"Enterprise"
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"Star Trek: Enterprise" (2001) More at IMDbPro »"Enterprise" (original title)

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This series takes place exactly 113 years before the original series from 2151-2155 A.D.While the finale takes place in 2161 A.D.

The plain and somewhat minimalistic design of the Enterprise's interior from Star Trek was a financial necessity in those days. As the show was on a very tight budget, the art department couldn't afford too many accessories on the bridge, and production designer Walter M. Jefferies had to keep the design sleek and simple. (The original Star Trek had a budget of $185,000 per episode, equivalent to $1,330,000 in 2013 dollars. Star Trek: Enterprise had a budget of about $5,000,000 per episode.) One indication that this was by necessity and not by design, is that the upgraded Enterprise (the 1701) in the first 3 Star Trek films looked far more futuristic and sophisticated, consistent with the movies' substantially higher budget. Paradoxically, the old, minimalistic design has been hailed by many as an example of efficiency, and elements of the blueprint have even found their way into modern military vehicles (upon seeing the upgraded Enterprise, Jefferies complained that they had "turned it into the lobby of the Hilton").

For the Enterprise series, a bigger budget was available, and as the series is situated closer to our own time period (about 150 years into our future), the Enterprise NX-01 was designed to look more like a futuristic equivalent of a 20th century atomic submarine. This means more screens, buttons, lights, accessories and less vivid colors. The emphasis is generally on gadgets and functionality. Also, as NX-01 does not have the benefit of multi-phasic shielding it is covered with polarized hull-plating, giving it a more metallic appearance. Do note that the spaces are generally a lot smaller (the bridge, quarters, doorways, etc. Commander Riker mentioned in the episode "These Are The Voyages..." that the Captain's quarters on the NX-01 are smaller than a brig (prison cell) on the Enterprise D).

In short, the 'real' explanation is that our idea of a futuristic ship has changed considerably since the 1960s, now that computer technology has changed our daily life since the 1980s-90s to an extent that could not be predicted in the past. This also explains why a different look was chosen for the Enterprise NX-01, even though it created some visual inconsistency with TOS. Crew members and producers of Enterprise have stated on behind-the-scenes documentaries that they wanted to honour the basic design of TOS, yet they also had to take into account our current state of technology. (In that respect, the 2009 and 2013 movies Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, which chronologically take place between the Enterprise and Original Series eras, evade the issue altogether by completely revamping the look of ships and technology up to the standards that we would currently expect of the 23rd century).

As a narrative explanation for this difference, one could say that the 22nd century is unique era in Star Trek lore, since it is pre-Federation; Earth is an independant world, so the Enterprise NX-01 is technically a terran military ship, and not subject to ship's standards and conventions set later by the Federation/Starfleet. Federation ships are first and formost ships for exploration rather than combat. They can be manned by species others than humans, so perhaps there are regulations as to how tactile controls and screens should look and work. The same goes for overall look in the use of colors. Additionally, the simplified design of the TOS-era Enterprise may also be a sign that controls, screens and functions have been merged together, reducing the need for redundant systems. This doesn't exactly explain the absense of LCD, LED, and plasma HD or 3D monitors in TOS, but perhaps the ship has become more automated to the point that it no longer relies on lots of diagnostic screens to be used by bridge crew (or these functions have been deferred to other areas of the ship, which were never seen). A sleeker, more efficient design is surely something the Vulcans, prominent members of the Federation, would appreciate. So in ships made after the founding of the Federation, the emphasis is on user-friendly design and efficiency. Advancement is achieved through eliminating buttons instead of adding them and although this appears simplified it is technically more advanced and much more practical.

This doesn't particularly explain why more buttons and screens returned in the ships' interiors after the TOS era. It may have simply been due to changes in political climate (increasing external threats, e.g. from the Klingons?) and in policy of Starfleet may have simply warranted a shift from exploration ships to war ships, necessitating altered ship designs. Perhaps the Federation/Starfleet simply endured a shortage crisis during the TOS era, comparable to the 2010's global financial crisis, so simpler ships needed to be build Star Trek always had a way of mirroring events from the real world, and many times even predicted them...

Another theory is due to Star Trek: First Contact. Cochran did see the outside of the Enterprise-E when making his flight and Lily did spend time walking around inside the Enterprise-E. Both of these people could have taken those ideas and used them to create the first warp 5 starship.

