68: Azati Prime – Star Trek Enterprise Season 3, Episode 18

Matt and Sean talk about finding the enemy, and finding the future. 

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In today’s episode of Trek in Time, we’re gonna talk about what to do when you’ve got bombs to explode. That’s right. We’re talking about enterprise Season three, episode 18, Azati Prime. Welcome to Trek in Time. As usual, we’re taking a look at Star Trek in chronological order. That means we’re taking a look at each and every episode of Star Trek in the order in which they would happen in the Trek verse.

So we are currently looking still early days at Enterprise. We’re in season three. We’re also taking a look at what the world was like at the time of the original broadcast. So that means we’re currently talking about 2004. That’s our 2004, not their 2004. Their 2004, which they’ve been. Is not like our 2004, which we are in.

No, which we were in, but we’re in 2022 Now, , unless you’re listening to this in the future, which case, This is where I am, but not where you are. Let’s all take a break and lie down.

And now let’s get back into it. Who am I? I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I write some sci-fi. I write some stuff for kids. And with me as usual, is my brother Matt. Matt is the guru and inquisitor behind the YouTube channel, undecided with Matt Ferrell. Every week he takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives.

Matt, how you doing today? I’m doing well. How about you? How’s the weekend? So far so good. We are currently recording a little bit ahead of Yep. Our normal schedule, so by the time this comes out, it will be several weeks away, but we are currently seeing the most recent hurricanes storm moving into the Northeast, and this of course is a hurricane that’s had tremendous impact here in the US and in the Caribbean.

So our thoughts go out to everybody who’s been impacted by this storm and we hope people are making it through well and safe. Before we get into the episode, Matt, we always like to share some viewer comments and I know you’ve picked out a couple already. What do you have to share with us? Yeah, from the episode Harbinger, which is our episode 65, uh, PaleGhost69 wrote cuz we had talked.

Made the joke of why do all the aliens look the same? And his re response was, Speaking of which, Farscape is available on some free streaming platforms. If anyone hasn’t watched it, I highly recommend it. Oh, Pale Ghost. Oh, Pale Ghost. Yes, yes, yes. Absolutely. Such, such a good show. Jim Henson, Puppeteering some really awesome, you know, alien.

Designs. Yeah. Uh, that are just really clever. In fact, one of the main aliens is the spaceship itself, which is just absolutely amazing. Yeah. Brilliant, brilliant show. Yeah. Yeah. The other comment was from, uh, Drew. Lovely. On episode 31. He’s gone way back in our episodes. He was talking, it was basically season two, episode seven of Enterprise, and he was, he’s clearly working his way through trek in time and he wrote, Damn, I’m almost halfway to catching up.

I gotta slow down. I listened to you guys on the commute to and from work, so. Thank you, Drew. Thank you, Drew. You’ve probably, who knows how long it’ll take you to get to me commenting on this . Right. Thanks for watching. It’s, it’s, it’s awesome. Yeah. It’s good to know. Thank you so much for checking in and letting us know you’re enjoying it.

I really hope that as people share this with other people, they do the same. Yeah. That one of the things to remind them is these episodes, it, you don’t have to listen to these in real. If you’ve got somebody go back at the beginning, they can start at the beginning. It doesn’t matter. Yep. Matt and I might be long dead and somebody could start watching from the very beginning.

It won’t matter. So to listeners in the year 23, 33, we’re glad you’re here. Hope you’re enjoying it. And what’s that noise? That’s, I believe, Matt, correct me if I’m wrong, is that the read alert? I believe it is. Is I believe that is the alert that lets us know that Matt is about to tackle the Wikipedia description for this episode.

This is, This is another long one, . Yes, it is. Take a deep breath. Okay. It’s long, but I think it’s two sentences. I mean, the way these things are written, it’s hard to tell. Okay. All right. And I’ll just ignore the punctuation as usual, so it doesn’t matter. , yes. Azati Prime is the 18th episode of the third season of the American Science Fiction Television series, Star Trek Enterprise 70th.

