Star Trek-Enterprise-Season 1 (2001)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Brannon Braga And Rick Berman -'Broken Bow'
Informational Subtitles-Text Commentary By Michael Okuda And Denise Okuda (3 Eps)
Featurette-O Captain! My Captain! A Profile Of Scott Bakula
Featurette-Cast Impressions: Season 1
Featurette-Inside Shuttlepod One
Featurette-Star Trek Time Travel: Temporal Cold Wars And Beyond
Featurette-Admiral Forrest Takes Center Stage
Trailer-Star Trek: Original Series Box Set
Featurette-Celebrating Star Trek
Easter Egg-NX-01 Files
|Year Of Production||2001|
|Running Time||1103:13 (Case: 1110)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (7)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
James A. Contner
Paramount Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
English Text Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
With the conclusion of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1999, and the finale of Star Trek: Voyager shortly thereafter, the creative team behind the latest incarnations of Star Trek found themselves in somewhat of a quandary. There had been a few thoughts thrown around about a new series set on Earth at Starfleet Academy. However, everybody felt they had gone as far as they could into the future and told all the stories that they could there with the platform that they had.
So the Starfleet Academy notion was shelved and instead a new idea was posited – how about the adventures of the first fledgling crews into space shortly after first contact with the Vulcans? Unlike the adventures of the 24th Century, these adventurers would not have such technology to rely on and would instead have to rely on their wits and ingenuity. Sounds good, right? But what about a story to bind the whole tale together, something that’s never been done before? Perhaps a temporal cold war? Hmmmm, now we’re getting interesting.
And so Enterprise was born – set before the adventures of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy and even before the amalgamation of the Federation. In the Captain’s chair we have the brash and arrogant Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), a true American adventurer, often with more balls than brains. Along with the ship’s first voyage to keep the crew from creating one interstellar incident after another is the Vulcan observer Subcommander T’Pol (Jolene Blalock). In engineering we have Commander “Trip” Tucker III (Conner Trinneer), in the armoury British weapons specialist Lieutenant Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating), at the helm the young Ensign Travis Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery), and at communications, Ensign Hoshi Sato (Linda Park). And in the medical bay, the alien Dr. Phlox (John Billingsly).
I do not intend to give you a full run down of each episode. You can find very good and detailed summaries at TV.com.
The following is a list of the contents of the first season as set out on these DVDs:
1. & 2. Broken Bow: Part I & II (83:11)
3. Fight Or Flight (42:29)
4. Strange New World (42:30)
5. Unexpected (42:30)
6. Terra Nova (42:29)
7. The Andorian Incident (42:29)
8. Breaking The Ice (42:31)
9. Civilisation (42:27)
10. Fortunate Son (42:30)
11. Cold Front (42:32)
12. Silent Enemy (42:28)
13. Dear Doctor (42:30)
14. Sleeping Dogs (42:30)
15. Shadows Of P’Jem (42:31)
16 Shuttlepod One (42:30)
17. Fusion (42:29)
18. Rogue Planet (42:29)
19. Acquisition (42:31)
20. Oasis (42:30)
21. Detained (42:30)
22. Vox Sola (42:32)
23. Fallen Hero (42:31)
24. Desert Crossing (42:31)
25. Two Days And Two Nights (42:31)
26. Shockwave: Part I (42:32)
So, what to say?
The first season of Enterprise is very much hit and miss, with far more misses than hits, unfortunately. That’s not to say there isn’t some quality TV here, but if this season was anything to go by, it is no wonder so many people gave up before the show got truly interesting. The final episode of Season 2 takes the show in a completely new direction, and in doing so sets up two seasons of stunning Star Trek and amazing science fiction television full stop.
Unfortunately, this first season is a bit of a slog. It’s very hard not to find the crew of Enterprise arrogant, condescending to other races and each other, xenophobic, self righteous and ultimately annoying. In retrospect, however, having seen the evolution of the crew and the series, I now find myself wondering just how much of this was intentional in the first and second seasons. Watching the crew learn of its own mortality and eventually its own sense of humility is of itself a journey. I can only hope this was the original intent.
That’s not to say there aren’t some excellent episodes here. The two-part pilot Broken Bow was exciting and really sets up the rest of the series. There are also some other great standalone episodes, such as Fortunate Son, Cold Front (an integral episode in the temporal cold war story arc), Shuttlepod One and Acquisition. But there are also some really bad episodes, and the number of bad moments per episode really starts to grate on the nerves after a while.
Thankfully, the creators really bring it home for the series finale Shockwave, which counts up there as one of the better Star Trek cliffhangers. However, all I can say as a reviewer is stick with this. The first and second seasons are very hit and miss, although there is on the whole an improvement. However, the third and fourth seasons are truly excellent, but without this background they are largely incomplete.
