Star Trek: Enterprise

“Broken Bow”

3 stars.

Air date: 9/26/2001
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by James L. Conway

Cast includes: Scott Bakula (Captain Jonathan Archer), Connor Trinneer (Chief Engineer Charles Tucker III), Jolene Blalock (Sub-commander T'Pol), Dominic Keating (Lt. Malcolm Reed), Anthony Montgomery (Ensign Travis Mayweather), Linda Park (Ensign Hoshi Sato), John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox)

"You better be careful. I'm a lot bigger than you are." — warning from Captain Archer

Review Text

In brief: A typical pilot episode — does a decent job introducing the concept and characters and comes with assorted pluses and minuses. Enjoyable, though not groundbreaking in any way.

"The Star Trek saga has a new beginning," say the taglines for the fifth series in the franchise — three of which have existed within the confines of just over the past two years. "Broken Bow" supplies the kickoff story that launches Enterprise, the vessel and the series. It's hardly a great or groundbreaking start, but it's not bad and works as escapist entertainment. It is, in short, adequate. Not too shabby.

I might as well confess that reviewing a pilot episode can be sort of like shooting in the dark. It wasn't easy last year when I had Andromeda's "Under the Night" in front of me, nor is it here, where all of Star Trek is essentially starting over from ground zero — a "new" ground zero that has so far been left unexplored by the canon material. Also, analyzing the level of success of a pilot that aims for general entertainment has to be gauged on those more general terms. A certain amount of scrutiny for significance will have to come later.

Which is not to say "Broken Bow" is insignificant. I suppose it just wasn't as significant as I had hoped. It's sold more as an hour of conventional, mainstream, escapist TV for the middlebrow masses than as a show that takes new risks or fills in the questions many of us might be wondering about when it comes to the early days of Starfleet, living apart from a Federation that doesn't yet exist.

Does "Broken Bow" get the job done? On its bottom line, yes. Am I blown away? No. Do I like the Star Trek prequel concept? Yes, but as we've seen before, concept is only part of the equation; what's done with that concept it the rest.

The title refers to Broken Bow, Oklahoma, where a bizarre incident takes place in the show's opening minutes: A Klingon is running through a cornfield where he lures two mysterious aliens (who have a weird ability to stretch and compress their bodies) into a silo. He then blows up the silo, killing the two aliens, before being shot by the farm owner and turned over to the authorities in critical condition.

Most humans have never seen a Klingon before. "It's a Klingot" says a Starfleet official (perhaps too obviously ignorant), who is quickly corrected by his Vulcan counterpart. The wounded Klingon, named Klaang (Tommy "Tiny" Lister), becomes a crucial element the story hinges upon: Returning him to the Klingon homeworld, Kronos, would be a worthy mission that might coincide nicely with Starfleet's planned launch of its new warp five-capable starship, the Enterprise NX-01, which has the ability to timely reach other worlds where previous starships could not.

The ship's captain is Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), son of Henry Archer (Mark Moses in flashback sequences), the man who designed the Enterprise's engines. For his entire life Archer has dreamed of realizing his father's vision and taking the ship on its maiden voyage, but standing in the way for decades have been the Vulcans, who believe humans aren't ready to face the delicate matters of interacting with others in the vast interstellar community.

One of these Vulcans is Sub-commander T'Pol (Jolene Blalock), who is quick to accuse Archer of human volatility, to which Archer responds, "You have no idea how much I'm restraining myself from knocking you on your ass." That's a glib cowboy line, which might be the point.

The events of "Broken Bow" take place in 2151, nearly 90 years after Zefram Cochrane's first successful warp flight as seen in Star Trek: First Contact (1996). One of the show's nicer moments is when it plays a historic speech by Cochrane that was recorded nearly a century earlier. James Cromwell has a cameo, reprising the role he played in the film five years ago. Trek fans live for these kinds of connections, and this is a nice one. Unfortunately, this may be the last real moment in "Broken Bow" where Trek die-harders who are interested in the history of Starfleet's foundation will likely find themselves awed by the mythos. We never get much information about how Starfleet itself came about. Much of the rest of the episode is the stuff of middlebrow action/adventure.

Except, I guess, for one element — namely, the Vulcans. I must say that I'm particularly leery about the way the show depicts the Vulcans. In short, they're not supplied the dignity the Trek universe has typically given them and are instead shown as stodgy bureaucratic obstacles without a well-reasoned point of view. This makes them almost look like quasi-villains, which is unnecessary and could've been avoided if there were better motives supplied for their constant skepticism. Conflict is nice, but conflict is better when it's well reasoned through more than one point of view (witness the Sisko/Kira tension of the early DS9 episodes) rather than forced by the mechanics of the plot. The way "Broken Bow's" early acts play out make the Vulcans look like they're being pains in the ass for pains in the ass' sake. Not enough is done to suggest that maybe the Vulcans are right — that humans aren't completely ready to contend with all the issues that face them out in deep space. But perhaps better understanding of such issues will grow from T'Pol becoming first officer on Archer's ship, where she serves as official liaison between Starfleet and the Vulcans.

Archer's crew is your typically diverse Trekkian bunch; in keeping with the Trekkian tone, the regular characters are represented by actors of assorted racial/national/regional background. That's great, but unfortunately for "Broken Bow," several of these characters fade into the background and come across as pretty bland.

As expected, we get a good dose of Archer and T'Pol and their head-butting. Character #3 in the pilot's importance hierarchy is Archer's friend and chief engineer Charles Tucker (Connor Trinneer), who comes equipped with a direct, "straight shooter" mentality and a mild Southern drawl. There's also linguist Hoshi Sato (Linda Park), a.k.a. the Asian Chick; helmsman Travis Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery), a.k.a. the Black Guy; armory officer Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating), a.k.a. the Brit, and Outside Human Perspective Alien Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley), a.k.a. the outside-human-perspective alien.

I jest, but several of these characters are plot vessels and largely come across as boring. Sato is the story's frightened, green character (hopefully not Harry Kim Redux), jumping with every strange noise on the ship. Mayweather was raised on cargo vessels but that's about all we learn, unless we're particularly amused that he experienced firsthand that the women of one particular species "have three." Phlox is a somewhat-chatterbox who resembles a Garak/Neelix love-child and has an eccentricity that initially borders on annoying (thankfully Archer seems to notice this too). Reed is ... well, I have no idea, because the story doesn't spend more than a minute on him outside the action. Aside from Archer, T'Pol, and Tucker, none of these characters have any fresh edge. Time will tell if they'll get better development.

My first impression on the main actors here: I like Bakula, who exhibits conviction and comes across as a natural leader and anchor for the show. Trinneer works well with his contemporary take on Tucker. I'm less enthusiastic about Blalock (a.k.a. "Vulcan of Nine"), who seems here like a Seven clone but not nearly as effective an actor as Jeri Ryan, though it will be some time before any real verdict can be placed on her, or anyone else for that matter.

The Enterprise's mission takes the vessel on its course toward Kronos. Along the way they run into some strange new aliens called the Suliban, a race bent on extreme genetic alteration for their betterment. The Suliban invade the Enterprise and kidnap Klaang, who was apparently made aware of a plot the Suliban had to undermine the Klingon Empire. Subsequently, Archer follows the clues to a nearby world to investigate Klaang's kidnapping in hopes of retrieving him. Archer is met by a female Suliban operative named Sarin (Melinda Clarke), an ally of Klaang, who explains the Suliban Sinister Plot™ to Archer in one of those back-alley conversations that's destined to shortly become the landscape for a sudden outbreak of violence.

Apparently part of the Suliban, the Cabal, is willing to go very far in the interests of "self-improvement" via genetic engineering. Sarin is among the Suliban who oppose that group (i.e., one of the "good guys"). She is subsequently and quickly killed when Suliban Cabal operatives open fire in this alley. Lesson #1: As a guest character, once you've served your purpose in a plot like this, you'd better duck down quick, because you're expendable and especially vulnerable to gunfire.

With new information, Archer & Co. follow warp trails to a planet where they believe the Suliban have taken Klaang. This scene, alas, is heavy on the technobabble that Berman & Braga have been promising Series V would be devoid of. Funny how a Starfleet admiral calls it a "Klingot" and yet no one on this relatively young crew has trouble deciphering starship jargon.

One aspect that will certainly have to set this series apart from the other Trek shows will be its more limited technology. In "Broken Bow" the transporter exists and is supposedly safe, but it's still somewhat feared; no one wants to actually go through it themselves. Also nice is that the Universal Translator is not as magical a device as in the previous series, hence the need for a skilled human interpreter. And we have grappling hooks in place of tractor beams. But with the lesser technology comes an even more emphasized responsibility for the writers to steer clear of worthless technobabble.

Of course, any review of "Broken Bow" would be remiss if not to mention one of the most transparently gratuitous exploitations of shallow sexuality in the Star Trek canon — a moment that redefines the term gratuitous. I'm referring, of course, to the "decontamination scene" involving T'Pol and Tucker. The scene's motives are so obvious it will have many viewers rolling on the floor: T'Pol in a tank-top showing her midriff and with Visible Nipple Action. Jolene Blalock may be this series' Unabashed Hottie Presence, but this scene is beyond shameless.

It draws so much attention to itself that all dialog in the scene becomes irrelevant, because the dialog is no longer the point (and we can't hear it over our own groans and snickers anyway). My thoughts here apply logic, probably futilely: We as viewers know what the point of this scene is. The writers know what the point of this scene is. The actors and director know what the point of this scene is. And yet we have characters who seem completely oblivious to the sexual element, as if it's not part of the equation here at all. Come on, people! It's an insult to our intelligence, somewhat mitigated only by how funny and blatant it is. I guess anything goes in the name of demographics, but at least make your gimmicks halfway plausible. Jeri Ryan never endured a scene in this spirit that was quite so absurd.

It's worth noting, however, that Enterprise believes in Equal Opportunity Sexual Exploitation: Tucker appears shirtless with boxer shorts in the decontamination scene, and later we also get Archer in boxers (which makes more sense in context considering he's lounging privately in his quarters).

Overlong digression. Anyway: If sexuality is still handled as a relentlessly juvenile enterprise on Trek, then I should hasten to point out an obvious strength that Enterprise will certainly have going in its favor, and that's the visuals and production design. This is a visually striking show, with top-notch production values, sets, and special effects — a feature-film look that maybe surpasses even Voyager in its vision. I liked the Suliban space station, composed of hundreds of individual pods connected to a core. Even the worn-out phaser fight idea manages to work better because it takes place on a roof during a snowstorm, seemingly giving the scene more space to breathe.

Maybe somewhat less effective is when Archer ends up in an elevator filled with flashing strobe lights. I call this elevator the Rave Room. And once the elevator stops, Archer steps out into another room that exhibits some sort of temporal delay effect. He walks into this room and waves his hand around in the weird atmosphere; I'm thinking he's on ecstasy or some other mind-altering substance, like many others before him who have just stepped out of a rave.

