The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: Dawn

When Trip’s shuttlepod is shot down, both he and his attacker end up stranded on a desolate moon. Without the aid of the Universal Translator, Trip must convince the hostile alien to work with him on summoning help – before the intense heat of the moon’s day kills them both.

If there’s one thing I haven’t been slow of pointing out, it’s all the times when Enterprise has been derivative of earlier Star Trek episodes. So let’s take a moment to give Dawn the same treatment.

  • Remember when Geordi and Centurion Bochra had to work together to survive on a harsh planet in The Enemy? At the time, I said I enjoyed Enemy Mine type stories, but Dawn is so dull and derivative that it’s made me realise there are exceptions to every rule.
  • Remember when Odo and Quark had to reluctantly work together to drag a comm unit to the top of a mountain in The Ascent?
  • Or how about Darmok, where Picard had to figure out what the hell was going on with the Tamarian captain at El-Adrel, without the benefit of a common language?
  • And then there was that time Kirk faced off against the scaly lizard Gorn on a desert world in Arena.
  • Memory Alpha even points out that it’s a lot like Gravity, when Tom and Tuvok had to befriend an alien in order to survive, without the benefit of the universal translator.

With all this in mind, there isn’t really much for Dawn to bring to the franchise. Trip spends most of the episode acting like a stereotypical English tourist – either shouting English ever more loudly and slowly in the hopes that his alien companion will magically understand, or engaging in ill advised violent brawling. To make matters worse, he spends much of his time narrating his inner monologue for the benefit of the audience, culminating in a maudlin “I’m about to die” sequence in which he mentions pretty much every episode that had a significant Trip presence. Thanks for the reminder, Trip, now either let Archer beam you up, or go quietly!

Summary – Dawn: Trip gets hot in the desert.

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