Warp Five: A Star Trek Enterprise Podcast
Warp Five 59: Oh My Gosh! We’re Not Ready for This!

Weaponizing Starfleet.

 

When we look into deep space, we see a grand opportunity for scientific exploration and learning. The thought of armed conflict with others who want to destroy us doesn’t guide the design of our missions. In the 22nd century, a similar view was seemingly held by Starfleet. The organization was, after all, an outgrowth of the United Earth Space Probe Agency, and as such leaned more toward a NASA-like approach than a military one. But as Archer and his crew quickly found out, the galaxy is a dangerous place. There is little room for naïve, wide-eyed explorers—at least not those who aren’t prepared to defend themselves.

 

In this episode of Warp Five, Christopher Jones and Norm Lao discuss the gradual weaponization of Starfleet over the course of Enterprise, the threats Earth and the NX-01 crew faced, and how—in keeping with Star Trek’s optimistic view of a better future—mankind found a way to take up arms without crossing the line between self defense and militarism.

 

Hosts

Christopher Jones and Norman C. Lao

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Norman C. Lao

 

Chapters

Wide-Eyed Explorer Mentality (00:03:16)

Learning on the Job (00:08:46)

Where's the Diplomatic Officer? (00:15:03)

The Xindi Wake-up Call (00:23:03)

The Changing Nature of Exploration (00:29:42)

Weaponizing with Restraint (0040:26)

Closing (00:43:26)

 

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Direct download: wf-059.mp3
Category:Starfleet -- posted at: 6:00am MDT

Warp Five 58: Never Transport on Wi-Fi

Developing the Transporter.

Even those who have never watched Star Trek know about “beaming” from place to place. A fictional technology originally created to deal with the reality of television budgets, the transporter has become known to pretty much everyone; and for Star Trek fans it’s part of everyday life. But in the 22nd century, transporters were used only for cargo. The idea of beaming humans around was a frightening one, and it took some time for the crew of the NX-01 to warm up to the idea.

In this episode of Warp Five, Christopher Jones and Norman C. Lao discuss the early days of the transporter, the technology’s creator Emory Erickson, the early controversies and fears surrounding beaming, and some of Erickson’s goals that went unmet in the prime timeline but did surface in the Abramsverse.

 

Host

Christopher Jones

 

Guest

Norman C. Lao

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Norman C. Lao

 

Chapters

Transporters as Everyday Transportation (3:01)

Early Transporter Fears ( 8:13)

The Metaphysical Argument (23:49)

The Ethics of Transporter Technology (32:40)

Sub-Quantum Beaming (37:32)

Closing and Feedback (50:54)

 

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Direct download: wf-058.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 9:52pm MDT

Warp Five 57: The Class of 2151

22nd-Century Starfleet Officers and Training.

As Star Trek fans, we're all familiar with Starfleet. But the organization we know from the 23rd and 24th centuries is much more that of a spacefaring civilization than the one we see on Enterprise. When fans watch Enterprise for the first time, they are often surprised that some of the officers aboard the NX-01 are uncomfortable in space. Hoshi Sato freaks out because of the direction the stars pass her window. Archer stumbles on his own words when introducing himself to aliens. These aren’t the Starfleet officers we’re accustomed to. But is it fair to expect them to be?

In this episode of Warp Five we’re joined by Norman Lao to discuss the world of the 22nd century, the early years of Starfleet Academy, and what the curriculum might have been like in those days compared to the eras of Kirk and Picard. What would be expected of Starfleet officers in 2151? How would real people of the time react when faced with things that no human had seen before? And how long did it take Starfleet to get its branding right?

 

Host

Christopher Jones

 

Guest

Norman C. Lao

 

Associate Producer

Norman C. Lao

 

Chapters

Viewer Expectations (2:57)

Civilians and Young Officers in Space (7:19)

Early Starfleet Academy (14:31)

The Class of 2151 (22:58)

Unfair Criticism? (33:53)

Closing and Feedback (45:11)

 

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Direct download: wf-057.mp3
Category:Starfleet -- posted at: 8:45am MDT

Warp Five 56: The Humans' Guide to the Universe

Reflections on Early Characters.

