Mixed Early Reviews For 'The Xindi'

By Michelle
September 10, 2003 - 12:58 PM

See Also: 'The Xindi' Episode Guide

Star Trek Enterprise "has saved the Trek franchise with messy, moving and ambiguous story lines torn from the 21st century," stated one new review of the series, while another said the season premiere "smacks of desperation."

Sumana Harihareswara wrote in Salon.com that the series "has a premise, an interesting question to answer: How did humanity go from the bottom to the top of the galactic totem pole?" And it answers it, she concluded, by following "the best Trek tradition in making the era seem fresh and undetermined and arresting."

"As in other 'Star Trek' series, the ideas are the meat of the thing, with a salad of special effects...and a dessert of cheesecake," Harihareswara joked, making reference to the excessive visuals of Jolene Blalock's unclad skin.

However, the writer said, Enterprise entices its audience into caring about its characters as Deep Space Nine did, showing their faults and anger such as Tucker's at the discovery that his sister has died in an alien attack.

"This is why the moral dilemmas of 'Enterprise,' from now forward, will feel real and messy and moving: Earth has an interest. Capt. Picard of 'Next Generation' sometimes struggled over playing God, sure, but usually human lives weren't at stake."

"Isolated low points," Harihareswara added, "can't mar this show's accomplishment: After hundreds of hours of Trek movies and TV episodes, 'Enterprise' is making the franchise new again, creating fresh stories and possibilities."

Harihareswara said that the screener copy of the premiere did not have music playing over the opening credits, which may suggest that the producers are, in fact, changing the theme song for the premiere tonight.

By contrast, Robert Bianco of USA Today gave the season premiere only two stars out of four and said, "...like many of the changes, this tarting-up of T'Pol smacks of desperation."

Though he stated that the Xindi storyline "does promise to provide more action and excitement, and giving the crew a purpose certainly can't hurt...none of the alterations has come close to fixing the show's main problem, which is subpar writing."

Connor Trinneer's Trip Tucker, singled out by Bianco for praise, "is being written so erratically that [Trinneer] seems as if he's overacting to compensate."

Enterprise, he added, "feels like a show, and an idea, that has run its course."

IGN FilmForce would seem to agree, giving "The Xindi" only one out of five stars and stating that the new aliens "look like little more than bad Farscape knockoffs."

Of the Trek franchise, the reviewer wrote, "I knew that this "bold new direction" for the series was really just an exercise in digging the same hole but putting a different facade on the operation."

Entertainment Weekly also has a brief review "for all you 'Trek''-nophobes'" briefly summarizing the season's heightened action and teasing about "intimate massage" between Tucker and T'Pol.

The Salon.com article may be found here (thanks to Dorian Thompson at the TrekBBS for the link). The USA Today article is here, while IGN's review is here and EW's blurb is here.

"The Xindi" airs on UPN tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

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