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Star Trek: Enterprise: Season Four Blu-ray Review

star-trek-enterprise-S4-bluray-coverU.S. Release

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The Series



Star Trek: Enterprise, or simply, “Enterprise”, as it was initially known, was the fifth and final series in the long and illustrious Star Trek franchise. A prequel to the original 1960s Star Trek, the series charted the journey of the original Enterprise crew in the 22nd century, as captained by one Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula). The series initially started off with a warm reception from fans, but very quickly dropped in ratings. One can speculate on what the problem might have been, but many might say, this reviewer included, that the stories, especially in this first season, just were not compelling enough. Of course, coming off of four previous series, Enterprise had a lot to live up to. The very first issue with this series was, there was nothing to differentiate it from The Next Generation or Voyager, for that matter, the latter of which had just gone off the air. It was just another series in the ongoing franchise following a crew finding adventures throughout various star systems.

The fourth season, covered in this review, also happens to be the last season. Star Trek fans can look at this fact in one of two ways. The first way is to put a good spin on it and say that Enterprise is in good company, being that the series that launched this colossal franchise, Star Trek, only lasted three seasons. On the flip side of that equation is, of course, a harsher reality. Enterprise was the first Star Trek series of the Rick Berman era to fail to get at least seven seasons under its belt.

The series struggled from a ratings standpoint from the time that it launched. If you listen to the new production featurettes on this set, you’d believe it was all about network interference – the fledgling, minor network UPN ran the series. Previous Star Trek spinoffs ran in syndication, it’s true, but there has to be some accountability on the part of the producers and writers as well. Star Trek: Enterprise was burdened with poor writing and uneven stories from season one. There was no clear purpose to where they wanted to take the series, with the baffling time travel wars to the numerous injections of Star Trek mythology that seemed to confuse matters more then they helped.

Sadly, this final season, with its cut budget, seemed to be the best season of them all, with longer story arcs a much stronger focus on character development, and far less on off episodes that added nothing to the progression of the series. Season Four was not without its flaws, however. Archer starts off the season quite bitter, T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) and Trip’s (Connor Trinneer) relationship is once again dragged out, and the series unabashedly ‘borrows’ from the original Star Trek in the two-parter “In A Mirror, Darkly”. Even with these flaws, one can’t help but feel that Enterprise was maybe pulled right before it reached its zenith.

Video Quality



The last season of Enterprise is also the first season to be shot in HD rather than on 35mm. Given that, it lacks the film-like appearance of the previous three seasons, but also looks a lot clearer and less gritty. It still doesn’t compare to the quality of even the older series like The Next Generation, given is still suffers from low-light noise and doesn’t have the strong contrast and great color reproduction of a series like that. It comes to Blu-ray in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement.

Audio Quality



A good lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) audio mix that could be a little better, but is engaging nevertheless. The surrounds carry lots of little sounds, especially during the most active sequences. Good low end, easy highs, and clear dialogue also make this one a rather good television-based surround mix.

Supplemental Materials



Disc 1:

  • “Storm Front, Part I”:
    • Deleted Scene (1.78:1; SD; 00:02:45)
  • “Home”:
    • Extended Scene (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:17)
    • Script Gallery: Original Ending
  • Archival Mission Log:
    • Enterprise Moments: Season Four (1.33:1; SD; 00:16:26)

Disc 2:

  • “The Forge”
    • Audio Commentary by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Mike & Denise Okuda
    • Text Commentary by Mike & Denise Okuda (2005)

Disc 3:

  • “Observer Effect”
    • Audio Commentary by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Mike & Denise Okuda

Disc 4:

  • “United”:
    • Commentary by David Livingston and Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
  • “The Aenar”
    • Deleted Scene (1.78:1; SD; 00:00:53)

Disc 5:

  • “In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I”:
    • Audio Commentary by James L. Conway, Mike Sussman and Mike & Denise Okuda
    • Audio Commentary by Mike Sussman and Tim Gaskill (2005)
  • “In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II”:
    • Audio Commentary by Mike Sussman and Tim Gaskill (2005)
    • Text Commentary by Mike & Denise Okuda (2005)
    • Deleted Scene (1.78:1; SD; 00:02:28)
  • “Demons”:
    • Audio Commentary by Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating
  • Archival Mission Log:
    • Inside the Mirror Episodes (1.33:1; SD; 00:15:42)

Disc 6:

  • “Terra Prime”
    • Audio Commentary by Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating
    • Audio Commentary by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens and Tim Gaskill (2005)
  • “These Are the Voyages…”
    • Text Commentary by Mike & Denise Okuda (2005)
  • Before Her Time: Decommissioning Enterprise:
    • Part One: New Voices (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:26:49)
    • Part Two: Memorable Voyages (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:29:42)
    • Part Three: Final Approach (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:30:05)
    • Part Four: End of an Era (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:29:14)
  • In Conversation: Writing Star Trek: Enterprise (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 01:29:52)
  • Archival Mission Logs:
    • Visual Effects Magic (1.33:1; SD; 00:13:27)
    • Links to the Legacy (1.33:1; SD; 00:04:27)
    • Enterprise Secrets (1.33:1; SD; 00:05:53)
    • That’s a Wrap! (1.33:1; SD; 00:09:01)
    • Enterprise Goes to the Dogs (1.33:1; SD; 00:12:44)
    • Westmore’s Aliens: Creating Dr. Phlox and Beyond (1.33:1; SD; 00:05:18)
    • Outtakes (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:17)
    • Photo Gallery (1080p/24)
    • NX-01 File 10 (1.33:1; SD: 00:04:43)

The Definitive Word




A flawed but enjoyable season of an overall uneven series, Star Trek: Enterprise goes out on a high note, giving the most disappointing series of the franchise a minor victory.

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