Matt and Sean talk about an attempt to make humans the top dogs in the galaxy. Star Trek is at its best when it grapples with weighty issues … do these episodes succeed at that?
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So we’re looking at things from the original time of broadcast of Star Trek Enterprise. That puts us in 2005. As I mentioned before, we’re right at the end of season four, the final season of the series. And who are we? I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I write some sci-fi. I write some stuff for kids. And with me is my brother Matt.
He is the guru and inquisitor behind the show, undecided with Matt Ferrell on YouTube, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. Matt, how are you doing today? I’m doing great. How about you? I’m doing well. I’m looking forward to this conversation. A nice little two-parter to almost end.
Our review of Enterprise on for everybody who’s looking forward to what’s coming up on the channel after enterprise. Well, this week we have this discussion on this two-parter, as I’ve mentioned on previous episodes recently, viewer comments were, when you have a two-parter, do it as a one episode shot.
So we’re doing that. So if you haven’t watched both Demons and Terra Prime, please go revisit both of those before listening to the show. And next week we’ll be discussing the final episode of Enterprise, which is these are the voyages. After that, the following week, we’ve decided we’re gonna have kind of an enterprise wrap up episode where we’re gonna be talking about.
Our feelings about the show as a whole. Talk about some of our favorite episodes. Talk about what we thought about the structure of the show, where it might have gone, where it did go some, some big picture discussion the following week. After that, we’ll be starting Discovery. So we hope you will join us for these episodes as we wrap up enterprise, and then move on to the next stage of our rewatch, which will be a surprising leap forward in time as we jump forward.
To the early two thousands in finding a brand new show on a brand new app, on what was effectively a spinoff of a network using Star Trek as one of its anchor shows discovery. So I’m looking forward to that. Before we get into today’s conversation, Matt, do you have viewer feedback that you wanted to li share with us today?
Yeah, I mean the last episode we talked about A Mirror Darkly, the two-parter with the mirror universe of Star Trek and Sean and I had very different takes on those two episodes, and I thought it was funny because the comments were just as divided as you and I were. We had one from Camilla Holst, nil Nelson.
I cringe every time An Alternate Universe episode comes up in Star Trek In most other shows, I am sensitive to negative energy in a show. I watch TV and movies for entertainment with positive energy. Thank you for your reviews. Sorry, Sean. I’m with Matt, so
Camilla. That’s okay.
I, I picked the one obviously cuz she agreed with me.
But it’s also a, it’s, you know, I, I, I do, I’m in the same kind of boat. It’s like sometimes I don’t like to watch a show if it’s a little bit. Little too negative, a little too dower, a little too, uh, cuz it’s like sometimes I’m looking for a little escape and those kinda episodes kind of make me go. I don’t wanna watch this.
Next comments from Robert Bach-huber, I hope I pronounced your last name right. I actually love this quick story arc. It was a beautiful take on the what if of the mere universe story. Yeah. It was unbelievable that the humans understood Falcon Tech well enough. On day zero, I would like more context about how the Terran Empire.
But putting myself into the dark side of human psychology and diving into the possibilities with no connection to the primary universe was fun, exciting, drove the idea of a darker universe forward. Were there issues? Oh yeah. Was it worth watching? Heck yeah. So I, that, that seems to be more in line with what you felt from the episodes of it was just a fun kind of romp, just take it for
what it is.
Yeah. I think that one of the things Robert touches on there is the idea of maybe over-reliance on trying to connect it to specific moments in Trek history that we would recognize, for example, by having it start with the Vulcan ship arriving, and then humans overwhelming the Vulcans and taking it over.
It might have been more interesting for it to be a 20 years later moment where, Are given the idea that humans originally started on a positive footing with the Vulcans, but were duplicitous. It might have been better to have that moment of like, okay, 20 years went by and then the humans turned the tables on the Vulcans.
Yes. And were able to supplant and steal technology and, and become the leader of the, that region of the galaxy. Right. Little things like that that might have aided the shows. I hate to use the word believability when we’re talking about something as fantastical, as star Trek, but that is the kind of, uh, moment that kind of like nudges me out of the.
Frame of like, oh, I, I buy this. Mm-hmm. Thank you for those, those comments, Camilla and Robert. Now onto today’s discussion. That noise in the background is of course the read alert, which can only mean one thing. Matt is about to drag himself through a plot summary, and as usual, when it comes to the two parters, I have had to kind of meld them together.
So my mind to your mind, Matt, go ahead and hit. Description, man, this is gonna be a struggle.
Demons and Terra Prime are the 20th and 21st episodes of the fourth season of the American Science Fiction television series, star Trek Enterprise, and originally aired on May 6th and May 13th, 2005. On U P N Demons was written by Showrunner Manny Coto, and directed by LaVar Burton.
