Matt and Sean talk about going home, classic horror, and … uh… timeliness?
Matt and Sean talk about going home, classic horror, and … uh… timeliness?
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Join Sean and Matt as they rewatch all of Star Trek in order and in historical context.
Hey, everybody in this episode. We're gonna be talking about going home after a long time away and finding out you're not the only one that's growing up and also what to do when Dr Frankenstein creates his monster. That's right, we're talking about episode 20 of season 2 this is horizon an episode that recently aired on April Sixteenth Two Thousand and three welcome to trek in time where we're watching every episode of star trek in chronological order and we're taking a look at when it dropped in our history. Right now we're still early days looking at enterprise in the second season which means we're also looking at 2003 and who are we well I'm Sean Farrell I'm a writer I write some sci-fi I write some stuff for kids and with me is my brother Matt Matthew is the guru and inquisitor behind the Youtube channel undecided with Matt Ferrell which takes a look at emerging tech and. Impact on our lives Matt how you doing today. Well as regular listeners and viewers might know we did not drop an episode last week that was not by design that was because of covid I last friday.
I'm doing pretty well how about yourself.
Woke up feeling like I wasn't quite right and I wasn't wrong Mid Morning I took a covid test discovered I had contracted it and I've spent the past week recovering and in an example of the science can work. Vaccines and boosters helped me get through the illness without it being much more than a flu and the same goes for my partner. She also contracted it and has come through it as well. We're still testing positive. We're still taking precautions. We're still keeping ourselves out of the public. But we are both clearly on the mend and so we're feeling better and there were some people in the community who reached out to me when they found out that I had covid and they said they hoped I recovered quickly I appreciate all the support Thank you so much to everybody. So today's episode we're talking about horizon. This is an episode from April Sixteenth Two Thousand and three Matt big picture. What do you think.
Ah I'm gonna feel like a broken record because once again I'm kind of like man.
Yeah, yeah I think that this overall was ah I'm in the same vein I felt like maybe it was a little too little too late and yeah, there are. Broken record for this series. At this point seems to be everybody involved in the show knows what they're doing but they're just not doing quite enough of it. So yeah.
I'm look I'm looking forward to the next season because that's where things take a nice turn.
Before we get into the nitty gritty Matt do you have any any comments from previous episodes that you want to share with us.
I do from the episode judgment which was the klingon trial episode pale goes 69 wrote I was so distracted by the gavel gauntlet that I almost missed the episode is the ball flint or the is is is the ball flint or the sounding block. How heavy is it. Has the judge ever lit his clothes on fire. Anyways I found the episode kind of meh and after hearing you guys talk about the fan service. It makes me wonder if this was a script from another show that got made madlib with star trek terminology seems like something more out of andromeda or farscape. But with a single coat of klingon paint he went on and ended it with also the thumbnail for our episode could have been to kill a mockingbird of prey since it would have fit the gratuitous amount of fan service in this episode I like that a lot. Um, the other comment was from mako. And he said loved the idea that Colos is Socrates accepting the laws even when they don't make a lot of sense and that whole moral debate this writer also wrote on the Orville along with Bragga and some other tech trek writers. There were several episodes there that have a similar perspective. Love the video keep them coming. So thank you mako for that I wanted to I wanted to read this because I wanted to kind of mention the Orville um sadly the Orville is a better star trek show than this season of an official star trek show if you haven't watched the Orville I strongly recommend watching. It's a lot of fun.
Yeah, that's a series that I haven't checked out yet but everybody who I know who's into Star Trek says it's worth the time and it has that Galaxy Quest feel as well. How Galaxy Quest in a lot of people's hearts including my own.
Is a star trek movie even though it's not a star trek movie. It's it hits those notes I'm sorry I couldn't hear myself over that. What is that? Oh it's it's a read alert that can only mean 1 thing Matt get ready.
And I mean that seriously get ready because this is a long one. This is the synopsis for this episode from Wikipedia and here we go Matt good luck.
Oh dear oh dear god horizon is the twentieth episode. This is so long you won't me to read this whole thing. Whoa.
Um, you'll be Okay, yes, this whole thing is the synopsis. This is the synopsis.