The plot doesn't resolve with great insight its strangest element — that of a "temporal cold war." What the hell is that? Not sure, but the Suliban are involved; we learn that they use this weird room to talk with people (who is uncertain) from the future and alter events by changing the past. Does this portion of the plot make sense? Not so much, because it's been reserved — or at least I hope — for future storylines.

Also of scant development are issues involving Earth's current role and the Enterprise being granted its continuing mission after the successful mission to return Klaang to Kronos. What is this lone ship's role in the galaxy? If there are problems, who will help them? Is Starfleet building any other ships? What will be Starfleet's general campaign in space travel? What are the Vulcans' interstellar role at this point in time? Why in the world were two Suliban and a Klingon running around Earth? For that matter, how far have humans traveled prior to the Enterprise launch? Freight-ship workers like Mayweather have apparently gone farther than a lot of people who have been sitting around in Starfleet, but I'm not sure who has seen what, or how far out here humans have been.

For the sake of comparison, it's my opinion that "Broken Bow" is not as engrossing as the other recent Trek pilot stories. "Emissary" (DS9) and "Caretaker" (Voyager) both had superior pilots that did better jobs of establishing their entire casts. "Emissary" had emotional notes of internal struggle (Sisko's angst) and genuine exploration of new ideas (first contact with non-linear lifeforms), while "Caretaker" had an immediate goal (bringing together two crews in the wilderness to get home). "Broken Bow" is generic exploration and more simpleminded adventure. It's about those who Boldly Go, but without many underlying complexities.

Enterprise, by the definition of its concept, has promise. Humans have a new, less jaded, and more wondrous (we hope) perspective concerning space travel compared to all Treks since The Original Series. There's the possibility to see how the building blocks for the as-yet-nonexistent Federation will be laid, which could be fascinating for long-time fans and newbies alike. The pratfall in this concept, of course, comes not simply with the obvious potential of demolishing existing continuity in the Trek canon, but in the difficulty in keeping Trek itself fresh and exciting. Rearranging timelines and giving the saga a "new beginning" is not all it will take to create a series that seems fresh. The attitude, climate, and characters must be sustained through solid stories that feel new on their own merits, not simply because they're recycled stories filtered through a new perspective (though the new perspective will help).

"Broken Bow" is a fun start, featuring a sharp look, efficient and effective direction by James L. Conway, a workable (if uninspired) story for a general audience, and a promising concept. Now it's time to use it.

Note: The opening title sequence is appropriate given the premise, featuring clips of various ships (of all types) named Enterprise, as well as video clips of progressive stages of space travel. The theme, by Diane Warren and performed by Russell Watson, is a rock song that's acceptable but might tire more quickly than a traditional orchestral piece and is not as memorable as past Trek themes. The episode's music is a traditional score along the same lines of the last decade of television Trek, composed by long-time Trek composer Dennis McCarthy.

Next week: Our new crew finds its first ship full of alien corpses.

Next episode: Fight or Flight

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Comment Section

111 comments on this post

    I'm in full agreement with you on this review, although I did enjoy Broken Bow more than Caretaker. The effect shots were particularly good in this episode, and throwing in shots like the ascending elevator were a nice touch, even though it probably cost more money than it was worth. I just wish that some of the story threads started in this episode were wrapped up better.

    Agree with your review completely Jammer. I rememuber how the pilot aired not too soon after 9/11 and the cast of Enterprise did all these patriotic vignettes. When I hear of the Suluban race - I thought Taliban right away (and was proven right when Braga confirmed it in star trek: the magazine - oh how I miss it!). I loved the opening song "Faith of the Heart" - though it did not feel Star Trekkish - it was appropriate to humanity taking baby staps. I remember how often I listened to that song at first. The show certainly had promise but was ultimately ruined by too much time travel and disrespect for the Trek timeline. I can never forgive the produceres for that...

    I've probably seen this episode 3 or 4 times, and yet I can't remember the plot to save my life. That can't be good.

    Agreed on the general assessment: 3 stars, does its job but nothing memorable.

    And yes, most of the characters with the exception of Captain Archer, T'Pol and maybe Phlox are largely forgettable. Hell, I had a greater impression from the female Suliban they meet on Rigel (Melinda Clarke, the infamous "Lady Heather" from CSI) than anyone else in the Pilot.

    By the way, I have to confess I am currently giving this series a second chance (many years after it first aired), after viewing two or three random episodes during its original run and never really "catching on". I am also doing so with the full knowledge that as far as Trek productions go, it is agreed Star Trek Enterprise was *not* a resounding success. Perhaps my interest is more of curiosity than expectation to see something memorable, who knows.

    So far my impression is mixed, but I'm willing to stay on board for a few more episodes to see where this is going.

    I'm going to give this series a chance.. I never really got into it the first time around but we'll see.

    Unfortunately I found this episode quite difficult to follow, maybe it's just me being useless but it just seemed to be diving straight into action with characters such as the wholegrain mustard-faces (Suliban) that I don't yet understand.

    The translation issues are interesting and believable but also make me realise why they had the modern day "transparent" universal translator in the first place: it'll get tedious fairly quickly. I hope they eventually just upgrade the translators, it's a novelty at first but already needs to move on!

    I remember last time seeing Tucker as an annoying gobby person like Voyager's Tom Paris (the more noticeable the accent/drawl the worse they get that way seems), but actually despite all the one-liners I eventually warmed to Paris when watching Voyager properly. Time will tell with ENT.

    Dr Neelix - *shudder* :)

    The sexual scene was hysterically bad! Gets the 16 year olds talking about it I suppose, but this hardly spawned a new generation of Trekkies did it.

    Definitely the worst of the 5 pilots. It was alright I guess but far from inspired. Oh well, pilots are rarely great anyway. 2 stars makes more sense to me.

    I agree with Cloudane, this was the worst of the 5 pilots. Just started Enterprise and while I am very curious to see what will happen, I kinda feel dissapointed already. The opening music theme is mediocre, Voyager's one is way better and heartwarming.

    P.S.: T'Pol looks hot! :)

    Worst of the five pilots? That's an interesting thought. 'Farpoint' was pretty bad, IMO. Troi was just unbearable, Riker was too stiff and Picard really wasn't Picard yet (too much of a disciplinarian).

    Generally speaking, I thought Enterprise (like Voyager) mostly pissed away its potential -- but at least Enterprise had more of a valid reason. The fact that the show was conceived of (and partly produced) pre-9/11 made the early episodes seem kind of sleepy. To recover, the producers needed to veer well off course for season three -- which was the best season in my opinion but the least in keeping with Trek history.

    And, I'll say it -- I think Bakula was the wrong guy for the roll. He was too informal in the first two seasons, and too all-business in seasons 3 and 4. I loved 'Quantum Leap', so I have no issues with Bakula as an actor. But he was not good in this series.

    @Paul - all true about the TNG pilot (and Picard was outright unlikeable at first) but it had Q to make up for it.

    I am pretty sure that after 10 years from now I will still be remembering many details from the "Farpoint" and "Caretaker" episodes. I can't tell the same for the Enterprise first episode.

    As for the intro I mentioned above, it started to grow up on me and now (after 8 episodes I have watched) I love it :)

    We must be the only two people on the internet who don't hate the intro :)

    I like it as well. My only criticism is that it doesn't show the character names with the actor names, but you eventually get to know who's who anyway.

    I saw a few episodes of Enterprise 5-6 years back but was moving around a lot so never got into it back then. I'm trying again now.

    This was an okay show. The last third of it happened way too quickly and left many ends untied. The personages involved, like others noted, were transient, but I can already tell that Dr. Neelix (hehehe - good one, Clo!) is going to be a pain. And that English guy... - is anybody actually going to speak like that 150 years from now!? The token African American, check. (He's actually my favorite character thus far.)

    But the MOST annoying bar none were the soft sex scenes. First the alien chick sensually Frenches el Capitan. For a moment I thought I was watching T.O.S. where Kirk the Megaballs humped his way through every galazy they passed. Then that pathetic sequence where the Volcan broad and the hunk (who is he again? - can't be bothered to find out) rub gel all over each other. It was so contrived and cheap it actually had me rolling my eyes. I got a twenty that says those two are gonna bump uglies somewhere down the line.

    Anyway, yeah, I can live with the pilot :)

    Oh, and I'm guessing the pooch gonna have the same pivotal role that coffee had with Janeway.

    I see it developing into Enterprise's answer to Naomi Wildman or Wesley of T.N.G. I'm sure the doggy is as precocious as those two, if not more! LOL!!

    I want all star trek fans to see this. As an avid star trek fan I almost cried with laughter after I saw it. It is a blog that shows photos Of people in northeast philadelphia that have the exact same haircut as Spock. check it out you wont be disappointed

    T'Pol: "you humans claims to be enlightened and yet you still consume the flesh of animals."

    I could not agree more. Eating animals is barbaric and unenlightened: it causes horrible suffering, global warming, water depletion, and causes heart disease and cancer in our bodies. It is unnecessary. The Vulcans are correct. It is shocking and disgusting that Archer and the other guy are eating dead cows. Also disturbing is that the doctor in this episode has live animals in his lab, in small containers, exploited in various ways. Fortunately by the 24th century the exploitation of animals no longer occurs, as Riker notes in one of TNG's episodes. Moral evolution is more important than technological evolution and the latter cannot safely occur without the former. This fact is proved time and again in the ST scenarios with Picard, Janeweay, et al run into aliens who regard them as "inferior" and try to experiment on them. The same danger is present for other species that humans might encounter, based on human exploitation of other species and races and cultures in its history. Why doesn't the majority of humanity grasp that basic moral lesson? It's sad that the humans in this story don't even want to understand the basic moral lessons that the Vulcans are there to share with them. I agree with the Vulcans: humans are not ready for the responsibility that comes with space travel and dealing with other species. Eating and imprisoning non-humans who have less power proves the Vulcan point.

    I have to agree with Michael re: the gratuitous use of sex. This really degrades the show, which is supposed to be about exploration and the broadening of humanity's borders. Instead it comes off as a B movie, with all the sex and violence. The only redeeming theme is the idea that humanity is expanding itself through interaction with other species; unfortunately that interaction looks like a dime novel from the 30s with alien bad guys and voluptuous women. What about portraying humanity encountering Vulcan philosophy or Klingon mysticism or Bolean customs? Why do television producers always insist on catering to the lowest common denominator of the masses -- not unlike Roman colluseums? Why show Rigel 10 as little more than a strip bar? What a cliche! I hope that if humanity ever does have a first contact situation (though mathematician Paul Davies calculates it as highly improbable) that the exchange proves more than laser fire and french kisses and body rubs or experimenting on them or them experimenting on us or forcing us into forced labour camps, or exploitative mining operations that entail ecological damage (e.g. on the Horta home world).

    Someone above mentioned the Farpoint episode - that it was more memorable than this one. I have to agree, because of the moral lesson it conveyed: do not exploit other sentient beings (in this case galactic jellyfish). This was a very animal rights / alien right / human rights message, very worthy of a first episode and first space mission both. The sexism and speciesism of this episode illustrate the fact that moral evolution is not necessarily cumulative: humanity can regress, as apparently the producers of ST have done within the space of a few years between TNG and Enterprise.

