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Enterprise 05/06/05

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Enterprise 05/06/05

Old 05-05-05, 07:44 AM
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Enterprise 05/06/05

Episode Title: "Demons"



Spoiler:
On Earth for a historic Starfleet conference to ratify the coalition of planets, Archer and the crew uncover a plot by a radical xenophobic group of humans called Terra Prime, led by Paxton (guest star Peter Weller), who want to put an end to the increasing number and influence of aliens on Earth. This arc reveals the first steps in the foundation of the United Federation of Planets.

Meanwhile, although T'Pol contends she has never been pregnant, she and Trip learn that Terra Prime has information about their child. Later, a female reporter from Travis' past pursues him for a story.
Old 05-05-05, 07:50 AM
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Posted this thread early to also post this article from the LATimes by Orson Scott Card:

So they've gone and killed "Star Trek." And it's about time.

They tried it before, remember. The network flushed William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy down into the great septic tank of broadcast waste, from which no traveler…. No, wait, let's get this right: from which rotting ideas and aging actors return with depressing regularity.

It was the fans who saved "Star Trek" from oblivion. They just wouldn't let go.

This was in the days before VCRs, and way before DVDs. You couldn't go out and buy the boxed set of all three seasons. When a show was canceled, the only way you could see it again was if some local station picked it up in syndication.

A few stations did just that. And the hungry fans called their friends and they watched it faithfully. They memorized the episodes. I swear I've heard of people who quit their jobs and moved just so they could live in a city that had "Star Trek" running every day.

And then the madness really got underway.

They started making costumes and wearing pointy ears. They wrote messages in Klingon, they wrote their own stories about the characters, filling in what was left out — including, in one truly specialized subgenre, the "Kirk-Spock" stories in which their relationship was not as platonic and emotionless as the TV show depicted it.

Mostly, though, they wrote and wrote and wrote letters. To the networks. To the production company. To the stars and minor characters and guest stars and grips of the series, inviting them to attend conventions and speak about the events on the series as if they had really happened, instead of being filmed on a tatty little set with cheesy special effects.

So out of the ashes the series rose again. Here's the question: Why?

The original "Star Trek," created by Gene Roddenberry, was, with a few exceptions, bad in every way that a science fiction television show could be bad. Nimoy was the only charismatic actor in the cast and, ironically, he played the only character not allowed to register emotion.

This was in the days before series characters were allowed to grow and change, before episodic television was allowed to have a through line. So it didn't matter which episode you might be watching, from which year — the characters were exactly the same.

As science fiction, the series was trapped in the 1930s — a throwback to spaceship adventure stories with little regard for science or deeper ideas. It was sci-fi as seen by Hollywood: all spectacle, no substance.

Which was a shame, because science fiction writing was incredibly fertile at the time, with writers like Harlan Ellison and Ursula LeGuin, Robert Silverberg and Larry Niven, Brian W. Aldiss and Michael Moorcock, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, and Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke creating so many different kinds of excellent science fiction that no one reader could keep track of it all.

Little of this seeped into the original "Star Trek." The later spinoffs were much better performed, but the content continued to be stuck in Roddenberry's rut. So why did the Trekkies throw themselves into this poorly imagined, weakly written, badly acted television series with such commitment and dedication? Why did it last so long?

Here's what I think: Most people weren't reading all that brilliant science fiction. Most people weren't reading at all. So when they saw "Star Trek," primitive as it was, it was their first glimpse of science fiction. It was grade school for those who had let the whole science fiction revolution pass them by.

Now we finally have first-rate science fiction film and television that are every bit as good as anything going on in print.

Charlie Kaufman created the two finest science fiction films of all time so far: "Being John Malkovich" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof have created "Lost," the finest television science fiction series of all time … so far.

Through-line series like Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and Alfred Gough's and Miles Millar's "Smallville" have raised our expectations of what episodic sci-fi and fantasy ought to be. Whedon's "Firefly" showed us that even 1930s sci-fi can be well acted and tell a compelling long-term story.

Screen sci-fi has finally caught up with written science fiction. We're in college now. High school is over. There's just no need for "Star Trek" anymore.
Link

What flew up his butt?

Any credibility he had with me was gone when he states Smallville is sci-fi to aspire to.
Old 05-05-05, 01:13 PM
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Ok, nearly all of my sig is going to be pretty pointless in about 8 days.

Should I keep it for posterity? Or is it like the franchise itself: time to move on?
Old 05-05-05, 02:44 PM
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Right. Because classic Trek was being written by hacks with such names as Strugeon, Spinrad, Ellison, and Bloch, and was supported by has-beens like Clarke, Heinlein, Bradbury, Serling, and Asimov.

It's like saying the 1930s serials like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon suck because you can see that the spaceships are all just models.

And, wow - it's only been in the past few years that the GREATEST SCI-FI EVER! has been created. Forget all those other shows and movies, they're old so they must be bad.

