Three Genders

Story: Cogenitor
Written By: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Series: Star Trek: Enterprise
Year: 2003

This is a solid episode with an interesting idea. I’m actually surprised Berman and Braga wrote it, because most of their ideas and episodes SUCK. Luckily I think they found a unique concept and the fact that it focuses primarily on Tucker (meaning Trinneer gets a good chunk of screen time over any of our other characters) only helped the episode sell me on its interesting concept.
So basically we meet this new group of aliens, and for once in this show…it doesn’t automatically lead to hostilities (it is sad when you are shocked by that, and the writers even make a point of having Tucker point out that it is an odd occurrence…show was too xenophobic). So anyhow we meet this alien race, and learn about their culture. Tucker takes an interest in the fact that they have three genders: Male, female, and cogenitors. The cogenitors make up a very small portion of the population, but actually are completely necessary in the birth process. So since they are so slim in the population, they are actually used sort of like slaves, treated like second-class citizens and have no names or education. This of course troubles Tucker, who is a pretty human and passionate guy.

I like that while Tucker’s intentions in trying to change this situation are certainly in the right place, it is made clear by Archer in the end that interfering with this other culture was a big mistake. It is not their place to judge, it isn’t their place to put their ideals ahead of another race’s…especially when they were actually friendly upon first contact.

It raises some interesting issues, and I think it has a solid performance from Trinneer (who is easily in the top 3 actors of the main cast, along with Bakula and Billingsley), and I really liked the scene where Archer tells Trip he was wrong. I thought both gave damn good performances.

NEXT TIME: Continuity