    I've only ever watched TOS, so this is my first non-TOS show. I've never really been interested in the other series. I don't know about this one yet...

    I don't like how the Vulcans are portrayed. Where TOS Vulcans are reserved, these Vulcans are disdainful. T'Pol is the worst, until the magical gel episode, and suddenly she's all warm and fuzzy. And I don't understand how she can take command of the ship. Her "Vulcan" rank is higher than Tucker's Starfleet rank? So what? It's a Starfleet ship!

    And is there a crew on this ship besides these half dozen or so? I just don't know about this one. I might go back and just watch TOS again.

    Also, meat is delicious. I think I'll go have me some now.

    @Strider: I suggest you try watching the series in the order they debuted. Watching ENT after TOS is liable to give one whiplash. I'd say VOY is the most philosophically consistent with TOS and TNG the most æsthetically consistent.

    At the second attempt to watch this pilot I still did not like it but did finish this time. One reason I had difficulty watching is I don't like Scott Bakula as Captain Archer. His demeanor, attitude, and language seems forced. T'Pol and the overly pouty mouth is distracting.

    The other characters might grow on me but didn't catch my attention much.

    On the positive side of T'Pol I can imagine that she was chosen for the character because of her although striking yet dead emotionless eyes (great for portraying a Vulcan) and her great figure.

    Other than that, I wasn't really impressed with the pilot plot.

    I did enjoy the Klingons!

    I also love the puppy!

    I pretty much agree with Jammer on this one except I think 3 stars might be a fraction high. Kudos primarily for the production values.

    Worst pilot of the 5? Please, this isn't even close to the supreme crapness that is 'Farpoint'.

    "Farpoint" for all its flaws, is at least memorable and has hell of a lot of verve to propel into the realm of TV history. Despite the silliness, there's a lot to like. There's some magic there.

    "Bow" on the other hand is a 2 hour slog, with a forgettable plot where mankind's first interstellar adventuring in the 22nd century is treated like a ho-hum affair, where our protagonists should be agog with wide-eyed wonder. Instead they're practically sleepwalking.

    I dunno. I think the fact that it was made over 25 years ago, was the first new Star Trek episode on tv for almost 20 years and there were very few other space sci-fi shows around at the time are the main things that give it any 'magic'.

    Was it more significant than Broken Bow? Of course. Was it of better quality, even for it's time? For me, no.

    I'm finally watching this series, more for completeness's sake than anything else, having seen all the others. So I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy this episode quite a bit.

    Bakula was great as an aging quarterback in Necessary Roughness, and he fits well here in the same kind of role as the leader of a group of younger (or at least younger-looking and -acting) people.

    The Vulcans don't make much sense. In First Contact, the Vulcans showed up to welcome humans into the fraternity of spacefaring races as soon as they developed warp drive. Why? Sure, it gives them a chance to counsel patience, but why show up at all and reveal that there's so much out there to find? Why not just blast the thing out of the sky, or capture it and make it disappear? They seem awkwardly caught between wanting to keep humans bottled up so they don't run around making a mess of the galaxy, yet not willing to take charge and simply cordon off Earth with mines for a century or so. Also, why give them info in drips and drabs so they have to go exploring blind and run into who knows what, when they could give humans a map to all the safest planets and let them use that for training wheels? Make up your minds, guys.

    After watching this episode, I think I felt like it had more potential than I felt after Caretaker. It's hard to compare fairly, since I know what Voyager did with its potential, and I don't know anything about this show except that it was cut short. But after Caretaker, I pretty much knew where Voyager was headed and what sort of things it had to say. The ship was going to fly across the galaxy and have adventures along the way. It had Big Important Points to make about things like women being in charge and applying Federation values in extraordinary situations. With a couple exceptions -- the Borg being the largest -- you could see the stories lining up early on: dealing with scarcity beyond the frontier, the redemption of the bad boy in Paris, the difficulty of mixing two formerly enemy crews, the doctor following in Data's footsteps in his quest for humanity, and so on. There weren't apt to be too many surprises, and there weren't (except for how quickly some of those potential issues were glossed over).

    This show, even though it's considerably constrained by future canon, feels more open-ended. I don't know where they're going, and next show they could be half quadrant away or back at Earth for repairs, so it's more like TOS or TNG in that way. Most of the characters seem more bland, but also less caricatured than Voyager's. Voyager almost did too good a job of introducing the characters, and since there was little growth, there was no need to learn much more about them after Caretaker. With Archer's group, I'm still looking forward to that.

    And yes, the "shower scene" was so bad I was embarrassed for T'Pol when she's standing there at the end with nipples at attention, waiting for the director to say cut. It's one thing to write the scene and then to shoot it, but how does that get edited and printed and no one ever says, "Wait, isn't this way over the top? Do we really want to insult our viewers' intelligence this much?"

    I agree that Farpoint is easier to remember. But that is only because it was so awful.

    Confusing plot!

    I am just now starting to watch ENT, and I admit I was probably biased against it from the start because I heard bad things about it and I don't particularly care for Scott Bakula. Then I heard the theme song and it got even worse. I found it extremely cheesy at first. The crew - forgettable, bland.

    After watching the two following episodes, the whole show started to grow on me, even the theme song. I like it now :-). I gave Broken Bow another chance and still think it's mediocre, but not as awful as I first thought it was. Archer and the somehow "untidy" look of the old Enterprise took some getting used to.

    There were a few scenes I hated though. Archer's little line about knocking T'Pol on her ass or something. Terrible. And when he and Trip have dinner with T'Pol and of course the must have a big steak. The humans DO come across as pretty immature. I hope it gets better.

    I totally concur with the psote above that siad, though they like Bakula, he was just totally wrong in this role.

    There can be no greater insult to a pilot episode than to compare it to the unbelievable arse that is Encounter at Farpoint. Extremely hammy acting that is put to shame by children's cartoons; one embarrassing scene after another; the already cliched superior being judging humanity; dialogue that makes my ears fill up with wax to protect my mind from the utter crapness. TNG started off more poorly than any show I've ever seen and didn't get good for years. Broken Bow looks like a masterpiece next to Farpoint.

    Some relatively spoiler-free protips for those starting this show:

    - Don't put your expectations sky-high of super deep meaningful prequel-ness (though there is some here and there) - expect something more like Voyager with hull plating instead of shields and you won't be too disappointed

    - Yes, Archer is a boorish idiot with no diplomacy or positive leadership skills and whoever made the decision to make him captain of Earth's flagship would probably have made Neelix chief engineer and put Odo in charge of sickbay. Get used to it.

    - Don't worry too much about "oh no, they screwed up the Vulcans and now they're horrible jerks". Remember, this is a prequel. If you enjoy the show otherwise, then keep watching.

    - Porthos is best character and totally steals the show.


    It's clear the creators really dropped the ball with Archer. He's either too informal (as he was in the first season) too incompetent (as he was in season 2) too angry/focused (season 3) or too all over the place (season 4).

    I like Scott Bakula, but I think he made a lot of poor acting choices that made Archer come across as far too petulant. There are moments with him that work -- "Shockwave Part I", the Vulcan trilogy -- but generally, he was probably Star Trek's weakest captain.

    Still, I think Enterprise (other than season 2) generally was a better SERIES than Voyager.

    Enterprise at least made use of its premises. The first season was about humans first explorations into deep space. The third season was about finding the Xindi and stopping the final attack on Earth. The fourth season was about humanity finding its role among space-faring races.

    Voyager probably had better actors (only Trinnear and Billingsley were ever really good on Enterprise) and Voyager probably had more good standalone episodes. But, as a series, Enterprise was stronger, IMO.

    Other than Voyager's second season -- which failed because of poor execution -- there was never a concentrated effort to show the Voyager crew dealing with the situation they were in. Nearly all of Voyager's adventures could have happened in a remote part of the Alpha Quadrant.

    But very few of Enterprise's missions (especially outside of season 2) could have taken place in another series.

    I'm about 10 minutes in and I'm cringing at how they've ruined the Vulcans and turned them from one of Trek's most fascinating (pun intended) races into a bunch of arrogant self-righteous jerks just to artificially amp up the tension factor. I'll keep watching but so far not very impressed.

    Ye, the way the Vulcans were portrayed, really pissed me off. I wasn't going to let that stop me because I more or less want to watch everything Star Trek. So I try to ignore what I don't like - portrayal of the Vulcans, the occasional continuity blunder or Archer's behavior. I still find enough things I like. I like Trip, Phlox and Hoshi, and at this point in my ENT adventure, I've just seen three great episodes in a row (Jammer gave them 3,5 and 4 stars so it's not just me ;-)), so it's definitely growing on me. I've just finished season 7 of TNG, and that really wasn't all that great either.

    The relationship between Archer and T'Pol gains more depth as the series goes on.

    Well, with all of the ENT bashing out there I liked this more than I feared I would. I'm not sure I liked any of the pilot episodes of ST. But generally I've enjoyed the series. So either way I'm looking fwd to more. Jammer pointed out all my problems with it. I'm rarely a fan of gratuitous scenes.

    I thought broken bow was great, ive watched all the star trek series and films,the special effects and realism was by far better than any thing we had seen before, the characters were more believable than in other series, even the decontamination scene i enjoyed, i focused on trineer, very nice eye candy, im pissed the cancelled the show, ive only just seen them and would like to see more, were was i between 2001-2005, cant remember them being aired here in the uk, i do think they should have centred more on trineer and balock in seasons 1 and 2. Im actually really pissed that we didn't see the rise if the federation, the books are good but would like to see them on screen, archer was a very believable captain except for a night in sickbay which was bringing cbs please bring them back. Long live trip.....

    I never saw Enterprise as it aired. I bought the series in early 2006. The unabashed criticism of this series is unbelievable.

    I enjoyed Broken Bow. I would rank it below Emissary and Caretaker but above Encounter at Farpoint.

    Something else that confounds me is the holier than thou criticism of the decon scenes. Trek now isn't allowed to be sexy? This procedure makes sense as a precursor to the transporters detecting and filtering everything harmful out. It's not like they just threw the gorgeous female in there by herself, lots of equal screen time for males and females here. It’s seems very progressive.

    I was impressed with Backula from the start. He’s better at being a “Captain” out of the gate than any of the spin-off Captains.

    Personally I wish they would have not gone out to space so soon. I would have preferred to have seen more the struggles we saw in in First Flight to open the series.

    Love all members of the cast. Nice to see Vaughn Armstrong’s face in a meaningful part in trek for a change. Great actor in my book. Also love how the Vulcan’s are different than we know them to be. Room for growth and back story there. Loved how Archer had to go get Hoshi.

    Loved the new alien species as well. Just because we hadn’t ever heard of the Suliban doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. I’m glad we got to meet more “new” species as the series progressed as well as the old familiar ones.

    The "look" of this series is AWESOME!. The attention to detail in the design of NX-01 is out of this world!

    3.5 stars for me. 4 had they stayed home for awhile.