Terra Prime was developed by Judith and Garfield Reeves Stevens, along with and Andre Bormanis and developed into a script by the Reeves, Steven. Stevens’. Mm-hmm.
Gets a little tricky to Yeah.
And developed into a script by the Reeves Stevens’ and Showrunner Manny Coto, and directed by Marvin Rush his second, his first being another second part to another director’s opener.
Set the 22nd Century. The series follows the Adventures of the first Starfleet Starship Enterprise Registration NX-01. In demons. The crew returns to earth to participate in a conference to set up a Trade Col Coalition of Alien races. While there, they discover a plot involving a xenophobic human organization called Terra Prime.
This description just keeps going. Going, mm-hmm. Investigations lead to T’Pol and Tripp being aboard John Frederick Paxton’s mining vessel. I don’t think it was actually his vessel, but Okay. With his xenophobic. And the revelation that Paxton and his team have successfully created a human Vulcan hybrid in Terra Prime.
John Frederick Paxton. I like the fact they keep saying his full name. Yes, it’s great. Yeah. In Terra Prime, John Frederick Paxton threatens to use an array of. On Mars to destroy Starfleet command unless all aliens leave Earth immediately. Enterprise Captain Archer and an away team covertly take a shuttle pod to the array and attempt to stop Paxton and rescue their crew mates.
The crew worked to stop the threat of the station and to rescue T’Pol Tripp and their offspring. The cloned Human Vulcan child.
Woo. There you go. That was season four episode. It was directed by LaVar Burton, who we have come to trust as a strong hand behind the camera. It was written by Manny Coto. It originally aired on May 6th, 2005, and included guest appearances of Harry Groner as Nathan Samuels, Eric Pierpont as Harris Peter Mensa as Daniel Greeves, Patrick Fisler as Mercer, Adam Clark as Joss.
Steve Rankin as Colonel Phillip Green. Johanna Watts as Gannet Brooks. Tom Bergeron as the Codon Ambassador. Yes, it’s that Tom Bergeron of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Peter Weller as John Frederick Paxton, the name that we are gonna say in full for the entirety of this discussion. And Christine Rome as Susan Coto.
And episode number 21 was directed by Marvin Rush. As we mentioned the last time we talked about him, he had not directed, he had been the director of photography for a great number of episodes. He directed the second part. Of the previous two-parter that we discussed, and his approach was, I don’t want it to look like anybody else directed this.
I want it to be consistent. I think this is another example here that he’s very successful. You would not know that these two parts were not directed by the same hand. Mm-hmm. And as Matt mentioned in his. Reed Alert. This had a lot of hands. In episode two. The writing included Judith Reeve Stevens, Garfield Reeve, Steven Andre Bois, teleplay by Judith and Garfield and Manny Coto.
Guest appearances include Peter Weller as John Frederick Paxton. Harry Groner as Nathan Samuels. Gary Graham as Ambassador Soval, Eric Pier, pondas Harris. Adam Clark is Josiah Peter Mensa, Joanna Watts as Daniel Graves and Janet Brooks, respectively. Derek Gui is back once more as Commander Kelby, Joel Swo is.
Ambassador Thor and Josh Holt as Ensen Massaro. And what was the world like when these episodes originally aired on May 6th and 13th in 2005? It’s gonna be some interesting discussion here. I’m gonna be leaning a little heavier on the May 6th aspect of this. And the reason being the series finale some interesting decision making by U P N right here in February.
They decided to cancel enterprise. They revealed later. To the crew that this is what was happening. The casting crew knew by the time they were filming these episodes that the series was over, and then at the time of airing, they had a two-parter. And then what? Manny? Coto, these are the voyages. He described that as effectively an epilogue.
The two-parter we’re about to discuss today is what he thought was the capstone to the show. The last episode being just an epi. Interesting way to frame it. It helps, I think, knowing that, given that at the time of original broadcast there was a lot of confusion as to why the final episode ends the way it does.
I think that’s going to color our conversation next week. Mm-hmm. But to add to the confusion, rather than air demons. Terra Prime week to week, followed a third week with the concluding episode. They doubled up with not demons in Terra Prime. They doubled Terra Prime up with. These are the voyages adding to the confusion of the viewership who came to watch an episode.
Of the finale of the show and saw the conclusion of the previous week, and then a strange epilogue style episode after that. So I think it creates a lot of confusion. So our discussion in the context of when this show broadcast, I’m leaning more heavily on the first episode because next week we’re gonna be revisiting again what the world was like on the 13th of May.
So here we. Number one song, Matt. You know what it was. That’s right. It’s since you’ve been gone and at the movies, the number one film during the airing of Demons, the Hitchhikers Guide, the Galaxy made 21 million. I think if you are a fan of Star Trek and you are listening to this podcast right now, I do not need to describe to you what the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is.