Horizon is the twentieth episode of the second season of the Science Fiction Television Series Star Trek Enterprise and originally aired on April Sixteen Two Thousand and three on upn the episode was written by Andre ah bormanis and directed by James Ake Conter the episode's guest stars include Nicole Forrester who had previously appeared in http://startrekdeepspace 9 Joan Pringle and Corey Mendell Parker all right set in the twenty eight like. Ah, set in the twenty second century the series follows the adventures of the first starfleet starship enterprise registration nx zero one when the ship detours to observe volcanic activity on a planet ensign may with her Anthony Montgomery takes the opportunity to visit his family on board. The ecs horizon. Montgomery had previously just suggested the appearance. The appearance of mayweather's parents at the end of season 1 and was pleased to see them introduced several sets to create the horizon were created on a soundstage with the related scenes filmed in the second half of the episodes shoot after the main cast. Dismissed with the exception of montgomery critical response was mixed and the episode received the lowest ratings for the first run episode for a first run episode of the series so far viewed by 3 point 3 6000000 viewers Holy crap Sean.
Wow! Yes, that is quite a synopsis to any of our viewers or listeners who haven't experienced it I think that the best way to encapsulate how a synopsis like this can come into being.
Yeah, that's insane.
I would recommend going to Youtube and searching for the video too many cooks too many cooks. It's there's a point where the Wikipedia allowance of anybody be able to go in and revise starts to well.
Let's just say it can create more of a mess than it needs to so as was said this is from season 2 episode twenty James Contonner was the director Andre Barmanis was the writer and it originally dropped on April Sixteenth Two Thousand and three and I think we'll. Remember some of the world that this episode dropped in. For example Matt I know you were still into club with ¢50. That's right, that was the number 1 song in the country at the time and in theaters we were just finding out about anger management which earned $42000000.
People may remember that anger management is a 2003 american buddy comedy directed by Peter Segal and written by David Dorfman it stars Adam Sandler Jack Nicholson marisa tomay Louis Goodsman Woody Harlson and John Tuterro and the film tells the it's it's.
I Have no memory of this movie. Ah.
It's interesting. This is the first movie for me in a while where I have not only clear recollection of having seen the movie but having very mixed response to it. It is a movie that as time has gone by I appreciate it more than when I originally saw it I did not like it when I saw it originally.
But it's one of those movies that I think it was doing some things in a way that was a little more subtle than the filmmakers actually allowed it to be like I think under a slightly different director. It could have hit on some better notes. Um. The movie would go on to make one hundred and ninety five million and if anybody's curious about it. It's on Hbo Max right now and on television. What were we watching on April Sixteenth Two Thousand and three well only about three point six million three point four million people were watching enterprise. Everybody else was tuning into my wife and kids George Lopez star search again that program that is from another parallel universe I have a feeling that in the next marvel movie Dr. Strange in the multiverse of madness. There's going to be a multiverse scene where.
You're going to see Dr Strange watching star search in the prime time on Cbs and there's that 70 show american idol dateline and Dawson's creek Dawson's creek being the only show that enterprise was beating as far as its viewership but from a share perspective meaning a share of.
Or he's on it.
Televisions that the program was actually viewed on it actually beat star trek so there were more television sets tuned in to Dawson's creek than enterprise but there were more people watching enterprise than Dawson's creek so you figure that out. And for the week top show was american idol with 19000000 people almost twenty and no surprises there considering the juggernaut that that show continues to be to this day and in the news from the New York Times April Sixteenth Two Thousand and three headlines included we were now in April. And we'll remember that March was when the us invaded Iraq but at this point, the pentagon was already claiming that fighting was done us troops and iraqi patrols were patrolling together and the us was talking about how rebuilding of the iraqi government would begin and spoiler. We know how that's turned out since then so this episode is the first episode in a while to have an actual date. This is January Twenty One 53 so happy new year enterprise crew and as we find out at the beginning of the episode. The enterprise is tootling away in space and they are ordered to turn around and go back to examine the potential destruction of a planet that they had passed which is now going between 2 gas giants. In its own system and the enterprise is ordered to go back because of scientific endeavors given the opportunity to do so well, we finally get something that it turns out the actor montgomery also wanted. We get an opportunity to double back and.
