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4.0 out of 5 stars TO BOLDLY GO... Enterprise, the first Star Trek broadcast in HD, July 12, 2009
This review is from: Star Trek: Enterprise - Season One [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
It is the mid 22nd Century: over a hundred years before Kirk and Spock. The crew of Earth's latest breakthrough Warp 5 starship; led by Captain Jonathan Archer, are making their first steps into the galaxy. Firmly believing humankind has been held back for too long by Vulcan interference, Archer is eager to embark on Enterprise's mission of deep space exploration. Survival proves perilous the farther from home they travel. Outmatched by superior aliens equipped with far more powerful weaponary, this first crew face a steep learning curve. Among their challenges will come Klingon aggression, militaristic Andorians and the Suliban; a race receiving aid from the future.

Those whose discovered Star Trek through JJ Abrams' 2009 movie and are currently awaiting the 2013 sequel - Star Trek Into Darkness, will probably appreciate Enterprise's uncomplicated "stripped back" technology style the most. It pitches all the familiar trek-nology seen in the other Star Trek TV series and films at a less advanced stage, trying for something less routine and far-future fantastical. Much of the crew are too scared to use the transporter, a device mostly called upon to beam equipment and supplies around. Instead space suits are regularly seen, together with having to step through complicated airlocks and time spent in decompression and decontamination. Phase pistols are the defensive side arm of choice. Although with projected energy weapons having only recently replaced pulse, blaster-style ones, they're still as Starfleet experimental as the Enterprise NX-01 starship itself. Instead of invisible shields that encompass whole starships like a bubble, protection from alien attack comes down to polarising the hull plating. Instead of tractor beams, capturing another ship requires a grappler deployed from bomb bay doors on the underside, through which small shuttlepods are regularly launched. When you're at a disadvantage, you have nothing but your wits to rely on and this show was about as far from the 24th Century's technobabble saves the day approach as it was possible for Trek to realistically get.

One of the aspects that sets Enterprise apart from Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager, is the more down-to-earth characterisation of its crew and often a "first time" naivety when faced with a perilous universe. They're imperfect and largely unprepared for a galaxy full of alien lifeforms, extraordinary circumstances, stumbling and making misteps along the way - often with best of intentions. Captain Archer, interested me from the outset (being a fan of Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap) his Captain out there alone with no support, no rulebook or role models to learn from their mistakes. He's a man with a strong prejudice about the Vulcans. While that and some questionable decisions often bring him dangerously close to unlikeable, we get plenty of examples throughout the series that Star Trek's most famous pointy-eared race also still have someway to go, in order to evolve into the likeable kind typified by Spock and Tuvok. Better aspects to Archer's personality are brought out by Shran, a blue-skinned Andorian who appears semi-regularly throughout the 4 years and twice during Season One. Both are deeply skeptical of the Vulcans and yet altogether, they will ultimately end up forging an interstellar alliance known as the Federation.

Other notable crew members include Trip, a likable Southern Engineer who's long friendship with his Captain, somehow manages to survive his occasional bouts of insubordination. T'Pol, initially an observer from a Vulcan government concerned about the impact of humankind's deep exploration, serves as the Enterprise's Vulcan Science Officer and gradually grows more accustomed to an almost entirely human crew and their different perspective. Also helpful is the ship's eternally optimistic alien Doctor, Phlox. He's a Denobulan, who often treats the crew with some very unusual medicine including the leech-like, osmotic eel! In charge of defending the ship, is an explosives obsessed, British armoury officer named Malcolm Reed. Hoshi Sato deftly handles alien languages, in her role as the ship's Communications Officer. Finally space boomer Travis Mayweather is the navigator, one of few humans born in space to a family who run a cargo ship.

Like the Original Series in the 1960s, Enterprise came to a premature end when it was cancelled in 2005 after only 4 seasons. Unlike previous series The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager, this show wasn't widely syndicated beyond the now defunct network TV station, UPN. A revealing brand-new 3 part retrospective documentary promises to delve deep into Enterprise's misfortunes. What it was like making Star Trek after a decade and a half uninterrupted run... and how the show wasn't entirely the prequel its producers wanted to make. How they had to deal with Network Executives for the first time, who hampered creative decisions with what they required a Star Trek series to include. Even given those flaws, I ultimately enjoyed much of this show while it lasted... particularly Season 4. I still believe there is unfulfilled potential left in Enterprise and it holds a unique place - as a prequel to both the old franchise and JJ Abrams' motion pictures. After many years without brand new Star Trek adventures beaming across our television screens (where it belongs)... there's perhaps no better time to reappraise this in High Definition. See both where it all began and ironically, how it all ended. Judge for yourself.

