content by

Keith R.A. DeCandido

Fiction and Excerpts [4]

Fiction and Excerpts [4]

Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Future Tense”

“Future Tense”
Written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Directed by James Whitmore Jr.
Season 2, Episode 16
Production episode 042
Original air date: February 19, 2003
Date: unknown

Captain’s star log. Enterprise comes across a pod floating in space. They take it on board and get it open (which requires a phaser, as the hatch is welded shut) only to find what appears to be a human corpse inside.

[“I always wanted to meet a stegosaurus.” “He’d probably make a quick meal out of you.” “The stegosaurus was an herbivore…”]

Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

“Just keep circling…” — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “Hear All, Trust Nothing”

Since 2020, the Secret Hideout Trek shows on Paramount+ have shown us the fates several of the characters from the twenty-fourth-century spinoffs: TNG’s Jean-Luc Picard, William Riker, Deanna Troi, Wes Crusher, and Data and Voyager’s Seven of Nine on Picard (with TNG’s Worf, Beverly Crusher, and Geordi La Forge to be seen in the upcoming third season); Voyager’s Kathryn Janeway and Chakotay on Prodigy; Riker and Troi again and Voyager’s Tom Paris on Lower Decks.

Conspicuously absent from that list is anyone from DS9 (though Quark has been mentioned more than once on both Picard and LD), but this week’s LD makes up for that lack in spades, and it’s my favorite episode of LD so far. (Note, this doesn’t mean it’s the best. Just that it’s my favorite, which is as much my love for DS9 as anything…)

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Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Cease Fire”

“Cease Fire”
Written by Chris Black
Directed by David Straiton
Season 2, Episode 15
Production episode 041
Original air date: February 12, 2003
Date: unknown

Captain’s star log. For a hundred years, Vulcan and Andoria have fought over a world, which the Vulcans have named Paan Mokar, and which the Andorians call Weytahn. The Andorians colonized it and terraformed (Andoria-formed?) it, but then Vulcan annexed it, and they’ve been fighting over it ever since.

[“We need to reduce our speed.” “The ground is going to do that for us.”]

Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

I’m Not the Me I Used To Be — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “Reflections”

Back in “First First Contact,” Rutherford got a stray memory that indicated that his cybernetic implants were not obtained voluntarily, but that whoever put them in programmed him to believe that it was an elective surgery.

This week’s Lower Decks gives us a lot more background on Rutherford, and it’s not pretty, though it does provide us with some actually really good character development.

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Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Stigma”

Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Livingston
Season 2, Episode 14
Production episode 040
Original air date: February 5, 2003
Date: unknown

Captain’s star log. Phlox gives T’Pol a medical exam and reveals that her Pa’nar Syndrome has worsened, and the treatments are no longer working. Conveniently, Enterprise is attending the Interspecies Medical Conference, so there’s a contingent of Vulcan doctors Phlox can talk to about the latest treatments.

[Where I come from, everything’s open for debate.]

Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

“You engineered a workaround to your own stress-meter?” — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “Room for Growth”

After four straight episodes (going back to the second-season finale, “First First Contact”), Lower Decks has been giving us previous Trek guest stars voiced by their actors. Alas, that streak is broken this week, as we have no special guest stars after getting Lycia Naff as Sonya Gomez, James Cromwell as Zefram Cochrane, J.G. Hertzler as Chancellor Martok, and Susan Gibney as Leah Brahms. Instead, we get an episode that is a bit of a throwback to LD’s first season, which is not a good thing…

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Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Dawn”

Written by John Shiban
Directed by Roxann Dawson
Season 2, Episode 13
Production episode 039
Original air date: January 8, 2003
Date: unknown

Captain’s star log. Tucker is testing the new autopilot on a shuttlepod by taking it through a mess of 62 moons that orbit a gas giant. There’s also a lot of interference from selenium isotopes in many of the moons.

That latter proves a problem when a) an alien ship fires on the shuttle, b) communications go blooey, and c) both ships crash land on one of the moons, the selenium having wiped out the power in both.

[I don’t understand a word you’re saying!]

Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

“The Cerritos kicks ass!” — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “Mining the Mind’s Mines”

For the third straight episode this season, we’ve got an appearance by an illusory version of a character who appeared as a guest in a Trek TV show or movie who is voiced by the selfsame actor who played the real version in the past. We had James Cromwell as an interactive hologram of Zefram Cochrane in “Grounded,” and J.G. Hertzler as an interactive AI of Martok in “The Least Dangerous Game.” This week, it’s a hallucination of Dr. Leah Brahms, and yes, Susan Gibney is this week’s special guest star. I just wish they didn’t use her this way.

(I’m wondering if this is going to be a theme, and very much look forward to the holodeck re-creation of Dr. Miranda Jones voiced by Diana Muldaur next week. This is pure speculation on my part. I have no idea if they’re doing that, but they totally should ‘cause it’ll be cool!)

