10 Positives You Only Notice Rewatching Star Trek: Enterprise

By Emma Biddulph Published 26 minutes ago

Star Trek: Enterprise is even better upon rewatching the prequel series. Here are 10 things you may not have noticed the first time around.

10 Positives You Only Notice Rewatching Star Trek: Enterprise


  • Star Trek: Enterprise introduced an interesting premise as a prequel to other franchise shows.
  • The show gained renewed importance post-cancellation with its influence on subsequent Star Trek content.
  • Enterprise broke the Star Trek mold with unique storytelling and character development.


Star Trek: Enterprise improves upon watching, with plenty of positives to enjoy. Leading the crew of the first Starship Enterprise NX-01, Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) boldly ventures into the stars, seeking out strange new worlds. Exploring a relatively uncharted area of Star Trek's multiverse timeline, Star Trek: Enterprise takes place roughly 100 years before the events of Star Trek: The Original Series. In the 19 years since the show's unfortunate cancelation, a look back at Star Trek's prequel series highlights a few good things you might not have noticed the first time around.

Running on UPN between 2001 and 2005, Star Trek: Enterprise suffered a range of unfortunate circumstances and, as a result, failed to reach the success of its predecessors. However, an exciting premise and a strong cast led to a show that has recently grown in popularity and improved the Star Trek franchise. Picking up on core themes of Star Trek: The Original Series, and weaving in threads from the franchise's other shows, Enterprise simultaneously takes on a darker, grittier tone and returns focus to the characters alongside a view to tackling moral and ethical dilemmas. Here are ten positives you only notice by rewatching Star Trek: Enterprise.

10 Star Trek: Enterprise Had An Interesting Premise

Designed as a prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series & other franchise shows.


The burden and realities of the NX-01 Enterprise's relatively primitive technology soon become apparent.

Star Trek: Enterprise built upon the fascinating concept of humanity's first adventures into deep space. The early Enterprise was regularly battered and battle-worn, ill-equipped for the realities of a hostile, unknown space. Following Captain Jonathan Archer and his crew's adventures as they ventured into a pre-Federation universe, Enterprise gradually established and standardized fleet-wide norms. The burden and realities of the NX-01 Enterprise's relatively primitive technology soon become apparent — an awkward grappler in place of a tractor beam, water showers in place of sonic showers. Although the full opportunity of the premise was not realized, Enterprise becomes increasingly influential with every addition to the Star Trek franchise.

9 Enterprise Has Become More Important Since Its Cancelation

Star Trek: Enterprise ran between 2001 and 2005.


Star Trek: Enterprise has gained renewed appreciation from fans since its cancelation, thanks primarily to streaming availability. With subsequent franchise shows and movies influenced by and recognizing Enterprise's chronological position and canon, due at least in part to its nature as a prequel, it has become increasingly vital in Star Trek's multiverse history. Significant in the Prime, Mirror, and Kelvin universes, Enterprise initiates the events for Starfleet and the Federation and originates and retcons many of the accepted fleet-wide standards seen in (chronologically) later shows. Developed themes such as the Temporal War also take on more significance in Star Trek, spanning multiple centuries and timelines, with revisited plots providing further context and insight.

8 Enterprise Broke The Star Trek Mold

Star Trek: Enterprise proved that the franchise could evolve.

By its nature as a prequel, Star Trek: Enterprise had an immediately unique aspect to other franchise shows. Looking to previously unexplored gaps of the Star Trek multiverse timeline, Enterprise attempted to learn from the less successful elements of Star Trek: Voyager and incorporated notions such as visibly sustained heavy battle damage and leaning into a serialized storytelling style for its third and fourth seasons. Simultaneously, the NX-01 Starship and crew explored, developed, and even retconned Federation history — originating and setting a precedent for later fleet-wide standards such as the Prime Directive and Red Alert.

Starfleet's standard Red Alert was innovated by Enterprise's Armory Officer Lt. Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating), who instituted the 'Reed Alert' on the NX-01.

7 Enterprise Introduced Important New Characters

The introduction of several significant main cast and guest star characters greatly influenced the series & overall franchise.


Star Trek:Enterprise brought a new crew to the franchise, introducing important characters who would have a lasting impact. Less rigidly trained than in other franchise shows and set earlier on in the timeline, the NX-01 Enterprise crew espoused a more trial-and-error problem-solving style, with the command trio of Captain Archer, Subcommander T'Pol (Jolene Blalock), and Commander Trip Tucker (Connor Trinneer) a clear retread of Star Trek: The Original Series' triumvirate, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley).

Archer's descent into darkness during Enterprise season 3's campaign against the Xindi was well performed by Scott Bakula, ultimately building to a hopeful climax of friendship, unity, and universal cooperation.

Captain Archer played a vital role, demonstrating significant character growth and sustained emotional damage as the weight of his responsibilities began to mount. Archer's descent into darkness during Enterprise season 3's campaign against the Xindi was well performed by Scott Bakula, ultimately building to a hopeful climax of friendship, unity, and universal cooperation. Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) and T'Pol also demonstrated intense emotional growth, with the other crewmembers spearheading technologies, roles, and experiences that would inspire and influence many. Other characters, such as Commander Shran (Jeffrey Combs), were also memorable and became fan-favorites.