No. And on television. Okay. Sean, as usual, we find that Enterprise tried to be the little show that could, but it’s up against some heavy hitters even on a Friday night. America’s Funniest Home videos is always going to power through, especially when it is giving away. Its a hundred thousand dollars prize for the funniest video of the.
So they had almost 8 million viewers. There was a special about Elvis Presley on CBS that earned almost 12 million viewers on Phlox, a rerun of their sharing of the movie X-Men from 2000, a five-year-old movie at that point, earned almost 4 million viewers. Dateline NBC was getting almost 7 million with of unknown content.
We don’t know what they were showing, but it must have been something less interesting than Elvis Presley. That’s all we know and what I like about you and Reba continued to beat Enterprise with nearly. They, they came in last after enterprise. But with all that other competition, a show enterprise that started with almost 6 million viewers four years earlier has dwindled down to roughly a core audience of just under 4 million.
And in the news UK was going through a general election. Tony Blair was forecast to be the, the winner early on, but the shifting of seats was heading toward a more conservative government. And it included a member of the Irish delegation to Parliament being unseated. This would be David Trimble, who in 1998 won the Nobel Peace Prize for his help in creating the Good Friday agreement, which effectively ended the troubles in Ireland.
It was the beginning of the dismantling of the IRA’s military component and the introduction of peace between England and Ireland. Also at the same time, and this, I remember when this happened. Believe it or not, Matt, m i t hosted a time Traveler convention in the hopes of making content contact with time travelers from the future.
The convention was organized by Amal Darai with the help of current and former residents of MIT’s living group Pi tau Zeta the convention was held at two at 2200 hours, 45 minutes Eastern daylight time on the East Campus Courtyard in Walker Memorial at m i t, the location. Was given as 42 36 7 degrees North Latitude 71 8 78 70 degrees west longitude.
The space time coordinates continue to be pub publicized prominently and indefinitely, so that future time travelers will have the awareness and the opportunity. To have attended. I remember when this took place. I love this idea. And if at any point in the future somebody is able to travel in time, I hope they go.
So onto our discussion of the episodes, we start with the episode demons and what we see right at the beginning is the introduction of a hybrid child of Vulcan, human hybrid. Matt, as far as an opening teaser as far as a plot element in the episodes, as far as its big picture implications, I think we have a number of different ways to talk about this baby.
Mm-hmm. First of all, it’s a cute baby. Yes. Let’s get that out of the way right now. Very cute baby. Yes. Yeah. Also, to give us all a sense of, oh boy, that baby is now 18 years. Geez, now that we got those two elements out of the way. Yeah. Yeah. Gonna revisit what I just said. What did you think about the introduction of this baby as a hook to get people into the story?
it was fine part, like if you’re a star Trek fan, it’s gonna be like, wait, Spock was, you know, I thought Spock was the first one, or one of the first, you know, hybrid babies. So seeing this little hybrid Vulcan baby is kind of like a. Surprise. It’s like, wait, that’s kind of breaking what I know about star Trek, what’s going on here?
For the non like hardcore star Trek fan that may not click into that, I didn’t think it was probably the best hook. The hook felt like it was meant for people who are really into star Trek and understand what’s coming. Uh, so, so I, I didn’t think it was the strongest opening, but it was very cute. Yes.
What about the element around the origin of the baby? Because I had some head scratching about there.
There’s a whole bunch about the baby Sean that makes me scratch my head. One. Why? It’s never com made completely clear as to why they made the baby. Mm-hmm. Like, I mean, we’re gonna be jumping into the plot here, but it’s like Peter Weller’s character.
We need to talk about Peter Weller, by the way, Peter Weller’s character
here. We do. Peter Weller, one of the, I I continue to, to struggle with the fact that Peter Weller didn’t have a bigger career Yeah. Than he did. He seemed to have fallen into a kind of sci-fi B level career. Yes, yes. Instead of where I think he could have easily ended up, which is Yeah, he is so fine and.
He’s really good in
this. Yeah, he’s the movie Leviathan with him. That’s a B movie. But he is so good in that movie too, regardless. Robocop, uh, of course the whole, the whole idea of the baby. He’s obviously, he’s, you know, human purity, earth first. He’s the Trump of that era. It’s just, okay. Totally understand who he is and where he’s coming from.
Why would he make a hybrid? I, I didn’t, I did. It was not explained well of like Yeah. So you had to make a hybrid baby to prove that we shouldn’t have hybrid babies. Like, what, what is, what, what, what are you doing here? Yeah. It’s, it’s never comes through in the text of the script clearer. We, as viewers are supposed to fill in the gaps as to why the baby was even made, what the point of the baby was.
Yeah. It didn’t make, well, the point of the baby was on its ears.
Oh, you go Sean. Goodnight everybody.
That’s why Sean gets paid the big bucks that’s right. It’s that kind of creative thinking that leads to books like The Sinister Secrets of Sin, which will be released in June of this year, 2023.
