Cheated out of 3 seasons?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. Admiral Jean-Luc Picard

    Admiral Jean-Luc Picard Commander Red Shirt

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    TV shows are renewed season by season unless insanely popular. Enterprise was a Star Trek prequel on a network with low viewership. People were watching cable by 2001, not local TV. A lot of people didn't even know the show existed. The producers, writers, cast; everyone gave it their best shot.

    The show lasted 4 seasons, 98 episodes. Compared to sci-fi shows in general, is this really a bad run? I've found it rare for sci-fi shows to last beyind 5 seasons. For that reason, I call Enterprise's 4 years a good run.
     
  2. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Torn on this. On the one hand, I agree. Even shows such as DS9 still had a lot of mediocre filler episodes and I wonder whether the series would have been better without them. Sometimes, less is more. On the other hand, they did provide important 'breathers', whose function I noticed when watching the Enterprise S3 war arc, which didn't have them, and it was one 'heavy' episode after the other, even though the story itself was great.

    I think a very early Federation series -tackling the first years of Federation Starfleet- could be great. Species' crews actually having to learn to work together, all those different species' protocols and 'maritime' traditions that are not yet quite integrated/congealed, etc.
     
  3. Admiral Jean-Luc Picard

    Admiral Jean-Luc Picard Commander Red Shirt

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    How do you define "filler episode?"
     
  4. Cap'n Calhoun

    Cap'n Calhoun Writer Red Shirt

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    Yeah, I'm not sure what a "filler episode" would be for a show that isn't heavily serialized... Like what would a filler episode of TNG be? Or even ENT season 2 mentioned earlier? Might be more accurate to say a season of 10-13 quality episodes may be preferable to 26 episodes of mixed quality.

    That said, having spent the entire run of DS9 getting around 50 episodes a year of occasionally mixed quality, I have no regrets. :)
     
  5. trekshark

    trekshark Commander Red Shirt

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    being on upn, vs syndicated like tng and ds9 were where any of those independent stations could carry it, hurt (this also hurt the end of voyager)
    after I moved to an area with a upn affiliate I recorded them on vhs so my brother in an area without upn could watch them

    I feel slightly cheated. towards the end the show was really getting good and living up to some of that "birth of the federation" stuff that people had hoped to see
     
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  6. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

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    I would have liked more personally. I agree season 1 and 2 were uneven (but then so was TNG and DS9). I really liked season 3, that was unlike anything Star Trek had done before and season 4 had a number of memorable episodes. I'm glad Enterprise finally seemed to find its footing and at least have 1 to 2 seasons that were worthy of the franchise it was based off of.

    It's sad it ended with TATV (I'll avoid ranting about that here, there's plenty of TATV-threads here already ;) ).

    Viewership was certainly down. But UPN did it no favors really either. I always said they should have ended it with the opening salvo of the Romulan War (since that supposedly started a few months after Terra Prime, 2156 I believe). Then....'sorry folks, the park is closed....I mean, sorry folks, UPN cancelled the series so this is the end).
     
  7. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Commodore Commodore

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    ENTERPRISE was my very first chance as a kid to watch a Trek show from start to finish on its first run. I was born in 1987, so obviously I couldn't watch TNG until later. My first exposure to Trek was through the first six films when I was 7 years old, renting them on VHS. I was instantly a fan, but by that time TNG was already in the middle of its final season and DS9 was in its second. I suppose I could have tried watching VOYAGER when it premiered (I actually remember seeing the premiere), but I was too young to try to catch up, and gravitated more toward shows on Nickelodeon.

    I was eager to watch ENTERPRISE. However, TNG had started reruns on Spike TV (known as TNN at the time), and its timeslot was 8pm, the same as ENT aired. So I would watch TNG every day of the week except Wednesdays so I could watch a new episode of ENT. I thought the new show was okay, but I was finding myself far more into TNG. After 8 or 9 episodes of ENT, I felt more inclined to watch TNG. I never looked back.

    Months after cancellation, ENT started to get syndicated reruns. Funnily, they kicked off those reruns with the fourth season episode "Borderland". I had heard really good things about the fourth season but never really watched it when it aired. After the Vulcan trilogy wrapped, I was shocked by how good the fourth season was. Suddenly I want to watch more of this show!

