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Star Trek: Enterprise 1/21/'03: "Proving Ground"


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#1 of 35 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted January 18 2004 - 07:25 PM

episode title: "Proving Ground"
episode: #065
original airdate: January 21, 2003
writer: Chris Black
director: David Livingston
synopsis: "Andorian Imperial Guard Commander Shran and his warship track Enterprise down in the Delphic Expanse to offer Captain Archer help as an ally, and together, the two former adversaries plan to steal a prototype of the Xindi's planet-destroying superweapon. As a confrontation with the Xindi looms, Lt. Reed gets help fixing the NX-01's damaged weapons systems from a striking Andorian female, Lt. Talas, a contentious officer with her own agenda."

More adventure, less moralism (but still no "originality") this week?

"Delenda est . . . . "

 


#2 of 35 OFFLINE   Tony Whalen

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Posted January 19 2004 - 03:41 AM

I'm always up for an episode of Trek where Jeff Coombs is the guest-star. Posted Image

#3 of 35 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted January 21 2004 - 03:33 PM

Excellent episode. Besides the "previously on" that covered several episodes, I liked the little stabs at continuity. For example, in the first scene where they were tracing the device, I was thinking back to last week's episode. "But, the data was erased!" Right then, there was the bit of dialogue stating that 30% had been recovered. And, it was nice that that info was given without any further heavy-handed explanation. "We've recovered 30% from when it was erased by those people who took over the ship! Remember?" Posted Image

As Tony noted, it's great seeing Jeffrey Combs again. I hope he's around more in the future. Season 3's direction was apparently partly the brainchild of Ira Behr, so maybe he can come on-board full time. He'll make sure Combs is around a bit.

Have we seen an Andorian bridge before? That looked good.

#4 of 35 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted January 21 2004 - 04:24 PM

Agreed Greg, this was a good show.

How do you know Ira Behr had a hand with S3? I thought he turned down the offer to come back.

The plotting was fun on this one, last week's show, Chosen Realm was a waste of time in terms maintaining the current thread to get to the Xindi. It should have been a stand alone show for another time.

Jeff Combs was again doing his usual good job. With the expense of the Andorian bridge set, I hope he comes back.

Did I hear right at the end of the show, did
T'Pol say that she and Hoshi intercept the scans for the Xindi weapon from a clandestine means, on a frequency not normally used by Andorians. At first I thought it meant that it was being sent to Andoria secretly. But then I realized as Archer was so pleased to hear the news that it was actually Shran sending it to Archer.
I enjoyed this little subtext going on where Shran was acting for his people, but was also
feeling that bit of respect for Archer and the Pinkskins. It was all an act to fool his crew and Archer.


Nelson

#5 of 35 OFFLINE   RickGr

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Posted January 21 2004 - 04:24 PM

Very nice. Enterprise needs more like this.
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#6 of 35 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted January 21 2004 - 04:33 PM

Quote:
How do you know Ira Behr had a hand with S3? I thought he turned down the offer to come back.

I think it was one of the Ron Moore interviews. I'll have to take a look to find the exact quote. Basically, Berman supposedly called Behr, and he suggested this storyline. I don't think the extent of his suggestion was revealed.

Re: your spoiler

I believe the idea was that someone on the Andorian ship sent the schematics to Enterprise to help them out. The obvious "suspect" is Shran, but it may have also been Talas who sent it. She seemed to make a connection with Malcolm.


#7 of 35 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted January 21 2004 - 04:46 PM

All I've found so far is this from the IGN interview:

Quote:
IGNFF: Rick brought Ira in to discuss ways to fix Enterprise – were you ever brought in along those lines?

MOORE: No. Never was.

I think there was more that that. Maybe it was a news item on Trek Today. If so, it's probably linked in another thread, as I never end up at that site unless someone links something here.

That quote is on this page:

http://filmforce.ign.../444306p12.html

#8 of 35 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted January 21 2004 - 04:47 PM

Thanks Greg. I'll review the Ron Moore interviews as well.

Re: the spoiler, I forgot about that one, but I think either one is possible!

Nelson

#9 of 35 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted January 21 2004 - 05:30 PM

Interesting note, BTW; a lot of the Andromeda boards are booming with the note that Robert Wolfe was contacted as well..

Dear god, if they can do anything right, have Berman go hands off and bring back Moore, Behr, and Wolfe, and you've got a writing troop that could make this fun.
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#10 of 35 OFFLINE   PhilipG

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Posted January 21 2004 - 07:20 PM

Solid episode. Posted Image

Of course, Jeffrey Combs makes a scene twice as good with just a glance.

I really like the Andorians. I say: ditch Vulcan Barbie and bring in Combs and the female Andorian as regulars. Heck, ditch Enterprise and follow the Andorian ship instead. Posted Image


#11 of 35 OFFLINE   Mark Turetsky

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Posted January 22 2004 - 01:19 AM

Quote:
Dear god, if they can do anything right, have Berman go hands off and bring back Moore, Behr, and Wolfe, and you've got a writing troop that could make this fun.
Not likely, since Behr, Echevarria, and Wolfe are working together on a new show for USA called The 4400s (I think that's what it's called) and Moore is likely doing Galactica.

