|Star Trek: Enterprise|
|Also known as||Enterprise|
|Based on||Star Trek|
by Gene Roddenberry
|Opening theme||"Where My Heart Will Take Me" (Russell Watson)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||98 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Distributor||Paramount Domestic Television|
CBS Television Distribution
|Budget||$1.7 million per episode (season 1-3) $800,000 per episode (season 4)|
|Picture format||480i (2001–2003)|
1080i (HDTV) (2003–2005)
|Original release||September 26, 2001 –|
May 13, 2005
|Preceded by||Star Trek: Voyager|
|Followed by||Star Trek: Discovery|
|Related shows||Star Trek TV series|
|Star Trek: Enterprise at StarTrek.com|
Star Trek: Enterprise, titled simply Enterprise for its first two seasons, is an American science fiction television series created by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. It originally aired from September 26, 2001, to May 13, 2005, on UPN, spanning 98 episodes across four seasons. The sixth series in the Star Trek franchise, it served as a prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series. The show is set in the 22nd century, a hundred years before the events of The Original Series and just prior to the formation of the United Federation of Planets. The series follows the adventures of the Enterprise, Earth's first starship capable of traveling at warp five, as it explores the galaxy and encounters various alien species.
Following the culmination of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and with Star Trek: Voyager scheduled to end, UPN asked Braga and Berman to devise a new series to continue the franchise. Rather than setting it in the 24th century alongside Deep Space Nine and Voyager, the duo decided to set Enterprise in an earlier period, allowing them to explore new parts of the Star Trek fictional universe. Wanting a more basic, relatable, and character-driven series, Berman and Braga concentrated the episodes around a core trio of characters: Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III (Connor Trinneer) and Sub-commander T'Pol (Jolene Blalock). The show broke with Star Trek convention in several respects: in addition to dropping the Star Trek prefix, Enterprise used the pop-influenced song "Where My Heart Will Take Me" (performed by Russell Watson) as its theme. It was filmed on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles, California, on the same stages that housed the Star Trek series and films since the abandoned Star Trek: Phase II in the late 1970s.
The first two seasons were characterized by stand-alone episodes that explored topics like humanity's early relations with the Vulcans and their first encounters with the Klingons and Andorians, alien species already familiar to the Star Trek franchise. Wanting to attract greater viewers, UPN called for changes for its third season. The series was renamed, pursuing more action-driven plots and a single, serialized storyline: the crew's mission to prevent the Earth being destroyed by a newly introduced alien species called the Xindi. UPN cancelled the series after its fourth season; a fan-led campaign for a fifth proved unsuccessful. The cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005 marked the first point in eighteen years that no new Star Trek episodes were produced, a situation that remained until the launch of Star Trek: Discovery in 2017.
Star Trek: Enterprise follows the adventures of the crew of the starship Enterprise, designation NX-01. They are the first deep space explorers in Starfleet, using the first Warp 5 equipped vessel. At the start of the series, it is revealed that the Vulcans have withheld advanced technology from humanity since their first contact, concerned that humans were not ready for it. This has delayed human space exploration and caused resentment in Captain Jonathan Archer, whose father developed the Warp 5 engine but did not live to see it used.
Enterprise was intentionally equipped with less advanced versions of technologies seen in previous series. For example, it has no tractor beam, uses missiles instead of photon torpedoes, and has only limited means of synthesizing foods and other consumable items. Communications Officer Linguist Hoshi Sato's expertise in linguistics helps compensate for the lack of advanced universal translators.
The series also showed the crew making first contacts with a number of races previously seen in the franchise. Notably, the Klingons who appear in the pilot "Broken Bow" have the ridged makeup seen in the movie franchise and from Star Trek: The Next Generation onwards (excluding Star Trek: Discovery), rather than the smooth-headed versions seen in Star Trek: The Original Series.[note 1] This particular change was attributed by Berman and Braga to advancements in makeup. They felt that contradictions in the continuity such as the Klingon ridges were unavoidable, as well as those involving technology. However, continuity was restored, by attributing the change to a plague caused by genetic experimentation. (Advances in the real world now made mobile telephones smaller than the communicators seen in The Original Series, and even desktop computers and monitors are more compact than those seen in Voyager.)
