Scott Bakula On How 9/11 Changed ‘Star Trek: Enterprise,’ And Possible ‘Quantum Leap’ Reboot

The 20th anniversary of the debut of Star Trek: Enterprise is in just a few days. Now the star of that show is talking about how everything changed before they were even on the air.  Scott Bakula also weighs in the show’s struggle with corporate politics and gives a hint at a reboot of his other big sci-fi show, Quantum Leap.

How 9/11 took over Enterprise

Scott Bakula was this week’s guest on Bob Saget’s Here For You podcast, covering all aspects of his long career in show business. When it came to talking about his time as Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise Bakula said he was “very much” a fan of Trek before landing the job and he was “honored” to lead the new series.

Bakula also spoke highly of Gene Roddenberry, saying he had an “enlightened vision” of the future. Regarding the launch of Enterprise (which debuted on September 26, 2001), he talked about how the series had to confront the reality of that time:

From the beginning from until today, the Star Trek stories have relevance. We haven’t achieved the vision by any shape or form. Of course, our series was colored by 9/11 happening. We were shooting then and that eventually took over the direction of our show in terms of mirroring that event and casting it into the studio and painting it with the Star Trek brush. All of a sudden, we had the last two and a half seasons were all basically finding the people that had attacked Earth and chasing them down and where that led us in the universe.

Life imitating art and art imitating life, that was a very real part of our of our [show]. And I think that it holds up. I think that there was merit in doing that. It was really hard. If you’re a writer, you’re going to write about what’s going on in your world and in your life. And that that certainly took over all of our lives for a good amount of time, that event, and still to this day.

Scott Bakula as Jonathan Archer in “Anomaly”

Tumultuous network

Star Trek: Enterprise was part of UPN, which was launched in 1995. UPN would become fully owned by Viacom and Paramount by the time the series debuted, only to be dissolved and transformed into the CW by 2006, following the splitup of CBS and Viacom. Bakula talked about what it was like for the series during all of this corporate jockeying:

And we were part of UPN. We were kind of their big star presentation. We were the big name on the marquee… We were the first one out of the gate for the UPN network which then aborted and combined with the WB a few years later… it was tumultuous.

When asked if he noticed budget cuts in the fourth and final season of the series, Bakula said he felt being part of UPN kept the show from running longer:

I don’t have a memory of [season 4] getting less. I know that they were spending money. When we got out of the gate we had huge numbers, and they were just going crazy about it. And we also had the misfortune of being on network television, because all the other [Star Trek shows] were syndicated. So they just they went in and they set up their deals with all the little stations all around America for seven years, and they went and made a TV show for seven years. Which we would have done also if we had been syndicated. Because we were on network television and subject to the whims of thenetwork and the advertisers and all of those things, we were lucky we got the four years, but we didn’t get the seven everybody else was getting in syndication. But it didn’t feel like we cheaped it out on the last year.

Scott Bakula as Jonathan Archer in “These Are The Voyages”

Quantum reboot

There is some good news for fans wanting to see Scott Bakula return to a sci-fi role, specifically the role of the time-traveling Dr. Sam Beckett from the series Quantum Leap, which ran from 1989 – 1993. During the same interview, the actor spoke about how things appear to be heating up for a reboot:

I think we are definitely living in the reboot era… I think there’s very significant conversations about it right now going on. But I don’t know when it would be. I don’t know who would have it. The rights were a mess for years and I dont know if they’re even sorted out now. That’s always been the biggest complication.

He mentioned that he has kept in touch with Quantum Leap creator Don Bellisario, indicating the reboot would include both Bakula and his co-star Dean Stockwell:

Don [Bellisario], for years he and I talk about it periodically. And he would always say, “I can’t write it without thinking about you and Dean [Stockwell].” I said, “Just think about me and Dean and write your show and get it out there. If you have an idea, just write it. I’m sure it’ll be great.”

Last year, NBC’s head of programming said he was considering a Quantum Leap reboot for Peacock.

Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell in a publicity shot for Quantum Leap

Bonus Bakula

During the Emmy Awards show last weekend Scott was part of a skit with the gag being actors who never won an Emmy getting together as part of a support group. Also included was Jason Alexander, who also was in Star Trek.

Watch the full podcast with Bakula

Find more on Star Trek history at

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“All of a sudden, we had the last two and a half seasons were all basically finding the people that had attacked Earth and chasing them down and where that led us in the universe.”

He is misremembering there. It was the last episode of season 2, season 3 and then a weird mostly unrelated 2 first episodes of season 4.

So in reality it was 1 and bit of a season, not 2 and a half.

Paxton and Terra Prime attacked Earth in Season 4

“and where that led us in the universe” – this is what he’s talking about. The trip to the Expanse impacted what they were doing in season 4.

Not really, the whole 9/11 allegory ended and a series of mini-arcs were created. Yes there was the Earth based terrorist group, but it was pretty minor.

Maybe it would of been expanded upon in Season 5.

“Would of”?

Yeah, I wouldn’t expect less of a Star Trek fan ;)

He also doesn’t realize that Voyager was on UPN as well.

Also the implication that CW had anything to do with the cancellation of Enterprise, he’s not the only one to misremember this, either. The decision to cancel Enterprise came a year before CW was even announced. UPN was already trying to shift its strategy away from being the “Trek” network before the merger was put into place with shows like Veronica Mars.

People like blaming CW for the demise, but it was all UPN. In the merger, it was actually the UPN brass the took over and the WB offices shut down completely.

I thought at this point it was agreed that Les Moonves, disgraced executive accused of serious crimes, hated Star Trek and basically killed Enterprise.

Not sure how much Mooves had to do with the cancelling of Enterprise, it could have been some or all of the reasons why, (at the time CBS, UPN, and Paramount were all still Viacom) but it was still way before the network’s merger with WB.

I believe something closer to Moonves’ quote was that he hated things he didn’t understand and he didn’t understand STAR TREK.

Voyager was not just on UPN, it was the premiere show on the very first night of UPN.

ahhhh, that brings back waves of nostalgia remembering seeing billboards with the circle-triangle-square logo on it and a picture of voyager

Yeah, other books may be changed to continue seasons of enterprise.

You seem to be splitting hairs here – earth attacked at the end of season 2, Xindi arc, season three, post Xindi xenophobia season four. Despite TOS, nothing really ever happens in a vacuum.

Quantum leap reboot complete with both Bakula and Stockwell, would so love to see that!!! About time!!
As for ENT I feel he was a great actor for the part. Then problem I think was the lack of follow through on the prequel. Viewers were sick of holodecks, phasers on stun and all the aliens wanting to be like us perfect humans in our fancy flying hotels.
The whole concept was that a prequel could go back to a post WW3 primitive humanity short on resources and tech learning and exploring powered simply by hope in the face of overwhelming odds, machine guns and missiles, atomic weapons and fusion powered ships, first colonies, no easy beam out, no rosy phasers on stun, Vulcans thinking we are illogical, Andorrans thinking we are push overs, Romulans wanting us dead, Klingons wanting us enslaved, out of mined dilithium crystals, no phone home to Starfleet, no reinforcements, this starship decides the fate of humanity on the frontier adventure.
The whole building the federation should have been Earth as Kirk, Vulcan as Spock, Andora as McCoy. Instead they chickened out and went back to the dull we got TNG lite with peace with the Klingons, phasers on stun, beam out to save yourself, time travel in the first hour. One hour! Unreal!!!
Could have put wagon trained TOS and ended up the best Trek series hands down. Sigh.
Bakula was great though

Couldn’t agree more. So many wasted opportunities. I remember watching through Season 2 and thinking “they had to make a prequel series to tell THESE kinds of stories? Trip and a supermodel stranded on a planet?” It was a mess.

My understanding is that Dean Stockwell is in very poor health. I doubt he can participate.

you just described pretty much exactly what i was expecting ‘Enterprise’ to be back when i heard it was being made. upon watching was shocked to find it was little different to TNG/Voyager. a massive missed opportunity to really shake up ‘star trek’ at the time. and along with Nemesis’ blatant attempt to remake TWOK spelled the franchise end for that era..

