Enterprise at 20: The Series and its Legacy

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by cooleddie74, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

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    I was in 8th grade when the show premiered. There has been a lot of time in between when rewatching the show thinking they messed this up or that could have been better, including when they switched over to phase pistols midway through “Broken Bow”. And thinking that the Enterprise that I was looking for from the show was best represented by the Kelvin films.

    Knowing what I know now about everything behind the scenes as to how the show came to be, what ideas did and did not make it into the show and why, I can lighten up and see that the “mistakes” aren’t really mistakes. The show just ran into issue after issue, and if it had continued, would have run into more issues with the changeover from UPN into the CW, and the writer’s strike. The issues were never really going to end. That might just be a part of the Enterprise experience.

    In hindsight, there was room for both the Temporal Cold War, the Birth and subsequent Rise of the Federation, and a bunch of filler stories that built the ENT universe in between. It’s just storytelling in the end; being a prequel should not hamper that. And all are integral to the identity of the show.

    It’s a shame that the studio did not see the potential in churning out tv movies every two to three weeks with the cast at the time as an alternative for S5, as the mini arcs in S4 were basically that. And they were produced at a quick rate too.

    But it good that Enterprise is more accepted now as a show from when it first aired. And “Broken Bow” is still an amazing premiere.



     
  2. cultcross

    cultcross State the nature of the moderating emergency Moderator

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    I remember the hype around series V, I joined this board in part because of it, and enjoyed the cast reveals, the Akiraprise board meltdown, the first trailer with Wherever You Will Go, the Broken Bow full script leak at Ain't It Cool News which turned out to be legit, everything.

    At the time, UK TV for those without subscriptions like Sky was way behind the US so I watched most of the first season by... other means.

    I drifted away from Enterprise in season two as it wasn't what I'd hoped for. I watched little of season three in first broadcast and picked up season 4 later after the TATV controversy. Over the years I've probably seen most of it in bits and pieces.

    I've been doing a lockdown Trek watch through and having finished Voyager, and with the anniversary approaching, I thought it was time to give Enterprise another chance. I'm currently in season 2, The Catwalk, probably not far from where I originally gave up. But I have to say, I'm enjoying the show. What bothered me all those years ago doesn't bother me half so much anymore, and I'm noticing lots more to like about it. Some episodes I either missed before or don't remember have really entertained me. There are some fairly generic sci-fi TV show episode tropes being churned out at this point in its run, but I'm going to stick with it because this time around I know it recovers.
     
  3. somebuddyx

    somebuddyx Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Rewatching Broken Bow it still feels kinda mediocre and I still dislike it for the most part . In the past week I also watched the pilots of Babylon 5 and Farscape and I feel they already did some of what this show was trying to do but better. I still enjoy certain things like the characters and uniforms, especially, Forrest's uniform with the tie. Also that weird time thing on the helix always intrigued me and I love Silik calling Archer by his first name. As I said, I love Cold Front and can't wait for that to come around in my rewatch. I still hate Faith of the Heart as the theme but I get why they went with it. The ship design was nice and the mirror universe version of NX-01 is in my favourite starships, but I sort of wish it were smaller.
     
  4. cultcross

    cultcross State the nature of the moderating emergency Moderator

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    Broken Bow was an alright story but felt very Berman era, very clean, like if you changed surface details like the costumes and the alien forehead, it could be an episode of any Star Trek show. I didn't get from it what made Enterprise unique. And I didn't like how they introduced the lead. Making your Captain a bit of a prejudiced arse with a chip on his shoulder is an interesting route for Star Trek to take and I would applaud it as something new if they didn't simultaneously try to make him the heroic explorer who gazes out the window giving speeches about the future. Archer's characterisation settled down, but in that first episode, it wasn't great.

    In terms of the aesthetics of the era though, I was mostly very impressed. I love the costumes, the handheld tech, the shuttles, the way they used teched up flatscreen monitors as the basis for their consoles and lots more manual controls. I do agree with you though that I had imagined a smaller more cramped ship. Not so much wide corridors and expansive bridge with separate ready room and a captain's dining room, more submarine movie where everyone's crammed in together and the ceilings are low and people share cabins.
     
  5. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No tractor beams. No force fields. No shields. The ship may have had an Akira-class resemblance too close to comfort for many and looked too much like the TOS Enterprise for a vessel launched nearly 100 years earlier but it's Trek. At this point very, very few starship classes aren't takes on the Matt Jefferies design and even those that aren't at first glance take clues from it. Even a lot of the spiky and "meh" designs in DSC are clearly inspired by the TOS ship.
     
  6. beardy2

    beardy2 Ensign Newbie

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    I think that's a great point, because looking back now, a lot of things make more sense once there's an understanding of the dynamics happening behind the scenes. I get the sense that the newer Star Treks have less "helpful" suggestions from executives these days. And while there are things I would change (always disappointing that Star Trek has fewer women on writing staff), there is definitely a vibe of hanging in there despite a lot of meddling that has a really charming feel.
     
  7. Delta Vega

    Delta Vega Commodore Commodore

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    Nothing said by the dissenters on here will make me dislike Enterprise
    I love it, always have, and always will, no matter how many times I watch it
    It was a great show
    That's my input, short and sweet
     
  8. cultcross

    cultcross State the nature of the moderating emergency Moderator

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    You're not having that one as "polarised hull plating" functions exactly the same dramatic way, down to the falling percentages :lol:

    But otherwise, I liked the way they took out some things you take for granted in Trek stories, things that writers had taken to leaning on too heavily. One from this week's watch - auto destruct.
     
