Would being Earthbound have helped Enterprise?
After Star Trek: Enterprise was canceled in 2005 after only four seasons, fans were in an uproar. Unsurprisingly, their campaigns for a fifth season didn’t bring the results they wanted, but then, the producers didn’t get what they wanted when the series first started. Both Rick Berman and Brannon Braga wanted the Enterprise to remain Earthbound for the entire first season of the series.
According to Braga, from the Season Two Blu-Ray, the idea was that the starship would remain in Earth’s orbit until the final episode of the first season. During that time, the ship would have been built. The first season would still have included Earth’s first encounter with a Klingon, the issues with the Vulcans and their politics, and getting the crew together, much like what happened in “Broken Bow,” only it would have been extended over an entire season. Unfortunately, studio executives rejected this idea firmly. They wanted the ship airborne.
Braga believes that, before Enterprise went into production, Star Trek was ready to do something different and that Enterprise should have done things differently from the beginning. Along with the show being Earthbound for season one, he thinks the series should have utilized serialized storytelling from the start, and he blames the studio for pushing them to do more of the same type of stuff done on other Star Trek series.
Could the Enterprise have started off with better ratings if Earthbound?
The big question is: would being Earthbound have helped or hurt the series even more? Some writers believed you couldn’t have a Star Trek series and not have a starship in space. But if the ship was eventually heading that way, would that have been enough for fans? The anticipation of launch from both fans and the crew could have been the boost Enterprise needed to gain a solid audience.
While we’ll never know if that could have actually prevented Enterprise from sinking, there is always the possibility that one day, some day, a Star Trek series begins on Earth rather than in space. If that happens, perhaps the ratings from that show will tell us what could have happened with Enterprise.