Stargate Archives

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 14

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 14
Season 2 Disk 7

Archer is captured by a Tellarite bounty hunter and has to make his escape
before being handed back to the Klingons. Meanwhile T'Pol is going though
Pon Farr brought on by a contagion and she is locked in decon with Phlox,
gel and hormones ahoy.
I'm not totally happy with a Vulcan female going through Pon Farr and the
gel/decon scenes tend to be a little cringe worthy, nice bounty hunter story
but embarrassingly bad how easily Archer was taken.
The Expanse
A surprise attack on the Earth leaves millions dead and the temporal cold
war really impacts on this part of the galaxy, Enterprise heads towards an
area of space known as the Expanse normally avoided by space faring
races but that is where the instigators of the attack reside. The Klingons
throw a wrench into the plans as Durass is keen to regain his honour.
An excellent season finale, the Klingon arc has been nicely handled and the
temporal war is now serious. I can't help but think the gouge in the Earth would
have been more fitting in Iowa or the Enterprise (2009) built in Florida.

Enterprise Moments
Jolene Blalock
Levar Burton
Enterprise Secrets
Insights: A Night in Sickbay
Shooting Future Tense
Deleted Scenes

Season 2 wasn't really a step up for the series, it wasn't a backwards step either but
maybe feels less than because you expect more from the second year. That said a
lot of the groundwork has now been laid down which allows the uber arc driven
third season to grow as there is less time for one off character/action pieces.
A nice bunch of extras on the final disk especially the interview with Jolene and Levar.
Roll on the Xindi.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 13

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 13
Season 2 Disk 6

The Breach
An emergency extraction of a Denobulan scientific group and a moral dilemma
for Phlox both of which really contribute to a dull episode.
An advanced space faring culture is open to friendship with the crew of the
Enterprise and seem willing to share technology, a great boon to the human
race until Trip sticks his nose in.
I repeatedly yelled at the screen for anyone to smack Trip around the head,
when will he learn not to interfere where he doesn't belong. On the upside
well done Malcolm, he shoots he scores and the late great Andreas Katsulas
plays the alien commander.
The wreckage of the Borg sphere destroyed in First Contact is discovered
on Earth and a couple of Borg regenerate and escape Earth and attempt
to contact the collective in the Delta Quadrant.
The Borg may have been over used in Voyager but this was a decent episode
which took a solid foothold from the movie, still a little easy to kill but they
had to be I guess.
First Flight
Captain A.G. Robinson a compatriot of Archer is dead, this story tells in
flashback the story of their competition for commanding the early warp 5
engine tests which ultimately led to command of the NX-01.
An entertaining episode, suffers a little because the scale should be bigger
but an excellent performance from Keith Carradine.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 12

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 12
Season 2 Disk 5

Archer and Trip are taken prisoner accused of smuggling and how that all
came about is skipped (time and budget I guess). We see them on a prison
transport and getting in the middle of an escape attempt which forces them
to play along and hope the Enterprise catch up with them before it's
too late. A decent episode but how many times are members of the crew gonna
get into trouble before they sort some procedures out before going where
they shouldn't or limiting off ship travel to non-critical personnel.
The Crossing
A huge alien ship swallows the Enterprise whole and the alien crew beings
of energy possess various members of the crew to experience what it's like
to be corporeal but there are sinister motivations in play.
A decent first contact type episode with very different aliens yet with similar
goals to other "bad guys", I thought in the end they were rather easy to defeat
but Enterprise really didn't go for whole sale carnage early in it's run.
Archer is taken before a Klingon court to answer charges of aiding enemies
of the empire a crime he is guilty of but Klingon justice is not exactly known
for it's belief in mitigating circumstances.
I thought it was a bit of a cop out not to show how Archer was captured but
that aside the set design was excellent (based on the movie set) and the
performances from everyone involved was top notch.
High praise towards the actors who played the Klingons..
J.G. Hertzler, John Vickery, Granville Van Dusen and Daniel Riordan.
Mayweather returns for a visit to his families cargo ship to find that his father
who he knew was ill had passed weeks before, the return is bitter sweet and
his brother who now commands is not happy when Mayweather starts interfering
with the ships systems without asking permission.
This was a bit of a bland episode, Mayweather suffered thanks to little development
despite getting some decent screentime, the simplistic story didn't help.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 11