In season 4 they stopped filming with actual film. It was done digitally to save money.
The budget was cut but in areas that Scott hay not have been aware of.

And thankfully it ended up looking so much better when they switched from the panavision cameras to the Sony ones.

The memory cheats, understandably – he’s done plenty of things since Enterprise and has no reason to dwell.

The 9/11 parallel didn’t come until the end of season 2, of course, and lasted a year and a half if one counts “Stormfront.”

The bigger issue though is whether Enterprise would indeed have survived longer if it wasn’t on UPN. Voyager in many ways benefitted from being the #1 show on UPN and The WB for years, even though after season 1 its average ratings wouldn’t have given it a berth on the other four networks. Enterprise started out of the gate wonderfully, but ratings eroded fast and it wasn’t UPN’s top show for long, and it wasn’t exactly cheap. The network could have done more to support and promote it and had a schizophrenic lineup that by 2004 had given up targeting Trek-friendly demographics. Unless you happened to be a WWE or Girlfriends-watching adult who also liked Star Trek, you weren’t going to cross over to Enterprise. The show’s ratings were bad, and probably only a cable channel could have made the economics work. Showtime would have made some sense at the time – clearly the Star Trek loyal niche thrives behind a paywall.

Bakula is also probably wrong about syndication. The first run syndicated drama market collapsed soon after the cancellation of DS9, Hercules and Xena, and its shrinkage was already affecting their last few years of ratings. UPN ironically gobbled up a good number of free stations and available time slots slots for programming kept getting worse. I was watching DS9 at midnight on Saturdays by season 6. There just were not enough free time slots and independent stations left in the US to sustain Enterprise for 4 seasons, let alone 7.

Dear Kurtzman and Paramount+ Executives, please bring back Enterprise! This crew has more stories to offer, they need a better closure.

Yes please.

I’d be fine with some sort of reunion TV movie or miniseries at least.

Honestly, I think Picard would’ve been better off doing something along those lines. I mean, reunion TV movies used to be fairly common. I remember there being one for The Brady Bunch, and I Dream of Jeannie, and several for Gunsmoke, for example. Not sure why they need to be full series now, but okay.

Most reunion TV movies are God-awful. PICARD has taken risks with its titular character, and it paid off.

The test might be CSI: Vegas. If that takes off, we might see other properties emulate it.

“Most reunion TV movies are God-awful.”

The “Odd Couple” reunion movie was terrible. So was “Mary and Rhoda.”

The only good thing about Mary and Rhoda was that it undid the terrible ending of Lou Grant, which ended with nuclear armageddon (yes, really). Since Mary and Rhoda were alive and well a decade later, I guess the world didn’t really end.

Paid off? Okay. I thought it was pretty sloppy for the most part and would’ve benefitted from some streamlining, such as a shorter story would’ve given them, perhaps.

And I didn’t say those old reunion movies were great. Far from it. The concept, however, is still sound. It’s all in the execution. After all, what were the TOS movies but glorified reunion movies for the big screen? Now that the barrier between TV and movies is breaking down, it seems there’s no reason they couldn’t do… “Long Treks” or some such.

The most successful TV Reunion Movie was probably Return to Mayberry (from The Andy Griffith Show). There had been plans for more Mayberry movies as a result, but Andy Griffith landed Matlock and so they never happened. Also The Waltons and The Rockford Files did several. Some shows transitioned immediately from a weekly schedule to a few movies, such as Murder She Wrote, MacGyver and more recently Stargate SG-1 and Psych.

There’s really no need. it’s the least popular show from that era, and it didn’t have the ratings to keep it on the air.

The argument even in 2005 though during the fan campaign to revive it was that even just 3-4 million but loyal viewers would be enough to make the show a hit on a cable channel, particularly a premium one behind a paywall. That’s certainly true now, but also applied back then. Viacom would have been loathe to put it on Sci-Fi who I believe passed on it anyway, but Showtime should have been a possibility.

If streaming existed in 2005, Enterprise would have gotten its 7 years.

