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4.0 out of 5 stars ST-Enterprise It's Four Year Mission....., February 11, 2007
This review is from: Star Trek: Enterprise: The Complete Series (DVD)
On September of 2001, the UPN network and Star Trek producer Rick Berman with writer/producer Brannon Braga introduced viewers to Enterprise (later renamed Star Trek Enterprise in season three).

This fifth live action series from the franchise took place a century before James T. Kirk's five year voyage of the original series. This series follows the pioneering voyage of the first warp five ships in the early days of Starfleet, before the formation of the United Federation of Planets.

The crew of the NX-01 led by Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Barkla), consisted of the Vulcan liaison/first officer Typo (Jolene Blalock), Chief Engineer Charles "Trip" Tucker III (The great Connor Trennier), British armory officer Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating),Communication Officer/ linguist Hoshi Sato (Linda Park), Helmsman Travis Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery), and Denoblian Chief Medical Officer Phlox (John Billingsly).

The show had the distinction of being the series that ruined an almost forty year old franchise. But in the end its only crime was bad timing, the creator's total disregard to continuity, as well as wasting time putting around the galaxy, and focusing on the confusing Temporal Cold War while fans wanted to see the early days of Starfleet leading up to the founding of the United Federation of Planets. At first the series was sampled by Trekkers curious about the beginnings of the Federation, which wasn't addressed until the fourth and final season. Viewership dwindled by its racy tone, disregard of continuity, the fact that NX-01 looked technologically advanced to Kirk's NCC-1701,the unnecessary "Temporal Cold War" and it's theme song which was a AOR pop song(!!!!).The stories felt perfunctory as to appeal to a larger audience, which was the previous Star Trek Voyager's biggest flaw.

Aside from the shows fallibilities, the first season boasted great episodes in Broken Bow (the series pilot), The Andorian Incident, Breaking the Ice, Cold Front, Dear Doctor, Shuttlepod One, and Shockwave (the season finale cliffhanger).

By the time of the second season, it was pretty obvious that Enterprise was a disappointment to viewers who felt the show direction was weak as well as "Franchise Trek" becoming stale (indicated by 2002's Star Trek Nemesis's poor box office performance). After the follow-up to the excellent first season finale (Shockwave pt II),the season consisted of weak episodes(Precious Cargo, Canamar,The Crossing, Horizon, and the terrible A Night in Sickbay),among some of its finest(Carbon Creek, Minefield, Stigma, Future Tense,Judgment,Cogenitor, Regeneration, and the best Enterprise episodes ever, Dead Stop ).Fans who first tuned in to see how the steps were taken for the UFP to be formed(which would be touched upon during the last episodes of the fourth and final season) had to contend with two seasons worth of "Boldly Going Nowhere.

Sensing a change in direction was needed, the show took on a different course as Enterprise respond to an attack on earth ("The Expanse", an allusions to 9-11), and try to stop the Xindi race from developing a weapon of mass destruction. This story arc continued into the third season, as Archer's new mission of stopping the Xindi from destroying Earth with a superweapon.Albiet,there were some weak semi stand alone episodes (Extinction, North Star, Carpenter St.,and E2),among classic episodes which ranks with some of the franchises best(Impulse,Twilight,Azati Prime/Damage, The Counsel/Countdown/Zero Time).Staff member Manny Coto was responsible for new direction which made for the most exciting season of the entire four year run.

Unfortunately the exciting new direction couldn't produce ratings and was barely renewed after a fan based letter writing campaign, echoing the classic series fan fueled renewal.

The fourth season of Star Trek Enterprise was the season that most Trekkers have been waiting for, with homage to the original series (Mirror Universe, The Eugenics Wars, Orion slave women, T'Pau), as well as rectifying continuity 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".

Sensing that the show wasn't going to see a fifth season, Executive producer Berman handed the reins to Coto, who set about in correcting the many elements in Trek history that have been disregarded, which driven 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 reviewing the NX-01's final mission before the charter signing of the UFP.Instead of giving the NX-01 crew a dignified send off,they were used as supporting characters in a glorified "Next Generation" episode.

Unfortunately, Enterprise would be a troubled production whereas the declining interest of Trek, flawed stories of the earlier seasons, and bad ratings would lead to its cancellation. 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, despite its weak finale.

