Star Trek: Enterprise

“The Catwalk”

2.5 stars.

Air date: 12/18/2002
Written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Directed by Mike Vejar

Reed: "You knew we'd be stuck in here for over a week. You might have given a little thought to making it tolerable."
Tucker: "I only had four hours, Malcolm. You're lucky we've got a toilet."

Review Text

In brief: Average. 'Nuff said.

So, here I am, returning after nearly seven weeks of reviewing hiatus to run my critical eye over "The Catwalk," which itself aired some six weeks ago. One might wonder why I waited so long to review this episode. There really isn't any particular reason; it just worked out this way in the big procrastination machine that is (my) life. With so long to think about this episode, one might expect I'd have something major worth waiting all this time to unload.

Well, I don't. "The Catwalk" is one of the worst types of episodes to write about, because there's so little I feel a need to discuss, for good or ill. I can't blast it with a paragraph full of pretentious and dismissive put-downs like "Precious Cargo," and I can't dig for character psychology or useful insight like with "Vanishing Point." "The Catwalk" is quite simply ... average. It's competent television, reasonably diverting, but not the slightest bit original or suspenseful. And it doesn't get to any crux of any issue that is at the heart of Star Trek.

I'm beginning to wonder now if "average" is the biggest threat Enterprise as a series faces. I recently admitted to a magazine writer that Star Trek excites me far less now than it once did. Is that because the franchise has become older and more stale, or because I've simply moved on or become more jaded? Probably both. One of the problems, I suspect, is exhibited by the very fact that Star Trek is constantly referred to as a "franchise." As if to say: It's not about ideas; it's about marketing.

Anyway, before this review becomes fodder for a cynical epitaph arguing the obsolescence of the Star Trek franchise, I will say that "The Catwalk" is fairly successful on its given terms — those of narrow adventure scope. We have The Problem and then The Solution and then Some Aliens and then The Twist and then some Alien Invaders and then The Action, all of which are executed adequately.

The Problem is that a violent storm "saturated with radiolytic isotopes" (ah, technobabble!) is approaching. I'm not so sure I believe in massive spatial storm systems that travel at high warp (with diameters that span light-years), but then I also don't believe in transporters — or warp speed, for that matter. I just wonder why the crew can't land the ship on the planet, unless the planet is also going to be unprotected from the storm's radiation. If that's the case, I guess any life (or at least selective life, given later plot developments) on this planet is SOL. Somebody had better tell Earth to forget about tracking collision-potential asteroids in our solar system and start looking for violent radioactive — I'm sorry — radiolytic storms moving through space at high warp.

The Solution is that the crew will seal themselves into a maintenance area known as the catwalk, located along the warp nacelles and the only place on the ship that's both large enough to house the entire crew and also protect them from the deadly radiation levels. Meanwhile, Some Aliens — three, to be precise, who warned Enterprise about the approaching storm — inhabit the story's background and are obviously more than they appear to be.

The early acts are arguably the best, content to watch the crew as they prepare for this eight-day hassle of cramming into a limited space with no amenities. I for one was glad that the show directly acknowledged the need to set up a latrine in this confined area; this is one of those times where pretending no one in Star Trek uses the bathroom would've come across as a glaring omission.

I also liked the way a little tension gradually set in as the confinement period stretched on. There's a scene where Reed's annoyance with this situation becomes quite clear; when he gripes at Trip for not having installed a shower, I was in sympathy. I also liked Trip's response: "I only had four hours, Malcolm. You're lucky we've got a toilet."

There's also some material of value between Archer and T'Pol, where T'Pol does her best to stay away from the other crew members. She admits she is not skilled at "fraternizing" with the crew. Archer would like her to emerge from her shell and learn to try bonding with the people around her. While this is hardly groundbreaking material — and completely typical of Trek — it's a character sentiment that works, and the quiet exchanges between Bakula and Blalock are becoming a pleasant trademark of sorts.

