“North Star”
Page 4 of 4
of an advanced civilization. How could they become so backwards even if the humans restricted them? Another thing that doesn’t quite ring true was that there was no religious component to the story. Unless I’m mistaken, Americans in the 19th century were very religious. Where was the church and/or preacher? Not that I’m complaining here, I’m glad it was left out but it is a big oversight somehow.

I liked that the human population on the planet had been kidnapped and brought there by the aliens although again we’ve seen something similar in Voyager’s “The 37’s” where Janeway and crew meet up with Amelia Earhart. Having been kidnapped by aliens is the only real sci-fi to be found in the ep save for maybe Archer and Bethany being beamed to the ship, the use of phase pistols, amongst other things. Still, the idea is compelling and it would have been interesting to see a world where aliens and humans had learned to live together, even interbred and had forged an advanced civilization. Regardless, it is a theme found in Trek nonetheless; the human species or Earth-like development on a planet light-years away from Earth but again it’s been done before.

There is a kind of allegory here as well. People with dogmatic beliefs or attitudes will remain as they are. We see here perhaps a reason why these people did not evolve. They can’t advance because they can’t let go of the past; they can’t move on; they can’t overcome their prejudices and as such have stunted their imagination. There’s also a morality play here what with how bigotry is portrayed. Interesting that it is the slaves that are now the masters and are just as wrong as the aliens from the past that kidnapped them.

So is there anything good about this episode? Well, like I said, it did have a subtle message which I liked. The pace and direction were good although I wish the scene with T’Pol and Trip had been funnier and longer. In fact, I wish this had been a comedic episode if not for the message. I loved how Archer looked in his long coat and cowboy hat. I thought James Park did a good job as the sleazy Deputy Bennings and I liked Glenn Morshower as Sheriff MacReady.

I give this one a C+. The + for the message.

Gisele La Roche, About 

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