“Star Trek: Enterprise” is very different from its Trek predecessors. It focused on a time before the Prime Directive, before transporters were commonplace, before much of the established “Star Trek” canon.
Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, “Enterprise’s” showrunners, set out to make a very different kind of show. In an interview with StarTrek.com, Berman said that he was worried that fans were tired of “Star Trek.” So, he and Braga came up with a Trek people had never seen before — a prequel.
However, they imagined a completely different show than what finally made it to the screen.
The Entire First Season Was Supposed to Take Place on Earth
According to “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years,” Braga and Berman’s goal for “Enterprise,” was to explain what happened between “Star Trek: First Contact” and “Star Trek: The Original Series.” A lot happened between the first warp flight and the Enterprise’s five-year mission, and there was very little in the Trek canon about that time period. So, they essentially had a blank slate.
After many discussions, Berman and Braga decided that they wanted to start their new show with the development of the first deep-space starship made on Earth. Braga told the authors of “The Fifty-Year Mission” that they envisioned the first season taking place on Earth as Starfleet finished the final flight tests on the Enterprise NX-01. The main focus of the season would be the relationship between the humans and the Vulcans as the humans prepared for deep space travel.
However, Andre Bormanis, one of the “Enterprise” writers, told the authors that the studio wasn’t fond of this idea. They insisted that “Star Trek” was all about space travel on space ships, not intergalactic politics and starship development. Bormanis said that the studio told Berman and Braga that they needed to launch the Enterprise in the show’s pilot, killing their idea of an Earthbound first season.
Several Characters Were Supposed to be Killed Off
In a special feature entitled “Uncharted Territory I: Destination Unknown” on the “Enterprise” season 2 Blu-ray, some of the show’s writers revealed that they wanted “Enterprise” to be much darker than it was. They imagined that early deep space travel would be extremely risky. The crew was on an experimental ship, traveling further from Earth than ever before, and encountering new species that might not be too friendly. This was a perfect recipe for dangerous missions.
They planned to depict this danger by killing off several key characters within the first few seasons of the show. However, one of the writers, Chris Black, said that every time they pitched a character death, it was vetoed. This left the writers feeling like they weren’t allowed to kill off anyone. He continued, saying that he felt that the lack of character deaths made the storylines too low stakes.
Overall, Enterprise ended up being a much different show than its creators and writers envisioned. Perhaps if they’d been able to make the show the way they wanted its fate would have changed. Of the Trek shows made during the 90s and 2000s, “Enterprise” is the only one that got canceled.
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