TripHammered
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THE SHORT VERSION: Paramount owns Star Trek and everything to do with it. I make no money off this site; it's just for fun. For more details, read the long version. Live long and prosper.

 
Ancient History

Archive of previous updates on the site, July 4–September 30, 2003.


Trip pointing

Survey says.... bing! More photos of Trip in his underwear!

July 9, 2003: Our next survey is from Phlox. And speaking of the man with all the animals, we just saw Finding Nemo. Wonderful bright gorgeous funny film. Highly recommended. Everyone in my family who's seen it has loved it. Pixar rocks.

gamebandit pointed out a food reference I missed in "Singularity," so I've added it to the Food Chain. Thanks! There's a new comic strip there too.

The TripHammered survey results are finally tallied! Moogie worked his darling butt off formatting it. Check it out.

July 4, 2003: One year! Happy Birthday to TripHammered! A year ago today I launched my little site, and it's grown rather astonishingly. Thank you for coming and letting me entertain you. Thanks to Moogie for his constant help. Thanks to the TripHammered Dozen for keeping me honest (you know who you are). I'll keep at this for as long as you'll have me.

There is a redesign in the works which I'd hoped to have for today, but oh well. Before the season starts, I promise.

July 11, 2003: A new link to recommend: Enterprise Oddities. Cartoon caricatures of the crew in a vaguely Japanime style, mostly focused on Trip. A lot of Trip/T'Pol images, but other crewmembers and pairings as well, plus desktops. Very funny.

July 16, 2003: Silent Trav speaks! And he's a pretty interesting guy at that.

christine bacro suggested a few items for the Drinking Game. I'm always open for more entries, you know.

ES wrote me to point out, to our distress, that this year's Trek ornaments from Hallmark are Archer and T'Pol -- no Trip. Of course, we could always stick the Art Asylum figures in the tree, or attach the NX-01 to the top.

The Hulk was decent. It is NOT a kid's film by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a interesting sociological sci-fi flick, mostly to do with parent/child dynamics and knowing and accepting oneself. The SFX got less silly as the film wore on. The "comic book panel" direction was effective about 75% of the time -- not always. But the chick from Labyrinth, what'shername, had two modes: Intelligent Believable Scientist (7% of her airtime) and Hobbit-Eyed Damsel In Distress (the other 93%). Didn't she win an Oscar for her last role? What happened here? Eric Bana was acceptably bland; any more dynamic and he would have overshadowed the big green guy.

July 17, 2003: If anyone is interested in contributing Personal Quizzes for other ENT characters (Rostov, Cutler, Soval, Shran, Silik, Future Guy, etc.), send 'em along and I'll post 'em. I'll even send you a blank quiz to fill out.

Trip pointing

Check out the SSI on the left there. That's some useful programmin'. Saves evay a ton of time without havin' to use frames. And that Photoshop work in the sand up top? Moogie's a damn genius.

July 23, 2003: Hoshi finally lets us in on all the jokes in her quiz.

But the big story on Action News tonight is the new design! Forty-seven cheers for Moogie, who did an enormous amount of work and helped me make this look good. If my slight muse do please these curious days, the pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.

Highlights:

No frames. I've made the pretty pictures as small as I can, so they should still load fairly quickly, and since it's the same photos each time, your browser should cache them and not freak out.

I've added two navigational aids on the left: "Coming Up" and "Recent Updates." Coming Up is what you can expect to see in the next week or so on the site. Recent Updates is a list of quick links to what's new.

The internal structure of the site is unchanged otherwise -- all the episodes and extras are right where they were last week. However, because I've added Server-Side Include code (those nifty navigational aids), all the files now end in "shtml." You may need to fix some bookmarks.

Within Season 1 and Season 2 I've changed the formatting slightly and added original U.S. airdates. As new episodes air for Season 3, the current episode will be highlighted at the top of the page so you don't have to scroll down to look for it.

New design for the page banners. Yawn.

Like it? Hate it? Doesn't load fast enough? Weird stripes across the top? Tell me.

July 27, 2003: Woohoo! I'm one of three contenders for the August Ex Astris Excellentia Award. My parents would be so thrilled.

July 28, 2003: More tweaking. I've created an actual Site Map, which will live on the left under the Disclaimer text, rather than have my windbag explanation taking up a third of the real estate on my front page. And when the new season starts, I may start adding extra photos here too.

Cat #2 caught a chipmunk Thursday night. It sneaked into the kitchen when we weren't looking, and #2 and her sister Cat #1 cornered it under the stove island. I figured it was a mouse at first, until I was able to see it. It got out a few times, #2 made like Mia Hamm with it, chased it around the umbrella stand, served to #1, #1 walloped it back, and finally #2 caught it. It got away and fled directly up the window screen -- it was like The Matrix, only smaller and furrier. She nailed the chipmunk again. Moogie tried to take it from her and it took off, running for its tiny life. My little huntress pounced on it a third time. Moogie finally pried her jaws off it and brought the poor frazzled rodent outside, where it was remarkably unharmed. All it lost was some fur off its tail; she didn't even break its skin with her teeth. (Rabies shots up to date? Yep, in June.) Okay, if I had kids I'd brag about them, but I don't, so this is what ya get, folks.

