TripHammered
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Ancient History

Archive of previous updates on the site, October 1-December 31, 2004


October 1, 2004: One more week to the premiere! I've updated the Drinking Game to take advantage of potential storylines. Your suggestions are always welcome and will be credited.

October 8, 2004: Italians from Brooklyn leading the resistance to kick Nazi ass hee hee hee I love it!

Malcolm quietly plotting

T'Pol: Mister Reed, I am aware that you have been plotting for the last year to seize command of Enterprise for Commander Tucker and yourself. If you were my husband, I would poison your tea.
Malcolm: Subcommander, if you were my wife, I would drink it.

Okay, whatever reviewers said this was "wooden" need to turn in their credentials. I really enjoyed this. Camera work was impressive. Good character moments. T'Pol's bugeyes were a riot. (Blalock did a good job playing "a Vulcan with not quite enough emotional control" rather than "hysterical addict on the verge of flaking out." She did tear up in the final scene, but we'll give her that one.) Interesting blending of actual WWII events and this alternate universe. Coto's dialogue was wonderfully smooth. Archer was calm and steely-eyed without being Super Archer Saves the Universe. All the crew got air time and worked together as a team. Even Cat #1 liked it -- she kept getting up in front of the TV to watch!

I'd be just as happy if they wrapped up the Temporal Cold War with this pair of episodes; it's getting old. Time travel should be used sparingly on Trek. It screws with continuity, it leaves too many paradoxes, it's way too easy to abuse the Reset Button™. Just as well Braga's dialing back this season -- keep his grubby hands out of the plotbox.

They recycled Daniels's latex from the Vidiians (they haven't gotten any prettier since Voyager left them in the Delta Quadrant) and both J. Paul Boehmer and the building which gets blown up in the presentation film from "The Killing Game." Well, why not? Props ain't cheap.

Did anyone else get First Contact flashbacks? Captain of the Enterprise goes back in time, has to stop an alien menace from wrecking the timeline, finds a beautiful brilliant black woman to help him? I mean, no complaints, just pointing out the similarities.

It's been so long since I heard the theme song -- I think the Season 3 premiere was the last time I sat through it -- that I'm not even sure if there were changes made or if this is the "new" arrangement! Not that I care, particularly.

T'Pol stunned and bugeyed

The New York City UPN station pre-empted the season premiere for a Yankees game? Are you joking?

I suppose if Archer was in a truck driving through the forest being taken to New York City, he was in New Jersey? Maybe that's why WWOR pre-empted it for the stupid frelling Yankees game -- they were upset to hear about Nazis invading Flatbush and people fleeing across the Brooklyn Bridge to escape.

Note that T'Pol doesn't actually deny that they're back in time 200 years; Trip just pitches a tantrum before she can speak. I would hope that after "Carpenter Street" (you slept through it, I slept through it, it was the boring Thanksgiving episode where the Dynamicless Duo went back to 2004 Detroit) she just accepts that time travel is possible and gets on with it.

I guess at some point we'll learn how long the Evil Gargoyle Alien Nazis (EGANs) have been on Terra, and how they talked the Nazis into helping them, because none of the Germans even blink at them. Or is the idea that whatever the Führer orders, they accept, without question? Wouldn't people of 1944 be a bit freaked out by aliens, let alone time-traveling aliens? Although from the New Yorkers' dialogue, it sounds like it's relatively recent -- Alpha-Lily says she "still can't believe it" that the Nazis reached our shores and invaded. Figure a few months that they've been on our side of the pond, so the EGANs have been helping the Axis for what, a year?

The Head EGAN says he has a portability problem with the plasma weapons. Was the rifle plugged in somewhere? Looked pretty portable to me....

I just laughed when the Head EGAN handed the general a folder of requisition forms for materials for the weapons. That Nazi love of bureaucracy never changes, does it?

Um. How does a disease target "non-Aryans"? Or was the Head EGAN blowing smoke to another fanatic lunatic? Humans really don't have all that much difference among the races to qualify for a marker like that which a pathogen could latch onto. What could it be, melanin poisoning? Dogs and cats have breeds which vary wildly, but any disease which kills dogs is gonna kill weiner dogs, pit bulls, poodles, retrievers, and greyhounds. The XindiSnakes' idea of a pathogen based on blood type was more plausible.

"You have to stop him..." Daniels gasps before ooping, acking, and conveniently passing out. "Stop who?" T'Pol asks. Agent MacGuffin, of course.

Trip gives a decent showing against Silik, but you can't really wrestle with somebody made of Silly Putty. He should've yelled for help immediately, though -- what's the first thing you do when you encounter a hostile? Call for assistance. (And then Trinneer splays his legs again when he collapses. I looooove consistency.)

A leeetle too much blue eyeshadow on Malcolm, and I think he borrowed T'Pol's T'Pink lipgloss. Everyone else's makeup was fairly subdued, though.

So...why didn't T'Pol beam Trip and Travis out immediately when the Nazis were approaching and then destroy Pod 2 from orbit? Does Enterprise have limited transporter minutes and needed to save them for Archer and Alpha-Lily?

I've seen too many "X-Files" episodes -- when the EGAN was shot and started to bleed, I was expecting everyone to start clutching their eyes and screaming from caustic fumes....

Quite a few Nazis, human and alien, killed ruthlessly by our crew and the resistance, weren't there? Are they so evil, so indisputably Enemy, that they fall into the same category as Bad Xindi, to be offed whenever possible in defense of the species?

Archer tells Phlox, "That's the last time you'll have to watch Porthos." Does this mean he's leaving the dog home after they fix the timeline? Poor li'l puppy needs some breathing room. Not to mention it would free up the camera to concentrate on the human cast....

Stupid interrogators -- don't they know there's no force in the universe which can get Travis to talk? :D

Moderate Trip damage. Food Chain intact. Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: Tom Wright (Assistant EGAN) was "Tuvix" (VOY) and Christopher Neame (Nazi General) was Unferth in VOY's "Heroes and Demons."

October 15, 2004: Okay, that newsreel in the teaser was the most frightening thing I've seen in a long time. For the crappy hand Coto got dealt by the Killer Bs at the end of "Zero Hour," he sure pulled out gold.

A few overly-casual lines (I cannot see Malcolm Reed saying "the targeting array is fried") but good natural-sounding dialogue for the most part. A satisfying conclusion to a confusing arc and a WTF?! cliffhanger. The captain came off pretty well and rarely lapsed into Super Archer Saves The Universe Alone mode, everyone continued playing nicely together, Malcolm got to show off his weapons knowledge, T'Pol kept her eyeballs demurely in their sockets, and Trav and Hoshi were once again relegated to cameos. Trip got to escape the Nazis almost all by himself, although I was expecting more heroics -- the episode felt like they cut out about seven minutes. It was pretty tightly packed for the 40-odd minutes it was. Nice camera work again. Gorgeous FX, especially Enterprise sailing into the sunrise and then dogfighting over Manhattan!

New York New York, it's a helluva town, ENT is up and the Nazis down

Oh no! They bombed Monster Sushi! You Nazi bastards!

According to the IMDb, the EGANs' species is called "Na'kuhl." I bet somebody had just finished watching Lord of the Rings and had Nazgul on the brain.

Anyone else notice that the shots from the Previously reel were not directly from last week? They were the same scenes, but from different angles. It's especially noticeable when Archer and Daniels are talking, because we never saw a crane shot in Sickbay.

We finally found a species which can out-Nazi the Nazis, from their slithery, hypnotic, almost-believable rhetoric to their calm ruthless violence to their fanatical belief in themselves as the purest and ultimately greatest form of life. Not even the Founders were quite so chilling. You almost want to laugh at the Nazi general for his shortsighted, obsessive focus on the Reich's conquest of America in the face of the EGANs' much greater scale of monstrosities. The poor numbskull doesn't get it. Of course, we never do find out how it is that they accepted an alliance with time-traveling aliens, so we don't really know if the Krauts buy the EGANs' story, or if they really even understand it. The general is so shiny happy to announce that the Führer has given him direct control of the EGANwaffe, and the Head EGAN just plugs him. I would wonder about all the NPC Nazis who overhear the temporal chatter, but when the Gihugic Reset Button™ gets engaged, there never were any EGANs, so it's moot. (Does that mean Silik's not dead? Since Daniels clearly isn't either?)

John Fleck is a great villain. He must have loved the chance to play with his makeup off for once -- although it's disconcerting to hear that bedroom purr of a voice come out of an ordinary face. I hope he was Reset and we do get to see him again, the end of the TCW notwithstanding.

And it's not really over, or it's not really wrapped up, is it? We still don't know about Future Guy. Let's recall, in fact, that it was Future Guy who warned Archer about the Xindi and the Tesseracts and launched S3. Does that mean the Tesseracts were another faction? Back in "Carpenter Street," Daniels said, "History doesn't mention anything about a conflict between humans and Xindi. The events that are taking place are the result of temporal incursions. They're not supposed to be happening." But in the History Reel, you can see the last few moments of "Zero Hour" with Archer doing the GalaxyQuest gauntlet run off the exploding Death Star and then the shot of the Death Star itself exploding. Does that mean that whatever the EGANs were doing, the Tesseracts' meddling was something else? Yet Future Guy, who helped the Suliban, knew about both the EGANs and the Tessearacts? ("Time travel. From my first day on the job as captain I promised myself I'd never let myself get caught up in one of these God-forsaken paradoxes. The future's the past, the past is the future. It all gives me a headache." Janeway had it right. Am I ever glad this E-plot is over.) And why did Future Guy warn Terra after all? What use do the Suliban have for Terra, or the Federation? Especially if the Federation helps create the Time Police who are the Sulibans' enemies? As monkee phrased it, when they put an arc behind them, they really put it behind them.

