STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE
Review by Mark Wiechman
Trinneer, Linda Park, Anthony Montgomery, Dominic Keating, Jolene Blalock,
John Billingsley, Scott Bakula
Audio: Dolby 5.1, 2.0
Video: Color, Closed Captioned
Studio: Paramount Home Video
Features: See Review
Running time: Seven Discs
Release date: May 3, 2005
you've proven you're ready."
look beyond your provincial attitudes and your volatile nature."
You have no idea how much I'm restraining myself from knocking you on
Meet Captain John Archer, the first captain of the first
Enterprise in this prequel series. Scott
Bakula of Quantum Leap fame is
excellent and convincing as a cocky, ambitious and brave Greek hero much like
James T. Kirk. He has just looked
on a Klingon for the first time and admonished his future science office, a
Vulcan (played by the voluptuous Jolene Blalock), to lighten up.
This series features another excellent pilot in which
humanity meets its first Klingon when he crashes into a corn field in Oklahoma
and Captain Archer uses this as an excuse to launch Enterprise. He even
brings his beagle on board for the journey!
The universal translator does not work half the time, so a linguist is on
board. Well, duh...why didn't we
have one on every ship?
Somehow this whole series seems more American, more
immediate, and since they are flying by the seat of their pants most of the
time---just as most expeditions always have---it seems more believable.
The transporter scares everyone to death, never having been used on
living things before, and supplies don't show up half the time.
The first season concludes with an excellent part one (much like Voyager
often ended its seasons) of Shockwave,
an incredible journey into an apocalyptic future which shows what can happen
when bad time travel happens to good people.
Interestingly, while the Vulcans helped humanity improve
their technology in order to explore the stars, they also forced the humans to
take things slowly, and this enormous tension shows in every episode.
The Vulcans seem to relish their intellectual superiority and their
status as untouchable ambassadors, much like bishops in the middle ages.
Naturally humanity wants to move ahead and not be told what to do.
This is the first Star Trek series to have a pop song as
its opening instead of an orchestral suite.
The opening sequence also features actual footage of our moon shots and
other space journeys which segue nicely into Star Trek footage of Cochran's ship
launching. These images combined
with the pop tune make us feel like this is only a few years away instead of
pure futuristic fantasy. The behind
the scenes featurettes show how the set was intentionally built smaller than
other starships, and video screens actually look like video screens.
The whole ship and their missions seem basic and primitive, which is
largely the point.
Set early in the 22nd century, 150 years before James T. Kirk helmed the famous starship. There really is no Federation yet and Starfleet is in its infancy. Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, longtime chieftains of the "Star Trek" franchise, are the executive producers and so we can expect a continuance of high quality but maybe not the magical daring we have hoped would return to the franchise. On the other hand, this first season contains plenty of Vulcans denying their own emotions, a crewman having an unexpected child with an alien, and even romance and---gasp!---sex! Who thought Berman and Braga would allow that, since we hardly ever saw it in Voyager?
The packaging is excellent and superior to that provided for the Voyager collection. The discs are in a sturdy one-piece plastic holder protected in a plastic sleeve, but this entire package is then encased in a thick gray plastic holder which resembles a futuristic carrying case.
Episode list: Broken Bow; Fight or Flight; Strange New
World; Unexpected; Terra Nova; The
Andorian Incident; Breaking the
Fortunate Son; Cold Front; Silent
Enemy; Dear Doctor;
Sleeping Dogs; Shadows of P'Jem; Shuttlepod
One; Fusion; Rogue Planet; Acquisition;
Vox Sola; Fallen Hero;
Archer; Two Days and Two Nights; Shockwave part I.
Another excellent transfer from Paramount without any
splotching or other problems even though most of the lighting is low.
While 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
For once we don't get just a whole class on special effects
but instead we learn about how the show came to be and how the cast and crew
click. The pilot has both an audio
commentary and a text commentary. Other
features include Creating Enterprise; O Captain! My Captain! A profile of Scott
Bakula (who by all accounts is a super-swell guy); Cast Impressions: Season One;
Inside Shuttlepod One; Star Trek Time Travel: Temporal Cold Wars and Beyond
(some logic to the time line and time travel finally! It contains detailed lists
of when the Enterprise and other vessels have traveled through time and shows
the consistency of the consequences---or lack thereof---in Trek
time travel); Enterprise Secrets (behind the scenes); Admiral Forrest Takes
Center Stage; Enterprise Outtakes.