Overall, I love the fact that they’re telling us how many total episodes there are. Yes, the episode was by, and they’re also doing it in grammatically, so that’s fine. Yeah. The episode was written by Manny Coto, I think that’s how you say his name. Mm-hmm. from a story developed by Coto Rick Berman and Brendan Bragga.

It was directed by Alan Kroger, his second of the season set in the 22nd century. This series follows the adventures of the first Star, Fleet Star Strip Enterprise registration nx. o one. Mm-hmm. . Gotta get that in every description. Mm-hmm. Season three of enterprise features an ongoing story following an attack on Earth by previously unknown aliens called the Xindi.

In this episode, the crew track a Xindi super weapon down to a planet and Captain Jonathan Archer. Scott backula seeks to destroy the weapon in a suicide attack. He is captured and the enterprise is seriously damaged after an attack by four Xindi vessels. Thank you Wikipedia for giving the entire episode away.

I think it’s okay for them to give the episode away. I think what’s interesting about the synopsis is it, it’s hitting plot points, but it’s not hitting meaning at all. True. Because what they’re talking about is, yes, technically these things do happen, but it’s not really the gist of the episode. But luckily for all of our listeners, Matt, we’re here.

That’s right. And we’re gonna talk about all the gist. That’s what we do here. We’re just central. This is season three, episode 18, as Matt mentioned, directed by Alan Kroger. It is originally broadcast on March 3rd, 2004, and it includes some guest appearances such as Matt Winston as Temporal Agent Daniels.

Once again, a character who if he had not returned, I would not have missed in the slight. Randy Osby is back as dra the designer of the Xindi weapon. Scott McDonald is Commander Doum. Tucker Smallwood is the Xindi primate counselor, Rick Worthy is Genar and Christopher Goodman is Thalen. These are Xindi councilman who are involved in discussions around how important this weapon is and what their ultimate goals.

And as I mentioned before this episode, original air date was March 3rd, 2004. What was the world like? Well, Matt, I misspoke. Last episode. This is the final week of the way you move by Outkast. When I said it last week, I know we all took a moment of silence. We were gonna miss this song, but it’s back for one more week here.

It. And Matt, we all still do like the way you move and at the movies. The number one movie in the box office this week was The Passion of the Christ directed by Mel Gibson. It earned 83 million. Wow. And that was after some contentious efforts to keep the movie out of theaters with a stronger rating because of the extreme levels of violence.

and eventually theaters relinquished and the movie did come out and it proved to be very, very popular and to this day is still available in streaming services and is able to be viewed via rentals and on television on March 3rd, 2004. What was the competition like? Well, my wife and kids had a two-part.

Matt, I know you remember this one. Oh yeah. 9 million as always tuned in for my wife and kids on 60 Minutes too. On CBS. Stories included a look at Isaac Mizrahi, the fashion designer and athletes suicides linked to steroids on Phlox. That 70 show and American Idol we’re doing close to 10 and 20 million.

Each. The apprentice, again, always in repeats, but doing very well in repeats, 6 million viewers and on UPN here came star Trek with 3.8 million holding onto its audience, but not growing an audience. That’s but nope. And in the news, well, we had a little thing in 2004 that was called the US Presidential election.

John Carey had just recently won Super Tuesday. Which means the primaries in various states, including California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island caucuses in Minnesota. And it meant that John Kerry was clenching the nomination. Howard Dean won Vermont, but effectively this mark the end of his campaign, John Edward.

decided to withdraw. The long running future for them would include Howard Dean would become the head of the Democratic Party. Jen Edwards, his career would crash as marital affairs. Extramarital affairs were discovered. John Kerry would go on to lose the presidential election in 2004, but he would serve in later presidential secretary positions.