July 30, 2003: Porthos rounds out the quizzes, unless I get bored and write one for Soval or Cutler or a redshirt. Or I get a volunteer, hint hint.

Trip and Archer in desert gear in the 'lift

Trip: ...and if you get really bored with the slots and cards, there's always Siegfried and Roy.
Archer: I just don't know, Trip...Las Vegas?
Trip: Don't forget that Cirque du Soleil opened a third show.
Archer: I'll just shower and pack.

August 1, 2003: Welcome Las Vegas folks! A big hello to those of you hearing about my little site through the convention. If you're here for the first time (and even if you're not), may I recommend "Unexpected," "Acquisition," and "Desert Crossing" from Season 1 and "Precious Cargo" (my personal favorite), "Stigma," and "The Crossing" from Season 2. Poke around, have a laugh. The Food Chain is very popular.

August 2, 3003: I didn't get the EAE Award (thanks to those who voted for me anyway! :D.), but this is the first time it was presented as a poll instead of being the webmaster's decision, and the other two sites were a German database site and a large RPG. Bernd kindly noted that the runners-up may be renominated later on and compete against more similar sites. I'll keep you posted.

August 6, 2003: A new ENT episode! That's right, a brand-new photo-intensive recap of the a never-before-aired episode of "Enterprise," exclusively here on TripHammered. Grab a cuppa and get comfy. Actually, finish the cuppa so you don't spray your screen. Consider that your official warning. :) Photo-intensive, so if you're on a 56K modem...my apologies.

August 10, 2003: Fans of Plastic Fantastic Theatre will be pleased to hear that I found Malcolm with extra accessories, Silent Trav, EV Archer (all $2.00 off at Toys 'R' Us), and Deluxe Broken Bow Archer with Captain's Chair (75% off at Suncoast). I was somewhat disturbed to see that Silent Trav has abnormally bad posture -- his head juts forward at an alarming angle. Is this because he's supposed to be seated at the helm and looking down, not sitting up straight? Does Anthony Montgomery have scoliosis issues? One wonders.

August 13, 2003: Pruned the Links page. As always, if you find dead wood, let me know about it.

This week we debut a new feature, since there's still a month or so to go before the third season premiere: my own take on "Caption This Photo." Moogie correctly pointed out that a "caption" is really a description of the contents of a photo, which is not necessarily what I'm looking for. So I'm calling mine "Get Me Rewrite!" since that's essentially what we're doing -- rewriting how the photo should be interpreted. I'll provide a photo (not just typical boring screencaps, I hope, but behind-the-scenes photos and other unusual images) and you write in with dialogue between the characters, dialogue between the actors, dialogue from someone offscreen, or a general caption about the photo. I'll collect and post the responses I like best in Extras. Note: This is a PG-13 site, and as such, overly lewd, crude, or otherwise obscene material will not be posted.

Trip explaining something

Trip: ...there were so many people walkin' on the Brooklyn Bridge at one point, they actually had to stop 'cause there was nowhere to go. It was like a traffic jam on foot.
Malcolm: Still, it could have been January, or pouring rain. A clear day in August isn't the worst time to have a massive blackout.
Trip: That's what Ah like about you Brits. Always seeing the bright side of things.
Archer: There's very little "bright side" to sleeping on the steps of the Eighth Avenue post office.
Trip: It's a damn sight better'n walking from midtown to Long Island. Or Coney Island, for that matter.

August 14, 2003: Yes, we survived the blackout and got home safely -- it just took us six hours.

Added reader captions to Get Me Rewrite and updated Season 3's episode titles.

August 20, 2003: Another slightly bizarro shot for this week's Get Me Rewrite.

August 21, 2003: Some funny captions today! Now you're getting the idea. I'm working hard on getting more images.

It's ironic that I was going to Google and typing in "photos Trinneer behind scenes" and what's the second site listed? TripHammered! And what's on page 3? Old History for TripHammered! This isn't helping me. (It's amusing, but it's not helping me.)

August 24, 2003: Tinkering with episode names for Season 3. TrekToday keeps rearranging their production list. No spoilers, I promise. I am adding silly appetizers to the Food Chain, however.

Added a great cartoon to Nicks and Scratches. More reader captions for the bathrobe photo. Just so we're all clear, I reserve the right to edit and tweak captions slightly in the interests of good taste.

August 27, 2003: The captions for Get Me Rewrite will remain up; if you have more to contribute, just email me and I'll add the best. And if you can find any funny or strange photos, send 'em, or send the page where you found 'em.

ENT doesn't have many recurring crewmembers who aren't in the credits, so let's celebrate the ones we've seen by having Crewman Cutler answer the Personal Quiz. Let's hope Kellie Waymire returns to the show this season -- we like her.

Archer and Trip eyeing each other suspiciously

Archer: Who put that chocolate in my peanut butter?
Trip: Don't look at me, Cap'n. Ah only put peanut butter in my chocolate.

August 30, 2003: Just a note to say thank you to all the folks leaving such kind thoughts in my guestbook. You make my day. :) This is the three-day Labor Day weekend in the States -- as Wiley put it in a very old B.C. strip, "Hire some jerk, then send him away/to celebrate work by playing all day." So for everyone to whom it applies, safe and happy holiday, and burn some burgers for me.

