Star Trek: Picard is paying homage to Star Trek: Enterprise.
Star Trek: Picard did something interesting in the first episode of its final season; it called back to the most ignored series ever; Star Trek: Enterprise. Enterprise was a show over 20 years ago that featured Scott Bakula as Captain Johnathan Archer, as he took control of the NX-01 aka the Enterprise. Archer explored the galaxy with the first unofficial Starfleet crew.
Along the way, he brought the select Xindii figures, the Andorians, Vulcans, and others to the intergalactic table and helped establish the early days of what would go on to be the United Federation of Planets and the Starfleet that protects them. This was clearly a touch of love from Picard showrunner, Terry Matalas, who spent time working on Enterprise.
Matalas put some touches on Enterprise in the series, so when he took some questions from TrekMovie.com, one of the questions, was about why they chose “M’Talas Prime” as a name for a planet in Picard. The planet and showrunner have an eerily similar name, also this is planet, where Raffi ends up, has great significance to the story. Matalas noted that the name of the planet and his name being the same was no coincidence.
"I think it was Chris Black who came up with it on Enterprise. The idea was to name the most horrible place in the galaxy after me. And when I was a young assistant on Star Trek: Enterprise. The most vile place in the galaxy was of course named “Matalas.” So on Picard when we were trying to name a place for sort of the epicenter of organized crime in the galaxy, somebody said, “Shouldn’t it be named after that vile place named for you?” And so the idea was it was supposed to be self-deprecating, hoping that fans would run to Google to find it."
Matalas also spoke of Frontier Day, another nod to the Enterprise series that aired for four seasons on UPN from 2001-2005.
"It is the 250th anniversary celebrating when the NX-01 went out into space and the de-facto birth of modern Starfleet, and you will hear more about it. Starfleet didn’t really solidify until the NX-01 went out—this was the first ship with a multi-species crew and its voyage was pivotal to the founding of the Federation. It was essentially the birth of Starfleet as we know it."
Star Trek: Enterprise deserves more call-backs considering its place in history
Matalas has a tall task bringing Picard in for a stable landing after the two previous seasons, but maybe he’s up for the challenge. Certainly doing a callback to Enterprise isn’t the worst idea possible. While we may not agree with all of his decisions, calling back to Enterprise certainly didn’t hurt.
Enterprise doesn’t get the love it deserves, frankly. It deserves to have more references, callbacks, and cameos. As of right now, it’s the red-headed stepchild of the franchise and that needs to change.
It’s time to give the show the respect it deserves.