February 03, 2005

But with a different beat now that you've been gone

UPN has announced that Enterprise, after this season, is dead. About time.

I should mention that I don't actually hate Enterprise, but I don't like it either. It's not Voyager, but if that's the best you can say about something, where does that get you? I watched most of season one and saw a few episodes of the next two, but the show completely failed to make any kind of impression on me. The defining moment for the show for me was scene in an early episode when our heroes went down in a shuttle to visit an alien planet. The captain brought his dog with him, who went off to frolic in the alien grass. After the episode was over, that's the only part of it that I could really remember. It was a cute dog, certainly, but the story and characters were so utterly forgettable that they didn't stick in my brain. Better than Voyager, where the awfullness left scars, but far, far less than one might hope for.

In a broader context, Enterprise is a symptom of what's been happening with Star Trek for years. Between Voyager, Enterprise, and a series of increasingly inconsequential movies, it seems like the Powers That Be behind the Star Trek franchise seemed determined to industrially process it into pure product, devoid of anything of artistic interest, taking names and situations from the earlier series but losing the spirit. When new Trek product was produced, I couldn't bring myself to care. And in an era capable of giving me top-quality genre product like Buffy and Farscape (both off the air now, of course) and entertaining popcorn like Stargate, why should I?

There are a number of old Motown groups, like the Temptations, whose management sold the rights to their names. You can go out and see a bunch of guys working under the right name, singing the right songs, but it's not really them. No one who ever worked with the original group is involved in any way. Star Trek has become like that. They've got the rights to the name, but it's just a bunch of guys going through the motions.


Blogger Stephanie said...

Well put. I found I was always looking for the dog...it was the only character that didn't completely drive me crazy.

Wonder if the cancellation has anything to do with the shapely Vulcan spouting off on a bunch of celebs who she feels have had too much plastic surgery?

February 3, 2005 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger James said...

It took me exactly one episode of Enterprise, the pilot, for me to say to Mariann, "This is shit." I never watched it again, though she tried her damndest to stay involved for a while.

For me, there hasn't been a truly worthwhile piece of Trek since the last film starring the original cast, despite occasional flashes of coolness on Next Generation. You're right that the life force has gone out of Trek. It's little more than a money-sucking zombie, and that's no legacy for an idea that was once groundbreaking.

March 3, 2005 at 11:19 AM  

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