Star Trek Enterprise, running in the US for 4 seasons is considered as one of the most loved and discussed TV series of all time. The phenomenal sci-fi series won million of hearts, attracting a 12.5 million viewership in the premiere episode itself.
The ending of the series however, remains badly criticised by most of the fans till date.
The ratings of the series had dropped by more than 50 percent, leading to its cancellation by the last season. Paramount, however, decided to finish up the fourth season, kind of in a hurry, leaving fans agitated with the plot and the story of the final episode titled ‘These are the voyages.’
The cancellation marked the first time new Star Trek episodes would not appear on television in 18 years, since Star Trek; The Next Generation had premiered.
Why all the ruckus over it?
Well, First of all it was the only Trek series finale — not including TOS. The show had merely ended at that time. Secondly, The Animated Series not closing with a two-hour finale wasn’t really a fan-favourite thing. As of such, an hour simply didn’t seem to do the show justice, according to around 3.8 million people who watched the episode.
Besides the lack of continuity in the plot and not being able to connect to the story’s timeline successfully, the episode also featured a sad event – the death of Charles ‘Trip’ Tucker.
The Executive producer for the show (Rick Berman) had intended the episode to serve as a “valentine” to long time fans.
“I would have never done it if I had known how people were going to react. We were informed with not a whole lot of time that this was our last season. We knew that this was going to be the last episode of Star Trek for perhaps quite some time – and here we are, almost six years later. So it was the last episode for quite a length of time. It was a very difficult choice, how to end it. The studio wanted it to be a one-hour episode. We wanted it to be special. We wanted it to be something that would be memorable. This idea, which Brannon (Braga) and I came up with – and I take full responsibility – pissed a lot of people off, and we certainly didn’t mean it to. Our thought was to take this crew and see them through the eyes of a future generation, see them through the eyes of the people who we first got involved in Star Trek with 18 years before, with Picard and Riker and Data, etc., and to see the history of how Archer and his crew went from where we had them to where, eventually, the Federation was formed, in some kind of a magical holographic history lesson.”
‘..It seemed like a great idea,” Berman continued. “A lot of people were furious about it. The actors, most of them, were very unhappy. In retrospect it was a bad idea…’
‘… It backfired, but our hearts were definitely in the right place. It just was not accepted in the way we thought it would be.”
-Rick Berman talking about the last episode in 2011
Well as we saw, the Gamble – that made the episode essentially a ‘Star Trek The next Generation’ episode instead of the Enterprise finale that it should have looked like – didn’t quite pan out.
Nevertheless, the Star Trek name still grows stronger– having developed into two hit Hollywood movies quite recently – among other projects – titled Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek : Into Darkness (2013).