Trek In Time

Matt and Sean talk about legends of the old west, and when to bury them. A return to some Original Series Star Trek storytelling makes for a questionable episode.

Show Notes

Matt and Sean talk about legends of the old west, and when to bury them. A return to some Original Series Star Trek storytelling makes for a questionable episode. 

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Creators & Guests

Matt Ferrell
Host of Undecided with Matt Ferrell, Still TBD, and Trek in Time podcasts
Sean Ferrell 🐨
Co-host of Still TBD and Trek in Time Podcasts

What is Trek In Time?

Join Sean and Matt as they rewatch all of Star Trek in order and in historical context.

Giddy up partners in today's episode, we're gonna talk about figuring out how to be more original star Trek than original star Trek. about enterprise episode nine of season three, north star, which dropped on November 12th, 2003. Welcome one and all to trek in time you should know by now, if you're a regular viewer.

What we're doing is we're talking about every episode of star Trek in chronological order. And we're also talking about the context that the episodes originally broadcast in. So that means right now, we're talking about season three of enterprise and therefore we are in 2003 in reality. yes. You could say that.

As far as who are we? I'm Sean Ferrell. I'm a published author. I write some stuff for kids. I write some sci-fi. And with me as my brother, Matt, Matt is the guru inquisitor behind the YouTube channel undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. And Matt, how are you doing today?

Doing pretty well pretty well.

How about you get into the regular routine of the comments and moving on, just kind of like big picture, kind of a spoiler. What did you think about today's episode?

I, uh, I did not like ,

I'll say that. Yeah, it's kind of a wild ride and there were 12 horses used in the.

Filming of this episode. So it was probably a wild ride for the actors as well. but we'll get that in a minute. First as usual, we'd like to share comments from previous episodes. Matt, do you wanna dive into the comments? Sure

from episode 57, the shipment

that we did,

which was with the Xindi we're helping the captain kind of subvert like the shipment of like the stuff that was gonna be needed for the big, big, big weapon.

They're trying to stop Lambert. Rodney said star Trek, the next generation chain of command. How many lights? R I P David Warner, Warner and Stewart first worked together in a production of Hamlet in 1965 Warner praise Stewart, who was. Early Shakespearean career at the time, I thought that was this night.

I, I didn't realize they had worked together earlier. And I just liked that. Cause it's, it's, it's interesting to see that there's kind of familiarity among some of the actors that had. Been on star Trek with Stewart, other actors

like that. Yeah. It's also interesting. The, the layers there, yeah. Are, are, are many too.

There's uh, another connection like that, which is Christopher plum. Yeah. Was in a production of Hamlet when he was younger and his understudy was William schatner and the two of them would go on in of course. Episode in, uh, star Trek six to be foils for each other in that, and, and the interesting overlapping of all these career lines and how they worked together so many times throughout their career.

And you wouldn't think that, but yeah, I was very sad to hear about David Warner's passing. I was. immediately upon hearing it. I know, you know, there were four lights, this is a great episode. And you know, it's one of the best, but for me, he will always be SAR from Tron. That was, oh yeah, that was for me as a kid seeing Tron and that character in particular, uh, that was the imprint that was made on my, my, uh, brain.


The other comment was from regular commenter pale ghost 69. And he wrote on the last. Armchair am I doing this? Right? It's what the captions told me to say. because you've, you've been telling people to say certain things, comments. I just wanna applaud pale ghosts for this.

Yes . Yes. Thank you. Pale ghosts.

Thank you for that. My mangling of the word Archer. Yes. Yes. Made it difficult for people to know what to do.

We use automated, uh, captions to generate the captions. And so it took what you said turned

into arm. Well, that's just gross. I love it. Thank you captions. We'll see what that's turned into and that noise in the background.

That's I don't want anybody at home to panic, but that's the read alert, which when we hear that, that means it's to dive into the Wikipedia description for the show, Matt. Take it away and best of luck. okay.

I struggle with these north star is the 61st episode with the American science fiction television series star Trek enterprise.