Jack Gwaltney, the Head EGAN, was another good casting find. His delicate pauses and slightly hissed sibilants gave his words just enough menace to make you blink.

I suppose it would make sense that Carmine and Sal and Nicky the Scalpel et al. are from Bensonhurst, but Alpha-Lily spoke of living in Flatbush -- which is a good half hour across the borough -- and specifically called it a "colored" neighborhood. Was she implying that she used to live in Bensonhurst until the Nazis drove her, as a "colored," into Flatbush?

Okay, how, uh, focused am I that when poor battered Trip is rolling over onto his back after recovering from a Nazi interrogation, the first thing which goes through my mind is "Damn, but the boy's got some nice arms!"? Trinneer was working out over the summer again, and looks delicious.

I can't believe Archer didn't bring his Tactical Officer to a negotiation with the enemy! Okay, at least he brought two well-armed MACOs (and are they going to stay on the ship this year?), but he really needed another senior staff member with him. I was also surprised that the Head EGAN thought that it would be easier to convince Archer to join him rather than to threaten Archer by holding his men hostage against his cooperation. If the EGANs think other species exist to serve them, why play the alliances game? I guess the Krauts were really getting his panties in a knot.

And where did you get that fetching chapeau?

Trip: Ah can't believe it! This isn't happening!
Archer: I know, Trip, but it's all right. I'm alive, you're alive, Malcolm is going to blow up the bad guys in a minute, and then we're all going home.
Trip: No, Ah mean Ah can't believe you're wearing that hideous jacket! The 1970s called and they want their couch back!

While it was funny to see two Trip-Archer reunions, how did Silik know that Trip still thought Archer was dead? Was he a literal fly on the wall for all of "Zero Hour"?

The Sickbay scene where Phlox coolly alerts the captain and then the MACOs to Silik's deception was lovely. Subtle, swift, no arguments, just a well-oiled team. And about damn time the crew of the flagship should be able to work together like that. Now, when Archer starts taking Mal's recommendations that smoothly, we'll really have gotten somewhere. I will say, however, that the stunt CGI for Trinneer was a terrible likeness. Trip is blond, for pity's sake, not a brunet. Did they use the Art Asylum or Hallmark scans for the texture map?

Archer stalks back and forth outside the Brig, trading glares with Silik. "You persist in asking questions you know I will not answer," Silik bluffs. "Oh yeah? Ask me about my airlock," says Captain de Sade, who's barely had time to have the XindiSnake blood scraped out of his uniform....

This is an error which keeps popping up in Trek and annoys the bejesus out of me every time: the Head EGAN tells Archer that "a large amount of data has been stolen from our computer system." Now, unless Silik stole the equivalent of a hard drive, he downloaded, or copied, the data. So it's still there. It wasn't stolen. And the process for tracking down a user's movements (to prove something was copied to an external disk) is different from sitting down at your desk and going "Holy catfish, where'd my Q drive go?" Unless they were looking for any console usage which was the least bit out of the ordinary, they wouldn't have discovered what Silik did that fast. The same garbage happened on VOY more than once -- as if downloading something was the same as removing it. It's not, and people who write for Star Trek should know better.

If the EGANs actually had a plasma cannon aimed at Enterprise, why did it have to come up out of the roof in order to fire? This guy bluffs like a poker champ.

The gun battle in the compound was rather ridiculous. That many machine guns taken out by a bunch of hand pistols? Imagine if we ever had enemies who could aim.

Jeez, Trip discovers his captain and friend of ten years is alive, and isn't even allowed to give the man a half-second hug? UPN is so homophobic it's unreal.

Happy Trails to you until we meet again (Bum ba dee dah bum ba dee dah)

Heading into a new day...think Manny Coto is trying to tell us anything?

Malcolm rattling off bullet caliber and WWII German aircraft weaponry from memory hee hee hee! See, that's the kind of little throwaway detail which builds a character -- we get the hint that armaments are not just his job, but a hobby, a passion. Plus he finally got to blow some stuff up -- and it was the tactically critical stuff, and he had to target by hand!

Why must villains stop and pause dramatically to make grand pronouncements at critical moments? The Head EGAN really should have read the Evil Overlord List before trying to start a Temporal War.

And speaking of leaving, didn't he tell his assistant "We're leaving tonight"? Then why is it morning by the time Archer and company finally get out of Dodge?

For all my joking about the Magic Trek Reset Button™, it was sort of amusing to watch it actually unreeling and going all "We Didn't Start the Fire" at the end.

No new Recycled Trek Actors. Food Chain veeeeery tenuous and only because I'm cheating.

October 22, 2004: That was marvelous. Wonderful. Deep and honest. Like TNG's "Family," a nutshell of character interactions and desperately-needed followup to insane events. The Killer Bs' influence is dead; long live Star Trek!

I wish this could have been a two-parter, because the B and C stories could have used twice as much air time to develop -- let's see a frightened Earth, let's see all the debriefing, let's have Trip return to his mother's house (she's not dead, so far as we know, and he has two more siblings!) and grieve and be comforted -- but these first three eps were to clean house from the Killer Bs' squandering of ENT's prequel premise, and Manny Coto has promised to bring on the good stuff after sweeping out the dross. So we'll manage.

Were there quite enough promos for next week? Ya think they're hoping to draw in a few TNG fans?

No promotions? No medals? They saved the universe and all they got is an assembly? Malcolm is way the hell overdue for Lt. Commander's pip, and the mime and the receptionist should be Lieutenants by now. Or Hoshi at least, for her amazing codebreaking skills.

Did the captain of the Columbia ever get named in dialogue? Seems a little awkward for Archer to earn his first notch towards Captain Slut (three or more boot-knockings) with someone whose name we never learn. (The official site and IMDb both list her as Erika Hernandez, but we don't hear that on screen.) On the other hand, Cap'n Columbia does basically contradict Janice Lester's assertion in "Turnabout Intruder" that women couldn't be starship captains. Not that I object to that -- for once, continuity is violated for a good reason.

Good morning sunshine!

Java. Java NOW.

I don't understand why Trip thought he didn't have anywhere to go. He has at least a brother and another sister, and probably his mother, still alive. Surely he has cousins, aunts, uncles -- just because his hometown is gone doesn't mean all his family died. Similarly, did Malcolm blow off Maddie as well as the parental units? We know Hoshi's father is still alive. Why didn't anyone else go to visit their families, especially in an episode called "Home"? Another reason it should have been two parts.

Archer points to Columbia's Big Chair. "You might want to talk to someone about installing a lumbar support," he says. "And embroidered seat cushions so you don't jolt."

I was delightedly flabbergasted at both the inquiry board and Archer himself bringing him to task for his actions. This is the backlash we were begging for -- for all the questionable command decisions and desperate acts to come crashing down on Cap'n's conscience. And he suffered like a trouper. He hates himself for Yossarian and the ship of aliens he stranded after stealing their warp coil. Even hubby was really pleased at how well Bakula pulled off Archer's self-disgust (given that he only had five minutes of screen time to do it). For Archer to be deeply upset at seeing himself, his naïve, innocent, trusting former self, in Cap'n Columbia was note-perfect, and realistic. He's seen and done some grand and terrible things. We bitched for the first two years that Archer was weak, gullible, uncertain, unprepared for command. That's no longer true. And to his credit, he recognizes it, and wants to keep Cap'n Columbia from being hurt as badly as he was.

I wonder if Blalock deliberately went on SuperAtkins over the summer to get that recovering-addict-chic look. She was so gaunt you could have practically played racquetball in the hollows of her cheeks. I suppose it works for the character, but jeez, I hope the poor girl gets to eat a little this year. Separately, however, the trembling, the awkward twinges while sitting down and pacing, and the flaking-out voice were all good continuity touches. She is still supposed to recovering from neural damage (which, Soval conveniently noted, may well be more curable than Phlox first thought, so she can go back to being a normal Vulcan again).

I just want to say the set dressing folks and the costuming department did outstanding jobs this week. The Vulcan house was beautiful and exotic without being so alien we couldn't enjoy it. (And the big statues echoed the restored scenes from Trek I! Even if the lighting on them didn't nearly match the lighting on the two people standing in front of them.) The ornate robes were splendid and the simple tunics were something I wish I could get for myself. T'Pol's outfits were all pretty without being too revealing. (Well, they did show off her disturbingly skeletal frame, but that's a different problem.) And the river driver shirt Trip was wearing -- yum!

Wow, I see Starfleet hadn't issued the beige backpacks yet -- they're all black L.L. Bean duffles. On DS9, every single crewmember had those shapeless off-white shoulder bags. These are much nicer.

I love Trinneer's "I'm trying to be polite but this just tastes gross" face. We haven't seen it since way back in "Desert Crossing" and it's been missed. :)

It's hard to tell, but I think during breakfast, T'Pol is eating a breadstick or vegetable strip or something...with her hands. Is that supposed to be a little nonverbal cue how much she's changed from her association with Terrans? If so, that was really well done -- and subtle. If it was a weird fork, then there was no food on it.

Keating should not let the costume department dress him in anything with a low collar. It makes his neck look too long and his Adam's apple stick out oddly. And he didn't practice signing Mal's name; you can see he's deliberately writing it, not dashing off a signature. I've seen enough DK autographs to recognize writing vs. signing.

I love the smell of fisticuffs in the morning

Malcolm: Are you feeling lucky, punk?
Drunken Bar Guy: I jush wannid ta know what color lipshtick that ish. Sho I can get it.
Malcolm: "Bruise." It can certainly be arranged.

