Why “Star Trek: Enterprise” Sucked

Star Trek Enterprise crewWhy, some may ask, am I poking fun at sad little Star Trek: Enterprise now? Can’t I just let it die in peace? Well no, as a matter of fact, I can’t! I’m sorry, but it was on for four God-awful years and I can count the number of watchable episodes on one hand! I kept waiting and hoping, but nothing! So I’ve got demons to expel. Besides, I can easily poke fun at anything Star Trek and I’m determined to do just that.

Guys, don’t take my dreams away. Some days, they’re all I have. ::Sniff::

Now let’s talk brass tacks. Why did Star Trek: Enterprise suck so bad? The answer is simple: the characters were awful. They were as bland as your mom’s unsweetened vanilla yogurt. Or your dad’s idea of porn (it’s called Baywatch, not Fuckwatch, Dad!). Yes, it was that bland. Note: that’s on the Star Trek scale of bland!

Wow.

“But Star Trek is awesome!” some of you will say. “You must be jealous, Geek!”

Sure I am. Feel better? Good. Where was I? Oh, that’s right. Still tearing your favorite franchise a new one! Let the exorcism begin.

Every iteration of Star Trek, from Enterprise to TOS, has a stable of familiar characters. Sometimes they overlap, so you may see small differences as I go from one series to the next in future articles1. For now, let’s examine the characters of Star Trek: Enterprise one by one.


The Captain

captain archerOh, Jonathan Archer. We were told you would be another James Kirk. But you weren’t another James Kirk, were you? You were just Sam Beckett in a jump suit. Bored now.

Guys, you know it’s really the Captain of every Star Trek series who sets the tone and makes us give a crap, right? Without a convincing worried look, without that special inflection of voice when the Captain shouts, “Raise shields!” we just sort of yawn at the whole thing. If the Captain isn’t cutting it, then the whole show goes right in the can. Somehow, I always felt like Archer was holding back from being the Captain we needed him to be.

Some early episodes implied some sexual tension between Archer and the show’s hottie, T’Pol. Kirk would have chucked her onto a transporter pad and taught her his version of the Vulcan salute, but not this guy. He just respected her too much for that. Bastard.

Later, when she started bouncing on Trip like a basketball, Archer didn’t even ask if he could watch. Yet Trip’s more bland than Archer! She was clearly doing it to make Archer jealous.

PorthosKirk would have sensed this immediately and gone for the three-way. And you know something? He would have gotten it, that’s what. But not Archer. He didn’t even try. Shame on him!

Maybe he was really into the dog instead? I bet if T’Pol had a wet nose, he’d…

Man, I need a drink.

The Engineer

TripCharles Tucker the Third, better known as Trip, was the crew’s redneck/engineer. I guess they thought making him a Southerner would be more original than making him Scottish. Or Irish. Or Black. Instead, what they got was something completely unexpected: the blandest character in all of Star Trek history. Only Travis Mayweather could seriously challenge his level of boring. And half of you don’t even remember who Travis was!

Trip was so bland, he made Chakotay look interesting by comparison. And they used the same plot device to fix the problem for both men: they threw a girl at him and made him kiss her. How the hell is he banging T’Pol while I’m stuck fantasizing about the Charmed sisters seven days a week in my brain? Life isn’t fair.

I tried to console myself by remembering that Trip’s Warp Engine was easily the smallest of all the Star Trek engineers. But it isn’t working.

trip chokesAmanda MACODammit, Trip. I’m glad your home state got destroyed!

I’m sorry, but who the hell does T’Pol when they have Amanda Cole hurling herself at them? Even the alternate timeline Phlox knew she was way more bangable, and he was half weirdo. I think Trip must be into coat hangers or something. How else do you explain it? I just don’t get some people.

Travis Mayweather

mayweatherRemember when I said that Trip was the most boring character on Star Trek: Enterprise? Well, I lied. Travis, or “Token” as I call him, was the most boring. He doesn’t even get a category here because I don’t have one for him. He’s just a name and a smile.

