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DVD Commentary: "Future Tense"

Audio commentary from the crew of Enterprise for the DVD of "Future Tense," written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong, directed by James Whitmore, Jr.

MALCOLM:...I'm telling you, there's no comparison.

TRIP: The Stones were touring into their seventies.

MALCOLM: They should have stopped in their fifties. Not to mention John Lennon was shot. In your country, you'll recall. Not much chance of a reunion tour after that.

TRIP: Let It Be was overproduced and boring.

MALCOLM: And I suppose Black and Blue was a triumph of immortal songwriting?

HOSHI: Are we recording?

PHLOX: I don't believe so. The captain and Subcommander aren't back with the food yet.

TRAVIS: What's the rush? Those two raise bickering to an art form.

MALCOLM: You requested "Yellow Submarine" for Movie Night last month!

TRIP: It's funny!

MALCOLM: The Rolling Stones never did any feature-length cartoons.

TRIP: Actually, the Beatles didn't either. Those aren't their voices.

TRAVIS: Really?

TRIP: They only agreed to it to finish their three-picture deal. They weren't even gonna be in it at all until they saw the rough cut. Then they liked it, so they filmed that little bit at the end.

MALCOLM: That's beside the point!

Serendipitous ConnorTRIP: The point is, the movie is fun to watch, but if you want rock'n'roll, you put on the Stones.

MALCOLM: All those years of standing next to that great roaring engine must have severely damaged your hearing. Not to mention your taste.

ARCHER: We're back! Food's here!

TRIP: Hey Cap'n -- Beatles or Stones?

ARCHER: Oh, Stones, definitely.

MALCOLM {makes scoffing sound}: As if he knows anything about musical quality.

T'POL: The Rolling Stones were chaotic, misogynistic, derivative, and juvenile. The Beatles were groundbreaking musicians who wrote complicated harmonies, infectious singles, and poignant ballads. The longevity of their work proves they are the superior musical group.

TRIP: You don't listen to rock music. Ah don't even think you listen to human music!

HOSHI: But you have to admit she has --


ARCHER: Okay, I have two chicken vindaloo extra spicy, one lamb korma, one chicken curry, two chicken tikka masala, Porthos gets the tandoori chicken breast, and the one with the big N is navratan curry; that's T'Pol's. Everybody gets naan.

HOSHI: Is there chutney?

T'POL: Yes.

ARCHER: Hey, the recording light is on!

PORTHOS: Oops, my bad. I must've sat on the remote.

PHLOX: Not to worry, Captain. They'll just trim this section.

TRIP: You got samosas, didn't you?

TRAVIS: They're in the tinf{zwip!}

{commentary begins}

ARCHER: Hi there, thanks for joining us. I'm Captain Jon Archer, here with my crew to provide you with our insights on the filming of "Future Tense," a second-season episode by Sussman and Strong.

PHLOX: Excellent writers.

T'POL: I concur.

ARCHER: And directed by James Whitmore, Jr., with whom I had the pleasure of working several times on Quantum Leap.

TRIP: Oh, Ah remember him. He directed "Acquisition."

MALCOLM: The Blue Knickers Experience.

TRIP: Hey, if an Andorian joined Starfleet, would they let him wear some other color underwear?

HOSHI: I'm starting the episode!

{Teaser. Magical Mystery Pod tumbles through space.}

TRAVIS: I would have loved to fly that thing.

ARCHER: I wonder if it would have beaten the Vissian pod in a race?

{Launch Bay Two.}

{"I'm not sure whether this end's the bow...or the stern."}

MALCOLM: And Whitmore had me walk in front of it? What kind of an Armoury Officer am I supposed to be?

Is that an exocomp?HOSHI: Captain, is that an exocomp on the table behind you?

TRAVIS: I told you, props get recycled.

TRIP: And plots.

{Dead guy.}

TRAVIS: Look! Seven! It's Lieutenant John Kelly!

TRIP: Speakin' of recycling...


ARCHER: You know, I understand there are a few fans who like the theme song.

TRIP: There are a few fans who like "Spock's Brain," too. Fast-forward.

{episode begins. Sickbay.}

PHLOX: I wish the directors would leave notes for one another. For Mister Mayweather's alleged autopsy, Sickbay was practically glowing, but here we have a dramatic spotlight on the corpse while the rest of the room is in gray mode.