Okay, how drunk was that guy at the bar to attack the armoury officer of Starfleet's flagship? And Keating is still the king of tiny expressions -- when the guy is gearing up to hit him, he smirks, then twitches his eyebrow eeeeever so slightly and smirks a bit more. He's relishing the fight about to come without tipping his hand at how badly he's going to trounce this troglodyte. I loved the cobra-hood Inflatable Defense Mechanism on Phlox, though. What a neato evolutionary holdover from pre-sentience days, when puffing yourself up actually accomplished something in frightening an enemy! (Didn't he look like the bubble-head guy from Lwaxana's mudbath holoprogram in TNG's "Cost of Living"? Or Louis Armstrong playing?) But why did everyone run off? Did they think he was going to explode? If he actually wanted to scare the bar patrons, all he had to do was stick out his tongue. Or take off his shoes.

T'Les is just needling Trip, I think, when she implies that Vulcans don't say "thank you." Courtesy is not illogical. It smoothes interactions between people. In a race formerly known for its spectacular violence, and still currently bound by quite a bit of ritual, social graces would be important, not ignored. (Case in point: there's a knock at the door, and she asks Trip "Would you mind...?" If she didn't care about niceties, she would have said "Answer the door.") Although she was very rude to start talking about her guest in front of him in Vulcan. Miss T'Manners would have slapped her wrist for that. And the "I'm her mother so I know what's going on with you two within mere seconds of eyeing you up and down like a side of beef" routine got old fast. How come she didn't pick up on her kid's Thrillerium addiction? Or is she chalking it up to Pa'nar? Does she know T'Pol has Pa'nar? If she's that perceptive even after several years of not seeing each other, you'd think a little thing like neurological deterioration and brain damage would register on the ol' motherly radar.

What a fascinating glimpse into Vulcan culture. One's life is sizably in the hands of one's family -- a very anti-American sentiment, which for a show produced in America and written by Americans translates to "alien." The idea that one cannot dictate one's own destiny is really abhorrent to Americans; it's the antithesis of "the American dream." It's part of why Trip reacts badly to it, to give the audience a voice. It also echoes forward to the rift between Sarek and Spock: to say Sarek "wanted" Spock to be an ambassador rather than join Starfleet has a much stronger meaning for a Vulcan parent and child than for Terrans. Now the 18 years of estrangement makes sense.

Look out! He's gonna blooooow!

Take that, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi!

But why did Koss offer T'Pol, and T'Les, that opportunity? I'm assuming there's some plotting going on down the line -- she will owe him something, Koss or his family will blackmail her or T'Les, he will pressure her into using her Starfleet influence for something. It's an odd gesture to make without a hidden motive. Didn't they say of the Cardassians that for every visible motive there are three more behind the scenes? Does he actually have affection or a desire for T'Pol in any sense? Is there anything personal in his actions? The politics are interesting, but it's odd to hear it happening among Vulcans. Does Koss's family see marrying T'Pol in as a kind of punishment for her? Are they appointing themselves to rein her in from her excesses (too much exposure to Terran culture), in a parallel xenophobia to the Terrans at the bar? I hope we get some answers. I do like that T'Pol feels that since T'Les lost her job over T'Pol's actions at P'Jem, T'Pol now has to restore her mother to her rightful place with an act of atonement, as it were -- kind of like B'Elanna and Miral from VOY's "Barge of the Dead."

"It's difficult to meditate if you're standing there."
"Sorry, Mom, I'll stand a little quieter. The problem is that if I shift, all my ribs bang against each other like a set of wind chimes."

While it was a bit rushed (and the whole plot was contrived, but so was the arc which birthed it, so they cancel each other out), I'm glad that Trip was honorable enough to let T'Pol do what she felt she had to do, and not to burden her with additional concerns. He voiced his objections, she acknowledged them, and that was that. That's what friends do.

At first listen I thought Hoshi was taking Phlox to Lucky Cheng's restaurant. I'm thinkin', wow, that's really daring for Trek!...

I see we still aren't talking about Vulcans being touch-telepaths (or Soval would never have offered to shake Archer's hand) or telepathically bonded during betrothal at age seven.

Food Chain solidly intact this week, thank goodness. Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: Michael Reilly Burke (Koss) was Hogue in DS9's "Profit and Loss" and "Goval" in TNG's: "Descent: Part 2." Jack Donner (the Vulcan Priest) stakes his claim to fame on being Subcommander Tal in Classic Trek's "The Enterprise Incident."

October 29, 2004: "We're gettin' hammered down here!" AAAAHAHAHAHA My site makes it into canonical Trek dialogue! :D

Let's see what's out there.

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?

That was fun! And complicated, and with some nice echoes of current stem-cell research quandaries. Good connection to Khan and his Supermen (that's what the Nietzsche reference was for), which I think is what the Augments are.The reviews for this ep were glowing across the board from media and fans alike, and I'll add my huzzahs to the chorus. Everyone got a few moments, Trav got a line or two, Archer didn't act like a jerk to his staff, Malcolm got to do his job and look threatening, and we were totally left wanting more. Good job.

From the dates it was about two months or so between the end of "Storm Front" and the beginning of "Home," and two weeks later is when "Borderland" starts, so that's actually reasonable for repairs to have been made and people to have seen their families. I am not, I found, the only keyboard kaffeeklatscher who thought "Home" should have been the two-parter so we could have seen everyone going home, but at least the eps allow for the events to happen. Which explains the civvies; everyone was still on a long but well-deserved leave when Archer called the Casual Friday meeting on the Bridge.

Oooh! The gray jumpsuit Soong is wearing in prison is the same one Sim wore until they killed and buried him! Coincidence?

Soong's command of the crew's personal information is creepy and effective. The little digs (telling Malcolm he didn't get enough publicity, implying Trip's ancestors were slave owners) were shocking -- literally, they were jolting to hear. We got used to a lot of rough treatment in the Expanse, but these are intimate insults, meant to echo in the ears long after Soong has gone. I did love the character's sense of humor, sick as it could be. It was a startling blast of fresh air, especially paired against our crew's stifling angst. (And the explosion in Sickbay cutting off yet another Star-Crossed Lovers conversation -- jeez, ya think Coto wants this stupid E-plot over and done with? I admit that given last week's plot, it would be reasonable in real life to have the conversation. Traditionally Trek would have dropped it like a hot rock. So points for the continuity, even though I don't like the story.) Bakula still has some of the weight-of-the-universe delivery from last season, which like the other arc actually works with character development, and the contrast between those three and Soong's jaunty indifference to their traumas creates some astonishing sparks. I am really glad this will be three episodes. Soong is also quite charismatic, especially in the scene in the ship's brig. You can see why the Augments love and follow him, and there's even a hint of Khan's arrogance.

Moogie thought that it would have been even cooler if these three eps had not been contiguous -- if some other plot, a standalone, was next week, and then this story picked up again the week after that, which would be more like real life. If Coto had had control of ENT from S1, we could have had the luxury now of that braiding of ongoing plotlines.

Soong as a scientist makes some good points. Phlox essentially echoes the thought -- that gengineering can be used to benefit people. The issue is that Soong "went too far." Did he? Wouldn't we as a species want to eliminate disease and extend lifespans? Wouldn't double intelligence and quintuple strength be good things? It's a heavy thing to ponder, and Trek specializes in putting those big questions in front of us. I hope the second and third eps let us wrestle with the ethics of this in more detail.

Shrek and Fiona?
The first draft of the Art Asylum action figures were considered slightly too realistic by the focus groups. However, a few of the "comp" figures still remain, and are eagerly sought after by convention goers.

Why was T'Pol allowed to blend the catsuits with the 'Fleet pips, stripes, and patch? If she's in Starfleet, she should have a jumpsuit like Hoshi's. If she returned to the VHC, she could go back to the industrial carpeting catsuit (not that I want her to). She was a civilian in the Expanse, so I thought the pretty colors were akin to Seven's sausage casings. I realize Blalock is the show's T&A, but Troi's character improved immeasurably on TNG when they put her in a standard uniform, and her attractiveness was in no way diminished. It's a shame they can't follow that example on ENT. It would give T'Pol back some of the seriousness she lost last year.

Speaking of Blalock, I'm told she was fairly ill when filming the first three eps, which is why she looks like a Biafran child, and Trinneer came down with whatever it was afterwards for the Spiner arc.

Yay MACOs! After Archer's little mountaintop rant, it makes sense that he would ask to keep them aboard. Not that they do much good against the Augments -- MACOs seem to be best at retreating -- but hey, even half-assed protection is better than none.

The slightly extended pullout from the repair dock was yet another visual cue that Coto is rebooting ENT, and all to the better. They did remove the astronauts from the launch sequence this time; seeing them for a third round would have been kind of painful.

At least the new version of the Big Chair fits Archer properly.The Don't Touch That Button plays "Faith of the Heart," so it's probably a very good idea not to engage it.

Ships are not supposed to go into warp that close inside a solar system, let alone right next to Jupiter Station!

We have to assume the compass Archer gave his XO was a symbolic gift, since there's no magnetic north in space. The needle would point at every door it went by.

What criteria did the Orions use to grab people? It seemed rather random, especially when Ensign Wetbehindtheears was nearly sold for dog food. It's not like they grabbed all women or all security goons or all people above 5'6" but under 110 pounds.

The kidnap-transporter was very funny. One guy slides right into oblivion. Archer asks T'Pol if the energy surge is a weapon. "No," she begins...and poof she's gone.

Persis is quite the little manipulator, isn't she? I guess double intelligence doesn't come with double ethical restraints installed as standard equipment. With great power comes great responsibility, kids. Not that the rest of the NPC Augments were any towers of nobility either -- they were quick to pull knives on behalf of whomever was Alpha Dog of the moment. I hope we get to find out more about how Soong reared them. Khan quoted from classics and was clearly well-educated in human literature. Malik quoted Freddy N, but did Soong leave them a library or read to them in the cradle? Were they more Lord of the Flies or "Miri" for the last ten years? They were well cast, I thought -- most of them looked like they could be very brawny 20-year-olds.

evay cooks at Malcolm's station

Ow ow ow ow flames ow ow hot melting lipstick ow ow ow

Okay, why was Soong being blamed for the Orion attack? He "knew" the Borderland between the Empire and the Syndicate but didn't warn the crew about the slavers? He lied about how much he knew about the Orions? They kept acting like it was his fault, and I couldn't figure out why.

