Sign in to follow this  
Sehlat Vie

Newsweek Magazine article on ENT: "Pariah or Cult Classic?"

Recommended Posts

As a fan of about half to 2/3rds of the often-maligned ST prequel ENT, I am intrigued by the idea of the show getting a 'second life' by fans.  Having revisited the show not too long ago, I stand by my opinion that S3 was pretty dreadful (it just wasn't ST anymore), but S1, 2 and 4 have some real standouts; and S4 has episodes that (IMO) stand with the best of Star Trek. 

6a00d8341c77b053ef019101c6c92f970c-800wi

According to Newsweek, in an article published today (1/3/16), it might be time for some naysayers of the show to give it another chance:

Newsweek.com/Enterprise: Pariah or Cult Classic?

What do you think? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sim   

Had problems reading the article (there was a popup window in the middle of the screen that asked me to subscribe), I too feel ENT is absolutely worth rediscovering, if you haven't done so before. IMO, it's indeed much better than many give it credit for. It's much better than VOY and season 4 is truly great.

So anybody who quit the show back then, because of franchise fatigue or so, might enjoy it better in retrospect, if he gives it another chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had problems reading the article (there was a popup window in the middle of the screen that asked me to subscribe), I too feel ENT is absolutely worth rediscovering, if you haven't done so before. IMO, it's indeed much better than many give it credit for. It's much better than VOY and season 4 is truly great.

So anybody who quit the show back then, because of franchise fatigue or so, might enjoy it better in retrospect, if he gives it another chance.

If it's any consolation, the article wasn't terribly introspective (hehe), but here it is anyway:
 

 

For the incarnation of Star Trek after Voyager, Producer Rick Berman and his team of sci-fi masterminds decided to go back in time, which is to say into the future, just less so than Trekkers might have been used to. Set a century before Kirk and Spock’s famous five-year mission, the series showed men and women going where they truly had never been before: into deep space for the first time aboard the Enterprise NX-01, the grandfather to Kirk’s starship.

 

 

Set as United Earth is just beginning to make itself a player in the galaxy, Enterprise follows the adventures of Captain Jonathan Archer and his crew of 83 as they navigate the murky new waters of alien politics. Their efforts, along with those of a memorable cast of ancillary and guest characters, culminate in the founding of the Federation of Planets—laying the cornerstone for the entire Star Trek universe from The Original Series to the J.J. Abrams reboot. Covering ground Trekkers had only heard about through the extended universe, Enterprise gave us a look at the human race before it had achieved the kind of perfection exemplified by Jean-Luc Picard and the rest of the squeaky-clean, always upstanding Next Generation crew.

In the show’s pilot episode, “Broken Bow,” Enterprise showed off what would become one of its most important devices: fleshing out the stories of Star Trek’s most important historical moments. In this case, it was Earth’s first contact with the Klingon Empire that got the full prequel treatment. A farmer named Richard Moore, as he ate a breakfast of biscuits and gravy, was disturbed by a crash on his property. A century after first contact with the Vulcans, most humans, including Moore, had never seen an alien. “I got my plasma rifle,” Moore said. “Those monsters weren’t going to use their brain-sucking weapons on me and take my land.” With the Klingon’s death, enmity between Earthling and Klingon began. 

Similarly, the show ends as the United Federation of Planets finally makes Earth’s galactic status official, uniting the planet entirely by forming a coalition with other worlds with similar ideals, chief among them being Vulcan, whose representative on the Enterprise, T’Pol, was instrumental in cementing Vulcan-Earth relations. But in the end, it was exactly this tendency of Enterprise to fill in the blanks in Star Trek’s extended history that ended up costing the series its television run.

By far the most polarizing property in the Star Trek canon, Enterprise struggled to maintain the millions of viewers who tuned in to UPN for “Broken Bow.” By the second season, cancellation rumors seemed to plague the show. Lukewarm critical reception and a general fatigue in the pop culture universe with the idea of prequels after the fallout caused by Star Wars Episodes I–III had doomed Enterprise, but with the buffer of time these factors seem irrelevant. Growing cult status surrounding the birth of the Federation and the characters of Archer and T’Pol are making Enterprise less of a pariah with each passing, TV-Trek-less year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly liked ENT - despite some gripes. I kind of feel bad that only after time are people saying that this show is worth watching. I wish, at the very least, it got 7 seasons. VOY had 7 seasons for goodness sakes. Why not ENT?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say that I made this rediscovery some years ago. While it does have some truly god-awful episodes like "A Night in Sickbay", it's a decent show all around, and I like it far better than VOY. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say that I made this rediscovery some years ago. While it does have some truly god-awful episodes like "A Night in Sickbay", it's a decent show all around, and I like it far better than VOY. 

