Why was Enterprise received so poorly?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by dcm, Jun 30, 2023.

  1. Space Socialist

    Space Socialist Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I think it could’ve gotten 7 seasons even with the Star Trek fatigue issue hanging over it had some of the issues been addressed during initial production. A fifth Trek series was never doomed to inevitable failure.
     
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  2. AntonyF

    AntonyF Official Tahmoh Taster Rear Admiral

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    I guess when you are a show runner/creator on one of the largest franchises in the world it's hard to step down just because the network is pushing your timeline. It's a shame they didn't get a year off but I think that is because the fatigue was with the writers more than the fan base. Berman also has spoken frequently about being custodian of Gene's legacy and I think he took that seriously.

    The ratings were huge for the premiere. Trouble is it went straight into episodes like Terra Nova which felt like a weak episode in an established show not a way to try and build a fan base with Enterprise.

    It's pretty much universally accepted that seasons three and four were a marked improvement (once they had fresh blood like Manny Coto) but by then it was too late. You can't build back a fan base.

    Also don't underestimate the issues with UPN at the time. It was in trouble and that does have a knock on effect in terms of promotion and focus for the show. It was barely a year after Enterprise was cancelled that UPN merged with WB.
     
  3. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    After 7 years of Voyager, it was really more of the same. Also, Trek had been on TV every year since 1987 to 2005 so franchise fatigue probably played a huge factor too.
     
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  4. bdub76

    bdub76 Captain Captain

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    For me the show promised to be about the beginnings of the Federation. Then, it went off the rails with The Temporal Cold War and the Xindi. The show felt like it was going to return to its original premise, but then it got canceled. It's ending was also terrible.
     
  5. ReddishAlert

    ReddishAlert Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I actually like a lot of Enterprise, however, I think the biggest issue is that it just seems low budget. The sets, the song, the costumes, the supporting actors, the style. TOS, TNG and DS9 all have a majestic/epic quality. Even Voyager quite often. The first couple seasons of Enterprise, even when it is good, feel like a fan made show.

    Also, prequels are almost always a terrible idea because they only matter to the initiated and the uninitiated. In other words, people who care intensely about what came before and people who care not at all. Either way, hardly boldly going.
     
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  6. Herbert

    Herbert Commodore Commodore

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    When ENT started I watched the first few episodes and quickly lost interest. I attribute that to Star Trek fatigue on my part. I did despise the theme music because it wasn't an orchestrated score like all the versions that came before but that's just a personal quibble.

    More importantly, it didn't feel like a show about a culture going out into space for the first time. TOS had an
    'exploring the frontier' vibe. ENT didn't and it should have.

    The ENT universe looked far more advanced than the TOS universe. I do understand that they weren't going to create the show with the TOS aesthetic but still, the difference was jarring for me. Even SNW looks far more advanced than TOS but I like that show. The vibe is correct.

    I recently watched the entire series and enjoyed it but I doubt I'll ever watch it again.
     
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  7. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I actually liked it at 12 mostly just because it was very different from the Voyager theme/opening credits which I had gotten tired of, just the different kind of credits visuals plus another instrumental theme could have been decent but probably not a big change.

    I think a lot of the fans while not liking those specifically (though *some* did outright like the titillation) did like a lot the Trip/T'Pol relationship including the romance even with it having the contrived or goofy elements like being advanced by neuropressure sessions.
     
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  8. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think of TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT, the last one is the only one that still has entire episodes that I've never seen because I just don't have the interest. Well, I also haven't seen VOY's "Night", but that's not because I'm uninterested in seeing it, just lazy.

    At least two of the episodes I haven't seen, "Hatchery" and "Carpenter Street", are during the Xindi arc as well, but I've read summaries and reviews and they just haven't made me feel as though I'm missing out on much.
     
  9. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Berman was about to finish a 10 year, 100 million dollar contract to oversee all of Star Trek.

    If there was any Star Trek still being made, like Enterprise, for instance, with Bermans name on it, they couldn't remove him completely. He could cling to his on going projects, hiding from a well deserved shit canning.

    Enterprise could have limped on, but then they would have to keep Berman on which was non desirable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2023
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  10. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The big reason?

    It didn't match the headcanon fans had built up in their minds over the past 35 years.
     
  11. Dee1891

    Dee1891 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was never aware of how "Enterprise" was received. From my personal perspective, I thought it was okay, but I preferred shows like "Next Generation", "Deep Space Nine" and "Voyager". I think it's better than most of the shows that followed. I would equate it on the same level as "Discovery". I really enjoyed one season, thought another season was pretty decent and wasn't that enamored of the other two.
     
  12. bdub76

    bdub76 Captain Captain

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    Then sci-fi also got much darker during this time. The reboot of BSG came out, and it was depressing in comparison. Then, because it was a hit, sci-fi shows in general followed the same dark formula. Stargate Universe didn’t even feel like Stargate. The humor was gone.
     
  13. at Quark's

    at Quark's Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    From my perspective, having grown up with TNG, and later DS9 and VOY, because of a failure to innovate sufficiently.

