'Broken Bow' Reviewed By Press & FansBy Caillan
September 26, 2001 - 10:21 AM
The latest batch of 'Broken Bow' reviews posted online all have their reservations about aspects of the new series, but if there's one thing they seem to agree on, it's that Enterprise tries to be a little bit different from traditional Star Trek.
Here's a roundup of what the reviewers, made up of both members of the press as well as fans, had to say about the series premiere:
- Ron Wertheimer at the New York Times wrote that "Enterprise, the fifth series in the Star Trek universe, gets back to basics, then improves on them. [...] The new one has fun introducing its characters to the technology that Kirk and company took for granted, like warp-speed flight, phaser guns with settings for only stun and kill and nick-of-time beam-me-up transport. But it has more fun introducing you to these new characters, starting with Capt. Jonathan Archer and the Vulcan science officer, T'Pol." Wertheimer's full take is available to read here.
- Although the Chicago Sun- Times's Phil Rosenthal felt that some of the pilot's dialogue was wooden, he said that "this Enterprise's voyages look to be satisfying, accompanied by a wide-eyed sense of adventure and a welcome sense of humour as these new space travellers are introduced to what we all know are phasers, transporters and the like." The full review can be found here.
- "In the wake of DS9's less than stellar ratings and the widespread apathy towards Voyager, Enterprise may be the best hope for revitalizing the moribund Star Trek universe in a very, very long time," wrote Cinescape's Mark A. Altman. Although Altman had serious reservations about the series's opening theme, which he described as "one of the worst renditions of one of the most inane songs I've ever heard," he lavished praise on the cast.
"From Scott Bakula on down, the ensemble is full of life and fun. Gone are the straight-laced, ciphers of previous series," Altman wrote. "Instead the ship is populated with a spirited, sexy and opinionated cast of characters that embrace boldly going where no man has gone before." Overall, Altman said that "Enterprise is a show that has all the ingredients to live long and prosper." The full review can be found here.
- On the other hand, Matt Roush at TV Guide wasn't quite as enthusiastic. "The two-hour premiere of Enterprise is rarely as stimulating as you'd like it to be," he wrote. "A rather standard though quite diverting exercise in earnest sci-fi adventure, it features a cast that seems generically selected to cover the usual visionary diversity spectrum."
Nevertheless, Roush described the casting of Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) as "inspired" and said that Enterprise "has the best Trek premise since Star Trek: The Next Generation." Head over to TV Guide for the complete analysis.
- Michael R. Farkash at the Hollywood Reporter praised the different take on Trek, and unlike Altman, enjoyed the opening theme. "This fresh approach is reflected in the lyrical opening theme song and images, along with flashbacks that show a progression of human exploration," he wrote. "The special effects are as nifty as anything from the other Trek installments, and the sense of drama is heightened because the technologically 'backward' humans are outmatched from the get-go." The full review can be found here.
- In her review at Variety, Laura Fries took a look at the series's 'sexier' aspects. "The episode also boasts an interstellar strip club scene, a kiss from a galactic babe for Archer and more underwear scenes than a Hanes commercial," she wrote.
Fries was positive about Scott Bakula's portrayal of the Enterprise Captain. "As Archer, Bakula doesn't have the instant bravado of William Shatner's Captain Kirk, but it's fair to assume this Star Fleet captain helped lay the groundwork for interstellar dating," she said. "Bakula does brings an earthy quality back to the captain's chair - his character even gets to have a dog on board - and is personable and accessible." The complete review can be found at Variety.
- Scott D. Pierce at the Deseret News was upbeat about the pilot, and hoped that the series continues along in the same vein. "The two-hour pilot is very good and sets up what would appear to be a good premise for what will inevitably be a long-running series," he wrote. "The show looks good, the supporting cast is attractive and the characters are interesting, and Enterprise really does manage to spin what has become a science-fiction staple over the past 35 years in a new, exciting way. [...] I hope Enterprise is great. And it just might be." To read more, head over to the full review.
- AICN's 'Hercules' also seemed to enjoy the episode, giving it a score of four out of five. In his review, Hercules commended Jolene Blalock's (T'Pol) performance. "Blalock steals the show!" he wrote. "The tiny actress brings unexpected authority and gravity to the expedition, and is especially good at disparaging her shipmates’ occasional lack of grace under pressure. Like Spock, she’s perfectly fearless, and never less than amusing as she endeavors to dial down her disdain for too-human crewmates." The full review, which also comments on the other cast members, can be found here.
- Over at RevolutionSF, no less than three reviewers have offered their opinion on 'Broken Bow.' First up is Shane Ivey, who wrote that the series has promise, but that it also relies heavily on calculated demographic decisions.
"It indicates close and careful attention to demographics and market studies, art by focus group, storytelling by worrying consensus," Ivey said. "Enterprise is not driven by any creator's vision of a story, because its creators aren't concerned with a story: they're concerned with a franchise, and we can only hope that they even know the difference."
Kevin Pezzano wrote that the episode "was interesting and action-packed," but had reservations about the sequence in which Tucker and T'Pol smear decontamination gel over each other's bodies. "The entire sequence where an erect-nippled T'Pol, clad in tanktop and shorts, gets all greased-up with the cracker chief engineer of the Enterprise redefined gratuitious," he said. "And don't even get me started on the Rigelian table dancers."
Finally, Joe Crowe has adopted a 'wait and see' attitude, but said that it was "so far, so good." He was also pleasantly surprised by Blalock's performance. "And believe it or not, the Hot Vulcan Chick actually acts," Crowe wrote. "I'm not going to say she's not there just to look at, because in one very notable scene, that's exactly what she's there for. But when she's not in a tank-top, her character is stern and serious and authoritative, and the actress pulls it off."
All three reviews are available to read at Revolution SF.
- 'Virogen' at TrekPages was able to see 'Broken Bow' when Canada's A-Channel broadcast the episode a day early. He was impressed by the episode's 'little details.' "I have never seen so much effort put into Star Trek as I did in this premiere," the review said. "Something that has always frustrated me in many ST episodes is how they tend to give a scene the minimum effort required to make it work; they won't put in the extra effort that would make the scene far more engaging. But almost every scene in Broken Bow has been given this extra effort. From the little animals in Phlox's sickbay to alien insects landing on Tucker, none of the scenes seemed lacking."
The complete review, in which the episode is awarded a score of 4.5 out of 5, can be found here.
Thanks to 'Enterpriser', 'Spinstorm', Hans Bushan and Miri for the links!