Early S4 – a missed opportunity to visually refresh the series?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by FederationHistorian, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Feb 6, 2020
    Lots of praise goes towards the miniarcs used in S4, which helped bring ENT more in line with TOS and the rest of the franchise. And that praise is well deserved. But, looking back on that season, I wonder if there was a genuine missed opportunity to refresh the series from a visual perspective.

    NX design – While it was not necessary to give Enterprise the secondary hull from the NX-refit, as it seems a bit much, it would have been beneficial to give Enterprise the TOS-era nacelles at minimum. Aside from being an upside down Akira-class, the nacelles are probably the leading reason there were complaints that the ship looked too new and out of place in the time period it was in. Compared to the TOS-era Enterprise, it glowed too much; changing the nacelles would have likely made it feel more era appropriate. And the glowing deflector dish should have been completely replaced with the dish used they would later used for Columbia.

    They could have also upgraded the weapons and the bridge to resemble the Enterprise from “E2” as well. It doesn’t make sense for Starfleet - or Archer - to not use a number of those upgrades for Enterprise once Archer and his crew ran into their future descendant’s.

    Presence of a ship’s counsellor – after what crew went through in the Delphic Expanse, you’d think that the presence of a ship counsellor would be added, at least for the short term. Seems like there should have been room for a minor, recurring role here. Maybe it says a lot about the toughness of the crew that they did not have or need one though.

    New MACO Major – add a new character, or have Reed show interest in the role if they were going to continue being on board. I know they had Corporal McKenzie and that was the likely successor to Major Hayes according to “Countdown”, but they never did anything with her character. She only had one appearance total in the series.

    Promotions of main characters - for all the flak that B&B got for TATV in terms of Sato and Mayweather still not being promoted several years later, that could have easily fixed that near the beginning at S4 with the both of them promoted. There was all season to do that, right up to the penultimate episode. It was not done though. In hindsight, it just seems unfair to B&B to blame them for why certain characters were still certain ranks in the series finale.

    Now, in all fairness, yes, they did update the captain’s chair, and gave T'Pol a Starfleet commission. But that’s all they did, and I think that they could have gone further with the updates.

    DarKush and Imaus like this.
  2. Imaus

    Imaus Commander Red Shirt

    Feb 27, 2020
    1) NX was just too aesthetically wrong, no, well, off to begin with, and no official concepts for it would had worked IMO. We don't have to go all Starfleet Museum (which did not exist yet) but they should had explored more designs ala the Daedalus and not the Akira, of which all of them seemed to be (Saucer with two nacelles, maybe a triangular rear).

    Having nacelles ala 80 years from the future makes the 1701 look like a pile of junk - there were no advances in nacelle tech for 80 years? But look at Nacelles from 2240ish to 2370 (sans DIS), you go from the TOS to the Refit to the weird Yellow-Cap ones to TNG ones to Sovereign ones in 130 years. There should be differences between the nacelles of the NX and 1701 likewise.

    2) A Ship's Counsellor may be a bit too frivolous but maybe something 'Starbase' or Planetside would had worked? A character on Jupiter station, perhaps.

    3) MACO absence might be waved away as a way to show that this Starfleet is off its war-footing from the Xindi crisis. Might had been something to surprise them later during the Kzinti or Romulan arcs.

    4) Promotions should be more liberally used, yes. They do exist for a reason. At least, medals and ratings would had been nice?
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    DarKush likes this.
  3. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    People complaining about the look of the NX-01 in 2020, 1 reboot and one semi-reboot later? Crazy.
  4. Saul

    Saul Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    It's not such a bad or crazy thing to complain about. I'd rather read this than "the election was rigged", "masks infringe my freedom!".
  5. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    True. Kinda feels like "That refit in TMP was awful, who would upgrade the Enterprise like that??" not so much in looks but in how ingrained the NX has become in Trek lore, though.
    Mister Spock likes this.
  6. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

    Sep 24, 2017
    I'm not going to retread the entire NX looks too new thing again. I like the NX. Some people don't. Now at last after almost 20 years we will come together and finally agree.. or not.

    The main visual change they needed to make was to put T'Pol in a Starfleet uniform. If they wanted a ship with clunky nacelles they should have started to show Daedalus types being built with those trash-can-bolted-together nacelles, and just made mention that these gizmos combined with a spherical pressure hull were cheaper than the experimental NX class but basically did the same thing. But they didn't and it wasn't really a problem anyway.