^
This.   

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sim   

ENT also was the most uneven ST series, IMO. The different seasons vary from one another more than in any other Trek series:

Season 1 was very promising and pretty good, compared to the first seasons of other ST shows. Season 2 was rather bland; not necessarily outright bad, but it often felt tired and uninspired and just rippled along. Season 3 was perhaps the most un-Trek season of any Trek show, and very controversial (personally, I hate the Xindi arc). And season 4 was on par with the best of Star Trek. The show went from mostly standalone formula (seasons 1 & 2) over serialization (season 3) to multi-part "tv movie" format (season 4).

For me personally, it's one of the most tragic events in the history of Trek that the series was cancelled, just the moment it started to be truly great, right after it had delivered so much promise for the future. Even more than I like ENT how it was, I like the unfulfilled promise about what it could have been, had it gotten a couple of seasons more.

 

Many people apparently feel differently, but I loved the casual tone of the show. The characters and their dialogues don't feel contrived, but have a very good chemistry that makes them immediately likable. Maybe that's ENT's greatest advantage over VOY (which was the opposite to me -- hardly likable, superficial characters and lots of contrived dialogue).

DS9 still stands out as the ST show with the most amazing characters and chemistry, but ENT showed lots of potential in these regards, too. Had it lasted longer, and had it been given the chance to really present amazing plots beyond season 4, it might have gotten close.

 

I know a couple of people who aren't hardcore Trek fans and/or started watching ST only relatively recently, who enjoy ENT a lot.

My best buddies' husband, for example, started getting curious about Star Trek after we had seen NuTrek in the theatre, which he enjoyed a lot. He had only occasionally watched TOS as a kid, but didn't know any of the 80s-00s series'. So I provided him with the DVDs of TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT on his demand. He devoured all the series', but said he loved ENT most.

Another friend of mine was a strong TNG fan. TNG is a matter of nostalgia and escapism for her. We later watched DS9 together, which she found okay, but not too captivating, and she hates VOY -- but when we started watching ENT, she immediately loved it.

And when I introduced my future wife to the different Star Trek shows, she said ENT is her 2nd favorite right behind DS9.

 

Many newer fans apparently enjoy ENT. It's apparently mostly the "older" fans who started with TOS or TNG and kept watching over the 90s, who disliked ENT most.

Edited by Sim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ENT is better on the second go-round, no question.  The characters have greater nuances that I initially gave them credit for and it's nice to see them exploring what is truly unknown.  TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY all take place at a time when exploration is a common occurrence and everybody has the welcome "security blankets" of perfectly functioning universal translators, more fully integrated societies, and the collective benefit of others' knowledge.  Archer and his crew had to start virtually from scratch, which is compelling.

From a critical standpoint, I think ENT had a difficult run because it started in 2001.  Its premiere started two weeks after Sept. 11th and the world was pretty shaken up to wholly embrace a show about exploration and openness to the "Other," and that probably affected its reception to some extent.  Furthermore, it premiered at a time when connectivity was starting to increase, so people could discuss the episodes, characters, and plotlines and make their feelings known more publicly, which in turn had a marked effect on people's perceptions of the show overall.  This is, of course, independent of the problems we lay on Berman/Braga, but perhaps it is time to give ENT another shot.  Who knows?  Maybe if enough people come to like it, they'll at least reshoot the damn series finale and give them a proper sendoff :P

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rank ENT just slightly behind TNG as my favorite series.  If Season 5 had followed the excellence of season 4, it might have moved to the top.

PS:  A Night In Sickbay is one of my favorites - so whimsical and witty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS:  A Night In Sickbay is one of my favorites - so whimsical and witty.

Oh, I just can't get over that, at no point does Archer acknowledge that the whole situation is his fault. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
maneth   

I liked ENT from the start. Sure there were some episodes I like less than others, but mostly I like it. I certainly like it a lot better than all except a few episodes of VOY.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS:  A Night In Sickbay is one of my favorites - so whimsical and witty.

Oh, I just can't get over that, at no point does Archer acknowledge that the whole situation is his fault. 