August 31, 2003: e:earth has merged with Section 31 -- and my link has wound up on the front page! Is that promotion by acquisition? :) Actually I'm flattered; Section 31 is one of the "big boys."

September 3, 2003: One week until the season premiere! Woohoo! And believe it or not, UPN is actually running an ad in TV Guide! They literally haven't done that for ENT since the series premiere two years ago. About damn time. Critic Matt Roush sort of weighs in as well.

Our other favorite male engineer was happy to take the Personal Quiz to round out the summer. You'll find Rostov to be a lot more interesting than he lets on.

September 8, 2003: Happy 37th Birthday to our much-loved series.

Trip wearing glowing beauty clay

Cap'n, was it really necessary for you to blow up that Smurf with a plasma grenade? Couldn'tja at least have waited 'til we got clear?

September 10, 2003: First impression: Well, that was pretty cool.

Teaser with the eventually-revealed five Xindi species was extremely cool. Trek so rarely has a planet with two sentient species, and here we've got five! CGI was nice too -- Lucas should be taking notes. Heh. Okay, a little nicking from "Think Tank," including the translated species in the tank of water, but we can live with that. There's enormous potential here. Which race wants us dead the most? Who can we play against whom?

Trinneer did a wonderful job as always. Good mix of rage, resolution, weariness, and some of his old personality back. It's been four to six months at least, so it's reasonable to assume he's recovered from at least the initial trauma. Nice interaction with Malcolm. The nightmare was properly unnerving. Anyone else get a little "The Day After" flashbacks?

Archer had some spine too, but I hate the Neanderthal cut. On the other hand, T'Pol's new wig was gentle and flattering without looking really unVulcan. On the other other hand, Blalock is way the hell out of practice acting, and if this is the Softer Side of Sears tack they're taking with her character, it's not an improvement. Far too fluid in her movements. Vulcans are restrained and formal. If the idea is that the Expanse is messing with her, we had better either see it or get it in dialogue shortly. The red velour and the Electric Powder Blue Kool-Aid catsuits do nothing for me.

Let's get it out of the way: the Trip/T'Pol scene was painful where they were trying for sexy, but funny when it was supposed to be. Stick to funny. These two spar nicely, but any sparks between them are -- dare I say it -- illogical when considering that she's not supposed to have emotions, and that she is supposed to think Terrans are unbearably smelly? Also, the "fifth vertebra" on either of them could have been easily reached without taking off shirts. Not that I minded getting a nice eyeful of Trinneer's buff torso, but the entire scene was so very obviously designed as eye candy rather than plot.

Just how many mysterious rituals, pressure points, meditation techniques, mental tricks, and martial arts moves do Vulcans have, anyway? I realize their culture is supposed to be like ten thousand years old, but it seems like they're the convenient Zen Masters of everything whenever the writers need to pull a Plot Device out of a helmet.

Liked the MACOs so far. Their fight scene was slick. It's nice to see a Trek good guy know how to fight, and get knocked down and still keep fighting! I see lots of conflict with Malcolm -- to which I don't object. Loved the weaponry, whatever it is. Moogie thinks they had silencers. (Then he asks, "How do you silence a light-based weapon?")

Serious lipstick alert for Malcolm and Phlox, and I swear T'Pol had just come from a Mary Kay party before her "session" with Trip. Maybe Mal's switching brands and converting the bridge crew one at a time?

Food chain intact (yay!). Several good Trip moments for screencaps. (Moogie's saying "there's a shot...there's a shot...get the one with his shirt half way over his head...") A promising start all around.

Oh wait, how could I forget the theme song? Same song, slightly different mix on vocals, very different mix on music. At first I gagged, but I sat through the whole thing and you know, it's actually an improvement without the dragging, whiny, Russell-Watson-thinks-he's-singing-Les-Miz stylings. Plus Moogie's liked the theme from the beginning, so I guess I'll quit complaining about it.

More commentary and screencaps Friday.

Trip wearing beauty clay

The makeup team for Enterprise, emboldened by their success with T'Pol's "Morticia Addams" palette and sultry dark lips for Malcolm and Phlox, promises Connor Trinneer that the new foundation "will blend right in on camera."

September 12, 2003: wombat61 pointed out that Lizzie has some kind of drink for the Food Chain, and we've got a few more entries for the Drinking Game.

Just because I haven't said it in a while: Hooray for TiVo! Hooray for any recording device which allows us to skip commercials and watch the show at a time of our choosing. It's so much easier to get home whenever we get home, check mail, make dinner, and then sit down to watch when we're ready to watch, rather than scrambling to be in the house and settled and have all five of us fed and watered by 7:59. (Yes, the cats watch with us.)

Am I the only one who misses hearing Majel Barrett's voice, even introducing the recap clip? They gotta give her something to do on ENT, even if it's just a cameo or a walk-on. Cover her in latex, make her Future Guy (hey! there's an idea), but don't leave the Mother of Star Trek out of the game.

