"North Star"
Page 3 of 4

MACOs take a shuttlepod to the colony. Archer talks to the Sheriff. He tells him they'll take them back someday but that things have changed on Earth. He says: "We've moved past things like intolerance, prejudice." Archer and the sheriff go back outside. The sheriff tells everyone that they won't hurt anyone. Just then, Bennings shoots the sheriff. They have a shoot-out. Archer gets shot. He fights with Bennings. One of Bennings men catches T'Pol and Reed stuns her and the man. Archer is still fighting with Bennings.

Back on the ship, Archer tells Bethany who is healed that there will be change; that sheriff MacReady has agreed that "some of your laws might be a little outdated." As Enterprise leaves, we find Bethany teaching human and Skagoran children about Earth history and she is using a pad presumably left to her by Archer.

Review:
I'm not all that fond of Westerns so that may color my view of this episode somewhat. Still, it did remind me of "Spectre of the Gun", a TOS episode where we got to see Spock mindmeld with Kirk et al so that they wouldn't get killed by the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. It also reminded me of TNG's "A Fistful of Datas" where Worf and his son are in a holodeck adventure. I enjoyed both those episodes very much but for different reasons even though they had the western themes to them. I liked the idea of illusions of the mind in the TOS episode and how Spock was able to save the day by preventing Kirk and the others from succumbing to those illusions. It was mysterious and had me thinking about it for a long time. Ok, I was a little kid then but I still find this episode intriguing to this day. In the TNG episode, we got treated to some fairly good comedic scenes and events. It was also a holodeck story which at the time wasn't as overdone as they became in later times.

I didn't really like *this* episode however although it did have some humor as in the scene with Trip and T'Pol getting on and riding the horse and Reed stunning T'Pol when she is held captive by one of Bennings' men. That scene reminded me of another TOS episode "A piece of the Action" where Spock and Kirk try to drive a car. And this is the problem. This episode was too much like what we've seen before not only in Star Trek but the umpteen Westerns that have been made since God knows when. The episode featured all the cliches that are associated with westerns: the schoolteacher, the saloon, the fist-fights, the shoot-out, the nasty deputy, the lynching, the misguided but good-hearted sheriff, western-style music and so on. Worst than that is the fact that the story was entirely predictable but there are some oddities.

The people in the settlement had virtually recreated their time period and were still living the same way they had been on Earth in the 19th century? That's another thing that made the episode hard to believe. We see something similar in the TOS episode "This side of Paradise" where the colonists have remained the same since coming to the planet due to spores that put them in a state of perpetual bliss. Here there is no real reason for these people not to have advanced technologically or otherwise. The planet is more than livable. It's not like they are in an environment where they are unable to evolve. The Skagarans are also descendants


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