Also in the news, there were plans being brewed at NASA to eventually explore Mars. There was going to be, the Mars Rover opportunity would be landed in an area where they believed that liquid water once drenched the surface opportunity would, of course, land. Since then, they have proven their theory there was and is Water on Mars.

So onto today’s episode, Azati Prime, which is the location of the weapons development station, where the Xindi have been constructing their weapon. This is the episode which the entire season has been heading toward. And Matt, big picture thinking, what did you. How did this episode land with you? Overall, I liked it.

I thought it would, did a good job of setting up, I mean, paying off what they had set up before. And this is part, part one of a two-parter. And the way it has the cliff hanger, I thought was a good cliff hanger for leading into episode two of this. I, I liked it. I thought it was pretty good. There were aspects didn’t like, but we can get into the details later.

But overall, I liked it. How about you? For me, I thought. . This is one of those episodes where the parts of it that I like, I really like, and the parts of it I didn’t like, I really don’t like. Yeah, there was for the amount of time and you and I, this is a refrain from us. Sometimes episodes will have moments that tread water that could have been used better to develop some part of the story in a given episode that wasn’t as explored as it could have been.

The same is true season. , there’s a certain amount of treading of water that might have been better served doing something different. This episode, I felt like it yada yada. Y is its way through the motives of the true, big bad, which it turns out are these trans dimensional aliens that have built the spheres that are changing space.

Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. there is far too. hand waving of, yes, we got these, these people doing this bad thing where we’ve had episodes during the season, which felt maybe not as connected to the main storyline. Little uneven at times, and I felt like they could have done more to develop that, like a sense of who these people are and a motive that the enterprise crew could understand a little bit better.

Give us some more meat on that bone so that by the time we get here we don’t need the Daniels. Once again, taking Archer to an alternate to a future to show him something when ultimately what he shows him, he doesn’t show him anything. No, he shows him, He takes him to a place. Well, no, he shows, He shows him a battle where the Xindi and the are part of the federation.

That’s basically all he’s showing him. He doesn’t even show him that though. He shows him a future enterprise and says there are Xindi on this crew. And they are, We are all fighting. The federation is fighting this trans dimensional invasion. Yeah, but ultimately, That doesn’t change what Archer and his crew were already trying to do.

It’s like, I’m gonna try and convince you to do a thing you’re already doing. He could have just shown up and said, Look, you need to know that the Xindi are not your real enemy. And Archer would’ve been like, Yeah, I know there’s this trans conventional species. Archer already knows about the trans dimensional nefarious machinations.

So Daniel shows up and could have just given him the coin. Like there’s a bunch of, like, it feels a bit like smoke and mirrors in that regard, like takes into this for future so that it feels a little bit like fan service. Ooh, look, an enterprise. J, we’re not given anything really cool to see about the enterprise.

J we’re shown on the wall as a painting. We’re supposed to ostensibly like, Okay, that’s, I disagree. That’s the, I disagree with this because he’s showing them a battle and says, This battle’s a turning point. He’s basically saying, this battle we help is we’re pushing them back and it’s the Xindi or part of the federation.

He’s explaining to them why the, why the sphere builders are trying to drive a wedge between the Xindi and humans because they’re gonna lose this. Which is why they’re doing what they’re doing. So it’s, they’re, they’re, they’re setting up the motivation and they’re understanding why he’s showing them what he’s showing them.

Oh, I understand that. What I’m saying is like that scene in and of itself doesn’t actually do anything other than give us a moment for Daniels to talk. Mm-hmm. , that same conversation could have taken place in the captain’s quarters. Yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Like disagreeing with you, like all the information that was.

was good information, but I agree with you. It didn’t have to happen on the enterprise J It didn’t have have to happen. It didn’t have to happen J and my my point is that information could have been built up in a previous episode. It could have because at this point in the story, what Daniels does in this moment doesn’t actually persuade Archer to do anything.

