Introducing Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch!


Twenty years ago, the United Paramount Network created a show that was simply called Business. It was the fourth spin-off of Star Trek and the first of those four to not have those two words at the top of the title. This aesthetic decision was overturned for its third season, renamed Star Trek: Enterprise, this is how it is currently identified on home video and streaming services, etc.

From next week I will do a Business Review once a week every Monday.

Business differed from its predecessors in several respects besides its initial avoidance of the words “star” and “trek” in its title. To begin with, rather than continuing the story of Trek forward, they decided to follow the lead of this other space opera franchise that starts with the word “star” and do a prequel. As The phantom menace rewind the clock decades before Star wars, Business dated back a century before the original series (and also a century after the time travel portions of First contact) to show Earth’s first forays into space beyond the solar system.

After moving away from the square-jawed white-type model for spinoffs, we get Scott Bakula’s Jonathan Archer to be a stereotypical manly hero type, having opted for the middle-aged brain captain in TNG, a colored man in DS9, and a woman in Traveler. (That said, Bakula was the same age when Business debuted in 2001 as Sir Patrick Stewart was when TNG debuted in 1987, but Stewart was playing much older than Bakula.)

The most painful for the franchise, Business was also the first (and so far the only) Trek the fallout to fail in the market. Its three predecessors all ended on their own terms after seven seasons, and the five ongoing series that have been produced since are still in production. Business was terminated by UPN after four seasons, and this cancellation in 2005 ended an era of Trek on television that started with TNG in 1987 and will only return Discoverydebut in 2017.

Having at this stage covered all the previous ones Trek show in rewatch form (the original series from 2015-2017, TNG from 2011-2013, DS9 from 2013 to 2015, and Traveler from early 2020 until last month) and also reviewed all Trek show since 2017, it’s pretty much inevitable that I’ll complete the set, so to speak, by reviewing Business.

Like with Traveler, my initial reluctance to see the show again arose out of my own dissatisfaction with the show when I first watched it at the turn of the millennium. However, as with Traveler, I think the show deserves a second chance with the distance of two decades, and to be seriously reconsidered.

Screenshot: CBS

In the vein of my previous four Trek rewatches, the entries will be divided into categories:

Captain’s Star Journal. A summary of the episode’s plot.

Can’t we just reverse the polarity? Science and technobabble, used in the episode.

The gazelle’s speech. What Captain Archer did in the episode.

I was trained to tolerate offensive situations. What T’Pol did in the episode.

Florida man. What Trip Tucker did in the episode, which will be done in the style of Florida Man’s Twitter feed.

Optimism, Captain! What Dr. Phlox did in the episode.

Ambassador Pointy. What Ambassador Soval did in the episode.

Good boy, Porthos! What the best character on the show, Archer Porthos’ companion beagle, did in the episode.

Vulcain’s Scientific Department has determined … For the use of Vulcans in the episode.

Blue villains. For the use of Andorians in the episode.

Qapla ‘! For the use of Klingons in the episode.

Better to take MACO. For the use of MACOs in the episode.

No sex, please, we are Starfleet. This will cover sexual and romantic relationships aboard the NX-01.

More on that later … Something from the episode that “establishes” something we’ve seen in one of the other previous series but takes place further into the future.

I have faith … A memorable quote from the episode.

Welcome aboard. List of guest stars.

Trivial questions: Various trivial questions, including continuity hits, behind-the-scenes stuff, and other random stuff about the episode.

It has been a long road … My opinion on the episode.

Distortion factor rating: The least important part of the rewatch entry, a rating out of ten for the episode, 10 being one of the best Trek episodes ever made and 0 being one of the worst.

Thanks to various people on my Facebook page who made suggestions for category titles (and categories). Stay tuned for the “Broken Bow” review right here on Tor.com!

Keith RA DeCandido will also review each new episode of Star Trek: Discovery season four when it premieres later this month.