Star Trek: Enterprise


2.5 stars

Air date: 1/8/2003
Written by John Shiban
Directed by Roxann Dawson

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Watch out, Travis. These modifications are working so well, pretty soon we won't need pilots anymore."

— Trip, demonstrating how Mayweather's status as resident cipher has already reached the point of a writer's inside joke

In brief: Not bad, but "Darmok" it certainly ain't.

In my review of "The Catwalk," I mentioned that the biggest threat facing this series was its inability to transcend average. "Dawn" plays like the case-in-point confirmation of that theory. Here is an agreeable but derivative outing that is reminiscent of TNG's "Darmok" ... except without the truly interesting linguistic puzzles and the push for higher-minded understanding that made that show a classic. "Dawn" is the simplified, mainstreamed version of "Darmok" — the junior-high edition rather than the collegiate one.

How far we have fallen. Or should I say, how far it has fallen: that of the producers' respect for the intelligence of the average Star Trek audience member. Are they wrong to underestimate us? Possibly not. Just look at the ratings for Joe Millionaire.

To be fair, "Dawn" is an okay show with some aspects to recommend. If the creators' respect for their audience's intelligence has eroded over the years, they at least still believe the audience is open to the idea of looking for peaceful solutions to problems, even when the aliens seem awfully quick on the trigger.

In "Dawn," Trip's shuttlepod is shot down without warning while orbiting one of many moons of a gas giant. He crashes on the moon's surface, and realizes that the enemy ship that shot him down — from an enigmatic and not particularly friendly race called the Arkonians, with whom the Vulcans have not had great luck — also crash-landed on the moon, also with a lone pilot on board. So it's just Commander Tucker and the apparently hostile Arkonian and their weapons and ingenuity, in a premise that at first looks like it's going to be TOS's "Arena" before the two enemies meet face-to-face and the show begins to more closely resemble a low-rent "Darmok."

Since both Trip and the Arkonian are conveniently (and inexplicably) without a Universal Translator, they can't understand each other's languages, which makes the show an hour about difficult and often failed communication. The Arkonian's name is Zho'Kaan (Gregg Henry), and for the first half of the show there's little trust to be found, as first Zho'Kaan holds a weapon on Trip and forces him to make repairs to his shuttle, and then Trip gets the upper hand and in turn holds the weapon on Zho'Kaan.

Meanwhile, the two try — sometimes futilely — to get their points across to each other. The story's approach is to show two people faced with a situation where neither trusts the other while communication must be achieved with tone of voice and gestures. While the idea is appealing on bare-boned Trekkian terms, I must again go back to "Darmok," which conveyed a communication barrier with so much more originality.

It doesn't particularly help that Trip goes to such pains to talk loudly and slowly, as if that will make his words more understandable. The episode might've been better off had it focused on the way people communicate with universal gestures. But "Dawn" isn't really serious about analyzing language or communication the way "Darmok" tried to; it's simply the framing device to set the story and action, which is more interested in explicit friction (before, thankfully, turning a 180 and being about working together and having compassion).

To prove my point: At the center of "Dawn" is a prolonged fight scene between Trip and Zho'Kaan where the two hammer away at each other until neither has the strength to stand. Part of me, I guess, can understand the feelings being expressed here — two frustrated guys who have reached the limits of their patience for each another and need some sort of explosive release. But, come on — is this really necessary? Is Zho'Kaan sufficiently motivated to attack Trip during what is Trip's biggest gesture of trust? It's as if the scene is saying: Yeah, these two guys are going to work together toward that cooperative Star Trek ideal, but not before they beat the living crap out of each other for the audience's visceral delight! (At the very least, I'm glad to say the violence here looks like it actually hurts and takes a physical toll on the characters, whereas on some other shows it would be depicted as an unbelievable cartoon sequence.)

Eventually, these two characters are no longer at the mercy of each other but instead the extreme heat as the sun rises and the temperatures head toward deadly levels. This week's Ticking Clock™ is that the Enterprise and an Arkonian vessel must track down our marooned duo (searching dozens of moons) before they perish in the hot sun. You'd think two people about to die from heat exposure would search for shade, but apparently a cave or a ledge casting a shadow wasn't in the episode's budget. (I also wonder, if it's true as Trip suspects and Zho'Kaan cannot sweat, what would cause him to become dehydrated. Perhaps a biology expert — Arkonian or otherwise — could educate me.)

