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STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE 09/17/'03: "Anomaly"

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Rex Bachmann, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. Dan Paolozza

    Dan Paolozza Well-Known Member

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    No, I didn't see the Ferengi episode...the only TNG episode I can liken it to is the one where those people looking for trilithium try to steal it off of the Enterprise while the ship is undergoing some kind of decontamination or something, so the crew are all evacuated. However, I personally don't think this would be a fair accusation of "rehash." And I've probably only seen 70% of TOS episodes, and less of Voyager.

    However, I have seen all of DS9 and TNG, and I don't have an example out of these series where "Anomaly" can fairly be charged as rehash. Are you referring to the piracy event? If so, we can stop the discussion now, because I don't consider a basic event in a given episode justify rehash. As I watch more and more reruns of TOS, I could accuse 60% of TNG as being rehash of TOS if I wanted to be loose about it.

    "Anomaly" used a familiar basic plot or event - yes. However, I felt it had it's own distinct touches on it, such that I wasn't reminded of anything I'd seen previously while I watched it. I can't say the same for some more obvious carbon-copied storylines, like the one that seems to be recycled by each series every other year - the crew get sick, are either quarantined or "trapped" on the ship, while time runs out.

    I can't see how "Anomaly" qualifies as 'rehash' unless you use a fairly low common denominator.

    As for TOS - as I said, TNG often seems like the same script with a new setting. On the other hand, this series was ages ago, so rehashing of stories (let alone ideas, which is often all that is truly rehashed) barely bothers me. My apologies to those who were around to watch it 'ages ago,' but there's a "next generation" audience, too. [​IMG]

    So I guess I'm not just arguing rehash - I suppose I also think there's good rehash, and there's bad rehash. And "Anomaly" isn't bad regardless.
     
  2. Mike Breeden

    Mike Breeden Active Member

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    As for the Anomaly not affecting humans/people, the prisoner did mention that his facial disfigurment was caused by it. Maybe it happens over a period of time. Just my 3cents
     
  3. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. An anomoly that warps the decking of a starship, but doesn't, say, break the legs of the people walking on that deck. But, give it enough time, and it'll burn your face!

    The point is, people aren't special, as far as a physical phenomenon is concerned. They're just more matter in complicated, easily broken configurations.
     
  4. Mike Breeden

    Mike Breeden Active Member

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    So your point is that the anomaly should effect a person the same way it is affecting the metal/ship even though they made up of different compositions? If that was the case that would happen the same way on earth. So when one person catches a virus and dies then the next person that catches it should die? But that is not always the case (IE. SARS, AIDS), what causes whales to beach and not all whales or at least the same species of whales to beach.

    The point I was trying to make is that it can effect things differently. We do not know how long it took the prisoner to be disfigured. you assumed it was over time. Notice how the decking went back into place but the coffee cup did not returned to its position. Noticed that the aminals were affected but not the humans, etc
     
  5. doug zdanivsky

    doug zdanivsky Well-Known Member

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  6. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Well-Known Member

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  7. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Well-Known Member

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  8. PhilipG

    PhilipG Well-Known Member

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  9. Don S

    Don S Well-Known Member

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    One of the best episodes of the series. A striking difference to many of the eposiodes, I was interested from start to finish.
     
  10. Ivan Lindenfeld

    Ivan Lindenfeld Well-Known Member

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    OK, folks, I am going to assert that Star Trek is alive and well. Not because "Anomoly" was a great episode of "Enterprise" (it was) or a good episode of "Star Trek" (it was that too) but because...wait for it...

    There is enough in the episode for people to GET all "fannish" about. I mean, if you (jason for one) are nitpicking how the spatial anomolies work then there must not have been much wrong with the episode as entertainment.

    I really enjoyed it. It was good storytelling for ONCE; I adore the new details on the exteriors of the NX-01. I didn't think "that's cool CGI" I thought "that's a cool Enterprise." Granted, the shuttle pod doing a backflip was silly and totally under-rendered in detail but it was a joke anyway. It was supposed to be funny, and I thought it was.

    There were better directed chase/battles in this episode than in all of Nemesis.

    The story of the NX-01's search for the Xindi was forwarded, as were details about them. ARcher is angry. So what? Let him be, he has good reason to be. They are way the fock over their heads with inferior technology. It's like a wilderness out there, wait could that be a "Wagon Train to the stars parallel? [​IMG] It's more realistic a characterization for him to be angry than Trip. Trip is too exhausted to feel angry from the grief of his loss (or something else that is affecting his sleep pattern and not just T'Pol's boobage. Stay tuned!)

