Star Trek: Enterprise

"Shuttlepod One"

3.5 stars

Air date: 2/13/2002
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Livingston

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Does that sound modulated enough for you?"
"The radio. Or is it just the galaxy giggling at us again?"
"It can giggle all it wants, but the galaxy's not getting any of our bourbon."

— Reed and Trip

Note: This episode was rerated from 3 to 3.5 stars when the season recap was written.

In brief: A basic storyline made quite entertaining by good characterization and strong performances.

The storyline is fairly thin, the formula is by far not a new one, and there are a couple detours that don't work, but "Shuttlepod One" is an episode I liked a great deal. It's a triumph of acting over plot, and of characterization over foregone conclusions.

I find that Enterprise, surprisingly, often ends up being more character-oriented than I'd have expected before the series started. That's the case with "Shuttlepod One," whose approach is tried and true: Take a couple of actors and lock them in a room for the duration. If they're performed by good actors and they get some good things to say, then you have something worth watching.

The premise is an exercise in simplicity: Tucker and Reed are on a shuttlepod away mission, and they reach the location where they're supposed to rendezvous with the Enterprise and instead find debris strewn across the surface of an asteroid. From the evidence in front of them, they conclude that the Enterprise has been destroyed and they are now the ship's only survivors. Sound unlikely? Convenient how so many subtle details just happen to be the way they are to prompt this conclusion? Perhaps, but that's beside the point.

This isn't a great episode, but it's definitely a good one, elevated by performances that hit their marks. The premise is a contrivance based on a number of plot conveniences, but so what? This story has that secret ingredient — conviction — necessary to make the drama work and transcend the details of the plot. It's called suspension of disbelief, and the story sold it to me just fine.

The Enterprise, of course, hasn't really been destroyed, and the episode makes the right decision by showing us right up front that it hasn't — that this is indeed a convoluted misunderstanding. It also makes the right decision by spending little time on the Enterprise and instead keeping a vast majority of the episode inside the shuttlepod with Trip and Reed. This is their story and theirs alone.

To me, there's something innately appealing about this sort of basic nuts-and-bolts character story, which has roots in the subject of male bonding. It also has roots in the subject of real character development, where personalities start clashing, emotions threaten to boil over, and eventually guarded private selves give way to confessions and honesty.

The main problem here is that a shuttlepod is not a self-sustainable ship. With the Enterprise presumably destroyed, Trip and Reed have nowhere to go. They don't have warp engines, and I liked the sobering observations made through the hour about how slowly the shuttle moves compared to the Enterprise. The mission becomes reaching within range of a transponder so they can send a message that will eventually reach Starfleet and explain the Enterprise's tragic fate. The air supply is limited, and without warp speed there's really nowhere they can go. The only slim hope — if they're exceptionally lucky — is if a passing starship notices them and picks them up in the next few days.

The story comes up with a good way to add some atmosphere to the proceedings: It's determined that turning off the heat will allow better efficiency of the air system and buy Trip and Reed several more hours. So off the heat goes, turning the shuttle cabin into a veritable ice chest.

There's little else to do but talk. In Reed's case, he'd like to spend much of his remaining time talking to a recorder, tying up loose ends in his life with messages aimed at providing closure for whomever eventually hears them. Trip becomes annoyed. One argument I found interesting was the whole issue surrounding Reed's role as a pessimist/realist versus Trip's insistence in holding out hope for rescue. Both sides have a point. Reed looks at the numbers and does the math — the chances of being rescued are so slim that it would seem to be some sort of an act of negligence not to leave a record and tie up loose ends as a matter of personal emotional need. Trip is not ready to write his own obituary — not while there's even the slimmest margin of hope. If there's a way to prolong his existence in a doomed shuttlepod, he's going to do it.

There's a lot of dialog in this episode, most of which I don't feel the need to repeat in a review — not because it's bad dialog (a lot of it, in fact, is quite good), but because it's the dialog of real people in a specific situation, an observation on how two people talk to each another. Discussions about old girlfriends. Jibing over European versus North American attitudes ("If only Dr. Cochrane had been a European. The Vulcan's would've been far less reticent to help us. But, no ... he had to be from Montana," Reed laments.) Heated arguments over the subject of hope versus despair. Drunken confessions and camaraderie.

There are a couple moments that didn't work for me. Reed's dream about T'Pol reveals a latent attraction he has for her, which is fine — but the dream scene itself edges too close to the realm of "dumb," especially the whole thing about the nickname "Stinky," which really started trying my patience.

