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The Trek Nation - 'Enterprise' Ending Spectacular

'Enterprise' Ending Spectacular

By Colin 'Zeke' Hayman
Posted at May 14, 2005 - 4:43 PM GMT

Hey all, this is Zeke. In case you've forgotten completely -- for which no one would blame you, not even Khan -- I write a series of parodies for TrekToday called Five-Minute Enterprise. About a year ago, I was four episodes away from finishing Season 3 and then sort of petered out. I'm back in gear now, with two of those final four now finished; my plan is to finish S3 in a week or so and then get S4 going over the summer. Check back to TrekToday soon to read the first new Enterprise parodies; in the meantime, check out the Fiver archive by following this link.

But first, I wanted to salute Enterprise on the day of its finale. The following is my tribute -- not just to the cast and crew, but also to the many people and websites which have so enhanced my enjoyment of the show. Enterprise has been a great way to spend four years, and this is my lovingly vicious thank you to the whole community....


Welcome to This Just In's special issue on the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise. We have explored the subject from all possible angles -- all of them, damn you -- in the following six articles:

Moonves on Enterprise, future of UPN, pet care

Enterprise cast cast nets

Trek writers move on up long ladder

Webmasters seek new niches to niche

Reviewers review reviewing options

TrekUnited stands, falls


Moonves on Enterprise, future of UPN, pet care

This Just In recently obtained an exclusive interview with Les Moonves, director of Viacom, which owns the Star Trek franchise and many, many souls. The following is a transcript of the interview (typed up by our secretary, Kathleen -- you rock, Kathleen!).

