Thursday, August 13, 2009


Not a lady in a catsuit.
(Not that there aren't plenty of those in Star Trek, too.)
Although, it appears the cat is named Lady.

Zoom in after the jump...

I referred to this drawing in my post on the episode "Breaking the Ice" and then I found it, so here it is.
It is hard to see, and my photo enhancing abilities are approaching nil, but there she is. Very clearly a cat wearing a bubble helmet in space (note the copious stars... and also a heart). You can't read it in this pic, but where my arrow is pointing, I believe I read it onscreen as saying "Lady", so I can only assume that is the space cat's name. Or maybe the feline space program uses ranks with titles like Lord and Lady. Maybe they model it after the Space Ren Faire.

The Vulcan is not labeled by name or gender, and does not have the benefit of a space helmet. He's a Vulcan, so it is hard to tell if he is bothered by that.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Post: Enterprise eps 109 - 112

This time, I've decided to link to the Memory-Alpha pages in the episode titles and use Wikipedia for the synopsis of each episode. Both sources have their virtues. Memory-Alpha has some great nuggets of background information, quotes, and trivia, but Wikipedia has more detailed recaps of each episode, if you've got the time.

Today's post takes the format of brief synopsis borrowed from Wikipedia, links to recap sources, followed by my notes. I think I have more to say about some individual episodes than others, and those are more likely to get longer, individual posts. I'm just winging it, though, so we'll see. Another administrative tidbit: my backspace key stopped working, and it has been driving me insane! But you don't really care about this stuff.

On to the episodes: Civilization, Fortunate Son, Cold Front, and Silent Enemy.

"The Enterprise investigates
a pre-industrial civilization of about 500 million people. They discover that there is another warp-capable species among the unsuspecting inhabitants. After Archer, Trip, Hoshi, and T'Pol arrive, they discover a local scientist believes a local merchant is causing the sickness in the town." (Wikipedia Recap)
  • Ooh, a pre-industrial civilization. Who look almost like humans! Let's dress up like them and secretly make contact!!
  • (It's like a SPACE REN FAIRE!)
  • We've discovered why aliens land in cornfields. Less chance of cultural contamination.
  • Another reference to the foundations of the Prime Directive and regulations which haven't been written by Starfleet yet.
  • Dressed in the pre-industrial alien's clothes and with long hair, T'Pol looks like an elven Angelina Jolie.
  • I think Hoshi senses a thing between Trip and T'Pol when he gestures to T'Pol that her pointy ears are showing. Or else Hoshi's just really tickled to be going on this mission with lots of languages.
  • Yeah, let's not abduct these people and bring them on an alien ship in order to diagnose their illness... bad idea.
  • Lesson from Captain Archer: When the UT fails, sexually assault...err, romantically kiss... the spunky alien you are trying to get to know in order to distract her until you get the UT working again.
  • Ooh, that other alien's face is coming off... to reveal a different kind of alien! No doubt, he is responsible for the strange goings-on and mysterious illness!
  • This alien lady is pretty calm for someone who has just witnessed her first space ships and aliens. At least she wasn't abducted and probed at the time.
  • Aww, it's Archer's first cultural contamination!

