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- "The Andorian Incident"
- "Cold Front"
- "Shockwave"

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"Cold Front"

(Star Trek: Enterprise production code 011)
  • written by Stephen Beck & Tim Finch
  • directed by Robert Duncan McNeill
  • music by Jay Chattaway
  • 43 minutes
Region 1

Region 2

11: Cold Front

It seems bizarre that "Enterprise" waited this long to give audiences the next chapter in its primary long term story arc. I'd say it was at least 3 episodes too late if it wanted to keep audiences on the hook, and that's just to give the series a bit of room to pursue all those Trekkian "firsts". Without those, "Cold Front" should have come no later than this show's 4th broadcast.

This story starts well in terms of re-triggering our interest in all the intrigue afoot, and continues with some nice surprise twists and revelations, as well as having an effective, unusually ominous closing shot. It also does a better job than "Broken Bow" in focusing on this plot and making the regulars aware of it.

But we're not really getting a lot of useful information. A new character named Daniels is introduced to us, who gives us a huge info-dump. As predicted, the opposing futuristic factions are concerned about this past's abilities to "change" their present, indicating that these characters, and probably the Trek writers as well, have their heads in the sand regarding branching timelines and alternate universes, making much ado about nothing. Daniels' holographic graphics are cool though, and artificially make the stakes seem larger by adding some atmosphere.

We also have the return of our lead Suliban villain, now given the name of Sillick or Selleck (no relation to Tom) or something. He manages to cast doubt on Daniels' info dump with a dump of his own and some ambiguous actions. Which of these two opposing parties is worthy of Archer's sympathies? Which is trying to change this "history", and which is trying to preserve the way it would "unfold naturally"? This episode raises the questions, but then leaves it all hanging so we can dive back into the mess for another chapter later on.

From my point of view, this identical question was all done better in a fifth season TNG episode called "A Matter of Time", scripted by executive producer Rick Berman no less. Or for that matter, one can look at the season three Deep Space Nine episode "Destiny" which featured a great final solution for a similar dilemma. If, like Archer and crew, your present moment is right at the crucial decision point, do you really need to fuss over the ramblings of untrustworthy manipulators who claim to have information from the future? What would your actions be if you simply followed your best principles and behaved as you would have without any future knowledge?

Thus, there's really no need to choose between Daniels and Sillick. Too bad Archer wasn't able to just throw them both in the brig (separate cells would be best), and carry on.

Indeed, though each member of Archer's crew gets at least a token scene in this story, the show's long term plot really doesn't seem to INVOLVE them very deeply. They're just unimportant pawns here with little of impact to do, while the guest characters are the real players. None of this is REALLY working well as a long term plot that the main Enterprise characters can sink their teeth into.

And so the episode's fortunes are like a double-edged sword. We tune in for the plot, but then tune out for the lack of character investment to be found in that plot.

And when the next broadcast after this one turned out to be a re-run, it was the point where I tuned out of Enterprise's first season. The characters were just not coming alive, the long-term plot was advancing too slowly, and the episodes on average had been the dullest of any incarnation of Trek. Not until the season finale approached the following spring did I give Enterprise another chance, catching "Detained", "Two Days and Two Nights", and "Shockwave"....

Read the next Star Trek In-depth Analysis Review: "Shockwave"

This story has become available on DVD and Blu-ray in the Enterprise Season One box sets:


DVD Canada


7-disc DVD set

DVD Extras include:

  • Featurette: Creating Enterprise
  • Enterprise Profile: Scott Bakula
  • Cast Impressions: Season One
  • Star Trek Time Travel: temporal cold wars and beyond
  • Enterprise secrets
  • Admiral Forrest takes center stage
  • Outtakes and deleted scenes
  • hidden NX-01 File featurettes
  • Inside Shuttlepod One
  • Pilot story audio commentary by writer/creators
    Brannon Braga and Rick Berman.
  • text commentary for the pilot story "Broken Bow".
  • text commentaries on "The Andorian Incident"
    & "Vox Sola".
Blu-ray U.S.

Blu-ray Canada

Blu-ray U.K.

NEW to Blu-ray for March 2013!

Blu-ray Bonus features include:

  • All extras from the standard DVD set, plus:
  • "In Conversation" featurette w. Berman & Braga
  • "Cast Introduction"
  • "Enterprise: On the Set" featurette
  • "To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise" featurette
  • Pilot story audio commentary by Connor Trinneer (Chief Engineer Trip Tucker), Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed), writer Brannon Braga, director James L. Conway, and FX producer Dan Curry.
  • Audio commentary by Dan Curry and
    writer André Bormanis on "Silent Enemy"
  • Audio commentary by writers Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong on "Shadows of P'Jem"
  • Audio commentary by Braga, Trinneer, Keating, and director David Livingston on "Shuttlepod One".

Review written by Martin Izsak. Comments on this article are welcome. You may contact the author from this page:

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Read the next Star Trek In-depth Analysis Review: "Shockwave"

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