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Old September 9 2013, 05:08 PM   #76
Praetor
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Captain Kathryn wrote: View Post
... and Phlox (for some reason? I don't recall them explaining).
I did wonder about Phlox, I know the Enterprise left Earth earlier than scheduled, but who was supposed to be the ship's doctor? They wanted Phlox along to care for the Klingon, but why was the "original" doctor simply dropped from the crew roster? It doesn't seem like the kind of move Archer would have agreed to.

There actually is a lot about the show they got right, I liked the way they expanded on the Vulcans and the Andorians. While I disliked the TCW as many do, the Sulban were interesting and so were the Xindi.

The "photonic" torpedoes really should have been missiles with small nukes.

I've wondered the same about Phlox, and generally agree with your other comments. I am one who didn't mind the "asshole" Vulcans, especially after the Kir'shara arc explained it. Rushed it, but explained it. And indeed, the Suliban weren't bad. I assumed they would become allies of the Romulans later on.

Part of my problem with ENT was in the places it was able to do things differently than the other series, by virtue of being a prequel, it didn't. The photonic torpedoes are a prime example. Turns out of you add "-ic" to anything, it makes it more primitive. Somehow.

I've always thought it would be interesting, as opposed to later series, if the missiles were the main weapon, and the energy weapons were primarily used as a means of intercepting them, as well as larger space debris. Later, as energy weapons became more advanced, they supplanted projectiles as the primary weapon. Then, you could also ditch hull-plating/shields, and make it so if the ship is damaged, she's really damaged.
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Old September 9 2013, 11:11 PM   #77
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

Praetor wrote: View Post
Part of my problem with ENT was in the places it was able to do things differently than the other series, by virtue of being a prequel, it didn't. The photonic torpedoes are a prime example. Turns out of you add "-ic" to anything, it makes it more primitive. Somehow.

I've always thought it would be interesting, as opposed to later series, if the missiles were the main weapon, and the energy weapons were primarily used as a means of intercepting them, as well as larger space debris. Later, as energy weapons became more advanced, they supplanted projectiles as the primary weapon. Then, you could also ditch hull-plating/shields, and make it so if the ship is damaged, she's really damaged.
Thank UPN for demanding that. They didn't want it to be a true prequel or too different from the other Trek shows, so that's how we got off-brand versions of familiar Trek tech.
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Old September 9 2013, 11:14 PM   #78
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

Oh, absolutely. I remember being quite vitriolic towards "the Beebs" until I figured out what exactly was going on. In the end, they were trying to make a product for consumption and had to listen to their bosses just like anyone else.

To paraphrase Agent Kay, "A person is smart. People are stupid."
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Old September 10 2013, 11:01 PM   #79
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

Frontier wrote: View Post
I'm not a big Enterprise fan, but I'm also not a hater. Actually re-watching it right now via my DVDs. It's my only good condition DVD set since it's not well worn, but I still own them! So brownie points for that.

The other day though, I did develop a theory as to one perhaps subtle or subconscious reason so many fans turned away from the show?

What if it's all the subtle alterations to Trek lore?

What do I mean? Well, think about it. Shuttle pod instead of shuttle craft. No red alert / tactical alert instead. No photon torpedoes / eventually photonic torpedoes. Enterprise instead of the Enterprise. Phase pistols instead of phasers.

All those subtle little things designed to show the evolution of them, the predecessor to what we knew, intended to show the earlier stage of things... could those minor trivial details have been a key to putting some people off?

To some it could have been a sort of OCD thing. To others, an annoying nit-picky issue. others still totally unaware it was effecting them negatively. Some may even have felt as if B&B where trying to re-create Trek in their own image or something.

I dunno. It's a bit of a trivial/silly theory, and it's certainly well moot at this juncture, but I thought it an interesting proposition.
To be honest, I dont think any of that mattered or contributed in any major way to the cancellation of Enterprise.

It is simply: Seasons 1 & 2 were very poor. They were cliche, they recycled plots from VOY & TNG, everything had to involve either violence or sex to 'spice up' Star Trek....and it just didn't work.

Season 3 & 4 experienced a radical shift but it was already too late. A now great show was consigned to death because a large swathe of the fanbase had abandoned ENT due to those 2 dismal seasons.