How the hell do you have one black guy in the entire series and reduce him to the most boring character in all of TV history? They could have at least given him some offensive black-guy stereotypes. Then we’d all be like, “Remember that one episode when he called Archer a jive turkey?” And we’d just laugh and laugh… Because I’m white, you see.

Screw it. I’m so moving on now.

The Doctor

Dr PhloxThe Doctor is as iconic a role in Star Trek as any. For some reason, Enterprise decided to combine the Doctor and the Weirdo (examples of Star Trek Weirdos include Neelix and Rom) into the same terrifying individual. His name was Dr. Phlox. ::Shudder::

Like many Star Trek aliens, Phlox’s people seem to have suffered from a skin rash that has no name in the English language. He was the only crew member, besides Trip, to be offered the chance to bang T’Pol. He said no, not because she’s a frigging Shemp Howard or anything (that would have been my only reason) but because of some sad, made for TV moral principle that wouldn’t stop any dude between the ages of six and a thousand.

The thing about Phlox is that forcing him to play two roles (the Doctor and the Weirdo) diluted his character. He was more like an alternative health guru than the ship’s Doctor. McCoy would surely give Kirk a shot for his Orion crabs, while Phlox would have stuck leaches to his thing instead. This would have rendered it unusable for days, leading Kirk into a suicide pact with Chekov. Who the hell does that? Even worse, he wasn’t nearly Weirdo enough to make us laugh (like Rom) or want him dead (like Neelix). I barely want to punch him in the face right now. You know what I mean? Of course you do. Everybody wants Neelix dead. Dead. DEAD!!!

phlox nudeThe sexual customs of his species, the Denobulan’s, are everybody’s teenage fantasy2. That almost makes him cool. If only he wasn’t so damn bland like everybody else on this horrible, horrible TV show. Sure, part of me wanted to bang one of his wives from that “Trip almost got laid” episode of Enterprise, but the other part of me was afraid of her suppurating facial warts. Note to Star Trek writers: why are you deliberately confusing my dick???

Oh, how I hate you, Star Trek: Enterprise. I’m glad you’re gone. If only you could be forgotten as easily so my scars could heal.

The Dweeb

HoshiHoshi Sato was the Asian chick on their crew. She had magical language powers that I will never understand. And she had no business being out in space. She got space sick and was afraid of everything. I just wanted to stick her in a locker with a cell phone so I could call her whenever I needed to ask, “Where’s the john?” in Nausicaan.

The weird thing is that Hoshi was the only regular character that I believed was real on any level. She seemed almost life-like. Enterprise, that’s saying something.

Oh, I want to poke more fun at Hoshi but all I can think about is the evil “Mirror, Mirror” Hoshi. Call me, Evil Hoshi Sato. Please. I love you.

The Bad Ass

TNG gave us Tasha Yar and Worf. Voyager gave us Tuvok. DS9 gave us half a cast of bad asses.

ReedAnd Enterprise gave us Malcolm Reed.

Sorry, I nodded off for a sec. Who were we talking about again?

What can I say about Reed? Well, he was British. And almost as boring as his bromance partner, Trip. He was very close to Chakotay’s boringness on the old boredometer, in fact. Put him and his pal Trip together, and you’ve basically got Sulu and Chekov. Just blander, like everything else on Enterprise.

Seriously, is there anyone out there who doesn’t think that any of the other Star Trek bad asses could totally kick his ass? Maybe even Doctor Bashir. Hell, even Gilligan could beat up Doctor Bashir! And Gilligan’s balls haven’t even dropped yet.

