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The evolution of Archer

grigori

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Report this Aug. 20 2009, 10:08 pm

T'Pol: The history of your early warp flights is well-documented, but I've never read anything about two Starfleet pilots stealing the warp three proto-type.
Archer: It wasn't the kind of thing Starfleet Command wanted to advertise. Don't you believe me?
T'Pol: I have no doubt it happened, though I find it difficult to believe you had to be convinced to participate.
Archer: Well, you didn't know me then. I was a little more by-the-book.


...I've always been intrigued by the back-story of ENT, and of course we get the most details about Archer. Quite a few, in fact: enough for us to put together a picture of his career trajectory and values and early relationship with Trip and so on.

(There's a cute deleted scene in Shuttlepod One that surprisingly encapsulates what I always imagined the general view of Archer might be...while people like Trip obviously admired him and wanted to impress him, they'd be alternately frustrated that he seemed to live a charmed life and just COULDN'T be caught.)

First Flight was just part of it. Your thoughts on the back-stories of ENT? How did you imagine them rounded out? What makes your favorite characters tick, and how do you know?

ENT567

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 3:30 am

Those are profoound questions, grigori. I will need time :rookie:

I would suggest Archer's meetimg with T'Pol near the wounded Klingon at Stafleet Medical in Broken Bow might be their not first encountance. I guess, this comes form a supposition that Archer doesn't seem to be like saying "You have no idea how much I'm restraining myself from knocking you on your ass" to someone who he really sees the first time in his life. Where could they meet before, I wonder...

grigori

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 7:12 am

I've wondered about that, myself. When Archer enters the room with a group of Vulcans:

Archer: Admiral.
Forrest: Jon. I think you know everyone.
Archer (looking into the hospital room): Not everyone.
Leonard: It's a Klingot.
Tos: A KLINGON.

She's with a group of Vulcans where he seems to know at least some of the others.

whyaduck

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 7:29 am

This is going to be a really interesting thread. I have to go to work now, and this thread will take some thought, so I'll be back to it later.

grigori

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 7:31 am

I have to work, too, but intend to post individual instances where we're given some info/given the same info twice? we'll see...

honeybee1111

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 8:37 am

I always thought T'Pol's intelligence agent background was a good thing for her character. One, it explains why she was put on the Enterprise. Whether she was officially there as a spy - as Trip suggests in Broken Bow - or not, that had to be one of the reasons she was chosen. It also explains why she had so much knowledge. Since the character was there as a "guide" for the other characters, she was always explaining everything to the humans and by extension the audience. Phlox does this, too.

It also explained why T'Pol was so skilled in combat situations, too. And I think The Seventh, while not my favorite episode, was T'Pol's First Flight. We get to see one of the reasons she might be more drawn to emotions than other Vulcans. Later, in Home, we get a sense that she was always more emotional than other Vulcans, but The Seventh creates a situation where she might develop the "moth to flame" attitude toward emotions that we see from her starting in Fusion.

In other words, in Fusion we learn T'Pol is secretly interested in emotions. In The Seventh, we learn that she has had a serious brush with her emotions in her past. And in Home, we learn that she was never as good as some other Vulcans at suppressing her emotions.

I always thought it was a shame that the show didn't get to play more with T'Pol and Malcolm bonding over their shared past as intelligence officers. They do this in Kobyashu Maru and it works well.

While Phlox has a few good episodes, his background is threaded throughout the show in conversations with other characters. But we also get great Phlox stuff in "The Breach" - and learn why he might be so open to other cultures. His people have a history of prejudice just like Terrans and he may just be overcompensating for that.

grigori

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 12:56 pm

Quote (honeybee1111 @ Aug. 21 2009, 8:37 am)
I always thought T'Pol's intelligence agent background was a good thing for her character. One, it explains why she was put on the Enterprise. Whether she was officially there as a spy - as Trip suggests in Broken Bow - or not, that had to be one of the reasons she was chosen. It also explains why she had so much knowledge.