The ninth episode of the third season. It first aired on November 12th, 2003 on UPM. The episode was written by David, a Goodman and directed by David S. So in the 22nd century, the series follows the adventures of the first star fleet Starship, enterprise registration, N X oh one important information to always keep in every


I'm surprised that I'm describe what UPN is. in this

episode, the crew of the enterprise discover a lost colon of humans and the Delphic expanse. The Connie originated from a wagon train from the American old west in the 1860s, which was abducted as slave labor by an alien race called the cigars. Humans over through the cigars and now treat them as a second class citizen.


All right. As Matt just mentioned, this is from season three, episode nine, directed by David straighten, not his, this is actually his, not his first episode directing, but it is his first of the season. And David A. Goodman has been a regular writer. This is the writer that will remember. Got his way into writing for star Trek by writing an episode of future Rama, which featured the original cast.

And he effectively wrote a star Trek episode on future drama. And then mm-hmm, got to write for star Trek. This episode dropped on November 12th, 2003, and includes guest appearances by Emily Bergal who played Bethany, Glenn MOHOW who played McCreedy the sheriff and James Parks who plays deputy Benning.

What was the world like on November 12th, 2003. Well, Matt you'll remember baby boy by Beyonce. If featuring Sean Paul, remember Sean Paul. Remember how for about 18 months, everybody was like this guy's got a talent. And then everybody was like, wait a minute. Let's rethink that. . And in the movie theaters, everybody was lining up for little movie called the matrix revolutions.

If you don't know what the matrix revolutions are, then you've been living in a cave. It made $48 million on its opening weekend. And on television. Well, it's a continuing saga mat. how did star Trek do well? Enterprise pulled in about 3.9 million viewers putting it in last place amongst all the major networks Smallville on WB was getting almost 7 million ed on NBC was getting 9 million that seventies show and a minute was Stan Hooper were getting eight and 6 million respectively a minute was Stan hoop.

Which for a couple of weeks now I've been saying, I have no idea what this show is. No, I just, coincidentally happened to be watching something on YouTube and the algorithm was spinning out old David Letterman clips, uh, and among the clips were his interview with the star of a minute with Stan Hooper.

Norm McDonald. This is a norm McDonald property that I had zero memory of. Yeah. But in that little interview on YouTube, I was like, the algorithm has provided thank you algorithm. on 60 minutes, 12 million million viewers turned in to watch two stories, which I believe are unrelated. I hope so because the two stories are boys starved in adoptive homes and the grateful dead

And on ABC 11 million viewers tuned in for my wife and kids, 10 million for it's all relative. And I'm not gonna bother Googling. It's all relative. I imagine it's not about physics. It is instead about something having to do with people who are related to one another. I have zero memory of that program as well.

And from the New York times, well, it's the continuing struggle for a rock. Aid in Iraq in urgent talks at the white house by Richard Stevenson in the New York times and November 12th, L Paul Bremer III. The American administrator in Iraq made a hurried return to Washington on Tuesday as Bush administration officials held an urgent round of meetings to discuss ways of speeding up the transfer of power to Iraqs.

The meeting meetings reflected dissatisfaction with the pace of progress in Iraq and a growing conviction. That Mr. Bremer must abandon his methodical plan to move gradually toward the election of an Iraqi government over a year or two officials set as president Bush gave a veteran's day speech found to stabilize Iraq officials, including vice president at Dick Cheney, defense secretary Rumsfeld, secretary of state Powell, and condo Aliza rice, the national security advisor huddled with Mr.

Bremer in the white house situation room to plot ways of speeding the transfer of sovereignty. Also in the news at this time, turmoil in the John Kerry campaign, he was already running for president. He would, of course become the democratic party's nominee for the presidency in 2004. But at this time it was becoming known that one of his key advisors who had been a part of Edward Kennedy's staff for years was beginning to be seen as toxic and impossible to work with and was driving people from the carry.

