The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: Future Tense

When Enterprise comes across a mysterious pod containing a dead human, it presents something of a mystery. How can a human be out here when Enterprise has gone further than anyone from Earth has gone before? How did they come to be piloting such advanced technology? And why are both the Suliban and the Tholians so desperate to get their hands on the pod?

Enterprise season two has been chugging along in mediocrity for quite a while now, but with Future Tense (not to be confused with either Future Imperfect or Past Tense) the dormant Temporal Cold War plot is brought back to the forefront. And yet even this isn’t really enough to revive a flagging season. The main mystery of the episode – what even is this pod from the future – is never satisfactorily addressed, whilst the Tholian involvement just feels like pure fan wank of the kind that season four will excessively shove in our faces.

It’s sad really, because there are moments when this episode feels like proper Star Trek, in particular the scenes where the ‘temporal radiation’ causes everyone nearby to get stuck in a loop. But somehow it’s just not enough, and ultimately this episode feels like less than the sum of its parts.

Franchise Nods

  • The episode introduces the Tholians to Enterprise. The Tholians were of course the main antagonists in the TOS episode The Tholian Web, and have been referenced a few times in TNG and DS9.
  • Archer talks about the mysterious disappearance of Zefram Cochrane. This mystery was of course solved in TOS’s Metamorphosis.
  • Archer and T’Pol discuss the likelihood of Vulcans and humans one day intermingling their DNA, foreshadowing the existence of Spock.

Other Points

  • The “it’s bigger on the inside” nature of the timeship is such a jarring reference to Doctor Who that it really smashed my suspension of disbelief.

Summary – Future Tense: It will be about the Temporal Cold War.

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