But it’s a fun show. It’s clear that longtime Trek producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga were trying to keep squeezing some extra cash out of the Star Trek till, but Enterprise never seems like a cash-grab or an afterthought. Given the directions taken by the previous series, it’s only logical that the storytellers would want to take a jump back in time and give us the “prequel” treatment. Some of the episodes are trite and corny, but even more of them are thought provoking and quite engaging. The focus of Enterprise is more character-driven than a newcomer to the series might expect, and it’s this approach the make the series worth seeing. The cast is strong across the board, but it’s Scott Bakula (as Captain Archer), Connor Trinneer (as engineer Trip Tucker) and the stunningly hot Jolene Blalock (as Vulcan sub-commander T’pol) who keep the stories afloat every week.
The first season of Enterprise was a fairly controversial one among the Star Trek faithful. The inclusion of a somewhat weepy opening-credits song led to a lot of consternation, but c’mon, if all you have to gripe about is a Diane Warren tune, that’s not too nasty a complaint. Plus there’s the sticky subject of effects and technology: if Enterprise is meant to take place 100 years before the original Star Trek, then why are the ships sleeker and the doo-hickeys fancier? Again, it’s an esoteric complaint. Unlikely the fans would really enjoy it if the Enterprise characters ran around using walkie-talkies and slingshots.
Season 1 of Enterprise debuted in September of 2001, and it didn’t take long for viewers to grow a bit weary of the new series. Enterprise had to deal with declining viewership in each of its four seasons, which is why the series was recently canceled. But now begins the release of the show on DVD. The season 1 set hits the shelves on May 3rd, season 2 on July 12th, season 3 on September 6th, and season 4 on November 1st. And while it may be true that Paramount Home Video likes to overcharge (just a bit) for these sets, there’s no denying that the fans with deep pockets will find a whole lot to like in these collections.
The Season 1 episodes are as follows:
Broken Bow (two-parter; original airdate 09/26/01) / Fight or Flight (10/03/01) Strange New World (10/10/01) / Unexpected (10/17/01) / Terra Nova (10/24/01) / The Andorian Incident (10/31/01) / Breaking the Ice (11/07/01) / Civilization (11/14/01) / Fortunate Son (11/21/01) / Cold Front (11/28/01) / Silent Enemy (01/16/02) / Dear Doctor (01/23/02) / Sleeping Dogs (01/30/02) / Shadows of P’Jem (02/06/02) / Shuttlepod One (02/13/02) / Fusion (02/27/02) / Rogue Planet (03/20/02) / Acquisition (03/27/02) / Oasis (04/03/02) / Detained (04/24/02) / Vox Sola (05/01/02) / Fallen Hero (05/08/02) / Desert Crossing (05/08/02) / Two Days and Two Nights (05/15/02) / Shockwave, Part 1 (05/22/02)
So while you will have to pay about 90 bucks for this full season set, you’re still getting a whole lot of space adventures for your hard-earned coin. (Watch every episode consecutively and you’re looking at over 19 hours of sci-fi goodness. Not too shabby.) Plus there’s a fair share of extra goodies, but more on those in a minute. Lastly, hats off to the “menu screens” team, because they do deliver a true Trekkie vibe on every platter!
Disc 1: Deleted scenes from the two-part pilot episode (Broken Bow) and episode 3 (Fight or Flight), plus a pair of commentaries on the pilot: an audio commentary from producers Rick Berman & Brannon Braga, and a text commentary from Michael & Denise Okuda. The yak-track is just a little on the dry side, but the producers deliver a whole lot of information about the inception and creation of Enterprise. They also address some of the fans’ many concerns about the series, which I thought was pretty cool. The text commentary is chock-full of Trek-related trivia bits, courtesy of “scenic art supervisor” Michael and his “video coordinator” wife, Denise. I was able to listen to the audio commentary and watch the text track at the same time, and it was quite an education for this Enterprise newcomer.
Disc 2: A deleted scene from episode 5 (Unexpected), and another text commentary by Michael & Denise Okuda on episode 7 (The Andorian Incident).
Disc 3: No extra goodies to be found on this particular platter.
Disc 4: A deleted scene from episode 15 (Sleeping Dogs) and another one from episode 16 (Shuttlepod One).
Disc 5: Deleted scenes from episode 20 (Oasis).
Disc 6: A text commentary by Mr. & Mrs. Okuda on episode 22 (Vox Sola), and a few deleted scenes from episode 23 (Fallen Hero)
Disc 7: Deleted scenes from episode 25 (Two Days and Two Nights) and episode 26 (Shockwave, Part 1), plus a big collection of extra goodies with their own “Special Features” heading:
Creating Enterprise: Here’s a solid little 11-minute featurette that offers a broad overview of the Enterprise experience. Lead actor Scott Bakula gets it off with a laugh as he introduces his crew, and then we’re presented with a collection of concepts and memories from producers Rick Berman & Brannon Braga, who sincerely wanted to create something new for the Star Trek faithful. Production designer Herman Zimmerman and cinematographer Marvin Rush describe the difficulty in creating an “early” Star Trek universe in today’s modern age, though they manage to pull it off quite smoothly.
O Captain! My Captain! A Profile of Scott Bakula: Story editor Andre Bormanis, director LeVar Burton (Geordi!), and actors Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, and Connor Trinneer share their thoughts on Captain Archer (a.k.a. Scott Bakula) and his impact on Enterprise’s success. Scotty B. also chimes in regarding how much he loves playing the gung-ho captain. (9:00)
Cast Impressions: Season One: Actors Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, Connor Trinneer, John Billingsley, Linda Park, Dominic Keating, and Anthony Montgomery describe how they first got involved with Enterprise, and then spend a few more minutes explaining how much they love the show. (12:00)
Inside Shuttlepod One: Producers Brannon Braga & Rick Berman and actors Connor Trinneer & Dominic Keating look back on “Shuttlepod One,” which they all consider one of their very favorite Enterprise episodes from season one. (7:30)
Star Trek Time Travel: Temporal Cold Wars and Beyond: Producers Brannon Braga & Rick Berman, scenic art supervisor Mike Okuda explain why (and how) they managed to infuse such a cool “time-travel” subplot into Enterprise’s first season. This 7.5-minute featurette also features a photo album of several time-traveling Star Trek adventures, and that includes the original series AND the movies! Pretty nifty.
Enterprise Secrets: 2nd assistant director David G. Trotti gives up two of the Enterprise set’s special effects secrets. Only runs about 90 seconds, but it’s cool enough to leave you wanting more.
Admiral Forrest Takes Center Stage: Actor Vaughn Armstrong, veteran of more than eight (!) separate Star Trek roles, shares a collection of good-natured war stories from his time spent on Enterprise. (4:50)
Enterprise Outtakes: Nearly nine minutes of flubs, bloopers, and outtakes from Enterprise’s first season. Lots of laughs to be found here, plus it’s great to see the normally stoic Ms. Blalock flash those pearly whites!
Borg Invasion Trailer: A 30-second promo for “Star Trek: The Experience – Borg Invasion,” which you can experience only at the Las Vegas Hilton.
You can also click around in the “Special Features” section for a trio of hidden "NX-01 Files", which are mini-featurettes featuring actress Jolene Blalock, visual effects producer Dan Curry, and graphic artist Geoffrey Mandel.