My thoughts exactly - Archer screwed up, but everyone around him has to pay the price. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said that before, and I completally understand where you guys are coming from, but I watched ENT for the first time last year, so, when i saw the 3 season I didn't get the relation to the terrorist attacks untill I realized that it was originally being made about the same time, and by then I already watched most of season 3. So, I can't say i saw that very badly. For me ( untill I realized about the militar propaganda ) the story was about trying to show how humans can react to extreme situations. For me it was like a invite for a philosophical debate. It's easy for Picard to be Picard and act all Star Trek like, when he is on a powerfull ship with the help of a powerfull federation at his side.

They could have explored that on Voyager, but they didn't. Hell, Voyager not even get scratched during the seven years on unknow space. If that was more realistic, Voyager would be like Equinox by the end of the third season. Point is, for, whatever the motives behind, and as bad as they could be, I think it was a nice exploration of one side of humanity ST had never before explored ( maybe in SIEGE of AR-558, but that was just one episode ).

Archer become that military captain, Enterprise started looking like something else, that's not Star Trek, well, to me, that is exactly the point. Show to the audience how fear, pressure and anger can convert even the most good human being and the most good intentions to something dark and unethical. And frankly, that point starts to go even depper when you stop to realize that most of the time, if you don't act like this, others will and they will harm you in the process. Archer did save Earth, and he did had to make some sacrifices of his personal beliefs to do that. Just like Sisko did on "In the Pale Moonlight". But Sisko had the advantadge of having power, so he don't need to take the kind of actions that Archer took.

For me, at least, it was something interesting to see. Something Trek had never explored before. 

As for the rest of the show, I didn't finish it yet, but I can say only good things, exept for "Night in Sickbay" ok, that was goddamn AWFUL.

Edited by Garak the spy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said that before, and I completally understand where you guys are coming from, but I watched ENT for the first time last year, so, when i saw the 3 season I didn't get the relation to the terrorist attacks untill I realized that it was originally being made about the same time, and by then I already watched most of season 3. So, I can't say i saw that very badly. For me ( untill I realized about the militar propaganda ) the story was about trying to show how humans can react to extreme situations. For me it was like a invite for a philosophical debate. It's easy for Picard to be Picard and act all Star Trek like, when he is on a powerfull ship with the help of a powerfull federation at his side.

They could have explored that on Voyager, but they didn't. Hell, Voyager not even get scratched during the seven years on unknow space. If that was more realistic, Voyager would be like Equinox by the end of the third season. Point is, for, whatever the motives behind, and as bad as they could be, I think it was a nice exploration of one side of humanity ST had never before explored ( maybe in SIEGE of AR-558, but that was just one episode ).

Archer become that military captain, Enterprise started looking like something else, that's not Star Trek, well, to me, that is exactly the point. Show to the audience how fear, pressure and anger can convert even the most good human being and the most good intentions to something dark and unethical. And frankly, that point starts to go even depper when you stop to realize that most of the time, if you don't act like this, others will and they will harm you in the process. Archer did save Earth, and he did had to make some sacrifices of his personal beliefs to do that. Just like Sisko did on "In the Pale Moonlight". But Sisko had the advantadge of having power, so he don't need to take the kind of actions that Archer took.

For me, at least, it was something interesting to see. Something Trek had never explored before. 

As for the rest of the show, I didn't finish it yet, but I can say only good things, exept for "Night in Sickbay" ok, that was goddamn AWFUL.

There's a great quote in one S3 episode from the Suliban that captures Archer's change:

Silik: "You're different, Captain..."

Archer: "Yes, I've changed...and not for the better."

Season four is somewhat of a "course correction" where Manny Coto took over as showrunner and he tried to realign ENT with the existing Star Trek universe by moving events forward that would birth the Federation.  I liked it, especially "In A Mirror, Darkly," and I was really disappointed when it was canceled.  I recommend skipping "These Are the Voyages..." though - talk about goddamn awful...

Edited by Captain_Bravo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"These Are the Voyages..." though - talk about goddamn awful...

This. As far as I'm concerned, the series ended with Terra Prime. TATV, is apocryphal. It doesn't even relate back to "The Pegasus" well enough to be part of that, much less ENT.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"These Are the Voyages..." though - talk about goddamn awful...

This. As far as I'm concerned, the series ended with Terra Prime. TATV, is apocryphal. It doesn't even relate back to "The Pegasus" well enough to be part of that, much less ENT.

 

Completely agree. Having it end with Archer's speech is far more suitable than B & B's "valentine" to the fans. 