Regarding T'Pol's new haberdashery: What is the purpose of a belt? Either it holds the piece of clothing closer to the wearer so the garment stays on better, or it's decorative. The belts on the catsuits aren't holding anything but demographic attention. They're slung low across her hips and butt, not around her waist. So if they aren't functional, what logic is there in having them on the outfits?

Consistent that the insect-like species would fear invasion most; they're hive-oriented (assuming, of course, that insects behave similarly the galaxy over. Which we can't actually assume, but it's Trek shorthand, like calling a non-Terran species "reptilian" when we don't know if any other planet has developed something like a reptile). Anyone else think the insectoid Xindi looks a lot like Sarris from GalaxyQuest? And that the other one is wearing a new Tellarite mask with a Kenny Rogers beard?

Yum!

Moogie: Make sure you get the shot with Trip's shirt over his head.
Stinky, evay's brother: I didn't realize that Trip was so built. He always looks slim and weenieish in his uniform.
evay: {can't speak because she's spluttering so hard}

I understand that the scene with Archer yelling at Malcolm about not playing it safe anymore was for expositional benefit ("ENT is better! No more namby-pamby! We're out here to kick butt and take names!") but B&B are still telling-not-showing. (Besides showing us that Archer is a jerk. Again.) Now, for example, the bit with the cargo flying from one wall to the other was neat. That's showing that the Expanse is making things weird, not telling us about it. And the single line of dialogue from Archer, "Let's hope this little anomaly doesn't last any longer than the others did," easily implies that this isn't the first weird occurrence. Took two minutes and a bunch of wires, and it was very effective.

Any more of this and I'll have to create a Shirt Gallery: that top Trip was wearing in his dream could have been a nightmare all by itself! I understand it is Trinneer's doing/suggestion; he loves those crazy shirts, the louder the better.

I hereby promise that I will not use any "Uh-oh, better get MACO" jokes when discussing the Military Assault Command Operation soldiers in future episodes. It's a cheap and easy pun. Strange and esoteric puns need links and explanations and, frankly, are much funnier. Or at least aren't a retread of everyone else's review. Speaking of the MACOs, I loved the stun-chuks they were using. Baton, hook, Taser -- it's the Starfleet Swiss Army Knife! And the targeting sight on the rifles? Sweet.

Note that when Trip is threatening the Xindi in the mine, he looks and sounds quite a bit more desperate than angry. His rage and fear are barely leashed. This is a man who's going to lose it, sooner rather than later, and it ain't gonna be pretty, and he's going to be an absolute wreck when it's over.

Trip complains to Mal about the trellium-D in his hair and under his fingernails. I would think it was the alien sewage which had him scrubbing himself raw. Or maybe he's being discreet for the sake of the Felix half of the Odd Couple. (I could just see Trip developing an OCD washing tic, and comparing notes with Mister Fastidious: "And if you cut your nails down so they're just above the quick, there aren't any more crevices for dirt to hide." "Does baking soda work on alien blood?" "It does if you mix it with lemon juice and soak for an hour or three." "Lemon juice? Wow, I was thinking turpentine." "No, turpentine stains.") We love Malcolm, but he's really a fusspot. Whining about the unsavory freighter captain, choking in the dusty air, bitching about the MACOs -- someone's feeling defensive.

woo! Quit goosin' me!

T'Pol and evay: Sit up straight, would you?
Trip: woo! Subcommander, Ah am a gentleman, an' gentlemen don't appreciate bein'...goosed like that.
T'Pol: Gentlemen don't slouch, either. Neither do officers.
Trip: Point taken.
T'Pol: Leave my ears out of this.

Okay, let's talk about this "Vulcan neuro-pressure" thing:

First of all, T'Pol uses as her excuse to Trip "I believe the Expanse has been disrupting my REM patterns." REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep is "dream sleep." And as we were told in "Fusion," Vulcans don't dream when they meditate every night. So, unless the Expanse is keeping her from meditating properly, T'Pol does not go through REM sleep. This could have been fixed with a little better dialogue (or even better acting so that it was clear T'Pol was making something up). Sloppy.

Secondly, T'Pol tells Trip that she needs him to press on either side of her fifth vertebra because "the neural nodes are hard to reach." As we've seen time and time again ("The Catwalk," "Singularity," "Stigma" just from season 2), the Vulcan brain is not structured like the Terran brain. In other words, there's absolutely no reason to assume that humans have neural nodes -- which means brain tissue -- going halfway down their spines. T'Pol may know something about acupressure (there's that Zen Master crap again) which the rest of us don't, but beyond that, her fingers on Trip's spine serve one purpose: to let the audience see Trip with his shirt off. There is no medical reason for T'Pol to be attempting this, or Phlox to suggest it -- and they should both know that.

However, once we know where the scene is (and isn't) going, on second viewing the latter half is much funnier, and it's actually a nice character scene for both of them. I just wish we could have more character and less nekkid. Yes, yes, Trinneer is hot and Blalock has apparently consumed a few thousand calories over the summer so she isn't quite the bag of bones she was in May, but c'mon. That scene could have played out with shirts being pulled down or up and had the same plot result, and felt less cheap.

Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: Daniel Dae Kim (Chang) was in VOY's "Blink of an Eye." I was mostly right about Tucker Smallwood, the "humanoid" Xindi: he was on VOY as an 8472 posing as a human in "In the Flesh." (Actually, I thought he was one of the aliens from "Nightingale," but at least I recognized him.) Richard Lineback (Kessick) was Selin Peers in DS9's "Dax" and "Romas" in TNG's "Symbiosis" and The Clip Show We Won't Bother Naming. Scott MacDonald (Xindi-Reptilian) played Goran'Agar in DS9's "Hippocratic Oath" and Tosk in "Captive Pursuit," Rollins in VOY's "Caretaker," and Subcommander N'Vek on TNG's "Face of the Enemy" (clearly this man has a thing for latex). Stephen McHattie (the jerk Foreman) was Vreenak in DS9's "In the Pale Moonlight." Randy Oglesby (Degra) was Ro-Kel/Ah-Kel in DS9's "Vortex" and Silaran Prin in "The Darkness and The Light," and Kir in VOY's "Counterpoint." Aaaaaaaaaaand Rick Worthy, the "Xindi-Sloth" (I'm sorry, I find that more off-putting than intriguing), was Automated Personnel Unit 3947/Gravic Commander 122 in VOY's "Prototype" and Noah Lessing in "Equinox 1 and 2," Koman in DS9's "Soldiers of the Empire," and an NPC Elloran Officer in Insurrection. There will be a quiz during Repeats Month. ;) No really, how else are you folks going to impress everyone at the next convention if you don't have this sort of inane trivia at your fingertips? Full-service commentary for the devoted Trekkie, that's what TripHammered offers.

September 15, 2003: Happy first Birthday to House of Tucker subsites Trip/T'Polers and ¡Trip! Drop by and say hello to a bunch of hoopy froods who definitely know where their towels are.

September 17, 2003: "What is it, Porthos? Is Timmy down the well?" Okay, sorry... :)

Ah, yes, a fresh season of ENT, another VOY homage. Really -- not just the pirates-rob-the-ship-by-transporter plotline from "Concerning Flight," or the pirates-prey-on-those-weakened-by-weird-space plotline from "The Void," but the pirates' ship was clearly a modification of Voyager's CGI model. Watch the moment when it looks like it's going to plunge into Treasure Planet -- okay, the thousand-year-old artificial moon -- that's no moon, it's a space station -- no, it's a Dyson sphere -- you know, I'm just going to start this sentence over, all right? Watch for the moment when the ship looks like it's going to plunge into the sphere. It looks just like Janeway taking Voyager into the Krenim ship at the end of "Year of Hell."

Beginning was great, end was pretty good, middle was seriously wooden. Apparently it's Phyllis Strong of Sussman & Strong who writes most of the good dialogue (except for the Trip-Malcolm scene. That was a diamond among loose change. Just beautiful). It doesn't help that Bakula's (and Blalock's) deliveries really clunk. I agreed with the bad guy -- Archer's threats have no bite. I mean, even when he half-spaced the guy, did anyone actually think the captain was going to let him die? I know, it's supposed to show his spine and fire and obsession in chasing the Xindi. Just comb your damn hair, Scott. You look like a caveman. And please put a shirt on before helping Malcolm suit up. That was creepy.

Moving on. Loved loved loved the SFX! I howled over the Coffee Matrix moment. Even my morning espresso isn't strong enough to float in midair. The Jacob's Ladders flying off the warp core were way cool -- and so was Trip using them as defense against the pirates! Our Boy is apparently taking notes on the MACOs' technique. He stalked the bad guy, clobbered him, and didn't take a single hit himself. The Tremor Blorps scooting through the ship were funny to watch, and (other than one or two very bad CGI crewmen) were nicely done.

My dinner with Malcolm

Malcolm: Still no luck?
Trip: Ah've gone through every cookbook and recipe collection in our database, and Ah still can't figure out what the hell it was that evay made for dinner tonight.
Malcolm: Perhaps some things are simply best left a mystery.
Trip: That's what Ah'm tryin' to figure out -- it's a mystery what went into that casserole.
Malcolm: It had raisins in it. I'm certain of that.

I really enjoyed the scene with Trip and Mal in the Mess Hall. I am so glad this friendship isn't being buried. These brief moments make a real difference. A little followup, a little character interaction, and so much is implied. More please!

Speaking of brief -- how many lines did Travis and Hoshi get each? Did they burn through their entire monthly quotas this week? I couldn't believe how much they were talking. I was expecting Travis to get knocked unconscious just to shut him up. The ponytail is much nicer on Hoshi than the hair tumor, too.

Phlox is still apparently trying to sell T'Pol's virtue, for reasons only he can fathom, since humans don't have lumbar neural nodes to stimulate. I am going to beat that horse every time they drag it across the screen; get used to it.

I hope the cute blonde MACO can also act. Malcolm seemed a little more at ease with them this week. Sometimes they led, sometimes he led. I did catch the Reed Walk at least twice briefly.