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  9. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, polarized hull plating was a lazy compromise but I doubt even CBS Era writers could come up with better than that. Without energy shielding you basically have to make hulls of ships much harder to punch through and it wouldn't make sense for starships of the 2150s to be made of stronger materials than those of the 2260s. Their biggest mistake was having Malcolm rattle off the strength of the polarized hull plating by percentage which made it sound almost exactly like 24th century starship crews reporting hits to their shields. :lol:
     
  10. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    I remember hearing once, that Scott Bakula saying that "They" as in the enterprise crew were the next up for the movie go around after the Tng cast. that he thought that the series would go up to the start of the Romulan War, and a set of movies would finish it, if I remember correctly. Don't ask me when or where I read it, no idea so i guess i'm a "Dubious Source" on that.
     
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  11. cultcross

    cultcross State the nature of the moderating emergency Moderator

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    Of the post TNG series, it makes the most narrative sense to turn into films - they have an open ended exploration/adventure premise and limited complex arcs. Both DS9 and VOY were really done for good with their finales. Whether they had the viewing figures to sell them is of course, a different matter.
     
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  12. Mutai Sho-Rin

    Mutai Sho-Rin Crusty Old Bastard Moderator

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    When it launched 20 years ago, I was already an AARP member having seen every episode of prior Trek since 1966. I brought no expectations into ENT and enjoyed it from the beginning. We are paused at the end of season 3 right now watching other stuff but will get back to it soon. And the song - liked it enough to make it the theme for our 25th anniversary party in 2002.
     
  13. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Plus six years between "Terra Prime(ENT)" and "TATV...(ENT)" of which we know very little other than the Earth-Romulan War happens during this time period, cosmetic changes are made to Enterprise and Starfleet has adopted new uniforms with name patches and epaulets, possibly a wartime addition. That's a pretty big gap within an existing series and unprecedented in Trek until Discovery jumped more than 900 years into the future(for this example I don't count the gap between "The Cage(TOS)" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before(TOS)" since neither were regular series episodes when first produced).
     
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  14. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

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    You mean this?

    Scott Bakula reveals there were plans for Enterprise movies (syfy.com)

    The Romulan drone arc was, to date, our Romulan War. And in a sense, Archer’s role in the founding of the Federation is complete, since he managed to get the founding species to work together, and the Coalition of Planets has to transform into the United Federation of Planets over the course of that war.

    Then there was that unused Romulan War movie script, which frankly, wasn’t Enterprise-centric enough. Even though there was nothing about it that could not have been adapted to fit the Enterprise crew.

    The Romulan War would likely take a Temporal Cold War bent if such a film were to be made with the ENT cast. Which would be fine by me these days, as its not impossible to believe that there were Romulans (i.e. the TCW version of Nero) or other species that wanted to change the outcome of the conflict. Would probably allow Enterprise to tie up loose ends like Future Guy, and the involvement of the Tholians and Klingons in the TCW too. Like the Romulan War, these threads were never really addressed by ENT. And does not seem likely to be addressed by DIS in the future either.

    I kind of feel that ending the TCW at the beginning of S4 doomed the series to cancellation, since the TCW was the idea of the studio and it comes off as rejecting the studio’s idea.
     
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  15. somebuddyx

    somebuddyx Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've said for a while that I think a show called The Romulan War could have been Trek's version of The Clone Wars as an animated series. Maybe it's too on the nose but you could have followed different ships around for different episodes or mini-arcs, brought back Enterprise voice actors, and besides the regulars have Ada Maris as Captain Hernandez, Jeffrey Combs and Gary Graham. You could do a bunch of reasons why no one ever saw Romulans: they all wear armour that kills the occupant, like Space: Above and Beyond; they fight in drones like "Babel One"; they use proxies to fight the war like the Remans; maybe some people know the truth but keep it quiet because of the potential to sabotage relations with the Vulcans. You could visit different planets because budget is less of an issue. And you can just use that setting as a backdrop while telling other stories inside it.
     
  16. Timtamttime

    Timtamttime Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I turned 10 years old the day it debuted, so even though I didn’t watch it until 18 ½ years later, I still remember that day, albeit for different reasons. I don’t know what 10 year old me would have thought about it, but 28 year old me enjoyed the premiere a lot more than the DS9 premiere or TNG, for that matter. Not as good as VOY in my opinion, but still an interesting premise. 30 year old me holds the same conclusion.
     
  17. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Captain Captain

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    ENT was definitely influenced by VOY though. From using the same set for the bridge, to fixing VOY mistakes surround ship damage, to the captain dealing with time travellers from the future, to dealing with the Borg. In a sense, it was VOY in the 22nd century.
     
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  18. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

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  19. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Admiral Moderator

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    "Broken Bow" was the first Star Trek series premiere I watched "live", when it arrived on German TV on Sat.1 when I was a kid.
    I loved the setting and the (in the day) groundbreaking sets, costumes and effects.

    Pre-Federation, cool Earth ships, cool Andorian and Vulcan ships. Tantalizing glimpses into the far future.

    WIth the metal style of everything, it seemed so modern, in a present-day kind of way.
     
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  20. Anna Yolei

    Anna Yolei Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As ENT was the only show that didn't push it's season back for 9/11 coverage, I gave it a shot. I wasn't a Trek fan and everything I know of the franchise was forced upon me at the time, but I got a foot into the door of fandom because of it, for better or worse.

    Had plenty of good times in this forum as a kiddo here.
     
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