6 Star Trek: Enterprise Had Some Excellent Episodes

Enterprise's premiere episode and fourth season stand out


Thoughtfully leaning into its back-to-basics brief, Star Trek: Enterprise aimed to develop the franchise's original themes and core values and enrich classic Star Trek mythology. Given its setting in the timeline, the Enterprise NX-01 lacked certain technologies and regulations taken for granted in other Star Trek series. The ship's transporter was untested and generally best avoided. The Prime Directive did not yet exist, and neither did the Federation. Enterprise's series premiere, "Broken Bow," was an exciting, tense, and fitting introduction to the series, setting up themes that would span even beyond the show. Star Trek: Enterprise's best episodes, especially in seasons 3 and 4, examine themes of prejudice, ethics, loyalty, vengeance, morality, and love.

5 T’Pol & Trip Tucker's Love Story

The Trip/T'Pol romance is one of Star Trek's earliest human/non-human relationships


Although controversial, the slow and ultimately tragic romance between Trip Tucker and T'Pol added a subtle, unexpected, weighty depth to Star Trek: Enterprise. Originally intended to draw in a younger audience, the show's more visible sexualization ironically became one of its more divisive aspects. As the characters' apparent differences and complexities slowly transformed from individual characteristics to joint strengths, their successful navigation of a series of relational hardships drew them closer, allowing for a solid emotional grounding that anchored the show. Trip's tragic sacrifice and death in Star Trek: Enterprise's series finale ultimately parted the couple for good, but memories of their relationship live on.

4 Star Trek: Enterprise Introduced The Concept Of Temporal War

The franchise’s Temporal Wars are more important now than ever before


Since the conclusion of Enterprise, Star Trek: Discovery has significantly built upon the foundation of the Temporal Cold War to develop a weighty and fully realized series of conflicts across time and space.

Initially intended to connect the prequel-designed series with the Star Trek franchise's broader multiverse history, Star Trek: Enterprise introduced the Temporal Cold War in its two-part season one premiere, "Broken Bow." In 2151, Captain Archer and his crew encountered the Suliban, temporal agents, and became drawn into the temporal-based conflict also involving the Klingons (and later, the Xindi). Although the idea initially met with mixed-to-underwhelming responses, the recurring theme ultimately escalated to full-scale war in the two-part Enterprise season 4 episode, "Stormfront." Since the conclusion of Enterprise, Star Trek: Discovery has significantly built upon the foundation of the Temporal Cold War to develop a weighty and fully realized series of conflicts across time and space.

3 Star Trek: Enterprise Developed The Earth-Vulcan Relationship

First Contact was made between Earth and Vulcan in 2063


The close Earth-Vulcan relationship assumed prior to Star Trek: Enterprise is immediately challenged in the series premiere, "Broken Bow." Presented as aiding but intrusive and interfering, the Vulcan High Command doubts humanity's readiness for space exploration and suggests further delays to the Enterprise's imminent launch. The assignment of T'Pol as Enterprise's Science Officer is a compromise that suits neither party. As T'Pol and the Enterprise crew quickly learn to unite, ongoing deceptions by Vulcan representatives reveal a previously unseen side to Earth's closest ally, and it's telling that T'Pol is both surprised and disappointed by these encounters. In Enterprise season 4, Archer and his crew's direct involvement in critical societal changes marks a significant shift in Vulcan cultural history and a clear turning point for Earth-Vulcan relations.

2 Star Trek: Enterprise Changed The Dynamics Of What We Know About Alien Cultures

The Enterprise crew's alliances led to the formation of the United Federation of Planets


Star Trek: Enterprise took a bold approach to Earth's closest interstellar ally, the Vulcans, recontextualizing the logical race as obstructionist and challenging. The choice prompted mixed reactions from fans but allowed for the growth and development of crucial Vulcan histories, culture, and planetary relationships with other worlds. This, in turn, afforded new insights into the crew's knowledge of different cultures — notably Andorians, whose aggressive nature and long-time rivalry with Vulcans was explored and resolved over the show's four seasons. Star Trek: Enterprise also examined aspects of Klingon culture and developed the Tellarites — who ultimately came together with Humans, Vulcans, and Andorians to form the United Federation of Planets.

1 Jeffrey Combs As Shran Redefined Star Trek's Andorians

Besides Shran, Jeffrey Combs has played a number of other Star Trek characters


An Andorian in the Imperial Guard, Commander Thy'lek Shran burst into the franchise with hostility and suspicion in season one and quickly became a recognized fan favorite. Casting the versatile Jeffrey Combs in the role was a creative masterstroke. Despite an initially violent first encounter, the subsequent unlikely alliance he formed with Captain Archer was both resonating and rich, and the slow, formal friendship built on gratitude and reciprocity paved the way for successful Human-Andorians relations. Star Trek: Enterprise's unfortunate cancelation prevented further character development, but Shran would have joined Captain Archer and the NX-01's crew in Star Trek: Enterprise season 5.

Star Trek: Enterprise is available for streaming on Paramount+.

Seasons 4 Franchise(s) Star Trek Showrunner Brannon Braga

  • 10 Positives You Only Notice Rewatching Star Trek: Enterprise

    Star Trek: Enterprise

    Cast: Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating Release Date: 2005-05-13 Seasons: 4 Genres: Sci-Fi Story By: brannon braga Writers: Brannon Braga Streaming Service(s): Netflix, Paramount+ Franchise(s): Star Trek Directors: Brannon Braga Showrunner: Brannon Braga

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