There was also the ongoing debate on guns, specifically issues around AR 15 fully auto assault rifles. And of course we all know that that debate has not concluded. Is Dale going on even all these years later? Yeah. I wanted to share that article about a rock because I think it demonstrates a couple of things.

There was. Attack on nine 11, there was then the growing drum beat to go to war in Iraq in response to nine 11. Despite the fact there was no connection between the two and now there is the hurried let's get outta here. And it is reflective of what's been going on in this season of the show, which is picking up on the ideas of don't rush forward too quickly and carry out acts that you might regret.

Shortly after making them mm-hmm that has been the ongoing theme. As we're seeing Archer slowly come to terms with the reality that not every Xindi he is meeting is in fact an enemy and questioning. How do I carry out a mission, which is about putting off an attack that in some sense is to stop us from doing what we're doing.

Mm-hmm . I think that that was just in the air in 2003, we see now Paul Bremer being pulled back in order to speed up a transition that he had laid out as a one to two year plan. It would be less than a year later that they would ratify an Iraqi constitution and claim that the Iraqs were now in charge less than a year.

Think about that, that the speed of that is dizzy. To say we invaded in March and by the summer of 2004, in preparation for running for reelection, the Bush administration wanted to be able to say, look, we did it. We're done. Yep. So having said all of that, about how this episode, how this season is reflected in the news of the day, we then move on to an episode which has zero connection to anything that I just talked.

I will jump to production notes before we get into this episode. Okay. As I mentioned before, David Goodman had previously written episodes for. Enterprise. He wrote judgment. He wrote precious cargo. He also wrote the future epi future Ram episode where no fan has gone before. He said of this episode, which was inspired by the original series episodes, a piece of the action and patterns of force.

He was basically challenged by Rick Berman to write a story about a parallel earth that featured original series elements. He. Be following effectively, Jean Roddenberry's Bible for the original star Trek, which the original pitch of star Trek was. It's gonna be like a wagon train to the stars. You're gonna see this Starship visiting planets, where they will meet other humans who have evolved in different ways from our own.

So this episode is compared at one point in the notes that I found. that there are three times in star Trek where the old west is utilized as the setting. You have mm-hmm the, uh, original series episode where they end up in the Wyatt herp story. Mm-hmm you have a festival of datas where on the next generation, the holodeck malfunctions and inserts a recreation of data as all the major characters in a.

And his son's storyline. Yep. And you have this and this, I think, falls into the fist full of data's camp, as opposed to the original series camp where the first go around with the old west in the original series is almost like a stage play. And it is masterful storytelling in the form of the experience of the old west is not literal.

it is a metaphor that is created because of a alien force that is using the human's own history against them. Yeah. Effectively using humans history as the litness for what kind of people are you? This is just straight up. Old original series and not great original series storytelling. From my perspective, don't don't

get me started Sean.

it's this episode left me with such a me, because I felt like for what it was, it was well done, but what it was, I felt shouldn't have been done. It was out of place. Yeah.

Had no. Connection to anything. It felt like somebody on a what's a really good season, it felt like somebody slammed on the brakes and turned the wheel hard to the left.

And it was just like a screeching wheels. for going on a curbs, like, wait, where are we going? Yeah, what's happening it. I did not understand why they did this. My biggest problem was okay. So the original series masterfully done the, uh, data episode with the WARF and the sun thing. I don't like that episode.

Yeah. Um, but it made sense cuz it's on the hollow deck. The holo deck is MIS you know, going wrong. So it's like very easy to explain what's happening. Yeah. This made no logical sense in any way, shape or form. How would you put the old west into a different planet and 300 years things don't change at all.

Yeah. Where all the horses come. Like did they clean bring the horses with them? Why would they do that? yes. That makes no sense. There's so much wrong with the logic behind this, that my brain just never clicked into the episode and the other major issue for why I never clicked with this. Was it, it just started it's like, you're just, you're suddenly there.