Anyone else think the bad guy gave up too much valuable information too soon in the game? Not only did he point out that Enterprise wasn't insulated against Weird Space, but he specified what exactly they needed to use as insulation. He was kind of arrogant in figuring Archer for a softie. Not wrong, mostly, but arrogant. Although I was expecting Archer to turn the questioning over to Malcolm, who would then enter the brig wearing his Mirror Universe black leather loungewear and carrying a cat'o'nine-tails....

A moment of silence for Crewman Fuller, ENT's first redshirt....

Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: Nathan Anderson (Sgt. Kemper) was Namon in VOY's "Nemesis." Wow, short this week. Maybe last week was the ano-- was the odd one.

Photos likely Friday, as usual.

Climbing Jacob's Ladder

Trip: Dinnae give 'er any more; she'll blooooooooow!
Rostov: But Commander, how am I supposed to get my Ph.D. in Mad Science if I don't finish my senior thesis?
Trip: Dammit, Mike, you're an engineer, not a doctorate.

September 19, 2003: Maybe by the end of the season I'll be able to spell "Anomaly" without having to look it up or sound it out...

Allow me to clarify an earlier point: I don't mind seeing Archer without a shirt -- he's not hard on the eyes -- it's that if Archer is giving orders and helping crew with their EV suits, he shouldn't be topless. If he'd had on at least an undershirt I would have felt better. There was just something skeevy about Malcolm in body armor right next to Archer in his bareskin rug.

So, Starfleet wears tighty-bluesies, and the MACOs wear tighty-graysies. If we have any cross-service romances, I predict a lot of dumb Civil War underwear jokes.

I thought it was a nice touch that after the pirates attack, Archer and Mal start wearing visible sidearms. It's even better that it's never mentioned -- nobody gives an order or hands out pistols, they just have them strapped on.

The cute blonde MACO seriously needs a couple of steak dinners. She's so scrawny and underdeveloped she reminds me of Callista Flockhart -- and that's no compliment. Shouldn't soldiers of whatever gender be tough and muscular, not emaciated?

Cool flip of the 'pod when it was docking with the derelict ship, although it lost momentum too quickly with no visible thrusters to slow it down. Cool camera angle starting with the crew upside down as they enter the ship! Did I mention the SFX were fantastic this week? Although I did notice some strange camera work here and there -- almost a fisheye effect when swooping from one person to another, the film speeded up a little, people in slightly too-harsh relief.

How did the pirates know exactly where to beam in and what to take, Moogie wonders? Do they have really kick-butt sensors which label everything on Enterprise with value points?

Those are some fine assets.

In the industry, this camera angle is known as "shooting the moon." Connor Trinneer stuck this shot to his fridge to remind him to stay away from the Häagen-Dazs.

The camera does a nice pan over Trip's finer assets while he's on top of the core stalking the pirate. That was a good fight for Trip, too -- several smooth wallops, very little wasted effort.

Someone pointed out that either Crewman Fuller (referred to as a she at the end of "Shockwave II") had a sex change before dying, or there are two Crewmen Fuller. Crewman Fuller, gender unspecified, was referred to in "The Expanse" as saying a shipment was coming in for Phlox, so perhaps the female Crewman Fuller was in Stores and the late lamented male Crewman Fuller was in Security.

Okay, what is wrong with T'Pol? Why is her response to everything "Let's run away and not provoke anyone"? Is this what current Vulcan society is like? Was T'Pol strongly influenced by Soval, or is this simply the way she is personally? Yes, chasing the pirates is dangerous, but was she not in the room when Archer was chewing Mal out last week about taking risks in pursuit of the larger goal? Why can't we find out more about why she thinks and acts this way instead of whether Blalock tanned on a topless beach this summer? I don't object to sexiness; I object to pointless T&A at the expense of character development.

Regarding Captain de Sade: I was unimpressed with Archer's alleged menace in questioning Yossarian the Osaarian. Archer is at heart a gentle man, who really just wants to talk things out, and threats don't come easily from him. He sounds like he's saying "If you don't finish your homework, you're grounded, and your mother and I will be very disappointed in you!" And then he adds that the Osaarians will be "free to go" when Enterprise gets their stuff back. That'll really put the Fear of Jon into your prisoner's heart, Cap'n.

Bullet Time coffee!

That is the strongest coffee I have ever seen in my life.

I also didn't think for a second that the decompression scene was going to end in chunky salsa. wombat61 beautifully described Archer's attitude as "a sort of 'I don't know WHAT the hell I'm going to do from moment to moment' un-hinged-ness." Janeway leaving Noah Lessing to the mercy of the screeching subspace death dolphins -- that was scary. Sisko recruiting Garak to dupe the Romulans into joining the Dominion War -- chilling. Janeway and Sisko were obsessed, desperate, enraged, but still thinking, and still planning. Archer is so frantic to find information on the Xindi that he's flailing blindly -- there's no tactic behind his actions beyond the immediate goal. That's why it isn't frightening. He's just working himself into a froth. Without that calculated, clear-eyed ruthlessness, neither the audience nor Yossarian really thinks he's going to end up a notch on Archer's belt. To me, that lessens the impact of the scene. Janeway did leave Lessing to die, assuming he would break. Sisko allowed Garak to get away with murder. Nobody who watches ENT thinks that Archer is capable of that kind of cold-bloodedness.