The Hottie

trip and tpolEnterprise’s hottie was, without question, the Vulcan first officer T’Pol. I’m sure she was the cause of many nerd-boners from the day the show first hit the airwaves. Guess what guys – you can make your own T’Pol right at home! All you need are the following ingredients:

Lips = 2
Boobs = 2
Kim Jong Il haircut = 1
An eleven year old Chinese boy (preferably with a vagina) = 1

Now just bolt them all together and BLAM! You too can have your very own T’Pol to bang. Hurray! Just make sure you don’t cut yourself on a hip bone or a protruding vertebrae in her spine. It all depends on what position you … oh, just never mind.

T'PolGuys, come on. She’s nothing but tits and ears! And what’s up with the Mo haircut? Seven wrestlesI’m sure someone is pointing at her boobs and clapping by way of defense. But her boobs aren’t even that big. They just look like they are because the rest of her body is tiny and made of gristle and bone. Seven of Nine would beat the shit out of her in a Jell-O wrestling contest. I know because I’ve run the simulations over and over in my mind.

I don’t spend much time fantasizing about chicks wrestling in Jell-O. Because I prefer baby oil. But when I do, I have to give T’Pol better everything and lose her Beatles’ haircut just to keep my excitement level up … I mean high. I said high! Otherwise, it’s better for me to just go back to my old standby: Seven versus Leeta in a lap dance competition at Quarks. (I’m the judge.) The Seven versus T’Pol thing is just for when I need a change of pace.

Before you say anything, I grant that the “Mirror, Mirror” episodes of Enterprise were pretty much T’Pol at her best. Actually, the evil version of all TV chicks is usually them at their best, but here, the evil version was a major improvement. She not only had the midriff thing going on, she finally lost the Asian dictator haircut. I’m sorry, but a sex fantasy featuring Kim Jong Il in a catsuit isn’t exactly my idea of a party. If I went for that, my dick would just throw up its hands and leave my balls in the lurch.

Evil HoshiI’d still rather hang with evil Hoshi Sato. That chick looks like she knows how to have a good time. Yeah, that’s a woman in need of a good spanking alright. Say something dirty in Romulan, bitch.


Ultimately, these…and the stupid stories…are why Star Trek: Enterprise sucked.

better enterprise

The best Enterprise of all?

 

  1. No promises on that.
  2. Denobulans are polyamorous. And their chicks are less sexually inhibited than the males.

About The Atheist Geek

The Atheist Geek is a former Jehovah's Witness turned secular humanist. He's a lifelong sci-fi geek and a writer wannabe.
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12 Responses to Why “Star Trek: Enterprise” Sucked

  1. DrCroland says:

    Hey, interesting analysis, I myself am a major Trek fan but this show didn’t do much for me at all. In the original Star Trek TOS, part of what we came to expect was Captain Kirk having some new sexual adventure in each episode with some way-out sexy alien chick, and I think we nerds lived out our fondest fantasies vicariously through that. Lately however, it would seem that the need for political correctness has made it less acceptable for captains to be doing that sort of thing too much, which is a big letdown for some of us. So the captains have become more and more bland, lacking in passion. In ST Enterprise there was one episode that really stands out in my mind, where Archer got into the second chamber with (gulp) both T’Pol AND Hoshi (OMG!!!) and all 3 were rubbing each other down with dome sort of Jell-O or something yet I don’t think any of them even got completely naked!!!!! What a killjoy, made me wonder if someone must’ve snuck up on Archer and cut his balls off or something………….

    • Hi DrCroland. I think part of the problem is that the Star Trek TV shows simply fell behind. TV and entertainment continue to move forward, yet Star Trek just didn’t. The original series was actually considered pretty racy and “on the edge” in its day. By the time of Enterprise, it was tame enough to be well within the boundaries of family entertainment. Even attempts to create grittier characters on Voyager, like Neelix and Paris, simply failed. Those characters were criminals who never had any realism to them and all attempts at this were forgotten within the first season. The Doctor actually started off as an interesting character (an actual wise-ass on a starship!) who then devolved into a prissy snob. Meanwhile, other scifi shows continued to move forward and to keep up with the story telling of the day.

