HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Enterprise: Season 4
HTS Overall Score:82
Finally, we come to the end of “Enterprise”. It may be the lesser of the 5 series (well, unless you count the awful animated series), but “Enterprise” found a footing of its own. After a decent two season’s that followed the meandering feel of the first two “Star Trek” series, it found a niche by going completely serialized in season 3. Coming out of the gate knowing they were on borrowed time, the creators decided to go with a season of mini arcs for the fourth, and unfortunately final, season. This both helped and hurt the series a bit. Coming off a giant arc like the Xindi conflict left us with a massive shoe to fill and the final season did a good job at filling that show.
With the Xindi conflict behind them, the crew of the “Enterprise” returns to earth, only to find out that they have come back in the past, a past where the Xindi got their before the Humans could and started to turn the tide of WWII in the favor of the Axis powers. This two parter was a bit jolting and didn’t serve much purpose, it was short lived and then we’re back to modern days after two episodes and back to business as usual. Now the rest of the show can pick up after that little detour. After the Xindi war lots has changed back on Earth. When the crew steps back on dry land they come to grips that after the weapon that nearly destroyed Earth, humans have become Xenophobic and the non-human crew aboard the starships are met with less than amiable greetings. Not only that it’s the first few years of the Eugenics, where we have an AWESOME set of mini arcs involving Dr. Soong’s great great grandfather and his invention of the first genetically engineered humans, Khan’s predecessors. Archer (Scott Bakula) and Soong (Brent Spiner) have a series of spats that greatly reminded me of the cat and mouse games that Q and Picard would play in “The Next Generation”.
It’s not all action, though. T-pol (Jolene Blalock) and Trip’s (Connor Trinneer) relationship is tested and deepened as T-pol has to take a trip back to Vulcan, where she has to come face to face with the prospects of being in a relationship with a human in the long term. Now, the series has it’s show of failures as well. “Observer Effect” is your classic “alien infestation tries to observe human test subjects” that has been done to death in every iteration of “Star Trek” since the 60s. It just falls a bit flat, and lets not even talk about the final episode. Ok, maybe I will rant a bit about it. “These are the Voyages” is literally the worst and most detrimental episode to the entire series. All the buildup, all of the tension between certain characters are literally torn apart and thrown to the wolves in one 42 minute segment. It’s about on watching the entirety of “Battlestar Galactica” and then watching in horror for the final 30 minutes. For those of you who have seen the finale, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. It’s become labeled among fans as one of the worst “Star Trek” episodes ever, across all series. In my humble opinion, it’s actually better to end the series on the next to last episode and ignore the happenings in “These are the voyages”. It’s a virtual mess of an episode and the series is better, as a whole, without its inclusion into canon.
It’s a tad sad that the series couldn’t have gone on for a few more seasons. With season 3 and 4 it had gotten a LOT better and was actually a really solid sci-fi show at that point. It unfortunately could not get over the damage that was done to its ratings from the first 2 seasons. Fans had started to taper off and only the diehards were left behind to enjoy the fruits of 4 long years of work. Some of the issues and continuity errors in the series were a bit disconcerting. The nerd in me can see where they tried to re-write canon and insert certain episodes in just because the fans wanted it, but the series as a whole was a lot of fun, and I still think worthy of the higher price tag that Paramount asks for them. I don’t say that often, I’m the epitome of a deal finder, but there are times like these, where I just have to say that it’s not worth the wait to see them drop down any further (if ever). Gene Roddenberry has created a fantastic universe that has been serialized in not one, not two, but FIVE different TV series in that universe, with an animated series a set of 10 movies PLUS a trio of rebooted movies. Not many other series can say the same thing. Now that Enterprise is done, I’m eagerly looking forward to the next revelation as “The Next Generation” is getting its sixth season restored in June (and hopefully bodes well for a fully restored “Deep Space Nine”, which is rumored to be tentatively next)
Storm Front: Part 1
Storm Front: Part 2
Cold Station 12
In A Mirror, Darkly: Part 1
In A Mirror, Darkly: Part 2
These Are the Voyages..
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=16450[/img]Well well well, it seems that with Season 4 going all digital in its filming we get a very serious uptick in picture quality. The previous scenes have always had some upscaled special effects and some seriously muted picture quality from a modern TV show, but with the advancements in early 2000 era Telecine technology, season 4 looks quite impressive. Colors are richer, more vibrant and you can see a lot less digital noise in the picture. Detail is much much better, and black levels are no longer as greyed out as they were in previous seasons. Even that mush softness that was so annoying is mostly gone. There’s still some softness and blacks aren’t perfect, but it’s a dramatic improvement to say the least. Easily the best looking of the “Enterprise” seasons.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=16458[/img]The audio is right on par for the course though. It is still quite good, with some excellent punch, and some great directionality. Strangely, “Enterprise” has been the ONLY start trek series/movie that hasn’t gotten a 7.1 remastered track, but rather the classic 5.1 DTS-HD MA. That’s not a knock on the audio at all, just rather unusual considering the track record. Dialogue is nice and clean and the effects are well balanced with the vocals. Surrounds are used decently, but they’re not going to blow you away, like they do in “The Next Generation”. There is also a hint of tininess that’s been present in all the recordings that I’ve heard since the show was on TV, so it looks like there was some source flaws that crossed over into the home video market. The music flows naturally and gets a robust treatment that enhances the track quite nicely. It’s not a 100% perfect audio track, but it does its job admirably.
• Extended Scenes
• Deleted Scenes
• Script Gallery: Original Ending
• "Enterprise" Moments: Season Four
• Audio Commentaries
• Text commentaries
• Archival Mission Log: Inside the Mirror Episodes
• Before Her Time: Decommissioning "Enterprise" Part One: New Voices
• Before Her Time: Decommissioning "Enterprise" Part Two: Memorable Voyages
• Before Her Time: Decommissioning "Enterprise" Part Three: Final Approach
• Before Her Time: Decommissioning "Enterprise" Part Four: End of an Era
• In Conversation: Writing Star Trek: "Enterprise"
• Archival Mission Logs: Visual Effects Magic
• Archival Mission Logs: Links to the Legacy
• Archival Mission Logs: "Enterprise" Secrets
• Archival Mission Logs: That's a Wrap!
• Archival Mission Logs: "Enterprise" Goes to the Dogs
• Archival Mission Logs: Westmore's Aliens: Creating Dr. Phlox and Beyond
• Archival Mission Logs: Outtakes
• Archival Mission Logs: Photo Gallery
• Archival Mission Logs: NX-01 File 10
“Enterprise” wasn’t the powerhouse that Paramount was used to in its last several series, but it was some VERY solid sci-fi, with a lot of great characters. I have fully enjoyed re-watching these episodes for all of you and it reminds me that it’s been a while since we’ve had the “Enterprise” or any other Federation starship running on the Television for quite some time. Although, the whole intent behind the Chris Pine reboot was in order to lead into a new series, so hopefully that will change. With the uptick in video quality, and the standard excellent audio, this show is a must check out. Being that this is STAR TREK, the extras are enough to make any collector go apoplectic. There’s enough hours of behind the scenes and whatnot to keep me occupied for the next 6 months, which alone pushes it up from a “must watch” to a “Must buy”.
Starring: Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, John Billingsley
Created by: Rick Berman, Brannon Braga
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, German DD 5.1, French, Japanese DD 2.0
Studio: Universal Studios
Runtime: 1008 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: April 29th, 2013
Buy Enterprise: Season 4 Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Buy It!
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