The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: Sleeping Dogs

Whilst investigating a gas giant, Enterprise discovers a Klingon scout ship sinking into the atmosphere. T’Pol, Malcolm and Hoshi head over to investigate, but soon find themselves stranded when the ship’s sole survivor steals their shuttlepod.

On paper, this episode doesn’t sound too bad. In fact, even thinking back to it, it seems like it should have been quite good. But the fact of the matter is that while I was watching it, I found Sleeping Dogs quite boring. What should have been a tense and nail-biting experience came across as largely dull, with the jeopardy caused by the gas giant not being a patch on what the Defiant crew experienced in Starship Down.

We also spend far too much time dedicated to that old “let’s invoke honour to get the Klingons to do what we want” trick. If anything, the Klingons just feel out of place in Enterprise. These are not the Klingons of TOS, who were sly and sneaky – they are the honourable warriors latterly seen in the 24th century. Even if it’s only at the edge of consciousness, there is some level of cognitive dissonance in having pre-TOS Klingons who look and act like the TNG-era versions.

Aside from that, this episode also sees Hoshi volunteering for a potentially dangerous away mission – a far cry from her reluctant attitude in Fight or Flight. Whilst it’s always nice to see some character development in an episodic television series, this doesn’t feel particularly deep – for the first two episodes of the show, Hoshi was a hypochondriac who hated being in space, but since then, everything’s been fine. Couldn’t we have had a tiny bit more of a development arc?

Points of note

  • The Klingon galley includes a pantry full of live targs – who, as we know, serve as both food and pets to the Klingons.
  • At this point in Star Trek’s timeline, the Klingons possess photon torpedoes, but Starfleet does not. Malcolm is of course interested in the technology, because if there’s one thing he loves, it’s weaponry.
  • Despite hating the scent of humans – to the extent of needing a nasal inhibitor – T’Pol claims she smells nothing when together with Hoshi and Malcolm in the decontamination chamber.
  • As per the established timeline, the common cold has yet to be cured – this will happen between the era of TOS and TNG.

Summary – Sleeping Dogs: More like sleeping targs, am I right?

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