Also, 'Enterprise' could also be said to take place in the JJ Abrams universe, which is why the Enterprise in those movies look more advanced. This is implied by a scene in Star Trek Into Darkness, by looking at Admiral Marcus' desk after the attack. He has a model of the NX-01 on his desk. The only problem with this explanation is that in the episodes Enterprise: In a Mirror, Darkly: Part 1 (#4.18) and Enterprise: In a Mirror, Darkly: Part 2 (#4.19), the Enterprise crew obtains a starship from the TOS era, which looks like a ship from the Roddenberry universe to the smallest details, and not like a ship from the Abrams universe.

As Enterprise is a prequel series, technology at the start of the pilot (which is halfway the 22nd century) is consequently less advanced than seen in the other series.

First of all, Earth ships have no energy-based shields yet. Outer protection of the ship's hull is provided by hull plating that can be polarized and absorb a certain amount of weapons fire. The plates do not provide protection against certain types of radiation.

Instead of phasers, the Enterprise fires 'phase cannons', which generally look and act the same as phasers, although not as powerful. It should be noted that they may have been called 'phase weapons' by the series creators to establish that they are different from 'phasers', to conform to Worf's statement in a Next Generation episode that "phasers did not exist in the 22nd century".

Projectile weapons consist of conventional torpedoes. Photonic torpedoes are finally introduced by the end of season 2. Also, portable phase cannons for personal defence have just been issued, named 'phase pistols' (probably also for the abovementioned reason). They replace traditional plasma rifles that were used until the 22nd century. They only have two settings: stun and kill. The 'kill' setting is strong enough to kill humans but it only stuns some physically tougher species. Phase pistols can't vaporize objects and people.

Ship's layout is generally the same as in Star Trek, although rooms and spaces are by default smaller. The bridge layout is also generally similar, with the captain's chair in the center, helm in front, communications on the right, tactical at the left, and the science station behind the captain. Sub-Commander T'Pol, the Science Officer, has a telescopic viewer, like Capt. Spock did on TOS. Behind the bridge is a Situation Room, which consists of a large horizontal viewing station, where away missions are planned.

The Enterprise's engines are powered by a horizontal warp engine (like on the USS Enterprise in TOS, although it was named 'warp core' by that time), which is since recently capable of Warp 5 speed (although short periods of Warp 5.2 can be sustained). This is contrary to the USS Enterprise from TOS, which could surpass Warp Factor 10. The warp factor is according to the old scale, meaning that the ship's speed is the cube of the warp factor times lightspeed (e.g. warp 3 means 3*3*3=27 times lightspeed). The scale was changed somewhere between the 23rd and 24th century, where warp 10 is the theoretical maximum speed (infinite velocity).

The Enterprise uses hatches to dock with other ships and enter and exit the ship. For away-mission in space, the ship has two shuttlepods. The shuttlebay opens from below, as opposed to from the back, and the shuttles are held in place by clamps. Each shuttle can hold a maximum of about five people.

Earth vessels have no cloaking devices, but Romulan ships have. Klingon ships don't use cloaking until the 23rd century (when they probably obtained it through to their cooparation with Romulans). Earth ships never get to use cloaking devices since they are prohibited by the Federation.

A small transporter is also available on Enterprise, invented several years before by engineer Dr. Emory Erickson, a personal friend of Captain Jonathan Archer. The transporter has been cleared for use on living material. However, the crew initially prefers to use shuttles and docking hatches, since transporting humans sometimes causes erratic side-effects, as seen in Enterprise: Strange New World (#1.4), Enterprise: Vanishing Point (#2.10) and Enterprise: Daedalus (#4.10). Necessity often forces personal use of the transporter throughout Enterprise's ten-year mission. In the third year, knowledge of and experience with the transporters has grown enough for the crew to use the device for personal use more often (only two people at a time, though). However, in a Next Generation episode, Geordi LaForge states that transporters have been safely used for personal transport for about 100 years. This may mean that the transporter did not become a standard way of transportation until about halfway the 23rd century (and even then, some people like Dr. McCoy were still not comfortable with it); he could also be referring to the infamous transporter accident from Star Trek: The Motion Picture a century before, indicating it as the last major incident in a long and unremarkable history of transporter use. Interestingly, many species otherwise more advanced than humans (like the Andorians) don't possess transporter technology in the 22nd century.

The computer can scan for pathogens, but as there is no biofilter yet, the transporter cannot filter them out during transport. There is a special decontamination chamber to put crewmembers in quarantine when they have picked up something potentially dangerous.