Fortunate Son

"Archer is contacted by Admiral Forrest to turn around and lend a helping hand to the ECS Fortunate, a Y-class freighter. Archer, Malcolm, Phlox, and Travis learn from the first officer that the Fortunate was attacked by Nausicans and that the captain was injured. The Enterprise helps repair the Fortunate until sensors show that the 23-member crew has an additional person aboard." (Wikipedia Recap)
  • Why are there so many Earth ships way out there in space already? What's the point of Enterprise being out there? Is it just that these cargo ships have been hanging out relatively close to Earth and Enterprise is so much faster it has already been very far out and can come back to the other ships range? I guess that explains it. But it seems to me this means there are a lot of things the Enterprise crew aren't going to be the first humans to see, for a while, then!
  • Ensign Travis Mayweather makes friends with another space boomer (someone who grows up entirely out in space on a ship), who is now accusing him of abandoning his home and his family.... Backlash against Starfleet? Well, in this episode we get to learn more about Travis' background and boomer culture.
  • Another boob-thrusting T'Pol pose, this time crouching to avoid being fired at with Archer. I notice because, well, it looks awkard. I think I would fall over if I always walked and posed like she does.
  • Yes. Stick it to T'Pol, Travis. Rationality depends on context.
  • Archer: "Just because someone isn't born on Earth doesn't make him any less human." And why they should not abandon their values and humanity and doesn't make it right to engage torture and hostage taking.
  • I want this Matthew Ryan space boomer guy to die, out of principle. Man, talk about arrogant and prideful (how T'Pol described humans refusing Vulcan help in the last episode.)
  • Since the last episode, we have learned: be less stubborn and accept help. And let Starfleet force their help on others, I guess.

Cold Front

"The Enterprise encounters a transport ship, captained by Fraddock, en route to the Great Plume of Aggasoria carrying pilgrims. The Enterprise docks with the transport and the men come aboard to tour the ship and to watch the Plume. When one of the visitors secretly disconnects an anti-matter junction that prevents the possible, and wholly unexpected, destruction of the Enterprise, a member of the crew approaches the captain to warn that one of the visitors may be Silik of the Suliban.This episode marks the real start of the Temporal Cold War." (Wikipedia Recap)
  • Hmm... more Suliban. Being UN-enhanced? Interesting.
  • Ha. People still watch crappy movies instead of reading in the 22nd century.
  • Archer speaks weirdly slowly and loudly when addressing new species. Like he's talking to someone slow and hard of hearing.
  • Uh oh, I think the friendly spiritual dudes have been infiltrated by the bad guy. Taking advantage of Enterprise's hospitality! Its a trap!
  • Archer - still talking funny. Almost Shatner-esque.
  • Hee. Travis is in command. Hoshi is goading him to "take the chair".
  • Trip is talking to the spiritual pilgrims like they are idiots. Busted. One of them is a warp theorist! He should not assume they are technologically inferior. How small minded!
  • Oops, but now that guy is messing around with something in Engineering. He's the bad guy!
  • Hmm... the sabotage backfired! Saved them from the plasma lightning cascade whatever.
  • Crewman Daniels is a time traveler, from 900 years in the future? Temporal observatory = lame.
  • Blah blah temporal cold war time travel laws blah blah blah. What? I know this is supposed to be an ongoing story arc, but I kind of don't care.
  • T'Pol: "there's a difference between keeping an open mind and believing something because you want it to be true" in reference to the time traveling.
  • Wow. Crewman Daniels is a time traveler, AND can walk through walls.
  • So, I think the apparent sabotage in Engineering backfiring was on purpose? Or really wasn't sabotage because it saved the ship from destruction? But to other nefarious ends? I really wasn't paying attention to these details.
  • Another reference to Archer's dog liking cheese. This is a recurrent theme.
  • Yay for cultural exchange. Go Phlox. Way to participate in the space plume pilgrimage.
  • How can Archer dangle on to a piece of scaffolding or catwalk when the cargo bay door or whatever was opened? He can't breathe, but he can stop himself from being sucked into space?
  • So... yeah. Time travel. Temporal cold war. Suliban bad guys. "Crewman" Daniels from 900 years in the future to intervene.

