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Enterprise: Season One(TV) (2001-2002)
The crew of Earth's first warp 5 starship the Enterprise set forth to boldly go where no man has gone before.
For more about Enterprise: Season One and the Enterprise: Season One Blu-ray release, see Enterprise: Season One Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 24, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park (I)
Directors: David Livingston, Allan Kroeker, Michael Vejar, Roxann Dawson, David Straiton, LeVar Burton
» See full cast & crew
Enterprise: Season One Blu-ray Review
Can a fantastic supplemental package dwarf disappointing video?
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 24, 2013
For nearly half a century on television sets and cinema screens all around the world, they have boldly gone to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, encountered countless aliens, saved worlds, mended relationships, broken hearts, come and gone, and inspired generations to be brave, to think logically, to put others ahead of self, and to pursue careers in fields as diverse as astronomy and medicine, engineering and military. Star Trek is, without a doubt, the most important and widely developed fictional universe ever created, one that truly touches so many people, brings them together through common interests and pursuits, and strives for excellence with every new adventure, whether on the small or big screen and no matter the time, place, or crew. Every series and film has followed on from the time of Kirk and Spock, those future shows running congruent to one another in the general Next Generation timeframe. But when it came time for a series to follow Voyager, a schism formed: studio executives wanted a show that pushed even further into the future, and the creative minds wanted a prequel series showing mankind's first foray into space, decades before the time of the original series. For better or for worse (depending on the fan), the creators won the day and Enterprise, the story of Earth's first warp-five vessel and the crew that preceded Kirk and Spock, was born. It's an imperfect series and a radical departure from other Star Trek timelines and styles, but when it hits it's as good as anything that's come before. Season one shows some growing pains but also displays the sort of classic Trek cast chemistry, sense of pure adventure, and thought provoking story lines that have made the decades-long franchise such a success with fans around the world.
But it doesn't say "Star Trek" at the beginning. And there's...a pop song over the titles? What happened to "these are the voyages..." and "...to boldly go where no man has gone before" and the ship zipping across the screen? Then, wait, what? A Klingon running through a cornfield? Humans who don't even know what a Klingon (or "Klingont," as one of them says) is? Untrusted transporters? No Prime Directive? Nothing past warp five? No shields or photon torpedoes? Logs dated by the modern month-day-year calendar rather than a stardate? Food prepared by a chef rather than a replicator? Movie night on the ship? No short skirts for the ladies? NX-01 ball caps as part of the uniform? A strip-down and lube-up decontamination chamber? This certainly isn't daddy's or even big brother's Star Trek. Enterprise goes backwards in time, much closer to the real-world present than any series has gone before, and weaves its story around the birth of man's "high warp" space travel. It's high tech but not so high tech as to be nearly alien to modern viewers. It keeps a sort of nuts-and-bolts meets modern and future technology look, not so clunky as the original series and not so smooth and refined as The Next Generation but something wholly believable and tangible. It's something an older audience member's grandchild could one day see in person and not just on the televisions screen. The beauty of Enterprise is how non-alien it is to viewers and how very much alien it is compared to the rest of Star Trek. The creators really got it right, finding the essence of Star Trek in something well before any previously established lore, developing a world that would lead towards hundreds of hours of canon while still forging its own path with its own unique look and style. Season one certainly has its fair share of bad episodes -- that's par for the course for any of the newer series -- but it absolutely gets everything else right straight out of the gate.
Season one, uneven though it may be, is home to several gems, including Broken Bow, which may be the best Star Trek premiere episode of them all. It's different, deep, does very well to establish the characters and the universe, and provides enough action to support the story rather than overwhelm it. The cast camaraderie is evident from the get-go, and pretty much everything that would define the series sees its roots here, including the gross underutilization of Travis Mayweather. The episode blends Trek convention with some predictable elements (it's no surprise when the crew first discusses the dangers and fears of the transporter that it will play a key role in the episode) but also establishes the "temporal cold war" arc that is the series creators' way of appeasing the studio suits who wanted a future-looking Trek rather than a prequel. It makes for a great mind-bending dynamic, even considering the general overuse of time travel in Star Trek, and culminates in a big way in the season finale that, again, is the best Trek has ever seen to close off a first season. In between is some real trash but a few treasures (see below), but it all helps the series find its space legs and propel it towards the superior seasons to come.
