kirk from saving what's her name because of something in the future will happen. That is necessary and substantial (given the well developed relationship).

    All Our Yesterdays was saved solely because of it's effect on Spock - who now has the psychology of his race thousands of years in the past.

    But Cold Front is a good episode, it just isn't a good time travel episode. In fact, of all the time travel episodes, I think the only one that covered interesting ground was the one where the meet future versions of themselves. Now *that* required time travel and character development and was a great show.

    What is WRONG with you people???!! Jesus Christ it's a science-fiction story, a gripping and a sometimes pondering one at that, but still a STORY! Not real. So why do you all hate time travel so much? I can see why when it's not done correctly, but like I said, IT'S ONLY A FICTIONAL STORY.

    @davidw: It might not be ncessary but I still liked it. Why didn't you?

    Of minor note is the way T'Pol completely disregared Daniels's claims. I can sort of understand why she did it, but it seemed like she was refusing to even consider that it might, somehow (gasp!) be TRUE. That is narrow-minded and she's only saying that because she doesn't want it to be true. Way to drop the ball there, T'Pol. *shakes head*

    @Elliot: Dude, the only person overreacting here is you. (With all caps-lock and multiple exclamation points no less)

    As for me, I definitely echo the "decent episode in itself, but ultimately meaningless in the long run" sentiment.

    Trip offering up all kinds of schematics to strangers. Is nothing classified?

    Wow, an Enterprise review with comments on it other than mine! XD

    Although it's STILL not groundbreaking (come on, I'm sure even Voyager had a 3.5 or 4-star by now) I'd say this is the best episode so far.

    One of the things I actually enjoyed the most was the background story - the traditional TNG-like focus on the "meeting new civilisations" aspect of the Starfleet mission. Thank goodness it's not like Voyager (everyone hostile, extremely few exceptions) but it also has a certain amount of realism to it. I couldn't help but grin at the experienced captain of the other ship who's obviously not as new and wide-eyed as the humans and is more like "er, yes hello. What do you actually... want?" - to him, I think the Enterprise is like an inquisitive toddler going "Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!" and this impression rings true.

    The others were a charming people and it's good seeing Archer meeting them in a manner not too dissimilar to Picard: a little uncertain like he often was and with more of an impression of inexperience (as you'd expect), but with a deep respect for the mission of meeting other cultures that seems to follow through to a deep respect for the cultures themselves. This is Very Trek (the way I view it anyway). The solar flare type event seems like a nice way to mark the beginning of these encounters.

    That leaves the main time travel plot, and it's so muddled (inherently for time travel plots, not really any fault of this particular one) that I don't have a lot to say about it. It seems to set things up for Big Things To Come, and as long as what's coming is *good* (sadly going by the comments, perhaps not) I appreciate this being left open and highly ominous at the end.

    As for time travel itself, I prefer to take Captain Janeway's advice: don't even try to think about it. What's the point? You only end up annoyed at the supposed plot holes and paradoxes. I think we're meant to accept that it's just something completely beyond our comprehension until about the 29th century (i.e. what causes what) and thus certainly beyond our comprehension right now. However surely you have to give it some credit for using T'Pol as the viewer's skeptical and strictly logical viewpoint. It kind of acknowledges the issue (and implies that it must simply be something even Vulcans can't understand or accept as logical yet so what chance do WE have), which is the first time I know of that any Star Trek series has ever really done that, and so effectively too.

    Oh and one other little thing - after a short while with the cargo bay doors open, the blast of air... STOPPED. (The air ran out). This has been done 1 other time in the whole of Trek that I can think of and it's nice to see that kind of attention to detail (and even the air escaping again for a moment as Archer dashes into the airlock). Makes a change from infinite air escaping in a huge blast that goes on indefinitely until the doors are shut.

    There's no alternative Trek timeline being created at this stage that I have heard of. Leave it to that retarded reboot movie 9 or so years later.

