- Featurette: Creating Enterprise
- A profile of Scott Bakula: O Captain! My Captain!
- Cast Impressions: Season One
- Inside Shuttlepod One
- Star Trek Time Travel: temporal cold wars and beyond
- Enterprise secrets
- Admiral Forrest takes center stage
- Outtakes and deleted scenes
Star Trek Enterprise - The Complete First Season
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Set in the 22nd century, a hundred years before James T. Kirk helmed the famous starship of the same name, ENTERPRISE takes place in an era when interstellar travel is still in its infancy. Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) has assembled a crew of brave explorers to chart the galaxy on a revolutionary spacecraft: Enterprise NX-01. As the first human beings to venture into deep space, these pioneers will experience the wonder and mystery of the final frontier as they seek out new life and new civilizations.
Under intense scrutiny, the debut season of Enterprise earned a passing grade from critics and Star Trek fans alike. Voyager ended its seven-season run just four months earlier, and fans were skeptical when Enterprise premiered (on Sept. 26, 2001, on UPN) with a theme song ("Where My Heart Will Take Me," composed by Diane Warren and performed by Russell Watson) that defied Trek's revered theme-music tradition. This and other early reservations were dispelled when "Broken Bow" got the series off to a satisfying start, beginning in the year 2151 and establishing a pre-Federation focus on humanity's delicate relationship with the Vulcans, the controversial launch of the NX-01 Enterprise on an exploratory mission, and the potentially devastating consequences of the mysterious Temporal Cold War involving a time-traveling splinter group of the Suliban, a nomadic alien race. While establishing a testy relationship between Enterprise Capt. Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and his smart-and-sexy Vulcan Sub-Commander, T'Pol (Jolene Blalock, in a short-banged wig and form-fitting "catsuit" that were later redesigned), the series introduced engineer "Trip" Tucker (Connor Trineer), whose surprise development in "Unexpected" made him a fan favorite; communications officer Hoshi Sato (Linda Park); helmsman Travis Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery); weapons expert Lt. Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating), and chief surgeon Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley), a well-mannered Denobulan recruit from Earth's Interspecies Medical Exchange. As a "prequel' series that predates the original Star Trek by 150 years, Enterprise built upon established Trek lore with episodes involving Vulcans ("Breaking the Ice"), Klingons ("Sleeping Dogs"), the blue-skinned Andorians ("The Andorian Incident," "Shadows of P'Jem"), and the Ferengi ("Acquisition") while offering stand-alone episodes (notably "Dear Doctor," "Fortunate Son," and "Shuttlepod One") that further acquainted fans with the Enterprise regulars. Early Trek technology is also introduced (including "phase pistols" and the rarely used, still-risky transporter), and the series drew strength from what many felt would be its primary weakness: unwritten history and the initial indecisiveness of Archer's bold foray into the unknown. Ending with a dazzling "Shock Wave" cliffhanger that leaves Archer stranded in a decimated Temporal Cold War future, Enterprise set a strong foundation for the events of season 2.
The bonus features included on the Enterprise: Season One DVDs are almost worth the price of the set, if only to see nearly nine minutes of hilarious outtakes, maintaining a beloved tradition of Star Trek bloopers. The sight (and sound) of Jolene Blalock laughing out of character is pure gold, and it shouldn't surprise anyone that Blalock is just as smart as she is sexy, as proven by her astute observations (along with the rest of the Enterprise cast) in the "Cast Impressions" featurette. It's the usual complimentary fluff included with all Trek sets, but it's obviously sincere, confirming fans' conviction that Enterprise should have lasted beyond four seasons with this close-knit ensemble. Series creators Brannon Braga and Rick Berman deliver a typically dry commentary on "Broken Bow," setting the record straight on debate over the show's "not retro enough" production design (as Braga notes, "you can never please everyone") while defining their concept of "The Right Stuff of Star Trek." As always, Mike Okuda's text commentaries offer a wealth of Trek trivia and detail from Trek's historical canon.
