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The Nation reviews Enterprise’s second episode

The Nation by Michelle Greenberg


“Oasis is a potentially interesting exploration of women’s liberation
and homosexuality on Star Trek before being thwarted by reactionary
fascist patriarchalism.

Oasis tells a story about the struggle for the possession of a women
between her father and a potential lover, Southern engineer Trips
Connors. As is typical of this type reactionary pabulum, the woman
herself of course has no mind of her own and her only independent
action is to liberate her lover.

Actor Rene Auberjonois who as Deep Space Nine’s Odo was widely
believed by fans to be gay, is brought back specifically to hammer
home his heterosexuality to fans by casting him as a father, yet at
the same time managing to keep him thoroughly asexual. Though there is
of course clear sexual tension between him and his ship’s Captain,
such tension cannot be acted on in Enterprise for fear of alienating
the conservative core demographic and so the Captain is revealed to be
merely another hologram and thus the love between these two men must
remain unrecognized because of society’s intolerance.

Even the relationship between the Southern engineer and the engineer’s
daughter is itself kept strictly sterile with flavors of ice cream
used to symbolize their attraction to each other. By switching her
from ‘vanilla’ flavored ice cream to the more complex ‘rocky road’,
Oasis is suggesting that Trips has introduced her to more
sophisticated varieties of sexual experience. In the tradition of hack
space opera of course, Trips cannot be tied down to one woman and she
conveniently chooses to remain as her father’s property at the end of
the episode. Yet Trips provides her with an ice cream maker for her
trip, which using Oasis’ coded symbolism suggests that he has
impregnated her thus finally putting the ‘woman’ in her place as a
mother even while keeping her locked up in her father’s starship thus
completing the cycle of phallicentric tyranny and ending her freedom

While on the surface, Oasis claims to be a story about a father’s love
for his daughter and a woman’s liberation; it is in fact an episode
which views a woman as merely property and ends with the reaffirmation
of the patriarchal status quo.

From the moment we first see the white male dominated Enterprise crew
dressed in uniforms that but for their color would be reminiscent of
Hitler’s Waffen SS, it becomes clear that this Star Trek is no longer
the revolutionary breakthrough series it once was. The Enterprise crew
is itself dominated by a white male Anglo-American patriarchal power
structure that relegates women and minorities to such an extent that
it might almost be called Aryan.

Where the original series was a progressive dream of a socialist
future, Enterprise is an exercise in reactionary nostalgia for a
better time when white males ruled the world as is demonstrated in its
promo full of white males exploring the oceans, diving underwater and
going up into space. There is of course no place for women or people
of color or homosexuals in such a future.

Oasis merely reaffirms this nostalgic status quo in ways both subtle
and gross beginning with the gynophobic and homophobic plot and subtly
with Archer’s invocation of Christian attitudes and morals even as his
crossed fingers appear to secretly making the sign of the cross.
Furthermore the names of three of the ship’s holographic characters,
Tevol, Cuper and Nabi is actually an anagram for “Vote Republican”, a
hidden subliminal message that the reactionary producers of Enterprise
undoubtedly expected that no one would notice. From this it is clear
that there is no extreme to which Enterprise’s producers will not go
to get their message across from oppressing women, subjugating
homosexuals and secretly supporting the Republican party. And it is a
message of hate, prejudice and vile bigotry which no right thinking
person should tolerate.

Andromeda’s Kevin Sorbo gives interview speaking candidly about his vision for the show

Andromeda’s Kevin Sorbo speaks candidly about his vision for the show.


Between his duties as Andromeda’s lead actor, executive producer and spokesman for the ‘Crimson Hope’ Adult Chicken Pox foundation, Kevin Sorbo might be said to be shouldering a truly ‘Herculean’ burden, but he still took time out of his busy schedule to speak with us about Andromeda’s third season.