Well, what’s your take on the, on the baby?
Because like, it, it, I agree with you completely. Yeah. About, uh, They literally wield the baby as if it is some sort of emotional cudgle against an ignorant public. People need to see the nightmare that is ahead of them if they, you know, don’t do something to stop this alien incursion.
And you’re right, it is a, we’re looking at a 2005 episode. This would’ve been bearing the echoes of. Immigration reform advocates who were saying that the American society was being destabilized as a result of influences from outside the country, in particular at the time, in 2005, it would’ve been a lot of Islamophobia driving the, that political agenda.
Mm-hmm. Anti-immigrant groups always have at their core, like it doesn’t matter who it is, if it’s not us, it’s other. So they just latch onto whatever happens to be catching the headlines at the moment. Mm-hmm. Oh, there’s a lot of people coming in from Mexico. That’s the problem. Oh, Islam. Islam is responsible for having attacked us on September 11th.
That’s the problem. Like the there, they’re opportunists in looking at like whatever other they can label. They’re gonna use that label. Yeah, that’s on display here. It is. Effectively the sci-fi take of, let’s look at the present by putting it in the future is what’s on display here. And I think that on the whole, these two episodes do a really nice job of mm-hmm.
Portraying an aspect of. Earth’s politics in a way we haven’t seen most of the time. And it kind of goes back to the what-if-ism of it all. Like what if season one had been revealing more of this as an element as opposed to season one we saw. Humans were chomping at the bit to get Vulcans to let go of the, the leash so that they could go off into the stars.
Right. And what if part of that depiction had been, humans were chomping at the bit because the, the Vulcans are holding the leash and some of the humans actively think that it is a genocidal attempt to destroy humanity. Like mm-hmm. That would’ve been an interesting part of this four years earlier. It is something we haven’t really seen a whole lot of.
I appreciate seeing it now. I wish maybe we’d seen it a little bit earlier. I wish there had been maybe a little bit more time to develop it, but making a baby as the wait till I hold this up over the crowds and that they truly get to see the nightmare that’s ahead of them. It’s a cute baby. Yes. Like I don’t see who’s gonna look at that and say like, oh my.
Like you’re gonna go, it’s got green blood. You’re gonna be like, you’re gonna be like, oh, look at the baby and look at its cute little ears. Like, I wonder what that baby will grow up to look like. Maybe Leonard Nemoy. But the fact that
the fact that they never had him say, just come out and say it of like, we want to show pe.
Like people don’t think that humans and Vulcans can create a baby, right? Like, and he may be saying, no, it is possible. And look at this horror show, right? Holds up cute baby. Uh, it’s. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but the fact that he even say that
in the episode, yeah. It’s over reliance on, on a viewer coming to it and being able to swap out the real context from the fictional context, the real context being arguments about impurity and blood, and it just doesn’t, the, the story doesn’t make the leap for.
And it’s a weakness in the storytelling, I think. Like, even though say like, like, oh, mixed races is a problem. Yes, historically has been an argument here, but it’s not coming across in the same way in this, in this story, I don’t think. Yeah, exactly. But um, can we talk about Peter Weller? We can talk about Peter Weller as long as you want.
Peter, I was a little distracted by him in the beginning because he’s so, Peter Weller, like, he’s like one of those actors. He’s really. But it’s always Peter Weller, like you, you’re very aware of him, but I, I loved his performance in this, these two episodes. He is so understated. It’s that, yeah, that quiet menace, like he’s, he’s not chewing scenery in like the, we’ve complained about other actors on the show where they come in and they just chew scenery all over the place.
Yeah. Like the last episode’s, Peter Beck, I’m not peter. Scott Bakula was this chewing scenery left and right on, uh, mirror Darkly. This one, he’s not chewing scenery, but he is a little over the top, but in this very quiet menace. Yeah, just that deep voice of his and just the way he quietly and casually talks about everything and the things that he’s saying are at times horrific and terrifying, and it’s just like, it made it scarier.
His performance made it scarier.
I completely agree. His ability to say like history will be the. Yeah, like I’m not worried about, like, I’m worried about the now. I’m not worried about how it’ll be depicted. I fundamentally believe in everything I am doing, so much so that I will do horrific things that I can objectively recognize are horrific, but it’s not gonna stop me.
And it is. He’s willing to destroy sections of San Francisco if aliens do not leave Earth. And he thinks he’s got the magnanimous, like I’m not, we’re not gonna do anything to you as you leave just. Yeah, like as if that’s a magnanimous statement to make and the kinds of arguments that are made. One of the, and I think a lot of that rests on the writing, the writing of these two episodes, I think is, is by and large, very sharp.
The baby aside. Yeah. I think the writing is very sharp in the form of the dialogue and the arguments that people are making. When you see the minors talking to Tripp about why they think things are a problem, the brilliance of the argument being Vulcans stood by while we tore ourselves apart during World War iii, like.