I too enjoy the series and still watch on Netflix on occasion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"These Are the Voyages..." though - talk about goddamn awful...

This. As far as I'm concerned, the series ended with Terra Prime. TATV, is apocryphal. It doesn't even relate back to "The Pegasus" well enough to be part of that, much less ENT.

 

Riker's soul-searching would have been better placed during BOBW, in my opinion - the episode already has Picard musing whether the Federation would survive, and whether it had the right to survive.  This would have been a more poignant way to muse on the Federation's moral principles as it related to the Treaty of Algeron and the cloaking technology...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riker's soul-searching would have been better placed during BOBW, in my opinion - the episode already has Picard musing whether the Federation would survive, and whether it had the right to survive.  This would have been a more poignant way to muse on the Federation's moral principles as it related to the Treaty of Algeron and the cloaking technology...

It would have been better served by a quick rewrite to put them both on the Titan, That way the story can work rto some crisis they are having that can need the E's input on the holodeck.

That and they wouldn't have to try to pretend they were 11 years younger than they were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riker's soul-searching would have been better placed during BOBW, in my opinion - the episode already has Picard musing whether the Federation would survive, and whether it had the right to survive.  This would have been a more poignant way to muse on the Federation's moral principles as it related to the Treaty of Algeron and the cloaking technology...

It would have been better served by a quick rewrite to put them both on the Titan, That way the story can work rto some crisis they are having that can need the E's input on the holodeck.

That and they wouldn't have to try to pretend they were 11 years younger than they were.

I haven't watched that episode yet, but I already got spoiled about most of the thing before, and by the way thinks are looking, I would say that this is actually a prety good idea. I like it more already. I mean, I can't picture how bad it will be just having Riker and Troi obviously older, but pretending they're younger. The Titan idea would not only get a glimpse at the future that the crew took, but also could open a window to show how the federation was last seen. It would be a nice cut, from the first ship, to one of the most advanced created. It would show how Archer's mission connects to how the federation is on the here and now. Getting it to be on something that already happened kinda sucks.

Edited by Garak the spy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riker's soul-searching would have been better placed during BOBW, in my opinion - the episode already has Picard musing whether the Federation would survive, and whether it had the right to survive.  This would have been a more poignant way to muse on the Federation's moral principles as it related to the Treaty of Algeron and the cloaking technology...

It would have been better served by a quick rewrite to put them both on the Titan, That way the story can work rto some crisis they are having that can need the E's input on the holodeck.

That and they wouldn't have to try to pretend they were 11 years younger than they were.

I haven't watched that episode yet, but I already got spoiled about most of the thing before, and by the way thinks are looking, I would say that this is actually a prety good idea. I like it more already. I mean, I can't picture how bad it will be just having Riker and Troi obviously older, but pretending they're younger. The Titan idea would not only get a glimpse at the future that the crew took, but also could open a window to show how the federation was last seen. It would be a nice cut, from the first ship, to one of the most advanced created. It would show how Archer's mission connects to how the federation is on the here and now. Getting it to be on something that already happened kinda sucks.

It makes no sense based on "The Pegasus." In TATV the issue is, in a nutshell, that Riker, is having a moral crisis over whether or not to tell Picard about Adm. Pressman and the cloaking device, so Riker spends the episode trying to resolve his moral quandary with the help of the crew of the E. At the end Riker and Troi shuffle happily off to talk to Picard, Riker saying it's something he should have done a long time ago.

Except that there is no moral issue to resolve that way; there's no talking to Picard. Pressman directly ordered Riker not to speak to anyone, and Riker resolved the issue all by himself when it was either rat out Pressman or see the Enterprise towed to Romulus.

No one who wrote TATV bothered to watch the original episode it was based on.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riker's soul-searching would have been better placed during BOBW, in my opinion - the episode already has Picard musing whether the Federation would survive, and whether it had the right to survive.  This would have been a more poignant way to muse on the Federation's moral principles as it related to the Treaty of Algeron and the cloaking technology...

It would have been better served by a quick rewrite to put them both on the Titan, That way the story can work rto some crisis they are having that can need the E's input on the holodeck.

That and they wouldn't have to try to pretend they were 11 years younger than they were.

I haven't watched that episode yet, but I already got spoiled about most of the thing before, and by the way thinks are looking, I would say that this is actually a prety good idea. I like it more already. I mean, I can't picture how bad it will be just having Riker and Troi obviously older, but pretending they're younger. The Titan idea would not only get a glimpse at the future that the crew took, but also could open a window to show how the federation was last seen. It would be a nice cut, from the first ship, to one of the most advanced created. It would show how Archer's mission connects to how the federation is on the here and now. Getting it to be on something that already happened kinda sucks.

