the story: The crew makes contact with a colony that was cut off from Earth seventy years previous.
what it's all about: "Terra Nova" would've been a great episode if it'd chosen to do a few things differently. The choice to depict the colonists as thoroughly removed from their origins as they are is the biggest failing. It makes them seem more episodic than they needed to be, and removes any real trace of world-building that the episode otherwise accomplishes, much like Voyager's similar "Friendship One." In fact, it's hard to think of the two episodes separately. They might as well be viewed as so intrinsically linked, Enterprise might have been conceived to set up "Terra Nova." Well, you know what I mean. "Friendship One" is about a probe that ended up in the Delta Quadrant, and things went poorly. "Terra Nova" is about a remote colony, and things went poorly. And then a Starfleet crew shows up to find out what happened, and discovers a crisis. It's a setup to many other episodes, too, but "Friendship" is from the last season of Voyager, and this one's from Enterprise's first, obviously. It's hard to imagine the producers not realizing the connection.
This very well could've been the plot to a whole season, if Enterprise had been launched just a few years later. A lost colony feeling resentful about its relationship with Earth...it's really not very different from early colonial America, and only a few steps removed from the American Revolution itself. Did Babylon 5 do something like that, with Mars? I think so. It gives you an idea of how broadening the concept just a little could've changed things.
Heck, even having Mayweather, the boomer who grew up in space, be connected could've changed things. But Mayweather's value was frequently overlooked, throughout the series, and this is just one of those missed opportunities.
But you can see where it wasn't a total waste.
- franchise - That invisible link to one of Voyager's final episodes.
- series - A suggestion of what might have been.
character- A missed opportunity with Mayweather. essential- Seems like just another episode when it could've been much more.