The drawback to this material isn't that it's unworkable or misguided, but that it simply pales in comparison to a concept like the 11-year-old "Darmok," which made a considerable effort to break down words and syllables and metaphors. The problems and solutions in "Dawn" are not without merit, but they do not engage the mind or imagination in a way that gives one much optimism that Star Trek has not already exhausted everything it can see and do.

It's probably worth noting that "Dawn" is a good fit for Commander Tucker insofar that "Darmok" was a good fit for Captain Picard; the heroes perhaps get the stories they are worthy of. Picard was diplomatic, patient, and cerebral. Tucker is ordinary and pragmatic — the perpetual everyman with good intentions. And "Dawn" is in turn the everyman's "Darmok" — simple, decently presented, but without challenge or vision.

Trip helps save Zho'Kaan's life while barely reaching the understanding of words like "food" and "bad." At one point, Trip notes how Hoshi would be proud of him for learning some new alien words. Some of us in the audience will simply think back on more subtle times, remembering how once upon a more cerebral storytelling era, Picard reached that point where he understood the significance that was "Darmok and Jilad at Tanagra."

Trip could take some lessons from Picard. For that matter, so, probably, could Hoshi. And this series.

Previous episode: The Catwalk
Next episode: Stigma

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59 comments on this post

Mon, Oct 22, 2007, 12:06pm (UTC -6)
Agreed, Darmok definitely takes the cake for one of the all-time best realistic alien first-contact episodes. IMO, I thought it was a brilliant and entirely more realistic take on the kind of problems that communication with aliens from the far corners of the galaxy would actually be like, far superior to any other episode of that kind.

One cannot always expect the universal translator to work as perfectly as it does in most episodes, and it is very realistic to explore and examine situations where it does not.
Brian O'Connell
Sun, Jan 20, 2008, 6:45am (UTC -6)
While it's understandable that a trek fan would compare this to Darmok the first thing that struck me was that this was a straight copy of Enemy Mine ( and the writers may have been deciding to rip stories from lesser known sci-fi movies. Surely I thought most sci-fi fans would spot this though. Perhaps they were right thought because neither Jammer or the commenter above spotted this similarity :)
Sun, Jan 27, 2008, 6:25pm (UTC -6)
yeah, after watching this episode, it screamed "Enemy Mine" ripoff to me.
Sun, Nov 16, 2008, 3:01pm (UTC -6)
"Darmok" has nothing to do with this. It's a most blatant "Enemy Mine" ripoff alright.
Sun, Mar 7, 2010, 9:09am (UTC -6)
This episode is not bad, but as noted by a couple of commentators here, that this is a oh-so-blatant rip-off of Enemy Mine. I got this about 5-10 minutes in to the episode, then the Trip and Zho'Kaan are shooting/beating the crap out of each other.

My first time watching this, on its UK broadcast première, I thought, "If the alien turns out to be pregnant, i'm turning over" because of all the Enemy Mine references.
Marco P.
Thu, Jan 20, 2011, 9:43pm (UTC -6)
A ripoff from another movie? You mean this episode has been done before in some other format... only *better*?

I... I... cannot believe my eyes.
Enough said )

And "Darmok"? Sigh... how I miss TNG.
Dan L
Mon, May 9, 2011, 8:15pm (UTC -6)
What struck me about this episode was how.... grungy and poorly lit it was. Perhaps the visual ugliness was meant to obscure how thin the plot was...

Vrey little happens in this episode. It is formulaic and pedestrian..... and for some reason, it moves SOOOO slowly. That would not have been such a problem had there been a compelling storyline to be found, but since there was none to be found, the episode just plods...

I also never believed that Trip and the alient were REALLY able to communicate with each other. One or the other managed to pick up on a few "choice" words spoken by the other, but it was astoninshing that Trip kept speaking in English over and over and somehow hoped the more vociferous he became the more likely the alien was to hear it.

In Darmok, we believed that the characters gradually came to understand each other. The "understanding" in this episode is a pre-ordained plot contrivance.

