Matt and Sean talk about a well done, but poorly conceived, Star Trek Enterprise epilogue. Why is The Next Generation a part of this?!?!
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Sean, my buckle up everybody. Here we go. That’s right. We’re talking about enterprise season four, episode 22, the final episode of enterprise. These are the voyages. Let’s just take a moment to recognize
we did a joint.
We did. We did.
It’s been almost two years. Yeah. Getting through four years of this TV series. It’s been overwhelmingly fun. I have had a blast doing this, I hope. Has had a blast doing this, and I hope you, the listeners and viewers have enjoyed this as much as we have and I hope you’ll join us as we move on to the next stage of discovery, which is in the future.
So this week, as always, we are watching Star Trek in chronological order, and we are now at the very end of enterprise. We are also taking a look at what the world was like at the time of original broadcast. So for the last time, We are looking at the way the world was presenting itself in 2005. We’ll be leaping forward very soon.
This coming week after this episode, Matt and I are gonna share a recap of enterprise, which is gonna take the form of a conversation about the show as a whole. What we think it achieved, what we thought it could have achieved, and also sharing some of our favorite episodes from the run of the show. But this week we are gonna be talking about what.
At the time was presented as the finale, but which Showrunner Manny Coto later revealed he always thought of as an epilogue. And I think we’re gonna have a conversation around that idea and how things stood at the time and how they stand now. But for right now, who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell. I am a published author who writes some sci-fi.
I write some stuff for kids and with me as by my Brother Matt. He is that Matt behind Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. Matt, how you doing today? I’m doing pretty well. How about you? I’m doing very well. I’m looking forward to this conversation.
I think this is a very interesting episode now that we are no longer viewing it as first time viewers. Yep. And knowing the legacy of the show and this much time having passed since the show, I think it’s gonna be a really fun conversation. But before we get into that, we’d like to share some comments from our previous episodes.
So, Matt, why don’t you let us know what the viewers have been saying recently?
All right. Well from episode 92, demons and Terra Prime, the one that had Peter Weller in it. Dan Sims commented, really liked these two episodes, but wow. Could they have gotten a cuter baby to doom humanity?
Yeah. Yes, that baby. I mean, if you could order a baby with Vulcan ears, That’s the baby.
That’s the baby.
So then, then there was a comment from Sam Higden who said, what will you guys do when you get to Strange New Worlds? Cuz that show isn’t finished yet. So what do you do when you get there? You’re just gonna go to the original series and Yeah, we’ll just go to the original series. Yeah, the show’s not done.
Yeah. And on top of which Discovery Spoiler, if nobody’s watched it, they change time periods in the middle of that. And so we’re gonna obviously probably have to pause cause it’s not, we’re
in chronological order, we’re gonna hit a, we’re gonna hit a hard stop in discovery, have to move into strange new worlds. And the pacing that we’ll be at will probably be faster than their production.
So yeah, that is our expectation is that we will move on to the original series and then I think it would be smart for us to like set up now to, to think about now. And I invite the viewers, the listeners, to leave comments. Yes. What do you think the best way to reintergrate. Strange new worlds as they reveal new episodes.
What would be the best way for us to reintegrate those into our viewing? Would it be better for us to go through as much of strange new worlds as available than go into the original series? Do the entirety of that and then return to strange new worlds, or would you prefer we work it in. The difficulty with that being, that would create a lot of back and forth.
So yeah, I let everybody in the comments like, jump in, weigh in, let us know what you think about which of those two approaches you’d, you’d prefer. Yep.
The last comment I wanna bring up is gonna probably help kickstart the conversation once we get back to it after the, this time in history That’s right, was from PaleGhost 69.
Thank you, PaleGhost. This, this comment couldn’t have been better when viewed as a final. This is the one with Peter Weller when viewed as a finale. This episode is a lot better than the Riker cameo. No one asked for the epilogue. Brings into question the accuracy of the whole series. We were wa, were we watching a hollow novel or the actual source material?
Did the Xindi arc even happen? Is it all just made up fantasy or a of a different time? That takes inspiration from events of the time.
We can talk about that. We will get into all of that PaleGhost, once again, hitting it with the bullseye. But before we get into that, the noise you hear in the background, that of course is the real alert.
It’s time for Matt to jump into the Wiki description. Take it away.
All right. Set. In the 22nd century, the series follows the Adventures of the First Starfleet Starship Enterprise Registration NX oh one. In this episode, the story moves to the year 2370 when Commander William Riker grapples with making a difficult admission to a commanding officer.