The series's first season emphasized a core trio of characters: Jonathan Archer, T'Pol, and Charles "Trip" Tucker III. Other main characters had primary roles in particular episodes, such as "Dear Doctor" and "Fight or Flight". The second season saw deepening relationships between characters—for example, the friendship between Tucker and Reed, seen in episodes such as "Two Days and Two Nights"; and the relationship between Tucker and T'Pol, which begins contentiously but leads to romance in later seasons.
The addition of a futuristic Temporal Cold War element was seen as a "nod to mystery" by Rick Berman, who sought to add an element of The X-Files to the series. Berman decided that the full story of the war would be revealed over the course of several years. At the start of the second season, Braga said that the Temporal Cold War storyline would continue to be included if viewers were still interested, but later described it as "strangulating". Initially featured in the pilot episode, "Broken Bow", it featured the Suliban being manipulated by an unknown humanoid figure from the future, nicknamed "Future Guy" by viewers—a moniker later adopted by the series's writers. At the start of the series, Braga said that they did not have a plan for who the character would turn out to be. Ten years after the end of the series, Braga stated on Twitter that Future Guy was Archer manipulating his own timeline; he and Berman had previously stated, however, that the character was intended to be a Romulan.
Crewman Daniels (Matt Winston), introduced in the episode "Cold Front", was revealed as an operative from 900 years in the future who was fighting against the forces which included the Suliban. Archer found that he was being manipulated by those forces, as Enterprise was blamed for the destruction of a mining colony in "Shockwave".
In the third season, an escalation of the Temporal Cold War introduced the Xindi and dealt with the repercussions of their attack on Earth. Daniels explained Archer's importance in history during a trip to the future in "Azati Prime" to witness the final battle against the Sphere Builders—aliens who were also manipulating the Xindi into attacking Earth during Archer's time period. In the closing phase of the Temporal Cold War, Daniels sent the Enterprise back to the 1940s, following a temporal incursion by aliens who had altered the outcome of the Second World War to permit Nazi Germany to invade the United States. Once Vosk, the leader of the aliens, is killed, the timeline corrects itself.
Braga and Berman created the season long Xindi story arc which began with the second-season finale, "The Expanse" and ran throughout the third season until it was resolved in the episode "Zero Hour". It opens with an attack on Earth by a mysterious space probe which killed seven million people in a destructive swath stretching through Florida to Venezuela. As a result, the Enterprise is re-directed to the unexplored Delphic Expanse to find the Xindi and stop a further attack which will destroy Earth. Although certain elements such as the success of the mission against the Xindi were preplanned, others such as the details of the actual enemy race were not. At the time of the initial development, Berman and Braga were uncertain if the storyline would last for a whole season or for just half a season.
The Xindi themselves were developed from on-set discussions with the writers and the actors who portrayed them. In this manner, the six species which make up the Xindi were created, with one of them called the "humanoid Xindi", but after further discussions these were renamed to the "primate Xindi". The first part of the third season saw the crew searching the Delphic Expanse attempting to find clues that would lead them to the Xindi. In order to complete this mission they took on additional crew members in the form of Military Assault Command Operations (abbreviated as MACO) soldiers due to the increased military nature of the task.
The birth of the Federation was first hinted at during part two of "Shockwave", which opened the second season. When Manny Coto was made showrunner for the fourth season, he decided that the focus of the series should be to link to that event. With this in mind, his intention was for this season to move towards that goal. Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens were hired as writers on Enterprise because they wrote the non-canon novel Federation and after it was suggested by producer Mike Sussman. The episodes for the fourth season were intended to lay the framework for the later creation of the Federation. This was something that the cast said that they would have liked to see more of, with Scott Bakula later saying "I would have loved to have been able to explore that journey to the Federation and their creation of it ... to a greater extent. And I think that would have been, um, just more fun for the audience ... just better, longer storytelling."
In "United", the founding races of the Federation, the humans, the Vulcans, the Andorians and the Tellerites worked together for the first time to defeat a Romulan plot. In "Demons", the xenophobic Terra Prime movement is introduced, which Coto felt was the final element of human nature that must be defeated before the Federation could be formed. The foundation of the Federation was shown on screen in the final episode of the series, "These Are the Voyages...", which was set several years after the rest of the season.