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 11

Season 2 Disk 4

A blatant lift from the movie Enemy Mine which itself had been used as a basis
for other Trek episodes, there is no getting away from limited originality in
any genre of story telling.
That said the episode was ok, decent performances from Conner and Gregg
Henry ( Zho'Kaan ) and directed by Roxann Dawson.
T'Pol is suffering from a disease which can only be contracted via a mind meld and
it carries a stigma amongst the mainstream Vulcan culture. Phlox attempts to find new
information from his Vulcan colleagues but the secret is revealed. Meanwhile Phlox's
wife ( Feezal played by Melinda Page Hamilton ) is onboard overseeing the installation
of new equipment and she takes a shine to Trip.
The T'Pol story line is a little dull but again helps to paint a picture of current Vulcan
society but Phlox and his missus are just great fun, Melinda really hits the spot with her
portrayal of a Denobulan.

Cease Fire
An ongoing conflict between the Andorians and Vulcans requires mediation and Shran
calls for Archer to be the go-between which the Vulcans do not prevent although they
are not too keen. Complications as always arise with various factions in play but
eventually the pink skins role as a focal point for compromise and collaboration has it's
first really positive step laid down.
You can't really go wrong with a screen full of Vulcans and Andorians.

Future Tense
An advanced ship is salvaged by the Enterprise with a dead "human" pilot but the
Suliban come a calling and chased off, then the Tholians pay the Enterprise a visit
and it seems a lot of worlds are interested in this ship. It turns out that is has a temporal
core and may indeed be far from the future with all the bells and whistles that implies
and a feeding frenzy is only moments away.
A top notch action episode, lots of space combat and a good use of the temporal
aspect of the shows main arc.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 10

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 10

Season 2 Disk 3

During an investigation into a black hole the crew slowly comes down with a malady
that manifests as a sort of obsession with whatever each person deems important at
the time. T'Pol seem unaffected and despite Reed trying to mutiny and Hoshi make
the worlds best soup everything turns ok.
Alas pretty much a rehash of a generic Trek story.
Vanishing Point
Hoshi is forced to use the transporter and then believes her molecules were not put
back together again correctly, she believes she is slowly becoming invisible and much
to her horror Phlox confirms the fact. After "dying" Hoshi is even more shocked to find
herself still very much alive but unable to communicate and then discovers aliens from
the planet are planting explosives onboard the ship.
This wasn't a good episode, I'm afraid they haven't done enough work on the
character in the first season and well any episode with this pay off needs to be bloody
fantastic not to have you throw the remote at the tv.
Precious Cargo
A transport ship asks for help repairing a cryo pod carrying a beautiful alien medic back
to her own world but she revives and all hell breaks loose. Trip is trapped on board the alien
ship when it flees with it's kidnapped cargo forcing Trip and the woman to effect escape and
then crash land on a nearby world where romance ensues.
Padma Lakshmi who played the alien woman Kaitaama is absolutely drop dead gorgeous and
looks really good when water logged but alas we've seen this style story before on Trek.
It wasn't that bad an episode it just pushed the bounds of credibility a little both Don Juan Trip
and the escape:)
The Catwalk
The Enterprise is warned of a wave front approaching that can not be escaped by a warp 5
ship, ok that's so ridiculous why bother watching the rest of the episode.
I did though and while I guess it's possible the crew with limited resources and sanitation and a
dog can live in the nacelles for a few days it's quite remarkable they get boarded just at their
most vulnerable point.
Lets say this wasn't my favourite episode, some nice graphics though.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 9