Yeah. There's no connections to how do the enterprise find this planet? Why did they even stop to investigate it? Like none of that is ever explained. Yeah. Which is why it feels so outta context for what's going on this season. I don't understand why, uh, Berman would've challenged him to even write this episode without any connection or through line to what's actually been happening.

Because, because of that, it was just like, like, like you said, it wasn't poorly execute. Like the actual acting is really good. Yeah. The beat to beat moments are very good. There is enjoyment to be had in the episode. But for me, that did not override my biggest complaint, which was why the hell are we even seeing this right now?

Yeah. It just made no sense.

It feels very dated and it feels dated in a 1960s way. Yeah. It feels like a bad episode of the original series. The original series did stuff like this, where it was, they go to the gangster planet. Why is it a gangster planet? Well, they had a copy of a book about gangsters. And as these people evolved, they thought it was like a Bible and they used it as the template for their, their society.

They also had the, well we've gone to ancient Rome and it turns out, well, it's not actually ancient Rome. What it is is a planet that evolved like ancient Rome, but it continued to be Rome. As the power center throughout history. So there are TV shows and they have gladiatorial combat as the main form of entertainment on TV mm-hmm and like, well, the original series did a better job of contextualizing those than this does.

And this goes with the, a bunch of humans were kidnapped. And as you just pointed out, the humans were kidnapped by. More advanced people that still needed slave labor to do what exactly farming mm-hmm these, the cigars are described as being the kidnappers. So they have all of that tech to travel faster than light in space, but they need slaves because of labor.

I like, and there would be some closer species to take. Yeah. Like, and they've taken them from earth, all this distance to crash on a planet as a result of a revolt that then the humans somehow have the technology to continue to manufacture weapons and guns, and they've brought their horses and. Instead of cobbling together, a new society that then evolves in a wildly different way than the old west.

They just live permanently in the old west. It would've

made more sense if it was a modern old west. Like if it, it was, it had elements of this is very old Westerny, but it's like, yes,

different. Yes. if it had been do that, if it had looked like a evolved form of the old west where old west justice was still carried out.

Yes. And there was still a second class citizen, but then, then when you get into the second class citizen of it, all, it starts to become very muddled. Because who's the villain here? What are they saying about societal problems effectively? They are saying you can't blame people taken for slaves for the revolt, but you cannot also blame.

Everybody sucks here in a way, like it's like the former slave masters are now being mistreated and everybody is saying, well, you can't treat the son for the sins of the father, but it's unclear as to like initial motives and all of that seem to put everybody on the side of, well there's. Both sadism here that feels confusing.

And then they introduce the idea of commingling of the two species. So that's a question of like, well, are any of these humans fully human? And that, that element doesn't go anywhere. And the history that is being taught is by the end of. It's a good thing. There is no prime directive because they just fully blow up this culture by providing them with yeah.

Every bit of history post the old west. So it's not like this ends with the enterprise having a, well, they've got a culture here. We shouldn't monkey around with their culture. It is just full blown. We walk in and we've just decided these people are wrong. We're just gonna fix all of this. Yeah. And eventually the statement is even made.

We will come back eventually and make sure you are taken back to earth. What you would take people who effectively are living like it's the 18 hundreds back to 2150 earth. It would never work what? It would be a mistake, like statements like that. That just seem like this was written for, it almost feels like this was written from the perspective of, well, let's make this a kid's show.

It almost felt more like a, a kid show than a, a Saturday morning cartoon. Yeah. Like, like we can say things that don't make logical sense, but because it's for a less nuanced, a less sophisticated viewer, they're not gonna question these things. And I found myself sitting there thinking the actors are all doing a pretty good job here.

Scott Baula does a really interesting turn as a cowboy that really made me think, I wish he had done more as a cowboy. Like I wish that there was something where he played that kind of cuz he has a Gary Cooper quality to him and I'm like, he really does carry that sort of like the swagger of, I don't have a badge, but everybody looks at me and they recognize I'm on the right side of his argument and he's guided that kind of quality.