Prior to the end of Star Trek: Voyager and following the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on June 1999, UPN approached Rick Berman and Brannon Braga about the production of a fifth Star Trek series, either to overlap with the final season of Voyager or to immediately follow. Berman had previously created Star Trek: Deep Space Nine alongside Michael Piller, Voyager with Piller and Jeri Taylor, and had been wanting to work with Braga on a series concept. While the fans online were suggesting that it could either be based on Starfleet Academy or the adventures of Hikaru Sulu, the producers took care that no information was leaked to reveal what the concept was going to be. They later revealed that the Academy idea was never properly considered.
Instead, they opted to create a prequel to The Original Series which is set after the events in the film Star Trek: First Contact, as Braga and Berman felt it was a period in the Star Trek universe which was unexplored. The idea was for the series to portray the first deep space explorers in the Star Trek universe, with Braga explaining that everything will be new to the crew and that since the setting was closer in the timeframe to the modern day, that their reactions to situations would be more contemporary. As part of this, they sought feedback from members of the submarine service of the United States Navy, which was reflected in certain design work on the series such as the Starfleet uniforms. The network executives needed to be convinced of the viability of a prequel series, as they had presumed that the series would take the franchise further into the future. The initial idea was for the first season to be almost entirely set on Earth as the Enterprise is rushed to completion to respond to first contact with the Klingons, and the crew being put together. This idea was rejected by the studio executives, and these story elements were instead restricted to the pilot, "Broken Bow".
They sought to make Enterprise more character driven than the previous series in the Star Trek franchise, and hoped that this would gain viewers who had watched The Next Generation but had lost interest with Deep Space Nine and Voyager. It was intended to link the series directly into The Original Series by having T'Pau as a main character, who had previously appeared in the episode "Amok Time". Instead, this character was developed into an original Vulcan character, T'Pol.[note 2] Berman explained his vision for the series at launch, saying that "we'll be seeing humanity when they truly are going where no man has gone before. We are seeing people who don't take meeting aliens as just another part of the job. It's not routine. Nothing is routine. Also, by bringing it back 200 years from Voyager, we're making the characters closer to the present, and by doing that they can be a little bit more accessible and a little bit more flawed and a little bit more familiar to you and me."
He said that this setting would combine elements of The Original Series while having "a lot of fresh and new elements in it". It was initially considered whether or not to have Enterprise overlap with the final season of Voyager, but it was decided that there would be a gap in broadcasting between the two series, as Berman was concerned with the "oversaturation" of the franchise. But he hoped that the "dramatic change" in Enterprise would mean that new viewers were drawn in to watch it. As part of this change, the decision was made to drop "Star Trek" from the title but Berman explained that "if there's any one word that says Star Trek without actually saying Star Trek, that word is Enterprise". This title would last until the third episode of season three, "Extinction", when the series was renamed to Star Trek: Enterprise following a demand by Paramount Television executives in an effort to reconnect the series with the fans of the franchise.
In addition to the executive producers, a number of former Star Trek crew members joined the new series at launch. Herman Zimmerman was recruited as Production Designer/Illustrator, having worked on Trek projects throughout The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and the feature films. Marvin V. Rush resumed his role as Director of Photography, having been involved with Trek since the third season of The Next Generation. Working with him were Douglas Knapp and William Peets as Camera Operator and Chief Lighting Technician respectively. Both had previously worked on Voyager. Another alumna from the previous series was Louise Dorton, who had started in the first season of that show as Set Designer, but joined Enterprise as Art Director.
John Eaves, who had previously worked on Star Trek: First Contact, became the Senior Illustrator for the show, while Doug Drexler worked to him as Junior Illustrator. Michael Westmore was once again the Head of Make-up for the series, and was joined by his daughter-in-law Suzanne Westmore, who had previously been credited on Voyager as Suzanne Diaz. Ronald B. Moore returned once again as Visual Effectors Supervisor, a veteran of Trek productions since The Next Generation and also worked on the feature film Star Trek Generations. Carol Kuntz was the Costume Supervisor, a position she had held since the production of The Next Generation, while Charlotte A. Parker was Enterprise's Hair Stylist, and had been previously credited as Charlotte A. Gravenor on Voyager.
A number of directors who had previously worked on episodes in other Star Trek series returned once more to work on Enterprise. These included former Star Trek alumni, such as LeVar Burton, aka Geordi La Forge from The Next Generation, and Robert Duncan McNeill, who played Tom Paris on Voyager. Roxann Dawson was also announced to direct at the start of the series, having previously played B'Elanna Torres, also on Voyager. She went on to direct ten episodes of the series. Following the first season, the majority of the writers on the series were fired by Braga with the exception of Chris Black. He was promoted for the second season to co-executive producer, and former The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen writer John Shiban joined the writing team and was also named co-executive producer. Berman called the recruitment of Shiban a "coup" for the series. Shiban stayed for the second season, while Black left after the third.
