'Terra Prime' Labeled Fertile Ground By Many Critics

By Michelle
May 20, 2005 - 9:35 PM

See Also: 'Terra Prime' Episode Guide

"Terra Prime" received stronger reviews than "Demons", though most of the critics who had major issues with the first half of this arc had ongoing problems with the conclusion. Better pacing, better acting and a socially relevant storyline were often cited as the episode's better aspects, while ongoing scientific problems and lack of enthusiasm for Peter Weller as Paxton were among the common criticisms.

  • The Great Link's Michael Marek awarded "Terra Prime" five out of five stars. The script, he notes, "has a solid message of diversity and acceptance. In this way, it is VERY like original series episodes that focused on stereotypes and preconceived notions." He felt that the episode had a strong storyline and told it well, despite some scientific quibbles.

  • Marek's fellow reviewer at The Great Link, Ian J. Slater, gave the episode four out of five marks like its predecessor, appreciating the realistic motivations of the villains and the minimal onscreen violence. "T'Pol has the right idea, you can't deny change, instead, you have to embrace it to make sure that it leads to a better end (infinite diversity in infinite combinations and all that)," he wrote. "Enterprise has been a bit thin on the presentation of complex and realistic discussion of serious issues; it is nice, even at the end, to see them reintroduced."

  • Sci Fi Pulse's Bill Gordon was moved by the ending and impressed by Peter Weller's performance in "Terra Prime" but frustrated overall by the two episodes, which made him think of opportunities lost for the series. "B&B never 'got' that these are the stories we, the fans, craved from a prequel series," he wrote. "I appreciated the allegory that permeated 'Demons' and 'Terra Prime.' Humanities own historical struggles with racial intolerance and the horrors of ethnic cleansing. and I know the production team really wanted to work Colonel Green into the mix somehow, but like so much else this season, everything just felt too rushed and lacked the epic nature I craved so desperately."

  • "'Terra Prime' is one of the few two part episodes in which the second surpasses the first," noted Dr. Phlox at TrekFansUnited. He rated the episode an 8, up from a 6 for "Demons", citing Blalock and Trinneer's performances and "cleverer then usual plot devices." He remained unimpressed with Montgomery's performance as the underutilized Mayweather, however, and found the development of Tucker and T'Pol's relationship to be hollow and "a horrible mess."

  • Although The Star Trek LCARS Episode Database's John Patuto felt that "Terra Prime" was far from a perfect episode, "the pace, action, suspense and urgency of the episode makes up for whatever deficiencies were present last week." He enjoyed the Western science fiction sensibility of hitching a ride on a comet and "Archer's charge to save the day" though he had issues with Paxton's development, in terms of the medical technology that keeps him alive and his logic in creating Elizabeth. And he didn't understand why Brooks was sent to Archer's ship without informing Archer himself.

  • Ex Astris Scientia's Bernd Schneider gave the episode a 6, the same as the first part of the arc. "Although 'Terra Prime' suffered even more from unproductive and unessential plot add-ons, it made up for much of the characterization and interaction that I missed in 'Demons'", he wrote, appreciating the complexity of Paxton who by his own admission fails to live up to his own ideals. He was less impressed with the Mayweather love story, Bakula's performance and the previously-unseen culprit named as the spy, but at least "the relationship between T'Pol and Tucker saw a small progress at long last."

  • Another 6/10 was the score from Entil of Entil'zha, who felt that overall the conclusion of the arc was just as disappointing as "Demons." He wrote, "The terrorists in this episode are not nearly as threatening as the writers want them to be, and that makes the changes on Earth prior to Federation somewhat less involving than the changes on the other critical worlds." Though he felt that "the concept is relatively strong and in keeping with the idea of the major worlds of the future Federation evolving into that sociological state," he also thought "the execution leaves much to be desired" with the awkward combination of science and grief at the end and less-than-stellar performances from Montgomery and Weller.

  • TailSlate's Michael Sheridan went up two popcorns, from one for "Demons" to three for "Terra Prime", saying that the arc thankfully improved. "There were several elements that I liked about this episode, the first one being the shuttle flight down to Mars. For the first time in I donít know how long, Mayweather was actually given something to do, and that in itself was good," he wrote. "I also liked Trip a lot in this episode...I liked his scenes with Weller (who also comes off much better in this hour than in the previous episode)." Though still underwhelmed by the baby story, he said he thought "Terra Prime" made a better conclusion for Enterprise than the actual finale.

  • Television Without Pity's Keckler rewrote the theme song in her recap: "It's been a long road getting from 'Shut up, Trip' to here. It's been a weird road, but you know? I'm finally here. And I can see my snark start to die at last. It will writhe and cry. And I'm not able to choke back the tears, no my eyes aren't staying dry. 'Cuz I'm a sap. Sap at heart. I'm going where the tissues take me. I've got snot. In my nose. And Flonase won't unstuff me."

Tomorrow we will post summaries from and links to reviews of "These Are the Voyages..." If you have a review site and would like to be included, please send the URL in the next 24 hours.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.