Corylea

I think I know what's wrong with Archer

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Corylea   

As I've mentioned before, I lived in a TV-free household from 1986 until 2014, so although I've seen all of TOS many times, I've only just recently started watching other Star Trek series.  I watched the first half-dozen TNG's and switched to Voyager when those first half dozen were terrible, watching two seasons of Janeway & co.  Then, when Discovery was announced, with its timeline of ten years before TOS, I started watching Enterprise, since it seemed as if I might need to know what happened in Enterprise to understand the new show.

It's clear that Enterprise is trying to get across the idea that humans are novices at space exploration, and that seems like a good idea.  Unfortunately, it's badly executed.  When they do it by having the crew be all "Gee, whiz, that's so COOL," I really enjoy that.  Unfortunately, Enterprise seems to give us far less of "Space is so cool and interesting" and far more of the crew's -- especially Archer's -- simply not thinking things through.  I don't know if the writers are simply not good enough, or if they were afraid that the audience wouldn't have been able to follow anything more complex, but having someone say, "Hey maybe we should have landing parties check in every so often" makes me wonder what the heck Starfleet has been DOING all this time.  Yes, they were prevented from actually going out into space, but the fact that Starfleet training exists means that they've been teaching these guys SOMEthing.  But nothing useful, evidently... 

My husband, sadly, is not a Trek fan, and he isn't watching with me, so I'm watching with headphones.  My time at The Rocky Horror Picture Show in my youth means that I talk back to the screen, though, and my husband informs me that my most frequent comments while watching Enterprise are "Archer, you idiot!" and "Will you listen to T'Pol, already!"

Anyway, I've now seen all of Season 1 and the first ten episodes of Season 2 of Enterprise, and I've watched Archer do stupid thing after stupid thing.  You took your DOG down to an unexplored planet, and not even on a leash?  Even if you don't care about contaminating the new planet with dog poop, aren't you concerned about what your dog might eat or drink or sniff while you're not watching?  You took your DOG to meet with aliens who've already proved themselves to be touchy and to not understand that different people have different ways?  Yeah, that's not going to cause any problems! :rolleyes:

The scripts cheat in Archer's favor, making things turn out WAY better than they would in real life.  If all of this were happening for real, either everyone would be dead by now, or the crew would have mutinied and put T'Pol in charge, because whether they actually like her or not, she at least seems to have some understanding of how this space exploration stuff is supposed to go.  I've thought about a zillion times that *I* seem to have thought way more about space exploration than Archer has, and given that he's actually engaged in it at the time, that's just wrong.

And then it hit me -- Archer is from an alternate universe where science fiction doesn't exist!

I've read all of Heinlein and Niven and Clark and Asimov and all those guys.  I've watched TOS many times.  Although I haven't seen much television, I've seen some first-contact movies, like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and 2001: A Space Odyssey and even ET. 

But ARCHER seems never to have read Heinlein.  He hasn't seen his world's equivalent of TOS.  There's no Close Encounters or ET in his world.  No wonder he's terrible at this; he's never thought about space exploration before, and there's no legacy of the thoughts of others for him to draw upon.  Of course, one would think that would make him MORE likely to listen to T'Pol ...

Okay, I guess this doesn't explain as much as I thought it would.  Archer is STILL an idiot. :P

 

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You took your DOG to meet with aliens who've already proved themselves to be touchy and to not understand that different people have different ways?  Yeah, that's not going to cause any problems! :rolleyes:

"A Night in Sickbay" is the worst episode of Trek, IMHO. "Threshold" is just hyper-campy stupid. "Sickbay" has Archer meeting with a race that fled, repulsed, at the notion of people eating together and he takes his animal down to pee on a sacred tree, and, for him, it's all THEIR fault. I just want to slap sense into him.  

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Corylea   

You took your DOG to meet with aliens who've already proved themselves to be touchy and to not understand that different people have different ways?  Yeah, that's not going to cause any problems! :rolleyes:

"A Night in Sickbay" is the worst episode of Trek, IMHO. "Threshold" is just hyper-campy stupid. "Sickbay" has Archer meeting with a race that fled, repulsed, at the notion of people eating together and he takes his animal down to pee on a sacred tree, and, for him, it's all THEIR fault. I just want to slap sense into him.  

YES!  Does Archer think at all?  About anything besides freaking water polo?  And what the heck does Starfleet training consist of in this era?  I mean, I know they've been prevented from GOING into space, but they haven't been prevented from THINKING about it!