I'd heard about Card's ego before, but this one just stuns me.
Old 05-05-05, 05:14 PM
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Doesn't look like an interesting episode, kinda glad its coming to an end.
Old 05-05-05, 06:50 PM
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"Being John Malkovich" is one of the greatest science fiction films of all time? My definition of science fiction is pretty broad, but it certainly doesn't go that far.

BTW, I'm probably one of the few people on this forum who didn't like "Ender's Game."

As for the Trek episode, sounds more like a season finale than a series finale. Sad.
Old 05-06-05, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Jason
"Being John Malkovich" is one of the greatest science fiction films of all time? My definition of science fiction is pretty broad, but it certainly doesn't go that far.

BTW, I'm probably one of the few people on this forum who didn't like "Ender's Game."

As for the Trek episode, sounds more like a season finale than a series finale. Sad.
I also don't think "Smallville" or "Lost" are all that great. "Lost" is good, but I wouldn't call it the greatest sci-fi show ever.
Old 05-06-05, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jason
As for the Trek episode, sounds more like a season finale than a series finale. Sad.
We still have two more episodes next week. Part 2 of this storyline and then the actual finale.
Old 05-06-05, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Chew
Any credibility he had with me was gone when he states Smallville is sci-fi to aspire to.
And this from the guy who wrote the masterpieces Xenocide and Children of the Mind.
Old 05-06-05, 11:32 AM
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Interesting Card rebuttal:

I would like to take a moment to respond to Mr. Card's commentary on the irrelevance of 'Star Trek'.

I'm a science fiction fan with a degree in literature who had the lucky opportunity to work as a writers' assistant on 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' for a few seasons. One of my favorite memories of that time was during a weekend off when I attended a small academic literary conference and had the opportunity to meet one of my (at the time) favorite authors, Orson Scott Card, writer of the absolutely brilliant novel 'Ender's Game'. With the kind permission of 'Deep Space Nine's' producers - many of whom were fans of Card's work as they were big science fiction readers themselves - I extended an invitation to Mr. Card for a personal tour of the set of our show and to watch some of the filming. Mr. Card seemed excited by the invitation and asked if he could bring his family along on the tour (wife, two kids). The producers granted permission for this and when Mr. Card showed up to the writers' offices, the excited 'Trek' writers provided him and his family with several signed scripts from the show and many compliments towards his work. Mr. Card seemed overwhelmed by their welcome and their familiarity with his work. I got to bring the Card family down to the sets, showing them through the various stages until we finally got to where the show was filming. They stayed for a few minutes, then seemed to lose interest and chose to leave. Still the entire family thanked me profusely for the opportunity to see how 'Star Trek' was produced. And when they left, I thought I'd done a nice thing for everyone - the 'Trek' writers got to meet a great science fiction writer they admired and a science fiction writer got to see how a show he acted like he respected was produced.

So to say I was disappointed by Mr. Card's lack of graciousness in his recent commentary to the Times about 'Star Trek' would be an understatement. In fact, it's like a slap in the face to those of us who went out of our way that day to show respect to him. But rudeness aside, I would like to address a few points in his commentary, specifically his idea that "The original "Star Trek," created by Gene Roddenberry, was, with a few exceptions, bad in every way that a science fiction television show could be bad." And his belief that "As science fiction, the series was trapped in the 1930s - a throwback to spaceship adventure stories with little regard for science or deeper ideas. It was sci-fi as seen by Hollywood: all spectacle, no substance."

The latter first. The original 'Star Trek' series, contrary to Mr. Card's opinion now, THEN was actually not only cutting edge in its concepts, but in its casting as well. A woman on the bridge of a ship? An AFRICAN-AMERICAN woman? An Asian man? A Russian? Like that was ever going to happen… oh, wait. The show employed many, many literary science fiction writers from Theodore Sturgeon to Norman Spinrad to the infamous Harlan Ellison. Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury were friends of Gene Roddenberry as well. Each week the show promoted ideas of tolerance, inspiration, imagination, risk, respect, all wrapped in a science fiction framework and reference base. This show that Card would so quickly belittle and dismiss inspired men and women of all races, colors and creeds to become doctors, scientists, engineers, leaders... not to mention writers, environmentalists, and teachers.

That the fans could find not only inspiration, but solace, kinship, and even familiarity amongst the relationships and struggles of the Enterprise crew bound them together in a way no show had before. A culture of fandom grew up around 'Star Trek', and yes, it included those stereotypical fans that William Shatner mocked in his infamous 'Saturday Night Live' sketch, telling them to 'get a life'. But we laughed along with that sketch because 'Trek' fans also had a sense of humor about themselves. 'Trek' fans are teased for being anti-social losers, but really, we're as social as anyone else - we just like to associate with people we have something in common with. And that common ground is not just spaceships and pointed ears. It's exploration, examination of the human condition, and the asking of the most important question in speculative fiction: WHAT IF?

'Star Trek' fans are those who ask that question on a daily basis. What if people were that kind, that brave, that respectful? What if we went out there? What would we find? Who would we meet? Will we survive it? 'Star Trek' fans are intelligent. They are not just mindless TV viewing automatons. They are readers. Heck, they are even readers of Orson Scott Card.

