I began watching Star Trek only because I wanted to understand the related humour/anecdotes in The Big Bang Theory. Little did I know that I’ll become a huge fan in a short span of time. The first episode of The Orginal Series, The Pilot got me hooked to the diverse and open universe of Star Trek. After reading about the chronology of the series as well as the movies, I began watching Star Trek Enterprise.
Some of the few episodes really go through at a snail’s pace but you eventually get fond of the characters. Here are a few notable ones:
Dr Phlox is a cheerful doctor with a dozen degrees and shows an unusual enthusiasm to socialise with his shipmates. And let’s not get started on his wide yet eery smile!
The show runners showed Lt. Reed as a somewhat monotonous character in the initial episodes but you eventually start appreciating his passion for arms and tactics.
T’Pol, the Vulcan Science officer, talked about cultural acceptance when her fellow humans found difficult to not judge the differences existing amongst other planetary species.
Her stand on the P’Nar syndrome (very much like AIDS) was also well placed considering that she was the one who calmly retorted to the Vulcan medical council that the Vulcan mind meld does not come under “their” idea of acceptable behaviour. Killing them with pure logic!
She starts of as an annoying liaison officer on Enterprise but eventually displays an exemplary loyalty towards her captain and empathy towards humans.
Her struggle with Trelium D shows how difficult it is even for a Vulcan to not engage in short cut method to relieve tension.
Trip Tucker is my favourite character of the lot. An engineer who is passionate about his warp 5 engine and never misses a chance to fiddle with a device – human made and alien made alike. His initial nonchalance to Vulcans is quickly subsided when he learns to work with one. And not to forget the many shades his character displays.
His stubbornness is annoying in the initial episodes but you start admiring it when he, as the acting captain places the Enterprise in between the Andorians and the Vulcans to prevent a war started by Andorian hard liners. More such instances follow later:
He stands up for species rights when he takes a curious interest in a third gender alien and teaches them to read/write and think about their ambitions rather than being a child bearing humanoid for a couple.
He displays philosophical orientation when he talks about the experience of climbing the mountains and not only learning to do the same to the third gender alien.
He openly cries while watching movies or remembering his dead sister and we are reminded that he is not toxic masculine although he is aggressive.
And not to forget his clone Sim, who, while expressing his affection for T’Pol states that he had no intention to make her uncomfortable. Feminist through and through.
Connor Trinnear really did an excellent performance while portraying the passionate engineer with an adorable southern accent.
Captain Archer reminds me of Agent Coulson of MCU. He is critical of Vulcans as they delayed the development of his father’s warp engine by not sharing the technical know-how. But while exploring the outer space, he learns to dissolve his differences with Vulcans and eventually becomes a sought after starship captain to resolve intergalactic species disputes. But the writers really screwed up his character as someone who is impulsive and impatient many a times. They had so much variance to explore in a fine actor like Scott Bakula.
Last but not the least, Captain Shran. Before he nick named us humans as “pink skins” I would have never thought that we can be called as “pinkish” and not some other colour. The subtle comic relief that he brought to the series, rescuing Enterprise many a times when even the Vulcans didn’t show up and reminding Captain Archer that he owes him time and again are actually little “AHA” moments. His unabashed enjoyment in the cold environment of his planet (see pic below) shows a unique zest for life.
And I will never forget the expression on his face when Captain Archer had cut a portion of one of his antennae in order to defeat him but not kill him when Shran was out for blood when his love interest was shot by a Tellarite.
Star Trek Enterprise is not as extraordinary a series as The Original Series but it gradually grows on you and sometimes you really wish that it should have been given more seasons. All the characters had so much more to tell and teach us about acceptance & tolerance!
Long life and peace 🖖🏻!