Enterprise Production Ends: Series Failure Epitomized (Spoiler Alert)
For those who care about such things, there could be spoilers in the following article…stop now if you you’d rather not know about matters related to the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.
With the end of the latest (and last, for now) Star Trek series (Enterprise), there may be an appropriate send-off planned in the final production, now scheduled to air on UPN and its affiliates May 13th: is it possible the whole series was simply a Holodeck recreation? Two big names in the land of Star Trek, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis (Cmdr. William Riker and Counsellor Diana Troi, respectively from Star Trek: The Next Generation / ST:TNG) are going to be playing their TNG parts in the final episode of Enterprise – this, according to Paramount Pictures’ Star Trek website.
Although the plot of the episode in question is a tightly-guarded secret, there’s a big fear amongst Star Trek’s fan-base that the series "Enterprise" may be revealed to be a mere high-tech fantasy recreation. And I’ve been wrestling ever since first hearing of this prospect over whether that would be a big let-down for me personally. There’s little doubt, however, my fellow "trekkies" wouldn’t like it. The existentialist novelty over episodes that focus on holodecks has definitely worn off over the years – the point where they’re the butt of jokes even outside of trekkie circles. The sci-fi market has been flooded with "virtual reality" storylines for decades now and it’s getting pretty tough to impress anybody with ideas around it. The Matrix trilogy was probably the last time such a theme got anybody excited. So is this the best way to put Trek on indefinite hiatus?
Already, fans are miffed about the series cancellation – despite there being some very sound business reasons for it. And the letter-writing campaigns and the ongoing "Save Enterprise" effort are probably quite futile. It was ultimately futile in the 60s when there was a remarkable effort to save the old series starring William Shatner (as Captain Kirk) and the gang, and that only delayed the inevitable. Ironically,efforts underway now are likely to have less impact because the Internet has simply made it too easy to start "high-tech" letter writing campaigns. Thanks to the ease at which technology empowers us to express ourselves, decision makers tend to take such campaigns less seriously than in the good o’ days of pen and paper.
So the series can’t be saved, and as in the 60’s when this last happened – fans are gonna be in a foul mood over the whole thing. Does it really make sense to create a storyline that’s likely to elicit a "what a bunch of BS that is!" reaction? Star Trek producer Rick Berman has been quoted as recently stating he expects Star Trek to survive and that it has a longevity to it that will inevitably mean the phenomenon will be around for a long time to come. Perhaps it’s that arrogance coupled with a touch of creative fatigue that will really be the spectacle Trek fans see as their favourite show goes off the air for at least a few years.
And hopefully the bad taste of all won’t mean fans cease to hunger for Trek again anytime soon. For without demand, it’s probable Paramount won’t offer a fresh supply of Star Trek episodes in the future.