Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Star Trek: Enterprise – The Complete Season Three Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Sean Ferguson
enterprise bdThe original starship Enterprise continues its historic voyage into the final frontier of high definition when Star Trek: Enterprise – The Complete Third Season makes its debut on Blu-ray from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution.  After a surprise attack on Earth leaves over seven million people dead, Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and the crew of the Enterprise swear to find those responsible – the Xindi. Taking off into the uncharted region known as the Delphic Expanse, the crew of the Enterprise must hunt down the Xindi and stop them from enacting their ultimate plan: the total destruction of humanity. Along the way they travel to the year 2004 to prevent a bioweapon attack, fend off the mysterious Sphere-Builders, and even meet their own descendants due to a wormhole mishap – all leading up to a desperate race back to Earth to prevent its destruction. Featuring all 24 episodes from the third season, the six-disc Blu-ray set also includes never-before-seen special features that are exclusive to this release: “In A Time of War,” a new three-part documentary, and a new featurette entitled “Temporal Cold War: Declassified.”


Show (4 1/2 out of 5 stars) 

Now that we are talking about the third season of Star Trek: Enterprise, I’m going to assume that anyone reading this review has at least some knowledge of the show and that it was a prequel to The Original Series with Captain Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the valiant crew of the Enterprise NCC-1701.   In Enterprise, Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) and his crew have spent the first two season basically just exploring the galaxy for the first time.  They encountered some friendly aliens and some that weren’t so nice, but overall, they were tourists of the galaxy.  By the time the second season ended, all of that changed once an alien race called the Xindi decided to attack the Earth which killed seven million people in Florida including the sister of the Enterprise’s Chief Engineer Trip Tucker (Connor Trinneer).  And that attack was done by a probe and just the opening salvo from the aggressors.  Overnight, the Enterprise’s mission changed from peaceful exploration into a desperate race to discover who the Xindi were, what they wanted, and to find a way to stop them.
The show’s change in direction was a calculated one and one that was directed by the studio who wanted the show to recapture the audience with an ambitious storyline.  Instead of doing standalone shows like they had traditionally done, this season would feature one storyline that would stretch across the entire season which had never been done before. The storyline itself was a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the tone of the show would change immediately.  Now on a mission to discover those that attacked the Earth and even sporting a brand new squad of Military Assault Command Operation soldiers (MACOs), the Enterprise was going to war which I’m sure upset many viewers who preferred the Gene Roddenberry version of Star Trek, where everyone mostly got along and the soon to be United Federation of Planets was less about the military and more about science and exploration.  To be honest, I like both views since there’s times when you can negotiate and other times when you will be forced to fight. While the other Star Trek shows featured crews that were already tested and the Federation was already an established presence in the universe, during these early days of Captain Archer, they had to fight even their allies the Vulcans to be allowed to explore space.
So in an interesting reversal, the crew of the Enterprise who’ve been forcibly tethered to Earth for the first couple of seasons, have finally been given a mandate to explore the Delphic Expanse to find the Xindi after the attack on Earth. It’s what they’ve always wanted but it’s obviously not the way they wanted that opportunity to arise.  Being the lone warp capable ship, they are sent into an uncharted area of space without backup to face an undefined enemy.  It’s an interesting way to spend a season and overall I enjoyed it and it only gets better during the next season.  There’s a lot of good episodes this season including “Similitude,” which is a perfect “Star Trek type” episode that deals with the morality of cloning, “Twilight” which is a fitting title for an episode that could be described as “Star Trek “meets “Twilight Zone” where we see an alternate future with an older Archer and T’Pol (Jolene Blalock).  There’s also their zombie episode “Impulse,” and a lot of guest stars show up such as Brent Spiner as Arik Soong who brings back the prospect of Khan’s genetically improved supermen in “The Augments,” and it was also nice to see the return of Jeffrey Combs as the Andorian Shran.  By the end of this season, it just gets better and better and once it gets to “Azati Prime,” “Damage,” and the final three episodes, “The Council”, “Countdown,” and “Zero Hour” are among the best episodes in Enterprise’s run.
Here are the episodes that are included in this season:
  1. The Xindi - Six weeks into the Delphic Expanse, Captain Archer and his crew are still searching for clues regarding the mysterious Xindi. They’re also adjusting to the newest members of the crew, a squad of Military Assault Command Operation soldiers (MACOs), led by Major Hayes. The crew learns of a Xindi working at a mining complex, and set out to track him down. Once they reach the complex, Archer and Reed head down to the grimy mine and meet with the alien Foreman. The Foreman offers a severed finger that he claims belongs to the Xindi worker. In exchange for a meeting with the worker, the Foreman demands a half liter of liquefied platinum. Back onboard, Phlox analyzes the finger and confirms that it is from a Xindi — however, it bears some intriguing variations from the Xindi corpse that was recovered on Earth.