Top five episodes

1.Dead Stop (season two)

2.Impulse (Season Three)

3.Dear Doctor (Season one)

4.Cogenetor (Season Two)

5.Damage (Season Three)
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 30, 2007 4:49:47 PM PST
All I know is that I loved all 4 seasons and wish it was still on the air.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2008 10:10:43 PM PST
Homer Martin says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 8:15:09 AM PST
Paul Adams says:
Dean: Learn how to spell and, while you're at it, learn how to open your mind a bit, please.

What's not to like about Enterprise besides the opening theme song? We learn about how the Vulcans emerge from their aversion to mind-melds and about that culture's internal rift which formed the basis for our fascination with Spock and Vulcans generally, we learn why the Klingons look different in TOS than in the later series and how that was "handled" by the Klingons, we learn about how Earth first dealt with becoming a part of a vast galaxy populated with both enemies and friends and how it struggles to rise up from the tutelage of the Vulcans and eventually assert its own vision for the future, we learn about the origins of Dr. Soong in the aftermath of the Eugenics Wars and how he turns away from genetic enhancement, or mutation, to focus on the creation of artificial intelligence and positronics, we are exposed to some of the first "experiments" in interspecies mating and intimate relationships, and we learn how the UFP is formed.

I'd call all that pretty fascinating.

Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2009 7:39:05 AM PST
I basically agree with the original poster.

Posted on May 4, 2009 8:20:51 PM PDT
J. Williams says:
Your post is spot on, summed up how the series was perceived by the general trek community perfectly. I especially agree with your assessment of the final episode. It wasn't only a series finale, it was also a franchise finale in a way. And I'm extremely disappointed with how Braga and Berman ended the franchise. Although evidence by the current Star Trek movie, it's very clear the franchise doesn't end just because B&B say it does, I hope it helps bring about a revival of sorts.

Posted on May 28, 2009 3:22:39 PM PDT
yes...yes exactly! Finally someone put what exactly what I was thinking into words....every word you said I wholeheartedly agree with. I really wished the show had focused more on being a true prequel than on this silly "temporal cold war" tale. Well said!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2009 2:50:46 AM PDT
E. J. Totty says:
You and me both!
.
All things considered, it is my opinion that the both the cast and the show were the best of the lot, if only that it came closer to what space travel will likely be like.
.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2009 3:06:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2009 3:07:26 AM PDT
E. J. Totty says:
I dunno, Mario.
.
As I consider everything, the 'temporal cold war' was a push into a new realm of thought which had only been tinkered with in the most ephemeral sense.
.
I rather enjoyed both the acting and the plot.
.
Now, I will say this: There's a disconnect between the STE and the first TOS inasmuch that nothing of the matter is mentioned in TOS.
.
All of this just makes me wish for a return of STE and the original characters.
.
Not gonna happen, I know.
.
But I may wish ...

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 1:48:46 PM PDT
C. Palmer says:
I am truly a believer that machines are controlling our world. Let me explain... Star trek Enterprise was put on a network that was not carried by all cable suppliers. I only was able to see 2 episodes during the original airings. When the scifi channel picked up on the reruns it became a must see program at my house. Sad that this was to late for the program. I enjoyed the character developments in every episode. Archer, to me, made a more believable captain then Picard. I was hoping to find out more of Malcolms past, see Hoshis future and hang on for Trip and T'Pols subtle romance. Archer was allowed to have his best friend ( a beagle who does not receive recognition) travel with him in his small room but the future captains evidently did not have room with there palacios suits on board there ships. They would allow a Klingon but not a dog? Were there rules against pets, maybe law suits after the treble incident? The transporter was not perfected yet. Food was cooked not replicated. Volcans had feelings which might explain why Spocks father married a Human. I found it to be more believable then next generations Q.
I Think the network was the Grim Reaper that caused Enterprises death not the fan base.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2013 5:56:29 PM PDT
J. Wentz says:
It was a good series, season 4 was killer! Too bad season 4 wasn't season 3. Season 3 killed the series. If they ever make another Star Trek, I hope they start with the Enterprise J. That's the ship the temporal agent took Archer to in the 3rd season.
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