When Enterprise encounters a rogue planet rendered habitable by geothermal energy, Archer leads an away team to investigate the surface. To their surprise, they encounter another group of visitors – a hunting party looking to bag some of the local game. But the Enterprise crew soon become suspicious that the hunters are after more than wolves and pigs.
Rogue Planet offers an interesting juxtaposition. As a story, the episode is entirely by-the-book. We can guess from the start that the laddish and unlikeable group of hunters is going to be up to no good, and that Enterprise will save the day with its humanitarian approach. On the other hand, the setting is delightfully original – rogue planets don’t crop up that often even on Star Trek, and so it’s great to have something a bit different after almost 650 episodes.
Points of Note
- Could a rogue planet ever be warm enough to support life? According to Wikipedia, that most reliable of sources, it has been theorised that geothermal energy could provide enough heat to make a rogue planet habitable, so I’m willing to accept that it could be possible.
- What happens when the Wraiths run out of masking agent? They don’t seem like they would be equipped to make more – unless they can use their shapeshifting powers to duplicate it somehow.
- The Founders also lived on a rogue planet before they moved to their new, undisclosed location. What is it with shapeshifters and rogue planets?
- Malcolm incorrectly says “the proof is in the pudding”, instead of the correct phrase “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. This is a common mistake these days (and I’m still fighting it), but I didn’t realise it was going on as far back as 2002.
Summary – Rogue Planet: A standard story in an unusual location.