Following a devastating assault upon Earth by a race called
the Xindi, the crew of the starship Enterprise are
searching the mysterious Delphic Expanse to locate the Xindi
and prevent another attack - by any means necessary. However,
the mission is hampered by tensions between the crew and dangerous
spatial anomalies within the Expanse...
third year of Star Trek: Enterprise (it was at this
point that the Star Trek prefix was added to the series
title) was a bold experiment that truly paid off: an ongoing
storyline that lasted for an entire season. In fact, the arc
went on for even longer than that, because it really began
with The Expanse, the final episode of the second
season and spilled over into the first two episodes
of the fourth.
The stories remain predominantly episodic to begin with, which
each instalment dealing with a particular problem or issue
to be resolved - such as pirates in Anomaly, a strange
infection in Extinction, a stricken Vulcan vessel in
Impulse, and racial prejudice in North Star -
though the larger mission continues unabated. As the season
progresses, however, more and more is revealed about the five
races that comprise the Xindi, until eventually the overarching
plot arc builds up a momentum that is almost worthy of Babylon
5, as different races vie for power while humanity's future
hangs in the balance. For me, the Xindi-Aquatics are reminiscent
of B5's Vorlons, with their powerful ships and enigmatic
ways. The final seven episodes, with the exception of the
exciting but distinctly episodic E2, comprise
a riveting continuous narrative.
Enterprise's new mission also gives the show and its
characters a drive and intensity that had been largely lacking
until now. Following the attack upon Earth, the crew are motivated
by fear and anger, particularly Trip (Connor Trinneer), who
lost his sister in the carnage. The presence of MACO (Military
Assault Command Operations) troops also leads to tensions
among the crew, as MACO commander Major Hayes (Steven Culp)
puts security chief Reed's (Dominic Keating) nose out of joint.
Their rivalry comes to a head with some distinctly homoerotic
sparring in Harbinger.
the while, Archer's (Scott
Bakula) methods grow ever more dangerous and desperate
as he struggles to get the job done. The entire Xindi arc
is clearly inspired, whether deliberately or subconsciously,
by America's post-9/11 mindset, as is demonstrated when Archer
tortures a pirate using an airlock in Anomaly, assumes
guilt by association in Extinction and takes on suicide
bombers in Chosen Realm. He also condones the creation
of a designer baby in Similitude before becoming a
pirate himself in Damage.
favourite episodes are the time-jumping Twilight, the
pivotal Harbinger, the spectacular Damage and
the nail-biting final two instalments, Countdown and
Zero Hour. Having said that, the tense Xindi,
the emotive Anomaly, the creepy Impulse (featuring
zombie Vulcans), the Western-styled North Star, the
moving Similitude, the crowd-pleasing Proving Ground
(guest starring Jeffrey Combs as the ever-popular Andorian
Shran), Azati Prime and the rest of the closing seven-episode
escapade aren't exactly slouches either.
In fact, by stark contrast with Season 2, this year's weak
moments are few and far between. They include the rather uninteresting
Hoshi (Linda Park) based A-plot of Exile, the predictable
Hatchery (it's obvious why Archer is behaving strangely),
and plot holes such as the fact that, prior to E2,
the Xindi appear to have forgotten about the attacks made
against them by the century-old Enterprise.
latter could have provided an element of "Did we provoke the
Xindi after all?" self-doubt on the part of the crew, had
the season been a little better thought out. In fact, as is
revealed by the special feature The Xindi Saga Begins,
the production team were more or less making it up as they
went along, which makes it all the more remarkable that the
season works as well as it does.
usual, several instalments rehash elements (or sometimes entire
episodes!) from previous incarnations of Star Trek.
Extinction is pretty much a remake of the Next Generation
episode Identity Crisis, with a bit of Genesis
thrown in for good luck. Similitude tries hard not
to cover the same ground as Voyager's Tuvix,
but some crossover is inevitable. The ending of Chosen
Realm is pure Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
from The Original Series. The Sphere Builders, who
appear intermittently during the latter half of the season,
look rather like a cross between the Borg Queen and the Founders.
the worst offender has to be Doctor's Orders, which
takes the plot of Voyager's One, in which Seven
of Nine is the sole active crewmember while the remainder
are unconscious as the ship passes through a dangerous region
of space, and replaces Seven with Dr Phlox (John Billingsley).
The only real differences are the more comedic tone of many
scenes and an element of the movie The Sixth Sense
- though, of course, even that is second-hand.
final disc comprises more than 90 minutes of extra features,
including profiles on actor Connor Trinneer, Voyager
crewmember turned director Roxann Dawson and cinematographer
episodes The Xindi, Impulse and Countdown
can be viewed with text commentaries by Denise and Michael
Okuda. They reveal, among other nuggets of information, the
dodgy science in Impulse (which can be attributed to
the effects of the spatial anomalies in the Expanse) and the
inventive set and costume reuse in Countdown (and I'm
not talking about Richard Whiteley's ties).
Director Michael DeMeritt provides an audio commentary for
North Star, while writer and Co-Executive Producer
Manny Coto does the same for Similitude. DeMeritt discusses
his episode in terms of the technical ins and outs of filmmaking.
He succeeds in making what could have been a very dry subject
quite fascinating, thanks to his own evident enthusiasm for
the techniques involved. Meanwhile, Coto concentrates on the
are fewer deleted scenes than we have become used to during
previous seasons - only six minutes' worth in total from three
shows: Similitude, Chosen Realm and E2.
The reason for this is that the episodes in this season had
a tendency to run short rather than long. At least two instalments,
Impulse and Countdown, needed to have extra
scenes added to them when they ran short, as their commentaries
In fact, the season as a whole runs shorter than previous
ones, comprising 24 episodes as opposed to 26. However, that's
still above average for an American drama series, and the
quality of Season 3 far outweighs any shortcomings in the
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
Click on the logo of the desired store below
to purchase this item.
All prices correct at time of going to press.