Silent Enemy

"Archer and Hoshi attempt to get to know Malcolm Reed better in order to surprise him on his birthday. Meanwhile, the Enterprise encounters a non-communicative alien ship that fires upon them. The Enterprise is unable to defend itself as it was not fitted with phase cannons before it left spacedock. Trip and Reed insist that they can construct the weaponry as well as the engineering staff at Jupiter Station. Archer orders the Enterprise to return to Earth to have the phase cannon fitted but authorises Trip and Reed to go ahead with creating and fitting their version.
The Enterprise e
ncounters the alien ship again and this time is able to defend itself and defeat the ship. Hoshi discovers that Reed is taking inoculations to enable him to eat pineapple. At the celebration of the defeat of the alien ship, Reed is amazed that the cake is pineapple, as he didn't know that anyone knew his favorite food." (Wikipedia Recap)
  • Ah, in this episode we get to learn more about Lieutenant Malcolm Reed. Will they each get a "getting to know you" episode?
  • We learn from Malcolm's rather stern British parents, speaking with the Captain, that Malcolm is not a complainer. And they are not close. They don't know what he likes to eat.
  • Why does Archer want to do a special dinner for Malcolm's birthday? Is this really a good use of Hoshi's time, tracking down Malcolm's favorite food?
  • Yes, other species motivations may be difficult to understand in human terms. Who knows why that alien ship is ignoring their hails and speeding away? It could be perfectly innocent!
  • Apparently, T'Pol can't use chopsticks. The Captain and Trip are entertained by this. But they only mention it, they don't show it. Kind of call-back to the Vulcan taboo against eating with their hands.
  • Trip has a long distance girlfriend named Natalie in Pensacola. And loves fried catfish.
  • And... the mysterious alien ship is back, and shooting at them! Guess their actions before weren't so innocent!
  • Ooh, need to install the phase cannons, (which were not installed before they left on the mission since they left early), in light of potential hostilities. Trip back to Earth!
  • Heh. Trip and Malcolm are gonna do the work themselves anyway. They don't need to go all the way back to our solar system to get the job done!
  • Malcolm is not easy to get to know. His sister is rather chatty, though.
  • I don't like that the term "spinster aunts" is still in use in the 22nd century.
  • And no one in his family seems to think Malcolm has any food preferences.
  • Why is it on TV that whenever someone invites someone somewhere it implies a sexual relationship? And all Hoshi is doing is trying to figure out what Malcolm like's to eat for the Captain. Like: "Hey, I think we should hang out..." "Sorry, that probably isn't appropriate, since we work together". What?? If that is true in real life, I totally have inappropriately propositioned (and perhaps been unwittingly in relationships with) many men.
  • I just noticed they don't use stardates yet.
  • Malcolm has a lot of allergies. We haven't gotten rid of those by now? Well, at least there are apparently good treatments. And is "need to figure out what to make for a birthday dinner" really a good enough reason, doctor, to reveal this information? Hmm?? At least now Hoshi can reasonably assume Malcolm really likes pineapple with this information.
  • Blah blah blah more skirmishes with the aliens. Must get the phase cannons working!
  • Malcolm and Trip are pretty scruffy from all that work. I bet they smell, so T'Pol better steer clear of them for now.
  • And... victory! They celebrate with beer. And pineapple birthday cake.
  • They should have better cake decorating than that in the 22nd century. Can't Chef do better than that? That is like a generic Stop & Shop bakery cake, or a beginner Wilton cake decorating class at the craft store. (Not exactly a Wreck, but kind of boring, considering I expect more from a chef on a space ship.)
  • And... Malcolm's favorite food IS pineapple. Another victory! The end.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Enterprise Season 1, Eps 106 - 108

Enterprise Season One, the rest of disc 2 (episodes 106, 107, and 108 by production number).

For each of the episodes, I used a different style of recapping, increasing in laziness.

The first, Terra Nova, I linked to an episode recap at the fabulous Memory Alpha site, but did my own recap with observations, too. The second, The Andorian Incident, I linked to the recap but included my own short summary, followed by a list of observations (so, basically, it would make sense to read the full recap via the link to associate the observations better with the plot, since I didn't annotate them much). And the third episode, Breaking the Ice, I copied the three sentence summary from Memory Alpha, with the link, and then followed with my notes.

For alternate episode recaps, it is pretty easy to also go to Wikipedia, too.

On to the eps...

Terra Nova

Enterprise drops by the location of an experimental human colony that disappeared 70 years prior on an M class planet that was 20 light years (a 9 year travel distance at the time) away.