If you’re a Star Trek fan, you will probably have mixed feelings about this show. However, it does earn its due. If you’re just a science fiction fan, I recommend checking this out. You can skip through some of the worst episodes (avoid Rogue Planet at all costs), but the better episodes are definitely worth it.
For this new series, Paramount Home Entertainment have switched up to a 1.77:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced. All other Star Trek series have been in 1.33:1 Full Frame. The show was broadcast in Widescreen High Definition on Channel 9, which looks great if you have an HDTV capable system.
The DVD transfer is good, but not quite as smooth. On a regular widescreen CRT this looks very soft and there are some rather appalling grain issues in low level light sequences. On an upscaled 720p image projected on an 80” screen there is a definite improvement, probably because there is greater overall control of the image.
The image is, overall, a touch soft, although that is mostly due to the filter it is filmed through – it was always meant to have that slightly soft look, much like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. That said, despite the soft filter, there is an exceptional amount of image detail here. You can often make out the make up on people’s faces, particularly where it hasn’t been evenly smoothed over in the expectation that you would not be able to see the imperfections on a small TV screen with the regular 480 interlaced standard definition TV broadcast rate.
Colour is very good, with well balanced skin tones, and often larger than life colours with uniforms and instrument displays. Shadow detail, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired, often appearing overly grainy.
There are no MPEG artefacts, and the soft filter keeps film-to-video/video-to-DVD transfer artefacts at an absolute minimum.
Film artefacts are as far as I could tell non-existent. There might be some dirt here, but it is in no way distracting.
Unlike most Star Trek DVD releases, we are provided only with subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired, and regular English. They appear as white with a grey/black border, easy to read, and convey the meaning of the dialogue without word-for-word reproduction.
The dual-layer pauses are between the episodes, with two episodes per layer.
The only available soundtrack is the original English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround encoded at 448Kb/s. This is probably to account for the fact that there is so much more video information on the discs now.
This is an extremely good audio track for a TV show, and considerable work has gone into making this a top notch soundtrack. Dialogue is faithfully reproduced, with only one anomaly which is an audio sync issue during Cold Front. I vaguely remember this glitch from TV, and it looks like the dialogue was slightly changed and then redone via ADR in post-production, which would account for the sync issue. I don’t think that it’s a mastering fault, but rather a source fault.
There is a killer range on this track, with big meaty cinematic bass, and great upper ranges. Not only does the music get a good going over in this track, but just about everything else has been carefully designed into a true surround sound field.
There is also excellent subwoofer use here, and if you’ve got your system well balanced and turned up, you’re going to feel its impact.
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The main menus are a CGI recreation of a control panel on the bridge of the Enterprise. The main menu and the episode menus have an ambient 2.0 Dolby Surround track.
Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, the pilot episode Broken Bow has an audio commentary by series creators Brannon Braga and Rick Berman. These two are fairly engaging speakers and they manage to convey some interesting stories about the making of the series.
The following episodes contain a text commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda:
Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Surround, the following episodes have deleted scenes:
Broken Bow (Disc 1)
Fight Or Flight (Disc 1)
Unexpected (Disc 2)
Sleeping Dogs (Disc 4)
Shuttlepod One (Disc 4)
Oasis (Disc 5)
Fallen Hero (Disc 6)
Two Days And Two Nights (Disc 6)
Shockwave: Part I (Disc 6)
Some of these deleted scenes have unfinished special effects sequences, but for the most part are pretty good quality. I don’t know why there wasn’t a reintegration option.
As per usual, there are the usual array of featurettes and interviews on the 7th disc in this set. All features are presented in 1.33:1 or 1.78:1 letterboxed inside a 1.33:1 frame. Here we have the following:
There are a few hidden features here, although they’re not so hidden. Just highlight one of the panels on the left of the special features menu and you’ll find one of these files:
From what I can tell, the R1 release is identical to this R4 release, barring the PAL video formatting and the region coding. I think even the packaging is identical. If that’s the case, buy whichever is cheapest.
Star Trek: Enterprise – Season 1 is a faltering start for the final series of Star Trek for some time, by the looks. While not as good as earlier incarnations in terms of its storytelling, it does pick up if you give it a chance.
Video is not bad, and it’s good to see it in its full 1.78:1 aspect ratio.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is dead on the money – nice work.
Plenty of extras here, and for once a lot of good ones – not merely promotional stuff. Worth looking through. About time we got some more commentaries and deleted scenes, too.
|DVD||Momitsu V880N Deluxe, using DVI output|
|Display||Hewlett Packard ep7120 DLP Projector with 80" Widescreen HDTV Projector Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Digital Accoustics Emerald 703G - Centre, Front Left & Right, Rear Left & Right Satellites, Subwoofer|