The fourth season of Enterprise saw a change to the leadership for the crew, with Manny Coto taking over as executive producer and showrunner from Braga and Berman. He had previously come onto the writing staff during the third season, and wrote the well received episode "Similitude". Coto was a fan of The Original Series and sought to link Enterprise closer to that earlier show. He brought Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens onto Enterprise as writers; they had previously written books on the production of the franchise, as well as working with William Shatner on his Shatnerverse series of Star Trek novels. Braga and Berman remained on staff, with Coto describing the situation as having "three showrunners". Coto set the direction for the final season, while the other two gave notes and feedback.
The crew issued a casting call for the main roles in the series, with both Keating and Billingsley making immediate impressions on the casting director and staff. Braga said that they knew they were right for those roles "right off the bat". Keating had previously auditioned for a role on Voyager two years prior, but Berman wanted to keep him for a future main role, saying that when he auditioned for Reed that the actor "nailed it", although there were discussions about the accent he should be using with Keating suggesting one from the North of England but the producers mistook it for Scottish. In the end, they chose to go with Keating's natural voice. He also praised the casting processes involving Trinneer, Park and Billingsley, calling the latter "perfect" in his role as Doctor Phlox. Park was not required to audition, but instead was hired on the basis of her performance in a scene she appeared in The WB series Popular alongside Anthony Montgomery – despite that the character was intended to be older until Park was cast. Montgomery had previously auditioned to play Tuvok's son in Voyager, and after being chosen for the part of Travis Mayweather, he elected to take the part instead of a role in a low budget movie he had been offered.
The longest casting process was that of Bakula as Archer, due to the extended contract negotiations that took place, which added to a delay in production. He had been sought for the part by the executive producers, although Bakula wanted to do the show, he "wanted to feel that [he] was making a good deal and that everyone was going to work together to make this a good experience." He had signed up for a pilot for CBS called Late Bloomers before agreeing to appear on Enterprise. One of the reasons he agreed to join the cast of Enterprise was that he had previously worked with Kerry McCluggage, one of the co-founders of UPN, on Quantum Leap. Berman later admitted that they did not have an alternative in mind if Bakula decided to turn down the role.
Braga explained that the most difficult casting was that for T'Pol, as they were seeking a Kim Cattrall type. Blalock and Marjorie Monaghan were among the final three to be considered for the part, with Blalock gaining the role, despite her agents rejecting requests for her to attend auditions early in the casting process. By the time that Blalock auditioned in the final group, the crew had seen hundreds of actresses according to Berman. His main issue at the time was to find a "beautiful woman who can act and doesn't want to go right into feature films". Blalock was excited about the casting as she had been a lifelong Star Trek fan, with her favourite character being Spock. Bakula's casting as Archer was announced via press release on May 10, 2001. However, some of the British media mistook the announcement for Bakula taking over from Patrick Stewart. Details of the rest of the main cast were released on May 15, with the rest of the character details publicised the following day.
Some recurring characters were played by actors who had previously appeared in Star Trek productions, with Jeffrey Combs portraying the Andorian Shran, making his first appearance in the season one episode "The Andorian Incident". He had previously portrayed the Vorta Weyoun as well as the Ferengi Brunt on Deep Space Nine. Vaughn Armstrong, who played Admiral Maxwell Forest, had previously appeared in a number of roles in various Trek productions since his first part as a Klingon in The Next Generation episode "Heart of Glory" and by the end of the Enterprise run, he had appeared as 13 different characters in total. Randy Oglesby, Rick Worthy and Scott MacDonald had also appeared in a variety of roles within the franchise before taking on the recurring parts of Xindi council members throughout season three.
Throughout the production on Enterprise, there were rumours that William Shatner would make a guest appearance. During season four, this idea was raised once again with the Reeves-Stevens suggesting that the tantalus field (previously thought to be a disintegrator) seen in The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror" actually sent its victims back in time to a penal colony in the regular universe. This in turn would allow Shatner to reprise his role as the Mirror Universe version of Captain James T. Kirk. He pitched this to Braga and Berman, but instead they pitched another idea back to the actor in which he could play the chef of the Enterprise, who was taken to the future by Daniels and required to impersonate Kirk. After they could not settle on an idea, the Mirror Universe concept was reworked into the two-part episode "In a Mirror, Darkly".