Fans will love the "Enterprise Secrets" revealing low-tech solutions to lighting the warp core and dispensing "replicator" beverages, along with an entertaining profile of Vaughan "Admiral Forrest" Armstrong, who holds the record for Trek guest appearances. The other featurettes are perfunctory, but "Creating Enterprise" provides valuable first-season perspective, and the "Time Travel" feature offers a handy reference for the many time-travel episodes from every Trek series. As usual, Easter eggs (three of them, titled "NX-01 Files") are hidden on the special-features menu, offering short interview clips culled from the primary featurettes. The deleted scenes demonstrate how non-essential material can be sacrificed, and because they don't include post-production sound or visual effects, fans can see and hear the actual soundstage atmosphere of Enterprise's principal photography. --Jeff Shannon
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OK, I'm not trying to review the original series, but the point is, this series does exactly what was lacking from the original series and all subsequent iterations. This show examines the underlying mythos, how this future came to be. You must be familiar with the Next Gen movie First Contact as a starting point. This series builds on that and moves it along. I've not said much about the stoylines, or acting etc. because that has all been said in other reviews, either good or bad, but I believe if you want to understand how we got from First Contact to the Enterprise crew we all.originally knew, this is the place to be. This show reflects our human kind spirit of exploration. The crew of this Enterprise are the Columbus's, the Magellans, Commodore Perry and Roald Amundsen's of their time. They are taking those first steps into the cosmos as reoresentatives of Planet Earth. They are introducing humanity to a plethora of civilizations that have never seen us before. Also, they have given us a look at how we got there. For my interest, it has given me the look at the mythos which confirms and enhances my theories on how this future developed. So if you want to fill in the gap the period is 90 years after First Contact and 100 years pre-Kirk. This look shows that humanity makes it and we do have a chance at a future much better than what is depicted in other futuristic programs.
Anyone who has tried to play Blu-ray on Windows PC's knows it is an expensive and ultimately hopeless hassle thanks to Sony. I buy multi-format so that I can either watch the DVD or get the digital download for High Definition video. In this case, I have to return this set because it is useless to me.
The series seems to have been cast to reflect youth and vitality, echoing the impression the humans of Earth project in the galaxy. Hoshi, Travis, Malcom, and Trip all skew young. There are no wise sages, no grizzled veterans. Even T’Pol is on the young side for a Vulcan officer.
The 90-minute opener – Broken Bow – sets the table and fixes an initial reference frame for viewers who come to the Enterprise series with the “future” of the other Star Trek series firmly in mind. There is no United Federation of Planets, no Prime Directive. New technology in the opening episode includes the Warp 5 engine, the transporter, the phase pistol and targeting scanners. Even the Vulcan advisors are not the calm Vulcans of the future, but are instead still in the process of fully controlling their emotions. In this series Vulcans get mad, tell the occasional lie and harbor grudges over perceived wrongs. The opener introduces a new foe (the Suliban) and a new conflict (the temporal cold war) that set up good storytelling arcs for Season 1.
There is a wry sense of humor in the writing that at times is exceptionally subtle. For example, Earth discovers the Klingon race when a UFO crashes in a farmer’s corn field in Oklahoma. Naturally, the farmer grabs his rifle and opens fire.
Many of the episodes in Season 1 include a small side story about the discovery of technology that was well known by the time of TOS or TNG. The discovery stories are like easter eggs in a video game – a fun extra for the more observant viewer, but not necessary to follow the plot. There is even an interesting twist to the story of the first “red shirt” who has a line and an away team assignment.
Because so much of the Star Trek first contact story is already known, there is less background that needs to be dealt with by the writers in the early episodes. This produces more than the usual number of good episodes in the first season. The best include:
Episode 2 – Fight or Flight - Ship of dead aliens brings story of respect and care for the deceased. Expression of Earth value of family/community. Good tension between T’Pol and Archer as metaphor for Vulcan/Earth cultural disconnect.
Episode 6 – The Andorian Incident - A welcome appearance by Jeffrey Combs (Wayoun from DS9) as Shran the Andorian Commander. Appealing story line that reinforces Capt. Archer’s distrust of the Vulcans – showing them to be not as enlightened and honorable as in later Star Trek series. The incident appears to be setting up inner conflict for T’Pol as well.
Episode 13 – Dear Doctor - The origin story for the Prime Directive. Rich in detail. The “doctor’s letter” plot format has been used in Star Trek franchises before (Voyager) and reaches as far back as MASH episodes in the ‘70s. This one works because the observations and insights are so keen. A subtle criticism of escapist movies, anthropomorphizing pets, etc. but at the same time showing admiration for the depth of empathy and inclination toward charity. Upholding the best of human values. The doctor defends evolution, faces and resolves fundamental issues about medical science’s potential to intervene in the natural order.
Episode 16 – Fusion - thrilling encounter with Vulcan dissidents who challenge Vulcan dogma and question whether Vucan history is being accurately portrayed. This is proof of the intent to build a story arc for Vulcan history alongside Earth history. Three well written and played Vulcan characters. Good B story on family and regrets.
Episode 22 – Fallen Hero – A strong story about how diplomacy can be effective to build relationships between planets (nations). Ostensibly a story about investigating corruption in a foreign society, the story is really about T’Pol, Archer and a Vulcan Ambassador learning to trust each other. Sometimes a feeling is more real when someone has the courage to say it out loud.
There are a few clunkers too. Episodes that are either too derivative of prior series (Shuttlepod 1, Rogue Planet, Oasis, Vox Sola) or just not enough to sustain interest (Terra Nova, Breaking the Ice, Two Days and Two Nights)
Star Trek Enterprise is every bit as good as the other series in the Star Trek franchise. Don’t let the lack of initial commercial success fool you.