Matt and Sean talk about the Borging of it all. Enterprise has now dipped its toe into the Borg pool, which kind of undercuts previous Star Trek. Was it a good idea?
Matt and Sean talk about the Borging of it all. Enterprise has now dipped its toe into the Borg pool, which kind of undercuts previous Star Trek. Was it a good idea?
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What is Trek In Time?
Join Sean and Matt as they rewatch all of Star Trek in order and in historical context.
Hi everybody in this episode of trek in time we're gonna talk about how the writers simply couldn't resist this storyline. That's right, we're talking about enterprise episode 23 of season two regeneration.
Episode originally dropped on may seven 2003 welcome everybody to trek in time where by now you should know we're taking a look at all of star trek in chronological order and we're taking a look at how the world was at the time of the original broadcast. That means right now it's still early days. We're still in enterprise but we're right at the edge of the end of season. 2 Matt can you believe it can I believe yeah can I wait for season 3 looking forward to it.
I cannot believe it I can't wait for season 3
But right now we're at the end of season 2 so we're still looking at what was going on in the world in mid 2003 this episode was on May seventh 2003 so we're going to be talking about that and who is the we doing this talking. Well it's me I'm Sean Farrell blah blah blah I'm a writer blah blah. Write some sci-fi I write some stuff for kids and with me is my brother Matt Matt is the guru and inquisitor behind the Youtube channel undecided with Matt Farrell which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives Matt how are you doing i'm.
I'm doing pretty well how about yourself.
Okay, except for the fact like a little tongue tied there as I was trying to say Youtube it's a lot harder to say that than it sounds as usual. We like to start off our episodes with a little bit of commentary from the listeners and Matt do you have some comments that you want to share with us today.
I do from codegenittor which was the last episode we talked about there was a comment from robotrab saying another great show guys. You just touch on a point that has always kind of buggged me too. No one in Starfleet seems to get in trouble for their crimes officers have committed mutiny disobeyed orders stolen. Even who knows how much weight stolen who even knows how much shuttlecraft lied cheated even poisoned entire planets with no repercussions about the only things a starfleet officer gets in trouble for is joining the maqui or going back in time and that was my big complaint. No ramifications.
Ah, tied to that was a comment from diet co while I agree with Sean that the morality play is strong and stands on its own I'm actually more in mind with Matt on this one I consider the internal the internal show ship with its crew as a consistent existing presence in this universe. Trip doesn't suffer any actual consequence. Why should we? Why should he ever think about his own actions and how they'll reflect on his captain crew species and he goes on about that. So it's like once again, the comment about the lack of ramifications is a bit of a problem and then there was a comment from.
Ah, Eboss, this could have easily been a mayweath episode with him being the explorer for once. Ah the cogenitor character had little depth written into it to anthropomorphize it in this way. Ah trips empathy is too quick and feels forced. It's just like you guys say. There is a delicate story here but the shortcuts the episode takes kind of undermine. It.
Very good comments I agree with the vision of it's important for there to be consistency with me episodes I Completely agree with that. That's one of the big things that we're gonna be talking about as an ongoing presence in this Podcast. We're. 1 of the big things that we're both going to be talking about are consistency within the shows from episode to episode and for me if something is not consistent I think that it can be balanced a bit if just the strength of the writing is good enough. So it's It's I think that's the balancing act that we were talking about last time.
So I appreciate those comments those are really really good for context in not only the episode but what we're trying to do with this podcast. So thanks to everybody for weighing in and oh what's that noise. Oh Matt it's a read alert. Can only mean 1 thing it's time for you to get into the Wikipedia description. Unfortunately for you. It's a long one again this time. So best of luck we're talking about regeneration people and that can only mean 1 thing get ready for some borg.
Regeneration is the forty ninth episode of the American Science Fiction Television Series Star Trek Enterprise the twenty third episode of the second season it first aired on May seventh two thousand and three the upn network in the United States okay we already established that being an american science. Okay.
The episode was written by Mike Sussman and Phyllis strong and was directed by David's David Livingstone it was a followup to the feature film star trek first contact was it. Set in the twenty second century the series follows the adventures of the first starfleet starship enterprise registration NX 0 1 in this episode I'm sorry it feels like it feels a copy paste from so many of these descriptions in this episode a research team and the arctic inadvertently triggers.
