81: The Forge – Star Trek Enterprise Season 4, Episode 7

Matt and Sean talk about the Vulcans (again), but with a nice melding of the old and the new. This is kicking off a short multi-episode story arc that dives deep into Star Trek lore. 

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Hey everybody. Welcome to this episode of Trek in Time, where we’re gonna be talking about the importance remembering. That’s right. We’re talking about enterprise Season four, episode seven, the Forge. Welcome to Trek in Time. As you should know by now, if you’re a regular listener or viewer on YouTube, we’ve taken a look at all the episodes of Star Trek in chronological order, which means we’ve started with Enterprise and we are now.

believe it or not, one third of the way through the final season. That’s right. It took us 19 years to get here. ? Yes. At the rate we’re going, we will finish in the year 2152, which means we’ll be around to witness the launch of. USS Enterprise, so that’s right. Here’s to us. Yay. We’re taking a look at each episode in chronological order.

We’re also taking a look at the world at the time of the original broadcast, which means we are looking at the world as it was in 2004. And with me, I’m Sean Ferrell. As some of you may know, I’m a writer. I write some sci-fi, write some stuff for kids, and with me is my brother Matt. Matt is the guru and inquisitor behind the YouTube channel, undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives.

Matt, how you doing today? I’m doing very well. How about you? I’m doing okay. I’m looking forward to the conversation around this episode, which I’m gonna let the cat out of the bag right here at the top. We don’t usually do too much of this. , like how we feel right at the beginning, but I’m gonna let the cat outta the bag.

I really enjoyed this one. Mm-hmm. , and I’m looking forward to the conversation. How about yourself? . No, I,

I, I did enjoy this one too. It’s, this is a fun one. What we typically

do before we get into our heavier part of the conversation is we take a look at what you guys have been sharing in the comments on our previous conversations.

So, Matt, take it away. Got

one from Dan Sims on episode 80, the Augments, which was the last episode that wrapped up that little story arc with Zoom and Brent. Uh, he said I was binging the series and really enjoyed the overall season story arc so far. But now I’m watching week to week along with your podcast, so more episodic or short arcs may be nice because it won’t make me want to put the next episode on right away.

As much , Sean and I as we record these episodes, I have that urge, like when there’s like a right into the next one. Right into the next one. It’s like, oh, I wanna watch the next one. And it’s like, oh, I don’t wanna get too far ahead because I wanna make sure that it’s fresh in my mind when we talk about it.

Yeah, it can be a little frustrating. The other comment was from Top Hat who said, , I thought you were doing Star Trek. The Next Generation is there another channel for Star Trek? The Next Generation . And what went on after that comment was funny. It was between him or her Top Hat and Pale Ghost and they were talking about like how long it’s gonna take us to get to that and what’s coming up next.

Yeah. And Pale Ghost actually said something that was uh, maybe if we suddenly start. Talking into a void when discovery comes around, we can shave a year and a half off

Yeah, it’s, it’s gonna take a while, Shauna, we’re actually just talking before we started recording about how one of the next series we’re gonna be jumping into is one of the newer ones, which is, Gonna maybe resonate different in a different way with potential viewers and listeners online?

Yeah, there’s definitely a peaks and valleys in, mm-hmm.

in fandom and viewership of the different series. And I think that as we move forward, it’ll be interesting to see what kinds of discussion we’re also gonna be talking about this. The next one after enterprise will be discovery. And it will be interesting to be reviewing what the world was like when that originally came out because it is so much more recent than this.

Mm-hmm. And then beyond Discovery and Strange New Worlds, we’re gonna be jumping back to the late sixties, 1960s. So it’s gonna be a real slingshot effect in a at at work where we’re gonna be, we’re gonna be talking about very different eras, but I think it’s gonna be very interesting to make that transit.

from 2004 to 2015, 2016, and then back to, yeah, the 1960s. And I think it’s gonna be interesting to see some of the similar issues in our world at play. Yes. And. Yeah, there’s gonna be some

interesting commonalities that start to come out that we’ll start teasing

out, which we might be building, we might be building some bridges about, uh, what actually does change and, and how much progress might be part of how we view the world as opposed to what’s actually happening in the world.

So yeah, I’m looking forward to that. But thank you for those comments. Those are all great. And, and yeah, top hat, I hope you stick. I hope you maybe join in and watching some of the programs we’re talking about Next Generation . It’s,

yeah, it’s always off. It’s always off. It’s one of my favorites. It’s one of my favorites.

Yeah. It’s like I’m a next generation guy for sure. So it’s like I’m, I cannot

wait to get there. . Yeah. And Top Hat and Matt, if, if it makes you feel any better. The, where I plant myself, as far as like the, the original, the most core, uh, part of my fandom, the original series will always be like number one, but right beneath that is Deep Space Nine.

So I have to wait even further than you guys do because we gotta get through years of next generation. And just a little teaser for the listeners. Matt and I have already begun to debate what do we do with the fact that Star Trek next generation in Deep Space nine overlapped our, at the same time,

we might have to be jumping

between episodes, so we might be going back and forth between episodes for those shows, so, so hold on.

It’s gonna be a wild ride.

Strap yourself in. Yeah. Same thing with discovery.

There’s a big transition in discovery. That huge transition is going to make us turn it into a bookend. Yep. Series. So, yep, that’s all for another day. Cuz right now we’re gonna be focusing on the cause of that sound in the background.