The enterprise will be passing close enough to mayweather's home ship the horizon and mayweather asks for a leave so that he can visit his family aboard the horizon for the very touching reason of his father being ill and sadly we find out very quickly. His father has actually passed away six weeks earlier so it is now turned into a bittersweet visit by mayweather to his home. The setup of this episode you and I have talked previously about how. Mayweather is an underutilized character. He's never given time. Ah interesting things about his backstory or presented in the first season that are never explored and you and I complained about it from the perspective of.
And they never did anything with it and then we sit down for this week's episode I start watching it and I thought egods they did do something with it. Why don't I remember and then by the end of the episode.
And here it is.
Ah, remembered why I didn't remember the setup of this episode the promise of this episode. It is very hard for Enterprise at this point which is now laboring.
You had 7 years of voyager you had 7 years of deep space 9 and you had 7 years of next generation you had 21 years of programming under the older model of how many episodes per season were made numbers now are very different. So now we have you know new series that are coming out on Paramount plus with the new strange new worlds or discovery shorter series runs different ways of writing episodes the the construction of a season looks very different than it used to so you can't really apples to apples.
With a new program versus these older programs but enterprise was of that era so following on the heels of 21 years worth of programming. It is very hard for the smallest. Kid in the family to live up to the big brothers and big sisters in the family and this episode right out of the gate I'm thinking they've constructed a episode which is going to revolve around the same themes as the show family from next generation which is I think. 1 of the best pieces of writing in the entirety of next generation and what they end up doing with mayweather and his family and the dilemmas that they put them in. Amounts to so little as to not matter. It has no bearing on anything going on on the ship other than the potential there is a tease at a moment of perhaps mayweather won't go back to the enterprise right now.
But even that feels like a splash of a pebble in a bucket as opposed to in the episode family where the potential for Picard to not return to the enterprise is ah a gigantic tidal wave for the series.
Well the character development in family picard goes through a catharsis in that episode because he's never grappled with what happened to him with the borg and so that episode is all about the main character from the show that we know and we love and we're tied to.
Watching him grapple with something horrible that we went. He went through in previous episodes. It pertains to the main series. It pertains to the character. We care about the character development in this episode is all mayweather's family. It's really not midweather. It's his mother coming to grips with things. It's his brother learning to be a commander and to accept that his brother left it's like all the people that have the evolution of character are characters. We've just met and don't give to craps about and the guy that we are supposed to care about. We barely know so it's like there's no, there was never there was never buildup for the and there was no payoff so it. Completely fell and that's I'm I'm right with you of I completely forgot about this episode. it's a it's a nothing burger. It's a episode. The acting is fine. The dialogue is fine. The action sequences are fine, but there's nothing to take away from it and that raises one thing I wanted to kind of bring up. Which is here's a show that is set at the beginning of the federation at the beginning of starfleet they're trying to brag Braga is basically whenever they write episodes and they they figure out what the storyline is that they're doing. They're basically just replicating what has been done on every other show. And the star trek lore they're at a time period where there is a lot of change happening for humanity and change is hard and change means not everybody's going to be on board and the fact that there's potential conflicts within humanity as to what what it means to be explorers and go out to space when we have. Problems over here and here and here why were they not exploring that conflict within humanity instead. All they're they're doing is humanity is 1 unified whole even at this point in the show and all the enemies are from without the conflict with the vulcans the conflict with the anddorian the conflict with the the klingons. That's star trek we already know it would be far more interesting to see humanity not completely cohesive yet not in complete agreement and you have factions of these shipping lanes of people that are making a living just like the truckers of the galaxy doing their work and they don't like what's changing because Starfleet's taken over.
We literally just had a trucker revolt in Canada and like like we literally just had that and that kind of thing within this store trek star trek lore would have been. It's never been done. It would have been an interesting perspective.