It makes no sense based on "The Pegasus." In TATV the issue is, in a nutshell, that Riker, is having a moral crisis over whether or not to tell Picard about Adm. Pressman and the cloaking device, so Riker spends the episode trying to resolve his moral quandary with the help of the crew of the E. At the end Riker and Troi shuffle happily off to talk to Picard, Riker saying it's something he should have done a long time ago.

Except that there is no moral issue to resolve that way; there's no talking to Picard. Pressman directly ordered Riker not to speak to anyone, and Riker resolved the issue all by himself when it was either rat out Pressman or see the Enterprise towed to Romulus.

No one who wrote TATV bothered to watch the original episode it was based on.

 

Not to mention the time pressure in the episode; I don't recall Riker having hours to waste on the holodeck while searching for a missing ship with Romulans breathing down their neck.

TATV was indeed a miscalculation, but since I prefer to think of "Demons/Terra Prime" as the true finale?  I think ENT ended well; though I would've loved to see something of the Romulan war (at least we got the books!). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riker's soul-searching would have been better placed during BOBW, in my opinion - the episode already has Picard musing whether the Federation would survive, and whether it had the right to survive.  This would have been a more poignant way to muse on the Federation's moral principles as it related to the Treaty of Algeron and the cloaking technology...

It would have been better served by a quick rewrite to put them both on the Titan, That way the story can work rto some crisis they are having that can need the E's input on the holodeck.

That and they wouldn't have to try to pretend they were 11 years younger than they were.

I haven't watched that episode yet, but I already got spoiled about most of the thing before, and by the way thinks are looking, I would say that this is actually a prety good idea. I like it more already. I mean, I can't picture how bad it will be just having Riker and Troi obviously older, but pretending they're younger. The Titan idea would not only get a glimpse at the future that the crew took, but also could open a window to show how the federation was last seen. It would be a nice cut, from the first ship, to one of the most advanced created. It would show how Archer's mission connects to how the federation is on the here and now. Getting it to be on something that already happened kinda sucks.

It makes no sense based on "The Pegasus." In TATV the issue is, in a nutshell, that Riker, is having a moral crisis over whether or not to tell Picard about Adm. Pressman and the cloaking device, so Riker spends the episode trying to resolve his moral quandary with the help of the crew of the E. At the end Riker and Troi shuffle happily off to talk to Picard, Riker saying it's something he should have done a long time ago.

Except that there is no moral issue to resolve that way; there's no talking to Picard. Pressman directly ordered Riker not to speak to anyone, and Riker resolved the issue all by himself when it was either rat out Pressman or see the Enterprise towed to Romulus.

No one who wrote TATV bothered to watch the original episode it was based on.

 

Not to mention the time pressure in the episode; I don't recall Riker having hours to waste on the holodeck while searching for a missing ship with Romulans breathing down their neck.

TATV was indeed a miscalculation, but since I prefer to think of "Demons/Terra Prime" as the true finale?  I think ENT ended well; though I would've loved to see something of the Romulan war (at least we got the books!). 

That's when it ended for me as well, and a fine finale it stands as. I've only ever watched TATV once and never will again.

And, yes, the books were astonishingly good. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sim   

IMO, what's most offending about TATV is that such a mediocre episode is supposed to end not just the season, but the entire series. As a series finale, it just disappoints on all levels. To the degree it's almost offending when B&B call it "a valentine for the fans". Had it been just a standalone episode midseason in season 5, followed by more outstanding multi-part episodes, most people would probably just have shrugged it off as a mediocre entry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, what's most offending about TATV is that such a mediocre episode is supposed to end not just the season, but the entire series. As a series finale, it just disappoints on all levels. To the degree it's almost offending when B&B call it "a valentine for the fans". Had it been just a standalone episode midseason in season 5, followed by more outstanding multi-part episodes, most people would probably just have shrugged it off as a mediocre entry.

This.

It's painful to watch, from knowing that that episode as it relates to "The Pegasus" simply couldn't have happened and no one making this "valentine" could be bothered to spend 45 minutes with the episode, to the gutting of Sh'ran's character, to the virtually random death of Trip...I'd rather watch "And the Children Shall Lead" on a perpetual loop than ever see TATV again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this