"If you wish," T'Pol says to Ensign Wetbehindtheears, "I can teach you how to minimize your anxiety. Take off your shirt and let's light some candles while I slip into some blue silk croptop pajamas...."

I thought the Orion woman was going to dance! All she did was lean suggestively. The butterfly twins from "Broken Bow" danced a little...

Shrek the guard taunts T'Pol, saying he's going to keep her for himself. "I'm not for sale," T'Pol snarls at him. "That was last week, and I did it for Mother."

We both had a good laugh when Archer turned off the restraints which Soong was hanging from in his escape attempt. A simple sight gag but a good one, and sorely needed on the show.

Why couldn't Mal Shoot The Hostage this time when Malik grabbed Archer, satisfying as it might have been? Because Malik would have ripped Archer's throat out anyway to prove his point, where the cowboy couldn't know what "stun" was.

Food Chain extremely weak, but Trip (bless his Italian heart) mentions putting a protein resequencer on the Cap'n's new Big Chair. Manny, don't take away the food! That's one of the good parts of ENT.

Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: Besides Spiner (who seems to have played every male Soong relative and creation in the franchise), Thom Williams (Klingon Soldier) is a regular ENT stunt guy, and the Klingon captain is played by J.G. Hertzler, who's competing with Jeffrey Combs, Vaughn Armstrong, Randy Oglesby, Thomas Kopache, and Marc Alaimo for Most Trek Guest Roles. On DS9 he played semi-regular Martok, a Vulcan captain in "Emissary," Laas in "Chimera," and Roy Rittenhouse in "Far Beyond the Stars"; on VOY he was the Hirogen Hunter in "Tsunkatse"; on ENT he was Kolos in "Judgment"; and he did the voice of Lurok for the Elite Force II videogame.

Trip looking worried

Look, Ah'm all for ensemble pieces, an' Ah don't even mind givin' half my lines to Mal, but Ah am gonna get somethin' substantial to do soon, right?

November 5, 2004: A typical middle to a trilogy, I guess -- darker, more backstory, not quite as engaging as the first or as satisfying as the third, but pretty solid as part of the arc. Some bad science, bad psychology, and the unfortunate return of Save-The-Universe-Himself-Archer. Good ensemble work. Trip got to look very worried over Cap'n. Malcolm got to shoot somebody. T'Pol is looking really disturbingly gaunt, and I hope to high heaven it's just that Blalock was ill and nothing worse than that. Some sparks goin' on there between Phlox and Lucas, hmm?

As Julia Houston once said, "It's a simple Trek truth: create something sentient and it will do what it wants, not what you want." Of course that's nowhere more evident than when it comes to children, and doubly the problem when said children are left like Lord of the Flies for ten years, and double that again when they were already being reared to think of themselves as the superior of everything else. Now, one of the ways Soong could have defused the rebellion the very first time Malik contradicted him would have been to explain why he didn't want humans killed. Noblesse oblige, with great power et cetera et al., it's a bitch to get blood out of the carpeting, whatever. But that would have made Malik and the rest of Brent's Kids feel more like part of the solution, rather than creating a problem. Nobody likes to follow orders blindly. When you disagree with what Mom or Dad says, it helps to know the why behind the because. (I know, I know, short show.)

So, does Soong have any blood children? Since Noonien is supposed to be his actual descendant? We thought Aug'geek might have been the runt of the litter because he was Soong's actual son. And one wonders if Khan (whose full name is Khan Noonien Singh) is also any relation.

I like how Malik continued to test Soong -- first by challenging him, then by tears and lies, with defiance, and finally by knocking him aside like any other human. Good escalation of the character's hubris without ever spelling it out.

The little father-child comments are funny, and a nice touch. "I can't believe I held you back in math," he jokes to the codebreaker Kid. It continues to round Soong out as a complicated villain who is also really a loving parent, not just a megalomaniac. Same with his strange mixture of violence and mercy towards the hostages -- a little reminiscent of Garak torturing Odo because he had to. Soong really didn't want to kill the poor blood-bursting guy (way to steal a disease from "Millennium" -- that was gross enough that I had to look the other way for most of that scene) or Dr. Lucas. He was relieved when Archer backed off. I wish we'd gotten half a line to explain that attitude, so we knew why he was so intent on saving human life at potentially the cost of his mission and his Kids.

Malcolm looking hot, Phlox looking jealous

Phlox: Oh, for the love of little green bats! You are not going down to the planet looking like that, are you?
Malcolm: Why? What's the matter?
Phlox: You're sporting a five o'clock shadow and Shine City. Not to mention all the other Starfleet personnel will be wearing exactly the same outfit. You're going to humiliate me in front of Jeremy.
Malcolm: You're just jealous because I didn't need to go on Annelidkins to drop two stone.
Trip: He's got ya there, Doc.

Aug'geek would not have eagerly pounced on the PADD with the information about his Russian parents. As the runt, he would have clung twice as hard to his identity as an Augment, and argued fiercely that Soong was his father in every way which counted.

Okay, and while we're on the subject, how the hell did Soong care for nineteen infants all at once, all by himself? Build a few androids to give him a hand for a few years?

Persis and Malik are just made for each other -- manipulative, plotting, double-dealing, power-hungry little jerks. Little doubt where they learned it, considering Soong's "Look at what you're making me do to him! This is on your conscience!" speech to Lucas. (Plus showing Persis in tighty-bluesies gives Braga has his T&A quotient for the month now that Blalock is insisting that T'Pol stay dressed.)

"Protocol 047" heh heh heh. I love a good ongoing in-joke.

Cap'n and Aug'geek have steak, baked potato, and...sour cream in sushi sauce dishes? What was in the third dish, au jus? (That's a personal running joke, BTW -- whenever Moogie and I see a menu where they list "roast beef sandwich with au jus" we can't order for 10 minutes because we're laughing so hard.) And it looks like Phlox was trying to eat a pot pie for eight.

Lots of cool little TOS-sounding background bings and clicks on the Bridge. We Trekkies eat that stuff up.

How is it that Archer was able to hold his own against any of the Augments even for a half-second? The door slamming the one guy in the face shouldn't have fazed him, and Archer should not have been able to do any damage to Malik.

So Archer's had the snot beaten out of him by Malik (although conveniently nothing's broken, and for a guy who really wants to kill humans, Archer's strangely alive). I ask, why didn't Archer send a MACO or Malcolm to the MacGuffin junction? Moogie asks, why didn't they just cut the artificial gravity, and Archer could *swoosh* up the tube like Neo?

Food Chain intact. Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: Richard Riehle (Dr. Lucas) was Batai in TNG's "The Inner Light," and Seamus Driscol in VOY's horrible Irish wakes "Fair Haven" and "Spirit Folk." (Oh, that's where I've seen him before! I thought he was Wilford Brimley's younger brother.)

November 9, 2004: Totally Shameless Fellow Trekkie Plug: Regular browsers of the site know that at the bottom of each History page I post a cartoon, either about Trek or computers or the 'net in general. I forgot to break the most recent History page at October 1, so when I remembered to do it I added a comic from a strip to which my sister just introduced me, called "Sheldon." It's drawn by dedicated ENT fan Dave Kellett, and is reminiscent of the early days of "Bloom County" in its characters and banter. Check it out for a morning smile.

Trip funge

Dang. Another show were Ah jest run from the Bridge to the warp core an' back. Well, Ah suppose it helps me work off all that pie.

November 12, 2004: A solid and satisfying wrap-up, with a gasping good twist at the end and some spectacular CGI. If this is what digital filming allows, they should have started that way! A leeetle too much TOS namedropping. Blalock looks like she finally had a decent meal between eps. Trinneer also seems to have recovered from the flu, and did a nice job with the Days of Our Lives scene. (I'm really hoping they finally put a stake in this damn E-plot. This isn't the WB, for pity's sake.) Malcolm got to blast a torpedo out of the bloody sky like skeet shooting! And had some technical suggestions to make which were followed and which worked! Bakula is totally digging being allowed to be subtle and underplay moments instead of aiming for the back row of the theatre all the time. Hoshi got to, uh, answer a lot of phone calls. Phlox got to have one moment of angst over his boyfriend. Not all our questions answered, but I wasn't left yelling at the TVset.

Spiner is just marvelous. The glares, the obsession-glazed stares, the anguished looks, kissing Persis's hand on his way out, trying desperately to reach his "children" all the way to the end, the mixture of joy and fear on his face as he sees Malik is alive. I forgot entirely about Data until the very last bit in the cell, when he's calm again and his delivery went back to that measured rhythm. And that is no small feat.

Archersicle

Archer is finally convinced that playing water polo in the middle of January is not the wisest idea.

I'm fairly sure Archer would already have been dead from the decompression and vacuum of space, but it was just fast enough that I'll forgive it. Besides, seeing Archer half-iced like a Demolition Man makeup test was worth it. :) But the redness around his eyes heals between camera shifts on the Bridge. Maybe he was infected with a little Augment healing power? (Maybe he has more in common with Buffy than we thought?)

We still don't know whence comes Soong's nearly fanatical objection to killing. He rats out his Kids to save the Klingon colony and the rest of the Terran race because he can't bear the thought of that much death. You'd think, as Archer pointed out, someone who would do anything for these Kids wouldn't blink at killing, but then again, his whole purpose is improving and creating life. So it's not entirely out of character -- I just would have liked some explanation.

Did Jolene get a new wig along with the upgraded catsuits? The bowl cut looks a little fuller.