Keep going. You're going to have to take a deep breath take a deep breath.
Reanimation of several cybernettically enhanced aliens killed in an apparent spacecraft crash over one hundred years earlier the aliens assimilate the researchers before escaping into space the enterprise pursues the ship and is attacked forcing archer to destroy the vessel afterwards they discover that the aliens sent a message into the delta quadrant. Containing the coordinates of earth a message that will not arrive until the twenty Fourth century wow
Um, yeah, here's the crazy thing about ah one of the crazy things I think about the synopsis in particular in this podcast in general is our regular listeners will remember that there are episodes especially at the beginning of the podcast and i'm. Very hesitant to go back and listen to them because I'm terrified of what I would hear we used to get lost in the murky murky weeds of plot points and getting like literally seen by scene and talking about these things and that was largely my fault because I didn't know what I was doing in the early days I still don't know what I'm doing but I'm having more fun.
So the thing about this synopsis is by the end of the synopsis. It actually does a really good job of synopsizing the episode. It has that first paragraph which is completely pointless and reminds you multiple times. It's an american television program. Thank you for that reminder.
But the synopsis isn't half bad and it makes me recognize that what we need to be doing is figuring out if the synopsis doesn't actually synopsize the episode as nicely as this we need this synopsize the episodes as nicely as this so well done synopsis. You did a half assed job and that half was pretty good. So.
That brings me around to talking about the particulars of the episode as it was mentioned this was by Sussman and strong. We've seen their writing before they are very familiar names for enterprise and it was directed by David Livingston he is this season in season 2 he's directed 2 other episodes and he's one of the more competent directors on the show. And I think that that shows in this episode as well. The original air date was may seventh two thousand and three and guest appearances included admiral forrest was back end played by Vaughn Armstrong as usual there is Jim Fitzpatrick Patrick as commander Williams Chris Wayne as Dr Monger Benita Frendrey as Rooney John short as Drake and Paul Scott as a lieutenant foster most of these people appear the the trio of researchers appear at the front end of the episode and are very quickly dismissed as characters in the episode. When we finally rejoin this action as it takes place on the ship when they go to enterprise as I mentioned the air date was may 7 2003 so in a strange bit of coincidence like we're kind of in time with that. So kind of a strange meshing. And if we had actually recorded this episode when we had originally intended to record it. We would have been recording it on or about the seventh. So very strange.
That's weird. Yeah.
And what was the world like when this episode aired well Matt you'll remember you were dancing your little heart out to when I'm gone by 3 doors down a song that if you asked me to sing it with the threat of death I would be a dead man and the movie theaters. Well Matt you were lining up for x 2 and you're saying x 2 the heck is that well we'll all remember that x two also marketed as x-men united and internationally as x-men too because I guess internationally they decided not to be so silly about what they named it. It's the 2003 superhero film directed by Brian Singer and it was the revisiting all the x-men characters that had been introduced in the first x-men film as everybody knows I'm sure this would include Patrick Stewart Hugh Jackman Ian Mckellen Haley Berry Famke Jensen James Marston yada yada yada a thousand different people. And all in all, it's a pretty good film. It made $85000000 in its opening week and on television. What were we watching? Well Matt you and I were watching enterprise as well. Ah, right, along with us worth 4000000 other viewers. So a pretty steady pace for enterprise at this point. But it was by no means leading the chase it was up against shows like my wife and kids and George Lopez which were getting about 9000000 viewers. That's right, the prime time edition of star search that show that Matthew and I do not believe actually happened was also getting 9000000 viewers that 70 s show an american idol. We're getting 11 and 22000000 viewers respectively on Fox Dateline was pulling in 9000000 on Nbc and Dawson's creek well once again, we find out that Dawson's creek has what it takes to beat up enterprise they had almost 5000000 viewers so star trek enterprise was in last place for the week the big winner for the week though was Csi which had 25000000 viewers on Cbs and in the news, the New York Times here we go once again with. Looking back at old news which is strange in its alignment with today's news on May seventh two thousand and three the New York Times included articles such as this one. The sars epidemic frontline research by Lawrence Alman the death rate from sars may be significantly higher than health officials had thought up to 55% in people 60 and older and up to 13.2 % in younger people the first major epidemiological study of the disease suggests
mortality rates are bound to change somewhat as an epidemic continues but unless the numbers fall drastically sars could be among be among infectious diseases with the highest death rates until now fatity rates reported by the world. Health organization had ranged from 2% the epidemic first detected in March to seven point two so here we were in 2003 talking about this little known disease family called sars which could potentially have a larger impact and it's good to know. We were paying attention and we prepared accordingly. Yeah.