TJI: Mr. Moonves?
Moonves: Gah! A reporter! How did you know I was going to be here?
TJI: First thing I learned in journalism school: they always return to the scene of the crime. Well, actually, I got my journalism degree from a police academy. Kind of a long story there. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?
Moonves: Who are you with?
TJI: The New York Times. Or the Washington Post. One of those.
Moonves: All right, but make it quick. I have a lot of important business axes to drop.
TJI: Righto. First question: what were the main reasons behind your cancellation of Enterprise?
Moonves: (forehead in hands) Oh, lovely. You're one of them.
TJI: What? No. Relax. I'm a journalist. We're impartial.
Moonves: Oh yes, that's how it starts. Impartial, you say. Fair and balanced, you say. I'm not totally making up this evidence, you say. Next thing I know, I'm being led to the hoosegow! The hoosegow!
TJI: Okay, fine, I'm with This Just In.
Moonves: Ohhhhh. Whew. Your readership is up to what, seven now?
TJI: Eight if you'll buy a subscription. But let's do the interview first. So, main reasons?
Moonves: Well, I had to weigh a lot of factors. Star Trek has meant a great deal to Paramount over the years. Yes, a great deal of money. Furthermore, Enterprise is one of UPN's strongest series. Like WWE Smackdown, it's well-written and well-acted. I've always liked it personally, especially the episodes where Moesha fights the Ewoks.
TJI: Ah yes, the Ewokupation Arc.
Moonves: So I had to bear in mind how important Enterprise and its fans are to us. And we gave the show every chance -- each season was promoted more than the last, culminating in our huge publicity blitz this year.
TJI: ...Right.
Moonves: But weighing against all that was something bigger. For years now, UPN has been struggling to achieve true insipidity. We've been striving, building a reputation, digging harder and faster to reach the absolute bottom of the barrel. We want to define "birdcage liner" for a whole new medium. Our goal is for the executives of FOX, of NBC, of CBS --
TJI: Aren't you the executive of CBS?
Moonves: -- of every network in this great nation, and the many less great ones, to point to UPN and tell their staff that this, this is the example they must not follow at any cost. I wish we could have accomplished that with Enterprise on board, but each season it grew more obvious that we could not. So in the end, we had no choice.
TJI: I see. All right, moving on: it's recently been announced that after Enterprise's finale, UPN will only be airing this season's reruns once a week, and will give the weekend timeslot to another series. Any comments on that?
Moonves: It's purely a financial matter. We're not trying to show disrespect to Enterprise, we'll just get more people to tune in with a new show.
TJI: Any comments on the report that the replacement show will be a reality series about pig farming?
Moonves: Oh, that's just because we hate the viewers.
TJI: Is there anything you can tell us about Paramount's future plans for Star Trek?
Moonves: Allow me to answer that question with a question. Are you familiar with the comics industry?
TJI: You bet. That Jerry Seinfeld cracks me up every time. Heh heh heh.
Moonves: Comic books, not stand-up comics.
TJI: Hey, you ever notice how --
Moonves: Be quiet. My point is that comics have taught us an important lesson: more people will buy a #1 issue than will buy a #29. That's why the major titles are constantly finding excuses to restart their numbering at 1. The Spider-Man franchise has had twelve new #1s this week alone. (checks watch) Sorry, thirteen.
TJI: What are you getting at?
Moonves: What works for comics will work for television. People may not want to watch a fifth season of Enterprise, but they won't be able to resist getting in on a fresh, new Star Trek show. That's why we plan to launch one this fall. Naturally, its ratings will decline each week, so at the end of the season we'll call it a failure, blame the audience, and get started on a new one. It's a perpetual money machine.
TJI: So Star Trek is still a big part of UPN's plans.
Moonves: Yes, but we'll of course have to modify it to fit into our overall agenda.
TJI: Allow me to answer that question with a question. What overall agenda?
Moonves: ...I don't think I asked a question, but our agenda is just what you'd expect: to make UPN the number one network in America. To do this -- are you all right?
TJI: (gets up from the floor, catches breath) Sorry. Uncontrollable laughing fit.
Moonves: Anyway, to do this, we're going to play to our strengths. UPN has experimented with science fiction, sitcoms, and other genres, but our greatest successes have been in the areas of sex and violence. And every year fewer viewers are looking for anything else. Therefore, this is the perfect time to make those our exclusive specialties.
TJI: Exclusive?
Moonves: Yes. We've already begun phasing out all other content. Our goal is to carry only sex-geared shows, violence-geared shows, and a select group of sex-and-violence-geared shows by the 2008-09 season. We even plan to change our name to reflect that policy. We're considering various possibilities, including "United Paramount CHannel of Unrestrained Can-Kicking" and "United Paramount 18-Year-Old Underwear-Revealing Skanks."
TJI: A little long.
Moonves: Exactly! Our goal is to make the viewer think of other long things.
TJI: Oh.
Moonves: Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
TJI: I get it. So how will you be "modifying" Star Trek to fit into this agenda?
Moonves: (pat pat) Don't worry, you little nerds have nothing to fear. We have every intention of preserving the franchise's high standards of storytelling and maturity. Now, I'm not supposed to spoil, but the idea we're currently developing is about a very special branch of Starfleet Academy located on Betazed.
TJI: Really? That doesn't sound so b--
Moonves: Two words. Lesbian brothel by day, ninja academy by night.
TJI: I'm feeling a little woozy, Mr. Moonves, so I think we'll call it a wrap here. Thanks for your time.
Moonves: No problem. By the way, did you see Porthos on your way in here? I came here to kick him.
TJI: Porthos is played by female beagles, actually.
Moonves: Score!
TJI: (backs away slowly)  


Enterprise cast cast nets

As could be expected, the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise has been a blow to the series' cast. Lead actor Scott Bakula was among the first to weigh in on the subject.

"I'm disappointed, of course," said Mr. Bakula. "Enterprise has been a terrific show to work on. It's given me the chance to show my acting range, from slightly pissed off to very pissed off. Jonathan Archer is like a close friend to me. We don't always get along perfectly -- I'm still mad about that time he nerve-pinched me, stole my wallet, and bought front-row tickets to the water polo finals. But he let me beat him up in return, so we're cool.