-------------

Episodes ratings: * poor, ** average, *** good, **** excellent, ***** classic

DISC ONE:
1 & 2. BROKEN BOW ***** Feature-Length Premiere
3. FIGHT OR FLIGHT ****
4. STRANGE NEW WORLD ***
Audio Commentary with co-creator/executive producer Brannon Braga, director James L. Conway, visual effects producer Dan Curry and cast members Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) and Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) on Broken Bow -- NEW!
Audio Commentary with Brannon Braga and Rick Berman on Broken Bow
Text Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda on Broken Bow
Deleted Scenes from Broken Bow (SD)
Deleted Scenes from Fight or Flight (SD)
In Conversation: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga--NEW! (HD)
Archival Mission Log: Creating Enterprise (SD)
Archival Mission Log: O Captain! My Captain! A Profile of Scott Bakula (SD)
Archival Mission Log: NX-01 File 02 (SD)
Cast Introduction -- NEW (SD)
Network Presentation -- NEW (SD)
Syndication Presentation -- NEW (SD)

DISC TWO:
5. UNEXPECTED **
6. TERRA NOVA ***
7. THE ANDORIAN INCIDENT *****
8. BREAKING THE ICE ****
9. CIVILIZATION ****
Deleted Scene from Unexpected (SD)
Text Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda on The Andorian Incident
Archival Mission Log: Cast Impressions: Season 1 (SD)
Archival Mission Log: Enterprise Secrets (SD)

DISC THREE:
10. FORTUNATE SON ****
11. COLD FRONT ***
12. SILENT ENEMY ****
13. DEAR DOCTOR ****
14. SLEEPING DOGS ***
Audio commentary with writer/story editor André Bormanis and visual effects producer Dan Curry on Silent Enemy -- NEW!
Deleted Scene from Sleeping Dogs (SD)
Archival Mission Log: Star Trek Time Travel: Temporal Cold Wars and Beyond (SD)
Archival Mission Log: Admiral Forrest Takes Center Stage (SD)

DISC FOUR:
15. SHADOWS OF P'JEM ****
16. SHUTTLEPOD ONE ****
17. FUSION ***
18. ROGUE PLANET **
19. ACQUISTION **
Audio Commentary with writers/executive story editors Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong on Shadows of P'Jem -- NEW!
Audio Commentary with co-creator/executive producer Brannon Braga, director David Livingston and cast members Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) and Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) on Shuttlepod One -- NEW!
Deleted Scene from Shuttlepod One (SD)
Archival Mission Log: Inside Shuttlepod One (SD)
Archival Mission Log: NX-01 File 01 (SD)
Archival Mission Log: NX-01 File 03 (SD)

DISC FIVE:
20. OASIS ***
21. DETAINED ****
22. VOX SOLA **
23. FALLEN HERO ****
24. DESERT CROSSING **
Deleted Scenes from Oasis (SD)
Deleted Scenes from Fallen Hero (SD)
Text Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda on Vox Sola
Archival Mission Log: Enterprise Outtakes (SD)
Enterprise: ON THE SET -- NEW (SD)

DISC SIX:
25. TWO DAYS AND TWO NIGHTS *
26. SHOCKWAVE ****
Deleted Scene from Two Days and Two Nights (SD)
Deleted Scenes from Shockwave, Part 1 (SD)
Documentary: TO BOLDLY GO: Launching Enterprise -- NEW! (HD)
Part 1: Countdown
Part 2: Boarding the NX-01
Part 3: First Flight
Archival Mission Log: Celebrating Star Trek (SD)
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 3, 2009 2:19:51 PM PDT
Enterprise was a great series, it was just aired at the wrong place, wrong time. I mean, during the past couple of decades the Star Trek series that were out were all based in the 24th Century, and all were sequels off of each other, TNG spun off into DS9, which spun off into Voyager. Nobody was expecting a prequel to air so close to the last air dates of something like that. If I were CBS/Paramount, I would've started to hint at a prequel to TOS just shortly after the time a TOS reboot like the one we just had was released. It would've made far more sense to bring Enterprise to television revolving around now, as opposed to bringing it when everyone was saturated with all the post-TNG stuff. On top of that, it should've aired on a more major network like CBS. UPN, I'm sorry to say, even tho it was a fine network, it just couldn't compete with the "big four." It wasn't that the ratings were bad specifically for Enterprise, it was just that the UPN network in general was overlooked by the casual television viewer.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010 7:16:26 PM PST
perogi says:
I loved this series more than any other (DS9 a close second). Flawed, arrogant humans with the best intentions were the key. I was looking forward to their war with the Romulans, an enemy that hasn't been sufficiently explored in my opinion.