Could it be a deliberate arc, showing Archer becoming more obsessed and thinking less clearly? Maybe. I'm willing to accept that if I see the evidence of it. Actually, when Yossarian stood up and said "Now that I've served my purpose, are you taking me back to the airlock?" I half-expected to see Archer grab the Betsy Boomstick from the Security Goon, and while casually setting it on Vaporize, say "Nah, I thought I'd just kill you here," and then do it. If we see something like that mid-season, I'll be shocked, and possibly pleased that they allowed Archer to become that complex. But I'm not holding my breath. So to speak.

Trinneer did a great job in the Mess Hall scene. Trip was weary, punchy, burned-out, but not so lost as he was a few months ago that he forgets to ask how Mal's repairs are going. And not in a "why the hell are you slacking" way, but as a friend asking about someone else's work. Was that makeup, or did he manage to add lines to his face? (But the halo spotlight turning his hair golden blond sort of undoes the effect.)

Archer shoots out the lock and blasts open the warehouse door, and I'm yelling at the TV "Jeez, you could try and knock!"...

Glad to see the transporter being used. And for cargo, which is exactly in line with how this crew sees that technology. Nice detail.

When Trip hops up on the biobed to wait for Phlox to put Neospointment on his burn, there's a readout of what appears to be the vital signs of a human male on the wall. Whose biosigns are those? Not Trip's, unless the medical computer can read his heart rate through his finer assets. Is this a leftover reading from the previous patient? Breach of confidentiality. Screensaver?

Trip is considerably more mature about the moron node stimulation than Phlox is, I think. The doctor keeps going on about how "intimate" the contact is -- so far it's not, at all -- and Trip plainly and calmly states that it doesn't make him uncomfortable, he just doesn't have the time. Although if he's awake 23 hours a day, one would imagine that at least a few of those are not spent in work.

September 24, 2003: Okay, Scott? Last week when I said "comb your hair because you look like a Neanderthal"? Um, I wasn't suggesting that it was a good look for you. And whoever greenlighted a script about "Captain -- CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVEMAAAAAAAAAAN!" on Star Trek needs to be fired. This wasn't even a good ripoff of "Identity Crisis." I could have turned the episode off after the teaser. This is not going to help ratings, Rick and Brannon!

Captain's Log, supplemental.

Captain's Log, supplemental.

Onward. NEURAL NODES IN THE FEET?? Bad enough that TPTB invented brain tissue in the spine, now the scheiss has migrated to the feet? If it's acupressure, just frelling say it's acupressure. Don't invent some Treknobabble name for it.

Re-onward. At least Trip is still an officer and a gentleman. He's accepted the -- let's just call it insomnia treatment so I don't start foaming at the mouth again -- with mostly good grace. He stood up to the Containment Aliens without flinching. (He really needs his own ship. Why couldn't Trip just be captain?) And he sounded so sad when he noted to Phlox of Malcolm "he doesn't even recognize me." I'm going to say tentatively no damage on this episode, although I'll double-check the scene where Captain Caveman clocks him with the branch.

Travis in the Big Chair? And more lines again this week? Remind me to check the temperature of Hell tomorrow morning....

I guess this was the Lee Strasberg outing? I mean, it must have been fun for Keating to chew scenery (heh) and play Planet of the Latex Apes with Alpha Male Archer, but what the hell was Linda Park thinking with her Orion Slave Girl Bride of Dracula Dance? LeVar Burton -- who starred in "Identity Crisis" -- was the director, so he had entirely no excuse for letting those three run as wild as they did. I couldn't believe ENT could sink as low as "A Night in Sickbay" again, but dag, this comes close. I appreciate that they want to give Park more to do -- but not this.

Good camera work/CGI: when the shuttlepod scene quick-fades to the Away Team walking through the jungle, sparing us the landing; and when we got the Quickest Way To A Man's Heart Is Through The Ribcage shot to see Archer's heart grow three sizes that day.

From the "It's Only A Model. (Shh!)" Department: the city of Kumquat -- sorry, Farquaad -- sorry, Urquat was really patently fake-looking. I guess they blew all their SFX budget last week, but it was either a too-fast render or a bad matte painting.

I'm not even going to address the Trek DNA Restoration Reset Button™ which magically fixes skin and hairdos. Talk to Phil Farrand about that.

Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: The only new one this week was Brian J. Williams, who was an uncredited extra in DS9's "What You Leave Behind" and did stunts for First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis.

Um. Food Chain intact. Several minutes of Trip's chest, and none of T'Pol's. Screencaps Friday. I'm gonna go watch "Future Tense" again, okay? Oh, and the show is now officially "Star Trek: Enterprise." I'll update my site map.

September 25, 2003: Another new feature! I'm just full of it. Of them. Right. :) As anyone who's been here more than once knows, Trip doesn't suffer quite enough damage to warrant a full-blown recap every episode. But each week I do ramble on for a bit here on the front page, offering opinions and snark and links and what passes for analysis. So in case you're interested in what I had to say about an episode besides the recap (or in lieu of it), I've now created internal "commentary" links which will take you the spot in the site's History page where I discussed what aired. It's a nice little shortcut, I think.