Naturally, some will cry foul and say TNG/DS9/VOY had weak opening seasons but: I dont think they were AS weak and they were from a different time period.
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Old September 11 2013, 03:02 PM   #80
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

A lot of good accounts of the series here. From what I remember reading on here at the time, the main reason was people expected to see the series progress towards the forming of the Federation. Seasons 1-2 felt like generic exploration. While the Andorians appeared early (people seemed most happy with the Andorians' development in the series, even in Seasons 1-2), the series seemed to lack focus and wasn't showing enough classic races. Episodes felt like, with a few script changes, they could've been TNG or VOY episodes. I think there were far too many unknown races being encountered in close space, making people feel this was several hundreds of ly away from Earth, not within 100, 200, etc ly of Earth. Add in to that scripts many felt were bland or were patronizing (Ferengi doing the Rumplestiltskin routine) or were ripoffs ("Oasis", "Doctor's Orders" are the biggest offenders). I think, even with the lack of creativity with the technology or looking more high tech than TOS ever did, would have been overlooked by these people if they felt Seasons 1-2 had a direction and could see steps being taken towards the founding of the Federation. There were too few of these episodes. Also, if B&B had openly addressed the Klingon & Vulcan matter, saying it was part of the plot and people would see them take their classic forms over the series, I think enough people would have given them some leeway.

A secondary reason is the Temporal Cold War. People seemed intrigued by it, supported it, but that all changed in Season 2. People seemed to realize B&B were making it up on the fly and didn't have anything plotted out for it. I think that's where X-Files influences things. X-Files ran from 1993-2002, they had their movie in 1998, killed the Syndicate in 1999, and eventually launched a new mytharc in 2000 (a far lamer one with supersoldiers). X-Files and its mytharc had many fans until people realized these weren't all pieces in the same puzzle they were shown, they were random and there would be no payoff for carefully following the whole story. Carter & Spotnitz were making things up as they went along and weren't keeping track of the elements they were introducing. By the time ENT premiered, X-Files' 'genius' of ongoing story arcs was exposed, the curtain was pulled back. I think people didn't want that again. Not sure how many Enterprise viewers watched X-Files, but X-Files was hugely popular for a fair chunk of its run and was a breakout hit for 1990s Fox.


-----
Ok, my take:

I watched its original run. It was acceptable even though I lacked the enthusiasm for seeing new episodes as I did for TNG, DS9, VOY (except for the Xindi arc). There was a stretch in Season 2 which was the only time I ever tuned out of Star Trek after returning to DS9 (hey, I was a kid then and Season 1 was soooo boring). I saw every new episode for years (except fell asleep during 1 Voyager episode and had to mute part of "Ferengi Love Songs"). Upon revisiting some of the series' episodes just in the past year, I felt ENT held up the least of all the series. DS9 was perhaps the most fresh because in some aspects it was ahead of its time in storytelling, subjects, but TNG and VOY didn't look dated and aged to me and TOS, while parts looked very 60s (it can never get away from that), the stories and everything still seemed to hold up. ENT just came off as very bland, even the characters and despite being the newest series, meaning it should have held up the most in time, it just came off as bland, forgettable, dated. I realized I was only watching it just because it was new Trek when no other Trek was on, not for intrinsically liking it. Watching it next to TOS episodes gives a sense of what it should have been. The uniforms were good though (invoked astronauts, flight suits more than later uniforms) and some of the attitude was (these were pioneers, the only ones out there. TOS had to recruit a lot of people to fill Starfleet, so you're going down on quality a bit there and there was a cavalier, Wild West mentality, not the 1960s space program kind of feel)- basically, think Lewis & Clark vs. the population that settled out there and acted out the Wild West over decades. That's the difference. Besides, even a modern TOS knockoff might've done better. It certainly would've been more in character with UPN's attitude and audience.

Season 3 I remember people were intrigued by the new elements (Xindi, Delphic Expanse, Spheres) and it did feel like a completely fresh break. Even though it ended up only being a tangent on the TCW, people seemed to like the story arc overall. The ratings were nearly flat for the season, suggesting high viewer retention (but not growth). People also saw the 9/11, Iraq War parallels and felt the light, irrelevant Seasons 1-2 could be replaced with something quite relevant and heavy-hitting.

