Trekathon Season Review: Enterprise, Season 1

February 27th, 2013

Better than I expected. A lot better, really.

Enterprise is the one Trek series that I’d never spent much time on, and what I’d heard at the time it was on TV wasn’t good. So my expectations were set pretty low. But the show has generally been good, certainly a lot better than the last couple of years of Voyager.

One of the things that’s helped with that is that it feels like the show is made by people who love Star Trek. Unlike Voyager it’s a show that revels in the whole background created over TOS, TNG and DS9. Every episode brings some new callback (well, more or less).

The other great piece of continuity is the set design, effects and sound. The overall design of the show feels like a carefully designed midpoint between ‘modern NASA’ and ‘TOS’ designs. It makes the show feel like a genuine prequel, but also makes it feel more like ‘future history’ than anything else Trek has done.

The individual episodes have largely avoided ‘awful’, with the exception of Acquisition. There hasn’t been a true classic yet, but The Andorian Incident and Shuttlepod One came close, and the opening Broken Bow two-parter was pretty good as well.

And there are some interesting well rounded characters, each of whom has had an interesting moment of focus so far.

The main weakness has been the overarcing ‘time travel’ plot. Time travel is a fraught area, hard to right and confusing even when done well. It’s been confined to only a few episodes, but it’s been a real mixed bag then.

So where does this season fit in my rankings? The easiest reference is to the other first seasons – well ahead of TNG, a little ahead of Voyager, but probably just behind season 1 of DS9 due to the couple of truly great episodes that season had. So that takes the rankings to:

The very best of Trek:

  • TNG Season 6
  • DS9 Season 2

Strong performers:

  • DS9 Season 5
  • TNG Season 3
  • TNG Season 5
  • TOS Season 2
  • TNG Season 4
  • VOY Season 4

Mixed bag:

  • TOS Season 1
  • DS9 Season 4
  • DS9 Season 1
  • VOY Season 5
  • ENT Season 1
  • VOY Season 1
  • TNG Season 7

Not good:

  • DS9 Season 3
  • DS9 Season 6
  • VOY Season 6
  • VOY Season 3
  • TNG Season 2
  • TAS Season 1

Really just awful:

  • VOY Season 7
  • VOY Season 2
  • DS9 Season 7
  • TOS Season 3
  • TAS Season 2
  • TNG Season 1

That’s 663 watched, 29,643 minutes, and 90.21% complete. 106.170 words written. 74 to go. Enterprises’s second year, and the last of the TNG movies coming up next.