Interstellar travel, galactic missions, and first contacts with alien civilizations: this is what the Enterprise NX-01 spaceship, captained by Jonathan Archer, takes care of. Known in fandom also with the acronym ENT, I’m talking about the Star Trek: Enterprise series.
First space travel
It is 2001 when the adventure of the Enterprise NX-01 begins. We are about a century before the classic series (Star Trek – The original series) when they develop the first warp drive. Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), with the engineer Charles Tucker III (Connor Trinneer), is ready to lead his crew to deep space.
The show is all focused on the spaceship, where most of the scenes are shot and where the worst unexpected events happen. Between the captain and the Vulcan first officer T’Pol (Jolene Blalock), the conflict is always open. Their contradictions are part of the main plot and often lead to problems involving the entire crew.
Instead, the ship’s doctor, Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley), belonging to the Denobulan species, is a precious resource who thanks to his knowledge will help identify and eradicate many threats. It is one of the most interesting characters, very curious about other alien races and human habits. He has a bizarre infirmary, which contains several alien animals that he uses for their medicinal properties.
The Enterprise NX-01 is the first human spacecraft to cross the infinite thresholds of deep space. Intent on exploring as much as possible, Captain Archer does not hesitate to break some law, and for this, he often comes into conflict with the Vulcans. However, this reckless behavior is the main culprit of the adventures in which the crew will take part. A four-season journey, which sees its last episode in 2005.
Aliens for all tastes
The panorama full of potential that Star Trek: Enterprise makes available to the public is very vast. Each episode contains new challenges and new missions, in which it is necessary to confront alien races of all kinds.
Vulcans, Klingons, Andorians, Borg, Romulans, and Gorn are the most famous and well-known species. But thanks to Star Trek: Enterprise the Sulibans, Xindi, and Denobulans also make their first appearance in the science fiction world.
The Sulibans have a humanoid appearance, are hairless, and have yellow skin covered with small wrinkles, similar to a lemon. They can tell if a human is lying by touch, and can alter their physical form to fit through very narrow crevices.
The Xindi are an alien species comprising six different species, each with the same genetic origins and distinguished by the same jaw ridges. They are divided respectively into Xindi-Aquatics, Xindi-Arboreals, Xindi-Avians, Xindi-Insectoids, Xindi-Primates, and Xindi-Reptilians. They come from a region of space called the Delphic Expanse.
Finally, the Denobulans are a species from the planet Denobula. They are polygamous with very large families and have a very complicated mating ritual. They are a very long-lived species, they need little sleep, but they must necessarily go into hibernation six days a year.
Being the Enterprise NX-01 the first human spacecraft to cross the borders of deep space, it is clear that it is very easy to run into misunderstandings and political games. A fundamental theme that runs through the series is the temporal cold war, a conflict that sees different factions engaged in different eras.
This is followed by clashes between species and attacks that threaten the precarious balance of alliances, in an infinitely multiplied vision of the power games that our governments face every day here on Earth. Clashes that also involve cultural differences.
In the fourth season, there are also some episodes involving an alternate reality in which the same characters of the series exist with completely different characteristics, devoted to brutality and the cruel conquest of other worlds.
An endless story
The world surrounding Star Trek is vast. There are many films and series produced about the spaceship Enterprise and its crew, some even very recent (such as the film Star Trek Beyond, in the year 2016), yet Star Trek: Enterprise stands out for having gone back in time. With this show, fans were able to better explore the complex landscape of the Star Trek sci-fi universe.
And for its gripping episodes, mysteries, missions, and battles in the heart of space Star Trek: Enterprise deserves a place in the Old But Gold column.