And their jobs are going to correct? Yes, yes, it's ever been Done. It would have been New. Interesting unique and we've talked about how like ah. Like braggga and all the other producers and writers of the show. They've been doing it for decades seem tired. They seem to be out of ideas. They seem to be kind of like going to the well of old ideas. Why didn't they do this I'm sure it would have been more interesting for their creativity and their enjoyment to go down this path and they didn't It's so frustrating.
Yeah I think that I agree with everything you just said and and I you know for better or worse. Um on this series that you and I have we put on our rewriter hats. And you know jump into revising the the script I'm going to do that right now everything in this show should have been inverted meaning mayweather goes home. He goes home finds out his father's already passed away mayweather on the enterprise. Has already demonstrated a certain unwillingness to challenge authority an unwillingness to step across a line and challenge authority he's reliant on authority above him knowing what's going on lean into that he goes home. And he is reluctant to push against a power structure that he feels has formed in the the years that he hasn't been there. He's reluctant to push back against his brother. He's reluctant to push back against his mom instead of what you have in the series which. Does not in this episode which does not make any sense. His brother is arguing with him against any change to the status quo I think it would have been far more interesting for his brother to be pumping him for information of can you help us squeak a little bit more out of these engines. Can you do something to give us better shielding and better weapons. Can you do these things. What can what have you learned in starfleet that could help us and for mayweather to be reluctant in sharing any of that information. Well I'm not really an engineer I don't really know all those things I don't want to do something that could endanger the ship come on. You know that we Jerry rigged these things you know that we push this ship to the edge.
We have to keep pushing otherwise we're going to drown. We're losing to newer ships. We're losing to the changing technology around us. We need to do these things to keep up and Mayweather pulling back and being reluctant to do things right up until they get attacked. Then they get attacked and mayweather is now in a position where everybody turns and says you are the only one here who has done things against this species. You know what's happening here. What can you do to help us and have him reluctantly step into a role that he's not ready for and he should be reluctantly stepping into a role that he's not he doesn't think he's ready for. Because he's still operating under the ghost of his father then he's has to be challenged by his mother by his brother like look dad. Loved you and dad is gone but dad if he was here would be telling you son step up. You have the tools to be able to get us out of this problem.
Force him to sort of exercise the ghosts of his father and his past in order to help his family get up and out of this problem as opposed to it being him showing up and right out of the bat I'm like he's really being a jerk.
To his brother. He's doing things outside the chain of Command and that doesn't fit within his character. He is not that character. He would not step outside the chains of Command even in a circumstance like this because as he tells archer time and time again when you're in a cargo So vessel scenario.
You're like a family you're an extended family and all of those relationships have to be firm Otherwise Chaos is going to rain so when he goes back and starts doing stuff behind his brother's back. It didn't make any sense to me. He's causing chaos. He's destabilizing the environment. He's really.
Causing chaos. Yeah.
It's written as if we are on mayweather's side but what he is actually doing and there's no come uppance here. There's no nobody challenges him on this and for me that was a weakness in the writing that he is destabilizing his brother's command.
And nobody points out to him like look you can't be telling your brother that he's ready to be a commander but at the same time you're doing this other stuff. You can't be doing that So the writing is weak in that regard and then it's it's weaker still I think in how.
Undermine them? yep.
It sets up like I said if the entire thing was inverted so that Mayweer was the 1 being pulled out of his comfort zone by his family saying look you know how we have to operate you know that we we you know we take a thing a duct tape out and we repair you know the the damage to the exterior of the ship is with spit and. And some polish and then we get to the nearest starbase and we repair it there when we can but you've got to help us get there because we're not going to make it and for him to reluctantly be pulled into that fight where he's like I know I have the tools but I'm reluctant to use them and for him to then go back to the enterprise. And have that same moment with the captain who I like the dynamic that they show between archer and mayweather when he comes back and the captain greets him at the door and is really kind of like welcome home that would have been an interesting moment for there to be some subtlety to the conversation along the lines of mayweather. At the beginning of the episode. What if there had been something that they had been talking about that mayweather had a thought on but was unwilling to challenge his captain on it. But when he gets back. He says oh by the way I wanted to talk to you about that thing that we were talking about earlier I have some different ideas that I think you might enjoy.
I Want to talk about X yeah.
