It’s time for a flashback on the episode that originally aired on May 14, 2003. This is First Flight.
Captain’s Starlog date Undetermined
As Enterprise investigates a dark matter nebula, Archer learns about his friends death. Soon the Captain tells T’Pol about how he and AG Robinson became friends and how Archer nearly lost a chance at commanding the NX-01. Basically he and Robinson stole a Warp 3 prototype to prove to the Vulcans and to Starfleet that it would work, got sent to the brig although they were successful and eventually Archer get assigned to Enterprise with Robinson hoping for the next ship assignment. In the end T’Pol recommends naming the Dark Matter Nebula after Archer’s friend since Robinson never made it into the great beyond.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This episode provides the much alluded to background about Archer and his rise to Captain of the NX-01. Being the son of the man who created the Warp-5 engine, it was assumed that he would be THE Captain assigned to the mission, but apparently he wasn’t the first pick for the first flight. In fact it was the, now deceased, AG Robinson who was selected, much to Archer’s dismay. This, of course, leads to an altercation with his friend when AG pushes the engine too far putting the program at risk.
What makes this episode work is that we get a really good chance to see Commander Archer in the early days of Starfleet before their first true starship is built. This shows not only his determination to see his father’s warp engine come to fruition, but also how dedicated he was to the idea of humanity exploring space. One thing I love about this episode is that it depicts the first meeting between Archer and Trip Tucker, showing how Trip’s dedication to the Archer Engine really cemented the two in a long term friendship that carried on into space.
Overall, this episode provides a deep view explaining Archer’s deep distrust toward Vulcans and why he has been rather bullheaded toward anything that gets in his way. Archer is certainly a force to be reckoned with and someone who, without his determination, Starfleet and the Federation itself would likely have never existed.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We finally meet Ruby, the bartender Reed and Trip had crushes on.
- It seems that Tucker’s nickname ‘Trip’ stands for Triple as in The Third, as his name is Charles Tucker III.
- There is a mention of Captain Jefferies who might have been responsible for some tubes in the future.
- You might recognize AG Robinson as he is played by Keith Carradine, well established star of television and the big screen and also the son of famed actor John Carradine.
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: Bounty
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Late To The Game 8/16/2021
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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