HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Star Trek: Enterprise - Season 3
HTS Overall Score:74
“Enterprise” has always been a unique entry into the “Star Trek” universe. Set as the first “prequel” to the series, it chronicles of the voyages of the starship Enterprise BEFORE the famed Captain Kirk got his hands on it. Audiences had mixed reactions to the first season, and while EVERY season of a “Star Trek” series has been rough, “Enterprise” rubbed fans the wrong way. Changing the familiar orchestral opening title credit song to a modern day pop song seemed jarring and so against the flow that some of the more rabid fans were put off, myself included, as well as rewriting a little bit of historical “Star Trek” canon. I dare say, when I watched the episodes in college, I pretty much wrote off the series halfway through the first season. Unfortunately I and many others didn’t give it as much of a chance as we should have. For the second season raises the bar and right here, with season three is where the series hit its stride, and, oh boy, does it hit its stride with gusto.
The Xindi have always been a threat to humanity since the first season. Randomly attacking earth and the crew of the “Enterprise”, they have waged a mysterious shadow war that is as mysterious to Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) as it is to the audience. All we have learned up until now is that there is something, or someone pulling the strings in the background. Finally we are privy to those secrets. The Xindi (a conglomerate of 5 races) are on a planet deep within the uncharted Delphic expanse. It seems that a mysterious race from the future (the sphere builders) have information that Xindu is doomed to be destroyed by the Humans, and thusly the Xindi have been launching a pre-emptive war on the humans. Now it seems they are building an ultimate doomsday device to wipe out Earth once and for all. A test run commences and a sphere of unknown origins appears above earth and fires a blast down killing millions of people, including Commander Tucker’s (Connor Trinneer) sister.
This causes Earth to send out the “Enterprise” in a mission to find out WHERE the sphere came from, and put a stop to this whole situation, by any means necessary. This is not only groundbreaking from a “Enterprise” standpoint, but “Star Trek” as a whole. Serializing a series is not new to the Roddenberry team, “Deep Space Nine” did it wonderfully with the whole shape shifter war, however, up until now, “Enterprise” had tried to follow more in the footsteps of “TOS” and “TNG” with an exploratory mission, seeking out new life, new civilizations etc etc… Now they are on a mission to protect humanity from complete and utter genocide from a race that wants to do nothing but murder and destroy our pink flesh. The entire season becomes one long race, with the Enterprise seeking out the Xindi and learning just WHY they’re after them. I’d say it succeeds with much aplomb, as the season not only channels a change for the direction of the series, but is by far one of the best seasons in the “Star Trek” universe (and yes, that’s a rather shocking revelation for me, a lifelong “Trek” nerd). The season is filled with exploration, battles, and shocking discoveries as the crew learns that not everything is exactly as they seem, and enemies of nearly 3 seasons turn out to be unlikely allies. To make matters even more exciting, the annoying Andorian Commander Shran (played by actor Jeffrey Combs, a man who has played a character in every “Star Trek” series EXCEPT the original series) is there to create more tense situations and an even more epic showdown with sphere builders.
After I sat down and watched the series on DVD last year (I wrote the series off since I stopped watching in the early 2000’s) I was SHOCKED when I came to this season. While the 1st season was rough, and the second season was fun, this season took it to a whole new level and is one of my favorite seasons out of the whole Trek ‘verse. I’m a fan of serialized stories and this whole season is basically one plot line, split up into 20 odd episodes. The writers and directors had hit their stride and now they knew where they were going. About the ONLY complaint I had with the series now is that ANNOYING opening credit song. I can’t get the stinking thing out of my head!
The Episode Rundown is as follows
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14117[/img]“Enterprise” has always looked pretty mediocre in its home video and streaming delivery systems and season 3 is no different. While it is a definite upgrade from the DVDs it is nothing to ooo and ah about. The image is rather flat with little “pop” to it. The colors are solid enough, with reds, blues and yellows shining through nicely, but the majority of the Kodak film shot series is rather dim and dark, with the ship itself having minimal lighting, compared to other versions of the famous Enterprise. The film is rather soft and the detail tends to get blurred in with the digital noise and some slight shimmering effects at times (usually around ships due to the 720p rendered CGI that is upscaled). Blacks are satisfactory enough, with some decent image retention, marred only by the obligatory black crush. After seeing the revelation that is “The Next Generation” on Blu-ray, “Enterprise” pales in comparison. However, at the same time it’s rather difficult with the lighting and limited resolution CGI to expect much more unless a complete remastering from the source negatives were to take place and all new CGI to be rendered (and with a show that’s nearly 100% cgi for the effects that would take a drastic amount of work).
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14118[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track (surprising since every episode of the Original Series, TNG and the movies have all had 7.1 tracks) that “Enterprise” sports is adequate, but doesn’t do much more than be that. The series is solidly tracked with clean dialogue and nice dynamic range, but it matches the clarity and depth that the rest of the Trek series has. There’s some nice use of ambient noises and you phaser battles are well replicated, but there’s a distinct lack of “umph” that you would expect from an action centered sci-fi show. That sense of immersion just is a little lacking. Still the track is adequate, and does the job decently well. I just wished it was a little better.
• Text Commentaries
• Archival Mission Logs: The Xindi Saga Begins
• Archival Mission Logs: Enterprise Moments: Season Three
• Audio Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• In a Time of War: Part One: Call to Arms
• In a Time of War: Part Two: Front Lines
• In a Time of War: Part Three: Final Conflict
• In a Time of War: Temporal Cold War: Declassified
• Enterprise Profile: Connor Trinneer
• A Day in the Life of a Director: Roxann Dawson
• Behind the Camera: Marvin Rush
• "Enterprise" Secrets
• Photo Gallery
• NX-01 File 07
• NX-01 File 08
• NX-01 File 09
For those of you who have not been keeping up with the series, I suggest watching the first couple of seasons. It gets better as it goes along and really adds a new dimensionality to the “Trek” universe. Archer is whiny and weak to begin with, but really toughens up to a man you DON’T want to go up against as he matures. The weak video compared to “The Next Generation” is really the only disappointment in the whole thing. While certainly better than the DVD’s, it’s not revolutionary as with the restorations that we’ve been viewing lately. Certainly the best they’ve ever looked or sounded, it IS Star Trek and Paramount’s premium extras are a tantalizing treat. Definitely recommended.
Starring: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock
Created by: Rick Berman, Brannon Braga
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, German DD 5.1, Japanese, French DD 2.0
Rated: Not Rated
Runtime: 1026 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: January 7th, 2013
Buy Star Trek: Enterprise - Season 3 Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Buy It
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