That, plus the fact that most ofmthe episode was a thudding bore, makes this a 1 and 1/2 star entry in my book
Sat, Sep 17, 2011, 12:29pm (UTC -6)
It was also frustrating to me that they did not attempt to communicate using hand gestures. I mean, speaking loudly and slowly over and over just seems so stupid. Come on now. As for the dumbing down of Star Trek, most of the people who watch it are nerds, so I don't think that the fact that the fact other "mindless" tv shows are so popular justifies it. I think to reach to the Star Trek audience, the producers do need to make the cerebral geeks happy.
Sun, Sep 25, 2011, 6:32am (UTC -6)
Indeed, compared to Darmok this is not exactly great.

On its own though it's not bad, and it's nice to see what was originally looking like a Voyager style "hard headed alien" turn into a friend through gestures of trust. Could be far worse and well, in some of the episodes before it, it has been.

Also I liked the continued struggling with transporters and universal translators. It was looking towards the end of S1 like the UT had been forgotten about, and I appreciate the continued difficulties that reinforce this as not just another high tech Trek series.
Mon, Feb 27, 2012, 10:24pm (UTC -6)
Decent for an Enterprise episode (though that's not saying much) but still loaded with moments making me question the intelligence of the characters.

Yes, this episode "pays homage" to TNG's Darmok, and I feel it's got a bit of TNG's "The Enemy" in there too. I've not seen the film "Enemy Mine" yet but I know that much of the plot is similar.

This episode moves along well enough and avoids some of the cliches so often seen in Voyager and Enterprise. It's acted well enough and the makeup on the Arkonian looks good. Thankfully the Arkonians weren't just surly forehead aliens that refused to cooperate with the Enterprise even though they committed the ultimate sin of having a Vulcan onboard! I expected the Enterprise to find Tucker and his new friend only just at the very last moment, perhaps as the surface of the planet catches fire or something, thankfully they were able to make contact with plenty of time to spare.

Unfortunately where this episode of Enterprise avoided some common flaws it's still a stupid show. The transporter can beam up Tucker but he doesn't want to leave behind the Arkonian, how noble. Okay, so, why didn't the Enterprise beam down something like um...water? Maybe medical supplies to help the Arkonian? Maybe they could have gotten a supply of the Arkonian's liquid to him? Or how about transporting a shelter? I imagine by the 22nd century we'll have some high tech camping tents with built-in airconditioners!

At the bare minimum, why was Tucker dumb enough to sit out in the sun when the mountains were casting shadows which could have provided at least some protection from the light and heat? I was also annoyed that when there was a lack of understanding between him and the Arkonian, Tucker simply spoke slower and louder than before. I agree with previous posters that it would have been nice to have the show try and explore alternate methods of communication.

So, in closing, this isn't the worst of Enterprise by any stretch but it's definitely lacking compared to other sci-fi. It does make me long for the glory days of TNG.
Sun, Jun 10, 2012, 4:13pm (UTC -6)
I seriously don't get why they didn't just beam down some water if the transporter would work?
Captain Jim
Sun, Aug 12, 2012, 9:53pm (UTC -6)
While I can certainly see the parallels to Darmok, quite honestly, that episode didn't come to my mind as I was watching this. What it *did* remind me of was the DS9 episode, "The Ascent."

In both episodes, the characters had to carry the communication equipment to the top of a mountain, because something was blocking transmission on the surface level. In this episode, the temperature was ungodly hot; in the other it was ungodly cold. Quark and Odo didn't come to blows, but they at least claimed to loathe each other. And before the episode was done, they had to work together to meet their common goal. Yep, sounds pretty similar to me.

I guess the one thing everyone can agree to is that the episode was derivative. It certainly wasn't a bad episode, but it was nothing to get really excited about either.
Sat, Oct 13, 2012, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
Hello, I'm a developed species. I travel the stars. I can generate levels of energy that baffles the minds of stupid people from the past. I have replicators, anti-gravity and gravity simulators. I have transporters circumventing the laws of physics. I can build space ships in orbit.

I need an extended bar brawl if I bump into an alien.

That's what civilization is all about.
Wed, Jan 9, 2013, 7:15pm (UTC -6)
STUPIDITY ALERT: Why not beam down a shelter, medical supplies, water for Tucker, and the Arkonian's liquid? Kind of stupid to just leave those guys cooking in the Sun.