That of course is the read alert, which means it’s time for Matt to struggle through the Wikipedia description, which I will say here in season four, I think that there’s a little more pizzazz put into the descriptions. They’re a little more concise and they’re a little better written. So Matt, take it away.

Set the 22nd century. This series follows the adventures of the First Star Fleet, Starship Enterprise Registration NX oh one. In this episode, the crew investigates the bombing of the Earth Embassy on Vulcan. The evidence led them to suspect. A group called the Cites and Captain Archer and Commander Chappa seek to cross an unforgiving Vulcan desert, known as the Ford to find oh to.

Let me finish that

sentence. Yeah. Doing a dramatic reading. It’s not gonna help you. Yeah, no, it’s not gonna

help. Meanwhile, on the ship, the crew discovers that the evidence was planted by elements linked to Vulcan high command. Dun,

dun dun. There we go. Season four, episode seven, directed by Michael Grossman, written by Judith Reeves Stevens and Garfield Reeves.

Stevens. A little fun fact about the two of them before writing this together. They had not written a star Trek script for the series, but they were responsible for several novels set within the star Trek universe. So they had been part of the, uh, they had been part of the creative teams that were responsible for star Trek lore.

So I think that was on full display here. The episode originally aired on November 19th, 2004, and guest appearances include Robert Foxworth as Minister LaVallis. Vaughn Armstrong in his last appearance as Admiral Forrest, Gary Graham as ambassadors all Michael Riley Burke as Kas Michael Nori as Arab, also known as C and Lark, spies as Stella.

And I just want to give a quick tip of the hat. to Admiral Forrest Vaughn Armstrong, as we will talk about, this is his last appearance as this character in the series. Mm-hmm. . And I just wanted to say really quickly, I think he did a terrific job with a character who had to be portrayed as now in a bureaucratic capacity, but understanding the.

of in the field action and trying to balance mm-hmm. all of that with a difficult scenario with earth starlee issues in balance with the political environment forced upon them by the Vulcan presence. And I always thought that the scenes with him, on screen worked really well, and I think he and Bakula had a good dynamic.

So I just wanted to point out that his exit in this, at this point in the series, uh, was notable for me. Mm-hmm. , what was the world like at the time of the original broadcast? This, of course was November 19th, 2004. It is post the US presidential election in which President George W. Bush won reelection over John, Kerry and Matt.

You’ll remember that at the time of that election. Oh no. There were days where you didn’t even know who won the president election cuz you were too busy dancing. Oh, here we go. In your room. And you were of course dancing over and over to the song Over and over. Over and over by Nelly featuring Tim McGraw.

And we will be revisiting over and over, over and over. As we talk for the next few weeks because over and over was the number one song over and over until the end of the year. So get ready for more jokes about Matt dancing over and over to over and over, to over and over, over and over.

This is like Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo,

Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo, Buffalo.

Yeah. At the box office, the Incredibles had the number one spot for the second week in a row. It added 50 million to the 70 million that it had in its first week, and it would eventually go on to earn 631 million at the box office. Little little side note, in my research, I discovered that this was also the week that the SpongeBob movie made its premier.

It made less than the incredible, so it did not have the number one spot. But what stood out for me is in that moment reading that I thought, dear God, SpongeBob has now been in the popular culture. Mm-hmm. for more than a quarter century. And yeah, it really kind of, Like what? Because I recall when I was a kid watching the Bugs Bunny cartoons, watching Tom and Jerry and Recog, when you recognize that a kid’s entertainment has been around as long as it has been and is still being consumed by new generations of kids, there’s something special about that.

So in reading about SpongeBob’s appearance, I was an adult when SpongeBob showed up, but I will admit I loved it. I thought it was great. . So reading that, this was the week that his movie made its first appearance, I thought that was worth noting as well on television. What was an enterprise up against?

Well, it was up against the Friday night lineup as we’ve talked about previously. It was on Wednesday nights originally and then moved to Friday nights, which forced a different kind of storytelling on the show. It was up against shows like Hope and Faith and Complete Savages on a B C. Jonah Arcadia on c b S, which had 10 million viewers.

Fox was showing cops Las Vegas Metro oh four. Long title for a show that is effectively just police officers. . Yeah. Dateline NBC was looking into women and sexual pleasure and that got 11 million viewers. My, so Joan of Arcadia got 10, they got 11. Turns out, if you put sex in your title, it’s gonna work on U P N, where Star Trek appeared.

They received roughly 4 million viewers and the wb, what I like about you, and Grounded for Life both also had 4 million. This was a step down in viewership this week from the previous weeks, which I think is interesting, but it’s still higher


some of the previous seasons. It’s still higher than some of the previous seasons, but that’s compared to.

Friday night viewership, where it was previously on Wednesday nights. So it’s a different audience that’s tuning in. Mm-hmm. slightly different because you’re probably getting a few more kids who are able to stay up and watch a Friday night show where they couldn’t stay up on a Wednesday night. But in comparison to the shows that they’re up against, they’re still struggling and they’re struggling against lesser known sitcoms on wb.

They’re struggling against a show like Cops on Fox. The Friday night lineup was never one that was intended to be the best of the television menu. It was always family focused, kid focused, because the older age demographics aren’t home on Friday nights, typically. Mm-hmm. so. The performance here, it being a little weaker than the previous week, I think is interesting because it’s sending the message to the showrunners.

It’s sending the message to the network that when they try to do something a little more cerebral, like this episode, it’s not doing as well as the more action oriented stuff of the previous weeks. And even that wasn’t performing to a. that anybody wanted. This is a show that in season three had been on the bubble, it got a fourth season being moved, and now one third of the way through its season.

