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Topic: Enterprise Based On A Shaky Premise? Post Reply | Post New Topic
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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
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Posted: 31 January 2018 at 5:16am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Bjo Trimble is a woman, born in the 1930s, who has been heavily involved in sci-fi fandom, including writing and art. And so much else.

She recently expressed a view about ENTERPRISE in the latest issue of "Star Trek Magazine":

"We found the concept of Vulcan holding Earth back (or even wanting to do so) too weird to accept. It was a very shaky premise on which to build a new series."

Many here have seen more of the show than I have. So, thoughts?
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 31 January 2018 at 6:01am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

That's a bit like saying the shaky premise of PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE is that aliens would use the same numbers we do.

ENTERPRISE was "shaky" from top to bottom, beginning with the relentless crusade to undermine everything TOS did.

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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
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Posted: 31 January 2018 at 8:55am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I never really got into ENTERPRISE, it was less appealing as time went on (I think I got as far as Season 2). I was also trolled on a message board when I had the 'audacity' to say that VOYAGER was better. 

Incidentally, I haven't seen PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE, I wouldn't mind satisfying my curiosity about that one. ;)
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Rob Ocelot
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Joined: 07 December 2008
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Posted: 31 January 2018 at 10:33am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

That's a bit like saying the shaky premise of PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE is that aliens would use the same numbers we do.

I remember going to see INDEPENDANCE DAY with a friend who turned to me during the movie and said "How did they know the aliens used Apple Macs?".

I still fall over laughing when I think about it.


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Shane Matlock
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Joined: 12 August 2012
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Posted: 01 February 2018 at 12:34am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I think prequels are almost always disappointing and generally a bad idea. There are a few I've really enjoyed though like X-Men: The Hidden Years and Better Call Saul. 

And, Robbie, Voyager was much better than Enterprise. I'm surprised anyone would disagree with that.
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Brian Hague
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Joined: 14 November 2006
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Posted: 01 February 2018 at 1:43am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Berman-era spin-offs had a twisted concept of Vulcans in general, making them a race of uptight, dishonest, knuckle-rapping nuns. While the franchise was falling all over itself for years to offer up love to the Klingons, it ran the Vulcans into the mud, offering an olive branch only at the very end of it all in Enterprise Season 4. Berman era writers just did not get the concept of that world, and seemed to have a genuine resentment of Spock and his people. The only good Vulcans were the ones who turned their back on their homeworld and its teachings. If you were lucky, the best you could hope for was to be nondescript like cigar-store figure Tuvok or Dr. Selar in her embarrassing polyester wig and oversize ears. 

The idea that we were uncivilized children the Vulcans were keeping locked inside their playpen and wouldn't allow out to mix with the more advanced, Warp 5 civilizations, like the Pakleds, was dramatically uninspiring, leading to pathetic speeches from our characters pleading that they were big enough and smart enough to come out and play with the other kids. Bakula's story arc throughout the first few seasons involved repeated "Aw, c'mon! S'not fair!" footstamping tantrums, all delivered with the power of a routine telegram being read to its recipient by the postal worker Enterprise crew members so closely resembled.

The show was tepid and ill-conceived at every turn. We're five days away from the Klingon homeworld at warp five? Not just Klingon territory, but the homeworld itself? And the Klingons have Warp Five technology already and have had it for years? Why aren't we a Klingon outpost already? Do they only conquer races four days away?

Bakula didn't earn his commission as Captain. He was the kid of the guy who built the ship. T'Pol, the dangerous spy in our midst, who might betray us to her superiors at any moment, forswore her Vulcan responsibilities in the first story arc, and told her bosses she wouldn't do as she was told because, well, she liked humans. So there. Tucker was an annoying sop to Southern viewers, too young for his job, whose performance came down to a single approach to line readings. Come rain or shine, happiness or sorrow, that guy read his line with the same inflections he would all the others he'd ever been given, and damned if he wouldn't read the next one the same way. His romantic chemistry with T'Pol on a scale from one to five registered at about point two-zero, still putting him ahead of Bakula's negative numbers.

Really? No one could get excited by this woman? Are postal workers actually this dull?

The whole "Let us out of our sandbox! Waaah!" set-up did the franchise no credit, especially since we knew that very soon, the entire Federation was going to be centrally located on this backwards, no-account, child-planet. The obvious way out of this numb, non-starter story construct, being the first civilization anywhere to build a Warp Seven engine in a Warp Five universe, never occurred to anyone or was struck down by the repressive Berman regime. If you can exponentially go that much farther, that much faster than everyone else then yes, you can get to the Klingon homeworld, or at least Klingon space from a previously safe distance away (although five days still seems ridiculous.) If you're the first Warp Seven civilization, the universe comes knocking at your door. You can thumb your nose at your schoolmarms as you fly past them out the door. 

Nope. Warp Five. Same as everyone else. Same as the Pakleds, who came up with it first. Archer's dad doesn't seem too bright in this company. Neither do the writers.

And no, Voyager was no better. Not in it's early Neelix, the breakfast cereal mascot, phase and not in it's retrograde years as an overlong sitcom starring Seven and the Doctor in their wacky adventures as the only crewmembers who can't be knocked out by this week's space anomaly. 