Back on the Enterprise there are a couple scenes that seemed superfluous, in particular the whole subject of the "micro-singularities" that T'Pol says may be responsible for the accident that is now endangering the shuttlepod. The story makes a point of the fact that micro-singularities are myths the Vulcans haven't been able to prove scientifically, and Archer doubts her explanation. The issue of how this could be an incredible scientific discovery is sort of introduced and then dropped. I'd have recommended throwing the whole thing out completely.

There's also a drunk scene here, where Trip and Reed drown themselves in bourbon as a way of passing the hours and as a way of not feeling like they're freezing to death in this frigid cabin. Drunk scenes are often a matter of taste, but I thought this one worked pretty well, if for no other reason than for Trip's wonderfully delivered line, "It can giggle all it wants, but the galaxy's not getting any of our bourbon." I also liked the follow-up to the T'Pol dream sequence, where Reed admits to Trip his attraction to T'Pol while drunk — an admission he almost certainly would not make if he were (a) sober and (b) convinced he would still be alive in two days.

Important to the episode's effect is that we truly believe the shuttle cabin is freezing. To that end, the production delivers here by putting a layer of frost throughout the interior of the shuttlepod set and dropping the temperature down to where we can see the actors' breath in every scene. (This must be what they call "method acting.") It's simple but very effective; as the actors sit there shivering, we completely believe it.

What "Shuttlepod One" ultimately comes down to is acting — whether or not we feel for these two guys and their desperate situation. Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating deliver the goods, and it's enjoyable to watch them spar and see the moments where the camaraderie emerges from disagreements and fraying nerves. Trinneer I've come to like a great deal — he virtually saved the otherwise pedestrian "Strange New World" early this season — and he once again shows his ability to command a scene that needs him to get his message across with shouting. Keating is also very good, particularly in a scene where Reed acknowledges the distance he puts between himself and other people, even his own family. This is a nice character touch that builds on the examination of him in "Silent Enemy"; I'm mildly impressed.

Ultimately, this is story of survival, and when the two officers realize the Enterprise is in fact not destroyed, they have to work the problem from a whole new angle, realizing they still don't have enough air to wait for the rendezvous. Of course, the rescue itself is a foregone conclusion, but along the way are a number of choices where Trip and Reed must think on their feet — blowing up their only engine, leaving them adrift, as a signal to get the Enterprise's attention, and then a choice made by Trip to sacrifice himself to save Reed, and Reed's refusal to let him go through with it. By the end of it all, they've been through so much that they'll have become friends, something that indicates true character building. I'm reminded of O'Brien and Bashir in "Armageddon Game."

"Shuttlepod One" is a pleasant surprise. The plot is minimalist, but that's the way a story like this should be. The contrived nature of the premise can easily be overlooked. Enterprise may not yet be on the cutting edge of plotting given its promising backdrop, but I certainly don't have a problem with that if the characters can be drawn this sharply and acted so convincingly.

Next week: An inexplicable rerun during February sweeps. Go figure.

Previous episode: Shadows of P'Jem
Next episode: Fusion

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◄ Season Index

52 comments on this post

Marco P.
Thu, Sep 16, 2010, 3:30am (UTC -6)
Seems to me, you're trying really hard to find positive things to say in each episode review, you're willing to forgive all the negatives Jammer. I am not so forgiving.

For me, this episode was nothing more than annoying exchanges of rhetoric and uninteresting dialogue. The way Tucker and Reed found themselves in their predicament didn't even bother me: yes, the explosion of Enterprise etc. etc. seems unlikely and convenient, but suspension of disbelief is a MUST while watching this series.

Howeverm both characters were just so *unlikable* and so *annoying* during the whole time, Reed with his pessimism and Tucker with his irritability/yelling/stupidity, I spent more time laughing at the ridiculous lines/scenes (the wet dream topping them all) I was seeing than actually feeling sorry for them at any point in time.

I am not exaggerating when I say I found more substance during the final two acts of ST Voyager's "Day of Honor" (featuring B'Elanna and Tom getting stranded in space in their EV suits) than the full 45 minutes of this episode. Bleah.
Fri, Apr 29, 2011, 9:37am (UTC -6)
I thought this was one of the best so far. YMMV I guess.

It could be the contrast after watching Voyager, where with the exception of Doc and Seven, any idea of continuity and character growth and development was dropped like a stone with the non-serial style that came in half way through the series. See in this in ENT, I am lapping it up.

