This Just In
ISSUE #36 NOVEMBER 9, 2003

Fan coalition demands less complicated Enterprise
by Zeke

PITTSBURGH, PA - A coalition of Star Trek fans has assembled to protest the mixed messages presented by Star Trek: Enterprise in its third season.

"We as fans deserve clear, unambiguous morals from Star Trek," explained coalition leader Oxford Rufus in a statement to the press this morning. "This year, we've had just the opposite. Is Archer justified in his new, aggressive command style? Are the Xindi all evil or all good? Instead of answering such important questions, Enterprise is making the viewers think about them. This is unacceptable."

The coalition, calling itself Trekkers Happier Without Ambiguous Messages (THWAM), boasts nearly 600 members and is constructing a website to help spread its (presumably unambiguous) message. THWAM has also begun running commercials with the slogan "Don't get Enterprise? We can't help."

In an interview with this newspaper, Mr. Rufus went into more detail about the coalition's motivations. "Back when Gene Roddenberry was running Trek, there was a simple rule for writers to follow: each episode should have a moral. But when he died, the writers began to break all his rules, including that one. Things were getting worse all through Deep Space Nine and Voyager, but at least those shows had overall messages that were clear-cut: 'Aliens invading your quadrant is bad' and 'Getting home is good.' Enterprise started out strongly with 'Not letting them hold you down no more is good,' but since then things have been confused and murky.

"Take 'Exile,' for example. An alien invades Hoshi's mind, and that's bad. So far, so good. But then it turns out he wants to help the crew! And then he tries to kill them to keep Hoshi! And then he doesn't! He's bad, he's good, he's bad, he's good... what are we supposed to take from that? It's too complex! Real people are nothing like that."

"Things were going so well in Season 2," reminisced Mr. Rufus. "Just look at 'Cease Fire,' which taught us that beings with odd ears shouldn't fight beings with antennae. We'd never have known why elephants and giraffes are kept in separate cages without that episode. Or 'Stigma,' which taught us that we'd been wrong all along and AIDS was bad! You can bet that shook some belief systems in my Trek discussion group."

According to Mr. Rufus, THWAM's goal is to get the attention of Star Trek executive producer and universal scapegoat Rick Berman. "If we can just get him to listen to us, maybe he'll put a stop to this newfangled complexity trend. The Expanse arc could end with Archer discovering that the Xindi are all bad to the bone -- that they not only attacked Earth but also went back in time and caused the Black Death and gangsta rap. Then he'd destroy their bases and explain to their leaders why what they did was wrong, and they could change their ways. We'd all learn something from that. But we haven't seen a story like that since the Kirk days."

The emergence of THWAM has provoked comment from various sources.

"I'm happy with the show as it is," said actor Scott Bakula. "Captain Archer is still a good guy, but now he's a good guy with a bad attitude. I never got to do that on Quantum Leap."

"Neither Trek nor THWAM is right," said Babylon 5 god J. Michael Straczynski. "The right way to do it is to tell a story with clear good guys and bad guys but say it has shades of gray. Be emphatic enough about that, and people will buy it."

"The mixed messages of Season 3 haven't particularly bothered me," said creator evay. "My only real complaint with the season so far is that Tucker hasn't been severely injured yet."

"Ah'm a-fixin' ta join this here THWAM thang," stated slack-jawed yokel Cletus. "Ah lahk mah telly-vision shows full of ass-kickin' an' expl-OH-si-ons. Don't y'all just gimme that there talkin' stuff." (This Just In later found out that Cletus does not in fact watch Enterprise, nor any show not carried on Spike TV.)

"Simple! Complex!" shouted Banik Stykera Stark. "Simple, complex! My side, your side! My side, your side! My side, your side!"

Whatever the results of its plan, THWAM's present concern is to make itself known to the public. Mr. Rufus expressed hopes that this article will contribute to that cause. Little does he know that This Just In has an on-paper circulation of about three. Ha ha. 

< Issue #35 :: Issue #36 :: Issue #37 >

Return to Front Page

Copyright 2003, Colin Hayman. A product of This Just Inc. All rights reserved. Break this notice, we're annoyed; don't, we're not. That seems pretty clear-cut. (Or... is it?)