Similar self-sabotage to any concept of drama and an overwhelming dedication to the "God, isn't she perfect?" Janeway agenda photon torpedoed Voyager from the start. Janeway's like every other hero, you say? Could there be an "Enemy Within" episode featuring the character? Wouldn't you just get Janeway and Janeway-with-a-slight-headache? Could you do a story where she'd consider for a second allowing Depression-era Eddie Keeler to live if it meant the loss of her ship and the future? Actual heroes have flaws, even if only minor ones, that they must overcome. What's Janeway's? The fact that she has terrible taste in fiction? Are we to believe that it's that she suffers from her terrible dedication to absolute bristol-fashion, spit-and-polish niftiness? If so, I didn't see it, and I watched far too much of this show to believe they could pull even that off.


Edited by Brian Hague on 01 February 2018 at 3:58am
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Paul Kimball
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Joined: 21 September 2006
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Posted: 02 February 2018 at 1:53am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I liked enterprise a lot upon second viewing. I am a Scott Bakula fan though. I
think the premise was solid but the execution fell short. Terrible final episode.
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 02 February 2018 at 6:04am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I liked enterprise a lot upon second viewing.

••

Well, you're out of the Will!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 02 February 2018 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Having watched the show in its entirety for the first time, two summers ago, I will say that I found more to like than I was expecting to, but that’s not exactly high praise. I was struck again and again by all of the show’s missed and/or wasted opportunities and potential.

It should have been somewhere along the lines of STAR TREK’s version of THE RIGHT STUFF, but it ended up as warmed-over Berman-era dreck. 
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Rob Ocelot
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Joined: 07 December 2008
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Posted: 03 February 2018 at 2:54pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Brian, tell us how you REALLY feel!
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Brian Hague
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Joined: 14 November 2006
Posts: 7822
Posted: 03 February 2018 at 6:54pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Grrrowwwowwwowlll! *Sputter* Rrrrowwwlll, Rassin'frassin'rassafrass....

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Brian O'Neill
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Joined: 13 November 2013
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Posts: 1964
Posted: 10 February 2018 at 6:33pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The 'Voyager' reference was perfect!
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Marten van Wier
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Joined: 07 August 2015
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Sometimes I think a reboot was needed.
TNG, DSN, and yes VOY did do good things (even if a number of the stories told were average they filled in a lot of of space in Star Trek) as I liked additions such as the Borg, the Hirogen, Dominion etc, and the games it helped to spawn.

Some of it may have been more action-adventure content but that is also important for Star Trek, big ideas and entertainment.

Enterprise for me messed up the canon and lore way more even though I like Season 4 as a sort of "fan fiction" season.
A lot of things that the series "first" showed did not need to be explained, that is one of the things that kind of annoyed me about people who did like the show who then go "See, Enterprise only adds more details to this or this thing, it is really a prequel"

I did not mind that some of the Original Series stuff was retconned or removed (mostly small trivial things that perhaps worked at the time but are considered pretty ridiculous, unnecessary, and limiting now) as the the best episode still hold up without these.

But sometimes TNG/DSN/VGR (and ENT?) did go out of their way to contradict the Original Series and I am not sure if it was because Berman had something against it or not.

In that regard a reboot of the franchise could have brought in a lot of the new additions of the last fifty years in a more organic way.

Especially because I have to admit that quite a lot of episodes of the Berman era are not that exciting or interesting to watch any more (when it was good it hooked you to the television screen, but when it was boring I for example had a tendency to walk away and do other things while the episode runs on the background)

But right now is not the right time to for a Star Trek reboot as there simply aren't enough producers and writers who genuinely get the Star Trek mindset, even some of the ones who once did seem to have lost it.
Not to mention that the audience doesn't care much for genuine sci fi stuff at the moment, for a lot it is more of a backdrop than a theme to tell stories with.

Sorry I know this topic was about Enterprise and I went rather off subject, but some of the issues with Enterprise can also be found (perhaps to a lesser extend) in the shows preceding it.

Other bad concepts in the premise of Enterprise was focus on the Temporal Cold War plot device which the writers and producers had no genuine idea what to do with other than that it sounded like a very big idea concept but this has been mentioned by others.

The Enterprise mission not really having any kind of clear focus or goals, missions the crew had to do for Earth such as perhaps investigating potential colonizable planets, clear first contact missions rather than just randomly encountering other species, study interstellar phenomenon that could now be reached.
Some of it was done in the series but it always felt more like the crew came across these as they toured the galaxy rather than carrying out an assignment.

Questionable decisions such as why the Enterprise did not have a full medical stuff of at least three doctors, various assistants, medical technicians and so on.

And while the mission may not be military in nature there should be some adherence to protocol and regulations such as the pre mission planned ones. Perhaps they would not work in the situations for which they were made up for, requiring the crew to work it out on the spot, but this would go into improving the established regulations to make them work in the future.

I get the feeling that that the show even treated a quasi military like hierarchy that is meant to make sure that the ship is run tight and to ensure a clear line of command and the safety of the crew while being in deep space is treated as being automatically warlike and imperialistic
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