Season 4 I remember was what many people wanted, but I think most knew the series was doomed then (Friday night death slot, was barely renewed at the end of Season 3, word going around it lost its supporters among Paramount brass). I remember it seemed like too much of a good thing, being too heavy on pleasing the fanbase, trying to emulate TOS stories (a 3-part Khan supermen arc, "Observer Effect") and was too arc-heavy (one arc to another to another). I think the ideal balance would have been a blending of the Season 1/2 model (exploration, many standalone eps) and Season 4 (small arcs, 2-parters interspersed which are all tied to building the Federation or developing the TOS-TNG Trek universe). It tried to make up lost ground, but felt like rushing to add everything in before the end (and too much fanservice feels patronizing).


I think a stretch in Season 2 just destroyed Archer's character, which was already getting a reputation as a doormat. I think they got close to the right idea (an explorer first, someone who tries to smooth things over and overcome differences, who can use words to calm tensions and bring people together) but Archer ended up being more hated than Janeway. I think "A Night at Sickbay" and "Singularity" (even though under the influence, I think it plugged into the stereotype for many. I think several Season 1 DS9 episodes gave people a negative stereotype of Bajorans, which helped alienate some viewers from that series) in particular seemed to take away any credibility he had for many people.
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Old September 11 2013, 10:19 PM   #81
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

DeepSpaceWine wrote: View Post
A secondary reason is the Temporal Cold War. People seemed intrigued by it, supported it, but that all changed in Season 2. People seemed to realize B&B were making it up on the fly and didn't have anything plotted out for it.
There was a reason for B&B's attitude toward the TCW--they didn't really want to do it. They were asked to come up with something "post-VOY" (in a TOS prequel?), but if it had been left to them, the TCW wouldn't have happened.
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Old September 12 2013, 07:34 PM   #82
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

I've watched through the series a few times now. It's one of those you have to warm to. When it was first aired I thought that it was terrible and should not have been a Trek thing at all. But after a few views via DVD and its re-run I've gotten to like it. But ... as I have mentioned in previous posts, a real long time ago as I've not posted in ages, the problem ii my opinion was that there was too much temporal stuff. Kirk in TOS had only discovered at that point about the possibility of time travel.

We also met new species which were not seen in later various series, and the inovations of such things such as holodecks were barely mentioned. Did they actually exist in the time of TOS? I can't remember. Then we come to the choice of Captain, should Scott Bakula have been choosen, he's a great actor but not sure he was Star Trek captaincy quality.

These are just a few things, apart from too much time travel most of the stories and action was good. Pity it failed as it was great idea.
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Old September 12 2013, 11:52 PM   #83
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

^
Yeah.. I agree. When Enterprise first aired, I quit watching halfway through season 2 in disgust. It wasn't until years later when I just happened to see the SyFy channel airing the Augments arc in season 4 that I thought hey this is pretty cool and gave it another chance. Which years of non-Trek had softened me to it.

There really was no over all plan... a Temporal Cold War, leaving alone how overused and cliched time travel is in Trek, needs careful planning. It could have been cool if done right. But there was no plan except to say, let's screw with the timeline whenever. I can't take a cliffhanger about rewritten history seriously since... we know it won't amount to anything. Then you just have Ferengi, Borg and Romulan episodes thrown in there for no other reason that... he we can and it'll be neat! Right... Archer must be the most boneheaded record keeper ever... which is quite possible being how they blundered around on those scientific missions. It would be like Neil Armstrong saying... "Hey, Houston, we crashed on the Moon. What do you want us to do now?" Ugh.. just never could get sold on the characters, and by the time most of them finally found themselves... the damage was done.
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Old September 13 2013, 05:31 AM   #84
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

Neutral Zone wrote: View Post
Then we come to the choice of Captain, should Scott Bakula have been choosen, he's a great actor but not sure he was Star Trek captaincy quality.
While a different actor might have been a better choice, Bakula likely could have played Archer different if Archer had been created and written as a more professional officer. Highly trained, experienced, resolute. Someone who had previously commanded a "lesser" starship, and not have been simply a test pilot.

It was never made clear why Archer was selected to command the Enterprise.

