151 of 163 people found the following review helpful
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.
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
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.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
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.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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
31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
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.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2007
When "Enterprise" (they left the words "Star Trek" out of the title when the series premiered) hit the airwaves, I wanted to like it. I really did. I had been a fan of "Star Trek" ever since the mid '70s when I was a kid and started watching the original series in syndication. "The Next Generation" (at least for the middle of its seven year run) was good, and "Deep Space 9" was good toward the end (even if it took ripping off an ongoing interstellar war concept from "Babylon 5" to get it there). But the franchise really started to go south with "Voyager", and there were two big reasons for this: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.
"Voyager" had real problems, and most of them could be traced back to Berman and Braga, who were who were finally responsible for the writing and the whole direction of the show. When I first heard they were going to helm a new series, and set it in the pre-Kirk era, I was worried. Those worries grew worse when I read that neither of them cared for the original series. Not only were they likely to make some of the same mistakes they made with "Voyager", but on top of that, they had no affection for the original show, and were likely to crap all over its continuity. Sure enough, they did exactly that. Consequently, it came as no surprise that the series' ratings sank lower and lower each season.
Then, perhaps at the insistence of someone inside Paramount Studios, perhaps not, Berman and Braga stepped aside and turned creative control of the series over to Manny Coto, and what a world of difference it made. Not only was Coto a far better writer (as were the assistant writers he hired), but he _did_ like and respect the original series. Not only was the quality of the stories improved dramatically, effort was being made to link the show in with the original series' continuity, instead of disregarding it. The improvement in continuity made the show a lot more enjoyable to long-time "Star Trek" fans, and the improvement in the quality of the episodes made the show a lot more enjoyable all around.
It really is a pity the show couldn't have begun with Coto in creative control from the outset. It might still be on the air. It would almost certainly have been able to run out seven seasons the way all the three other sequel series did. At the very least, we would have had more than one season of good episodes.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2006
I watched all four seasons in a marathon run, over the course of about two weeks; and while much of it was entertaining, it left me a bit cold. Particularly the series finale and over-arching segue into the Star Treks "to follow" (as everyone knows, this series chronicles the years leading up to the original Star Trek series).
The fourth season acts as a primer for what is to come, by providing the back story for many of the episodes in the original series. In so doing, it sort of failed the series Enterprise, by divesting itself of the character arcs that it had built over the previous three seasons, and focusing on the "future" of the franchise.
As for the finale, one reviewer here hit on a real problem: Commander Tucker's death was terribly contrived. While it is commendable that the series producers were willing to kill off one of the series' core characters, the manner in which they did it was a stretch. Tucker effectively commits suicide when, after a minor and easily resolved skirmish with an intergalactic group of petty thugs, he kills the group and himself to "protect" the captain. Considering the number of times the crew encountered far more serious threats to themselves and the ship (and humanity itself!) and managed to extricate themselves without resorting to such drastic measures, his actions were illogical in the extreme. Furthermore, the abrupt insertion of Riker and the TNG crew into the finale rankled me, as it did many viewers. It just seemed to cheapen the series (Enterprise, that is) by having it told to us through the eyes of Riker and Troi.
Nevertheless, the last season of the Star Trek franchise (for now, one must assume) did have its share of good story lines and resolution. No selfr-respecting fan of the series can justify not watching it, and, as such, it is recommended.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2009
It is the mid 22nd Century: over a hundred years before Kirk and Spock. The crew of Earth's first Warp 5 starship led by Captain Jonathan Archer, continue to make history with every light year. Back home many believe Starfleet are partly responsible for drawing dangerously unwanted attention to Humanity. Last season, a lethal probe sent by the Xindi killed 7 million in an unprovoked attack. Having prevented the Xindi superweapon destroying Earth, this first crew now try to resume their mission of exploration... but for some scars the remain raw. Season Four continues to build on Enterprise's less advanced setting, with frequent use of space suits and decompression airlocks in order to get anywhere, a grappler instead of a tractor beam and polarised hull-plating, rather than shields. Those coming straight from JJ Abrams' 2009 movie will probably appreciate this show's uncomplicated style and "down-to-earth" characters the most. The rest of us get to have fun spotting familiar elements from past series, especially by the fourth season - as we visit the Mirror Universe, encounter green skinned Orions, while the Vulcans gradually come to respect their illogical allies and together make the first steps toward uniting warring aliens and form the Federation.
