Advance Reviews Praise 'Borderland'By Michelle
October 29, 2004 - 3:49 PM
See Also: 'Borderland' Episode Guide
Reviews of tonight's episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, "Borderland", sang the praises of Brent Spiner as Dr. Arik Soong and said that the action, drama and references to the original series make this episode a pleasure to watch. Moreover, since "Borderland" kicks off a three-episode arc, the best may be yet to come.
- IGN Filmforce drew parallels between "Borderland" and Enterprise pilot "Broken Bow", with its Klingons and the uneasy relations between Starfleet and an ally who may be more trouble than he's worth. "Soong is a genius on many levels and the most frightening kind of villain – the kind who believes that everything he does is really for the greater good," wrote KJB. Moreover, "Spiner immediately takes control of the episode, playing the evil genius with such relish that it's hard to take your eyes off him." The opening teaser and first act establish "Borderland" as "far and away the most interesting Enterprise episode of the entire series", though KJB was a bit disappointed to see Archer taken hostage yet again, one of many recurring flaws that IGN feels Enterprise must atone for before this single episode can turn its fortunes.
- "The weakest vessel in the 'Star Trek' universe of TV shows, 'Star Trek: Enterprise,' finally may have charted a course correction that works," wrote The New York Daily News' David Bianculli. He called the three-part Spiner arc the show's best offering since its premiere in 2001, citing good writing that gives the adversaries shades of gray and Spiner's presence as a character with a "warped sense of humor, and a warped sense of honor to match." He also enjoyed the echoes of both the eugenics storyline from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the Orions from the original series' pilot.
- The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan, who has declared herself an Enterprise enthusiast before, said that if anyone ever needed a reason to watch the series, "Borderland" provides it. She labels the episode "delicious" and adds that "the zippy pacing is fun, but the real treat here is seeing Spiner in action."
- Robert Sanchez of IESB.net gave "Borderland" four out of five stars, offering a summary of much of the episode and noting that it contains more action than has been seen on Star Trek in a long time. He compared the Orion ship designs to those of the Romulans and said that the male Orions resemble "Gamorrean Guards without the pig face" from the Star Wars universe. Overall Sanchez found the episode very satisfying:
"Borderland" is an episode that truly lives up to the Star Trek franchise and is quite obvious that someone new is at the helm of the series. Revisiting old Trek species is not enough to revive this series but the writing combined with the action is a sure winner.
- Robert Bianco of USA Today listed "Borderland" in his column on "What to watch Halloween weekend", noting Spiner's presence and adding, "Maybe he can help."
- TV Guide included Enterprise on its Hot List, with Damian J. Holbrook saying, "It's a Trekker's delight when Next Gen's Brent Spiner begins a three-episode gig as a long-removed (and sort of shady) relative of Data's original creator." He joked that perhaps Dr. Soong would help bring Enterprise's oft-criticised theme song to a grisly end.