Basically, humans were itching to experiment with deep space colonization, so a ship went out for the 9 year journey to establish this colony, called Terra Nova. The colonists get into a spat with people on Earth and mysteriously are never heard from again. And since it takes so long to get to their location, no one goes to investigate. It is a classic exploration mystery that is well known on Earth. T'Pol claims to not know about it, but I think that is unlikely and just an easy way to get the exposition into the script.

Enterprise is now there and go to the planet to see if they can find out anything from the abandoned settlement.
  • Ha. A welcome mat at the ghost town colony.
  • Real location shooting must have been easier for some of these episodes, as this one and the one in Strange New World are Earth-like planets. No crappy "Planet Hell" sets like on TNG.
They encounter humanoids that are not very welcoming and live underground. They attack them and drag them into the caverns they live in. Its like The Descent, only less violent flesh ripping.
  • I wonder when it necessitates going into the sexy decon gel chamber coming back from an alien planet or ship and when it does not.
They've captured Malcolm and also some of them are sick. The Novans are very distrustful of the humans, claiming they are the source of the destruction of their colony on the surface ("over-side") and the deaths of most of their people 70 years ago, and now they want to take their home from them. They are very bitter and suspicious of "off worlders".

And Phlox discovers that their water is now contaminated with radiation, and soon they will all die off.

Also... surprise! Scans reveal that the Novans are actually human! They don't really believe it at first, but the Captain makes a connection between the photo of a very young girl who was one of the colonists to an elderly Novan lady named Nadet. It turns out an asteroid hit the planet, causing the destruction of their settlement and all the radiation, and the deaths of everyone but some children, who became the Novans. This explains their distrust of humans, since they thought it was people from Earth sent to destroy their colony, and also why their language is kind of a childish version of English.
  • Wouldn't that kind of be a big clue that they were closer to humans than they originally thought, if they are basically speaking the same language except with funny phrases or words for regular English words? For example: Sky ship = star/space ship . Track back = return. Shale = lies (I don't really get that one). Belly hollow = hunger. Overside/Underside = surface/underground. Go-befores = ancestors.
Metaphor alert! Hmm.... force human (American) lifestyle on the Novans to "save" them or preserve Novan culture?

The Novans are reluctant to accept help relocating to a safer part of the planet. The crew contemplates sort of forcibly removing them and bringing them back to Earth.

Nadet eventually comes around and convinces the other Novans to accept the crew's assistance in relocating to the other part of the planet.

Yay. All is well. Novan cultures is preserved, their lives are saved, and they've accepted they really are humans. And the Enterprise crew gets to brag that they've solved one of Earth's great exploration mysteries.

The Andorian Incident

Some Andorians bust into a monastery at a Vulcan outpost. There is a history of discord between Andorians and Vulcans, and the Andorians think the Vulcan monks are up to no good. Meanwhile, the Enterprise crew just decide to drop by to visit the monastery, and oops, they happen upon a hostage situation. The Andorians keep T'Pol, Archer, and Trip as captives, too, but they manage to communicate with Enterprise and engineer an escape. But, oops! It turns out the Vulcans are up to no good and there was a secret spy station hidden in the monastery. The Enterprise crew exposes this, and the Vulcans are in violation of their treaty with the Andorians.