"For the last four years, the scripts have been steadily improving. The cast are a pleasure to work with, and the fans' support is overwhelming. I wish I could say the same for UPN's support. Actually, I wish I could say the phrase 'UPN's support' with a straight face. But if they want to cancel the only thing they have going for them, they --" At this point Mr. Bakula turned to an advisor and muttered something. When the advisor replied, he turned back to the press and continued: "Okay, still no sign that the execs might change their minds, so I won't have to ask you not to print that. As I was saying, they're jerks."

Regarding his future plans, Mr. Bakula stated that he was considering a number of offers, that number being one. "There's a new Quantum Leap project in development, and now that I'm no longer committed to Enterprise, I'm free to sign on. I'm looking forward to playing Sam Beckett again, and the producers have assured me that he'll be pissed off a good amount of the time."

"Sometimes it bothers me that Enterprise got fewer seasons than Quantum Leap," mused Mr. Bakula. "Then I remember some of our fifth-season episodes, and it doesn't bother me as much."

Charles Tucker actor Connor Trinneer does not speak to the press in person since several reporters have suffered hysterical blindness upon seeing his shirts, but he did speak to This Just In briefly by phone. "I loved this job," said Mr. Trinneer, "but there's one thing I won't miss about it: having to fake a Southern accent. Not many people know this, but my real accent is Scottish. I also have an extra finger on my left hand, they just film around it.

"I'll miss pretty much everything else, though. Trip's complex personality and storylines. The friends I've made on the cast. The huge, enthusiastic fandom. Jolene topless. Shower scenes with Jolene. Jolene in --" (This reporter cut his losses and hung up here.)

Dr. Phlox actor John Billingsley also said he would miss Enterprise. "I certainly won't miss the makeup hours, however," he added. After looking suspiciously around the room, he then lowered his voice and whispered conspiratorially, "Actually, it's in my contract that I have to say that. The makeup artists can't let anyone find out how much their technology has improved. It only takes them seven minutes to apply the Phlox makeup, but they keep me in the room for three hours so their high salaries will seem justified. And since they have nothing better to do in that time, they beat me! Please, get the word out! You have to tell --" Mr. Billingsley was cut off at this point by two men in plaster-of-Paris masks who clubbed him over the head with a large hairbrush and dragged him away.

"I'll miss this show, of course, but for me the time is right," said Malcolm Reed actor Dominic Keating. "I'm an actor by trade, but there are some things that matter more, and now I have the time I need to devote to them. Gun violence is a very serious problem in this country -- it gets worse every year. Now that my role on Star Trek has made me something of a celebrity, I think I have the chance to make a real difference. If I work hard enough, rally enough support behind the movement, we may finally be able to break the power of the NRA and repeal the Second Amendment. Heston, I'm coming for you!"

Mr. Keating also expressed support for the Anti-Rock movement, but retracted it when informed that the movement opposes rock music, not rocks.

Hoshi Sato actress Linda Park intends to find a role on another series. "Not just any role, though," continued Ms. Park. "Going from Jurassic Park III to Enterprise brought home to me the importance of choosing the right part. I'm only interested in playing a character with as much personality and likability as Hoshi. That's why I've given my agent a firm condition to apply to any show that wants me on the cast: that cast must not contain a larger-chested woman than me. I'm sorry, but I won't compromise on this one. I have my standards."

Since this reporter owed TJI's gossip columnist a favour, he asked Ms. Park whether there were any new developments in her love life. "Welllll," Ms. Park replied, "I have been getting some attention from Michael Rosenbaum lately. We met at a convention a while ago and really hit it off. He says I appeal to his animated side, whatever that means." This reporter chalked it up to some obscure in-joke and moved on.

"Oh, the show was cancelled?" said Travis Mayweather actor Anthony Montgomery. "I didn't notice."