    If you still didn't like the look of the NX by season 4, making NX into the Frankencruiser wasn't going to help.
  7. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Feb 6, 2020
    Its not so much a “complain about the look of the NX-01” thread, especially since a few other questions are asked along side it. Its asking if such upgrades would have made a difference in keeping the show around, whether an extra season, or all three-remaining season. All other shows made various changes to keep the show fresh

    TNG had moved the bridge officers Worf and La Forge to different divisions for S2, brought back Dr. Crusher for S3 after Pulaski's stint in S2, had Wesley Crusher leave by S4, and brought in Ensign Ro for S5. Picard was even wearing a new jacket during S5.

    DS9 brought in the Defiant by S3, Worf by S4, new uniforms by S5 and Ezri Dax by S7. Kira was even wearing a Starfleet uniform by S7.

    And VOY lost one crewmember in Kes, and added a new crewmember in Seven of Nine by S4, and did have Tom Paris move up and down rank over the course of the series.

    ENT remained more or less unchanged. The MACOs themselves were never really major characters. No one really changed divisions. Trip did transfer to another ship, but that only lasted a couple of episodes.
  8. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 17, 2007
    There was nothing wrong with the look of the NX class. It didn't what some people thought a 22nd century ship should look like. And since it didn't fit their head canon OR some incredibly vague images from two books, they needed to scream. And shout. A lot. Tiresome to an extreme really. And boring.

    A ships counselor would have people being childish about canon ever more because TNG did it first and we never saw one before so that basically means it never happened before blah blah blah blah.....

    In all of the shows, all of the writers seem to almost always forget that officers get promoted. I can think of four characters where it happened; Geordi, Sisko, Bashir and Dax. Worf got it in a movie, doesn't count. Now I'm being childish. :P
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  9. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 26, 2007
    Maryland, USA
    I disagree with your rationale about the NX-01. The nacelles were the only thing that screamed ‘pre-TOS’ to me. The rest of the ship was just a modified Akira. I’m not going to argue about whether the ship ‘fit in’ to the 22nd century. But there’s no arguing that the design was influenced by another ship 200 years in its future. I would have preferred a more original design, but apparently the producers had a huge hard-on for the Akira.
    Imaus likes this.
  10. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 23, 2017
    I never noticed the Akira similarities until years later. I don’t get the issue though. You can just say the person who designed the Akira Class was a fan of the NX Class and wanted to make his own spin on it.
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  11. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Feb 6, 2020
    Technically Kira got promoted from Major to Colonel. Tom Paris both was demoted to ensign and promoted back to lieutenant.

    The only thing that does not make the lack of promotions seem like a big deal in ENT is Archer not demoting Trip after the death of Charles. Even though he should have in that situation.

    The crew clearly suffered trauma from the Xindi mission, from the losses suffered to Hoshi being kidnapped and tortured to T’Pol becoming a drug addict. Archer himself has an episode where he dreams of being thrown off a cliff by some Xindi Reptilians after he returned home and was on shore leave. A ship counsellor was surely warranted in this situation.

    ENT seemed to deal with treating trauma as simple as getting a girlfriend/boyfriend, with Trip & T’Pol and then with Archer & Hernandez.
  12. mswood

    mswood Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 14, 2002
    9th level of Hell
    Sorry but hell no on adding the hideous redesigned of the NX-01. The ship absolutely doesn't need a secondary hull of any kind. Almost all of the early design work for the ship tried to duplicate to some degree the basic design of the classic Enterprise. Thats a huge, huge mistake. We needed to see a shape between the missile with nacelles from first contact, forward progress to the SS Conestoga, to the NX, then to a shape even if they don't use the Daedalus design shown in background in Sisko office. Now you can argue all you want about how smooth the shapes and liens were in TOS, but those years are the only years where we see smooth design lines, not before and not after. And while I can absolutely see the Akira flip in the design of the NX. I don't care in the slightest. And I really, really love the hull detail shown on the ship. TO me it does seem more primitive than all the other ships used in trek.

    Counselor, no. But we could certainly see a larger medical staff that would also have to deal with whatever mental health issues come up.

    I can actually see Earth Starfleet wanting to provide a dedicated a small military unit on larger ships (and remember this is a larger ship and what does it have 80 plus crew), so it can't be big. I would assume either the crew had to start bunking up, or some crew that was more was more exploratory based were replaced by MACO's ins Eason 3.