{"I wonder...if this could be Zephram Cochrane."}

TRIP: The Alpha Centauran from "Metamorphosis" or the human from First Contact?

MALCOLM: Hush! You'll wake the nitpickers again. We finally got them to go down.

{Launch Bay Two.}

{"That's got to be a world record for hitchhiking."}

T'POL: Which world?

TRAVIS: I traded with the Commander for the stupid line in this scene.

MALCOLM: What did you get?

TRIP: The model of the Phoenix from his desk.

ARCHER: Hey, I wanted that!

{Ready Room. ARCHER is talking with ADMIRAL FORREST.}

PHLOX: Doesn't he hold the record for the most roles played in Star Trek?

HOSHI: I think he's up to 13 or 14.

ARCHER: Great guy to work with.

PORTHOS: You only say that because he lets you go first at the buffet table.

{Launch Bay Two, inside the Magical Mystery Pod.}

{"Organic circuitry?"}

TRAVIS: Free-range isolinear chips and no pesticides in the warp plasma. The Berkeley used that stuff all the time on their Halifax-Portland route.

{"How can a ship be bigger on the inside than the outside?"}

ARCHER: Wasn't that covered in Advanced Star Trek Physics?

TRIP: Yeah, but Scotty wrote that after he was rescued off the Jenolen. Didn't do us much good here.

Cinéma difficult to see what's going onPHLOX: Whitmore did a remarkable job in filming this scene by flashlight. Very cinéma verité.

MALCOLM: More like cinéma difficult to see what's going on.


TRAVIS: Oh my gosh! I got two lines in a row!

PORTHOS: {barks}

{general applause}

{Suliban hails the ship.}

HOSHI: Mottled green skin, orange jumpsuits. Either Robert Blackman lost a bet or Michael Westmore was on vacation.

ARCHER: They did such a good job casting all the Vorta as slithery, calculating types -- it's a shame this guy doesn't sound anywhere near as creepy as Silik.

TRIP: Well, there were only so many Drama Queen genetic enhancements to go around.

{"He'll tell you I don't respond well to threats."}

T'POL: Captain Janeway's delivery of that line in "Year of Hell" was much more forbidding.

ARCHER: She's a redhead. She could frighten people reading the phone book.

{Launch Bay Two, inside the Magical Mystery Pod.}

{"This could be a release pin."}

TRIP: See how easy it is to explore alien technology when everything in the universe is based on the Mac architecture?

MALCOLM: Indeed. If it were all Microsoft, it'd give "blue screen of death" a whole new meaning.

The faceless of the enemyHOSHI: Okay, that Suliban wasn't even good CGI. He doesn't have facial features!

TRIP:...aaaaand there Ah go.

ARCHER: Nice shooting, Malcolm!

MALCOLM: Thank you. It's such a pleasure to be allowed to hit something on-camera.

{Stock shot of ship flying through space.}

TRAVIS: Can the spotlight probes keep up with us at warp?

T'POL: They are designed to stay at a precise distance from the ship under all circumstances, including the vessel's total destruction, thus leading to their colloquial name --

ARCHER: Please don't make a "Klingon" pun.

T'POL: -- "remoras."

ARCHER: You were going to say it, weren't you.

T'POL: I was not. Vulcans never bluff.

ARCHER: Spock's delivery of that line in "The Doomsday Machine" was much more convincing.


{"This sequence is Terrelian."}

PHLOX: I think we owe Dr. Wyatt Miller a round of applause for curing the Terrelian bio-warfare plague.

T'POL: Doctor, are you sure you have the right species? At the time, they were called "Tarellian."

PHLOX: Too much confusion with the Talarians.

{DANIELS's quarters.}

TRIP: That's the same lock Ah used to create the fake vault in "Acquisition"!

TRAVIS: Same director, same props.

MALCOLM: And yet we didn't catch a glimpse of your knickers this round, Mister Tucker.

TRIP: Ya wanna see 'em now?

ARCHER: I think we've seen more than enough of you in your underwear, Trip.

T'Pol hiding behind the 3D database{Ships zip by on the 3-D database.}

HOSHI: Did you film this on greenscreen, like they do with the weather maps?

