ENT S02E17 Canamar (2 out of 5 stars). Archer and Tucker are held prisoner by a bunch of pirates whose make-up design makes them look oddly New Romantic. Being the victims of someone else’s penal system is hardly a new idea (we saw it as recently as Detained, at the end of the last season). Whereas it might be interesting to see how Spock, Picard, Kira, Seven or even – at a push – T’Pol might react to this situation, here it’s just two guys exchanging problem-solving technobabble.

ENT S02E18 The Crossing (2.5 out of 5 stars). Enterprise is swallowed by a rather video game-looking maw and pretty soon the crew’s bodies are being tried on like cheap suits by the glowing balls of light which inhabit the giant ship. It’s a strong sci-fi concept but being prematurely released from the belly of the whale threatens to crater the stakes, and the situation asks rather more of the regular cast than is ideal, even before Archer’s murderous solution to the problem. And even non-corporeal entities have T’Pol sex dreams it seems.

ENT S02E19 Judgment (4 out of 5 stars). Archer is standing trial. Again. Seriously, didn’t we just do this? A couple of times in fact. This is a Klingon court (patterned after the one in Star Trek VI) which adds some interest, and old hand JG Hertzler is here, back in the forehead ridges and Fu Manchu facial hair, bringing unexpected depth to his aged defence counsel. Enterprise doesn’t seem to be exploring far-flung galaxies this week, which has been a major plot point recently, so one wonders how long it took them to get back to familiar space and why they needed to. The trial is seemingly conducted in English even though they threaten Archer with removal if he doesn’t keep quiet.

ENT S02E20 Horizon (2.5 out of 5 stars). Attempting to prove that nothing and no-one is beyond salvation, this is a Travis episode. The one thing we know about him is that he grew up on one of those freighters we saw in Fortunate Son, and so that’s what we return to. Why add layers when you can always include repetition? Anthony Montgomery does a decent job here, but he’s only given a situation to play, there’s nothing individual or surprising here, no grit in the oyster. In a show known for its limp teasers, this one is a piece of tissue paper that’s been left out in the rain. And the Frankenstein subplot suggests that nobody on the writing staff has ever read the book.

ENT S02E21 The Breach (3 out of 5 stars). Travis is an expert caver – as you would expect from a young man born and brought up on a space freighter (why add layers when you can always include random bullshit?). There being no other people onboard with similar experience, the young ensign has to teach Malcolm and Trip how to do it. Don’t worry, he’ll be invalided out of the story in short order. In a more interesting strand, Phlox has to convince an ancient enemy of the Denobulans to allow him to operate, and John Billingsley does wonderful work here, exploring his personal conflict and the long political enmity between the two cultures.

Trekaday #115: The Catwalk, Dawn, Stigma, Cease Fire, Future Tense
Trekaday #117: Cogenitor, Regeneration, First Flight, Bounty, The Expanse