It doesn’t change. What is happening in, in archer’s thinking. Mm-hmm. . So it’s effectively, it’s only purpose is to give him a coin that he then uses when things go south. So that could have been built into a different part of the storyline, and I also would’ve appreciated. Like this is now, I forget how many times now Daniels has shown up and said, You’re misinterpreting your timeline.

You’re misinterpreting what’s happening. And it feels so das sex maana, to come in again and say how important it is that you survive and how important it’s the federation become. And I feel like. One more time like, like I wish this was less about Daniels providing that perspective and more about Archer and his crew.

They could have al, they in large part already do know about the trans dimensional aliens. The fact that they are changing space, and I wish it was a little bit more Archer on his own saying like, Look, I know about all of. Give me proof if it had been, if it had been Archer looking to Daniels and saying like, Can you give me some kind of evidence because I think these guys are time travelers.

Mm-hmm. , that would’ve felt more organic than this, which felt completely like, we need to move the story forward. We need to clarify for the audience what’s happening. It felt like they were talking to us and not talking to each other, and I didn’t really like those aspects. Having said all of. The military machinations of all this hiding behind a moon.

The space station coming as the moon rotates, they aren’t aware it’s there, and then it’s clearly seeing them and they have to destroy it. The, the sneaking in with the Xindi ship, I like the fact that they sneak in with the Xindi shuttle. I didn’t like the fact that it literally looks like they’re lifting from their own previous episodes.

This is the second time now that trip and Travis have had to figure out how to fly an alien vessel. Yes. And I’m sitting there like, Why are they spending five minutes on this again, when we’ve had flashbacks, the Suliban, it was like, we’ve done this before. This exact same thing. Yeah. It was like you just like wash once, repeat, You just change names in the script and plugged it back in and it literally is, I mean, it’s like the, it’s.

Daniels doesn’t use, Thank God that phrasing, temporal, cold war again. But that is exactly what is happening. It is time travelers from the future have convinced somebody in the past that something is a threat to them, so that they will act out on their behalf. We haven’t seen the big bag yet, so we’re seeing the Xindi and like plot points are literally repeating themselves and I found myself thinking like they didn’t see this.

I really like give us Travis saying like, I can fly that shuttle. Fine. We don’t need a five minute sequence of him figuring out how difficult it is to fly it. They have, they have a sequence later where he teaches the captain and they have what could have been in the entire episode, which was the captain saying, This is probably designed for somebody with multifaceted eyes.

Compound eyes. Compound eyes, Yeah. So it’s like, yeah, it’s difficult to fly because it’s not built for humans. We get that. So it’s like save some of the. So that you end up with more opportunity to explore the things that really matter, which the things in here that I felt really deeply mattered were archer’s willingness to sacrifice himself, explore that, you know, in some deeper meaningful ways.

I would’ve appreciated more opportunity for him with a few more members of the crew to Paul’s sense of loss. Okay. Is I think something that is not well rendered in this, It felt like it was very poorly envisioned as to how she would carry out a sense of mourning over the captain’s actions. There.

There’s so, there’s so much about that specific aspect that you’re, you’re complaining about the, um, the whole learning how to fly the shuttle, all that stuff for. Was not the, my least favorite part of the show. My least favorite part of the show was to Paul’s reaction and how it became so unhinged. By the end, it was, there’s something else going on here, but they aren’t even touching us to what’s going on.

This is not just her grieving the captain. It can’t, It can’t, This is gotta be something more, but it’s not, well, like you said, not well rendered. It’s not her fault for her performance. It was just, it felt like it went from zero to. Like at the drop of a hat, and it was like, What the hell’s going on here?

We’ve never seen anything that has done this to her before. And there’s no explanation as to why. There’s no way. This is just the captain. And if this is just the captain sacrificing himself, what the hell? It’s like they’ve never set anything up like this in previous episodes. So it, it just felt really off to me.

