Why this show failed

I watched Enterprise when it first aired, and I'm recently watching it again on Netflix. I actually enjoy the show, as I enjoy all things Trek, but I can see why the show was cancelled so soon. Here are the reasons the show didn't work (according to me):

1) The look of the show

When I first heard about Enterprise, I was really excited. Since it was supposed to take place before TOS, I was looking forward to seeing some really interesting, retro set design in line with what would have evolved toward that of TOS in terms of colors, technology, uniforms, etc. Instead we got a slightly evolved version of modern space shuttle or submarine decor. I know they were going for the "realistic" look, but I would have rather seen something more along the lines of the set design of the JJ Abram's movies, although even that looked way too advanced compared to TOS.

2) Uninteresting characters

Whoever did the casting for this show did a terrible job. The only character that stood out to me was T'Pol. Everybody else was invisible. I did also like Trip, although I found his nice southern country boy persona without any interesting backstory a bit boring. Paris from Voyager was a similar character, but he at least had an interesting backstory.

3) Captain Archer

I love Scott Bakula. But I don't think he is Star Trek captain material. Star Trek captains are supposed to be strong and principled (Picard, Sisko, Janeway) with perhaps a little mischievousness (Shatner). But Bakula always seems to play the serious but befuddled Everyman who always looks a bit in over his head. When the show started he was principled in that he eschewed violence and torture. But as the show went on he was torturing everyone in sight. I know the producers probably wanted to show how his character evolved in response to the challenges he encountered, but it just didn't seem to work.

4) The Aliens

This show was supposed to take place to over a century before TOS and a few decades after first contact. I'll accept having a Vulcan aboard on this first mission, but some strange alien doctor in charge of the crew's well-being? I would have preferred a human doctor, perhaps, like Bones in TOS, especially if he exhibited some friction with the captain.

5) Story Arcs

Those long story arcs just didn't work. Star Trek works when it's episodic--something new each week. It gets boring when a single story line dominates.

6) The song

The first time I heard the song, I hated it. It just didn't fit Star Trek. I admit, however, that I actually like the song now. But I think they should have stuck with the tried and true classical music/monologue opening.


Disagree on all counts. Thought the show was great. Too bad it didn't go on for another couple seasons.

I'm not crazy, my mother had me tested


My opinions about the show:

Hated the theme song at first though it grew on me later...

From the first announcement about Scott Backula being the captain I was offended. I was not a fan of Quantum Leap at all and my only impression of him was in a dress from a commercial / trailer of that show. My opinion never got better even after Enterprise began (though I did watch it in its entirety in first run since I am a die-hard Star Trek fan).

My favorite character was the dog. What an adorable Beagle! Both of the little girl dogs who played the role are just so cute. I have a two year old Beagle partly because of Porthos.

T'Pol, Trip, Jeffrey Combs' Andorian (I forget his character's name) and Dr Phlox were my other favorites. Though the overall casting was relatively abysmal and the acting very stiff.

It was also filmed very boringly. I mean there was no sense of enjoyment in the filming. It was one step above a typical 1920 silent film which relied on static shots, one after another... Though it was enjoyable to watch in High Definition.

THE STORIES WERE LAME, MOSTLY. I especially hated the serialization of the stories. Seemed like a cheap trick to keep you coming back to find out what was happening (but in all honesty I've never been a fan of that kind of serialized television - even The Walking Dead is getting on my nerves lately).

I am re-watching it on Netflix and find it just as annoying as I did the first time around with all the same complaints. But, since there is nothing new (yet) in the Star Trek television landscape I will watch it again. Hope spring eternal with the promise of a new series but I will not hold my breath since Enterprise was such a disappointment!

Again just my humble opinions. If you like it then - GREAT, I just thought it could have been so much better.

Married my same sex partner of 23 years in NY State in 2013


1. I think that people completely underestimate the extent to which the song spoiled the series for everyone. I know that for me personally, it left a bad impression right the start. It made me feel as if Enterprise was going to be some wishy washy, dumbed down version of Star Trek for the CW crowd. I tried giving the show a shot but I couldn't shake that feeling that this wasn't a series for me because of that theme song.

2. The characters were terrible. People can rant about Voyager all they want, but everyone to this day still talks about Janeway, B'elanna Torres, Seven of Nine, Neelix, etc. because for better or for worse, there was something about these characters that resonated with the audience. I have rarely heard people talk about any of the characters on Enterprise. They were all completely forgettable.

3. It didn't feel pre-TOS at all, and what was the fun of watching a series that was supposed to be happening before that period but just looks like a contemporary show with a few Trekkie elements?

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I agree that the characters were very dull, and the song dates the show worse than the tech and uniforms dates TOS, but I think you missed the biggest failure.

This show was a prequel, so it was stuck with having to show events which fans already had some understanding of. However, that was also the fun for fans. Seeing the Earth/Romulan War, seeing the beginnings of the Cold War with the Klingons etc. Instead they created whole new species and silly storylines with the Xindi and temporal cold wars. They also introduced the Borg and the Ferengi, which was an absolute mistake and destroys continuity.

It failed because the writers set the show 100 years before TOS, but then ignored the constraints that choice put on them.

I also think it is a mistake to keep going back. The Abrams movies are what they are, but on TV the show should move forward.


This show was such a let down / disappointment. I was so excited for it and felt completely disappointed after only a few episodes. The theme song is terrible, that helps ruin the show. T'Pol was the best thing about this, super hot, super sexy. She made me want to lay some pipe Vulcan style.


I disagree with all six of your points. Loved Phlox, the story-arcs, Archer and the entire cast, even Porthos. I also liked the theme song from the beginning. I didn't want to see 60's-era syfy sets. I think the sets were appropriate for that time period (approx 100 years prior to TOS). Enterprise is close to the top of my favorite Trek series.

I see SO many people hating on it and I just don't get it.


'3) Archer'

I'll agree that sometimes he did look a little bit out of his depth, though it was rare. I think your problems with his morality though should be considered in the context of the specific situation. I remember the one time he used torture, but he was as uncomfortable with it as we are, and it was only done after much deliberation i.e. asking Phlox how many times in his career he did something he "knew was unethical". I think the writers were going more for how the character had to adjust his moral compass given the fact that he was in an impossible situation, as you mention. Another interesting thing to consider along these lines is the hijacking of the warp coil from the innocent and also-trapped aliens. He did at least compensate them with a large cache of supplies, so he was still aware of his principles. As he says, 'I have no choice". Everything depends on the situation and I think the writers did want to walk the 'ends justify the means' line and show that in some situations morally-wrong things are just necessary in light of the fact that his homeworld was about to be annihilated. So yes, there was a sort of 'everyman' thing going on but that was interesting as they couldn't have a carbon copy of any previous captain, and at the same time yes there is also an evolution of character, it's a combination in my view.


The TNG style and formula was being overused since Roddenberry died and I was really fed up with it.

Didn't use the TOS look because Rick Berman and Co were more fans of TNG, when doing ENT they openly said they were never gonna do that look and TNG was superior which they shouldn't have done because it's just attracting angry words, it's like if you made a OK Bond film and said it was better than the ones that came before, it's one thing if it's coming from fans or critics but when it comes from the writers themselves it's not so much inducing trekkers flocking to see it as inducing eye rolls.

It was coming out when the Trek craze was ending a bit. By the time it was airing the last TNG film Nemesis had flopped.

Enterprise failed because needed a imagination capturing premise with well defined characters or a cool retro style look that isn't TNG inspired or new blood to the franchise it has none.