Wow – tonight’s episode of “Star Trek: Enterprise” was good. Jam-packed with action and suspense, and “They’re not going in that direction, are they?… well, after last week’s craziness…” They tacked on a strange next-to-last scene that surprised me, but thinking on it, I should have seen it coming, I guess (“I’ll see you soon, Father,” says the genetically-engineered human to Dr. Soong…).
However, all this plot-focus pushes character development to the side… Well, Capt. Archer’s character development continues to be a good watch – by beefing up the writing, they’ve finally given Scott Bakula more stuff to sink his acting teeth into; Brent Spiner’s Dr. Arik Soong was amazing; the characters of Trip and T’Pol… well… I’ll leave their storyline(s) unsaid for now – much remains to be seen there (hmm, maybe we should get back to the Big Three idea of Original Trek – the Three Amigos of Kirk-Spock-McCoy being echoed in Archer-T’Pol-Trip; Trek likes promoting the idea of friendship being a good thing).
But, really, will the supporting characters ever get a chance to blossom already? Sure, Dr. Phlox is great and Lt. Reed… well, he’s British and he’s the tactical officer, so he gets away with the appearance of character moments (recall Star Trek: Next Generation’s Yar and Worf and ST: DS9’s Odo – they just scowl, fire a weapon with a cool grimacing look, and they’re acting within character (well, Odo was more than that, but that’s because the Trek writers kept torturing his character and mangled with Worf); oh, and of course, let Reed exploit the accent and there you have a character). But, I often feel that Ensigns Mayweather and Sato often get shafted – and they’re the human persons of color. Hmm… what does it mean that they get so little lines – well, besides the fact that their capacities as bridge officers doesn’t leave room for much dialogue other than “Aye, sir.”
In fact, Mayweather and Sato are awfully reminiscent of their Original Trek predecessors (or successors, if you go by the series’ timeline), who had little lines. But, Original Trek supporting characters did get to be memorable and end up with appearances in the movies (seriously – watch Original Trek, and notice how Sulu had minimal lines and yet is remembered as the favorite navigator and Uhura, just by being the galactic telephone operator, as the inspiration of African-Americans in science fiction…) well, let’s just say I wish we can see more of Mayweather and Sato; even in Star Trek:Voyager limited Paris to just flying the ship (but then tossed in a few character moments). I need more character stuff to go with the cool plots.
If you miss the episode, it airs again this Sunday at 7pm on Channel 9 in the NYC metro area. And, ok, I better stop before it’s obvious that I am an unrepetant Trekkie (I go for the “Trekkie” for the camp factor; “Trekkers” are seriously hard core fans – and I hardly reach that level)….