Sunday, March 12, 2017

Star Trek: Enterprise

     I've been a Trekkie fan since I was 8 or 9 years old. My parents love the franchise as well as my older sister. The Original Series, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager, my family has seen them all. However, the prequel series Enterprise, which premiered in 2001, was something of a badly timed series (premiering two weeks after 9/11 and only 4 months after the end of Star Trek: Voyager) that seemed to have all the odds of failure stacked against it. And unfortunately, the show only lasted four seasons.

     I mean that's one season more than the Original series, but I pretty much grew up hearing (from my older sister) that the show was an abomination, that the writing was terrible, that is was completely contradictory to the Star Trek universe and (here's the big one, people) it had a THEME SONG!!! Like with words! Not an epic sounding anthem, but a country/rock song! Well, that just did it for Trek society and the show was cancelled in 2005. And good riddance from any self-respecting Trekkie.

     Fast forward to January 2017 and the same older sister is telling me that I would like that Enterprise show. Over ten years later and now I'm hearing that it was actually really good, the characters were well written, the story arcs were incredible and that awful theme song wasn't too bad. And anyways there wasn't much for me to watch at the moment. So, why not?

The Crew of The Enterprise NX-01

     Almost 100 years before Kirk's first mission in the Enterprise NCC-1701 and 100 years after Zephram Cochran's first contact with the Vulcans in 2063, Earth has finally managed to create a warp drive (warp 5) for successful space exploration with the use of Vulcan technology. Overseen constantly by the Vulcan High Command who never miss an opportunity to cast judgement and criticize, the still new Starfleet has now issued the new Enterprise starship to travel, search and seek out new worlds.

     Captain Jonathan Archer: His father created the warp 5 engine and Jonathan Archer believes that he alone should be the only person to captain the first warp 5 starship. Intelligent, bold and uncompromising, Captain Jonathan Archer is a plethora of characteristics, but fear certainly is not one of them especially fear of what people may think about him. A strong leader with a intense sense of right and wrong, Jonathan captains the Enterprise as a strict but benevolent father figure, calm negotiator, and loyal ally. In all essence, Jonathan is great leader and a good man who hopes he can be the fulfillment of his father's dreams.

     Sub-commander T'Pol:  A member of the Vulcan High Command, T'Pol is a prime example of Vulcan logic, restraint and unfaltering loyalty to tradition. Originally sent to the Enterprise to oversee their first few weeks in space, T'Pol slowly begins to find a respectable place among the mostly human crew of the Enterprise. She becomes Archer's science officer and second in command and begins to understand humanity in a personal context she never thought would be possible. Although T'Pol is strong willed, she hides a fragile nature that is only seen by a few people. 

     Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III: Enterprise's handsome and charming chief engineer who is forever finding himself in some form of trouble be it his fault or not. While Trip's headstrong and rash nature can be his downfall from time to time, his genius mind in engineering and mechanics gets Enterprise and its crew out of the worst of dangers. As the show continues, Trip experiences a great deal of growth that comes from personal tragedy and painful mistakes, but also finds unexpected love in the most unlikely of people along the way. 

     Ensign Hoshi Sato: A brilliant linguist and prodigy who is personally asked by Captain Archer to join the crew of the Enterprise as the communications officer. Although unwilling at first, Hoshi agrees out of her respect for Archer and leaves her comfortable teaching job to venture into space. Sweet natured, but at times painfully shy, Hoshi has the hardest time trying to adjust to life on a starship. Oftentimes her personal fears blind her from her true strengths that are brought out in situations that she alone must get herself out of. 

     Lieutenant Malcom Reed: Enterprise's tactical officer who has an unashamed delight of explosives and a natural sense of duty no matter the situation. Practical, pragmatic and fiercely private, Malcom can come off as cold at first, but overtime he has a genuinely warm and friendly nature.  Which can make him a great partner in crime or someone you have no problem going through the trenches with. 

     Ensign Travis Mayweather: Travis is what people would call a 'boomer' or a child who was born and raised on space freighters. Most of his life, Travis has spent in space so it's only natural that he would be an exceptional pilot for Enterprise. Extremely charming and outgoing, Travis has an abounding love for the unknown and unexplored, but also harbors a sense of regret for leaving his family on the freighter that he grew up on. 

     Dr. Phlox: A Denobulan physician and the only other alien aboard the Enterprise, Phlox exhibits incredible medical knowledge as well as a positive personality. Fascinated by humans and their lifestyle, Phlox never misses on opportunity to better understand the human mind and personality. Much to the annoyance to some of the humans on board. 

Favorite recurring characters

     Ambassador Soval: A leader on the Vulcan High Command as well as T'Pol's mentor/father figure, Soval spends most of his time telling humans what they're doing wrong. However, even Vulcans can see the light at the end of the logic tunnel and unfortunately Soval's came almost at the cost of his own life. 

     General Thy'lek Shran: The enigma to top all Star Trek enigmas, General Shran of the Andorian Imperial Guard is as conniving and arrogant as he loyal and brave. Never one to be in somebody's debt, Shran is Archer's noble adversary who can never be underestimated or forgotten. 

     Porthos: Jonathan Archer's beloved beagle, best friend, buddy (and at times baby) who has his master wrapped around his little white paws. Archer becomes a complete sap when it comes to his darling Porthos and how can he not? With such precious brown eyes begging for cheese and cuddles? It's hard for anyone to resist such a pet.

      If you follow me on Instagram then you would already know that I absolutely love this show!!! It was funny, engaging, with incredible story arcs and wonderful well written characters. In the last couple of years people have been rediscovering Enterprise and coming to the conclusion that it really is some Star Trek gold. Being a prequel series as well, Enterprise was able to provide theories and answers for Trek lore such as  the smooth head Klingons from the Original series, the Augments and their creator, the rise of T'Pau and the new Vulcan order, Andoria and others that have left fans in questioning for years. 

     Despite its short run, Enterprise has become my favorite of the Star Trek series. Primarily for its characters and also because of its basic simplicity if its story and not having the need to be overtly scientific or techy. I laughed and I cried at the simple human (and non-human) life that became the full heart and soul of the show and I believe is what got missed in people's first reactions to it ten years before. 

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