Out of all the Star Trek series, I generally keep returning to Enterprise for more. I'd like to think that's down to something deeper than having seen the others far too often.
I love the characters, while being the less than moral humans Gene Roddenberry would've created, they do in fact hold true to his ideals - that of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Archer, interested me from the outset (being familar with Scott Bakula's other work) his Captain out there alone with no support, no rulebook or role models to learn from their mistakes. His 'quid pro quo' relationship with Shran (a blue-skinned Andorian) with whom he forms a bond, both skeptical of the Vulcans' agenda and yet building bridges which will ultimately lead to the creation of an interstellar alliance, known as the Federation. Trip, likeable Southern Engineer who's deep friendship with his Captain, manages to survive his occassional bouts of insubordination. T'Pol, initially an observer from a Vulcan government concerned about the impact of humankind on the galaxy. Growing more accustomed to the crew and their perspective. Her relationship with Trip, which manages to rise above its somewhat exploitive origins and her struggle to maintain control over her emotions. At this point, I should also make it clear I loved what Enterprise did with the Vulcans and how they are every bit the race seen all the way back to the Original Series. I could continue to outline traits of the various other regulars, who are anything but cyphers in my opinion. Under developed in comparision to the big three for sure but I feel that was changing... even Travis Mayweather got in on the action by the end.
I love the technology... phase pistols and EM rifles, airlocks and shuttlepods deployed from bomb bay doors underneath. When you're at a disadvantage, you have nothing but your wits to rely on and this show was about as far from Voyager's technobabble saves the day approach as it was possible for Trek to get, while staying futuristic.
I still believe this is the show with the most potential left unexplored. 2 reasonably good seasons, 2 excellent ones which kept me watching and yet still barely scratched the surface. Had I been in charge of CBS/Paramount in 2005, I certainly would not have cancelled this... not considering how well the stories were coming along in leaps and bounds. I hope they're looking at the popularity of Star Trek in cinemas at the moment, and think back to that day fans held a rally outside the studio, sent emails and letters... all protesting the loss of a show that had finally turned the tide against fan apathy, only to be unjustly rewarded with the axe. Shame on the Executive who made that decision.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2005
Just when Season 3 showed you what a great show Enterprise could be, Season 4 comes along and delivers beyond your wildest dreams. The genius of Manny Coto, Judy & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Mike Sussman, Andre Bormanis and the other writing staff (notice the absence of Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, until the very underwhelming series finale) produced without a doubt the best season of this show - and some of the most fascinating episodes of the entire Star Trek franchise (and I've seen every single episode of every single series, so I know what I'm talking about).
The three-part Eugenics Wars arc features a nice guest appearance by Brent Spiner; the three-part Vulcan arc explains beautifully why Enterprise-era Vulcans are so different from later Vulcans, and features the reknowned TOS character T'Pau; the three-part Andorian/Tellarite/Romulan arc shows the true beginnings of the Federation (along with some pretty cool Remans, proving that they existed before Nemesis!); the two-part Klingon arc FINALLY explains the forehead-ridge mystery; the two-part mirror universe arc is just pure, pure fun; and the heart-wrenching penultimate two-parter shows the valiant Enteprise crew overcoming perhaps their worst enemy of all: human prejudice.
Of course, this show being their brain-child, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga felt they had to come in and write the single-episode series "finale." Not only is "These Are The Voyages..." a very, very premature series "finale" (but that's not Berman and Braga's fault; it's the fault of Les Moonves, who could have easily moved Enterprise to cable but decided not to because the show would have done very well on cable, thus embarrassing him and his pet wanna-be network UPN), but its use of Riker and Troi to tell a story about the Enterprise crew is just demeaning to the cast of this show. Apparently Berman and Braga didn't think the Enterprise cast could pull off a story of their own. And while it's nice to see Riker and Troi again, they don't exactly fit easily into their roles of 11 years ago. Instead of setting the story during the seventh-season TNG episode "The Pegasus," if Berman and Braga absolutely had to bring back Riker and Troi, they should have set the story in the future, post-Nemesis, aboard the U.S.S. Titan. Of course, the other insulting aspect of this "finale" was the needless death of a major character. All in all, a very underwhelming ending to an otherwise SUPERB season and series!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2006
Simply the best story development of any ST series, Enterprise began with all the naivete of a people first going where no-one had gone before, and learning how unforgiving the universe really is. By the fourth series, they are somewhat hardened veterans. With the benefits of modern CGI and other effects, and without the charisma of key players, this series will remain my favourite.