Online Critics Rain On 'Storm Front, Part One'By Michelle
October 14, 2004 - 4:55 PM
See Also: 'Storm Front, Part I' Episode Guide
The first online reviews for last Friday night's episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, season premiere "Storm Front, Part One", might be best summed up by The Great Link's Michael Marek, who said, "I think Enterprise should lay off time travel for a while."
- Lower Decks' Shadowfyre graded the first part of "Storm Front" 6.5/10, calling it "formulaic, cliched and predictable...but competently produced, acted and maintaining a nice even pace." But the return to an altered Earth seemed like an absurd twist after the events of last season, without offering any fresh perspective on the Nazis, time travel, AU history or anything else previously appearing on Star Trek. Plus Shadowfyre felt that the temporal cold war deserved a more engrossing wrap-up. For more, visit Lower Decks.
- O. Deus of TrekWebpointed out that the reset button built into the episode undercuts the crisis, making the attack feel more like a holographic problem than anything in the real world. For an action-adventure series, he wrote, this makes sense:
Things go wrong with time for the Enterprise crew to repair before pushing the reset button and returning back to their own future with no impact on the world at large is ideal for such a format.But while Deus found the episode entertaining, he thought the impact of World War II and the Holocaust was cheapened by the cliche, calling the mobster freedom fighters "cutesy" and the Nazis "cartoonish". The full review is at The Great Link, though he quoted Captain Janeway who said, "Time travel gives me a headache." Speaking of headaches, he added, Daniels implies that the Temporal Cold War will never have occurred if Archer succeeds in stopping Vosk, which would wipe out all of last season in terms of Star Trek continuity. Marek disliked the alien Nazis when they showed up last season but said that Manny Coto's script did well with using them as a launching point. Unfortunately the villains were underdeveloped and parts of the plot didn't make sense. Marek's full review is at The Great Link.
- Erik Dardan Ymeraga at Section 31 gave "Storm Front, Part One" a D-, admitting that his review was harsh but feeling as though he had just watched "Rick Berman and Brannon Braga's last chance to massacre Star Trek." While not every episode can or should address a social issue, he noted, "The kind of mindless shoot-em-up that is 'Storm Front' [is] not Star Trek." The Xindi arc received no follow-through, there's excessive violence and mindless action, and the plot "is both as solid and as compelling as a sheet of tissue paper." Whereas the violence of the Dominion War had a purpose, he felt, this was "plain and simple brutality" without even condemning such tactics. The full review is at Section 31.
- Star Trek: Hypertext's Jammer gave two and a half stars to Enterprise's season premiere. "'Storm Front' inherits so much nonsensical time-travel baggage from previous episodes...that the premise is all but indefensible," he noted, though he hoped the setup would lead to the end of the Temporal Cold War "and all its related, incoherent BS" even though that would probably require a Temporal Reset Button very similar to the one in Voyager's "Year of Hell." He found the writing tolerable, but the story impossible to take seriously, unaided by "Temporal Nonsense Agent Daniels." And like Ymeraga he was bothered by the gratuitous violence:
What's the only thing better than the writers blowing up a shuttlepod? Blowing up a shuttlepod full of Nazis, naturally...later, there's a shootout when the Nazis try to recapture Archer. This scene is an effete, bullet-riddled action sequence that's allowed to go on too long.But the biggest problem, wrote Jammer, is the episode's "apparent, inherent meaninglessness." The full review is at Star Trek: Hypertext.
- Monkee awarded the episode an 8/10, saying that the episode was silly but she enjoyed it anyway. "It's fun, but it's hardly 'City on the Edge of Forever' material, now, is it?" she asked. Her favourite scene was the one in which Tucker tells T'Pol, "I was just all set to get home...I wasn't expecting to be in another...situation", which amused her greatly. The multiple deaths and reincarnations of Daniels seem to have amused her as well. And the Xindi? "What Xindi? Boy, when they put an arc behind them, they really put an arc behind them, don't they?" The impending end of both this storyline and the Cold War struck her as rather abrupt, but she remained optimistic about the season. For the full review, visit Monkee's Place.
- Xenoclone's Enterprise Power Rankings gave a list of priorities for a successful science fiction show focused on characters and action, saying, "the Xindi arc was great [but] in terms of modern 'edgy' standards, it's still fluffy-fluff" and hoping that Trek gets back to its roots, "bonding characters through adversity [who] relish the challenges they face." The season opener is labeled "not a must see" but "a decent hour", despite tepid acting. The full review is at Xenoclone.