    Apologies for wall of text that possibly rivals the length of the review itself. I guess it's a good sign that Enterprise finally has me tap-tapping to this degree.

    P.S. Is this the same Elliot from the Voyager reviews.. just need Michael and we're all set for strongly opinionated commenters that trigger flame wars :)

    "According to out sacred texts, this is where the universe began."

    Oh, brother...

    Dr. Neelix does the "holy" "invocation: "Gorontonia agasoria yureya yuralen porprogust..."

    Just shoot me.

    Archer continues with his uber-pacifistic dogma: Instead of shooting the alien to smithereens--or at least stunning him, seeing as violence is unacceptable come hell or high water--, he engages in none-too-witty repartee and, as is always the case in such situations, pretty soon ends up overpowered by the guy he'd had cornered. An epic superhero-like fight and chase ensue. He gets the alien again and actually shoots him *gasp* but only in his hand *phew* Archer nearly snuffs it, the alien escapes, the future device is--what--lost or taken by the aliens... - but so long as nobody used any guns or lethal force.

    Repeat after me:
    Guns are bad.
    Violence is bad.
    All hail political correctness.

    Other than that retarded (sorry: I meant, differently-mentally-advantaged) part, this was a swell episode. Definitely one of the more enjoyable thus far.


    hehehehe Well, I'm here! A flame war? Perish the thought! Nay, I wish to discuss my feelings, if you will, particularly my passive-aggressive obsessive-compulsive disorder, which may stem from when my mommy wouldn't buy me a Hershey bar when I was 3 years old. Scarred me for life and here I am? How do I deal with that? Can we devote a whole 45-minute show to it, please?

    Enough frivolity though. Latching on to your cargo bay point: If the air escaped into the cosmic vacuum, then wouldn't Archer be dead? Besides, with that kind of decompression, there's no way he'd have been able to hold on to the railings; he should have been sucked out in an instant.

    Physics is not my strong suit, but I thought I knew that much. Am I mistaken?

    "a potentially important early episode like this that COULD HAVE set up a ton of integral pieces a la Babylon 5's "Signs and Portents""

    I had the same thought. It doesn't hurt that Archer reminds me of both B5 heads.

    "If the air escaped into the cosmic vacuum, then wouldn't Archer be dead?"

    You can survive in vacuum for a bit. Arthur C. Clarke wrote about this back in 1957 ("Take A Deep Breath" from "The Other Side of the Sky"). Here's some information from NASA:
    I don't know about the forces involved, but it's not inconceivable that a strong person could fight it.

    Time travel may not make any logical sense, but I still love time travel stories, and this is no exception. I found the mystery surrounding this Temporal Cold War really compelling in Enterprise's early days. Unfortunately, though I don't recall the details, I seem to remember that the ultimate resolution was pretty unsatisfying.

    I think the whole concept of the time travel or TCW wasn't thought out at all by the various writers. The consequence of Daniels' action is indeed that Silik should be stopped, meaning that Enterprise would be destroyed, including Archer. Yet at the end of season one we learn that Archer was paramount to the formation of the federation. His disappearance caused havoc in the future. Not to mention thatt in 900 years the Earth still exists. The same guy who tells Archer that Earth in 900 years "depends on how you define it" , he brings him to Earth how we define it: a regular future with regular features.

    Time travel episodes are the most funny episodes for me, including the ones in this series, but even Voyager did this better with captain Braxton both in the LA visit double episode and the hidden time bomb episode with 7of9 timetraveling her implants out of her head. At least the inconsistencies were not so obvious and badly - or better, not at all - thought through.

    Nveretheless a good episode.

    And you can't fall in space. Neither will you instantly die in vacuum. Your body is a sturdy vessel. And it's not sucked out but blown out , sir :) Yes Data, we know.

    Archer is such a boor! If a group on a religious pilgrimage tells you they traditionally fast but will make an exception, they are just being polite. So graciously offer to postpone the meal.