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Bold Boimler — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “The Least Dangerous Game”

I really only had one desire for season three of Lower Decks, and that was more Kimolu and Matt. The two cetaceans who run Cetacean Ops on the Cerritos were absolutely magnificent in their first appearance in “First First Contact,” and I’m thrilled to see them back in “The Least Dangerous Game.” It’s only for a few seconds, and they mostly just bitch to Boimler about jumping into their pool with his boots on. (“That’s messed up,” they grumble, also saying that Boimler is “such a drama magnet.”)

And that’s not even the best part of “The Least Dangerous Game”!


Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “The Catwalk”

“The Catwalk”
Written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Directed by Mike Vejar
Season 2, Episode 12
Production episode 038
Original air date: December 18, 2002
Date: September 18, 2152

Captain’s star log. Enterprise is preparing for a detailed survey of a new world when a Takret ship shows up warning them that a neutronic storm is approaching, and it’s coming faster than Enterprise can travel. The three aliens ask for sanctuary as their vessel won’t be able to withstand the storm.

[New planet, new aliens—banner day.]

Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

Back to Basics — Star Trek: Lower Decks: “Grounded”

Something I never did mention when I reviewed episodes of Strange New Worlds season one is that Paramount+ is doing a cool new thing: each episode of a Trek series now starts with the appropriate ship flying through space with a rainbow effect behind it before zipping past the Starfleet delta, and then we get the Star Trek logo. It was the Enterprise for SNW and it’s the Cerritos for Lower Decks. It’ll presumably be the Protostar for Prodigy and the titular vessel for Discovery. Real curious to see what it winds up being for Picard season three…

Anyhow, it’s nifty, I like it, and it opens up a wonderful third-season premiere of Lower Decks that resolves the cliffhanger in a most lower-decks manner…


Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Precious Cargo”

“Precious Cargo”
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga and David A. Goodman
Directed by David Livingston
Season 2, Episode 11
Production episode 037
Original air date: December 11, 2002
Date: September 12, 2152

Captain’s star log. Enterprise answers a distress call from a Retellian freighter that is having trouble with their life-support systems. Specifically, a stasis pod that contains a passenger is malfunctioning. According to the only two crew, Goff, the shipmaster, and Plinn, the passenger is in stasis as a cost-saving maneuver, as it will be several months before they deliver her to her homeworld.

[“Is your entire species so ill-mannered?” “No—just me.”]

Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Vanishing Point”

“Vanishing Point”
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Straiton
Season 2, Episode 10
Production episode 036
Original air date: November 27, 2002
Date: unknown

Captain’s star log. Tucker and Sato are checking out ruins on a planet, but a diamagnetic storm is moving in faster than expected, so they have to risk taking the transporter. Tucker beams up first at Sato’s insistence, as she doesn’t want to beam up until she knows Tucker made it through safely.

Sato feels out of sorts after her first time through the transporter, and Archer gives her the rest of the day off. She’s the subject of some good-natured teasing in the mess hall, with Reed, Tucker, and Mayweather telling her the story of Cyrus Ramsey, who was lost in an early transporter test and who is now the subject of dozens of ghost stories. Sato has never heard of Ramsey, and is sorry to have heard of him now.

[That’s a pretty big jigsaw puzzle…]

Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

The Pursuit of Happyness — Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

From August 2017 – January 2020, Keith R.A. DeCandido took a weekly look at every live-action movie based on a superhero comic that had been made to date in the weekly Superhero Movie Rewatch. In this latest revisit we’ve covered some older movies—It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman!, Mandrake, and the two Timecop movies—and two December 2021 releases—Spider-Man: No Way Home and The King’s Man—we finish off with the first three 2022 movies: The Batman, Morbius, and now the latest Doctor Strange flick.

The concept of the multiverse has been all over Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After Avengers: Endgame gave us the notion of alternate time tracks and Spider-Man: Far from Home had Mysterio using the concept as part of his long con to end Phase Three, we’ve gotten the multiverse spelled out in Loki, explored in more depth in What If…? season one, and serving as the plot catalyst in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it is the plot…

[You break the rules and become a hero. I do it, and I become the enemy. That doesn’t seem fair.]

Series: 4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch

Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Singularity”

Written by Chris Black
Directed by Patrick Norris
Season 2, Episode 9
Production episode 035
Original air date: November 20, 2002
Date: August 14, 2152

Captain’s star log. We see that everyone on Enterprise is unconscious, except for T’Pol, who dictates a log explaining what the hell happened.

Enterprise is approaching a singularity that is part of a trinary system. While the Vulcans have charted thousand of black holes, this is the first one on record to be in a trinary system, so they head toward it.

[I lowered it—by one centimeter.]

Series: Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

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