It's about here where we get The Twist, when some Alien Invaders show up, and the story abandons the "day in the life of an inconvenient situation" approach in favor of routine adventure plotting. Trip goes below decks in an EV-suit to fix a problem in engineering. While down there, he sees aliens walking the corridors of the ship. These alien invaders turn out to be of the same race as the aliens who are sealed in the catwalk with the Enterprise crew. (The Twist: The three friendly aliens were hiding something! But of course we knew that, unless we were temporarily brain dead.) The Invaders, who are searching for our three friendly aliens, are a part of a crooked military government; the friendly aliens are wanted deserters who refused to continue participating in the corruption and villainy of their military.

One thing that's especially convenient in story terms is how the invading aliens are impervious to the toxic radiation that would kill the Enterprise crew. This gives the invading forces an advantage. But the Enterprise crew has their own advantage — namely the element of surprise, since they are all hidden in the catwalk unbeknownst to the invaders. Eventually we get The Action, which involves a cat-and-mouse game with Archer running around the ship in an EV-suit and futilely trying to negotiate with the unyielding alien captain (Danny Goldring, effective in a stock-issue role). This leads to the requisite phaser shoot-outs, and then Archer's threat to destroy the ship by flying it into storm turbulence unless the invaders leave — a threat that, notably, the crew seems prepared to carry out.

This is all more or less by the book, with the conclusion never in doubt and the road to the conclusion pretty much taking every step you would expect it to take. Mike Vejar is perhaps the best of the Trek directors — and he keeps the story's momentum going in the direction it needs to be going — but he can only do so much with the material at hand (as was the case with "Marauders"). The way this all plays out is clockwork routine, unsurprising, and sold on competent technique rather than fresh storytelling. It is, in a word, average.

A little too average, if you ask me.

Footnote: Chef appears on camera in this episode, but only from the chest down. This is likely the first of multiple gags where we encounter "the mysterious Chef," who never has an actual line and whose face we never see.

Previous episode: Precious Cargo
Next episode: Dawn

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Comment Section

58 comments on this post

    I, for one, found it surprising that wore white rather than Starfleet blue/grey. Who knew that Captain Stubing would moonlight on this show?

    "the mysterious Chef, who never has an actual line and whose face we never see."

    You mean Travis nº2?

    I like that we had a "bad guys take over the ship" episode that actually didn't make the crew look like morons. This was way better than the Ferengi knock-out gas, or any number of ways Voyager got taken over.

    Agreed on the feeling of ENT being average. I'm trying to think of an episode that has been groundbreaking (like say BoBW, The Circle or Year of Hell) and can't really think of one.

    It's not deliberately, offensively average like the mid seasons of Voyager, just... plain average.

    I hear it got better just before it got the axe.

    Wasn't it established that sick bay was shielded from the radiation? So why was the doctor so upset that there was no room for all his critters? And wouldn't that have been a better place for the captain to have his head of operations?

    I thought this episode was above average. I found watching the crew preparing to be entertaining. It makes me think of situations at my work where I've been sent down into the data center to complete some kind of mission critical task on a short time line and everyone pulls together.

    I like that a large amount of crew (extras) were used to get a feeling for the amount of folks that are on the ship. The whole "camping" aspect of the show was fun, and we can all go back to a situation where we were camping and had much less space.

    The alien takeover was a little too predictable in its ending, but we can't complain too much about that, because the writers can't destroy the crew\ship.

    I liked that they dug into T'pol's character a little more, and made her a little more likable.

    I would give this episode 3 to 3.5 stars. It was different, fun, predictable, but enjoyable.

    I think it's above par for Enterprise, especially considering the string of bad episodes that came before it (still trying to get over your 3.5 of Vanishing point).

    Everything about this episode just clicked for me. The plot made perfect sense, the technobabble seemed grounded and realistic, the mystery of the aliens was well thought out and executed, and I loved the vibe of the crew taking shelter and becoming closer (as Archer said "It's like we're camping"). The turning point of the story also came at the perfect time, and I had no idea who were the good guys and who were the bad guys until near the end. Entertaining, suspenseful, with a dash of feel good comradery and teamwork.

    I think of all the Voyager episodes that couldn't even come close to the caliber of this episode. Solid stuff in my opinion, and worthy of 3.5 out of 4.