    Enterprise is my favorite Trek series. I love the premise of humanity taking its first steps into the galaxy. My wife, who is not at all interested in scifi, actually enjoyed Broken Bow. The theme song is uplifting and hopeful, and speaks of our potenial as individuals and as a species. Is the show perfect? No. But it's a lot of fun, espevially for someone who isn't a Trekker.

    Farpoint: pompous, arrogant, cliched, old-fashioned, badly acted, horribly written, cheese beyond belief, naff "sci-fi wonder" ending, too much posturing, doesn't even start with the launch of the Enterprise.

    Emissary: boring in places, cliched and embarrassing when Sisko meets the Prophets, an excellent idea for a new show, good acting, terrific villains, New, vibrant, interesting in places, but poorly paced.

    Caretaker: fun, exciting, excellent characterisation, interesting premise.

    Broken Bow: different, funny, exciting, contemporary albeit weak in places, a few genuine prequel moments, excellent sets and effects, the NX-01 has limitations and vulnerabilities that make it awesome.

    Of them all, DS9 easily went on to be the best show, TNG the most comfortable and reassuring, Voyager so-so but generally good, ENT the most disappointing with a total loss of direction which was regained way too late.

    Conclusion: the days of Bermaga should have ended with TNG/Voyager. Berman's lack of input into DS9 is telling - it easily outstrips the other Treks.

    I'd choose being stuck in a lift with Neelix over being at the opposite end of the same ship that had Malcolm Reid onboard.

    Thanks to TV networks I missed all of this until now - having brought the box set and now starting to work through it - after seeing most of TNG VOY and DS9 I think this definatly looks the best, even today the special effects and general cinematography stand up well.

    The power-ballad opening title track is a bit of a surprise.

    I enjoyed Broken Bow alot, i had low expectations of the series before watching Broken Bow and high expectations after watching it, for me it is the best Star Trek pilot and my favourite Enterprise episode.

    I genuinely can't remember much about this. I will have to go back and watch it again.

    This whole series could have been so much more but it is almost like they rushed this into production with Voyagers end.
    The idea of a clunky Starship being flown by people new to space travel is a great premise.
    I actually thought introducing the Klingons straight away was a mistake.
    First contact needed to be memorably disastrous to lead to the hostilities. This was all a bit wet.

    I watched this on first airing, and 15 years later didn't remember a thing about it apart from the jaw-dropping (for all the wrong reasons) scene where Trip and T'Pol oil each other up. And although I had forgotten, I soon remembered the soft rock horror of the opening tune too...

    So I found it unsurprising, therefore, that I found this fairly underwhelming and - although I hate to say it because it's something of a cop out for a watcher - boring. The plot to me is just too confusing, the key element of the Temporal Cold War is thrown out there but not really addressed, and at the end of the day nothing really seems to have happened. There also seemed to be a lack of fun to be had, as most of it was played in a fairly po-faced manner.

    Additionally, the characterisation doesn't really get off to a good start. Archer seems to vary from gruff to outright hostile and doesn't yet exhibit any endearing traits. T'Pol suffers a little from what others have correctly identified as a disappointing portrayal of the Vulcans as a whole. The rest are just ciphers as yet - and ones we've seen replicated on all the other series too.

    That said, production wise it looks a million dollars, the mood is satisfyingly retro, and the premise interesting enough. I only lasted 3 or 4 episodes before I gave up on the original run but I'm in it to the end here for good or ill... 2.5 stars.

    Besides the new opening song and that incredibly stupid decontamination scene I thought this was a good series opener.

    When this first aired I was unhappy afterwards, mostly because I was sure the "temporal cold war" was going to be an incoherent mess...and I think I was proven right. The series, while never great, improved once they put that idea to rest.

    The other night I watched this episode for the first time since it originally aired and thought it a was a decent episode. Nothing profound, but it did a good job of introducing the key characters while keeping a story moving. With 20+ episodes in the season and lots of time to develop all the characters, there wasn't any need to do any more introductions here.

    I don't have a problem with the Vulcans being somewhat obnoxious, as I don't really think that's inconsistent with their history. And yes, I don't have a problem with the decontamination scene. I'm OK with some sexy in my entertainment...and here (as Yanks pointed out) it does make sense that there would be something like this without the magical technology of later Star Trek series.

    In relating it to other modern Trek pilots, it is perhaps the most entertaining. "Encounter at Farpoint" really is a dull story without much happening. "Emissary" is probably the most intriguing but doesn't flow well as an episode. I don't remember having strong feelings (good or bad) about "Caretaker".

    Something worth noting is that every Star Trek pilot before this (including both "The Cage" & "Where No Man Has Gone Before" for TOS) has the crew coming face to face with something resembling a god. This is the only one that doesn't, although the aliens communicating from the future somewhat fill that role. It will be interesting to see if the new Star Trek pilot has that trope.

    Methane: I have a feeling that in this post-BSG/Lost sci-fi world, anything resembling god-like aliens (e.g. Q) is out the window. (Granted, BSG strayed into that territory in its later seasons, much to the ire of some come finale time, but they stayed well away from that stuff in season 1 at least.)

    The Klingon is to advanced looking considering TOS was further into the future. Finally a Star Trek launch with no god like beings and existential quests. Thee best first episode of any Star Trek series. (***.5)

    I'm rewatching Enterprise (for the first time, which is pretty amazing considering the number of times I've watched the other Star Trek series). I barely remember any of the plot of the entire show, though I remember liking it overall. . . just not as much as TNG, DS9, or VOY. I barely even remember the characters (in terms of things we learn about over the course of the show, I mean, I remember their faces). Mostly, what I remember is that I'm looking forward to seeing Weyoun whenever he shows up in blueface. What I do remember about the pilot is my initial impressions of the characters/actors, and my initial reaction to that ridiculous decontamination scene. Starting with that. . .

    I seriously almost fast-forwarded during the decontamination scene this time when I saw it coming up, because it's just SOO embarrassing/ridiculous, but instead I just kind of averted my eyes so I could still hear the dialogue. I mean, embarrassing for the people making the show who thought it was a good idea, not embarrassing for me. Makes me picture them as a bunch of horny 12 year olds. The ONLY saving grace of that scene is that the camera does give an equal amount of attention to Trip's body as to T'pol's, so as you said, AT LEAST they are trying to be equal opportunity pervs. Well, I take that back, they would have seemed like equal opportunity pervs if they had had T'pol in a lined bra or wearing pasties so her nipples weren't at full attention. I'm actually a bit surprised that Star Trek was allowed to highlight her nipples like that. Was ENT rated Mature Audiences? I'm no prude, but I just have trouble imagining how that scene ever made it into the final cut, once they saw how unbelievably gratuitous it really felt.

    Back to the initial reactions to the characters and actors. My reaction this time seems to be exactly the same as my reaction the first time. I like Scott Bakula, but he was miscast in this role. He's just to likeable/personable. He doesn't give off an air of command, though he doesn't come off as a big wimp or anything. I know what it is. Gravitas. He doesn't have it. And unfortunately for him, his brand of amiability feels off not because there's anything actually WRONG with his personality/acting, but because I can't help comparing him to the Captains of TNG, DS9, and VOY, who all oozed gravitas like it was their job. He just doesn't feel like a Star Trek Captain, because, have you SEEN Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, and Kate Mulgrew? Woah, now THAT'S presence!

    My initial reaction to T'Pol is the same this time, as well. She was also miscast. And once again, if I had never seen Star Trek before, perhaps I wouldn't pick up on it. But have you ever seen, on any incarnation of Star Trek, a Vulcan character (even a guest character), who acted less Vulcan? She is barely holding her emotions at bay on her face, and her voice is dripping with emotion at all times. I saw an interview a while back on youtube with Rick Berman talking about casting Enterprise, and it was totally creepy. He said they had seen Jolene Blalock and hadn't liked her for the part, because she had come for the audition without makeup on and they didn't think she was hot enough. So they asked her to come back for another audition with her makeup done to look hotter, and then they decided she would work for the part. What?! So you saw this (obviously extremely attractive actress) twice, to confirm she was hot, and you never asked yourself if she was a believable Vulcan? And instead of worrying about it, you made sure we saw her nipples as soon as possible? Really, there must be attractive women in Hollywood who can act AND show some nip, right?

    Finally, Trip is likable and fun, as I remembered, and cast just fine. (And since they FORCED me to examine him in his underwear, I can also confirm he has a nice body.) Which was not necessary for me to know, but whatever.

    The next most noticeable character for me in the pilot was Hoshi Sato. I can already say that she seems more interesting than Harry Kim. And I think her job is really cool. I'm in to languages, and the perfect universal translator has always been a bit of a cop out on the other shows.

    None of the other characters stood out to me much in the pilot, though I do seem to recall Phlox getting fairly interesting as the show goes on.

    Finally, an impression I had this time (that I don't remember occurring to me during the previous Trek pilots) is that there aren't enough females on the show. I just went online to see what the female/male ratio was on the other Trek shows vs. this one, because I know they're all low.

    The truth is, DS9 was the worst (25% of the main cast, then down to 22% when Worf joined the cast). DS9 I think managed to get away with this without it jumping out at me because Kira and Jadzia the (ONLY TWO) females on the main cast, made quite the impression. Both were very strong characters who really commanded the screen when they appeared. They were also 2nd and 3rd in command of the station (and I believe 2nd and 4th in command when Worf showed up}. DS9 is a bit of a different beast compared to the other Star Trek shows, because there were so many important recurring characters, male and female. According to Wikipedia, 15 of the 37 recurring characters were female, clocking in at 40%. That may have helped the show feel a little less male-heavy, especially important characters like both Kais, Keiko, Ziyal, Leeta, the Female Changeling, and Kasidy.

    Enterprise second from the bottom, with approximately 29% of the cast female. I don't remember anything about recurring cast on this show (other than blue Weyoun!), but I assume there won't be as many interesting recurring characters on this show as on DS9, 'cause that was DS9's thing. I think the reason it jumped out at me that this cast was so female-light was because there just weren't that many total characters in the pilot, and I only remember one female who wasn't in the main cast even opening her mouth (Sarin the Suliban). The other thing that made it jump out was because T'Pol wasn't meant to be part of the main crew, so she was an "outsider" in the pilot. Meaning that Hoshi is the only female who is "meant" to be on the crew. And she is a bit timid and seems to possibly be the lowest rank of all the main characters? So, the two females on the main cast are 1) The sex symbol officer who shows her nipples and isn't much of an actress, at least when it comes to portraying a Vulcan, and 2) The most nervous and lowest ranked officer.

    Finally, TNG and VOY each had a 33% female main cast. TNG did have a great recurring character in Guinan, as well as Ro Laren being memorable. Voyager had Ensign Wildman, Naomi Wildman, Mezoti, and Seska. Voyager definitely felt like the most female-friendly Trek cast, because the Captain, the Chief Engineer, and the "interesting and hot non-human" (Kes or Seven) were all females.

