'Daedalus' Takes Off With Some Critics, Sinks For Others

By Michelle
January 21, 2005 - 10:33 PM

See Also: 'Daedalus' Episode Guide

Online reviews for "Daedalus" varied widely, with a couple of critics praising it as emotional and scientifically interesting while a couple of others gave it F ratings and hated everything from the lighting to the dialogue. Most agreed that Bill Cobbs and Leslie Silva both give strong performances as Emory Erickson and Danica, and most were content with the developing Vulcan T'Pol storyline.

  • Save Enterprise's Dr. Phlox rated the episode a 5 and summed up the opinions of many when he called "Daedalus" an "average predictable Star Trek story (maybe even a little bit too average)." Despite meticulous plotting, the episode felt bland and predictable to him, and he was not swayed by the emotional content of the ending as were reviewers more impressed by the performances. Phlox did, however, like the T'Pol storyline and the possible closure to her romantic relationship with Tucker.

  • Michael Sheridan of Tail Slate rated "Daedalus" 3 popcorns out of four, praising both the performance of Cobbs and the development of Erickson's character in the script. He noted,
    Subtlety is what made the character of Erickson work. Even his attitude towards Trip is low key. And there is no attempt here to make Erickson particularly likable.
    Like others, Sheridan compared the character to "The Ultimate Computer"s Daystrom. He also said that he was not sorry to see Tucker and T'Pol move past their abortive relationship.

  • Over at Monkee's Place, Monkee awarded "Daedalus" a 9/10, saying, "Any Trek episode that makes me cry earns my affection and respect" and praising "solid writing, beautiful acting and a moving story." She was sorry we didn't learn more about Quinn, which would have made the other characters' attachment to him and the parallels with the Icarus myth stronger, yet she found parallels to Data with Lal and Sisko with Jake in the universe of "The Visitor." She also found all the performances to be very strong.

  • TrekWeb's O. Deus also compared "Daedalus" to "The Visitor" though in inverse - the story of a father trying to save his son rather than the other way around. "Star Trek has not had good luck with geniuses who come on board to test new experiments," he noted, praising the concept of the episode, but stating his opinion that Cobbs is not up to the role and fails to make Erickson truly sympathetic.

  • Another fan, The Great Link's Michael Marek gave the episode a five out of five, calling it proof that character stories can be extremely effective even without battles or numerous explosions to generate action. He praised the acting, particularly the guest stars, and noted that director David Straiton's use of dim lighting and low-angle shots added to the developing drama of what is at the heart a tale about familial bonds rather than technology.

  • Ian J. Slater, also of The Great Link, gave a slightly lower rating of four out of five. "This issue felt very derivative of [the original series'] 'The Ultimate Computer'", he said, a sentiment echoed by several other reviewers. "Still, the episode ended up having a very different feel to it, as it was a personal story, not a 'technology out of control' story." Slater was pleased to see Enterprise being used as a research vessel and thought the show raised interesting questions about the limits of technology. He found the dialogue rather flat, but thought the acting was exemplary both among regular cast members and the guest stars.

  • Xenoclone's Chris thought "Daedalus" was a powerful episode that emphasized the theme of death using visual, dramatic and character references: dead space (The Barrens), dead people (T'Les), dead hopes (salvation for Quinn), etc. "This is how you reinforce a theme without banging it over the head of the viewer. None of it is told to the viewer; it's all interwoven into the story at natural points," he observed. Despite a cliched ending, Chris found much to enjoy in the story.

  • Sci Fi Pulse's Bill Gordon called last week's installent the most forgettable episode of the fourth season, objecting to the rehashed plot, the over-the-top performance of Scott Bakula and the rushed ending to the T'Pol/Tucker relationship.

  • Entil of Entil'zha rated the episode 6/10, blaming bad editing for what could have been good character development. "One can easily imagine this episode taking place in the original series," he noted, but the scenes are "filled with bad transitions" and there's no good explanation for what or where the Barrens are supposed to be. He also expected more history of the development of the transporter, calling the story an example of the series' potential which is not being tapped fully.

  • The Star Trek LCARS Episode Database's John Patuto was disappointed that contrary to the teasers, "Daedalus" did not really discuss the creation and development of transporter technology at all. He thought the mystery and suspense were well-done and called the parent-child relationship exploration "thought-provoking", but he also found Archer somewhat out of character with his vehement insistence on trying to retrieve Quinn despite the risks.

  • Morbo of Lower Decks gave the episode a 3/10, a solid F, calling the direction "horrible" and Archer "obviously unbalanced, an emotional basket case." He also found much of the plot illogical, but he did envy the Photoshop of the future, where "all you have to say is 'Enhance' and the computer knows exactly what you mean (and what area to enhance)."

  • Television Without Pity's Keckler has recapped "Daedalus", calling it the "Dullest. Episode. Ever." and giving it an F (readers gave it a B) for its rehash of "The Ultimate Computer": "Let's see, Tortured Black Man With a Young Genius Past Along With A What Has He Done Lately Complex? Check. Moral decision to make? Check."

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.