The new ''Star Trek'' boldly explores comedy, says Sunny Lee

By Sunny Lee
Updated October 19, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Enterprise: UPN

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Alien female gets Trip Tucker pregnant

The first all-comedic episode of ”Enterprise” (UPN, Wednesdays, 8 p.m.) seems to riff on a song by rocker John Hiatt, who sang that he’s ”easily led when his little head does the thinking.” When chief engineer Trip Tucker (Connor Trinneer) is dispatched to assist an alien ship with its power source problems, and he returns to the Enterprise pregnant (whoa!), Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) accuses him of getting freaky with a female alien.

How does Trip get pregnant? They never had sex, at least that TV viewers could see. According to a UPN spokesperson, Trip was impregnated in a holographic room while playing a game that required the pair to put their hands in a box of pebbles, thus rendering them telepathic. ”You find me attractive,” mused Trip. ”You LIKE it that people find you attractive,” retorted freaky alien female. They exchanged meaningful glances — him with his big brown eyes, her with her beady little eyes. Literally, sparks flew between them. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am! And that’s how Trip unwittingly experienced alien sex: There was no romantic candlelit dinner, no wooing, not even a mid-priced bottle of wine, and some flirtatious conversation.

Well, not so fast. After all, if there’s any landscape to entertain the notion of male pregnancies, it would have to be deep space. Sure, it’s a bit hokey when you compare it to the series’ first four episodes, which introduced us to the legendary likes of Henry Archer, the man responsible for discovering Warp Five and building the Enterprise, and his young son and future Enterprise captain, Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula). The third episode, ”Fight or Flight,” was especially moralistic as it touched on the issue of helping another species in spite of potential endangerment of the Enterprise and its crew. This is all heavy stuff to mull over.

But the Oct. 19 episode, ”Unexpected,” mixed irreverent wit (i.e., fully functional nipples forming on Trip’s wrist) with a bit of inter-galactic pondering about biological reproduction. Before things got too maudlin (and before the crew of the ”Enterprise” had to deal with anything REALLY scary, like childbirth or an on-board daycare center) the semi-alien fetus was safely emigrated to its mother and we got another chance run-in with the Klingons, whom we haven’t seen since the pilot episode. As always, the Klingons seem ready to phase out the human race (and half-human hybrids) at every turn, and they presented Captain Archer and his crew with a caustic warning: ”If we ever meet again, you will be sorry.” What a perfect way to set up more Klingon vs. Enterprise episodes to come.

What do you think of the new ”Enterprise” series?

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