Star Trek: Enterprise: Storm Front   Rewatch 
January 12, 2020 7:12 AM - Season 4, Episode 1 - Subscribe

[Season premiere; part 1 of 2] The Enterprise crew mysteriously arrives in an alternate WWII with quite different patterns of force. As it turns out, a hostile alien species is distorting the timeline for their own little killing game.

Hintergrundinformationen aus dem Speicher Eins:

- This episode takes place entirely in an alternate version of 1944, with no scenes set in the usual time period of the 22nd century. Along with TOS: "Assignment: Earth" (which takes place in 1968), this is one of only two Star Trek episodes based entirely in the 20th century. Both episodes also mostly take place in and around New York City.

- With the addition of this episode, Enterprise became the first Star Trek series to start a 4th season without having any change in the cast since its pilot episode.

- Tom Wright (Ghrath) previously portrayed Tuvix in the eponymous episode of Star Trek: Voyager.

- Ghrath's name – and the name of his species, the Na'kuhl – are taken from the original script and are not mentioned in the episode even though they were mentioned in the production report.

- Joe Maruzzo and Steve Schirripa, who play Sal and Carmine in this episode, were regular cast members on the HBO television show The Sopranos.

- Daniels' condition in this episode originally appeared in the Voyager episode "Shattered", where Chakotay was taken out of temporal sync and a state of temporal flux. The Doctor noted that Chakotay "has the liver of an eighty-year-old man, and the kidneys of a twelve-year-old boy."

- This marks the second time J. Paul Boehmer has played a German SS soldier in Star Trek, the previous time being in the Star Trek: Voyager episodes "The Killing Game" and "The Killing Game, Part II".

- The footage that Vosk shows the German Generalmajor is re-used footage. The building that the Na'Kuhl officer destroys with a plasma pulse rifle is the Nazi headquarters in Sainte Claire from "The Killing Game".

- This episode is the second time that a character from the past mistakes a character from the future for a naval officer due to their affiliation with the Enterprise, the first being Edith Keeler and Dr. McCoy in "The City on the Edge of Forever".

- Ending the story arc of the Temporal Cold War was partly due to Manny Coto deciding to bring it to an end. "I thought, you know, Manny, in season four, kind of set the Temporal Cold War aside, as best I could [determine]," Brannon Braga observed, frowning. He then laughed, "You know, I guess he wasn't that interested in it." ("In Conversation: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga", ENT Season 1 Blu-ray special features) Coto himself remarked, "I felt that everything that had been said about the Temporal Cold War had already been said. I felt a heavy reliance on time travel at the beginning of Enterprise. I wanted season four to be a relatively time travel free season and that's why I debated writing it into season four."

- According to actor John Billingsley, Paramount also bore some of the responsibility for ending the Temporal Cold War. Billingsley recalled, "I definitely felt as if there was a dictate on high from the network level, or from the studio level, to end the temporal time war, wrap it up immediately. I tended to concur on the broader point that the temporal time war never really got off the ground, the storytelling was too attenuated, and that it needed to die. At the same time I think the network forced them to tie it all up so abruptly that the way in which they had to do it was not as deft as it needed to be."


"I'm gonna ask you something – it's gonna sound a little strange..."
"What else is new?"
"When I was in a German medical tent, one of the soldiers who came in to see me...wasn't like the other ones. He had gray skin, red eyes... he wasn't Human..." (Telling by the look on her face) "This isn't the first time you've heard something like this..."

- Archer and Travers


"Like I said, neighborhood's gone downhill."

- Travers, to Archer after their run-in with a pair of Nazi soldiers


"What was that back there?"
"That was an extraterrestrial."
"A Martian?"
"I don't know what planet he was from."
"Where are you from?"
"Upstate New York."

- Sal and Archer


"Your colleague has managed to evade us. I assure you, whatever I want to know you'll tell me... gratefully."

- Vosk, to his new captives: Tucker and Mayweather


Poster's Log:
Did anybody else, ya know, kind of have to blink and remind yourself "This is fiction" when this shot came up?

Anyway, Jack rightly pointed out in last week's thread that we really didn't need to go back to the Nazi well in October 2004. These days, though, I'm inclined to welcome any number of "fuck the Nazis" storylines. In fact I actually hope we get to watch NuKirk or OldPicard waste some Nazis in STXIV or PIC. (Not so much DISCO. For there to still be Nazis in the thirty-second century…would suck.)

I always liked the notion of the mafiosos helping the resistance here—it feels historically-plausible. Less so is the fact that the mafiosos didn't change into more functional attire.

Here's the TV Tropes link for this two-parter's conceit. Some interesting stuff on that page for those interested in alternate-history scenarios.

I think maybe T'Pol's emotional-regulation-dysfunction is contagious, if Trip's attitude in the early scenes is any indication.

Judging from his skillful method of broaching the subject of nonhuman Nazis to Alicia, Archer is handling the oddity of time travel with the greatest of ease.