DeepSpaceWine wrote: View Post
I think there were far too many unknown races being encountered in close space, making people feel this was several hundreds of ly away from Earth, not within 100, 200, etc ly of Earth.
Within 200 ly of Earth there are (real world) well over 116,000 stars, If anything too much time was spent interacting with previously well established alien species like the Klingons and Romulans (they could have largely dispensed with the Romulans completely as far as I'm concerned).

or were ripoffs ... "Doctor's Orders"
I liked Doctor's Orders, while it is like the Voyager episode in some ways, there are enough differences. Phlox is a more appealing character than Seven was in isolation. The two crews face a similar problem and employed a similar solution.

if they felt Seasons 1-2 had a direction
One of the biggest objections I had with the first couple of season was that Archer didn't seem to have a structured mission, he (and the Enterprise) were just wondering around.

and could see steps being taken towards the founding of the Federation
One of the thing that killed the fourth season (for me) was the endless boring references to the "Coalition of Planets." The final episode where the formation of the Federation was featured is commonly reviled. The Federation is best kept far in the background.

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Old September 14 2013, 07:46 PM   #85
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

I'm obviously in the minority, because I liked the Temporal Cold War stuff. I was bitterly disappointed how it was "wrapped up" in Storm Front. A missed opportunity.

That said, most of the episodes in Season 1 and 2 were boring. And it didn't feel like a true prequel, except for the occasional "fear" of transporters.

It was almost like the writers were like: yeah yeah, prequel prequel, but after 6 episodes that phaser-cannon better be online, because we wanna do Voyager again! (now with Vulcans!!!).

Season 3 was very good, and while season 4 had lots of cool TOS-nods, the multi-episode mini-arcs resulted in sometimes slow-moving stories in my opinion.
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Old September 14 2013, 07:54 PM   #86
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

Neutral Zone wrote: View Post
the problem ii my opinion was that there was too much temporal stuff. Kirk in TOS had only discovered at that point about the possibility of time travel.

We also met new species which were not seen in later various series, and the inovations of such things such as holodecks were barely mentioned. Did they actually exist in the time of TOS? I can't remember.
Could all have been avoided with a PROPER wrap-up of the TCW.

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Then we come to the choice of Captain, should Scott Bakula have been choosen, he's a great actor but not sure he was Star Trek captaincy quality.
I think you're right. He's great as a "normal guy", but I never saw him as a strong captain.
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Old September 19 2013, 04:07 PM   #87
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

In short, they were on a failing network that didn't have access to 40% of the market that TNG & DS9 had.

They missed out on a lot of folks that could have "cared" about Enterprise.
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Old September 23 2013, 12:23 PM   #88
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

Yanks wrote: View Post
In short, they were on a failing network that didn't have access to 40% of the market that TNG & DS9 had.

They missed out on a lot of folks that could have "cared" about Enterprise.
Totally sad

Though I am very happy with what we got. I used to find it depressing that it was cancelled, I'd watch a really great ep or pretty much all of season 4 and it would be this shadow of sadness on the whole thing. But now I'm just like, HEY GREAT TREK!

They could have cancelled it after season 1 and that would have been
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Old September 27 2013, 04:33 PM   #89
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

Yanks wrote: View Post
In short, they were on a failing network that didn't have access to 40% of the market that TNG & DS9 had.

They missed out on a lot of folks that could have "cared" about Enterprise.
That was something I could never understand, either. In Canada, in order to be able to watch it, you had to subscribe to a higher tier of programming. This alone shut out many potential viewers. Although it does appear to be more common now, I just didn't know anybody back then who would subscribe to a higher cable package to get one show.
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Old September 27 2013, 05:23 PM   #90
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Re: Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

bbailey861 wrote: View Post
Yanks wrote: View Post
In short, they were on a failing network that didn't have access to 40% of the market that TNG & DS9 had.

They missed out on a lot of folks that could have "cared" about Enterprise.
That was something I could never understand, either. In Canada, in order to be able to watch it, you had to subscribe to a higher tier of programming. This alone shut out many potential viewers. Although it does appear to be more common now, I just didn't know anybody back then who would subscribe to a higher cable package to get one show.
Exactly.

To quote John Billingsley:

"We weren't a failure, we lasted 4 year on a shitty network that didn't want us!"
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