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The five worst Star Trek: Enterprise episodes EVER!

Enterprise is indisputably the least popular of the Star Trek TV series, but there's bad, and then there are these five continuity-confounding franchise-killers.
5. "Terra Nova" [Video clip]

There are a lot of television sci-fi writers I'd love to give a crack at reinventing Lord of the Flies. Antoinette Stella is not on the list. The Enterprise crew are the first humans to visit what remains of the first interstellar human colony, Terra Nova (no, not this one; it's worse than that), which disappeared 70 years ago. Turns out a convoluted radioactive asteroid strike wiped out all human life and cut off subspace radio, but somehow the kids survived by foraging in Paramount's cheap, reusable cave sets. These same orphans, despite being resourceful enough to endure nuclear winter and slow radiation poisoning, nonetheless forget they're human (and their own names). Of course, Archer rescues one of them from falling in a well -- a feat none of these intrepid naturalists could have accomplished on their own, presumably because none of them was named Lassie -- and 70 years of brain damage and mistrust are just as soon forgiven. Which is to say Enterprise relocates the near-starving refugees to the less-radioactive side of the planet (!) to preserve their now non-human culture. Terra-bull.

4. "Two Days and Two Nights" [Video clip]

The oft-revisited pleasure planet of Risa finally gets the Enterprise treatment, and it includes everything but a plot! Archer gets inexplicably ambushed by a Suliban collaborator, who seduces, assaults, and then abandons him for no apparent reason. Our hero! Meanwhile, Trip and Reed get the typical hot-chicks-turn-out-to-be thieves tourist robbery adventure (featuring changeling transsexuals), Hoshi has a one-night stand, and Phlox has to treat Mayweather's broken-leg-turned-anaphylactic-shock while drunk on half-finished hibernation. What do these inane vignettes have to do with one another, other than to make the crew appear either adolescent, incompetent, or both? Absolutely nothing! Not only does Enterprise predate the Federation and the Prime Directive, it also exists before writers felt the need for theme, story arcs, or basic coherence. You won't sleep this one off anytime soon.

3. "Rogue Planet" [Video clip]

Spoiler alert: This is the episode where Archer falls in love with a psychic snail. Seriously. Enterprise finds a planet covered with A) volcanic vents B) exotic wildlife and C) alien sport-hunters. Archer and company, naturally, decide to investigate C while ignoring A and B, because science is hard so let's go talk to the things that talk, even if they're armed and possibly hostile. Not to worry because, about ten minutes after befriending the space-poachers, Archer starts hallucinating about a scantily clad blonde he feels compelled to track down for no reason. Again, at no point does science get involved here, but luckily the blonde explains she's actually one of the animals the aliens are hunting, and her shapeshifting is part of the reason they make good sport. Archer gets ticked about the hunting of sentients, which he presumes humans would never do because he hasn't seen Star Trek IV, so he decides to interfere by having Phlox mix up chemical cloaks for the aliens. Of course, when he hands it over the hottie reveals she's actually a giant snail. Good thing Archer didn't just sour relations with alien species because he was in lust with a pony-sized gastropod. Genius.

2. "A Night in Sickbay" [Video clip]

Give credit where it's due: This episode sees the producers finally address the sheer idiocy of keeping a beagle aboard an interstellar first contact ship. Unfortunately, they do it by making Archer out to be the emotional equivalent of a 14-year old, complete with inappropriate feelings towards the hot girl in class. It all starts with Archer managing to cheese off an alien race when his dog Porthos whizzes on one of the aliens' sacred trees. Not only does Archer refuse to apologize, but gets ticked off when Porthos contracts a life-threatening disease from the offended tree. Because he doesn't trust Phlox, Archer spends a night in sickbay with Porthos, during which he has out-of-nowhere sexy dreams about T'Pol. After being browbeaten by Phlox into acting like an adult, Archer finally, grudging apologizes to the aliens, which somehow involves chainsawing a sacred tree (you can cut them down, just don't pee on them) and then doing a shirtless dance of joy. Good thing, too, since said aliens have spare parts the Enterprise desperately needs. Luckily Archer, the military man, could see past his libido and his dog obsession long enough to finish the critical diplomacy needed to save his crew. More importantly, the dog lived. Facepalm.