Season one highlight episodes include:
Enterprise: Season One Blu-ray, Video Quality
Enterprise: Season One doesn't fare nearly as well as its original series and Next Generation Blu-ray counterparts, a shame considering it's by far the newest program. Presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the image fluctuates between looking presentable and appearing downright sloppy, finding a middle ground that only slightly favors the positive side of the ledger. Generally, it's a decent enough image, though certainly not at all what Trek fans want. Details are often muddy and flat. The image takes on a fairly smooth and sometimes overly soft appearance, leaving faces without much in the way of real, tangible texturing, whether human or bumpy alien. It's quite noisy in places, and grain fluctuates from spiky to practically nonexistent. Black levels can be pale, and flesh tones somewhat uneven. Colors are largely dull. Andorian baby blue skin lacks brilliance and the navy blue crew uniforms are bland. The cold, metallic feel of the ship's interior looks as it should, but even the nearly constant flat backgrounds can't accentuate many of the splashes of color in the show. The scene in Brazil in Broken Bow does offer some nicely brilliant greens, and certainly some scattered traces of good, honest colors are seen throughout, but mostly this is a very uninspired palette. The image does seem to tighten up, even if it's only ever-so-slightly, as the season moves along. By the time it reaches Shockwave, Part 1, viewers will see more stabilized and filmic details but still catch remnants -- and often more -- of the problems plaguing the entire season run. The special effects remain presented in standard definition; they shimmer, take on jagged edges, and lack crisp details. Hopefully, a remastered set with HD visual effects and a more consistent presentation will one day materialize.
Enterprise: Season One Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Enterprise: Season One's audio presentation fares better than its video counterpart, but not by significant leaps and bounds. This is a workmanlike multichannel lossless presentation that handles some elements well, some questionably, but none terribly. The controversial theme song has never sounded better. It's rich, full of life, and with well-defined vocals and precise instrument clarity and reproduction. Much of the action on board the NX-01 is brought to life by the subtle, deep hum of the engines and the little odds and ends sound elements that define the atmosphere. The track creates a big, believable stage that places the listener on the bridge, down in the engine room, in the mess, or in captain's quarters with ease. It's never quite so authentic as similar ambient effects heard in The Next Generation's Blu-ray release, but there's little room for complaint. Action effects are a little more hit-or-miss. Some of the fisticuffs and crashing debris during the initial struggle between the crew and the Andorians in The Andorian Incident come across as somewhat muffled, but some of the phaser fire scattered throughout the season streaks through the soundstage with a force and sense of faultless movement that listeners might want to duck for cover. Some of the explosions lack punch, some are suitably potent. Dialogue is steady and even, playing smoothly from the center. This isn't a great track, but neither is it in any way a bad one. It gets the job done with occasional flair and suitable stability.
Enterprise: Season One Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Enterprise: Season One contains a massive amount of excellent supplemental content, including several commentaries, a few new lengthy features, and plenty of shorter older material recycled from the pervious DVD release. There's plenty of brutal honesty here, a lot of discussion about what went wrong but also plenty of discussion of what's good and great about Enterprise. Much of the information repeats; there's not much new by the time disc six's new feature rolls around, but it's all good material that fans will enjoy.
Disc One Episode Specific Extras:
Disc Two Episode Specific Extras:
Disc Three Episode Specific Extras:
Disc Four Episode Specific Extras:
Disc Five Episode Specific Extras:
Disc Six Episode Specific Extras:
Enterprise: Season One Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Enterprise: Season One is imperfect Trek, but then all of the post-Kirk series have started off rather poorly. The Next Generation never really found itself until season three, Deep Space Nine was fine but rather slow until the Dominon appeared, and Voyager, actually, might have been the best-balanced show right out of the gate, at least until Enterprise. For all of its bad season one episodes, there are a few gems but, more importantly, a firm foundation of excellent characters and a fascinating new world of pre-Trek exploration that largely remains true to canon while also establishing its own chapter. It could have been better, sure, but season one sets the stage for some really great television to come in what would be a tragically shortened four-season lifespan. Paramount's Blu-ray release of Enterprise: Season One features mediocre video, decent audio, and a wide array of excellent supplemental content. A must-own for Star Trek fans, and casual viewers might still like it enough to warrant a purchase.
Star Trek: Enterprise: Other Seasons
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Enterprise: Season One Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete First Season Blu-ray - January 7, 2013
CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Pictures have officially announced and detailed their upcoming Blu-ray release of Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete First Season. The release will be available for purchase online and in stores across the nation on March ...
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