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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Various
Cast:
Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, John Billingsley, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park, Connor Trinneer
Writing Credits:
Various

Synopsis:
The Star Trek franchise continues with its fifth spinoff television series, Enterprise. Set in the 22nd century (100 years before the stewardship of Captain Kirk), the prequel series charts the intergalactic adventures of the first humans to explore the far reaches of outer space on the eponymous Starship Enterprise NX-01. Ship commander Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) leads his crew on a pioneering mission to chart new planets and alien civilizations at a time when the United Federation of Planets is in its infancy. John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park, and Connor Trinneer costar as Bukula's intrepid crew. This collection includes every episode from the series' fourth and final season, which attempts to tie up loose threads and storylines from previous Star Trek incarnations.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.78x1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 939 min.
Price: $129.98
Release Date: 11/1/2005

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary on Three Episodes
• Text Commentary on Three Episodes
• Deleted Scenes for Three Episodes
• “Enterprise Moments: Season Four” Featurette
• “Inside ‘Mirror’ Episodes” Featurette
• “Visual Effects Magic” Featurette
• “Links to the Legacy” Featurette
• “Enterprise Secrets” Featurette
• “That’s a Wrap!” Featurette
• Outtakes
• Photo Gallery
• “Borg Invasion” Trailer
• Easter Egg


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RELATED REVIEWS


Star Trek: Enterprise - Season Four (2004)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 24, 2006)

With Enterprise, for the first time since The Next Generation, a Star Trek series focused on the adventures of a ship with that name. For the first time since the Original Series, a Trek series failed to last seven seasons. Despite the best attempts of fans, Enterprise only made it through four years before it got the axe.

I never watched the series when it ran on TV, so I guess I’m partially to blame. But I never took in any of the others either, so when it came to Enterprise, I had a lot of company with many other non-viewers. Now that I’ve seen Enterprise, I wish it’d lasted longer, as the series turned out to be quite good.

Without any further ado, let’s plow through Season Four’s 22 programs. These shows will be discussed in the order broadcast, which is also the way in which they appear on the DVDs. The plot synopses come from http://www.tv.com – thanks to them for their great work.

Disc One:

Storm Front, Part I: “The Temporal Cold War takes a new twist as Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and the Enterprise are thrown back in time to 1944, where they find a new temporal faction has changed the course of WWII in an attempt to change Earth's future.”

Since “Storm Front” is a two-part episode, I’ll hold my comments until after the second segment.

Storm Front, Part II: “Archer races again time to stop the temporal aliens from completing their plans to destroy all of time. Silik (John Fleck), who had sneaked aboard the Enterprise before its trip back to the past, becomes Archer's ally to stop the aliens.”

What with the Xindi plot of Season Three finished, Enterprise gives its crew no time to rest. “Storm Front” finds the series in a “wrapping things up” frame of mind, for these episodes apparently finish off the old Temporal Cold War thread. And I regard that as a good thing, since that area never made a whole lot of sense, and it simply became a confusing encumbrance along the way. “Storm Front” doesn’t compute either, but it shows Nazis in cooperation with nasty aliens, and that’s good enough for me!

Home: “With both the Xindi and the Temporal Cold War behind them, the crew of Enterprise finally return to Earth. The crew receives a heroic welcome complete with parades, news broadcasts, and schools renamed in their honor. But the troubled captain is having trouble putting the experiences of the past year behind him. When Archer blows up at Ambassador Soval (Gary Graham) during his mission debriefing, he is ordered by Admiral Forrest (Vaughn Armstrong) to take a vacation and get his act together. Meanwhile, Commander T'Pol (Jolene Blaylock) invites Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker (Connor Trinneer) to visit her mother T'Les (Joanna Cassidy) on Vulcan since he no longer has a home or a family. It's the first time T'Pol has been home in years, which gives T'Les a chance to see the changes her daughter has undergone during her time among humans. Also, Ensign Travis Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery), and Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) learn firsthand the extent of the xenophobia that has plagued Earth since the Xindi attack.”