1. "These Are The Voyages..." [Video of the full episode] And you thought the finale to Voyager was bad. The last episode of Enterprise was so awful, not only is it the absolute worst entry in that series, it might also be the worst Next Generation episode ever. The storyline of "These Are The Voyages..." is set within a previously unrevealed subplot of the NextGen episode "Pegasus", which means the episode (and possibly the entire series) is both non-canon and not about the cast of Enterprise. Riker is trying to decide whether to rat out his old mentor Admiral Pressman for treaty violations, and to clear his mind, he uses the holodeck to relive Team Archer's last mission, which includes the pointless and ham-fisted death of Commander Tucker. Even worse, the last mission involves Archer and company rescuing the daughter of the Andorian captain Shran, so it's not even a real Starfleet task. Worse still, the series that was supposed to depict the formation of the Federation ends literally seconds before we get to see the formation of the Federation. It's unsatisfying on every level, and very clearly sends the message that Enterprise was put on the air simply because Paramount couldn't make any more of The Next Generation, which is what everyone involved -- the cast, crew, writers, and fans -- really wanted. Boldly going nowhere, indeed.

Is there anyone to speak in defense of Enterprise, or at least nominate a more harrowing Team Archer trauma than the five listed above? The comments section awaits.

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Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

35 comments
kanakaris
kanakaris

so i finally managed to sit though the whole 4 seasons of star trek enterprise...and well here´s my review...


star  enterprise....where do i begin...

i clearly disagree with 99% of the reviews where people comment on what was their worst episode ever....as i am writing i even cant begin to grasp the amount of flaws i detected in this monstrosity of a star trek series.witch had its few....very few....good moments,but the amount of bad,mediocer,or even rediculus episodes is plenty...


the crew,

oh my god what a bunch of idiots did they put together,i mean if t'pol was a real vulcan and they put a higher spiecies on a first grand mission with these testosterone,patriotic,childish idiots no wonder the vulcans kept humanity's progres on a hold.

and what about the acting skills of this bunch???clearly the one decent actor was...porthos...i mean even this dog had better acting skills than most of this crew...they propably can act better than i describe but they are portrait in such a dumb and rediculus way all effort vanished in the blink of an eye.lets take our helmsman,travis mayweather....just think about the moment they first reached warp 5.....come on be honest,that looked so rediculus,like a trekkie got 2minutes on a real star trek episode...WAAAARRRP FFFFIIIIVVVEEEE....IN THE FIRST 2 SEASONS the brilliant helmsman kept on acting like a 5year old in a toy store...after the third season they wisely put him in the background and in a few occasions let him ''act'' a bit more serious.

thenn there is our juniour president george w bush ....trip ''heebie jeebie'' tucker...

i am stunned that i didnt read this earlyer but the way he reminds me of a young george w bush is frightening!!!!

and again,in the first 2 seasons he acted and behaved like someone they picked up on some cornfield going off at everyone using the most simple vocabulary and after a while they again wisely reduced that way of behaviour.having said that i kinda liked the way they changed his stupid behaviour into a person with a southern accent saying what he thinks whenever he feels like it.this would have been an interesting approach to begin with! 

malcolm reed...well we needed a british accent in there...and he has that ,,,but other than that...one of the most forgettable star trek character ever....

