Enterprise: Unsung Gem of the Star Trek Universe


Five minutes ago I finished watching the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, a series which I have binged from beginning to end over the past three weeks. Despite the fact that I’m 9 years late to the party (its last episode aired in May of 2005), Enterprise is now my favorite Star Trek series after the original.

Here are some things that helped to turn me into a fan of the show:

  • production design was all about practicality – most of the time things had a limit, for instance the ship (Enterprise NX-01) was almost always outclassed by the ships of alien races
  • using jumpsuits for uniforms was a perfect wardrobe decision which helped demonstrate the transition from our current period of space exploration to the time of warp drive
  • the show was a walking history lesson about the time before the birth of the political body known as The Federation, a time when Starfleet was still experimental
  • there wasn’t much established protocol for crews to fall back on; the crew of the Enterprise were establishing protocols as they went
  • the writers and producers made a concerted effort to allow the Enterprise series to act as a bridge between the previous films, the television series and other forms of established canon, down to details why there are Klingons without head ridges in the original Trek series but nearly all the Klingons had the ridges in anything made in the 80s and afterward.
  • in the 4th and final season they had fun exploring an alternate reality story which paid loving tribute to the original series
  • I even grew to like that stupid theme song because after the first 5 episodes I understood WHY it was different from the other series – these guys were making the history that every other series would springboard off of, so from a musical standpoint that non-symphonic sound kept the series grounded as a group of explorers out on the most amazing journey of their lives. Fairly well into the series you begin to realize how profound an impact Archer and his crew will have on the Star Trek universe. (I didn’t appreciate the strumming they added to the soundtrack in the 3rd and 4th seasons)
  • I could probably go on for another five or six bullet items but I’ll save it and just suggest that you add the show to your queue on Netflix and set aside some time to watch it.

The care with which the show devoted to developing the back history of the Star Trek universe was satisfying in a way that only a fan could appreciate. Of course it’s sci-fi and they get zillions of things wrong, but the entirety of the product they fashioned impresses me and I look forward to reading about and talking about the show with people who have been fans of Enterprise from the very beginning.

  • as if I’d forget the radiation rub-on gel scene introducing us to T’Pol and her bee-stung lips and 4-hours-in-the-gym-daily body.

So, like, the cast and crew of this show have moved well on from Enterprise, but in case they sit up late at night surfing the Internet for mentions of their show, well done ladies and gentlemen. You really did make me fall back in love with the Star Trek universe all over again. Thanks for four seasons worth of entertainment, I do wish that it had been more.

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