Like somebody hanging a wrong key on a keyboard as they’re, as you’re playing. Yeah. Uh, the other aspect of the, It’s like the, the parts that I thought were really well done were the captain. When he was captured, there was a little bit of a, there are four lights episode to it where he’s captured and hung up.

Mm-hmm. , I thought they could have spent more time there, like you’re saying, less time learning how to fly more time of. Basically being tortured, talking to the different Xindi and him basically trying to talk himself out of the situation and convince people to help him. Mm-hmm. , that was like, for me, the, my favorite part of the episode was him slowly turning the Xindi into working with him to try to get him out of there.

Yeah. To help them understand this is not what you think. I thought that was the most fascinating part, and they didn’t spend as much time and effort on that as they probably could have. Yeah, I agree. I think if they had shrunk some of the, Wasted time in like flying the ship and stuff like that. The things I would’ve loved to have seen in the interrogation sequence if Archer had held onto, like held onto certain information until there were enough people in the room and then to drop things like you Reptilians, who’ve been traveling through time to try and drop bio weapons into Earth’s.

Say that in a crowded room to see the reaction and have them between, between this, this, you know, the, the other versions of the z Xindi looking at the reptilians and saying like, We agreed there would be no bio weapons. We would not be using that because, because of whatever reasons they have for avoiding that, like have that moment happen there.

I. Adored if there were an insectoid in the room and having Archer turn and say, Did you find the hatchery that’s on that planet and giving them directions to it, and have the insectoid later on quietly say to somebody else. Yeah, we did find that ship. We wondered who had helped it and now we know it’s them.

Like show the splintering in more depth in that way. Yep. And it seems like they took, they, instead of envisioning like, Oh, the heart of the show is about showing the Xindi splintering. You know, the captain has been told the federation is what’s important, and the federation, of course, is about unification, showing the Z ending splintering the entire point of star Trek is we’re stronger together than we are apart.

Mm-hmm. . So here it is in a demonstration in both directions. If humanity can keep things together and going the right direction, everybody will become stronger as a result. If the Xindi could only stay unified and they can. They’re gonna, they’re gonna become weaker as they, as they splinter, but we don’t get enough of that in this episode.

Too much time is spent with, Well, what’s this lever do in the shuttle? Let’s try this. There’s literally a line of like, well try hitting that switch again, like, Try. Try hitting that switch again. Like yeah, that’s a line of dialogue that you thought was worth the time to share with us sequences where special effects are used in this.

There’s some really cool space battles. There’s some neat stuff underwater. I thought it was really interesting how they had dropped in the previous episode. The structure of this vessel is intense. Like it could fly through a star. Mm-hmm. . And then they’re like, Well we gotta go underwater. So you end up with some neat underwater sequence.

the size of the ship or the weapon, I mean that has been built is so large, it’s death starlike, and they’re able to fly into it. Things like that, that were well rendered and time well spent, and even the space battle that’s supposed to be in the future. I enjoyed the sci-fi actiony aspects of all of that.

Yep. But the one that really. Hammers everything. Home is the final sequence is showing the enterprise, getting the snot knocked out of it. It’s getting pummeled. It’s getting pummeled, including a, a tragic sequence where there’s a hole in the side of the ship and you see little bodies, bodies fly out of the hole, and all of that is just like gripping sci-fi action.

I just wish there had been more tied to it around. The, there are four lights, like moments that you have going on, and especially considering Baula in that scene where he is getting beaten and he’s so sarcastic and he is, he’s so sarc. It’s great. He is, he is clearly it. Everybody in that room knows who’s in command in that room.

It’s him. He’s tied to the ceiling. He’s getting beaten left and right, but it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t care as far as he’s concerned. It’s just his job’s done, his job is done. And the introduction of Dere into that sequence where sharing of personal information has is the key to getting in. And it begins to make dere question like, What kind of people are we actually talking about here?

What are we looking at? There were so many opportunities to do that with more than just d. It could have been. There’s the previous episode where Archer made friends with the head of the mining colony that’s producing part of what goes into the weapon. Why isn’t he bringing up discussions around like, I’ve met your people before.

