Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Sehlat Vie

Newsweek Magazine article on ENT: "Pariah or Cult Classic?"

39 posts in this topic

IMO, what's most offending about TATV is that such a mediocre episode is supposed to end not just the season, but the entire series. As a series finale, it just disappoints on all levels. To the degree it's almost offending when B&B call it "a valentine for the fans". Had it been just a standalone episode midseason in season 5, followed by more outstanding multi-part episodes, most people would probably just have shrugged it off as a mediocre entry.

This.

It's painful to watch, from knowing that that episode as it relates to "The Pegasus" simply couldn't have happened and no one making this "valentine" could be bothered to spend 45 minutes with the episode, to the gutting of Sh'ran's character, to the virtually random death of Trip...I'd rather watch "And the Children Shall Lead" on a perpetual loop than ever see TATV again. 

I'm not sure which was a worse series' ending; TOS' Turnabout Intruder or TATV...:giggle:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, what's most offending about TATV is that such a mediocre episode is supposed to end not just the season, but the entire series. As a series finale, it just disappoints on all levels. To the degree it's almost offending when B&B call it "a valentine for the fans". Had it been just a standalone episode midseason in season 5, followed by more outstanding multi-part episodes, most people would probably just have shrugged it off as a mediocre entry.

This.

It's painful to watch, from knowing that that episode as it relates to "The Pegasus" simply couldn't have happened and no one making this "valentine" could be bothered to spend 45 minutes with the episode, to the gutting of Sh'ran's character, to the virtually random death of Trip...I'd rather watch "And the Children Shall Lead" on a perpetual loop than ever see TATV again. 

I'm not sure which was a worse series' ending; TOS' Turnabout Intruder or TATV...:giggle:

Hah. I think TATV, easily. At least "Turnabout" belongs to itself and know what it wants to do and fits the hit-and-wide-miss tone of season 3.

TATV is schizophrenic. It can't choose between a half-assed Enterprise episode and a half-assed TNG episode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, what's most offending about TATV is that such a mediocre episode is supposed to end not just the season, but the entire series. As a series finale, it just disappoints on all levels. To the degree it's almost offending when B&B call it "a valentine for the fans". Had it been just a standalone episode midseason in season 5, followed by more outstanding multi-part episodes, most people would probably just have shrugged it off as a mediocre entry.

This.

It's painful to watch, from knowing that that episode as it relates to "The Pegasus" simply couldn't have happened and no one making this "valentine" could be bothered to spend 45 minutes with the episode, to the gutting of Sh'ran's character, to the virtually random death of Trip...I'd rather watch "And the Children Shall Lead" on a perpetual loop than ever see TATV again. 

I'm not sure which was a worse series' ending; TOS' Turnabout Intruder or TATV...:giggle:

Hah. I think TATV, easily. At least "Turnabout" belongs to itself and know what it wants to do and fits the hit-and-wide-miss tone of season 3.

TATV is schizophrenic. It can't choose between a half-assed Enterprise episode and a half-assed TNG episode.

I actually like TATV more than "Turnabout Intruder". But that's not because of the episode's virtue ... it's because the relaunch novels, which are part of my head-canon, manage to (partially) redeem even that poor episode. What the novels made of Trip's "death" is surprisingly convincing and appealing IMO, and when I rewatch TATV, with the novel continuation in mind, it suddenly appears somewhat tolerable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turnabout Intruder is only bad as a final episode because it wasn't set up to be a final episode. The thing that is bad about it is the whole "women can't be Captain's" deal which was really sexist considering how non-sexist TOS tried to be. While it is the final episode of TOS I don't consider it a "series finale'" as you do with the other shows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turnabout Intruder is only bad as a final episode because it wasn't set up to be a final episode. The thing that is bad about it is the whole "women can't be Captain's" deal which was really sexist considering how non-sexist TOS tried to be. While it is the final episode of TOS I don't consider it a "series finale'" as you do with the other shows.

I agree that it wasn't intended as a series' finale, but it's also fair to say that when the show was kicked to Friday nights at 10 pm (as the 3rd season was) and Roddenberry himself left, the writing was on the wall.   The network was clearly trying to kill it at that point. 

