"Enterprise" too advanced for 22nd Century

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by CaptainSpirk, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. CaptainSpirk

    CaptainSpirk Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Does anyone else think that "Star Trek: Enterprise" was too advanced for the 22nd Century?

    From the sleek starship design of the Enterprise NX-01, which should have been more retro or more inline toward the pre-Constitution class, rather than the Akira-class looking one we got, to the 24th century style rank pips. Why would they use 24th century style rank rips? Couldn't the designers come up with a different rank pips for that period?

    The uniforms were also wrong and ugly for the period. Should have been more like "The Cage" style era uniforms or completely different.

    To the inside of the Enterprise itself. I think it was still far too sleeker. Although it did have push buttons like the Constitution class starship, the monitors and that were too advanced. The bridge resembled that of NASA control room.

    Also, why did Captain Archer have a ready-room when Captain Kirk did not? They should have held their meetings in a briefing room or something similar.

    It should've gone backwards, but instead they were stuck in the same 24th century style era. I think you can thank Rick Berman and Brannon Braga for that.

    I hope non of my points were previously mentioned before.
     
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  2. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the uniforms were very fitting.
     
  3. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

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    It's an old argument, but yes, it was still too TNG-like and therefore didn't delivery enough retro appeal.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's a common mistake to confuse the relative advancements of the productions for the actual relative advancement of the in-universe technology. Obviously the makers of TOS did not want 23rd-century technology to look like it was made with 1960s components; it was just the best approximation of future tech that they could manage with the available resources. As soon as TMP gave them the budget and technology to depict a more advanced-looking future, they embraced the opportunity. Given the chance to go back and redo TOS with better resources, or even a prequel, Roddenberry would've been the first to insist on giving it a more "advanced" look.

    The tech in Enterprise is explicitly less advanced than TOS in many substantive ways that are far more important than the superficial "sleekness" of its appearance. No shields, no tractor beams, no computer voice interface. Slower warp drive. Transporters and universal translators in their infancy, along with "phase weapons" and "photonic" torpedoes. The sets have handholds everywhere, indicating that the artificial gravity is unreliable. The consoles have visible cooling fans, while the 23rd-century consoles are advanced enough that none are needed.

    And why in the world should uniforms from the 2150s have looked like "Cage" uniforms from the 2250s, when the uniforms from the 2270s-80s were completely different? That doesn't make a shred of sense. There's no linear evolutionary progression to clothing design. The ENT uniforms looked more like modern-day astronaut jumpsuits, closer to our era than TOS's, which seems entirely reasonable to me. They also happened to be an objectively good costume design, very practical and functional.

    As for the ready room issue, a better question is, why didn't Pike or Kirk have one? It's not like ready rooms are some far-future innovation; we have them today, although the current term for them is "sea cabins" ("ready room" refers instead to a pilots' standby room on an aircraft carrier). It just makes sense for a captain to have an office or private quarters that are right next to the bridge (not just in real life, but dramatically -- it's an improvement on having private conversations in the turbolift). TOS's lack of one was arguably a design flaw that later shows corrected. For all that ENT was set earlier, it was still made later, and entitled to benefit from the lessons of its predecessors.


    Sorry, but people have been making these exact same complaints ever since ENT premiered nearly 16 years ago.
     
  5. Kemaiku

    Kemaiku Admiral Admiral

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    No. The crew constantly encountered situations where 23rd century technology and above could have solved in minutes, or not had a problem at all. The ship was so inferior compared to nearly every other species they encountered, they were almost forced to turn back and wait for their technology to develop further several times.

    Humans were shown to be out of their depth every week and deserved much of the condecension of higher races.

    What little technology they did have was all shoved into one program and rushed to completion, showing that they needed to slow down and rethink their longterm goals in space. After the Romulan War, I have no doubt the Federation took the time to work things out before pushing advancement again and spreading out into the galaxy.
     
  6. CaptainSpirk

    CaptainSpirk Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I still wish the show was more primitive much inline with the 23rd century or less that the advance look that it got.
     
  7. ALF

    ALF Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But... what about the ball caps?

    Seriously, I think there is some truth to the idea that Enterprise was overpowered in a nearly anachronistic way, seeing that it takes place only 130 years from now. Trek is always about humanity's future through optimistic lenses so they have to set the bar high, accordingly. In the 4 years it aired this never kept me from enjoying it.

    In real life, I have a hard time believing we as a species will even survive 140 years later. I hope I'm wrong.
     
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  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that would make no sense. It was meant to be the future, not the past. TOS was not meant to be "retro" -- it was meant to be cutting-edge futurism. It was just limited to using 1960s technology and design philosophies in attempting to create that view of the future. For its time, it looked futuristic. That was the intention. So any subsequent Trek show should base its designs on what's considered futuristic in its own era. It would be utterly nonsensical for a show made in the 2000s and set in the 2150s to look like it was made in the 1950s. Like I said, that's mistaking the advancement of the production for the advancement of the fictional world it depicts. Those are two different things.
     
  9. Kemaiku

    Kemaiku Admiral Admiral

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    It was, the ship used a magnet on a string for god sake.
     