So Khan and Brent's Kids are all the same batch, that's the idea? Okay, that works. And these guys are too young yet to have developed the astonishing presence and charisma which Khan had (but old enough to have his arrogance and utter confidence). Interesting that Malik thought Khan's mistake was to run and thereby get lost, rather than stand and fight to the bitter end. Khan, as a leader, understood that survival was the most important thing. If you survive, you can fight again later. If you're dead, it's over.

Anyone playing along with the Drinking Game can be forgiven for switching to a non-potent potable for this arc, since "I had no choice!" was used about a dozen times and that's a two-drink line.

Moogie points out that there are two problems with "removing the genes for ambition": you eliminate a certain amount of self-preservation, because the altered people don't think far enough ahead to plan for defenses; and a culture with no ambition has no accomplishments, no urge to do anything new. What's the point in living 200 years free of disease if all you do is sit around and watch the grass grow? (Which see "The Enemy Within.")

Why does Soong set a course for "184-mark-3" but in "Azati Prime" Trip tells Trav to take the Xindi shuttle "Negative Z-axis, 10 degrees"? Since LeVar Burton directed, did he and Spiner both slip into TNG-speak and forget that 'Fleet doesn't use that terminology yet?

I finally noticed that the carpeting and doors on the Bridge are a nice blue! That's a change from last season.

Little problem with Malik's plan: the biotoxins would have been fired from a Klingon vessel using Klingon torpedoes onto a Klingon colony. How would anyone know to blame Terrans? Just because they were stolen from a Terran facility doesn't mean Terrans did it, especially when the rest of the station is also poisoned.

Now we know what happened to the Tuckers, and we have proof that Charles Tucker II is still with us. But since Trip said that his parents are fine, and they have a house, that still negates his "Ah don't have anywhere to go" line.

The bluffing bit was quite funny. I loved Archer ending it with the "garbage scow" line. It's a total and direct line-of-foresight to "The Trouble With Tribbles," but it worked.

Okay, WHY doesn't the UT ever translate "Qa'pla!"? TNG did the same damn thing. The Klingon captain is, one would assume, speaking Klingon the entire conversation. So why is that one word not translated into English or Standard or whatever they're calling it? Is it supposed to be like "laissez-faire" or "faux pas," when a foreign word or phrase gets used so much it becomes part of English?

And wombat61 asks, "So the Klingons have just forgotten that Archer is an escaped criminal?" It's barely within the realm of possibility that Archer himself didn't speak to any Klingons when things were smoothed over at the end -- and I think it would have been better if things weren't smoothed, if that were the beginning of the Terran-Klingon wars -- but it's not really plausible. This is the kind of show where we can say that it's good enough that these little nits can be overlooked, but Manny, you don't have an unlimited number of Get Out of Nitpicking Free cards. Start cleaning up after yourself. Yes, we like the continuity, but don't overcorrect from the Killer Bs.

Lots of NPCs filling in for Bridge crew! Wow, we were just bitching about that last week. It's nice to see a little realism.

So what was with Persis? She never went for the strongest, she kept going for the next. Whoever was going to be on top was the guy to whom she aligned herself. Strange character trait. I wonder if that was a twisted variant of ambition -- she had this drive to move forward, always forward, in some way she couldn't understand, so she expressed it by fueling and supporting revolts.

It was fun to see the retrieval and opening of the escape pod from inside the pod. We don't ever get that angle. Still the same idiotic protocol where the captain risks himself by opening the pod first, then Malcolm's behind him, then the MACO behind both of them, completely unable to protect the captain if the occupant of the pod attacks him. I'm just going to blame Archer for that, since Mal is doing so well this week.

I swear Malcolm was drooling a bit when he said "D-5 class battle cruiser"...

Pulling the nacelle off the ship so they can't create a stable warp field? That's inventive. Almost something Janeway would have done.

The ending was note-perfect for Brent's Kids. Malik especially embodied "better to die on your feet than live on your knees," particularly if jailed by the "normal" humans on whom they are the improvements. I did not predict Malik would beam in and try to kill Soong. That last shot going clear through Malik ew! (And why was it that the first shot by the MACO barely singed his eyebrows but the second by Archer left a plot hole in his spleen? Is that the difference between Stun and Kill on the Maisie Boomsticks?) The violence has really skyrocketed along with the CGI, and I'm hoping the next arc or two are less bloody and more cerebral. Did I need to watch Malik kiss Persis ere he kill'd her, and see her die slowly and painfully upon a kiss?

I can sing a rainbow too

Little-known cross-franchise fact: the Silver Surfer's cousin, the Rainbow Reactor, helped Zephram Cochrane develop the warp drive.

CGI highlights: The big blue gas giant, several rainbow warps, the Praxis explosion of the torpedoes, the Klingon ship coming up the Z-plane to buzz Enterprise. A big round of applause for the SFX folks.

So...does Soong have biological children yet or not? I guess he doesn't, but that means what, he marries a prison guard? (Remember that all the Paramount propaganda has specifically named him N. Soong's great-grandfather, not a mere ancestor.)

If you're wondering why, on a Trip-focused site, I've barely talked about Trip at all these last three eps, it's mostly because the ensemble has focused on the guest villains and Trip hasn't had much to do. And the only time he has been center stage it's been part of the frelling soap opera which will not die. I had been hoping that "Home" would have shoved that out the airlock, but TPTB seem determined to keep dragging that dead horse around to beat it a little more every week. Since I refuse to talk about that plot, and Trip is apparently not allowed to do much of anything which doesn't involve that storyline, there hasn't been much for me to say about our boy. I hope that changes soon.

Food Chain is NOT in fact broken; rainwoman reminded me that T'Pol points out Trip hasn't been at the Cap'n's Table for dinner in a while.

Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: Mark Rolston (Captain Magh) was Kuroda, the bad guy, from "Canamar" and Lieutenant Walter Pierce in TNG's "Eye of the Beholder." Dayna Devon, the unnamed blonde engineer NPC, was an unnamed alien in "Stigma."

Sorry, doc

Trip: Sorry, doc, Ah just can't let you do it.
Phlox: But they're so cute!
Trip: Not while Ah'm in command.
Phlox: Hoshi said sehlats are just Vulcan teddy bears!
Trip: Not precisely, Doctor. On Vulcan, the teddy bears are alive, and they have six-inch fangs.

November 19, 2004: Oh my god! They killed Forrest! You bastards!

Well, okay, the Reeves-Stevenses pretty much kick butt otherwise, so we'll just assume they're taking a page out of Joss Whedon's book and whacking characters whenever it serves the story. Still. Forrest! We liked Forrest.

Anyway. Much Soval, doing very well, although Gary Graham looks like he caught the same flu which ravaged the rest of the crew. I was surprised to see him cast his lot so far with the Terrans so fast -- maybe that's what Forrest's death was supposed to accomplish? The "I can meld" thing was way too convenient, even though Coto and the RSs really busted their humps writing their way out of "Fusion"/"Stigma." Jeez, they'll have to give ENT another season just to let Manny finish cleaning up all the messes the Killer Bs left lying around! >:(

A fascinating script. Very involved and layered. Yes, there were bits which were too pat -- the Plot Complication Storm, Soval abruptly coming out of the melding closet, the Vulcan All-Citizen DNA Database (and that creeped me out, not for anything) -- but it's a three-part arc of 39-minute shows, so at some point you have a cut a corner or two to move the story forward. Many TOS namedrops (Spock's "Remember" when passing on his katra, the Vulcan inner eyelid) and even one TAS reference. Good ensemble work in the B-plot again. Trip didn't get to do too much while in charge, but we have two eps to go yet (plus he was working with Malcolm, so no complaints).

*dreamy sigh* love the Vulcan statuary. Loved the glowing red planet shots with the ship in orbit. Loved the boys all hot and sweaty playing Triad. I mean basketball.

Two things which interested me about Soval's little speech to Forrest about being unable to pigeonhole humanity. First, he was able both to reify such an idea and then admit it to his human counterpart, and especially while walking through the halls where anyone could hear. There's a huge amount of trust and vulnerability going on there. I guess one of the first steps to real trust is to allow the other person to see you vulnerable, and hope that the exposure isn't abused. He does know Forrest several years, so it's not inconceivable. He's like this the whole ep (and I imagine now the whole arc), revealing things no Vulcan ordinarily would. We don't know if this is deliberate for future events or just a character change on the part of the writers; we'll have to see.

Secondly, the issue is as much that the Vulcans can't label Terrans with any one consistent, shall we say, stereotype? as it is that what they do see of Terrans' rapid progress unchecked with Vulcanlike logic scares the crap out of them. Soval rattles off a bunch of species which are reducible to a single (negative) trait: stubbornness, volatility, arrogance. What discomfits him the most is that he can't boil Terrans down the same way. This is an extremely subtle nod to Roddenberry's all-the-way-back original idea of using sci-fi to tell stories about the present day, by creating these other species with their single identifiable characteristics to represent parts of us and then let our crew wrestle with them. It's just flipped. All the other species are one-trick ponies, culturally speaking, but Terrans aren't. And the Vulcans, who are scientists and like being able to put things in a box, find this really annoying.

The game was cool. I like seeing the crew hang out and just relax together, Trip and Hoshi goofing on each other, ordinary friendly competition. The three 24th-century series had the ever-changing holodeck/holosuite programs, but these guys have only the space they've got, and their ingenuity.

I wish I knew whether it was the directors or the actress, but Blalock just emotes all over the dang place. She gave a spate of interviews over the summer decrying how her character was stripped of all Vulcan characteristics, but then she herself bugs out her eyes, twitches, flinches, whimpers, and generally looks on the verge of tears half the time. If it's deliberate because the Thrillerium and Pa'nar have left her control a shambles, I suppose I'll go with it, but if it's that Blalock can't even deliver what she's asking for, that's pretty sad.