The majority of the filming took place on the Paramount Pictures lot in Los Angeles, California. The temporary sets for the show were housed on stages 8 and 9; while the permanent sets including the bridge, engineering and the armory were located on stage 18. The engineering set itself was built across two levels with the large warp drive taking up the majority of the space. Stages 8 and 9 had housed sets for the earlier Star Trek series since production was started on the abandoned Star Trek: Phase II during the late 1970s. They were subsequently used for the films Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home before being used for The Next Generation and Voyager. Stage 18 had not been previously used for the production of any Star Trek series or films.
During the course of filming the pilot, between 130 and 150 members of staff worked on constructing the sets; this reduced to 20 to 25 crew members when the show went to series. These teams were led by construction coordinator Tom Arp, who had previously worked on Deep Space Nine and a number of Star Trek films in the same capacity. Although a number of episodes required specific sets to be built from scratch, the team would save certain elements to enable them to be reused in later episodes. The production had a warehouse in Burbank to store those pieces while they were not being used. Midway through the third season, from "Exile" onwards, the series started to be broadcast in 1080i High-definition television. Alongside Jake 2.0, it was one of the first two series on UPN to be broadcast in high-definition. The show contains over 4,214 minutes of special effects, dialogue, and other scenes. Although it was broadcast in high definition at 1080i, it was not released on 1080p blu-ray until later and an example is the 2017 Blu-ray collection of the full series called Enterprise: The Full Journey.
Until the start of the fourth season, the series was shot on traditional film stock. It (the first three seasons) were shot on wide screen 35mm film with and an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it was 3-perf Super 35mm film. After Rush began testing a Sony digital camera on the standing sets for two days prior to production on "Storm Front" and demonstrated the footage to Braga and Berman, the decision was made to switch to digital production. Rush felt that the audience would not see a great deal of difference as the footage can be shot in a way to look the same as the earlier seasons, but felt that the filming in high definition would be a benefit because of the additional detail that could be seen on screen. At the time this was cutting edge for a TV show, with allowing the production team improved low-light performance and it enabled shooting more compared to chemical films. The actual camera used was the Sony HDW-F900 CineAlta High-Definition camera, and the recording technology also used Sony' CineAlta 24P, a trademarked name of that company. The decision to move to Sony's technology was a triple agreement of the three executive producers of the show, and also supported by the Directory of Photography. Season four's Blu-ray release of Enterprise in 1080p has been praised as sharp and with satisfying color, and the best looking of the seasons. The fourth season has been released multiple times, with latest as a combined full-series set in January 2017.
Dennis McCarthy was recruited by the production team to score the pilot, "Broken Bow". He had scored other episodes of the franchise, including the pilot of The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint", and won an Emmy Award for his work on the Voyager episode "Heroes and Demons". His work on "Broken Bow" was subsequently released in the United States on CD by Decca Records. Other composers who worked on Enterprise included Paul Ballinger, David Bell, Jay Chattaway, John Frizzell, Kevin Kiner, Mark McKenzie, Velton Ray Bunch and Brian Tyler.
The franchise was known for typically using orchestral themes, but Berman said that the theme tune would be more "contemporary" than heard in previous series and a "little hipper". The theme was revealed to be a cover of the Rod Stewart single "Faith of the Heart", by British tenor Russell Watson. Stewart's song had originally appeared on the soundtrack to the 1998 film Patch Adams. For the use in Enterprise, it was retitled to "Where My Heart Will Take Me", but prompted a negative reaction from existing Star Trek fans. These included an online petition to have the song removed, and there was a protest held outside of Paramount Studios. Executive producers Braga and Berman both defended the choice, with Berman saying that the fan response was split over the song while Braga said that some people found the song "uplifting".
