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Voyager "Endgame" Review
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Enterprise review: "First Flight".
(Episode 50)

Reviewed by Richard Whettestone.
Enterprise

THE PREMISE: To celebrate their fiftieth episode, Enterprise does an episode where we don't actually see most of the cast. Also, there's some stock footage in it we just saw the previous week. And keep an eye out for the flashbacks, they were hidden so well.

"First Flight"
Written by John Shiban & Chris Black


Tucker Fifty episodes? We must be doing something right because the Ratings warranted our cancelation after the first 17!

This is how we celebrate the fiftieth episode of Enterprise: the fiftieth hour of pure crap. Barney Fife

In an interview for "Sci-Fi Universe" magazine, Jeri Taylor once said that the viewers of "Voyager" actually WANTED the show to go nowhere. They WANTED the characters to never change or evolve. She used "The Andy Griffith" show as an example of this, trying to claim that if Deputy Barney ever got his sh*t together and stopped messing up, the viewers would have been upset. And it's pretty obvious that even if the reasons are different, the attitude is the same. It's called the "Reset Button".

Reset Button

This is a modern-day science-fiction hour-long drama, not a 1954 half-hour small-town sitcom. Alien Nation, Crusade, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly and Captain Power all experienced more key events and life-changing stories in under 25 episodes than Enterprise did in 50. With record-low ratings, when the hell are they going to learn that their insistance that the viewers actually WANT the show to go NOWHERE is WRONG?


Reed Oh my god, Captain. Starfleet doesn't really exist! It was all a ploy by the Vulcans! Look, Admiral Forrest is just a cardboard cut-out!

Yeap. We're all trapped in a Twilight Zone episode. Starfleet is all faked with bluescreen and stock footage. How do I come to this conclusion? Because the shot of Starfleet Command in Archer's flashback is the EXACT same stock footage shot we saw of Starfleet Command just one week earlier.

Yeah, stock footage is common, and sometimes a neccessity. But we don't see Starfleet too often. And according to the ratings, viewers don't watch two episodes in a row too often. So when Episode 49 and Episode 50 contain the same shot of Starfleet Command, it kinda stands out to some of us. To try to hide it, in this episode the shot was zooming out, while before it was stationary. But look to the left. Those are the same four people who meet up and start up a conversation. It's that same woman wearing red pants.

And what's really whacky is this shot of Starfleet was set in the past, so these four people must have been meeting up like this and wearing the same clothes for a decade.


Admiral Forrest I'm not a cardboard cut-out. But I play one on TV.

I'm going to tell you about three great shows.

The first show is called "UFO". It was produced in 1970-1971 and took place in the fictional futuristic year of 1980. The lead character was named Ed Straker. He commanded the anti-UFO defense system on Earth called SHADO. On occasion he had to take orders from General Henderson above him. They didn't like eachother. In fact, they hated eachother. UFO series

But what was unique about this is the opening of the first episode, called "Identified", took place in the past just prior to the setting up of SHADO. Later, another episode was produced, called "Confetti Check A-O.K". It was basically a giant flashback and revealed much of how SHADO was greenlighted, formed and built. The point is, while Straker and General Henderson didn't like eachother and didn't get along well, in the scenes set in the past they DID like eachother. They worked well together and Henderson actually gave Straker the job to head up SHADO. It was a unique spin on the characters, and showed their evolution, their relationship, history and true and honest character development.


E.N.G

The second show is called "E.N.G". It was a Canadian drama from 1989 to 1994 and followed a television news team. The lead character was Ann Hildebrandt, a woman in her late 30's/early 40's. She was having a secret relationship with the young early-20-something camerman Jake Antonelli. At the end of their second season they did an episode called "Past Imperfect", in which each character recalled their first meeting with Ann Hildebrandt, all taking place at different times over the previous five years. This included her fighting with the management for the hiring of a young girl camerman, and her first encounter with the young Jake who almost hit her with his car. We learned a lot about all the characters, not just Ann, and we also learned about the beginnings of their relationships with them. And this was one of the biggest character development episodes they ever did.


