Star Trek Re-Watched #005

Enterprise (ENT) Episode 6

“Terra Nova“

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

“Asking favors of the Vulcans usually ends up carrying too high a price” Commander Tucker to Subcommander T’Pol.

Facts:

In short: The crew of Enterprise finds a lost human colony intact but uninhabited. While following an “alien” into a network of caverns Lieutenant Reed is injured and taken captive. After finding out that the cave dwellers are the decedents of the human colonists (calling themselves “Novans”), Captain Archer is trying to negotiate the release of Reed. The Novans think that the humans are to blame for the radiation that struck the planets surface. Through  some confidence-building measures trust is build between the crew and the Novans. Commander Tucker finds out, that the radiation is caused by the impact of an asteroid many years ago and that the southern hemisphere of the planet is safe to settle. After some arguing amongst themselves the lost colonists decide to accept the offer to be relocated.

Firsts:

In chronological order this is the first appearance of a human colony outside the Sol system.

It’s the first time that Dr. Phlox’ species is mentioned (he’s a Denobulan). He is also taking part in an away mission for the first time.

Thoughts and Opinions:

I really like how the technological advancement of Earth is illustrated in this epidode. 70 years ago the colonists needed 9 years to get to Terra Nova. A huge project/experiment for the people of this era. Now it’s just a matter of weeks (?) for Enterprise to get there and investigate their fate.

Are the humans from Earth the right people to decide the fate of the Novans?The argument between T’Pol and Archer surrounding this question was really interesting and had a lot of potential. Captain Archer would have to make a tough decision.  But ultimately it didn’t really matter, because Tucker found out, that an evacuation of the Novans to the southern continent was an option, that in the end everyone would be happy with. Too bad. I really wondered what decision the Captain would have made and what consequences would have followed it.

I also hoped that the colony itself and the technology used to establish it would take a bigger part in an episode like this, but after a few moments of walking between the buildings it was abandoned for the cavern system (which was very similar to the scenery in this episode).

And about the fate of the original colony: I sure understand that the Vulcans are difficult allies and that it’s not easy to sense their motives and trust them. But I think it this case it would have been pretty easy to swallow their pride and ask for help after losing contact to the colony.

Conclusion:

Well, I can see some interesting concepts here like the age of space colonization, the development of an isolated group of colonists and the technological progress in the last decades. In my opinion these concepts have a lot of potential, but in the end they were not really explored at all.

I give this episode 2,5 out of 5. All in all I don’t think that it’s really “bad”. It just didn’t meet my expectations after its first half and I think I will quickly forget about it.

What do you think about the episode? Anything special here that I missed?

Let’s talk about it in the comments!

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