T'POL-well lets talk about 7of9 part 2....i mean t'pol...in the beginning it was rediculus how many of her ''featureas'' reminded me of 7of9 and i dont mean only fysical,the behaviour in combination with her ''appearence'' was very obvious a wink at voyagers character.having said that she was logical enough in the first one or two seasons untill her neural pressure encounters with mr heebie jeebie trip tucker...after that she started to behave like a disgruntled teenager,every scene with a litlle conflict she is shaking her head and rolling her eyes like a 12 year old...terrible!!!!

neelix2...i mean dr phlox-possibly one of the most interesting character witch they just didnt use enough,well tippicly enterprise,having one interesting character and not using him properly.

hoshi sato-okay i guess,doesnt bother me,one of the better characters.didnt got on my nerves at all.so thats a good thing.

-captain archer-

someone once referred to him as a poor man's picard witch is a pretty good desciption,the character itself is okay,he does pretty logical things a captain would do,desicions etc...but the actor himself has so litlle colour and is so predictable like a too obvious still good looking late 40's,early 50's kinda year guy.he just didnt have enough of an impact after kirk(the first)picard(the older wiser type)janeway(woman)sisco(afr.americain),he could as well be just some insurance sales man just passing by...

but what bothered me the most was his way of comunicating....why oh why does he have to use that 1930's kinda drama in every speach and turn his back on the person he is speaking to ???whats the deal with that cheap drama trick???at the end of the series he wisely didnt do this kind of acting again,still whenever we saw this happening again after so many times it was actually enjoyable...like watching a comedy...oh there he goes again turning his back on everyone...

so....then the storys...while sometimes using classic star trek characters and themes of all the storys only a few really stuck with me.it was a bit too much meeting some alien,saying hi,we mean you no harm and thenn....bad alien...every encounter witch starts of good you know they will somehow make a 180 degrees turn and be the bad aliens we need!!!!just too much of these kinda cheap stories.as i said in the beginning there were a few really good episodes,and i really mean a few, deadalus or cogenitor to name a few where good star trek tv,there were more but not many,i would guess about 10 good episodes all together.and the ongoing xindi abomination too long drawn out story like wanting to make enterprise this grandest of grand tv series was a try to do something different but the wrong desicion,the season 3 was by far the worst of star trek i saw in my life.the xindi in combination with the rediculus t'pol trip love nonsense in combination with that scene where the captain himself disables this superweapon by an alien race far beyond humanity whyle charching the bombs and running away from this weapon we see behind him a feast of explosions allmost alike a bad 1980 mtv music music video was the final insult to my taste as a star trek fan!!!!!

season 4 was a small step in the right direction,we clearly see some improvements,especially in the colours!!!!!i mean what kind of colours were used in the first 3 seasons???the whole ship,scenes,people had a fade grey veil over them,only in season 4 did the show actually look right,with real faces and colours.

BAD C.G.I.-finally the overused bad c.g.i. were yet another thing that stood out in this tv show.they had this new toy and decided not to use real ships anymore as if the crappy c.g.i. could be an improvement.it just didnt look good,a lot of next generation space scenes looked better using real ships.


finally i have to admit at the end we started to enjoy the crappyness and cheesyness of some episodes,while this could not be the intend of the producers it did gave me a lot of good memories,where you see something thats so rediculus (in the mirror darkly,storm front,etc...)you start to enjoy it.

still it´s a pity the last star trek series was such a bunch of.....i would have loved for it to have been this great new vehicle of star trek,but it just took every wrong turn it could .


ydontugivemelotsofkiss
ydontugivemelotsofkiss

Humorous commentary; I usually do enjoy such brutally snarkastic reviews of even my favorite shows (and while Enterprise may be my overall least favorite Trek, I still love it.) The one thing that really shocked me was someone missing how brilliant (not to mention adorable) Porthos is! Okay, so of all the ships/locations, Archer's isn't exactly THE #1 choice for a dog (that'd be Picard's), but still, I applauded (and squeed over) their finally making a dog an actual Trek character. I had been wanting to see more pets/animals all along (although I do appreciate the marvelously finsome Livingston, the highly entertaining Spot, the mention of Janeway's setter, Odo's outrageously adorable fondness for Tribbles, etc.) And not to mention how similar Porthos is to my own little Beagle...except with somewhat longer legs. Then again, I've never seen one as Dachshund/Basset hound-like as my little guy, so...;p

