Site ColumnsBy Michelle
February 4, 2005 - 9:40 PM
It is with a world of ambivalence that I greeted the news of Enterprise's cancellation earlier this week. I can't say that the news was a surprise; from the moment the syndication deal was inked, I expected it, though I also thought that UPN and Paramount might withhold the information from the public until filming on the finale was well underway to head off a public campaign to save the show, as I imagine the offices are now being deluged with calls and faxes. For most of 2005, the actors and producers have talked as if they felt the end was near; with Merri Howard leaving for a new pilot and Scott Bakula talking about theater he might like to do, should he find himself available for employment in the fall, things did not look at all promising.
What happens next remains difficult to predict, and I'm not even sure what to root for. There are several fan movements underway to try to save Enterprise as it is on a network other than UPN, but realistically I don't expect that to happen: even with its price tag slashed from a couple of years ago, it's an expensive show to produce, and if Sci-Fi isn't sure it can afford its highly-regarded new Battlestar Galactica remake which is bringing in higher ratings than Enterprise, I doubt any cable network can pay for Enterprise as it is currently made...and I agree with Paramount Television's decision that it would be preferable to stop making the show than to try to sell a cheap version of it. This isn't a case where, even if they wanted to, the cast and crew could pick up and move to Vancouver to shoot with Earth: Final Conflict's production values, and without the current cast and crew, it wouldn't be the same series.
Rick Berman is still talking about an eleventh Star Trek feature film, but there are a not-insigificant number of fans and industry insiders alike who wonder whether Berman's management of the franchise should be passed to someone else. This is another subject on which I feel great ambivalence. On the one hand, Berman has executive produced a great many hours of Trek that I love -- far more than Gene Roddenberry personally oversaw. On the other hand, I don't think there's any denying that the franchise has become stale. I don't think it will shock anyone here to hear me say this: most of you are familiar with my reviews. I certainly don't lay the blame for any problems on the heads of Berman or Brannon Braga, but as a lifelong fan, I've been less than ecstatic about the direction of the franchise for the past couple of years. And, as a lifelong fan, I must admit that Manny Coto's Enterprise hasn't struck me as a great revival. There have been a number of strong, entertaining episodes, this season, particularly for longtime fans, but nothing that has felt like the second coming of the original series.
The original series was a one-time event. I was quite skeptical about Next Gen for its entire first season, and I never really fell in love with it, though I watched it dutifully and enjoyed it far more often than not. It took six full seasons before I truly recognized the depth of my love for Deep Space Nine -- yet if you ask me today which I think was the best Star Trek series, I'll say that one, not the original. Significant changes and risky departures are sometimes necessary to create great television. Gene Roddenberry knew that. I wouldn't dare to suggest that I know what will be necessary to revive Star Trek, but although I'll miss it, I don't think the options for saving Enterprise are what's best for the franchise in the long run.
Please note that these are just my opinions, not those of Trek Nation or anyone in any way connected to Star Trek.
Trek BBS Today
Below are some of the topics currently being discussed at the Trek BBS:
More topics can be found at the Trek BBS!
Trek Two Years Ago
These were some of the major news items from February 2003:
- 'Nemesis' DVD Set For May Release
Star Trek Nemesis was scheduled to arrive on DVD exactly five months after its theatrical premiere, with commentary, interviews and deleted scenes which ultimately included a look at Picard's new first officer.
- Berman Ponders Future Of Trek Films
Executive producer Rick Berman discussed conflicting theories that there had been too much time or not enough time between Insurrection and Nemesis, and said he and Paramount needed more time themselves to figure out "what's the best thing to do next."
- 'Stigma' Fails to Lift 'Enterprise'
Despite positive reviews and heightened media attention, the AIDS allegory "Stigma" failed to lift Enterprise's ratings, as the first Februrary sweeps episode of 2003 scored joint second-lowest overnight ratings since the series' debut.
More news can be found in the archives.
Below are the results of the most recent TrekToday poll:
Please vote in our new poll after you have seen the sequel, "United", and rate it!
Tuesday, February 8th is the birthday of Ethan Phillips, Star Trek: Voyager's Neelix.
Today's Television Listings
Tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, UPN will show a new Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "United". Here's the official synopsis of the episode:
Archer tries to unify the Andorians, Tellarites and Vulcans in a plan to capture a marauder ship threatening to destabilize the region.