Theory About Why Most Don't Care for Enterprise as Much...

Discussion in 'Enterprise' started by Frontier, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Frontier

    Frontier Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I hadn't seen the entire series until this year, so I'm still in the process of digesting everything in it. I've watched all the episodes a minimum of three or four times since February with the exception of "These Are the Voyages", as one viewing is all I can handle at the moment due to the first impression.

    I've read elsewhere that people didn't like what appeared to be minor changes in terminology, as you suggest. Phase pistols instead of phasers. Photonic torpedoes instead of photon torpedoes. Etc., etc. The Klingons in the very first episode bothered me. Then the Ferengi showed up, but since we never learned the name of the species, that's okay because it doesn't violate continuity. I think that's what turned a lot people off about the show.

    I'm not turned off about the show, but there are many episodes that have disappointed me, and some episodes that have me thinking they almost got it right.

    Some episodes, I might not like the story, but I notice individual character building scenes that are just phenomenal. That was one of the show's strengths, in how it tried to explore characterization.
     
  3. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The changes to the names didn't bother me so much, except that it showed an utter lack of creativity. Instead of creatively inventing a logical predecessor to the tools who know in modern Trek, they just changed all the names to something that sounded more primitive when they all functioned the same.

    That alone really wasn't the problem, but just a symptom of it. That lack of creativity really did show itself in the quality of the characters and the episode writing as well. It just seemed that Berman and Braga were cranking out episodes focused more on quantity than quality, especially during the first two seasons. All these things started to improve in seasons 3 and 4 when B&B backed off for the most part(alas not in the finale), but by then the damage really was done.

    The characters just lack when you compare them to their counterparts in the other shows, and in the end, one good season, one average seasons and two crummy ones with a few standouts, just weren't enough especially when the damage was done in the first two.
     
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    While there are some that did rather vocally criticize the show for not being enough of a TOS prequel to their liking (they had their own idea of what the 22nd-Century should be like), I think the biggest complaints about the show was that it felt like Trek was resting on its laurels, that it was playing it very safe and was "VOY-lite" (at least up until season three for some). I think there were also dissatisfaction with the writing and even some of the casting (not just with Anthony Montgomery but also with Scott Bakula).
     
  5. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This. Having different hardware? That's fine. Oh, the phasers are now called phase pistols, and instead of shooting out a beam that will stun or kill, they ... shoot out a beam that will stun or kill. That's really not the way to make the stories any different from what the audience was already getting to find tired before the show started. Ooh, you can only go up to warp five? That's going to really change things, when instead of the Captain hearing of a crisis and ordering the ship to warp eight, he hears of a crisis and orders the ship to ... warp five.

    I strongly believe audience would have appreciated it if they had done more to make the tech actually more primitive. For example, what if in going to warp they only have loose control over how fast they go, maybe they aim for warp four but could get lucky and go faster, or get really unlucky and only achieve warp two instead? And, say, it takes six hours to recycle the warp drives for another attempt, so then they have to figure whether they can live with a sluggish chase (or whatever) or should give up and try again, surely racing against the engineer's proclamation that they can't reset a warp drive in four hours, that's madness. And the Captain insists if they aren't able to get a better speed then the Klingots are going to catch them in four hours and ten minutes.

    You see what I mean. Maybe that wouldn't work on scene, but I only gave it two minutes' thought. Still, thinking like this could have opened up story possibilities and problems that Trek didn't do before, and for a project meant to revitalize Trek that's worth attempting.
     
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Nope I don't think that subtle differences in names was the issue. S3 and S4 are generally considered the best, so we have to ask why is this? Was it down to new writers, changes behind the scenes? A comibination of things.

    S4 was in many respects about universe building showing us how things came to be in the later shows, i.e it was finally in many of the fans eyes living up to the prequel concept.

    Sure S1-2 had some good episodes, just as S3-4 had some weaker episodes. But a portion of the fanbase was dissapointed with VOY and whilst they were giving ENT a chance for some of them ithere was little difference. Poor characterisation, re-hased storylines. Or simply put more of the same.

    Now of course you can't please everyone.
     
  7. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    All those little changes aren't the reason, though they do show that the creators weren't able to come up with anything original (or thought fans would freak out about a pre-TOS series using lasers and non-photon torpedoes).

    For me the reason the series didn't appeal to me was that it just didn't hit its mark. It should have been a series about brave men and women venturing out into the unknown and becoming the glue that would hold together numerous different races who would form the Federation.

