Over the past few weeks, I watched/re-watched Star Trek: Enterprise. Wow, was I surprised. It was much better than I remembered it.
Its flaws are still there, of course, but I wasn’t bored. And if I’m not bored, that’s good enough for me.
Here’s just a few things that are a lot better than I remembered:
- The sets. They really succeed at capturing a feel that looks dated compared to Next Gen/Voyager, yet advanced compared to today.
- The horror episodes. There are only a few, but these were some of the standouts of the entire series to me. This is one thing ST:E did better than any of the other ST series. Silent Enemy was the best, but by no means the only good one.
- The Andorians. The show goes a long way to fleshing out the species, one we barely saw before, despite the fact that they were one of the original few species to form the Federation. I wish the series brought a lot more of the early Federation member species into play. (Caitians, Tellerites, Deltans, etc.)
- Limitations. We have a crew that wanted to help others it came across, yet a ship that’s not advanced enough to deal with much of what confronts them. While the show was criticized by many for making the ship too modern in some respects, ST:E actually does a great job at making the ship’s limitations impact the story. It creates problems on the show that the characters have to work around (aka good storytelling), and fits incredibly well with the show’s ‘early’ setting. Nothing’s easy, but they get it done.
- The opening song. I used to *hate* it, as did most fans at the time. It eschewed the beautiful orchestrations from every previous Star Trek series for a pop song (!) — one first sung by Rod Stewart, at that. Maybe it’s been so long since we’ve last had a new Trek show that it doesn’t really matter to me anymore, or maybe it’s the JJ verse movies also emphasizing pop songs that have inoculated me, but now I find the song pretty catchy — and one that certainly fits the feel of the show.
- Porthos, Captain Archer’s pet dog. Clearly, there should be more dogs in space.
The problems of the show are all still there, but it’s much better than most people give it credit for.