    I LOL'ed when Daniels took Archer to his quarters because it wasn't safe to talk in Archer's ready room, and the very next scene is Archer briefing Trip and T'Pol... in his ready room.

    I REALLY enjoyed this one. Everything thrilled me, not much, but more than all the previous ten episodes together. Especially worth noting is the music which supported the odd feeling the images convey, foremost the last scene with the door of Daniel's quarters sealed. Great stuff. For the first time I really feel at least a bit home on the Enterprise. Paradoxically in a very, well, paradoxical episode.

    I think this is my favorite episode so far. It's the first one of ENT that made me want to jump straight to the next. I'm watching ENT on TV so I have to wait until next week which has become an unusual experience these days.

    Definitely getting better. I am getting used to Archer, and this episode is the first one where I noticed the music.

    At last, something that feels a little bit meatier. If nothing else this plays with your expectations a little and the failure to resolve the good guy/bad guy issue between Daniels and Silik at least keeps the anticipation going. Some interesting future tech here - the surviving bit of which goes out the shuttle bay door, of course - but the graphics on the timeline display were really something.

    Anyone else notice Scott Bakula doing a William Shatner delivery a couple of times?! 3 stars.

    Great episode here!!

    Who's the good guy, who's the bad guy? WTF is going on? :-)

    Silik is AWESOME and back again! I also like that Daniels character (and actor).

    I think it's perfectly plausible that T'Pol would question something that's not supported by the very science foundation she was trained by.

    Outstanding visuals during this one. I love the interactions between Archer and Silik.

    I'm with Michael on Phlox's "PHLOX: Yoraya uralan porporo gost.
    ALL: Goran tonia Agosoria. Yoraya uralan porporo gost.
    PHLOX: Totonya tur eeta dura.
    ALL: Totonya tur eeta dura.
    PHLOX: Tyana morita.
    ALL: Tyana morita. "


    But that said, it's nice to run into some friendly aliens.

    I love that we don't really find out what's gong on here. I love that the shuttle-bay runs out of air and I love Silik just jumping off to get picked up.

    This was a genuinely suspenseful episode!

    I'll go 4 stars here. My first 4-star Enterprise episode.

    Episodes like this mean nothing to me as stand alone episodes. All trey do is add more mystery. Cool if you like that sort of thing. As a stand alone episode (*)

    Left with plenty of questions and hardly any answers but this was still a very entertaining hour of Trek and creative on the part of the writers -- they've set the stage for something special, whether they deliver on it or not ultimately...we'll see.

    I liked Daniels' explanation of what his faction is doing, i.e. trying to stop people from manipulating history and that there is a temporal accord etc. Not at all clear what Silik's mission is, why he saves the Enterprise. Or maybe it is that he is to save the ship to recover Daniels' device (which he ultimately doesn't do since that's the one thing Archer successfully prevents him from doing.)

    The scene with Silik escaping through the launch bay doors was cool and the effect of open space on Archer who is gasping for air was realistic. Also really liked the final scene with Daniels' room locked and menacing music playing.

    Archer is genuinely not sure who to trust when faced with something that is so beyond his comprehension. So he tends to be very trusting at first, basically allowing himself to get shot by Silik and then not immediately returning fire when he confronts the Suliban. He's trying to gather more information. Naturally, he also listened and obeyed all that Daniels told him.

    A little bit more character building here with Trip's sense of humor coming through a bit (asks Daniels for information about the future to win a bit), T'Pol is quite close minded and is still pretty irritating in the series. But we are starting to get a bit more color on Hoshi/Travis who are green and generally easy-going. Reed is a bit of a hard ass and Phlox seems quite worldly, liberal and spiritual.

    "Cold Front" just gets to 3 stars for me. At this stage in the "Temporal Cold War" arc, we can accept that there are way more questions than answers and that there is something potentially cool developing. So far so good, ENT with some creative and entertaining sci-fi in this episode.