      Enterprise suffered more, in part, from being the last of these shows. So the degree to which it was behind the times was the greatest. The characters on Enterprise also felt really two-dimensional and lacked much of the sophistication we expected from characters on TV by that time. They weren’t even interesting by the usual vanilla Star Trek standards. Worse still, many of the stories that appeared on Enterprise had been done at least once if not several times before. To some extent, Star Trek is the victim of its own success.

      The new movies are exciting, something not often seen in Star Trek on TV. But they were kind of dumb. Especially the 2nd one. My hope for the next Star Trek series – whenever we finally get one – is that it will combine the best of the new J.J. Abrams movies as well as the TV shows. We’ll see.

      Thanks for reading and for the comment. 🙂

      • DrCroland says:

        Hi AG thanks for your reply… I would like to make an additional observation. As a baby boomer the original TOS has a very special place in my mind from the nostalgic point of view, however tacky it may have been. But I truly believe that the characters and story plots in the original were far more interesting than those of any of the spinoffs. All of those spinoffs seem terribly bland and unimaginative to me by comparison. In the original a recurring theme seemed to be omnipotent beings that had unlimited power to do almost anything they wanted, like Trelane, the Metrons, the Apollo character, the talking rock creature on Excalbia, that alien creature who turned a whole planet into the OK Corral… When they first encountered that creature in the fog with its glowing eyes, well I don’t know about you but the hairs on the back of my neck still stand on end after having seen it countless times. Even though I know it really was just a chewed up pencil eraser or something. There were elements of drama, weirdness and even horror, somewhat like the Twilight Zone. None of the spinoffs seemed to have that quality at all. Enterprise, for example, which supposedly was set BEFORE the time of Captain Kirk, well, I truly believe it could have been a more authentic and engaging show, for us old timers at least, if they had used grittier, more cheesy looking sets and backgrounds!

        • The original series was more about exploring the galaxy and finding out it was far weirder than anyone imagined. TNG started out this way before Roddenberry died. Then it became more serialized and tended deal with stories that took place more so in the general reality that was known to the Federation. I suppose which was better depended on your tastes. I thought DS9 did a better job of fulfilling its potential than the other spinoffs. At last, the Federation went to war and experienced real problems ON SCREEN. Even then, DS9’s version of war was often sort of tame. But it was something. 🙂 At any rate, people tend to favor the ST they grew up with; sort of like Doctor Who fans. I grew up with TOS (I’m over 40) and think it had plenty of good episodes. I kinda think Enterprise had the fewest. I can also make fun of anything that is ST. Take that however you will. 🙂

          I thought it would have been more interesting if Enterprise was less like the other ST shows. It could have been the most modern of the ST shows – in a storytelling sense – despite taking place in ST’s past. What if the ship used ordinance, like rail guns, instead of energy weapons that went “skreee” all the time. One of the things I liked about the new Battlestar Galactica was that the action felt real and perilous. It’s hard for me to feel like that with ST when everything dangerous is obviously fired out of a sound synthesizer. They could have focused more on the conflict with the Klingons on top of resentment against the Vulcans. Then, a couple seasons later, the Romulans show up. Darn! We haven’t even recovered from the Klingon thing yet. Are we doomed? Hey! The Andorians are our buddies now! Maybe we should form a Federation. The expanse? Never heard of it.

          It seems like they had a real chance to do some cool stuff and they didn’t. Then again, prequels usually suck.

          • DrCroland says:

            AG, I think you are getting down to the heart of the problem with all the spinoffs as far as I am concerned. Having grown up with TOS, I had come to expect Star Trek to be about what it was originally — exploring the galaxy and going where no man had gone before. Strange places, adventure and excitement. Maybe some sexy fantasies thrown in involving strange, seductive alien beings. But it seemed to me that all the spinoffs began focusing less and less on that sort of thing and too much on war and politics, which made me begin to lose interest. After all, wasn’t Roddenberry’s original vision supposed to have been the idea that we were going to transcend war and violence? Maybe not completely perhaps because then all dramatic tension would be gone perhaps, without some villains. But DS9 for instance, seemed to begin focusing on that stuff almost exclusively, which I found very disappointing. Back in the early 90s when I first heard about DS9 coming out, I read a glowing spoiler review in TV guide or something that billed it as a “darker, grittier” kind of Trek. Well I must tell you, I was positively licking my chops expecting to finally see plenty of the weirdness I’d been craving… I thought it was going to be like Dark Shadows in space, perhaps featuring ghosts, monsters, unexplored nooks aboard the station that harbored things one shuddered to think about. I wanted it to actually be scary! (I also grew up with Dark Shadows, don’t you know…) So apparently that wasn’t happening exactly, But I heard all this talk about an onboard (gulp) bordello, so I really thought I was going to see some action going on there, if ya know what I mean, or at least some actual naked women, I mean come on, it’s the 90s and we are talking about a bordello here… Hello??? But the sexiest thing we got to see apparently, was some slinky looking babe, clothed, tickling Quarks earlobes on the couch. Maybe it was a little bit erotic, but I mean come on, this show was supposed to, you know, be breaking new ground supposedly.
            I wonder if there’s any chance for a new ST incarnation to be created that is truly contemporary, featuring adult themes. Any thoughts?

          • I never had a problem with the shift from weirdness-of-the-week to politics, plagues, and war. I generally liked DS9 the most in the later seasons, although it was a bit melodramatic at times. Anything featuring Klingons heavily will be like that. The thing that many of the more classic fans don’t realize is the problem that Roddenberry’s format set up for future writers in telling stories. In fact, Rick Berman, [I meant Ron Moore] the showrunner for DS9 and the new BSG, talked about this on video some time back and what it was like when he was a writer for TNG.

            Clearly the positivity of the ST future made a connection with certain fans. But everyone getting along really limits the stories you can tell in a series. You can only stumble upon so many god-like aliens and society’s where women subjugate men and other thinly veiled social commentaries before you start to repeat yourself. Of course, I can appreciate the humanist message here. (In ST, humanism is supposed to be the philosophy that most humans subscribe to.) But these days, I would honestly prefer to see the Federation fight a losing war with the Dominion than Kirk defeat a group of rogue androids with a logic puzzle. Well, most of the time. Assuming its well done, of course.

            At its very best, I think TNG did the social commentary and philosophy stories the best. After that, all the remaining TNG stories were 1) Geordie, Data, and/or Deanna solves it, or 2) Shoulda listened to Worf.

            1) Yes, in the last century whole teams of geniuses from the Federation and other systems have failed to solve the problem. What’s this?? The Enterprise-D is caught up in it! Now watch officers from the show solve the problem in 30 minutes of screen time anyway. For like the 5th time that season.

            2) Worf was right about 98% of the time on the show. Whenever the Enterprise-D happened upon a sentient comet or a starship with a flat tire, Picard would try to bring it on board. As security chief, Worf would object. Because he’s doing his job and he isn’t stupid. But Picard and Riker would just look at each other knowingly and laugh. “Oh, silly Mr. Worf! People are basically good. Beam the alien right to the bridge.” Worf would grind his jaw but say nothing. Within one commercial break, it turns out the alien has scissors for hands and has murdered 5 crewmen (no one we care about) before sabotaging the warp drive and getting Deanna pregnant with its alien seed. Finally, Geordie and Data would think up some sciencey way of getting it off the ship. They’d just quietly eject the bodies and warp to the next space monster in time for the next show. Meanwhile, not one apology to Worf. What happens next episode? Same damn thing. Why do they even have a security officer on the bridge?

            TOS did weird the best. DS9 did war and politics the best. They also had the first black captain, although they made him a Commander before promoting him. Affirmative action at work, I guess? Voy had a lady captain and Seven of Nine. She had boobies. So that was something. They had about as much action as DS9, but also more dumbness and repetition. Janeway was kind of self righteous at times. Chakotay really should have mutinied.