    I liked the fact that thugs in this episode were no cardboard characters like most thugs in Star Trek. The alien captain was interested in the ship and its crew, and played a psychological game with Archer instead of a stupid barking game.

    And why didn't they use two catwalks? Enterprise has two, after all. They could communicate with each other, so why have a problem with "allocated space"? Heck, give Phlox's cats and dogs their own nacelle.

    Myself I would be much more stupid and probably contact the aliens as soon as I discovered they boarded the ship. Isn't that the logical thing to do? But alas, in the future our universe has shrunk to tiny proportions; withing a 100 light years it's teeming with "civilizations", most of them out to fight or capture others in battle.

    Alas, the future of mankind is dim.

    I would have liked this a lot more if instead of the alien invaders routine--a problem which arose and was solved too conveniently--the episode instead focused on T'Pol's attempts to "fraternize" with the crew. It's the kind of story the character desperately needed, and the one moment we get in reference to it (T'Pol being part of Movie Night at the end) was better than anything else in the episode.

    This could have been ENT's "Lower Decks". Instead we got a forgettable action adventure. A pity. Two stars from me.

    To the people who asked why they didn't use sick bay and/or the other catwalk: It seems to me that splitting up the crew when not necessary means that they need more than one medical station, and, really, they only had 4 hours to prepare. Getting everything and everyone to one location seems to me to be the most efficient and safest plan.

    Oh, and yeah. Pretty typical star trek episode. Not amazing, but not bad either.

    I agree with those who said it wasn't too awful...

    Some fairly stock events/characters but it could have been far worse.

    Plus it does deserve those extra points for realism and crew interaction.

    Perhaps we could have done with this week's situation of jeopardy, but it added a bit of movement to what would have perhaps otherwise become dull.

    Isn't space huge? Like mind bogglingly huge? The isn't as big as space itself, and when Archer looks out the window and sees the storm you can SEE space both ABOVE and BELOW it. So.... why didn't they just go above or below the storm, why go through it? IF they'd just gone straight down from their current position or straight up from their current position they could have avoided the storm altogether. Why hasn't anyone else thought about that?

    I know Susan's comment was from about a year ago, but I thought I'd give an answer a shot anyway, in case anyone else happens along.

    The reason that you could see both the "top" and "bottom" of the storm out the window was that the storm was still so far away at that point. Remember it's moving at high warp, so even with around an hour or so before it hits, it could be many light-years away.

    As an example, take a look up at the sky on a clear dark night in the country, and you can see the milky way cutting across the sky. That's the middle of our galaxy you're looking at (or at least one of the major arms; I'm not sure which) and it's hundreds of light-years thick. Yet we're so far from that crowded center that we can still see space both "above" and "below" that band of stars.

    That's what they were seeing out the window.

    Fun fact: The Takret captain is played by the same guy who played the dying soldier in DS9's "Nor the Battle to the Strong" (Danny Goldring).

    The story was good, but I fell asleep about halfway through. I think that says it all.

    Like Voyager's NIGHT, this episode spoils a great premise with a needless "action plot". The episode's core idea was good enough to sustain a full episode. Why mar it with a hijacking?


    I think I agree with you here. Star Fleet 1st deep space mission. The fist time this crew has dealt with a hazard like this. It could have carried this episode.

    That said, I didn't mind it so much. Rather enjoyable episode in my book.

    Better than average outing for Enterprise. We knew the three aliens were up to something at the beginning of the episode, but it had some twists to keep it interesting and not cliched.

    Capitalist: I agree with your answer, but it raises another question. How could the light from the storm possibly have reached the ship? If the storm is moving toward the ship faster than light speed, it should arrive before it becomes visible!

    Solid episode overall, but no real depth, which caps it at 3/4 for me.

    Also, in "The Lights of Zetar," Spock says that no known natural phenomenon can travel faster than the speed of light.

    The arms of the Milky Way are thousands of light years away so it looks smaller only from a great distance. This storm always looks thin vertically before and after it contacts Enterprise.

    Just poorly thought out CGI that shows 2D thinking.

