Disc No :
First Aired :
4 Feb 2005
I hate the way Star Trek treats radiation. Over and over we are shown that radiation does absolutely nothing to a person right up until a particular threshold is reached, then it makes them feel a bit sick, then they die. Radiation doesn’t behave anything like this! This episode is a particularly bad offender – Trip receives a big enough radiation dose that he’s actually falling down unconscious on the floor. Yet he’s not losing his hair or teeth, there’s no sign of skin damage, there’s no talk of cancer. When he gets back to Enterprise he seems to feel no ill effects whatsoever! And we can’t really say that advanced future medicines make these less of a problem because Trip is clearly feeling perfectly fine in the scene where he is taking off his space suit, which must surely happen as soon as he gets back and before any medical treatment.
When the drone ship is found, four of the ships in the fleet detect it. None of them is Enterprise herself. The ships in the fleet are Vulcan, Tellarite and Andorian. Vulcan and Andorian ships are faster than Enterprise – so how come Enterprise is the first one to intercept the drone?
Talas dies because the phase pistol she was shot with was set to kill, causing "phase pulse infection". How on Earth can an energy pulse "infect" you? And in any case, she wasn't shot with a phase pistol, she was shot with one of the MACO's plasma pistols.
Great Moment :
Archer telling Shran and Gral to act like Humans.
Body Count :
Talas dies. A Rigellian ship is destroyed with the loss of 17 crew.
Shran's ship, the Kuhmari, was named after the first ice breaker to circumnavigate Andoria.
T'Pol comes up with a way to detect the drone ship – but setting up the required sensor network will take well over a hundred starships. Archer has to forge an alliance between the Vulcans, Humans, Andorians and Tellarites if he is to have any hope of locating the ship – but with the death of Talas, Shran is determined to exact revenge on the Tellarites even if it means the end of the alliance.
United holds up to the same level as "Babel One", good without really being exceptional. It's good to see the four Federation founding species beginning to co-operate and work together – you can see how the alliance will eventually grow out of experiences like this.
The weaker moments come with Reed and Trip aboard the drone ship. It's just not very credible that they are not able to disable this thing more easily. I would have just gone on a tour of the ship, firing phase pistols at anything that looked vaguely important - surely it wouldn't take more than half an hour or so to thoroughly disable a ship like this! And when Reed does eventually manage to inflict a significant hit on the ship, self-repair systems are invoked to bring it back online for the battle with Enterprise. This also strains credibility - systems like this are really too advanced for the period. Hell, this kind of tech would be advanced by TNG standards.
Still, the episode holds together reasonably well and there’s another nice twist with the revelation that there's an Andorian under that helmet – I’d been wondering what it was in there!