Loooooooots of stuff this time around. I'll say now that this was a character-building episode along the lines of "Fight or Flight", with a Trip/T'Pol conflict supported by a bunch of B stories involving everyone else. Tech is heavily involved in this one, which sees the Pre-E studying a comet while a shiny new Vulcan ship plays voyeur. Point form notes follow:
-I've already mentioned it elsewhere, but the Vulcan ship is a the Suurok-class Ti'Mur, according to the closed-captioning. There's also mention of a Maymura-class ship, the Yarahla under Captain Tok, in which Archer once took a trip to a dark matter nebula. They also ran into a survey ship three weeks previous. All this contact is making Archer suspicious - at least as suspicious as I was seeing Vanik wears a skin-tight outfit like T'Pols...
-Apparently humans have never seen a comet 82.6 kilomters big. I guess they skipped over all the chunks of ice in the Oort cloud on the way out of the solar system. Anyway, this comet apparently contained samples of "Eisilium" that are interesting enough to send Travis and Malcolm down in Pod 1 to collect samples - they can't use the transporter as there's 20 meters of ice and/or rock in the way.
-It's cool how much this show makes a big deal out of what would be mundane exploration duties like drilling core samples out of a comet. Whilst Malcolm and Travis are down there, they construct a snowVulcan and subsequently blow it up.
-Oddly though, gravity seems pretty normal on a tiny comet like this. Must be pretty dense - but it if were, the blowing up of the snowVulcan wouldn't have afftected the rotation of the comet as it did.
-Another focus of this episode is Archer, Hoshi, Phlox and Trip recording a Q&A sent from an elementary school on earth, in much the same way as current-day astronauts do on the shuttle and station. I found this a nice, if distracting, touch to the show. The facts we find out with this include that dating is not discouraged ont he Pre-E, most people share quarters, and that Trip hated answering the question about where the stuff goes when you flush the toilet.
-We see T'Pol's quarters this time. There's no apparent windows, it's understandably spartan, and she has special permission to burn candles for her meditations.
-When Pod 1 crashes into an ice chasm caused by the sun hitting the fractured surface earlier than anticipated caused by the blowing up of the snowVulcan, they try to use the grappler to get it, Malcolm and Travis out. Poor Pod 1! Isn't it the same one that slipped into a chasm back on Terra Nova? I just hope that these incident don't turn ot to happen on a "Space 1999" frequency. Ick. Anyway, the grappler doesn't work well due to metallic ore deposits on the comet, prompting the Vulcans to offer their tractor beam for help.
quote:Originally posted by J: I'm bothered by the fact that this technology wasn't around during Kirk's day. There was no such thing as matter replication in his day.
Of course there was. Ever read The Making of Star Trek?
Note that, even in Enterprise, everything is done by synthesizers, not replicators. This is completely consistent with the background established for the original series, with food synthesizers and "fabricators" for clothing and equipment. In "Breaking the Ice," Tucker does say that they can "replicate" certain items... but it seems likely that he was saying just "replicate (recreate)" and not "replicate (use a transporter-like system to manipulate things on a sub-atomic level)."
The key difference between synthesizers and replicators is how the replication is achieved. With the more familiar replicators, the action is all done "virtually" in a transporter-style pattern buffer; in goes one thing, out comes another in a very short time. In a synthesizer, the replication is presumably more complex and time consuming, using micro-manipulation devices, chemical reactions, nanobots, laser-tractors, or whatever to move atoms where they need to be. That's why Chef still has to cook; he gets replicated raw ingredients, but not completed dishes. I'd guess that, for another example, boots aren't replicated instantly on demand, they just keep a stock for replacements as needed. For all we know, it takes a week to make one boot out of a gallon of shit.
Unfortunately UPN always has audio problems with Star Trek here. First Voyager, now Enterprise. For some reason the sound cuts off and only background noise is picked up. It happens on both TVs, so I'm guessing it's the UPN station here.
Needless to say, I missed Trip's poop answer.
-------------------- I'm slightly annoyed at Hobbes' rather rude decision to be much more attractive than me though. That's just rude. - PsyLiam, Oct 27, 2005.