TV & Radio
Blu-ray review: Star Trek Enterprise - Season 3
REVIEW: (CBS, M)
Two years after 9/11 Star Trek tackled the subject in a season long story arc.
Of course no one mentioned airplanes or terrorists, but the underlining story of Season 3 of Star Trek Enterprise had 9/11 written all over it.
At the end of Season 2 a mysterious weapon appears in Earth orbit and carves a kilometres-long swathe of destruction across Florida, killing seven million people.
Season 3's mission, then, is to put exploring strange, new worlds aside and send the first Starship Enterprise into an uncharted region of space known as The Expanse. There Captain Jonathan Archer (Quantum Leap's Scott Bakula) leads a search for the builders of the weapon to find out why the attack was launched and prevent a bigger attack that could destroy the Earth.
It's evident, from the extra material on this newly released Blu-ray set, that show creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga only had a cursory story arc planned for this season, just in case the network didn't like the idea.
The first half dozen episodes seem to tip toe around the subject, going off on tangents, before Archer and co get a strong lead. Once they do they're off at warp speed.
These stories fit a century before Kirk, Spock and McCoy and two centuries before Picard, Riker and Data.
These days Season 3 is known as the Xindi arc, as the Enterprise crew discover a multi-faceted race called the Xindi are behind the weapon. The almost xenophobic race believe humanity threatens them, and it's up to Archer, science officer T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) and chief engineer Charles "Trip" Tucker (Connor Trineer) to prove otherwise. This is particularly hard for Tucker whose sister was killed in the preemptive strike.
The Xindi are an an unusual science fiction construct, in that there are five main sub species who all dominate their home world. There's humanoids, insectoids, reptiloids, arboreans and aquatics who all share the same DNA.
Those first half dozen episodes are reminscent of the first two seasons of the show, simply called Enterprise. By Season 3 the creators had deemed it prudent to nod to its heritage and included the words Star Trek in its title.
For fans of the classic series there's more than a few subtle, and less than subtle, nods to the original series.
Enterprise gets better with every series, shame this was the penultimate.