Matt and Sean talk about a twist that might have been too much. Were viewers and the Star Trek Enterprise creators suffering from Star Trek burnout?
Join Sean and Matt as they rewatch all of Star Trek in order and in historical context.
Hey everybody. In today's episode of Trek in Time, we're gonna talk about how to write your way out of a corner. That's right. We're talking about enterprise Season four episode one, storm Front, part one. Welcome to Trek in Time, where you should know by now what we're doing. We're watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order.
We're also taking a look at what the world was like at the time of the original broadcast. Who are we? I'm Sean Ferrell. I'm a writer. I write some sci-fi. I write some stuff for kids, and with me is my brother Matthew. Matthew is the guru and inquisitor behind the YouTube channel, undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impacts on our lives.
Matt, how you doing today? It's
a good weekend. How bout you?
I'm pretty good. I will hold back on some of the comments about how. Couple of episodes has made me feel this weekend, but, uh, yeah, , we'll get into that. But as usual, before we get into the current discussion around this episode, we like to share some previous comments from you, the listeners.
So Matt, what have you got for us this time? Well, this time I
have not one, but two comments from Peel Ghost. Mm-hmm. . And I wanted to read them both because. Very interesting insights. Uh, the first one was, so am I weird that I expect most people to know some form of martial arts and star Trek. It's so weird that these are highly trained people who are supposed to be ready for almost anything they come across, but they throw punches like a middle schooler in their first fight.
I love that about Warf in Next Generation. Even though he was a punching bag to show the strength of the aliens, he was still training his forms constantly and actually used consistent techniques on attackers from those form. The Makos do this a little bit, but they throw boxing, stances, boxing, and then there's just a whole bunch of random characters.
what are they going to do? Rope ado? An insectoid Kidney punch. A Klingon. Yeah. I, I wanted to call that one out cause I just, I loved it cuz I, I have noticed that myself of it's like whatever's convenient, like, oh, we need this character to go down quickly. Let's just have them do the. Haha. And then the like the worst like move possible that looks like a school grader fighting.
Yeah. And then there's other times where it's like, whoa, that looks like a little martial arts fight that's happening. Which is pretty cool. Seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. Yeah. The second comment from Pale Coast was, This is directly related to what we're gonna talk about today a little bit. They literally could have cut the Nazi aliens part out and kept it for the cold open on the season premiere.
Having the episodes start with them returning to earth, celebrating the destruction of the weapon, and mourning Archer who would've been light flashed by. And unknown would've been so much better. Looking forward to the next season, although I don't think it's a good sign that I can only remember three of the 24 Clear , and I wanted to call that one out because I agree with him.
It's like the fact that they put that alien at the end of the previous episode, we talked about this, it like, I don't say, I don't think it wrecked the episode, but man, it was a
scratch it. Like the air outta the room. Yeah. It sucked the air outta the room at the end. It was absolutely necessary. Yeah. So it's like if they had just moved it, it would've worked.
Yeah. Yeah. So as we've just touched on, we're talking about the first. Episode of the fourth season and we're kind of stuck in a bad place just because of the way they left a hook at the end of the previous episode. And listeners who are listening to this podcast in order will remember that in our previous episode, I shared some details of how that came about and there was a quote from Brandon Braga who said, Yeah, they were talking about how to end the episode and he didn't know who said Nazis, but somebody in the room said Nazis, and then suddenly it was space Nazis, and that's how they ended the episode, and it literally was writing themselves into a corner.
So here we are, episode number one and two. A two parter of season four starts off with, and this is an interesting note, Berman and Bragga took a step back from being showrunners This. The show was moved to Friday nights, not a good sign. There was a lot of debate during the season three. There was a lot of expectation that the show might be canceled, obviously not a good sign.
The fact that the two of them took a step back indicates that they were probably prepping, knowing that this would be the last season. They were probably prepping for whatever their post enterprise career would look like, and the reigns were handed over to Manny Co. Manny Coto now is showrunner, literally has to write his way out of a corner.
Yep. For anybody to be handed the showrunner status on a program, it's gotta be a big day. I mean, you go in, you, you are being told by the executives. Yeah. You, you are gonna be our person in this seat. You gotta be like, Harray, might this guy do it on the, might have been next day what they do on the way at the door.
Yeah. Might have been Nick's feelings at this point for a kota to be like, yeah. And so the closing shot of season three was what? Oh, a couple. Nazis and one of them is an alien. Okay? So he literally has to write, he writes a two-parter, and he is literally writing himself out of a corner. And the entire setup was, this will be concluded in the first episodes.
