on August 13, 2005
The fourth season of Star Trek Enterprise was the season that most Trekkers have been waiting for, with homages to the original series(Mirror Universe,The Eugenics Wars,Orion slave women,T'Pau), as well as rectifying continuety errors(The Vulcans,The Klingon "forehead" issue).Unfortunately,the show was cancelled prematurely as the show was becoming what Trekkers been waiting for since "Broken Bow".
One of the biggest contributing factors for the success of the fourth season was supervising producer Manny Coto,an original series fanatic who brought Enterprise back on the right tracks as far back as season three.Sensing that the show wasn't going to see a fifth season,Executive producer Rick Berman handed the reins to Coto, who set about in correcting the many elements in Trek history that have been disregarded,which drove away even the most dedicated fan.
The season's format was tweaked to make room for multi episode arcs which dealt separately with The Eugenics Wars(The Augment trilogy featuring Brent Spiner as Arik Soong),A Vulcan Civil War(featuring Surak, and T'Pau),A Klingon Virus (resulting in the humanoid Klingon foreheads from the original series), and the mirror universe featuring the USS Defiant from The Tholian Web.
One of the biggest disappointments of the season itself was the final episode "..These Are The Voyages" which takes place on the Enterprise-D, featuring Riker and Troi.Instead of giving the NX-01 crew a dignified send off,they were used supporting characters in a glorified "Next Generation" episode.
The finale (written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga) was called a "Valentine to the fans".But the real valentine was the entire fourth season which finally gave the fans what they wanted,and the most problematic Star Trek series a dignified ending, dispite it's weak finale.
on August 24, 2005
Following the success of four live-action TV series and ten feature-length films, producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga attempted to create a fifth live-action "Star Trek" series that would be set approximately 100 years prior to the time of Captain Kirk (during the original "Star Trek" series of 1966-1969), 200 years before the time of Captain Picard (during the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" of 1987-1994) and 100 years after the fictional character Dr. Zefram Cochrane flew the first warp-capable spaceship, as depicted in the 1996 film "Star Trek: First Contact".
The new series, entitled "Enterprise", debuted in the fall of 2001, months after the previous "Star Trek" series, "Voyager", concluded its seven-year run. As the show's title implied, the ship used in the show was named "Enterprise" and had serial number NX-01 with a maximum speed of warp 5. It's crew was comprised of Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula, formerly the lead actor of the sci-fi TV show "Quantum Leap" of 1989-1993), Vulcan science officer T'Pol (Jolene Blalok), pilot Ensign Travis Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery), ship's communications officer Ensign Hoshi Sato (Linda Park), the Denobulan Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley), weapon's officer Lieutenant Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating) and ship's engineer Commander Charles 'Trip' Tucker III (Connor Trinneer).
Over 12,000,000 viewers watched the first season's premiere episode, but subsequent shows had ever-shrinking audiences. The average number of viewers per first-season episode was about 6.7 million; for the second season, this number dropped to 4.4 million and for the third season, the number dropped further to 3.8 million. After nearly canceling the show after its third season, UPN gave it one more chance, but the average number of viewers per fourth season episode was only 3.1 million. UPN then cancelled the series.
Why did "Enterprise" fail to capture the attention of the estimated 30,000,000 "Star Trek" fans living in the U.S.A.? The blame rests primarily with Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, who's combined strangle hold upon the show's writing during the first three seasons drove fans away. The fourth season, however, was placed under the creative control of Manny Coto.
Whereas the first three seasons of "Enterprise" were largely disconnected from the four previous "Star Trek" TV series, Manny Coto successfully reconnected the fourth season of "Enterprise" with the rest of the "Star Trek" universe. He began the fourth season by personally finishing the temporal cold war and other disconnected story elements from the first three seasons by writing the first two episodes of the fourth season himself. He then produced (and sometimes co-wrote) the next 19 episodes, most of which were parts of several multi-episode story arcs that filled in many holes that had been left from previous "Star Trek" TV series and the ten feature length films. He also corrected some of the mistakes created by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga during the first three seasons of "Enterprise".