“Home” feels like a placeholder episode. It exists mainly to give everyone a breather. What with the end of a major plotline and plenty of adventure to come this year, I guess they figured we needed a rest. “Home” comes across like soap opera as it explores the characters. It’s a lackluster show.

Borderland: “Criminal Arik Soong (Brent Spiner) is brought aboard the Enterprise to assist in finding some genetically enhanced humans he created after stealing some altered DNA left over from the Eugenics Wars.”

Since “Borderland” is the first of a three-part story, I’ll hold my comments until it concludes.

Disc Two:

Cold Station 12: “Soong, who has been freed by his Augment children, intends to reclaim the remaining Augment embryos being stored at Cold Station 12. Soong plans to incubate the embryos, and start an Augment army to take over the known worlds. They head to Cold Station 12 in the Bird of Prey that the Augments have stolen from the Klingons. Archer must stop Soong and the Augments, and try to prevent a looming war with the Klingons at the same time.”

Keep going – this is only part two of three!

The Augments: “After turning on their creator the Augments try to start a war between Humans and Klingons.”

This three-episode arc maintains a vague connection to Khan and Data, but mostly it stands on its own. In that way, it works pretty well. It’s definitely nice to see Spiner play a different role, and he plays the part nicely. We find a good mix of action and intrigue in this solid trio of shows.

The Forge: “When Earth's embassy on Vulcan is bombed evidence points to a religious faction known as ‘Syrrannites’, a group following a revolutionary interpretation of the teachings of Surak, the father of Vulcan logic. After T'Pol receives a clandestine lead, she and Archer embark upon a treacherous journey through the Vulcan desert looking for them.”

Since this episode acts as the first chapter of a three-part series, I’ll defer my comments until it concludes with “Kir’Shara”.

Awakening: “The Earth embassy on Vulcan has been bombed. The Vulcans blame Syrrannite terrorists. Archer and T'Pol must get to the bottom of the bombing and bring those responsible to justice. However, unbeknownst to Archer and T'Pol, more is going on than just a simple act of terrorism.”

Keep moving – nothing to see here!

Disc Three:

Kir'Shara: “After finding the Syrrannites were not the ones who bombed the Earth embassy on Vulcan, Archer and T'Pol attempt to take a sacred, but controversial artifact back to the Vulcan High Council. The artifact holds the key to an internal religious struggle going on between the Vulcan people, which had provoked the bombing of the Earth embassy. However, powerful forces are out to prevent Archer, T'Pol, and T'Pau (Kara Zediker) from reaching the High Council with the artifact alive.”

This trilogy offers a good exploration of the Vulcans. It develops concepts like the Katra that we know from other places, and it sets up characters who were more prominent elsewhere. It also brings a nice sense of style to the table and provides a series of episodes that give us a fine look at the Vulcans and their mythology.

Daedalus: “The inventor of the current transporter system claims he has found a way to transport people over great distances, possibly even making star ships obsolete. The Dr. and the Enterprise set out to verify the claim in a remote part of the star system. But the Dr. has other plans for Enterprise's transporter system.”

For me, the best parts of this episode give us insights into the creation of the transporter. I’d like more of those, but instead, the show prefers to focus on Dr. Erickson’s (Bill Embry) attempts to manipulate the system. These lead to some satisfying emotional moments at the end, but the journey to get there is only moderately engaging.

Observer Effect: “Non-corporeal aliens who study other species by occupying their bodies study the Enterprise crew and their human reactions to different stimuli. Their best results come from putting the other species in life or death situations, but mostly death situations. Can the Enterprise crew survive the aliens study?”

Though Trek featured many omnipotent aliens over the years, “Effect” turns into one of the better episodes of that sort. I like the ethical dilemma engaged in by the observers and think the premise offers a clever look at an alternate thought about First Contact. This is a stimulating and entertaining episode.

