STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE
Review by Mark Wiechman
Stars: Connor Trinneer, Linda Park, Anthony Montgomery, Dominic
Keating, Jolene Blalock, John Billingsley, Scott Bakula
Audio: Dolby 5.1, 2.0
Video: Color, Closed Captioned, Widescreen
Studio: Paramount Home Video
Features: See Review
Running time: Seven Discs
Release date: July 26, 2005
“Commander, are you feeling
“People are gossiping, T'Pol. Malcolm thinks we are doing more than neural pressure.”
“We are both senior officers. If we were pursuing a romantic relationship, it wouldn't be Lieutenant Reed's concern, would it?”
“I suppose not.”
“Shall we continue?”
Before I launch into my review, let
me mention how grateful I am that these DVDs are each marked with the episodes
they contain in an easily readable horizontal font.
Voyager DVDs are of high quality except that the episode lists on
each disc are almost impossible to read since they are curved around the center
of the disc. Paramount did it
better this time, and I forgot to mention this in my review of Season One.
Thank you to the Paramount employee who made this change.
Sometimes science fiction seems
superfluous in our modern age when things change so rapidly and technology is as
much of a stressor as a time-saver. With
the everyday reports of violence, the conquest of space seems so irrelevant when
we can’t even stop random violence and war on our own world.
This is especially dampening to the apocalyptic side of sci-fi since even
when the story has a happy ending we have to bear the misery of getting there.
The Star Trek mythology included a third world war,
but violence only seemed to ebb after that cataclysm.
When Earth made first contact with the Vulcans, violence also seemed to
The true history of the modern world
does not support that colonialism or discovering that we are not alone causes
peace, wisdom, or understanding at all. But
in the Star Trek world, Earth is a calm and peaceful home where resources
are used wisely and space exploration is the noblest of callings, not an insane,
daring, and usually unsuccessful and unprofitable way to spend your time as most
New World explorations were. And
that is largely the pull of the series.
For the first time in many years
there are no new shows or movies planned in this series.
Together with the conclusion of the Star Wars pre-trilogy and the Lord
of the Rings, this leaves a tremendous void in the future of futuristic
It is a shame that Enterprise
never caught on as well as its predecessors, with its excellent cast and
continuously developing and improving writing.
But it could be said that everyone is holding their breath, waiting for
“the next big thing.” Indeed, I
refused to jump on the Next Generation bandwagon because I assumed it
could not top the original. But I
am glad I relented and watched some of that excellent series and I hope more DVD
viewers will take a chance on Enterprise.
Season Two continues to provide the
usual Star Trek storylines but with more romance and even beer-drinking!
And the captain actually….dare I say it….gets angry and throws
punches now and then! “Bounty” is a showcase for Jolene Blaylock.
She becomes infected with a microbe which prematurely triggers “Pon
Far,” the Vulcan mating impulse, while she is in decontamination with the
doctor, who professes to be more sexually inhibited than females of his species.
It is hilarious to watch him smear medicine on T’Pol while she is
barely dressed and saying “you have no idea what you are refusing yourself.”
We also see the conclusion of the
excellent season one cliffhanger “Shockwave” and its establishment of the
temporal cold war. Linda Park also
joins the ranks of space babes and she literally lets her hair down, dons some
gym clothes and runs around trying to find herself in “Vanishing Point.” Yoshi is an interesting character because she was basically a
linguist recruited by the captain without necessarily even volunteering for a
starship, a very original kind of character.
“Dead Stop” forces the ship to allow itself to be fixed by an alien
robot that may be haunted. “The
Expanse,” which is this season’s cliffhanger, includes thoughtful deleted
scenes with Captain Archer that are well worth watching.
I wish somehow they could have been watched in sequence with the rest of
There are several other excellent
episodes in this season. “Carbon
Creek” features Jolene Blalock playing T’Pol’s great-grandmother, who with
some other Vulcans crashes onto Earth while investigating Sputnik.
One of the Vulcans is interested in learning all about humans, and
becomes interested in television and a human female.
He decides to go back to the wrecked ship since he can get better
reception using its antennae. When the others object, he insists on watching television
because “I Love Lucy” is on!
One of the interviews with the
creators reveals that they felt if they could make the Vulcans interesting
again, they will have done their job. I
think they succeeded. So much
screen time has been given to other aliens, especially the boorish Klingons, but
we know very little of Vulcan culture. At
least half of the Enterprise episodes reveal something about the Vulcans
and how they first interacted with humanity, and this alone makes the series
is another excellent transfer from Paramount without any splotching or other
problems even though most of the lighting is low.
I forgot to mention in my prior review that the episodes are in
the rear channels are used minimally, the mix of music and dialogue is clear and
well engineered as we have come to expect from Star Trek releases.
retrospective on Season Two is excellent, and serves as a trailer for the whole
series because it highlights the best plot lines just enough to whet the
of the best features is a profile of the Jolene Blaylock, who discusses her
background and training in preparing for the role.
While Blaylock is a talented and beautiful actress, she often speaks in a
quiet, depressed, and cold tone of voice instead of the cool, intelligent voice
Leonard Nimoy and Mark Lenard mastered. She
does a more than adequate job of portraying this complex character for the most
good feature is about director LeVar Burton, who has the distinction of having
directed at least one episode of each series other than the original and of
course was Geordi LaForge in Next Generation..
“A Night in Sickbay” goes behind the scenes of that excellent episode, which
was what all in Trekdom call a “ship episode” which can be shot on a low
budget. These episodes present
challenges for the writers since few special effects can be used, though in this
episode we have a CGI bat which looks real right down to its hairs.
Secrets” is a discussion of set designs and compares those of Klingon Penal
colonies in the various Star Trek movies and episodes.
There is also an “outtakes” gallery which is fun, a photo gallery, and a “Borg Invasion” Vegas ride trailer.