Star Trek Re-Watched #001

Enterprise (ENT) Episodes 1 & 2

“Broken Bow“

I’m re-watching Star Trek in this chronological order. There will be spoilers! For a synopsis and more information on the episode I strongly recommend Memory Alpha

“Where no man has gone before.“  – First sentence spoken in the episode, the series and in the franchise (if watched in chronological order). A perfect opener.

Facts:

In short: Captain Archer and his crew bring an injured Klingon home to Kronos. On the way they come across the Suliban which kidnap their patient. The Crew finds out about some kind of temporal cold war. After some struggles they get the job done, but not without getting in trouble with the bad guys.

Firsts:

In chronological order this is the first appearance of the Klingons, the Suliban, the Vulcans, the Denobulans, and a bunch of random aliens on Rigel 10.

This is also the first appearance of the main crew of the starship Enterprise NX-01 and the ship itself.

Thoughts:

Well, there sure is a lot going on in this double episode as this is the first for this series and the first in chronological order of canon Star Trek.

For me personally I remember that I didn’t start watching the series when it originally aired. I was outraged at the time. I followed TNG, DS9 and VOY and absorbed everything there was about Star Trek and I really wanted to see where all the big stories (Dominion, Borg, Voyager coming home) will be going next. And then there is a new series set in “the past”? Some guy is now singing a song at the beginning? And what about this weird uniforms?

You can see: I wasn’t really open for this (I am talking about an 18 year old “know-it-all“ kind of guy here).

A few years later I heard, that the series was getting better reviews and that it was going in a great direction. Some people even thought, that 4 seasons where not enough. So I decided to go back in time and have a look.

I watched the first (double-)episode and well… long story short: I got all the DVD’s and binged the whole series in a personal record time. Not more to say here.

Opinions:

You could say, that the characters are kinda two-dimensional with just one single characteristic, but in my opinion it’s alright in the pilot episode of a series. There will be a lot of time for character development.

Still in some moments I think that the human crew members wouldn’t be that naive, even if they have limited experience with aliens (I’m thinking Rigel 10 here).

Of course its still fun to watch some middle aged officers experience the universe with children’s eyes. A good example is the scene in which Reed and Mayweather are fascinated by the two alien lady dancers. One of my favorite scenes here. And I still don’t know if the butterflies are real or holograms.

The mission itself is a pretty big gamble, but I understand the decision of Captain Archer and Starfleet Command. The Vulcans might be right to warn them about the Klingons, but if you want to play with the big boys you have to get in the ring and see for yourself.

In the end they get lucky a few times. After the Suliban boarded the Enterprise and took Klaang the crew knew that their enemy is pretty dangerous. Still they make the brave decision to find the new enemies and try to take them down without asking for help. If this goes wrong there is not much of a career left for any of the senior crew members. Earth could become a Vulcan, Suliban or Klingon puppet after a failure like this.

But in the end everything worked out fine so I shouldn’t be too negative about it. Would have have been a pretty lame start for my project if Archer answers to Soval: “Yeah man… I guess you are right. It’s probably best if you kill this Klingon guy and take his corpse home. I’ll go back to training. Maybe my grandchildren can go on an exploration mission in another 100 years.”

Conclusion:

Even after some years I really like the pilot and I can’t wait for the next episode. I give it 4,5 out of five.

What do you think about this double-episode? Did you watch it when it first aired? What would you have done differently in Captain Archers position?

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