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Star Trek: Enterprise — Season One Blu-ray Review

star-trek-enterprise-S1-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

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Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

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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.

As originally intended, Enterprise was meant to be more down to earth, populated by characters closer to what we, today, could relate to rather than the often aloof, almost sanitized world of Starfleet and the Prime Directive. In fact, in this series, the Prime Directive has not yet been established, Captain Archer and his crew, are still trying to break out of the shadow of their Vulcan partners, even as Enterprise includes its own Vulcan science officer, T’Pol (Jolene Blalock).

While the cast of Enterprise seems to click right away, this first season’s 25 episodes are uneven. Some episodes, like the introduction of the Ferenghi in “Acquisition”, feel poorly thought out and out of place. Others, such as “Fusion” in which the Enterprise comes across a crew of Vulcan’s with emotions, is more thoroughly fleshed out and in the best Star Trek tradition, tackles a tough subject like rape through the metaphor of Vulcan mind melds. Another stand-out episode includes “Dear Doctor”, a typical ethical quandary that focuses on the ship’s Doctor Phlox (John Billingsley). Though there are more misses than hits throughout the season, it does introduce the interesting enough Temporal War, which is a war fought across timelines and includes a new alien species the Suliban. It takes a while for this particular story arc to heat up, but the finale does set things up for the seasons to come in a good way.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

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Seasons 1-3 of Enterprise were shot on 35mm film, and while this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p transfer does retain a film-like appearance, it is far from reference quality. The image across the season is uneven at best and downright disappointing at worst. From some areas of washed out blacks to film softness, visual effects that show lots of motion artifacts and low-resolution anomalies, to uneven grain levels and a middling contrast level, Enterprise in this first season Blu-ray release looks hardly any better than the first time I saw it in HD over-the-air broadcasts on my old 720p DLP display.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

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The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack does offer clean dialogue and a reasonable amount of low end extension, but it hardly creates a tight 360-degree circle of sound. The surround channels have a low level of atmospherics with the occasional odd discrete sound panned into them that seems out of place at best. The balance just doesn’t work here, and it is, again, disappointing for a Star Trek series.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

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This set is loaded with supplements, though much of it is ported over and in standard definition. There are new select episode commentaries, some older text only commentaries, select deleted scenes, and plenty of production featurettes. See below for further details.

The supplements:

Disc 1:

  • Commentaries:
    • “Broken Bow” commentary by Brannon Braga, James L. Conway, Connor Trinneer, Dominic Keating, and Dan Curry
    • “Broken Bow” commentary by Brannon Braga and Rick Berman (2005)
    • “Broken Bow” text commentary by Mike & Denise Okuda (2005)
  • Deleted Scenes:
    • Episode: “Broken Bow” (1.78:1; SD; 00:03:08)
    • Episode “Fight or Flight” (1.78:1; SD; 00:02:18)
  • Cast Introduction (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:15) – Scott Bakula introduces the cast of Enterprise on the bridge of the Enterprise.
  • In Conversation: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 01:02:59) – The two producers of Star Trek: Enterprise sit down for an hour-long conversation in which they reminisce on the production of the series.
  • Network Presentation (1.33:1; SD; 00:03:17)
  • Syndication Presentation (1.33:1; SD; 00:07:15)
  • Archival Mission Logs:
    • Creating Enterprise (1.33:1; SD; 00:11:28)
    • O Captain! My Captain! A Profile of Scott Bakula (1.33:1; SD; 00:09:32)
    • NX-01 File 02 (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:11) – A peek at the production design for the world of the Klingons in Enterprise.

Disc 2:

  • Commentaries:
    • “The Andorian Incident” text commentary by Mike & Denise Okuda (2005)
  • Deleted Scenes:
    • Episode “Unexpected” (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:06)
  • Archival Mission Logs:
    • Cast Impressions: Season One (1.33:1; SD; 00:12:24)
    • Enterprise Secrets (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:00) – A look behind the real warp core.

Disc 3:

  • Commentaries:
    • “Silent Enemy” commentary by André Bormanis and Dan Curry
  • Deleted Scenes:
    • Episode “Sleeping Dogs” (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:09)
  • Archival Mission Logs:
    • Star Trek Time Travel: Temporal Cold Wars and Beyond (1.33:1; SD; 00:08:11)
    • Admiral Forrest Takes Center Stage (1.33:1; SD; 00:05:14)

Disc 4:

  • Commentaries:
    • “Shadows of P’Jem” by Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong
    • “Shuttlepod One” by Brannon Braga, David Livingston, Connor Trineer, and Dominic Keating
  • Deleted Scenes:
    • Episode “Shuttlepod One” (1.78:1; SD; 00:06:09)
  • Archival Mission Logs:
    • Inside Shuttlepod One (1.33:1; SD; 00:07:57)
    • NX-01 File 01 (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:56)
    • NX-01 File 03 (1.33:1; SD; 00:04:59)

Disc 5:

  • Commentaries:
    • “Vox Sola” text commentary by Mike & Denise Okuda (2005)
  • Deleted Scenes:
    • Episode “Oasis” (1.78:1; SD; 00:03:08)
    • Episode “Fallen Hero” (1.78:1; SD; 00:02:12)
  • On the Set (1.33:1; SD; 00:28:32)
  • Archival Mission Log:
    • Enterprise Outtakes (1.33:1; SD; 00:09:05)

Disc 6:

  • Deleted Scenes:
    • Episode “Two Days and Two Nights” (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:10)
  • To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise:
    • Part 1: Countdown (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:30:45)
    • Part 2: Boarding the NX-01 (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:31:16)
    • Part 3: First Flight (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:27:51)
  • Archival Mission Log:
    • Celebrating Star Trek (1.33:1; SD; 00:15:19)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

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Probably the strongest thing going for Enterprise are the visual effects, which are typically top notch, in line with the franchise. The set designs and costumes are a bit different, given this is meant to predate even the original series, although the effects manage to look more advanced. They just look pretty good, if a bit on the rugged side of things. And, hey, we won’t even question why the women go from jumpsuits to miniskirts (Star Trek) and back to jumpsuits (The Next Generation).

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
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BestBuy.com:
Star Trek: Enterprise - Comp First Season (Bby) - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Star Trek: Enterprise — Season One on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

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