Illustrator John Eaves created a drawing of a number of real-world and Star Trek vessels leaving Earth, which was subsequently turned into a poster by Dan Madsen at the Star Trek Communicator magazine. Eaves gave copies of this poster to Braga and Berman, with Berman suggesting the possibility that this could be a good concept for an opening sequence. The aim of the sequence was to follow the evolution of exploration, flight and space flight. As suggested by Eaves' poster, it included real-world vessels such as HMS Enterprise, Spirit of St. Louis, the Bell X-1, the Space Shuttle Enterprise amongst others in addition to the Mars rover Sojourner and the International Space Station. Star Trek vessels featured included two new designs by Eaves as well as the first warp vessel, the Phoenix, and the Enterprise (NX-01). The Phoenix spacecraft was presented in the 1996 feature film Star Trek: First Contact as Earth's first warp vessel, whose inaugural warp flight triggered first contact with the Vulcans.
The series was considered for cancellation at the end of the second season, with Paramount executives instead requesting a number of changes to Enterprise in order to renew it following a letter writing campaign from fans. These included a change of name to Star Trek: Enterprise early in the third season and a new action-oriented plot, which resulted in the development of the Xindi. There was a major turn over of staff at Paramount in June 2004, with Jonathan Dolgen, the head of entertainment at parent company Viacom, quitting following the departure of Viacom President Mel Karmazin. Dolgen was described by Bakula as being the "huge Star Trek guy" at Paramount, and his departure was followed by several other staff members leaving. During these departures, UPN was purchased by CBS. Fans were resigned to cancellation at the end of the third season, but were surprised when the series was renewed, which was due in part to a reduction in the fees Paramount was charging UPN on a per-episode basis. However Enterprise was moved to a slot on Friday evening, the same night that The Original Series was broadcast on during its own third season before it was cancelled.
On February 3, 2005, it was announced that Enterprise had been cancelled. This news was passed to the cast and crew during the sixth day of production on "In a Mirror, Darkly". The end of the series marked the first time in 18 years that no new Star Trek episodes were scheduled for broadcast, and Enterprise was the first live-action series of the franchise since The Original Series to last less than seven years. Braga said at a talk to students in Los Angeles shortly after the news of the cancellation was released that "After 18 straight years on the air and 750-some episodes the current run of Star Trek is over. Which is a good thing. It needs a rest". He added that he was not sure how long Star Trek would be off the air, but called it a "gestation" instead of a "cancellation". Russell T Davies, showrunner of the then-upcoming revived series of Doctor Who, was in talks about producing a crossover episode in which the Ninth Doctor lands the TARDIS on board the NX-01, but these plans were abandoned with the cancellation of Enterprise.
The cancellation resulted in protests by fans, both at Paramount Studios and around the world as well as online. A website entitled TrekUnited.com was set up to raise funds for a fifth season, but failed to do so with the money refunded after the unsuccessful campaign. A total of $32 million had been raised. Several years later, the possibility of a fifth season was still being discussed with Braga suggesting that fans could prompt Netflix into producing a new season of Enterprise by watching the existing four seasons on the service. This resulted in a Facebook campaign set up to promote the idea of a fifth season.
At the time of the cancellation, Coto had hoped for renewal and had already started to make plans for the fifth season. These included the expectation that the show would begin to cover the buildup to the Romulan War, as well as continue to link to The Original Series with references to things such as the cloud city of Stratos as seen in "The Cloud Minders". Another feature that Coto planned was to have a "miniseries within a series" with four or five episodes devoted to following up on events from the Mirror Universe episode "In a Mirror, Darkly". The producers had also intended to bring Jeffrey Combs onto the series as a regular by placing his recurring Andorian character Shran onto the bridge of the Enterprise in an advisory capacity.
