Online Critics Warmed By 'The Forge'By Michelle
November 26, 2004 - 10:18 PM
See Also: 'The Forge' Episode Guide
Online reviewers were nearly unanimous in praise for last Friday night's episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, "The Forge", with many calling the first installment of the Vulcan trilogy their favourite-ever episode of the series. The screenplay by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, the performance of Gary Graham as a less antagonistic Soval and the intriguing cliffhanger all earned praise, though more than one reviewer noted that the special effects were not up to their usual standard of excellence.
- Diesel Mickey Dolenz of Lower Decks gave the episode an 8.5/10, saying, "It’s gratifying to see Enterprise finally embracing Trek's history, rather than trying to distance itself from or work around it." He found it somewhat odd that Forrest's death barely registered, of importance only to Archer, while Soval's turnaround made a much more dramatic impact.
- "'The Forge' boldly takes Enterprise, and its audience, where no episode has gone before: along a path of continuity that runs straight through the 'Original Series' and into the Feature Films," wrote Bill Gordon of Sci Fi Pulse. "The strength of the storytelling here is almost enough to cover the drop off in production values, as many of the effects in "The Forge" betray Enterprise 's reduced fourth season budget."
- "Within less than an hour, 'The Forge' explains the inconsistencies between Enterprise-era Vulcans and Kirk-era Vulcans without sacrificing the validity of either show's portrayal," agreed Chris of Xenoclone. "It's hard not to gush about the episode. There is simply too much to compliment, because almost every second deserves one."
- "An episode that's 'working on all thrusters,' as McCoy would say," wrote Monkee, who rated "The Forge" 9.5/10. "Mystery and intrigue are introduced early...Archer, once again, is doing all the right things at all the right times...I had to dock it a few tenths for dragging in spots, but this one was a winner!" She enjoyed the character interaction between T'Pol and both Koss, her husband, and Tucker, the man she'd apparently rather spend time with, as well as the way T'Pol interrupted the crew camaraderie with the news of a disaster. The full review is at Monkee's Place.
- TrekWeb's O. Deus gave the show a 6.5 overall rating with particularly low marks for direction and production values. He found the special effects subpar and the episode unsatisfying as a single installment within an arc:
Like 'Borderland', 'The Forge' feels like less of an episode and more of a preview to an episode. But where 'Borderland' had more content and a solid ending, 'The Forge' strings together exposition scenes and some action with the end result being more of a snack than a full dinner.
- Dr. Phlox of Save Enterprise gave "The Forge" a 9.5 rating, calling it "an entertaining hour" and stating that the plot "grabs and doesn't let go...every scene moves from one to the other seamlessly." He was unimpressed with the actor who played the Vulcan investigator but otherwise very pleased with the beginning of the arc, though he noted that it left future installments much to live up to.
- "'The Forge' is loaded with detail about Vulcans and Vulcan culture drawn from a dozen past episodes," noted The Great Link's Michael Marek, who gave the episode a rating of five out of five. "This gives the episode an authenticity that will resonate with the long-term fans Enterprise is struggling to recruit back to the series. He found both the guest cast and the script to be strong.
- For an additional perspective, Ian J. Slater also reviewed the episode for The Great Link, giving it the same high rating and discussing his concerns about the use of a terrorist bombing as a plot device and some cliches in the story.
- For an additional perspective, Michael Sheridan of Tail Slate rated the episode 4.7, saying, "It is simply refreshing to see Enterprise become involved in Trek lore, where it belongs, instead of being cast off into massive storylines with highly predictable endings that don’t relate at all to the show's overall purpose." He appreciated the explanations of Vulcan evolution and the theme music's reference to the score of Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
- Section 31's Erik Dardan Ymeraga gave the episode an A-, deducting a few points for predictability in spots, but he labeled it "a remarkable start for an arc that will undoubtedly provide incredible depth for the Vulcans, and it will stand as one of my favorite episodes of all of Enterprise. Graham's performance as Soval was a particular highlight for him.
- Television Without Pity's Keckler has recapped the episode, summarizing the plot as such" "A Vulcan dies in a sandstorm, transfers his katra to Quantum, and Quantum walks around acting all superior and smart and unemotional and stiff. So, you know, business as usual."
- TrekPulse's Annie Hall has written a parody as well.