7 years multiplied by 10 episodes per year means 70 episodes. they did 98…

By 2005 they had 98, so another 30-39 on a streamer savior would have been more than welcome, no?

And frankly, if we go by your assumption of how it would have worked, 70 episodes with less fluff is more appealing to me than 98 where a good half are crap.

“I’d be fine with some sort of reunion TV movie or miniseries at least.”

Well said, Dan. It does not necessarily mean a new Enterprise season, but fans will be happy with a Paramount+ movie or mini-series.

TOS had great success coming back for the movies. Picard has a new show, as well as Janeway.

I am just crossing my fingers, somehow in our near future, to see the return of the Emissary, Captain Archer, with their respective crews.

Absolutely. A mini or straight-to-streaming film or two would be ideal to give it the room it needs to wrap up solidly.

I wouldn’t object to a ‘one off’ feature or Short Trek, but this show doesn’t need to be revisited for a variety of reasons.

Yes please.

Amen to that!

Gotta hand it to Trekmovie for featuring that still of Bakula as Archer immediately after torturing the alien in Anomaly. I distinctly remember, as an 11 year old boy, when I first saw that scene, and my dad, the Trekkie that got me into Star Trek at age 3, remarking, “Wow, Scott Bakula can really look intimidating at times,” and that was the moment I realized that this new Star Trek wasn’t like the old Star Trek. I mean, a captain torturing an alien? I didn’t internalize it as a child, but it’s pretty chilling stuff. I also remember when The Expanse finale aired, and the NX-01 was venturing into the Expanse in the cliffhanger ending, and the episode fading to credits and my dad saying, “You know, I’m not sure if I like the direction this show is heading.” That was the first time I started connecting the events of the real world – which, mind you, I was 9 years old when 9/11 happened – to the stories I was seeing on TV. It was clear that the writers were very pro “Go it alone” “Let’s kick their ass” mentality, that need for revenge, that hurt that the nation felt after such a tragedy.

And yet, despite the inherent conservatism in Enterprise [I mean, Faith of the Heart is practically Christian rock], I gotta applaud the writers for tying Season 3 in a very Star Trek bow with a tale of making peace with your enemies and coming together as the only true way to avoid complete destruction. As a pre-teen, I thought Season 3 was incredible, although it happened to air at the same time as the reboot Battlestar Galactica miniseries, which captured the post-9/11 anxiety in a much better format. But again, I have to applaud TPTB for taking “a chance” on the idea of a prequel to Star Trek, something that hadn’t exactly been explored in most major franchises to that point – again, Star Trek out in front, setting the stage for future fandoms. Sure, they didn’t take full advantage of the premise, as many commenters have already pointed out, but I appreciated Enterprise for what it was: a chance to bring Star Trek a little more down to earth, with a faster pace than most Star Trek, more action, pulpier stories, something just a little more fun. For me, Enterprise was the Trek I “grew up” with. And while it wasn’t necessarily the best post-9/11 allegory, it did open my eyes to the potential for fiction storytelling to shed light on our very present, real world issues in a way that I hadn’t yet gleaned as a younger viewer.

I remember watching “Anomaly” with my friend and his dad–a lifelong Trekkie. I was 21 at the time. Upon seeing Bakula torturing that alien my friend’s dad got up, said this is not what Star Trek is about and left the room. He pulled his 11 year-old son into the other room and explained why what he just saw was not right. And he was absolutely right! In my mind, that moment is still the lowest point in Star Trek (yes, even lower than “Threshold”).

It’s frustrating because it’s a similar scene to when Janeway goes Ahab in Equinox Part 2 and nearly kills a prisoner during interrogation. There were never any consequences to her actions and we were left having to be satisfied that at least Chakotay wasn’t going nuts.

4 years later and they basically just went, “That was badass last time, let’s have Archer be even more desperate and do it again.” I understand the motivation, and overall I liked how much edgier season 3 was, but as much as I don’t care for how folksy Archer was, I don’t like a Starfleet officer condoning torture in order to toughen him up. We didn’t need to go there.