By Card listing his preferences in science fiction entertainment, though oddly, short of 'Firefly', naming nothing but fantasy series and films, he shows why 'Star Trek' doesn't appeal to him. Okay, his prerogative. Though if he perhaps watched the show he'd come to see filmed that day, he might just find that drama and compelling continuing storyline he craves.

But to make the judgment call for the rest of us that 'Star Trek' is no longer necessary seems quite a bit of hubris. While I will grant that not everything that has had the 'Star Trek' name on it, especially of late, has lived up to why original fans fell in love with it in the first place - its challenge, its tackling of current topics from war to intolerance - this does not mean that 'Star Trek' as a concept is either dead or irrelevant. I believe that as long as mankind strives to better itself, there will be a place for 'Star Trek'. As long as we look up at the stars, and out at the stars and out FROM the stars, there will be a place for 'Star Trek'. Because to me, it shows there is always a place to grow to, a behavior to strive toward, a new goal to look for. And perhaps, even something that Mr. Card could learn from as well: a respect for beliefs different than one's own.

IDIC - Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

And that's really what 'Star Trek' is all about.
http://www.writergroupie.com/columns/cardtrekcolumn.htm
Old 05-06-05, 08:13 PM
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holy crap. it's the betazoid from Tin Man (which was on spike today)
and the gay assistant guy from Nash Bridges
and obviously Robocop, but he was in the previews
Old 05-06-05, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
holy crap. it's the betazoid from Tin Man (which was on spike today)
You mean The Mayor from Buffy? Harry Groener? Always good to see him working.
Old 05-06-05, 09:23 PM
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I expected him to act like The Mayor.

Not a bad episode.
Old 05-07-05, 12:18 AM
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I liked this episode. Story and characterization were at the forefront, and not just special effects.
Old 05-07-05, 12:42 AM
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Johanna Watts...purty...
Old 05-07-05, 04:05 AM
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Good episode. There was even a cave!
Old 05-07-05, 05:19 AM
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Haven't watched the episode yet, but that article. Good grief. Lost the greatest sci-fi show ever? uhhhhh... Yeah, sure. Lost is good popcorn tv. I like the show. But it sucks as far as intelligence goes. There are so many dropped threads (Big bad monster) and, well... Screw it, I don't need to say anymore. Anyone that calls Lost the greatest sci-fi show ever needs their head examined.

I won't get into how Smallville often sucks huge donkey balls, as witnessed in this most recent episode. And how Smallville can't ever get a good ongoing plot without royally screwing it up by the end.

Quite frankly, Enterprise right now is the best sci-fi show on TV. Although I guess Carnivale might be considered sci-fi... If so, there's a contender for greatest sci-fi show ever. Babylon 5? X-Files? With shows like that he has the balls to say Lost, which has been on for like 19 episodes and hasn't shown any ability to actually do any sci-fi aspects well (really, what the hell has been revealed that makes the show sci-fi aside from the dude being able to walk?) the greatest sci-fi show ever? My mind has officially been blown.
Old 05-07-05, 12:27 PM
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I had low expectations for this episode but really enjoyed it (apart from the No-one-can-ever-visit-a-Star-Trek-ship-without-having-an-ulterior-motive plot device).

Concerning the Card article - I always thought Full House was the best Sci-fi show ever
Old 05-07-05, 05:44 PM
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Just saw the episode in my view I thought Peter Weller's performance how can I put this? It was underwhelming he was machanical in the delivery of his lines if he wore his robocop suit he would have fit right in.
Old 05-08-05, 09:23 PM
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so they have to tie this episode up and do all the normal finale stuff next week?
seems there should be at least one more episode (plus 3 seasons) before the 2 hour finale
Old 05-08-05, 10:31 PM
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Card's had a stick up his butt about Trek for years. Who knows why. Stick with what you know. I'd never pretend to write one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time, so he should steer clear of pretending to know dick about television.

As to the episode, not bad. Not great either. How's that for deep analysis?

das
Old 05-08-05, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
so they have to tie this episode up and do all the normal finale stuff next week?
seems there should be at least one more episode (plus 3 seasons) before the 2 hour finale
Next week's "two-hour" series finale is actually two seperate episodes: the conclusion to this episode and the one-hour series finale "These Are the Voyages...". UPN just wanted to dump them and be done with this show, I guess.

Last edited by TracerBullet; 05-08-05 at 11:14 PM.
Old 05-08-05, 11:22 PM
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Thought this episode was pretty good. Nice to see Mayweather getting to do more than just punch buttons.
Old 05-08-05, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by coladar
Quite frankly, Enterprise right now is the best sci-fi show on TV.
Uh, Battlestar Galactica?
Old 05-09-05, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by TracerBullet
Next week's "two-hour" series finale is actually two seperate episodes: the conclusion to this episode and the one-hour series finale "These Are the Voyages...". UPN just wanted to dump them and be done with this show, I guess.
Actually, I think it had more to do with not wanting to show the final episode on the Friday that most sci-fi fans and a lot of general audiences will be out watching Star Wars. So, it's actually a way to get the largest possible audience for the show.

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