That is a brilliant argument for a xenophobe to make. Yeah, because you cannot prove a negative. So there is nothing that can be said like, well, the Vulcans didn’t even know we were here, like they were flying around. But that doesn’t mean they were watching. Like you can’t prove that they weren’t watching.
So it is a self-reinforcing argument of we’ve lived through these nightmares, we’ve done all these terrible. And had all these things happen to us while Vulcans just stood by and watched, and now they wanna be friends with us. Why? What is their ultimate plan? It starts to sound like the kind of conspiracy theories that we see constantly around us today.
Now, today, 2005, they were brewing, but they didn’t reach the fever pitch that we now experience constantly. And it’s a fascinating kind of, False history that they’ve generated for themselves? Well, the, I think the writing was very prescient in that way. I was gonna
say, this is also my favorite thing about science fiction.
How they, you take, you take, you break down humanity, some aspect of humanity in a way that is a universal, and you’re exploring it in kind of a safe environment. Yeah. Because it’s the science fiction fantasy, but you’re breaking down and exploring it. The universal hatred of the other that’s on display here is.
Timeless. I was like watching this in the environment we’re in today. I was like, holy crap, this could have been written today. Yeah. The fact that 18 years ago, it’s like, that’s nuts. This feels like it could have been written today, especially with the name of the, the movement, Terra Prime. It’s like, yeah, America First.
It’s like, How much closer could you get to what’s going on today here in the United States with Terra Prime? It just, it was making my mind melt a little bit. Yeah. Of like, God, none of this stuff changes over time. It’s like this is always bubbling under the surface and just occasionally it kind of like springs up.
I just love, I just love the universal Yeah. Timeless nature of this.
Yeah. I want, if you, if you’re comfortable with me doing this, Matt, I’m gonna suggest that we kind of like fast forward our discussion of like the plot. Yeah. And then I can share some additional information about the backstory of some of this stuff that I think is really fascinating.
Yeah. Yeah. Go for it. So, to fast forward through the plot, there’s this, there is this baby that is been created by the Terra Prime movement. In order to, as we mentioned before, like highlight the fact that humanity might not remain special in the universe. That effectively is the, the most clear distillation of their argument that I could make, and that they will be, humanity will be undone as a result of this.
Meanwhile, the. Attempt to form what is being referred to as a coalition. We as a viewer look at this and immediately see through it as like these are the first baby steps of the building of the federation. This is where it’s actually happening. The attempt to build a trade coalition amongst all these different species, which includes andorians, which includes Vulcans, which includes Tellerites
these are species that have been at odds multiple times. The rebellions are involved. There’s a number of different ambassadors from species we’ve never seen before, which I thought was a very nice. You get these people around the table, they’re all at Starfleet in San Francisco, and they are all going to be a part of this discussion.
And we see the introduction of the discussion coming from the Earth ambassador who. Is, I believe, isn’t that Nathan Samuels as he’s from Buffy? Yeah, he’s been in Buffy. He was also, uh, he was also on a sitcom for a number of years with one of the actors from Taxi. I can’t remember the name of that show now, but it was, we see the introduction.
As like, here’s our hope for what this conference might be, and we see members of the enterprise bristling at the fact that their actions for the past four years are out of the discussion that is not being presented as a way of like, here are people who have been heavily involved in making this a possibility.
I felt like that depiction of the enterprise crew was really kind of, Out of character. Mm-hmm. I didn’t see them as being people who would first of all be in the room just to complain. Yeah. And second of all, when you’re putting together trade negotiation, you don’t say, and now let’s call out our pilots.
Of the US Air Force who yeah. Have been involved in like, you just don’t do that. So it was like, it was a little weird, but it’s obviously meant to create a story arc moment where the enterprise crew feels left out. Then there are going to be events that are gonna highlight their, their necessity to making all this happen.
You can kind of see that coming. It’s kind of heavy handed, but. For better or worse, that all takes place. Archer is standing there with this kind of like we need to like do our jobs and just be quiet, but he’s also bristling a bit and then a woman shows up and effectively like. Gasps and shows up to say like they’re going to kill her and hands off strands of hair when they study the strands of hair flock is like this.
It took me a while to figure out what was going on here because nothing made sense until I realized that this hair has DNA that reveals a hybrid between humans and Vulcans and everybody goes, what? And then that’s not the ultimate aha. It is. Mm-hmm. It is T’Pol and it is Tripp. To go back to the earlier part of our conversation really quickly, as a footnote, Matt and I talked about like, why make a baby?
What is the point of that? Yeah. I’ll take it one step further. Why make a baby out of T’Pol Tripp? Why is that so critical to this? It even puts forward the idea, something that bears weird fruit. At the very end of all of this, there’s a spy on the enterprise who’s able to get their, somehow able to get their dna.