  • Ah, Andorians. The teal aliens with the antennae like things. Why are they busting into a Vulcan temple of some sort?
  • This was when I decided I'd almost had enough of making myself sit through the opening credits and listen to the theme song.
  • Go on, Phlox. School T'Pol on diversity and the mission. (She seems reluctant to be associated with the humans when they drop by to visit the Vulcan monastery.)
  • Protocol for visiting the Vulcan monastery: Don't touch anything. Be quiet. Be respectful Just... don't be Americans. (Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I feel like that is kind of a theme during this season... learning about cultural sensitivity and not being obnoxious.)
  • Trip: "Don't get your antennas in a twist." I like it.
  • Andorian: "Answer me, pink skin!" I want to call people "pink skins" from now on.
  • Why do Vulcan temple statues look like Chinese people?
  • Eww, skeevy Andorian wants to rape T'Pol. "I'll enjoy having you... as a prisoner."
  • Ok. Andorians are suspicious and volatile. And, of course, they are jealous of Vulcans' awesomeness.
  • Those communicators are not very rugged. The Andorians smash them pretty easily. You'd think they'd make them a little more robust.
  • Oh, now the Andorians are going to try to coerce Archer by decapitating Vulcans? Who are they, Al Qaeda?
  • Vulcans are obsessed with how humans smell bad. T'Pol is given a nasal numbing agent to cope with human odor. Did Spock talk about his sensitive sense of smell and how humans stink?
  • Ha. Archer: "I'm all ears. No offense."
  • Trip is right. Vulcans ARE dramatic.
  • Why do alien species all share the same hair cuts among their people. Andorians all have the same hair. Vulcans all have the same hair. What is up with that?
  • Archer and T'Pol = America and allies. Have to convince them sometimes there isn't a peaceful solution and must respond with violence.
  • Gross. Andorians are aggressive and skeevy. Stop talking about Vulcan mating rituals and how T'Pol smells different than the other Vulcans.
  • Wait. Why do Andorians speak English?
  • It IS a sensor array. The vulcans are spies. Some "reliquary". I guess the Andorians aren't as paranoid as we thought.
  • And T'Pol proves her loyalty. And probably is suppresing a bunch of conflicting emotions. The end.

Breaking the Ice

"The Enterprise discovers the biggest comet ever seen by Man or Vulcan and decides to investigate. A Vulcan ship observes, and T'Pol receives an encoded message from them which Tucker intercepts and reads. There are complications, and eventually Captain Archer breaks the Human stereotype Vulcans have for Humans and accepts their help."
  • Aww, cute. Trip's nephew's class sent drawings to the Enterprise. T'Pol: "Crude but surprisingly accurate." Indeed. I actually enjoyed this scene enough to watch this part a few times immediately. I love it!
  • The frankestein-esque Vulcan kid-drawing has a cat in a space suit in the background apparently named "Lady".
  • Ohh, they discovered a comet!
  • Fastforwarding through the song....
  • Something is wrong with T'Pol. What's up?
  • Caffeine has little effect on Vulcans? That's a shame. (That's not the thing that is bothering her, though.)
  • I appreciate that Trip is trying to share Earth culture (well, Pecan Pie) with T'Pol. She's so damn aloof though. Maybe moreso since something is wrong? He noticed.
  • Archer: "If Vanik is the type to like to watch, let him." Gross. Captain Picard would never say that!
  • Awww, transmission back to the kids on Earth! In Ireland! They are answering questions the kids sent it! Adorable.
  • Hoshi - Explaining the Universal Translator. Woo hoo!
  • Trip gets the POOP question: Where the toilet flushes go... heh. Waste reclamation and resequencing. The ultimate recycling.
  • On the comet surface, Travis makes a snow blob man ... Malcolm adds facial features. (and eventually Vulcan ears!)
  • Trip suspects T'Pol is up to something when he notices she receives a secret message from the Vulcans.
  • Oh, what does T'Pol's encrypted message reveal? PERSONAL STUFF. What does it reveal about humans? They are sometimes douchebags. Well, not really. (Well, yeah, but not in this case exactly). They are idiots who make mistakes and sometimes are honest about them, though.
  • Vulcans = smug bores. (Another recurrent theme.)
  • Whoa. T'Pol is confiding in Trip! He suggests other ladies for girl talk. Because it is about an arranged marriage. Ha. Vulcans = super traditional.
  • This comet is way better than the one in Armageddon. Or was that Deep Impact?
  • Pre-tractor beam grappler thing is kind of funny.
  • Saved by the meddling but convenient Vulcans with a tractor beam.
  • I am not as good as Trip. I totally would have gossipped with the Captain about T'Pol's personal business.
  • Oh, T'Pol decided to try pecan pie after all. OMG YOU GUYZ T'POL TOTALLY LOVES TRIP!!!