I guess T'Les was right: Vulcans really don't say "thank you." It actually started to get on my nerves by the end of the episode! Why is that basic courtesy not extended?

"Surak I've heard of," Archer says. Well yeah, considering T'Pol gave you the book of cthia all the way back in "Two Days and Two Nights"...

I can see my house from here

Red sky at night, Starfleet's delight; red sky at morning, render farmers take warning.

Now, we have some timeline oddness here. Soval says it took 1,500 years for Vulcan to recover from electing the village idiot to the presidency twice. The head of the VHC says that "even after 1,800 years we consider [Surak] the most important Vulcan who ever lived." Later, Redshirt Vulcan tells T'Pol and Archer that Surak died on Mt. Seleya just before a battle with "those who march beneath the raptor's wings," which is the loveliest euphemism for "Romulan" I've ever heard. The Romulans (who were Vulcans at the time) left Vulcan at that point and founded their colony in a binary system (Romulus and Remus, or ch'Rihan and ch'Havran), and there have been visually significant changes in the species since. Recall that Donatra, the female Romulan commander from Nemesis was a bit beetle-browed, as were Picard and Data when they went undercover to locate Ambassador Spock on Romulus. (I'm not even going to get into the whole Reman thing.) First, how can that kind of evolutionary change happen in less than two thousand years? And second, given all that, that means Vulcans have only been exploring space for three hundred years? Considering that Vulcan life expectancy, as evidenced in "Unification Pt 1," is around two hundred, does that sound right? My copy of Spock's World is packed at the moment, so I can't check (any volunteers?), but I really thought Surak and the Sundering (from the people who would become the Romulans) were several thousand years farther back than that. Yes, yes, Nitpicker's Guild, blah blah blah. :)

Malcolm doing his job again, twice in a row! woo hoo! Hubby thought it was sloppy work the way he handled the discovery of the bomb, because it appears that Malcolm just scans the thing without telling the ship what's going on, but he does actually leave the channel open while he's talking -- that's why he shouldered the thing so awkwardly, like an office phone -- so they can hear him as he tells Travis what he's doing. Still, it was another instance of dramatic padding with Travis playing Atlas and Malcolm swearing. I thought we'd left that behind in the Expanse. And why send down the helmsman? Why not another security goon? or a MACO?

"T'Pau...all Vulcan in one package." It'll be neat to see how they connect those dots.

Soval says Forrest saved his life, at the expense of Forrest's own. Watching that scene, I'm not sure how Soval gets that impression. He did drag Soval off, but how could Forrest have "saved himself" and not protected Soval? Left him to get FOOMed? Pulled Soval on top of him instead of covering the Ambassador with his body?

The IDIC medallion is really beautiful. When the holographic map popped up out of the center, did anyone else start rattling off Leia's message? "Help me, Obi T'Pol, you're my only hope!"

Soval gives Trip a datachip listing when transports can't be detected. Archer and T'Pol promptly hop up on the pad and...beam down. Gee, that's some really good timing that they just happened to hit a blank spot in the surveillance, isn't it?

Don't Vulcan children have any other domesticated animals? For T'Pol to have even the same pet as Spock is really one namedrop too many.

We should have known the helpful Vulcan was a goner: he chuckled, and he's wearing red-orange robes....And speaking of robes, once again T'Pol is the only Vulcan in any capacity wearing a catsuit and not something tailored and sensible or flowing and elegant. If she's in Starfleet, she should be in a flight suit. If she's still representing her species or government, she should be in some version of their uniforms. The Vulcans on Seleya were wearing the charcoal-gray busboy tunics like Soval's.

Why the strange up-the-nose closeups in Sickbay and later with Soval? Director Michael Grossman cut the frame so closely Malcolm got chopped for a moment when turning his head to make a point.

"Corporal" Asquith? In a 'Fleet uniform? Corporal is an Army/MACO rank. Starfleet uses Navy ranks (like Ensign and Commodore rather than Corporal and Major). Somebody oopsed.

Do you mind?

Soval: Do...you...mind not breathing down my Vulcan neck?
Trip: My breathing is a simul-- oh wait, wrong show, sorry. Ah'll move.

I found it interesting that Trip was essentially willing to injure the guard to get the information they needed -- shades of Captain de Sade? Apparently the Expanse did have some lasting effects on everyone.

Okay, so Archer's not supposed to be in the desert. The VHC isn't supposed to know he's on the planet. The Syrranites aren't supposed to know he's (they're) looking for him. And what does he wear? A baseball cap...reading NX-01. And he's traveling with a woman who used to be part of the Ministry of Security, trained in reconnaissance, working to locate and retrieve undercover agents who'd gone native. My goodness, Starfleet does hire some bright lights!

Our silver-tongued boy talks Soval out of the closet and into the fire. Trip is some persuader. Soval's gotta be thinking ew! icky Human thoughts! but he mutters about "the needs of the many" and relents. If you want a precursor to Sarek, here's where we should be looking.

Sigh. Does Archer really have to be not only the first human to carry a Vulcan katra, but the carrier of Surak's katra? This Archer-Saves-The-Universe bit is really getting old.

Food Chain intact. No new Recycled Trek Actors. I'm really looking forward to the next two eps!

November 22, 2004: I can't tell you how delighted I get when someone writes in to correct something I've gotten wrong, because it means that not only are people actually reading and paying attention to my site, but that they care enough that what I post is right. So my thanks to Li, who pointed out that we did in fact have a Recycled Trek Actor in "The Forge," namely Robert Foxworth (V'Las, the head of the VHC), who played Admiral Leyton in DS9's "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost."

Trip looking shocked

Trip: You got all your shopping done already? On Black Friday?
Soval: I ordered everything from L.L. Bean. The quality of their goods is extremely high, and their customer service is legendary.
Trip: Even on Vulcan?
Soval: Commander, if I were to purchase a catsuit from the company, set it on fire, and return the ashes, they would refund my money or send me a new garment free of charge.
Trip: Think you could talk 'em into sending back a standard uniform instead? 'Cause if that's the case, we might finally have a way to get T'Pol to switch over.

November 26, 2004: Wow, T'Pau's just a firecracker, isn't she? Too bad Ted Sturgeon's estate hadn't allowed her to be XO instead of T'Pol like TPTB originally wanted. She would have chewed up and spit out the whole Bridge crew without breaking a sweat. Rrrowwwrrr! (I wouldn't be surprised if Surak does end up in her head. All of Vulcan in one package, indeed!) I didn't yet get the fill-the-room presence from her which Celia Lovsky commanded, but the potential is there. The actress was just a little too cute, though. Someone looking more like T'Les (but younger) would have been more convincing. <nitpicker>And they got the accent wrong! Lovsky spoke like a Russian immigrant. Kara Zediker is just another cute Californian carefully enunciating.</nitpicker>

This middle part holds up better than the middle of the Augments arc, I think; it's got more plot of its own, and advances both storylines significantly. Acting was strong all around. More of the Vulcan puzzle is unfolding, deliciously so. Juicy politics. No spineless characters, although the bad guy is fairly one-dimensional. T'Pol channels Scully. Plenty of continuity. Less Archer-Saves-The-Universe, but it's still there to deux ex vulcana things along.

Oooh, 'dja notice the pretty Vulcan buildings have the same architectural feel as the sleek Vulcan ships? Let's have a round of applause for the design folks who were paying attention....

An awful lot of emotional Vulcans! T'Les nearly smiles at seeing her daughter. T'Pau's eyes smolder, snap, and crackle as she defends herself. V'Las is off the scale: shouting, smirking, sneering, purring, licking his chops. Jeez, the whole place needs a shot of V'alium.

I think since Malcolm had so few closeup scenes this week, Makeup used Dom Keating's lipstick allotment on Trinneer and Graham -- both of them were looking très moisturous.

"I began seriously to question my beliefs." Just a tip of the English major hat to Bormanis for having T'Les not split that infinitive. :)

Did director Roxann Dawson reuse the temple-columns-in-the-desert from Kumquaat, the Lokek capital from "Extinction"? Well, at least that ep gave the franchise something to justify its existence.

I liked Surak a great deal. One of the things which so appealed to me (besides that he was vastly better dressed than when he showed up in "The Savage Curtain") was that he wasn't stuffy in his control. He was relaxed, completely certain of himself, not condescending or superior but a teacher, leading by example. He had that calm centeredness which reminds me of Buddha, and the twinkle in his eye which hinted that he could take delight in life's funny moments. I credit the actor for a lot of that -- he was on screen for less than five minutes, but I really felt that depth. Mark Lenard had that quality also, of being absolutely at ease with himself and unafraid of what he saw in the mirror. Tuvok came off as though it would be embarrassing if he were caught appreciating a joke. Sarek was the kind of man who could make a pun if he thought his audience would appreciate it, and I think Surak would also. (Although why he thinks his people will listen to an emotional alien over one of their own I'm not sure....)

Dawson brings back the crane shots! Yay! (Not the spinning ones, but we'll take what we can get.) She's also getting out of pitch-dark-set mode, which makes it easier to see what's going on, at least. And she echoes the roundabout which most directors do for mind melds, to give the audience that claustrophobic feeling. I like it.

Out of his Vulcan mind

That's it, then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for sehlats and orphans, no more merciful koon-ut-kal-i-fees, and call off Christmas!

Now the Vulcans-as-snots is starting to make sense. If they are in fact drifting from Surak's teachings, they are disregarding the need to control their emotions, which are violent. That's what caused the wars (and The War, cf. Spock's World) in the first place. So it isn't surprising that V'Las is getting a bit wild around the eyes about the Syrrannites. It is surprising that all the flunkies leap to do his bomb-bidding, even though his assistant blinks a few times. (Anyone else think the head of Vulcan security was framed as a Syrrannite? That he willingly planted the bomb at V'Las's request but then took the fall when the false evidence was uncovered, whether he'd planned to do so or not?) V'Las himself is pretty chilling. He ratchets up the intensity, starting at "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" and escalating to Martin Sheen's President Stillson from The Dead Zone. (Yes, that was a movie before it was a TV show, and a book before it was a movie; and Sheen didn't always play a good liberal president, he was also a psycho religious apocalyptic nutcase one.)