At like, like you couldn’t take just any Vulcan and human Yeah. And make, yep. A baby. It has to be T’Pol and Tripp. They have to have this connection to this baby. An emotional connection to this baby. Again, something put in for character development. We’re supposed to see the two of them dealing with the reality of this and what it might mean for them.
this is part of the plot that was never talked about, but what if Peter William’s character was along the lines of, they were thinking, we’re gonna make this baby this, of these two people on the ship, and we’re, it’s basically gonna create a whole controversy of, see, they’re having a relationship and they have this baby.
It’s like, but they once again never explain that they left that out.
They just left. So we now see this series of events leading, leading to this conclusion. There are scientists involved. They track down the, the, the woman who had been a part of a medical research team. They’re able to backtrack her relationship to a company where there’s a mining facility on the moon.
Tripp and T’Pol are able to get themselves in there as if they are going to be workers in the mine and are supposed to snoop around. A lot of this is very hand wavy. It’s trying to keep the plot moving forward on the whole, I’m okay with that because what we get to is then the moments of. The political plans behind Peter Well’s character, the hypocrisy buried within his character by subtle revelations of a tremor in his hand.
We will find out in the second episode T’Pol is able to nefariously scan him and discover that he is suffering from a condition and he is receiving genetic medication, which is based on Regian dna. So he is arguing about the purity of the race while also. Himself not following his own code. This is a tip of the hat reference back to Hitler.
The entire argument being Hitler was out to exterminate the Jewish population while himself having Jewish ancestry. So it’s, it’s that kind of Gotcha. That they’re playing with in this. Overall, the plot moves fairly quickly once we get to Terra Prime because by the time we get to Terra Prime, Peter Weller has managed to remove his mining facility from the moon.
And what I thought was a kind of interesting, clunky, this thing’s not meant to fly and here it goes. Yeah, kind of approach. I would’ve liked a little bit more of an explanation as to why a mining facility has a warp drive.
They made, well, he made a comment about his father who designed the ship, was thinking ahead of, you know, there may be a time that we have to like up and move and move to different places to do mining.
So it’s like they kind of did a hand wavy explanation as to why that was happening, but it
was super hand wavy. Yeah. So they get two Mars. They’re able to land next to a Martian defense array, which is designed to repel. Incoming meteorites and comments, asteroids from hitting the surface of the the planet.
First of all, interesting little tidbit about Mars that I thought was like, well, this is kind of a cool thing for them to use, but the reality of how it’s depicted is comically sci-fi. It is analogous to the depiction. The later Star Wars movies, episode seven, where we are shown the star killer weapon, which effectively takes the energy from a star, converts it into a laser, which is then projected death starlike to destroy planets.
And this is shown destroying planets at a vast distance, where we know that light takes an incredible amount of time to transfer from, like, not only from one star to a planet, but from star to star. Like the reality of episode seven would’ve been, they would’ve fired that weapon, and then one and half years later, millennia later, a planet would’ve been destroyed.
So it’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s a ridiculous conceit of that movie. The exact same thing is on display. Here they are firing this Martian array in such a way that they are, they are able to, within moments, hit targets and it is not realistic in any way, shape, or form. There’s even the idea of, okay, around the sun, where are the Earth and Mars in proximity to one another and wouldn’t their.
On Earth required that the right side of Earth was facing the right side of Mars. It’s very, very hand waving that like there is no science in this fiction. It is just fantastical threats for the point of moving the plot forward. And again, I will go back to on the whole, I’m actually okay with that because what is important about this episode are the political ramifications of what is happening by forming a c.
What are the political ramifications of trying to stop that and what are the personal ramifications of discovering relations between species could be stronger? We see that on the part of the head of the, of the Earth conference revealing he at one point was a part of Terra. And he describes it as I was a young, angry person, and I moved away from that because I began to understand I was blaming the wrong people for something.
We see Peter Willow’s character who is head first into the sand and completely creating a fictional fear about what change looks like. The idea of there needing to be a pure, any, any space, any species, any race, having to remain pure. Questionable on its face, but furthermore, the reality of, okay, if there was a plan to destabilize humanity to the point where it disappears as a thing, how many millennia would that take?
It’s just, it’s just, mm-hmm. A puff of dust that comes out of Peter Weller’s character every time he talks, but he so fully believes it. The depiction is what’s important. And I also think that for me, and I’m interested to hear your thoughts about this, the relationship between T’Pol and Tripp in this episode, the revelations of what this baby means for them has very big splashes in a very intimate way, and I really like their depiction of all of this.
What did you think about that aspect of the.
I love the I, that was my favorite part of the story was the relationship between them and how you could tell it was pulling them together because they truly do care about each other and you know, as fans of the show, you’re like, oh, I want Tripp and T’Pol to be together.