Can I add to that

for him specifically, there was one moment with him in the shootout at the end. Yes. And I was like, that is bad ass. Like the firing starts and like dirt's getting kicked up and everybody around Archer, like ducks and starts look whoa. And all he does is just turn around with a swagger and start walking forward.

Yeah. Like come that's Gary Cooper was, yeah, it was very Gary Cooper of like this doesn't scare. At all. Yeah. He just turns around and, and confronts it. And I was like, okay, that just, that moment was awesome. Yeah. I loved his, he chewed the scenery a bit, but I still really enjoyed his performance. And one of the things I got the biggest laugh out every time he was on camera was his guns and roses slash.

Hat hat that he was wearing. It was so over the top and bananas. And I was like, I love that they had him just like over the top, caricature, not even in his just performance, but the way he was dressed. It's just like, I just, I like that aspect of it, which to me ties back to that Saturday morning cartoon comment that you've brought up of.

There's a lot of cartoon business here, very larger than life. It felt very, not realistic. , I don't have a problem with that. Other than the lack of the problem with this, it doesn't fit logically into anything that's been going on. Yeah. And another thing, like when we talked about the, uh, the data episode with the haywire Hodak they don't have replicators at this point.

On star

Trek. Yeah. And yet they show up. So walking around full garb, it's

like, you wouldn't have come with Western garb on this trip, which means you made that. Yeah. How much leather do you happen to have there? How much like canvas do you happen to have on board of the ship? How'd they make six? How shoes, how long it take you to manufacturers and where do the guns come from?

Like trip uses a gun to trade for basically loaning a horse and it was. Where did you get the gun? Yeah. It's like, did you just manufacture that in engineering? It's like, well, that makes no sense. It's like, there was just so much, like you just had to really just kinda turn

your brain off and just go with it.

There's a ton. Yeah. There's a ton that just doesn't make logical sense and it is completely outside the Xindi storyline. It feels like a complete derailment of what has been a pattern. Well integrated and very interesting episodes, particularly last week's episode, which I continue to think is one of the sharpest that they've had in a while mm-hmm and then this feels like it comes out of nowhere.

It may in fact have been a cost saving episode because the set that this is filmed. Is on the universal lot. And it has been used countless times. Every time I see this old west town, I recognize it it's been used in movies and TV shows for decades. It is. If my notes are correct, it is the most used set ever.

Mm-hmm so it's an existing set. It's the first time this season they went on location. They probably went out with a couple of film crews, the main cast, only three. Extras head speaking, parts, 12 horses and shot this episode, probably fairly cheap compared to some very special effects, heavy episodes from previous weeks with intense shooting sequences and schedules around primary actors, such as.

Baula who would have to be like in the previous episode, your primary guy is involved in every single shot. And when you have that kind of extensive shooting with one actor, it it's more and more expensive, cuz it has to stretch out over days as opposed to, well, we've got. Three different storylines each with a different actor.

So we can all shoot those on the same day. And then we're not gonna cross over each other with this, with this season. Baula is almost on screen all the time. And as a result, those other episodes are probably a lot more expensive and take longer. Whereas this looked like, well, maybe a bit of a mental break for the.

Yeah, a bit of a mental break for the actors to be able to say, Hey, this is kind of fun. We're all dressed up in the Cowboys and doing an old west story straight up to the shootout at the end. Mm-hmm I don't care about modern medicine. I don't care about future medicine. I don't care how many Lees FLOX has.

Archer's shoulder is destroyed. Yes, by that shot. At the end of the episode, that was finally and gross. It was violent and gross and it included a blood pack. I think somebody on the special effects crew got a little over zealous in two ways. First in how big the explosion out of his shoulder is. And second where it's located.

It basically looks like it shot the joint out. Yes. His arm wouldn't function right after that. And I, after seeing that I was. Woo and immediately thought, well, he's not recovering from that. That's not . And then of course, he gets involved in a fist fight and uses that arm. It doesn't cause a problem, but ultimately the derailment from this episode, Is strangely okay.