Also, must have been nice working on ST Enterprise. You get to lift a story from an 18-year-old movie and get paid for it. And did you see all those producer credits in the opening titles? Sweet kickbacks working on this show!

Even through the flaws in this ep I still find it enjoyable enough. I like the character of Trip and Connor Trinneer is a decent actor. Better than most things on TV.
Sun, Feb 10, 2013, 9:47pm (UTC -6)
I'm sorry, but this has nothing to do with Darmok. As many said, its story is for all intents and purposes "Enemy Mine".

Comparing it to Darmok is impossible:
- Picard is smart, educated and trained in the art of diplomacy. Trip is good in his field, but has never been depicted as the brightest of the team.
- Darmok never had hostile intentions towards Picard, Zo'Kann did - hence the fight.
- The UT worked in the case of Picard, what he had to understand was the metaphor behind the sentences (which is much more interesting for the viewer than trying to grasp words and grammar). Trip is faced with a totally alien language; in his situation, I don't believe Picard would have understood more words than Trip: you can't pick up vocabulary just snapping your fingers.

Darmok was brilliant and Dawn was average, I'll grant you that (but not one character has come close to the brilliance of Picard in all Trek), but you can't compare the two episodes, they are too dissimilar in theme. However, I can say that Enemy Mine was by far superior to this (but it was a very long movie).

I also would have liked Trip trying more to communicate with gestures. But then again, it's very much in character with who trip is. And I dare anyone here to think they could have grasped more than 10 words in less than a day with a hostile alien. For example, take a foreigner, he asks you to speak slowly, nine times out of ten, you will speak slowly and loudly, it's an unconscious reflex. In this episode, the louder comes mostly out of frustration.

Having said all that, I agree with the rating, but maybe not for the same reasons.
Mon, Feb 18, 2013, 8:27am (UTC -6)
This episode was exactly as predictable as Precious Cargo: not a single plot point came as a surprise. As such I give it the same two stars.
Lt. Yarko
Tue, May 14, 2013, 4:06am (UTC -6)
I have never seen Enemy Mine, but I thought of the movie anyway as the episode played on. I thought the episode was so-so because I felt like Trip didn't respond to the situation as a mature person would. Why do the writers make the characters so stupid? When Trip finally communicates to the alien that he wants a drink, the alien gives him a canteen. As Trip raised it to his face, I was calling out to the TV, "Smell it first! Don't just drink it!!!" What does he do? He takes a big swig, reacts with violent disgust, and THROWS THE CANTEEN ON THE GROUND!!?!? Completely inane! How can writers write so outside of simple sensibility?

If the alien had died, Trip would be partly to blame for being such a goofball and spilling so much of the guy's sustenance.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013, 1:09pm (UTC -6)
While the weaknesses pointed out by Jammer and other commenters are valid, it is a step up for Enterprise.

Not everyone can be Picard and not every alien can be Darmok.

I think the admiration from T'Pol at the end was a good moment, and the chat between Trip and the alien.

Let's remember that we're not super-enlightened humans yet and some aliens are aggressive.
Rob Reed
Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 7:28am (UTC -6)
Since "Enemy Mine" was a rip-off of the WWII movie "Hell in the Pacific" where a G.I. and a Japanese soldier have to work together to survive, that makes this a twice reheated plot, and the show isn't better for the overcooking.
Tue, Mar 31, 2015, 12:37am (UTC -6)
At the end, the arkonian mentions he was glad he didn't destroy the vessel. My immediate thought was "makes one of us".
W Smith
Sat, Apr 25, 2015, 1:25pm (UTC -6)
Another really pedestrian outing that had me looking at my watch quite a few times. It was utterly predictable not only plot-wise, but even the plot holes were predictable. Obviously Enterprise could have beamed down water, medical supplies, etc. but that would have "ruined" the storytelling by ending the episode without preordained drama.

I remember watching these mid-season 2 episodes in the first-run, and it's when I started skipping weeks if the previews looked trite and predictable. I gave up after another round of alien nazis, the Xindi, were introduced but I'll stick through the entire series this time to the end of season four for completeness since it doesn't look like we'll be getting another Trek television show again.
Mallory R.
Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 6:43pm (UTC -6)
Another zero character growth episode. No stars, come on.
John G
Sat, Jul 25, 2015, 12:15pm (UTC -6)
A solid episode, but something of a cliche. Enemies stranded together work out their differences and work together. (TM)

As for the comparison to "Darmok" this was far superior to that dreck as are 98% of all Trek episodes.