Finally, with some reluctance, this reporter spoke to T'Pol actress Jolene Blalock. "My only regret is that this didn't come sooner," said Ms. Blalock. "Enterprise deserved to die. It was badly written, badly directed, and badly acted. And it's all the fault of Rick Berman. Take the first episode -- did you know the only part Berman wrote was the decon scene? He hired a better writer to ghost-write the rest. I didn't see it happen, but I could tell. Or take 'Zero Hour.' Berman not only wrote the final scene, he actually directed it, built the sets, and played the alien Nazi. The whole time I heard him muttering to himself 'This time I'll finally destroy Star Trek forever!' And then he bit me!

"Berman is the reason I've been stuck playing this one-note character for four years. It's his fault I got in all those newspapers and made all this honest money. I could have been Playmate of the Year four times by now! And it doesn't stop there. Berman is a sexist, a communist, and a Nader voter. He denies the Holocaust, along with the rest of World War II. He takes in stray cats and dogs and makes them do his dishes at gunpoint. He puts ketchup made of human flesh on his ice cream. And do you think it's a coincidence that Braga got to be co-producer? He's Berman's bastard son!

"This cancellation is just the first step. We can't stop here. We have to crush Berman, bone by bone, and drink his soul. Who's with me? Who's with me? Before answering, consider my chest size."

This reporter beat a hasty retreat, stopping only long enough to observe a certain woodenness in Ms. Blalock's pose.  


Trek writers move on up long ladder

With Star Trek: Enterprise cancelled, its writing staff must choose between waiting to see if the show can be continued and moving on with their careers. Among the first to decide was executive producer and series co-creator Rick Berman.

"We have to accept what's happened," said Mr. Berman. "We're all disappointed that UPN chose not to renew Enterprise. But what can we do? Pitch the show to other networks, as Joss Whedon did with Buffy? Go into syndication, which worked so well for TNG and DS9? Put our support behind the large, enthusiastic fan campaign? All of these options have a fatal flaw: they require effort.

"The franchise is tired. When you're tired, you don't stand and fight, you go lie down for a couple of years. Yes, there's a chance that we can save Enterprise somehow. And if it were an 80% chance, I would try for it. But unfortunately for all of us, it isn't."

"Actually, 80% is a little low," added Mr. Berman. "Let's say 90%."

Enterprise's other co-creator, Brannon Braga, has taken the role of executive producer for the new CBS series Threshold. According to series producer David Heyman, "When we saw Brannon's Voyager episode 'Threshold,' we knew he had the kind of talent we needed. We're not just basing that on the title, of course; that's just a bonus. What sold us on Brannon was his understanding of biology. Our show is all about aliens altering human DNA, and who could understand that better than the writer of episodes like 'Threshold' and TNG's 'Genesis'?"

Mr. Braga himself was not available for comment. According to friends, ever since the cancellation left his days free, he has not left his house. To put this in context, this reporter attempted to ascertain the current status of Mr. Braga's relationshipotism with Voyager actress Jeri Ryan, but was unable to get a consistent answer. If the couple are still together, the reason for Mr. Braga's newfound reclusiveness should be obvious to even the dimmest reader of This Just In (Bernie Thompson of Colebrook, NH). If, on the other hand, they have broken up, this reporter speculates that Mr. Braga is simply indulging in his little-known habit of chatting on AOL Instant Messenger. User hotty7of9 has agreed to inform TJI if she spots him.

Season 4 showrunner Manny Coto has chosen to look on the bright side. "Of course I'm disappointed that we've been cut short at the top of our game," observed Mr. Coto. "But have you read these Internet threads? I'm a god to some of these people! They stop just short of sacrificing their first-born sons to me! I'd be a fool not to take advantage of this, so I'm doing what Gene Roddenberry would do: forming a cult and seducing its more attractive members." (At press time, The Coterie had accumulated an estimated 3000 members, none attractive.)

New Enterprise writers Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens have renewed their contract with Pocket Books' Star Trek line. "Writing canon Trek was a great experience," said Ms. Reeves-Stevens, "but we knew it wouldn't last forever. We're ready to go back to writing books by William Shatner now."

