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The Problem With Enterprise


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I just finished watching Enterprise. Gotta admit, I really liked it, and (this is speaking personally, so don't flame me) don't see too many problems with its alterations to the timeline. Ok, so Spock was supposed to be the first Vulcan, and in Ent, T'pol was. This is fiction people. Intelligently written, mostly consistent fiction. Trip and the Doctor were fantastic in the roles, and the others were absolutely at the level of the other series. Pity they only did the four seasons.

So, I'm with you Idril!

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I think the friction that Enterprise causes is based on the fact that most of us older Trekkies have grown up with boundaries established by the original series. To me, it almost seemed like Braga was attempting to re-write Star Trek in his own image instead of following Roddenberry's vision. I think that's where the conflict comes from, and I mostly agree with it. Trek has changed, and not for the better, in my opinion. The fact that they keep using B-level actors like Bakula doesn't help matters. T'Pol was the most genuine actor on the set.

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Spock was the first Vulcan to go through the Academy. If you remember, T'Pol didn't do that.

What are the problems with the timeline, Rhys?

Tyr... how much has changed?

Give me some examples guys because, right now, I'm not buying it. o:)

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IMHO, I don't think it was exactly that Braga was trying to make it his own vision rather than Roddenberry's - I think they were trying too hard at times to make it Roddenberry's. Instead of focusing on writing really good scripts that had to do with the beginnings of the Federation, they pretty much did the same sort of thing that TOS did - a lot of random stories that don't exactly fit together well until the end of the next season.

Now, that's not to say that TOS is bad at all - I've been watching the DVDs and I'm now well into the third season. But for a ST show now, that formula doesn't work anymore. TNG, DS9, and VOY all had great scripts and great plotlines - and they all flowed together in a specific way, even if just through references at times.

ENT was coming around in the third and fourth seasons - the sad thing is, it was too little too late. They had already decided to can the show just as it was starting to turn around. They started making really, really good episodes that focused on how things were and how the Federation came to be founded - I haven't seen it yet because I stopped watching for a long time, but I heard about the Constitution-class episode, and that got me goggling for it because that is in the spirit of the show - time traveling for the sake of time traveling, not for saving the whole universe because of a temporal cold war.

I admit, a lot of the plots on ENT were rather convoluded - I don't think that's the fault of the actors or the show's crew, either. There were some good concepts, just poorly written scripts and poorly connected plotlines. I thought the Borg episode was rather intruiging, but to me it seemed a little too good to be true that they destroyed the ship so easily, even if there were only a few dozen Borg. I really liked that episode, but there were at least a few logical flaws that could have been better if they'd fleshed out the script, maybe made it a two parter or something.

HOWEVER - I think it was also a poor choice to use the Borg. The Borg are a great plot device, but they're overdone. Voyager ended up essentially being a show about fighting the Borg - which really worked, but I think Berman and Braga still had those stories stuck in their heads when they started ENT. I know, the episode didn't come in until the second season, but to me it seemed like they had really wanted to do one of those from the beginning.

Anyway... I loved ENT. Its not TOS. Its not TNG, or DS9, or VOY. Its ENT. And although it did have a lot of problems going for it, they did bring it around in the third and fourth seasons. I think if it had lived on a bit longer it would continue to do well, perhaps even bring delight to those of us who prefer the older shows. Hell, I grew up with TNG, so that was always my favorite, but DS9 came along and that blew it out of the water, so to speak. I think I love DS9 so much because, even for ST, its so different from the others, and the characters were fleshed out a lot faster, so you could understand them sooner... and then you couldn't fly away from waht you did, you had to deal with it in the long run, no matter the consequences.

IMHO, Ira Stephen Behr should be allowed to be in charge of the next series/movie.

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Personally nw this are just some of my thoughts,

Enterprise, I just found some concepts in it hard to swallow. Just small things like at that point and time in history, The Articles of mars should have been layed down, No real conflict had existed between the Andorians and the Vulcans.

It made for entertaining Television though. But then again I was never a big fan of Voyager for the same reason, Some things were too preachy, Some things were hard to swallow.

Enterprise is a sensitive subject in the trek community at large. You either loved it or despised it. And personally I am one of those who who loved Gene's utopia visions of the future.

I by far thought Baby;on 5 (the first 4 years) Were on par with TOS, TNG and DS9 as far as calibur of actors and scripts. But that isn't to say Voyager did not have worth scripts or actors.

As far as Enterpise, T'Pol while she was nice to look at. She seemed too much like a 7 of 9. And being a Southerner myself it was nice to see one on TV who was not in the Blue Collar comedy show.

Phlox he seemed like the most diverse and introspective person on the show. I wish they used him for more then odd comic relief.

But aside from all of that, Enterprise is now part of the Star Trek universe. I like t think of it like a member of an extended family, The black Sheep of the family perhaps?