ARCHER: No, they just had a pair of glowsticks for us to focus on. This was all added in post.

PHLOX: I understand the Okudas stopped by to provide some drawings.

ARCHER: Just the frames they already had on file. I think Drexler did mostly new work for this.

TRAVIS: Klingon, I think it's Vor'cha class-- probably Galaxy-class -- that could be the Delta Flyer -- more Klingons -- another Vulcan cruiser -- that looks like Voyager with the nacelles drawn down --

HOSHI: Drool towel?

TRAVIS: Thanks.

{Space. Enterprise is being chased by a Tholian ship.}

Tholians, now and thenMALCOLM: That warp glow is entirely the wrong color. Tholian engines output at the red end of the spectrum.

TRIP: Quiet! The continuity editor will hear you and start crying again.


{"It's awfully warm inside that ship -- more than 200 degrees."}

ARCHER: Which translates to...

T'POL: Approximately four hundred degrees Farenheit.

TRAVIS: It's practically an oven.

TRIP: Let's have a moment of silence for the late and much-lamented Julia Child....

HOSHI: Anyone else think they used an old SimpleText speech synthesizer for the Tholian's voice?

{"Release us, or I'll destroy the ship in our launch bay."}

PHLOX: Ah, the precursor to the Janeway Strategy of threatening to destroy one's own ship on a monthly basis.

PORTHOS: Ooh, Daddy's milking the big dramatic pause for all it's worth...

ARCHER: Hoshi, you never translate the curse words. Why is that?

HOSHI: Sir, I'm a lady!

MALCOLM: Plus then she can swear like a sailor in front of you and you'll never know.

HOSHI: ghuy'cha'.

{Mess Hall.}

{"That corpse is full of surprises!"}

PHLOX: When the dancing girl jumped out of his sternum, I nearly soiled my pants!

{general snickering}

I believe the Doctor's eyes are attempting to be nominated for an Emmy award.T'POL: I believe the Doctor's eyes are attempting to be nominated for an Emmy award.

TRIP: Nice little IDIC speech there, Doc.

PHLOX: Another great Star Trek tradition: the Chief Medical Officer annoying the dickens out of the Vulcan.

{"I believe in embracing surprises."}

PORTHOS: Like the dancing girl?


{"Don't tell me you've never wondered what it would be like... how our mission will turn out."}

TRIP: Nope. Ah only got one question.

MALCOLM: Four, five, six, or seven seasons?

TRIP: Exactly.

{"Suppose you could look into some future book and find out the name of the woman you're going to marry. Would you want to know it?"}

TRAVIS: If you ask me, I'd rather know the name of her lawyer. It could save me some expense in the long run.

TRIP: Ah love the parallels here. Sussman and Strong are fan-tas-tic at character development.

HOSHI: I wish Trav and I could have gotten one of those scenes.

T/M, T/M, T/M{Launch Bay Two, outside the Magical Mystery Pod.}

MALCOLM: Ah, the great stegosaurus debate.

TRIP: And history lesson. Ah guarantee nobody in the audience will ever forget what happened in 1588.

{Launch Bay Two, outside the Magical Mystery Pod.}

MALCOLM: And now for something completely the same.

TRIP: Ah heard rumors Drake sold his soul to the devil to make him a great admiral.

MALCOLM: Calumny and libel.

TRIP: An' that the devil sent sea witches to raise that storm against the Spanish.

MALCOLM: Complete rubbish.

TRIP: An' that his Weapons Officer hated runny eggs.

MALCOLM: That's the family legend, at any rate.

{Launch Bay Two, outside the Magical Mystery Pod.}

MALCOLM: It sounds like we understudied for one another.

TRIP: Or Whitmore wanted us to do a li'l tribute to Face/Off.

MALCOLM: Or "Vis à Vis."

TRIP: Or "Renaissance Man."

HOSHI: You were saying something about recycling?


{"It felt like we were having the same conversation over and over again."}

TRAVIS: What was it like?

MALCOLM: Got rather repetitive. Especially since I was involved in both time loops.

TRAVIS: I mean, having that many lines in a row.

ARCHER: And here's where T'Pol and I do our Mulder and Scully impressions.

T'POL: Agent Scully was correct on some occasions.

ARCHER: It's the redhead thing again.