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 9
Season 2 Disk 2

A Night in Sickbay
Porthos once again proves how ridiculous it is to take a dog on an extended space mission
especially one where first contact with new species is certainly on the cards. So the little
beagle does what most dogs do and whizzes on a sacred tree and the Kreetassans demand
an official apology to their exacting standards. Complications arise when the dog gets ill
and is on deaths door giving us the main story as Archer hovers around sickbay as Porthos
is treated.
This isn't a bad episode despite what it sounds like mainly because it feature Phlox and we
get a lot of character interaction, surprisingly it was the highest rated audience wise episode
from the second season.
The Enterprise visits a private mining colony to trade for deuterium but it seems a rogue
Klingon ship has been extorting the miners with pleasant threats leaving them just enough
low grade mineral to survive the upcoming winter.
Archer convinces the miners to make a stand with help from the crew and they face down
the Klingon landing party. A simply tale oft told in many a western and scifi series but done
with a little flair, a nice location setup and T'Pol looked well pleasant in the white outfit and
kicked ass, some good Klingon makeup as well.
The Seventh
T'Pol receives word from the High Command about the location of a fugitive she failed to
apprehend when she worked in security, asking Archer for help goes against her orders but
trust is being developed between the pair and it pays when she is faced with the consequences
of her former and current actions.
I didn't really like this episode too much, again it relies on a Vulcan society that never quite felt
right in Enterprise, it was however good to see deeper interaction between T'Pol and Archer.
Bruce Davison played the fugitive Menos.
The Communicator
I hate episodes the rely on supposedly intelligent and competent people doing something stupid.
In this case Reed mr methodical leaves a communicator on an alien world and then both he and
Archer are captured by the natives when they return with more technology to find the device.
This story in TOS worked because I was a lot younger and well television back then just wasn't
expected to have serious depth, modern TV should match the sensibilities of it's audience.
It also underlines the issues with trying to maintain canon in terms of TOS, a large communications
device is simply daft given the state of technology on Earth at that time.
The rescue attempt was reasonable though even though perhaps too easy given the phase pistols
were really no better than projectile weapons in terms of use and accuracy.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Hogfather - SF Debris

A two part SF Debris Opinionated Review of the first half of the TV adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Hogfather.  SF Debris

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 8

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 8
Season 2 Disk 1

Shockwave Part 2
Stuck far in the future Archer and Daniels attempt to jury-rig a temporal communications
device in the hopes of contacting Enterprise and ultimately gaining access to the time travel
tech being used in that time frame.
T'Pol is being interrogated by the Suliban who have lost contact with the future masters
and it's this confusion which saves the day both for Archer, Enterprise and ultimately the yet
to be born Federation of Planets.
This was a very satisfying conclusion to the first season cliffhanger, yes of course you had
to accept the MacGyver approach to temporal phone calls and how easy it was to fool
the Suliban but nothing new about that, the good guys in any show tend to perform miracles.

Carbon Creek
Dinner with T'Pol, Trip and Archer leads to story telling and she tells them a tale of the true
first contact between the Vulcans and Humans after a research vessel crashed near the
small town of Carbon Creek. The Vulcan survivors make a life for themselves in the
community and when rescue finally comes one decides to stay behind which leaves Archer
and Trip speechless, was it a true account or a tale weaved by a mischievous T'Pol?
Carbon Creek is an excellent episode, first off great to see the interaction between the three
main characters in the show and for once they did the titillation with really class, silhouetted
T'pol was awesome:)
The episode has a lot of humour, not really laugh our loud but subtle and working off of what
we know of the characters and situation.

A huge explosion rocks the ship ripping away a part of the saucer, the ship has struck a
cloaked mine in a star system they were exploring and another mine is now clamped to
the hull close to the impulse manifold and could destroy the ship.
Reed goes out to disarm the mine and is trapped as it extends another clamp and a ship
de-cloaks identifying itself as Romulan a race Archer became aware while far into the future.
A stark choice is presented, try to disarm the mine and risk it's explosion while relying on
the patience of the Romulan ships or jettison the plating and sacrifice Reed.
I enjoyed this episode even though they may have taken Reed's "rod up the backside"
character a little too far but that is at least countered with some good exchanges later.
It's difficult to know if the writers did the Romulans justice, little is known pre-Romulan
war but it doesn't seem in character for them to not destroy the Enterprise on sight.
Dead Stop
The Enterprise badly damaged after the mine explosion is limping along and is guided towards
an automated repair yard, this high tech facility controlled by computer docks the ship, discusses
payment and then begins the repair to the ships hull. The crew are given leave to visit the station
where replicators provide them with any food they desire and everything seems to good to be true
and then Mayweather is found dead in an area they were told to avoid while repairs were ongoing.
Dead Stop is good solid episode and very rewarding not to have the ship all in one piece after the
episode Minefield, continuity and consequences of actions add such flavour and backbone to a
show, something other Trek series never took real advantage of.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Gila Trailer Revised