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I liked Enterprise. I watched almost every episode during its four year run. However it is the weakest of the five shows. I felt that a lot of of episodes were already done on previous shows especially in the first two seasons. I thought the show got significantly better when Manny Coto took on a prominent role in running the show in the third season. The Xindi plotline was interesting and exciting with the fourth season doing wonders to repair some of the continuity discrepancies from the first two years.

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I must admit that Enterprise was beginning to come around. I liked the mirror universe episode with the Constitution-class Defiant, but again, I think the only reason I liked it was because it hearkened back to the original series again. Making Enterprise a "prequel" to TOS already alienated a lot of people, and the writing was just sub-standard. When you take something like "The Inner Light" from TNG and compare it to the writing from Enterprise, well, there's just no comparison.

If Trek truly wants a resurrection, they need to get some new blood in the form of more writers. I've seen plots in UFOP that blow the true Trek writers out of the water. The key is to EXPAND the Trek universe, not REHASH it. I think that above all was Enterprise's failing.

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Just some food for thought, There are some things I sat down and thought about and I posed this question to some of my friends over a few beers and this is what we came up with. I am going pretty deep into the dork forest (I passed Harry Potter himself to get here) so please keep in mind that I normally am not a trek expert, but :

1) The encounter with the romulans. This contradicts the events in "Balance of Terror"

2) No Series ever, and I mean EVER hinted at the existence of the Xindi. If they ripped out a chunk of the planet Earth you would have thought that would make the history books? Or at least garner a reference or two in another series?

3) We are all pretty sure there was a problem with the way Vulcans were portrayed (The T'Pol/7of9 connection)

4) The Klingons being so close to Earth. If Quo'Nos and earth were really that close on the space charts.. Well the Klingons did not achieve warp ability until the USS Ranger landed on their world. It was a warp capable ship that made first contact. Klingons killed most of the crew and made some of the survivors teach them how to operate and build new ones. If memory serves it was one of the Reasons that the Prime Directive was written.

5) The Mirror universe two parter was my personal favorite, Others said "Broken Bow, some said The Finale, But it was generally thought the first two seasons were poorly written. (Now again this is not every bodies opinion, Just a few Trek Enthusiasts who had way too much beer)

6) Spock was supposed to be the first Vulcan involved with Starfleet was he not? I know T'Pol was technically not in fleet but she served on the ship... Its splitting hairs.

7) The Borg.... That little encounter as highly entertaining as it was (It was one of my favorite Enterprise episodes) It still just did not sit well with me as being plausible. I mean who knew you could cure borg nanoprobes by wrapping your chief medical officer in foul and micro waving him. It led to one of the funniest lines my friends have ever said ("Poke a few holes in him so he doesn't explode")

8)Klingon Foreheads They were smooth and TMP and the "incident" That they don't talk about happening..

Now mind you most of these opinions are a little tongue in cheek and not meant to insult, Only to amuse. All in all as I said, ENT to me stopped being trek when they Pulled Star Trek from its title. Brega I will admit worked hard on it and some of the Episodes were entertaining, But hard core fans for the most part disliked it.

I am not a cannon nazi and I really tried to give this show a fair shake, But plots did not sit well and to me it felt like Gene's idea was somehow being perverted because Bragga wanted to re imagined it.

Which is all well and good, But I would have killed to have seen more references to TOS. If it was supposed to be setting us up for it, then Why did they use an Akira class for the base of the NX? If the Andorians and Vulcans had this war then why was it never mentioned n the future?

Just some thoughts I thought I would share.

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You do have quite a few good points there - I'm going to attempt to refute them if possible for the simple joy of debate.

1)

The encounter with the romulans. This contradicts the events in "Balance of Terror"
- I don't think this is entirely true. If I remember correctly, nowhere in the episode of BoT do they say they had never encountered Romulans before, they just had simply never spoken face to face. You could argue that technically we probably hadn't encountered the Romulans too long before the war, but then again I'm not sure they ever put a true date on the Federation/Romulan war.

2)

No Series ever, and I mean EVER hinted at the existence of the Xindi. If they ripped out a chunk of the planet Earth you would have thought that would make the history books? Or at least garner a reference or two in another series?
- I think this is mostly because it was a new plot device they wanted to use - they could easily have done WWIII or the Federation/Romulan or Federation/Klingon war, but I think they wanted something perhaps more interesting, although maybe it was a bit too much on the fiction side of science fiction.

3)

We are all pretty sure there was a problem with the way Vulcans were portrayed (The T'Pol/7of9 connection)
- Yes and no. I know everybody loves the way Spock was portrayed, but you also have to remember that TOS is, I think, something like 50 to a hundred years after ENT - plenty of time for Vulcans to evolve a bit more. But, also remember - T'Pol and 7of9 were both meant to be eye candy more than anything.