Equinox, Part II is a train-wreck. Good set-up in Part 1, and then… wow, what a mess! I blame the dark, gritty Janeway on Ronald D. Moore who’d just came over from DS9. He tried to write Voyager like he wrote DS9 and the writing styles were just incompatible. Maybe if he’d been writing Voyager from the beginning, it would have worked. But the sudden “Evil Janeway” just didn’t ring true.

It was very unpleasant to see Janeway heading into that territory. No need for that. Don’t get me wrong; I love Voyager 100%. But I did not enjoy watching that side of her character. Indirectly, she also was mistreating her beloved Chakotay. In few scenes, it made him useless. The way she treated him was very low, humiliating.

Plus, didn’t this lead to another of those Chakotay/Tuvok chats where they agree Janeway is off her rocker? I remember him telling Tuvok, “I know we usually don’t see eye-to-eye…” Since when? Chakotay hasn’t had a dust up with Tuvok since season 2! Never like being told things because the groundwork of actually showing development was never done.

I agree about that with Janeway too and I always loved Janeway. They wanted to get across that she was getting more desperate being out there alone but they could’ve done without the torture stuff. I’m happy they never went back to that again in future stories.

Yeah I don’t like the Equinox story either, one of my least favourite VOY stories.

they did have archer deal with his behaviour in a fourth season ep

I’m actually wondering if Braga’s tweets from years back that Archer was going to turn into the evil Future Guy had something to do with writing scenes like this.

Love Scott Bakula and Enterprise, season 3 and 4 are two of Trek’s finest seasons in my humble opinion!

I agree. I’ve enjoyed them more than once. Except the 3rd-season Hoshi episode which is unsurprisingly dull. The visuals held up beautifully even on a 65″ plasma.

Except for the Mirror Universe episodes, seasons 3 and 4 were outstanding.

BECAUSE of the Mirror Universe episodes, season 4 was outstanding.

Really? The acting was very silly. I have a theory, wrote a while ago that I believe the crew found out about the cancellation just before shooting those episodes. :P

That was the point, I thought. The actors were absolutely hamming it up, TOS style, and I loved it. Especially Bakula — “CONQU-ER-RRORRSSSS”

In A Mirror… Darkly was okay, but good lord someone needed to tell Bakula to dial it down about 25 notches. That was some seriously over-the-top scenery chewing there.

In A Mirror… Darkly was okay, but good lord someone needed to tell Bakula to dial it down about 25 notches. That was some seriously over-the-top scenery chewing there.

Bakula was clearly having great fun playing a no-holds-barred psychopath, but it wasn’t necessarily as over-the-top as one may think. I once worked with a manager who was just like that. I’m not exaggerating. The only difference was that the guy didn’t actually kill anyone — although he obviously had barely-restrained murderous impulses. The rest of it? Yep, including the psychotic aggression, rage attacks, paranoid hallucinations, sadism, abuse of power etc. All in the workplace. Mirror Archer’s personality and general behaviour was horribly familiar and very realistic — in fact, Bakula’s performance was spot-on.

Unfortunately there really are dangerous lunatics out there exactly like that who manage to claw and scheme their way up to senior positions (although, like Mirror Archer, mercifully some of them do eventually implode). Textbook malignant narcissism, especially when combined with literal psychopathy.

lol i had the same (albeit a co worker not a manager) the person in question eventually actually ended up in prison. oh how i lol’d :)

Oh boy!

The theme song is what killed Enterprise

Nope. Fine theme and a fine show.

Bad writing and mediocre acting killed Enterprise. If the show had been good, people would have overlooked that Michael Bolton-wannabe theme song.

Agreed. that song is garbage. But what killed it was weak ratings due to many fans having given up on it.

Enterprise got a bum rap.
It also was mismanaged by the Network suits. They just felt that Trek fans would be there. Some UPN stations would run a local teams hockey or baseball game, preempting Enterprise.
Some markets didn’t even HAVE a UPN station.

I never lived anywhere with a UPN station. Star Trek was always on the local Fox affiliate at 9pm Sunday (Central) after Fox programming ended. That meant that it was almost always starting late in the fall because of NFL overruns. UPN was a fiasco. Paramount should have just kept Trek in syndication.

