Star Trek: Enterprise changed up a key feature in their two-part Mirror Universe episodes.
Star Trek has long dabbled in the Mirror Universe concept. Even before the idea of the multi-verses was a common trend among a broader strand of society, Star Trek was exploring just that in the 1960s with their groundbreaking episode “Mirror, Mirror”, where the characters of the series were seen as villains in a different universe.
Now, it’s pretty common to see the Mirror Universe show up in other shows. Deep Space Nine and Discovery had huge arcs with the Mirror Universe, while The Next Generation opted to avoid it entirely.
Yet, arguably no one did it better than Enterprise, with their two-parter “In a mirror, Darkly”. in previous Mirror Universe shows, you saw the core cast of characters intermingle with the Mirror cast of characters and vice versa. Yet, in Enterprise, it was specifically a two-parter that featured just the Mirror characters in a self-contained storyline.
This was just one way that saw the show differ from past iterations, but fans who were paying attention may have noticed a much more impressive change up from previous versions.
Star Trek: Enterprise made sure all of its show was self-contained in this two-parter
Season four was the end of Enterprise, and maybe by the time they shot “In a Mirror, Darkly”, they knew they weren’t going to get renewed, or maybe they feared it. Regardless, the episode has this sense of “Ok, whatever, we’ll do what we want”.
Trek has been, up until recently, a show that penny-pinched as often as they could. Reusing old assets, using old props. Anything they can do to keep the costs as low as possible. It was an expensive show after all, so it’s understandable.
So one thing they never changed, not if they could help it anyway, was the introductory credits. Most series didn’t change them, not unless it was to add a name. Once the opening credits were done, they were done.
Until Enterprise. The show normally used historic vessels that bore the name Enterprise as its backdrop for the credits. So you’d see old sailing boats, to more modern spaceships, etc. Yet, when the Mirror episodes aired, each part of the two-parter got completely reworked credit scenes.
This time instead of a more loving and reverent intro, it featured scenes of mass destruction, chaos, and the true power of the Terran’s Starfleet. It completely flipped this awe-inspiring intro into something much darker, and colder.
It was the perfect way to introduce fans to a brand-new story with brand-new characters.