One Enterprise writer who has already moved on is André Bormanis. "I've decided to return to my first love: science," Mr. Bormanis explained. "Over the years, I've had many revolutionary ideas that have had to wait because Star Trek needed me. Now I can finally bring them into being.

"I've already begun work on a faster-than-light propulsion system, capable of taking a ship to the Sun and back in a single week. It works by harnessing the electrical energy of neutrons. Now, general relativity says that the faster you go, the slower time moves, but I found a way around that. I've included Einstein compensators, which convert the heat generated by the engine into extra time. The only part I haven't figured out yet is how to make the system safe for human passengers -- my current design emits 24 Kelvins of photon radiation per cubic second, which is safe right up till the nine-minute mark but then instantly fatal."

When his current project is complete, Mr. Bormanis plans to find a cure for DNA.  


Webmasters seek new niches to niche

Yet another community affected by the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise is the revolutionary communications network and huge vortex of irrelevant nerd activity known as the Internet. We at This Just In, setting aside the fanatical hatred and fear of superior media taught to us in journalism school, have spoken with several important figures in the online Trek world. We make all these sacrifices for you readers, you know. And you never thank us. Would it be so hard to send us a nice card once in a while or something?

The most popular Star Trek site on the Net is TrekToday, a frequently-updated news site which keeps fans up to date on every aspect of the Trek phenomenon. Webmaster Christian "The Umlaut" Höhne Sparborth has no intention of changing this after Enterprise goes off the air. "Enterprise isn't the be-all and end-all of Star Trek," Mr. Höhne Sparborth observed, "it's just most of the be-all and end-all. I understand it breaks down as 90% of the be-all and 50% of the end-all. I don't know how it works, but I trust T'Bonz's calculations. Make sure you put her name in bold. It's policy."

"The point is that there will still be plenty of Trek news to report," continued Mr. I'm Not Digging Up That ASCII Code Again. "Pocket Books will continue churning out novels. Paramount can be counted on to keep milking the franchise with new products, like Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas, or Star Trek: The Urinal, soon to be found in your better restrooms. Actors who were onscreen for a frame or two of TOS will continue to die. And we'll soon be introducing a new regular feature called the Schadenfreude Supplement, which will cover the ongoing self-destruction of UPN. Since this feature will end when the network finally crashes down in flames, we're expecting to get a good three months out of it.

"So don't worry, folks, we're not going anywhere. Great things are ahead for TrekToday, not to mention CSI Files, GetDesperate, SixFeetOnline, GalacTicker, VeronicaLodge, LostAreaNetwork, AliasAxis, NewlyWeb, and our upcoming Smallville network, for which I haven't yet thought up a cute name. There may also be one in there for Andromeda. I honestly can't remember."

The official Star Trek site, StarTrek.com, has plans of its own. "Remember on April 1, when we announced that Enterprise had been renewed?" asked the site's webmaster. "You should have seen the look on fans' faces when they realized it was a lie. Their disappointment was palpable... and delicious. We've found our calling. From now on, on random occasions, we'll blurt out headlines like 'ENTERPRISE RENEWED!' or 'NEW TREK SHOW IN PRODUCTION!' or 'DEFORREST KELLEY NOT REALLY DEAD!' They'll be lies, of course -- glorious lies. And you'll never know when they're coming. We're also looking into expanding our operation with new programs, such as going door to door running over people's dogs."

Another popular Enterprise site is TripHammered, which -- what the unholy breezleklop?

Oh. Left out the WWW. But why would that site choose a URL like triphammered.com? What does it have to do with... no, forget it. This doesn't bear thinking about. Anyway, another popular Enterprise site is TripHammered, which focuses on the various travails of chief engineer Charles "Trip" Tucker III. This task will clearly become more difficult with no more travails to focus on.

Webmaster Evangelina "evay" Rimsky-Korsakov thus intends to change the site's focus slightly. "Trip can't be hammered anymore, but there's someone else out there who can be," explained Ms. evay. "Starting now, we're TrinneerHammered. Connor loves to do conventions and public appearances, so he'll be easy to find, especially in those shirts he wears. I've got a Hammer of Crushing on backorder, and several readers have volunteered to take the pictures. Yep, I think TH has a bright future ahead of it. After all, what better way to ease the pain of losing Enterprise than to share it with someone else?"