Firefly

The third show was called "FireFly". It was on FOX in 2002. They produced 15 episodes, FOX only aired 13 and they aired them out of order. It was because FOX is dumb and decided to air the series pilot last (instead of first like common sense says they should have), the Producers made an additional introductory episode that helped explain to viewers who the characters were. It was called "Out Of Gas". This episode was comprised of out of sequence scenes which not only explained how they got into their current dire predicament, but also explained how the entire crew first met eachother and how they ended up on the ship Serenity. This, combined with the pilot, explained how every single character met eachother for the first time, including the ship. It too was full of true and honest character development and is a gem in the series.


Even though these three episodes were produced in 1971, 1991 and 2002, all three were far better than this episode of "Enterprise". Archer looked the same, acted the same, and even wore the same uniform. Forrest looked the same, acted the same, and also pretty much wore the exact same uniform. Tucker looked the same, acted the same, and wore the same uniform. Nothing of value came from it. We didn't get any character development of value or anything else.

The best we got, and these were good things, were we learned why Tucker was named "Trip", and we saw how he and Archer met for the first time. And that was it.


T'Pol That's how you became Captain? I can't believe Starfleet gave you a starship.

Yeap, Archer won the Enterprise in a contest.

Okay, not really. But the statement that the pilot who makes the test flight in the proto-type warp ship will be the one who will Captain the new Starfleet starship doesn't make a damn bit of sense. What idiot in charge of Starfleet made the decision that test pilot equals starship Captain?


Archer Buzz Aldrin? I don't even remember what I did in last week's episode. But Braga says continuity isn't important and you viewers are twelve years old anyway.

Archer said that no one remembers what Buzz Aldrin said when he first step foot on the moon, and the reason for that was because Neil Armstrong went first.

For the record, I remember what Buzz Aldrin said. And I wasn't even born yet. But for those of you who don't know, I'll print his words here:



"Such Marvelous Desolation."




Admiral Forrest He's dead, Jim. Er, I mean Archer.


I repeatedly pointed out in my past reviews of "Shockwave, Part 1" and "Horizon" that the Producers and Writers were obsessed with NOT showing characters ON SCREEN actually learning and RE-ACTING to the deaths of people they know or other great and tragic events. Up to now, the Producers and Writers had decided that all of these events should be played out off screen (for some incredibly stupid reason that to this day has yet to be explained). Well it took them long enough to realize that actually SHOWING their reactions was of great dramatic value, but finally they manage to pull it off.

Don't get the wrong idea. The scene still sucked. There was no dramatic value in Archer learning about the death of someone we never heard or saw before until suddenly the writers made him up at the last minute, but the fact that we saw Admiral Forrest SAY ON SCREEN he had died and Archer HEARD ON SCREEN that he had died, well that's a start.

And it's also a real shame that these dramatic events were even taking place off screen at all. Only at the Clown College do they teach students that it's better to NOT show the drama of a character learning of a lost loved one. But then these people can't see the faces of the fans as our beloved Star Trek literally dies away before us.


Tucker But we NEED the catsuit! Haven't you seen our Ratings?

This episode would have been a lot better if instead of ten minutes of wasted scenes of Archer and T'Pol babbling in a Shuttlepod, they instead just began the flashbacks from the point Archer learned of his friend's death. We would have had a lot more time to explore the past and to play out all these events that otherwise we really wouldn't have any way to see.

They managed to completely eliminate Phlox and Mayweather (no surprise there) and knock Hoshi and Reed to cameos. But they couldn't go just one episode without the catsuit, could they? Like the Borg episode, this too SHOULD have been better.


T'Pol Of course we're meticulous in our records. We know full well that the Romulans are our.... uhm, wait, never mind.

Even with Vulcan witnesses standing present, the Vulcans managed to not record in history the two pilots stealing the warp proto-type ship.


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