    2.5 stars

    This felt like two different episodes shoehorned into one. You have a return to the TCW which feels big, mysterious, epic and important like it should be in an event episode. Then you have the cultural exchange portion of the hour that is consistent with the more laid back measured mundane approach of most of the standalones thus far. And frankly each kept interrupting the other in my opinion

    There’s also been much made about television adopting a mystery box philosophy to storytelling it cane into full swing with LOST but I’d argue ENT’s TCW was the first real instance of trying that out with its ambiguity, unanswered questions, multiple takes on actions and events etc.

    And in this episode there’s a lot left of speculation. Did the fact the Suliban chased Klaang to Earth leading to the ENT early launch which in turn led them to the Plume at the very moment of the discharge mean FG sent Silik to correct the unintended consequence of the ENT’s destruction which at this point in time would negatively impact FG? Is Daniels really up to no good? He obviously knew Silik preventer the explosion and let him so was Daniels letting Silik simply correct the mistake Silik initially triggered in Broken Bow? What did Daniels mean by more or less human”? What happened to him when he “shatters”?

    this episode confirmed what the pilot had set forth—that in the distant future various groups were misusing time travel
    To alter events to their benefit we also learned there’s a Temporal Accords and that the reason FG has to rely on the Suliban on proxies is because his faction can’t fully materialize in the past—only partially to communicate instructions. And the episodevtreats is to a magnificent visual when Daniels activated his holographic temporal observatory displaying the entirety of the timeline and events unfolding including a research team studying the Pyramids of Giza

    It’s amazing to learn that all these years later after ENT has ended and Brannon pretty clearly based on comments, interviews, tweets etc nevervreally had an idea about any of the TCW fundamentals. Not even who FG was and his goals. So it was destined to fail. I liked the idea myself. It was eerie mysterious intriguing but the execution was lacking. Most fans wanted an honest to goodness prequel not a series where we see altered events in the past by forces from the future

    It also didn’t help that a lot of acrobatics would have to be involved to make the ENT cast the actors in the TCaw as opposed to temporal agents better trained from the future who would avoid alerting people in the past about what’s going on.

    Also you have the issue that to do TCW justice you'd need to start introducing more factions and inevitably that would lead to the TCW displacing more and more of the prequel idea to make room for it. Initially I thought with the Xindi arc that finally the writers were actually ready to deal with it full on and stopping the half hearted piddling of the first two seasons. To finally give it the epic ness it deserved

    So anyway the more intriguing TCW stuff makes the pilgrim portion less than compelling whereas in another episode it may have been more involving and interesting.

    Then there’s the issue with the futility of a TCW. Each faction would plot out events to change to lead to their desired outcome BUT there would also be other factions doing the same and if one faction doesn’t have all the alterations of every other faction then they can’t factor into their plans how those alterations would throw off theirs. Leading to a constant flux in the timeline which is pretty much what we get by not very satisfying

    Also in keeping with my LOST parallels this episode attempts to end on an intriguing ominous note—only thing is. It is NOT. There’s nothing to evoke an “ooooh” rewction from Daniels quarters being sealed off. First you’d think his comrades would beam or sneak bavk and not leave all that future tech there. Second it would have been more intriguing panning to the future and seeing some revelation to chew on til the next installment. But alas we got a 22nd century pad lock. Ho hum

    I’m verbally an uneven man see bag when th no real payoff and comes off as more of a tiny piece in what ends up turning out to be a very incomplete puzzle


    I know Bragga effectively said that they never concretely worked out the motivations of the various factions of the TCW, and that FG could have been Romulan or Archer himself. But none of these ideas really makes any sense to me so I like to think it is a member of a species who were conquered by Klingon Empire not long before the events of Broken Bow, who is trying to prevent the conquering of his homeworld by destabilising said Empire. FG is not prepared to sacrifice the Federation in order to complete this task though, I guess because, doing that would open big can of worms for the quadrant let alone his people.