The more Vulcans I see in layered embroidered robes or nicely tailored outfits, the more annoying the catsuits become (not to mention the continued lack of Starfleet uniform on a Starfleet officer). Do none of the suits see the disconnect here, or are they blinded by Blalock's breasts?

You know, Trav should just stay silent. Montgomery's delivery of his four lines was really clunky. And why did they need to rig special helm controls for the shuttlepod anyway? Regular propulsion wouldn't get it down to Vulcan? If it was something about the geomacguffin field, why didn't they mention that?

So, T'Pol can't get her control back and be fully Vulcan, Archer can't get Surak out and be fully human -- are TPTB just going to scramble the crew's brains one by one until they're all drooling lunatics? Or are they going to stop here so Trip and Malcolm can take over the ship permanently?

Moogie says Trip's cruisin' for a court-martial by not leaving when 'Fleet ordered him to, and for firing back at the Vulcan ships, AND for taking off for Andoria when Great Bird only knows where 'Fleet told them to head instead. And Soval is right up there in the stocks with him for multiple acts of treason. Obviously, since this is Trek, that won't happen, but in the real military, Trip would be at least desk-jobbed and Soval would be cashiered.

Trinneer turns in another fine performance. I sometimes overlook the simple, workaday episodes where he's just solid and engaging with ordinary material, but since I was lamenting the dearth of Trip earlier, I should make special effort to point him out now. He's relaxed and confident in command, turning to Soval for advice but not to do the job for him. The two fence nicely. I loved the resurgence of the "Vulcans keep hanging up on Trip" joke from all the way back in "Cease Fire." Notice that when he orders the ship to Andoria, not one person squawks about leaving Archer and T'Pol behind -- Malcolm just wants to know why Andoria and not somewhere else. They trust that Trip knows what he's doing, a nice counterpoint to T'Pau (who doubts that Syrran could possibly have intended to transfer Surak to Archer) and Kuvak (who's watching his boss whip himself into a green froth).

You know, I bet if it had been another Vulcan carrying Surak's katra, they would have had a nice flat cot for him to lie on, rather than propping him up on his knees a foot off the floor so he'd pitch down on his head after it was done. (Although I love how Archer rolls his eyes with his entire head at the Pathetic Fallacy Lightning which punctuates T'Pau's pre-ritual speechifying.)

So, in at least two years, not one person -- including Syrran, who already had Surak as a katra companion -- figured out that Rosebud was behind that particular door? Or didn't Surak feel like giving up the locker combination?

Note that the Syrrannites had some kind of cloaking device to hide their, uh, hideout, which the photonic cannons knock out.

Of course T'Pol is allowed to cry over losing her mother; I'm not that hard-hearted. Jeez. (Then Moogie's yelling at the TV "Quick! She's dying! Grab her katra! Stuff it inside T'Pol's head!") T'Les said she joined the Syrrannites (to help them come to power, one imagines) to help her overly emotional daughter. Because the reformations of logic will help get her jangling neurons under control? Hmm....

Food Chain barely intact (thanks to Malcolm and his delicate stomach). Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: John Rubinstein (Kuvak -- the assistant, I guess?) was the Mazarite captain in "Fallen Hero" and Earhart's boyfriend John Evansville in VOY's "The 37s." Bruce Gray (Surak) was Admiral Chekote in TNG's "Gambit: Part 1" and DS9's "The Circle."

December 3, 2004: That was frickin' awesome! Okay, sorry, fanboy geek moment over.

... nope, not quite. That was amazing! Holy mother of pearl have we been dying for this! And the Romulans at the end tying back to TNG woo hooooo!

Andorians blue, and Vulcans green, in our Yellow Submarine

And we live a life of ease
Ev'ry one of us has all we need
Andorians blue, and Vulcans green
In our Yellow Submarine
We all live on the starship Enterprise,
The starship Enterprise,
The starship Enterprise

With apologies to the Beatles

All right, now I'm done. :) Seriously, that went right outta the park. What a solid conclusion-plus. Tied up loose ends, opened up other stories, Archer at least needed help in saving the universe, T'Pol got to fight and didn't devolve into a spastic wuss, T'Pau kicked butt, Soval was great, Shran adds another layer, Captain Tucker and First Officer Reed return! Cheers all around!

Didn't any of the other Vulcans on the VHC think V'Lar was acting a little extreme? I mean, by the end he was flapping his arms and yelling and ranting like he'd been off his medication for weeks. Or are they all yes-men? Or are they all hard up for V'alium themselves? Kurak wasn't precisely a model of restraint and equanimity.

Captain Tucker and XO Reed, V'Las and Kurak. The leader's doing something which is only half popular. The trusted lieutenant brings up the opposing position. Both are dismissed without the leader changing his mind. But Malcolm knew that Trip heard him, and had considered the options and planned for the worst, while V'Las just blew Kurak off with a snarl which fomented his rebellion. Malcolm was unhappy that Trip didn't agree with his more conservative advice, but Trip had solid reasons for his decision, which he gave, and Mal didn't act like he was reluctantly following a four-pip nutcase. V'Las steamrollered forward and Kurak had to push and push until he was finally threatened with actual violence before he openly defied the pointy-eared dictator.

It warms my nitpicking heart to see my musings from the previous week addressed. 'Fleet did order them to return to Earth and Trip does know he's not supposed to go to Andoria. "Ah'll save ya a seat at my court-martial," he sighs to Malcolm. And don't they work wonderfully together? As friends, as peers, as coworkers, running the ship, they partner and spar and support one another and there's no fear that either one's lost his mind or ignored possible consequences or is going to take crazy risks for no reason. I sez send T'Pol and Archer off to Mt. Seleya to study Kolinahr and let these two take over. (What really seals Trip in my mind as captain material is that he's willing to admit his doubts to Soval. Anyone who's convinced he's right all the time about everything is not fit to lead -- such as V'Las.)

I love the blue doors.

There was a nice Kirk/Spock vibe going on between Archer and T'Pol as they were walking, and then it was neatly turned on its head when Surarcher and T'Spastic started fencing. Just a little, not enough to be obvious, but it was there. Sussman's good.

So why does Archer have to hold the torch and the Portable Obelisk of Portent? It was half the episode before he put the thing in his bag. Was Surak feeling clingy and wanted to see Rosebud again after 1,800 years?

Soval shouts into the nebula...nothin'. He calls again...still nothin'. Trip says "hello, Ah'm in on this too..." and Shran pops up like a Smurf-in-the-box. I'm telling you, the man could charm the feathers off a flock of birds if he really exerted himself.

So all the way back in "Cease Fire" (which is the planet around which the Andorian fleet is originally massed, by the way, nice touch) Tarah and Shran malign the Vulcans. "They stall and lie and make promises they never intend to keep," she tells Shran."You act as if they have some moral code. They have no conscience, only their precious logic." I mourned that our pointy-eared friends were being slandered. And now it turns out that Tarah was right -- at least about some of them. They do lie frequently, enough so that the Syrrannites make a point of saying that their group doesn't. And the ones led by V'Las really were without conscience. I love this interweaving.

Shran is great. If the Imperial Guard retaliates against the Vulcan fleet, "it will be a disaster for both our worlds," he growls to Soval. He's not an enemy, although not quite ready to commit to being a full ally -- yet. He's an officer and a commander doing his job, and protecting the interests of his government and his crew. You can believe both that he'd torture Soval to be certain of his information and that he'd feel guilty and concerned about Soval's condition afterwards. He's one of the most satisfying tertiary characters on the show. He and Soval are a splendid duo. I could have watched four years of this arc (or seven!) and been completely happy. Ditch the Xindi and the Expanse and everything which happened last year. One thing I do wonder: why have Shran's lieutenants all been women so far? Coincidence? Deliberate casting or deliberate character choice?

Once and future Vulcan

Give a little bit of heart and soul, and a little bit of meld to grow...

The moment when T'Pau and T'Pol are speaking before the meld had some outstanding camera work. T'Pau all in shadow, cool and logical; T'Pol in white and sunlight and emotions hangin' out like dirty laundry. Beautifully done.The cinematography is excellent throughout the ep, but this was a particular jewel.

I don't think T'Pol actually converted and became a Syrrannite after T'Pau melded with her; I think she was lying to cover the tracks of the other two. But it would have been nice to know if anything went on during that meld -- if the Pa'nar was dealt with, or started to be dealt with, or couldn't be healed at all, and if T'Pol did sense anything of her mother. And how deep did that meld go? Sarek and Picard said something of the melder is always left with the meldee. Does this mean T'Pol will become more serene and T'Pau now knows about all last year's folderol? I hope to see this addressed in the future. I can actually say that, since TPTB are now genuinely paying attention to what happens from week to week and not writing each show as though it happens in a vacuum. (And speaking of continuity, Zediker's accent is a little more like Lovsky's this episode.) But shouldn't T'Pau's group be calling themselves "Surakians" instead of "Syrrannites"? We don't know enough about how he got the group underway to know if it deserves his name, I guess. If it's only a few years old, I suppose it works.

