Star Trek: Enterprise (2003) – North Star, and Similitude

Captain’s log: date unknown

Enterprise goes western in this episode, North Star, written by David A. Goodman. Having an original airdate of 12 November, 2003, this story sees Archer (Scott Bakula) and the crew arriving at a planet of  a previously unknown colony of humans that are living in a 19th century setting.

But the humans aren’t the good guys this time around. It seems the settlement has been oppressing a race of beings known as the Skagarans.

Unlike the minimalist Spectre of the Gun from The Original Series, or the farcical Fistful of Datas, this episode plays like a dark and gritty western. And lets Archer, Trip (Connor Trinneer) and T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) get their cowboy on.

There’s a sheriff (acclaimed character actor, and one I always delight in seeing, Glenn Morshower) who has problems with the shared past of the humans and Skagarans. Apparently humans were first used as slave labour, but when they rebelled and defeated the Skagarans, they denied them any rights at all, fearing they would come to power again.

There’s an optimistic school teacher, Bethany (Emily Bergl) who remains hopeful, and is teaching Skagaran children, but is afraid of the reality of the world they live in.

And, of course, there’s a baddie for Archer and his crew to have a shoot out with at the end of the episode, Bennings (James Parks).

So while a lot of the episode is fun, this is very much a message episode commenting on how we treat those, how we were treated, and how we can grown beyond that, while still remembering who we were, are and want to be.

StarTrekEnterpriseNorthStar2

Captain’s log: date unknown

LeVar Burton directs this episode that was written by Manny Coto, and first debuted on 19 November, 2003.

After Trip is critically injured, during the ship’s journey through a realm of space that contains a dangerous field of nucleonic particles, Phlox (John Billingsley) suggests that the only way to truly save the engineer’s life would be to clone him.

Of course, this will cause some problems, even with its accelerated growth, as the crew become attached to the young Trip (Adam Taylor Gordon/Shane Sweet). Trip begins to wonder who he is, if he has a right to live as much as his other self, if the relationships he forms here are influenced by Trip’s memories and emotions or his own.

It ends up being a pretty emotional tale, while also giving Trip and T’Pol their first kiss, though it is his clone self, referred to as Sim.

It’s a really well done episode, thoughtful, emotional, worthy of discussion, and undeniably Star Trek.

The Human Adventure continues next week as I continue my exploration of Star Trek: Enterprise – The Complete Series on blu-ray, available now from Paramount Canada.

Boldly go.

similitude

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