Work had already begun on an episode referred to by Coto as "Kilkenny Cats", which would have seen the return of Larry Niven's Kzinti, usually seen in his Known Space novels, and which had previously appeared in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Slaver Weapon". At the same time that Enterprise was broadcast, writer Jimmy Diggs was pursuing the idea of a CGI animated film called Star Trek: Lions of the Night, in which Captain Hikaru Sulu would lead the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) in attempting to prevent a Kzinti invasion of the Federation. Coto's episode was based on a similar premise, with Diggs brought onto the Enterprise team to work on the episode. Production had begun on the new Kzinti ships for "Kilkenny Cats", with Josh Finney commissioned.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||Viewers (millions)||Rank|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||26||September 26, 2001||May 22, 2002||5.9||115|
|2||26||September 18, 2002||May 21, 2003||4.03||135|
|3||24||September 10, 2003||May 26, 2004||N/A||N/A|
|4||22||October 8, 2004||May 13, 2005||2.9||150|
|Season||Time slot (ET)|
|2001–02||Wednesday at 8:00 pm (episodes 1, 3–23, 25–26)|
Wednesday at 9:00 pm (episodes 2, 24)
|2002–03||Wednesday at 8:00 pm (episodes 1–24, 26)|
Wednesday at 9:00 pm (episode 25)
|2003–04||Wednesday at 8:00 pm|
|2004–05||Friday at 8:00 pm (episodes 1–21)|
Friday at 9:00 pm (episode 22)
The pilot, "Broken Bow", was watched by 12.5 million viewers on the first broadcast on UPN. This was during the first full week of the new season on American television, and it was felt at the time that the combination of Enterprise alongside Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Roswell would help to cross-promote each other due to the science fiction and fantasy genre links. This even included a cross-over episode of Roswell with a character from that series auditioning before Jonathan Frakes for a role on Enterprise. After the first few weeks of episodes of Enterprise, the ratings were considered to be solid enough and the expectation was that the series would run for seven seasons in the same manner as The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. However, the viewing figures began to decrease towards the end of the season.
Changes were made for the third season, with the introduction of the season-long Xindi storyline. This improved the reviews that the series was receiving, and the viewers in the 18 to 35 demographics but the overall ratings continued to decrease. UPN cut the 26 episode order for the third season to 24, meaning that if 24 episodes were created for the fourth season as well then they would have the 100 episodes needed for syndication. As well as a move to Friday nights, the fourth season was shortened further to 22 episodes, meaning that at cancellation there were 98 episodes produced in total. At the time of cancellation, Enterprise remained the highest rated drama series on UPN. The series went immediately into broadcast syndication; the arrangements having been made by UPN prior to the cancellation. It is distributed by CBS Television Distribution.
In the UK, the series was first broadcast on satellite TV channel Sky One, before airing on Channel 4 during July 2002, becoming the first Star Trek series not to be broadcast terrestrially by the BBC. In Australia, the series was broadcast on the Nine Network. All four seasons of Enterprise entered broadcast syndication in the United States during the week of September 17, 2005. The episodes were initially aired out of sequence, with episodes from the third and fourth season being broadcast directly after episodes from the first. Episodes from the second season were not planned to air until September 2006.
The first season of Enterprise was released on VHS cassette in both the United Kingdom and Ireland, during 2002. In each of the thirteen volumes, there were two episodes on each tape. The first home media release of Enterprise in the United States was of the full first season on DVD, which was released on May 3, 2005. The remaining seasons were released over the course of the next months, with season four brought out in November of that year. In addition, 2005 saw the release of the complete series as a DVD box-set.
Enterprise was the third Star Trek series to be released in high definition on Blu-ray following the earlier releases of Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation, with season one delivered on March 26, 2013. The fans of the franchise were asked for feedback on potential covers for the first season release, but as there was no clear winner, a new design was created based on the feedback received. The second season was released on August 20, 2013, the third season was on January 7, 2014, and the final season on April 29, 2014. The Blu-ray releases featured both the same additional features as the DVD release, in addition to new features exclusive to these releases. In January 2017 a new 24 disc Blu-ray set of the whole series was released. This set includes the whole series in 1080p with a screen size ratio of 1.78:1 (widescreen) and with the sound in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (5 channels plus subwoofer). The set includes 97 episodes from its original broadcast run at the dawn of the 21st century and features like a cast reunion. Note that the Blu-ray release in 1080p is actually higher than its original broadcast resolution which ranged from 720p to 1080i.
The first novel released based on the series was an adaptation of the pilot episode, "Broken Bow", authored by Diane Carey for Pocket Books and released in October 2001 in the United States. It also contained an additional chapter of production material on the series at the back of the novel, written by Paul Ruditis. The first original novel was By the Book, published in January 2002 and written by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Katheryn Rusch. The duo had not seen any episodes of the series at the time of writing, instead basing the book on the first three scripts and the initial trailer. Other books expanded on the backgrounds of specific characters, with What Price Honor? concentrating on Reed and Daedalus describing Tucker's work on a previous warp vessel.
