Episode 126: T’Pol Up In Your Business

cover image with T'Pol

Our crew is joined by Kerry to talk about one of Star Trek’s most prominent Vulcan women – a science officer, XO and important force in Vulcan society; a daughter, mother, friend, and lover; often the focus of Enterprise’s allegory episodes: T’Pol.

Download Now (right-click and save)

Hosts: Sue, Jarrah and Grace

Guest: Kerry – @kerrbearlib

Editor: Jarrah

Notes and References:

  • Check out all of Anika’s T’Pol Fashion Project posts.
  • The exchange between Archer and T’Pol in “Broken Bow” referenced by Grace is this:

ARCHER: How much longer?
T’POL: Until you’ve proven you’re ready,
ARCHER: Ready to what?
T’POL: To look beyond your provincial attitudes and volatile nature.
ARCHER: Volatile? You have no idea how much I’m restraining myself from knocking you on your ass.

  1 comment for “Episode 126: T’Pol Up In Your Business

  1. Michael
    November 19, 2019 at 12:55 am

    A great episode and I agree with almost all your points, esp Trip and Archer’s early seasons picking on T’Pol, Archer’s violent threats in Broken Bow, the catsuits being out of character, and the general sexism of the later Berman/Braga era. Sue made a great point about the Vulcan three parter in Season 4 as a reaction to fan criticism of the Vulcans’ depiction in the show. But I also think it was probably an allegory for 9/11 and the War on Terror – then current events being transposed to Vulcan society. The change in human/Vulcan relations from that point parallels the positive changes in the relationships between T’Pol, Archer and Trip.

    I do feel I want to give credit to Archer’s character arc in his relationship with T’Pol. It’s a pretty dramatic arc! – starting out appallingly, of course. But after her mother’s death there’s a very touching scene in her quarters where he seems like a pretty good friend to me. And the final episode, for all its flaws, is notable for other touching scenes (I like Riker as chef!), especially just before Archer goes on stage and they hug. That’s beautiful and shows how very far Archer has moved away from his initial prejudice and racism.

    As for Demins/Terra Prime, it’s my favourite Enterprise episode. Paxton is so creepy and the story is uncannily prescient. And Jolene Blalock’s performance is incredibly moving, especially the scenes with the baby and her telling Paxton, “you’re not significant!” (I give a little cheer every time I hear that.) Her scenes with Trip in that episode are also pretty good, I think. I don’t have a problem with them finding out that Vulcan/human hybridization (sorry, I can’t think of a better term just at the moment!) is possible after all. We the audience know it already, but it’s nice for the characters that they know it too, and to have it acknowledged by the episode writers. Otherwise some fans would have been sure to complain that it was inconsistent with Canon – and also, it invalidates Paxton’s racist belief that such a child would be unnatural, and symbolises the coming together of two species rather than the xenophobic Earth Paxton tried to create.

    I agree that it’s a shame Enterprise was cancelled. It’s not my favourite Trek series, but it was getting a lot better and for all its faults there were many really good things about it too. It traverses quite an arc in four seasons, from the mutually distrustful human/Vulcan relationship in Broken Bow to the anti-racism and beginnings of the Federation that we see in the last three episodes.

    I listen to all of your podcasts, and it’s one of my two favourite Trek podcasts (the other being Primitive Culture). Sending warm wishes to all of you, and thanks so much for making me think about Star Trek – well, more thoughtfully!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.