I’ve mostly enjoyed the various Star Trek series, although I don’t consider myself a hardcore fan. My knowledge of the trivia of the universe is poor–when compared to, say, my knowledge of the trivia of M*A*S*H. I’ve only ever seen episodes from 2 of the series: the Original Series and the Next Generation. I’ve seen most, but not all, of the motion pictures. And even in TOS and TNG, I haven’t seen every episode.
My favorite series has always been TNG. It’s always seemed to me that the writers of TNG learned a lot from what TOS was trying to do and took it to the next level. They made the characters into real people with real problems and that was a large part of what I think made TNG a very good series. I’ve never seen a single episode of Deep Space Nine, Voyager, or Enterprise.
Until today, that is.
You have to remember (and those of you who’ve been here a while will know) that I am not a fan of sci-fi TV and movies. I just never felt that what I see on the screen can match what I see in my head when I read a good science fiction book or story. TNG was certainly an exception to this. My favorite episode (and my favorite of any Star Trek TV show or movie is “Inner Light.” I think of that as a perfect TV story, as good as you can get; it is the episode TV equivalent of Ray Bradbury’s “The Rocket Man.” (My second favorite episode is “All Good Things…” and my third is “City on the Edge of Forever.”
Tonight, I watched the pilot of Star Trek: Enterprise and I loved it. I have a thing for “the early days” in stories that we already know. Sometimes, when the story-telling is done poorly (as I think it was done with the Star Wars series), the “prequels” don’t come out so good. But I always loved the two prequels that Isaac Asimov wrote for his Foundation series. Indeed, I thought Forward the Foundation was the best of the series.
And I thought the pilot of ST:E was excellent for similar reasons. It adds depth to a universe we are already familiar with, providing new insights into how things unfolded in that imagined history of space exploration. I like the somewhat lower-tech feel of the episode. I liked the nervousness with which the various races treated one another. It shows that it took time for bonds to form, that it wasn’t something that happened overnight but took hard work and trust.
And I think Scott Bakula is perfect in his role as Captain Archer.
So after one episode (well, two really since the pilot was a 2-parter) I’m a fan. I just hope that they can keep this up through all four seasons.