            Over all, I tend to favor stuff that feels realistic. Much of ST did not feel realistic. As I got older, I began to appreciate why many locals hated this series with a passion. I still like it, but can clearly see its flaws.

  2. DrCroland says:

    Hi AG, interesting that you mention Berman because according to some other forums I have visited, many fans blame him for ruining ST Enterprise and point out that the show onlybbegan to get more interesting when they dumped him and brought some new writers on board like Manny Coto, who tried to save the show by tying it in more with TOS and bringing in some more of the original alien races and other references. But unfortunately by then most of the fans had already jumped ship. I for one, actually felt bad about its cancelation because I thought it actually was just starting to actually become interesting at that point.
    Perhaps because I grew up with TOS, Star Trek to me should be about vampire clouds, rock creatures, and what have you — things that are REALLY convincingly alien (even if they are a bit tacky) and don’t just look like people wearing rubber masks. DS9 was on a space station, OK, but more imaginative writers like Harlan Ellison for instance would have found ways to put in some time portals or hidden crypts or who knows what to make it genuinely weird. And for corns sake, if there’s a bordello on deck, I want it to look like they do a little more there than just play Tiddly-winks! I guess the producers were trying to keep it PG rated for TV but they watered it down so much, to me there was almost nothing left worth seeing! Maybe they were trying to mimic BSG a little, but a show about a derelict station should have a grittier formula. I don’t think they had the balls to do that! I kind of wonder if now, in the 21st Century, someone might finally do a show like that, with truly interesting characters and incorporating some R rated adult material not suitable for the kiddies…

    • Sorry, I wrote Rick Berman for some reason when I meant to say Ron Moore. :/ Yeah, many agree that Rick Berman needed to go much earlier than TNG. I think he was stuck in an impossible position to be fair. The uber-fans would not tolerate much change to the format.

  3. Trekker says:

    I haven’t laughed this hard since I watched Galaxy Quest. Thanks for the great analysis of why I should and do despise Enterprise.
    I made a promise to myself that I’d catch up on all things Star Trek sometime before I die. I realize now I should probably wait to finish watching Enterprise until I’m confined to a dementia unit in my declining years (but that would be elder abuse). In my reclining years, Enterprise has proved to be the most painful experience short of having my mind sifted.
    And yes, like so many others before me, I readily admit that both versions of its theme song make my ears bleed.

    • Sorry I didn’t approve your post sooner. I thought I had approved it already but saw it wasn’t posted when I logged in this morning. I’ve been busy studying for a test.

      My relationship with Star Trek as a whole is complex and always shifting. I can make fun of almost any Star Trek episode and it often moves at a snail’s pace. There are many scenes of people sitting around a desk talking about stuff. These are the reasons ST haters hate on it so much. And I understand. But it is smart, usually. ST:TNG paved the way on that one, probably more so than TOS. It could do with a faster pace and a bit more excitement I have to admit. As a teenager and in my 20s, I didn’t notice any of that. But now ST has a lot of competition.

      When a new ST TV series is developed, I hope it’s as exciting as the new movies but as smart as most of the TV series have been. Basically the new Battlestar Galactica, but maybe with a bit more humor and probably (since it’s ST) less about an active war and more about preventing war. Although I wouldn’t mind if there were another war in ST. One of the best things about DS9 is that you finally got to see the fleet DO SOMETHING. Even if every battle scene were peppered with unrealistic dialogue. By ST TV-show standards, that was as cool as if could get.

      • Trekker says:

        As much as I love Star Trek, I think the new Battlestar Galatica was the best series ever made. If they can come up with a new Star Trek series that incorporates the same calibre of social, political and religious commentary as was done on BG with characters as well developed, I’d be in heaven.
        I can use more good Star Trek in my life. I’m just sorry Enterprise doesn’t/didnt fall under that description.

  4. Spock says:

    Would have been an epic show if the dog was the captain! 🙂

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