Pointless STO Comparison of the Week:
Daniels, including Vidiian-lookin' Daniels from this episode, is a major NPC in STO—so much so that, according to STO's wiki, "With 16 missions featuring the character, each including unique voiceovers by Matt Winston, Daniels is the most featured canon character voiced by the original actor in Star Trek Online."

Poster's Log, Supplemental:
Tim & Eric, Awesome Show! fans may recognize Carmine as the "My Eggs" guy. (He should've been in "Hatchery" instead!)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yeah, it was pretty good to see some Nazis get it. Although... I mean, you know I'm gonna quibble, right? One thing that bugged me is that, not only are we getting a lot of recycled bits from "The Killing Game" (to the point that I assume that J. Paul Boehmer's abbreviated appearance was a deliberate nod to that episode), but it's taken to a ridiculous extreme in that there's no real reason for the Na'kuhl to be wearing the SS uniforms, and one big reason not to: the SS were not only the elite of the Nazi uniformed forces, but their symbol of racial "purity", and I don't really buy that they would have allowed that. Not that the Nazis couldn't be flexible about race when it benefited them; they made allowances for their Japanese allies that they didn't extend to Asians generally. The Na'kuhl don't seem to have any particular allegiance to the Nazis (Vosk's pandering to the German general notwithstanding), and they operate away from the public eye, mostly. (Speaking of which, my other quibble: the Na'kuhl who's just kind of walking around with his face uncovered, even if it's at night, doesn't make a lot of sense; he could have had his human contact come see him in a building somewhere.) Aliens in Nazi uniforms made sense in "Patterns of Force" because John Gill deliberately introduced them as part of his whole failed "good fascism" experiment, and in "The Killing Game" because the Hirogen got into the whole cosplay/LARP aspect of the holodeck, albeit in a brutal, lethal way.

Anyway. Other than that, the episode was pretty good. Liked Golden Brooks as Alicia Travers, and the goombahs were also good, although I agree that those bright Dick Tracy suits didn't really work. (WRT their being in the resistance, in Earth-Prime, the Mafia cooperated with the war effort, not only for security on the homefront (especially the docks) but for the invasion of Sicily.) I perused the map of occupied America closely--in many alternate-history stories, a map quickly illustrates how things turned out differently, and even though the Nazis are occupying most of the Eastern Seaboard, and therefore a big chunk of the US' population, it's still interesting to see where they stopped (mostly along/around the Appalachians); even with their alien Wunderwaffe, there are limits to their ability to take over the world all at once (although Vosk's promise of a bioweapon is chilling). I also liked the use of Billie Holiday as a morale weapon.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:08 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Vidiian-lookin' Daniels

I said, "Hey how did Werner Herzog get on the ship?"
posted by fleacircus at 4:18 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


OH YEAH SPACE NAZIS

Just kidding.

Some postives, I guess:

- At least the Temporal Cold War is (almost) over. I wasn't even really sure it was still going on? Like, I guess that whole Xindi arc, despite dealing with time-traveling space-shifters, wasn't part of the TCW? Or was it? I dunno. Either way, despite this apparently being the determined end of an extremely weak arc, I don't think it was really even necessary to try and end it. Just pretend it didn't happen. And the time travel in this one makes no sense at all, but hey, who needs to be consistent, right?

- The gangsters were fun as well. Didn't even realize they were Sopranos regulars. I thought they were hilarious and it's funny to think of them playing actual mobsters.

- When Archer returns to the bridge, the look on T'Pol's face was perfect. The subtle look that just gave away that she was the happiest Vulcan who has ever lived was perfect.

And some questions?

- So the plan is to go back to WWII times, and win the Nazis the war, and therefore that stops the Federation from happening? This I find remarkably unbelievable. Maybe it does end the Federation, but didn't anybody stop to think that the best rocket scientists in the world were part of the Nazi machine? I mean, it was former German rocket scientists who helped both the US and the USSR get to the moon. Now, imagine they were working together. Wouldn't it accelerate the space-travel timeline? Then we have a mirror universe where the Terrans are the actual space nazis and well, I think something like that is coming up this season. Either way: bad plan. You want a civilization that is both hateful and doesn't GAF about science to take over everything. Yes, that's right: go back and help the CSA win the Civil War.

- Uh, where are the Vulcans, anyway? Like, when Zefram Cochrane invents warp drive they show up like immediately and are like "Yo you can't do this yet" but a bunch of time-traveling aliens and the USS Enterprise are just hanging out in the solar system and they're nowhere to be seen? You'd think somebody in the neighborhood would notice something isn't right, just saying.
posted by General Malaise at 1:23 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


So the plan is to go back to WWII times, and win the Nazis the war, and therefore that stops the Federation from happening? This I find remarkably unbelievable. Maybe it does end the Federation, but didn't anybody stop to think that the best rocket scientists in the world were part of the Nazi machine? I mean, it was former German rocket scientists who helped both the US and the USSR get to the moon. Now, imagine they were working together. Wouldn't it accelerate the space-travel timeline? Then we have a mirror universe where the Terrans are the actual space nazis

Yeah, I think the assumption (conscious or not) must have been that, since the Federation are the good guys and the U.S. w/r/t the Nazis are the good guys, therefore Nazis winning means no good guys in the Sol system, or something?