4)

The Klingons being so close to Earth. If Quo'Nos and earth were really that close on the space charts.. Well the Klingons did not achieve warp ability until the USS Ranger landed on their world. It was a warp capable ship that made first contact. Klingons killed most of the crew and made some of the survivors teach them how to operate and build new ones. If memory serves it was one of the Reasons that the Prime Directive was written.
- This one is a little harder to refute, because I don't know very much about the canon layout of the galaxy. Chalk it up to wanting to use one of everyone's favorite enemy races.

5)

The Mirror universe two parter was my personal favorite, Others said "Broken Bow, some said The Finale, But it was generally thought the first two seasons were poorly written. (Now again this is not every bodies opinion, Just a few Trek Enthusiasts who had way too much beer)
- This I can't really refute, because its true. I regret to say I didn't get to see the Mirror universe episode (yet! I will on DVD!!!!) so I'd say Broken Bow or the Finale.

6)

Spock was supposed to be the first Vulcan involved with Starfleet was he not? I know T'Pol was technically not in fleet but she served on the ship... Its splitting hairs.
- Yes, splitting hairs - not going into it.

7)

The Borg.... That little encounter as highly entertaining as it was (It was one of my favorite Enterprise episodes) It still just did not sit well with me as being plausible. I mean who knew you could cure borg nanoprobes by wrapping your chief medical officer in foul and micro waving him. It led to one of the funniest lines my friends have ever said ("Poke a few holes in him so he doesn't explode")
- I admit there were quite a few errors in logic, but I have to say the way they explained it worked - the Borg were essentially survivors from the Sphere the ENT-E destroyed in First Contact. I did like this episode, but I think they could have made it a bit more logical in how they did things.

8)

Klingon Foreheads They were smooth and TMP and the "incident" That they don't talk about happening..
- I know Worf wouldn't explain it on DS9, and they pretty much don't really talk about it, but perhaps its safe to say this is before the Klingons did their genetic experiments?
Now mind you most of these opinions are a little tongue in cheek and not meant to insult, Only to amuse. All in all as I said, ENT to me stopped being trek when they Pulled Star Trek from its title. Brega I will admit worked hard on it and some of the Episodes were entertaining, But hard core fans for the most part disliked it.

I am not a cannon nazi and I really tried to give this show a fair shake, But plots did not sit well and to me it felt like Gene's idea was somehow being perverted because Bragga wanted to re imagined it.

- Agreed.
Which is all well and good, But I would have killed to have seen more references to TOS. If it was supposed to be setting us up for it, then Why did they use an Akira class for the base of the NX? If the Andorians and Vulcans had this war then why was it never mentioned n the future?
- I think they wanted to use a simpler design that would look a heck of a lot different from other Enterprises, but was still somewhat familiar? Hell if I know. And the war... eh, again, more plot elements to play with.

Truth be told, I absolutely love ENT, even with the flaws that are obvious and not so obvious. It was a great show, and it became great Trek when seasons 3 and 4 rolled around.

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Ok, looks like Piet got most of them...

First Contact with the Klingons is in the books as I remember, which aren't considered canon.

They fixed the Vulcan issue in the 4th season bby changing the way that Vulcans lead their lives of 'logic.' So yes, they were wrong, but no, this was explained and tied in.

As for the Klingons being so close to Earth... the Enterprise A makes it to the center of the galaxy in a simular amount of time... this is often explained by a warp highway. Why is it out of the realm of logic that there could've been one, at least temporarily, between Earth and the Klingon Homeworld?

I agree that the 1st two seasons were pretty much a bad lot of writing all around, with a couple minor exceptions. The finale, however, was total lunacy... but that's a different topic.

Spock was the first Vulcan who went through the Academy. TPol joined Starfleet, but never went through the Academy.

Klingon foreheads were also explained in the 4th season... genetic experiments dealing with the old Eugenics Wars stuff... fun episodes.

I have the same complaint about the Akira-prise... though technically that isn't an issue with canon. Who knows? The Akira could've been based on the NX-class... seems logical to me that they'd save time when designing a battlecruiser to fight the Borg by going back to an old design that served well.

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  • 1 month later...

While I do love Enterprise, watching Season 3, I came to realize a few inconsistencies -

When the anomaly hits Enterprise and Archer and T'Pol are trying to get away from it, a bulkhead falls on T'Pol's leg and pins her down. Archer must be the one to move it. If I remember, from all canon and non-canon sources, Vulcans are typically several times stronger than humans, no matter if angry or not. So why couldn't she lift it?

Secondly - about halfway through the season, they have "Previously" at the beginning, but none of them are in the order they aired, and sometimes it seems like whole episodes were skipped. That threw me off and is one of the few complaints I have.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Maybe... or it could just be they needed some reason for T'Pol to take care of him after the anomoly screwed up his brain.

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