TNG and DS9 had better equivalents, but for the standards of late Trek shows this was pretty darn good.
Tue, Sep 27, 2011, 9:37pm (UTC -6)
I enjoyed this, though I found the "Enterprise has crashed/no, it hasn't really crashed" element confusing. My fault for heading in and out of the room while this episode was on, I suppose.

A couple of quibbles, though:

- I didn't really buy the idea of Reed as a ladykiller. I know he's meant to have intimacy issues, hence the casual relationship thing, but he just hasn't (so far, anyway) struck me as a love 'em-and-leave 'em kind of guy. The notion of him composing letters to a whole bunch of ex-girlfriends seemed a bit laboured.

- Like Jammer, I though Reed's T'Pol fantasy was dumb but I was willing to go along with it, until it got to the point where I wished he'd either just shut up about the 'Stinky' thing, or wake up.

Anyway, I wonder if this is (was) meant to be the start of a beautiful friendship between Reed and Tucker a la O'Brien and Bashir.
Tue, Sep 27, 2011, 11:52pm (UTC -6)
One more thing that bugged me: Trip mentioning as fact the myth that hair and fingernails keep growing after you're dead. What the hey? Just as well for the Enterprise crew that he's the Chief Engineer and not the Ship's Doctor, I guess.

Still liked this episode, though.
Fri, Nov 4, 2011, 6:05pm (UTC -6)
Sweet Jupiter, what a GODAWFUL episode! Verily, an abomination unto the lord. How on EARTH can this get a positive score, let alone almost the perfect one, beggars belief.

It is three quarters of an hour of pretty much unremitting yammering and relentless drivel... - about nothing. Reed with his irritating snotty accent (who the hell talks like that?!?), doomsday resignation, and self-pity, and Trip with his redneck impulsiveness. I regret this, I fondly remember that, I wish I could have done the other... Who GIVES a !@#$?? I know there's no accounting for taste but how can any aficionado of the sci-fi genre find Reed's declaiming for minutes on end about his past relationships to be remotely insightful or interesting?!?!?

Those bleating on about characterization: Battlestar Galactica is the epitome of how characters' profiles can be built and developed without turning the whole thing into a snooze-fest.

No action of any kind. The most exciting scene was Reed stuffing the hull ruptures with mashed potatoes. Static and monotonous. In a word: BOOOOOOOO-RIIIIIIIIING!

By far the most reprehensible episode of Enterprise so far, right up there with Voyager's Barge and all those Irish village simulations.

Zero stars. And that's being highly munificent.
Tue, Apr 24, 2012, 8:30am (UTC -6)
@Michael... I find Trips(?) accent more annoying...hated watching any show with lots of him :P

(Shallow...i know... :O )
Paul York
Sun, May 13, 2012, 11:15am (UTC -6)
This was one of the better episodes, not for action (obviously) or alien cultures, but for the fact that it portrayed what Enterprise is very good at: depicting realistic situations that early space-farers might encounter. Like Apollo 11, which this resembled, a totally plausible scenario on a space mission is being trapped in a shuttle craft, running out of air and freezing, alternating between hope and hopelessness. If humans ever really get into space, this sort of thing will undoubtedly happen. Far less plausible is time travel, sentient computers, aliens who look like us and speak English, and so forth. This was what they call "hard sci-fi." I thought it was good.
Scott of Detroit
Sat, Jul 7, 2012, 2:14pm (UTC -6)
I found this episode to not be very entertaining. I understand that certain episodes will focus more heavily on certain characters to build them up. However, character building should be done WITHIN a plot, not in absence of one.

The tight shots of Reed's face were disturbing, he looks too much like Michael Jackson.

The episode was tolerable for the first half, but the second half just became very redundant. We get, Reed had a bunch of people he never really connected with that he wanted close with. We get it, Trip won't give up until the end, despite the odds.

Reiterating it over and over almost seemed condescending to the audience; especially since based off the character building in the episode alone we knew that those characters would not be disposed of.
Thu, Aug 30, 2012, 4:16pm (UTC -6)
@Tamerlane even worse, as the chief engineer he's a dumbass as well. He claims that after firing the engines they'll have one run and then they will be "dead in the water". Did this guy learn about warp technology and all without touching the basics of inertia? They would be flying with the same speed forever.

