Star Trek: Enterprise has an extremely dedicated fan base that includes all characters.
Star Trek: Enterprise was the first of the Star Trek franchise shows that gave the captain a devoted pet. Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) had the lovable beagle Porthos for all four seasons of the show, and the fans fell in love with the dog. To this day, A Night in Sick Bay remains one of my most favorite episodes of the show. That said, though, Porthos was best playing what he was supposed to play—a dog. That didn’t stop writers from pitching other story lines that would have taken Porthos and fans out of our comfort zones. Thankfully, these stories never came to fruition.
Porthos becomes intelligent
Dogs are generally intelligent animals, but this pitch, though not fully explored, seemed to indicate Porthos would exceed the normal levels of intelligence afforded to animals. Perhaps the writers thought he should be able to better communicate with Captain Archer. And speaking of communicating…
Porthos and the canine alien
Another pitch that didn’t make the cut involved a canine alien that, due to obvious reasons, only Porthos could communicate with. One can only imagine how this episode would have unfolded, possibly with Hoshi trying to tune the universal translator to a canine frequency. Fortunately, this idea was scrapped, and the actors didn’t have to pretend not to giggle their way through their lines.
Porthos takes command of Enterprise
Can you imagine the beagle in Captain Archer’s chair while barking out “tactical alert?” How this episode would even have played out is both amusing and disturbing to consider. Had the writers intended to put Captain Archer’s consciousness in Porthos’ body or simply have the dog transform into a being capable of communication with humans? The idea is still baffling.
According to Andre Bormanis, a writer and producer on Star Trek: Enterprise, part of the reasoning behind these stories not seeing the light of day is that producers didn’t want Porthos “stealing the show.” I can certainly understand why fans would get that impression. As beloved as Porthos was, he played the best role he could play on the series.