    Now that I'm realizing how terrible all of the Treks were at this, I'm a little annoyed. But that's the way Hollywood is. It's been shown that viewers are so used to the screen having more males that when a cast reaches 50-50, people imagine they're seeing a female-heavy cast. The point is, it's no wonder this episode felt low on females. It was.

    Ok, I'm going to get back to my rewatch. I remember being glad I had pushed ahead and chosen to watch the show the last time I did so. So I'm sure I'll be glad again. But it's a shame about the miscasting at the top. And that decontamination scene is really a shame.

    I like the intro song, and especially the imagery. It doesn't quite fit with the show (kind of pulls me out of Star Trek mode). But I like it anyway. Kind of moving and aspirational. Makes me want our own space programs to keep pushing forward. . .

    "Finally, TNG and VOY each had a 33% female main cast."

    To be fair to TNG, the main characters at the beginning were 3 men, 3 women, 1 android, and 1 boy sidekick. Worf wasn't planned to be a central character. Of course, one of the women left in the first season, and Worf essentially took her place as a lead character. Bringing Ro on was probably an attempt to rectify that imbalance, but of course that actress didn't stick around either.

    And actually, there was a lot of talk of adding a chief engineer in S1 and they were auditioning women. In fact, the first chief engineer we ever saw in episode 3 was a woman. The cast shook out a little differently than we expected, but had everyone fallen in love with her we could have ended up with a woman engineer, a woman doctor and a woman security chief.

    @methane and @Robert

    Honestly, the gender imbalance never occurred to me on TNG, VOY, or DS9. It wasn't until feeling like something was off in the Enterprise pilot that it ever even occurred to me.

    I realize that Tasha Yar leaving screwed up the gender balance on TNG, and I would take Worf over her any day. Thank goodness she left. And I loved Geordie as Chief Engineer, though that's cool they thought about a woman for that part as well. But look at that "3 men, 3 women, 1 android, and 1 boy wonder". So, for the android and child wonder, I guess they "defaulted to the neutral gender", eh?

    But really, I never minded the gender balance on TNG. I DID mind the number of Diana and Beverly episodes that had them falling for an alien of the week. "Falling for the alien of the week" is like the most boring overdone Trek theme, and it happened to the ladies (and to Riker) too much. And Levar Burton has said he didn't like how asexual Geordie was. Perhaps they could have let the ladies solve a few more ship-endangering dilemmas and gotten Geordie laid instead?

    "I realize that Tasha Yar leaving screwed up the gender balance on TNG, and I would take Worf over her any day. Thank goodness she left."

    That's interesting. While I don't think the actress was great, I think the biggest problem with the character was she was only on in the first season, when the writing was poor. I wonder what she would have been like had she made it to the 3rd season, when the show started to be good. Yar as a character has much in common with Ro & Kira: the Federation outsider with a rough childhood who didn't fit in perfectly with Star Fleet ideals. I think she would have been a strong character once the better writing staffs took over.


    The Vulcans are indeed not as we know them in Enterprise. However, you will discover why in Season 4, be patient! :0) As for T'pol the rumour is that she was going to be revealed further down the line as part Romulan, hence her emotions being closer to the surface than the average Vulcan. The only thing that annoys me about her is that her eyebrows aren't Vulcan in season 1.

    T'pol gets so much screen time in Enterprise that I haven't really noticed a gender imbalance. What I do think with Enterprise is that it doesn't have enough main characters compared to other Treks.

    I know I'm in a minority around here but I really like Archer/Scott Bakula. Yes the character can be boorish and impulsive and naive, but I think that's part of the point. Archer is the first human starship captain, he doesn't have a rule book, he's got to find out how to do it by trial and error. He does toughen up as the series progresses. He is very good with the Andorians, not the easiest of people!

    As for the embarrassing decontamination scene, the blokes get their kits off quite a lot in Enterprise (there is a scene with Bakula in the shower I rather enjoyed...) actually so the more I've watched the less inherently sexist I found the decontamination chamber. People seem to have physical bodies more in Enterprise, they sweat, they grow stubble, Malcolm has to go to the toilet in his space suit...

    Well, here I am, after idiotically delaying it, hoping binge this whole dumb show before Discovery airs.

    You know, given how desperately they tried to make this show accessible to wider audience, the pilot isn't all that friendly to newbies. It's not really hard to figure out what's going on, but I can see this being alienating to somebody new. It's only 17 minutes in they explain what is going and who are the pointy eared guys and it feels rather obligatory.

    This has a bit of an opposite problem with Emissary. While the introductions to characters there could get unnatural and overwritten, here they instead struggle to make much of an impression. They do define their characters more over the ep-well, except Reed, who here just has a funny accent and likes boobs.

    The tension between vulcans and humans is a good idea and probably response to dissatisfaction over how wasted the Maquis/Starfleet plot thread on Voyager was. Still, I found it really melodramatic here. I know, I know, this kind of thing is largely matter of personal opinion, somewhere else I would probably be telling somebody complaining about what an asshole my fave character was with "it's there for him to learn better, it's called character development", but there has to be something between being BFFs and barely restrained racial hatred.

    Everybody either complains about show's aesthetics either not being enough like TOS or DARING to even slightly emulate them instead of trying to look more "futuristic" (read: exactly as dated in few years), but I like the way stuff looks. I think they found good balance between staying true to Star Trek style, while still looking modern. Honestly, this actually makes the show look a lot less dated than if they made everything look like a freaking iPod.

    Thanks for the review, I enjoyed it and think it was very good. I watched only ds9 and the movies from Star Trek , but wanna watch it all starting from enterprise, I liked the pilot but not more than then liked, loved the small touches like the scope when t'pol wanted to look for trips signal , the gripller , the retro look of the different crafts, love the Klingon hate the new ones in the new series, what where they thinking destroying one of the most important races in the trek universe!!!!!!! Anyway give it a 3 stars, would have given it 2.5 but because its Star Trek had to give it 3

    Did this show need to revolve around another ship called Enterprise?

    In TOS, you got the feeling that Constitution-class starships were fairly common, and that Kirk's crew were tasked with doing routine jobs (checking in on prison colonies, exploring space, protecting planets, engaging in first contact etc etc).

    You also got the feeling that Kirk was exceptional at this job, that he achieved things no other captain did, and that his exploits, Earth-saving adventures and battles with Klingons and Romulans slowly made famous the name Enterprise. Heck, the Constitution class was already old when Kirk got one. You get the feeling that, rather than a priviledge bestwoed upon him, Enterprise was something Kirk, a hotshot rookie, nursed and made special and his own. Enterprise and Kirk made their names together.

    But by giving Archer an Enterprise, you make that ship and its name already a totem of prestiege. Suddenly Kirk's Enterprise is already famous, rather than something he pushed into the history books.

    Watching this series for the first time.... this theme song is so bad. I had to check ahead to see if they kept it on and can't believe it.

    @ Clark
    Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 2:35pm (UTC -5)

    I felt just like you the first time I watched it.

    It will grow on you over time.

    @ Clark
    @ Yanks

    Yes I concur with Yanks -- at first I couldn't believe how different the ENT theme song was from the prior series. I didn't like it, but it has grown on me big time and now I really like it.

    In fact, here's my ranking of the various Trek series theme songs:

    1) TNG / Star Trek: The Motion Picture
    2) ENT (S3 & S4)
    3) ENT (S1 & S2)
    4) TOS
    5) VOY
    6) DS9
    7) DSC

    Well, I just can't agree with the others. I felt that the theme song was exactly in the same vein as the Captain; folksy, unimaginative, and lacking the inspiring stature we need in order to see this as the hopeful future. This is the first Trek series that I felt had a definitively 'Americana' flavor to it on both counts, and I still associate both the song and the Captain with W's Presidency, as Trek did to the future what Bush did to the oval office: make it seem populated by an average bumpkin.

    Yeah, I'm with Peter and Clark on this one. "Faith of the Heart" is a song you'd literally hear droning on in the background of a supermarket in the 1990s. Who wants to watch Star Trek to reminded of something contemporary like that? It's not like it's even a bad song; it just doesn't mesh well with a show about the future.

    I just want to say that listing a generic pop song like "Faith of the Heart" above Jerry Goldsmith's wonderful theme for Voyager is an absolute joke.

    I agree that Discovery's theme is just as bad, though. I think Goldsmith would be turning in his grave hearing that one.

    Did some digging and found this quote from the "The Fifty Year Mission" oral history where Braga rags on it. Not sure if it makes me feel better or worse about it to know the people behind the show hate it just as much but still stuck with it.

    BRANNON BRAGA: Co-Creator and (Junior) Executive Producer.
    Rick and I felt that a song would set the slightly more contemporary feeling we were going after with Enterprise. For the longest time, we had a temporary song we cut the main titles to, U2’s “Beautiful Day.” If we had used that—or could have afforded it—that would have been a great song. Those main titles with U2 are amazing. It’s hip and cool, whereas the song we ended up with is awful. I’m a big fan of Diane Warren, she’s a great songwriter, but this particular song and the way it was sung was tacky. I still cringe when I hear it and, by the way, I think the song had a lot to do with people’s adverse reaction to the show. If you look at the main titles themselves, it’s a really cool sequence. But the song is awful, just awful.

    @ Clark

    Convenient for Braga to blame the theme song for ENT when he's to blame for lousy writing, weak characters -- that, more than anything else, doomed the series. Braga did write some great episodes prior to ENT, but he bit off more than he can chew by taking on a co-creator leading role for ENT.

    As for the theme song, it may not have a futuristic feel but it does speak to the journey of the 1st warp 5 starship and the unknown it gets to explore. I guess it will forever be one of the many polarizing topics about Trek.

    "Convenient for Braga to blame the theme song for ENT when he's to blame for lousy writing, weak characters -- that, more than anything else, doomed the series."

    I agree it's a little convenient to blame everything on the opening song, but he does have a point because it's the first thing you experience before all the stuff you listed even hits you. A show's theme song shouldn't be a polarizing topic. It should, at worst, be innocuous and, at best, be a little catchy. I think that's what the TOS - VOY shows had going for it with their theme songs.

    Even those of you like the song placement have to admit that it's radically different than anything Trek had ever done for an opening tune. And, even if you didn't like Discovery's theme, at least it shows a trend of going back to unique instrumental music.

    @ James
    Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 8:12pm (UTC -5)

    "I just want to say that listing a generic pop song like "Faith of the Heart" above Jerry Goldsmith's wonderful theme for Voyager is an absolute joke."

    Hard to top the master for sure, expecially when it's not orchestral.

    "I agree that Discovery's theme is just as bad, though. I think Goldsmith would be turning in his grave hearing that one."

    I don't agree here. I'm quite fond of Discovery's theme. Much more so that I was of Enterprises opener.

    A solid debut episode for Enterprise. As for the theme tune, well, it's utter tosh. Star trek musically works best with a classical theme tune that's grand and sweeping. Star trek discovery has a them tune that's quite classically modern and it grew on me. Not as epic as jerry Goldsmith or James Horner's score's but good enough. I think James horner was by far the most gifted film music composer that worked on star trek, and his subsequently illustrious career. His career mainly started with the music scores for star trek 2 and 3, which are absolutely incredible suites of music.

