Full Enterprise Presentation Report

By Christian
May 18, 2001 - 1:02 AM

'Enterprise' logo - copyright Paramount Pictures During the official UPN upfront presentation held today in New York, the show's creators extensively described the premise behind the show and revealed its tagline: "The Final Frontier Has A New Beginning." A full report on how this beginning was presented to advertisers is now available on the official Star Trek site.

"Executive Producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, longtime chieftains of the Star Trek franchise, bring the iconic Star Trek universe to UPN for a fifth installment," the site wrote. "Set early in the 22nd century — 150 years before James T. Kirk helmed the famous starship — Enterprise explores the history of intergalactic upheaval that eventually leads to the formation of the Federation."

The show was introduced to the world by Tom Nunan, UPN's president of entertainment. He predicted that, as part of the Star Trek franchise, the show would have "instant attention, recognition, anticipation [and] success," and described the pioneering feeling the show would have.

"Set in the 22nd century, nearly 150 years before James T. Kirk and only 100 years from now, Enterprise introduces us to the pioneering days of space exploration, when interstellar travel is in its infancy, and a universe -- and the unknown -- portends both danger and awe," Nunan said. "Appropriately, the crew of Enterprise exhibits a sense of wonder as well as a little trepidation about the strange things and beings they will encounter. Being among the first to explore deep space, they will have to prove they are ready for life among the stars."

The exact time period in which the show will take place is still unknown. Production designer Herman Zimmerman later told the audience that the show would take place "a hundred years from now, and a hundred years from Kirk and Spock." Captain Kirk's original five-year mission took place from 2264 to 2269, making it mathematically impossible for either of the two time period descriptions to be true. Early versions of the Enterprise pilot script had reportedly referred to the show taking place at most a decade before the Federation founding date of 2161.

Nunan went on to introduce series star Scott Bakula, in some places echoing the language used in the original Series V casting sheet. "Captain Archer is the prototype for Starfleet captains to come. He's bold, intensely curious and eager to venture where no man has gone before. He possesses all of the traits that any NASA astronaut today would need to lead a crew into heavens they had only read about or studied before."

For the series' premiere, Nunan expected great ratings. "Every version of the Star Trek franchise takes off the launching pad at warp speed, with thrusters on full, blasting away the competition, living long and prospering," he said, and added that UPN chose the Wednesday 8:00pm timeslot in large part based on the competing lineups of other networks. "[This timeslot] is the perfect spot to stake a claim to the young adult audience that is vastly underserved by the other networks."

Wednesdays at 8:00pm indeed seems to be a time when few other drama series will be airing. CBS has the news show 60 Minutes II planned, Fox reruns of its comedy shows, and ABC the comedies My Wife and Kids and The Dad. The WB will continue to air Dawson's Creek, while the only serious demographic competition should come from NBC drama Ed.

During the presentation, a short promotional video was shown, including the logo of the show (see below) and comments from the show's creative staff.

Director of photography Marvin Rush described the level of technology in the show. "What's important about Enterprise is, it's a ship of exploration, and space travel -- interplanetary space travel -- is a fairly new thing in this era. Warp drive has been around for a while, but not very long. Transporter technology is also fairly new, and while it's proven, not everybody in the world trusts it."

On the Original Series, Dr. McCoy was one of the people who still didn't trust transporters, while the Next Generation referred to a medical disorder called transporter psychosis. Rush also described the interior of the Enterprise, which will not be as advanced as those seen in the last three series. "The controls are more tactile, mechanical. The buttons -- you have to push them, I mean, they're not all touch-screens," he said. "Mankind is learning about other cultures, other spacefaring societies. It's a time of discovery, of who we really are, where we fit in, into the cosmos."

Production designer Herman Zimmerman confirmed the show's pioneering feel. "The Enterprise that we're watching now is going to be much more hands-on for the crew" he said. "Basically we're getting a lot of information about what's outside our [region of the] galaxy from the Vulcans."

Series creator Rick Berman talked about what Star Trek means to people. "Star Trek has been sort of imbedded in people's minds. It's been around for 35 years now. There's nobody out there who hasn't heard of a photon torpedo or a Klingon or 'Beam me up Scotty' or warp speed. It's part of our culture, and I think the familiarity of it is something that is very comfortable to people. Star Trek has always represented a very positive, hopeful outlook of the future, and a lot of science fiction doesn't. And I think that means a great deal to a lot of people."

Finally, the official site posted a press release that described what Enterprise would bring to Star Trek fans. "The combination of science fiction, action/adventure and compelling stories of collective bravery and individual heroism remains true to the spirit of one of television's formidable brands," it read. "[The] saga continues to explore human and alien behavior as well as brand new worlds. As with each incarnation of the franchise, Enterprise pushes the edge of the visual envelope with the kind of state of the art special effects that have made Star Trek a global phenomenon."

The release then went on to confirm the full list of characters as confirmed earlier today, though adding the ranks of all the characters:

  • Connor Trinneer as Chief Engineer Commander Charlie Tucker
  • Dominic Keating as Lt. Malcom Reed
  • Anthony Montgomer as Ensign Travis Mayweather
  • Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi Sato
  • John Billingsley as Phlox
  • Jolene Blalock as Sub-Commander T'Pol

Finally, the official site also released the following new logo for the series:

'Enterprise' logo - copyright Paramount Pictures

To see the original press release, please follow this link. To read StarTrek.com's original report of the upfront presentation, please follow this link. As usual, please be aware that the above image is copyrighted by Paramount.

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