Also, I did not have to mention boobs or nipples at all in this whole post.... d'oh!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Enterprise Episode 104: Unexpected

"When Trip Tucker assists an alien vessel with repairs, a "friendly" encounter with one of the crew leads to rather unexpected consequences."

Those unexpected consequences? He's "expecting". The dude gets knocked up. Star Trek likes unexpected alien pregnancies. Even funnier if they happen to human males!

So, the episode starts out with Captain Archer in the shower. The see-through shower walls have a zig zag pattern that conveniently covers the Captain's "bathing suit area". I wonder if all the showers have stylish, see-through stall walls, and if the zig zag pattern is tailored to each person, to hide their junk. It seems really unnecessary to have clear shower walls on this ship, anyway. It isn't like you are getting a bunch of natural light in your bathroom in the first place.
But, uh oh, the gravity plating seems to be malfunctioning and suddenly the Captain and the water are floating around in the air. When it comes back online, he crashes hard to the ground. Ouch!

Elsewhere on the ship, more strange things happen. For instance, T'Pol's request for water from the replicator results in some nasty, brown viscous liquid. Already she was complaining about the smell of human food. This can't help. I note that there is a fire, and they have to use fire extinguishers, because there are not force-field based fire suppression devices yet.

Anyway, it turns out that some cloaked ship is hitchhiking on Enterprise's plasma wake or something because their engines are broken. Trip volunteers to go over to help. He goes over alone, not having seen these aliens, which I think is a bad idea. There is some strange acclimation chamber he has to stay in for a few hours, and because the process takes so long, he has to stay over there for three days. When he gets over to the Xyrillian ship, its all very colorful and psychodelic and trippy. He is greeted by the Xyrillian engineer, a slightly lizard-like but attractive alien lady named Ah'len, who is the chief engineer. She is wearing the requisite, form-fitting space suit. I wonder if there is a friction problem on these ships or something that necessitates such tight clothing.

Trip is still having a hard time adjusting to the alien ship, so Ah'len insists he take a nap. Apparently, that fixes everythingt, and Trip is good to go. He works with her to fix the engines. Apparently, also, the best the Xyrillians can do to approximate water for Trip to drink is to make these jello-like water cubes. He seems to like them. What else will this wacky ship have in store?

A holodeck! Ah'len takes Trip into a room with some trippily holographic glittery wallpaper, and it turns out this is their holodeck technology, the first of its kind witnessed by a human. Trip is very impressed. He seems to really like getting to know Ah'len. She plays a "game" with him that involves sticking your hands in a bowl of granules which allow you to read the mind of the other person. That sounds like a boring game to me. Interesting for a minute or two, but I think the novelty would wear off quick.

The repairs seem to be done, and Trip returns to Enterprise and the Xyrillians go on their way. Trip describes his visit, and Malcolm totally gets pervy ideas about the holodeck. Then, Trip notices something odd on his wrist. The doctor checks it out and guess what. IT'S A NIPPLE. Say what? Yes. A nipple. The doctor's scans reveal that Trip is pregnant. I knew not to trust this mind-reading granule game!!

Aside: Jolene Blalock really has that walk/stop/pose thing down. Now, I know they hire model/actresses to be the sexy alien crew members in the catsuits, but sometimes it just looks awkward to me, and I don't really need to be associating, say, Paris Hilton-esque posing with T'Pol.

