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Enterprise: Change Is Inevitable

"Should I stay or should I go?"

This week Enterprise is stuck in a temporal wormhole the experts call "rerun." And while we all have to suffer from Trek withdrawals, the break gives us the opportunity to look into the future of Archer and his crew.

While the three previous Star Trek spin offs have been different in content, they've all had dramatic similarities. Each show has lasted only seven seasons. Each series was launched with a certain alien race written to be the human's arch villain but then around the third season a new alien race became the lead bad guy.

Enterprise is only in its third season but there is no reason to believe the show won't go seven years. (Don't you even try to say they'll pull an Old Yeller and put down Star Trek. If Voyager can go seven rounds then so should a show that doesn't suck.)

And Enterprise has already gone through the arch nemesis metamorphosis as discussed at length here and the follow up here.

The next big Star Trek milestone is the dreaded Cast Change. It's like puberty for TV shows. The Cast Change is a direct sign the show is growing up, but right when it happens it's not a pretty thing.

The Next Generation's cast was shaved down to a manageable size when Denise Crosby left her role as Tasha Yar in season three. And things locked into place in season four when Wil Weaton's character Wesley Crusher went off to school.

In the fourth season of Deep Space Nine the writers were forced to add The Next Generation's Worf (Michael Dorn) to boost ratings and thicken the plot.

Since there can only be one short-haired blond girl on a Trek show, Jennifer Lien's character Kes was replaced by Jeri Ryan as the legendary Seven Of Nine in Voyager's fourth season.

Some characters were written out because the actors playing them wanted to leave. Others were written in because the show needed action. And still others were just plain obliterated.

Poor Kes.

Enterprise is over halfway through its third season. If there is going to be a Cast Change it will most likely happen at the top of the next season. But the seeds will be planted now.

So what will happen next year? Will a member of the present cast be asked to stand down? Probably not Archer, T'Pol or Trip, as it seems all the episodes center around them. Dr. Phlox, Lieutenant Reed and Ensign Hoshi are occasionally allowed to step into the spot light from time to time. Their characters have a unique take on man's first deep space adventure.

But Ensign Mayweather… just what does he add to the show? He's as bland as baking soda. I'm not saying that Enterprise is looking to write him off… but if there has to be a character to leave then my money is on Mayweather.

Poor guy.

But the question is - who will be added? Here are some characters to consider, based on the state of the show and the past Character Changes.

  • Major K. Butt: When Enterprise entered the Delphic expanse they picked up a squad of Space Marines. They're bad asses. One of them could rise to Trek Stardom and add more action to scenes.

  • Nevik the Vulcan: Once the Enterprise finishes with the Xindi they have to return to Earth, and the Vulcans will probably want to station a Vulcan officer on Enterprise. Unless they reinstate T'Pol, they may put a Vulcan male on board.

  • Gralik the Xindi-sloth: Gralik was responsible for stalling the Xindi's attack on Earth. Perhaps he defects to the Enterprise, and departs his aged wisdom onto the human crew.

  • Selanck of Andoria: As the Andorians and the humans work to strengthen their pre-Federation alliance, perhaps an Andorian will be posted on Enterprise. So they have a Vulcan ambassador and an Andorian ambassador. And they could fight!

  • Phloxina: Really, Enterprise needs more women and more aliens. And more women aliens. Perhaps Dr. Phlox goes though a mysterious Denobulan meiosis and spawns a hot female clone of himself.

  • Worf: It worked for Deep Space Nine. Either a temporal wormhole brings classic Worf to the 23rd century or Worf's great great great great great granddaddy joins the crew.

  • Porthos: In attempts to capture a more British audience, perhaps Enterprise will borrow a page from Red Dwarf. After some radical accident the Captain's puppy Porthos will evolve into a human and become a working member of the crew.

    The possibilities are endless. Let's put it to a vote. Email me your idea for the new Enterprise character (chose one of these or create your own) and we'll post them all at the end of the season.


    Enterprise's cast, including the unseen Mayweather, is pretty well rounded. The characters balance each other out nicely. If Mayweather could develop like the others maybe they won't make a Character Change. But if they do…

    … I hope its Porthos.

    Kevin Miller

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