    Instead we get a bumbling fool tripping into every fist he comes across, getting more angry and aggressive, a pouty Vulcan (from a race that is far removed from the people we know them to be), a stereotypical Brit, and a token black guy who could've been on fire and you'd never have noticed.

    The serialised nature of S3 showed how it worked and S4 gave us some proper Trek storytelling, but by then it was just too little too late. Before they made ENT they should've taken a break for a year or two, recharge their batteries, watch TOS again for inspiration (since it should've been ENT's closest comparison) and turn off the technobabble generator.
     
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Too many shite, recycled and bland epsodes in seasons one and two. That's why Enterprise failed. Had they begun with the energy and direction of season 3, I think things would have been very different.

    Take a look at the Abrams' movies to see that Trek can be HUGE while merrily tweaking continuity left and right. There will always be the OCD crowd who will scream and rant - that the Klingons were wrong, the insignia was wrong, the terminology was wrong, how dare it contradict the novels and technical manuals, how dare they change date X to suit their story etc etc - but the vast majority will be along for the ride if they enjoy it.
     
  9. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My theory is people had their Trek heyday with a particular series and everything after that failed to take. For a lot of folk that was TNG. For others it was the denser politics and arcs of DS9. For some people (now nearly dead) it was TOS.

    Not everyone has stamina.

    I promise, I SWEAR UPON IDIC that when JJ pops out that teen academy Trek series Star Trek 9021701 I will maintain my love. I will not fail this universe even if it fails me.
     
  10. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Some of the S1 and S2 episodes were terrible, but many series have weak beginnings, ENT had a bad start with poorly thought out characters many of who were played by weak actors, whilst also messing around with too much established canon that was just going to rile a lot of the fanbase (once again I use the Vulcans as the example, they turned them right around and then tried to do damage control in S4, and as a fan of Vulcans that's just not right).

    NuTrek gets away with it because its an alternate universe with no impact on the Prime one, but ENT had a rich backstory of Trek to work through--they can tweak bits and pieces to fit with their story-telling (I have no problem with that), but when they basically rehash old ideas its just an example of how weak things had gotten.
     
  11. sadsquid

    sadsquid Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Enterprise's casting/characters was a mixed bag. I loved Malcolm, Trip and Phlox. And yes, even with his inconsistent writing, I liked Archer (because Scott Bakula). But T'Pol, Travis and Hoshi were pretty poor IMO. Still, I liked the cast much better overall than Voyager's cast. It was the lack of creativity in the story-lines and the ENT universe that really hurt it I think. It did feel too safe and familiar (in the first couple of seasons at least).

    Having said that, I still like the series and think it's underrated. It felt like it was really starting to live up to it's initial promise when it was cancelled. Hypothetical Seasons 5-7 could have been some really great trek, just going by how the show was progressing and some of the ideas they had for Season 5. But we'll never know, sadly :-(
     
  12. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't hate ENT, but it's easily my least favorite series.

    And silly as you may think you were being Frontier, at least for me, that definitely didn't help.

    For me, the primary reason was that it felt like the Franchise Story Generator was running out of steam. Also, why didn't we get a new Franchise Story Generator? Isn't this a prequel? Isn't this the big chance to shake things up and get away from the "perfect" humans of the 24th century? Of course there are places we're going to have to fill in the dots, and of course it's going to make some people unhappy. That's the danger of a prequel. But if done right, it could be awesome.
     
  13. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Just imagine in some parallel universe ENT was well written all the time.
     
  14. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Can I please re-post this quote in the TOS sub-forum? :guffaw:
     
  15. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Unnecessary, I date back to TOS on NBC, and I'm getting closer to death's door every day.
     
  16. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with most of the comments above. I'll add a bit of my own thinking...

    In theory, ENT should have been more closely akin to TOS than the other ST series. Many TOS fans have been fans for decades. I think (without much established canon) fans had years to form their own pre-conceived notions of what pre-TOS is/should be like. ENT didn't always fit what had become semi-canon from fandom.

    And yes, much of ENT seemed like a rehash of the usual Berman-era ST re-dressed in new trappings. Much of ENT could have easily passed as, say, any VOY eps rather than being something new and unique to ST.

    Wasn't so much bad as it was just more of the same old, same old.

    ENT missed a great opportunity to do ST that hadn't been done before, establish new canon history and create new ST mythos.
     
  17. Frontier

    Frontier Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Once Enterprise was done, I had a few ideas on how things should have been.,.