    And the storm is traveling at warp 6 ? LOLStupid

    Solid work after a stream of clunkers. Interesting premise, good use of the ensemble cast, decent plot twist (even if it did involve another alien hijack) and some good action. Additionally, it was well paced and looked fantastic.

    One thing that did bother me was what the point of T'Pol's recollection of the Vulcan ship was? I'd have bet good money that she had some kind of personal connection but it never came up again. Curious. 3 stars.

    Totally agree with Marc. Rather than the obligatory bad aliens infiltrating the ship, T'Pol fraternizing with the crew would have made for a more satisfying conclusion to the episode. Also, at the start of the episode, Trip mentions the planet having deep canyons much larger than those of Earth. Couldn't the vessel hide there until the storm passed rather than facing it dead on?

    I always enjoy this one. Having spent my time on the high seas waiting out storms that you can't go around, I could relate here.

    If I was Trip, I would have told Reed to go sit with Phlox.

    But man, I really think they missed a wonderful opportunity to get to know some of the crew here. A "lower decks" opportunity here lost I think. I would have loved to meet some of the crew here. The T'Pol "fraternization" aspect was nice and well done. Movie night at the end was also meaningful in that regard. Again, the T'Pol/Archer interaction is fantastic.

    The Takret captain was expertly played, he and these bad guys came off as no joke, and Archer's plan to get them out was fine I guess, but just how convenient was this occurrence? 3 guys that are themselves immune to the radi-whatever just happened by and they just happen to be fugitives from an organization that just happens to like to rob ships in this environment.

    Oh, and like Robert said... this "storm" containing matter (bouncing off the hull) is traveling faster than the speed of light and somehow is visible to anyone peeking out the window. I'm all about suspension of disbelief while watching SCI-FI but damn, you got to do better than this!


    But all that said, it's still very enjoyable to watch and one of my favorites,

    3 stars from me.

    I enjoyed this episode - even with the action third act. Most especially, I appreciate that they didn't make the three alien guests into the bad guys - which I expected.

    A pretty solid 3 from me.

    This episode has good ingredients. The crew is forced to an unexpected action, which allows them to pull together and lets us see them in a new light. The alien plot has the advantage of ambiguity up to a late point and is therefore more interesting than usual (in a different circumstance, it would have been enterprise crew exploring an 'uninhabited' alien ship).

    However, both together seem to be less than the combined sum. Perhaps there wasn't enough time to explore both as much as they could have been? I'd give it 3-3.5 stars. But it could have been better.

    Above average episode for this season. Kept me watching without blowing my mind or infuriating me. Have watched a few eps since viewing, so it's not fresh in my mind.

    I'll keep it brief then. In not doing anything horribly wrong, 'Catwalk' succeeds where many season 2 eps failed. Not a ringing endorsement for the show, is it?

    Anyone else think that the alien ship in this one vague resembers a BSG:RDM Cylon Raider? Just a thought.

    The premise for this episode started out in a promising manner - thought it was just going to be a character development episode with the whole crew crammed in the catwalk. I agree with the others who say it was an opportunity missed to not have something like T'Pol fraternize with the crew or for us to learn more about the crewmembers.
    The plot twist with the aliens trying to take over Enterprise was a weaker choice and the resulting action scenes were nothing special and are becoming quite frequent for ENT. The 3 fugitives weren't particularly interesting - not really an original story.
    Nothing really suspenseful about how it was all going to end up.
    As Jammer says: "The Problem and then The Solution and then Some Aliens and then The Twist and then some Alien Invaders and then The Action, all of which are executed adequately."
    I can see how many will find this episode decent - I think it's pretty ordinary and what is turning out to be standard fare for ENT on one of its good days.
    For me 2 stars out of 4. ENT shouldn't miss opportunities for taking the better twist with its stories.

    3 stars!

    Very enjoyable. Too bad ENT couldn't do more of these type of standalones. I always have loved stories with a storm approaching and everyone batoning down the hatches then a crisis occurs. I enjoyed the crew in the catwalk and seeing them racing to prepare for the coming storm. I liked Archer and Tpol bonding more. A highlight

    I agree 100% with Jammer on this one. A decent episode. Nothing special really, but no major gripes about it either.