This is not going to be a season long storyline. Fine. So Manny does the best job he can with a bad setup to get us out of space, Nazi territory. Literally World War ii, space Nazis. I mean, this is just like, The cherry on top is it is once again time travel involved, like Matt . There's that alarm going off in the background.
Do you hear that? You know what that is. That's the read alert. It's time for Matt to read the Wikipedia description.
I could tell you were ready to go on a rant. ? Yeah. All right, so the description set In the 22nd century, the series follows the Adventures of the First Star Fleet, Starship Enterprise Registration nx.
Oh. In this episode, after destroying the Xindi Weapon, enterprise finds itself in the 20th century during World War II with Nazis in control of the Northeastern usa. Captain Archer, Scott Bula joins Sic John Fleck to stop the alien Nazis. Okay. Restore the time. I don't wanna spoilers, but restore the timelines.
It's fine. End the temporal Cold War. Yeah. I just paused on the John Feck call out because he plays such a minor role in these two episodes. It's kind of funny. Yeah. So to call him as kind of, but
it is, I mean, ultimately, I'll save that comment for later. I will. Let's, let's, let's wait till we go. Yes. So here we are,
We are now in October of 2004, October 8th, part One airs. It is directed by Alan Kroger. It was written by Manny Koto. And guest stars include Golden Brooks, who plays Alicia Tra, Jack Watney, who played Voss, John Fleck as Slic. Once again, Matt Winston as Temporal Agent Daniels a character. Apparently can die as many times as the writers want 'em too.
Christopher Neem German General Stephen a Sherpa as Carmine Mark Elliot Silverberg as Crawl. David Pease as alien technician. Burr Middleton as newsreel narrator, Joe Marzo as Sal Tom Wright as Goth j Paul Bower as SS Agent, and John Hering as Joe Prosky. Lots of guest stars in. Not a one of whom will ever be seen again.
Nope. So the original air date, October 8th, 2004, and Matt, I'm sure you're wondering, what were you tapping your toes to? You'll remember last episode. It was a Maroon five song and we were talking about how it would be the last week for that Maroon Five song, but here we are months later. It's another Moon five song you were singing along to.
She Will be. And at the movies, a little movie called Shark Tail, earned 47 million. This is an animated shark film with Will Smith, Robert De Niro, and I had zero recollection this movie even existed. There are. Apparently a million animated movies and it's kind of a grab bag of stars voicing all of them, and there's too many to remember.
So. Mm-hmm. , this is in the same vein as like, well, finding Nemo is big. Why don't we make a Phish movie and we'll get some big names in, in the appropriate roles and see what happens. And on television, on October 8th, 2004, this is the first. Of enterprise being on Friday nights, which means two things. First Friday nights are the TV graveyard.
They tend to be the programming that is very kid friendly, very family friendly, because people tend to go out on Friday nights and not stay home and watch television. And the other thing is because the overall numbers tend to be lower, enterprise potentially wouldn't look as weak as it did on Wednesday.
So we'll see if that bears out On abc, people were watching eight Simple Rules. This was the originally John Ritter program, and then it was shifted over to eight Simple Rules. Once his unfortunate passing removed him from the program, 6 million people were watching that followed by 4.9 million people watching Complete Savages.
Matt, if I had to pay you a thousand dollars to tell me what Complete Savages was about, would I keep my. You would keep your money. I don't even
what that show was on cbs. 8 million people were watching Joan of Arcadia and on Phlox 2.8 million people were watching the complex Malibu. Matt. Ooh, if I had to pay you a thousand dollars to tell me what the complex is, would I keep my money?
You sure would. Sean? On nbc, on Dateline, it was the second annual Dateline Diet C. Oh, that sounds riveting. Yeah. 7.5 million people tune people tuned in for that. On the wb, what I like about you had 2.9 million viewers and grounded for Life, had 2.9 million viewers. And how did Enterprise do on upn? It had 2.9 million viewers, so apparently all the networks got together and decided that the bare minimum of viewers would be 2 9 2 0.9 million viewers.
Matt, if I had to pay you a thousand dollars to tell me what I liked about you, it was is about would I keep my money ? You definitely keep your money. Sean . That's a new segment we like to call. Will Sean keep his money?