  2. The Anomaly - As Enterprise ventures deep into the Expanse, the ship is rocked by inexplicable, destructive spatial anomalies that distort the laws of physics. The anomalies take most of the ship’s primary systems off-line, leaving Enterprise without weapons or warp capabilities.  Meanwhile, Mayweather notices that there is a ship nearby, adrift in space. No bio-signs are detected, so Archer, Reed and several of the MACOs take a shuttlepod to the derelict ship in order to ascertain what happened to the aliens onboard. The alien crewmembers are all dead, their corpses floating through the air. Further study reveals that most of them died when life support ran out, but some of them were killed by particle weapons. Concerned that whoever attacked the alien ship could come after Enterprise, Archer orders Mayweather to resume course — the crew will have to make repairs on the move.
  3. Extinction - In scanning the Xindi database obtained from the marauder ship, Captain Archer manages to discern that the Xindi recently visited a nearby planet, and plans to see if it will provide any more clues regarding the mysterious species.  Once there, Archer, T’Pol, Hoshi and Reed head down to explore the jungle-like world. They discover a Xindi landing pod, which appears to be damaged by weapons fire. They also find some alien remains, though they don’t appear to be Xindi. As the four officers continue to explore, strange changes begin to take place. T’Pol, separated from the others, notices that she is developing bizarre alien characteristics. She goes in search of the others, and finds that they have completely mutated into alien beings — they don’t seem to recognize her and are speaking in a strange language. T’Pol manages to communicate briefly with Enterprise, but is soon taken hostage by her altered colleagues.
  4. Rajiin - As Enterprise ventures deeper into the Expanse, the Xindi council continues to monitor its mission. The various members of the council also continue to disagree on the best course of action. The Xindi-Reptilians and Xindi-Insectoids are ready to take action against the humans, but Degra, the Xindi-Humanoid who is building the mysterious weapon, advises caution. The other Xindi species ultimately support Degra, agreeing that he needs more time to complete this weapon and that they shall proceed as planned. Meanwhile, the crew of Enterprise is adjusting somewhat to life in the Expanse. T’Pol and Trip continue their Vulcan neuro-pressure sessions, while Archer determines that the ship needs to be insulated with trellium-D, a component that will protect it against the bizarre anomalies that permeate the Expanse.
  5. Impulse - Enterprise picks up a distress call from a Vulcan ship, the Seleya, which T’Pol recognizes as a ship she once served on. The ship is located in a somewhat treacherous asteroid field — the asteroids are moving in a chaotic, unpredictable pattern due to the Expanse’s spatial anomalies.  Archer, Reed, T’Pol and Corporal Hawkins set out for the ship in a shuttlepod and are encouraged when there appear to be bio-signs onboard. Once they board the Seleya, however, it appears eerily deserted. Apparently, the Vulcans were attempting to line the ship with trellium, but didn’t get very far. As the team continues to explore the ship, they are surprised by several homicidal, zombie-like Vulcans who attack them. The crew manages to fend them off, but the strangely altered Vulcans block them from the airlock, cutting off their escape route to the shuttlepod. What’s worse, T’Pol seems to be suffering from the same symptoms as the crew of the Seleya.
  6. Exile - Hoshi is in her quarters one night when she hears whispering and spies a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows. She alerts Reed, but when she turns back to the figure, it has disappeared. Reed scans for intruders, but nothing turns up. Later, as Hoshi attempts to translate some of the Xindi database, she once again hears voices and sees the mysterious figure. She also has a vision of being in a strange alien sanctuary. Alarmed, Hoshi visits Phlox, who examines her but doesn’t find anything out of the ordinary. As they talk, the mysterious alien presence once again visits Hoshi — in the form of Phlox. He tells her that he’s been studying her mind for several days and that he has a form of telepathy that only works in rare instances. He also tells her that he knows Enterprise is on an urgent mission and would like to talk to her about it.
  7. Shipment - On a tip from Hoshi’s telepathic admirer, Tarquin, Archer and the crew head to a nearby planet, hoping to learn more about the mysterious Xindi weapon. Archer, Reed and Major Hayes embark on a reconnaissance mission and discover that the sparsely-populated planet is home to an elaborate Xindi-Sloth manufacturing plant producing canisters of a substance called kemocite. The team manages to swipe one of the canisters, which is then transported onboard Enterprise for analysis. Unbeknownst to the Enterprise crew, Degra, one of the Xindi-Humanoids, is close to testing the weapon and needs only one more shipment of kemocite to do so.