And having the cabin say I look forward to hearing your thoughts on that like show that growth of like you said that character that we know about we care about because the one that we see grows is brother a character. We're never going to see again.
Yeah, the the other side of it. Your rewrite also would strengthen the b plotline in this episode which is all about the crew watching Frankenstein and horror movies and trying to get to Paul to go watch the movie. It would appear a little bit because it's basically Travis would have been.
The outsider looking in on his family structure and the and trying to basically find his way back in and to Paul it's the same exact thing. She's the outsider of the crew that has this family atmosphere of watching these movies and watching her try to inject herself and find her place in the enterprise family. You'd had 2 things kind of paralleling each other.
Exact opposite's happening so we keep jumping back to the enterprise and this whole Frankenstein movie thing. It's like okay this is fun I mean it's funny. It's like lighthearted but it's like it didn't tie together into a theme for what was the theme of the episode. It didn't make any sense but but that aside I did like the b plotline.
But it's not tying anything. Yeah.
Because I thought it was fun to watch to Paul's take on it and I really enjoyed the conversation with um, her asking a trip basically like why do you watch horror movies and he's like it's good to get scared and she equated it to a ah vulcan practice.
Where they deliberately try to basically scare the crap out of themselves to elicit an emotion that they can then try to suppress I was like that's awesome. It's great that she's finding this connection where she can have an in to watching these movies to kind of like a scientist analyze her own emotional reaction to what she's watching.
Her colleagues and how they're reacting to it so it becomes more of like a science experiment to her. It's It's kind of fun that they brought that out.
I I Also enjoyed the B storyline but I thought I would have enjoyed it more if it had included a little more payoff on the back end in the form of her not only being open to oh I Could you know, go And. Experience these movies with the crew and have that bonding experience. But if she had gone on even deeper into the kinds of analysis and I can view this like a petri dish sort of approach that was clearly unsettling to trip and archer where she says. Found it to be a tremendous metaphor for humanities experience with the Alien and the 2 of them wanting to push back on that are like no no, no, no, we're not, We're not like villagers with torches and pitch pitchforks and her pointing out like no, you really kind of are like.
Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah.
The first vulcans that you experienced you you encountered there was a violent and angry pushback by humanity there was that element and I would have appreciated more of her. Ah, something along the lines of her saying like I've asked for the list of the upcoming films because I was hoping maybe we discuss the socioeconomic impacts of what earth was like at the times that those movies were produced and like like really looking at it like I'm gonna.
Mind you guys for information around these things so that my experience of going in and seeing the movie is a fuller more you like and having the 2 of them kind of like real back and like like no, no, no, no, no, that's not what we're talking about. We don't want to experience the movie like that but having to meet her halfway like.
It's like anthropology. Yeah.
Having a moment of 1 of them say look I don't know that I want to actually have to write a treatise about these movies but I'm happy to talk to you about them before and after and have it be like yeah that would be that would be acceptable like like her saying something along the lines of okay I get that you don't want to view it as a scientific experiment.
But I also appreciate your willingness to open that door for me because the episode revolves around the B Storyline revolves very heavily. She's not wrong. It's a very human centric approach that they're making and again we've talked about this before archer is crossing a thick line with.
I'm ordering you to go watch this movie. It is not a comfortable thing like you think about like all the people in like our workplaces with all sorts of personal reasons as to why they might not be able to go into Xy or z social thing around work. The idea of a boss ordering an employee to go to an event where for whatever reason there's a thousand reasons why an individual might not go to a social gathering of co-workers. It really is just not.
Good management to have your captain saying like you're gonna go to this thing I'm gonna order you to go to watch this movie so lightening up on that a little bit and opening up more of a door of her saying like okay you want me to do this and I'm doing it but some of it has to be on my terms and having them being open to like you're right. Like we can meet you Halfway. We can agree like look on the movie nights. Why don't we agree that we'll have a dinner before the movie and we can talk about some of this stuff before we go see it so like really building that camaraderie there and showing how. The family that mayweather is leaving behind is still strong but the family that's on the enterprise is getting stronger as a result so of of them having stuff like this. So.