    On 2nd thoughts maybe FG knew the Federation would have an agent placed in the 22C and just wanted their tech

    Looking back after all this time, they should have either got their thumbs out of their arses and gone all-in on the TCW, or preferably ditched all mention of time travel until very late in the show's run. Brannon Braga was a one-trick pony whose trick didn't even work most of the time. It was getting old and annoying long before they started work on ENT.

    This was supposed to be a prequel leading to the bright, nostalgic, passionate Original Series. What we got instead was yet more of Berman's vision: stolid acting, 24th century dialogue and monochrome sets. How did this become handsome space hunks in ripped shirts doing double-handed punches and laughing at the differences between themselves and others? And how did that turn into the bland and passionless "perfect people" of the Next Generation era?

    My husband watched this one with me. We were both struck with the thought that it seemed like Archer would have been blown out of the cargo bay in one quick poof, especially since he was taken by surprise that the bay doors had opened, so he wasn't braced for it. Additionally, we thought that no one could hold one with just one hand.

    My husband asked "wouldn't it have been freezing in there almost instantly?" Anyone want to take that on? Archer certainly acted like he had to catch his breath, but didn't act like he was freezing.

    Also, wouldn't the cargo bay have equalized in pressure pretty quickly, allowing weightlessness? For me, I thought that would mean that the hand tool wouldn't have "fallen" out in space; it would have stayed on his hand or floated within reach. My husband said that momentum from the initial blow out would have sent it in that direction, so he didn't think it was odd.

    Aaaand, just because Silik could survive in space...wouldn't he have been victim to the blow out at the time the cargo bay doors had opened? Or did I miss a special super power that he has already got? What allowed him to stand by and wait to make his dramatic exit by jumping?

    As you can see, I'm more interested in the silliness of the cargo bay situation than the silliness of the time-travel-storyline-that-goes-nowhere.

    Overall, I didn't really enjoy this episode much. I usually love time travel episodes, but this one didn't seem to solve anything and didn't have much for me to chew on or reflect on afterwards. Where are the time twists that come back on to itself? Why would a time traveler who professes to be protecting the time line tell everyone about what is going on? It just wasn't that fun for me; I was mostly annoyed.


    It is freezing in space, yes. But the rate of freezing is very low, because of the three means of heat transfer (conduction, convection, radiation), only radiation is still 'on'. On Earth, a vacuum flask will keep hot contents hot for a long time, even though cooling by radiation is 'on' even in that case. Furthermore, Archer is not directly exposed to the cold temperature of space. Most of the surface area he is in 'radiation contact' with is other parts of the room, which is, at the moment of the blowout at room temperature. The comparatively small open doors are the only part exposed to real vacuum, so cold is not really a problem.

    Cold would be a slightly bigger problem for Silik, but I think an exposure of around 10 seconds would not matter a lot because of the low heat transfer rate.

    About weightlessness. Gravity on the Enterprise is artificial (emitted by gravity plating) which would not turn off just because a cargo bay door opened. The effect of the gravity plating reduces quickly outside the ship, so once you are out of the door, you are in free fall only then. (Aside - gravity plating is one of the most unbelievable technologies in Star Trek, I believe it is even more unbelievable than transporters and warp drive; about as unbelievable as tractor beams. That being said, what was depicted in this episode was consistent with how the technology is supposed to behave in my opinion.)

    The hand tool fell out due to the "blowout wind", and then the loss of gravity once it was out of the door.

    About breathing and vacuum. The vacuum will suck (or blow if you prefer) the air out of your lungs causing instant hypoxia. The way to prevent this for a few seconds is to close your glottis and / or epiglottis which is a decent enough seal to give you say a minute worth of air in your lungs. Both Archer and Silik would definitely be trained in this survival technique.

