STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE 9/24/'03: "Extinction"

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Rex Bachmann, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    episode title: "Extinction"
    episode: #55
    original airdate: September 24, 2003
    writer: Andre Bormanis
    director: LeVar Burton
    synopsis: "On a mission to investigate an abandoned Xindi vessel on a jungle planet, Archer, Reed and Hoshi succumb to a virus that mutates them into a primal life form."


    After a week with a better than okay episode, it looks like back to the rehash grind.
     
  2. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    Man, this sounds like that 2nd season episode of Voyager ("Threshold") where Janeway & Paris mutate into giant salamanders. That was arguably the show's nadir (and with Voyager that's saying something).

    Not too promising (at least this one doesn't have Braga as the writer).
     
  3. Rollie

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  4. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    According to the episode guide on startrek.com (had to go out there to get the title), they had TWO little salamander pups. And they just abandoned them there on the planet!!

    Where's Starfleet CPS when you need them??

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Actually, the synopsis of this episode reads more like an episode of Space: 1999 called, The Full Circle. It was a pretty good one, where they land on a planet, enter a fog and de-evolve into cavemen, or Man of the past.

    As usual, the way they edit and spin these previews, it never quite shows the real meat of the story. We'll see. I thought Anomoly was better then the preview's spin of the show.

    Nelson
     
  6. Dan Paolozza

    Dan Paolozza Stunt Coordinator

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    This reminds me of that episode from Voyager as well - which was probably the episode that sent me packing. I can only have a fools hope that the non-B&B writing credit will take this story and make it a good one.

    What I find astounding (should I, at this point?) is that the plot synopsis sounds almost identical to that Voyager episode. I don't know...I give up...I'll just cross my fingers and call it a day.
     
  7. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    Didn't the preview for this episode have them meeting someone else from a ship called "Enterprise"? I see nothing in the episode description about that...

    Jason
     
  8. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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  9. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    Not a very good episode. But still light years ahead of that awful Voyager ep...

    Bakula trying to improve his acting range to two characters was quite amusing.

    Unfortunately, Enterprise is still plagued with "every character is interchangeable" syndrome. So the marines were nowhere to be found. Trip leads the rescue team. Everyone else just reads the lines depending on where they happen to be at the time.

    Why couldn't they beam T'Pol directly to medlab isolation? Why didn't the aliens respond to their comrades being shot on the planet? Why did they allow the Enterprise shuttle to dock, or not make any sort of a fuss? Why did Trip order the Enterprise to go to warp (the Enterprise was never in danger if it stayed in orbit)?

    Oh, and Vulcan Barbie's nice white costume stays remarkably clean all the way through.

    edit: removed spoiler tags
     
  10. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Glenn Overholt wrote (post #116):

     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Not only that, but a complete flip-flop. The reason for leaving the "Star Trek" out of the series title was itself a ratings-boosting ploy. And the reason for it was that the Paramount wags were worried about Star Trek overload.
     
  12. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    This episode also reminded me of the "Beer Bad" episode of Buffy.

    But despite being weighed down by the done-it-a-million-times-already concept, they did add what I felt was a poignant moment with the loss of the city.


    And indeed, the special effects in that scene, although the computer generated imagery did not look real, it DID give me a thrill to how science fiction imagery used to inspire me as a child. So I guess I am saying this was a bad episode with some nice moments that reminded me of how even cheesy science fiction could be inspiring when I was younger.

    I'll give is a "C" and assume it was a low point.
     
  13. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    Actually, I liked the episode. The pacing was pretty good and even though the mutation into a different lifeform idea has been done by TNG and Voyager, the story seemed different enough for me to get past it. I'll give it a B.
     
  14. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Actually it was better than I expected, the high point for me, the music, which I thought was some of the best of the series
     
  15. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    This is what I find so sad about Enterprise: Nobody seems to be at home among the producers of this series.

