Revision's going ok - I'm slightly behind schedule, but I've still… - John C. Kirk
May. 27th, 2003
Revision's going ok - I'm slightly behind schedule, but I've still got plenty of time to cover everything.
I took a break last night to watch "Enterprise" on Sky 1 - an episode called "Regeneration". It hasn't been shown on terrestrial TV yet, so don't read my comments unless you've seen it on Sky or downloaded it...
Personally, I really liked this episode. With a lot of the series, I've wound up thinking "I'm only watching this because it's Star Trek", whereas this was actually good. Since the whole series is essentially a spin-off from "First Contact", it's a sensible idea to have a direct follow-up to events there. This also addresses a continuity issue from "Voyager", namely "How come the Raven was following Borg cubes around, 20 years before Picard met them?" (The Raven being the ship that Seven of Nine's parents served on.) The answer is that after the events of the film, in the revised timeline, Starfleet knew about the Borg, so was able to investigate. Presumably they didn't make it public knowledge though, in order for the TNG episodes to remain basically unchanged. On the other hand, I'm assuming that Phlox's cure for assimilation only works on Denobulans (he mentioned his particular immune system), otherwise the Borg would be much less of a threat in the future.
I liked the style of the beginning of the episode - the first 10 minutes or so in the Arctic reminded me of horror films, where people are going about their everyday business, but you're sitting on the sofa thinking "No, no, don't do that, you're going to die!" I was also wondering whether the Enterprise crew were actually going to show up at all, and kind of hoping that they wouldn't. One of my main criticisms of the series has been that they tend to shoehorn the core cast members into inappropriate situations, e.g. sending Tucker and Reed caving a couple of weeks ago. I don't think that was a problem this week, but it wouldn't actually have bothered me if we hadn't seen the Enterprise at all. Back during the last couple of rounds of speculation for spin-off series (prior to the launch of "Voyager" and "Enterprise"), when people were talking about the possibility of a Starfleet Academy series ("Star Trek 90210"!), I always thought it would be good to have an anthology series. Call it something like "Star Trek Universe", or "Worlds of the Federation", and you can have a different cast each week, on different ships, stations, planets, etc. You can always feature the same people more than once, but you don't have to include them every week. It would probably be equal parts strength (no huge salaries) and weakness (no regular faces for the audience to get attached to), but I think it would be interesting...
One thing that struck me, when Archer was reading Cochrane's speech - I'm surprised he didn't immediately mention the temporal cold war. It would have been a red herring, but consistent with their prior experience.
In the early days of the series, it was a bit vague about whether Starfleet had actually been formed yet. It's now been established that it has (several references to it by name in this episode), which means that they've drawn up the original charter, including the infamous "section 31". However, that doesn't mean that the actual agency exists yet, and I wonder whether a near miss like this might provide the catalyst. More to the point, I'd like to see an episode about the formation of the agency :)
One other aspect of this that impressed me - the Borg (who were somewhat overused on "Voyager") seemed genuinely creepy here. They reminded me of vampires, with the way that they turned allies into enemies. That's obviously nothing new, but it just seemed to work better here. Maybe it's because we started out with 2 drones, who swiftly became 29, whereas in the past you've had a cube of 1000-odd (at a guess) assimilating a couple of random crewmen.
Finally, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the Borg show up again - those two drones who got thrown out of an airlock are presumably still drifting in space (unless Reed felt in the mood for some target practice with the ship's phasers!). If the drones in the arctic could regenerate after being frozen in ice for 100 years, then drifting in space for a few months shouldn't pose any major problems...
One amusing thing I found when I was browsing the web for other comments afterwards. One person asked: Why is an arctic expedition "heavily armed" (shown and stated)? Is the North Pole a bad neighbourhood in the Future? Have Santa's Elves gone rogue by that time? BunBun would be proud :)
Any other opinions?