As I explained upthread, there was no first run syndication market left by the time Enterprise debuted. If it’s not a game or talk show, it’s not going to get any headway.

True, but TNG essentially created that market in 1987. There were very few seriously successful scripted shows in syndication at the time, perhaps just Mama’s Family (or was that on TBS?) What other hour-long syndicated shows were there at the time? Just Hee Haw, I think. Who’s to say what the market would have looked like if UPN hadn’t launched and Voyager had been sold into syndication like TNG and DS9?

It would have gotten its 7 years still, I’m sure. But The WB would still have launched and taken out stations like it did WGN. The market would have kept shrinking no matter what, Voyager and DS9 were no TNG when it came to widespread popularity, and Xena was a flash in the pan – DS9 overtook it again in season 7.

I also didn’t have a UPN station and the first run syndicated dramas were all still getting shunted to worse timeslots in favor of syndicated reruns.

They sure seemed more interested in fake wrestling or sports and preempted the show all the time at least where i live. Next Generation was never kicked from its prime time spot in Syndication. Enterprise could barely get 3 million viewers at the end. It was pathetic. UPN failed spectacularly but so did the WB. Somehow CW has survived. I have no idea how so much junk shows, with a couple here or there that are good. The Arrowverse is mostly dross with a gem or two.

I did a complete series re-watch last year and overall I really enjoyed it; being available in HD certainly didn’t hurt. Season 3 was my favourite with the series having for its time, some very good VFX.

I thought that the cast were excellent and in particular Blalock, who throughout gave a compelling and sometimes very subtle performance as T’Pol.

In re-watch, the final episode was even more jaw-dropping than when I last watched it during its original run. A well-meaning but horribly misplaced and executed so called “love letter” to the fans, which completely side-lined the Enterprise cast. They deserved so much better and I would love to see a mini-series or the like to give them some closure.

always best to stop watching by the 2 part eps featuring peter weller.
a better summation of the show’s qualities

Doing a grand rewatch of the franchise and I started with Enterprise first literally at midnight January 1st of this year and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I’m the guy who stopped watching it after its first season when it originally aired but now really enjoy it. It was the first time I ever rewatched it all the way through since I went back to it in 2013 and finally gave it another chance then and liked it from that point on.

In fact it’s the reason why I didn’t want to quit on Discovery so soon when that show started to let me down, because I remember doing that for Enterprise and deeply regretted it ever since.

Enterprise definitely had it’s problems, but no more than most shows at the beginning, certainly when compared to stuff like DIS and PIC. The difference was Star Trek was on weekly for 15 straight years and fans were already becoming more cynical with each new show. I think if Enterprise just had a stronger first season out the gate it would’ve been fine. It just felt too middle of the road more than anything. And then there were people like me who just never really liked it for being a prequel in general. But I got over that part. ;)

Off Topic, but…

William Shatner is going into space on a suborbital hop aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard, probably next month.

If true, I’d image he’ll have to pass a physical first. Shooting a ninety year old, three hundred pound man into space isn’t without health risks, after all.

Quantum Leap’s legendary creator and Scott and NBC’s head of programming are all interested. Hundreds of millions of dollars in profit, hundreds of other careers and thousands of jobs, other economic impacts and more all hinging on some entertainment lawyers and producers figuring this out? Praying for that to happen. For the culture and the audience the value of a QL reboot is not measurable. Imagine our world with a new resonating voice for “making right, what once went wrong”.

The concept of a relaunch with Sam’s daughter (from the three episode “Trilogy”) searching for her father has been around for a long while. They could do this and not really need Bakula all that much, and can probably work around Stockwell’s poor health.

Imagine if Enterprise had survived and become a CW show. Urgh. Maybe today, but not back then…

It would have gotten more views than Supergirl and Batwoman but not enough to stay on the air as a Star Trek series.

Concerning the QL reboot, Dean Stockwell probably couldn’t do it. Last I heard was he had dementia or something after his strokes and had even forgotten doing a lot of his career, which is sad. But I hope I’m wrong.

