The future comes knocking but someone other than Archer is eager to answer the door. Originally broadcast on February 19, 2003, this is Future Tense.
Captain’s Starlog Date Undetermined:
Enterprise comes across a mysterious ship adrift in space and, discovering that the corpse inside is human, begin wondering if it is not the remains of Zefram Cochrane who vanished years earlier or a ship from the Vega Colony. Soon they discover that the ship has technology they have never seen before including no clear power source or engine of any kind.
After discussing the matter with Admiral Forrest, the ship encounters a Suliban vessel who claims the ship is theirs regardless of the fact that a human body was found inside. Archer refuses to relinquish the ship and Enterprise is attacked. A brief battle commences, including Suliban infiltrating the ship, but after Enterprise escapes the attack, Trip and Reed begin working on the ship only to discover that it is much larger on this inside than out, indicating that this is more than just an escape pod. Archer is shocked when Phlox informs him that the human body has ben genetically altered in some way as it shows both Vulcan and Terrellian dna as well, suggesting that this is no mere human but a child of considerable interspecies relations. Suspecting this person is from the future, Archer consults Crewman Daniel’s database and learns that this time ship is from nearly 900 years in the future. This explains why the Suliban were so interested in it and Archer has no intention of letting them have it.
Changing course to rendezvous with a Vulcan ship to help secure their find Enterprise is soon attacked by a new alien vessel which T’Pol identifies as a Tholian. The Tholians claim to want the vessel because it poses a danger to the human crew and, when they are denied, they make a failed attempt to take it by force.
Reed and Trip continue exploring the time ship when things get stranger and they find themselves in a time loop having the same conversation over and again. Visiting Phlox, the Doctor can not find anything wrong with them but, as the ship is emitting strange radiation, Archer has the bay locked down. T’Pol, still doubting the Time War itself despite her experiences, insists that Archer is placing the ship in danger by exploring it’s possible existence. Approaching their Rendezvous point, they find the Suliban in hot pursuit and, upon arriving, witness the Vulcan ship Tal’Kir under attack by the Tholians. Soon a battle commences threatening both Enterprise and the Tal’Kir so Archer command Tucker to find a way to either activate the time ship or destroy the time ship so it doesn’t fall into enemy hands.
Loading the time ship with a warhead, Enterprise jettisons it and attempt to detonate it but, after defeating the Suliban ship, the Tholians intercede. Just when all seems lost, the time, body and all of the components vanish from Enterprise as if they were never there. The Tholians break off leaving Archer wondering what happened.
Assisting the Vulcan ship with repairs, Archer and his crew wonder if this will finally convince the Vulcan High Command that time travel is real. Although she will be making a report, T’Pol remains doubtful, especially with the scans of a person with Human, Terrellian and Vulcan heritage.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This episode sets up some rather cool concepts that continue to push the Temporal War storyline even further. While this is practically only a blip in the whole Temporal War storyline, it is still a rather important one in the grand scheme of things as it shows that this future event is still having direct implications to the past/present.
First off, it establishes that there are indeed other species who are involved in the Temporal War. The fact that the Tholians are involved is not really a surprise seeing that they are interested seeing that they are a crystalline species who certainly see things in a different light. While we don’t actually see them physically in this episode, this will not be the last we encounter this rather mysterious species.
One of the biggest things this episode establishes is that, not only is time travel a very real thing in this universe, but that in the future there will indeed be interspecies breeding between humans and Vulcans. While we are very aware of a certain half-Vulcan science officer, this is also a prelude to another mixed species child we have yet to meet. Note that Phlox mentions how a Human/Vulcan hybrid would be unlikely due to compatibility issues…that’s all I am saying.
Overall, outside of a few rather Doctor Who-ish moments, ‘the time ship being bigger on the inside’, this episode is a very solid entry in the season that helps to push forward the ongoing overarching story line. The only thing that muddles that….is that this is all but forgotten in the next episode because why would an entire crew witnessing future tech be impactful at all?
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn that Zefram Cochrane vanished from Earth while testing a warp ship. Where he went is answered later on…
- This episode confirms that Archer let Silik go despite having the perfect captive from the enemy faction.
- This is “Chronologically’ the first Human encounter with a Tholian Vessel.
- Also, we see that, after the events of the Andorian/Vulcan issues in the last episode, it seems the Vulcans are a little more willing to send help when Enterprise calls for it. Although it did cause the Vulcans some damage…
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: Canamar
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Late To The Game 7/28/2021
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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