You'd think they might've scraped together something a bit better than "Turnabout Intruder" for a swan song.   Even "All Our Yesterdays" (a personal favorite of mine) or "Savage Curtain" would've been a better foot forward than a sexist embarrassment like TI. 

But yes, TV shows in those days rarely planned finales as they (try to) do today.   Back in those days, TV was far more episodic in nature; everything was made with sales for syndication in mind; not binge-watching on Netflix.   Episodes rarely had much continuity with each other, let alone sweeping finales. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turnabout Intruder is only bad as a final episode because it wasn't set up to be a final episode. The thing that is bad about it is the whole "women can't be Captain's" deal which was really sexist considering how non-sexist TOS tried to be. While it is the final episode of TOS I don't consider it a "series finale'" as you do with the other shows.

I agree that it wasn't intended as a series' finale, but it's also fair to say that when the show was kicked to Friday nights at 10 pm (as the 3rd season was) and Roddenberry himself left, the writing was on the wall.   The network was clearly trying to kill it at that point. 

You'd think they might've scraped together something a bit better than "Turnabout Intruder" for a swan song.   Even "All Our Yesterdays" (a personal favorite of mine) or "Savage Curtain" would've been a better foot forward than a sexist embarrassment like TI. 

But yes, TV shows in those days rarely planned finales as they (try to) do today.   Back in those days, TV was far more episodic in nature; everything was made with sales for syndication in mind; not binge-watching on Netflix.   Episodes rarely had much continuity with each other, let alone sweeping finales. 

Now as you say it, "All Our Yesterdays" indeed would have made a very nice end note. The network switched around episodes a lot (the production order is very different from the order of airing), so they could have easily switched the last two. Well... now it's 47 years too late. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turnabout Intruder is only bad as a final episode because it wasn't set up to be a final episode. The thing that is bad about it is the whole "women can't be Captain's" deal which was really sexist considering how non-sexist TOS tried to be. While it is the final episode of TOS I don't consider it a "series finale'" as you do with the other shows.

I agree that it wasn't intended as a series' finale, but it's also fair to say that when the show was kicked to Friday nights at 10 pm (as the 3rd season was) and Roddenberry himself left, the writing was on the wall.   The network was clearly trying to kill it at that point. 

You'd think they might've scraped together something a bit better than "Turnabout Intruder" for a swan song.   Even "All Our Yesterdays" (a personal favorite of mine) or "Savage Curtain" would've been a better foot forward than a sexist embarrassment like TI. 

But yes, TV shows in those days rarely planned finales as they (try to) do today.   Back in those days, TV was far more episodic in nature; everything was made with sales for syndication in mind; not binge-watching on Netflix.   Episodes rarely had much continuity with each other, let alone sweeping finales. 

Now as you say it, "All Our Yesterdays" indeed would have made a very nice end note. The network switched around episodes a lot (the production order is very different from the order of airing), so they could have easily switched the last two. Well... now it's 47 years too late. :P

Yeah, a call to NBC network today wouldn't do a lot of good... :giggle:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said that before, and I completally understand where you guys are coming from, but I watched ENT for the first time last year, so, when i saw the 3 season I didn't get the relation to the terrorist attacks untill I realized that it was originally being made about the same time, and by then I already watched most of season 3. So, I can't say i saw that very badly. For me ( untill I realized about the militar propaganda ) the story was about trying to show how humans can react to extreme situations. For me it was like a invite for a philosophical debate. It's easy for Picard to be Picard and act all Star Trek like, when he is on a powerfull ship with the help of a powerfull federation at his side.

They could have explored that on Voyager, but they didn't. Hell, Voyager not even get scratched during the seven years on unknow space. If that was more realistic, Voyager would be like Equinox by the end of the third season. Point is, for, whatever the motives behind, and as bad as they could be, I think it was a nice exploration of one side of humanity ST had never before explored ( maybe in SIEGE of AR-558, but that was just one episode ).