  10. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have no personal doubt that our species will survive, unless we deliberately replace ourselves with a new species.
    They did occasionally meet in the area aft of the bridge.
    I do feel that the NX-01 was too big, outside and in. Personally would have liked it to be smaller, more tight on the inside, narrow corridors.

    Daniels was a crewman and a mess steward (undercover - I know), his living quarters were almost size of my first apartment, as a crewman shouldn't he have been sharing with a few other crewmen?
     
  11. Blooded

    Blooded Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He was, wasn't he?
     
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  12. GabyBee

    GabyBee Captain Captain

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    I agree with all of this.

    Also, I think the uniforms were spot on. They showed a direct lineage back to NASA and other Earth-bound space programs, while giving stylistic cues to the future via TOS colored divisional piping. The rank pips were a bit awkward at first, but I think they made them work well enough to not be a major issue for me.

    As for technology... Transporters were still clearly at a very primitive level during ENT's time. On TOS no character other than Bones seemed to have any qualms about stepping onto a transporter pad. In McCoy's case, I've always kinda just chalked it up to a random character quirk akin to someone being afraid of flying in the 21st Century. Those people do still exist, and while they may intellectually acknowledge the overwhelming safety record of air travel, they still personally prefer not to partake in it.

    NX-01 also had much more primitive food options than on TOS. Whereas food synthesizers were available on the Enterprise in the 23rd Century, NX-01 still had to carry the majority of its foodstuffs in bulk, and cook them much as we do in contemporary times. The ship had a full time cook aboard who prepared full meals for the whole crew, rather than each person getting a customized dish for every meal.

    And of course there's the case of the Universal Translator. In the 22nd Century this technology was very much still a work in progress. Rather than rely on technology to aid translation, most Vulcans on Earth simply learned Human languages. By the 23rd Century the Enterprise's crew was pretty reliant on the UT to communicate with not only alien races, but even each other at times.
     
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  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Who says Kirk didn't have a ready room? Just because we never saw one, doesn't mean there WASN'T one.

    Yes, I believe Daniels did have a roommate. We never saw him, but IIRC they did discuss resettling him in different quarters when Daniels left and the original room was quarantined.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
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  14. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I never saw it as more advanced for many of the same points others have said already.

    The ship was clearly a prototype. Exposed pieces, very clearly defined hull plates, you can see rivets (or whatever future bolts/screws are), the warp coils in the nacelles are completely exposed on the sides, instead of being covered like in TOS.
     
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  15. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There was nothing to advance about anything. Hell, there wasn't even anything sleek about the ship. Look at how many little details in terms of technology were visible on the ship. In the 23rd century, all of it was incorperated so well, hardly anything was visible on the hull.

    The NX class was far less advanced compared to the Constitution class. Even though fans were annoyed with names like phase-cannons or photonic torpedoes, they were less powerfull than their 23rd century counterparts. No shields. Unreliable transporters.

    Hell, compared to 2017 and and 2001, a lot of our modern day computer tech has advanced so much, Enterprise seems somewhat behind.

    So no, there was nothing too advanced about the show.
     
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  16. Voth commando1

    Voth commando1 Commodore Commodore

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    Seriously are you just looking at the surface? It was "sleeker" because of better production values.

    The tech in Enterprise is very primitive by the standards of 24th and 23rd century Trek. The weaponry and shielding are much more primitive, the ship is a lot slower, the universal translator doesn't yet exist, there is no female voice computer, holograms only show up in one episode with Auberjonois, the transporter exists but is stated to be experimental and is only used in emergencies, the uniforms are basically future NASA.

    I so hope discovery doesn't try to be retro and look like its from the 60s.

    I'm not a fan of the Abrams films overall but the sleek integrated design is something Gene would have loved had he lived to see it.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yup. Technology tends to get simpler-looking as it gets more advanced. Cell phones used to have tons of buttons, a big antenna sticking out, etc. Now they're these smooth slabs with maybe 2-3 physical buttons.
     
  18. Devilpogostick

    Devilpogostick Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, I was glad that despite looking a bit more advanced than TOS, the show went out of its way to establish that 22nd Century tech is woefully inferior and by later seasons were they slowly getting there but still far behind.

    Hell, I end up loving how the Mirror Universe episodes were basically spelling "sure, that TOS Constitution looks silly now but it'll kick everyone's ass in the 22nd century."

    The uniforms I find no issue with. Hell, it's practical and feels it made sense in the timeframe, where Starfleet isn't in a position for luxury.
     
  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If that. Ipods function on some of the more minimalist interface functions with one maybe two buttons on some.

    I think the visual aesthetic was spot on for the show's setting. Nothing was clean or polished, and had a very submarine feel. I think the feel that it wasn't the appropriate time frame was more the story telling, which felt very similar to TNG.
     
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  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But when we talk about these as stories, then what matters is their context in the real world, their relation to the audience. A story told in a given time will usually have the sensibilities of that time, no matter when it's set. A modern Trek series should be written and produced in a modern way, regardless of where it falls in the fictional timeline, because modern audiences are less likely to respond to a story that's told in an old-fashioned way (unless it's a pastiche of an old-fashioned thing that's filtered through a modern sense of nostalgia, kitsch, irony, deconstruction, or the like). If anything, Voyager and Enterprise were behind their time in terms of their storytelling techniques; by the time ENT started to catch up, it was already too late.