Now how weird is it that we start the Star Trek reviews with the show that ended the streak. The last three shows before this one each had 7 seasons and the last two shows that stared a ship named Enterprise had movies afterward. This one had neither.
Out of all the shows Enterprise had the most naysayers. People didn't seem to like the going back in time of it all. Setting a show a 100 years before Kirk rubbed people the wrong way. I'll never get it. It was such a great show. I've been a huge fan of Scott Bakula since I was a kid watching Quantum Leap. Mix that with growing up watching the original Star Trek and this show was made for me.
The first two episodes were put together to create the pilot called Broken Bow. It opens on a young Jonathan Archer, can I just take a moment to say how much I love his first name, playing with a toy spaceship asking his dad how long the Vulcans were going to stand in the way of him finishing his warp 5 engine.
Already you can see that the Vulcans are this series Klingons. Not that Klingons are lacking in this show. This whole episode is about a Klingon who crash lands on Earth. Archer sends his ship, the original Enterprise out early in order to take him home. The Vulcans are not happy but Earth has waited long enough.
What made the original series so great was the friendship between Kirk, Bones and Spock. Every show since has had some version of that to one degree or another. On this show the friendship Between Archer and Tucker takes that spot with T'Pol feeling in the void of Spock. Unlike Spock she is full Vulcan so she doesn't have that pesky humanity getting in the way, but she isn't what we know as full Vulcan either. It won't be till the end of this series that Vulcans become how we know them in the OG show. Now while we are talking about great friendships we can't forget to talk about Archer's real best friend, Porthos. He brought his dog on the ship with him. What a great guy!
Very early into this two parter we already get a feel for all of these characters and they more or less stay the same as the show goes on, but for T'Pol who goes the most.
As Archer sits in his command chair and readies to take his ship out of dock while listening to the words of Zefram Cochrane this is a historic moment in the Star Trek universe. It is the first time that an Earth star ship has left dock on a mission. Archer is a legend.
Now Enterprise tries to play both sides of the coin. It is highly serialized in the style of Deep Space Nine and Voyager but it is also episodic like the OG show and Next Gen. This episode starts an ark that goes throughout most of the show. A war in the future that uses the past as a battleground.
Now Star Trek had always played around with time travel but normally only the past. They never really dealt with the future before. It was a drastic change that not a lot of people could gel with. Personally I always loved the idea. I feel that a lot of the plot lines in the first couple of seasons were great examples of what Trek does so well. It deals with what it is like to be human. What it means to be going where no one has gone before. The whole story line with Hoshi having so much trouble dealing with what it is like being in space. Or like Tucker being jealous of Mayweather and all the worlds he has traveled too in his youth.
The ship loses power as it is invaded and the Klingon they are returning home is stolen from the medical bay. This causes a fight between Archer and T'Pol. We see something that we haven't seen since the OG Kirk. Hatred. Kirk was racist against Klingons, or speciesist and now Archer is that way towards Vulcans. Most humans on this show are. They tend to blame Vulcans for how slow Humans are growing as if they have kept us in cages.
The crew visits a planet they hope will lead them to the missing Klingon. It is a real cultural clash for them. Tucker sees a mother pulling an oxygen mask off of a kid and he starts yelling at her. It turns out that she is in fact helping the kid learn how to breath. T"Pol points out that Tucker is putting his own narrow views onto other species and that if humans are to move into the larger universe they will have to learn to see things as they are and not just from a human perspective.
Not long after that Archer finally learns about the future war and how he and his time period are nothing more than pawns. This is the first real action in the series, we finally have a shoot out. Not that Star Trek has ever been real action heavy but for JJ's films and old school Kirk hitting everyone.
I love how everyone is so scared of the transporter. It has been the hallmark of the series since the start of the OG show and yet now no one wants to use it. They believe that it will flip them all inside out. It's like a ship full of Dr. McCoys.
The crew manage to free the Klingon from the Suliban. Archer stays behind while Tucker gets him back to the ship. T'Pol and Tucker get into an argument over going back to rescue the captain or returning the Klingon to his homeworld Q'onoS. Needless to say they save Archer and return the Klingon to his homeworld, everyone wins.
It was the first interaction between humans and Klingons and it didn't go as bad as it could have. Due to the success of the mission the Enterprise is allowed to keep moving forward with their mission. Archer asks T'Pol if she would like to stay on as his 1st officer. She agrees and asks on his behalf so that he doesn't look weak to the Vulcan high command.
When I first watched this episode the only problem I had with it was that the Klingon's looked the way they do. They looked like the Klingons from the movies and Next Gen and not the ones from the original series. It was a disconnect, so the Klingons look like this, then look more human then go back to looking like this. What the hell? Well season four of this show fixes a lot of problems but we aren't there yet.
Over all Enterprise is a great addition to the Star Trek Universe no matter what anyone says!