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Story by: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga and Stephen Beck
Teleplay by: Stephen Beck
Directed by: Jim Charleston
While on board Enterprise, an alien trader tells Archer that a wrecked ship on a nearby planet may have the supplies and spare parts that they need. He also warns them that the ship may be haunted. Archer and crew proceed to investigate and find that the ship is indeed occupied but that the inhabitants are "alive". The derelict ship's crew tell them that they were attacked three years ago and have been hiding ever since but Reed soon finds that their story does not fit with the evidence he uncovers.
I love seeing actors from the previous series on the show. For instance, Jeff Combs (the Andorian Shran and the Ferengi Krem) is a joy to watch but here, Rene Auberjonois is thoroughly wasted. He does a great job with what he's given but the role he has and this episode is so bland that even he can't save it.
It starts out well. The teaser with the trader D'Marr is engaging and the first few scenes on the "haunted" ship are well done and interesting but it goes downhill all the way after that. It's a pity they wasted such great makeup on this one-time? character (D'Marr) and gave us such dull looking Voyager-like aliens on the wrecked ship. Then again, I guess the pointless love interest, Liana (a very pretty Annie Wersching), for Trip would not have been as attractive. Still, one of the highlights of this episode was Trip kissing Liana at the end of the show.
Which doesn't say much for this rehash of the delightful DS9 episode "Shadowplay" and the less so TOS episode "Requiem for Methuselah" with shades of "The Forbidden Planet" thrown in for good measure. At least in "Requiem...", Rayna was a android, in "Shadowplay" we had a poignant story of a lonely old man and in "The Forbidden Planet" they had an awesome monster to deal with. This story was boring. predictable and meaningless.
Of course Liana is not a robot here but we get a hologram crew, blech, with Liana and her father Ezral (Auberjonois) as the only living people. Would it have been less believable if the crew had been robots? I suppose this would have been too advanced for this time but then again aren't holograms too advanced as well? Moreover, surely Berman & Braga must know that hologram episodes are way beyond old hat. It's time to throw the hat out with the rest of the worn out old clothes that Trek has "worked to death". It's bad enough we had "Terra Nova" which was a reworking of the plot of the less than stellar Voyager episode "Friendship One" without having another rehash so soon and with holograms no less.
This is supposed to be a Trek "prequel" about humankinds first steps into deep space.