Blu-ray Review: ‘Star Trek: Enterprise' Season One
Set more than 100 years before the adventures of James T. Kirk, the prequel “Enterprise” stars Scott Bakula as Capt. Jonathan Archer. This “Star Trek” series follows Earth's first, often-stumbling adventures into the stars, as technology and diplomacy haven't reached the levels seen in other “Star Trek” series.
Archer is joined by a Vulcan science officer, T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) and a folksy chief engineer, “Trip” Tucker (Conner Trineer).
Besides T'Pol, the only other alien on the voyage is the ship's doctor, Phlox (John Billingsley). The Denobulan doctor uses a variety of treatments, including leeches and eels; but his bedside manner and quick thinking make for one of the show's most compelling characters.
Communications officer Hoshi Sato (Linda Park), helmsman Travis Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery), and tactical officer Lt. Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating) rounded out the main cast.
The show played up the sexiness of its leads, but character moments were also important. In the episode “Shuttlepod One,” Trip and Malcolm are trapped on a shuttlepod and fear the Enterprise cannot reach them in time. How each of them deals with their own mortality provides compelling drama.
The series throughout takes on challenges faced by the NX-01 Enterprise as it dealt with tension among its allies and struggles with emerging technologies.
The Enterprise characters conflict with the Vulcans, who are more technologically advanced. The Vulcans provide aid to Starfleet with somewhat of a heavy hand. In “The Andorian Incident,” the Starfleet crew gets in further hot water with the Vulcans when they reveal a secret Vulcan base. That episode also introduces Commander Shran (Jeffrey Combs), a blue-skinned Andorian who provides an excellent foil for Archer.
The show has its anachronistic moments, and the Rod Stewart-esque theme song displeased many Trekkers. But the show provides an entertaining fictional look at what interstellar travel could be like, with a crew that's discovering what the rules of space will be, and in some cases, making their own.
The season one Blu-ray has an impressive picture; the show was the first “Trek” to be shot in HD. There are also multiple commentaries and behind-the-scenes featurettes.
— Matthew Price