Vulcans, Espionage and Andorian. Who’s watching who on the episode that originally aired on October 31, 2001. This is The Andorian Incident.
Captain’s Star Log June 19, 2151
The Enterprise stops by a Vulcan monastery where they discover that the Andorians have taken the monks hostage blaming the Vulcans for spying on them. Things get dangerous when Trip, Archer and T’Pol find themselves hostages and Archer begins to negotiate with the Andorian Captain, Shran. In the end, it seems that the Vulcans were indeed spying on the Andorians and Archer exposes their secret putting Shran in the human Captains debt.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
The Andorians are known as one of the founding members of the Federation but we have only seen them from time to time. I find it funny that, with them being a founding species, it takes a series based in the past to finally show them in their full glory. Plus, the fact that the incredible Jeffery Combs gets to represent one of the first Andorians we see is nothing short of a tremendous treat.
Directed by none other than B’Elanna Torres herself, Roxanna Dawson, The Andorian Incident is a tremendous step in the right direction for this series setting up a potential threat that inadvertently ends up with Enterprise having a new ally. One interesting thing this episode does do that goes unsaid is that it furthers the distrust between humanity and Vulcans showing the crew of the Enterprise just how secretive the Vulcans can be. While on the outside they seem to be the ‘righteous’ and honorable people, they are, much like any other species, a self serving, if not unemotional, species who look out for themselves first and foremost. I have to wonder if their first contact with Humanity was not a consideration to take over Earth, but when they found Humanity was so violent, unpredictable and rather smelly, they just kinda gave up and decided to stunt humanities growth instead. One cool thing though is that we see that T’Pol is beginning to realize just how broken her own culture has become with their retreat into Logic and distain for ‘lesser’ species. While Vulcan’s claim that they are impartial, in fact, they have a bit of a superiority complex that is slowly corrupting them from the inside.
To me, the coolest thing about this episode is the aforementioned Jeffery Combs making his first appearance as Shran. While it seemed this may be his only appearance on the series, his popularity in this episode brought him back time and again allowing his character to become one of the best reoccurring one’s in this series.
Overall, This is a tremendous episode that nudges the series in the right direction. While Humanities First Contact with Andorians may have had a rocky start, ultimately these two species would become tremendous allies. It is wonderful to see and exactly where this series should be playing as it is truly some of the unknown and untold tales of the Federation’s past.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn that Vulcans hate the way humans smell. In fact, T’Pol uses a nasal numbing agent to mask the scent.
- We also learn that Vulcan and Andorians were in an essential cold war prior to joining forces in the Federation.
- We get some early fantastic moments with Doctor Phlox as he and T’Pol eat together as he explains that Human exploration is just an extension of the Vulcan IDIC philosophy. While he doesn’t have a big role in this episode, it shows that he is certainly one of the best character on the series.
- I love how Andorians call human’s ‘Pink Skins’. It’s great.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Breaking The Ice
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Late To The Game 5/7/2021
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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