The Enterprise Docks at
By Kevin Miller

Redefining the word "Spin-off."

The first two scenes rolled by in such a blur, I had to re-wind my tape twice just to make sure to catch everything. The touching scene with Daddy wasn't nearly as interesting as our first glimpse of the Suliban, and the first Klingon to meet Earthlings.

And quickly came the thing I wasn't expecting: the title sequence. I didn't think it would be in the series premiere, nor that it would be a near-rock video, skimming the history, and future, of exploration. This was all very cool, and very different, and very hard to watch on a hushed big screen TV - at midnight, as to not wake up any roommates.

I was partially waiting for the familiar monologue to return. You know, "These are the voyages of the star ship Enterprise… Its brand new mission, to pretend we've never seen any of these alien races. To boldly make more money that anyone has ever made before. Dun dun dun dun dun…

Of course that wasn't there, but what was, mixed in with the credits, was the familiar -

Based on "Star Trek"
Created by Gene Roddenberry.

We've seen this in the opening sequence for every single project since the original series. All the movies and series have paid their respect to, as some call him, "The Great Bird of the Galaxy" (why they call him that, I don't know).

I didn't think much of this, fast forwarded through the commercials and began to celebrate the holiday we Trekkers and Trekkies enjoy every seven years - the birth of a new series.

I was very impressed. Enterprise reaffirmed what I had imagined while reading all the hype. This is a high concept show. They wanted to show the fear of entering space. They did that. They wanted to show the transition from today's humans to the 23rd century morally evolved humans. They did that, too.

On every other Star Trek show you watch as the crew beam feet-first onto planets. Not worrying about alien viruses, or bizarre anomalies, or fuzzy grain eating pillows. It always seems so dumb. They could solve so many problems if they just did a quick sensor sweep of the planets inhabited by evil-life-sucking-oil slicks and the like. Well, as we learned from the ignorant humans on Enterprise, the casual attitude toward danger is the result of many years of being terrified and confused by the final frontier.

Part of the early Federation's unexposed view of the universe comes from the Human-Vulcan relations of the 22nd century, which were (raise Nimoy's eyebrow here) "fascinating." The Vulcans virtually ruled Earth for fifty years. Yes, it's very dramatic, but not very… well, not very Vulcan.
Vulcan uniforms sure were different back then.

And speaking of Vulcan, how about that rub down scene? There was virtually no point to that sequence. It was straight out of the "The Gratuitous Sex Scene Handbook," complete with erect Vulcan nipples. It's not just their ears that are pointed.

The special effects were fantastic. [No, not the sex scene - yes, it's hard to forget - but we need to move on]. The flight sequences with the Suliban gave a hands on feel we've been losing for so many years. Enterprise was fighting inside a class-seven gas planet, using grappling hooks and polarized hulls.

It was very difficult to imagine Picard's Enterprise NCC 1701-D, engaging in a dogfight, since his ship was so incredibly powerful. The thing could fight for itself. Enterprise NX-01 needs a talented crew to survive. And survive it had better, since it's the sexiest looking ship since the Defiant [no -- still not talking about the sex scene, sorry].

When it was over, I let the tape roll into the credits to catch next week's trailer. While frantically trying to remember all the executives, technicians and creative consultants, I reflected on the opening sequence.

Based on "Star Trek"
By Gene Roddenberry

That hasn't been a true statement for a long time. The Next Generation was inspired by Star Trek. Roddenberry himself created the concept of taking the Star Trek mythos and moving it forward 75 years. The first six movies were definitely based on Star Trek - they starred the original cast.

But the following four movies (including Star Trek X: Nemesis just greenlighted this week) have been based on TNG. Deep Space Nine and Voyager were also set in the universe of The Next Generation. In fact both series began with a quick 30 seconds worth of text, quickly explaining what had been happening in the Star Trek universe. They weren't spun off of Star Trek, but of The Next Generation.

Enterprise has done what The Next Generation did 14 years ago. Instead of copying the world created by TNG, they have taken a new approach to the galaxy, to technology, to aliens. Captain Archer and crew exist 150 years before Kirk and Spock, just as Picard lived 75 years after. And the fact that they dropped the title Star Trek makes it even more of a spin off, rather than copying the familiar formula: STAR TREK: NAME OF SHOW.

Enterprise is the first title of the franchise since The Next Generation to be truly based on Star Trek, by Gene Roddenberry.

And for the first time in what seems like 150 years, The Great Bird would be proud.

We now return you to your fanboy fantasies.

Kevin of Nine

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