It seems as if the creators of this show wanted a "regular guy" for captain instead of an intelligent, disciplined, and thoughtful person like our previous captains, and I have to wonder what those creators were thinking of, as well. 

Even though I've only seen a little TNG at this point, I've stumbled across some Kirk-vs.-Picard arguments in other places, and really, either Kirk OR Picard would be a zillion times better than Archer.  I mean, I know this was all new to Archer, but he doesn't seem to think at all, ever.

I usually root for the main characters in anything to succeed and to be happy, and at this point, I WANT Archer's idiocy to come back to bite him; he should have lost a lot of crew members by this point and become a sadder and wiser man.  But no, the scripts keep cheating in his favor and making everything turn out fine, in spite of the dumb things he does.  When a show has me rooting AGAINST the main character, you know something's wrong!

I find myself feeling sorry for the actor, at thinking he's got a cool role, being the new Star Trek captain, and then he finds out that he gets to play a man who never thinks and who doesn't learn from his mistakes.  Sorry, Mr. Bakula, you got the booby prize after all. :P

 

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Thanks Corylea, now I know why Archer is my second-favorite main captain - I have never seen most sci fi movies either, don't read any sci-fi novels, I have no interest whatsoever in it - I guess that's why I can relate so much to his approach! :P:laugh: 

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YES!  Does Archer think at all?  About anything besides freaking water polo?  And what the heck does Starfleet training consist of in this era?  I mean, I know they've been prevented from GOING into space, but they haven't been prevented from THINKING about it!

Legacy appointment because his daddy built the engine. :) 

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Corylea   

Thanks Corylea, now I know why Archer is my second-favorite main captain - I have never seen most sci fi movies either, don't read any sci-fi novels, I have no interest whatsoever in it - I guess that's why I can relate so much to his approach! :P:laugh: 

That's really interesting!  What made you such a big Trek fan, if you don't like any other science fiction?  (And yes, I know, you're in love with Picard, but that doesn't explain why you watch the other Trek shows, so there must be more than just Picard adoration going on. ;) )

 

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Thanks Corylea, now I know why Archer is my second-favorite main captain - I have never seen most sci fi movies either, don't read any sci-fi novels, I have no interest whatsoever in it - I guess that's why I can relate so much to his approach! :P:laugh: 

That's really interesting!  What made you such a big Trek fan, if you don't like any other science fiction?  (And yes, I know, you're in love with Picard, but that doesn't explain why you watch the other Trek shows, so there must be more than just Picard adoration going on. ;) )

 

I'm not really a big Trek fan, that's just it. Aside from TNG, which is my absolute love and holy grail and center of attention at all times, ENT is basically the only Trek series I watch occasionally these days, and also a bit of TOS, but these I really only sit down and watch if I'm REALLY in the mood. My inner 15 year old is FASCINATED by Archer, I used to have massive crushes on men like him - men who slam the door in and THEN wonder if it's broken but ARE horrified to see that it is. lol I'm therefore not saying you don't have a point with your Archer criticism, he CAN be pretty slow and dumb and "A Night In Sickbay" is a TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRRRRRRRIIIIBBBBLE episode, no doubt - but to me he just also has this strange charm and this whole "I would know what to do either, I'd create incident after incident as well" bonus for me. I'm always like "aww Jon bb chill out".

All in all, though, my focus is entirely on TNG, and not really for the sci-fi aspect. Jean-Luc could just as well command a sailing ship and I'd be all over the show just the same. It's the stories about ethics and morality that get me the metaphors, the philosophical aspects, the space politics that are just placeholders for today's politics. In short: I'd fly through space with Jean-Luc, I'd follow him to the heart of the Borg Collective and back if I had to - but I'd be with him not for space, I'd be with him for HIM. I'd adapt to life in space but like I said, he could just as well command a sailing ship and I'd be with him just the same. The place doesn't matter - HE does. The fact that TNG is sci-fi is actually what used to put me off and one big reason why I never watched it until my ex bf nagged me into watching it 14 years ago, his argument being that "it's sci fi, yeah, I know you're not interested in the genre, but TNG is much MORE than that". He was right.

Edited by Mr.Picard

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The reason I never had a problem with Archer being incompetent versus Janeway (for example) is because Archer is meant to make mistakes. His generation of captains are the reasons why our generation had all the rules. The dos and donts.

It wouldn't make sense that Archer does everything right if he is the first to be out there for Starfleet. Now I do agree that ... he was made to be a bit too irrational. Making him captain was a dubious idea by Starfleet Command considering how emotional he behaved. But I guess it made sense that is why T'Pol was there.