When a new Star Trek series premieres, it's always exciting to meet the new characters and imagine where the writers will take them. Some stand out immediately as favorites. Others fail to connect with viewers right away. And some leave us on the fence, staring at potential but wondering when it will be realized.

In this episode of Warp Five, host Christopher Jones shares an early assessment of the Enterprise crew written after the third episode aired in 2001, and then reflects on how those impressions have changed over the years. Are the feelings the same now—as Enterprise passes its 13th anniversary? Listen on and find out.

 

Host

Christopher Jones

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Norman C. Lao

 

Chapters

Archer (3:23)

T'Pol (7:38)

Trip (12:36)

Hoshi (16:56)

Phlox (22:09)

Reed (26:11)

Travis (29:32)

Closing (34:28)

 

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Direct download: wf-056.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 8:39am MDT

Warp Five 55: Everything I Do (I Do With William Shatner)

Shatner on Enterprise. Almost.

Back in 2004, rumors were flying that William Shatner might appear on Enterprise. Many TOS cast members had appeared on other incarnations of Star Trek—Bones, Spock, Scotty, and Sarek on The Next Generation, Sulu on Voyager, and Kor, Koloth, and Kang on Deep Space Nine to name a few. So the idea that Kirk could show up on Enterprise was made perfect sense. Well, reasonable sense anyway. In the end it never happened, but with all the talk of Shatner possibly returning the franchise in the next film, we thought it to be a good time to revisit Kirk cameos… almost.

In this episode of Warp Five we're joined by Mike Schindler of our TOS show Standard Orbit to talk about the three key possibilities for a Shatner appearance on Enterprise: the Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens Mirror Universe two-parter, the Mike Sussman Chef concept, and the mysterious Shatner pitch that would have also been a two-parter.

 

Host

Christopher Jones

 

Guest

Mike Schindler

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Norman C. Lao

 

Chapters

Thoughts on Character Crossovers (3:01)

The Mirror Universe Two-Parter (11:02)

Chef Shatner Saves the Day (18:04)

Shatner's Own Enterprise Pitch (24:03)

Our Ideas for Shatner on Enterprise (33:31)

Closing (37:44)

 

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Direct download: wf-055.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 5:26am MDT

Warp Five 54: Misunderstood Moralist?

John Frederick Paxton.

Some people don't handle change well. Some see it as not only as an inconvenience but a threat. The Xindi Scare left many on Earth questioning the wisdom of interacting with aliens and allowing them to call our world home. This gave strength to a movement called Terra Prime, which had been around for a few decades prior to the Xindi attack. At the head of this group was John Frederick Paxton, an ailing leader who was willing to resort to drastic measures to rid Earth and the Terran systems of alien influence. He can be seen as the master of xenophobia, yet the actor who portrayed him, Peter Weller, described him as a misunderstood moralist.

In this episode of Warp Five we're joined by Tommy Kraft to discuss Paxton, his motivations, the contradictions in his words and actions, the motivations driving him to create a baby from Trip and T'Pol's DNA and fire upon San Francisco, and the legacy that he left behind.

 

Host

Christopher Jones

 

Guest

Tommy Kraft

 

Editor and Producer

Christopher Jones

 

Associate Producer

Norman C. Lao

 

Chapters

An Unlikeable But Understandable Character (4:00)

Motivations (9:19)

A Colonel Green Disciple (16:50)

Contradictions (20:15)

Violent Tendencies (25:55)

Paxton's Legacy (36:18)

Closing (46:16)

 

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Direct download: wf-054.mp3
Category:Character Analysis -- posted at: 1:25am MDT

Warp Five 53: I Hear Sluggo Still Looks Exactly the Same

The Enterprise Movie.

Back in the Naughts, word around the Alpha Quadrant was that Archer and the crew of the NX-01 would inherit the Star Trek film franchise once the TNG crew finished their run. Before that could happen, however, events transpired that nixed not only the plans for Enterprise on the big screen, but Star Trek itself. While Enterprise never landed at the cineplex, we can always dream of what form that might have taken.