It is still struggling and when it tries to be the kind of star Trek that’s a little bit smarter and a little bit more about dialogue and discussion, it doesn’t do as well as the action stuff. So I think that what we’re seeing right now is effectively the beginning of the end for the series I. I have a feeling that at this stage it wouldn’t surprise me if everybody involved knew.

This is our one shot to kind of like finish this off. Let’s finish this series. And Manny Coto, who had taken over a showrunner at this. Was explicit with these episodes, which is called the Vulcan Arc. They were trying to build a bridge between the depiction of Vulcans up to this point in enterprise and the depiction of Vulcans that we know from the original series.

What does that mean? These Vulcans have always been a little more emotional. These Vulcans have always been deceitful when it comes to the high command. Yeah. Yeah. And these Vulcans have been a little bit more willing. Play with subterfuge and deceit in order to keep themselves as a separate removed group.

And in the original series, what do we see? A lot more emotional repression. Strangely, I mean it like you’d almost think that it would be the opposite that mm-hmm. , you’d end up with less emotional repression in order for them to be fully engaged with Starlee and being a part of the federation. But the opposite is true.

We see in the future, in the original series, Vulcans are far more emotionally withheld. They are fully incorporated into the federation, and the idea of deceit is, Nonexistent there. There, yeah. There is not that level of subterfuge. So that’s what these episodes are about. What is the bridge between where enterprise is and where the original series was on the Vulcan question in the news on this day, November 19th.

2004. What were we talking about? Well, the US had attempted to get the UN to draft a treaty banning human cloning. It was abandoned at this point. I just found that interesting because of all our discussions previously around Khan, the augments. Yep. And the cloning and Eugenic wars that had been part of the episodes that we just talked.

And in Iraq, things continue to not go so well. US military officials reported that 102 soldiers, 85% of which have served in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan, contracted a rather rare blood infection. Military investigators said there was no evidence of biomedical or biochemical agents in the infections. So there were no concerns about bioweapons being used, but it was still raising questions as to what was happening with these infections.

World Vision. One of the last aid agencies left in Iraq announced it would pull its staff outta the country following the murder of its senior manager. So we were seeing civil society, international civil society, largely abandoning its effort to help. The community, society and government of a post-war Iraq and in Baghdad, two people were killed when clashes broke out.

As Iraqi forces backed by US troops entered a popular sunni Mosque to arrest dozens of members, reportedly, including the imam. This, this is the one story that I think sparked a, a connection for me with this episode because it is so clearly about. A small sect in a society. Yep. And how difference of opinion and difference of action is either framed or presented to the larger community and questions of the veracity of the claims and the actions taken by the minority.

This episode in particular focuses on questions of terrorism insurgencies. Effectively cults, who is a terrorist, who is a, who is a terrorist, who is a cultist, who is simply a different thinker. What do we do with difference? What do we do with the difference of opinion when it is so fundamentally deep that it actually questions the veracity and validity of government?

So we’re seeing a story that is depicting Vulcan. As a unified society dealing with a here to four not described insurgency of a group of people who, up to this point have not taken any kind of terroristic action, but there is an attack on the Earth Embassy on Vulcan, and the evidence at first seems to point to this lesser identified group, the cites.

clearly a storyline pulled out of the context of the world. At the time where we were seeing this kind of response from governments, there were so many different instances of governments claiming terrorist organizations responsible for attacks, and then the pushback the other direction of. Even going so far as to claim things like nine 11 was an inside job.

Like Yep. These kinds of debates were in the news constantly at this point. So Matt, the setup of this episode, the beginning of this episode, revolves around the scene at the embassy. What did you think about the depiction of the, the buildup to that moment of the attack on the embassy? Uh,

this. Like for me, like catnip, like this whole scene I just ate up.

I loved the whole, everything that we’re establishing because it, it covered so much. It covered the, the setup for the discussion around who’s a terrorist, what does that mean to be a terrorist in a society, and how that’s all structured. But I was also enjoying the, I don’t wanna call it fan service, but like the building and the kind of, Opening up that you’re starting to see between the Vulcans and the humans.

Cuz the conversation between the Admiral and, um, Soval. Soval, yeah. Is his name was so like, oh, I love it. It’s like, I love what they were setting up because it’s like the admiral getting this realization and saying to ’em, wait, are, are Vulcans afraid of humans? Yeah. Because the discussion about how. Vulcans went the same upheaval in society that humans went through, and humans went through it like a hundred years earlier, where it took Vulcans.

He said 1500 years. to get past that huge upheaval and humans did at a hundred and the Admiral saying, wait, are you afraid of us? Yeah. Because they’re humans are basically evolving as a society much faster than the Vulcans did. And the, the admiration that was coming across that conversation of how humans have a blend of Falcon logic with End Dorian fire and like all the different, like there’s elements of the different species that are all kind of wrapped up into humanity.

It kind of scares Vulcan. Yeah. Which is part of the reason why he’s basically admitting why Vulcans keep trying to stamp down tamp down the human. Yeah. Speed is because it is a little frightening. And I thought that was such a wonderful display because it shows that there’s a real camaraderie building between Soval and the Admiral that there’s a respect that’s building and it’s of course setting up what’s gonna come with the federation in years to come.

And I just, for me, I was just like eating that up. , but then it was also a really good like building block for what happens in the episode. So when the explosion happens and the admiral basically saves Saul’s life, it’s like, that’s like the, that’s like the cherry on top for Soval of like, he’s gonna do whatever he can to help the humans out here, because like the humans, he wouldn’t be standing there if it wasn’t for the admiral, basically.

