A Look Back: Enterprise

Star Trek: Enterprise, also known as simply Enterprise, is a science fiction television series that aired from 2001 to 2005. It was the fifth installment in the Star Trek franchise and served as a prequel to the original series, taking place approximately 100 years before the adventures of Captain Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise. While I didn’t really think much of the show when it first aired, it’s grown to be one of my favorite shows to revisit. I did watch the entire first run of the show at the time, but I was a less flexible person then.

Enterprise followed the crew of the USS Enterprise NX-01, led by Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), as they embarked on humanity’s first deep space exploration mission. The show explored the early days of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets, as well as the challenges and dangers faced by humanity as they ventured into the unknown reaches of space.

One of the most notable aspects of Enterprise was its emphasis on a more realistic, gritty portrayal of space exploration. Unlike the previous Star Trek series, which often presented a utopian view of the future, Enterprise showed the struggles and difficulties of humanity’s first steps into space. The crew faced technical problems with the ship, encounters with hostile alien species, and the ethical dilemmas that arose from their missions.

In addition to its unique tone, Enterprise also had a strong ensemble cast that was well-liked by fans. Bakula’s portrayal of Captain Archer was praised for his leadership and determination, while other standout performances came from Jolene Blalock as the Vulcan science officer T’Pol, Connor Trinneer as the chief engineer Charles “Trip” Tucker III, and Linda Park as the communications officer Hoshi Sato.

Enterprise also featured a number of notable guest stars, including Brent Spiner (who played the android Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation), Jeffrey Combs (who played several different roles throughout the franchise), and veteran actor James Cromwell (who played the inventor of the first warp engine in the Star Trek film First Contact).

However, despite its strong cast and unique approach, Enterprise faced some challenges during its run. The show struggled with low ratings and was ultimately cancelled after four seasons, making it the shortest-running Star Trek series to date. Many fans felt that the show suffered from poor writing and inconsistent storytelling, particularly in its third and fourth seasons, which featured a controversial story arc involving the Xindi, a group of alien species who threatened Earth with a superweapon.

Despite its cancellation, Enterprise still has a dedicated fanbase and is remembered fondly by many Star Trek fans. Its emphasis on a more realistic approach to space exploration, as well as its strong performances and memorable guest stars, make it a unique and important addition to the Star Trek franchise. Personally, I really liked the design of the uniforms. Next to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the Enterprise uniforms are my favorite style.

In conclusion, Star Trek: Enterprise was a prequel series that explored the early days of space exploration and the challenges faced by humanity as they ventured into the unknown. While the show struggled with low ratings and inconsistent storytelling, its unique approach to the Star Trek universe and strong ensemble cast have earned it a place in the hearts of many fans.

2 comments

  1. I’m re-watching Enterprise as I listen to the guys on Star Trek the Next Conversation talk about each episode and I like it a lot more than I remember. I think it really got killed by being a prequel on the heels of the Star Wars fiasco.

    1. I agree. It’s a great show, but it did suffer from the general public thinking “That’s not my Star Trek”. Even though Trek had already seen some ideas and concepts that leapt far beyond TOS, folk were still a bit closeminded. Since this was before my Nerdy enlightenment of just appreciating things on their own terms, and not by what I think they should be, I had my doubts about the series. Glad it’s around for me to enjoy now πŸ™‚

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