Fugitive Unknown
Fugitive Unknown

Synopsis: The Enterprise runs into a pre-warp modern civilization thats already had a bit of contact that beg them for medical help. There's another more primitive race as well who are rapidly evolving and are being patronised/stifled by the older race. Phlox figures out that they are at a genetic dead end and will die out within two centuries, and refuses to treat them. Moral Dillema: The species had prior contact to outside sources, and asked for help, and Phlox/Archer told them to screw off. They also refuse to give them warp technology. Note that this episode is pre-prime directive. What....the...FUCK!?! This one actually made me fling the remote.

Suresh Mukhi
Suresh Mukhi

Dear Doctor - They allow an entire race to slowly die a painful death because it would be "interfering". What? There's a Prime Directive already?? I would have preferred if this episode showed Dr. Phlox giving the cure to the Valkians, and when they return a year later to check on their progress, they find that something terrible has happened such a war enslaving the Menk or some other disaster that showed the need for a Prime Directive. Instead, we got a literal interpretation of the Prime Directive which even Kirk or Picard would not adhere too in good conscience!

longhornak
longhornak

Season 1: Meh. Better than Season 1 of TNG, but not by much. I gave them a pass for trying to get cohesion. Season 2: Continuation of the Temporal cold war? Really? Season 3: The Xindi failure. Season 4: If you had eliminated Seasons 2 and 3 and put 4 in place of 2, I think Enterprise would have done well.

jehall
jehall

I have seen enough of Star Trek to know there are gold and silver shirts of security, while blue and black are medical or the sciences, while red and black is leadership or command. Who seems to get killed the most ? I would not want or need security, I think I would go for medicine or science, seeing they have all the toys to play with and are the true explorers. So on a given AWAY MISSION if you are gold and silver you are wearing a target on your back, and says kill me first!

jehall
jehall

It seems we all have seen almost all the Star Trek series and all the episodes ? Who is your best Captain of the Enterprise anyhow. Some one you would follow threw thick and thin? As in Capt. Kirk? As in Capt. Picard? Or Capt. Archer? Who would you have on a away mission? Who has leadership qualities you like? Or the hard one, who would you like to bring you home after a failed away mission as did Capt. Picard did for Doctor Crusher? (Votes are now being taken in the lobby, and Who cuts the mustard Mister ?) (oh those open ended questions)

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

but they blew it. I thought Scott Bacula was the wrong choice for captain of a "frontier-era" Enterprise. Not "manly" enough. I liked him in Quantum Leap, but he was so-so in Enterprise. I hated the Xindi war thing. Went on too long. The alternate universe episodes in the last season were good. They even changed the opening theme to match. And Hoshi looks pretty delicious in a nighty. ;)

jehall
jehall

I dont normally pick fun at TV shows and thier worse times but lets turn the tide with "Worse Tech Republic articles" Sure we are confused at best and Tech Republic cuts threw some of the crap we see, but lets think of how Tech Republic has goofed or said something out of context or had you buy a tech product and it was a lemon? on the other hand Why is Star Trek being picked on in the first place, doesnt Tech Republic have some stuff to hide as well?

a.portman
a.portman

Enterprise failed the four episode test at my house. The blatant racism and poor stories were not worth the time to watch.

seanferd
seanferd

:^0 :D :^0 :D :^0 :D The entire post is a work of art.

shiland
shiland

How did "Vox Sola" not make the list!? OMG Archer, Tripp, and a couple Ent version "Red Shirts" get "assimilated" by a goo (read "jizz") monster! What's worse than that? Hoshi and T'Pol save the day by learing to "speak" to the alien using calculus!!! This was way worse than the TOS episode in which Bones utters the famous phrase, "Dammit, Jim. I'm a doctor, not a brick layer!"