#12 of 35 OFFLINE   Ivan Lindenfeld

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Posted January 22 2004 - 02:18 AM

Enterprise is on here at 11pm Wednesdays. Which is to say, my bedtime. Posted Image

I heard the promo though and stayed up. Steals the Xindi weapon! Andorians! Sexy Andorians! Impatient Xindi! Space Battle!

Damn. Good. Episode. I will enjoy watching it again on PVR with my wife.

Was this the real birth of the Federation? Where is Andoria politically in Jim Kirk's time? Is the Xindi attack on Earth the catalyst for galaxy-wide sympathy? Is there a big Earth defense battle coming up with various planets involved in helping the humans? Who here is not excited about the prospect? And finally, how is it that the Earth becomes home base for The Federation? We're not even any where near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. We're out on an arm somewhere. Posted Image

Oh, and why does modern sci fi only create planet-killing weapons shaped as spheres? Because a cube has already been done in Trek? Are we all out of shapes? I am thinking octohedron. Posted Image
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#13 of 35 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted January 22 2004 - 02:56 AM

Quote:
Behr, Echevarria, and Wolfe are working together on a new show for USA called The 4400s (I think that's what it's called) and Moore is likely doing Galactica.
Well, The 4400 is a mini-series; Echevarria is also attached to a Fox pilot called Ricochet (a cop show that starts with the arrest and works backwards).
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#14 of 35 OFFLINE   Steve Crowley

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Posted January 22 2004 - 03:49 AM

Finally an episode worth talking about. How about having the Andorians finally having their battle with the Vulcans with the Federation coming to the bargaining table and proposing peace. Now that the Xindi know the Andorians have stole the weapon they will try to take on them as well.

When the Andorians are fighting the Vulcans here come the Xindi with the Federation warning them. This script can write itself for the next two years with a battle like this waging on. Have a few personal interest love stories,morality and the beginning of the prime directive and we might have a show on our hands. Cheers.
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#15 of 35 OFFLINE   Andrew Beacom

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Posted January 22 2004 - 05:38 AM

Best Enterprise episode in a long time.

I 2nd the vote to ditch the humans and have the show just deal with the Andorian ship and the border skirmishes with the Vulcans.

#16 of 35 OFFLINE   Greg Walker

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Posted January 22 2004 - 06:53 AM

As a fan of TNG, I often read these weekly Enterprise threads and think about my feelings for Picard and crew during their first three seasons. I think that Enterprise is improving at a far faster rate than TNG did. Keep the episodes like this one coming. I already like the series and see potential for it to become as dear to me as TNG.
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#17 of 35 OFFLINE   Mikel_Cooperman

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Posted January 22 2004 - 07:12 AM

Greg it may be improving but look at the ratings. Most every Trek fan has abandoned this show.
It may be too late.

#18 of 35 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted January 22 2004 - 07:21 AM

Okay, I've sat out Season Three. Saw the first episode, and that was enough. And I've been following Rex's threads since. So, in your estimation, is the episode worth checking out from a jaded TOS/TNG/DS9 fan's viewpoint?

#19 of 35 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted January 22 2004 - 07:51 AM

It's okay. Be warned that this episode may take the prize for "longest, most off-putting recap segment for a single episode" (it would be tough to beat what Miracles did on a regular basis). That's something like two minutes that could have been spent on actual story time.

Folks who love continuity for continuity's sake should love it, and Jeffrey Coombs is almost always a treat. The effects are good eye candy. But, man, it's by the numbers. You've got Malcolm and the cute Andorian girl finding common ground despite their different backgrounds; you've got your Vulcans and Andorians each giving different versions of the history of the conflicts between their species; you've got a few characters who do absolutely nothing of interest; you've got your Xindi being belligerent but unmotivated villains. It's all pulled off quite competently and there's even a certain amount of suspense in the final act. It's well above-average for Enterprise, probably better than Voyager ever managed and wouldn't be an embarassment on the last year or two of TNG.

But...

Something just felt off to me. Like, remember that episode last year with the Klingons putting Archer on trial? The one which should have felt like an epic turning point and yet wound up feeling cheap and disposable? This episode has a bit in common with it; I get the feeling that the writers have pumped the size of the threat up (a weapon that can destroy a planet!), but don't understand the scope of it.

There's a hint that the very knowledge of this weapon is having an effect on the planets that will make up the Federation, but they don't do anything more sophisticated with the idea than the Andorians feeling it could tip the balance of power in their conflict with Vulcan. To be sure, Shran does seem a little more forward-looking, but that's it. There's even a bizarre scene where Archer and T'Pol ask Shran how he knows about the attack on Earth, and figure they must be listening in on communications between Earth and the Vulcan High Command. As if this kind of attack from an unknown foe upon a planet that trades with other worlds would (or could, presuming communications capacity is even vaguely proportional to what it is today) be kept secret, and that this would not be something every other local world would find of immediate concern.

It's a good episode... for Enterprise, though it would probably be considered fairly unsophisticated on DS9.
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#20 of 35 OFFLINE   Qui-Gon John

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Posted January 22 2004 - 08:32 AM

Quote:
Oh, and why does modern sci fi only create planet-killing weapons shaped as spheres? Because a cube has already been done in Trek? Are we all out of shapes? I am thinking octohedron.

Hey, don't forget TOS's log shaped Doomsday Machine. Of course you did say modern sci-fi.


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