    I am looking forward to next week as much as I am to the Smallville premiere and I am a fan of Smallville.

    I missed the preview on my PVR. Can someone link me to scenes from next week?
     
  11. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Well-Known Member

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    Ivan, not sure but previews might be available from either www.startrek.com or trekweb.com

    Nelson
     
  12. Ivan Lindenfeld

    Ivan Lindenfeld Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Nelson it was on Startrek.com. Looks good, and proves that we have an actual story arc on our hands for sure!
     
  13. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Well-Known Member

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  14. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome Ivan. Glad you found it there.
     
  15. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Well-Known Member

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    This episode seems to have had just about the reaction I would have expected. Its fast pacing (including that of the soundtrack) and "excitement factor" give the casual fans their action-fix-of-the-week, while leaving enough detail for the rest of us to pick over. The former tend to think it's a good to great episode, the latter (myself included) think it's "merely 'okay'". I put it there with last year's Borg episode "Regeneration". Better than what the series's been, but . . . . .

    (1) The Science (i.e., Scientific Plausibility)
    :


    (a) "Communication":

    Andrew Beacom (post #24):


    Quote:



    It had some stuff that was stupid like . . . . the whole database download thing. How convenient that they had a database with "probably" everything Enterprise wanted to know about the Xindi.






    I cannot tell you how unrealistic I also find the database identification, download, and decipherment parts of the "science" of these episodes, this one in particular.


    The easy and selective "downloads" between incompatible technological systems is totally at odds with anything we can extrapolate today.

    ---Osaarian ship manifests (so says Maywether) are found and downloaded from modules on the sphere.
    ---"Deciphered" by Hoshi, who recognizes three "ideographs" (symbols) observed on the remains of the Xindi probe. "I haven't found the Xindi database" among the downloads, Hoshi Sato says. (Now, how would she know what's Xindi and what's not?)
    ---Osaarians downloaded Xindi databases when they attacked the now derelict ship.
    ---With the security access codes of the Osaarians obtained under duress from the prisoner, Enterprise lures the Osaarians back out from behind the cloaking field. After the battle, they have "about 90%" of the Xindi database downloaded from close proximity to the Osaarian ship during battle. Archer begins to view the Xindi database at the end of the episode with his naked eye.

    How does Maywether identify "cargo manifests" in an unknown writing system he's seeing (presumably) for the first time?
    How does Sato know how much of the Osaarian database contains Xindi data and how does she know? How does---how can---she know the percentages? Has Archer now become a cryptographer and/or translator?

    I should think the data in these would be stored in bit-like, rather than in graphic, form. To make the separations the script suggests, my bet is Sato would have to "translate" the computational forms into "visual" or graphic forms. Then she would have to be able to distinguish Xindi "visual" or graphic form, from Osaarian "visual"/graphic form, and, furthermore, from the visual or graphic forms of every other stored system within the computer database, no? (And it would take a whole lot more than recognizing 2 or 3 symbols from the wreckage of the original probe, I can tell you.) She would have to download the entire Osaarian database in order to study it enough to distinguish one set of data from the other, from the rest, it seems to me.

    Folks, this is not an "instaneous" exercise. Not something to be done in minutes, or even hours.


    Jason Seaver wrote (post #18):


    Quote:



    Speaking of Hoshi having something to do, some consistency on the language barrier thing would be nice.





    You got it. Problem is, to make what she's supposed to be doing realistic, would become boring and undramatic, which is exactly what such work is in reality.


    (b) Time Travel:


    Andrew Beacom wrote (post #24):


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    They just can't leave the time travel thing alone can they?





    Al Shing wrote (post #25):


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    The time travel thing went all the way back to first season Star Trek TOS, so they really can't leave it alone. It's an integral part of ST.





    It's an "integral part" of one of Star Trek's fundamental weaknesses as a franchise, and always has been.

    (post #27):


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    Theres a difference between in being a part of ST and it being used as a crutch by the writers. Like it currently is IMO.







    Quote:



    The best episode of all time was "City on the Edge of Forever", a time travel episode.





    Certainly a widely held opinion about a fan favorite. Hardly "the best".


    Will_B wrote (post #33):


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    Time issues are finally being used interestingly now though. In only two episodes . . . . . It's impossible to tell what time this universe exists in, . . . .





    Exactly what some of us have a big problem with: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . ."


    GordonL wrote (post #34):


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    It was an ok episode if I don't think about it too hard.





    But, that's the problem: Star Trek was certainly always meant to be "fun", first and foremost, but the producers have always (up until recently, at least) striven to make it a "thinking-man's action-adventure outer space show". This "long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . ."-stuff don't cut it. Wrong "franchise"!


