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Damage

Review

Series : Enterprise Rating : 3
Disc No : 3.5 Episode : 71
First Aired : 21 Apr 2004 Stardate : Unknown
Director : James L. Conway Year : 2154
Writers : Phyllis Strong Season : 3
Guest Cast :
Casey Biggs as Illyrian Captain
Dorenda Moore as S. Money
Josette DiCarlo as Sphere-Builder
Paul Sklar as Corporal R. Richards
Randy Oglesby as Degra
Rick Worthy as Jannar
Scott MacDonald as Commander Dolim
Tucker Smallwood as Xindi-Humanoid
YATI : Not strictly a YATI as such, but the warp coils of a ship are supposed to be a series of large ring-shaped devices which sit in line along the inside of each nacelle. There shouldn't really be any such thing as a "primary" warp coil, it shouldn't really be possible to take a warp coil from one ship and stick it in another, and if you could then it should be a lot larger than the thing we see in this episode, given the size of Enterprise's nacelles. Of course we could always argue that Enterprise's warp drive operates on slightly different principles than later ships.

We get another speed nit - the meeting is three days from now, four light years away, and the ship is said to need to be able to reach warp 3 to reach it. That would make warp 3 equal to 487 times lightspeed, which is way faster than the ship is stated to be in "Broken Bow".

Great Moment : It's good to see that they are keeping the ship in a crippled state rather than have unrealistically rapid repairs. I was also impressed that the repairs involve actual physical work - people welding, hitting things with hammers, etc, rather than just waving glowing gadgets over bits of the ship.
Body Count : Hard to say, really. Reed says that five people are dead, dozens wounded. In the next episode, however, we will learn that eighteen people died in the battle. Presumably many of the wounded are being lost over the course of this episode, bodies being found, etc.

During the attack on the Illyrian ship at least one of the MACOs is injured and at least half a dozen or so of the Illyrians are stunned (at least I presume Archer had his people using stun).

Factoid : The Illyrian captain is played by Casey Biggs, who also played Damar on Deep Space Nine.

Plotline

The Xindi attack on Enterprise is called off at the last second, thanks to Archer's pleas to the council. He is returned to the badly damaged ship and given a rendezvous to meet with Degra for further peace talks - but the meeting is light years away, with only a few days to get there. Without warp drive Archer has no chance of reaching the meeting but the only other ship within range won't trade their warp coil, leaving Archer with a difficult decision.

Analysis

So, was Archer right or wrong to steal the warp coil? Typically Star Trek would present us with a situation like this and have the Captain make a stirring speech about how there's no point in trying to preserve the Federation by violating the ethics that define it - and indeed T'Pol does point out that Archer has said this exact thing before when she reminds him of his "We can't save humanity without holding on to what makes us human" line. That works fine when there turns out to be a conveniently ethical way to solve the problem, which there always does in Star Trek. However... in this case, there was no other way, and it was not just one ship at stake but the whole of Earth - indeed, if Daniels is correct then Archer dooms the entire galaxy by sticking to his principles.

It's hard to say that what Archer did was right, but it is also hard to say that he could have done anything else.


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 9,268 Last updated : 26 Mar 2006