Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-03-28 Entry: "Loneliness"

After finding my scanning software was broken yesterday evening (it would scan and recognize fine, it just wouldn't output anything to a file), I settled down to watch Enterprise and Dark Angel.

Enterprise was another "we've got to focus on a specific character and give them some decent screen time" episode - we've had a Hoshi episode, and a Reed episode, and even a Trip episode, so this time it was the doctor. I'll admit I haven't been all that impressed with Enterprise so far, but this episode was modest fare, and apart from the deliberate homage to the not yet created Prime Directive, was pretty watchable.

However, Dr Phlox came across as extremely lonely. Whether it's his tone of voice (which is perpetually muted), or his continual frown I'm not sure. But something screams that this guy misses home, or needs a friend, or something, and that other than the entertainment value of watching these culturally strange human beings, he'd rather be somewhere else. We'll have to see how his character develops, but I'm not sure the romantic angle with one of the crew is a particularly good idea (and, if they're going to break with Star Trek tradition and kill any of the cast, the exobiologist is probably a good candidate). And what's with him already being married? When's he likely to see his wives again, or don't they care as they've got other husbands nearby? Doesn't he miss them at all? Possibly not considering this is the first we've heard of them.

Dark Angel was also a character study. This time exploring Alec's murky past as a Manticore assassin. This one played a little better than the Enterprise episode before it; Logan and Joshua's meeting and the subsequent dinner party were great. Seeing Alec being a little more serious than usual also helps - although there have been hints that he's really a nice guy under all that bravado most of the series, we haven't actually been shown much of it.

Dark Angel has definitely improved in its second series, so it's probably about time some moronic network exec killed it off. Although, as it doesn't seem to be going anywhere (the ongoing plot development seems to be about as fast as Enterprise - every twelve episodes or so they decide they have to give the game away, and then forget it ever happened for the next eleven shows), it'll probably survive.

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