    Back in 2009 I decided to Netflix the entire show through mail so I could watch it from start to finish for the first time. Rewatching the first season, I realized why I ultimately gave up on it: It's dull. The first season of TNG isn't any better, but it's at least more vibrant, colorful, and is swinging for the fences, whereas the first season of ENT just felt like it was going through the motions. It was tired.

    Safe to say, what ENT needed more than anything was an injection of new blood. Berman and Braga had been doing Trek for too long and needed to hand it off to other people. Season 3 and 4 were proof of that.
     
  8. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

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    That’s what it comes down to for me. I didn’t really feel cheated that it didn’t go seven seasons, although I was quite surprised and a bit disappointed when it was announced. But I accepted it and moved on.

    I feel more cheated these days though now that I realize the vast creative potential this series had at the time of its cancellation. And the amount of interesting ideas that were left on the cutting room floor from basically the moment that this series was thought of.

    It depends on the show. Some shows should only last one season, others its fine if it goes to 12 seasons.

    ENT itself would have benefitted in each season covered 2 years up to S5, and took advantage of the fact that space travel was slower since they were limited at Warp 5.

    S1: 2151-53
    S2: 2153-55
    S3: 2155-57
    S4: 2157-59
    S5: 2159-61
     
  9. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, good question, I hadn't considered that.

    Still, there's a certain continuity and development over TNG, even if the series wasn't serialised. For example, S7 Data and Picard are nowhere near the S1 Data and Picard characters, they were developed (or their characters changed). I would say that any bookmark event episode would count as 'not a filler'. So for example, BOBW certainly isn't, as it tells us something about Picard. Neither is Hollow Pursuits, as it tells us something about Barclay (which is revisited later). Or unification, that tells us important things about the politics of the Romulan empire, the relations between Vulcans and Romulans and the Federation's stance to all that (and we get to see Spock, to boot). On the other hand, I don't think an episode such as Imaginary Friend really contributed anything to the larger picture we have of the TNG universe, and it was never referred again, either (I think). Perhaps, if I had to define 'filler' for TNG, I would go in that direction, but I'll be the first to acknowledge that this is a very subjective approach (and has many problems).
     
  10. B'elanna_Torres

    B'elanna_Torres Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I remember as a teenager, at the time, that science fiction was moving away from the 1990s trends that had once worked for Star Trek. Rather than science fiction shows seeking drama, science fiction was moving in the other way by being dramas in search of sci-fi ideas.

    That's why I have always felt that Doctor Who made its big return in the mid-2000s just as Enterprise had been cancelled. RTD's vision for Doctor Who was very much a drama i search of action and adventure. To some extent, even Battlestar Galactica had this approach by being a military drama within a sci-fi context.
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    You can argue that, to a certain degree, sci-fi viewers got a little spoiled in the nineties in that we came to expect that any halfway decent genre show, be it Trek or Buffy or Xena or X-Files or whatever, was "supposed" to run at least six or sevens season, whereas this was actually kinda unusual before and after. TOS only ran three seasons, The Twilight Zone only ran five seasons, Batman only ran three seasons, Lost in Space only ran three season, The Six Million Dollar Man only ran five seasons, etc. And those were the successful shows!

    The idea that we've somehow been "cheated" if genre shows don't get a full seven seasons is really just a nineties thing.
     
  12. B'elanna_Torres

    B'elanna_Torres Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Buffy was definitely the progenitor of what was to come because sci-fi dared to be sexy, angsty and dangerous. For the most part, that wasn't really Trek. In some ways, Trek looked quite conservative compared to the boundaries that Buffy was crossing.
     
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  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Don't forget XENA. BUFFY was great, no question, but people tend to forget that, in many ways, XENA got there first.
     
  14. B'elanna_Torres

    B'elanna_Torres Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    OMG lol
    Ok, now that's a flashback.
    I remember us laughing at Xena to be honest (and people accuse Enterprise of being oversexed).
    But Lucy went on to do amazing work on BSG.
     
  15. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Commodore Commodore

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    I don't see how any production company could guarantee a show gets 7 seasons at the outset
    And just because other Trek franchises got 7 didn't make it set in stone that Enterprise would
    Presently, it remains to be seen if even Discovery gets 7
    Personally I'd loved to have seen Enterprise get more seasons, because in Season 3 and 4 it was really finding it's feet
    I never bought into the bad vibes attributed to Seasons 1 and 2 either, Enterprise had good stories and bad, good arcs and mediocre, the same as every other Trek format, in fact it was better than a lot of over rated dross.