3. Phlox was awesome.
Phlox was Denobulan, basically a mammal-like puffer fish and he was awesome. Just beyond his societal makeup on interwoven and blended families aside, his unique bedside manner and his rapport with Archer made his scenes always a delight.
4. Malcolm Reed’s position wasn’t just another bridge crew member
In Trek’s desire to make a utopian future, there’s always wars and conflicts but never a genuine security force to deal with it. Just nerds with phasers. In Enterprise people were smart and had full-on security division to protect the space navy. Because that’s what Starfleet was, a space navy. All great space navies need their own space marines. Enterprise had theirs as well in M.A.C.O. This addition gave Reed even more agency on the ship beyond just responding to Archer at his post.
5. The ship felt like a ship
One of the biggest gripes I have with the ships of Star Trek is that they feel more like Carnival cruise ships than space-subs, which is technically what they are. Oceanic ships are tight, confined, and don’t waste space. The first ship to bear the name Enterprise embraced that concept to the point where even the Captain’s room was small and tight. The helm was also incredibly close, and every room on the ship felt borderline claustrophobic. Just like a real ship.
6. The Xindi
It’s literally a space cabal (not to be confused with the Suliban) that hates Starfleet and had space monkeys as villains. This is fantastic.
7. Real consequences for Earth and Starfleet
In the season two finale, The Expanse, Starfleet and Earth are dealt with one of its deadliest attacks since Vulcan’s made First Contact with humans. The planet is rocked by the Xindi, who cut a deep swath across the central part of North America; killing millions. None more important to the story than the younger sister of Charles “Tripp” Tucker. It was not just a defining moment for the character of Tripp but for the show as a whole; recentering the focus of the series to one of more personal stakes.
8. Jeffery Combs (Weyun) returned to the franchise
Fans of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 will remember Weyun and the man who played him; Jeffery Combs. Combs returned to Star Trek again, this time to play an Andorian soldier with serious issues with Vulcans; more on them later. Combs is always perfect in any role that he’s in, and he shines brightest as a villain in Star Trek. He also played a Ferengi pirate with a laser whip named Krem. Combs appeared in 11 of the 98 episodes of the series.
9. The Orions are made into far more dangerous threats
In the ’50s, the idea of “slave girls” was very stylish for pages of pulp science fiction novels. So when Gene Roddenberry brought his Star Trek show to life, no wonder he included a lot of those pulp elements. By the 2000s, however, the awareness of human trafficking was at a then all-time high and the idea of sex slaves no longer was digestible to the standard viewing audience. So instead of maintaining past lore, it was instead refocused. They were recontextualized to feature the female Orions atop of the Orion Syndicate slave trade, using their pheromones to control those around them.