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Thoughts on Enterprise's cancellation

I noticed that last week, when Viacom announced the cancellation of Enterprise, a lot of people weighed in with their thoughts about the series. I've been watching the show since the beginning -- in fact, I have seen every hour of television and every movie made by Paramount that was part of a Star Trek series. So for those who are interested, here's my thoughts on the cancellation.


On the one hand, I'm a little bit disappointed. Those of us who have been watching the show can attest that this season it's improved quite a bit from all the previous seasons. In my opinion, they're finally exploring what they were meant to be exploring, which is the story of how the Federation came to be. We're in the middle of an arc right now that has shown us more about the Tellurite and Andorian races than the original series ever did, and they've even introduced the Romulans as an enemy in a way consistent with the original series episode "Balance of Terror." A few weeks ago they broadcast an episode called "Observer Effect" written by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens which had me enthralled from beginning to end -- and also turned out to have a connection to an important race we met in the original series.

But on the other hand...

On the other hand, ever since 1987 there has been a Star Trek series on television. Now, I'm not as old as the folks who watched the original series from 1966-1969, so I can't appreciate how empty the airwaves felt of Star Trek during that time. But I do know that what kept the new serieses fresh was the fact that there had been a dearth of Trek for so long. Going from The Next Generation to Deep Space Nine (the pinnacle) to Voyager (eh) to Enterprise without a breather of any sort in between -- well, you can only go to the well so many times before it runs dry.

In short, I think that Viacom needs to let Trek lie fallow for a few years -- I'd go with five, although I've heard some people suggest ten. Give it a chance to renew itself, and more importantly, give the fans a chance to whet our appetites for more. It's not like we won't have other excellent genre television to turn to in the meantime. And when they're ready to launch a new Trek series, they ought to make sure they've got the whole thing worked out from beginning to end, putting a creator in charge who knows what he's going.

My suggestions? J. Michael Straczynski, Ira Steven Behr, or Joss Whedon.

Over to you.

Comments

As fond as I am of Messrs. Straczynski and Whedon, I really don't think they should take a crack at the Trek universe. Whedon's a little too humor-heavy, and Straczynski's too connected to B5.
I had heard a rumor that JMS had been asked by TPTB at Paramount to propose a Trek series; I would very much love to see what he would do with that universe.
Someone should ask him. :)
Um...well...the story (as I've heard it) actually goes something like this:

Straz pitched an idea about a space station, to which Paramount said "no thank you"...

Then Paramount (shortly thereafter) came out with Deep Space Nine, to which Straz said "hey wait a minute, that's familiar"...

Then Paramount gave Straz a bunch of money to shut up about it, which he used to make the first season of B5.
Ah, but that was the story from a few years ago. As you can see from another post in this thread, they did contact him more recently...

And I don't think Paramount gave him any money, or at least if they did I never heard of it before.
i saw that afterwards, but was to busy chastizing myself quietly to type anything to the effect. ;) it's good to hear even if it doesn't pan out! i take it as the proverbial olive branch.

i don't remember details, only that i'd heard it in several places enough for me to believe the basics...but i seem to recall that it wasn't a large sum, it just worked out as enough to be seed money for production. but it could all have been hopeful fanfic.
My general feeling about the Enterprise cancellation is, "well, Star Trek got three seasons. Enterprise got four."
And there was a lot more quality in Trek's three than in Enterprise's four, sad to say.
From last summer:

From: jmsatb5@aol.com (jms at b5)
Subject: re: various from jms
To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated
Date: 6/17/2004 2:43:33 PM

>> John W. Kennedy wrote:
>>> Over on one of the British B5 groups, they've been speculating that
>>> you're about to take over "Enterprise", but unless you've suddenly
>>> started using the word "series" in the British TV sense (i.e., what US
>>> TV calls a "season [of a series]"), that's out.
>>
>> Enterprise has already been taken over by Manny Cotto. And why would jms
>> go and work for Star Trek??<<
>
>Manny Coto is, I believe, show runner; not EP.

No, just to clarify, though I got a call last year about coming onto
Enterprise, offering an EP position, and declined, the series I mentioned has
nothing to do with any current series, it's a new show. As for Manny, he's a
good writer, and left to his own devices, I think he could be a big help over
there without the other powers that be impeding the process.

Amusingly enough, on the Trek front, Bryce Zabel (the creator of Dark Skies)
and I got together and wrote a treatment earlier this year that specified how
to save ST and develop a series that would restore the series in a big way. I
actually think it could be a hell of a show. Whether that ever goes anywhere
with Paramount, who knows?

jms

I don't think it'll happen since his only show running experience was Space Cases for Nicolodeon (and I'm not sure if he was sole show runner on that), but one could do worse than put Peter David in charge of the writing staff.
Much as I love Wheadon, I don't think he's right for Trek. I think there is a new voice out there, waiting to be discovered. One who has been born, raised, and bred on Trek and has all the history down [unlike the hack writers of the first season of Enterprise].

I only watched the first season of Enterprise and one ep of season 2 [the one with the wife of the Doctor coming on board and freaking Tripp out, 'cause I'm poly and so it was of interest]. I thought it was "meh", but Season 2 looked Terrible. Notice the caps.

I agree, letting it lie fallow for a time would be a Good Thing (tm).

Zhaneel
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