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Story by: Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong
Teleplay by: Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong
Directed by: James Whitmore, Jr.
Enterprise comes across a small, derelict ship and brings it aboard. Since this is as far as humans have travelled in space Archer is surprised to find that the craft contains a human corpse. Suliban and Tholian ships arrive to claim the vessel and a battle ensues. After finding some clues as to the ship's origins, Archer concludes that it is from the future. He must prevent the Suliban and the Tholians from taking the ship as this may affect the balance of power in the Temporal Cold War.
Yet another installment in the Temporal Cold War arc and yet one that doesn't really add much except to introduce the Tholians into the mix but this does add something nonetheless. The original title of this episode was to be "Crash Landing" but I can't see how this title would have fit this episode. No matter, it was an enjoyable hour filled with cool special f/x, excellent CGI work and plenty of action. I loved how the Suliban appeared on the ceiling.
The writers added a neat touch of continuity to this episode by mentioning Zephram Cochrane. In fact, it was a clever way of doing it as he would be the only one that could possibly be out there as this is the farthest that any Earth ship has supposedly travelled so far (100 light years). Having Archer mention him made a lot of sense if we take into account the TOS episode "Metamorphosis". It's little nods like this to the original series that connects the show to its Star Trek roots. I also liked the TOS-like look of the Tholian ships. So far the ships on this series are very cool looking, especially the Vulcan ships.
Watching Trip and Malcolm and later Archer and Malcolm going through some time loops also reminded me of some great TNG episodes. "Cause and Effect" comes to mind and is one of my favorite TNG episodes. Still, at first I thought something was wrong with the broadcast and admit I did a double take until I realized that Trip was saying Malcolm's lines and vice versa, some nice writing there. Also the ship being bigger on the inside than on the outside (see Dr. Who and the TARDIS) also added a nice sci-fi-ish style to the episode.
Of course these time loops were due to some "temporal radiation" which the humans and Vulcans have no knowledge of but the Tholians and the Suliban do it seems. Yet the Enterprise scanners were able to pick up the radiation just not identify what it was. This makes me wonder why the writers have decided all this time to make the Vulcans unaware of time travel but the Tholians are it seems. The Suliban are because of the mysterious figure from the future who is leading them but it leaves open the question of how the Tholians have this knowledge. They were apparently far out of their space so how did they know the small craft was there unless they too were being directed from the future or have some sort of device