Some folks were born, made to fly a ship, ooh we’re headed to warp four

but when Nausicaan pirates attack, those Freighters come back for more more more more….

It’ aint me, it’s Fortunate Son originally broadcast on November 21, 2001.

The Episode:

Captain’s Log date undetermined

When the Enterprise is sent in to assist freighter ship ECS Fortunate with some Nausicaan pirates, Archer and crew soon discovers that the crew of the Fortunate have taken a Nausicaan prisoner and they want him back.  Meanwhile Mayweather has to choose between his loyalty to his Boomer friends or his own ship as acting Captain Ryan is determined to bring the fight to the Nausicaans no matter what. After a massive space battle Ryan finds the Nausicaan base inadvertently causing the Fortunate to become overrun by the Nausicaan pirates.  By the end, Archer is able to defuse the situation, reaching a compromise with the Nausicaan Captain.  Then Archer meets with the Fortunate’s true Captain, Captain Keene who assures him that he will handle Ryan himself.   Archer and the crew return to Enterprise and continue on their journey.  

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

Ok,  is it too much to ask for a series about a freighter crew in the Star Trek universe?  I mean, every single series we get is about a Starfleet vessel or base dealing with everyone else.  How about a series dealing with an interstellar hauler as they work their way through hostile territory?  In fact it could still be based just after this series without much concern over canonical issues as, they could easily meet with unknown species that are never officially documented because, well, who would they report them to?   Lets make the Captain a former Starfleet officer who was disillusioned by the militaristic style of Starfleet and now is hauling freight through the galaxy.  Bam!  CBS, please email me so I can work on this with you all on this.

That aside, this episode is actually a really solid one giving us a chance to see another side of humanity in space.  For much of the franchise we have only had a chance to see the more organized crews from Starfleet as they jump from adventure to adventure, but what about the regular guys, the working class heroes of the galaxy?  We finally get a chance to see them in action and, wow, they have a pretty tough life.  Facing Nausicaans, taking long hauls through dangerous territory, just getting by as they worry about their futures as the advent of faster ships and better technology looms on the horizon.  That last part is really what this episode is about, the fear of change and of the future.  

First officer Ryan is the equivalent of the angry homesteader who, when he finally takes matters into his own hands, is slapped down by the state or federal government.  While his methods are rather extreme, he does not see the value or the trustworthy nature of this new Starfleet as it begins to develop.  So far the Transport operators, or Boomers as they are nicknamed, have been largely ignored and left on their own as they haul vital supplies around the galaxy.  These ships are not well armed or well armoured but they do their best with what they have. It is a really cool peak behind the bulkheads of the galaxy and a chance to really see just how non-Starfleet humans handle their day to day blue collar lives.  

Overall, I think this is one of the strongest and most interesting episodes this season.  We get a chance to learn more about Mayweather and his history before joining Starfleet while also seeing how the galaxy handles the advent of the Federation and all the growing pains that go with progress.

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • This is technically Humanities first encounter with the Nausicaans,  a race that would later be known for stabbing a certain Captain through the heart.
  • Apparently there are 3 more NX ships being built, of which Enterprise is the first.  

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:  Cold Front

more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 5/14/2021

Behold and fear the dreaded Nausicaan thumb trick!

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.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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