I agree that the UPN network was part of the demise of this series (which never was able to live up to its potential due to it being cut so quickly). I also think that the absolutely HORRIBLE theme song killed them. The first few times I started to watch the series and that horrible song came on, I quickly changed the channel, wondering what happened to my beloved Trek...

Posted on Mar 11, 2013 3:27:56 AM PDT
William says:
Thanks for the list of special features. Really helpful.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2013 3:35:44 AM PDT
William says:
I couldn't agree more! Enterprise wasn't killed off because the show was bad, Enterprise died because the UPN network went belly-up. I was so hoping another network would pick the show up. I am sure it could have lasted another 3-4 seasons.

I felt in many ways, Enterprise was superior to the other series. Yeah, many people argue that it breaks Cannon, because there wasn't a ship named Enterprise before 1701, but I find that a weak argument against the whole series. I felt that, out of all the Star Trek series, Enterprise felt the most realistic. I think it was mainly because of the technology used and the layout of the ship - it just felt very believable. Having to deploy subspace communication satelites, taking the shuttle everywhere because they are scared of the transporter, the size of the crew's quarters, the grapling hook, the hull plating as opposed to energy sheilds, the look of the uniforms, having a linguist on board, using plants and animals for medicinal purposes, actually having a cheif onboard - these were all things that made the show feel very real to me.

Plus, I just really like Scott Bakula!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2013 1:01:05 PM PDT
Chet Fakir says:
Absolutely agree on the theme song. I watched the pilot episode and never watched again, couldn't get past that awful song. I've since gone back and while the show isn't awful, it doesn't get above two stars from me.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2014 11:26:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 25, 2014 11:31:28 AM PDT
Cosmos says:
100% Agreed to William above! Lets all hope these shows pick up popularity someday and there are some movies or reboot or continuation of some sort! With the other comments: Only thing is I wish everyone would quit whining about the theme song, i mean, granted i didn't like it that much at first either, but actually if you think about it, it gives Enterprise that "older feel" or "original feel" like they are in the 21st or 22nd Century where Orchestra music still exists but THIS theme song is more rough sounding, giving the intro that rough feeling which describes the show more accurately than orchestra music which is much smoother and the later Star Treks have smoother technology and ships, hence smoother intro music. This is what i think the writers and developers were trying to get at...trying to get that feeling that goes with the show and i think as much as a shock it was to people, the writers and developers did a great job at portraying that primitive technological stage in space, music and all!

Posted on Jun 14, 2014 10:30:31 AM PDT
I like the song, and the opening celebrating the history of flight.

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 3:40:50 PM PDT
nythawk says:
That was the longest comment I've ever seen on Amazon. You could have made it into a book. Just kidding Christopher. That was one of the best comment/reviews of Enterprise I have ever read and it was spot on. I wish it had stayed on at least 3 more years. They probably would have continued it with the Federation Romulan war. They wouldn't have had to have a battle seen every episode but at least 2 times a month. The action was getting good the last 2 years and I have no doubt the ratings would have improved. I would like to have seen Gary Seven(TOS episode Assignment Earth) or Daniels be involved with an episode about how Khan escaped Earth. There was a story online I read that told how Gary Seven helped Khan escape in the Botany Bay and how the ship was built from alien tech that had crashed on Earth. Actually it should have been told by Daniels when Enterprise was chasing the Augments. Wishful thinking from a fan. Live Long and Prosper

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2014 3:48:50 PM PDT
nythawk says:
They should make a series about the 29th or 30th century when Capt. Braxton(they probably would have to have a new Capt. Braxton) was around. They could have gotten a lot of series stars to be in it. Seven of Nine(her older looks could be explained in the show that the 24th century docs removed all her Borg implants and she aged at a normal rate), Admiral Janeway, Capt. Archer, T-Pol,and Daniels from Enterprise.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2014 3:49:56 PM PDT
nythawk says:
I liked the visuals and the song after they speeded it up.
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