The plan for Star Trek: Enterprise was to bring in Shran as a crew member for season five.
By now it’s well known to many Star Trek: Enterprise fans that Shran, played wonderfully by Jeffrey Combs, was going to be a bigger part of Star Trek: Enterprise’s fifth season had the show gotten a fifth season. Shran would’ve been a new member of the crew and would’ve been bumped to recurring character status.
It would have seen Shran and the Andorians eek ever closer to peace with the Vulcans and would put Shran and T’Pol in conflict more often, forcing one another to look at each other’s prejudices towards one another.
It would’ve made for great television, but ScreenRant believes that idea would’ve been enough to save the show, and frankly, it wouldn’t have even prolonged it, let alone saved it. How come though?
Shran couldn’t have saved Star Trek: Enterprise
The idea of Shran saving Star Trek: Enterprise would mean the series gets seven seasons, isn’t prematurely canceled, and becomes the next Star Trek film franchise in 2009 as planned. With all due respect to Shran and Combs, the two of them could not have done a single thing to save Enterprise.
Why? Well, it’s simple, the folks ta UPN decided to cancel the show in the fourth season despite them seeing how likable and fun Shran was. The networks usually do a good job exercising what they want in a show, and if they thought Shran was good enough to save the show, they would have forced him into the show sooner.
They didn’t, because they didn’t believe in Shran. They didn’t believe in Enterprise.
Shran is a fan-favorite character but Enterprise is a show that is only finding the respect it deserves in hindsight. He wouldn’t be able to erase the perceived issues with Franchise just because he had more episodes. Fans weren’t ready to like Enterprise, and Shran wasn’t going to change that.
More than likely, since the show was so maligned (unfairly so), more than likely Shran would’ve lost his beloved fan status if he appeared too much. So there’s really no reason to believe Shran was the saving grace the show never got.
The show was a victim of being a prequel and having to live up to other lofty shows. The problem with the show and its failure wasn’t franchise fatigue, but a fundamental changing of the formula. They changed too many things Trek fans grew to expect and want. Injecting more Shran wasn’t going to change the fact many fans didn’t see Enterprise as “real trek.”