    Even with their long-term science advisor writing the scripts, they still don't seem to pay attention to certain, crucial details of their own stories. To wit:

    A "mutagenic virus" that assimilates the DNA of members of other (sentient) intelligent species to that of its creators, a now long dead race (the Lokeq (sp.?)), which had lost the natural ability to reproduce.

    This recalls the infectious spore (or whatever it was) that rewrote human DNA, including Geordi LaForge's, in the creepy and wonderful TNG episode "Identity Crisis". That, however was supposed to be a natural process, rather than an artificial one.

    (1) "The facts, man. Just the facts."
    :

    The problem I have is that the viral infection has transformed the crew members' minds as well as their bodies, no? I can buy the virus's genetically altering their brains to "crave" coming to stay in the Lokeq's home territory, but I don't buy at all their magically having an alien language as result of the infection, simply because language is learned, not inherited.

    (2) Ignoring the implications of the premise?:

    I find the savage characterizations of the transformed crew members totally at odds with the "civilized" and technically advanced civilization that created the transforming agent. Did I miss an explanation for this discrepancy?

    Why does a virus created by an advanced civilization to transform others into members of that civilization turn them instead into raging savages?

    Or, is this supposed to be some temporary side-effect? (I didn't hear Phlox say so.)
    Or, since, once the UT gets working, suddenly the behavior becomes more "civilized" and sympathetic, is the story saying, as it seems to, that strange people are only savages if they don't speak your language?

    (3) "Medical protocols, anyone?":

    I find it awfully careless of Phlox to let the treated crew out among the noninfected until he's damned sure that the virus is both over in them and can no longer be transmitted to others. This whole quarantine is treated far too lightly, in my opinion. (I should think it would last several weeks, rather than days, to be absolutely sure. Would they really risk infecting "tens of millions" of their fellow Earthers, or members of other species, for that matter, as the opposing race claims to have experienced?) That robs the episode of the heft and gravity it ought to have.

    (4) False ethical stance of the week: Archer refusing to destroy the last bit of the viral agent so that the civilization/genome of the Lokeq may not die out forever. What, pray tell, would be the practical use of this agent in future, especially since it involves the unwilling genetic assimilation of other species/races? How "ethical" would that be? Sort of makes one side with the (unnamed?) opposing alien group, doesn't it? It also throws the dead civilization in a not very favorable light.


    (5) Story glitch:

    By the way, isn't it still Ensign Mayweather? I know they want to give the actor something to do, but why is an ensign left in charge of the bridge, especially during a time of eminent hostility?

    Do the producers ever really think about what they put on screen week after week?

    Frustrating.
     
  16. Al Shing

    Al Shing Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Al Shing

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  18. PhilipG

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  19. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I may be reaching out there, but if you ask me, the way the episode ended, you could say it had a minor resemblance to The Inner Light, where Archer and crew relive the lives of a past civilization.

    Overall, good pacing,music, nice depiction of the past city on the planet and engaging. But not a stand out. I also thought that Archer was going to use the viral agent as a weapon too. A slight diversion from the main mission of finding the Xindi.

    And as usual, the previews definitely spin this show in a way that is different then the actual aired plot. It was not a copy of the Voyager episode as I recall it.

    Big change, the folks at UPN did have the producers make the change official on the opening titles and now call it "Star Trek Enterprise", a change from Berman and Braga's original premise that it is not going to be called Star Trek because it really isn't "Trek", yet. No Federation and Starfleet as we know it.

    Rex, regarding the ethical stance of saving the viral agent and the alien's original intent for it. The idea of it being moral is a human standard you're placing on it. Yes for us, it's rather a bad thing, but they were trying to save their race, so they were doing what they had to do, their morals. My interpretation.
     
  20. Mike Breeden

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    Quote: PhilipG

    "Oh, and Vulcan Barbie's nice white costume stays remarkably clean all the way through."

    She must have been wearing the new Docker Stain defender catsuit.
    [​IMG]
     

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