So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a very interesting setup for what came after. But my one nit. Okay. The explosion happens in that room. Admiral tackles saval to get ’em out of the way, and then we go to the special effects shot outside, and it looks like literally a quarter of the building explodes.

I actually don’t think the explosion takes place in the room where they are.

I think that, I think that what happens is they sh they reframe that attack later on when, we’ll, and we’ll get to how they do it, but when they show the evidence, but it’s not clear. That’s my complaint. I, it’s not clear. I think that. Taken deeper into the building, and I think that what happens in the lobby, the entryway, which is where they are, is splash damage that comes through that area.

But I think that ultimately the explosion. Is depicted a little out of order. I think that the exterior shot showing the first huge explosion, the, the big explosion that takes out a court of the building effectively would’ve taken place seconds before what happened in the lobby. But because of the way that the story has to be told, they show it in the order that they do.

So I don’t think that, but, but yeah, it’s like, yeah, you don’t, you don’t

hear like the ex, a ripple of explosions of it getting closer. To them, the way it’s portrayed, it looks like the explosion happens in the room and then it shuts, goes outside and they like, half the building basically evaporates and it’s like, uh, wait, what?

Yeah. So there’s a little bit of a, yeah.

I think that it didn’t, what I’m basing, what I’m basing my assumption on is that we see the person who’s. Shown to be coming in and planting the bomb Yes. Has already come through. So he’s taken the bomb somewhere else, is my interpretation. And so it’s like, or maybe there’s more than one, because we find that there is an unexploded device, so there’s more than one device.

So maybe they’ve been brought in over a period of days leading up to this, but whatever. The order of it all. I agree with you that the conversation is fantastic and it’s, and it’s a discussion between the two of them where I love that it’s, you’re like this group of people. You’re like this group of people.

You’re like this group of people and then god damn it, when we think of you, you finish figured out. You act like us. And it’s even, it’s the whole thing of like, we see ourselves in you, which is making it all the more difficult to know what to. because right there are glimmers of like, you’re utilizing a logic that makes so much sense, but you still got that stubbornness.

You still got that Andorian streak. You still got that Klingon attitude. The, and I liked, I liked that it was, as you mentioned, it’s fan servicey, but it’s fan service that works because Yeah, if they had been like, you’re like the Google flexes, like we would’ve been like, Who? Yeah, like, so the kind of references that they’re using have to be used the way they’re using them.

So it’s very smart. I really liked it. And it does show the kind of years of developing relationship between Forest and Saval. And Saval at this point has even had this kind of moment with Archer. . So it’s the development of a character who started off with, you guys shouldn’t fly, you shouldn’t go anywhere.

You need to stay on your planet and figure your stuff out. And now he is like, we’re recognizing you to a large degree. Do have your stuff figured out. And that’s what’s so perplexing and scary to us that we aren’t sure how you’re managing to do this. And what does it mean when you go deeper? Into space.

Mm-hmm. and the, I love that Forrest’s response is we wanna be your partners. Like, yep. Because he’s effectively savallo’s hinting it. Like, what if humans decide that it’s conquest? What if it’s the fact that humans decide, okay, we just need to start taking over terrain. And Forrest’s response is, we’re talking about being partners and of course as the fan, you’re sitting there like the federation.

Yep. Like, equality within representation in the federation. We know what’s coming. So we’re sitting there like, yeah, Forrest has got it. AL’S fear is potentially, and like if you try and take AL’S perspective, you can understand where he is coming from. Mm-hmm. . So I think that’s good writing is that he’s not saying you guys have been and then making claims that are unfounded.

He’s simply saying like, we are perplexed and we’re worried as a result of that. So we have the attack. And then begins the investigation. And here again is where AL’S role, I think is beautifully used. Mm-hmm. , he sends the message to Archer question everything. Don’t, don’t let the high command make claims without double checking it yourself.

He’s already got, for whatever reason, his something is, is hitting him the wrong way. He’s like, this doesn’t make sense for it to have. The cites alone and the high command presents evidence, which once it’s looked at a little deeper, is determined to have been falsified. That includes D N A of Teo, which is a name that all of us who grew up in the eighties will recall, was a great band, but it was also the name of.

The head, Vulcan Priestess, who is involved in the episode of Mock Time when Spock is returned to Vulcan for the entire wedding ceremony episode that revolves around him and his, mm-hmm. and his fiance and Kirk and Spock have to fight one of the best episodes to come out of the original series. I think Tao was a major figure in that.

and here her name being dropped. And the potential of seeing Teal for the first time within Enterprise is very interesting because it’s depicting her as a member of a group known as the cites who are following the teachings of. The first Klingon to wander. Vul What? Vulcan. Vulcan. The first Vulcan to wander into,

who was it?

Klingon. . That would be,

there’s a wild, very different story. Wild Episode . We find out that the, that the origin of Vulcan logic is all because of Alan Ka. So it’s the, the teachings of Ceroc, which come out of his having wandered into the desert in the section known as the Forage and Cerin as a follower of Ceroc.

More recently, this is now. Xerox wandering into the desert is depicted as 1500 years ago. Volcan was tearing itself apart and this one guy went into the desert and he came back out with these teachings that helped us figure out what to do. And he remains the cornerstone of Vulcan philosophy and thinking.

And. Ultimately lifestyle because of his teachings. And there is a lot of empty spaces because his original writings have been lost. His original teachings have been interpreted in different ways. And so we have a form of Cerros teachings, which are on display on the large scale, which this group of cites claim.