Forcefields are only in an experimental stage (as seen in Enterprise: Vox Sola (#1.22)), so in case of a hull breach, the ship is protected from decompression by emergency bulkheads (much as bulkheads protected the compartments in 20th century ships from flooding).

The tractor beam has not yet been invented by humans (Vulcans and Andorians have it, though). Instead, there is the 'Grappler', a harpoon-like device that can latch onto objects and pull them in. Not nearly as accurate or stable as a beam, though.

There are no replicators for producing food. Basic ingredients are cultivated in the ship's hydroponics chamber, and there is something called a 'protein sequencer' that helps produce other ingredients. It can make the food taste somewhat artificial, according to some. The galley is where the ship's Chef creates meals for the crew, for which he is universally praised.

Communication within the ship goes mainly through intercoms attached to the wall, just as it was on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. Portable flip-open communicators are available for away missions. The small version that can be pinned to a uniform and touch-activated would not be invented until the late 23rd or early 24th century.

Dates are indicated in months, days and years. Stardates were not used until the foundation of the United Federation of Planets (or at least not by humans anyway).

The universal translator is in a developmental stage. It contains many languages, but needs occasional adjustment and updates by Communications officer Ensign Hoshi Sato who was a knack for linguistics, to make conversations with alien species possible. She has a special work station on the bridge, much like Lt. Uhura had on TOS. Every crewman on an away mission should have a portable and updated translator. Some languages prove to be so complex, context-sensitive, or contain so many dialects (like Klingon) that interpreting the language and programming the device can be a full-time job. Hoshi ultimately refines the device so that it becomes more and more automated, so people without extensive knowledge of languages can also use it.

There is no general ship computer yet, although crewmembers can use a personal voice-activated computer for making log entries. It can only confirm commands through sounds, it does not return verbal answers.

Tricorders work quite the same way as their counterparts is the other series, albeit less powerful. Dr. Phlox has special medical tricorders, but also an imaging chamber (comparable to an MRI tunnel) for better internal scans (such a device may have been present in Sick Bay on TOS as well, but it was never seen until The Motion Picture). Phlox also relies upon electronic microscopes for diagnostics. The invention of hyposprays has eliminated the need for injection needles. There is active exchange of medical therapies between species, yet there is still no cure available for many diseases. Fortunately, Dr. Phlox is also very skilled in homeopathic and natural medicine as alternative cures, although they sometimes seem a bit morbid (e.g. therapeutic leeches).

Lieutenant Malcolm Reed starts devising a way to get the ship quickly into defensive mode in the episode Enterprise: Singularity (#2.9) during season 2. He toys with the idea of naming it "Reed alert", before settling on "Tactical Alert".

Starfleet members are familiar with holographic technology, but it is in an early stage and not available for military or recreational purposes (such as a holodeck). Some species, such as the Xyrillians and the Romulans, have adequate knowledge for large-scale application. Instead of a holodeck, the Enterprise crew often organises movie nights where they mainly watch 20th century movies. They also play regular basketball tournaments.

Starfleet Uniforms look like military jumpsuits and are blue in color. Specific colored parts indicate to what section crewmembers belong. The spandex uniforms are not seen until the formation of the Federation.

Large space stations, such as Regula 1, are not yet in use. Small space-born research stations, like Yosemite Station (orbiting Earth) and Cold Station 12, do exist.

Following the Eugenic Wars, where genetic engineering and selective breeding were used to create a species of superhumans, genetic engineering in humans was prohibited. According to Dr Phlox, genetic engineering has been used on Denobula to certain extents, with generally favourable results. Some Suliban tribes are known to perform illegal genetic engineering techniques from the future on themselves to become more powerful. The Klingons also attempt some genetic tampering, but the results are disasterous (see question "Why do the Klingons have ridged foreheads instead of smooth heads?"). During the next two centuries, the general attitude on Earth slowly changes, and in the 24th century, humanity has learned to safely and ethically apply some degree of genetic engineering to prevent congenital diseases.