Way back in the early days of creature features there was The Giant Gila Monster movie which while not awful given when it was made certainly doesn't hold up like some of it's brethren.
Now we have a remake of this movie in the shape of Gila! a 2012 feature by director Jim Wynorksi who has a huge resume of movies which for this fan of genre speaks volumes for his ability to entertain on a budget with tongue firmly in cheek.

Pacific Rim - Trailer

I know that voice having watched 13 episodes of his tv series this last week, Charlie Hunnam and Ron Pearlman star in Pacific Rim alongside Idris Elba due to hit cinemas next summer.


Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 7

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 7

Season 1 Disk 7

Two Days Two Nights
The Enterprise finally makes to Risa and guess what, only a select few are allowed down
well at least for the purposes of this episode and they are all the first watch, handy that.
Ok Trip and Malcolm go clubbing with mixed results, Hoshi is pretty much the people
person and ends up having well lets say she was quite satisfied and as for Archer well
it must be a Captain thing, go on holiday and get involved in conspiracy and intrigue
with Keyla ( Dey Young ).
This was meant as pretty much a fun episode but everything was a little too forced, I
don't think any of the writers involved specialised in humour yet they did ok with
Shuttlepod One. On the upside Phlox delivers once again, the Doctor saves the episode
which isn't the first or last time and not just in Enterprise.
I suppose credit for keeping the Risa element of a few episodes ongoing at least creates
some continuity but maybe Trek as a whole should stay well clear of the world,
they never really know how to handle it.

Shockwave Part 1
The ship visits a Paraagan mining colony and tragedy strikes as the shuttle ignites
pollutants in the atmosphere and it flash burns scouring the surface of all life.
Racked with guilt when they call from Earth with a push from the Vulcans to return
the ship and end the mission Archer willingly complies until a visit once again from
the temporal Agent Daniels who informs him the colony was never meant to burn.
It turns out other factions had engineered the destruction and changed the time line
to remove Archer and the Enterprise from the equation but even more events are
occurring as Silik ( John fleck ) demands Archers surrender to him and then vanishes.
Shockwave was a pretty decent season finale, good cliffhanger you know will be
resolved but maybe a little more shock factor would have been welcome. Daniels
proves killing a time traveller in one time stream isn't always the complete solution
you would think it would be but hey that's temporal mechanics for ya:)

Creating Enterprise
O Captain My Captain
Cast Impressions
Inside Shuttlepod One
Time Travel
Enterprise Secrets
Admiral Forrest Takes Charge
Celebrating Star Trek
Commentaries (Voice and Text)
Deleted Scenes

Enterprise is my second favourite Star Trek show and the first season while not the
best is really strong for a Trek series. If I was to pick an episode as an example of
the best of season 1 it may be "The Andorian Incident" because it really make good
use of the Andorians which were not fleshed out in any other series against the Vulcans
who were showing both faces long suspected by Starfleet.
There are some weak episodes as well but I didn't feel the need to skip any on this
re-watch but there a few I would never cherry pick to watch again but still a strong
first season of Enterprise.

Check out the Star Trek Enterprise themed podcast "Previously in the Alpha Quadrant"
which is part of the Trek Mate family of Trek productions.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Black Tape Project Evolution

She's like a warrior preparing for battle and the music just adds the the effect.