We were prepared for a pandemic. That's right? Oh boy.
So we'll leave the news and the Tv shows and the movies behind and we'll jump into the twenty second century on March First Twenty one 53 when a team of researchers goes to the Arctic circle now Matt I am going to jump. Into a couple of questions for you because based on your reading of the synopsis I wonder if something was lost on you did you pick up on the fact that this was a continuation of first contact see that's.
What do you mean? No, it did not.
1 of my major complaints about this episode. We start with a story that's in the arctic circle with characters. We do not know and we end up. Yeah, we end up.
Which is a problem I've complained about before.
With what looks very much like an homage to John Carpenter is the thing. Yes, the thing so in the first few minutes of this episode I am left with well I know what they are seeing and they do not.
That was my first note I wrote myself was the thing exclamation mark.
And these are not characters I care about. So I right out of the gate was in the midst of this ain't good because these are not characters. We care about this is not like we're seeing trip and archer on an ice planet finding a bunch of borg and starting to thaw them out.
And not knowing what they're doing this is complete strangers doing something that we as the audience members know is not a good idea. It struck me that you don't want your audience knowing everything ahead of. Your protagonists because you suck every bit of tension out of the proverbial room and in this case, it was the the arctic tents that they were using I found all the sort of. Future Arctic exploration sci-tech babel fine I found like their equipment their ship that they had brought with them to do all this stuff. The fact that they were there. Not as part of starfleet but in conjunction with starfleet fine. All of that was. It was literally just well. This is fine but it really made me think they were starting the episode in the wrong place. What did you think.
Um, I completely agree. It was the I can remember how long the opening was it felt like it went on forever and it was like this has no relation to anything with the enterprise at all and it was nothing New. Because once again, they're using something that we're so familiar with as Star Trek fans. It was like ah it's borg. All these people are gonna Die. They're gonna become borg and then bad stuff is gonna happen cause borg there was this there was there was really nothing to it. So for me, there was no tension. There was no interest. It didn't hook me and the fact that it felt like. Movie The thing to me. Um I Also wrote a note to myself saying in general in the episode I kind of like this but it feels a little like fan fiction like what if Star Trek met the thing and it was like it. It didnt nothing was really clicking but there were. Elements of the episode that I did like but in general I thought it was kind of a just it was off just because the way they set it up.
Yeah, it made me feel like I was of 2 minds at once. It made me feel a little bit out of my own head because I found myself thinking? Well I either want more of this thing oma the thing omage I want this all to be what it was.
A bunch of scientists on the planet doing this and make it literally just a bottle episode if you're going to be that bold is to tell a story about humans in the twenty second century interacting with the borg be that bold to do that leave the enterprise out of it and just make it about some set of. Humans scrambling to survive against them and literally make a fan fiction episode or you got to lop it off and you've got to just jump to could this episode have worked and I'm asking you this legitimately. Do you think this episode could have worked if it had started with the enterprise getting communication from earth saying.
Something weird just happened in the arctic circle a team of researchers went missing and we think we tracked their ship leaving the system and heading toward you can you intercept? Do you think that that as a beginning is an opening tease could have worked better than what was in the show.
It would have but at the same time as soon as you start to give any kind of hint as to what's going on because this is a villain from the series that is so well known it would immediately be popping that balloon attention like there was no way around it. And for me the other side of it is this is the problem when you mess with time and kind of show. Um, we know we know what happens with the borg. We know before the show has even aired its first episode. What happens to the borg. So the fact that they're using this as a oh tension borg. What's going to happen. It's like yeah we know nothing's going to happen because every show that came after this in the timeline has dealt with the borg and has existed which to jump to the end of this episode that whole from the description where it's like.