Okay, so really, Trip is a host and the embryo only contains maternal genetic material. T'Pol gets very judgy and sounds a little jealous that Trip may have been less than gentlemanly on the alien ship, even though he insists he did nothing of the sort except play the granule game. The ship goes on a search for the Xyrillian vessel, and in the meantime, ha ha ha, Trip has morning sickness and becomes weirdly emotional and irrationally preoccupied with safety/baby-proofing (specifically a hand rail on a lift which could hurt someone if they stuck their hands in it, to which the crewman he is yelling at about it replies, basically "Why would anyone stick their hand there?" Ha.) It is kind of ridiculous. Trip also is paranoid and still doesn't trust T'Pol, believing she is spreading the news of his secret pregnancy to the rest of the crew. He also begins to sprout more nipples on his arm. Dude. What is with this show and nipples??

Also, this life form is growing somewhere in Trip's rib area. How does that work? Where will it go when it comes out? The few who seem to know about Trip's situation seem to find it funny. I find it creepy! WTF, crew? Dude is mysteriously carrying an alien embryo! Trip, himself, is surprisingly not particularly angry or defensive about being the man-host of an alien baby. His masculinity seems to be unchallenged by this development.

So they find the Xyrillian ship hitchhiking on a Klingon ship. Immediately, I suspect this was all a scam to spread alien babies to other species and the Klingons are the next victims. But I'm wrong. Turns out the repairs didn't hold. There is a skirmish with the Klingons. The Klingons don't want to cooperate but eventually they go aboard the Xyrillian ship and negotiate to not kill them all in exchange for holodeck technology. Ah'len is surprised that the swapping of genetic material was possible with another species but informs them that the embryo can safely be transferred to another host, Trip gets to go down in history as the first impregnated human male, and they all live happily ever after. Or whatever.

Overall, I found this episode ridiculous and also creepy. It made me uncomfortable! Unexpected alien pregnancies are creepier than they portray them here, don't you think? Especially so early in the mission, don't you think they should have been more worried? Even though it turned out to be an accident, I would think Trip might have felt a little more violated. I don't think they could have been so casual about it if it had been a female crew member who accidentally got knocked up on an alien ship. Of course, there's less comedic potential there, because: men? having babies! HILARIOUS!

There's an episode of TNG ("The Child") where Deanna Troi is impregnated by some alien energy being because it wants to experience being a human, from birth to death, in an accelerated form. She even names the boy after her late father. That episode always made me uncomfortable, too. They did treat it as something, I don't know, kind of special, but I still found it creepy that the crew accept this sort of thing so easily. I'd be pissed off if an alien life form used me in that way, and I think it would be difficult to accept the resulting "child" as my own (particularly since its life was apparently very unnaturally accelerated). Not to get too deep about it or anything, but being forced into birthing an alien life form and used as an experiment seems a little too much like rape to me, even if the motives were benevolent and in the service of understanding other entities.

Other notes:
  • Never thought I'd be googling the phrase "wrist nipple", but I had to find a pic somehow.
  • Found it funny that pics of Tucker Carlson kept coming up when I was searching for "enterprise unexpected Tucker" in Google images. Unexpected, indeed!
  • I wonder if having the word "nipples" in this post is going to introduce new people to this blog. (I'm looking at you, person who got here searching for "T'Pol's boobs").

Monday, August 3, 2009

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Or Do Vulcans purr when they are asleep?

Last night, I think I had my first Enterprise related dream since starting this project.

It took place in my mom's house. I was in a small spare bedroom near the kitchen, engaging in a phase pistol firefight with some unseen bad guys. With me in the room was T'Pol. We strategized and took positions on either side of the doorway. This is when we noticed that we were tethered together by a black cable around our waists, which let us only be about five feet apart at any time. The cable crossed the open doorway like a clothesline, making our hiding positions obvious. You can imagine how much of a handicap that would be whilst engaging in a firefight with unseen alien attackers.

Whatever our strategy was, it must have worked, because the shootout ended. We were tired and hungry. Luckily, there was food and a bed in the other spare room down the hall (my old bedroom). I spilled a bowl of food and rice, which was difficult to clean up from the carpet. As I was doing so, T'Pol fell asleep on the bed. She also was purring, like a cat. I was super annoyed by this, muttering to myself "Stupid Vulcans and their stupid purring!". Also, I was mad because she was asleep across the whole bed, and I needed a place to sleep, too.

