Season 1, Episode 1

Broken Bow

I had forgotten just how much promise this series began with. No, I’m not referring to Trip and T’Pol’s quarantine rub-down. That was actually one of the things that annoyed me right up front. On an intellectual level. I’m still human.

No, the promise came from what they got right. In my opinion that’s as follows:

Future-Past Tech
The Enterprise itself looked like it was made of metal, the interiors were inspired by nuclear submarines not science fiction. The same goes for the utilitarian jumpsuits and lcd tv screens that served as displays ship-wide. It looked like a recognisable future yet Star Trek’s past. Untrustworthy transporters, grappling lines, shuttlepods, unreliable gravity and the barest prototype of a universal translator.

Star Trek Aliens
Arrogant Vulcans and Humans (also arrogant) in their uneasiest first steps of alliance. Klingons, the great antagonists, even if they were pasty-present-and-correct. Denobulans were new and fitted nicely into Star Trek, also providing us with another great Doctor character. Why is it Trek does Doctors so well?

Scott Bakula
Yeah, he was Sam Beckett, but in fairness he hadn’t been for a while. When it came to casting a Starfleet captain to come before Kirk you needed a square jawed, clean-cut all American man who could sell some rough and tumble. You needed Bakula.

A Time Limit and a Problem
The best Star Trek story telling is either a complex character study or a race against time story. Those are, broadly, the classics. Pilots are, traditionally, the latter and this is what Broken Bow gave us.


In general, Broken Bow was great. There was some unease.The Suliban didn’t sit well with me, right from the get go and I was sadly to be proven right. Let’s not even talk about the abomination of a theme tune.

Still, it’s kind of refreshing to go back with some distance and remember just how hopeful the opener made me way-back-when.