The the signal was sent to the Delta Quadrant and it's going to be to the twenty Fourth Century blah blah blah my first thought was and I wrote this down of this completely undercuts the next generation setup of the borg because q is the one that introduces humanity to the borg. He throws the enterprise.
Yes. Um, right.
Into the Delta Quadrant they meet the borg I remember Gynun saying something like they're not supposed to meet them yet and everything goes back and it's like okay now the borg knows humanity exists and they're coming for you and this tries to set it up as if this is what did it and it's like no, you can't have your cake and eat it too here. This is. Completely Bizarre and stupid which is why?? Yeah oh boy.
Can I put my little writer hat on for a minute moment and have my cake and eat it too without going too hip deep into the series. Picard. 1 of the things that Trek is now toying with are things about motivations of q and you could take the tact of saying if the enterprise had not been thrown as far as they were to actually meet the borg. The borg conceivably could have shown up at earth totally unexpected and because of how they operated immediately been able to subjugate earth q may have shown up and done it in a mustache twirling way. But he may have known well that signal just got to the borg. The borg now know about earth so I'm going to make sure that earth knows about the borg and throws the enterprise out to meet them that is yeah.
Okay, so okay, that's a very cool interpretation but the problem is that's not in the text of any of the movies. Any of the shows right? sign the text.
Right? Absolutely absolutely It's not It's not in the text I absolutely get it and I again not to go to spoiler or too deep into ah shows that we're not talking about yet. We'll be talking about Picard probably in 15 years so stay tuned everybody to hear our thoughts about Picard although we or we will be talking yeah about it in our subscriber only podcast which we will be releasing to subscribers very soon. You may see it in your inbox shortly after this episode drops and.
Or the after dark.
We will. In fact, be talking about Picard there but without going too deep and too spoilery into that there were actors involved in Picard who revealed after being in it. That they were pleased with certain events in the series because it matched the head canon that they had created for themselves so this is from an actor within the show saying I had an idea of what my character would have done and I was so pleased to see that and picard they gave me the chance to do that and make it legitimate. Canon instead of it just being my idea about what would happen so I completely agree with you. There's nothing to make what I just suggested real within the canon of the series I think this episode does that again and again and again.
In a way that undermines the value of this episode and just to cut through into 2 different aspects of this episodes that stood up 1 is about what I just said directly this episode was intended to be a follow on.
First contact the spheroid ship that the borg release in first contact that goes back in time to the era of zephym cochrane. That's the remains of the ship that are crashed at the north pole. That's the ship they're finding and in the episode archer has a flashback.
To remembering every speech He's read by Zephym Cochrane everything zephym cochrane ever said or wrote down and he remembers the weird Princeton graduation speech speech that zephym cochrane gave in which he talked about cyborgs from the future. In first contact zephym cochrane is beautifully depicted as being a drunk. So the idea that within the end of his life. He was a hard drinking sometimes loose lipped and had to backtrack and explain away basically at the end of his life. He would have largely been. Leaning heavily on the idea of well I'm just a drunk so ignore most of what I say so kind of generating that that reputation for himself in order to get out of the mistakes of having over revealed stuff about the borg invasion of the past.
So this episode was intended to directly be that connective tissue. It was unnecessary and as you said Matt because it's teasing out an element of well that signal's going to take so long to get there. It will be the twenty fourth century before it's ever picked up. Buy the borg home world. You're left with having to either say well ultimately then this episode doesn't matter at all or you're left with having to come up with a creation like I did explaining oh. So q wasn't just being a jerk and saying humanity. You're not ready to be out here he was actually saying humanity you're not ready to be out here I'm going to help you which then is an ah a turn to the q character that again is not supported by anything. In all the experiences we've seen of q so.
Okay, so can I just say something about this this brings up two problems I have 1 up two problems. It's like I mentioned I enjoyed the episode there was aspects of it I enjoyed like there was the cat and mouse game with the ship and how the crew was reacting to the fight. It was like I was interested in that.
To see how archer and the crew would handle it but I never felt concerned that there were ever an actual danger so there was no threat but I did enjoy aspects of seeing how their characters would react which is why I keep saying it felt like fan fiction to me. Um, so it was meaningless. It was just like oh well, how would they react to this? um. But it does bring up the question of like why they? why? the creators of this series kept relying on villains from the Star Trek Universe the way they were especially the borg which are something that's from future series. It's like.