The whole premise of Darmok, a people who communicate only in metaphors, is mind numbingly stupid and an insult to the intelligence of viewers.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to communicate strictly in metaphors as without plain language to create and explain the metaphors, nobody would have the slightest clue what the metaphors mean.
Mon, Nov 9, 2015, 10:44pm (UTC -6)
The entire Enterprise crew is brain-dead. After establishing communication, why not transport down water, the Arkonian's liquid, and a shelter for Trip and his new alien buddy?
Paul Allen
Sat, Nov 14, 2015, 4:04am (UTC -6)
Better than Darmok (hated that stupid episode), don't care which film it rips off (are there really any truly original ideas anymore?), but yeah, they should definitely have transported down shelter, med supplies, water, an air conditioning fan....)
i am right
Tue, Mar 22, 2016, 4:40pm (UTC -6)
the shuttlepods were shelter. They could have satt in the sealed shuttlepods.
Diamond Dave
Sat, Apr 16, 2016, 6:04am (UTC -6)
I like the idea of an "everyman's Darmok". But given that I hated Darmok, perhaps it's unsurprising that this did nothing for me either. Painfully slow, pedestrian direction, ticking off every cliche in the Sesame St Big Book of Let's Cooperate, I just thought this was dull in the extreme.

Probably the one saving grace was the impressive character design on the aliens. Nice job there. 2 stars.
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 3:57pm (UTC -6)
I'm a little surprised Jammer hasn't changed his review. TNG's 'Darmok', as many have pointed out, doesn't apply here at all. 'Enemy Mine' is the clear winner, right down to the look of the Alien.

But while 'Darmok' is one everyone's tongue, it is only good because of the outstanding performances of Patrick Stewart and Paul Winfield. I still can't believe a species that can only communicate by metaphor can be a space faring race.

Back to this dribble. It's just not good at all. As folks have said, Enterprise could have beamed down water, food, shelter. They could have beamed up the alien's canister and Phlox might have been able to concoct a suitable substitute.... I could go on.

No hand gestures at all?

Every time I watch season 2 I'm just flat out frustrated with this stretch of episodes. I consider the 1st 4 episodes in this season fantastic, then it appears Braga & Berman started smoking pot on a daily basis.

I gave 1 star to 'Precious Cargo' so I guess I need to award the same here.
Sat, Oct 15, 2016, 2:37am (UTC -6)
Meh. As you pointed out: Dawn feels like a so-so version of "Darmok" or even "The Enemy", both of which were way more watchable than this.

Enterprise is feeling really uninspired this season. I wasn't even crazy about Season 1 and I am feeling like that season was more solid than this latest stretch of episodes.
Tue, Apr 11, 2017, 4:38pm (UTC -6)
So very paint by numbers I felt I'd seen it a half dozen times since Enemy Mine. even though I can't cite many actual incidences. If you're going to crash two antagonists on a planet and wait for them to be rescued, try to have something interesting or original happen. Sisko and Dukat in 'Waltz' for instance.

I suppose those with a Trip crush enjoyed all the topless sweating. Well it goes a little way to make up for hours of Seven and T'Pol in catsuits I guess.
Mon, May 8, 2017, 4:36pm (UTC -6)
Familiar story as others have mentioned but I thought it was a decent hour of ENT. The Arkonian has hostile intentions to begin with so that makes it hard for much of a rapport to be established - I thought the treachery was something that gave a little bit of the unexpected as the episode wore on. Then when they start to wear down, they start to cooperate. That much is ok.
I did like the bit about Trip looking out for the Arkonian toward the end as well as doing a bit of reflecting on his own time with the Enterprise.
And also, finally Archer comes out looking good after getting better relations with the Arkonians than the Vulcans did. Probably one of the better ENT episodes of Season 2 so far, which is not saying much for the series overall.
I also rate this 2.5 stars out of 4.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 1:21pm (UTC -6)
When I was told "this is like Enemy of Mine" I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy it.
But I did!
An enemy takes Trip's ship down and makes him a prisoner, which slows down the urgent repairs needed to get help.
And brilliantly, this time we don't have the typical Star Trek's lazy-writer's deus-ex-machinas: "well-intentioned understanding alien, magical universal translator, teleporting devices".