    2 1/2 from me too.

    Decent episode, but I was really annoyed by one glaring plot hole. The alien captain read/listened to Archer's logs. Surely he would have logged what happened, where they were going and whom they met and the alien captain would surely have listened to the latest log.

    With a title like Catwalk expectations were low, but the episode pleasantly over delivered. Among its highlights for me:

    - lots of extras, gave a sense of the crew size
    - their operational efficiency in the face of a crisis
    - seeing Chef, at least a bit of him
    - pillow talk between Archer and T'Pol
    - the twist
    - the Takret captain and his team - their individual characters and group dynamics came across as believable due to good writing and acting, they meant business
    - T'Pol's explanation of the film plot
    - Plasma Eddie - regular down the blood bank

    Could have had more interaction with the crew, but 3 stars.

    11 of 26. Steady as she goes. I hope things get better in season 3.

    This episode was alright. But I have a nitpick about it. It's a particular nitpick that comes up a lot on various Star Trek episodes.

    When they show the actual storm, it's shown as a long horizontal string. If it was energy or radiation being expelled from some central source, shouldn't it expand in all directions?

    Also, it makes it seem like the crew is just too stupid to avoid it by going above it or under it.

    This happens a lot in Star Trek. Pretty much any episode involving any sort of spacial anomaly or wavefront.

    Agree with the review. Very average, so no more than two stars. You can see everything coming from lightyears away, even the storm. And agree with the comment about sickbay also being protected. There was no need for the doctor to move his critters.

    I used to think this was one of the better season 2 episodes. Unfortunately this, in reality, is yet ANOTHER wasted opportunity. They make first contact with a totally unknown species and what happens?

    Star Trek cliche #537: The aliens are dodgy, they're up to something and they are extremely unsociable. So much for the mission to encounter new life forms in order to exchange knowledge. How many Enterprise episodes have made first contact both routine and boring, with uninteresting species who have nothing distinguishing about themselves and nothinf really to say?

    Star Trek cliche #422: Hostile aliens take over the ship. I mean how many times did Voyager or the Enterprise D come under someone else's control? In the modern world, the Royal Navy and US Navy are surrounded by enemies or potential enemies. The Royal Navy has been around even longer and has fought in more conflicts. How many times has a British or American flagship been captured? And of those that were, if any, how many were captured and re-taken on multiple occasions?

    Enterprise cliche #2: Nothing really interesting or exciting happens. This ties in directly with the above points. This should have been a tense and frightening submarine story about a crew whose lives are in the balance and they don't know if their ship will hold up. Remember, a Vulcan ship was entirely destroyed by one of these storms, maybe it was a century ago but the Vulcans are at least that far ahead of Starfleet, so why would anyone think Enterprise would hold up? Instead everyone sits around playing cards and complaining about the noise. Where is the drama? What makes this episode stand out? It's just so bland, so safe, and that begs the question, do you want to spend an hour sitting through this (as well as inane adverts every few minutes, and that dreadful title song), or would you do something that provides some kind of gratification. This is the episode the Trek creators chose to present to the world, finishing it with the beautiful but inappropriately triumphant end credits music (which should have been the opening credits music).

    Bland, inoffensive; what could have been interesting and new descends into cluche and pointless conflict. Good job, team.

    Archer tells the crewman with the crossword puzzle that the first Vulcan ambassador to Earth was named Solkar. In ST:III, T'Lar calls Sarek "child of Skon, child of Solkar." "Solkar" might be the Vulcan equivalent of "Smith," but I believe we were expected to think that the first Vulcan ambassador to Earth was Sarek's grandfather.

    Not bad, I agree with the above sentiments that this could have been so much more, abandon the "we are boarded" plotline (again? really?) and just have a lower decks episode. Some character development would have been helpful.