More problematic was the unbelievable way Archer and company left them behind for some MacGuffin reason. Unbelievable.
Thu, Nov 8, 2012, 10:38am (UTC -6)
I didn't find the jibing over American vs. European attitudes quite as fun. Probably because Malcolm certainly seemed dead serious about his opinion of it to me. Trip's responses I found generally amusing but he also wasn't looking at Malcolm's face and I think that if he was, that arguement might have gotten hotter. I do agree with Trip's pessimism/realistic way of looking at things but it seemed like they took it to an extreme. I'd leave a log, yes 1 log, to everybody and then get to work so I wouldn't have to leave the log. On the flip-side, Trip's optimism was a bit overmuch - unless I concede that he was optimistic about sending the signal, not optimistic about being rescued.
Sat, Jan 12, 2013, 11:06pm (UTC -6)
Alcohol is a vasodilator and accelerates the lowering of core body temperature, and ultimately hypothermia. While it would potentially have a palliative effect on anyone in such a hopeless situation (as it did in this episode), it diminishes physical and mental capabilities (obviously), and increases probability of death.
Fri, Apr 19, 2013, 8:22am (UTC -6)
I wanted to like this episode. Desperately.

I've been soldiering on through the series hoping for a hidden gem and really the closest has been "Dear Doctor", "Observer Effect", "In a Mirror Darkly" two-parter. But, back to this episode. My hopes were raised by the initial dialogue between Trip and Reed. It was fun and revealing. But, that hope tumbled down the stairs as the episode devolved into pedestrian dialogue (one of the biggest banes of Enterprise) and that it really gives us superficial insight into these characters. I kept hoping for repartee and character reveals the likes of Spock/McCoy or O'Brien/Bashir. No such luck. Because underneath the pedestrian dialogue is just uninspired writing (the biggest bane of Star Trek Enterprise).


I don't know if you have ever watched the SF comedy series, Red Dwarf. But, there's an episode called, "Marooned". It's essentially the same premise--and it smokes this episode. The character interaction between its two protagonists, while comedically-based, has more verve and more substance than the writers of Star Trek Enteprise could have ever hoped to write.
Sun, Apr 28, 2013, 12:45am (UTC -6)
I've seen this episode on TV, on DVD and now Blu-ray. I just thought it was okay all three times. But I only noticed it when I viewed it on Blu-ray: Although the men are near freezing due to hypothermia, their bourbon is still flowing and swishing around in the bottle as if it's a nice 80-degrees out. Shouldn't it have been more of a slushy bourbon? Maybe they warmed it up. :-)

I'm sorry, I don't read any of the Trek stuff online, so if this has been discussed/debated many times before, I apologize!
Thu, May 30, 2013, 3:44pm (UTC -6)
I was waiting and hoping for them to make out at some point. As it is one and a half stars.
Sun, Sep 8, 2013, 12:52pm (UTC -6)
I thought this was a good episode, but one thing confused me: why did the Enterprise push back the rendezvous time so far? Didn't they realize the shuttlepod's air was limited and would run out before they got back? I feel I must have missed some essential dialog but didn't hear an explanation on rewatch either.
Sat, Dec 14, 2013, 3:02am (UTC -6)
Patrick makes a point I agree with completely: the Red Dwarf episode Marooned is probably the best example of the "two people in peril" that I've seen. It conveys a great deal about the characters using humour, wit and sarcasm. The character are diametrically opposed, yet they start to bond towards the end (even if Rimmer doesn't realise what Lister has done to his prized possession). It's an episode I can watch again and again.

Shuttlepod One does indeed pale next to that, but saying so is actually doing a dis-service to the episode, as it is easily one of the best-acted and best-written episodes from ENT's run. If anything is the problem with ENT, it's how the characters usually talk like they're from the Voyager era, lacking the passion of the Original Series crew. What went on there? Shuttlepod One addresses this to an extent by getting the characters drunk so they lose their formality.

I first saw Keating in Desmond's where he was hip, cool, the girls all loved him but he came across as gay, even though he wasn't. I guess this has followed Keating ever since as people seemed to speculate about Reed's orientation. I am a fan of Keating, I wish he had more to do, a pity ENT stuck to the three character triangle rather than allowing the rest of the (supposedly) ensemble cast to do something.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014, 7:18pm (UTC -6)
Ohh I hadn't thought of Marooned. Good shout. I'd pay to see Trip chow down on some dog food :)
"Hey Malcolm... now I know why a dog licks its balls"

As for Michael's comment about Reed's accent, it's called British. I'm glad to hear we're irritating :P
Tue, Jul 1, 2014, 6:01pm (UTC -6)
On the comment about "slushy bourbon" above... The freezing point of alcohol is -173.2°F, so it was realistic for it to remain liquid. (The vodka in my freezer stays liquid -- but nicely cold.)

