A century before Captain Kirk's five-year mission, Jonathan Archer captains the United Earth ship Enterprise during the early years of Starfleet, leading up to the Earth-Romulan War and the formation of the Federation.
Enterprise is hit with a rather intense anomaly. Refusing to leave an injured T'Pol behind, Archer is struck by the anomaly, leaving his brain infected with parasites, preventing him from making any ...
The Borg travel back in time intent on preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. Captain Picard and his crew pursue them to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes his maiden flight reaching warp speed.
The year is 2151. Earth has spent the last 88 years since learning how to travel faster than the speed of light studying under the wisdom of their alien ally called the 'Vulcans'. Now, the first crew of human explorers sets out into deep space on a ship called the 'Enterprise' to see what is beyond our solar system.
The opening title sequence, which chronicles humanity's progress towards the stars interspersed with other vessels named Enterprise, features footage from Star Trek: First Contact (1996) of the Phoenix, humanity's first FTL spacecraft, separating from its booster rocket and deploying its warp nacelles. See more »
Unlike TOS-DS9, Voyager and Enterprise suffered, with some consistency, from franchise writing which, though occasionally brilliant, was more often than not formulaic and unimaginative. No longer was the franchise's goal to take viewers where nobody had gone before. With Enterprise, the goals seemed to become more obviously "milk this thing for all its worth" more than ever before. Enterprise's writing team had their work cut out for them. They had to satisfy people who loved the original vision of TOS - high quality story-driven sci fi with consistent and engaging characters; people who loved the extension and expansion of the ST universe in TNG; fans who enjoyed the intense characterization and serialized drama of DS9; and people who enjoyed the somewhat less intense but still interesting ship-based adventures of Voyager.
The second problem is the concept itself. Star Trek made its fan base by bucking trends, not buying into them. And yet, the franchise decided to jump on the prequel bandwagon by developing a whole series that looked back before TOS to the first human involvement in intergalactic travel. When I first heard of this, I didn't know whether to applaud the bravery of the franchise team, or to wonder (as I often did while Voyager wandered through its last three season) what the heck they were thinking (if anything). My main concerns - and it seems that the series did indeed have problems dealing with these - were: how are they going to make this as radically innovative as the later series without creating major continuity problems for those series? and given Voyager's formulaic approach to story-lines, how will the writing team make yet another ship-based adventure as innovative and imaginative as TNG and TOS? Impossible? No. Impossible for a centrally-controlled franchise writing team operating within a corporate studio framework? Yes, probably... unless you have writers who are passionately dedicated to pushing boundaries and political and philosophical buttons (i.e. Ron Moore, etc) or go back to the model used by TOS and (to a lesser extent) TNG - bring in outside writers with pre-established Sci fi credentials.
As much as I enjoyed many episodes of Enterprise, and felt that the characters were as likable, well-developed and interesting as most of the franchise's efforts, and as much as I consider Enterprise to have been a generally successful series, I wish the franchise had continued to push the boundaries of sci fi and imaginative fiction, rather than cannibalizing itself and sticking with the formula. Again, a prequel was a great idea - for a mini-series or a limited, carefully story-arced 2-3 season series.
As has been said, hindsight is 20/20. However, I honestly remember thinking, when I first heard about the concept of Enterprise, that it would be best approached as a mini-series, or planned for a very limited number of seasons. From a business perspective, I think this would have made Enterprise a much more successful enterprise, and not the threat to the integrity of the franchise that it proved to be. I have many more opinions about the operation of the franchise which I will withhold here - after all - as an outsider (like many of the people who wrote TOS and TNG's best episodes) - What do I know?
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