Just Picard about a coverup. Riker after consulting counselor Deanna Troy turns to the simulated events of the year 2161 for guidance when the crew of the enterprise travels home to earth for both decommissioning and the formation of the United Federation of Planets. Is a frame story where the 22nd century events of Star Trek enterprise are recounted in a 24th century holodeck recreation that is folded into the Star Trek, the next generation episode, the Pegasus, which aired 11 years earlier.
It was the 12th episode of the seventh season of Next
Generation. So as Matt just mentioned, this is season four, episode 22, directed by Allan Kroeker. At this point, Allan Kroeker was the guide that they turned to when it was time to put the nail in a show. He directed the end episode of DS nine. He directed the final episode of Voyager, and now here he is again writing or directing the final episode of Enterprise, the episode written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.
Two names we haven’t talked about for a while, and I think we’re gonna have a bit of a conversation about them now. Oh. The original air date was May 13th, 2005. And guest appearances include a gentleman by the name of Jonathan Frakes, FRA FRAs, Jonathan Frakes Dunno who the guy familiar with this guy as.
William Riker, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi. Jeffrey Combs as Shran, Brent Spiner as the voice of data. We do not see data on screen. Patrick Stewart as Jean Luke Picard. Again, voice appearance only. And William Shatner as James T. Kirk once again as a voice only. And what was the world like on May 13th, 2005?
Well, Matt, sad to say this will be your final week of singing since you’ve been gone by Kelly Clarkson. Take it away, Matt. The final phrase of the song. Do It Good. And at the movies people were going to see Kingdom of Heaven. Earning 19 million dollars and on television shows that competed and as usual beat Enterprise included America’s Funniest Home Videos, the Friday night movie on Fox.
What I like about you and Reba on the WB and the the usual cavalcade of shows that just continued to trounce, enterprise Enterprise at the beginning of the show, the opening episode four years earlier. Earned something like 12 million viewers. It very quickly descended to five and then it went sub five where it stayed for the entirety of its run.
At this point, enterprise was getting roughly just below 4 million viewers. A very poor showing and. Some of the details that we had been reading the tea leaves as we were watching episodes and we were looking at news features from the eras of the episodes. By the time the, the network, by the time U P N had decided to cancel enterprise, they almost canceled it in season three.
They decided not to instead shifting it to Friday night because they decided that their top show. Should be the model for the entirety of their network. Matt, any guesses as to what their top show was? I don’t wanna guess. America’s Next Top Model. Oh, okay. So the entire network shifted its programming to what they considered a more heavily female focused viewership.
I think it’s interesting that the genderfication and the sexism inherent in that. Yep. Why couldn’t a Star Trek show have been female focused? Just throw that out there. One of the strongest female characters on television was actually before Enterprise, and it was Captain Janeway from Voyager. Very strong leader.
Strong discovery. Discovery. A future program. Yeah. Strong, strong women leadership, strong female characters. The idea that the network executive sat down and said, well, we have to shift this network to our female viewership, and immediately pushed a sci-fi program off the table onto Friday nights because it wouldn’t fit that model.
Talk about cutting off your nose despite your face. Imagine the show. If they had heightened female storytelling, heightened the female characters, what kind of stories might we have seen about, I don’t know, Hoshi? Mm-hmm. DePaul. Any number of guest characters who might have shown up on the show, maybe new characters added really a incredible missed opportunity and kind of highlighting.
Sexism inherent in the network and in the vision of Star Trek, despite the fact that Star Trek should be about the exact opposite. But mm-hmm. In any event, what’s done is done. And what was the world like 2005 as this episode was airing? Well, the US nominee for ambassador to the UN was moving to the Senate, but it was doing so very awkward.
Because it was a recess appointment by President Bush. It was a little man named John Bolton, a very controversial figure. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent the nomination of John Bolton to the full Senate without a recommendation for its approval. After Republicans fell short of the solid support among their own members necessary to endorse him as ambassadors to the United Nations.
He would go on to serve until December of 2006. He would step down at that point because the recess appointment would be over. He would have to go back through the nomination process, and by that time in 2006, the Democrats had controlled the Senate. Everybody knew he would never get approval. So rather than face that he stepped down also in the news at this time, finding profit in social networking website.
I thought this was interesting given the change of context. Last October, 2004, Greylock Partners took the plunge as a majority investor when Linkedin a social networking company in Palo Alto, California was syncing an investment of 10 million dollars to expand. The company had raised so much money, 4.7 million in venture financing in November, November 12th, 2003.