Babel One: “Someone is out to start a war between the Andorians and the Tellarites, and Archer lands in the middle of the pending conflict, as he takes a Tellarite Ambassador to the Andorian home world. Archer must find out who would would benefit from such a war, and why. He is assist in this by his past adversary, the Andorian Shran (Jeffrey Combs), who is rescued after his ship is crippled by a ship he says was Tellarite.”

The start of another three-part run, I’ll offer comments when it concludes two shows from now.

Disc Four:

United: “Archer is able to work a fragile alliance between the Andorians, Tellarites, and Vulcans to try and capture the marauding ship that is attacking each of the group's ships. The task is made more difficult due to the marauders ability to mask its appearance as several other types of ships. Their chance comes after the marauder is temporarily knocked out of action, but then things go horribly wrong.”

Keep going!

The Aenar: “Archer and Shran attempt to enlist the help of a secretive xenophobic people on Andoria, who have telepathic powers, known as the Aenar. Having captured a marauding space ship that had been wrecking havoc in the quadrant, the alliance realizes the ships are piloted by telepaths. The problem is, the telepathic Andorians are pacifist who won't even fight to defend their own planet. Archer must find the telepaths, convince them to pilot the captured marauder, and hope they can defeat the remaining threat before the unsteady alliance between the Andorians, Tellarites, and Vulcans collapses into internecine war.”

In this case, I think the backdrop surpasses the actual story. I really like the Tellarites – a society based on arguing and insults sounds like it’d suit me – and I’d like to see more of the issues related to the various species. Unfortunately, the episodes stretch the main plot too thin. The shows work okay, but they never become memorable.

Affliction: “The Enterprise returns to Earth to take part in the maiden launch of the newest NX class ship, the Columbia. Shortly after taking shore leave with the others, Phlox is kidnapped and taken to a secret Klingon research facility. They need Phlox' help to stop a disease that is the greatest threat the Klingon race has ever faced. Archer sets out to find Phlox with few clues to go on.”

Move ahead to see my thoughts about this two-parter.

Divergence: “As the Enterprise and Columbia get closer to finding Phlox's location, Klingon Augments board and sabotage the Archer's ship. As the crew race to prevent the impending destruction of the Enterprise, Phlox fights a losing battle against time to come up with a cure for the Klingon Augment virus. Even if Phlox finds a cure, will that stop the approaching Klingon War Bird from destroying them as they have been ordered to do?”

If nothing else, at least these shows explain why the Original Series Klingons look different than the ones seen elsewhere. I like that the programs feature Phlox in the lead, and they also develop Reed well. The shows become a little too “soap opera” at times, but they come across as mostly positive.

Disc Five:

Bound: “As a gift for negotiating with the Orion Syndicate, Captain Archer receives three Orion Slave Girls.”

Gotta dig the eye candy on display here! Tied to the earliest episodes of the Original Series, this one takes some nice twists and turns – and I don’t just mean those of the slave girls’ sexy figures. Those help make this an above-average show.

In a Mirror, Darkly: “In the mirror universe, Commander Archer mutinies against Captain Forrest in order to capture a future Earth ship found in Tholian space.”

For my thoughts on this show, head to Part II.

In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II: “In the mirror universe, Archer commandeers the 23rd-century Defiant from the Tholians and uses it in a nefarious power grab.”

We’ve seen plenty of alternate worlds in Trek, but “Mirror” manages to stand on its own. I really like the opening shot, and the altered credits are awfully cool. I like the intersection of the Enterprise and TOS worlds, and we get lots of fun and excitement. Add to that unusually sexy looks at Hoshi and T’Pol and these are good programs.

Demons: “A xenophobic faction of humanity threatens to undermine talks to form a new coalition of planets.”

Head to the next summary!

Disc Six:

Terra Prime: “A human isolationist leader (Peter Weller) threatens to destroy Starfleet Command unless all aliens leave Earth immediately.”

Some earlier shows hinted at xenophobia, but these more fully embrace the issues. This becomes somewhat heavy-handed, but I like the way these programs take on the topic and depict the problems related to growth in Starfleet. The plot gets spread too thin for two episodes, but it otherwise succeeds.

