'Enterprise' Season Two Arrives on DVDBy Michelle
July 26, 2005 - 8:24 PM
The second season of Star Trek: Enterprise has arrived on DVD. Widely considered to be the show's weakest year, it nonetheless has some champions who feel that the Xindi war took the show in a direction that lacked a "Star Trek" sensibility. The new set has received mixed reviews:
- "This 2nd season of Enterprise was more like the original series than any of the other seasons, as it made exploration and discovery, as well as character study, the focus," noted The Trades, which declared that season two "is comprised of a number of well written and exciting episodes" and deplored the shift in "The Expanse" toward the Xindi storyline:
I really believe that what Paramount tried to do with Enterprise was find a new audience for the franchise, one that wasn’t necessarily enamored with the previous series and films, and did so by changing the basic concepts that had made Trek the great idea that it is. This was, in hindsight, a big mistake and succeeded only in driving away many of the fans whose dedication had made Star Trek a financially and artistically successful venture.Reviewer Jim Pappas rated the set a B, adding, "Oddly enough, as I sat down and began watching these episodes, shows that I had not watched since their initial airings, I found that I liked them more than I did the first time through."
- Monsters and Critics rated the season four out of five stars, saying that it ironed out some of the flaws of the first season such as too much use of time travel. The deleted scenes received thumbs up, as did the outtakes, but "'Shooting Future Tense' is the real gem in the extras section. This is a behind the scenes look at one particular days filming and is excellent viewing!" Andy McKeague also appreciated the transfers and packaging.
- "The series’ creators didn't need to ape William Shatner’s leering sexuality to goose Enterprise's ratings. They could have just come up with more innovative plotlines instead," noted TVDVDreviews.com's A.J. Carson. "Star Trek: Enterprise: Season 2 isn’t terrible....still, we expect more from such a venerable franchise. Rather than being innovative, it recycles ideas from throughout Star Trek history." The commentaries by co-producers Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong on "Dead Stop" and "Regeneration" were labeled "engaging", while the featurette "Enterprise Moments: Season Two" is called "unfocused." Among the characters, Sato's development in "Vanishing Point" received kudos while Archer's one-dimensionality earned a note as well, with the additional comment that the character "is saved, however, by Scott Bakula’s affable charm."
- TrekWeb also gave the second season set four out of five stars, with reviewer BWilliams saying that "Enterprise managed to pull a few surprise rabbits out of its hat," finding "A Night in Sickbay", "Precious Cargo" and even the AIDS allegory "Stigma" to be rather unsubtle and not very sensitive. On the other hand, he appreciated "First Flight", "Minefield", "Regeneration" and the lead into the Xindi arc of the next season. "Most of these deleted scenes present great additional character moments, with most of the scenes revolving around Archer, including one sequence edited from 'The Expanse' that really fleshes out Archer's personal life," he added. "If these deleted scenes had been edited back into the episodes via seamless branching, this would have been a hands-down winner. Nevertheless, it's a welcome addition to the set."
- Dan Phelps at DVD Fanatic found it tedious that Archer was the focus of so many episodes while "satisfying the sexual need for single, pathetic Trekkies still living in their mother’s basement we have Sub-Commander T'Pol." He cited a list of episodes he particularly enjoyed, however, including "Shockwave Part II", "Minefield", "Dead Stop", "The Communicator", "Vanishing Point", "The Catwalk", "Cease Fire", "Future Tense", "Regeneration", "First Flight" and the finale "The Expanse", rating the episodes overall a B with an A+ for visuals and sound. He was less impressed with the extras, which earned only a C as many of them were continuations of the first season formulas.
Star Trek: Enterprise may be purchased on DVD now in Region One format from Amazon.com.