Archer finds out that sometimes, other species just don’t want to talk with you. Originally broadcast on January 16, 2002 this is Silent Enemy.
Captain’s Log date September 1, 2151
Enterprise is in the process of launching subspace buoys but, After a rather strange encounter with a strange alien the crew of Enterprise begin to grow concerned. Soon the aliens return and attack the ship prompting Enterprise to install new weapons systems that may require a return to Jupiter station. Believing he can manage without the assistance of the engineering team back in the Sol System, Reed and Tucker begin working on the installation themselves. Before long they encounter the aliens again who keep coming back for more as the team continue to attempt the installation of the weapons. When the aliens come back a final time, Reed manages to find a way to make the weapons work properly scaring away the unknown enemy. Oh, and the entire time the Enterprise is under constant attack, some of the crew attempt to find out what Reed’s favorite food is for his birthday. It’s Pineapple Cake for the record.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Once again, while this wasn’t a ‘bad’ episode, it once again falls into ‘playing it safe’. I mean, I do get how difficult it had to be to write a series where the future is already established, but it when it comes to series taking place pre-Original Series the writers either play it super safe like this series or just go too extreme like they did with some of Discovery and their radical changes. That being said, this episode is a very by the books basic plot, Ship encounters aliens, aliens attack, ship is outgunned, ship needs an upgrade, ragtag crew makes do, ship beats aliens. I mean, pretty darn basic. Toss in a B story about someone’s favorite dessert and, well, we get a story about Alien attacks and a pineapple cake.
I do understand the reason for this episode, it was meant to show how a human crew on the first deep space ship was ill prepared for the threats of the unknown. Lets be honest though, much like the Enterprise B in Generations, not having weapon systems installed is not something a ship should be facing especially after encountering the Klingons in their very first mission. All this aside, I did enjoy the sense of teamwork this little skirmish caused and it was fun to see how this crew actually responded to a genuine threat. When the aliens actually manage to board the ship, there are moments where the episode takes on a real horror feel not unlike that of the film Alien. Even with this dark threat, this crew is more than willing to take the risk of traveling in unknown space facing unknown dangers. It is indeed a testament to the crew Captain Archer has put together.
Overall, while this is a super basic and rather safe episode, it’s not a bad one in the least but, as I said, an episode that is played very safe and quite by the book. That said, this one makes a pretty decent introduction episode for someone not familiar with this series as it gives new viewers a chance to get to see this crew in action without the need for much context.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We never learn who the aliens are who attack Enterprise, but they have an interesting resemblance to three different species from the classic Animated series, the Phylosians, the Vendorians and the Edosians. I have to wonder if they were originally meant to be one of these species but were eventually abandoned. While we don’t see the aliens again, we do see their ships but we never see if they are the same species.
- We meet Reed’s Parents, Sister and best friend via subspace communications.
- We see the first version of the phaser weapons later used on ‘future’ series.
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: Dear Doctor
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Late To The Game 5/19/2021
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