John Billingsley of Star Trek: Enterprise believes the show failed due to series fatigue.
The legacy of Star Trek: Enterprise has always been a rather unique one. The series featured the beginnings of Starfleet, the budding partnership of the humans and Vulcans, as well as the beginning of many of the interstellar cultures and partnerships that Trek fans have come to love and study with gusto. It’s a series that however has been maligned by many; fairly or otherwise. So when John Billingsley, aka Phlox of Star Trek: Enterprise fame points out the possibility the series may have suffered from fatigue it’s hard not to agree.
Billingsley spoke at the Galaxy Con Live streaming event last week and shared his thoughts on why the series, at least initially, didn’t get the love it deserved;
We came on after so many years of Star Trek, and in a number of those years, double-dipping. Deep Space Nine actually overlapped with Voyager, for instance. I think by the time we aired there was fatigue, understandable fatigue. The show did really at least need a year off. I always felt badly for [co-creators/executive producers] Rick [Berman] and Brannon [Braga] that they weren’t given that time…The bible for the show just needed a little more work. I think the notions were strong and I think with the character development they had some clarity. But in terms of an arc for the first season, I think the Suliban wasn’t quite as thought through as it maybe needed to be. I think there was a little bit more work needed on what the tonal balance was between the darkness of we are the first fucking ship and we don’t know what the fuck we are doing and the nature of what Star Trek is supposed to be, the optimistic spirit… It is a hard tone to strike for what they were trying to do.
The first two season to many who watched the show doesn’t live up to the past series, or even it’s own third and fourth seasons. There might be some truth to the idea that the series was as fleshed out as well as it could’ve been.
Yet, the idea of franchise fatigue is very real. That was the fourth series in the span of 14 years, and with 400-some-odd episodes of Trek in that time span, plus six odd movies, there was a Trek overload. That may have caused many people to watch the show and see it for something it was never supposed to be.
Does Enterprise get a bad rep?