    Just watched the first 15 minutes of this to remind myself what the show looks like and the tone of it. I always remember how much I hate the title song but have mixed memories about the series proper. I know I felt S1-2 basically sucked, and that it began to slowly pick up steam, especially in S4.

    My report about the pilot is that it's just awful. The acting and directing is flat, the writing is really lame and perfunctory, and I think their character bibles and casting were disastrous. There's no one on this show who can carry my interest. I like Phlox a lot but his role is secondary at best. I have my problems with Voyager but it's clear-cut that at least they had a few solid people in the mix. Is anyone on this show solid? I don't believe for a second that Archer is a starship captain, and I sure as heck don't believe that Trip is an engineer.

    I think this pilot is what happened when the 'next generation' of Trek showrunners were totally in charge from square one. Voyager began during DS9's better seasons and although there was different management on each Pillar was still involved, and you know he cared. I don't think he did DS9 that many favors in terms of scripting but he cared about the franchise and the overall quality level. But ENT was Berman and Braga's very own, and it shows.

    This is *so* much worse than Encounter at Farpoint it's not even funny. That said, I'm quite sure that by S4 of this show it had surpassed Voyager's average quality and at least come back into 'acceptable' levels, although never 'good.' But the pilot...oh man. I actually remember back when it first aired, and I was nervous that I wouldn't like it. After watching the pilot I checked out and didn't want to see the show ever again. Years later I went back and watched it all out of obligation. It's hard to explain what it meant that I didn't want to continue watching a ST show back then. It meant so much to me, but crap was crap. I wasn't going to pretend.

    @ Peter G.

    I have never been able to get into ENT though I tried a few times. I think really the only characters I even remotely give a shit about are Trip and Phlox. For as good as Bakula was on Quantum Leap, he's not a compelling captain at all. The same goes for everybody else. Merryweather might as well not even be there, Reed should be a huge factor on this series but he's kind of just 'blah'. T'Pol is there for the T&A even though the actress tries..

    Hey at least Brent Spiner guested on a few episodes!

    @ Peter G:

    "It's hard to explain what it meant that I didn't want to continue watching a ST show back then."

    This is exactly how I feel about Discovery. I hate that I don't really like it and nothing sticks with me aside from it should've been so much more.

    I managed to watch maybe the first three episodes when it aired and then gave up. It wasn't "bad" per say the way Discovery is, but worse, it was just boring.

    I guess the problem for me was a lack of a sense of wonder, of the unknown. You would think that a show predating the Federation and the all-powerful ships we were used to seeing (with their magical technologies) would be exciting, but somehow it just felt like the writers couldn't really embrace this setting and before you knew it, transporters, universal translators and other staples of trek were seeping right back into the mix.

    Instead of feeling like a mission of exploration of a new frontier, it felt like they were exploring the same frontier with a shabbier ship and a dimmer crew.

    @ Del_Duio,

    I'm pretty sure somewhere in my subconscious it was the recent airing of Discovery that made me want to take another glance at Broken Bow, because ENT was really when I checked out of the franchise. I gave it another hearty try with JJ's reboots but I checked out of those pretty quickly too. My head canon consists mainly of TOS-TNG-DS9 and the first 6 motion pictures, with VOY in there for color even though much of it plays like a wild fantasy, or a captain's fevered nightmare. ENT barely feels like canon, and DISC definitely does not, and the TNG films are just weird.

    Peter I am mostly with you on the TNG movies which never quite meshed for me, even the generally well regarded First Contact.

    But I did give Generations another look recently, which I found kind of dull when it first came out.

    I still don't think that it was great or anything, but at least it felt like TNG, albeit like a mediocre later season episode.

    I think the big difference versus later movies was they still had my beloved Enterprise D. Scrapping that lovely ship amd all the memories and personality invested in it turned out to be a big mistake. Alot of the alienation I feel watching post Generations TNG films was that the Enterprise E never really had a soul. I just didn't care when they wrecked it in Nemesis and it seemed more like a plot device rather than an integral part of the world the characters inhabited.

    Fast forward to Abrams Trek where the Enterprise is as disposable as one of Voyager's shuttles and you see in part where the franchise went wrong on some level.

    @ Peter G

    Yeah I totally agree about the TNG movies. The best parts of Generations are the very beginning and all the Kirk stuff. That's saying something considering how much more I love TNG as a series and I find Picard to be a much superior captain and character.

    A solid premiere for ENT that does what a premiere should do and distinguishes itself from TNG, DS9, and VOY. It's a pretty basic story/plot but it establishes a number of things for the series to follow up on, so there are a number of interesting questions (like how did the Klingon/Suliban get to Earth, why are the Vulcans such assholes, what is this temporal cold war etc.). But for me, "Broken Bow" is the 2nd best Trek premiere (not counting TOS): clearly superior to "Encounter at Farpoint", a tad better than "Caretaker" and "The Vulcan Hello/Battle at the Binary Stars", but not quite as good as "Emissary".

    The first part is better than the second part and that's due to its freshness and setting the background. The second part is largely action and tech focused. Right off the bat, Archer makes an impression threatening to knock T'Pol on her ass -- he's a good, interesting character for me.

    The first part also benefits from scenes like departing for the first time, the Zefram Cochrane speech -- all the awe-inspiring Trek stuff. Not to mention the visuals, technology, filming are better than DS9/VOY. The idea of a prequel is great -- I like how this series doesn't take transporters for granted and the universal translator can't even handle Klingonese yet. So there are some very real challenges for Enterprise and so far that seems appropriately handled. The crew is naive but super curious, as it should be.

    The problem from the start with ENT is that, other than Archer and Trip, the other crewmembers are dull. Not a fan of how the Vulcans are portrayed and have to wonder how/why they've been allowed to hold back Earth's development for nearly a century -- ridiculous. Archer knows what his dad went through and that nags at him. At least at the end he grows and admits his grudges to T'Pol after she proves her worth.

    The Suliban are interesting villains here -- the quest for genetical enhancement is intriguing and the orders from the future is a good twist. I liked the idea of their pods, but the "time chamber" was weird and Silik comes across as supremely confident -- which is good for the recurring enemy. We can deal with having questions at this stage of the series. Not sure at what stage the Klingons are at in their technological development and it's not clear what exactly Klaang had in his blood that had to get to Kronos.

    Of course, Part II could have done without the decontamination scene -- completely pointless and stupid but it could signal there will be more gratuitous skin in future episodes. Turns out this sort of foreshadowing applies to plenty of "gunfight" scenes in future episodes. Here it wasn't bad, but the series did get repetitive with these kinds of action scenes, which quickly lose their effectiveness.

    3 stars for "Broken Bow" -- sets a high bar for ENT with some interesting background and, for now, decent action scenes but the characters really need to blossom -- only so much Archer and Trip can do. And finally "Faith of the Heart" was hard to get used to at the start (untraditional for sci-fi), but it has grown on me and I think it's a decent theme song for what ENT is all about -- the first real exploration of outer space.

    Okay.. I get that a lot fans of Trek found the decontamination scene in Broken Bow to be over the top and unneeded.. However, for me I thought while all of the dialog between Trip and T'Pol in the scene could have been said in say the Mess Hall and it would have carried more weight. The fact is.. ENT was trying desperately hold on to the fan base.. but in the end, and I admit it freely drove a lot of the die hard fans away in droves.

    Still that being said, when I first watched it when Enterprise debuted back in 2001, I was 23 years old... fresh out of the closet and then suddenly I got to see one of the main cast male characters in nothing but his tighty blues getting rubbed down with gel. While I had thought that Trip was cute from the first moment he appeared on camera with in the pilot episode and knew that his presence would be the reason for my continuing to watch ENT... The decon scene just locked my commitment. My only real complaint about is that someone asked Trinneer to shave his chest hair.. Doing so make him look impossibly younger... and as Conner said when asked about it. "All I remember about it was it felt really weird when it grew back in." as evidenced by his appearance in Desert Crossing running around shirtless.

    Add to that the scene with Bakula as Captain Archer in his quarters also in his underwear and once again I was amused... Both Scott and Conner have nice bodies... as the old saying goes.. "If you got it Flaunt it..."

    And for the straight guys in the audience we had T'Pol with her rock hard nipples. Fast-forward to season 3 episode "The Nursery" and we get to see the top half of her nicely shaped behind... and also the rather noticeable side boob (everything sans nipple) of the 3rd season opening episode.

    Bottom line (no pun intended)... Human's are sexual creatures.. and for anyone to say that it was embarrassing to watch two grown adults acting out a scene where they were only doing what was at the time standard procedure and thinking it didn't fit in with how Trek should be is laughable.. It was just some very nice eye candy for us the viewers to enjoy.. Oh and my final thought with Conner Trinneer (Trip Tucker) I have read many comments online that he was at least at "half mast" when this scene was shot... as the actor himself said it best. "It was about as asexual as it gets.. you have to remember that there were thirty people standing behind the cameras while Jolene and I shot that scene... It was about sexy for me as getting as having dental surgery..."

    Over all I still say, that Enterprise, is my second most favorite series after TNG... then DS9 and finally Voyager... I like one episode form the TOS only... Never could stand Shatner's bad acting!

    I watched this series for the first time a few years ago, after it aired but before I had any idea of or interest in the prevailing critical view of the show in the eyes of the fandom.

    I thought it was a decent show, though I’ve never been that sensitive to canon violations, which obviously was an issue throughout the course of the series (and especially in S3).

    Having now become aware of many of the criticisms, a couple of comments above me have compelled me to defend T’Pol. When I saw this first time, I thought Blalock was competently playing a Vulcan who isn’t very good at suppressing her emotions. Of course, the consensus of fandom is some combination of “Blalock is a terrible actress” and “the writers curled out a massive log on the concept of the Vulcans as outwardly emotionless stoics”. I think these reactions are somewhat hysterical.

    We know canonically that Vulcans are by nature far more emotionally labile and volatile than humans. We know that in their natural state, they are potentially a very violent race. We also know that they suppress these heightened emotions and that the techniques required to do so are learned in childhood over an extended period of time. We know that some young Vulcans struggle to accept the teachings of Surak and that they may even rebel against them (see Tuvok in Gravity). It stands to reason that anything that can be learned can be learned well, adequately, poorly or not even at all. There is even a precedent in canon for Vulcans who choose to reject logic and stoicism entirely and who instead embrace their emotions (Sybok in STV). It’s only the one-dimensional mentality that would see the Vulcans as a race of hats that would fail to accept that some Vulcans will be more or less “Vulcan” (i.e. emotionally controlled) that others.

    T’Pol, for reasons that are adequately explained over the course of the show’s run, happens to be one of those Vulcans who can’t keep the lid on her shit. Trashing the actress (though admittedly, she ain’t no Meryl Streep) or ranting about the defenestration of the Vulcans through T’Pol’s obvious emotionality seems to be a weird reaction to me.

    Very good pilot!
    Liked the pacing and how everything was set up.

