Star Trek: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 16 – “The Time Trap” – To Work With and Outsmart One’s Enemy

ST TAS S 1 Ep 16 The Time Trap

     “The Time Trap” is a good episode that doesn’t change the antagonistic relationship between the Klingons and Federation, but still has them working together while they are working against each other at the same time. The world it has in the Trap is really cool too as it shows that being lost ins’t a complete loss giving our characters a little more of a choice. This was “Star Trek” done right.

     The episode was directed by Hal Sutherland and written by Joyce Perry.

   The story involves the Enterprise and Kor and his Klingon ship getting trapped in a pocket dimension in the Delta Triangle. They must work together while dealing with the fact that they have limited power and are still bitter foes.

The Pros: Kirk – It is implied Kirk hooks up with the Orion council member (no surprise) but we also see that he never fully trusts the Klingons even though he supports the plan of them working together. He is an interesting character in this episode and we see how strong his attachment to his world is.

The Council – There is an Orion, Vulcan and a few other people who were ship captains and represent a council that enforces peace in their zone. They are smart too and offer an idyllic paradise for our trapped captains. They have also all given up so there is a hopelessness for that.

Spock – Spock does a good job in this episode and we see him show kindness in order to find out that the Klingons are hiding something and from it help prevent the Klingons from destroying the  Enterprise. 

Kor – Kor has to sate the bloodlust of his crew who doesn’t want to work with the Federation as well as safe face with his people who are waiting on the outside. To this end he endorses his second’s plan to explode the Enterprise when it reaches Warp 8. Since that doesn’t work he just takes responsibility for “saving” them when the most he did was follow Spock and Kirk’s plan.

This was a great episode that showed even extreme circumstances won’t always bring about peace between enemies. This was something you don’t see often in “Star Trek.” I’m glad they were comfortable doing that as it revealed the humanity of our factions and how no one is prefect and that the road to peace comes through more than just extreme circumstances.

Final Score: 9 / 10

Star Trek: The Animated Series – Season 1, Episode 5 – “More Tribbles, More Troubles” – “Star Trek” and Comedy Don’t Mix Well

Season 1 Episode 5

     This was an episode that was hard to watch due to how horrible the premise and characters were. Everyone and everything felt like a joke even though there were reasons it shouldn’t be. A strange threat on the Enterprise, the Klingons having a new weapon…a new species designed by the Klingons…all these are really cool but the story was just bad since it played it all for laughs rather than telling a good story.

       The episode was directed by Hal Sutherland and written by David Gerrold.

    The story involves the rescue of Cyrano Jones from the Klingons as they are attacking him for selling Tribbles on one of their planets. Things soon become dire when the Tribbles are growing uncontrollably and a new Klingon weapon paralyzes the Enterprise and their transportation of grain to Sherman’s Planet.

The Pros: Kirk – Kirk is shown to be a good captain in this. We see him negotiate with Koloth even though they are mortal enemies, and when push comes to shove is able to trick them into surrendering and providing them their Glommer (Tribble Killer) back. His annoyance of Cyrano Jones was what I also shared too.

The Cons: Cyrano Jones – This guy is annoying. He is clearly someone who wants to profit from any situation he is in, and he’s annoying as a Ferengi. There is nothing redeemable about this character and the only reason Kirk protects him is because he’s a Federation citizen. Guy ruined a Klingon world by selling them harmful pests (Tribbles).

The Tribbles – The Tribbles grow bigger and bigger and have none of the charm they do in the episodes they appear in. They aren’t shown to be creatures worth being a threat or a cute distraction. The episode had way too many references too. It should have tried better telling an original story.

Koloth and the Klingons – Koloth has a terrible voice actor and he spends the entire episode acting irrational. Couldn’t stand the character and he was nothing like his live action actor who played him as a general and someone worthy of being a threat and friend.

   This was an episode I would not recommend. It doesn’t do comedy well at all as it can’t decide on what tone it wants and nothing is done with Cyrano Jones or the crew. All are watching Kirk make all the choices and being part of a big giant joke and reference to past “Original Series” episode. This is not a good episode at all.

Final Score: 3 / 10

Star Trek: Enterprise Pilot – Broken Bow Part 1 and 2 – Missing the Point of Star Trek

Broken Bow

We end the “Star Trek Pilot Series,” with the worst of them all, “Star Trek: Enterprise.” When I first heard about “Enterprise,” back in High School I was excited…early human exploration and making contact…the Romulan War, the fallout of the Eugenics War…these stories that the “Original Series,” had suggested left so much potential for this prequel series. This of course was assuming the writers knew what they were doing after the horrible “Voyager” finale and the later “Next Generation Films,” which if I had a lot less optimism would have brought me closer to how disappointed I would be.

Without further ado, I’ll get into the reasons why:

Pros: The premise – Again the premise is exciting, the first military/exploration vessel from Starfleet going out to make contact with new life and new civilizations. We even have a Klingon as the catalyst as he was attacked by a mysterious enemy known as the Suliban. Sadly this doesn’t go anywhere.