And in the news on this day on or about this day, various headlines included the following, appearing before the US Senate Armed Services Committee, Charles Doer head of the Iraq Survey Group announced that the group had found no evidence that Saddam Hussein had produced any weapons of mass destruction since 1991 when the UN sanctions were imposed.
This directly contradicted the main argument used by George. And his administration for invading Iraq in 2003. This was reported in the BBC and CNN and really kind of put a nail in the coffin of what were we gonna find and where were we gonna find it. There were ongoing car bombings and insurgent strikes in Iraq.
There were con continuing areas of fighting, particularly in Fallujah, and so the US was shifting forces toward Fallujah and asking the British Go. To move some of its forces to fill the void that the US forces would leave behind and put those forces. The British forces under US command, which created great debates in the UK Parliament and the US, was now less than a month away from the 2004 presidential election, which could only mean one thing that time for some debates.
And in those debates, the first two had taken place two of. And John Carey, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, had a strong public response in polling afterward, which is just another demonstration that polling means nothing. Nothing. Yep. Now onto our discussion around this episode. Here we are. We have just now left the events of zero Hour, where the Xindi weapon has thankfully been destroyed.
Has worked with a unexpected collection of support from various aliens. Jonathan Archer has had to cross ethical lines that he himself has tried to draw, and how he would treat people, how he would treat prisoners, what he would do in the name of his mission, including. Stealing things and stranding aliens in space, torture.
Lots of, lots of things took place in season three. Any of. Could have been brought back to be revisited to show character growth and the, the challenges of humanity stepping into the larger world of the galaxy. And instead we got this, we got some space Nazis in World War ii. That's right. So we've right out of the gate, the, the closing of the previous.
The enterprise returns to Earth to find that they can't find any contact from Star Fleet. There's no lunar space station. There's no orbiting satellites, so they send a shuttle craft down to San Francisco. Matt, I, right outta the gate, I was like, you're telling me your sensors aren't good enough to take a.
At what's going on in San Francisco. I mean like they send a shuttle craft down and it's immediately attacked by US aircraft from World War ii. And then we cut to a prisoner who is being held by Nazis and they have a prisoner who is being examined because of his strange uniform. And we see that it is Captain Archer and one of the Nazis examining him is clearly.
A gray skinned alien with red eyes. With red eyes. So right out of the gate, this is Manny CODOs first couple of episodes at the helm, and he has to write the show out of this corner. Matt, I told you a few minutes ago after you read the Wikipedia description, I said, I will revisit something. I will, I'm gonna withhold a comment.
Well, I'm gonna share that comment now. I think that if this episode had originally broadcast and had just been an hour of the text from Wikipedia appearing on a black screen for an hour, it would've been as good an. Oh, because this, this is the biggest ball of nothing. It is. It is such messy writing, and it's not because Manny Koto can't write.
It's because I don't know about you. As I was watching this, I didn't believe that anybody on screen. About any of this other than the guest stars, because the guest stars come in with a, oh, you want me to do this job? Okay, I'll do this job. I didn't get a sense that Bula cared about any of this. I didn't get a sense that the guy who played sic cared about any of this.
I didn't care. I didn't think that the guy who played the, the time travel overlord, what's his name? The, um, from the, from the Timeline, defense Squad, whatever. I can't even think of his name, Daniels. I didn't think he cared. I felt like that's harsh, Ben. The, the scenes where it's focused on why the time travel is happening and why the timeline is changing and how they will fix the timeline.
None of that makes any sense. There's not a shred of that. That makes any sense. Okay. This was labor for me. This was really rough. This was a rough couple of episodes for me. So
what, what, what's horrible here, Sean, is you're putting me in the role of having to be the defender here because I am going to, let me put it this way, I didn't like these episodes.
Spoiler for the next episode of trucking time. I, I didn't like either of these. They're not good. Not. And I'm gonna bag on some of it, but at the same time, I feel like I have to defend it a little bit because I think the comment you just made about like back and all those, all those other actors is a little unfair.
I feel like they did a noble job with what they were given. It wasn't, I, I never got the sense that back was phoning it in. Not once. I didn't get that feeling at all. He was. Working with a bad concept that clearly just, it was, it was like what we talked about last time where they were just making this episode, which was just a shoot 'em up.
It was just like nonstop action, nonstop plot. But there was nothing, there was no heart there. There was no deeper exploration of really anything meaningful there. And then the stuff they did talk about all the techno B was just like, really guys? And it was like, bad, but, but this is where I'm gonna defend it a little.
