Scott Bakula explains how 9/11 affected Star Trek: Enterprise
With it now being 20 years since Star Trek: Enterprise debuted, it shares a milestone with another event that just turned 20 years old in 2021, the Sep. 11 attacks on the United States. While people may not remember due to their age or may have just forgotten, but a lot of how we engaged in media changed after that event.
Songs were pulled from the radio due to the imagery they invoked, like Drowning Pool’s super-popular song “Bodies”. A scene was removed from Spider-Man (2002) that would’ve shown the titular hero creating a web between the Twin Towers to catch a helicopter. Everything changed.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that a lot of Enterprise became and did mirrored the events of that day, even years later.
9/11 changed Star Trek: Enterprise
Speaking with Bob Saget on Saget’s Here for You podcast, Bakula recounted how the process took a turn after the terrorist attacks and how it affected the show going forward.
"From the beginning from until today, the Star Trek stories have relevance. We haven’t achieved the vision by any shape or form. Of course, our series was colored by 9/11 happening. We were shooting then and that eventually took over the direction of our show in terms of mirroring that event and casting it into the studio and painting it with the Star Trek brush. All of a sudden, we had the last two and a half seasons were all basically finding the people that had attacked Earth and chasing them down and where that led us in the universe.Life imitating art and art imitating life, that was a very real part of our of our [show]. And I think that it holds up. I think that there was merit in doing that. It was really hard. If you’re a writer, you’re going to write about what’s going on in your world and in your life. And that that certainly took over all of our lives for a good amount of time, that event, and still to this day."
Bakula’s not wrong when he talks about how the last two and half seasons “held up”. Even the most strict of detractors of the show would agree that seasons three and four were the show’s best.
It’s a bit surprising that a lot of what made the show was the writers working through such a traumatic event, and incorporating it into the series. Having not watched it at the time it aired, and only years later, the correlation of the attack on Earth and the attacks on 9/11 didn’t even dawn on me.
It certainly does make Enterprise a bit more meaningful, at least those latter seasons.