It’s the Old West in space, because why not. Originally broadcast on November 12, 2003 this is North Star.
Captain’s Starlog date unknown
Enterprise discovers a human/skagan settlement where people from Earth developed into a civilization based on the 19th century after being taken from Earth by aliens hundreds of years earlier. There Archer and his team learn that the Skagarans were once ruthless overseers who were overthrown by the human slaves and have since become second class citizens. Exposing the truth that not only does Earth still exist but the colonists can eventually return home, Archer begins to set this colony straight with the local teacher beginning new lessons on the history of Earth post 1860.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This episode is somewhat reminiscent of the ’37’s from Star Trek Voyager in which aliens kidnapped random humans and eventually took over the planet after overthrowing their slavers. Unlike The ’37’s’ the humans in this one just stopped developing, they just went, okay we are old west folk and that is pretty comfortable even though our slavers had crazy technology we could have used to improve our lives. It really makes no sense even in the slightest other than the fact that it was clear someone in the writers team was like ‘lets make a western this season’ and no one said it was a bad idea. I mean, I guess this is better than time travel right?
The story itself is not a bad one, just rather unfulfilling. There are two classes, one being subjugated by the other due to events that took place several hundred years earlier. Obviously being an analogy toward racism and bigotry, this episode touches on but never commits to the theme which really is a shame. To me, this episode is a vast missed opportunity to really show how the past can be overcome and racism is never a good thing, instead it plays out as just a rather empty parable on the evils of hatred.
What also really doesnt make any sense at all is that this all takes place in Xindi space. The same Xindi who were determined to get scans of humans and there have been humans literally living in their territory this entire time. I mean, I though the Xindi were aware of pretty much everything going on in the expanse. If humans overthrew a Skagaran colony maybe, just maybe someone would have flew by and went, hmmm I wonder what’s going on here, maybe I should tell the people who run this part of space. But no, instead we have a completely random human settlement that is never even mentioned before now and sadly, is never even mentioned again even though Archer promises to come back for them at some point.
Overall, this is a well produced and pretty neat episode that is not only very out of place in this season but really serves no purpose outside of being a strange anomaly in the overall story arc of the Xindi-Season.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Reed stuns T’Pol to prevent her from being killed, I imagine she will not wake up happy.
- It is unclear if Enterprise left the community with any kind of life enhancing items such as weapons or even food or equipment. We do know that they are left with data about Earth but outside of that, Archer just leaves a bunch of displaced humans with nothing.
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: Similitude
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Late To The Game 9/10/2021
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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