    Tony Whalen wrote (post #37):


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    I guess I'm the only one that did NOT think Death Star. Why is it than anything metallic and spherical in space is automatically a "death star"? Lucas doesn't have a copyright on outer-space-spherical constructs. Dyson spheres ,for example, were around in sci-fi long before the Death Stars were.

    Oh, and that's exactly what I thought when I saw it. DYSON SPHERE! COOL!






    You're not the only one. Others of us who aren't particularly enamored of the Star Wars franchise also thought "Dyson's sphere" (cf. TNG "Relics").



    Quote:



    Then someone on the bridge mentioned that it was only 12 kilometers across. . . .





    I believe it was said to be 19 kilometers; the fusion reactors inside are said to be "about 12 km each" in size.

    (c) Anomaly:

    PhilipG wrote (post #8):


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    Those who had problems with the gravity anomaly last week are going to have a field day complaining about this ep.





    You got that right.

    (post #37):


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    I figured that all the anomaly activity would drive the critics of the anomaly in the previous episode nuts, but I can't understand why people have issues with this when it was CLEARLY established that the laws of physics may not apply in the "Expanse". *shrug*






    Jason Seaver (post #39):


    Quote:




    (A) . . . .
    (B) . . . .
    (C) . . . .
    (D) . . . .






    (post #43):


    Quote:



    The point is, people aren't special, as far as a physical phenomenon is concerned. They're just more matter in complicated, easily broken configurations.





    That pretty much sums it up for me. Pretty much what I was trying to say in my commentary on "The Xindi" episode of the previous week (without the fine exposition).

    But let me say it again: the reason "we" have a problem with it is that, despite B&B's best efforts to undo it, ST has always presented itself as an action-adventure SCIENCE fiction series, not just some loud, colorful, jerk-off space fantasy. That means thinking about the implications of the premises. If the laws of physics do not apply in a region of space-time, can human (or any other Earth or Earthlike) life survive in it? If so, how convenient if some of the laws don't apply some of the time just when the story requires it in order to move the plot forward, but otherwise do. In good SCIENCE fiction, saying it's so alone doesn't do it. Plausibility has to be earned.


    I should point out at this juncture that the concept of highly localized "spatio-temporal anomalies" is anything but new to Star Trek. In particular, one should compare the unusual goings-on here with the phenomena in TNG episode "Timescape" (written by . . .[DRUM ROLL]. . . Brana Braga), in which, indeed, floating pockets of anomalous distortion cause "time locks" or "freezes" that incapacitate or destroy either living or nonliving material entities. To even come mildly in contact with one of these mini-zones causes severe pain or even total involvement (i.e., freeze). Captain Picard sticks his hand into one of these zones to touch some decayed fruit and the "velocity of time passage" causes him severe pain and causes, for visual effect, his hand's fingernails to grow rapidly (weeks' worth) in just a few (painful) seconds. (In the episode this is presumably meant to be the direct opposite effect that the "freezing" pockets have had on other matter/people we observe.) LaForge also is exposed to one of these pockets (the large one involving the whole Romulan ship, I believe) after having his protective body shield partially disrupted by an alien in Romulan form. He immediately goes into a kind of life-threatening paroxysmic shock and is allowed to be "frozen" completely in the time pocket rather than suffer the immediate deadly effects of partial contact with the zone.

    By contrast, Captain Archer finds his cup of coffee still suspended in mid-air over his desk when he returns to his quarters, with coffee spilling out of it. Irritated, he reaches up from his seat and removes the cup from the mid-air distortion, yet is in no way affected himself in the process. Stick your hand in a hot oven, even for a few seconds, and you're likely to get some affect, but here, NOTHING!



    (2) "Rehashing":

    Dan Paolozza (post #41):


    Quote:



    . . . I personally don't think this would be a fair accusation of "rehash." And I've probably only seen 70% of TOS episodes, and less of Voyager.

    However, I have seen all of DS9 and TNG, and I don't have an example out of these series where "Anomaly" can fairly be charged as rehash. Are you referring to the piracy event? If so, we can stop the discussion now, because I don't consider a basic event in a given episode justify rehash. As I watch more and more reruns of TOS, I could accuse 60% of TNG as being rehash of TOS if I wanted to be loose about it.

    "Anomaly" used a familiar basic plot or event - yes. However, I felt it had it's own distinct touches on it, such that I wasn't reminded of anything I'd seen previously while I watched it. I can't say the same for some more obvious carbon-copied storylines, like the one that seems to be recycled by each series every other year - the crew get sick, are either quarantined or "trapped" on the ship, while time runs out.

