Terra Nova

Episode Report Card
Keckler: C- | Grade It Now!
Friendship 2 1/2
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

PING! Ah, my hogshead of coffee finished brewing. Excuse me while I hook up an I.V. to pipe this stuff straight into my veins; I'm gonna need it tonight.

Enterprise bridge. "This was their first view of it," Mayweather says as he looks at a laptop image of a planet. "If you don't look too close, you'd think it was Earth," Hoshi comments. The second planet to be Earth's doppelganger in three episodes. How unspeakably original. And German. Travis opens a few more JPEGs, one showing humans posing in front of a shuttlecraft, another of the humans shoving a spade into the dirt. "Breaking ground on the town hall," Mayweather supplies for us. "Is that Captain Mitchell?" Hoshi asks, pointing at the image. "No," Mayweather says, examining the picture, "I think that's Mitchell." Captain Quantum enters the bridge, smiles indulgently at his two overachievers, and asks, "Are we there yet?" Mayweather tells him they'll arrive in about three hours. Hoshi needlessly tells the Captain that Mayweather has been "digging through the archives," and Mayweather corroborates this by running off at the mouth about all the information he found: crew manifests, survey photos, weekly status reports, the word "Croatoan" chiseled on a tree. Mayweather tells us and the Captain that he's been obsessed with the lost colony of Terra Nova since he was a wee one and, in going over the data in their computers, was hoping that he'd find a clue to what happened. Because his mind is so superior that in seventy years, the finest intellects at Starfleet wouldn't have…damn, is this I.V. even working yet? I think someone needs to flick it or something. Captain Quantum tells Mayweather that he'd be the first to find something in all that data. "I always thought that lost colonies affected boomers more than anyone else," Mayweather says, stating his raison d'etre in this episode while shaking his head. "Something about people who choose to live off-world." Hoshi asks if Quantum thinks there are people still alive on Terra Nova. Quantum glances carelessly at Mayweather's JPEGs and says, "I'll let you know in about three hours and seventeen minutes," before swaggering off to the O.K. Corral.

Mathra performs an interpretive dance Peter Gabriel's-"Sledgehammer"-style to the theme song.

Commercial for the Roswell-Enterprise cross-over with Phloxy and Number One heading up the billing. That night, Djb's pain and mine will be inextricably twined. Forrreveeeer.

The Enterprise equivalent to the Algonquin Round Table, minus the cleverness. "Terra Nova?" T'Pinhead Parker asks. "I'm surprised you've never heard of it," Quantum says. T'Pol tells him she's not "familiar" with Human Space Travel, The Early Years. "Really?" Trip says. "Every schoolkid on Earth had to learn about the famous Vulcan expeditions." "Name one," T'Pol tells him. Trip looks uncomfortable and says, "History was never my best subject." Neither was Table Manners, especially on NOT TALKING WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL DAY! "It was called 'The Great Experiment.' Could humans colonize deep space?" Quantum says, picking up The Water Pitcher Of Exposition and filling up Trip and T'Pol's glasses. Apparently, after establishing close-knit colonies in various space-burbs, Earth decided to try out a Class-M planet just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Earth -- twenty light years, to be exact. Trip supplies that the uh, trip, took the colonists nine years, and that his grandfather remembers seeing one of Terra Nova Colony's first transmissions home. T'Pol asks what happened to them. "People have been trying to answer that question for a long time. No one's heard from Terra Nova in over seventy years," Quantum tells her. "After the colony was built, relations with Earth became strained." Trip picks up The Exposition Pitcher and pours, "The Space Agency figured nothing succeeds like success, so they decided to send another vessel." Quantum explains that that idea stuck in the Colonists' collective craw, and they protested new arrivals. Eventually, after a few nasty emails flew back and forth across the light years, all communications ceased. T'Pol asks, logically, why Earth didn't send a ship to find out what the deal was. "Nine years there, nine years back," Quantum explains, "it would have been a pretty long trip." T'Pol points out that the voyage would have been pie to a Vulcan vessel. "Why didn't you ask them?" "Asking favors of the Vulcans usually ends up carrying too high a price," Trip tells her. T'Pol ignores this barb and tells Quantum, "My experience with humans is limited but I've come to learn that they're quite resourceful. Terra Nova may still be there, Captain." Quantum takes a bite of Pondering Pudding. Does it strike anyone as oddly cold-blooded that the eighteen-year round trip was the only thing that stopped Earth from finding out if the colonists had been eaten by Rock People, impregnated against their will by Eczema Aliens, or been drugged with Magic Spores? And the explanation for why they wouldn't have asked the Vulcans for help is lamer than a lame duck from the planet Lamea. "Too high a price"? The Vulcans may be annoying, but they aren't malicious or violent or prone to making offers humans can't refuse. It's not like the Vulcan ambassador would have charged a pound of flesh for every leg of the journey. Am I getting too riled up when the credits haven't even ended? I guess the caffeine finally kicked in.

Mayweather reports on Enterprise's progress as they approach the planet. Quantum gets up from his throne and orders, "On screen." Earth facsimile appears for all to gaze upon. "I promised my dad I'd see this place someday," Mayweather says. They attempt a few hails, which fail, but Quantum doesn't quail. Oh, no, he will prevail. My, is the coffee coursing through my veins or what? T'Pol can't find bio-signs, but reports that the colony seems to be intact (I guess she must mean structurally) and that they are picking up some minor surface radiation. "From what?" Quantum asks. T'Pol doesn't have an answer, so they visually zero in on the colony locale. "Closer!" Quantum orders. I'm not sure what we're supposed to see, but there seem to be a few squares and triangles, which must represent buildings. "Looks like a ghost town," Trip comments. Quantum says, "Let's hope the ghosts can give us some answers." Or, if not that, at least a few bumper stickers or key chains so they can always remember their visit to the Land of the Lost. After T'Pol tells them that the radiation levels shouldn't make too many of their teeth fall out, Quantum tells Trip he has control of the bridge and then turns to Mayweather, saying, "Travis?" Reed, T'Pol, Mayweather, and Quantum scamper off to prepare for their away mission while Trip stands tall and attempts to look commanding, which is more difficult than you'd imagine, considering that he looks more like the type of guy who gets the odd nipple on his arm rather than the type of guy who got a scholarship to John Wayne's School of Captain Acting.

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