I enjoyed this episode. Lots of Trip, and not so much Archer. I rewatched all of the ST series, and am now on Enterprise, which I haven't seen since the original airing. I grew to love Trip, and hate Archer. Phlox is also a favorite, and T'Pol grew more interesting as the show went on (Trip/T'Pol shipper here, I confess.).

I've been hoping I over-reacted to Archer, but he is still annoying. He's so bombastic at times, and he actually YELLS some of his lines. I'm starting to think Scott Bakula was going deaf, because my husband started talking louder when he lost a little of his hearing, at about the same age. I just want someone to tell him, "Use your inside voice." That wouldn't address the immature reactions and other silliness he exhibits, but it might help him to come off less like a speechifying overzealous petulant child.
Mon, Jan 19, 2015, 8:44pm (UTC -6)
Voyager's "Day of Honor" did this better, I think.
Tue, Feb 10, 2015, 3:20pm (UTC -6)
Seeing this one for the first time I can offer my opinion that overall - this particular episode really works - because you get to the end of the 45mins and you realise that they packed in all that dialogue in an entire episode and I was not checking my watch or shuffling in my seat at all. Carried by 2 good performances /actors and a simple yet effective script.

I do get the feeling that maybe the micro-singularity events may reappear or possibly even ended up on the cutting room floor to explain the alternate wreckage of NX01 seen on the asteroid...

Agree with Patrick that seein the Red Dwarf episode "Marooned" is highly recomended - probably one of the finest episodes of Red Dwarf ever made.....
Wouter Verhelst
Thu, Jun 4, 2015, 6:44pm (UTC -6)
Just finished watching this for the first time ever. What a godawful episode.

Character building? Maybe if you count 'trite and cliché' as an interesting character trait.

The acting was pretty horrible; the writing went for the obvious far too often ('We have two guys locked up together. Let's make them fight!'); and overall, there wasn't really anything interesting being said to or about our characters.

All in all, I'd give it half a star, since I did manage to finish it, even though it's late and I'm pretty tired. Okay, make that a whole star. The special effects were okay.

No, that's not why I wanted to watch this...
Mon, Aug 3, 2015, 10:20pm (UTC -6)
I.M.H.O. this was the standout episode of the first season. Trip and Malcolm are stranded in a disabled shuttlepod and under the false impression that Enterprise is destroyed. That leaves them with a little bit of a problem. Without Enterprise to pick them up they will soon die due to lack of air. This episode did a lot to reveal both characters but especially that of Reed. One was the angel of death and the other was the cock-eyed optimist. I thought it was brilliant that the set was cooled down enough so you could see their breath during the final scenes when the temp is freezing. How many time have I watched scenes where the characters are supposed to be freezing but their breath is not visible? Enterprise went the extra mile just to help us suspend disbelief. Bravo for the best episode of the first season.
Diamond Dave
Thu, Mar 31, 2016, 3:19pm (UTC -6)
Enterprise does Apollo 13. I really enjoyed the twist that made them think the Enterprise had been destroyed. But for me, the episode pretty much tailed away after that. Obviously it hangs its hat on being a two header, but it seemed to me that the two basically spent most of the episode shouting cliches and banalities at each other. There was very little that seemed fresh - and the T'Pol dream sequence (and subsequent drunken commentary) - was about as on the nose as its possible to get. 2 stars.
Tue, Jul 19, 2016, 8:35am (UTC -6)
I haven't seen Red Dwarf. I'll have to add that one to my viewing list.

I enjoyed this one. Nice character piece for Trip and Malcolm.

I think they call this a bottle episode. Saving money for more CGI intensive episodes.

I always seem to enjoy these.

Malcolm's little dream sequence.... pretty funny stuff. But I think they could have come up with something better than "Stinky".

3 star episode for me.
Tue, Jul 19, 2016, 11:40pm (UTC -6)
Didn't anyone get remotely reminded of TOS:"Galileo Seven"? Not saying it's a carbon copy or a ripoff. But c'mon, not even a dishonorable mention? Especially the explosion vs. Spock's burning the fuel.....
Wed, Aug 31, 2016, 2:48am (UTC -6)
After years... and I mean YEARS... of starting and stopping my very first watch of Enterprise (mainly due to the consistent mediocrity of the show), this episode and "Dear Doctor" have been the ones to keep me going this year. Glad I've finally made it this far.

Aside from moments that bordered on complete silliness ("Stinky"...?), I thought this was a very effective character based episode.