I thought the action sequences were pretty good. I thought some of the, some of the tension moments they built up were pretty good for what they were. It. It wasn't their fault with what they ended up with. It, it really was the outgoing show runners basically taking a giant dump on a, on the writing room table and then saying, see you guys, and walk out the door, and then them going, ah, crap, we have to deal with this
So it's like, yes, that was te . The, um, it, it just, it's, that's part of why I wanna defend them. It feels like it was, I don't wanna bag on. Manco. I don't want a bag on the actors. It was, they had a crap sandwich they had to deal with and they did the best they could. But I am with you on at the end of the day, at the end of finishing this first episode, I was like, I could have just, I feel like I just ate like popcorn.
Like it was just like, A whole bunch of nothing just happened. I, it just washed over me and there was nothing to take away from it. And one of my first notes, this, decides back to what My pale ghost comment that I read where he was like, I remember three of the 24 episodes I'm in. I'm in the same boat.
For me, when I think of enterprise, The first thing that clicks into mind is pretty much any of the episodes from season three. Yeah. That we just finished. It's like that is my memory of enterprise. And then there's a handful of episodes from the season we're about to go through. And on this specific one, my note was I blocked so much of this episode out, the Suliban question mark, exclamation mark.
I. Completely forgot that the Suliban were even in this episode. It, it's, it was mind boggling, like how, how much they had to do, how many contortions and back flips they had to do to get themselves outta that horrible corner they were in. Mm-hmm. . And they did an admirable job trying to do it. And I don't know, I feel like I have to say this is like a huge spoiler for the whole thing, but like it came across as Manco basically saying, we have to just kill the stupid time war.
Yeah, we have to get this, we have to get it done, put a nail in it, make sure it can never come back. It's done, done, done. And so they tried to come up with a sequence of events where they could basically put a nail in the coffin of the stupid temporal war that goes all the way back to episode one of the entire series.
And I'm glad they did. But the way they did it makes zero sense. Yeah. It doesn't hold to any of the temporal cold War stuff we've seen before. It doesn't hold to any kind of time travel common sense that they've even established. And I've brought up before, Sean has written a time travel book, . He's like, yeah, he's, he's, he's ventured into the territory of time.
Travel is fantasy and you can do whatever you want with it. You just have to establish the rules. Yeah. And then live by those rules. Enterprise has never lived by any kind of Bible for their time travel. Yeah. It's whatever's convenient at the moment and this episode is incredibly guilty of just like, screw it.
We're just gonna basically make this blanket statement of if we succeed at what we're trying to do, it'll undo everything. Yeah. And that makes no sense. An Archer makes that one comment when that comes up of. He basically is like, yeah, it's confusing. Who cares? Yeah. And they kinda go on . I was like, no, no, no, no.
We, no, no, no. This is star Trek. You don't hand wave that stuff. You try to explain it a bit, but they were all in that P P P mode. Yeah. So it was for me, I'm agreeing with you that this is a hot mess, but I was admiring. How I was and I was, I admired how much effort they put into trying to get them out of themselves.
Out of this corner. Yeah. And it was clear's day that they were trying to put a nail on this to fix it, and then they could just move forward with what their new vision was. And so for that, I, I admire
what they did. There are a couple of moments that for me, stood out as being like practically feeling the director going like, okay, let's go.
Yeah, that's fine. That's good enough. Like that's where, that's where my problem with some of the acting, like the, the flat response to what's going on felt very much like you're seeing some first and second takes. as opposed to seeing the third and fourth and mm-hmm. . It just felt like a lot of this was clearly written with a, we have a certain budget for the year.
We do not want to use up our budget on these two episodes, so, so glad you brought that up. Lots of existing sets, lots of existing costumes. Like you go to the paramount lot had special effects, man, and some bad special effects. But you walk into, you walk into the paramount lot, you say to a producer, like, I need some Nazi uniforms.
They've got rooms full of Nazi uniforms, they've got rooms full of all the costumes that the extras are wearing. The fact that they have aliens wearing Nazi uniforms is like, well, we don't have to make the alien garb. And I kept, I every time they showed an alien wearing a Nazi uniform, I thought, why would the Nazis put on a Nazi?
Why would the aliens put on a Nazi? Not? And I even little touches, like, you wanna talk about a tell about how important something is to pay attention to? What's the name of the alien race that Alaska's a. They never say it. They never bother giving it a name, and what bothers me most about that is right outta the gate, my first response to seeing them was, oh, they look like the res from Star Trek next generation nemesis, which are the Romulan slave race.
