Blu-ray Review: Star Trek: Enterprise (Season Three)

Sometimes a TV shows needs a few years to get itself sorted out. This normally doesn’t happen since a floundering show will get canned fast by a network if it isn’t delivering the right ratings. But there are times when a show is given a chance to adjust and thrive. Star Trek: Enterprise was given the precious advantage of time to get its bearings and establish itself. The show was given the green light since STar Trek has a built in devoted audience. UPN wanted the Star Trek name in their lineup. The show had a good bait with its focus on the early days of interstellar travel. It wasn’t quite under the same pressure as Firefly. Enterprise wasn’t consistent in quality during the first two seasons. Many viewers tuned out after the second season which is a shame. Why? Because the show got much better during the second half of its four year run. Star Trek: Enterprise – Season: Three has the show finally coming into its own instead of coasting on the franchise’s legacy.

How was this rejuvenation accomplished? By creating an alien race that wants to wipe out humanity. “The Xindi” identifies what alien race cut a destructive line through Florida. This new alien race supposedly has struck the Earth since they get attacked by humans in the distant future. The Enterprise must head out to find the planet Xindus which is located in the Delphic Expanse. This lead to a massive story arc where Captain Archer (Quantum Leap‘s Scott Bukula), T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) and Trip Tucker (Connor Trinneer) are in pursuit of the Xindi. This is not the old Star Trek with the prime directive. They must stop the Earth from turned into a pile of space rocks. This is a big jump for the franchise where they never had a massive storyline that would dominate a season. Shatner and Picard didn’t have any adventures that weren’t wrapped up in one or two episodes. Archer has an enemy that sprawls through out the season. It’s a much more intense cat and mouse game as Archer pokes around strange planets and hustles for information. There are a few episodes that deal with things other than the Xindi. “Carpenter Street” contains the time travel fun that always pops up in Star Trek. “North Star” gives a little Wild West flair to the science fiction. But the Xindi dominate the storylines. This is more than the usual Enterprise episodes from the first two seasons.

Why didn’t the ratings go up for Enterprise during its revival season? I blame a really lame theme song that sucked the energy out of viewers. Diane Warren’s “Where My Heart Will Take Me” sung by Russell Watson sounds like it was stolen from a Lifetime original movie. It’s bad enough to be the winner’s song on American Idol. If only they had revamped the opening credits, the series might have regained the viewership. If only they had an opening as bold as the direction of scripts, this wouldn’t have been the penultimate season.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. While the show was made in HD, the image isn’t quite as defined as expected. Perhaps they softened things up to not reveal too many of the secrets of the future? The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. It sounds fine, but doesn’t quite push the speakers to the limit. There’s also German, French and Japanese dub tracks. The subtitles are in English, French, Japanese, German and Dutch.

Archival Mission Logs: The Xindi Saga Begins (13:12) deals with the change in the story arc for the season.

Archival Mission Logs: Enterprise Moments: Season Three (12:58) explores “Twilight,” “Chosen Realm,” “Similitude,” “Harbinger,” “Azati Prime,” and “Zero Hour.”

Deleted Scenes from “Similitude” (2:30), “Chosen Realm” (1:08) and “E2” (4:42).

Audio Commentary on a few episodes. Director David Livingston and Consulting Producer David A. Goodman for “Impulse” and Writer/Producer Mike Sussman and’s Editorial Director Tim Gaskill for “Twilight.”Writer David A. Goodman and Uncredited Writer Chris Black for “North Star,” Assistant Director Michael Demeritt also for “North Star,” Writer Manny Coto and Actor Connor Trinneer for “Similitude,” and Writer Manny Coto also for “Similitude.” Co-Writer David A. Goodman, Co-Executive Producer and Co-Writer Chris Black, and Actor Connor Trinneer for “The Forgotten.” Co-Excutive Producer and Co-Writer Chris Black and Co-Prducer and Co-Writer AndrĂ© Bormanis for “Countdown.”

Text Commentary by Mike & Denise Okuda on “The Xindi,” “Impulse,” “Countdown.”

In a Time of War(89:34) is a three part documentary on the Xindi arc.

Temporal Cold War: Declassified (20:17)deals with the Temporal Cold War arc.

Enterprise Profile: Connor Trinneer (17:15) spends time with the actor.

A Day in the Life of a Director: Roxann Dawson (17:27) follows the Voyager actress as she directs the new show.

Behind the Camera: Marvin Rush (15:44) shines a light on the veteran Star Trek cinematographer.

Enterprise Secrets (4:12) features 2nd Assistant Director David Trotti wandering around the Paramount lot.

Outtakes (6:14).

Photo Gallery is packed with pics.

NX-01 File 07 (1:37): Recollections of a nude Phlox scene.

NX-01 File 08 (5:46) features Costumer Designer Robert Blackman history of crew uniforms.

NX-01 File 09 (3:09): Producer/Writer Mike Sussman explains “E2.”

Star Trek: Enterprise – Season: Three is a major turn around from the first two seasons. The show took a major risk by dedicated the season to a major story arc. While it didn’t quite pay off in the ratings, it improved the show’s legacy. Scott Bakula was more than ready to be more forceful as Captain Archer. For those who stopped watching during the second season, this boxset is required viewing.

CBS DVD presents Star Trek: Enterprise – Season: Three. Starring: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park and Connor Trinneer. Boxset Contents: 24 Episodes on 6 Blu-ray discs. Released: January 7, 2014.