  8. Twilight - Twelve years in the future, Archer finds himself living in a modest home on a desolate planet with T’Pol as his caregiver. The last thing he remembers is walking down a corridor on his way to the Bridge. T’Pol explains that an anomaly hit the ship, and Archer knocked her out of the way of a distortion wave just in time. The wave rendered him unconscious, and when he awoke, Phlox had troubling news: Archer was infected with several clusters of parasites, which prevented him from forming long-term memories. Over the next few months, Phlox searched for a cure, but was unsuccessful — the organisms are from a domain outside of normal space-time, and none of his treatments had any effect. Meanwhile, T’Pol was granted a field commission and promoted to captain. After several months of searching, the crew learned where the Xindi weapon was being constructed — but the Xindi caught wind of it and sent ships to intercept Enterprise. The ensuing battle left Enterprise heavily damaged, and though the crew eventually located the facility where the weapon was being constructed, it had already been launched. Earth was destroyed.
  9. North Star - The crew of the Enterprise discovers about 6,000 humans on a Delphic Expanse planet living in settlements that are similar to those of the Old West. Archer, T’Pol and Trip disguise themselves and head down to observe, hoping to learn how these settlements came to be. Reporting from Enterprise, Reed notes that scans indicate that there’s also a nearby settlement of aliens.  Observing the town, Archer manages to learn that there’s long-standing animosity between the humans and the aliens, the Skagarans (called “Skags” by the humans). In particular, the malicious Deputy Bennings seems to be set on persecuting the “Skags” any way he can. For their part, the Skagarans are treated like slaves by the humans. Archer befriends the local schoolteacher, Bethany, who seems to be the only human with compassion for the Skagarans. In fact, she is secretly teaching Skagaran children at night, even though it’s illegal. Intrigued, Archer accompanies her to one of her lessons. Meanwhile, T’Pol and Trip have discovered what appears to be the remains of a spacecraft.
  10. Similitude - During a test on the warp engine, Trip is seriously injured and falls into a coma. His heroic actions do save the ship from a breach, but Enterprise sustains damage and is left drifting in a dangerous polaric field. Phlox is concerned that Trip may not survive, and poses one potentially controversial alternative: using one of his creatures, a Lyssarrian Desert Larvae, Phlox could clone Trip with a simbiot, then use its neural tissue for a transplant. The simbiot would have Trip’s genetic make-up, but it would grow old and die in a span of 15 days. Archer is uneasy about this plan, but he eventually decides that he has no choice: he must complete his mission and he needs Trip to do so.
  11. Carpenter Street - Archer receives a surprise visit from Daniels, the mysterious time traveling operative who has aided him in the past. Daniels tells Archer that three Xindi-Reptilians have somehow traveled back in time 150 years to Detroit, Michigan. He wants to send Archer and T’Pol back in time to investigate. He also gives Archer temporal tags to bring back anything that doesn’t belong in the 21st century. After disguising them in clothing from the proper time period, Archer and T’Pol successfully travel 150 years in the past, arriving at night on a Detroit City street.
  12. Chosen Realm - After coming to the aid of a crippled alien vessel, Captain Archer brings the ship’s crew onboard Enterprise for medical attention. The aliens are a deeply religious people known as the Triannons, and Archer invites their leader, D’Jamat, to dinner. D’Jamat explains that the Triannons regard the Delphic Expanse as the “Chosen Realm” and the mysterious spheres are sacred objects created by god-like beings known as the “Makers.” The spatial anomalies, D’Jamat says, are merely “the Makers’ breath.”  The Triannons’ presence seems fairly benign — until D’Jamat approaches Archer and reveals that Enterprise is about to embark on a “glorious mission.” D’Jamat explains that his crewmen have taken up positions throughout Enterprise and that their bodies are armed with organic explosives. 
  13. Proving Ground - When Hoshi identifies a signal that matches the kemocite Archer planted on a Xindi ship, the captain realizes that this could lead Enterprise closer to the Xindi weapon. He orders T’Pol to set a course. The course, however, requires Enterprise to navigate a dense field of spatial anomalies and the ship sustains heavy damage. Just as it looks like Enterprise may not emerge intact, the ship is hauled out by an Andorian vessel helmed by Commander Shran, who has had dealings with Archer in the past. Shran offers assistance to Enterprise, claiming that the Andorians wish to help the humans in their quest for the Xindi. Though T’Pol is suspicious of the Andorians’ motives, Archer accepts. Shran sends his tactical officer, Lieutenant Talas, to assist Reed in repairing Enterprise’s weapons. Like T’Pol, Reed is skeptical of the Andorians, but he soon finds himself bonding with Talas — the two have similar backgrounds.
