Star Trek: Enterprise creator Brannon Braga is owning up to one of his biggest creative missteps – a universally reviled series finale that served as a slap in the face not only to the show’s fans, but to its cast and crew as well.
Star Trek: Enterprise debuted in 2001, and was something of a new direction for the Star Trek franchise. Rather than following the lead of spinoffs like Deep Space Nine and Voyager, which took place a century after the original series, Enterprise was a prequel, chronicling the earliest days of Starfleet, as the first Starfleet vessel to bear the name Enterprise embarked on mankind’s first real steps into exploring the galaxy. The series was met with lukewarm reviews and middling ratings and, along with the 2002 Next Generation film Star Trek: Nemesis, saw the decline and eventual dormancy of the franchise until J.J. Abrams’ film reboot in 2009.
And while Enterprise had found something of a creative voice by its fourth and final season, the disastrous series finale went a long way toward convincing people the Star Trek franchise was in need of a rest. Per Trek Movie, writer Brannon Braga understands the backlash and admits it was a mistake:
“I thought it was the coolest thing ever when we were writing it, the idea of doing a ‘lost episode’ of The Next Generation, but they’re going to the holodeck to look back at Enterprise, Rick and I thought was a great sendoff to Star Trek [the franchise as it existed in 2005], and it didn’t work out so well…It was a kind of a slap in the face to the Enterprise actors. I heard it from everybody, it was the only time Scott Bakula was ever mean to me. I regret it.”
The controversial Enterprise finale sidelined most of its own cast in favor of revisiting characters from The Next Generation, as Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) was dealing with a crisis of conscience during the TNG episode “The Pegasus.” It was a move that satisfied no one, adding a completely unnecessary subplot to a TNG episode that had aired over a decade earlier, and minimized the strong character work Enterprise had done over its four seasons.
That Braga has the ability to admit the error and apologize for it is commendable. It’s also an interesting time to revisit that particular error, as the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery is also apparently going to insert itself into Star Trek’s history in striking ways, as that show is not only an inbetweenquel, taking place between Enterprise and the original series, but is also giving Spock a never before mentioned adoptive human sister in the guise of Michael Burnham, Discovery’s lead character. It’s yet to be seen how Discovery manages its rewriting of Trek history, but the producers surely hope they pull it off better than Enterprise did.
Source: Trek Movie
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