Star Trek Minutiae webmaster Dan Carlson, on the other hand, intends to carry on as usual. "The minutiae of Star Trek are still a long way from being explored completely. You know Worf drank prune juice, but do you know what brand was used on the set? No? Then my work is not yet done."

Five-Minute Enterprise webmaster Zeke... you know, who cares what that guy does? Moving on.

Probably the most popular single-character website is House of Tucker, run by Archer4Trip (um, ew?). "We've thought it over, and we've decided it would be a mistake to change the name," said Mr. or Ms. (we didn't ask) 4Trip. "House of Tucker has brand recognition now. So instead, with no new Trip stuff to cover -- except the efforts of TrinneerHammered, which we'll all be following with great interest -- we're going to expand the site's focus. There's more than one Tucker out there, folks! Chris Tucker; Tucker, Georgia; the TV series Tucker; Friar Tuck; Tucker Carlson... okay, not Tucker Carlson. The point is, we'll have plenty to do even with Trip gone."

"Trip... gone," repeated the webmaster. "Excuse me, I need a moment."

Finally, of the many Star Trek humour sites available, arguably the most popular is Sev Trek by John Cook. This Just In may be based at a rival Trek humour site, but we would never dream of showing any sort of bias because of that. We are journalists, with journalistic integrity and funny journalist hats. So we made a point of speaking to Mr. Cook about his site's plans, and received the following comments from him:

"Duh. Star Trek good. Fire bad. Ha ha ha! Why me laugh? Duuuuuuuh."

Honest.  


Reviewers review reviewing options

All over the Internet, webmasters post their irrelevant opinions of Star Trek episodes. Changes are ahead for those who have been reviewing Enterprise, as they will soon have no new episodes to irrelevantly comment on.

Arguably the most popular online Star Trek reviewer currently active is Jamahl "Jammer" Epsicokhan of Star Trek: Hypertext, who never tires of reviewing episodes and reminding readers of the identity of the #1 ranked site on Google for Star Trek reviews. (Not to keep our readers in the dark, that site is... Star Trek Nexus? Wait, misspelled "reviews." Yeah, it's Hypertext.) Mr. Epsicowhatever recently conducted a fundraising campaign to obtain the Star Trek: The Next Generation DVD sets for reviewing. "My readers have been asking for TNG reviews for ten years," he explained. "It started small, but soon escalated to death threats, marriage proposals, and in one memorable case, a threat of Klingon death marriage. So I decided that if they wanted these reviews so much, maybe they'd be willing to pay for them."

"Here's the beauty of it, though," added Mr. Epsiwhatsamawhoosis. "The way I worded it, I don't have to write the reviews myself. All I have to do is find a homeless guy and get him to write them for me! I have plenty of fruit snacks to pay him with, and he can stay in my guest room, which I won't tell him is actually a closet. This way I get the best of both worlds -- both parts, on DVD -- and I don't have to touch that show. I shudder at the very thought of actually reviewing Next Generation. I hate it SO MUCH. If only I could consign it to the fiery pits of... but I digress."

When it was pointed out that his wording had not, in fact, been unclear about who would write the reviews, Mr. Epsicokhaaaaaan replied, "Not so; it just takes a little attention to detail. I can't pick just any homeless guy, but as soon as I find one named Jamahl Epsicokhan, I'm golden."

On his new review target, Battlestar Galactica, Mr. Epsicocacola explained, "You know those people who are annoyed at how everyone's been extolling BSG over Enterprise? This is mostly to annoy them further. I get my kicks where I can."