I thought it could have actually been interesting if they had been introduced as being that aspect of the Romulan culture. Like throw that out as these are res and it's just like, you remember, they're nefarious. They had a thing on
their forehead that reminded me of, what was it? The, uh, Kardashians? Yeah.
From Deep Space Nine. It looked like they were taking leftover latex molds and just like, Compiling stuff they already had together to make a new aliens. Yeah. Like here's the thing from the Kardashians, here's these things from this other alien. And it was like, we got a new guy. Yeah. And they to, to call out the special effects.
For me, the special effect shot that happened numerous times over these two episodes was of, of the White
House where the car remember, would show that. I was like, didn't have ridges on them. They, yeah. No, but it was like,
It was clearly somebody in Photoshop just took, you know, a White House. They cut it out, put a generic sky backdrop behind it.
It was like the most low rent, special effect shot you've ever seen. I could make that in probably about 15 minutes, no joke. And it was like, When that came up every time, it was kinda like, oh, they clearly had no budget for this. They were trying to save
a lot of money. Yeah. So you end up with an episode, this, it was for me, this was reminiscent of the Nazi episode from the original series, the third season of the original series where the budget from year one to year two, it was cut in half, and then year two to year three was cut in half again.
So on year three of the original series, they were like, What standing sets can we use? I know we'll find a planet where they live, like Greeks. Or Romans, or it looks like 20th Century Earth or it's World War ii, or it's the old West. Or like literally just throwing out any place where they could be like, we've got existing costumes, we've got existing sets.
We don't have to build anything. We don't have to do anything. We can just do all of this, or we're just gonna stay on the ship. They're just gonna be constantly running around on the ship. There's not gonna be any new planets. There's not gonna be any new aliens. We're just gonna reuse what. This felt like that to me, this felt like cost cutting on display.
And the story for this episode, you end up with Archer has been captured. He's on the East coast somehow. Daniels has time winded him to Earth, but mm-hmm. not onto the enterprise. Why? Like mm-hmm. Daniels has timey. Why me? From the explosion of the Xindi weapon. Archer is first alive and on earth and he could have therefore put him on the enterprise.
So what happened there? Why? Why that decision? And then the enterprise has separately gone to Earth and finds San Francisco is not the San Francisco they expected. And then surprise, surprise, they find out they're in World War II era Earth. A very nice scene where. To Paul seems to be on the verge of debating whether or not they've actually traveled through time and trip kind of gets into her face, and then later on he corrects himself and he says to her, that was inappropriate.
I am sorry. I actually really liked that. Mm-hmm. connective thread. I would've appreciated a little bit more of a demonstration that DePaul wasn't actually debating time travel. Mm. I think at this point for them to hold onto that little nugget of Vulcans, don't believe in time travel like she's done it herself.
I mean like at this point, like why would anybody throw that out there as a nugget? But the. Enterprise now has to figure out what is going on, and they end up finding Daniels who is a mess of scars and flocks in examining him, says his body is aged in different ways at different times, and so he's being torn or basically by time like something has happened.
and all of this has the it for me, it has the look of a magic trick. Like why you think something is happening, but it's not actually happening. It's not actually happening. Yep. I'm left with like, what would, what would've happened to Daniels to do that to him? Why was he not able to, if he's able to move Archer literally from the weapon to earth?
And back in time, why can't he just put 'em on the enterprise? How does the enterprise not recognize that they've traveled through time? There's zero time travel experience like, and we've seen it a number of different ways through Star Trek of what time travel feels like to a crew going through it, and it has been demonstrated as being physically impactful mentally discombobulating.
This crew literally has no idea that this has happened. So I'm, I'm already struggling with some of the details that they're laying out. But then Daniel shows up and lays out this argument that the Cold War, the temporal Cold War, has turned hot effective of somebody in the future. The Cold War that he's describing is having turned hot.
Would've already always been hot. Already been hot. It doesn't make any sense to say, well, this people are going back in time and changing the timeline now. Like that. Like what? Like, yeah. This, this is, this
is what I was talking about, about the very hand wavy stuff, about time travel. They basically broke what time, travel time trouble could work in, in a fantasy.
Mm-hmm. of what they've established, but it's not, That, that bothers me so much. It's, it's more of a, I don't know. It's, I guess it is that, that's bothered me. It's, it's the fact that they've, they've set up standards for how time travel is supposed to work inside Star Trek. Yeah. And they just completely ignore all of it and, It's kinda like when I was watching this, I was thinking about the, about nuclear war.