Most of it from Sequoia Capital. And now we live in a world in which a man accidentally buys Twitter for 40 billion dollars. Yep. Quite a world. So onto the episode, as we’ve mentioned before, this episode was written by Brannon Braga and Rick Berman, and it. And Okay. And it showed, I’m throwing it down, Sean. Yeah.
Gauntlet thrown. I have a feeling like we could talk about this episode for a solid three hours. I do not want to do that. Probably. I want to say like, I know what I want to say about it. I’m more interested in what you have to say about it. Big picture. Nah. I’m gonna ask you two questions. Two and one. One, okay.
Okay. As an episode, just as a story, did you like this? And then second as a capstone to the series. Did you like it? I think those are two separate questions.
Okay. Okay. Through that lens. I thought this was a fun next generation episode. Absolutely. For a capstone, it was abysmal. Yeah. I did not understand why they did it this way.
It was like, here’s the epilogue. To enterprise, let’s bring in the next generation and steal all the thunder of enterprise. And just like I, I, I did not understand why. It’s like, why is Will Riker here? Why is Troy here? Why is it about the next generation? What is going on? This is not a episode of Next Generation.
It should have been focused on them. You could have just erased all that and just had the, the capstone. Enterprise doing what they’re doing, like the scenes that we’re seeing play out with Will Riker pretending to be the chef. It’s like we could have just had those actual scenes. I did not understand it.
So as a enterprise finale, awful decision. But as a next generation episode, good times. It was fun to see them.
I completely agree. I think as a episode within an episode of Next Generation. Yeah, I think it’s great. Um, yeah, I actually wonder what it would be like. And I might do this when it comes to watching the episode, the Pegasus, I wonder if there’s a point.
Yeah, and I haven’t thought about it. I haven’t re-watched that episode in a long time, but I bet somebody online has made a suggestion of. At X number of minutes in the Pegasus, hit pause and watch this. Yeah. And then go back to the Pegasus. I bet you can sandwich this entire episode within the Pegasus, turning it into a kind of a, you know, sort of alternate director’s cut.
Version of the Pegasus and make for a really compelling episode. The Pegasus is a is a good episode. It is. Yes, it is. I do remember it. And the moment that this episode starts and you see what Riker is talking about dealing with, I immediately was like, oh yeah, that episode. I really like that one. Yep. The moment that a show reminds you of a better show.
It’s made a mistake. Not a good start. It’s not a great start, not a good start. I will also say this. If you take out all of the Riker and Troy out of this episode and just look at the episode, the events within Enterprise straight up, it is not good. Mm-hmm. And the reason for that is they were not the focus of the episode.
It is a will Riker story. It is not Yes. An enterprise story. Yep. The only way that you can defend it is to say, well, this is the Holodeck. Building a story based off of a rough narrative based on probably captain’s logs. Like that’s the only explanation that makes sense for them to, for him to be going into the events of this the way he does it, hints at the idea that everything that’s taking place on a Starship is being recorded.
Which of course it’s not. No, it’s, it’s not. So what is this based on? This is extrapolation. These are two dimensional characters. This is no different than seeing what Reginald Barclay makes out of his alternate versions of the enterprise crew. When you have the Barclay stories, when he’s in the holodeck and refuses to come out.
These versions of the enterprise crew are those types of versions. They are. It’s fan fiction. They are fan fiction. Two-dimensional representations. Yeah. And so it undermines the entire idea that this is in any way an epilogue to enterprise. What it is, is what Berman and Braga set it out to be, which was, they called it a Valentine to star Trek fans.
This would be the first time since the premier of Next Generation, that there would not be a Star Trek program on television. So we would be looking without knowing it. Then we’re looking at more than 10 years before we get to the next one. So they knew this was the end of an era, so they put something together that was kind of closing the loop from enterprise back around to the next generation.
So from that perspective, I can understand what they were going for, but I don’t think that they were very good at reading the room because yeah, the audience that they had wasn’t there for next generation. They were there for enterprise. They only had 4 million viewers roughly per week. Those 4 million and I was among them, were there for enterprise.
We were not there for next generation. Ultimately what the network did in broadcasting this, they took the two-parter with Peter Weller. They broadcast the first part on one week, and then the following week they put the second part with this. I remember at the time being extremely confused about what I was watching.
Yeah. It was very clearly Peter Weller’s story ended. I was a little surprised by that because I knew it was gonna be a two hour long broadcast and then we entered into this hour where suddenly it’s will Riker. And I left the episode thinking, what did I just watch? I couldn’t, yeah. I I couldn’t put it in context.
remember when it was aired, uh, my wife and I watched it and I have vivid memories of us with looking at each other going, what? What is going on here? This is so bizarre. Like, why wait, we just jumped forward six years. Why is will wait? What is Will Riker doing here? Yeah. What is happening right now?
