inessential by Brent Simmons


As a confirmed Star Trek fan, people ask me what I think about Enterprise, the new series debuting this Fall.

Background, for those who don't know -- Enterprise is set roughly midway between now and Kirk's Enterprise. It's a prequel. The Federation doesn't exist yet, but Starfleet exists and Earth is more-or-less friendly with Vulcan.

Me -- I'm excited. Here's why:

1. The best spirit of Star Trek is the explorer's spirit. This show is about exploration, as was the original series.

2. The characters are bound to be less perfect and goody-goody than in The Next Generation or Voyager, more like in the original series. This is a good thing -- it's more real, allows for more interesting characters and conflicts.

3. The 24th Century is all played out -- it got to the point where any problem could be solved by reversing the polarity of the quantum phase-shift generators (or whatever). Too much technobabble. Everything became easy -- which makes for bad stories. Less tech means people and their creativity are more important, which makes for better stories.

4. Scott Bakula -- Capt. Jonathan Archer -- is a good and charismatic actor. Good actors inspire good writing.

5. There are plenty of stories to explore. We don't know that much about the time between now and Kirk. What was first contact with the Klingons like? Why did we become enemies? What were the events leading up to formation of the Federation? And on and on. There is plenty of room to surprise and entertain and do the kinds of stories Star Trek at its best does.