    It felt as just more of the same 'meeting the alien or anomaly of the week' we had seen in earlier series. It was supposed to be a radically different time from the era of TNG, DS9 and VOY, and even TOS, but many things still 'felt' the same - even though some episodes did manage to convey the feel that this 22nd century Alpha Quadrant really was a different place, where even the 'known friendly races' weren't that trustworthy.

    Not that it was bad or anything, but it just didn't feel that original. Though it got better in S4.

    I wonder how the experience would have been from the perspective of someone for whom Enterprise was his/her introduction to Trek, though.
     
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  14. bdub76

    bdub76 Captain Captain

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    I’d classify both TNG and VOY as uptight Trek. I’d expect ENT to be far more free spirited like TOS.
     
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  15. JamesRye

    JamesRye Captain Captain

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    I remember being so excited for Enterprise - and I loved much of it.

    But, one of the main draws, Scott Bakula, he never seemed to settle. He's wonderful in Quantum Leap, so natural and charismatic. But in Enterprise, he's stiff and unnatural and he never quite seemed happy in the role. I think the show was poorly received because the actors just weren't gelling and transcending the material like a Stewart, Mulgrew, Brooks or Shatner were able to. I mean, you watch Shatner wrestling with some of the ropey stuff in Season 3, or Stewart battling with crass dialog in Season 1. The Enterprise cast were all a bit bland, except for Jolene and Connor, really.
     
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  16. Anna Yolei

    Anna Yolei Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh absolutely this. I remember the things Les Moonves was rumored to have said about Trek. The guy is an absolute terror to people and shows he hate....the guy is the reason why Murphy Brown has all but become lost media because he hated it's female EP.

    I wish ENT had been stronger out the gate for its own sake but I truly do not think that with all the BTS stuff that was happening at the studio that it wouldn't ever gone beyond the end of UPN as a network. The CW was interested in catering to teens and young women and despite that demographic being the reason Trek as we know it exists, (and even this very forum itself skewing heavily female with all the thirst thread we had for the guys of this show!) TPTB had long since deemed it a Man Show.
    I was team A/T'P back in the day, but yeah, T/T'P was the Spirk of ENT and I am absolutely not exaggerating :lol:

    While the neuropressure and other contrived way of getting T'Pol naked to titillate teen boys put me off to the pairing initially (she says, conveniently ignoring ANISB), I get the appeal of two wildly different cultures coming together to learn about one another. Plus, they were objectively one of Trek's most attractive canon couples.

    Although I find it funny that for all the fights we had over who T'Pol should've ended up with, Archer/Shran has eclipsed both in popularity over on AO3. I've even gotten a couple of Tumblr kiddos give me disbelieving looks when I tell them about this :lol:

    Oooh, I can answer this one! :biggrin:

    I stayed because I liked T'Pol and loved seeing her own Archer :lol: I found Archer to be ridiculous at times, even as a 15 year old who was less than a decade away from Naval service and who'd find herself under some leaders that I wanted to turn full Beckett Mariner against.

    I did honestly hate the theme song from the jump though. I had enough Trek exposure to know there were awesome banger themes with full orchestras so hearing this made me do a beagle head tilt internally. Obviously it wasn't the deal breaker it was to many because I'm here typing this on an account that is older than I was when I created it but I'm glad for the "skip intro" button.

    Most of the things that bothered existing fans like the ship design or it's use of TNG species when perfectly good TOS aliens existed (like, yanno, the Tellurites, who were founding members of the Federation) or the fact that the NX-01 did a trip in under a week that Kirk's Enterprise took nearly a month to complete were things that I either had no frame of reference for or I found absolutely ridiculous. I did start to get more critical of the series once I came here and after I went back to watch TNG and DS9 (VOY being on syndication on UPN concurrent to ENT, I was able to finish that series in six months)

    The decon chambers were cringe and even the two guys I talked to at my high school about Trek agreed on that.

    But I will say that I enjoyed it enough to want to write fanfic about it, even when I didn't have a name for it, or even knew that this franchise all but invented modern fandom and im glad I joined it. I can't honestly say ENT is at the top of my fave list of series (that's a tie between LD and DS9) but it was there for me and honestly can say it was responsible for me having a really great tenth grade, so for that I can't hate it.
     
  17. AntonyF

    AntonyF Official Tahmoh Taster Rear Admiral

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    In the US alone it got 12.5 million viewers for its premiere. Ratings that shows these days would kill for.

    And that's not all hardcore fans. That's newbies, casual interest, Quantum Leap fans.

    It just sadly wasn't that good in the first season.
     
  18. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And there was a big drop off after that, because viewers didn't like what they saw when they tuned in.

    But I was never talking about ratings. The OP was talking about ENT's critical reception among fandom, so that's how I (somewhat facetiously) answered the question.
     
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  19. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Commodore Commodore

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    This thread is giving me Post-Traumatic Faith of the Heart Disorder.
     
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  20. SpockOfNine

    SpockOfNine Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    The Phantom Menace has way better tech than the original trilogy but I think people accepted this change because TMP occurs in a gilded age of majesty, the last hoorah of a dying civilization careening towards inevitable decline and a fascist takeover.

    I think it was more Showrunner fatigue than Trek fatigue, at least for me.