Needing repairs, Enterprise finds a friend…who may want more than they are willing to provide. Originally broadcast on October 9, 2002 this is Dead Stop.
Captain’s Log Date undetermined
After their fateful encounter with the Romulans in the previous episode, Enterprise needs some serious repair work. Unable to go above warp 2.1, they are years from home and not in good shape. After sending out a distress call, they learn from a Tellarite freighter that a repair station is nearby. Setting course, they find it and soon discover it to not only be automated, but quite accommodating.
After negotiation for repairs, the station begins work on Enterprise and allows the crew to take any down time they wish while waiting. During the repairs, Mayweather is found dead due to a strange accident, and when Archer and team investigate, they discover the truth behind the station and it’s seemingly magical efficiency. Replicating and swapping Mayweather, it planned to use his brain to add to the brains of other humanoids as processing power. Determined to break loose and refuse any further work from the station, Archer forces Enterprise out and manages to destroy the station using the Plasma canister payment as a bomb.
As Enterprise heads off, the ruins of the space station begin to repair itself…
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I love the fact that this episode addresses the previous episodes damage to the ship and doesn’t just ignore it like sooo much of Voyager did. I mean, seriously, between the magically appearing shuttle crafts and the miraculous damage repairs, I swear Janeway made a sneaky deal with Q when he arrived on the ship that she never told anyone about. One of my biggest complaints of any of these series is a lack of continuity and consequences, and it seems that Enterprise is doing everything it can to address those things this season with the ongoing references to past events and previous issues. Heck, Archer even mentions the squeak in his quarters that apparently just can not be fixed!
The story itself is a cool one, a mysterious repair station that can fix anything for a fee happens to be in space and available to repair the ship and some of the crew only to be run by the brains of kidnapped aliens. It is a total Outer Limits style story but with a cool Star Trek twist. The interesting thing about this episode is that, had the crew of the Enterprise left well enough alone, I really doubt Mayweather would have been kidnapped and no one would have been the wiser. In fact, it wasn’t until Travis and Reed began snooping around that the station chose to ‘kill’ and kidnap Mayweather. So, really, his ‘death’ is very much their fault. I have to wonder if those bodies were actually payment for someone else’s repair work in the past. I mean, it’s not unexpected that the ship would give the option of ‘one crew member’ for payment for some significant damage to a ship, or even a fleet of ships. Heck, the fact that we see what appears to be a Cardassian among the bodies makes this theory even more plausible, because we all know that the Cardassians would have no issues using one of their own as payment. Sure, it swapped bodies and all but, who’s counting.
Now the thing that gets me about this episode is that we never even get a hint as to who built or even created this space station. This would have been a tremendous opportunity to suggest that maybe this was leftover tech from The Proginators or even tied to the Dyson Sphere that we saw on STNG that was never mentioned again. Heck, this could have even been left over Iconian tech that has been floating around for some 200,000 years fixing ships and updating itself. Sadly, we never find out, the only hint we get is that it speaks with the voice of someone we all know and love, one Roxanna Dawson who also happens to direct this one!
Mayweather’s death is a significant moment for this episode as it seemed to be an actual event, not just a way for the station to kidnap him. After his death we really get a chance to see just how much the crew had come to love Travis Mayweather, from Hoshi visiting his body in sickbay to Archer and Reed discussing the letter he had been writing home. I loved that there was a legitimate sadness in the crew that could really be felt and, when it is discovered that Mayweather is in fact alive and well, you can almost feel the relief.
Overall, this is a really great episode that sets up the classic ‘alien of the week’ but also manages to give us a really great mystery as well. While we never do find out who or what built the station, and why it was designed to use humanoid brains like something out of The Matrix, it does make for some solid scifi.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- What is the deal with Tellerite Freighters? Those same folks even received the Carbon Creek Vulcan’s distress call. Are the Tellerites just the most abundant species in the galaxy or something?
- Enterprise, and in turn Starfleet, gets it’s first experience with replicator tech. I have to wonder if this is not where the inspiration for that tech comes from. Did Trip keep this in his mind ever since he ate that replicated catfish? hmmmmm
- Archer just yanks out tubes from Mayweather’s body without even considering what there were doing for him. I kinda wonder why Dr Phlox wasn’t with them in case they needed to do something like this. Seems kinda reckless.
- Also, how does Archer know that this station is not someone’s vital stop during a shipping route. I mean, some Tellerite Traitor might be planning to stop there for some fuel or much needed repairs and now finds himself stranded thanks to some Starfleet space jocks. Typical.
- They never address the clone body of Mayweather on the ship…is it still there? Did they give it to him since technically they are related? I want to know!
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: A Night in Sickbay
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Late To The Game 6/30/2021
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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