We were so confused as to why they did this if they had aired. The two Peter Waller episodes together, and then they had advertised and teased the finale as what it was, which was, here’s an epilogue with some good old friends coming back for a second appearance. It’s like they could have probably framed it in a better way.
Yeah. But even then, it still would be just kind of like off-putting, because again, this is signing off for Enterprise, not Next Generation, and the fact that this is basically a next generation episode, I don’t. I’m gonna bag on Berman and Braga a little bit. Yeah. But like we’ve, we, we talked about earlier how they, it came across as they felt probably burned out.
Yeah. On Star Trek, they had kind of tapped the well dry for themselves, and when they took a step to the side and Manny Coto came in, there’s like a, a breath of fresh air. They came in. It’s not to say that they’re bad writers or they’re bad at what they do, they’ve just been doing it for so, That they pro it was time for them to move on, and they just hadn’t the fact that they came in and did this.
It’s just another example of, wow, these guys should have just like, really just stayed away. Let Manny Coto handle the, the finale, why they came back and did this because it, it just shows that the well was completely dry. They went back to their glory years. Yeah. Which was next generation. It’s like this, this felt more for them than it did
for the viewers.
Yeah. It also felt a little bit like the Rolling Stones coming out and performing at the, at a show built around their newest album, suddenly doing a medley at the end of all their greatest hits as opposed to playing any of those greatest hits. Just doing ama a mashup of every hit that they had for the 25 years previous.
It’s jarring and it’s not enjoyable. It’s, yeah, for that reason, and like I said, I am curious about watching the Pegasus and inserting this episode into that because I think it might create kind of a compelling storyline in that regard. But as an enterprise story, it falls short. I think it falls short with the time jump forward.
I don’t like the yada, yada y. That’s provided for why Shran is no longer part of the Andorian guard. Why shortchanged him? They shortchanged him. They do this whole sequence with Tripp sacrificing himself. It is a needless death. Actors apparently at the time of shooting this felt like this was a completely out of nowhere.
Manipulation of the audience, including mm-hmm. Connor Trinneer said that it felt like it was manipulating the audience. The, before this episode broadcast, Jolene Blaylock basically called it abysmal. It was, she felt like it was taking the thunder away from her cast and her show. And it was, and it was. And later on, Frakes would say, being a part of that was probably a mistake because mm-hmm It was not, it was not the kind of moment that they wanted.
Connor Trinneer was actually quoted as saying he felt like the show should have had a mash moment, which would be kind of a like arms around the entire cast, providing them with an opportunity to say goodbye to each. And maybe if they were saying goodbye as a whole for Star Trek, it would’ve felt more like their conclusion.
Mm-hmm. But as it currently, as it feels almost like Star, like, like Next Generation is, is given the opportunity to say that goodbye and it really is a kind of unfair stealing of the spotlight. So, But within the confines of the story, the events that are supposed to be depicted, you get the moments that you, the only moments that you can hold onto from enterprise have to do with.
Archer into Paul. It feels like everybody else is kind of just like brushed to the side. Yes. And it’s to Paul and Archer having a moment where Archer is trying to get her to trust him and then at the end of the episode when he turns and hugs her and does not get a hug and return. But it is a moment where it is a nice bow on the two of them.
But I felt like every. Actor in the show, and this was something that was stated by some of the actors like Anthony Montgomery, who played Mayweather. They felt like they had no purpose in the episode. They, they didn’t, yeah. Like the
whole, the only time, uh, the rest of the, the crew had a chance to talk was when they were doing those conversations with Riker as the chef, where they had those moments and it was those characters all talking about Tripp.
So it was, we never got a chance to kind of say, to goodbye. To
each of the main characters, like
what is this character doing next? What is this emotional moment for them, it was all about them talking wistfully about, you know, Tripp Cuz we know he is gonna die. And then it was the same thing for, um, the, the only characters that we got to say, see in a wonderful moment of that kind of emotional release as a fan was the, the captain into Paul moment.
Like one of my favorite me moments from this, the whole thing was the two of them right before he’s about to walk out on the stage. Mm-hmm. He stops, turns around and hugs her. And there was the other scene where she’s like fussing with his collar. Yeah.
She says down still doting mother. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
It’s like just those two little moments were just, they spoke volumes for the relationship that these two people have. The, the, the love that they have for each other as like family and colleagues. It, that to me was just like, why couldn’t we have had moments like. With Reid and Tripp, or with Mayweather and Hoshi, it’s like, why weren’t we given the moments to do that?