My idea would be to put Sam in the Hologram role after the pilot episode to guide his daughter that went in after him. Maybe if you can get Dean for his final appearance in the pilot to help retrieve Sam, do that too.

But it is a must to have Scott Bakula on board for the reboot to be a success.

They’ll have to hope that no one remembers the finale originally ended with the caption “Sam Beckett Never Returned Home”. Ugh. I think the reruns got rid of that line, but original fans remember it, and it was very controversial at the time.

Sam was time-traveling without the QL accelerator at the end (he didn’t leap in to tell Beth that Al was still alive, he just appeared), so he can go wherever he wants whenever he wants.

I’d like to see Sliders continue with Jerry O’Connell. and Also see Quantum Leap return with Scott Bakula.

Enterprise simply went too soon. It turned out to be a really great show for me. Still not quite on the level of TOS/TNG, but far above DIS/PIC IMO. I also think it’s a show that has aged very well. It’s hard to believe it’s twenty years old this month but it seems to be much more loved today than when it went off the air in 2005.

I just rewatched the show in its entirety again this year and it just feels like Star Trek in every form. I grew to love the cast (always loved Trip and Phlox though) with T’Pol being the biggest standout. But I mostly fell in love with it because it’s really a show about exploration in it’s truest form. It’s funny how I took it for granted back then, but I was not feeling the show at all when it originally started. And I just dismissed it for being a prequel. Didn’t hate it (I don’t hate any Star Trek), just didn’t grow to like it that much. Today that’s really changed. I would definitely love a fifth season of Enterprise over another Kelvin movie or even over another season of Picard or Discovery. I rewatch Enterprise today way more than I rewatch any of those movies or shows. I know it will probably never happen but in the world of Star Trek I think we are learning never to say never either. ;)

Enterprise was just too many missed opportunities in my opinion. They had a chance to really shake up the Star Trek format, and that is what the show was advertised as intended to do… that’s why they set it 100 years before TOS and took “Star Trek” out of the title after all. Instead the first two seasons consist by and large of episodes that could have been told on TNG or VOY with very few changes. Those that weren’t, such as Shadows of P’Jem are among Enterprise’s finest. But those are few and far between. So what exactly was the point of setting the show 100 years before TOS? Never mind the complete nonsense of the Temporal Cold War which like VOY’s Year of Hell was completely pointless (it was clear from the beginning that it was never going to amount to anything… and it didn’t.) Season 3 would have been great had it been the long-awaited Earth-Romulan War. Instead we got the Xindi, who Berman & Co. desperately tried to make interesting, but failed to do so. Don’t get me started on the Alien Nazi who shows up at the end of Season 3. That’s probably Star Trek’s greatest eye-roller moment ever. Season 4 finally started to take advantage of the show’s setting, but by then there were about 47 viewers left and it was already well-known that Season 4 would be the show’s last.

We don’t really disagree. I have said this many times in the past, I think the issue was that UPN just never truly wanted a prequel based show which Berman talked them into it, but basically the network only went along with it as long as the show pretty much continued to operate like TNG and VOY and not to redo the entire feel of the show.

Originally the producers wanted the entire first season of the show to take place on Earth and slowly move into space ala The Right Stuff. But were shot down since the network wanted them out in space from the beginning. The Temporal Cold War came from the fact the network didn’t want the future to be completely erased and wanted to keep the rest of the shows alive and even being able to go to the 24th century for example every so often. I never liked the idea of it either frankly ALTHOUGH now that we are in the 32nd with Discovery maybe something can come out of it more.

And I’m not placing all the blame on UPN, end of the day it’s Berman and Braga who created the show but watching a lot of the interviews on the extras of the DVDs/Blu Rays, it is clear they originally wanted a very different show than what we got in the way DS9 was suppose to be different from TNG. They just didn’t have all creative license with Enterprise because they were now on a network and not syndicated. But it basically sounds like Enterprise was a very compromised show from the beginning. People complained we saw things like transporters and phasers but my guess is the show only got on the air if it included those things because to fans that’s Star Trek!