The first story arc (episodes: "Borderland", "Cold Station 12" and "The Augments") featured a guest appearance by Brent Spiner playing Dr. Arik Soong, who had continued the work done by geneticists that had created genetically-enhanced individuals such as Kahn (refer to the original "Star Trek" series episode "Space Seed" and the second feature length film, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn"). The second story arc (episodes "The Forge", "Awakening" and "Kir'Shara") began with the bombing of Earth's embassy on Vulcan and quickly makes Capt. Archer aware that Vulcan's population is dangerously divided. (No other "Star Trek" TV series spent this much time on Vulcan.)
The third story arc (episodes "Babel One", "United" and "The Aenar") featured the Tellurites, Andorians, Vulcans and Romulans. The Romulans try to disrupt peace talks between the Tellurites and Andorians. (This is the only time that the planet Andoria is visited during any "Star Trek" TV series.) The fourth story arc (episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence") featured Dr. Phlox, who is kidnapped by Klingons who want to stop a genetic disease that is changing their appearance to look more human.
The fifth story arc (episodes "In a Mirror, Darkly", two parts) is a trip to the infamous alternate universe. The sixth and final story arc (episodes "Demons" and "Terra Prime") is about xenophobic humans that want to undermine talks that may lead to a coalition of several planets, including Earth.
Manny Coto's fourth season episodes were great, but not enough people were watching. Of the 22 fourth season episodes, the best were those 19 that followed the first two and before the final one. The final episode ("These Are the Voyages...") was disappointing as it was written and produced by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. Though it featured guest appearances by Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis (as William Riker and Deanna Troi, respectively, of "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), this episode was as poorly written as the first three seasons that Rick Berman & Brannon Braga had strangled.
Of the 28 years of live-action "Star Trek" TV series, I regard the third season of "Enterprise" to be the worst, but Manny Coto's wonderful fourth season was one of the best. Sadly, what I and many other "Star Trek" fans had hoped would occur during "Enterprise" was the Earth-Romulan War (as eluded to in the original "Star Trek" TV series) and the formation of the United Federation of Planets (UFP); but neither of these could be produced because of the show's premature cancellation. Manny Coto would no doubt have made these stories wonderfully if he had been given the opportunity.
Overall, I rate the fourth season of "Enterprise" with 5 out of 5 stars. I wholeheartedly thank Manny Coto for reconnecting "Enterprise" with the rest of the "Star Trek" universe during its fourth & final season. Let us hope that any possible future "Star Trek" productions are not controlled by Rick Berman or Brannon Braga.
on September 17, 2006
This season was the absolute best that Enterprise had to offer! Enterprise finally saw its potential realized under the masterful direction of Manny Coto. The best characteristic of season 4 was that fans finally saw references to the Original Series that we had hoped to see much earlier on in the show. Intriguing stories, action, creativity, and developing the relationships among the crew in a more meaningful way were the traits that made it such a disappointment to have it cancelled after such an amazing season. Under the vehicle of Season 4, one gets to travel to the Mirror Universe with the Enterprise crew, see a Gorn, and see the bridge of the USS Defiant (old school style).
The only drawback to this season is that it contains the final episode by Brannon and Braga titled "These are the Voyages" which is nothing more than a rather stale Star Trek: The Next Generation holodeck episode in which the Enterprise characters are forced into the background while two overaged and overweight TNG characters take center stage and proceed to bastardize the Enterprise we were just getting to know and appreciate after such a wonderful season. My suggestion: Buy the DVD set but don't bother watching the last episode to avoid a huge let-down.
on April 6, 2006
It is a bittersweet symphony, this unfortunately, last season of ST - Enterprise. It contains some of the best episodes of the series, but also the worst one of possibly the whole franchise- "These are the Voyages", titled as "Valentine for fans" by the writers, but it was the exact opposite of that, a slap in the face of those who liked Enterprise and its crew as well as the cast. I won't go into detail, this episode may have been average as a stand-alone one in the middle of a season, but as a finale it was just bad. Totally ignoring any character development established in the previous seasons, only a 1-hour finale instead of the established 2-hours, but to bring more insult, bringing in two characters from TNG and delegating Enterprises' own cast to the rank of gueststars. I didn't need a farewell to the whole franchise, I wanted a fair farewell to Enterprise and we didn't get that.
