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ENTERPRISE 05/14/'03: "First Flight" (1 Viewer)

Rex Bachmann

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title: "First Flight"
episode: #50
original airdate: May 14, 2003
writer: Chris Black & John Shiban
director: LeVar Burton
synopsis: "Archer tells T'Pol about his days in the NX test program, where he and his rival, A.G. Robinson, were in competition for breaking the Warp 2 barrier."
notes: After the "excitement" that was "Regeneration", it's back to snooze patrol. . . . "Did I ever tell you about the good ol' days when I broke the warp speed record . . . .?" . . . . . ZZZZZzzzzz!
 

Tony Whalen

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Thought it was nice to see a little back-history, myself. Not the most exciting episode... but some interesting background on Archer & Trip.
 

Jack Briggs

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Only Tony has seen it. Certain Canadian stations broadcast the show a day earlier than UPN's U.S. showing.
 

Rex Bachmann

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Questions/Comments:

(a) Why wouldn't or couldn't Star Fleet have had a rescue/recovery vehicle out there near the projected destination of the test flight (somewhere near Jupiter, I presume)?

(b) An escape pod deployed at warp speed? Sounds unsurvivable to me.

(c) Robinson to Archer: "The Vulcans will say you need to run computer simulations for the next 10 years . . . ."

Why? Do the writers have no knowledge of the huge advances made in computer simulation even today? Or, is that merely a comment on the Vulcans?

(d) Robinson's role in the Enterprise saga is to convince Archer that "playing it safe" won't pave the way to the future?

(e) It must be to save on the CGI, but there's never any traffic in orbit around these spacefaring planets, ever notice?

(f) Oxymoron: "We were reckless. We knew there'd be consequences and that we'd probably be thrown out of Star Fleet. . . ."

By my reckoning, they'd only be "reckless" if they'd NOT thought about those things beforehand.

(g) Were Archer and T'Pol supposed to be lighting up the "dark matter" with these torpedoes, or whatever they were? Isn't that impossible? It's not just "dark" matter, after all, is it?

As you can probably tell, this was a lightweight (though harmless) episode about which there's not a whole lot to say. The Vulcans again play the sticks-in-the-mud. What else is new? (The only question there is: are they just stodgy or is there an ulterior motive?)
 

BobV

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"(a) Why wouldn't or couldn't Star Fleet have had a rescue/recovery vehicle out there near the projected destination of the test flight (somewhere near Jupiter, I presume)?"
Who says Jupiter was the projected destination? Robinson bailed out of warp just before the thing exploded. He ended up near Jupiter. Because he ejected, it would logically be assumed that this was not the first choice for destination. I would hazard a guess that the 'projected destination' was back at earth had everything gone right.

"(b) An escape pod deployed at warp speed? Sounds unsurvivable to me."
Haven't we seen this a few times in other series, I'm almost sure of it. We seen it twice in this episode, the second being Archer's escape from the Klingon vessel in what was a smart little understated homage to Robinson's first... very well done.

"(c) Robinson to Archer: "The Vulcans will say you need to run computer simulations for the next 10 years . . . ."
I take it as hyperbole.

"(d) Robinson's role in the Enterprise saga is to convince Archer that "playing it safe" won't pave the way to the future?"
Robinson's role to Archer was stated... the same as Armstrong's role to Aldrin's, only in the end, they actually reversed the roles. (with Warp 2 Robinson=Armstrong, with NX01 Archer=Armstrong) two pilots at the top of their game pushing each other to the betterment of themselves.

I would rate this as one of the better written episodes of Enterprise. Great undercurrents/themes without smashing you over the head with them as they usually do.

"(e) It must be to save on the CGI, but there's never any traffic in orbit around these spacefaring planets, ever notice?"
I'm not an astronaut and I don't work for NASA, but I would say, if you can see other vehicles in orbit you are way too close to them! :) You can't see a car at 2 miles, I would imagine you couldn't see a spaceship at 50... and that's far too close. There's alot of space out there in orbit, no reason to jam yourself next to someone.

"(f) Oxymoron: "We were reckless. We knew there'd be consequences and that we'd probably be thrown out of Star Fleet. . . ."
The oxymoron would be: 'We were reckless. We knew we would probably be thrown out of Star Fleet so we didn't go. That they went proved their recklessness... not going would have not been reckless. It's the actions that were reckless, not the motives.

"(g) Were Archer and T'Pol supposed to be lighting up the "dark matter" with these torpedoes, or whatever they were? Isn't that impossible? It's not just "dark" matter, after all, is it?"
Again, I'm no rocket scientist, but from what I understand of the theory of "dark matter", dark matter is not necessarily 'dark' because light cannot excape (as per a blackhole, don't confuse the two), dark matter is that matter which is theorized to be existant because of the discrepancy of the weight of the universe vs its mass... "there's too much weight and not enough mass therefore there must be some 'dark stuff' that we can not see."

"As you can probably tell, this was a lightweight (though harmless) episode about which there's not a whole lot to say. "

I disagree. Again, I thought it was subtly written and quite interesting both in the fleshing out of the back story and insight into developement of character flaws/strengths.
 

TheLongshot

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It was an OK episode. Basically, it is a rehash of "The Right Stuff" set in the Star Trek universe. Nothing spectacular, and we knew everyone was going to be alright in the end. At the same time, it was watchable.

Jason
 

Nelson Au

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I agree with BobV, there were some nice subtle moements and writing. The message of the story was nice and it relating to history of the US Space program.
 

Jack Briggs

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Yes, The Right Stuff meets what amounts these days to Star Trek. And the vehicles did look a little suspiciously similar to Chuck Yeager's Bell X-1.

I doubt even at the time of this show's setting that an experimental spacecraft can just be switched on in a hurry, rolled out of the hangar, and then blasted into space. And both attempts at breaking Mach ... excuse me, Warp 2 seemed a bit too derivative of how the (overrated, IMO) film portrayed Yeager breaking the sound barrier.

Also, note the desperate attempt at establishing continuity not only with the early Star Trek universe, but with our own world as well. Sort of ties in with the opening title sequence of the series.

Oddly, though, the episode maintained my interest, which is more than I can say for the one that followed it.
 

Rex Bachmann

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BobV wrote (post #9):

Indeed, you're proving once again that you're not even close to "rock scientist". I sometimes wonder whether people actually read what I've written. I think I understand the basics of the "theory" of so-called "dark matter" as well as you do. I missed the portion of the episode or the dialog which explained what Archer and T'Pol are supposed to be doing with the torpedoes. It looked to me as if they were trying to find "dark matter" by lighting up the darkness of space, which seemed silly to me for exactly the same reason you just explained. That's why I said: "It's not just 'dark' matter, after all, is it?" (Do the quotes around the words tell you nothing???)

I remain "in the dark" as to what they are supposed to be doing with those torpedoes. And I'm not sure the producers/writers know either.

And, as I said before, I consider this a weak and forgettable---not necessarily a "bad"---episode.
 

BobV

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Indeed, you're proving once again that you're not even close to "rock scientist".
Er.. whatever. Was just trying to put a different slant on the episode instead of the usual "everything sucks and is terrible" banter that seems to be sport around here.

Lesson learned. I'll read the posts and keep me thoughts to myself :) .
 

James Zubb

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The torpedos released some material that reacts with dark matter causing it to light up. The vulcans had used it in small experiments to study dark matter. Archer got the idea to use it on a large scale.

I have only been watching Enterprise off and on, hadn't seen an episode in a couple of months. I liked this episode, this is the sort of thing that I wish they would have the whole series about, the begining steps.
 

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