Star Trek - R.I.P.
(Note - Wow! Four whole days without blogging! That's gotta be a record for me!)
Well,...it with mixed emotions that I'm reading that UPN has decided to cancel Star Trek: Enterprise.
I can't say I was wholly surprised. UPN made it known last year they were only funding a fourth season to make enough episodes to market the show for syndication and recoup the losses from the previous three years. (More on that further down)
The last show is reportedly scheduled to air on May 13...(Hmmm Friday the 13th!)
Anyway, I have a few thoughts on why this show failed and why this may be the end of the Star Trek franchise as a whole.
- First is the never-ending tug-of-war between creativity and the bottom line. The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine were syndicated shows and HAD to be good shows to sell to independent TV stations or else they would be shown at 3 am between Ron Popeil informercials. Voyager and Enterprise were within the provenance of UPN, which IMO, is the worst of the six non-cable networks, bar none. UPN looked at the bottom line, not the talent and market available. It is well-known in TV that sci-fi shows take several years to develop into successes. UPN, however, answers to their parent company, who answers to their parent company, etc and only saw a need to make a profit NOW!
- Second, the quality of what UPN put out was never all that great. I'm not a 24/7 Trek-head, but having watched the shows and movies for years, have read more ST books than school books, and having written some ST fiction myself, you get the feeling that their is/was/will be a certain group dynamic between humans, Vulcans, Klingons and Romulans. Voyager took the franchise outside of that group and never really warmed up many ST fans. With Enterprise, UPN took tremendous liberties with the whole ST canon. Being a bit of an ST purist, I never liked where the show was going in the first two seasons and I personally believe the whole Xindi escapade was an unmitigated disaster! It appears that only now did Enterprise find itself - three- and four-part, self-contained, story arcs play well with the whole idea.
Scotty,....beam me up!
BTW - There's a rumor that this news may have sufficiently stirred Wannabee-Medic Mike out of his blogging stupor and he may actually rant in his two cents!