Been manipulated. They’ve been twisted in certain ways and they aren’t actually accurate. And the cites claim that the original teachings of Ceroc have been discovered and it eventually, as we’ll find in the episode, isn’t even fully about the writings of Ceroc. It’s about his katra itself. This is where we’re seeing now a depiction of Vulcan philosophy and the, the meta Vulcan storytelling of all of Star Trek has been pulled on in beautiful ways to really bring it all together into these, these moments.

I think that some of the exterior shots where some CGI is used to create statuary, where you see. And his first journey, it’s, it’s shown as 50 years ago. He is wandering through the desert and finds what looks like a small it. It simply looks like a small cave with some statuary, and he’s polishing these things off and seeing what they say and he seems to find something.

Is the thing, it’s a kind of Raiders of the Lost Ark moment of like the swell of the music and the importance of the discovery. Yep. All of the depiction of this is beautiful for, especially for a TV series, but it’s very closely rendered in comparison to some of the things we’ve seen in the other series.

I mentioned a mock time before, a mock time original series. Star Trek set building. Set design is very different from what is being done in enterprise. But it, it hits the right notes. The color of the sky, the color of the sand, the terrain, the descriptions of the harsh atmosphere, the difficulty to sustain yourself when the temperatures are as high as they are.

The concern that DePaul has for Archer, who will not be able to sustain them as well. All of that is. Beautifully rendered. I’m thinking about scenes from some of the movies. Yeah. Where you see Spock on his, in the original emotion picture, he’s shown as being on a pilgrimage through the forage. This is where he is going.

He is doing this. Attempt to cleanse himself of the last of his human side, the emotional side. He is pursuing that in this place. So it is, this is the mecca of Volcom thought and because of the harsh terrain. And I like the fact that they, they depicted as this is where he went. To kind of get away from all the distraction of ary apart inhospitable place.

But it makes sense if you think about it logically, because it was at a time when this kind of pursuit might have been dangerous for Cerak. So for Cerro to go to a place where people wouldn’t be able to find him makes sense. And then that underscores for the followers of Syrian. Why they’re safe also going to the same place.

This is a place that you don’t go there if you don’t wanna get away from it all. So they’re there and there’s a lot of beautiful, uh, references that pull from all these other Vulcan stories throughout all of star Trek that I really, really liked. Yeah.

I’m glad you called out that some of the writers had worked in the novels, because that’s one of the things I really respected of this


This could have easily fallen down into fan service territory, all of this. But they didn’t. It was, they went to like, here’s the thing that would’ve been fan service. They wanna layer down, found the, the root of what the society would’ve been like, and they teased it back through its history. So it’s like you, it felt very authentic.

Mm-hmm. for the story and the environment and the world building they were doing. And I, I wanted to call out special effects in this episode. I thought. Excellent. Yeah. I mean, some of them are, some of them are dated, so you have to keep in mind that this was, yeah, early two thousands, but like the scene where they’re running through the forge at night and they’re being hunted by that animal.

there’s this one shot like shaky cam. Yeah. Running with the two of them facing the camera, running in the background. This giant beast is like getting around a corner and coming at them. Yeah. And I was like, holy crap. That looks like anything you’d see in any modern show today. Yeah. It’s like doing special effects where the camera is bouncing the way it was.

Really hard to pull off what they pulled off and they did it. Yeah. And I was just like, wow, man. That was like out of a movie. And this was made the only two thousands on probably a shoestring budget. Yeah.

So I was just like, for a show that’s on the bubble, a great job, job as the budget continues to get smaller as a result of being on the bubble, they do a lot of stuff here and I think that it’s part of.

Perhaps why episodes like the augments didn’t have quite as much, um, in the way of costume design that, you know, yeah. We kept complaining that like, it looks like they’re doing things that don’t make a lot of sense. Like maybe they were saving some dollars so they could invest it in this. I’m glad you mentioned Theo.

I wanted to talk about that in particular, because that for me, here comes the fanboy, like in Sean on full display. What, can I

just pause for a second before you go in this? For those of you who don’t know, Sean is, I think as a, my memory, you as a kid, Sean, you wanted to be Spock.

I taught, I taught myself to be able to raise one eyebrow.

Yes. Simply because Spock could do it. And Spock was for me, the character who Yes. Was to be emulated. I liked, I, I loved Kirk. You know, Kirk was great for like, There he goes, he’s getting, it’s all about the Vulcan. He’s ripping off that shirt and he’s getting into that fistfight again. That’s fantastic. Uh, and he’s got that swagger, which I always liked, but I liked Spock for the quiet demeanor, the standing in the background and being ready when somebody calls on you to do what needs to be done, but not looking for all that attention.

That was, that was my bag. So for me, the fan service around, like really talking about Vulcan, As an atmosphere, as an environment, I wanted to read from Wikipedia. Like the description of the animal that Mag just mentioned, which is a salon, and why this hit the note for me as I’m watching the episode. I remember it from the first viewing in 2004.

I remembered it, Ian. Just memory, when I think about Star Trek and when I think about Spock’s home and I think about Spock’s story for me, This is a huge moment for enterprise to have brought something that was always debated about whether it was Canon bringing it fully into the cannon, and that is, mm-hmm the salon.

The CGI io was based on one which had previously appeared in the Star Trek animated series, episode yester year Visual effects. Producer Dan Curry said that the team looked at the animated. And it just looked nice and pleasant. So I did a couple of sketches to rein due to a reinterpretation of it to make it look scary, but not too radical.