As for the rest of the season, it contains gems like "Home", "Demons", "Terra Prime" and the Vulcan-Arc trilogy "The Forge", "The Awakening" and "Kir'Shara".
Enterprise was in my opinion the best of all Trek series. While many Trekkers might disagree, I think it was the most human Trek and most suited for the casual viewer, not only the die-hard fan.
The DVDs are what you come to expect of Paramount, the extras are okay, but not as generous as the previous seasons, the bloopers are painfully short. Although as expensive as the rest of the bunch , I think it is well worth the money.
I wish it wouldn't have been cut short.
Goodbye Star Trek - Enterprise,
LIVE LONG AND PROSPER
on September 21, 2005
Usually with a TV series, the strategy is to hook the audience early, get enough episodes for syndication, and then worry less about quality, producing episodes that are just good enough to stay on the air and ensure video and DVD sales. "Star Trek: Enterprise" could be a case study in doing the opposite. The uneven, mostly disappointing first three seasons of the show felt like a retread of earlier "Star Treks" and other sci-fi, and there appeared to be an assumption that audiences would simply stick with the show out of Pavlovian habit. Fans will watch anything with "Star Trek" attached to it, right? When ratings plunged and budgets got slashed, the best thing that could happen to "Star Trek: Enterprise" occurred -- producer Manny Coto arrived to salvage things. The fourth season is clearly its best, with the show for the first time beginning to feel like a prequel that didn't rudely skip over the series that started everything. Had this season been the first, "Star Trek: Enterprise" might still be on the air; as things stand, "Star Trek: Enterprise" was cancelled just as it finally showed potential, the accumulated damage to its reputation from previous seasons too much to draw audiences back. Scott Bakula, visibly older and looking at times not unlike Joe Camel, nonetheless finally musters some of the appeal he had on "Quantum Leap" in episodes that give him more to do than get beaten or bark at people for no reason. Even the often appealing but ultimately go-nowhere romance between T'Pol and Tucker found its way into an excellent story with the series' penultimate episode. Unfortunately, even eye-catching apples can have worms, and two episodes stand out as inexcusably awful: "Daedulus" and "These are the Voyages." In fact, the final episode feels like the punch line to an otherwise funny joke. While "Star Trek: Enterprise" had high quality special effects and great potential, it will probably -- and with justification -- be remembered as the series that killed the franchise . . . at least until the franchise inevitably gets resurrected. The generally lowbrow stories and paint-by-numbers approach to telling them are what sent the series to the bottom of the ratings, not an oversupply of "Star Trek" on TV. When "Star Trek" shows some smarts again, people who read more than the funnies and sports page and can chew with their mouth closed will return -- in droves.
STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE SEASON 4 (final season) was a set I had to buy for the coveted Vulcan trilogy of episodes and of course, for the legendary joke of a series finale, which I am going to assume you know. I really miss this show terribly, but especially this last season in the hands of genius Manny Coto. It only showed what ENTERPRISE should have been--and was, in this final season that almost didn't get made.
There are other story arcs here that span more than one episode: the odious racists who tried to take over our Martian colonies, the virus that the Klingons gave themselves, Dr. Arik Soong and his repugnant "augments". In the hands of Manny Coto, the Enterprise and its crew really got to soar. Too bad it was definitely the final season, and the revolting Rick Berman even ruined the series finale, swooping in to wrest Coto's job from him to achieve it.
