[ENT] MJC's 2-cents Review: These Are the Voyages...

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Mean Joe Cool

May 23, 2005, 5:11:51 AM5/23/05
These Are the Voyages..., Prod#ST:ENT 198

Synopsis: Six years in the future, an emotional Captain Archer and the
crew return to Earth to face the decommission of Enterprise and
signing of the Federation charter.

MJC Review:

The Drama -

Viewers were treated with a retrospect view of the last days of
Enterprise from a TNG perspective. The setting took place during the
TNG episode 'Pegasus'. Riker was contemplating what to do about the
secrecy and actions he took back then and how to deal with them. For
some strange reason, running a holodeck program of the pre-federation
Enterprise seemed an appropriate setting for him to decide what to do.
As Riker played both as a crew member and as an observer, viewers got
to see Archer and gang contemplate the decommissioning of Enterprise.
It was amazing how much detail there was on what these characters did
and what they were doing during this time period as the technology for
such recordings were likely not in existence during that era.
Nonetheless, creative writing tends to help improvise such technical
oversights. The best scenes were that of Riker playing the chef. As he
"cooks" up everyone's favorite dish, each of the main characters comes
in to talk with him about this, that, and other things. Even though
they were just holographic characters, these talks with them helped
Riker come to terms on what he must do about the Pegasus issue. It was
not clear what critical role Troi played in Riker's decision making
other than being the ships counselor, but makeup and adjustments to
her uniform still made her look attractive.

Although only a hologram, Archer must come to terms with two important
issues - the signing of the alliance charter and the death of Trip.
Shran makes an appearance after everyone thought that he was dead and
ask Archer for help in finding his kidnapped daughter. In his typical
honor hero character self, Archer helps Shran. The end result, is Trip
being mortally wounded while saving the captains life. While having a
main character die can bring out some good dramatic story telling, it
really didn't make sense in this case. It felt somewhat meaningless.
Perhaps, because the Enterprise series was canceled prematurely. Had
there been one or two more seasons, then there would have been time to
show how strong the character bond was present. This would have
given any character death a much more dramatic meaning. Needless to
say, Trip's death made Archer really think about if all this exploring
stuff just beyond that next world was all worth it. Somehow, Archer
was able to come to terms and move forward with his speech on
promoting the alliance. It wasn't clear in the story telling how
Archer got from A to B with all that had unfolded. Perhaps had the
final episode been two hours, there would have been more time to
really dramatize Archer's coping with Trips death and how he came to
decide that exploring the final frontiers was worth all the risk, even
personal sacrifices.

There will be no doubt that most fans will have mixed feelings about
this last episode. Had this episode been a stand alone like Voyager's
'Pathfinder', fans would have gone nuts over something like this one
and loved it! However, being a series finale seemed a bit
inappropriate for being a TNG centric show. Make no mistake about it,
although there were scenes of Enterprise characters without Riker or
Troi around, the entire episode was a holodeck program. Holodeck
episodes were a bit overused in previous Star Trek series. It seems
that space wasn't big enough to explore strange new worlds for good
story telling, so the holodeck was the place to play and fantasize
about other stories. It seems that the producers just had to squeeze
one last holodeck program story in before the end of this Star Trek
series episode. The setting of six years into the future did play
well. Take out the TNG aspect and focus more story telling on the
crews feelings and contemplations, then this would have been one of
those outstanding episodes that Trekkers would always have talked

Since the TNG series, it seemed that a Star Trek series really became
a Star Trek series and accepted by fans once there was at least one
tie in episode with the original TOS characters. TNG had McCoy in the
pilot episode and Scotty in 'Relics', DS9 used special effects footage
in their Trials and Tribble-ations episode to interact with the TOS
characters, and Voyager had Sulu in 'Flashback'. Sadly, there was none
of that in Enterprise. While the appearance by Riker and Troi helped
validate Enterprise as part of the overall Trek history, it would have
been much better had at least one TOS character been involved in at
least one Enterprise episode.

Nonetheless, Enterprise is over. Computer, end program.


Tid Bits -

1) Mayweather is still the pilot.

2) Nice sound bits from Picard.

3) Data talks over the intercom.

4) Riker is the chef - at least on the holodeck version of Enterprise.

5) The Trip/T'Pol romance never really lasted.

6) Hoshi reveals her crush.

7) If Starfleet is making warp 7 ships now, they'll be making warp 9
ships before Kirk is even born.

8) Future Guy was never revealed.

What it all means -

The Enterprise show has now been accepted into the family of Star Trek

3 cool peace signs
MJC 200505.22
Copyright 2005

MJC's final 2-cents thoughts -

Reviewers log, stardate unknown: As this will be my final review, I
thought I'd would pass some final comments about the Star Trek series
in general. I hope many of you have enjoyed this reviews. My purpose
was to keep them short, simple and to the point without a lot of
babbling. As I have a real job, family, and a real life, there was
never much time for grammar, spelling, or other syntax checking. I
quite literal whipped these out off the top of my head. I thought the
content was more important than anything else. My goal was to offer a
critique of each episode from a fan who just wanted to watch and enjoy
a good Star Trek episode! I don't know if any of the production,
writing, or other creative staff ever read these, but if any of them
did that it would have offered some constructive criticism on what
went right and what was not so good. There were a number of episodes
in the Voyager series as well as the second season of Enterprise that
clearly indicated why you just can't shove crap down viewers throats
and expect them to like it. Even hot actresses in skimpy, sexy
uniforms aren't going to expand or attract new viewers. What all Star
Trek fans want or what any viewer wants with any episode series is
just some good story telling that's fun and entertaining to watch.
Since the TNG series, it seems like that it has taken about three to
four seasons for the spin offs to find their ground and be successful.
TNG and DS9 had the benefit of being syndicated so there wasn't much
pressure on high ratings that a network would demand. Voyager started
off with a new network, so the "newness" of a network gave time for
Voyager to grow. Enterprise debuted on a network that was already
established, so the demands for high ratings were already in the works
for this or any new show. As with the other series, beginning with
TNG, Enterprise finally found its "thing" during the forth season. It
was prematurely canceled just as it was getting really good. Who knows
what is really happening on the movie front and who knows what the
future holds for the franchise? In any case, Star Trek has always been
strongly support by fans and given that, the final frontier still
looks bright. Hopefully there will be another Star Trek series and/or
movie to enjoy in the future. Well, I'm not going to cry over spilled
beer about, but there is one question I still have:

Where are the restrooms?

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