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Me Bad I stopped watching after the second episode and refused to watch the DVDs that [b]SWMBO[/b] bought. To be fair however even [b]SWMBO[/b] who hates wasting money couldn't force herself to watch the DVDs that she got [b]CHEAP![/b] Even then I still insist that they overcharged for them. And no I'm not watching them to see the ones listed above but to make the list they must have been truly terrible as the episodes that I saw where just Plain Terrible. ;) Col

ScottCarmichael
ScottCarmichael

I think the use of mini-arcs and allowing Manny Coto to take over in Season 4 helped make Enterprise a decent Star Trek series, despite many "meh" episodes from teh first 3 years' of content. While I didn't love the final episode, you must also keep in mind that it was only 1 hour long. In TNG, DS9 and VOY, the finale was always 2 episodes of content, which allowed for a good 15 minutes before and after the "meat" of the episode's story to talk about characters, wrap things up nicely, etc. I have some nice memories of Enterprise, but I think the biggest problem with the show (that was clearly the fault of Paramount/CBS) was how hard it was to find it on TV. Because it was on UPN (now CW), the time it was on week to week varied wildly depended on your location. Also, UPN was not available everywhere. If the show had been on a major network on Saturday or something I think it would have done much better. And, like TNG, DS9 and VOY, it took ENT a good 3 seasons for the writing/actors/etc. to finally "gel." I think if ENT had received 1 or 2 more seasons, the series would have been remembered much more fondly.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I gave up early in the second season. I vaguely recall an episode centered around sickbay, but the description here doesn't sound familiar. As you noted, Jay, this was just Paramount trying to get blood from a space turnip, retconning and violating canon as they went.

Jay Garmon
Jay Garmon

I felt the Xindi war was a complete waste, with a very blatant "this worked for DS9, why not Enterprise?" vibe to it. What say you?

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

I would pick Kirk. He knows when to shut up and fight and when to tell the upper brass to go pound sand. Sisko (the correct spelling, I looked it up) is also good. He can get down and dirty with the best (or worst) of them. He decked Q and when Q said Picard never hit him, Sisko uttered that immortal line "I'm not Picard." Janeway and Archer, not so much although Janeway could be tough when she needed to be.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I think Picard and Cisco are better leaders, but Kirk is my choice to have my back on an away team. I have no opinion of Archer, and am indifferent toward Janeway.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Many people that have participated in the 'Worst of Trek' discussions are dedicated Trekkies, eager to put on a red Security tunic and beam down as unnamed phaser fodder or alien lunch. This included Jay, the author. But no one has ever created this much content without including a couple of clinkers. Even the Bible has its 'begats' verses. Why Trek and not other sci-fi shows? Because Trek is the one EVERYONE has seen; at least the original series and 'Next Gen', but often more than one of the other three. There's not much point in writing about a series that only ran a single season, or that was on an obscure cable network. Your grandmother may not know what a Cylon or a Dalek is, but I'll bet she knows Vulcans. And let's face it: current Internet culture loves snark and sarcasm. But sitck around for the next articles in this five-year mission. They're going to be about the BEST Trek episodes from each series.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

You could confine your comments to the Technical Side of TR and leave the Water Cooler Type Threads alone. This is the Trivia Geek for Gods Sake and it's not a Technical Blog it's what the readers want. Col

ScottCarmichael
ScottCarmichael

I didn't see any racism in Enterprise (explain?) but far too many of the shows in the first 3 seasons (season 1 & 2 especially) were just mediocre at best. With a better timeslot on a major network the show may have done better, but Berman & Braga really churned out a lot of crud. I think the show tried to emulate the original so much (Kirk = Archer, Trip = Bones, T'Pol = Spock) that it never found out what it wanted to be on its own.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"This was way worse than the TOS episode in which Bones utters the famous phrase, 'Dammit, Jim. I'm a doctor, not a brick layer!' " Of course it was way worse; "The Devil in the Dark" is one of my favorite TOS episodes! It's followed shortly by the equally classic line, "By golly, Jim; I'm starting to think I can cure a rainy day!"