    TL;DR: The way Silik's escape and Archer's survival was depicted came very close to being scientifically plausible.

    You know, having no transporter chief when transporters were a brand new technology but having a steward is just so distinctly Enterprise.

    "You know, having no transporter chief when transporters were a brand new technology but having a steward is just so distinctly Enterprise."

    In TOS the transporter was this scifi contrivance they had to rely on for budgetary reasons. Now in Enterprise it's this thing the writers just seem desperate to pretend doesn't exist. Even by season 3 in life or death situations they're still ignoring it completely or coming up with perfunctory reasons to just remove it from play based on radiation or whatever. In one recent episode supposedly they couldn't beam up an infected person because she'd "infect half the ship" but picking her up in a shuttlepod wouldn't?!

    The whole idea of the transporter in Enterprise is simply out of place in this setting. I mean in one episode they are marvelling at this alien replicator that can materialize a fish dinner on demand because yes, they can magically turn a human body into energy and recreate it atom by atom remotely on a planet thousands of km away, but filet of salmon - that's the real technological wonder!

    You know what have been really cool? Why not have an episode where a crewmember starts going nuts after being transported too many times and gets diagnosed with "transporter psychosis". A nice callback for the long time fans and an excuse to basically do away with this perennial plot hole like it's clear they wanted to do almost from the get-go!

    My favourite part was how the dog was suspicious enough of the intruder to not eat, but as soon as they were talking he did eat up - because we see the empty bowl next to him and the unconscious Archer. Like “oh okay you’re talking so he must be a friend of ours :)”, even with Archer being held at phaser point! Well, he’s not there as a guard dog!

    I’m on my first watch and I’m sad to read that the temporal Cold War plot is a bit of a let down. It seems pretty intriguing at this point, with the way Silik is apparently helping them or at least not out to get them (saving the ship, not attacking T’Pol and Trip as well as Daniels in engineering, stunning Archer not killing him) though it’s almost certainly not out of the kindness of his heart.

    And the stuff with the aliens and Phlox was great. I really liked the rude captain - I’m glad he wasn’t a baddie, just rude!

    I really liked this episode. I like how it just hints at the temporal cold war so we can use our imaginations. I also think that I am a lot more forgiving of different things than other Star Trek fans though. None of the issues mentioned that I read bother me. Note-I didn't read all of the comments, but the ones I did, seem to have a problem with certain things overall that I just don't

    The ending felt very X-Files to me, which was a cool choice. The unusually moody music reinforced this feeling. The whole ep was like an X-Files homage, right down to the skeptical scientist, Scully -- I mean T'Pol.

    Echoes of Raiders of the Lost Ark too.

    "We've got top men on it."
    "Top. Men."

    Jason R said:

    "I mean in one episode they are marvelling at this alien replicator that can materialize a fish dinner on demand because yes, they can magically turn a human body into energy and recreate it atom by atom remotely on a planet thousands of km away"

    *vvv* TNG "spoiler" , if that matters *vvv*

    The transporter being able to dissemble and recreate both a human body's anatomy and its physiology ended up making episodes like TNG's Ethics look rather absurd.

    What was it about fabricating a spinal cord that was so groundbreaking when the transporter does it every time it's used, from random organic matter no less?

    Why cut Worf open to remove and replace the afforementioned spinal cord and burden him with a long, unnecessary convalescence when they could just put him in the transporter and use the template from his last uninjured pattern? By the time of "Ethics" the technology was two centuries old.

    I like time travel stories but this doesn't really feel like a time travel story. I agree with those who say clearly the writers created the TCW with no particular plan for where it was going. It annoys me less when they finally chose a direction. Can't say i love this episode. 1 star

    Better get the boys from Temporal Investigations on the case!
    Oh wait, I guess Temporal Investigations hadn’t been set up yet. But that doesn’t matter, they could just travel back in time and set this all straight, right?
    Ah, who cares, good ep!

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