The Special Effects – Like the later TNG films “Enterprise,” had a very sleek look and the best Special Effects since “Deep Space 9,” and later “Voyager,” this is one of the few things I have to give it, because the rest is just bad.

Cons: The Human and Vulcan Relationship Dynamic – What the Hell was Brannon Braga thinking? He starts out with Archer calling the Ambassador pointy eared as an insult when he was a child…and we see later nothing has progressed since then. T’Pol the first officer and Vulcan liaison is condescending to every human she comes in contact with (“I was told English would only be spoken on the Bridge,” (to Hoshi the communications officer)) and countless other examples. The humans aren’t much better and Archer is the worst. “You felt emotion therefore you are a hypocrite and wrong,” basically…and Trip the Engineer is the same way (and same way on Ryjal judging every alien he comes in contact with). I expected tension but not hostility between allies, it missed the entire point of First Contact and Roddenberry’s bright future.

The Characters: The characters are either inept and useless or condescending jerks. There aren’t any characters who are in the middle. “Voyager,” was average and way too focused on proving Janeway right, but it at least had SOME interesting character dynamics and characters.

Captain Archer – Who thought it was a good idea to put this guy in charge? He doesn’t think things through, he condescends to those who don’t agree with him and is more prejudice against his Vulcan allies than Kirk ever was towards the Klingons. It’s a shame there is on one on the ship who could replace him…this is a ship of imbeciles. Also he keeps putting Trip in charge of things just because Trip is his friend. No way that isn’t corrupt.

T’Pol – From going on her high horse towards those who eat meat, to saying humans are irrational and unready to travel…Braga missed the point of the Vulcans. It isn’t logical to alienate your allies and that is exactly what she does…and she is supposed to be a diplomatic liaison. I don’t think that’s why she was created though. She was made to sexualize Vulcans (see the picture above). Blalock is a model and Braga and Co. fully embraced that rather than creating a well rounded character.

Trip Tucker – Once again, how did this guy become an engineer? He crashes the shuttle in dry-dock into Enterprise and has no idea what is going on in the entire episode. It’s like he hasn’t even been in space yet is expected to be an engineer of a space ship. He is purposefully ignorant and just doesn’t care (when he’s learning to fly a Suliban vessel just says it can’t be too hard (he crashed a Federation Shuttle) and acts like it is easy when Mayweather is trying to teach him to pilot).

Malcolm Reed – Is the least bad but still bad. He doesn’t do anything.

Mayweather – The pilot does nothing but talk about being in space. This would be his character for the entire series.

Hoshi Sato – The communications officer who is afraid of everything. This is a shame too since she gave up her University position to join the ship. The writers never use her though or deal with what she gave up. It is only a factor at the beginning and never again. She is there to be the damsel in distress.

Phlox – Up there with Reed as being the least bad at this point in the series, he just doesn’t do much. He is there to be an alien.

The Villains: The Temporal Cold War was a wasted idea…as were the Suliban (who are only in this series). These issues never get resolved and the big bad jokingly known as “Future Guy,” is just that in the end. He isn’t a character or even all that competent of a villain (even this inept crew could stop his plans throughout the series). A War through time and space yet we see none of that in this episode… not in relation to the Vulcans or Klingons (who you think the Time Agents would be using since their tech. is already the most advanced). It goes nowhere, same with contact with the Klingons…we don’t see any of their advanced Imperial Culture that we did from the Original Series…they’re just space barbarians. Suliban, Temporal Cold War, Klingons, Future Guy…wasted antagonists on a waste of a show.

The sexualization of T’Pol/When Star Trek went Soft Core Porn – See the picture up at the start. This decontamination chamber will be used in this way all through the show. Characters will strip and lather each other down. What is this, a Michael Bay show? We see T’Pol’s erect nipples and other characters junk in this chamber…it was here that I stopped watching originally. Star Trek has had problems like this before, but never this blatant…it was like this was what was being sold, not the exploration…certainly not the characters. Just special effects, sex and violence. Things that when taken all together…miss the point of Star Trek.

It is for these reasons I did not accept this show as Canon. It has moments where it feels like it could be tied to Star Trek Canon but so much of it misses the point. From sexy Vulcans to a useless crew…to a species/racist Captain and Engineer. I couldn’t get past the other stuff because the crew was so useless or unlikable. There are some okay episodes I’ll review in the future, but this where Star Trek died. “Star Trek: Enterprise” and “Star Trek: Nemesis” were the two things that killed Star Trek, and they deserve that responsibility. They had turned Star Trek into the worst kind of action movie where sex and violence were more important than substance. It is for this reason as much problems as the Abrams reboot has…it never gets this bad to this degree. So glad “Enterprise,” got cancelled, it’s just a shame it didn’t happen sooner. There was never enough good to keep it going since it started things out missing the entire point of what made Star Trek, Star Trek.

1 / 10. I’m only giving it a point for Special Effects…and it isn’t the worst episode. That will be reviewed later in this blog.