Klingons earn their bad name in the episode that was originally broadcast on October 30, 2002. This is Marauders.
Landing near a mining colony looking for deuterium, Archer and his team find the colonist concerned over the pending arrival of someone. Working out a deal, they soon discover that the mining colony is being exploited by Klingon Marauders who stop by to collect deuterium as payment for their protection. Archer decides to get involved realizing that these Klingons are milking this colony dry and, after a brief fight, manages to convince the colonists to move the colony to another location in order to fool the Klingon Marauders. The trick works and, after the Klingons are beaten back, the Klingons leave discovering that the deuterium that they have been stealing is not worth the effort any longer. The colonists give Enterprise a considerable amount of deuterium as a thank you and prepare for a better future.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I really don’t mind derivative works if they are done well or add on to the original with something new and unique but Marauders is basically a remake of The Magnificent Seven (which is in and of itself a remake of Seven Samurai) but in the Star Trek Universe. Seriously. Check out the plot of The Magnificent Seven, ‘a group of gunfighters liberate a town from oppressive bandits’….where Marauders is ‘a group of Starfleet officers liberate a colony against oppressive Klingons’. yep. same story!
While this episode is extremely derivative of, well, every version of this story that has ever been told, this is not the only problem in this one as, well, the Klingons being used as the oppressors seems a little off of what we know about Klingon Culture. It has already been established in this series that the Klingons of this century respect Honor more than anything else, but, for some reason, these particular Klingons are essentially petaQs. I mean, sure I guess it’s not unreasonable to think that there would be some rogue Klingon ships who just went around killing whoever they wanted but honestly, this probably should have been early Cardassians or even Nausicaan raiders.
The one thing that this episode does very well is that it gives Trip more of an emotional role than he usually gets. Sure, he ends up playing the part of the sympathetic cowboy who convinces his friends to help the downtrodden colonists, but still, actor Connor Trinneer does a pretty decent job pulling it off.
Overall, not a terrible retelling of the classic story, but did the writers of this series really think we wouldn’t notice?
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn that Hoshi is actually a very good shot.
- Archer makes it clear, he does not care for bullies.
- T’Pol trains some of the colonists the ‘Suus Mahna’ which roughly translates to just duck and roll dummy!
- Also, Trip gives a colonist the schematics for Enterprise…did he not learn anything about giving tech to alien cultures?
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: The Seventh
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Late To The Game 7/5/2021
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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