A shame they haven't been making more like "Dear Doctor" or "Shuttlepod One" up to this point, otherwise I might have actually stuck with the show when I first tried watching it 8-9 years ago. I hope there are more like them as I continue my first run-through of the series.
Sat, Sep 10, 2016, 5:03pm (UTC -6)
Definitely one of my favourites of season 1.
2 men in a room winding each other up and exploring their characters. I thought Trip got too many of the punchlines, but that his frustration was fair enough.
The airlock bit was a bit silly though.

Regarding Reed as the lady's man, I thought his actions suggested the opposite. He knew (or had known) a few women and still had strong feelings for them.
Sat, Sep 10, 2016, 5:43pm (UTC -6)
Regarding Red Dwarf's Marooned - I haven't seen it for a while but by my recollection that worked because we knew the characters a lot better, whereas this was in series 1.

Also, I think Reed is a deeper character than Rimmer.

And RD is comedy sci-fi (partly depending on which series) whereas Enterprise is sci-fi drama with some comedy thrown in. And I think we learned more about Reed and Tucker than we did about Lister and Rimmer in the 2 episodes.

(this is mostly my opinion obviously....)
Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 8:48pm (UTC -6)
What is more boring than two people stranded on a shuttle/planet for 45 minutes? Nothing (0)
Wed, Sep 28, 2016, 10:11am (UTC -6)
"What is more boring than two people stranded on a shuttle/planet for 45 minutes?"

Two people stranded in a corny Irish village holodeck program?
Thu, Apr 6, 2017, 9:35pm (UTC -6)
This is one of the episodes I remembered from my original viewing, and in a good way. I'm about with Jammer on most points with this one. Very good but not great.

Michael: "Reed with his irritating snotty accent (who the hell talks like that?!?)


BTW I often agree with your comments; I quite like Reed's voicee actually, and no, I'm not British. This seems like as good a place to bring this up as any, though: do Star Trek writers assume all English people are socially inept or misanthropic? Like Bashir, Reed can't get on with his parents, Picard can,t handle Children, Bashir likes women but can't behave normally around them. (OK, I know Picard is supposed to be French, but really...)
Thu, Aug 31, 2017, 6:00pm (UTC -6)
I must say, Malcolm's dreams about T'Pol are a lot more family friendly than mine are.
Fri, Oct 6, 2017, 6:02pm (UTC -6)
Not a bad episode, but not a great one either -- the kind of thing that's been done on TOS (The Gallleo Seven) better and DS9 (The Ascent) worse immediately come to mind. Those episodes have similarities but important differences.

This is purely a character episode for Trip/Reed and we do learn a great deal about their similarities and differences -- mostly the latter. There are some humorous moments like Trip interrupting Reed recording his good-byes but also some annoying moments like Reed's dream of T'Pol (Stinky) and the Trip wanting to go into the airlock so that Reed could have all the breathable air -- where did that all of a sudden come from??

So far on ENT, I can't really think of 2 other characters together who'd be able to pull it off. Archer and anybody else -- the other person will just do what Archer says. T'Pol would be too boring and Hoshi/Travis aren't good enough actors.

The other thing that I don't get is what was it that they saw crashed on the asteroid? What's the explanation for that? So there were definitely some things contrived to create the predicament for our 2 friends.

What I did like is how realistic the survival aspects seemed -- reducing the temp to -5C (23F) with the shivering/frost on everything, how slow impulse is in the vastness of outer space, and all the little things they do to extend their lives. This much was well done in terms of mechanics.

But ultimately, I don't think they needed to spend as much time on the dialog between the 2 as it got pretty silly at times.

2.5 stars for "Shuttlepod One" -- we get Reed the realist/pessimist and Trip who is more happy-go-lucky/optimist stuck together and it works pretty well with a very basic plot. Some male bonding, some conflict but the situation is well portrayed and the 2 actors do a good job. The fact that we know they won't die despite the minuscule odds takes a bit of an edge off the proceedings.
Thu, Mar 22, 2018, 1:42pm (UTC -6)
I liked this episode. But, no matter realistic, the reference to T'pol's "bum", falls kind of flat. It is like the producers were too eager to explore more her sexuality than else. Previous episodes clearly objectified her.
Wed, Aug 29, 2018, 5:01pm (UTC -6)
Character building can't be an excuse for a boring episode.. And there is no building because they both get stuck in their circles. It's all just so obvious and not inspired. Just when i was growing into ENT a bit. This is no 3.5 stars, not by a longshot.
Mon, Sep 17, 2018, 6:40am (UTC -6)
Re-watched the episode for the firat time in years. Despite some slightly limp writing (Tucker interrupting Reed's message to his parents could have been hilarious but they wasted it), and the fact the episode blows its wad immediately by showing us the Enterprise is fine (got to give the other faces their screen time), this is certainly one of Enterprise's best episodes.

