Star Trek Re-Watched #003

Enterprise (ENT) Episode 4

“Strange New World“

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

“This planet is here for a long time. It will still be here in seven days“  – T’Pol to an impatient Commander Tucker.

Facts:

In short: Enterprise detects an earth-like planet and sends an away team on a camping trip. During a storm, so far undetected pollen influences the human crew members and causes hallucinations and paranoia. Tensions are rising between Commander Tucker and T’Pol (who is influenced less severe). Toxins released in the body by the pollen could kill the whole away team. The crew on Enterprise tricks Trip so that T’Pol can take him out and give everyone their medicine.

Firsts:

In chronological order this is the first appearance of Crewman Cutler.

It’s also the first away team mission to an unexplored planet.

Thoughts and Opinions:

This episode explores the ongoing tensions in the Human-Vulcan relationship. Under the influence of the pollen and faced with an unknown and scary situation the human crew members huddle together and find a common enemy in Subcommander T’Pol.

We also learn a little more about Commander “Trip” Tucker. I especially liked the background information about his 10th-grade biology teacher (a Vulcan exchange-teacher teaching earth children about alien life). We already know about the interspecies medical exchange program and it seems that the Vulcans are having a lot of similar projects running to further their influence in surrounding space.

The away mission itself is pretty adventurous (like many decisions made by Captain Archer in the first three episodes). Studying the planets atmosphere and fauna from orbit for a few days could have uncovered the pollen, the volatile weather conditions and potential dangers accompanying these.

Still it corresponds to the human spirit of research presented since the beginning of the series. Discover with your own eyes and don’t play it safe. I understand the decision. Still it’s not a question if, but when someone is getting seriously injured or killed. I wonder how Captain Archer will deal with this when it happens.

Conclusion:

Its a decent episode. I get the feeling that something is missing, but I can’t put my finger on it. At first I thought its the alien world which doesn’t look very alien. But the episode is exploring group dynamics in stressful situations so it doesn’t really matter how strange the world really is.

I give it 4 out of 5.

What do you think about the episode? Do you think somethings missing here, too?

Tell me in the comments.

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