A departure from the original Eden FX modeled the CGI under supervision of staff, visual Art Supervisor Art Cordon. Additional care was taken to create the fur so the closeups could be used to require. The only physical portion of Theo to be created was a single paw yester. From the animated series was set in the Vulcan City Shakara, which appears in the Forge, and is also the first mention of the area on Vulcan called The Forge.

A further reference was made to Vulcan’s Forge in the Deep Space. Nine Episode Change of Heart, the original series. The spinoff Saturday morning cartoon. The animated series had this episode yesterday year in which you get a time travel story in which Spock travels back in time to become the family member that he remembers from his childhood who helped him at a particularly difficult time in his life.

Theo is introduced in that episode as a family pet. It looks like effectively a gigantic tiger that is living in the home, and Spock as a child loves this creature. Takes care of it. And in the animated episode, the character, the creature dies as a result of defending young Spock from another animal. So for them to have gone and introduced that animal in this episode is effectively taking something that had been debated.

Is this considered Cannon? Is the animated series actually storylines of Kirk and his original crew and this episode in one simple swoop of putting this big animal Yes. In the background as the threat they did It does it. It takes all of that and makes it part of the cannon, which I loved. I loved the CGI here.

I loved the, the use of the animal. And really, again and again, it is, this is not a spot, a hospitable place to be. Fcan is not an easy planet to survive on, and it really kind of, Hammers again and again and again. The resilience of the Vulcan people. We’ve only seen Vulcans in enterprise who seem to be nefarious.

Mm-hmm. . When it comes to the Vulcan government, we see nefarious action and we see it on display here in the form of them giving falsified evidence. To Earth in order to depict that the attack was coming from the cites. So we have Archer and DePaul go into the wilderness. They come across this animal, it chases them up a hill.

DePaul very casually says It might hunt us for days, at which point Archer left to wonder, what do we do now? And in the distance, another Vulcan makes a falsified roar sort. Obi showing up to save Luke from the sand. People scares off Theo and they come down and this Vulcan claims, he originally claims that he is somebody else.

He uses a name, which means desert, wind, a rev, and then he eventually is revealed to be Syrian. He is the, he is the CR of the cites and his depiction of a Vulcan met. Did you notice what I noticed about his depiction of. , namely, he felt lamore, like a Vulcan than most of the Vulcans. Yes. We see earlier in enterprise, this is a Vulcan depiction.

That to me was like, this could be C, this could be Spock’s father.

Right. You know, I got that. I definitely got that feeling and it, it felt very deliberate that he was very familiar as a Vulcan, like a Spock like,

uh, character

that showed up because he was. It, it came across that he wasn’t denying his emotions and he.

but he was still remaining very calm. Mm-hmm. and logical about everything, but you could tell that there was stuff bubbling under the surface and he wasn’t trying to hide it or repress it. Mm-hmm. , it was just, it just felt like it was there. And I love the dialogue between him and the captain, how he was probing the captain of like, you know, why don’t you recite the, the, the, yeah.

You know, the meaning of this. And the captain’s like, oh yeah, we haven’t gotten to that. Yeah. Like, it was like, and him picking up and like, you’re, you’re a complete liar. Yeah. Um. We don’t lie. You know, I followed the teachings and we don’t lie. Yeah. I just, I love that aspect of it. It’s like, okay, here’s the true Vulcan.

Especially when he was saying, I’m not gonna lie to you, . Yeah. It’s like there’s, that’s not gonna happen. And it’s something that we’ve seen again and again over the course of this series. So it was a really nice kind of, um, , you can see that the, they were clearly setting up that the cites are not terrorists.

Yeah. That they are the true vulcans and that it’s something else has been going on for, in the government and society at large that has perverted, but we as fans know of Vulcans. Yeah. So it, they were very, being very, I, I don’t wanna say, . It was definitely not hamfisted at all. Yeah. But it was, it was pretty obvious what they were setting up.

There was no subtlety to it. It was just coming right out and basically saying it almost immediately. Yeah. But it, it needed to be done

because Yeah. It’s not hamfisted and it’s also, speaking of the era that was, the show was being made in at the time. There were constant refrains about what does it mean to be a terrorist?

What is a terrorist? And those people who would say, well, a terrorist is a. And the constant messaging coming out of more open-minded circles was you can’t take a group of people who are relying on distorted versions of religious teachings and throw an entire group of people under the bus as a result of that.

Mm-hmm. , because ultimately, Every religious teaching that exists has been used and manipulated and distorted at different times, and that includes every major religion. Every major religion has done things that are terrible under the name of their religion as the result of distortions of teachings. . So that is being now fictionalized using the Vulcans, but it was on full display as questions about who to trust in Iraq, in Afghanistan, who, mm-hmm.

who, where do these sources of disruption come from? And even questions in the us. Pre nine 11, we had attacks from the Oklahoma City bombing. There are members of organizations in this country who carry out bad acts. and they do it in the name of major religions that are not Islam. They, they have all sorts of different groups behind them that even in the name of what would be considered from a US perspective, a mainstream religion, a distorted teaching is a distorted teaching.

And that’s kind of where this has all been steeped. It feels like it’s very of the moment and saying we can’t let the structure that is scared of. original sources dictate how those original sources are interpreted. Yeah, so we’re seeing that on display in the pursuit of Archer on Vulcan with DePaul looking for the cites to see.