Now where I DO blame them 100% of where the show lacked is that they promised a birth of the Federation type of show and we never really got that until the fourth season. People also wanted to see more tie ins to TOS which we got very little of although we were now getting more TOS characters like the Andorians (which I never cared for on TOS but really loved them here), Orions, Organians, etc. But even then a lot of those didn’t show up until the fourth season.

And like you (and others) I NEVER understood why they needed to add the Xindi in the third season when it was now the perfect time to start up the Romulan war and bring them into the fold. Why not have the Romulan who attacked Earth instead of the Xindi in the exact same style and Starfleet had to respond in some way? This would’ve been a great chance for Archer to rally a lot of the planets and species he formed relationships with in the past few years as we see the Romulans starting to strategize how to take out Starfleet for good as they feared humans were going to become more dominants in the future. This is also when the Temporal Cold War could’ve made the most sense and we found out it was a future Romulan trying to change events of the war. This also would’ve been a great time to include Section 31 into the show and we learn they basically became a creation DUE to the Romulan war in the same way the CIA was created out of WW 2. Earth could’ve showed why it was such a valuable alliance to the Vulcans when they proved their worth in the war and became a real partnership after that. The coalition of planets would start there leading into the Federation.

Can you tell I been thinking about this for a long time lol. This idea of the Romulan war has been in my head for over a decade now and how they could’ve started the Romulan war much earlier on to lead up to the formation of the Federation. But I digress.

So yeah we TOTALLY agree a lot of missed opportunities for the show, especially when it just came to the idea of how the Federation was formed. The show had immense potential but it oddly felt like they didn’t want to go down that road, at least at the beginning I guess. But once the ratings started to go down, that’s the direction they should’ve went with from third season on.

Still I ended up loving the show it became but like for most, fourth season was my favorite because it finally started to do what it should’ve done in first season. I imagine if it kept going it would’ve been an amazing show! Especially all the ideas they had for season 5.

That “Romulan War instead of Xindi War” concept would have really been great! Its repercussions (Section 31, Vulcan finally accepting Earth, establishment of the Federation) is exactly what Enterprise should have been. The first season or two could have been set-up interspersed with Planet-Of-The-Week. Lots of intrigue into mysterious happenings in deep space, which we learn is really why the NX project was created. This could have led the audience to believe is the Klingons and the terrible war Picard mentioned, but actually turns out to be the Romulans in a big Best of Both Worlds-like Season 2 finale. Instead we got Future Guy, the Suliban, and the Xindi, none of which were at all compelling.

“Burned-out Berman & Co.” or “Paramount/UPN Creative Meddling”, it doesn’t really matter. Enterprise was a tremendous missed opportunity. I still like the show for what it is, but it is hard to watch it and not lament what might have been.

Yeah the show could’ve done other things better for sure. I still grew to love the show ultimately and watch it constantly today. It is very much steeped in Star Trek lore and certainly is a better show than the new shows (so far) to me, but yes what could’ve been. If it did go on to future seasons, as I posted in that Youtube video it may have been one of my top 3 shows today easily. Sadly it went out when it was just turning great.

I’d at least like to read the screenplay for Star Trek the beginning if i cannot see the movie. That was the film that almost got made before they greenlit JJ’s movie. But the film being about Kirk’s ancestor Tiberius Chase fans hated that, and they hated it was a war movie.

Speaking of the devil in the dark, as soon as I posted my response to you, I went on Youtube and TrekCulture had a great video about all the ideas they had for season 5, probably in light of the show’s 20th anniversary today (WOW). Maybe you have heard about them in the past but if not please check out this video:

I had already heard most of these but a few were still new like the fact it would be revealed T’Pol was actually half Romulan. Who knows what would’ve made it in but a lot of really strong and interesting ideas. Sigh

I am fully willing to admit I was wrong about Enterprise, it has aged incredibly well, and I would sign up to Paramount+ for an Enterprise animated series. Please, please make it happen.

It should be noted that even though Enterprise started their 9/11 inspired arc with the last episode of season two, that Bakula probably heard about the concept long before the episode aired.So, to him , it LEGITIMATELY felt like two and a half years.