Wild, Wild Reviews For 'North Star'

By Michelle
November 16, 2003 - 9:03 PM

See Also: 'North Star' Episode Guide

Reviews for last Wednesday night's Enterprise episode, "North Star", were highly critical of the plot holes and lack of drama, though the directing, visuals, and guest cast earned praise.

  • "'North Star' takes a high-concept situation and filters it through the most obvious and worn of Star Trek formulas," complained Jammer of Star Trek: Hypertext. "The result is an episode that's all about setting and rarely about substance." Though he liked Archer's decisiveness, Jammer found the episode cliche-ridden, with stereotypical characters and an "obvious, tired, and blatantly obligatory" climax. The full review and two-star rating may be found here.

  • At The Great Link, Michael Marek rated the episode four out of five because he found the plot believable and interesting in the context of Star Trek. Though not expecting much from the western theme, he wrote, "The underlying story, however, is about human rights. Do the Skagarans have to continue paying for the crimes of their ancestors? The question about prejudice, discrimination, and 'the way it’s always been' is a thought provoking subject, worth considering in today's world." He also thought the guest cast was excellent. To read more, see the review at The Great Link.

  • Starfleetcom.net's Gisele La Roche gave the episode a C+, finding little to praise beyond the pacing and subtlety of its message. She wrote,
    This episode was too much like what we've seen before not only in Star Trek but the umpteen Westerns that have been made since God knows when. The episode featured all the cliches that are associated with westerns: the schoolteacher, the saloon, the fist-fights, the shoot-out, the nasty deputy, the lynching, the misguided but good-hearted sheriff, western-style music and so on.
    To read her long list of previous Trek episodes to which she found "North Star" too similar, read the review here.

  • Monkee said that she did not really enjoy the episode, though she concluded that the genre was as much at fault as the writing, for she is not a fan of westerns: "The guns and the machismo don't do anything for me, and I can live without seeing people twitching on the end of a rope." She found the cultural stagnation hard to swallow and protested the Vulcan T'Pol as damsel in distress, though she liked Archer's interaction with Bethany whom she thought might have been intended as an homage to fellow teacher Christa McAuliffe. To learn how she talked herself into giving "North Star" a 9/10 rating, see Monkee's site.

  • "I liked it," wrote Television Without Pity's Keckler. "I loved the beautiful and interesting camera work, and the costuming was awesome. Quantum's hat hid most of his furrows, he looked damn foine in that duster, and the plot was actually fairly well thought-out and compelling." T'Pol's weakness bothered Keckler too, and there were some complaints about all the things left unexplained, but in the end the episode was awarded a grade of B. The full review is here.

  • TrekWeb's O. Deus described "North Star" as "Wagon Train To Nowhere", noting that fine directing and beautiful camera work couldn't make up for the weak plot. "They should have done something more than unimaginatively pile every single western cliche in the book on top of one another and borrow a premise from one of VOY's worst episodes, 'The 37's,' to justify it all," he wrote. Protesting both the hackneyed formula and the absurdity of the social situation, Deus calls the this outing "a flashy and good-looking episode without the substance it pretends to have." The full review is at TrekWeb.

  • "Wild, Wild (and boring) West", wrote Section 31's Mike Dunham, whose favorite thing about the episode was the choreography of the fight sequences, though he said of the MACOs, "If they’re supposed to be the best military officers that Earth has to offer, than I can only assume all the good ones were at a military officer convention in Florida at the time of the Xindi attack. I honestly think I could hit more with my eyes closed than they hit." To read about why he found "North Star" to be "the most forgettable episode of the series", see the full C- review at Section 31.

  • Lower Decks reviewer Karma gave the episode a 6.5/10 for a C grade, finding a number of large plot holes ranging from Bethany's instant trust for Archer to the failure to explain why and how the Skagarans went all the way to Earth for slaves. Calling the episode "solidly dull", Karma praised the sets and music but was ultimately unsatisfied. To read the full review, visit Lower Decks.

  • Litsa Guevara of TrekPulse rated the episode 3 out of 5, calling it "kind of a disappointment, since there’ve been mostly good episodes so far this season." Like most reviewers she loved the sets and visuals. But she found the performances flat and thought we should have learned more about the Skagarans. To read the full review, visit TrekPulse.

  • "Invincible Archer has come out once again!" Admiral Regnum of Holodeck 3 noted. "Super Archer gets shot in the shoulder with what I can only assume was a shotgun and still manages to chase down the deputy and resort to a fist fight to finish him off." For a look at the parallel planetary development and battle tactics, visit Holodeck 3.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.