Trip is in a more realistic sci-fi situation, from my non-Trekkie point of view: words and even hand gestures don't work, the alien mind doesn't magically share the human instinct of cooperation, and he needs to work hard.
He learns words (shabala=ship), he learns gestures (i.e. "yes" is not a vertical nod,neither horizontal, but a diagonal mix), he teaches swearwords, and he earns respect the only way these aliens understand: with a good fight. When they finally cooperate, they do the job, send the distress call, manage to talk and joke and they really care for each other in the end.

Ships would be a good shelter if they knew about the noon temperature, but they don't, and when they realize it's too late to walk all the way down: Zho-Kaan is already staggered. Lizards can't sweat, but this means their temperature will rise like a lethal fever sooner than Trip's. Teleporting water is not done on-screen, but probably because Trip can wait a few minutes yet, while Zho-Kaan can't.

The touching moment? When Trip reviews his life to Hoshi or to himself: he's lived wonderful things, even if this is the end, the journey has been worth it.

After watching the last episode 98, I remember this a lot. When Archer prepares to sign the first Federation regulations and sadly confesses: "now he's dead and I am suppossed to say it was worth it"...

Yes. Tripp would have agreed. A life of wonders, even at the cost of being shorter, is worth it.
3 stars for me. And not 4 because Enemy of mine already exists.
Coffee Cup
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 6:05pm (UTC -6)
The thing that bugs me the most is that Enterprise feels underpopulated. We had much more recurring cast with names other than crewman in the other series.
Vladimir Estragon
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 3:13pm (UTC -6)
I was watching the TOS episode "The Enemy Within" the other day, in which Sulu is left freezing to death on a planet because the transporter is broken, and it reminded me that, even as a little kid in the 60s, I was thinking that they could have beamed down some extra blankets and hot coffee to him, or a heater, or some of those cool shower curtain space suits from The Naked Time.
Mon, Dec 4, 2017, 12:22am (UTC -6)
1 Star

Dull. A poor man’s TNG “The Enemy”
Sat, Mar 24, 2018, 9:23pm (UTC -6)
Derivative but the theme is always interesting.
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 3:58pm (UTC -6)
Why does everyone think Darmok was so good? It has some HUGE plot holes, like the fact that the aliens had words like "ocean" and "fell", nouns and verbs, which was exactly what they were supposed to NOT have. And the universal translator couldn't figure out that their proper nouns were metaphors? It figures out WAY more complex stuff than that translating languages. It's dumb.
Sat, Jun 2, 2018, 7:18pm (UTC -6)
What Jez said. Language simply doesn't work like that. And the "monster" that attacks them on the planet is a total deus ex machina gimmick that's never remotely credible or explained.
Tue, Jul 10, 2018, 11:49am (UTC -6)
Jammer I'm not sure if you'll ever read my comment but from reading your review I see an unanswered question and as a Biologist I can help!

The act of sweating is one that reduces your body temperature, through the fact that hot energetic molecules composed of mostly water evaporate off of your skin. Trip misspoke slightly with his statement. It's true by not sweating your body would retain more water, hence you would become dehydrated slower. However by not sweating you also retain more heat within your body. As your internal body temperature rises biological catalysts called enzymes begin to work more slowly and eventually stop altogether without these enzymes our body simply can't function and we would die as all process would happen to slowly. So yes Trip is correct he is struggling more becuase he can't sweat but not because he is dehydrating faster but becuase his internal body temperature is rising quicker than Trip's as he can't release any heat through sweating.

I hope that makes sense!! If not I can explain further
Wed, Nov 7, 2018, 8:41pm (UTC -6)

"Darmok never had hostile intentions towards Picard"

That's an excellent point; however, Darmok was the guy in the legend that Paul Winfield's character was trying to tell Picard. Winfield's character was Dathon.
Sat, Aug 3, 2019, 10:39am (UTC -6)
Jeez, the number of people looking for any excuse to trash Enterprise episodes is staggering. Like, if you hate it that much, just don't watch.