What the relationship, if any, between the attack and the cites is at this point, Archer is already fully aware of the fact that evidence has been doctored. So he’s going there in pursuit of what is the cause of the distrust more than what is the cause of link between the cites and the attack. Can I just call it one thing about


The doctor and Tripp, um, and the ambassador on enterprise, when they’re discussing the additional things that the Phlox had found, like there were additional cells we found. Yeah, and it’s, the cells were clearly old and doctored calling out the director in the cinematographer on this episode, there was some.

Really odd closeups that entire scene, , that were like looking up people’s nostrils and it was like, what the hell is going on here? It was like, did somebody just wanna do something dramatic and didn’t understand how to do a closeup? Because it was just like everybody was shot like so close up, we’d found extra cells.

It was just like, it was ridiculous. My wife was sitting there with me watching this episode and she just started laughing. She was just like, what’s up with the closeups? And I. I know right. Was the first thing that was going through my head. It’s this episode did feel a little like, you know how sometimes when they film movies, there’s like a.

Crew and the B crew. Yeah. Is filming secondary stuff. It felt like, was the B crew filming this episode while they were outside filming the stuff in the desert? Because that stuff was awesome and this stuff is kind of like, what? What’s going

on here? from a cinemagraphic. Perspective. I get what you’re saying, but I think that what’s happening on the ship as far as the conversations are concerned, I actually really enjoy, enjoys, enjoyed all of that.

Yes. Flocks as the evidence gatherer trip is trying really hard to balance now being in command of the enterprise and working with Saval. They’ve had their issues in the past, but at this point, Saval is making very clear again and again and again. He’s like, I, I’m on the path of looking for the truth.

I’m looking for evidence with you. Well,

the. . I mean, the fact that he did the nine mill, he does the mine mill. Yeah. That’s something that’s taboo. And he, he initially didn’t wanna do it, but then he’s like, I want to help. So he did it. And then the other comment, the commentary, the little conversation they had where he, they were gonna be transporting people down to the surface.

Yeah. With the captain and great scene Saval gives them that. that memory card that has a location and a way to do it so that they won’t be detected. Yeah. And Trip says some comment about like, aren’t you gonna get in trouble for this? And he’s just like, I

don’t see anything there about a memory card. I just see a

memory card thing.

I thought that was a nice little like touch as well. Yeah. And uh, during the cell conversation, during the extreme closeups, there was a, a, a moment where I think it was the ambassador said, what was when he said, here’s, here’s the thing, how to get past the defenses. My wife was started laughing and, and said, well, he’s been corrupted by humans.

yeah. Was was her response. But I did find it funny because it’s like, in a way, s he is in that mindset of the non cite crowd, even though he’s helping the cites and, but through his actions. Yeah. He’s, he’s lying. and that’s something that Vulcans aren’t supposed to do. Right. And he’s basically saying, I’m willing to lie.

So it’s like he clearly doesn’t follow the teachings and the way he’s supposed to in the way he’s helping. So it’s, it’s, I just thought that was kind of a interesting, like nuance to what they were doing with his

character. Yeah. The result of a corrupt entity is that sometimes the corrupt entity will have its own members become corrupt against it.

so that, so that’s like what you’re talking about is a destabilized government is now beginning to crumble because members of its own functioning are turning and working against it, so it can’t sustain itself. Mm-hmm. , we have all of those nice moments on the enterprise with Saval, and again, I, this is a character.

By design. They put him into antagonist territory at the very beginning, and we’ve seen the slow drip, drip drip of, of him turning into an ally, and now we see it in full force. Mm-hmm. , it’s, he’s benefited by some very good makeup showing a large green scar and scab wound on his face as he has been injured in the attack.

His willingness to conduct a mind meld, which in previous episodes, the discussion of mind meld was always it. Not only is it a taboo thing, it is a thing that only a small portion of people can do and on the planet C reveals mine melds are a Vulcan’s birthright. We can all do it. He’s, yeah, like laying out, like this is not a thing that is intended to be.

Taboo. And the here, I think for me it is the unspoken. In the episode or in the, at this point in the discussion, I think there’s a, a question of like, what would the taboo around that be? And I think that the heart of it is the very thing that happens between SIR and Archer, which is, it’s about the katra, it’s about going to primary sources for your information.

if Vulcan society had evolved along the lines of mind. Melds are part of our birthright and they’re part of the way that we are insured, that we are standing on the bedrock of the teachings of the wisest. You get there through mind melds, so you end up with a society if mind melding is considered part of life and part of teaching.

Then the original teachings, the original writing. Of Suk are not needed because mind melding would get you there By controlling mind melding and making it a taboo and making the argument, that is something that only a few strange aberrant individuals can do. You’re maintaining control of the written text, which is what the Vulcan high command is trying to do.

Well, with mind melds, there’s no lying. Right?

It’s like you’re, you’re, it’s a two-way street. It’s not like you reading somebody else’s mind. It’s, they can read your mind at the same time. You know, our minds become one. So you’re burying your soul to somebody else. And they can, they can, they know who you are.

You know who they are. And of course, a, a repressive regime would wanna stop that because Yeah. You know

that they’re lying to you, . So there are two things left that I wanna discuss very quickly. One is DePaul’s mother. We’ve seen her previously as Joanna Cassidy portrayed her in the episode around the Betrothal.

Mm-hmm. . She through DePaul’s husband, sends her an ick necklace, which is infinite diversity in infant infinite combination and. , he presents it to Paul. As your mother said, this was an old family heirloom, and to Paul takes it and very graciously says, and then later is just like, I’d never seen this before in my life.

