So, Enterprise comes to a close after four moribund years of debatable quality christened by years of Berman’s pent up self-loathing and kissed by a sometimes fatalistic approach to story telling. Despite Berman’s attempt to run Star Trek into the ground the last thirteen years with the first two seasons of Deep Space Nine, seven abominable seasons of Voyager and four cursed seasons of Enterprise, I’ve never really disliked the guy—really. I know a lot of Internet fans abhor him. I have not been one.
I liked Enterprise from the beginning. I thought it was an interesting idea for a series. While not totally milked, another series taking place in the “TNG Universe” would make the TNG movie franchise redundant. Going farther into the future was an option but pulling the series back in time was more palatable—it was an easier sell. Or so we thought.
The first season of Enterprise was strong, from my perspective anyway. It wasn’t quite as polished as the later seasons of Voyager but it seemed fresher. Ignoring the cast and scripts, Voyager’s main weakness was that it was separated from the established Star Trek Universe. Enterprise wasn’t alienated from the established universe—it was bound to it. Whenever Enterprise strayed from established ‘canon’, fans would react violently—no matter how minuscule the change. This was the case until most fans gave up entirely.
Still, I continued watching. I liked that the series was bound to canon (at least tangentially.) Watching “the development” of what would become a very familiar universe kept me interested. Whenever a change happened or was overlooked, one could easily dismiss the change due to “The Temporal Cold War.” This was not good enough for most. Eventually, it became obvious that the stories were tired and boring. Something had to be done. So Earth was attacked and seven million people lost their lives.
Season Three revolved around a single story-arc, the establishment of an alien species called The Xindi. The Xindi’s sole purpose was to annihilate the human race from existence. The crew of the NX-01 was tapped to resolve this development.
Nearly the entire season revolved around the Enterprise’s attempt to stop The Xindi from accomplishing their goal. Suffice it to say, I was enthralled throughout the entire ordeal—rumors circulated that this was to be Enterprise’s last season. This was not to be the case. (Ignoring the first arc) the fourth season of Enterprise was like an explosion—quality fired full force from the season’s muzzle, both barrels blazing. Berman had a laissez-faire approach to this season and what a relief that was—perhaps Enterprise would earn a fifth season.
Sadly, it was not to be.
Thankfully, the next to last episode of Enterprise served as a fitting farewell to the series. The series should’ve ended there. But, no. Unfortunately for us, Berman graced us with “These are the Voyages.”
This is easily the worst episode of Enterprise to date. It’s the most disrespectful kind of dreck imaginable. The episode is framed around the seventh season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation The Pegasus. God help me, this is not an episode of Enterprise. Any good piece of fiction draws you in, engaging you to experience the raw drama of the events vicariously through the characters. “These are the Voyages” had the excitement and energy of an eight hour Andy Warhol film. It’s apparent that you are supposed to attach yourself to an aging Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis—who are themselves observing a two hundred year old account of events. Worse yet, any Trek fan worth his salt knows the resolution of The Pegasus. The episode was bad eleven years ago and it is bad today.
Without venturing too far into spoiler territory, I can assure you that you learn no real insight into the TNG episode The Pegasus and the clinical approach to the final voyage of the NX-01 leaves you wanting something—anything. You get nothing.
(Highlight the empty space between the lines to view the warning and my reaction to it.)
This episode gets one half star out of four.
Avoid at all costs.