From the entertainment value of the episode. Yeah. I ended up watching it and feeling like, well, I'm entertained like, yes. And even as cartoonish as it gets, all the elements that Matt talked about, it's cartoonish from another perspective, which is everything is so on the nose. You got the school teacher, who's got the heart of gold.

She's just trying to teach children who nobody. To be taught and you've got the nefarious deputy and you've got the sheriff who makes the statement for years. You have been abusing your power as a deputy. This sheriff is not a good sheriff yeah. If he's let his deputy run riot over the town, it is full of mustache.

Twirling. It is full of will darn shucks. I've just gotta do the right thing. Like it is so much of that. And yet I sat there at the end of it and I was just like, all right, even right up to the end, I will admit. The story ends with the school room. And the teacher is relying on the notes from a data pad that she has been left with all of the history that she doesn't know to teach to these kids about earth.

And as she's talking, she says, who wants to see a picture of the plane that the right brothers flew? And the sheriff is standing in the door. He raises, he raises his hand cuz he wants to see it too. And part of me. . Yeah. And I was just like, it's a well written episode from that perspective. It is a poorly conceived episode.

Overall. It is one that, as I said before, it sh shouldn't have been made, but it was it almost. And let me know if you agree with this, it felt like fan fiction really, really good fan fiction. Yeah, it was

goofy. Fun. I don't have a problem with the episode. As itself, I have a problem with the episode in context with what the hell is going on with the show.

It was just a hard left turn. Yeah. It would've been better if they had framed this as. Somebody's fever dream. It could have been like Archer. They, they went to a planet and there was some leech that got on him and he was like unconscious. And this was some weird fever dream he had mm-hmm it's like that.

Would've made sense why all these logical issues would just be explained away like that. It's like they could've done something that would've yeah. Made it a little more palatable.

Wanted to make Hoak episode, but they didn't have a Hoak

bingo, but it's also Rick Berman basically standing up and going, are you not entertained?

yes. I mean, it's like, okay. I was entertained, but

I did not like this. Yeah. Yeah. I was entertained, but please, that was enough. Yeah. so listeners, let us know. Do you agree with us this episode? Didn't really. Do you also agree with us that while it didn't fit, it was kind of fun, like yeah. A jacket that you really like the design of, but it's way too short in this sleeve.

Or do you disagree with either of those? Do you think that we're off our rack or this is a perfect episode and. You loved every minute of it. Let us know, go into the comments. You can reach out through the contact information in the podcast description, or you can jump into the comments on YouTube and Matt.

Next time we're gonna be talking about the episode, similitude, any predictions. I or do you have to look up the word similar to

no, I know what it means, but I'm like, I, I was trying to come up with a joke and couldn't come up with,

yeah. Imagine that folks. Here's another challenge for listeners. Come up with a good pun about similar to yes, yes.

Drop it in the comments below. And before we sign off Matt, is there anything you have coming up on your other podcasts that you wanted to share with the listen? Uh,

not it's not right away, but coming up soon, I'm doing a breakdown on undecided about the difference between passive house net, zero homes and retrofitting an existing home.

And which path might be better. I'm doing this because I'm building net zero home. And one of my good friends is retrofitting his. And so it's kind of a it's like which way is the better path.

Hmm. It should be funny. I would choose a passive aggressive. As for me, you can check out my website, Sean

You can find out information about my books there, or you can just go directly to a book seller like Amazon Barnes and noble or your local bookstore. All of my books are available through them and keep an eye out for future news regarding my news series, which will be coming out next year. The sinister secrets of singe, which.

Is a book for younger readers, but should be fun for the whole family. Especially if you like robots that destroy things and kids who say, why am I always in trouble? And if you'd like to support the show, please consider reviewing us on apple podcasts, Google, Spotify, wherever it was that you listen to this, go back there and leave a review, leave alike, remind your friends about the show.

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So check us out, help support us, and you can check that out. All of those ways really do help support the show. Thank you so much for taking your time and spending it. And we'll talk to you next time.