It may be surprising to hear, but there is no officially approved Star Trek time line. When Star Trek: The Original Series was produced, the concept of 'star dates' was invented to circumvent the use of actual Christian calendar dates; this was done to avoid setting the series in a specific time frame, simply keeping it somewhere in the near or distant future. The writers more or less added backstories and past events as they went along, but there was never an official document created that detailed a precise chronology. This often caused inconsistencies within the series and uncertainty about which facts could be considered canonical. When Star Trek: The Next Generation was produced and continuity became a bigger issue, that show was set spcifically in the 24th century, and TOS a century before, from 2266 to 2269 AD. From that point on, a more thorough attempt was made to maintain the continuity of the series and backstory. Although inconsistencies repeatedly pop up, a time line has been constructed, mainly through the efforts of long-time Star Trek collaborator Michael Okuda, that accounts for most facts mentioned and implied in the series. It still has a sort of 'semi-official' status, since many events, especially those implied or unseen, are often personal interpretations or references made by characters. They are therefore open for debate, and additions to the time line are allowed as long as they are properly motivated and respectful of earlier material. Writers of later series often reference the time line to ensure some matter of consistency within and between series/movies. The following is a summary of the time line prior to Enterprise:

In the late 20th century, genetic engineering with human embryos and selective breeding led to the birth of several super-humans. This 'eugenics' project, developed to better humanity, backfired when these 'Augments' thought themselves superior to ordinary humans, took control and fought for world supremacy during the Eugenics Wars from 1992 to 1996 (although it has never become clear in any series how 'global' this conflict really was). In their conquest and mutual distrust, many of these Augment leaders finally defeated each other; only Khan Noonian Singh and some of his comrades escaped Earth in a space vessel. Although genetical modification in humans was outlawed ever since, some genetically engineered embryos were kept stored for research purposes.

The first manned flight to Mars was done in 2032 (the Ares IV mission). But as advances in science proceeded, the political situation on Earth started to become tense. This led to World War III somewhere in the first half of the 21st century (exact year unknown). The nature of the conflict was never revealed, only that several 'factions' fought out a nuclear war which ultimately killed 600 million people until its end in 2053. In an attempt to continue the eugenic effort, one faction leader, Colonel Green, killed several more hundreds of thousands of people who had suffered radiation poisoning, to prevent them from introducing mutations into the human genome. Earth was crippled as a result of the war and its aftermath, most of its people thrown back into a state of poverty and anarchy.

The turning point in Star Trek (and Earth's) history occurred in 2063, when Zefram Cochrane made his first faster-than-light flight with a warp-driven space ship. It attracted the attention of the Vulcans, who regarded humanity as a race in its developmental infancy and had left the war-stricken planet alone up to that time. First contact with an alien species united humanity in a way never seen before; war, poverty and disease were quickly eradicated in the decades to follow. Earth started its first careful exploration of space with manned flights, formation of small colonies, freight transportation and the colonization of Mars in 2103. The transporter is invented in the early 22nd century. Several small-scale cultural and scientific exchange programs with other species (especially medical) were also formed.

Zefram Cochrane remained active in ship engineering, developing the site in Bozeman, Montana where a warp-5 engine was to be created. At one point he moved to the planet Alpha Centauri, only to mysteriously leave the planet in 2117 for an unknown destination. He is not found again despite a massive search, and listed as missing, presumed dead.

Meanwhile, the Vulcans regarded themselves somewhat as the self-appointed caretakers of fledgling species. The Vulcan High Command, intially the seat of military power and space exploration on Vulcan, had gradually taken over all political and executive power. They viewed humanity as being too immature yet to mingle into the affairs of the universe, and passively held back all attempts at a program of space exploration for nearly a hundred years. Most contact with other species was also arranged with strict approval by the Vulcans only.

This attitude towards other species was often seen as condescending, bordering on arrogance. Despite claiming to be logical and repressing emotions, Vulcans nevertheless displayed feelings of pride, impatience, agitation and even prejudice and bigotry. Even within Vulcan society there was growing unrest and objection towards the Vulcan High Command's apparent misuse of power and foreign policy. Groups of Vulcans started to form that objected to their inaccurate interpretations of the teachings of Surak (their main spiritual and philosophical leader), allowing more emotions within their behavior, and practicing techniques of mind melding that the establishment considered highly inappropriate. There were great tensions between the High Command and the Andorians over alleged espionage activities and territorial disputes. The Andorians, militaristic and aggressive in nature, had their share of struggle and disputes with the Tellarites, another species not known for their agreeable nature.

The Klingons were already a force to be reckoned with, although no official contact between Klingons and humans would be made before 2151. Their continuous search for honour seemed to be attained mainly through territorial expansion and establishing control over other (often weaker) species, something even individual Klingons seemed to realize to their regret. The Klingons had some diplomatic relations with the Vulcans, but they were suspicious of other species that might threaten their power.

In contrast, the Romulans kept an intentionally low profile. Not even the Vulcans, from whom they had split thousands of years before, knew of their true nature. The Romulans, however, valued this anonimity, because they shared a goal of territorial expansion and power with the Klingons; they chose to do it in the shadows, though, through manipulation and secret actions.

