You can find my “essay” on how that finale sucked here.
I was there with the show from the beginning. I vaguely remember seeing the promo after Voyager’s finale aired. I pretty much watched most of the show through the first two seasons. I’d sometime miss it because of something band-related or something else was on. During the second season, UPN started acting weird. For some reason, the station would go grainy and you couldn’t see a lot. You got to love cable. It was pretty much like that until the show ended.
I was in college during the final season and it was airing on Friday which is usually the final nail in the coffin for most shows. I did get to watch the season as well as the dreaded series finale. Then, it was gone for a while until the Sci-Fi Channel aired reruns of the show for some time. I think it was through some Enterprise (or TNG) episodes where I found out about the Internet reviewer, SFDebris. Let’s just say that he’s not a big fan of the show. When I got Netflix, this was one show I knew I was going to eventually revisit. It took a while, but I was able to go through all four seasons. What’s my verdict? Find out below:
Hmm… don’t worry, folks. I know it’s a shock, but I do have good things to say about the show.
- The Premise – I do like the premise to the show. It’s supposed to show Starfleet at its infancy. Their tech is less flashy and more like current tech (sort of). We see the origins of a lot of things. This is a crew that hasn’t been out in space for years. They’re facing a lot of the stuff the other crews faced for the first time and that’s pretty cool. We also get to see how the Federation was born and how a lot of the encounters between races like the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Andorians was born.
- The Crew (after a couple of seasons) – I do like this crew though it did take me a while to get behind them. At the beginning, I liked most of them including Phlox (imagining the ending of “Dear Doctor” never happened). It took a while with Archer, T’Pol, and Trip and that’s weird since they’re basically the “Kirk, Spock, and McCoy” of the show. I don’t know if I even still like Archer all that much. Mayweather was okay, but he was such a blank slate for those four seasons. I liked the banter between the crew and some of the situations that would pop up between them. I especially like the Trip/T’Pol pairing even though the dreaded series finale kind of ruined it.
- Season 3 and Season 4 – Season Three is where the show began to get better. They did a season-long arc that had them go into a dangerous section of space in order to save Earth. I did like the arc even if it wasn’t perfect all the way through. Then came Season Four where the show really began to feel like a prequel to Star Trek in general. The episodes were pretty good. You had some multi-part episodes as well as some good stand alone episodes. Yeah, it ended badly, but the season was good and felt like it would have been awesome if it got a fifth season. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that.
- The effects, costumes, and ship – The effects for the show were pretty good for the most part. They were about on the same level as Voyager was in its later seasons. I really liked the uniforms to the show except T’Pol’s in the first two seasons. The uniforms had that astronaut look and looked pretty nifty. I also liked T’Pol’s uniforms in the later seasons since they didn’t look too sexualized. I also liked the look of the ship’s exterior and interior. It felt really looked like a submarine and something that wouldn’t feel comfortable to live in. While it didn't have that an older look similar to TOS, I still liked it.
Well, you knew this was coming. So, I might as well start off with that “Blankity blankin’ blank-blank” theme song.
- The Theme Song – Man, that theme song sucked. I mean, why go with that? When I did my re-watch on Netflix, I had to skip over that thing. I do get what they were going for. They were trying to go for something that had a Western Frontier feel to it. The intro itself is actually pretty good. It shows all of the progress humanity made from the past up to the creation of the Enterprise. The theme song just sucked. They did try to make it less dull in the third and fourth seasons, but I still didn’t like it.
- Lackluster Early Seasons – The first two seasons to the show were pretty dull. There were some good episodes, but the majority of them weren’t really good. It was a bit of a slog to get through the first season. The second season actually felt worse to me. I don’t know what it was about the second season that didn’t do it for me. On my re-watch, I skipped some episodes and went to the third season where it did get much better. I guess this is just an issue with Trek in general. All of the shows except for TOS had some lackluster early seasons.
- The Vulcans – Ah, now we’ve gotten to the Vulcans. Those were some smug, arrogant, close-minded, green-blooded sons of… guns, weren’t they? Now, Spock could sometimes be a prick during TOS, but he was never this horrible. It’s like they wore their superiority and awesome logic on their shoulders and most of them came off as rude. While I don’t like how Archer and Trip viewed the Vulcans, I can’t necessarily blame them for feeling like that. Luckily, their a-holism does get rectified in Season Four where their culture goes through an awakening of sorts. If that was the plan all along, then I can understand it. I can still not like that they were portrayed this way though.
- Ended Too Soon – In the middle of the fourth season, I saw how many episodes were left. I got a little sad because the fourth season was so good. Plus, I knew the dreaded series finale was coming. You could tell that they wanted to do more with the show. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to do that because of the pretty low ratings. I remember that there was some talk of getting the show moved elsewhere but that didn’t happen. The Sci-Fi Channel would have been a good fit for the show especially at that time.
Finally, here are some of my favorite episodes from the show.
- In A Mirror, Darkly – This 2-parter takes place completely in the Mirror Universe. Chaos and hilarity ensues.
- First Flight – On a random mission, Archer tells T’Pol about how Starfleet was able to perfect their warp drive.
- Regeneration – Some damaged Borg from Star Trek: First Contact reawaken and escape from Earth. Starfleet sends the Enterprise to find them.
- Twilight – After an accident, Archer wakes up 15 years in the future where the Xindi have destroyed Earth and humanity is on the run.
- Silent Enemy – An unknown ship attacks the Enterprise, so the crew has to work non-stop in order to install their proton torpedoes.
- Observer Effect – A couple of advanced aliens observe the Enterprise as the crew deals with sickened Hoshi and Trip.
- Demons/Terra Prime – It’s the true finale of the series. Earth is holding a meeting for the Federation when a xenophobic human group threatens the aliens on Earth.
- Babel One/United/The Aenar – The Romulans send out an automated ship that poses as other ships in order to star a war between the races.
- Similitude – Tucker gets hurt during a warp core issue, so Phlox creates a clone in order to heal him.
Overall, this was a good show that didn’t get to thrive. Yes, it had its flaws in the early seasons but it got past them in the later seasons. It was similar to the other shows in this way. The only problem was that it didn’t have the ratings unlike those shows did. It’s pretty sad that it didn’t get to last. Man, I hate ending these things on a bummer. Here’s a little pic that should make this ending less depressing. Peace, God Bless, and know that the Vulcan Science Council is full of a bunch of … well, you know.
Now you know this should make you smile!