A further novelization was written by Paul Ruditis of the two-part episode "Shockwave" which closed the first season and opened the second. The final novelization of Enterprise episodes was contained within The Expanse by J.M. Dillard which covered the second-season finale, "The Expanse" and the first episode of the third season, "The Xindi". Margaret Clark, an editor at Pocket Books explained on TrekBBS that the reason for the low numbers of Enterprise related books was not due to poor sales, but instead because the fourth season of the show addressed topics that had been previously intended for novelizations. Books released subsequent to the end of the series as part of the Star Trek: Enterprise relaunch covered topics such as the Earth-Romulan War, and the initial years of the Federation.
In the video games Star Trek: Encounters and Star Trek: Legacy, both released in 2006, the first vessel controlled by the player in each storyline is the Enterprise (NX-01). As both games progress chronologically, the gamer then moves onto the USS Enterprise seen in The Original Series and later depictions afterwards. The film Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) references Enterprise with a model of the NX-01 in a collection depicting the history of flight in Fleet Admiral Alexander Marcus' (Peter Weller) office. It was placed next to other historical vessels such as the Wright Flyer, the Space Shuttle and the NX-Alpha. Events and elements of the series, including the MACOs and the Xindi war, are also referenced in the 2016 film Star Trek Beyond. The long-lost vessel featured in the film, the USS Franklin (NX-326), is similar in design and said to be a precursor to the NX-01. The Earth-Romulan War, which occurred after the events of the series in the official timeline but was seeded during the series, is also mentioned in Beyond.
The pilot episode of Enterprise, "Broken Bow", was well received by critics, with Ed Bark for the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service saying that it all came together in an "impressive fashion", while Brandon Easton said in The Boston Herald that the cast was "impeccable" and the writing was "strong" despite the "limitations of a questionable premise". In a differing opinion, Charlie McCollum for Knight Ridder said that the premise was "great", although at the time had yet to see the episode. Dan Snierson, while writing for the Entertainment Weekly praised the series, saying "It's hot, it's sexy, it's kinda funny" and called it the saviour of UPN.
Following the pilot, the critical reaction became mixed. David Segal said in The Washington Post that the series "has a bargain basement feel that lands this side of camp." During the course of the second season, mainstream media publications began publishing that the show was "broken". Tom Russo proclaimed in Entertainment Weekly that "It's dead Jim – almost", attributing the lack of appeal of Star Trek: Nemesis and the dwindling ratings received by Enterprise as demonstrating that the franchise was tired. The frequency of stand-alone episodes broadcast during the second season resulted in a negative fan reaction.
The reception for the third and fourth seasons improved overall, but with some negative reviews being received. One such criticism was from Gareth Wigmore in TV Zone who said that "Enterprise isn't so much reacting to current events as it is lazily picking items from the news to produce stories." Coto felt that the critics "dumped on the show", and despite his feelings that the final season marked an improvement, he was disappointed that the critics did not change their minds. Critics received the news of the cancellation with mixed opinions with Ted Cox in The Daily Herald saying that it was "good riddance to space rubbish", while an article in the Lethbridge Herald blamed the cancellation on the poor ratings despite the improved quality of the series.
The series finale, "These Are the Voyages...", was poorly received, with Cox adding that Enterprise ended "with a whimper", while Kevin Williamson stating in the Calgary Sun that it was the worst series finale since "Turnabout Intruder" and criticised the concentration on characters from The Next Generation instead of Enterprise. A similar opinion was held by Mark Perigard in The Boston Herald, saying that William T. Riker "has no business walking the ship", and that the death of Tucker was "for no other reason than the show's creators realized at least one dramatic thing had to happen in the hour". Braga later admitted that killing Tucker "wasn't a great idea", and called making the finale TNG-centric his biggest regret of the series. Others found the conclusion a comforting reminder of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Pegasus", which aired about 11 years prior in real-time.
Star Trek: Enterprise was nominated for seventeen awards over the course of the four seasons at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. It won on four occasions, for Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series for "Broken Bow", Outstanding Hairstyling For A Series for "Two Days and Two Nights", Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Dramatic Underscore) for "Similitude" and Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series for "Countdown". It also received sixteen nominations at the Saturn Awards, with the only wins coming following the first season both for Jolene Blalock in the Best Supporting Actress on Television and Faces of the Future categories.
The series won an award ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards in 2002 for Top Television Series, and twice at the Visual Effects Society Awards for "Dead Stop" in the category Best Models and Miniatures in a Televised Program, Music Video, or Commercial and for the second part of "Stormfront" for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series, with a further two nominations received.
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