It might have been less muddy had we been given any sense of what these aliens are like, apart from Evil. Did they figure they could never make common cause with any humans, no matter how space-nazi-fied? Were they xenophobes? But if so, how can they be involved in a Temporal Cold War "faction"? etc.

You want a civilization that is both hateful and doesn't GAF about science to take over everything. Yes, that's right: go back and help the CSA win the Civil War.

Hah! Wait, but…they did. In the long run, I mean.

Uh, where are the Vulcans, anyway? Like, when Zefram Cochrane invents warp drive they show up like immediately and are like "Yo you can't do this yet" but a bunch of time-traveling aliens and the USS Enterprise are just hanging out in the solar system and they're nowhere to be seen? You'd think somebody in the neighborhood would notice something isn't right, just saying.

IIRC the NX-01 doesn't use its warp drive in this episode; First Contact establishes that it's the warp signature that the Vulcans detect in 2063.

Not to mention the fact that the Vulcans probably watched WWII begin and said "Yyyup, say goodbye to your Minshara classification, water planet, because you're about to be an irradiated wasteland."

And as far as temporal shenanigans, this show's lore re: Vulcans and time travel suggests that Vulcans of the 1940s probably aren't monitoring any part of their stellar neighborhood for chroniton flux or takyon whatevers.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 1:41 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


IIRC the NX-01 doesn't use its warp drive in this episode; First Contact establishes that it's the warp signature that the Vulcans detect in 2063.

Ah this is a good point. I didn't remember clearly the end of the last episode, but if they took the Xindi wormhole thing into the system, they wouldn't have been coming into the system at warp. Totally forgot that.

And I guess the aliens don't have ships? We've clearly established that, since, well, they'd be there. I just didn't think about that either.
posted by General Malaise at 2:01 PM on January 17


On my silly Vulcan derail: So, we've established that the Vulcans can detect warp signatures... T'Pol would know this: wouldn't it make sense for her to suggest making a "call for help" by signaling to the Vulcans by briefly going to warp?
posted by General Malaise at 3:23 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


(Although I guess a subspace call to Vulcan would be more effective)
posted by General Malaise at 3:23 PM on January 17


Interesting question! I can imagine it'd be a tough conversation to have:
"Hi, Vulcans? I'm T'Pol, a future Vulcan. Say, y'know how your official dogma states that time travel is impossible? Well, [proof it's not]. We need you to use some of your comparatively-advanced-by-1940s-standards technology to help us resolve this space-Nazi business, or else a Federation of United Planets or something that a time-travelling mystery man tells us will arise, will not."

Further data points for consideration:
- T'Pol knows she has a relative on Earth as of 1957—she's there to follow up on Sputnik, which confirms that Vulcans were indeed keeping half an eye on Earth by then, and likely at least a few years before.

- According to ENT: "Terra Prime," a later episode this season, Vulcans were aware of World War 3 but didn't intervene. This suggests that whatever means by which they were monitoring Earth (again, beginning likely a bit before 1957) allowed for detection of, at minimum, several surface detonations of nuclear weapons in addition to tiny beeping orbital satellites. Earth's first nuclear detonation, the Trinity test, is in July 1945—but this episode is in 1944.

- According to Quark in DS9: "Little Green Men," Vulcans didn't develop warp drive until 1947! This makes other Vulcan-tech-history iffy, so it's safe to conjecture that Quark's grasp on Vulcan history isn't great…

…But if we take it as gospel, this (and the other factoids above) indicates that the Vulcans, contrary to my joke in my previous reply, could very well not be aware of WW2 as of this episode. Which just makes enlisting their aid that much more laborious explanations-wise.

And more generally, the Vulcans seem pretty noninterventionist as a general rule, and T'Pol would know that. Add to that the possibility that their tech wouldn't actually be all that helpful, AND the good chance that bringing in a third party (Vulcan reinforcements or whatever) greatly increases the odds of screwing up the timeline even more? I could see not bothering to contact them.

One last thought: if the Vulcans of 1944 DID have, and use, automatic-temporal-shenanigan-detection technology, they'd have known about Edith Keeler in 1930 (or the 1916 stuff mentioned in "Storm Front, Part II"). Whether they would do anything about it is, well, the same big question as above.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 8:10 AM on January 19 [3 favorites]


P.S., on another topic: I just remembered that the head Nazi in this 2-parter very memorably played the villain of the Lucasarts game Jedi Knight, one Jerec.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 8:20 AM on January 19


CheesesOfBrazil: Just wow on that research and reporting.
posted by General Malaise at 12:32 PM on January 19


Vulcans not having warp drive before 1947 seems pretty wild. That doesn't feel like very long to learn any lessons as a space empire.
posted by fleacircus at 6:10 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


Agree. Although it does help explain why they're so bad at it.
posted by General Malaise at 1:14 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


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