Archer become that military captain, Enterprise started looking like something else, that's not Star Trek, well, to me, that is exactly the point. Show to the audience how fear, pressure and anger can convert even the most good human being and the most good intentions to something dark and unethical. And frankly, that point starts to go even depper when you stop to realize that most of the time, if you don't act like this, others will and they will harm you in the process. Archer did save Earth, and he did had to make some sacrifices of his personal beliefs to do that. Just like Sisko did on "In the Pale Moonlight". But Sisko had the advantadge of having power, so he don't need to take the kind of actions that Archer took.

For me, at least, it was something interesting to see. Something Trek had never explored before. 

As for the rest of the show, I didn't finish it yet, but I can say only good things, exept for "Night in Sickbay" ok, that was goddamn AWFUL.

I like that sentiment. I too agree that Archer making grievous mistakes was much more understandable considering he was winging everything. Although, some things, were really stupid. Especially with T'Pol counseling him and him ignoring her out of spite because of her species.

But . . . at least Archer wasn't perfect.

Overall - keep enjoying the show! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said that before, and I completally understand where you guys are coming from, but I watched ENT for the first time last year, so, when i saw the 3 season I didn't get the relation to the terrorist attacks untill I realized that it was originally being made about the same time, and by then I already watched most of season 3. So, I can't say i saw that very badly. For me ( untill I realized about the militar propaganda ) the story was about trying to show how humans can react to extreme situations. For me it was like a invite for a philosophical debate. It's easy for Picard to be Picard and act all Star Trek like, when he is on a powerfull ship with the help of a powerfull federation at his side.

They could have explored that on Voyager, but they didn't. Hell, Voyager not even get scratched during the seven years on unknow space. If that was more realistic, Voyager would be like Equinox by the end of the third season. Point is, for, whatever the motives behind, and as bad as they could be, I think it was a nice exploration of one side of humanity ST had never before explored ( maybe in SIEGE of AR-558, but that was just one episode ).

Archer become that military captain, Enterprise started looking like something else, that's not Star Trek, well, to me, that is exactly the point. Show to the audience how fear, pressure and anger can convert even the most good human being and the most good intentions to something dark and unethical. And frankly, that point starts to go even depper when you stop to realize that most of the time, if you don't act like this, others will and they will harm you in the process. Archer did save Earth, and he did had to make some sacrifices of his personal beliefs to do that. Just like Sisko did on "In the Pale Moonlight". But Sisko had the advantadge of having power, so he don't need to take the kind of actions that Archer took.

For me, at least, it was something interesting to see. Something Trek had never explored before. 

As for the rest of the show, I didn't finish it yet, but I can say only good things, exept for "Night in Sickbay" ok, that was goddamn AWFUL.

That's a good way to look at season 3.

I guess there was just too few reflection about Archer's decisions afterward, for me to pass it as a debate. In DS9 "Pale Moonlight", Sisko was telling the story in flashbacks and told that frame narrative. Archer just acted tough and I'm pretty sure not few of the post-9/11 viewers back then cheered. There was no serious questioning of his actions, it felt like a justification -- "look, he has no choice".

Well, until season 4 "Home" at least, where we get hints of that, when Archer's conscience haunts him when hiking with Hernandez. But that was an afterthought by a new production team that apparently felt something about season 3 wasn't ideal.

Anyway, it's great when you are able to enjoy season 3. That means more good entertainment for you! :) Perhaps I should rewatch it again, too, this time with some more distance. Last time I did that, I was softer on it already than back in 2003 (when it just made me angry).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pariah or Cult Classic? This put me in mind of something Braga said a few years ago that if you want ENT to come back, watch it on Netflix so that someone will start to pose exactly the question raised in the title of the article.

It is still a pariah in my book, but I won't rain on the parade. I admit that in 2001 I was hyped up about the prequel concept and truly excited, but I was bitter as hell about VOY, and that might have given me a lot less patience with ENT. Every little flaw was exaggerated for me because of that bitterness. But even with that admission, I still don't think it was a good show. (It would be awfully difficult for me to watch all of it on Netflix--especially after I've watched the reviews on www.sfdebris.com).      

One point: Over in the sci-fi forum we are debating how the X-Files Mythology went off the rails after 6 or 7 seasons. The ENT "mythology" about the Temporal Cold War and the Suliban, seemed to go off the rails after 6 or 7 episodes. And as I recall, it was dropped and ignored in season 3 or 4 instead of resolved. Remember Shower Guy? Who was he? Isn't that a significant ding in the show's reputation?   