TammieV
TammieV

Yep Paramount/CBS were the subjects of their own bad management. We could not get UPN. I finally saw it in it''s entirety on Netflix.

bboyd
bboyd

They refused to carry it in the face of stupid teenage phunk. So our cable company to provide it, after heavily petitioned to, replaced a chunk with a feed taken off an over the air connection from 50 miles farther away. Barely watchable from all the static. I found the wonders of torrented TV episodes from that fiasco. Still not sure why commercial TV doesn't provide episodes w/ commercials that way. Like they would be any more revenue adverse than DVR machines...

Phil Haney
Phil Haney

This is where the show lost it for me. We have the cliff hanger, and instead of resolving it in the first episode of the next season (and moving on like a good franchise should), it becomes the next season. What put the final nail in the coffin for me, was the alien Nazis in the cliff hanger, followed only slightly by the franchise's inability to tell a complete story in one episode after that...

TammieV
TammieV

I kept asking myself... what is the purpose. It was a waste of Space.

tom.marsh
tom.marsh

With apologies to Comic Book Guy, the Xindi are the worst bad guys in the history of Sci-Fi. Inept on every level. Strategically: They're an advanced race with the capability of building a reality-shattering doomsday device, time travel, and building powerful starships, who didn't think to just go to earth and destroy humanity from orbit with a series of simple nuclear devices, and instead engaged in a roundabout, whacky conspiracy to create said doomsday device to go for some kind of "Alderaan-like" ending for humanity. What, you people didn't see Battlestar Galactica, really? Don't they get SyFyHD on Xindus Prime? The Cylons tactics were much more effective.

ScottCarmichael
ScottCarmichael

...but I understood why they did it. They realized after the first two seasons they needed to have a coherent storyline stretching over a decent length of time, instead of the syndication-friendly standalone episodes that weren't typically very good. Plus, this would allow them to play off the current Iraq/Terrorism situation in real-life, something Star Trek has done in the past (using real life topics to generate sci-fi drama). However, the Xindi storyline was just rubbish. The characters took an odd twist in that season, with T'Pol and Trip getting into a relationship and that making zero sense. And if I remember correctly, doesn't Archer alone blow up the Xindi superweapon? It all felt too convenient on so many levels and very disappointing.

jehall
jehall

In my most humble of feelings of who I would pick for MY CAPTAIN, they all would have good things as well as bad. Picard seldom went of the deep end, Janeway did a few times, Kirk was at time hard to follow, while Archer at times was in loonie toons town with some of the Xindi shows. All in all if I went on away mission, I would have them all taking care of me on the planet. As I said before NONE of them have ALL the attributes. Sure Kirk had saved the world so many times, and theyf all were picked by StarFleet to do the job some how.

a.portman
a.portman

The two and a half episodes I watch all the way through had both the Vulcans and Humans actively disliking each other by site, and several times in all three episodes not liking the smell of the other. Quick test of dialog. Substitute Blacks for Vulcans. "I don;t like working with (Vulcans/Blacks) they smell bad and eat weird food." What does it look like now? There is a certain amount of racism in scyfi/fantasy (Why do we kill orcs? We just do.) But name calling and otherwise poor episodes meant I had better things to do with my time.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The dislike of the Vulcan's and the way that none where wanted on the ship could be a starting point for Racism. The constant swipes between the Space Freighters and Starfleet or whatever they where called at the time where another. But maybe I just didn't watch it enough, However I found the entire thing at best lacking and more likely downright bad on all fronts. ;) Col

Suresh Mukhi
Suresh Mukhi

"The Devil In The Dark" is ONE OF THE BEST EPISODES OF Star Trek overall. Even William Shatner considers it his personal favorite. Anybody who considers this a bad episode does not know Star Trek at all.

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