After a recap of the season finale, which
has been played almost non-stop this whole week, fans were
thrust into the fantasy, action, and dumb title sequence video
that is Enterprise. This time last year we were raving
over the pilot of a new series. And this year we're raving
over a season premiere that feels like a second pilot.
Picking up exactly where we left off at the
beginning of summer, Captain Archer must find his way home
to the 22nd century while his crew takes back control of the
Enterprise. Along the way we experience all the wonderful
things that gave this show such a surprisingly good first
First the computer animated landscapes come
to mind. Unlike other Trek shows, Enterprise
has been all computer graphics from the beginning. The starships
on Enterprise have been very captivating, like the
Vulcan science vessel with its impulse ring or the network
of Suliban cells connecting to their helix - both of which
made an appearance this week. However, in the first season
animated scenes of buildings on planets looked like something
from Civilization III for the PC. Not this year! The wasted
landscape of the 31st century, with its gutted skyscrapers
and archaic library, was as impressive as most film effects.
But effects alone don't make a series (unless
it's Star Wars). All seven main actors returned this
season - no one was Denise Crosby'd. The acting was well-rounded
as usual, with the exception of the final scene where Scott
Bakula delivers a line that sounded like an impression of
Captain Kirk. Linda Park's proto-Vulcan T'Pol was more interesting
than ever, with her cutting logic and suppressed emotions
and needlessly exposed midriff. And those other guys were
pretty good, too.
But you know, it's the story that keeps us coming back. TNG was "retired" because the execs felt
there were no more stories for that generation (well, except
for four more - one to come to theaters this winter).
Enterprise has a very strong continuity.
Each individual episode links to another, taking the shape
of one really long story, instead of 100 or so short ones.
In the final scene of Shockwave, Captain Archer delivers
a speech like the one he did in the pilot. But this declaration
was that of a sophomore after finishing that awkward freshman
year. "We've learned from our mistakes, and we're going to
make plenty more of them. And we'll learn from those, too!"
The characters may make plenty of mistakes
(resulting in suspenseful and entertaining episodes) but Enterprise's
first year was by far the best first year any Trek spin-off
Here's to a new year of trekking with the Andorians, Suliban, and Derek McCaw, who would be good in