Trekathon Season Review: Enterprise, Season 4

May 6th, 2013

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

So to start, this season needs to be considered in two brackets. Firstly, the five ‘standalone’ episodes: three awful (Bound, These are the Voyages… and Daedalus), one average (Home) and one OK-ish (Observer Effect). By any measure, a pretty bad year here.

But then there are the seven multi-part stories: one bad (Storm Front), one average (the Terra Prime two-parter), one OK-ish (the Augments trilogy), one good (the Andoria/Tellar trilogy) and two excellent (the Vulcan trilogy and In a Mirror, Darkly). With the exception of Storm Front, these were all about digging into the origin stories of the Trek that we know from earlier (and therefore later) series. Given my entire project, these episodes were always going to appeal to me more than the average run. The Vulcan trilogy mainly rescued the series from some continuity problems. But the mirror universe story resurrected a plot that DS9 had ground into dust.

Overall that’s the very definition of a mixed bag, with as many great episodes as there are terrible ones. There are only four other seasons with as many great episodes (TNG 4, 5 and 6, and DS9 2). But there are also only two others with as many terrible episodes (TOS 3, TNG 1). In the end it’s a nose ahead of Voyager Season 5 on the great episodes, but just behind DS9 Season 1 because of the terrible ones.

That brings the final league table 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
  • ENT Season 3
  • TNG Season 4
  • VOY Season 4

Mixed bag:

  • TOS Season 1
  • DS9 Season 4
  • DS9 Season 1
  • ENT Season 4
  • 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
  • ENT 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

Overall Enterprise is clearly substantially better than Voyager, and clearly not as good as TNG. But what about the Original Series? They have similar numbers of episodes overall (80 for TOS versus 98 for ENT), and similar numbers of excellent episodes (6 for TOS, 7 for TNG). But Enterprise never got as lost as TOS Seaosn 3 managed, so by a nose I’m giving this one to Enterprise.

That makes the final series league table:

  • Deep Space 9
  • The Next Generation
  • Enterprise
  • The Original Series
  • Voyager
  • The Animated Series

That’s 736 watched, 32,533 minutes, and 99.61% complete. 115,585 words written. 1 to go. Only the one movie left now. At least until the 9th.