See, here's why T'Pol should never have been made "more human" last year: Soval being worn down under the Scream Machine was powerful, frightening, so upsetting it moved an enemy to change sides. That's because Soval has always been composed, and seeing him falling apart was unusual. But T'Pol squawking in a quavery voice and with twitching head about following a madman through the desert? Been there done that Flaky Vulcan whatever. No impact. Now, I grant you that she's been much better from the beginning of the Brent's Kids arc, which makes sense if she's a dry drunk, so to speak. She's not taking the drug, so she's healing. And she will have these lapses from time to time depending on whether the writers need her to be stoic or emotional for a plot point. But it will never have the same oomph from her again. It's like after Data got the emotion chip -- when Q gave him a belly laugh once, it was breathtaking. Seeing him laugh and cry throughout a whole movie wore out the newness of it.

Ta'archer

I am so much cooler than Picard, I can do this with my right hand and my pinky finger doesn't drift.

One has to wonder who among TPTB has a grudge against Vulcans, though, to continue to find excuses to present them as raving, slobbering, hysterical maniacs. Shran tortures Soval on a machine which eradicates emotional control. V'Las hopped up on power, or maybe he's not Vulcan at all. T'Pol with a disease and on drugs. I hope the slightly clunky ending means that the Era Of The Scenery-Chewing Vulcans is finally over.

Soval is discovered to be missing. Why is it SOP to wait for the commanding officer's orders to hail him and then to scan for his biosigns? Shouldn't those be the first things done, before bothering the captain? Shouldn't they have some useful information in hand before summoning him? He's only going to ask for it anyway.

"I'll tear the antennae from your skull!" Soval roars. Shran's antennae promptly flatten all the way backwards, and I bet both his boys shrank up a bit too.... I thought Soval was going to tell the Vulcan version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but the Soldier at Gol was much better. It even sounded similar to other anecdotes from Spock's World -- which I only bring up because other people involved in the franchise at large are publicly pleased that some of the novels are working their way into canon. It makes the Vulcan civilization really feel thousands of years old. It also reminds us that Vulcan was wracked with war for a lot of that time, and only recently (and not entirely!) has been "bred to peace."

oooh they broke out the lirpas! Or lirpettes, maybe, because they're not quite as big as the Q-Tip of Death which Spock used to Koon-ut-Kal-i-Fu Kirk with. But how was Archer able to fight so well for so long in the thin atmosphere? His katra companion can't do anything about his lung capacity or dehydration. (Archer did pick up the neck pinch from one of them, though. If he ever uses it again, I'll laugh my head off.)

As often as I complain about Blalock's acting, let me give credit where it's due: When she tells the Vulcan Security Goon "I'm a Syrrannite; we don't lie," she gets it right between purr and snarl. Nicely done.

T'Pau points to the prints in the sand which are deep enough to make rabbits stumble. "They went thataway," she announces, "and T'Pol's with them." Thanks, Ranger T'Pau, we never would have figured that out on our own! (Then Archer turns and snaps at her the same way he used to snap at T'Pol when her logic was pissing him off, which was kinda funny.)

So I guess instead of having a secret password or a hazing ritual, in order to become a Syrrannite leader, you have to learn how to fake a sehlat call? Does that make Hermione a closet Syrrannite?

I was surprised, amused, and pleased to see it was Koss whom Archer asked for codes, not prying them out of Surak's and Syrran's database of memories. Good call! Easy way to get Koss back on the ship for his scene also.

Malcolm looking pensive

Malcolm: I'm concerned for the captain.
Trip: Why?
Malcolm: I taught him that quarterstaff sequence, but I don't know if it can be used with a lirpa.
Trip: The Little John Maneuver? It goes "Ho! Ha Ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!", doesn't it?
Malcolm: ...yes, but after that point he consistently struck himself in the face with the quarterstaff. If he does that with a lirpa --
Trip: Well, that'd be one way to get Surak out of his skull.

Okay, putting one's ship between two fighting armies when one or both are your allies in order to to keep them from killing one another is hereby known as the Tucker Maneuver. :D He's done it twice now; the first time was in "Cease Fire," also between Andorians and Vulcans. And I'm really pleased that it was Trip who led Enterprise in the armed part of the conflict, because it's spreading out the trust of the Andorians in general and Shran in particular to pinkskins, not just Archer. If the Andorians and Vulcans are going to join Terrans in creating the United Federation of Planets, then the groups have to trust each other, not just individuals.

Why wasn't T'Pol still in the room when Archer and T'Pau came in? Where did V'Las stick her? The local jail?

The zoetrope of Surak's teachings was a really neat effect. Much more interesting than an old scroll.

Is T'Pau taking a position as one of the planet's leaders? I assume Soval has been reinstated, since Kurak is in charge, but does Kurak agree with T'Pau? I guess she'd have to be one of the muckety-mucks now, in order to have the place she does by the time of TOS.

How cool was it that we finally got to hear how a doorbell works on the other side? I've always wondered.

While I don't want the Soap Opera E-Plot to drag on one second longer, that was a conveeeeenient move on Koss's part, wasn't it? For a guy who was pretty insistent on marrying T'Pol even though he apparently knew she was doing it for Mother, he let her go with surprising alacrity. No attempts to negotiate, no hints that "well, the pretext for the marriage is gone, but we could try to make this work anyway," no comments about how they'd be good for one another's families -- just whoosh, don't let the door hit you in the ear on the way out. So what was that all about, then? I feel like I missed something. Why pressure her into the marriage with such desperation and then walk away? If he really wanted to do something for T'Les, why didn't he just have Daddy take care of it and not get T'Pol involved? Was there some behind-the-scenes deal to do with T'Les's Syrrannite leanings? T'Les let T'Pol marry Koss knowing that she might not be able to get her position back anyway. Was she hoping to have T'Pol "safely" married to Koss and his influential family in order to shield her from blowback if T'Les was arrested as a Syrrannite? (Which would make sense, if T'Les was actually punished for T'Pol's actions at P'Jem, and not for her own political/religious beliefs.) This was tacked onto the denouement -- it is an E-plot -- so we didn't have time for those answers. I would complain about the 39-minute hour, but I'm so tired of this arc. Let it go already!

And now the conclusion: Holy catfish, THE ROMULANS! They were behind this? Is V'Las one of them or just a Rom-symp? Are we going to see more of this before the season is up? How long have they been undermining the Vulcans?

Okay, I didn't want to say this last week because I know that 51% of the U.S. doesn't think the way the 48% I live in does, but there are distinct parallels between the events in the episode and certain goings-on in the news. Draw whatever conclusion you will.

Food Chain intact. Recycled Trek Actor Checklist: Melodee M. Spevack (the Andorian Com Voice) did VO work for the Judgment Rites and 25th Anniversary Enhanced Trek video games.

Hey wait -- Patrick Stewart is doing cholesterol commercials? Okay, the guy's gotta make a living, but...I feel dirty somehow.

December 10, 2004: Two Extras for this week's repeat: First, Ocean kindly donated a new photo for "Those SHIRTS!" of Connor Trinneer at the Starbase Indy con over the Thanksgiving weekend. Second, we have a new "Get Me Rewrite!" As always, keep it PG-13.

December 15, 2004: I continue to be delighted and amazed at the creativity of you, my readers. This is as much fun for me as it is for you, so keep 'em coming! I'll have another on Friday, and then something different for the holiday.

December 17, 2004: Another Get Me Rewrite! with a fun shot from S1. I'm finding that the official site continues to update and change their media database, so what was there before might not be there now, and new shots appear. So it's still worth browsing through every now and again to find open scenes like this one. One last caption for Phlox squeaked in if you want to check that out too.

December 20, 2004: Zeke, Zeke, Zeke. You can do better than that.

The Top 13 Differences Between Voyager and Season 3 of Enterprise

  1. Beautiful women who regularly display intelligence, courage, and leadership abilities: VOY 3, ENT 0
    (The one MACO was clearly following orders, not giving them.)
  2. Shuttlecraft destroyed: VOY lots, ENT 0 (Shuttlepod One just takes a licking and keeps on ticking.)
  3. Suicide attempts by the captain, with or without ship: VOY lots, ENT 1
  4. Majel Barrett roles: VOY 1, ENT 0
  5. Drug addicts: VOY 0, ENT 1
  6. Sexy Brits: VOY 0, ENT 1
  7. Entertainment TECH which routinely fails in frequently dangerous ways: VOY 1, ENT 0
  8. Clones: VOY 0, ENT 2
  9. Dogs on board: VOY 0, ENT 1
  10. Episodes with Q: VOY 3, ENT 0
  11. Came Out Of Nowhere And We Wish It Would Go Back romantic/sexual liasion between designated Ship's Babe and male crewmate: VOY 1, ENT 2 (counting "Twilight")
  12. Incredibly cool time-travel episodes: VOY lots, ENT 1

And the number one difference between Voyager and ENT's Season 3...

  1. Trip Tucker: VOY 0, ENT 1!

December 24, 2004: In the spirit of the holiday which most of the Western world celebrates about now, two dear friends and devoted TripHammered fans have generously volunteered content for this week's Extra: a seasonal poem (which probably wasn't written by C.C. Moore) as interpreted by our crew. Big thanks to rainwoman (and dad) and wombat61.

December 31, 2004: In the spirit of the holiday which the whole planet celebrates about now, we have New Year's Resolutions from the NX-01 (and friends) with more inside jokes and references to past TripHammered material. A safe, happy, and healthy New Year's to all. Don't drink and drive.

Site updates, January 2 through June 26, 2006

Site updates, October 3 through December 26, 2005

Site updates, July 4 through September 26, 2005

Site updates, April 1 through July 1, 2005

Site updates, January 4 through March 25, 2005

Site updates, July 4 through September 24, 2004

Site updates, April 7 through June 30, 2004

Site updates, January 1 through March 31, 2004

Site updates, October 1 through December 31, 2003

Site updates, July 4 through September 30, 2003

Site upates, April 2 through July 2, 2003

Site upates, January 1 through March 28, 2003

Site updates, July 4 through December 31, 2002


Sheldon (What Would Picard Do?)
Photos: StarTrek.com