Producers, Star Disagree On What Killed 'Enterprise'By Michelle
May 1, 2005 - 9:46 PM
Star Trek: Enterprise executive producer Manny Coto speculated that there was a limited audience for science fiction, but actress Jolene Blalock (T'Pol) blamed for the show's cancellation on a lack of continuity and character development in a new article.
The New York Times, which ran an editorial last week on UPN's decision to stop producing the series, has published a new feature on the final days of Enterprise which speculates on the future of Star Trek and the reasons there will be no new episodes this fall for the first time in 18 years. "It's like there's a certain number of science-fiction fans, and that's it," said Coto, who said that this season the Enterprise writing staff focused on stories that would appeal to longtime fans, believing that those who did not know the Star Trek universe had already abandoned the series.
"It's a genre that appeals to a certain type of individual, and there's not a lot of them," Coto added, echoing the sentiments of Jonathan Frakes, who believes that Enterprise was hurt as much by reruns from other Star Trek shows as anything in its premise. Frakes hinted at franchise fatigue, as series creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga have done repeatedly when asked for the reason Enterprise had not caught on with wider audiences.
But Blalock, who identifies herself as a lifelong Star Trek fan, disagreed. "The stories lacked intriguing content. They were boring," she said. She felt that the early scripts violated facts already established in other franchise shows and complained that the show substituted revealing costumes for character development. "The audience isn't stupid," she protested.
Former Star Trek writer Ronald D. Moore, now the executive producer of the Sci-Fi Channel's successful Battlestar Galactica remake, said that Enterprise "never quite grabbed people viscerally and hung on, like the other shows did." He believes that audiences no longer felt compelled to "rush out and see in any way, shape or form" new Star Trek material, which contributed to the failure of Star Trek: Nemesis at the box office. At the same time, UPN's changing demographics made the show more difficult to sell, for the network was targeting female viewers.
Both Coto and Berman said that they were uncertain whether they would be involved in creating the next Star Trek series. Coto said that he was disappointed that no one had approached him about further involvement with the franchise, while Berman, who is working on the early stages of a new Star Trek motion picture, said, "I'm not certain that I will be involved in creating the next 'Star Trek' series. I have no idea when that's going to happen, and it very well may be someone new who's going to be doing it." Berman did not, however, express any doubt that Star Trek would return.
The original article, including Blalock's relief to be finished wearing the ears, is at The New York Times.