    Much better than Voyager's and TNG pilots. (I have not seen DS9 yet).
    Really like Captain Archer. He has a cowboy kind of charisma. Reminds me of Kirk.

    @ Cesar Gonzalez

    I actually think "Broken Bow" is the best 1st episode of any Trek series, marginally edging out "Emissary". ("Where No Man Has Gone Before" to me is the best Trek pilot.) The first part, in particular, is quite strong, whereas the 2nd part descends a bit into the usual ENT action/firefights.

    I also like Archer mainly because I like Bakula as an actor. Out of all the captains, he is most similar to Kirk and I do agree with you on the "cowboy kind of charisma". This may be coincidental, I don't know, but it could also be by design in that, it seems to me that with the later Treks in terms of chronology (TNG, DS9, VOY) that captains were more restrained or collaborative. This may be a bit of a generalization (certain episodes might suggest otherwise) but I feel that Archer and Kirk were more sort of "old school" swashbuckling types.

    This was always a forgetable pilot for me. I saw it when it aired when I was just entering into teenagerdom, and I've more-or-less autopiloted through it on rewatch (I DO like ENT as a series)

    However, after striking a deal with my friend to learn how to play the keyboard so I could be in his extemely low commitment fantasy band, he agreed to watch Star Trek, which I'd hounded him to do for years. 1 hr of keys for 1 hr of Trek.

    I started with Enterprise. I was curious to see how a chronological newbie watch would go. We watched the pilot. He liked it. It went against his pre-concieved notion of what Star Trek was. (Which apparently was Voyager - so ringing endorsement there)

    He liked it so much in fact, that when my DVD started skipping (attempts to clean it have thouroghly wrecked it, gonna see if I can get a replacement) he took it upon himself to finish the 2nd half of the pilot.

    We're only two episodes in (he questioned Hoshi picking up an alien language that quick) but I think he'll stick with it. I do plan on skipping episodes, giving him an abbreviated Trek, cause when Trek goes bad, it goes BAD. He DOES say he wants to watch it all though... I planned to skip "Unexpected" for example, but I dunno... we'll see how it goes.

    I’ve never watched Enterprise before. I thought people were joking about the decontamination scenes. I have never seen anything so ridiculous. First of all, it’s not a sexy premise, they’ve got some kind of space fungal infection. Second, why can’t they do their own ears? I don’t really buy that these people aren’t fit enough to do their own backs, but they can certainly do their own ears. Thirdly, it’s just not sexy. The tension isn’t sexual tension, their dislike for each other has no chance of being transmuted into passion. It’s just two people who don’t like each other talking in a room, but half naked. You’re not wondering “ooh are they going to say sod professionalism?”. So the idea that it was okay to include such a stupid scene because it’s titillating is even more insulting, because it’s not titillating at all.

    Combined with the space strippers (again weirdly and aggressively not sexy despite clearly being there to be sexy, eating bugs is the opposite of sexy!) and as pointed out the two female characters being a competent cold woman no one wants around and a sad scared teacher, it’s such a step backwards after Voyager.

    I had real difficulty telling Trip and Reed apart in this episode, at least until they spoke. They have the same face! And they both seemed to be engineers. In the next episode Reed is a bit more firmly established as the weapons guy but it was very confusing here. All of the other characters have very different appearances to each other and also better differentiated characters.

    Apart from these issues I enjoyed it. I think they could have portrayed the Vulcans a bit better, but I like the idea also explored in the next episode that they don’t really explore like we do, for its own sake - or at least they don’t before getting the idea off us.

    Jammer’s reviews are excellent, and very helpful. I love everything about the Star Trek franchise, but only warmed to Enterprise on my 2nd viewing. Archer eventually grew on me somewhat, but I still cannot listen to the intro song.

    Longtime ST fan. Grew up with TOS already in syndication, stuck with TNG even after suffering though it's first season (never understood why EAF is often regarded as a strong opener, when it's plot was so painfully obvious to me!), enthralled with DS9's intricate series arc after initially dismissing it because "this is no starship"...and hoping that VOY would eventually shape up. The latter could have been so much better if they stuck to the original premise...stranded in the DQ and forced to limp back to AQ...enduring accumulated battle damage and dwindling resources the entire time. So when Enterprise came along and I heard the opening theme...I was reminded of Buck Rogers immediately and switched it off. Only catching glimpses of the show here and there. Usually, during some racy sequence like the decon chamber nonsense which only reinforced this comparison. Tho I did catch the Marauders episode nearly in it's entirety. The "Klingon bullies" pretty much sold the series as being a Buck Rogers ripoff as far as I could tell. Oh yeah...they won't be coming back now that Archer and co taught you guys to fall gracefully.

    Giving it another shot, after seeing that DISC is such a jumbled mess of a soap opera.

    To my amazement, this was a pretty strong opener that sets up it's characters well. Even though nothing was ultimately accomplished in that Klingons would "rather die than be rescued"...all of the crew is effectively defined right when you first meet them. Could be the strongest starting episode of any ST series, in that regard (I wasn't out of diapers when Mantrap first aired, but I can't see how that story impressed anyone very much). Voyager's opening comes close (yes, really!), but the whole "Caretaker" thing is rather forced instead of using an established method of stranding them (like DS9's own wormhole, for example).

    I still don't like the theme, tho. I keep having flashbacks to all those models making doe eyes at the camera.

    One additional gripe:
    Didn't early TOS episodes refer to them as Klin-Gon instead of Kling-On? The correct pronunciation used here kinda ruins the theory that they were just reflecting their own inexperience in dealing with little-known species in TOS S.1.

    @Nukey Shay

    Glad to see a fellow Trekkie rediscovering Enterprise! That show is criminally under-rated in my opinion (and yes, "Marauders" is regarded as one of the weaker episodes of the series).

    By the way, TOS's "The Man Trap" was never intended to be the show's first episode. The true pilot (and first episode by production order) is "Where No Man Has Gone Before", which is a far better introduction the ship and crew than the salt vampire one.

    That was to put the series opener of Enterprise into perspective when it initially aired. Where TOS is concerned, I wasn't watching the series opener back then...but those who were would have seen Mantrap. Just like that series, catching up with ENT in syndication means that I don't have the benefit of viewing this when it was new...other than the aforementioned snippets and Marauders which skewed my initial reception (perhaps?) pretty unfairly. In that regard, some plotlines and themes might not have aged well. TOS definitely doesn't, but I grew up with it so I love it to pieces regardless.

    The distrust of using their spiffy new transporter tech is a passable explanation for the decontamination process. But we all know why these were -really- written into the show instead of being conducted off-camera. Although unlike some other functions that we know must exist someplace, like using the toilet, I'm not opposed to seeing some skin (yet). Hope they don't dwell on this issue too much. Softcore pr0n is not known for compelling storylines. Neither are transporters, really (often used in other series as a cure-all solution...considering transporters originally only existed in ST to save Desilu some cash).

    Rambling now...I got some shows to watch.

    Just re-watched the pilot. Two things really irritated me that no one seemed to discuss. The first was the Temporal Cold War, because seriously??!! They're exploring space for the first time and that worn-out plot device is what you introduce??!! Even to the main character? The 2nd thing is Hoshi and Archer's dialogue in the Klingon capital, after Klaang completes the mission. The Klingon chancellor or whoever says something to Archer, and Archer says "I'll take that as a thank-you." Hoshi says "I don't think they have a word for Thank You." He asks what he said and she says "You don't want to know." What a lazy, cliche response! We know the Klingons, come up with something! How about "Drink well your enemies' blood" That sounds Klingon. Then Archer could have looked at Hoshi astonished, and she would shrug and respond "That's what he said!"

    I agree about the sex-the rubbing of the anti-contamination gel (or whatever it was) was just gratuitous and unnecessary. That is why I didn't watch the show when it came out. I found out later that they cut this out after awhile.

    That said, I do like the plot though. It's neat seeing the human crew before there was an established Federation, Prime Directive, or even much mutual trust between species (the Doctor's species being an exception-I really meant with Human/Vulcan relations

    When I first saw this, I was expecting a more hostile encounter with the Klingons-I am glad they subverted my expectations. Although it makes sense that the encounter was limited-they couldn't be too buddy-buddy after all!

    Bleh. Sure, early installments of new Trek shows are often clunky and flawed. But in Enterprise, it never gets better, all the flaws are set in stone right from the start.

    Commenters above are right- Bakula’s Archer has no gravitas. It’s hard to get excited when watching a wet dirty sock. There is at least an in-story reason, he got the job by nepotism. He’s got such a Sam Becket “oh well shucks” vibe, it’s hard to get excited.

    Personally, I don’t think Bakula is a very good actor at all.

    The premise that Starfleet isn’t out exploring because the Vulcans have held them back for decades is ... how shall we put this ... insanely ridiculously ludicrously absurdly laughable.

    I just watched it. The reason people can’t remember what happened is there’s practically no plot.

    Way back when this first aired, the klingon running through the field, into and out of the silo, the silo blows up— I couldn’t articulate what the problem is, now I think I can. It’s all very competent. The lengthy tracking shot of the Klingon running in the corn and the silo blowing up all nice and perfectly. The redneck farmer.

    It’s all perfectly competent and all perfectly soulless. I think Voyager’s premier suffered a bit of soullessness as well, but it at least had a plot.

    I honestly believe Precious Cargo is better than this premier.

    Saddened to read that Tommy "Tiny" Lister who played Klaang in this episode just died. When I read the news, I immediately thought of ENT's "Broken Bow" even though he's played far more notable characters (which I'm not really familiar with). The AP story doesn't even mention his role on ENT.

    Grim. Grimmer than Voyager and that wuz fuckin' grim. Oh boy! Quantum leap bollock merchant ran it into the ground.

    Would anyone bother giving this programme any thought at all if it didn't have Star Trek in the title ? I know it's the only reason that I bother to watch it. Apart from having Vulcans in it there is absolutely no relationship to the Trekverse whatsoever. What a dud!

    The idea of a temporal cold war was done better by Christopher Nolan in a 2020 movie, and that says a lot.

    Rewatching, way too much feels like reheated Voyager plus with some (still too much) trying to exploit the original show (or memories and cliches thereof) and other sci-fi cliches.

    This time I found Archer and Trip too annoying and T'Pol's switch to being more supportive of them and helping them way too forced, weak, unbelievable. Overall not really bad but far from impressive. Pretty similar to "Caretaker" while maybe it's nostalgia but I thought "Encounter at Farpoint" and "Emissary" were strong introductions.

    @Frake's Nightmare: funny enough, for the first two seasons, it was just called "Enterprise" because Paramount wanted to broaden the audience to non-Star Trek watchers. Yeah. Didn't work, so they changed it to "Star Trek: Enterprise".

    Enterprise Re-watch review, first watched in 2017

    I remember this episode as being ok, nothing stands out really

    Just finished re-watching Voyager. Had never seen Enterprise so decided to give that a whirl.

    I'm around twenty minutes in and the bland, bland sets and uniforms are irking me.