    Maybe it's because I'm in the far future, nearly 2020! After a long dearth of No Star Trek (no GOOD Star Trek) If you there in the past,. Lucky Lucky You, could only know,. How bad it would get, Enterprise would seem like the greatest. As for the Catwalk, I thought is was great fun, i haven;'t watched these episodes in 10 years,... The real drama and stress of being out in the ship with strangers running around,.. scary stuff!! Like camping it was fun to see everyone rough it! Regardless, if you can pull me back to 2002, do it, do it now! PS. There are no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq GET OUT NOW! ;)

    LOL Ahh the past, When the Presidency wasn't a joke and a nightmare,.. A Jokemare,.

    The ship has two nacelles, and therefore two catwalks...did the episode ever say why they didn't split the crew among both of them, instead of cramming them all into one?

    If so, I missed it.

    Hello Everyone!

    When Archer is fighting with the invaders, I was nearly shouting at the screen "Shut off your lights!". He eventually does, but initially, he has two big targets on his head. :)

    Take care... RT

    The Enterprise hypocrisy is amazing. Archer doesn't like the aliens because they are "deserters" even though they deserted a corrupt government. If they had stayed he would criticize them for sacrificing their individuality instead of doing what's right. He is beyond self-righteous.

    Right at nine minutes in there is a clear Nike swoosh in the front of the chair. Looks very deliberate. Good to know the crew can jump higher than usual in future space in their new Jordan’s. I agree that the episode would have been better if there was no threat and instead we saw the crew dealing with the storm and having to live in the same room for weeks. With that said though, man was that bounty hunter villain guy a good actor. Would have preferred seeing him be in a little mini arc instead wedged quickly into one episode

    My "Wait what" moment in this episode came early: you have four hours before the storm, you can travel in any direction at Warp 5 ... and you can't get out of the way?

    Teo - about the alien captain reading the log: It seems quite likely to me that Archer hadn't yet recorded a log for the incident. Remember the first 3 aliens only gave them 4 hours warning of the storm. Archer and the crew were pretty busy after that.

    @Focksbot - I think they mentioned that the space storm was travelling at Warp 6. I was just wondering why they couldn't have the Enterprise take a safer orbit - since they mentioned the ship could survive with certain measures and that Sickbay/the Catwalk were safe. The crew could go down to the planet which had been deemed safe. The storm would pass (at Warp 6). Then the crew could just go back to the ship surely.

    But I enjoyed the episode. It made for an interesting scenario. To try to retake the ship where they'd only have a limited time protected by their suits. To destroy the ship. Etc.

    Points for Porthos being "Number One" in the Catwalk command centre.

    This was a good one that kept me guessing. I thought the 3 aliens in the catwalk with the crew would be the baddies, but no, they were on the run from the real villains. Also, again, my tastes are probably different than most, but the girl who had a speaking cameo in this episode was VERY pretty to me. *The one who was doing the crossword puzzle that Archer helped (She wanted to know "The first Vulcan ambassador to earth-ends with an "R")

    Oh, I do like the bonding T'Pol and Archer had. They have different pasttimes, but they respect each other and tried to not annoy each other as each pasttime annoyed the other whilst trying to sleep.

    One of the commenters above had to ask what was the point of T'Pol's "recollection" of the Vulcan ship (T'Plana) that had been destroyed with all hands by a similar storm a century prior. This demonstrates to me that in the rare cases where the writers on this show *do* manage some subtlety, it ends up eluding the audience! Since some people apparently need to have it spelled out: there's no way that T'Pol actually "misremembered" the fate of the T'Plana, any more than you or I would misremember what happened to the Titanic, or the Hindenburg. *Obviously* the reason why she brought it up in the first place was because they *asked* her if the Vulcans had any experience with this type of storm. And then *obviously* the reason why she told a white lie about the fate of the Vulcan ship was so as not to demoralize the Enterprise crew members too much about their chances, or to provoke undue fear amongst them. Her resulting explanation that she must have "misremembered" the fate of the ship was therefore actually a pretty cool line! It revealed surprising thoughtfulness on her part, and not for the first time.