The episode established very explicitly after sunrise the temperature was going to get to ~170 celsius. The Enterprise couldn't have beamed down water. It could've beamed down steam, but i ain't sure Trip would've liked it.
Wed, Oct 9, 2019, 8:29am (UTC -6)
Brian, they're only saying whilst they were waiting. Beam down some ice and frozen whatever the alien drank and they can drink that. It was like half an hour or an hour they were waiting for the shuttle. If the water was going to boil in that time that would have been the least of their problems! They definitely could have had some kind of shade too.

I didn't think of that whilst I was watching but I did think they could have tried to find some shade. The peak they were on didn't look very big and they only had to get behind it. Maybe it was meant to be bigger than it looked.

This episode is maybe a bit stupid but I liked it anyway. I like Trip a lot. He's probably the nicest of the Enterprise crew (Travis and Hoshi are equally pleasant but not so thoughtful or patient - T'Pol is thoughtful and patient but not at all warm, and so on), and there are times like in this episode that you see it's a real conscious effort he's making. I don't know how much this is explored later in Enterprise, but he seems to me to be a really sarcastic and perhaps even bitter person who is trying and generally succeeding to be pleasant and friendly. Characters are often either rude/cold/whatever but loveable or some kind of saint who never gets annoyed at anything or anyone, so it's interesting to see something a little more nuanced.
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 11:41pm (UTC -6)
Hello Gentle Sentients

When it was all said and done, with the new frenemy picking them up from the planet, why did their shuttle go to the Enterprise? Just as the human shuttle would have gone home, so would theirs. It would be Tripp in their sickbay, or beamed back from their ship. It made no sense to me having their shuttle take both of them to the Enterprise and leaving their pilot to be treated by Flox, who it seems can make an educated guess on how to treat him, but their medics would know exactly what to do. Their shuttle would've taken him home.

Just my thoughts... RT
Fri, May 22, 2020, 1:27am (UTC -6)
I think it is the third time that I am rewatching this episode in the hope that I would enjoy it. Sorry, never really liked enemy mine or Darmok either. It is mostly a long transport between an acceptable start and fair ending. Boring.
Sun, May 24, 2020, 5:48pm (UTC -6)
I'm sorry Ruth, did you call Trip the nicest and most polite and thoughtful person on the crew? The guy who hates Vulcans and is loud and belligerent and disrespects authority!? What? You need to watch this show again. Closely.
Sat, Jul 4, 2020, 4:30pm (UTC -6)
Why are there so many people here pretending Darmok was bad? Are they Russian spambots?
Sun, Aug 30, 2020, 8:57pm (UTC -6)
Why would a ship's engineer fly solo? At least at ensign or other specialist should have joined him. Mindful there is no story with another crew member (save for a red shirt who could have died on impact), but it seems like bad protocol for a starship. A Navy captain wouldn't send out its chief engineer in a raft, would they?
Fri, Oct 2, 2020, 4:09am (UTC -6)
Like others, I enjoyed the speech Trip gives on his life in space and his mostly wonderful sights and experiences. I hadn't caught it the first time I saw the episode. Reminds me of the speech Roy Batty gives near the end of Blade Runner, about attack ships on fire off Orion and C-beams glittering near the Tannhauser Gate. It can make a person reflect on how well they've lived their life so far; to boldly go, even here on Earth. About them being in the hot sun on the mountain, I'm guessing that was a convenient plot point, partly because it was an optimal location from which to contact Enterprise, given that the content of the nearby volcanic rocks interfered with the transmission, as opposed to staying someplace more sheltered. And being in the hot sun makes for more drama and better camera lighting! Plus like Rahul said, a nice moment when T'Pol tells Archer he improved relations with the Arkonians more quickly than the Vulcans could.
Sean J Hagins
Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 8:17pm (UTC -6)
This is one of my favourite episodes! Trip gets a chance to shine-he shows that he's more than the stubborn hothead he sometimes acts like. I also like how alien the alien was (I think of him as being related to the Gorn)

I also like how this shows how well-rounded the Federation is. Humans have their moments-they aren't as tech savvy as the Vulcans, nor as logically centred, but they still were able to establish relations better with not just these guys, but Andorians and others
Frake's Nightmare
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 7:38am (UTC -6)
Star Trek: Enterprise - making it so-so!
Where's Captain Kirk! as Spizz Energi would say.
Wed, May 19, 2021, 12:48pm (UTC -6)
This episode depicts why the humans succeed in building the Federation whereas the Vulcans haven't been able to. Humans, flawed as they are, have the ability to make friends, or at least working friends. I think this is true of real humans too.