We’re kind of seeing glimpses of that here, of where they. Are unified in trying to protect their child that they didn’t even know existed. And also how to jump to the end of the episode, which is absolutely heart-wrenching with what happens to that baby and how they are dealing with it. And especially like, you know, when.
T’Pol says, we’re gonna call her Elizabeth. How he names, she names him, her, Elizabeth after Tripp’s sister who died in this India attack. And then the scene with Phlox talking, you know, to the captain
Phlox was the one that got
me. Oh yeah. Oh man. At that, it’s like, it’s like your heartstrings are getting pulled.
All along. And then Phlox has that closing sequence where he says to the captain, I thought this would be a fun little jaunt, a diversion. And I didn’t realize I was gonna get a whole new family. And his feeling of loss of the child, how he said it feels like I’ve lost my own child. I was just like, oh, forget about it.
Here come the water works. This is too much. It’s like, I thought I. For knowing that now what you brought up, how this was looked at as the season, the series finale, this was it. It makes a lot of sense because this show gave everybody their chance. Everybody got their little, it’s like Reid had his moments, Mayweather had his moments, Hoshi had her moments.
Everybody got a little bit of a storyline. Something to do in this, in these episodes. Yeah. But then with the whole Tripp T’Pol Phlox captain. Like mix up by the end, it was just, Oh my God. It was, it was hitting every heartstring you’d want pulled in a series finale for the characters that you’ve grown to love over the
course of those four seasons.
Yeah, and that’s where I think that we really need to end on is by saying like, how much Coto viewed this as the final episode. Yeah. And it really does do a terrific job of. Giving you all those moments, you get to see Mayweather. First of all, they introduce a backstory with Mayweather where he’s actually considering leaving Starfleet and maybe being s and and staying in one place because of a relationship that might be rekindled having returned to Earth.
The woman that he’s involved with turns out to be working for Starfleet intelligence. She has to present initially as if she’s part of Terra Prime, but when she reveals her actual relationship, To the experiences of all this. It turns everything on its head and it becomes confusing to him. And I love the writing for him in that he gets to have that hero moment of flying a shuttle effectively powerless, safely landing in a Mars.
You get to see the hero moment of that. Yep. And you get to see him also have the emotional connection to this woman and challenge himself with, should I stay, should I leave Starfleet and stay? And then ending with the, but I don’t know what to do. I loved that whole sequence. I like that we get to see Hoshi
have a command moment and she holds her own. She has to stand up to somebody who comes in throwing political weight around saying like, I’m in charge of this whole thing. She’s like, no, I’d refer to my chain of command. And she just holds the line and she will not back down from that. Up to and including delaying to the last possible second blowing up the weapon the Terra Prime is trying to use.
I love Reid having to dip his toe back into the sector 33. Waters a reintroduction of something that if the show had continued, could have borne more fruit. And the way they depicted is that he’s able to get the respect of the person who’s been using him up to this point. He really shows up and, and Reid is able to get information and guidance as a result of his own ability to stand there and say like, look, this doesn’t mean I’m working for you again.
This is, this is not what’s happening. Yeah. So I like all those moments very much. And argue with you. Phlox’s line at the end is just devastating and it is really a beautiful capstone to the idea of family and what the show was supposed to do. It, it is wrapping a nice bow around all of that. The show ends with the strange revelation of like, oh yeah, there was a spy on enterprise.
That’s how we got the dna. And so they quickly introduce the character we’ve seen before. Kelby
the punching bag again. Yeah. Kelby
once again is just ha, is just, you know, in his cabin and people show up and they’re just like, you son of a bitch. You gave him the dna. He’s like, somebody faked this signature.
This isn’t something I did because, I was taken off that assignment when Tripp returned and I’m like, poor Kelby. I mean, how long you guys really don’t like me? How long is it gonna take for his request for a transfer to go through? Yes, because you know this guy is writing everybody he knows like, I gotta get off this ship.
They freaking hate me. So after that, he’s like, well, it was Ensign. Massaro was the one who might have done that. And so we’re introduced to a character we’ve never seen before and we’re introduced to him in the form of him stopping Captain Archer with a phaser. At a turbo lift. Looking, very threatening, having a mental breakdown and saying, please tell my parents, I’m sorry.
And then he kills himself. Woof. Like that? Yeah. Just felt like, oh boy, that came outta nowhere. Like, yep. You gotta have a hero moment for a traitor. So the hero moment is suicide is a really strange twist and I didn’t quite care for that. But then we are given the final moments of the coalition where the aliens who are in attendance are beginning to question, is Earth ready for this?
This is a familiar refrain. Is Earth ready for this? And we see Archer give effectively his. Captain Kirk at the end of Star Trek six speech of don’t let the mistakes of the few override the hopes of the many and what this can represent and Archer gives and Bakula gives I think, a very nice performance of this speech.
