Did studio meddling cause all the problems with Star Trek: Enterprise?

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Very few people really love Enterprise, the Star Trek prequel series that aired for four years. Until its final season, this show seemed to be struggling with the worst elements of both prequels and sequels, given its confusing time-travel storyline. But on the Blu-ray special features, the show's creators blame the studio.

Top image: The Light Works

According to the featurettes on the recently released Enterprise Blu-ray sets (via PopMatters and AICN), creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga had a very different plan in mind for Enterprise. Berman and Braga wanted the whole first season of Enterprise to be basically the same as the flashback episode "First Flight," in which we see Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) on Earth, working as a test pilot and trying to get a space mission together. The whole first season would have been about getting the ship and crew assembled, while dealing with the Vulcans. And stuff like the Klingon crash-landing on Earth (in the pilot, "Broken Bow,") would have happened over the course of the season.


Instead, Paramount and UPN insisted that Berman and Braga had to get the Enterprise crew out into space in the first episode, so the series could hew more to the traditional Star Trek format, the producers claim in a new roundtable interview segment on the Blu-rays, plus a featurette called "Uncharted Territory." Not only that, but it was the studio that insisted the producers had to include the Temporal Cold War, making the show both a prequel and sequel to the other Star Trek series — because the studio suits were nervous about making a pure prequel. (On one Blu-ray feature, Bakula says he constantly gets people asking him what happened to the Temporal Cold War. Braga says he found the Temporal Cold War "strangulating.")

Other horrifying/fascinating details (via AICN): One studio executive pitched the idea of having a different "boy band" board the Enterprise and perform every week. Also, Bakula says he made an angry phone call to Braga over the Riker/Troi-centric series finale, and Braga now regrets that episode. Braga says he sometimes chafed under Berman's leadership and their relationship has become "complicated" since Enterprise was cancelled.


Also, showrunner Manny Cotto had amazing plans for Enterprise season five, including making the Andorian Shran (Jeffrey Combs) into a regular. Braga says, "I always thought season four should have been season one," a sentiment many fans can probably agree with.