Which is why I come back to the inane idea of turning this into a next generation episode steals the thunder of the entire show. I’m watching this show because it’s enterprise, not because it’s star Trek, and the fact that this is the last episode I, I still can’t wrap my head around what they were thinking, especially with Shran fan favorite Shran.
Like, I want him to have a kick ass future. Like think of him turning into some kind of like angry ambassador for Andoria. Yeah. You know what I mean? Like that would be amazing. Instead, they have him basically in disgrace because he’s committed, he’s supposedly committed crimes, and it’s like, wait, what?
Wait, what did you just do to Shran? Why did you, why did you just dump all over this fan favorite character and turn him into this kind of rogue, which he never was. He never was that. So it just, it felt like, It
literally boils down to him being in a position where criminals think that he’s stolen a jewel and I’m.
What? Yeah. Yeah. How does Shran get to that point? That doesn’t, there’s nothing about the character that seems like it would be broadcasting that kind of conclusion for him. And there was some talk apparently about a crossover show for quite a while there. There was the hopes of doing something and the writer Sussman at one point.
Was proposing an idea of having an episode built around the doctor on Voyager, working on somebody who is so old that it is possible that it is Jonathan Archer in the future. That he’s somehow trapped in the future as a result of some, again, the time travel, the time war, like the temper, cold war, like some kind of story that would reawaken that and that he would be cast into the future and he’d be on Voyager being worked on by the doctor.
That might have been a more interesting story and might have worked better as an enterprise conclusion, especially when you consider. Like, and this is just me talking off the top of my head. Imagine a storyline in which the doctor is brought, a patient who’s found in an escape pod and severely injured.
And this patient begins to claim that they are Jonathan Archer and they’re scarred beyond recognition. But as they are talking about things, the doctor is now the only recipient of this information and begins to access Starfleet records. And as the doctor who is a hologram is talking to this patient, he begins to bring into the room the various people from Archer’s life as holographic representations to interact with him because this patient won’t respond to him, the doctor.
So he’s trying to use these representations of figures from the patient’s life in order to get him to respond. So you end up with this injured individual having these conversations and these touching goodbyes with holographic representations of his crew, and they could have shared with him the legacy of what Enterprise did for the future.
Mm-hmm. That might have been the kind of epilogue capstone. That the show could have resonated with instead of what we have here, which turned all of it on its head by saying, okay, it’s not the enterprise is the focus. It’s about a season and it’s a season, season seven episode. Of next generation. It’s, it’s not even like, it’s not even like it’s the best of both worlds where it’s like, oh my God, we’ve got a Borg problem.
Picard has become Locutus, and now we need to use the hologram to recreate the original enterprise to figure out how to get out of this. It is literally like mid-season episode of the final season of. Star Trek Next Generation kind of a, oh yeah, that episode, I remember that. That was, that was kind of a fun, a fumbling episode at best.
Yeah. Yeah. So I think that the big takeaway here is that both Matt and I are of the same mind, which is, yeah, you did write. an episode, but did you write the right episode? I don’t think they did. So listeners, viewers, what did you all think? I’m very curious. Does anybody out there say this is the perfect ending to this series, or do you agree with Matt and me that.
The better ending is the previous episode, and then maybe a little bit of the imagery from this episode at the end where you see the beginnings of what would become the federation. Let us know in the comments before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you wanted to share about what you have coming up?
I know you are traveling soon, so you will not be releasing any new episodes, but beyond your travels, what do you have coming up on your program in the next few weeks? Well, I. At the,
the, this episode should be out around the time that this episode’s coming out, I think is the top five home batteries that you can get.
Uh, right now, uh, I’ve, I’m been shopping for solar and batteries for my own home, and in that research I kind of put together this kind of like top five list of the big things on the market that you could look at right now with a couple bonus options for what’s coming in the future. So
keep an eye out for that.
As for me, you can check out my website, sean Ferrell dot com. You can find out information about my books, including my newest book, which will be coming out in June. We are less now than two months away from its premiere. I’m kind of stunned by that reality, but it’s the Sinister Secrets of Singe. It is a book for younger readers or people who just love adventure, but a young boy discovering his father is a mad scientist.
If you wanna check it out, you can find it online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, whatever major book seller you want. You can also find it at your local bookstores or your public library, and you can read more about it via my website. And if you’d like to support the show, please do consider reviewing us on Apple, Google, Spotify, wherever it was.
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