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They finally ended the arc for good in "Storm Front, Pt. II." 

The Temporal Cold War was stupid because it had so many factions it was hard to keep things straight.  Future Guy supplied the Suliban with technology from the 28th century, while Daniels, the temporal agent from the 31st century, attempted to stop him and the Suliban by working through Archer in the 22nd century.  Then, in Season 3 we find out that the Sphere Builders were supplying the Xindi with 26th century technology.  Following Enterprise's jump through time at the beginning of Season 4, we find out that the Na'khul from the 29th century had allied with the Nazis and created an alternate timeline rooted in the 20th century.  I almost wish Q had shown up and said something to the effect of "If the universe intended for you to time travel, it would have made you a Q" and deprived everybody of time-traveling abilities save through approved devices like the Guardian of Forever.  That way, ST in general could move away from the "Oh my god history has been changed and we have to repair it" plotlines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They finally ended the arc for good in "Storm Front, Pt. II." 

The Temporal Cold War was stupid because it had so many factions it was hard to keep things straight.  Future Guy supplied the Suliban with technology from the 28th century, while Daniels, the temporal agent from the 31st century, attempted to stop him and the Suliban by working through Archer in the 22nd century.  Then, in Season 3 we find out that the Sphere Builders were supplying the Xindi with 26th century technology.  Following Enterprise's jump through time at the beginning of Season 4, we find out that the Na'khul from the 29th century had allied with the Nazis and created an alternate timeline rooted in the 20th century.  I almost wish Q had shown up and said something to the effect of "If the universe intended for you to time travel, it would have made you a Q" and deprived everybody of time-traveling abilities save through approved devices like the Guardian of Forever.  That way, ST in general could move away from the "Oh my god history has been changed and we have to repair it" plotlines.

And dropping the temporal cold war early in S4 was one of the reasons I believe the show truly started to set sail and live up to its potential.   Too bad S4 wasn't S1...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They finally ended the arc for good in "Storm Front, Pt. II." 

The Temporal Cold War was stupid because it had so many factions it was hard to keep things straight.  Future Guy supplied the Suliban with technology from the 28th century, while Daniels, the temporal agent from the 31st century, attempted to stop him and the Suliban by working through Archer in the 22nd century.  Then, in Season 3 we find out that the Sphere Builders were supplying the Xindi with 26th century technology.  Following Enterprise's jump through time at the beginning of Season 4, we find out that the Na'khul from the 29th century had allied with the Nazis and created an alternate timeline rooted in the 20th century.  I almost wish Q had shown up and said something to the effect of "If the universe intended for you to time travel, it would have made you a Q" and deprived everybody of time-traveling abilities save through approved devices like the Guardian of Forever.  That way, ST in general could move away from the "Oh my god history has been changed and we have to repair it" plotlines.

And dropping the temporal cold war early in S4 was one of the reasons I believe the show truly started to set sail and live up to its potential.   Too bad S4 wasn't S1...

That was also when Manny Coto took over as showrunner and B & B stepped out...if only that had happened a bit sooner, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enterprise lost a lot of old guard Star Trek fans with the Xindi Arc.  At times, it was nearly an endorsement of Bush Era policies and shortcomings rather than an intelligent allusion to 9/11 and the complicated issues that stemmed from that attack.  I recall watching "Anomaly" with one of the oldest Trek fans I know.  He stormed out of the room as Archer placed an alien in the airlock and began torturing him.  That was contrary to Star Trek and not even in the moral grey area of other installments like "A Pale Moonlight."  My friend had to take his young son aside and explain to him why our hero Captain Archer's conduct was not appropriate and plainly wrong ... and why he would not be watching Star Trek again.

That moment resonated with me as a low point in Star Trek, although I went on to watch the rest of the series.  I laughed out loud at the absurdity of the Season 3 cliffhanger as well ("evil space nazis!!!").  Ridiculous.  

Season four truly redeemed much of what was lost despite TATV, which I can forgive. But I will never rank Enterprise high on my list because of an entire season of the Xindi Arc and Archer's immoral militarism. 

Edited by Locutus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0