It's irritating when we keep bringing up of oh they keep relying on the klingons and they keep relying on X and they keep relying on Y and it's like oh now they're bringing in the borg. It's like are you are you joking and I'm not gonna give anything away but I've been watching the new Star Trek series of strange New Worlds and in a nutshell I'm loving this show so far.
And I watched episode 2 totally new, totally unique, but it's still in timeline of the whole series and it's like exhilarating to see wonderful exciting star trek new sci-fi ideas.
Being explored with characters. You're starting to get to know and care about it's like why couldn't have enterprise been doing more of that and which is why keep saying can we please fast forward to season 3 because it's like they actually start to do new and interesting things in season 3 of the show. It's so infuriating that the show keeps relying on the.
Old the old stuff just bringing up just drudging up old stuff again and again.
It it? Yeah, it really does speak of the the exhaustion on the the part of the makers that you and I have talked about in previous episodes and to speak directly to the point of what is it that brought them to this. There was. In my research, a note I found about regeneration was intended to follow up on the events depicted in star trek first contact and Brandon Braga initially refused to feature the borg in enterprise calling it quote a cheap trick he was right? he was right.
There you go.
However, he agreed to them appearing in regeneration when it was suggested saying that this was such a great concept. He couldn't resist it I Wish he had a little bit more and one of the things that I think is ah the kind of Yardstick for how hard should he have resisted it Voyager took.
Yes, it away. Yeah.
Place in the Delta Quadrant and did not lean heavily on the borg. It had a borg character but it didn't over rely on the borg as the threat constantly and to show this as an element of. Enterprise really did feel like a cheap trick. It felt like yes I could I could say that I was not going to say that but there was also this element and here's where I think.
I guess you Sean you could say resistance is futile. He should have resisted but he didn't.
They were able to resist writers Judith and Garfield reeves stevens pitched a story to be used for season 5 of enterprise which would have followed up on the events in regeneration they intended to bring actress alice krieg back to star trek as a starfleet medical technician. Who makes contact with the borg seen in regeneration and then this would have turned krieg who played the borg queen in first contact into the borg queen I am so glad they didn't make that episode.
I'm so glad they didn't do that.
I Think it would have been it would have been fan service that would have been both completely unnecessary and would have just been so lazy. It would have just been such a lazy fan fiction a moment a couple of details about the episode that don't stand out in any way shape or form.
The Arctic explorers the researchers one of them is a woman this was in fact, Billingsley Dr Fox his wife and when she auditioned for the part. Everybody who knew that she was his wife.
Oh Wow I didn't know that.
Stayed out of the room so she went through the audition process and got cast in the show completely on her own on her own merits. But I do love the fact that Billingsley suggested more than once that she should play all of his wives.
That's great. That's great.
In the show I thought that was a ah neat a neat little ah footnote to her being there ultimately the thing in this episode that stood out as for me, the most interesting component. Was flox's fighting of the infection of the nanites. There were certain lines of dialogue especially in the beginning of the episode that just stuck out as like these are supposed to be twenty second Century Scientific researchers and 1 of them looks at a microscope and says I guess you could call them nanites.
Like like like ah right, let's not dumb down the dialogue too much for an audience in the twentieth century you could have just said these are naites look at these nanites I found these nanites are fixing these bodies. Why are these bodies dead but they have nanites that are functioning. This is amazing instead. They're like I guess you could call them.
Nanites Ah flox gets infected by the nanites and he figures out effectively a cure I found that storyline very moving watching the doctor prepare for and. Going through the tortured process of trying to do this work while also as he says at the end he was beginning to hear the voices he was beginning to hear the conversation with the string of numbers and the string of numbers would have eventually be revealed to be the star coordinates for Earth. So.
The voices. Yeah yeah.
His memory of that experience is the the borg collective but as he is doing his research. He even prepares a kill switch for himself and the impact of that on archer the impact of Sato's visit thought was nicely rendered of her coming down with the food for the animals and she's gonna take care of his menagerie of animals while he's struggling with this and he warns her away but she refuses to leave saying like you've been there for me I want to be here for you and really at this point. The show has no, there's no doubt left that the crew is connected in this visceral way and that's it's really a very positive set of scenes when the people that care about flocks are revealing their concern. And archer's near refusal to say like we're not going to kill you and flock saying there's there's no other option and he's absolutely right? and within the context of the episode I really liked all of that within the context of star trek it goes back to something you pointed out everything that happened here.