See, POW, right off the bat, someone took up one of the possibilities I hadn't even thought of. Nice one, honeybee.

ENT567

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 3:31 pm

Right, I also didn't connect her assignment to the Enterprise with her past intelligence experience, but I agree that's a reasonable supposition. It's likely that the High Command was expecting some "complications" caused by Humans.

honeybee1111

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 3:35 pm

I actually love the scenes, and there are more than one, in the first and second season where T'Pol tells Archer when she is reporting to the High Command. It builds trust. I don't think she was there as a spy, once she joined the crew permanently, but no doubt the Vulcans trusted her information-gathering skills.

honeybee1111

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 5:52 pm

Quote
Could it have been T'Pol was placed on the NX-01 to keep tabs for the Vulcan High Command, but she didn't feel right doing so without Archer's knowledge? She may have told Archer what she was doing, but she sure didn't let Soval know she was keeping Archer informed.


A very good question. I'm sure she was expected to report to the High Command, but I don't know if she was supposed to be letting Archer know every time she did it. This was also dealt with during The Enterprise Incident, when Trip finds her encrypted letter and he and Archer assume its some kind of espionage.

If I were to guess, I would say that Soval would expect her to inform Archer most of the time but be willing to report without Archer's knowledge when necessary. He certainly never expected her to develop any conflicting loyalties regarding Archer.

grigori

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 7:38 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ Aug. 21 2009, 12:56 pm)
Topic: The evolution of Archer, ENT's back-stories compiled

.. yet:
Quote (grigori @ Aug. 20 2009, 10:08 pm)
Your thoughts on the back-stories of ENT? How did you imagine them rounded out? What makes your favorite characters tick, and how do you know?

Is this thread just about Archer or is it about all of the characters, the NX-01, early Starfleet, etc...?

Hi TB. It's actually about ANYthing we can glean or put together about the back-stories of ENT. We just happen to have most of it concerning Archer, is all.

I've found a certain amount of coherence in this show where this is concerned (and a couple outstanding contradictions as well) and it sort of seemed like it deserved a closer look.

grigori

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 8:06 pm

Quote (trekbuff @ Aug. 21 2009, 8:02 pm)
I'm more into the technical aspects of the NX-01 - how it appeared in Enterprise when compared to the NCC-1701 of ST(TOS). I'll wait, but let me know when you want to discuss it. It is your thread... ;)

Well, ACTUALLY...that is sort of related, and it does interest me, if only because I DON'T have that particular expertise. The forward-back story of the ship itself? Perhaps...

whyaduck

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 8:43 pm

I have to get my thoughts together to post completely on this topic, but just a real quick example of the evolution of both T'Pol and Archer.

Broken Bow - Archer's first words to T'Pol, in response to her claim that Humans are not ready to make their own decisions.

ARCHER: Volatile? You have no idea how much I'm restraining myself from knocking you on your ass.

Borderland - This scene gave me goosebumps seeing how much he cared for her and how actually touched she was by him. Beautiful moment and a clear example of their evolution.
ARCHER: Small chance. One other thing. (picks up a wooden, brass-bound box from his desk) It's your first official day of duty, Commander T'Pol. A present. It's from the early twentieth century. Should help keep you pointed in the right direction. (it's a ship's compass) I'm glad you're with us.
T'POL: Thank you, Captain.




grigori

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 8:45 pm

I always loved that those were his first words to her. Of course it was contrived, we knew where the relationship would eventually go, but they went all out all the same.

There's still the question of whether or not Archer was threatening a total stranger...

All the times he threatened to knock Tucker on his ass should clue us in, hey, this was a FRIENDLY threat!

whyaduck

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Report this Aug. 21 2009, 8:53 pm

Getting to know Archer as we did over the years, I'm pretty sure he was pissed and said it for effect. :laugh:

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