Hasn't it been a mystery throughout Star Trek why the humans are so politically successful, when the Vulcans are a much more advanced species both technologically and evolutionarily? The whole series Enterprise seems to be attempting to explain that, one step at a time. How the Federation came to be. How the Star Trek ethos came to be. But in our need to grumble we miss the forest for the trees.
Wed, Dec 1, 2021, 8:52pm (UTC -6)
Very smart: It’s 130° and they’re sitting/lying in the sunlight. How about finding some shade? Or does that transceiver thing work only when there’s sunlight shining on it?
Fri, Dec 3, 2021, 8:06pm (UTC -6)
Sun, Mar 20, 2022, 2:49am (UTC -6)
Pretty sure they were talking degrees Fahrenheit - the audience is presumed to be Americans, essentially the only country incapable of applying rationality to units of measurement. Not exactly the most important point.
Mostly predictable, but lots of little grace notes that I appreciated. Not a lot of ground was gained, but none lost.
Missed opportunity: Dawn without Tony Orlando is like ice cream without sprinkles. Get with the program, Enterprise - drop in 5 second musical quotes for the sheer anarchic fun of it.
Sat, Jul 23, 2022, 12:14pm (UTC -6)
The Arkonian makeup is awesome. The makeup artists on Enterprise were really very good.

Not a great episode unfortunately. The obvious problem is that it borrows so heavily from Enemy Mine that it borders on plagiarism. But even if I hadn't seen that movie it still has a lot of little problems that should have been corrected by the writer or director. Like the scene near the end where Enterprise is about to beam Trip up but he refuses to leave the Arkonian. I try not to nitpick things like this, but if they can beam Trip up couldn't they just as easily beam down some water, or some of those tin foil looking heat reflective blanket things things that you see runners use? Or the scene near the beginning where Trip first raids the Arkonian's camp - what is taking him so long? There's nothing shown on camera to explain why he's dawdling until the alien returns. It's a minor thing, but it's a scene that demands to be shot in a way that is suspenseful.

RandomThoughts asked: "... with the new frenemy picking them up from the planet, why did their shuttle go to the Enterprise?"

Good point. I understand that they wanted a final scene between Trip and the alien, but it isn't very logical. It would have been interesting if the alien and Trip had switched roles near the end. Have the alien be the one to contact his people and be the one to rescue a dehydrated Trip. Have the final scene take place on the alien vessel without any universal translator.

I've said before that North Star would have worked better as an episode of season two or three. Dawn would have fit nicely as a season three Xindi episode. Have a Xindi Reptile replace the Arkonian and that would give the writers a chance to flesh out a fairly two dimensional species.

Or, to avoid ripping off Enemy Mine, you could make it an action packed Reed episode. Have Reed crash on the planet and play a deadly game of cat and mouse with members of one or more Xendi species.
Mon, Jan 9, 2023, 11:21pm (UTC -6)
"RandomThoughts asked: "... with the new frenemy picking them up from the planet, why did their shuttle go to the Enterprise?""

I figure enterprise offers the services of Phlox who might be a more qualified doctor than their own
Sat, Mar 4, 2023, 6:09pm (UTC -6)
What a Dar-mockery of an episode!

Enterprise needs some more original ideas. Did they cheap out on the writers?
Michael Miller
Mon, Jul 31, 2023, 6:03pm (UTC -6)
Again with this Universal Translator nonsense! The device should just be reading out the words on the pad, not actually altering what's coming out of the alien's mouth! How is it making both people HEAR the other language in real time? How is there 0 interference from what's actually being spoken physically? Further, how are both people hearing DIFFERENT PHYSICAL SOUNDS, at the same time, in real time, with no audio interference or delay? The UT has got to be the most absolute nonsensical thing in any star trek series. It's not the universal translating of an alien language after 10 sentences that bothers me, it's the physicality of it, how does it make people hear something that's not actually being said when the words are still coming from the person and not the device?
Gary Twinem
Sat, Sep 16, 2023, 4:18pm (UTC -6)
I wonder did Trip see attack ships on fire off the Shoulder of Orion as well 🙂

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