Interspecies trade has been going on for decades (perhaps even centuries) already. Trade posts such as Rigel X were already commonplace throughout the galaxy in the 22nd century. Some species seem to make a living purely on trade with other worlds, sometimes through immoral practices such as slave trade, like the Orions.

In the years 2142 through 2145, despite more concerns from the Vulcans, Jonathan Archer and captain Duvall make several attempts with modified warp engines, finally breaking the warp 2 and 3 barrier.

Enterprise is launched in 2151 with a warp 5 engine.

Nobody knows who "Future Guy", as writers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga called him, really is. He is described in the series as the leader of one of the factions involved in the Temporal Cold War. He is only able to send vague images of himself through time in order to send the Suliban in doing his dirty work in the past. As a result, his face is never fully seen, although he was played by a real actor, James Horan. He was last seen in the final episode of Enterprise season 2, "The Expanse".

Berman and Braga never revealed his identity during the first two seasons, in which he was seen. They toyed with some ideas as to who he is, like a future Archer, or a Borg, but this was never realised. As Berman and Braga were planning to conclude the Temporal Cold War storyline in season 4, they left Future Guy's identity undisclosed. No spectacular revelation as to who he really is was intended anymore.

In the orginal Star Trek series in the 1960s, budget constraints did not allow for prosthetic make-up to be used for the Klingons. However, in the 1979 film Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the Klingons appeared for the first time with ridged foreheads and this design was continued in each subsequent Star Trek film and television series, including the prequel series Enterprise. This made the TOS area the only period in Star Trek lore to feature Klingons without cranial ridges. This continuity discrepancy was finally addressed in the fourth season Enterprise episodes Enterprise: Affliction (#4.15) and Enterprise: Divergence (#4.16).

Klingons have by default a ridged forehead. However, in an attempt to create a race of Super-Klingons, some of them were genetically altered with Augment-genes (Augments were super-humans who were genetically engineered themselves, such as Khan Noonien Singh). The genetic enhancements had some very severe side-effects though, and Klingon genes were basically being overriden by enhanced human genes, so not only did the ridges on the forehead disappear, in later stages, the subjects' neural pathways started to degrade, leading to their deaths. One of the Klingon test subjects carried a relatively innocent flu-virus, which incorporated the genetic modifications. The highly contagious new strain became airborne and started to infect other Klingons, who started to undergo the genetic modifications as an effect. The outbreak could potentially wipe out all Klingons, if a cure was not found.

Dr. Phlox was abducted by the Klingons to assist them in developing a medicine. He could only create a partial cure which would not kill the virus, prevent infection nor stop the loss of some Klingon characteristics (i.e. ridged foreheads, large stature and relative low intelligence), but it could stop the virus' effects before the symptoms became lethal. This caused several generations of Klingons to have a very different appearance. A definitive cure was finally conceived somewhere toward the end of the 23rd century, when the Klingons took on their normal appearance again.

This assumption seems primarily based on a quote from Dr. McCoy in the TOS episode Star Trek: Day of the Dove (#3.7), where he mentions that humans and Klingons have been enemies for 50 years. Since that particular episode was later established to have taken place in 2268, first contact with the Klingons has long been assumed to have occurred 50 years before, around 2218.

However, continuity was not the greatest of priorities during the production of Star Trek. Early attempts in the 1980s to create a chronology indeed placed first contact with the Klingons 50 years prior to Star Trek. However, to accomodate later series, the Star Trek timeline has since been re-written several times. It currently has a semi-official status, meaning that many facts are interpretable and open for debate. A good example would be first contact with the Vulcans: although this officially occurred in 2063, a group of Vulcans had already visited Earth in 1957 (Enterprise: Carbon Creek (#2.2)); however, since they never identified themselves as aliens, this never qualified as an official first contact.

With the production of Enterprise, the canonical first contact with the Klingons was officially set in 2151 (also the date used in early chronologies). As we can see in the series, initial contact with the Klingons was far from friendly, but restricted to isolated skirmishes and personal feuds, and not a state of conflict between the two worlds. It wasn't until decades later (after Earth had founded the Federation) that hostilities rose to such extents for the Klingons to declare official war on Earth, which must have been around 2218 to conform to Dr. McCoy's statement. The exact events that made Klingons and humans officially enemies have not been stated in any series, but as Star Trek and the subsequent movies showed, it was a de facto state of war with great tensions without large direct combat (modeled after the Cold War in the 20th century).

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