    I can't see how "Anomaly" qualifies as 'rehash' unless you use a fairly low common denominator.







    That's because you haven't watched enough Voyager episodes. The whole Kazon thread which went on for---what?---two years was about nothing but this: the Kazon were aggrieved that the Federationists refused to "share" their technology and, hence, felt entitled to raid it. And such a theme was a thread throughout Voyager's seven-year run. They were always being "raided" or attacked for one thing or another: body parts (the Vidiians), supplies or technology ("Concerning Flight" (#79)); "Equinox" (pts. 1-2) (#s 120-121)), the very ship itself ("Displaced" (#67), etc.

    Note in this regard particularly, Voyager episode #161, "The Void": "Voyager is pulled into an empty layer of subspace where ships are forced to attack each other and steal supplies for survival. The ship's only hope for survival lies in forming alliances with other ships who wish to escape 'The Void.'"


    For "anomalies" ("Been there! Done that!"), in addition to the above:

    Voyager (#22), "Twisted":

    "A spatial distortion ring begins to reconfigure the internal layout of Voyager. With the crew unable to get to vital systems, and the captain injured after coming into contact with the anomaly, the ship is slowly twisted as the ring implodes and endangers the crew."


    Directed (rather than accidental) time travel:

    #s 50-51 "Future's End" (1-2) [a good example of what sometimes gave me a headache about Voyager]

    #91 "Living Witness" [not technically "time travel", but may as well be, with its exact photographic representations of past events]:

    "700 years into the future the Doctor must defend the crew of Voyager and set history straight when an alien race claims that the Warship Voyager was responsible for war crimes commited against their race."

    #118 "Relativity": "When Voyager is destroyed 500 years into the future, Captain Braxton of the 29th Century Timeship Relativity contacts Seven of Nine to travel back in time and discover who planted the 'temporal disruptor.'"

    Does any of this sound "familiar" in regard to this discussion? (It should.)

    In fact, I'm beginning to wonder whether Braga and Berman may eventually try to tie in some of the time-travel nonsense they introduced in Voyager to the world of Enterprise (time-travel bureau + temporal war =====> dead end). (Of course, it's not all together clear to me that they haven't already tried to do so.)

    So, no, because you haven't seen it, it doesn't mean it hasn't been done (sometimes to death) in Star Trek history.

    doug zdanivsky (post #45):


    Quote:



    But, I've said time and time again that after 40 years of television EVERY possible plot/event/twist has been explored and it is near impossible NOT to plagerize from one series and/or genre or another.

    This episode had some fresh twists, which is why nobody's whining about it.. But it's a common theme that's already been used on Enterprise once, and on other Star Trek episodes countless times.. Let's hope it doesn't become excessive like the "prison break" episodes






    It would be more accurate, in my opinion, to say that all the "permissible possible plot/event/twists have been explored . . ." There's only so much from the possible universe of events that Hollywood is willing even to explore. And, I might add, it's the "action-adventure" end of the show descriptor that's the real limiting factor. It's not the "sci-fi" part.
     
  16. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Well-Known Member

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    Nelson Au wrote (post #22):

     
  17. Dan Paolozza

    Dan Paolozza Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty damning, as far as plot synopses go. I've never seen that episode of Voyager, or any of those listed for that matter - but it sure looks like a Voyager story redone on Enterprise. In fact, based on this week's synopsis, I'm starting to wonder if 90% of the scripts are just old Voyager scripts dusted off (whether they were produced and aired or not) and produced for this series. And I'm not talking about the same basic idea or event built into the world of Enterprise. It seems many of these Voyager episodes would probably look verbatim in script form to their Enterprise equivalents.
     
  18. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the "Void" is close enough to warrent calling it rehashed on Enterprise. The only resemblence is the stealing of supplies. The motives of Archer and the resolutions are different. I admit that there is a sufficient amount of evidence for anyone to make this accusation, but I think the story of Anomoly resolved itself differently enough to put it apart. And next week's Extinction does sound like a rehash, but again, no one outside of the production company has seen it yet. So it could surprise. My 2 cents anyway.
     
  19. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Well-Known Member

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    Rex, on the downlaoding of computer files and telling how much was done, etc., that's easy. All ships, no matter the race who designed them, use the new Microsoft IS (Inter-Stellar) operating system. [​IMG]
     
  20. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Well-Known Member

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    Rex, you're right about the translation and database stuff, and I thought about all that.

    I think the reason it doesn't really bother me, though, is because the very basic set premise of the franchise is implausible: an endless amount of alien races that are very close to human, easily communicate, and even mate.

    If Warf and Dax can have a kid, then Hoshi can understand the Xindi database.
     

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