Um, yes, it would it would made the theme of the episode much stronger do that? Um, there is 1 nit pick that I have that's I think at very end of the episode. There's a there's literally a scene where Travis says to his brother. Can talk to lieutenant Reid about getting you some guy some stuff that could help you defend yourselves and his brother's like yeah that sounds great and like I think it's the next scene or a couple scenes later. He's coming back on the enterprise and the captain says it's great to have you home and he says. And problems out there and Travis goes nope and they go walk on his way. Wait. You literally just told your brother you're gonna talk to lieutenant Reid about getting help and then your captain says to you anything anything anything happened. It's like no now it like that made zero sense I was like what what What just happened did they.
Did they film that scene first and then they added a different scene that what happened.
I Feel like I know what they were going for I feel like I know what they were trying to get to which was the cargo Vessel is not only like a family but the cargo vessel vessel prides itself on be able to take care of itself and maywethers.
Um, but he had just offered. He just offered his brother took him up on it. His brother says yes.
Yes I understand that I understand but that's a weakness that's a weakness. Yes, that is a weakness in the writing I completely agree but in that moment I saw what was I saw the wheel that was spinning in the background which was oh they're trying to demonstrate that they know how to take care of themselves.
But I also in that moment had the exact same thought you did which was his answer in the context of what has been going on makes 0 sense because what he should be doing is saying Captain I'd really like the opportunity to talk to you about getting both Commander Tucker and commander Reid to talk to the commanders. Of the cargo vessel about ways that they can improve the ship because they do need some additional help because things are happening like that would have been the better response but within this whole like family can take care of itself.
Pull itself up by its bootstraps mentality that they're trying to get to. He says this idiotic thing that doesn't make any sense.
Come on but it felt to me like the episode was written without the offer about lieutenant Reid I can talk to lieutenant Reid and it felt like did they ad lib that scene after the episode was written so that's why it's so out of context with what the episode is trying to do it. It made no no sense. It was so frustrating.
Yeah, yeah, so it goes I mean I think the end result is this episode from everything I've seen was not very well received. It wasn't a very high viewership. In fact I believe it's the low point. In the season. Um, we had been asking. Yeah yeah.
Can I just say something something to that when we've talked about how Travis and like Hoshi are like underutilized and the episodes where they did try to make them the centerpiece have always been low performers. And I feel like as the producers they're looking at oh well, the Travis episode didn't do well we're not going to focus on him. Well no, it was your execution of how you you know brought Travis about and it feels like these characters got short shrift because they weren't executing on the characters. Well at all.
And so that just doubled down on them ignoring these characters going forward.
Yeah I was going to say the same thing that anthe montgomery he hoped for something along these lines and what he was given didn't live up to the promise of what it could have been this was as you and I mentioned ah in a previous episode when we talked about the character of mayweather. The experience of these cargo haulers is really that is the most direct tie-in to the original pitch of star trek by Roddenberry which was wagon train to the stars wagon train to the stars is not. 1 of the elite ships in starfleet going out and exploring the galaxy wagon train would literally be these kinds of cargo haulers working to connect an expanding human presence in a frontier and these.
Characters mayweather in particular deserved better than this episode gave and I just I found it unfortunate as I was watching the episode and thinking watching things like him undermining his brother and like nobody intended for that to be what he was doing. It's not being used as a plot point. It's not being used in a way that makes sense within the story. It's accidental and it's because they like we've talked about previously the exhaustion just seems to be real and it's it. An episode like this just doesn't fire on the right cylinders. So before we get into what's happening next time Matt do you have anything you want to remind our listeners about that you have coming up on your other channel.
I'm just keep an eye out on undecided which actually is an operating channel now because I actually had a channel suspension last week which was exciting. You should listen to stilty be determined for the details on that but I have a episode coming up on what the largest. Batteries are in use today and it might not be what you think.
As for me, you can check out my website http://seanferrell.com you can look for my books there or you can look for my books at Amazon Barnes and noble or your local bookstore. They're available everywhere and next time we're going to be talking about the episode the breach. And any expectations. What are we been talking about around the breach.
Um, something that probably ah breached something. Maybe.
Um, it's gonna be a giant space baby being born in the wrong direction.
Um, it's breach.
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