Monday 3 May 2010

Watching: Enterprise - just finished watching season 4, and while I have to agree with the consensus that it was finally finding its feet, it was entirely apparant that the production process was determined to weed those instances of promise out of the show and keep it as locked into the Trek formula as possible, meaning it was probably best to put the whole franchise out of its misery when they did. There's a great bit in Observer Effect - an otherwise forgettable one-off where 'Enterprise yet again encounters classic Trek aliens before anyone else and there's a perfectly logical reason why no-one knew about the incident' - where the ship's doctor delivers news to the captain that two of the crew have five hours to live, and instead of the blaring omnipresence of the incidental music as per usual, there's several seconds of silence before the cut to the ad break which focus entirely on Scott Bakula's admittedly passive, emotionless face. It's an effective dramatic beat, I thought.
The show's final episode remains as poor as I remember, however, not least because it's an objectively badly-written piece of television whose narrative hook is that it's a replication of events being observed by someone in the future, yet many scenes bafflingly take place outside that observer's purview. The regular cast is reduced to guest-starring roles, too, playing second fiddle to characters and plots from an early and not particularly well-regarded Next generation episode, the final indignity arguably being when one of them bites the dust off-camera, which is just... wow. I have no clue how the show's creators could care so little for their own creations that they became the bitches of a show off the air for over ten years, but that's where Enterprise ended up and I suppose that's why it probably deserved the title of "the Trek show even Trek fans won't watch" that dogged it at the time.

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