I forgot that Enterprise dished up something different in its early days. I forgot that Reed and Hoshi got quite a lot to do. Already at this stage Mayweather has been sidelined for reasons unknown - perhaps for some reason, early Starfleet didn't keep taking its best pilots off the bridge for away missions - and his acting isn't quite as terrible as I remembered for the most part. I do think it was the Ford Effect from Stargate Atlantis. They had this young character who they literally couldn't do anything with and eventually just ditched him.

Still, despite the occasional lapse in writing, the acting here was superb. It was nice to see an episode like this after years of Voyager's stubborn aliens of the week. I agree with comments I read in other episode reviews that Bermaga did not rwally believe in the premise of a prequel, they did not believe in this show, they apparently did not believe in most of the characters, so what could have been something original and exciting has even its best episodes criticised by the moaning brigade.

Some people are so negative and biased in their opinions that I wonder if they work for the BBC.
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 1:13pm (UTC -6)
I wonder why this episode was rated up at the season end. I’m watching through ENT for the first time and really did not find much enjoyment out of this one - but I wonder if, in hind sight, this one gets a better rating, in the same way many of the early Bashir/O’Brien eps from DS9 did, for being the beginning of what would become a more active friendship?

I’m reminded of Quark and Odo nearly freezing to death on the top of a mountain sometime early on in DS9, although I find their banter much more amusing - Trip here is especially annoying in the first half of the episode, although I find the things that bug me about him to be relatively consistent with his character so far.
Sun, Apr 5, 2020, 5:51pm (UTC -6)
I watched this when it originally aired, and again now in 2020 (during what may or may not, in the fullness of time, be labelled the “first” coronavirus lockdown in the U.S.).

I remember being annoyed with Enterprise immediately, mostly thanks to the un-evolved, macho characterizations of masculinity I expected humanity would, of necessity, have left behind a century earlier. In the same vein, I was never able to get past T’Pol's ridiculous wardrobe or how her portrayal, especially the first season, was mostly so god-awful (credit where it’s due: Blalock definitely improved with time).

So I had originally truly loathed his episode, as I felt it sent plausibility into free fall by the glaringly obvious stupidity on display. The ship at one point is without heat, the characters are in immediate danger of literally freezing to death, and they don't do the one completely self-evident action that would, without question, prolong their lives? They don't huddle up, they don't use the same blanket...hell, they don't even touch! All that body heat just radiating into uselessly into the vacuum of space, and they, what? Preserve their masculinity? Is it masculine to die of stupidity?

If it were me, I would be wrapped around Trinneer like an heat- sucking much time would that buy? Hours, certainly. But nooooo.......

That's not to say Michael's suggestion above would be in play....though it seems more imaginable today. But it just spoke to the inherent, and even then highly outdated, lack of risk-taking this show suffered from.

I can say that my opinion, for whatever that's worth, of the ep has somewhat improved. I did like it more this viewing, possibly because I am currently trapped in an enclosed space with a vague but not entirely implausible threat of death floating just I guess I’m perhaps more able to sympathize? And also, I did develop a warmer feel for the characters with time, so it works better in general.
Cody B
Thu, May 28, 2020, 2:15am (UTC -6)
This was a good episode. I laughed twice. Once when Malcolm thinks he’s going to die and admits he likes T’Pol’s “bum” and again at the end when Malcolm wakes up in Enterprise and all he wants is for things to be a little like his fantasy he had when passed out. He just wants T’Pol to tell him how heroic he was and flirt a little. Is it too much to ask after nearly dying? Yep T’Pol is having none of it. 😂 That’s life
Thu, Jun 11, 2020, 1:35pm (UTC -6)
Hmm. My 2nd episode of ENT, due to high ratings here (the other was "Dear Doctor") and while the other was "horrific," this one is just incredibly boring. 3.5 stars for a char development episode with very little char development!?