Maybe I've been watching too much Star Trek with my cat.

Also pointy-eared and aloof.

Enterprise Season 1, Disc 1

The rest of the first disc of season one contained two episodes: Fight or Flight and Strange New World, which I naturally keep trying to type as "Brave New World".

Fight or Flight

The episode starts off focusing on some space slug, which Hoshi has apparently kidnapped from some planet they just visited on an away mission. Apparently, this slug is their first First Contact since setting out (besides whoever they met during the Broken Bow shenanigans). The slug is not doing well. I am not surprised. Who kidnaps a slug from an alien planet, without knowing anything about the slug or the planet, and expects it to not get sick or at least a bit pissed off? Is that some kind of violation of regulations or something? Oh, wait, they haven't written most of the regulations yet.

The crew comes upon a ship with its inhabitants all killed. They have to figure out what happened, stay out of danger, the usual.

Anyway, this whole episode is to demonstrate how scared and nervous and uncomfortable Hoshi is. It's a mirror of our uncertainty about space exploration, of course! And the slug is a mirror for Hoshi's discomfort, being out of her element, in an environment that doesn't suit her.

Dr. Phlox is far less annoying in this episode. He still is very enthusiastic about living with humans, and he fills the role of observer of human behavior. He speculates about whether certain crew members who seem to be flirting with each other will allow him to witness human mating rituals. As creepy as that sounds, it is overall more charming and less annoying than he was to me in Broken Bow.

Also, it is interesting watching them wrangle with the Universal Translator (UT) still.

Blah blah blah. Hoshi faces her fears and decides to not give up on the Enterprise mission. And hopefully there will be less fretting about it in the future, because while I appreciate the focus on this reaction to space travel, rather than how confident they all are in later series, it is not that entertaining to watch.

Enterprise takes a brief detour, and Hoshi and the doctor drop the slug off on some other planet that is apparently similar to the one they abducted it from. This also seems very unwise to me (introducing an alien slug to some other planet, and also hoping it can fend for its lonely self), but okay.

Strange New World

From the episode list on Wikipedia: "A storm traps an away team on an alien world, while spores cause them to experience psychosis."

That about sums it up.

These are notes from watching this episode:
  • Do the cardinal directions still apply to alien planets? How do you decide which pole is north? Does it matter?
  • I would not let my dog romp ahead of my survey team on an unexplored planet. (Upon disembarking the shuttle pod on this Earth-like planet,Captain Archer lets his dog Porthos the beagle, who he has brought on the mission, roam ahead of them.)
  • Cameras still "click" in the 22nd century. Ahh, 2001... what a quaint time for technology. (Commander Tucker (Charles Tucker III, or Trip) has a camera and cheesily takes pictures like he's on a field trip. Which is exactly what I'd be doing, actually. Who'd've thought way back in 2001 when this episode was made that cameras wouldn't click anymore?)
  • Ooh, paranoia! (It starts off like a campout, complete with ghost stories, as the away team stays overnight on the planet. They get trapped in a storm and must take shelter in a cave, where they start to act super, duper paranoid. This makes Trip accuse T'Pol, who is less paranoid and who he still doesn't trust on account of being a smug Vulcan, of conspiring with invisible aliens that hide in the rocks and want to kill them. There is a standoff, and T'Pol must do some playacting to get Trip and the others to cooperate.)
  • Also, the crew manage to beam back a freaked out member of the landing party in the middle of the storm, but I guess some debris gets mixed in with him in the matter stream. Looks painful, but he ends up okay.
  • Hallucinogenic pollen. That explains everything. (There's a remedy beamed down.)
Moral of the story: "challenge your preconceptions or they'll challenge you" (What Trip's Vulcan science teacher, who he used to be afraid of, taught him).

Wait. So it isn't "beware of hallucinogenic pollen blown down from the mountains by freak windstorms when you set foot on unknown planets"?