    One of the best Pilots for a Star Trek series. Certainly better than TOS and DSP. I'd out it below TNG and Voyagers though. Love that the Federation is still Omnivorous and didn't turn into a PETA nightmare

    I think this is a strong pilot episode. I'd probably rank the Trek pilots in this order:

    1) The Cage. It's just awesome classic sci-fi. With a bigger budget it could have worked as a feature film.

    2) The Emissary. I didn't love this one at first, but in hindsight it's a great intro to DS9 and The Sisko.

    3) Broken Bow. Action packed and looks great. Its entertaining and sets up all of the major characters.

    4) Where No Man Has Gone Before. A classic TOS episode. Very good, but the fact that we don't really know Kirk and Gary at this point lessons the drama a little bit.

    5) Caretaker. A pretty good episode sans the banjo scene. On paper this should have been an A+ episode but as is typical of Voyager something gets lost along the way.

    Ok... I'm going in. After the Disney Orville no season 3 infinite betrayal fiasco I will go where I never have gone before.
    I really dislike Archer. He's all negative male stereotypes combined into one obnoxious Teenager in the body of Scott Bakula. Daddy issues, insecurity issues (lots) and looots of Jingoism. Then there is brown haired Seven which was pretty often right but had zero charisma. I also remember a blond guy who was in very good shape. Oh and discount Robert Picardo. I stopped watching somewhere in season 1. Let's see how far I can make it this time.

    uff after 2 min. I remember that they started with that time war story. oy vey...

    FWIW last time I tried to re-watch Broken Bow just to remind myself what it was like I didn't get through it...

    @Peter G.

    I quite liked "Broken Bow" and Archer in particular -- as I said in 2018 in response to "Cesar Gonzalez", he was the most like Kirk and I think in later Treks the captains weren't as swashbuckling overall. I think in Trek's "implicit" canon, perhaps there were some changes in Star Fleet's captain training post-TOS so I like how ENT is more like TOS in regards to its captain. Also, Bakula is among the better actors who portrayed captains in Trek.

    I think some of the allure of "Broken Bow" is lost given that most who watch it are already very familiar with TNG, DS9, VOY and so it might seem a bit underwhelming but, as a pilot, it is a better story than "Caretaker" and certainly better than "Encounter at Farpoint".

    Ok, so one thing is very confusing from the start, Mayweather looks like he is as old as Trip and looking it up confirms it. The actor is two years younger but one is ensign the other senior LT.
    Archer is super annoying from the start and thank god for that program that skips the intro.
    It's all coming back to me now. Archer's father constructed the ship. Nice to see that nepotism is still a thing.
    Uh one of the yellow guys played the tal shiar leader on DS9!
    Woah the doctor has a real creep smile.
    Mayweather bragging about having touched all the breasts of a three breasted alien...
    Also good to know that the Human diet still includes 70% beef. At least the dinner scene included a person we haven't meet before, a non douchy Archer. Sadly he past that job to Trip.
    Naked women eating butterflies... must have suppressed that.
    Considering that the Suliban are so super engineered they still seem pretty bad at everything.

    It's also very confusing that the guy who play Archers father was on Mad Men.
    Oh the infamous shower scene... what was more distracting, Trip's body or T'Pols erect nipples. I guess we know now why these two are on the show.

    So Archer, by pure coincidence, walks into the temporal room where all is planed?! Then the main baddy has a severe case of stupidity. After a schlocky conversation Archer uses stroboscope lights to overcome main baddy. Well, maybe next time maybe post a guard in front of you super secret room or, I don't know, PUT A LOCK ON THAT DOOR!

    This is all fairly bad, especially the temperal cold war story, is a huge mistake. I guess I still enjoyed it more than any NuTrek opener.

    The temporal cold war was the millstone around the neck of the show, dragging it down for the first three seasons out of four. It's the showrunners proving that they didn't trust their own premise, constantly trying to juice it with flashy empty gimmicks, with the TCW the one they just couldn't let go. And it sucks. Each season was just saturated with these time travel TCW shows. It was fucking inescapable.

    In that context, the series finale actually makes perfect sense. They never wanted to tell the story they were telling right from the pilot.

    I think the individual TCW episodes are pretty good. The problem is the same as with a lot of serialized shows: the writers have no idea how to end it. So you end up with a bit of a shaggy dog story.

    @Peter G
    I get that. The show is obviously aimed at horny, insecure teenagers (three breast, naked butterfly strippers, shower scene, all female crew members are young and very attractive) that it is off putting but there is so much more. It's like watching a marathon(g) runner break his/her legs on the first 50m. The Klingons, during their very rough period, are only a few days away??? Why didn't Humanity end up in the bellies of the Klingons?? I really don't know if I want to continue. This show should have gotten the title "last Trek show" because it seems fairly desperate. One positive thing about Discovery was that it tried a lot of things, none of them worked but at least there was an effort. This seems tired. I was really sleepy when I watched it and almost quit 20 min before the end.

    @Jason R
    Yeah, I blocked that out. What were they thinking? Nothing makes sense right from the beginning. Starting with time travel shenanigans is an awful idea. First of all, the Suliban really really suck. They fail against one ship with worse tech and lose lots of people in the process while only hitting Archer, giving him a quickly healed burn wound. They don't prevent the Klingon from reaching his homeworld and reveal their super secret base in the process. Could this have gone any worse?? I really hope that this voice from the future is actually not from the future because that would be the only way that any of this would make sense. I mean, how is he surprised by anything. He says that he didn't want to involve the Vulcans and Humans at that point?? YOU ARE FROM THE FUTURE!


    "I think the individual TCW episodes are pretty good. The problem is the same as with a lot of serialized shows: the writers have no idea how to end it."

    Yes, this is pretty much the case, especially your 2nd sentence. The TCW as a concept has its flaws and it is structured so as to spend a lot of time on exposition, posing questions and not providing answers, and then it wraps up quite quickly and suddenly with "Storm Front" at the start of S4. But as with a lot of long arcs, the early expository stages don't need to provide answers and the viewer is pretty much fine with that. So in ENT's case, you get a number of good TCW episodes like "Broken Bow", "Cold Front", "Shockwave" etc. But I found "Storm Front" disappointing for how the TCW wrapped up. Even on my first viewing of ENT, I could gradually start to see it struggling to wrap up the TCW appropriately. And there was also the growing desire to get more resolution even though there were interesting pieces being added to the puzzle. But I'd say, having watched ENT a few times, that those early TCW episodes still hold up well. And ENT as a series, for me, is on par with VOY.

    I have never commented on this Star Trek show, it took me a while to form real opinion's and I love to talk "Trek". So here I am.

    I happen to enjoy Broken Bow, I thought It was a very good introduction to Enterprise. I especially liked the 7 foot Klingon, (Tiny LIster), aka Klaang, Zeus, etc, He was kind of scary.

    Next, this show forced me to not like Vulcan's and deal with each one as an individual and not accepting them just because they are Vulcans. I never would have thought that Vulcans could be so duplicitous; they made the pre-Federation believe they were helping them build a warp capable ship, when all the while they were judging them not worthy or not to be trusted with this knowledge. To what gain? Only to let them move as slowly as they did, I am sure they realized humans do not live for hundreds of years. Also, since they are supposed to be superior to humans, they did not realize how adaptable humans were, and how quick they learn.

    T'Pol is a good example, They did not really place her on the ship to supervise, but to gain information and try to control them, basically changing them to Vulcans. But the tables turned and she became more like humans and them not like Vulcans.

    I loved Captain Archer, but he did not start out as a good Captain, He functioned like a grinning idiot. He was so excited about exploring he almost got the crew killed, more than once. He knew T'Pol didn't want them to visit the Shrine, but she could have protested stronger but she did not and look what happened, they were beated pretty badly bye Shran's men. I am glad he learned to restrain himself and meet people who would become his friend.

    All in all it is a decent show, at least the 1st and the 4th seasons are very good. A few episodes in the 2nd season were pretty good but other than those, it went flat.
    I believe that Scott Bacula, Jolene Blalock, Linda Park, Anthony Montgomery, Connor Trinnear, Dominic Keating and john Billingsley did pretty good job considering the writing was very weak and shaky. I truly understood when Jammer described the scene with Trip and T'Pol as comical, They were discussing a subject they disagreed upon and he accused her of holding humanity back just like the Vulcans a hundred years before, all the while applying anti-parasite, disease fighting gel or cream, was to evoke a sexual response, ha. was ludacris!!

    During the first season, they won the game with more hits than misses, 2nd season half and half, and it went down hill with that one year war and one lone ship against a whole world of enemies insulted my intelligence.

    I really regretted hearing about Tommy "Tiny" Lister, I remember most from Posse, with Mario Van Peebles, Lister played Obobo.

    I am rating the Pilots to the Star Trek series I have seen:
    1) Emissary. Little slow in places but was intelligently written. The writers were able to draw together all of its characters together despite the tensions and set a good pattern that did not stray, just got better.

    2) The Cage, very good beginning and better than any other Sci-fi show of the era, actually "ground breaking."

    3) Broken Bow, clearly a good episode which exposes the Vulcan's prejudice and bias toward Humanity, (ridiculous) and the pressure for Archer to succeed.

    4) Farpoint Sta. Could have been better without the ridiculous, crimes against humanity trial by Q, The story was just all over the place. Kind of funny.

    5) Caretaker, Started off interestingly enough, but the writers dropped the ball on this one, "What Captain in all of Star Trek would ever purposely maroon their crew in the Delta Quadrant?" They would have died first. They could have found another reason they ended up there, but not deliberately. They should have arrested and shot her.

    Dear Ms V,

    You seem to have made a similar experience as I did. Althoug we probably does not have the similar taste regaring seasaon four. I did not really like it. First time watching it was not really a hit but some years later I leaned back and tok the episodes for what they were snd enjoyed thos I wanted to enjoy.

    I had most difficults with Trip. If we was supposed to pla a single minded engineer I supose that is the reason. I did not have any problem with Maywether. A lot seem to dislike him because he did not get or take enough space. Of coures Plox is a very likable and enjoyable charcater.

    The tricky things with sf is to decide which limits you have for breaking the social or physical laws. Whenever I get irritated I try to take a step back and ask myself , what was the basic theme of the episode. That makes it easier to accept all the idiosyncratic crap.

    When you say that the one year war and them saving the earth was crap, have you watched Discovery?

    I managed not to be to irritated on this quite typical heroic saga.

    One thing that I liked about enterprise whas that the ship was realively tîght. I was not this spaceship with 4 meter high large rooms. It was very much smaller.

    Definetly having both Plox and T'Pol on board gave them the possibility to contrast two very diffrent cultures. I did never seen any disrespect from T'Pols side ragarding the denobulans although ther culture definetly are more far away from Vulcan then Earth.

    Enterprise had many good episodes. I hope I will rewatch it again in 4 or 5 years time.

    Watching this series for the first time!

    I thought this first episode had a poor plot, decontamination scene was more cringe than hot, I kinda like Archer and the crew, though, and it looked great visually! I like the opening theme song, I guess I’m in the minority on that.

    Looking forward to the rest!

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