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Precious Cargo

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Series :
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First Aired :
11 Dec 2002
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At one point Archer offers to bring the cargo ship into his shuttle bay and take it to its destination. But look at the ship in the exterior visuals - it's far too big to get into Enterprise.

This isn't really a nit as such... but when Archer plays his con about the tribuneral on the Retellian guy, he angrily declares "I'm not subject to your laws!" Huh? Why would he think that? Granted I have no idea how the 22nd century Retellians looked at law, but the NX-01 is clearly Earth territory. When you are on Earth territory, you are subject to Earth law. We've seen many times that Starfleet in all its various incarnations follows the policy that officers on foreign territory are subject to the laws of that territory. While I grant that it's possible that the Retellians believe otherwise, does it really seem likely that they honestly think they can go onto another species' territory, violate their laws, and then just shrug it off and walk away because the aren't citizens?

Great Moment :
Padma Lakshmi does a good job as the alien princess.
Body Count :
Factoid :
Padma Lakshmi speaks five languages!


Enterprise assists a cargo ship carrying a passenger in stasis. Unfortunately Trip discovers that the woman is a prisoner, prompting one of the alien crew to escape with both her and Trip still aboard. Trip manages to escape the cargo ship with the woman and makes it to a nearby planet, where he must hide from the alien and hope that Archer can come to the rescue.


This isn't a terrible episode as such, but it never really comes together all that well for me. It's just a bit too contrived. You can tell that the writers sat down and decided to have Trip stranded on a planet with an alien Princess and do the whole "we bicker and argue and then fall for one another" routine, and the first 20 minutes of the plot are pretty much written simply to get them to that place.

The whole Retellian "trial" scene was a bit silly, too. I wouldn't have fallen for it if I were him, and I can't imagine any reasonably intelligent person would have.

There are some things to like. Padma does a good job as the Princess, though she's a little wooden at times. One moment I do like is when Trip and the Retellian guy get into a fight... Trip punches him, and the guy just sort of looks at him, laughs, and proceeds to start beating hell out of him. It's a nice moment because it reflects a reality not often seen in Trek; alien species are likely to have greatly different degrees of strength and endurance, different "soft spots" on their body, etc. If you are fighting a known species, training can compensate - Starfleet certainly has classes along the lines of "hit a Klingon here, but a Romulan here. But when you get into a fight with an unknown alien for the first time, unexpected things are going to happen. Punching an alien only to suddenly find that actually his skull is five times thicker than yours is an amusing and realistic moment. You could equally play this very differently someday, actually; I read an old sci-fi book once (The First men in the Moon I believe) where at one point a Human character punches a Moon native... only to have his fist smash straight through the creature's skull, killing it instantly. Somehow I can't see that on Trek - for some reason the show almost always depicts aliens as being physically stronger than Humans.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 24,172 Last updated : 31 Mar 2013