Another well-known reviewer is Michelle Erica Green, whose synopses and commentary are a longstanding feature of the Trek Nation network. In a dark alley, wearing a trenchcoat and fedora, Ms. Green confided to us that "If there's one thing I won't miss about reviewing Enterprise, it's the hostility from certain readers. For years now they've had it in their heads that my reviews are nothing but uber-feminist rants. Now, I've had my moments, but nothing like what I'm accused of. Did you know that I was nearly killed once on the grounds that I used the word 'female' more than once in that week's review? The attacker just kept swinging at me, yelling 'What's the femininity, Kenneth?' He was later identified as --" At this point a bullet whizzed past Ms. Green's head, and she ran off shouting "Nazi!"

Reviewer Mary "monkee" Wiecek intends to return to her writing. "With no new Trek to review, it makes sense to start creating my own again. And I have so many ideas! Do you know how many obscure minor characters still haven't had stories centred on them? Take Trip's sister -- has anyone written about the Xindi attack from her perspective? Well, yes. At least ten people have. But that was just an example. I'll probably go with Phlox's third w-- no, wait. Okay, how about Reed's mom? Let me think...."

Possibly the Trek reviewer held in the highest esteem is Timothy W. Lynch, who reretired Jordanesquely at the end of Enterprise's second season. He declined to comment on any future plans, and especially on the episodes since his retirement. "Give my readers a megameter and they take an exometer," said Mr. Lynch. "If I said one word about Enterprise's more recent episodes -- 'cromulent,' say -- I'd immediately be spammed with hundreds of demands for more. I've learned this through painful experience. Back in Angel's first season, I once posted a mini-review of an episode I hated, just for fun. Not only did people ask for more, they started sending me money to do it! Envelope after envelope full of cash... you can bet I didn't make that mistake again. But since I have that money, it's going to be putting my new daughter, Katherine Fallen Angel Lynch, through college."

Another retired reviewer was David E. Sluss, "The Cynic," who recently came out of retirement only to be tragically killed. "It was the classic one-last-job story," explained Mr. Sluss's wife tearfully. "He was out of the business -- he made a clean break. But then, years later, his old gang persuaded him to take that one last job. And now he's dead! Dead! Are you happy, you bastards?" When asked how her husband had died, Ms. Sluss explained, "We all knew David took bad TV harder than most people. When he sat down to watch last week's episode, he accidentally put in the tape of 'Bound' again and... well, twice was just too much for him."

FirstTVDrama reviewer Richard Whettestone declined to give any printable comments, but did scream obscenities in Enterprise's general direction.

Finally, while not exactly a reviewer, Keckler of Television Without Pity is among those out of an online job due to the cancellation. "They haven't decided yet what I'll be recapping next," said Ms. Keckler. "Probably some reality show. You know, I'm hard on Enterprise, but I'll say this for it: it's not the worst show out there. It's not even the worst show I've ever recapped. That's definitely My Mother the Car, the recapping of which is a story I don't even want to start on."

"In the meantime, I'll be focusing on my cooking," continued Ms. Keckler, stirring the contents of a saucepan. "Want a taste? I call it 'Russell Watson's Heart, Marinated in the Blood of Diane Warren.'" This reporter later realized that the name was metaphorical, but not until after losing his lunch. Thanks a lot, Keckler.  


TrekUnited stands, falls

After the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, many despondent fans found their last, best hope in TrekUnited, a massive fan campaign to fund a fifth season for the show. The campaign ended in failure, but the dream... the dream lives on. Never give up, O brave warriors of the Great Bird! The future is -- ahem.

This Just In spoke to TU founder Tim Brazeal, who informed us that "We still don't really understand why Paramount said no. We had everything in place: facilities, people, a small fraction of the money required. They wouldn't have had to do anything but sign the papers and give us the Vulcan live-long-and-prosper sign. All we can conclude is that for some reason, Paramount just didn't want to put its most profitable franchise in the hands of internet nerds. We wish it weren't so, but we've done all we can.

