Originally Posted by Roysten
Can't disagree with much of that. A newcomer watching the shows from the first time now may enjoy a lot of Ent, like you say good eps and bad eps like any other show, they may then go on to watch TNG or another show and find it repetitive. I guess that's the curse of having the same people churning out the stuff for over 15 years more or less solidly, full credit to them for such a colossus effort, I can't really imagine how difficult that is, but at the same time a few fresh ideas or a bit of fresh blood thrown into the mix surely can't hurt.
Though coming back back to my original comments regarding Oasis. Repetition and rehashes aside, it is simply just a bit boring. You had a ship of new characters, a new ship in general, almost a new universe to do with as you please and the result is something that adds nothing to the characters, nothing to the ongoing story and has a weak message about overprotective parents that falls flat, and all this only 15 or so episodes in. If it was a bottle show to recoup money then fair enough, but TNG proved through Drumhead that this doesn't have to mean that you can't do a compelling story.
Suppose it's only fair that I put what I'd do had it been me writing the ep (which may be complete rubbish of course). Keeping the basic premise I wouldn't have pushed the horror element, I think it makes for quite a nice opener but I would have dropped the mystery and had the fact the crew were holograms out straight away. They wanted to make it a cute Trip love story, fair enough we'll keep that and expand on it all, have Trip have heart-to-hearts with people as to why he feels so strongly about it, maybe delve into his character a bit more and create some back story. Also go further into the father's reasoning rather than his shaky excuse about being the cause of the crash.
I accept that this may have been a bit risky, as Trek episodes oh so often put in a last minute bit of jeopardy when they feel the main story is a bit risky. I'd rather move away from that, maybe at a push put in a small B-story, but again something that expands the characters with maybe a little comedy rather than just irrelevancies.
I'm not a writer so I might not know what I'm talking about but I think I'd rather watch something akin to that than what we got.
About Oasis, I think it is plain bad and after quickly glancing over the episode list I'd say it is the worst episode of the first season.
But the rest of the season if fairly good. The first four episodes are about encountering a friendly species, a hostile species, exploring a Minshara class planet and getting into politicas with the Andorians and Vulcans. Sure, two of these episodes are medicore and one suffers, like the pilot, from badly done Klingons but Andorian Incident is great. There is a follow-up to the Andorian-Vulcan story, so we get some mild serialization, there is the best ever episode about the Prime Directive and a more mundane PD episode (Desert Crossing). Furthermore we get a fun Risa and Ferengi episode plus two great character pieces involving Malcolm, Shuttle Pod one and Silent Enemy. The rest of the season is the usual amount of fairly forgetable stuff.
While rewatching TNG, probably the best Trek series ever, it strikes me that from the very beginning on the show had ample of stinkers. And it is not like the "let's go down on a planet and show how enlightened the TNG crew is via telling a one-dimensional allegorical story" pattern ever stops.
I am totally agreeing that Enterprise should have been far more 22nd century-ish, instead of crap like Oasis I would have wanted to see more Andorian Incident. But since the very beginning of Trek we had a Spock's Brain for every City on the Edge of Forever.
Originally Posted by samwiseb
And yes, I do dislike what they did with the Vulcans, but not because I am resistant to change. Hearing B&B talk about what they did, I even agree with it in theory. But in the first place, I've never felt like Second Generation Trek from TNG on ever had a real handle on how Vulcans were supposed to act (though I think they actually got it right with the ambassador in 'Fallen Hero', refreshingly enough). And coming out of the pilot, their bigotry still feels excessively forced and could be dialed back a couple notches. Is vegetarianism really a prerequisite criteria for a civilized culture in their eyes? Seems more than a little narrow-minded. Why not veganism? Topping it off, their lead spokesperson with her disdainful, condescendingly over-articulated nuances ("Space, is, very, big. Captain.") still recalls Seven of Nine more closely than I would like even after all these years.
ENT did not make Vulcans veggies, Spock was a vegetarian from the very beginning. Given that meat eating is inefficient, involves the killing of mammals who are probably sentient and leads to avoidable emissions of greenhouse gases it is illogical and unethical. Narrow-minded? Dogmas and principles are better than postmodern permissiveness.
Of course there are Vulcan dogmas which seem excessively rigid, like arranged marriages, having priestesses and so on and we could now start the old debate of whether Vulcans have to be so rigid lest they become savages or whether they could relax a bit an just suppress nasty impulses (basically how our human culture deals with this issue), episode-wise discussed in Fusion and Fallen Hero, but alas, it is truly an old debate.
I do not recall any Vulcan bigotry in Broken Bow. There was ample of paternalistic behaviour and dire attempts to stop humankind from exploring deep space prematurely but there is no bigotry like e.g. by the elder Vulcan fellow in ST09 who directly says that Vulcans are a superior species.
Let's also not forget that the Vulcans are absolutely right, humankind did go out there before they were ready. The catch is of course that there is no right moment for starting deep space exploration, it is always too early, humankind is always unprepared, we have to make the mistakes out there and learn from them. So concerning this issue Vulcans and humans are both right (or wrong).
How species who do not get along at all initially (and even fight each other) slowly become friends was THE big theme of Enterprise. It was an utterly fresh and counter intuitive epic about the slow formation of the Federation and the unfriendly Vulcans are a piece of that story; if they had been as friendly and enlightened as their 23rd and 24th century counterparts this very epic would have been impossible to tell.
Given that ENT was more indirectly, thematically serialized than DS9 it is not surprising that many fans missed these underlying themes (which, to be honest, become more evident if one watches the show in its entirety).
Let's also not forget that there are several reasons for why the Vulcans behave as they do. First, they are influenced by Romulus, second, they lost their Surakian ways, third, their Andorian neighbours truly are unfriendly, fourth, wanting humankind to not go into deep space is rationally justified by Prime Directive logic and emotionally impacted by envy and fear (The Forge).
In short, 22nd Vulcans and the stories involving them are complex, interesting and intelligent. After four Trek series we finally got one which truly focused on Vulcan culture (instead of just one Vulcan like TOS and VOY).