How in the world we currently live in, there are nuclear warheads all over the planet and we can basically obliterate the planet thousands of times over if we get a nuclear war. And so everybody who has nuclear weapons is like, oh crap. We could just end all of humanity if we're not careful. And so it's like mutually assured destruction, right?
Nobody would, in the right mind would. Start an actual temporal war. Right. Because it would become instantly, uh, the hottest mess of hottest messes. Yeah. Because the one upmanship would be never ending. Yeah. And, and because of that, it would you, you immediately recognize this is a non-starter? Yeah. So Voss would not do what he's doing because it would be complete insane.
He would basically dooming himself and his people and everything instantly if he starts a war. Why would he do this? And the fact that he's this mustache trolling guy doing, it's like, there were so many reasons why this would not play out the way it is. And then on top of that, the whole, well, time travel wouldn't work the way they're describing it, working because it's so ludicrous what they're describing.
It just. Yeah, it, it's bizarre. And like, I also don't understand that, not in this episode, but how like they sometimes in Star Trek and other shows will do this thing where like the change that happened in the past is gonna ripple slowly to the future. Yeah. It's
like that's not what,
Yeah. It's, it's the, the whole thing with the, with VASc, um, like the Cold War has turned hot.
What? Goal, like, yeah. Like he's gone back in time to a different planet than he is originally from, and he wants to get home and like
his, well, they did. They did. They did establish that he has like learned stuff and he has stuff that he knows how to do now that if he can get back to where he's from. He can instigate his whole master plan.
And so that's like the thing that they've kind of established as to why they have to stop him here and now. Right. I'm not saying it makes complete logic. I, but it's like, yeah, but
it's, that's with like, but to find that, like in World War II on earth with Nazis, like none of this makes any sense. But I will say that, I just wanted to say this about Voss killing,
Killing Hitler as a baby. Yes. Do you know what I mean? Yeah. It's like, why did you come to this point in history to stop vo. When you could have stopped Voss when he was born as a baby or before he was born. Yeah. It's like it didn't, it didn't make sense as to why this was the point in time you chose to fight Voss.
Yeah. There are so many. You have his entire lifespan and before, yeah, you could choose to try to stop Voss.
One of the things that stood out for me about VASc was galley who's playing him. This goes back to like. Measurable amounts of visible amounts of effort. In the episode. Ganey is the only one who's trying to do something interesting with this new type of alien.
I like the way he spoke. I like that his presence was almost like hyper mannered in the way he spoke and the way he conducted himself. There was zero direction given to anybody else to emulate that. There was one guy who played one of his lieutenants who looked like he was picking up on Walt's speaking pattern and was emulating that.
Mm-hmm. , but everybody else was just like, I'm an alien. Yeah. Hey, yeah. Hey, check me out. I'm an alien guy. And it was just very distract. The introduction of the resistance in occupied New York. I will admit to the occupied aspect of portions of the Eastern Coast of the United States. There is an alternate history.
Fan in me that like it. Yes. The man in the high castle, the, the Philip Dick story of the United States, which is broken between the Japanese and the, and the Nazis. Um, like alternate history stories have a hook and they are intriguing and done well can be very interesting. They have an aspect in this storyline where you see the map and you see their anticipated.
US response to push back, and I found all of that more interesting than what was taking place on camera. Yeah. And Walt's approach to the political game of playing the lap dog while actually conducting his own research for his own reasons and the Nazi general that he's working. Is in the dark about what's actually occurring.
I thought that was all well rendered. But in the Brooklyn scenes, the resistance, which is made up of basically just Italian mob mobsters. Yeah. And people of color, like interesting decision there to not show, you know, like any other group that would've been pushing back against Nazis. Yet they didn't go the direction of showing collaboration with the Nazis.
So again, it's like a one dimensional take on like if Nazis moved into New York and took it over, what would that look like? Be like, well, you'd have these groups that would be targeted, pushing back it again. Might have added a very interesting layer to show some collaboration to show. Yeah, I agree.
People who are like, The Nazis aren't coming after me, so what's the problem? So like, that could have been a really interesting, weird twist. But the, the resistance fighters, how did you feel about how they were depicted and how they were used? In this first episode, we see the, the mob guys, and we see the, the African American woman who end up with Archer as a result of them raid a convoy.
so they inadvertently end up with Archer, whom they shoot because mm-hmm. , when you're, when you're attacking a military convoy, you always wanna shoot the guys in handcuffs because they're clearly Nazis. I couldn't understand why they would even shoot him, but they end up with him and they're questioning him.
