First Time Enterprise: Watching Strange New World


In my ongoing mission to round out my Star Trek knowledge, I’m watching through Enterprise for the first time. Today, we watch “Strange New World”.

As I boldly go to fill my knowledge-base of all that is Star Trek, Enterprise is on my agenda. With the exception of a handful of episodes, I’ve never watched Enterprise. I aim to rectify that oversight, and am watching through the series for the first time. Last time out we watched the second episode of the first season, “Fight Or Flight“.

As I watch each episode, I’ll be live tweeting my observations as they come moment by moment on the @redshirtsdieFS Twitter account, and documenting my observations and findings on the pages of this website. Follow along, if you will.

Without further ado, let’s review Star Trek: Enterprise, season 1, episode 3, “Strange New World”.

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First impressions:

I keep stressing this, but the show portrays awe magnificently. As the Enterprise approaches an unknown planet, crew in the mess hall uniformly get up to go look out the window at this Earth-like orb. It’s a scene we’ve seen a thousand times on other series, but for some of these crewmembers, this may be the first unknown planet they’ve ever encountered (or at least the first planet capable of supporting life).

When they land on the unknown planet, they take what in the real world is likely a romp through the woods behind the Paramount lot and instill a great deal of joy and newness to the proceedings. I hope this isn’t something that goes away quickly on this series.

Before taking a shuttle pod to the planet’s surface, T’Pol recommended enacting a series of protocols to ensure its ability to support life. Captain Jonathan Archer is virtually giddy with excitement at the idea of getting to explore this planet. According to sensors, there’s no non-plant life on the planet, but it’s no less exciting. No protocol, they’re heading to the planet.

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It’s idyllic and Earth-like enough, and the landing party comprised of Archer, T’Pol, Trip Tucker, Malcolm Reed, Travis Mayweather and newcomers Elizabeth Cutler and Ethan Novokovich decides to spend the night, save Malcom, T’Pol and Archer, who take the pod back to the Enterprise.. Mayweather tells a scary story. Ethan gets a headache and goes to lay down. Foreshadowing indeed.

The wind picks up the team finds their way to a cave, where they briefly hunt strange voices. Novokovich finds his way outside where he hallucinates. The rest of the team is in the cave, and they begin to suspect T’Pol of colluding with hidden aliens.

We come to realize (even before the rescue of Novokovich via transporter) that pollen is causing the away team to hallucinate. Only T’Pol is able to keep her head, and only just barely. She’s concerned Tucker will kill her, and with good reason. Archer cleverly manipulates Tucker’s delusions and that allows T’Pol to disable him long enough to inoculate him against the pollen, as well as the rest of the team.

The crew:

Trip Tucker managed to not kill T’Pol, in spite of his hallucinations which confirmed his mistrust of Vulcans. He trusted Archer’s council just enough to buy some time, albeit time that was utilized to allow T’Pol to incapacitate him. Had to be done.

Archer used his history with Trip wisely, and shifted gears when that stopped working.

Hoshi Sato played her smallest part yet in this episode, but it was a vital one. She and T’Pol communicated in Vulcan, allowing them to stay a step ahead of Trip.

T’Pol was at her most impressive. She didn’t wilt under the heat of intense scrutiny from her crew, and she didn’t give in to the influence of the Pollen.

Most valuable player:

T’Pol by a wide margin. Her innate Vulcan strength and calmness saved the day.

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Final observations:

This episode was less creepy than the first two of the series, but it ratcheted up the intensity level in the cave and in the woods as the wind pounded. I enjoyed this episode, but I’d say it’s my least favorite of the three I’ve seen so far.