    You could certainly have some cast get promotion, but outside of Mayweather and Sato you don't have a lot of room for it, and the show was exceedingly poor and creating a larger secondary cast, which is a huge issue considering the crew is so small. The smaller the crew the more we should know the people of the ship. The D it's has such a large crew it makes sense that we see a lot of one off characters. On the NX-01 and Voyager it really didn't. A big error for both shows, but even worse for Enterprise (though it did get much fewer episodes to explore this 9and did reuse a lot of MACO characters in season 3, so bonus points for that).
  13. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    Orbiting Urectum
    Never been a fan of the NX-Class (though I do love the Akira-Class, go figure), but I have no qualms about the aesthetics of the series. The NX isn't as seamless and put together as the Constitution-Class, as such the overall look of the hull, nacelles and greeblies make sense as humanity are still in the early days and don't have the technical expertise of more advanced races to perfect the "less is more" look of the 23rd century.

    I do think rather than having yet another Nazi episode(s) then they should've focused more on the impact of the mission and the fallout for the characters at the beginning of S4, which could've seen a Starfleet psychiatrist playing a prominent role as the crew debrief and grieve and work through all they've endured over the last year.

    A new MACO? I'd rather see them removed and actually making more of the ships security personnel. It's not like a new MACO officer would have the same will they/won't they chemistry with Reed.

    Reed, Mayweather and Sato were definitely all due promotions. Promote Archer as well and get him behind a desk at HQ and put Tucker in command would be one big shift in the show that would've made the most of the dynamic between him and T'Pol.

    100% agree!
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  14. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

    Feb 6, 2020
    You’d think that Phlox would have had an official medical assisted by that point, especially since it was known that Denobulans had hibernation cycles every year and the crew could still face medical emergencies during those cycles. It always seemed like that position was rotated with other members of the crew.

    A larger medical staff seems like something that should have had a larger focus.

    Starfleet technically could have developed military vessels to escort the crew, as well at various freighter vessels. Enterprise had been in enough space battles by that point, and developed an awareness of other rival military powers such as the Klingon Empire, that it would be impossible to not start developing a fleet solely for military purposes.

    I think everyone but the senior staff and the chef would have bunked together during that mission.

    It may have been a smaller crew, but it wasn't like Starfleet stopped accepting applications. There would have been more ensigns and other members of the crew were bound to leave the ship to serve on either another starship or assignment. Mayweather and Sato getting promoted would have made sense since they were part of the first deep space exploration vessel from Earth. Their knowledge and expertise would have been valuable to new ensigns that joined the crew.

    Yes they should have. "Home" overly simplified the trauma and grief the crew faced over the past year. It was an episode that definitely deserved to be a two part episode. And the Nazi two-parter could have been completed in a single episode.

    We can certainly question as to why the MACOs stuck around after the Xindi mission was completed. But I think its more that Archer and co. grew comfortable having them around over time, especially since before they were around there were times the NX-01 crew were boarded and they either got captured or got their butts kicked a few times. But having Cpl. McKenzie around could have been interesting, in developing a love triangle situation between her, Reed and Mayweather. Especially since “E2” suggested that Cpl. McKenzie and Mayweather did get together, or at least were compatible with each other. It just seems like a lot of potential stories for the other members of the crew got overlooked.

    Considering Admiral Forrest’s death later on in the season, it would have been fitting to see Archer promoted to admiral to take his place. There was just a reluctance to feature United Earth Starfleet politics more prominently. The dynamic between the United Earth government, Starfleet Command and the NX-01 should have been not that different from the dynamic between the Federation, DS9 and the Defiant.

    Trip definitely should have become a captain. ENT always felt more interesting when he was in command.
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  15. Mister Spock

    Mister Spock Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 24, 2013
    North London, England
    It's one thing that's always taken me out of the 'reality' of Enterprise, the lack of medical personnel. They're out on their own, and plan to be for a long time, and yet they only take one doctor? I'd have thought the ship would need at least a couple of nurses, some EMTs, a dentist etc. Maybe a few crewmen doubled up those roles and most of the crew probably knew basic first aid, but it seems a bit of an oversight.