In this episode of Warp Five we're joined by Tyler Johnson and Tommy Kraft to toss around ideas for the mythical Enterprise movie. From mining ENT for that key launching pad à la "Space Seed" or "The Best of Both Worlds" to enrolling Porthos in Section 31, we look all around the galaxy and then decide to go thatta way. Or maybe thatta way.

 

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Chapters

Initial Thoughts (3:26)

Choosing the Timeframe (5:54)

Looking for that Key Moment (11:51)

We Do More Than Just Spheres! (20:49)

Let's Go Thatta Way (28:20)

Vulcans, Andorians, and Porthos, Oh My! (30:17)

Section 31 Meets the Mirror Universe (35:13)

Final Thoughts (41:44)

 

Closing (50:16)

Direct download: wf-053.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 6:10am MDT

Warp Five 52: The Switzerland of Space Pirates

Orions on Enterprise.

They're seductive. They're big. They're green. And, according to The Animated Series, they're politically neutral. They are, of course, the Orions! One of the most famous aliens in Star Trek thanks to Susan Oliver's portrayal of a slave girl in "The Cage," the Orions are mentioned throughout Star Trek but rarely seen. That all changed when the fourth season of Enterprise rolled around and the NX-01 crew found themselves up for auction in an Orion slave market on Verex III. In "Borderland" we got our first glimpse of the Orions in many years, and saw male Orions for the very first time. Then in "Bound" the writers turned all of our notions about these aliens on their head.

In the episode of Warp Five we're joined by Sebastian Prooth to discuss the background of the Orions on The Original Series and The Animated Series, their introduction to Enterprise, the role of the Orion slave girl in geek fantasy, and how Enterprise took this iconic element of geekdom and added depth and intrigue where we didn't expect it.

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Chapters

Orions in TOS and The Animated Series (3:09)

Reintroducing Orions on Enterprise (15:04)

Borderland and the Orion Slave Trade (19:55)

Bound and the Truth About Orion Women (27:13)

Other Orion References in Enterprise (40:24)

Final Thoughts (44:42)

Closing (49:04)

Direct download: wf-052.mp3
Category:Aliens -- posted at: 7:28am MDT

Warp Five 51: They’re a Lot Like Water Vulcans

Xindi-Aquatics.

Of the six original Xindi species, the Aquatics may be the most unique. Not only do they lack the humanoid form of the others, but their life under water means they have a very different world view from their fellow Xindus natives. They are said to be the first Xindi to have developed intelligence, yet they are the most challenging for us to communicate with and understand.

In this episode of Warp Five we're joined by Tommy Kraft for a close look at the Xindi-Aquatics, their background and physiology, their advanced technology, and the sloth-like pace of their deliberations. We discuss what it means to be a cetacean intelligence, how they might develop advanced technology and build starships without the use of Star Trek's standard humanoid limbs, and whether their patience was the deciding factor in the success of the Enterprise's mission.

 

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Chapters

Xindi-Aquatic Physiology (3:32)

Patience to a Fault? (19:27)

Xindi-Aquatic Technology (25:41)

Final Thoughts (30:55)

Closing (35:43)

Direct download: wf-051.mp3
Category:Aliens -- posted at: 11:53pm MDT

Warp Five 50: The Find Your Ancestors App Is Very Popular

The Temporal Observatory.

We've seen some pretty cool gadgets and amazing technology on Star Trek, but few were as incredible as Crewman Daniels's Temporal Observatory. This handheld device was essentially a map to not just the stars but to time itself. With it, one could monitor the activities and movements of temporal agents and watch history itself unfold. It wasn't a passive thing either. With the Temporal Observatory and related technologies you could actually move through time to observe events firsthand. But how did this rarely seen gizmo really work?

In this episode of Warp Five we're joined by Tommy Kraft to explore and speculate as we take the bits that we know about 31st-century temporal technology and try to figure out how it functions, what powers it might have that we didn't see on screen, and why Future Guy wanted it so badly.

 

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Chapters

Pondering the Nature of Time (2:35)

The Temporal Cold War: An Overview (7:28)

The Temporal Observatory (12:46)

Temporal Beacons and Tags (20:48)

The Importance of the Temporal Observatory (27:29)

Final Thoughts (35:47)

Direct download: wf-050.mp3
Category:Temporal Cold War -- posted at: 3:51am MDT