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Sim   

Corylea, if you'd like to see a Captain who really thinks, I'd strongly recommend TNG! :)

You shouldn't let the awfulness of the first season alienate you; it really becomes great later. IIRC, we talked about this in another thread before... many people, like Sehlat and myself, like season 2 very much. But general consensus is that at least from season 3 on, TNG is a great show. So if you want to give the show another chance, maybe switching right to season 3 is a good idea. :)

(Guess "Measure of a Man" and "Q Who" from season 2 are "don't miss" episodes, though.)

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Corylea   

Corylea, if you'd like to see a Captain who really thinks, I'd strongly recommend TNG! :)

You shouldn't let the awfulness of the first season alienate you; it really becomes great later. IIRC, we talked about this in another thread before... many people, like Sehlat and myself, like season 2 very much. But general consensus is that at least from season 3 on, TNG is a great show. So if you want to give the show another chance, maybe switching right to season 3 is a good idea. :)

(Guess "Measure of a Man" and "Q Who" from season 2 are "don't miss" episodes, though.)

Oh, don't worry; I absolutely intend to watch TNG at some point!  Friends who know me in real life tell me that they think TNG is probably even a better fit for me than TOS, though I think nothing can replace the Star Trek that I discovered at the age of 11, because I'll never be as open-hearted as I was then.

I'm watching Enterprise solely so that I can understand whatever Discovery does; I'd have switched to another Trek before now if the new show weren't coming up.  Instead, I'll just say, "Archer, you freaking idiot" fifty more times. :rolleyes:

I watched "Trials and Tribbleations" on September 8th, to celebrate the anniversary, and it was the first DS9 I'd ever seen.  Obviously it's not a representative episode, but if the DS9 creative team had the energy and creativity to do THAT, it makes me eager to see what else they've done.  Plus, the guy who plays Sisko has a great voice, and the woman who plays Dax is absolutely stunning, so in addition to the more intellectual pleasures of great storylines, there's also the more visceral enjoyment of just listening to and looking at them.  Sometime in my future!  ;)

I keep reading books and playing computer games, because I got out of the habit of watching TV during those 28 years in a TV-free household, but I really need to remind myself that there's all this Trek I want to watch.  And of course, I'm still watching TOS.  I mentioned watching "Operation: Annihilate!" when I wanted to borrow some of Spock's courage before my surgery, and when I was having a bad day the other day, I watched "The Immunity Syndrome," to watch everyone carrying on and performing well even though they felt like crap.  Nothing like a little TOS to perk me up when I'm feeling low. :inlove:

 

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Sim   

Corylea, if you'd like to see a Captain who really thinks, I'd strongly recommend TNG! :)

You shouldn't let the awfulness of the first season alienate you; it really becomes great later. IIRC, we talked about this in another thread before... many people, like Sehlat and myself, like season 2 very much. But general consensus is that at least from season 3 on, TNG is a great show. So if you want to give the show another chance, maybe switching right to season 3 is a good idea. :)

(Guess "Measure of a Man" and "Q Who" from season 2 are "don't miss" episodes, though.)

Oh, don't worry; I absolutely intend to watch TNG at some point!  Friends who know me in real life tell me that they think TNG is probably even a better fit for me than TOS, though I think nothing can replace the Star Trek that I discovered at the age of 11, because I'll never be as open-hearted as I was then.

I'm watching Enterprise solely so that I can understand whatever Discovery does; I'd have switched to another Trek before now if the new show weren't coming up.  Instead, I'll just say, "Archer, you freaking idiot" fifty more times. :rolleyes:

I watched "Trials and Tribbleations" on September 8th, to celebrate the anniversary, and it was the first DS9 I'd ever seen.  Obviously it's not a representative episode, but if the DS9 creative team had the energy and creativity to do THAT, it makes me eager to see what else they've done.  Plus, the guy who plays Sisko has a great voice, and the woman who plays Dax is absolutely stunning, so in addition to the more intellectual pleasures of great storylines, there's also the more visceral enjoyment of just listening to and looking at them.  Sometime in my future!  ;)

I keep reading books and playing computer games, because I got out of the habit of watching TV during those 28 years in a TV-free household, but I really need to remind myself that there's all this Trek I want to watch.  And of course, I'm still watching TOS.  I mentioned watching "Operation: Annihilate!" when I wanted to borrow some of Spock's courage before my surgery, and when I was having a bad day the other day, I watched "The Immunity Syndrome," to watch everyone carrying on and performing well even though they felt like crap.  Nothing like a little TOS to perk me up when I'm feeling low. :inlove:

 

Oh, I envy you so much, that you still have all this amazing Trek ahead of you! :thumbup:

Yes, there is nothing like the Trek you watched as a kid ... which is why TOS still has a place very deep in my heart, too. Maybe I can even pass on some of that ... today, I watched "Trouble with Tribbles" with my little one (she's almost 3) -- I had shown her some excerpts before, after she discovered my plush tribble and wanted to know what it is --, and she seemed to love it. Well, the tribbles, anyway. She found it very funny when Kirk was covered by all the tribbles that fell on him. :laugh:

TNG followed shortly after, when I still was a kid, so these two shows are really of tremendous nostalgic value for me. But my grown up(?) self looking at Star Trek? I'd say I can't decide which show I like most, TOS, TNG or DS9. Like I said elsewhere, they're almost like three acts of a play, each show takes what the previous one built, and takes it even one step further.

DS9 is IMO the most sophisticated show. And if I remember people here talking about it correctly, I'm not alone with the feeling it's the ST show that has aged best, in the modern tv environment. DS9 has the most diverse ensemble of characters, and the deepest character interactions.

Though TNG has the coolest "morality" stories, and IMO really outstanding actors, with Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner (nothing against the others). Data's quest for humanity is kind of an inverted quest of Spock's for logic; in the episode where both characters meet ("Unification" in season 5), they even talk with each other about that! :thumbup: Though I sometimes felt Data is really the only one who believes he has no humane feelings, while the audience is absolutely convinced he has them.

I won't deny that I don't care about VOY -- I really tried to love the show, but didn't manage to. There are just so many wasted opportunities. And unlike the shows that came before, it didn't add to the ST universe, but was actually a step back, IMO. It didn't help that DS9 was running parallel during most of VOY's run, because that made all the more obvious how pale it looked in comparison.

I like ENT more, albeit not quite as much as the first three shows. At least the characters are more relatable, IMO, even though the first three seasons are a mixed bag. Season 4, however, was great.

Edited by Sim

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DS9 is IMO the most sophisticated show. And if I remember people here talking about it correctly, I'm not alone with the feeling it's the ST show that has aged best, in the modern tv environment. DS9 has the most diverse ensemble of characters, and the deepest character interactions.

No question. To me, it doesn't feel dated at all. 

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Sim   

DS9 is IMO the most sophisticated show. And if I remember people here talking about it correctly, I'm not alone with the feeling it's the ST show that has aged best, in the modern tv environment. DS9 has the most diverse ensemble of characters, and the deepest character interactions.

No question. To me, it doesn't feel dated at all. 

Neither to me... except visually perhaps. Which reminds me, nobody has asked for a HD remaster of DS9 on Blu Ray in this thread yet. It's high time! :giggle:

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DS9 is IMO the most sophisticated show. And if I remember people here talking about it correctly, I'm not alone with the feeling it's the ST show that has aged best, in the modern tv environment. DS9 has the most diverse ensemble of characters, and the deepest character interactions.

No question. To me, it doesn't feel dated at all. 

Neither to me... except visually perhaps. Which reminds me, nobody has asked for a HD remaster of DS9 on Blu Ray in this thread yet. It's high time! :giggle:

Maybe because we've asked for it in every other thread...:P

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Sim   

DS9 is IMO the most sophisticated show. And if I remember people here talking about it correctly, I'm not alone with the feeling it's the ST show that has aged best, in the modern tv environment. DS9 has the most diverse ensemble of characters, and the deepest character interactions.

No question. To me, it doesn't feel dated at all. 

Neither to me... except visually perhaps. Which reminds me, nobody has asked for a HD remaster of DS9 on Blu Ray in this thread yet. It's high time! :giggle:

Maybe because we've asked for it in every other thread...:P

I can't allow for a thread to evolve without this demand being stated at some point. Without it, any thread about DS9 would be ... empty. Incomplete. :laugh:

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DS9 is IMO the most sophisticated show. And if I remember people here talking about it correctly, I'm not alone with the feeling it's the ST show that has aged best, in the modern tv environment. DS9 has the most diverse ensemble of characters, and the deepest character interactions.

No question. To me, it doesn't feel dated at all. 

Neither to me... except visually perhaps. Which reminds me, nobody has asked for a HD remaster of DS9 on Blu Ray in this thread yet. It's high time! :giggle:

Maybe because we've asked for it in every other thread...:P

I can't allow for a thread to evolve without this demand being stated at some point. Without it, any thread about DS9 would be ... empty. Incomplete. :laugh:

I wants and I wants NOW. :)

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