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 6

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 6

Season 1 Disk 6

Archer and Mayweather are taken prisoner after entering a restricted area of space
and "detained" in what amounts to an internment camp for Suliban civilians. All seems
well with their captors who promise a quick release after this "misunderstanding" but
eventually their own paranoia drives Archer to understanding the plight of these
prisoners and a break out is arranged.
Detained brought together Scott and Dean Stockwell who worked together for years
on Quantum Leap, it was great to see them together but that aside this story was more
of a object lesson in the pitfalls of social injustice disguised as compassion.
Vox Sola
An alien life form invades the ship and envelops a number of the crew bringing together
their minds and it seems it's not a creature of instinct and it may have a language.
Weak episode all round, nothing I really want to promote as being stand out.
Fallen Hero
The Vulcans request that the Enterprise picks up a Vulcan ambassador and then
rendezvous with another starship but complications arise when it seems she has
abused her position and elements of the government chase the Enterprise down.
This is a good episode both for showing the ship and crew working at their best and
for developing the Vulcans via T'Pol and V'lar ( Fionnula Flanagan ).
Desert Crossing
Clancy Brown chews up the scenery as Zobral the trader who takes aid from the
Enterprise and offers his hospitality in return. Of course there are ulterior motives
and it's revealed that he wants Archer's help to overthrow in his eyes a corrupt
regional government. Archer and Trip are then caught in the middle as both sides
trade punches in the desert.
This is a fun episode thanks to Clancy but the overall story doesn't work very well,
you have to accept too much to make it work.

Man Of Steel - Trailer

It's looking good, nothing sloppy or cheesy about it from this brief taste.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 5

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 5

Season 1 Disk 5

The Enterprise meets an old Vulcan ship with a crew that is decidedly different to the Vulcans
they have met before, it seems these beings are embracing their emotions while still paying
lip service to the tenants of Surak. T'Pol is drawn to one of younger men as he seems to share
some of her experiences but his emotional control is both weaker than most humans and when
the opportunity arrives he can help but exploit T'Pol with consequences.
I guess Fusion builds T'Pols character and opens up the Vulcan mindset but it's a pretty dull
episode to be honest.

Rogue Planet
A rogue world void of it's star system shows signs of life and upon investigation a hunting
party from another world is found, they say they have permits to hunt this world during
this period and it's a cultural norm. Everything sounds reasonable until Archer sees
a woman who can not possibly be there and it turns out the "game" the hunters are
after is more sentient then they led the landing party to believe.
I rather like the episode for it's idea of a dark world however it wasn't really produced
upto spec and ultimately the story is a little on the weak side.
The Ferengi lay a trap for the Enterprise and when sprung it renders the crew unconscious
leaving the Ferengi to look the ship for it's valuables including the females. The fly in the
ointment is Trip who was in the decon chamber and protected from the knock-out gas (no
internal sensors for this on board the NX-01 I guess:)
This is a fun episode and the Ferengi thanks to DS9 portrayed much better than they were
when introduced on TNG, amusing to see Jeffrey Combs and Ethan Phillips under the
On the look out for material to repair the ship a trader points the Enterprise towards
a crashed ship, he claims it's haunted which is why he has not claimed it as salvage.
It turns out there was a crew on board who have made a life for themselves but all
is not what it seems. A clever episode with René Auberjonois and Annie Wersching
starring, good use of technology we've been introduced to but pretty much
recycling ideas used in other series.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Oblivion - Trailer

Now I don't mind admitting the Tom's movies for me always look good on paper and trailers but can be hit and miss but Oblivion does look pretty impressive so lets hope:)

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 4

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 4

Season 1 Disk 4

Dear Doctor
A Phlox ( John Billingsley ) centric episode and why not because Trek has never failed to
provide Doctors who are both interesting and popular. In this episode the over view is
Phlox writing a letter to a human friend who is back on Denobula in the same inter-species
medical programme. The writers also throw in an early case of how a prime directive
would be useful as an alien race destined to die out can be sustained but in turn that would
hamper the development of a second intelligent species on the same planet.
This episode also features Kellie Waymire, she passed not long after aged 36 from a
long term heart problem.
Shadows of P'Jem
Another world another first contact which goes poof when the shuttle is shot down
and Archer and T'Pol are captured by opponents to the current government which
is supported by the Vulcan high command. Held for ransom the Vulcans interpose
themselves but things get really complicated when the Andorians led by Shran
rescue them and then all hell breaks out and T'Pol is seriously wounded.
Fantastic to see the Andorians once again and the conflict between them and the
Vulcans is one of the high points of the first season, fun to see Archer and T'Pol
handling captivity.