    Ironically, that thoughtfulness came right on the heels of her *not* doing a very good job of reassuring Archer about the plan and his decisions. He told her he was feeling nervous about shutting down the main reactor, and the only response she could come up with was to *reiterate* the reasons why they had to do so. Not even Archer is dumb enough that he needs to have that reiterated. He knows very well that this is the only logical course of action. And while being told that the risky thing you're you're doing is logical may be reassuring to a Vulcan, it's less so for a human. So even just within the span of this single episode, T'Pol's ability to demonstrate empathy and to reassure people is hit and miss. That's because she's still learning about humans, and doesn't necessarily *fully* understand what it means to keep ones emotions very much on the surface, and sometimes to be driven by them. That right there is surprising amount of nuance to her characterization (and is just about the only good thing I have to say about this episode).


    Jolene Blalock was 26 years old when she started to portrait a 60+ Vulcan. I think she did it quite well. T'Pol defintly gets out of her very vulcan life when having to confront herself with strange and primitiv aliens.

    The situation mentioned above is a good example of how both the cahracter and actor managed fine. Also the fratanisation sceene at the end is good.

    Not much to add. Definitely better than the previous episode. Not that zero stars is much of a bar to surpass. Not 3 stars. Better than 2.5. So 2.68 stars. But they missed a huge opportunity to slide just a tiny slice of Simple Minds subtly into the background for a few seconds. Pity.

    I think the only time Star Trek thought in 3 dimensions is the Wrath of Khan!

    Underwhelming. Also not buying into the chef “mystery”, weird how they have constructed this while not giving the viewer zero reason to care!

    I really loved the first half. I felt like, "Man, this is what the show is actually about! Earth's first starship encountering unexpected phenomenon! New aliens! Inventive solutions!" All that jazz. Heck, they even managed to make Travis's character relevant with the little story he told.

    But as others have commented, they threw it all away for the sake of meaningless action. Too bad they lost the chance for character development and some nice slice-of-life storytelling.

    As far as the technobabble is concerned, it's really not that extreme here. "Radiolytic" is a real term which applies to, among other things, how radiation damages cells; something anyone could learn about with a quick internet search. Most of the other technobabble actually makes enough sense if you have a little bit of background in both science and working with your hands. For example, it's mentioned that the nacelle walls are made of an osmium alloy; osmium is the densest element and would presumably one of the best possible materials to block radiation with.

    It's not to say I love the technobabble in this show, but it's far more constrained than Voyager. Really, watch the first couple of episodes (not counting the pilots) from each Trek show and you'll get a feel for how much technobabble is going to be a crutch real quick. Voyager has levels of technobabble that are straight up offensive. Berman and Braga must have heard the complaints because the babble very, very much reeled in here.

    I'd give the first half an A+, the second a C-.

    I agree with most people here, the storm traveling at Warp speed was utterly ridiculous. But it's not just the idea of a phenomenon traveling faster than light that bothers me, it's the idea that they described it as "at warp", warp drive is an artificial engineering system made by humans. You're going to tell me a spatial storm somehow forms a warp bubble, and accelerates and moves in a specific direction. Like what is it alive or something? How does a cluster of ions and [insert technobabble here]particles just naturally create a stable warp field, get up to warp 6, while heading and maintaining a specific direction like it's an automated spacecraft or something? How does ot so casually cruise at warp with no nacelles, plasma manifolds, anti-matter regulators, dilithium crystals, magnetic constrictors, and every other piece of technobabble they need to keep a warp drive from falling apart. So the universe just makes natural warp drives? Do they not see how ridiculous that is?
    And what is it light years long that they can't go around it? This thing will send radiation flying through the hull and frying everyone in 3 minutes, but stops at a nacelle catwalk? Just as dumb as that "One" episode in Voyager where the radiation went through the shields, hull, bulkheads and was frying everyone, but supposedly stopped at the 2 inch thick stasis chambers, which were the "solution" to the dilemma.

    Why don't they just ride these things instead of wasting power on warp drives? Oh they tried that in "New Ground" in TNG, but the whole premise of natural MATTER in the universe just cruising at warp SIX through the galaxy is just beyond absurd and absolutely ridiculous. Episode was also painfully slow and a little boring.

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