To another component of the same species he could be saying, That’s what I’m getting, That’s what I’m getting at. I’ve met your people, people before, and I know them to be honorable. I know them to be good and hardworking and trustworthy, and I don’t understand why we can’t build bridges here. That’s exactly what I was getting at.

Yeah. That whole, that whole, the four four lights sequence could have been blown out and I liked your, your explanation of your idea of have more people in the room when he’s dropping some of these knowledge bombs. Yeah. Like show him. Like driving wedges between the groups to de deliberately start to splinter them, to make them start questioning what they’re doing.

It would’ve been far more like, I don’t know, very star trekky and engaging. Yeah. To have that happening while there’s these crazy space battles happening elsewhere. Yeah. It’s like it would’ve been, I think, a riveting episode jumping back and forth between two, those two sequences. Yeah. More. And then it would’ve led directly into what does happen, which is effectively the reptilians.

Have a quiet coup. They just pull their weapons and they’re like everybody out. Like you could have had that same end to a scene where all the other species could be looking at one another and saying, Are the reptilians doing stuff behind our backs? And have it blow up with the reptilians finally saying like, We’re done.

Everybody out pulling out the weapons and ending the discussion the way they did. Yep. So it sounds a little bit like Matt and I are slapping this episode around a bit, but I like that. I liked it. , I liked, I liked it. Suits. It sounds like we are taking a giant steaming dump, but about not. Yeah. It’s like I’m, we’re, I’m nitpicking.

Yeah. But in general, I enjoyed this episode. I haven’t watched the second part, but it’s like I’m really looking forward to doing it because it’s, it’s very exciting. It’s like, it’s a really good cliff hanger. It reminds me of the cliffhanger from next generation of, you know, the Borg sequence where Rikers having to shoot on the captain, the Borg ship.

It’s like, Enterprise looks like it’s about to blow up, so it’s kinda like really exciting cliffhanger that they dropped. Yeah, I absolutely, and like I mentioned in our previous episode, this watch through is my second watch through since the original broadcast and so many of these episodes, I don’t recall the details of them.

Yeah. And some of the aspects of this as I was, as it was coming to the cliff hanger ending, I could tell a cliff hanger was coming, but I was. This isn’t the season finale. I really was kind of like stunned, like it feels like a finale. This feels like a season ender as opposed to it’s, we’re just past the midpoint.

And I really was impressed by the drive that it gave me to say like, Maybe I should watch the next episode right now. So yeah, I, that’s from that perspective, I think this is a strong episode. It is very gripping. I just. Uh, we mentioned during our discussion a little too much repetition and not enough of the new, so that’s where I land.

So, listeners, do you agree? Do you wish there had been more new ground broken or do you think that what was there was, was plenty to keep you hooked? Let us know in the comments and next time that. Visit Enterprise, we’re gonna be visiting the episode damage and I don’t think it’s any spoiler to say damage is going to be what they’re finding aboard the enterprise because who, boy, it’s got some holes blown right through it.

Before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you wanna remind our listeners about? Uh, it’s hard cuz it’s, we’re recording this ahead of time, but like at the time this episode comes out, just stay tuned cause I’m gonna have more videos on my building my house. Talking to new companies that are trying to revolutionize how we mine things like lithium, uh, with nanotechnology.

It’s really cool. So there’s a whole bunch of different topics that it, that could be out around the time that this video comes out. So check. As for me, please check out my website, sean Ferrell dot com, or ask for my books at your local bookstore. Look for them at Amazon or your public library. You should be able to find them anywhere.

And if you’d like to support the show, please consider reviewing us on Apple, Spotify, Google, wherever it was, you found the podcast. Go back there, leave a review. Don’t forget to share us with your friends. All of that really does help. And if you’d like to really directly support us, you can go to Trek in Time dot show.

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