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The International Writers Magazine
:Star Trek News

THE THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS OF A BUDDHIST AMONG BAPTISTS
Reverend Father Antonio Hernández, O.M.D., A.B.F.
Founder of the Independent Order of American Buddhist Fathers
suriak@yahoo.com

Where No Series Has Gone Before: "Star Trek Enterprise" Fourth Season, 2004-2005

Though many will not care and some will foam at the mouth, after a harsh few weeks, "Star Trek Enterprise" fans can breathe easy: the UPN Network's show will not be cancelled. Going into a fourth season this fall, "Enterprise" will likely find its way into fifth and possibly sixth seasons- IF...
...The producers, who shall remain nameless like everyone else, shape up th eir act.
This season, the third, has seen some of the best character development and story arc. Personally I do not like a story arc to take up an entire season: they could have done the Battle with the Xindi in six episodes at most.

Still, it shows they are trying. This is something we haven't really seen them do in three whole seasons. As I like to remind my readers, "The Next Generation" also required about three seasons before it really reached its full stride.

There are weaknesses that "Enterprise" can address: its dastardly record can provide excellent "story resolution" ideas. Its characters deserve more respect than they are getting now. More familiar scenery is nice now and again: where is the episode with the visit to Vulcan? "Enterprise" shouldn't ignore Vulcans just because it's a tradition.

As to the character arcs, the show could use some more restful, humorous, down-home plotlines. The characters deserve to have "flash-back" episodes to help explain who they are and why they are in Starfleet. Somehow, the future-conquering captain is just not cutting the mustard. It also fell flat when we were treated to a flash-back episode with two starship captain-contenders slapping each other about. These things will not do!

The producers of "Enterprise" reminded me of President Clinton, when they promised viewers a gay crew member at the shows inception. Where is this gay crew member, now that viewers need it the most? There's a rich story mine that could carry them through an entire season. In fact, I suspect that if they gave fans a crack at it, they could have more fantastic, quality storylines than any series in history.

This is the problem in the final analysis: the producers and WRITER won't play nice. They don't seem to want really cool guest stars, they reject sensible, thrilling story lines, and they absolutely refuse outside writers. Why? Those people are not exactly the equivalents of Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Those people are not even equal to Diane Duane, who wrote some great "Next Generation" episodes. GET SOME GOOD WRITERS IN THERE!

This fall, we shall see whether "Enterprise" begins to live up to the incredible promise it inherently has. If it does not, then it is a shameful squandering of a dream and a legacy- those of Gene Rodenberry- and that is unworthy of any producer.

© Reverend Father Antonio Hernández, O.M.D., A.B.F.
May2004

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