Star Trek: Enterprise – 1×01/1×02 – “Broken Bow”

Star Trek: Enterprise
“Broken Bow”
Originally Broadcast September 26th, 2001
Reviewed by T’Bonz

The Story

A Klingon named Klaang is injured after being shot by a farmer on Earth, while trying to escape from several Suliban after him. The Vulcans who advise Starfleet advise mercy killing, and sending his body back to Qo’nos. Captain Jonathan Archer convinces Admiral Forrest and Starfleet to spare Klaang, and to allow the new Enterprise NX-01 to start it’s mission early, returning Klaang to Qo’nos themselves.

The crew is assembled and a Vulcan advisor T’Pol comes on board to assist. Klaang is stolen from sickbay by the Suliban, and Archer and all must rescue him, escape the Suliban, and return him safely to his homeworld, where the information he carries is crucial to stopping possible Klingon civil war.

When this mission is finished successfully, The Enterprise begins her main mission of exploration. T’Pol elects to remain on board after being asked to do so by Captain Archer.

Review

We are introduced to the new crew of the Enterprise. The four who stuck out this episode for me were:

– Jonathan Archer is the Captain, shown as someone who has always had an interest in space, due to his father’s work on the warp five engine. However, Archer carries a chip on his shoulder, due to that fact that his father never lived to see his ship fly. Archer blames the Vulcans for this, as the Vulcans have been carefully guiding humanity in the past century, out of concern for their unreadiness to face other species. By the end of the show, we see a softening of his attitude somewhat, as he and T’Pol have begun to work together, and to learn to work past preconceptions.

– T’Pol. The Vulcan sent to observe on Enterprise’s first mission. T’Pol shares the attitude of the other Vulcans who have worked with humans, a disdain for them, and an unwillingness to acknowledge that they can do things. As the show progressed, she began to see that perhaps humans were not so bad after all, and began to cooperate with them. By the end of the show, she voluntarily stayed with the ship.

– Hoshi Sato is the linguist. Although she seems to be nervous at every little noise on the ship (and one hopes that this will be dropped eventually, as it seems rather inappropriate for a Starfleet officer), she has NO problem in standing up to the arrogant T’Pol. She has the potential to be a very interesting character.

– Dr. Phlox. An alien of undetermined species, he is charming and amusing. He puts one very much in mind of Neelix from Voyager, both in appearance and charm. He has more confidence then the aforementioned though.

The other three main crewmembers are Travis Mayweather, who was raised in space; Charles (Tripp) Tucker III, the Chief Engineer (who seems to nicely fit the “McCoy to Kirk” slot in the show) – and Malcolm Reed. It will be interesting to learn more about these characters as the show progresses.

The Good

The ship looked great. Several TOS touches were apparent, from push button intercoms on the wall, to the “Spock” viewer at the science station.

– The Klingons. Very much like later Trek Klingons. One could almost imagine them from DS9 and yet the glimpse of the homeworld looked earlier in time and not as sophisticated as in later Trek.

– Sato. A nice surprise here, her gifts with languages, her imperfections, and yet her unwillingness to be browbeaten by T’Pol. She was a nice surprise.

– Archer. He will make an excellent Captain. Best since Kirk.

The Very Good

The story. Interesting and filled with action. Kept interest until the end. The scene when the Suliban boarded Enterprise and stole Klaang was particularly suspenseful and had one on the edge of one’s seat.

– Non-perfect beings. Tension makes for good drama. The Vulcan disdain for humans, the human dislike for the patronizing. Vulcans were barely fleshed out in Trek, other than Spock who was half-human and Sarek. While it is known that they have emotions but suppress them, it will be interesting to see more of them, and see what the range of emotion and suppression of such really is.

The Bad

Didn’t show Cochrane, image was rather fuzzy, just heard his voice.

– Not translating what the Klingon said at the end of the scene on the Klingon homeworld was a big cop out.

– Never explained how Klaang didn’t know that he got the information from Sarin. Under the drug the Suliban gave him, he came up as not knowing.

– Ambassador Savol raising his voice when he didn’t get his way? I don’t think so.

The Very Bad

Temporal Cold war. Oh PLEASE… NOOOOOOOooo.

– The decontamination scene. Let’s show T’Pol!! Let’s titillate folks in an unnecessary scene. Close up on her crotch now! WHOOOO…I suppose the only consolation is that they did it for Tripp also, so it looks like at least this series might have some sex appeal for both sexes. Fair enough. However, I would think to decontam, wouldn’t they – uh, strip down and rub it ALL over or shower in a special shower or something? It just didn’t seem to add to the story at all, but to point out that “HEY! It’s a Berman and Braga UPN story!” Ugh!

Final Verdict

An excellent start. I’d rate it with Caretaker as best premiere. A good, solid story with nice touches that reach back to TOS and forward to later Trek. The characters are engaging. At first, I thought that T’Pol was going to be a Seven of Nine clone with the arrogance, but she seemed to soften more at the end of the premiere than Seven did in the entire run of Voyager. I think that this show is going to be a winner.

Grade: 8/10

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