It is clearly hard for me to review any of this without the bitter Berman legacy that has nearly ruined STAR TREK's chances on primetime network TV. When other lesser series are now entering their 11th, 12th and 13th seasons, the heart aches for ENTERPRISE, which had at least a good decade potential had it not been for the enemy, Rick [insert expletive] Berman.
on June 5, 2016
I absolutely LOVED this series, despite a lot of criticism from Trek fans to the contrary. I related to the characters and their individual challenges and dilemmas, but what I really enjoyed was how this crew came together and became family. It was a diverse set of crew members, considering the early development of space travel with warp capability. I really didn't want the series to end. Lots of tears at the end, but appreciation for the effort by producers, directors, other crew and the actors. Thank you!
on July 1, 2012
Manny Coto ran the show for the final season, and did a great job, unfortunately, the studio was dead-set on cancelling the series. The Arik Soong trilogy with Brent Spiner was great, as was the Vulcan trilogy and the Romulan trilogy, both of which foreshadowed the Romulan War. The Klingon two-parter addressed the difference in the their appearance as time went on in an interesting way. The Mirror Universe two-parter was the best of the season with the altered opening credits. The series finale was the low point, however this has been rectified by the novel series. I'm glad that Archer was mentioned in the Star Trek movie reboot. I only wish the prequel movie "Star Trek: The Beginning" written by Erik Jendrensen would have been made. It would have taken place during the Romulan war and had the possibility that the Enterprise cast could have been included.
on March 30, 2016
Enterprise is my favorite of all of the Star Trek series. The last season (4) was more oriented toward action with a fair balance of things to think about. I watched the series when the episodes originally aired in real time. Seeing them some 10 years later did not diminish their appeal. I wanted a season 5. I especially enjoyed the episodes that connected with the future of the the Star Trek world.
on February 25, 2016
Only reason I give it 4 stars is because of the acting and usually the directing usually being good and with good actors. But quite frankly...season 3 sucks. Some major issues:
-A drug using, emotionally unstable Vulcan, really???
-Starfleet attacking innocent people and stranding them in space. Umm, we wouldn't do that now and have laws against it in civilian life, military law (UCMJ) and international law.
-Starfleet shooting first and asking questions later??
-Some real serious plot holes.. I mean gigantic plot holes, to the point it almost feels like they're trying to insult their audience on purpose.
-And yeah that opening song. Who thought a wannabe Rod Stewart song would be a good idea. Seriously?
-All the time travel. Literally at least half of the episodes deal with time travel.
-They have the same or better technology in "Enterprise" then they do in Next Generation.
-Lots and lots of inconsistencies. From plots to technologies.
-Almost all of season 3, and good parts of season 2 and 4, with the whole time traveling/Xindi story arc. Its literally episode after episode in season 3...gets real old real fast.
-A "captain" of an ROTC squad has better judgement then alot of the stuff they wrote for Bakula. Ticks me off cause I like him as an actor. Its like watching all those good actors in that movie "Noah", amazing how bad writting and production can make good actors look bad.
-The persistent message that scientists and science and technology are bad.
Part of what makes good science fiction good is that it has, at the very least, somewhat believable technology and holds true to at least the basic laws of physics. Its almost like they totally reject all things technical and in fact demonize it. Not a real smart thing to do for Star Trek fans or any sci-fi fan. If I wanted that, I would watch Star Wars. I know a lot of the actors dont like the techno-babble as they say, but umm, you know how many Trekkies have schematics and blueprints of the Enterprise ships?? Or have figured out how Warp theory might actually work?? We like the techno-babble... alot of us do the techno-babble in real life. Who did you think your audience was?
The main reason this one is always rated the lowest out of all Star trek's is this: It diverged too much and in too many ways from real Star Trek. Star Trek shouldnt be used as an experimental vehicle for your lame ass ideas.
They try to add in all this action and lots of scantily clad pretty people...its so overt it comes off as an insult. It makes you wonder if the shows producers and writters actually like Star Trek or sci-fi at all.
If you turn the whole Xindi/Time-travvel thing into maybe 4 or 5 episodes instead of half the series, this would have done a whole lot better. And for gods sake get rid of the song, its soo bad, and its your first impression of every episode. First impressions count. I dont care if Berman or Braga take this the wrong way....they got too selfish and forgot who they were making the show for and did not treat the legacy of Star trek with respect.
Star Trek is popular because of Gene Roddenberry's vision, not his employees vision.