Professional Critics Blast 'Storm Front, Part One'
October 11, 2004 - 12:20 AM
Even before "Storm Front, Part One" had aired on UPN, many professional critics had already chimed in with their opinions on the episode, which ranged from cautious enthusiasm for Star Trek: Enterprise's current direction to outright contempt.
The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan praised the premiere, calling it "more than competent sci-fi entertainment, if a bit short on the zingy excitement of the final arc of the previous season." She said that time-travel stories are difficult to pull off without confusing viewers, but this one "almost looks like a dramatic re-creation from the old-school History Channel."
Hercules of Ain't It Cool News felt that "Storm Front" was forced to spend too much time "digging the show out of last seasonís shockeroo cliffhanger" and complained that none of the plot twists couldn't have been predicted "after having seen the red-eyed extraterrestrial in the Nazi uniform last May." But he quoted a number of even more critical reviews which he felt were too harsh on the series, including...
TV Guide, which called the crew "wooden", the plot "cliched" and the Nazi-alien alternate reality "hokey." In addition, the "ridiculously stereotyped" mobsters and World War II movie ripoff failed to impress. The show was rated only a 4 out of 10.
"Oh, for the love of God, sink this ship," agreed Robert Bianco of USA Today. He called the fourth season premiere "a ludicrous time-travel story, bereft of both creativity and taste", saying that subjects like the Holocaust should be kept out of the hands of "incompetent TV writers" and scoffing at the mobster subplot, labeling it inane.
IGN Filmforce was scarcely kinder, saying "'Storm Front' blows hard." Reviewer KJB described the Xindi storyline as "the disaster that was last season's story arc" and lamented the words "to be continued" at the end of the season premiere, scoffing at the alien Nazi alliance and stating that the episode is "light on story and heavy on unrealized ideas." KJB suggested that if the show were more socially relevant, like the original series, it might pick up more viewers.
Mike Duffy of the Detroit Free Press listed the show among his Best Bets, though he asked jokingly of the alien Nazi storyline, "What have those 'Star Trek' writers been smoking?" He warned of the show's close brush with cancellation and drew parallels to the original series' demise in the Friday night "death slot."
"Enterprise is badly adrift," noted Charlie McCollum in The Seattle Times:
The producers have been promising a fresh approach and a revitalization of the show [but] if tonight's season opener is any indication, though, those promises have gone unfulfilled. Instead of being an episode that would jump-start an "Enterprise" revival, it looks like more of the same: a confusing premise, flat production and recycled stories.McCollum said the budget cuts were apparent and the storyline dug into the "ol' 'Star Trek' bag of tricks" too often.
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