These Are the Voyages ...: “Six years in the future, an emotional Captain Archer and the crew return to Earth to face the decommission of Enterprise and signing of the Federation charter.”

“Demons”/”Prime” probably should have stood as the series’ final episode. “Voyages” ends things awkwardly and without a satisfying resolution. It offers too much definition for what happens to the characters, and it uses a silly format as it integrates some Next Generation characters. Fans should probably view “Demons”/”Prime” as the end of the series and skip this disappointment.


The DVD Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus B /center>

Star Trek: Enterprise appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on these single-sided, double-layered DVDs; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. After three years of episodes shot on film, Season Four made the transition to digital video. It did so smoothly, as the visuals remained excellent.

Sharpness consistently came across well. Virtually no instances of softness appeared throughout the series. Instead, the shows were distinctive and tight. Jagged edges and shimmering created no concerns, and I also noticed no problems with edge enhancement. Source flaws appeared absent, as I didn’t discern specks, marks or other issues. Some light grain was there at times, and that was about it.

The palette varied depending on the context of the episode. Much of the time the colors were a bit restrained, but sometimes they took on more dynamic tones. Overall, though, they were consistently strong. I thought the hues remained accurate and full within their design. Blacks seemed firm and deep, while low-light images gave us good definition and visibility. All told, Enterprise looked terrific.

I didn’t think the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Star Trek: Enterprise was a major change from prior packages, but the audio was just a little stronger. The audio stayed mainly focused on the front channels and created a good sense of life in that area. It used the forward speakers to form a realistic and rich feeling of ambience and moved elements about quite cleanly. As for the surrounds, they tended to echo material from the front. They became more active at times, especially during battles and fly-by shots, but they weren’t tremendously involving. Still, they were a bit livelier than during the first three seasons, as they created a pretty solid sense of setting.

I encountered no concerns with audio quality. Effects portrayed the material well, as they brought the elements to life with good clarity and definition. Music also seemed full and bright, with solid dynamic response. Speech seemed distinctive and concise, and I noticed no problems attached to the lines. This wasn’t a stellar soundtrack, but it was more than acceptable.

Season Four’s extras echo those found on the prior two packages. We get audio commentaries for both parts of “In a Mirror, Darkly” as well as “Terra Prime”. Writer Mike Sussman and startrek.com editorial director Tim Gaskill chat for “Mirror” while Gaskill and writers Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens discuss “Prime”.

For the “Mirror” tracks, we got information about development of the story, character changes, connections to the Original Series’ “Mirror, Mirror”, technical challenges and the recreation of TOS sets, and little tidbits about the production. The pair offer a lively look at the show and dig into the elements well. We learn a lot about the episodes in this fun track.

As for the “Prime” commentary, we get similar information. The participants discuss story issues, character growth and various technical and visual concepts. This offers a solid overview of the show and fleshes out the episode well.

As with the prior Enterprise packages, text commentaries by Michael and Denise Okuda come with three episodes. We find these tracks for “The Forge”, “In a Mirror, Darkly Part One” and “These Are the Voyages”. Don’t expect surprises from this presentation, but that’s a good thing, as the Okudas always offer strong text discussions. They talk about set design, cast and crew, visual effects and stunts, connections to other Trek series, props, and factual details. As always, these give us good background and notes as they help tie in the episodes and the series to the bigger world of Trek. “Mirror” tosses out lots of elements about how the show tried to recreate the Original Series, while “Voyages” summarizes Enterprise and Trek as a whole. The text tracks are valuable additions to the set.

Three episodes come with deleted scenes. These accompany “Storm Front Part One” (one scene, 2:37), “The Aenar” (one scene, 0:45) and “In a Mirror, Darkly Part Two” (one scene, 2:19). The clips for “Front” and “Mirror” offer short extensions of existing sequences and don’t seem terribly interesting. However, “Aenar” presents an intriguing coda for the Romulans and is more worthwhile.

