BLOG A Look at Star Trek: Enterprise
Better late than never: some thoughts on the most-ignored Trek series, as seen for the first time, by blogger Laura McConnell
With the exception of the mid-to-late seasons of TNG, I’ve watched all of my Star Trek years after it was on the air. Since I’m in my thirties, it’s obvious why that’s the case for the original series. But what about the others? TNG made me a bona fide Trekkie, so why didn’t I watch the later series as they aired? Honestly, I’m not sure. I have a vague memory of being put off by DS9 because I thought it was taking something away from TNG somehow. I distinctly remember being unsure about Janeway in regards to Voyager. But all in all, I’m simply unclear on why I didn’t give DS9 and Voyager a shot. Perhaps they conflicted with my high school and college pursuits? I don’t know. I only know that while I caught a few episodes of them from time to time, I certainly never tuned in regularly.
Importantly, however, I came back to these shows later and watched them in entirety.
I’m so glad I did. I’m one of the few Trekkies who quite likes Voyager, and I beg forgiveness for my early trepidation concerning Janeway. Especially after meeting Kate Mulgrew and getting her perspective on the character, I am more fond of that woman captain than most could imagine. And DS9? Oh, my. What a fantastic show it was. Sure, it had its faults (I, for one, do not like to talk about the final episode, for example), but overall it was wonderful Star Trek, if entirely different from the other series.
In retrospect, I’m simply astounded that I didn’t watch these shows when they were on, and I just can’t figure out why I didn’t. For the last instalment in the Trek television story, however, I remember exactly why I skipped it.
You came out when I was in the last year of my post-collegiate education, and I just didn’t have time to watch you. Oddly, though, I remember watching your pilot with excitement and wanting to like you. I’m pretty sure it was Scott Bakula that did that. As a Quantum Leap fan, I tuned in to Scott’s new project with enthusiasm. Overall, after watching, I remember thinking you weren’t terrible, but you didn’t rock my world, either. And soon, I fell off your wagon. Life was too hectic then for TV. I caught maybe two or three more episodes of you, and then you were lost to me.
Then the Trekkies started to grumble. They said you weren’t any good. They said you had continuity flaws and messed up the timeline and just didn’t cut the mustard. I heard these things and completely lost all interest in you, even when Michael Shanks stood up for you at a Stargate con I attended.
But as seems to always happen to me, I recently remembered you. The reason for this is simple. I’m going to Dragon*Con next month, and Scott Bakula was just announced as a guest. Being as I’ve seen William Shatner, Kate Mulgrew, and Patrick Stewart in person already and that Avery Brooks is also attending Dragon*Con this year, I grew excited to meet all five Trek captains.
Oh, but wait. I never really met Captain Archer. I couldn’t cross a captain off my list if I barely knew him, so I started watching Enterprise last week via Hulu. (For any interested US readers, they have the whole series up.)
And you know what?
It’s not that bad. I kind of like it. It’s fun. Is Enterprise a bit formulaic? Yes. That’s Star Trek for you. Everyone knows that. But it turns out I like a little Star Trek in my Star Trek. I like the formula. It works for me. And so far (I’m about halfway through the first season now), the annoying things like Hoshi being way too perfect at translating have bothered me only a little and a lot of things have made me giggle or outright laugh. I remember now that I liked Trip in those few episodes I saw before, and I’m enjoying the other characters, too. Their interactions are working for me.
And that theme song with lyrics that everyone pitched a fit about when Enterprise came out? Big deal. I don’t care that it’s not a brassy instrumental like most of the other Treks. At least the show has a theme song, unlike the easiest show comparison I can make with it, SGU. (Meaning that I watch SGU because I love Stargate, but that it, like Enterprise, isn’t popular with a lot of franchise fans.)
Bottom line? I started watching this show to form my own opinion of it, and so far I haven’t been scared away. I’ll be sticking with Enterprise for a bit. I hear it gets better as it ages, anyway, so I think I’m in it for the long haul.
What about you? Did you watch it? What are your thoughts on this most lambasted, or at least most ignored, Trek series? Let me know. I’m curious. Try not to spoil me, though, okay? I suspect I’ll be writing more about this when I finish the show.
Until then, live long and prosper, friends.
This is a personal article by Laura McConnell, one of our site contributors. Are you an Enterprise fan? Your Trek opinions welcome as always, in the comment thread below or on our forum.