Monday, June 17, 2024

The 2 Questionable Star Trek Captains.

October 2, 2021 by  
Filed under News, TV/Film/Movies

( We went into my three favorite captains of Star Trek’s broadcast television era. In order, they were Picard, Sisko, and Janeway. Now we look at my two least favorite captains in Kirk and Archer. Which one was the worst of the two?

Captain Jonathan Archer (Star Trek: Enterprise)

Oof. This guy and this show. Before piling on Enterprise, I will say that I like the “O.G Star Trek in 2001” approach to the show for the first two seasons—even though those were the two seasons that almost got the show cancelled early on.

It was very “adventure of the week” and got away from the pace and direction of the previous three series but I liked the more action-oriented pace of things. Things happened in the first season and it was fun to watch actually.

However, “things happened” because of Captain Archer. He was like Captain Kirk only more curious and enthusiastic about the dumb sh**. Sisko would’ve seen it and thought “There’s a way around this nonsense but if we can’t get around it then we’ve got these hands for it.”

Archer didn’t have hands ready for the nonsense but he actively pursued it. That’s because he was the first Enterprise captain and all about that exploring strange worlds and boldly going where no man has gone before.

Emphasis on “boldly”. A lot of what he did became the grounds of what shouldn’t be done via the Prime Directive. These freewheeling actions are is partially why he earned the moniker “The Greatest Explorer of the 22nd Century.”

If we put the shows in canonical order, you can see a heavy Archer influence on Kirk.

I spoke about the “captain’s curiosity” before and Archer had an unhealthy amount of it in the first season. Not only that, he was willing to risk his life and by extension his crew for his ill dog.

Later in the series, he becomes pretty damn aggressive and operates as more of a space sheriff—which I enjoyed more than “dangerously curious space explorer” Archer.

Overall, my problem with Archer is that he just seemed to regularly put his crew into danger as opposed to being more reactionary and avoidant of danger. Sure, they signed on for it upon joining Starfleet Academy but that doesn’t mean they should’ve actively headed towards danger and political problems.

Then again, that comes with the territory of exploring new worlds and peoples.

Captain Jonathan Archer Star Trek Enterprise

Captain James Kirk (O.G Star Trek)

The reason by Captain Kirk isn’t as bad as Archer has a few angles. First, this show was done on 1960s sci-fi television writing. While we had episodes that touched on issues of race and other issues of the time, there was little follow up to these stories.

It was very “that happened and now we’re moving on”. The other thing is that Kirk was what you’d expect from a “man of action”. This dude was like Buck Rogers and I like that character and this approach for a Starfleet captain.

The reason it worked more for Kirk than Archer is because this was a sci-fi show of its times. All shows moved at a snappy pace: I Love Lucy, Perry Mason, hell even The Twilight Zone moved things along.

Star Trek was one of those shows that was the fastest hour on television. While episodes had moments where things were slowed down, the pace made for an exciting, tense show throughout.

Captain Kirk played a huge role in that as the “take charge” leader who was always down for a fight if it came to his door. Episodes were a mix of Kirk heading into danger and danger finding Kirk and the crew.

The result was always the same during the show. Now, Kirk in the films showed a great deal of maturity and being a seasoned Admiral who still has that drive to protect others and willingness to bend the Prime Directive to protect his crew and those within the Federation.

Kirk’s a strong number four on my captains list.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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