Mm-hmm. Of de of saying like, we have the potential to do something that could change the galaxy. Don’t miss out and. I thought it was a really nice nod to the change of temperaments and relationships that we see. Ambassador Soval, who at the beginning of the series was the, you guys aren’t ready to go anywhere.
Yeah. He’s the first to break out into applause. And then followed by everybody else. So it’s very reminiscent of the end of, of multiple star Trek movies where Kirk has given the opportunity to say, and here’s why we’re heroes and everybody applauds because they’re heroes. And so we have that moment here and it is a, it is a touching sendoff for the crew and for each individual member.
And I think it does a really great job as a finale, even though it wasn’t. The finale of the series. Yeah. And we know we have an epilogue coming. So some of the backstory I wanted to talk about really quickly is around the character of Colonel Green. We see at the beginning of the story of demons, Peter Well’s character is watching a recording of Colonel Green.
This is effectively no different than if he had been watching a video of Hitler. Colonel Green is a character from the Star Trek Lore originally entered Origin. Introduced in the original series in the episode of the Savage Curtain. Colonel Green was a despotic military leader on earth who operated from the early 21st century until after World War iii.
He was known for the motto, overwhelm and devastate, and was notorious for striking at his enemies during treaty negotiations. As originally displayed in the Savage Curtain, his savagery led to the extermination of millions of people. They put a little bit more detail into it in the episode demons where they revealed that he was taking those who might be suffering from genetic mutations as a result of the nuclear war that was World War III in the track universe and exterminating them in order to keep humanity.
So it is a very Hitler like message, and the character is intended to have that kind of shock value to really set Peter Weller’s motivations into a bad light. He’s not watching, he’s not seeing a scientist say, well, if humanity keeps going down this path, it’s going to lead to complications in the future and diseases we might not be aware of and blah, blah, blah.
This is not about science. This is about rhetoric and fear. Yeah. And so it is. Using him as the depiction is why he shows up. But here’s the part that I thought was really fascinating. Originally, Manny Coto intended to use Green as a villain in the augments storyline. He was working on that story, and he said he wanted to do something very harrowing with Colonel Green.
He was determined to get him into the show. He had trouble fitting him into the augment storyline because it then began to tie that character, not just to World War iii, but to the eugenics experimentation that would lead to Khan it. It began to tie a lot of threads together that Coto wasn’t sure if he wanted to tie them together.
I think big picture, it’s good that he didn’t, but Coto was. A hard time flushing everything out. And then Brent Spinner let everybody on the production side of Enterprise know he was interested in doing something as a part of the show. And so that’s when he created the character of Eric Soong for spin.
Mm-hmm. And replay and swapped that out. And he said Coto was quoted as saying for a little while, he even toyed with the idea of letting spin play Colonel Green Bullet dodged. That would’ve been so confusing for viewers. I can’t even imagine like how long he would’ve entertained that idea. And then there was even a point where he was considering letting Peter Weller.
Play Colonel Green, and instead he developed into this later iterative of John Frederick Paxton, where he was then sort of a, a fan of Colonel Green. Right. I ultimately like the inclusion of Colonel Green as a source of the othering for Weller’s character. Yeah. I like the, the linkage to that. And I think that on the whole, this linkage to this kind of back.
Works better than the augment storyline where it felt a little too like, okay, this is too many things that feel shoved together for fan sake as opposed to letting something grow out of fertile soil. This feels like fertile soil where the augments feel a little forest. What do you think about those two when you compare the augments with this storyline?
I agree with you.
It’s like this one for me, it held together. It made more sense and I think part of it also ties back to what we were talking about earlier. There’s some universal truths to the underlying hatred of the other that play out better in this storyline. Because we’re going through it right now, Sean.
It’s just like we’re seeing this happen where like there’s some big strong man that comes out and does so. Which is kind of horrific. That ends up seeding the future generations that will lean on that person’s, what they es establish as a foundation of hate. Mm-hmm. To do something even worse. So it’s like we’re watching that.
We watched that Unplayed World War ii. We’re watching it on play right now in the World War in at this moment,
which is terrifying,
but it’s, it’s, for me, that’s part of the reason why it resonated better and it held together better because it, it felt more real and authentic for what we are experiencing in our actual lives.
Where the augment storyline was, I don’t know. It didn’t, it, it didn’t quite hold, it didn’t feel
connected in the same way. It didn’t feel connected. Yeah, I agree with. Before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you wanted to share with the listeners about what you have coming up on your main channel? Just,
we took a short break, so there’s not gonna be an episode the week that this episode comes out, but coming up, there’s gonna be episodes on the top home batteries that you can get for your home.
And, uh, episode one that I find fascinating is the immense, the immense size of wind turbines, just how large they are is. Mind bending to wrap your head around and we’re putting them and floating them on the ocean. It’s like, how do you, how do you take a, basically a skyscraper and make it float in the middle of the ocean?
It’s kind of, it’s kind of trippy as for
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