"Chosen Realm"
Page 4 of 6

When the Enterprise arrives at Triannon, Archer takes D'Jamat to the planet to show him the *truth*. On the planet, everything and everyone has been destroyed.

Review:
In a sense, this could be considered a classic Star Trek episode. All the elements are there. There's the Roddenberrian philosophy that religions cause discord in the world; that superstitions prevent societies from advancing. If you've never read Gene Roddenberry's interview with the Humanist magazine, here's a link to it: http://www.philosophysphere.com/humanist.html Originally published in The Humanist, March/April 1991. The interview was conducted by David Alexander. It's an interesting read and is worthwhile if only to get an idea of what Roddenberry thought about religion. He was a Humanist/atheist.

The episode as well is relevant in the sense that we do get to see some parallels with today's events around the world. D'Jamat is a sort of Osama bin Laden with his followers being a kind of Taliban or Al Qaeda. The suicide bombers or as some would say *homicide* bombers a la Palestinian resistance in the Middle East conflict are also brought into play. We also get a sort of Creationism vs. science when Yarrick tells Archer they are fighting over how long it took the Chosen Realm to be created. Bible prophecies are also touched on.

Roxann Dawson does a decent job directing; the f/x are great; the music although rather dull does have its moments especially in the last scene; the acting is at par and the writing is good although simplistic or is it? Manny Coto did a great job with "Similitude" but here his writing seems less complex and focused. I was well into this episode although it was very predictable but was taken aback when the reason given for the war between D'Jamat and his followers and the heretics had to do with believing the Makers had created the Chosen Realm in 9 days instead of 10. Why would the writer choose such a simplistic reason? Perhaps he wanted to emphasize how we view others' beliefs. For instance, we view our beliefs, whatever they may be, as the right ones and anyone else's as ridiculous, misguided or nonsensical. I think he wanted to emphasize how we can be very judgemental and adamant about the most innocuous things and we consider others' beliefs this way. There's also a parallel here to Creationism and those that believe the universe and Earth are only a few thousand years old as opposed to what scientists and others believe.

No one can say for any certainty or with any proof that God exists or doesn't exist. However, some people think that those who are atheistic should be put to death. When you think about it, it's ridiculous. Why? Because we can't prove God's existence one way or another. Who can prove that that's what God would want and go ahead and kill someone for it, but it does happen in some parts of the world. It's a matter of faith and only faith. One message (and there was more than one) to be found in the episode is does *the leader* of your religion dictate things that you think are wrong? Are you comfortable with everything that is proposed by your religion? It makes you ask questions about your beliefs and that's one of the reasons why I think this is a good episode regardless of the 9 or 10 days simplistic reason given for the conflict.


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