Trip Tucker goes organic

No shirt, no shoes, no problem.

September 27, 2003: Okay, apparently there are only about six people in the world who didn't like this episode, so being one of them, I'll try and keep my claws in. And "acupressure" has one C, not two, so I'll spell that correctly from now on.

I guess the big issue for me was the half-intelligent half-animal portrayal. WTF was with Park's ridiculous Orion Slave Gorilla Dance? The grunting and running around was idiotic. They tie T'Pol up like Luke and C3PO in "Return of the Jedi" for what -- sex? dinner? a sacrifice? It was pointless. Either they're animals who can't communicate at all (which at least would have been cooler to see, although watching two of them grooming each other might have been freaky) or intelligent people. Baboons would not have built that beautiful city, as wombat61 and Sandy pointed out to me. What if they'd been another sophisticated species like Bajorans, Andorians, Tellarites? How much more powerful the episode could have been! Then Archer's abrupt return to compassion at the end would have at least made sense.

As it stood, I thought Archer was going to use the Lokek virus as a bioweapon against the Xindi -- which also would have made sense, especially if they were "animals." Turn them into mindless savages; that'll stop the weapons program. And it would have restored the Lokek species, which would have truly been an example of the Xindi's karma running over their dogma. Archer could have hung onto the virus as a secret weapon, and then twenty episodes later unleash it on the Xindi homeworld as the conclusion to the arc.

bright light! bright light!

Look, I know "Day of the Tripods" was pretty cool, but I was only joking about it being an "unaired episode."

Imagine if the Lokek hadn't been bipedal humanoids with funny foreheads. What if they'd had six arms? Medusa-like antennae? Elephant trunks? Shark fins? Flippers? Or they breathed a toxic atmosphere? Or they looked like Hortas? Try hitting the DNA Reset Button™ on THAT. Oh wait, VOY did that already, sorry. In fact, I did that already!

Archer sniffs T'Pol up and down like he's about to lick her. Do you realize that she's been made a potential lust object for four of the five regular men on the series? (I'm sure a Travis/T'Pol scene is in the works, now that he's getting lines.) That just makes me angry. If TPTB plan on doing a romance, and if they insist on shoving T'Pol into a slot where she simply does not fit, at least make the effort to be intelligent about it. I hate what B&B are doing to her. The character does not deserve this. The Vulcan species does not deserve this. No wonder Soval is so annoyed all the time.

I will say that I liked that you could barely tell it was Bakula's or Keating's voices. Park didn't change as much.

Putting aside the neuropressure issue, the Trip and T'Pol scene was rather nice, actually. Both of them were being adult if slightly reluctant about the whole thing, and he even brought her a gift in exchange for this favor she's doing him. And, typically, it's food! (Southern food, but we'll let it go.) The "ticklish" bit was very amusing. Now, in this version, it makes sense for his shirt to be off, because she's going all the way down his spine (which, if you look at an acupuncture chart, is mostly correct, but if you look at an acupressure chart, is completely wrong), and it makes sense for her shirt to be on, which is where it stayed. This is all I was asking for in the premiere -- keep it within the context of the plot.

Was that a new white catsuit T'Pol was wearing, or a retailoring of her desert outfit?

It's the return of Go Go Gadget Reed! CaveMal climbed that tree like Spiderman. But why was Archer able to kick his butt? If they're primitive animals, I could see Malcolm losing his knowledge of superior moves and martial arts. If they're intelligent, then he should have tied the captain into a bunch of knots, Alpha Male or not.

Note that the MACOs have different EV suits than 'Fleet does. A little less bulky, which is sensible. But CaveMal was able to knock the MACO unconscious, while Captain Caveman went after Trip with a big blunt object and only managed to shove him off balance.

Please don't hit me again.

Please don't hit me again.

Trip was great. More of Steely-Eyed Acting Captain Tucker, which we adore. His faceplate did get cracked by Captain Caveman's club, but I think the EV suit took the damage and not Trip. And since he didn't mutate, the airseal was maintained.

Did the FX crew forget to add the little swoopy lights at the top and bottom of the bridge viewscreen, or was the shot just cropped to cut them out?

Anyone else think, when Archer came out from behind the column in Captain Caveman's dream, that this was going to be a battle-for-the-good-side kind of ending? The "human" struggling to overcome the "animal" infection, and finally emerging triumphant?

The Containment Alien growls to the Security Goon, "Take me to the airlock." You know, buddy, you're lucky Captain de Sade isn't on board, or he'd cycle you out of it!

Convenient that Decon has such a sensitive tracking camera in the ceiling to follow CaveMal's desperate lunging around, isn't it?

"Full power to the aft hull plating!" BOOM {The ship jolts. Trip loses his balance and sprawls into the Big Chair.} "And remind me to install some damn seat belts!"

Last note: this link has to be a spoof, but it's just too damn funny not to share.

September 30, 2003: Hello to my young friends in Indiana! *wave* Thanks for promoting TripHammered. You're awesome.

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Off the Mark

Cartoon by Mark Parisi. Posted by special permission. For more of Mark's cartoons, visit his site, at http://www.offthemark.com

Photos: Startrek.com, Ane's Icon Archive