{Ready Room.}

TRIP: Wow, Cap'n, that was a really smooth duck under the pylon!

ARCHER: Do have any idea how many hours I've spent practicing pacing in there so I don't hit my head while filming?

HOSHI: Is that why they've had to replace the carpet already?

PHLOX: Subcommander, I believe you sound much more like Seven of Nine in her early objections to Voyager's mission than Scully. After all, Scully was an investigator. It was her job to be curious.

T'POL: Seven of Nine was correct on some occasions too.

PHLOX: Although not in her ultimate choice in boyfriends.

{general "blecch!" sounds}

PORTHOS: This scene is a perfect example of the reason the Temporal Cold War thing never got off the ground. Either we're standing around talking about hypotheticals or Daddy turns a corner and he's suddenly a hundred years from yesterday. There's no middle ground.


TRAVIS: Notice that Malcolm and Hoshi and I never moved in this entire scene, even though we're jolting everywhere?

ARCHER: All right, all right, you win! I'll get some embroidery on my seat cushion.

TRIP: Or you could just quit pacin' so much.

ARCHER: There's no carpet to worry about on the Bridge. Or pylons.

{The Tholians and Suliban arrive where Enterprise and the Tal'Kir are parked and begin firing at one another.}

{"I never thought I'd be glad to see the Suliban."}

PHLOX: They monopolize the buffet, blow their lines, and leave grease paint all over the dressing room counters.

HOSHI: Silik makes really good brownies, though.

{Space. A Tholian vessel slides by the camera. It just looks really cool.}

A/R, A/R (not to be confused with ARR ARR ARR){Launch Bay Two, beside the Magical Mystery Pod.}

MALCOLM: At least I got to do my job repeatedly.

ARCHER: And I managed not to set off a warhead. Repeatedly.

{Launch Bay Two, beside the Magical Mystery Pod.}

MALCOLM: Now, I wonder, shouldn't T'Pol have paged you again?

ARCHER: But time was only repeating for us.

MALCOLM: But her page was part of our time loop.

ARCHER: Temporal paradox! Arg, my brain is exploding!

MALCOLM: Mind you don't get any gray matter on the carpet or they'll have to replace that one too.

{"How far do you think we got last time?"}

MALCOLM: On a first date? Double-entendre at best.

{Launch Bay Two, beside the Magical Mystery Pod.}

ARCHER: I never did time it -- was it, in fact, four minutes?

MALCOLM: The first attempt it was nearly five. By the last go-round I think we had it down to a minute and a half.

ARCHER: Is manual warhead-arming an Olympic sport?

MALCOLM: No, but I'm going to insist that it be part of the curriculum when Starfleet Academy is finally founded.

{Engineering and Sickbay. The TECH and the pilot from the Magical Mystery Pod vanish.}

WTF!TRIP: Ah hate that. You put something down, turn your head for a second, and it just disappears.

PHLOX: I've lost some patients in my time, but -- not like that.

TRIP: How'd the Vulcans take it when you tried to tell 'em what happened?

ARCHER: "Andrei -- you've lost another submarine?"

{general laughter}

{Captain's Mess.}

TRIP: Aaaand Ah get the cabbagehead line for the sake of exposition again.

T'POL: I was required to take the cabbagehead position on the entire plot, Commander. Perhaps you should not feel so slighted.

ARCHER: Why do you always run off in the middle of dinner, Trip? You never finish what you're eating.

TRIP: Scene transition. Plus gazpacho doesn't agree with me.

ARCHER: Really? I'm sorry. I had no idea. I'll make sure Chef sends something else up next time.

TRIP: Thanks. Steak Diane'd be nice. And pie.

ARCHER: Well, it looks like we're finished here. For our next commentary we're going to have a special guest -- Commander Shran will be joining us for "The Andorian Incident."

T'POL: {splutters}

ARCHER: Relax, T'Pol, I'll make sure he's sitting on the other side of the room.

MALCOLM: Are you going to ask him what color his knickers are, Mister Tucker?

TRIP: Not for all the latinum on Norcadia.

MALCOLM: Not even Vorta hell of it?

ARCHER: Don't make me separate you two.

Photos:; incredibly serendipitous photo of Connor Trinneer generously donated by Li keattrin