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Star Trek: Enterprise – First Flight (Review)

Next year, Star Trek is fifty years old. We have some special stuff planned for that, but – in the meantime – we’re reviewing all of Star Trek: Enterprise this year as something of a prequel to that anniversary. This April, we’re doing the second season. Check back daily for the latest review.

First Flight is a prequel to a prequel.

First Flight unfolds before the events of Broken Bow, providing something of a belated origin story for Captain Jonathan Archer. The tail end of the second season feels like an odd place for such a story. The decision to air First Flight and Bounty as a double feature meant that First Flight premiered only a week before The Expanse, an episode that changed everything that fans thought they knew about Star Trek: Enterprise. Then again, perhaps this is the perfect place for an episode like this.

Ground Control to Commander Robinson... Ground Control to Commander Robinson...

Ground Control to Commander Robinson… Ground Control to Commander Robinson…

Much of the final stretch of the second season of Enterprise is introspective and reflective. The show seems aware that a big change is coming, and takes the opportunity of these last few episodes to look back on a classic model of Star Trek. Judgment puts Archer on trial; Cogenitor wonders whether old-fashioned Star Trek morality plays can still work in the twenty-first century; Regeneration finds the Borg lying among the (literal) wreckage of Star Trek: The Next Generation. First Flight opens with the death of Captain A.G. Robinson, a character we never met before.

More to the point, First Flight opens with the death of the man who was almost the captain of the Enterprise. On the cusp of a creative change in direction that effectively kills the show as it existed in the first two seasons, First Flight is pretty heavy on the symbolism.

... Take your protein pill and put your helmet on...

… Take your protein pill and put your helmet on…

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Distant Voices (Review)

This September and October, we’re taking a look at the jam-packed 1994 to 1995 season of Star Trek, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Check back daily for the latest review.

Poor Julian Bashir. Even at two-and-a-half seasons in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the character is still a blank slate. Distant Voices is a story that takes us inside the character’s head, but it winds up feeling very generic. It turns out that Bashir is afraid of getting old, as awkwardly pointed out in the opening scene. He also might have some self-esteem issues. For an episode that journeys into Bashir’s brain, Distant Voices is really pretty bland. There’s really not too much going on there.

Indeed, the most interesting thing about this glimpse inside Bashir’s mind is that it is so generic that it manages to avoid conflicting at all with the character-shattering revelation that Ronald D. Moore proposes in Doctor Bashir, I Presume. While it’s a nice piece of trivia, it’s hardly a compelling hook.

"So this is what a 100,000th episode party looks like..."

“So this is what a 100,000th episode party looks like…”

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