I can't help but feel if this had been a DS9 episode, that Jammer would have given it a far lower rating, making me think the rating scale bar for ENT has been drastically lowered to account for what must be ENT's overall quality. So I'll be avoiding ENT if these are the best it has to offer. No wonder if only went 4 years. :(
Mon, Jul 6, 2020, 4:09pm (UTC -6)
Shuttle Pod 1. I thought it was one of the better episodes. The only problem I had is when they opened the top hatch, there is not and 2nd floor, it leads to space. They just killed themselves by opening that hatch. How stupid was that....
Mon, Jul 6, 2020, 4:14pm (UTC -6)
Trip was holding a 1980's electronic breadboard with wire wrap. That is 80's technology, not 2150. Also, the nitrogen valve uptop has a pc board with DIP Chips painted in silver. 1980's technology once again.
Tue, Mar 1, 2022, 3:54pm (UTC -6)
I'm amazed to see this got such a high score. I'd say it's one of the worst episodes yet. The dialogue is terrible. Malcolm is seriously irritating.
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 11:25pm (UTC -6)
I think this is one of the best episodes of the series. I actually think this portrays these two men in a very real way. A couple of deeper conversations that mix in, but no long monologues about the meaning of life. These are two very different men stuck in a horrible situation and facing their own deaths, and the very real conflict that would happen comes out. I'd give it the full 4 stars.
Scottar Brooke
Fri, Apr 1, 2022, 8:09pm (UTC -6)
The one ridiculous scene was when the shuttlepod got hit with a couple of singularities and created air leak holes, it would take more than food to seal them. And since space craft are subject to micrometeorites then they should have had patching kits on board.

You think they would have a spare board for the communications bord too, the most critical piece of equipment. Even a long-range distress beacon perhaps.
Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 12:40am (UTC -6)
I like the notion. But they're both right at each other's throats from the start. What kind of psych evals do you have to pass to be on NX-01? Was there some repressed anger between Trip & Reed at the outset? Trip yelling orders? And Malcolm making log entries all night long? They both come across as passive-agressive petulant children.
Character destruction, not character building.
1.5 stars...
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 9:10pm (UTC -6)
Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating have an ENT podcast. Here is a link to them and Gary Graham doing a live table read of this episode:

I haven't watched yet.
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 9:25am (UTC -6)
Thanks for that link @Marlboro -- very cool. I didn't think too much of this episode but somehow the live read gives a greater appreciation of it.

Particularly agree with the 1st comment on youtube:

"That was totally captivating. Seeing these two jump so effortlessly into these characters after 15 years is truly impressive. The Enterprise cast rarely gets their due, but they really are an exceptional group of actors."

Keating and Trinneer were 2 of the actors that I really gained a lot of respect for and I do think ENT had a very strong cast for classic Trek.
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 10:05am (UTC -6)
"I do think ENT had a very strong cast for classic Trek."

I agree. Not only did the actors seem to inhabit their roles from day one, the cast seemed to gel almost from the beginning too. I was always impress by how naturally the TOS cast interacted in the Man Trap considering it was the first episode. Later on, I learned that it was actually the sixth one produced which helps account for how comfortable Kelly and Shatner seemed to be in their roles. I can't say the same for TNG, DS9, and Voyager. In some cases it took years for some of the actors/characters on those shows to really come into their own.
Michael Miller
Sun, Jul 23, 2023, 10:30am (UTC -6)
Dumb episode, but a little funny and better than some of the absolute boring ones like Precious Cargo. I did feel the characters acted a little out of character though, like Malcolm's whimpering and Reed explosive outbursts. The funniest part was the idea that you could seal a hull breach with some sticky food lol! In reality even a hole the size of a pinhead would suck out the atmosphere in under 3 seconds. The wet dream stuff wasn't needed either. And if they really believed they were going to inevitably die anyway, why spend all that time suffering in the freezing cold? If you're gonna ultimately die the same way anyway, might as well not suffer the whole time just to live a little bit longer. 2 stars.
Sat, Aug 5, 2023, 2:36am (UTC -6)
Why does nobody mention that if the Enterprise is a quarter of a light year away, it would take 3 months for the light from blowing up the shuttle pod’s engine to reach it?

Thu, Oct 5, 2023, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
Doesn’t seem like great character development. Reed is supposedly the internal one who won’t even reveal his favorite food but now he’s the only one who wants to share his every thought with his family.
Hard to believe enterprise wouldn’t have grabbed them before taking off for new location, especially given all the unknowns. They wouldn’t even try to radio out a signal, wait for reply that doesn’t come and know crew is in danger? Ugh stupidity to create plot.

My understanding is u would get sucked thru the pinhole. Interesting that mashed potato will do the trick…

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