Sunday, May 15, 2005

Star Trek:Enterprise - Gone and Certainly Forgettable

I sat through the two hour finale of Star Trek:Enterprise, silently chastising myself for wasting all that time. I would have been better entertained watching paint dry. Both episodes were weak, with the second the weakest of any Star Trek episode I've ever seen. I thought it was worse than any episode of the original series, which in my not so humble opinion contain the worse Trek episodes of any Star Trek series I've ever seen and is why the original series deserved to be canceled when it was.

The first good-bye episode, "Terra Prime", shows why Peter Weller was so good as Robocop. His wooden delivery and clock-like timing were perfect for that role. Unfortunately those attributes were ill-suited for the part of isolationist leader Paxton, determined to drive all aliens off Earth. Paxton is a radical, a revolutionary, and the actor chosen for that part should have exuded fire, energy and emotionalism. Instead we got Weller. And we got a story with absolutely no surprises and completely predictable.

The second episode, "These Are The Voyages", was so lame as to be worse than the SciFi Channel's Farscape, by far the silliest science fiction series to ever hit the airwaves. We get Riker and Troi played by two folks who are definately long in the tooth and a smidge too large to fit their uniforms. The biggest strikes against the story were using the holodeck crutch to tell of the last voyage home and showing how Cmdr Tucker met his death. And right at the very end, right when it would have been interesting to hear the speach that Archer gave that was so inspiring and led to the creation of the Federation, we get Riker turning off the holodeck because Troi had had to memorize it in school and didn't want to listen to it yet again. If Roddenberry were still alive we would have had an excited Troi saying "I never tire of hearing this speach" and we would have heard that speach ourselves. But no, we get reality. She's tired of it, and it matches our own fatigue with the whole Trek universe.

What was truly sad was the very end of "These Are The Voyages". You saw all three Enterprise craft, going from the 'D' to the original series Enterprise to the NX-10. And you saw how much the series art had changed over time. You could see there was a direct lineage between the NX-10 and the Enterprise D, but the poor old original Enterprise stood out like a sore thumb.

Enterprise certainly deserved to be canceled. Based on the premise, wooden acting and recycled and/or lame story lines, it should have never left the mythical space dock. I watched Enterprise on and off until the attack by the Zindi (I don't care if the spelling is wrong, I don't care to look it up; so sue me) when they attacked Earth and torched part of future Florida. Being a Floridian I was morbidly hoping they'd hit Disney, or Universal, or maybe some super condos (yes, I live in Orlando). No, the Zindi just chewed up some mixed use real estate and bestowed Trip a massive guilt trip for not being there to protect a loved one (I don't remember who and please don't bother to tell me). After that I stopped caring and watching.

Enterprise failed because it lacked true originality and enthusiasm. The Trek universe has been sucked dry of original ideas by movies, series, books, and Paramount which seems determined to wring every last dime out of the franchise. Trek isn't just tired, it's dead, Jim. The fanatics who wear their pointed ears just so and who read their Shakespeare in the original Klingon will holler for some time, but the rest of us who listened to Shatner's SNL skit and got a life have long since moved on to better, fresher material. I for one was happy with Babylon 5, and my interest has been piqued by Joss Whedon's Serenity.

Good bye Trek. Don't come back until you've got something really interesting to tell me. 'Cause otherwise I'll just kick your limp ass right back out my door.

Sure as I know anything, I know this: I aim to misbehave.

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