Star Trek: Enterprise was the prequel that technically started it all. It was the series that told the story of Starfleet and how it came to be. It was the show that introduced us to the beginnings of everything we'd come to know and enjoy about the franchise as a whole. It also had Scott Bakula, so that's a major win. The only problem that it had was that it was a prequel following a successful sequel series.
It stopped the story that was being told across several shows for a new story, set hundreds of years before everything we had just seen and that didn't sit well with fans. So Enterprise was a hard sell to a lot of people. But it was good, really good. Had it been any different, however, it may not have had the staying power it currently enjoys.
The show worked, like most Star Trek shows work, in a very similar fashion to one another. It's the Star Trek formula and it's why we're all fans. We show up, we watch ships in space, deal with moral issues with rarely any right or wrong outcome, and we see how everyone acts in those circumstances.
But had series exec Brannon Braga had his way, the show wouldn't have featured one of the most crucial aspects of a Star Trek show; the ship.
According to Star Trek: Enterprise season 2 Blu-ray special feature "In Conversation: The First Crew", the show was not going to take place on the NX-01 Enterprise, but instead on Earth. ScreenRant posted the quote from the DVD, where Braga explained his original idea;
"The show originally… was supposed to be set on Earth. The show Rick and I pitched to the studio was a show set on Earth. The Klingons attacked Earth. Same things, general things, happened, but it was all about the building of the first starship and… the Vulcan thing was all there… It was about getting the crew together. It was about Archer putting a crew together to be the first people who went out. It was either the end of the season or somewhere midseason the ship was going to be launched. So it was a much more mud on the boots, gritty show set on Earth for the first large part of the season. So launching the ship was going to be a much bigger deal.
The studio said, ‘Are you out of your mind? You’re not in space? You should be in space.’ They didn’t even want to do a prequel. That’s how this Temporal Cold War thing came in. They wanted some futuristic element to be in the show. So we interwove that so it was kind of a prequel and a sequel. We did battle with them with this concept from the very beginning, so it’s a miracle we even got it there. "
Admittedly, the studio was right. Is Star Trek not in space for an entire season? Who wants that? But, on the flip side of things, the Temporal Cold War was one of the worst ideas that Enterprise had to wrestle with, so it clearly wasn't a great compromise either. Somewhere in the middle the perfect story lay, and no one says it.