Undermines the Enterprise D's inability to recognize who these aliens are they would be on record they would have a they would have a solution. Okay, we've got Locutis put him in the chamber.
Exactly because now would be on record they would have evidence. It would be all the stuff.
And blast him with Oma Con radiation and that will free picard from being a borg instead what we know is that data has to plug himself into the collective and communicate through picard to like this episode simultaneously does something very cool and something really bad.
Yeah, it's fan. It's fan fiction. It's fan fiction. That's all it is.
It undermines the entire series. Yeah, so at the end we're left with a well-made fan film and I gave them props for reusing old sets they pulled stuff out of. Mothballs that had been used most recently in Voyager in order to bargify the enterprise I I thought as Matt mentioned some of the tension out of how will they deal with this I thought some of that was clever I thought that there were elements of the borgification of the enterprise trip having to. Undo as he called it all this garbage get this garbage out of here in order to bring the ship back to how it's supposed to be that was interesting and 1 aspect that I thought really stood out as this is something that is actually from a filmmaking perspective really cool that they did this the first time that they encounter. The aliens that have been captured by the borg and they're still in the early stages of transition. We see them running through the jeffreys tubes of the enterprise. Their hair is beginning to fall out their skin is beginning to change the slow motion effect of becoming a borg I thought was well rendered.
So all of that I was just like this is really well produced. They took time and effort and put it into this and the shots of the arctic crash site of the borg ship I even thought this does what it's supposed to do. It's evocative of that borg ship from first contact. It's showing the size of this vessel and it's also providing you with the teaser that's very thing like of something from another world was left here.
It would have to go back with what you said in the very beginning it might this episode might have actually worked better if it had no connection to the enterprise at All. It was just in the antarctic it really was just the thing and it was a small group of these scientists that have this happen to them and the last survivor. Destroys the entire facility to make sure that this does not escape in in destroying it that explains why it's not on record, we still haven't learned about it but it happened and it could be the enterprise coming back to earth and discovering like there was some kind of explosion in the antarctic we needed to go check it out.
Earth has no idea bright.
And they go there and they they look and find this smoldering Crater. They're like what happened to you and they walk away that would have been a better way to handle this. But again I'm a big fan of I I care about these characters and I want to know about them and see their evolution I do not want to see random character X that I will never see again. So It's like. And understand why they didn't go that direction but it probably would have been a stronger episode.
Yeah, absolutely agree so listeners. Let us know. Do you agree? Do you think this episode was well done but almost in spite of itself and well done. But maybe it shouldn't have let us know. You can leave a comment in the comment section directly below this episode or you can find the contact information in the podcast description Matt next time we're going to be talking about first flight you want to guess as to what we're talking about.
The Wright brothers.
It's either going to be the Wright Brothers or archer makes a paper airplane but no spoilers. We're goingnna let you find out what that's about and that before we sign off is there anything you going remind our listeners about.
Just to check out our other podcast still to be determined where Sean and I talk about the kind of the ongoing conversation beyond my undecided Youtube videos.
As for me I'd like to remind people once again, we talked about it briefly in this episode we are starting a subscribers only podcast a spinoff of this one and subscribers. You will be getting it automatically in your inboxes keep an eye out for that. And if you want to support us. You can become a supporter by going to trek in time show click the become a supporter button. It allows you to throw coins at our heads and you will now start getting our secondary podcast in which we will be talking about newer trek trek that we're in. We're consuming right now but without the concern about like what was the world like well look at your window people and we'll also be talking about anything that crosses our paths stuff that we find interesting so might be movies might be Tv shows might be books might be comics who knows but it's. Probably going to be in the vein of Marvel movie star wars star trek you name it so subscribers I hope you enjoy that. All of that is coming your way. Don't forget to leave a review on Apple or Google. Or Spotify or wherever you found this podcast. You can subscribe and leave a review share us with your friends all of that really does help the channel. Thank you so much for listening everybody and we'll talk to you next time.