The remaining extras all reside on DVD Seven. Most of these come from a series of featurettes. We start with Enterprise Moments: Season Four. It uses show snippets, behind the scenes bits and interviews. It runs 16 minutes and 22 seconds and includes comments from Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens, co-executive producer/writer Manny Coto, actors Scott Bakula, Connor Trinneer, Dominic Keating, John Billingsley, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis.

They discuss “Zero Hour”, “The Forge”, “Borderland”, “Terra Prime”/”Demons”, and “These Are the Voyages”. We get notes about resolving the cliffhanger, developing Vulcan lore, bringing Brent Spiner on as a guest, launching the Federation and concluding the series. These details give us a nice wrap up for the season and Enterprise, as they provide good details about all of these topics. I also really like the shots from the set that feature Spiner and director LeVar Burton.

Inside the “Mirror” Episodes lasts 15 minutes, 40 seconds and includes remarks from Coto, Sussman, illustrator Doug Drexler, makeup designer Michael Westmore, digital effects supervisor John Teska, and visual effects producer Dan Curry. We learn why there’s no crossover element to “Mirror”, how the series almost included William Shatner, the development of the “Mirror” story, designing and building replicas of the TOS sets, creating other elements like costumes and creatures, and redefining characters. A little of this information repeats from the text commentary, but not too much. Instead, we get a fine exploration of the treats and challenges of “Mirror”, and we see many interesting behind the scenes bits to flesh out the program.

Enterprise Secrets fills five minutes, 51 seconds. 2nd AD David Trotti leads us through the last day of shooting and shows us all the crewmembers who make cameos. It’s a nice way to look at these folks when they step in front of the camera.

For the 13-minute and 24-second Visual Effects Magic, we get comments from Curry, Teska, 3D artist Fred Pienkos, visual effects supervisor Ronald B. Moore, lead 3D modeler Pierre Drolet, and digital effects supervisor Robert Bonchune. We learn about recreating an alternateWWII for “Storm Front”, motion capture and CG for the insectoid Xindi and the Tholians, the new Columbia ship, and the “superweapon” that attacked the Earth. Although light on real details, “Magic” runs through the various issues well. It gives us the most necessary facts about the effects and proves entertaining.

Next we get the eight-minute and 59-second That’s a Wrap. This takes us to the wrap party that markd the end of Enterprise. We hear some remarks from Keating, Billingsley, Bakula, Mike and Denise Okuda, co-creators/executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, and actors Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park, Peter Weller, Jeffrey Combs, LeVar Burton. Inevitably, it’s a goopy lovefest, though one tempered by some bitterness related to series’ cancellation. It’s interesting mainly as an archival piece.

Connections to other Trek appear in Links to the Legacy. The four-minute and 25-second piece presents remarks from Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens as they discuss how Enterprise tied to aspects of the Original Series as well as DS9. We’ve heard some of this elsewhere, but it adds a nice recap of those issues.

In two minutes and 16 seconds of Outtakes, we get the usual goof-ups and silliness. Don’t expect anything more interesting than that.

In addition to a trailer for the “Borg Invasion” attraction and an unmemorable 60-shot Photo Gallery, we find one Easter Egg. As with other Trek series, it appears in the “Special Features” menu and is easy to locate. It includes remarks from Trinneer, Bakula, fans Tim Brazeal, Chuck Ballard, Alexandra Wojciechowska, and Stewart Nielson, and runs four minutes and 41 seconds. We see the rally in front of Paramount organized in an attempt to save Enterprise.

That didn’t work, but now that I’ve seen all of the series’ episodes, I wish it had succeeded. I went into Enterprise with fairly low expectations, but I must admit I rather liked it. It developed into something different within the Trek universe and was getting better when it got its premature axe. Season Four offered a lot of unusual threads and worked pretty well. The DVDs presented very good picture and audio along with a mix of fairly useful extras. I recommend fans give Season Four of Enterprise a look.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 12
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