Mm-hmm. , I, I loved the subterfuge and the inclusion of her mother. in the cite movement. I loved the use of the husband as the basically ignorant go between. I loved the use of the special effects around the necklace showing a map of this is the location where we are. And the other thing I wanted to talk about was the final moments between c.

and Archer. They’re hiding in the cave from a storm. Very nicely depicted. I liked the fleeing from the storm. I like the idea that the storm is like, it’s so electrically charged. It’s not even about, it’s the wind. It’s the sand. It’s literally like this storm just shoots out electric charges as lightning.

That is so lethal. That one hit is enough. They’re hiding in this. And when CN is struck and knows he is dying, he pulls the old Spock out of the radioactive chamber maneuver, remember? And plants a hand on Archer and says something which Archer does not understand. And then when Archer wakes up and Sir is dead, and Te Paulo’s like, what happened?

And all Archer can say is, I feel like he. And he reveals the word that was said, and the word was remember. And so we have now the Katra transition fans of the series, fans of the movies. We see what’s coming. It’s like, oh, it’s the whole Spock into McCoy. McCoy then goes kind of bonkers and is like doing things that are beyond his, his understanding so that we can have the search for Spock and Spock can be returned, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

That’s all in the movies, but we know it. So here we are and we know what’s gonna happen to Archer and. How did you feel about the ways that the, they depicted the beginning of archer’s, manifestations of serum. Oh, it was,

it was, I liked it. This is just me being a little overly critical. I thought it was a little on the nose cuz it’s like, you know, check off’s gun, if you, if you show something, it has to have a purpose later.

Mm-hmm. with like the whole. They’re in the, the desert and the Vulcans are gonna say, and like, you know, I can go for days without water. And, and the captain’s like downing it. And then there’s that comment that he says later of when they’re going, he’s like, sister to Paul, don’t worry, I can go for days.

And she says, uh, no you can’t. You’re human . Yeah you need water. It’s like those little like seeds that were dropping of this is not normal Archer anymore. And it’s just clear to the viewer, cuz we all know Ethicon and all that kind of stuff. The whole remembered thing with Spock. Mm-hmm. . So it was like I said on the nose, but totally enjoyable.

Yeah. Like I liked, I liked the way they set it up, and I also liked that this was the end of the episode. Yeah. Because we know what this means as a viewer. There’s a star Trek fan, you know exactly what this means, and there’s of course a Oh crap about what’s about to unfold just from that. Yeah. So it did a good, I think it did a good job of hooking us to want to find.

The next episode and see what, what, what happens.

Yeah. I think that I agree with you. It is on the nose, but it’s thoroughly enjoyable and I liked, I actually really liked the No, I’m, I’m okay. I won’t need that for weeks. And yeah, her like, you’re an idiot. You’re a human. We’ll be talking about, and then, yeah.

Him walking through a stonewall and knowing Yeah, like I know where I am and I can get back to these people. Yeah. And his warning to her of like, don’t fight back. Like, we’re gonna be okay if you just do what I tell you. His operating on instinct I think is nicely done and it’s a speeding up of what we saw previously in the movies.

The movie’s depicted as you have Spock’s death, and then you have weeks going by before McCoy begins to exhibit strange behavior. That sounds like he’s making speeches to Kirk saying like, why have you abandoned me? And it’s that questioning of like, how long does it take? Well, in this, it takes literally no time.

And I’m fine with that. Like this story has to move forward the way it does. So I really enjoyed all of that. I thought it was really, really nicely done. So next time we’re gonna be talking about part two of the Vulcan arc, which is the awakening. Here we are now in the second of a multi-part little mini story arc, and I have to say, I’m really kind of enjoying having a season broken up in this.

Yes. If they’re not gonna do the overall story arc of like, we gotta go stop the Xindi, and they’re not gonna do serialized, like episodic, like different monster each week. This is a really nice middle ground and, and I think they’ve done a really good job with it. We weren’t so crazy about the whole con type, eugenics storyline of the previous story.

A. , but I think as a whole it demonstrated a smart approach to the storytelling. Yes. And now we’re seeing it beginning here with another multi-story arc.

One nuance of that for me was the previous story arc didn’t have a relevant impact on this show. You know what I mean? It doesn’t, it doesn’t have a re impact on what’s gonna happen for us this season.

This story arc

is, it’s like, it is another little brick in the. The wall that’s being built, that’s gonna happen by the finale. Yeah. So it’s like, even though it’s not an overarching storyline, it’s still adding an element that’s gonna pay it

forward later. Yeah, I agree. So before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you’d like to remind our listeners


Uh, just to stay tuned to undecided, there’s some good videos coming up on everything from the new laser fusion breakthrough that just happened to updates on building a factory built energy efficient net zero energy home. Which is what I’m doing. Um, I’ve got a lot

of interesting videos coming up as for me, I just wanna point out as usual, you can go to my website, look for my books there.

It’s sean Ferrell dot com. You can also go to your local bookstore or your public library and find my books that way. And I just wanted to call out that I have a new book, which is coming out, which is The Sinister Secret of Singe. And The Sinister Secrets of Singh is the first book of. At this 0.2 book series, but it’s for middle grade readers and I hope people might be interested in checking that out.

It’s available for pre-order now. It’s coming out in June, but if you put in an order now, It definitely helps with helping the book get a bigger splash, so I would thank anybody with any kind of interest in my writing for going and looking for that. If you’d like to support this show, please consider reviewing us on Apple, Google, Spotify, wherever it was.

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