While the 45th anniversary of the Original Series might have taken precedence for all things Trek in 2011, this year — even this month — marks another major anniversary for another series. Exactly ten years ago today, Enterprise (as it was simply known back then) premiered on the United Paramount Network.
Unfortunately, the series would only last for four seasons before being cancelled because of low ratings. There has long since been speculation as to what was specifically was the series’ main problem. Maybe there was an over-saturation of Star Trek at the time and the public (and eventually UPN) got to the point where they didn’t care anymore. Maybe there were too many fans eager to get back to the 24th century Alpha Quadrant after Voyager that they weren’t ready to jump back 200 years. Maybe too many fans had their own ideas about the origins of Federation, and they felt Enterprise violated those ideas. Maybe Enterprise didn’t focus enough on the “right” things — how the Federation came to be, what was the first contact with the Romulans and other major species like, how did certain technology came to be about. It’s always difficult to determine how much a spin-off, especially a prequel, should stand on its own and how much becomes too much.
Although Enterprise was perhaps the most controversial and polarizing Star Trek show, I won’t hesitate to tell you I enjoyed the series back then, and I enjoy it now. Sure, not everything they did was perfect (when has that been true for any series), but there are only a handful of episodes that are so bad I wouldn’t want to see them again. If Enterprise is allowed to be it’s own series, like all the other Trek’s were, then it actually works as good storytelling.
So happy 10th Star Trek: Enterprise!