Sleeping Dogs
A Klingon ship is discovered in a gas giant deep in the atmosphere, a shuttle is
sent down in an attempt to rescue the occupants whose weak life signs are being
detected. There is however one active survivor who slaps down Reed and escapes
in the shuttle and then has to be convinced by Archer they did not attack the ship
and have no designs on the technology.
Once again the writers are doing well re-introducing a canon species into the first
season, they really should have concentrated more on the core species.
Shuttlepod One
Trip and Reed are running tests on a pod and they discover wreckage in an asteroid
field some of it belonging to the Enterprise. Faced with limited resources and no way
to contact Starfleet it looks bleak and while Trip keeps busy trying to repair the
shuttle systems Malcolm decides to record farewells to his former girlfriends to such an
extent Trip could very well kill him before they run out of air.
The fun really starts when they open the bottle of booze and get drunk, hilarity ensues
and for a bottle episode it works just so well.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 3

Star Trek Enterprise Marathon Part 3

Season 1 Disk 3

An energy source beyond the capabilities of the native population is identified on a
planet and a disguised alien ( Wade Williams ) is discovered living and working there
who claims the  reactor is for powering a replicator.
Archer meets an apothecary called Riann ( Diane DiLascio ) who says the locals are
coming down with a disease and she suspects the store run by this alien and further
investigation reveals a poisoned water table thanks to an illegal mining operation.
This is pretty much a classic TOS tale done with more flare and money, Archer gets
to woe a local female and leave this world better than they found it.

Fortunate Son
ECS Fortunate a low warp cargo ship sends out a distress signal claiming to have been
attacked by Nausicaan raiders, the Enterprise is sent to assist and when they arrive the
Fortunate seems fine having fought off the raiders but something doesn't feel right.
It turns out the acting Captain  (Ryan) has taken a prisoner and is torturing him for information
to aid a revenge plot and in his extreme reaction he fires on the Enterprise and abandons
some of it's crew in a leaking cargo container.
It was interesting to see the culture of a family run cargo ship or would have been, they
really missed the mark by not exploring this dynamic, they did touch upon the concerns
of the crew faced with the emergence of Warp 5 engines which would mean second gen
engines for cargo ships wish could spell the end of this nomadic existence.
An average episode but you are kind of forced to go along with the extreme measures
taken by Ryan the acting captain to make it work.

Cold Front
The Enterprise hosts a gathering of folk who have come to a nebula to witness the
Great Plume of Agosoria, a stellar expulsion which occurs on a regular basis.
Unbeknown to the crew the Temporal cold war is coming to town as Silic is sent
to the ship and a time agent (Daniels - Matt Winston ) has been sent to capture him.
Archer is given some of the details by Daniels in return for his help and in turn brings
T'Pol and Trip into the circle but do events play out as they should.
A pretty good episode, the "b" plot of the spiritual folk and Phlox is pretty much
just window dressing but the time element was very interesting and well don't worry
about the details just enjoy the story:)

Silent Enemy
A mysterious and quite capable looking Starship pays the Enterprise a visit then goes
away, it returns later and fires upon them and a running battle commences, it seems the
alien ship and crew are testing the Enterprise.
Trip and Reed start fitting the phase cannons while the ship flees back to Earth to
complete it's fitting after leaving space dock incomplete. When the alien ship returns
it's surprised by the firepower the Enterprise has and damaged it warps away.
Occasionally it's satisfying not to know the species or motivation of an enemy and it works
for this episode, who and what they were was not important, what was is how the crew
reacted and the decisions made by Archer to admit they are unprepared but when the crew
raises to the task his resolve returns.