Reviewers Speak Common Language on 'Babel One'

By Michelle
February 4, 2005 - 10:58 PM

Online reviews for "Babel One" were extremely positive, with nearly every critic praising Jeffrey Combs as Shran and most enjoying the characterizations of the Tellarite Gral, Shran's first officer Talas and the Romulans controlling the ship on which Tucker and Reed become trapped. The thrust toward the founding of the Federation and the entertaining relations among the species were praised as well, though the science and technology of the Romulan ship took some criticism.

  • The Star Trek LCARS Episode Database's John Patuto admired the pace and performances of "Babel One", noting that the episode left him with many questions but that is the hallmark of a good cliffhanger. He praised the balancing of the Tellarite, Andorian and Romulan elements of the storyline and paid tribute to the alien actors as well as the regular cast.

  • Entil of Entil'zha rated the episode an 8/10, the same as he gave "Observer Effect", giving it full marks for everything but style and praising in particular the cleverness of the remote controlled Romulan ship, "a plot device that is incredibly well concealed." The struggle between the Andorians and Tellarites seemed to Entil "to be taking a page out of the Drakh playbook from Babylon 5...they raid the borders of each respective power, plant or create evidence blaming traditionally opposing powers", but he enjoyed Shran and the questions his and Talas' relationship created about established canon on Andorian mating.

  • TrekWeb's O. Deus rated "Babel One" a 9/10 and said it appeared to be "the first episode of the first great three-part series, not only in this season of Enterprise but of Star Trek as a whole." He felt that despite the original series themes and aliens, the storyline felt more like a Next Generation episode, with its focus on diplomacy and alliances and the background wit and suspicious Romulan activity. Like Entil, he wondered whether Shran's relationship with his first officer might herald a new exploration of Archer's feelings for T'Pol, whom he found somewhat flat this week.

  • Erik Dardan Ymeraga of Section 31 rated "Observer Effect" a B+ at 89%, rolled his eyes at Talas' appearance in her skimpy underwear but finding much to like about the episode from the character development, particularly Archer's difficult decision to leave Tucker and Reed behind, to the tense armed standoff between the Enterprise officers and Andorians threatening the Tellarites. The ending, he said, "brought what may well be one of the most amazing twist endings we've seen in a while...the dramatic panout from the Romulan base of operations, revealing a beautifully comprised shot of the Romulan skyline, complete with Twin Worlds emblems and myriad buildings."

  • The Great Link's Michael Marek gave the episode a three out of five, one of the rarer instances of a reviewer who liked last week's "Observer Effect" much better. "My mixed feelings about 'Babel One' stem from its similarity to “Journey to Babel,” and its muddy technological continuity," he wrote, wondering why the Romulans would resort to holoemitters when they already have cloaking technology and expressing doubts about the workings of the inertial dampers and other equipment. While he liked some of the character work and the restraint in showing Talas in skimpy clothes, overall he found the episode uneven.

  • Ian J. Slater of The Great Link rated the episode a four out of five, up a notch from "Observer Effect", saying that the episode had made him laugh out loud and that he felt Combs was channeling Captain Kirk in the first scene. His only gripe was that none of the aliens seemed all that alien, despite the makeup and extreme behavior:
    I just wish they would do more with this than cheap dog jokes and mating rituals. Besides, I have heard the mating ritual jokes before with Klingons, so I didn't find it that funny.

  • Lower Decks' Diesel Micky Dolenz awarded the episode an A-, a grade of 9/10, listing many nitpicks but praising the characterization, the acting, the pacing and the excitement of the buildup to the founding of the Federation. He too wondered why Reed and Tucker were not spread like jam all over the Romulan ship with its inertial dampers off, but he enjoyed the Archer-Shran interaction very much.

  • Monkee of Monkee's Place gave the episode a 9/10, citing her adoration of Shran and his "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." She loved the gusto with which he threatened his enemies when facing the loss of his ship and enjoyed Talas' bluntness with him despite being an inferior officer. She also enjoyed the gleeful abandon with which Archer and Gral exchanged insults, and the intimate dinners Archer shared with both T'Pol and Shran in which they discussed the changes in their private lives. At the end of her review, Monkee also wrote a brief tribute to the cancelled Enterprise.

  • Television Without Pity's Keckler has recapped "Babel One", saying, "I think I secretly want to be a Tellarite. Quantum sniffs, 'A species that actually thrives on arguing? They'd probably make good politicians.' That's a dumb joke, Quantum. And not very original. Here's mine: They'd probably make good recappers. Ha!" She also wrote a tribute to the cancelled series to the tune of "American Pie".

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