What did you think about how all of that was played
out? Let me just read my note that I wrote. It's the very first note I wrote. Mm-hmm. , just when I thought it couldn't get. Stereotypical mobsters. is what I wrote. I did not like the depiction of any of this stuff. Any of it. It felt untrue for the time.
Yeah. It felt, um, paint by numbers. It felt it wasn't a knock against the actors per se. It came across as the writing and the directing, which was probably the biggest problem. But for me, the mobsters just being that, yeah, come get me a c kind of almost like this, what you'd think a mobster would be.
Versus what would a mobster be like? , we have so many movies about the mob that you could reference and pull from as inspiration, and instead they went to that Saturday morning cartoon portrayal of mobsters and how they would behave. Yeah, how they would act. That part just rubbed me the wrong way. The movie, the Rocke.
Does a better job portraying? Oh, absolutely. Yeah. From that time period , it's like, eh, it's frustrating. It was frustrating to me that they kind of like just shanked that when they could have very easily done something just a little different and better.
Yeah. It was also described in my research, I discovered that there was some commentary around it being stunt casting because the actress.
Playing the, the woman that he meets. And here's, I mean, you hate to say like, oh, you've got a woman character. It should be a romantic interest. Like mm-hmm. , you hate to have that knee-jerk response. But in this case, I felt like they were playing it with a subtext that Archer and she were interested in each other.
And I actually wanted there to be a little bit more of that, like a little bit more of, you know, she's a strong woman. She has this commitment to our neighborhood. You know, there's, at one point she mentions, you know, her husband is on the west coast in the military serving, serving on the west coast. But I still felt like there, there was a little bit of a tension there between the two of them.
And I might have enjoyed seeing that play out a little bit differently. But the, her career at that point, she was a regular on another program, so she's a known actress playing this part. And then the two guys playing the mobsters, the main mobsters, they were both from a mob show at the time, so, It becomes a little bit like on the nose with them and their depiction and the, the send up of what the resistance looks like is it falls again in the camp of undeveloped.
Like we don't know what this network's goals are like are they helping the community? One of the big things about how like organized crime. And this is true globally and historically, factions of organized crime will end up providing support to communities because that is how they gain confidence from the community.
So, yep. Here we have the resistance in New York City and yet we don't really get a sense of, other than shooting Nazis occasionally, what are they doing? Are they providing, like we see the scene? Which is artistic and nice about the, the music, the Billy Holiday that is being played in the neighborhood being passed around so that the Nazis who have shut down access to colored person's music, this is a form of subtle resistance.
So, mm-hmm. like that I thought was, was fine, but there is this, there are so many question marks around goals from every direction that I found it very hard to connect. To the mob characters as anything other than cartoonish mob characters. Yep. Well, ties back
to the, the show is clearly the writing themselves outta the corner was also, let's just try to make this an action packed, just
shoot 'em up for the episode to get people
glued cuz people like action.
That's kinda what it felt like to me, which is why they probably were not taking time to explore. Emotional relationships and, uh, the human side of this, it was, that was, that would, that would be in a completely different direction. , which would've been the better direction. So I can un I understand why they didn't.
Yeah. But at the same time, it felt like they had the, the seeds of what could have been a much more dramatic and interesting show to watch
than what they gave. For me, one of the highlights of the show was when they get the radio transmission from the communicator, transmission from Archer, he's stolen some of the aliens communicators.
He's able to use it to reach out to enterprise, and he is able to be brought up out of a gun fight, which is. I mean, again, an old star Trek trope of the guys jump around the corner and they're ready to bang, bang, bang, and the transporter makes it not happen. Although we also had a death in the previous episode, which was the result of somebody getting shot mid transport and it still killed them.
So again, little inconsistency there, but when Archer returns to the enterprise, There's a little bit of over directing in that scene when Archer arrives on the bridge and every single person on the bridge is given a closeup to show them looking up and going and yeah, like, okay, we didn't need to see every single person respond, but the one that stood out for me as the actor who was making the most out of not even having a line of dialogue was Jolene bla.
As to Paul standing there with her eyes so wide and yes, it looked like she was internally fighting. I cry. The urge to cry and the urge to grab him and hug him. Yes. And I thought that that was for me, that scene stood out as like, wow, they've really like, they really figured out. The, the crux of their relationship, how she views him and where she is in her own story.