    I can just about accept it with Voyager in that the Doctor didn't need to eat or sleep, and could go days or weeks without stopping and still work efficiently and accurately. And he did take on Kes and Tom Paris as his nurses.
  16. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 27, 2009
    USS Discovery-A
    Worf got a promotion in the early TNG too. In fact, here's a complete list:

    * Spock from Lieutenant ("The Cage") to Lt. Commander (in early dialogue) to Commander

    * Scott from Lt. Commander to Commander (possible animation error)
    * McCoy from Lt. Commander to Commander (possible animation error)

    TOS movies (for completion's sake. I know you're not counting movies.)
    * Kirk from Captain to Rear Admiral to Captain
    * Spock from Commander to Captain
    * Scott from Commander to Captain
    * Sulu from Lieutenant to Lt. Commander to Commander to Captain
    * Uhura from Lieutenant to Lt. Commander to Commander
    * Chekov from Ensign to Lieutenant to Commander
    * Chapel from Ensign to Lt. Commander to Commander
    * Rand from Yeoman to CPO to Lt. j.g.

    * Riker from Commander to Captain (field promotion) to Commander
    * La Forge from Lt. j.g. to Lieutenant to Lt. Commander
    * Worf from Lt. j.g. to Lieutenant
    * Troi from Lt. Commander to Commander
    * Wesley Crusher from Acting Ensign to Ensign (field promotion) to Cadet

    TNG movies (for completion)
    * Riker from Commander to Captain
    * Worf from Lieutenant to Lt. Commander
    * Wesley Crusher from former Cadet to Lt. j.g.

    * Sisko from Commander to Captain
    * Ezri Dax from Ensign to Lt. j.g.
    * Bashir from Lt. j.g. to Lieutenant
    * Jadzia Dax from Lieutenant to Lt. Commander
    * O'Brien from CPO to Senior CPO (possibly)
    * Kira from Major to Colonel (and to Starfleet Commander)
    * We also see promotions amongst recurring characters Dukat and Nog that I won't list here.

    Voyager (not counting the odd rank adjustment/"demotion" that occurred between Tuvok, Tom Paris, and B'Elanna Torres after the first season)
    * Tuvok from Lieutenant to Lt. Commander
    * Paris from Lt. j.g. to Ensign to Lt. j.g.

    * Pass

    TOS-Kelvin movies (for completion's sake)
    * Kirk from Cadet to Lieutenant to Captain
    * McCoy from Cadet to Lt. Commander
    * Uhura from Cadet to Lieutenant

    * Burnham from Commander to Inmate to Specialist to Commander
    * Saru from Lt. Commander to Commander to Captain (this is the spoiler)
    * Stamets from Lieutenant to Lt. Commander
    * Tilly from Cadet to Ensign
    * Tyler from Lieutenant to Specialist to Commander
    * Co-stars like Detmer were also seen promoted, but I won't list them here.

    Short Treks
    * An anthology series

    * Not really a Starfleet show

    Lower Decks
    * Boimler from Ensign to Lt. j.g.

    Not counting the less than six months spoilers from Discovery and Lower Decks (if there are any: click above to see!), we have 21 main characters across six series getting a promotion at least once. If you discard dialogue, animation quandaries, temporary field promotions, graduations, and O'Brien's odd status, then you can whittle the number down to 14. Besides La Forge, (Jadzia) Dax, Bashir, and Sisko listed above, the ten absolute promotions missed are: Worf, Troi, Ezri Dax, Kira, Tuvok, Paris, Burnham, Saru, Stamets, and Tyler.
  17. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 17, 2007
    I stand corrected. Impressive list.
    Tim Thomason likes this.
  18. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 15, 2009
    Enterprise still remains my favorite show, even built both the original and refit version of the ship in model form. Have the HUGE 350 scale version.. that I haven't built yet since it won't fit in my home.. (its that huge)
    I like the ship in that Doug spent ALOT of time working out all the details of how they work, where they are in the hull, it is the most thought out trek ship ever on screen. Kudo's to him!
    1987SpaceGuy likes this.
  19. trekshark

    trekshark Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 6, 2014
    Agreed, especially on the mission to find the xindi.
    They had crewman Cutler until the actress died. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Cutler
    Mister Spock likes this.
  20. TimeIsAPredator

    TimeIsAPredator Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Mar 15, 2020
    I loved the NX-01 it's probably the only flawless thing about ENT. But I have always loved Starfleet ships with no secondary hull