"The past few months have given us something else, though," continued Mr. Brazeal. "We've learned the strength and power of Trek's fanbase. Together, we can stop squabbling for five seconds and work for a common goal. In fact, our record was seventeen seconds -- I timed it. I'm eternally grateful to the fans who supported us so strongly, and I'll make sure they all get their money back. Well, most of it. I'm skimming a penny off each contribution so I can buy some punctuation keys for my keyboard."

In response to the accusations that proposed new producer Al Vinci was in fact made up by TU's staff, Mr. Brazeal was indignant. "Made him up? I've met the guy! And you don't have to have met him to see that he exists. I mean, look at his posts! Is that my username? No, it's his! How would we fake something like that?

"That Wowbagger guy, on the other hand -- we totally made him up," added Mr. Brazeal. "And I'm amazed how many of you bought it. Come on."

TrekUnited's rival site, KillEnterprise, is still exulting. "We won! We won and youuuu lost! Nyaa nyaa!" stated the site's anonymous webmaster. "Weve [sic] finally proovn [sic] to you idiots taht [sic] Enterprise SUCKED THE BIG ONE!!! [sic]" KillEnterprise, a one-page site that is rarely updated, has nonetheless received considerable publicity from news sites trying to cover both sides of the fan campaign story. In the business, we call this "being unbiased by being biased," or BUBBB for short.

Another fan response to the cancellation is JMSTrek, a site that pushes for a new Star Trek series by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski. When told of the campaign, Mr. Straczynski was unimpressed. "Of course they want me to make a new Trek series. Who wouldn't? But they'll have to find something else by me to get enthusiastic about. You may have heard that Paramount recently approached me, begging on their knees for me to do a new Trek show for them. What did I do? I slapped them in the face and laughed. I'm bigger than Star Trek will ever be.

"I don't know why they thought I would say yes," continued Mr. Straczynski. "Trek has been stealing my ideas for centuries. Enterprise was the latest in a line of ripoffs. As you must have noticed, it made use of ships, aliens, space, and characters some of whom were somewhat similar to some of mine somehow. There is only one proper response to such atrocities: abuse and hatred.

"And now, I'm off to win a charity pie-eating contest. I just hope they don't have any of those humble pies. I can't stomach them."

The newest fan campaign is one that seeks to combine SaveEnterprise and KillEnterprise to achieve real ultimate power. "Saving Enterprise will take money," explained campaign manager Joe Black. "Who has money? I'll tell you: the Star Wars franchise. That's why I've founded SaveEnterprise-KillStarWars. Think about it... no more badly-acted Anakin Skywalkers, just retro tech and catsuits as far as the eye can see!

"To tide fans over until we succeed," added Mr. Black, "I've recruited some top fanfic writers to create a Virtual Season 5 of Enterprise. We've got that one, that other one, that one with the drabbles, and even Lore, author of the first Enterprise slash fic ever written. So read VS5: it's virtually great Trek!"

Weighing in with a perspective from outside Trek is Patricia Apteryx, a member of the recent campaign to renew Veronica Mars. "I don't mean to be hard on Enterprise, which sucks compared to VM, but you can really tell the quality of a show by the quality of its fan campaign. Some of the TrekUnited people are claiming now that fan campaigns can no longer succeed. But look at us! We started a campaign, and then VM got renewed. In that order. Clearly we saved the show, and since you didn't save yours, clearly your campaign was a bad idea from the start.

"In the end, what matters isn't how many members you have, or how good your site is, or how many newspapers you've been mentioned in. What matters is the show you pick. If you pick a show that's already been cancelled, you'll have some problems. But if you pick a show on a network that's already cancelled everything else it had going for it... then you've got a shot."

This reporter, for his part, intended to start a fan campaign to stamp out fan campaigns. Unfortunately, such a campaign already exists. Want to help stamp that one out? Sign up now.  

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Colin 'Zeke' Hayman has been parodying Trek for over four years at his website, Five-Minute Voyager, where ST episodes are reduced to "fivers" of one-twelfth their original length. The Michael Rosenbaum bit is a pretty obscure DC Comics reference. Almost as obscure as your MOM. Her name is Jude, right?