She's now in this new terrain of having all these emotions really close to the surface, and she's struggling with that mightily. So that acting in that moment, I felt like building Blalock remembered. Her character was, even if nobody else like was ever saying to her like, once again, don't forget, we say that she's the best.
Yeah, she's terrific. She's the best, she's terrific in this. So like that for me was, that for me was a scene that I was just like, this works very nicely. And then it's followed immediately by having to go have a ridiculous conversation with Daniels in the sick bay, who again, he's not given a lot of good material to work with, but the, the, the bad depiction of.
Like, I'm an old man and a young man and I'm dying. And the, the heavy breathing and the gasping and the one blind eye and like all of it, just like, oh my God, there's so much happening. , I'm curious, like for me there was that, that nugget around, uh, to Paul and her relationship, and there was also the, the char, the woman on in Brooklyn that stood out.
I'm wondering from you, what were some of the things that stood out for you as like, this is good, this is.
For me it was the scene you just talked about. It was that moment on the where every character on the bridge and Jolene's, uh, portrayal there was fantastic. That's probably it, , to be honest, but again, to be the defender.
a little bit, a defender hat. Go back to the original series and man, the performances were over the top and man was at ham fisted at times. Absolutely did this episode. Did this episode lean into some of that, so
yeah, we're looking at this from a modern point of view on this specific episode, which I think.
Things have evolved and matured over the past couple decades for filmmaking on television. So we're getting better stuff now than we were then. But at the same time, I don't, I feel like it's a little unfair to kind of like hammer that home when the original series did stuff that was just as hamfisted, just as on the nose as what this was, and people adore that show.
So I just kinda wanna kinda be the defender of for what it was trying to. I think it did it. It's like they were trying to be that Saturday morning cartoon to a large extent is what I'm reading this as. And that's kind of what they gave us. So we may not agree with the choice they made, but what the choice they made to do.
I think it did somewhat succeed.
I agree with what you're saying. I disagree in a couple of subtle ways. One of which is we are closer to where enterprise was being made. Than where enterprise, than how close Enterprise was to divisional series. More time had passed. The style of television acting had changed dramatically.
Most television actors at that time had come out of stage work, so there was a very different model of acting dominating television in the late sixties, early seventies than there is in the early two thousands or now. So I think that, but that's you. You are not off base by saying, wait, there's some ham fisted acting going on in the original series and that's just what they're doing here.
Like Yeah, I get it. I'm also
talking about the storytelling though. I'm talking about like the whole idea of what they were doing. Yeah. Like you brought it up like the original series. It was like, uh, it's the Greeks. We're gonna be hearing Greece and we're gonna be doing this stuff cause it's cheap and easy that this.
Has Harkens backed that it does mentality. And so you could make the argument that they're trying to get back to the roots of the original show. And so in that regard, you could say they're trying to get closer to the original series, cuz this is supposed to take place shortly before the original series.
So, eh, you could kind
of make that argument. Yeah, I get, I get that. But I think that part of the difficulty is what makes it look most like. are what feels like rushed. Trying to get out of the room as quickly as possible. Yes. Okay. And so there's, there is television that hearkens back to in different era.
There is television that is intended to be popcorn television. There is television that is supposed to be like actiony Saturday morning cartoon fun. Mm-hmm. . And then there is a program that seemed to. A couple of notches above that bar take a big step backward simply because of cost cutting and rushing it to get out of a bad writing situation.
So I think that I do not place blame on literally anybody who was involved in the direct production of this episode. Mm-hmm. , it's just. They, I, it, I keep going back to it feels like they were written into a corner and they did the best thing they could to get out of it. Right, right. So we will revisit this setup with the conclusion.
Next week we'll be talking about Storm Front part two. Before we sign off though, Matt, what do you have coming up on your other channel that you wanted to talk?
Uh, there's a cool video that I think should be coming around at the time of this episode about a material called Arrow Gel, which is like NASA kind of created kind of stuff and it's really kind of science fiction kind of stuff where we can create, we can cool things without the need for any electricity.
It's really, really neat. Um,
it's a cool technology, so check that out. It's a cool te. See what I did there. I see as for me. You can check out my website, sean Ferrell dot com. You can also go to Amazon, bronze and Noble, or your local bookstore. My book should all be available at all those locations. And if you'd like to support the show, please consider reviewing us.
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