    Set the show in 2166 (homage to 1966 Trek's founding) 5 years since the UFP has been founded. The crew would be all humans at first; perhaps an Andorian or a Tellarite, but no Vulcan. Really diversify them amongst the races/continents of the world. Someone from Africa, an Australian (the lone hold outs to the world government of 2151), a European other than from UK (German, maybe?) a South American, an Asian, Hispanic. I'm sure there's no way they'd have done anything but a white male american captain, but it would have been nice...

    Make everything bulkier - and have the reason be that all the tech has to be "rugged-ized" like; surrounded by lead armor between the outer-casing and the internal circuits, in order to shield it from all the unknown potential radiations in space. This would explain why stuff was bulky still in TOS and also make it look right for pre-TOS.

    Have the transporter really be something... scary. A transporter chamber rather than a room, with the controls behind a huge thick glass blast barrier. Only one emitter/pattern tracker so if you ever had to beam up two things at once it would risk combining them. Have the process actually take a while - 15+ seconds, during which a lot could go wrong. And have stuff go wrong with it. Lose people (redshirts) when you beam them up in an emergency. Illnesses like transporter psychosis or something else. Beaming people up w/out their clothes, or with a broken bone, or with energy burns cause by the damn thing. Make the transporter a true last resort and a scary option.

    If not based on a Daedalus, then at least have the forward hull a sphere - not a saucer - to make sense of the Daedalus and be a proto-trek design.

    Have the shields be like an actual flat shield (force field) projected rather than an all encompassing bubble. Laser pistols that can also fire projectiles (because energy weapons are so new) and... you see the direction I'm going.

    Ah well.
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I really had a lot of trouble with the NX transporter, as sticking it in an alcove off a main corridor seemed odd. Later transporters required an entire room. It didn't make sense to me that an earlier version of the device was so compact.
     
  19. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Frontier, that's brilliant, and quite in line with where I thought they should have gone with it too.
     
  20. Dick_Valentine

    Dick_Valentine Commander Red Shirt

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    I remember at the time being excited about the new Trek series when it was first announced, but from then on everything I heard about the series was disappointing.

    The designs of the ship were hinted towards being something new: Ended up being a slight tweak of a ship we'd already seen.
    (Cynical decision because the suits knew the Akira was a fan favourite ship ever since it appeared in First Contact)

    The Uniforms looked like the crew were working in a warehouse not exploring a new frontier.

    The Vulcans were there but they were written as jerks, like overbearing parents whose only purpose was to give the human characters cliched rebellious scenes.

    Klingons arrived but far too early and in a non interesting way.

    Temporal cold war was inserted because the network had no faith a true prequel show (even just a TNG-era show dressed up in Prequel clothing as Enterprise seemed to be) wouldn't hold the casual fans attention so them ham fistedly inserted a futuristic plot that even they admit now they had no idea what to do with and no plans for it actually to go anywhere.

    And yeah, the lack of "The" when talking about the ship irked me a LOT. In all of Star Trek it had been referred to as THE Enterprise. And in this series more than ever it should've been the same since there'd been no other Enterprises and no prospect of there being any more either so for all intents and purposes, this could've been THE only Enterprise.
    Every time they said "I've got to get back to Enterprise..." I was mumbling "THE Enterprise!!!" under my breath :p

    Bakula, too, was a poor choice of captain.
    When I heard he was picked I thought, good, they've got a name and I had good memories of watching Quantum Leap as a child.
    But he seemed to have a permanent disgusted scowl on his face the entire time, even during lighter episodes.
    His two acting modes seemed to be disgruntled and angry shouting with nothing else going on.
    And any comedy scenes were beyond cringeworthy.
    Yay..your dog likes cheese...big whoop.

    I think the whole concept underachieved, even more than Voyager did when it abandoned most of its "one shop struggling alone with a divided crew" premise after about its sixth episode.

    It's nadir was the Borg episode.
    I don't think anyone, hardcore fan or casual, when they heard of a new Star Trek series set pre-kirk, was thinking "oooh, I hope the Borg show up at some point!"
    It was clear then no-one really wanted to write a prequel series at this point, having done episodes about Klingons, Ferengi, Nausicaans and then the Bloody Borg.

    So yeah, Enterprise ended up being the Trek series that arrived when the entire franchise had run out of steam, the producers were just phoning it in and everyone had seemingly lost interest.
    But, it made money for the network so I guess that's all anyone ever cared about really.
    Artistic integrity be damned!