“There have been a lot of rumors floating around about the things that have been happening at the show but I just want to clear them up and say that our series is in good hands.” Kevin Sorbo chuckled. “For a while Andromeda was dark and confusing like the universe on the series but then I and one of the producers of SeaQuest came to restore the light of clarity and make it a happier and brighter place. After all if viewers trust me to command this huge starship on television, they should have no trouble with me commanding the TV series itself.”

Sorbo is also dedicated to bringing a lighter touch of comedy to the once dark and melodramatic SciFi series.

“For too much of my career people have taken me seriously with heavily dramatic roles like Hercules and now I want people to laugh at me.” The actor declaimed. “Andromeda is serious a lot of the time but there’s no reason that it can’t be a joke too. For instance in an upcoming episode instead of shooting at aliens, we’re going to throw pies at them because Harper discovers that the aliens are fatally allergic to cherry pie. In this way we can do comedy without undermining the credibility of the series itself.”

And Kevin Sorbo has increasingly ambitious plans for Andromeda to help the series expand its audience in its third season around the world.

“The thing that holds back a lot of North American shows in the international market is that they’re in English and people in other countries speak a whole bunch of foreign languages instead. So what we need to do to improve our worldwide share is reduce the amount of English talking on the show in favor of more non-verbal communication.” Sorbo explained. “Scientists say that up to 95 percent of communications are non-verbal like grunting, hand gestures and facial tics and I plan to make sure that at least half of Andromeda’s dialogue from now on will also be non-verbal so that Andromeda will translate better to the worldwide market without any dialogue getting in the way.”

The actor and Andromeda producer is also talking freely about the changes that will be made to his charachter and to the series premise in general.

“Last season we had this whole Commonwealth storyline and nobody except our old showrunner knew what that was about, so now we’re just going to have fun. We’re going to dump the uniforms. From now on everyone will just loosen up and walk around in their underwear, except for like ceremonial occasions when my charachter might decide to put on a shirt or maybe not because he’s a renegade now and doesn’t wear shirts anymore.” Sorbo said. “He’s given up on this whole Commonwhatever thing and now he just goes around to different planets helping people who are in trouble. Like Jesus. Also he discovers that he has magic powers because he’s actually the son of a God. But more like Jesus than Hercules. Some people might say that’s blasphemous but I say that it’s exactly what this show needs to appeal to a wider audience. The Bible after all is the best selling book of all time and we need to tune into that demographic.”

Sorbo nevertheless remains very concerned about what the fans think.

“We’ve had some critical feedback from the fans about some of the changes made to the show and we listened and we’re going to address the problem by giving the SciFi crowd lots more exploding ships and me gunning down the same three aliens over and over again in slow motion.” Kevin Sorbo said. “But people need to understand that Andromeda as it is today was not the show that was pitched to me when I agreed to come on board. That was a series premise about a half-man half-cyborg Santa Claus who travels through time on a starship crewed by transvestite mutants while battling evil flying monkeys from the future who want to eat up all the candy in the universe. Or maybe that wasn’t actually the series premise but a crazy dream I had when I got bored and fell asleep while they were pitching me the actual series premise. Either way I’m determined to make Andromeda live up to that standard and fire anyone who stands in my way.”

The noted thespian and former toilet paper pitchman is also quite mindfull of the Herculean task of living up to Gene Roddenberry’s legacy.

“Gene Roddenberry was a great man. He invented the atom bomb, the telephone and Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda. And though some cynics might disagree with me, I think Andromeda was the greatest of his inventions because the telephone and the atom bomb have killed millions, but Andromeda has to my knowledge only killed three people. ”

“Gene Roddenberry was a dreamer. He dreamed of a different kind of world. A world where telephones armed with atom bombs would force people to watch episodes of Andromeda thus ensuring global unity. And we want to keep that dream alive and when our latest episode with our crew communicating with each other through grunts, facial tics and emphatic gestures while throwing pies at invading aliens arrives in Malaysia or Senegal, in some small way we’ll be keeping that dream alive. And I’m happy to know I’ll be doing my part.”

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