  14. Stratagem - Upon returning to the Xindi weapon test site, the crew of Enterprise detects a Xindi ship in the area. They attack and board the ship, taking its occupants prisoner. Among the prisoners is Degra, the Xindi-Humanoid who is also the mastermind behind the superweapon. Unfortunately, the Xindi ship’s databanks have been mostly erased and Degra and his men are less than helpful. Phlox, however, has discovered an interesting wrinkle in Xindi neurophysiology — it’s possible to erase their most recent memories. Archer formulates a plan that involves Phlox erasing Degra’s memories and Trip building a small mock shuttlecraft that will be housed on Enterprise.
  15. Harbinger - As Enterprise heads for the red giant star that Archer believes to be the location of the Xindi weapon, the ship encounters a massive spatial distortion. They discover a small craft within the anomaly and pull it to safety. Inside the craft, they find an unconscious alien being hooked up to monitoring equipment. The alien, notes Phlox, is suffering from rapid cellular degeneration. Once revived, the alien insists on being returned to his ship, but Archer can’t help but be suspicious of his motives.  T’Pol and Trip study the alien’s pod and come to the conclusion that the alien was placed in the spatial anomaly so that someone could keep track of his exposure to the environment — he’s a test subject.
  16. Doctor’s Orders - En route to Azati Prime, Archer and his crew encounter another roadblock: a trans-dimensional disturbance. To pass through it could prove deadly for the crew, but going around it means another two-week delay. Luckily, Phlox has a solution. He will place each crewmember in a comatose state, so as to protect their neocortexes while they traverse the anomaly. Because Phlox’s Denobulan physiology is immune to the effects of the disturbance, he plans to remain conscious and watch over the ship and crew. As there’s no way of knowing what effects the disturbance will have on Enterprise’s warp drive, Trip recommends leaving the ship at impulse, meaning Phlox will have to keep the crew sedated for at least four days. Phlox is briefed on how to perform various tasks in case of an emergency — Mayweather gives him a quick helm tutorial while Trip instructs him on checking the warp engines. Various crewmembers express their concern about Phlox running the ship, because he lacks Starfleet training, but Archer is confident the doctor can handle things.
  17. Hatchery - On the way to Azati Prime, Enterprise discovers a damaged Xindi-Insectoid vessel with no bio-signs onboard. Archer, Reed, Trip, T’Pol and Major Hayes board the vessel, hoping to learn more. They discover a pair of Insectoid corpses, a small assault vehicle and an eerie hatchery containing Xindi eggs, some of which are still viable. As the team explores the ship, Archer is suddenly spattered by a strange liquid that spews from one of the egg sacs.  Back on Enterprise, Phlox determines that Archer was hit by a mild neuro-toxin — most likely a defense mechanism. Later on, Trip reports that when the ship crashed, the Insectoid crew transferred their life support to the hatchery in an attempt to save their offspring.
  18. Azati Prime - Enterprise has finally reached Azati Prime, the site of the Xindi superweapon. Unfortunately, Reed can’t find any weak spots in the Xindi’s formidable detection grid. Archer suggests utilizing the Insectoid shuttle the crew recently salvaged to sneak past the grid and locate the weapon — perhaps they will be able to blend in. After learning how to operate the craft, Mayweather and Trip take it into Xindi territory, hoping to scan the weapon. They clear the detection grid and find that the planet is largely oceanic. They detect what could be the weapon, so they take the shuttle underwater. Once there, they find what they’re looking for: the weapon is massive, a truly impressive and horrific sight. They take their scans and head back to the ship. Meanwhile, Enterprise is detected and scanned by a Xindi monitoring facility on the moon’s surface. Archer, worried that the facility will alert the rest of the Xindi, is forced to destroy it.  With Trip and Mayweather safely back onboard, Archer studies their scans and hatches a bold plan. One crewmember will need to take the Insectoid craft, armed with torpedoes, back to the site of the weapon and blow it up. The trip, however, will be one-way, a suicide mission — and Archer wants to be the one to carry it out.
  19. Damage - As Enterprise continues to endure the brutal Xindi attack, the crew struggles to hold the ship together. Suddenly, the Xindi ships cease firing and begin to move off. The crew is relieved, but Enterprise has sustained heavy damage and will require extensive repairs before the mission can continue. Meanwhile, Archer has been released from his imprisonment by the Xindi-Reptilians and is returned to Enterprise in a Xindi-Aquatic escape pod. Archer isn’t sure why the Xindi returned him to his vessel, but he believes he may have gotten through to Degra. As Archer briefs T’Pol on his ordeal, he can’t help but notice that she’s acting somewhat strangely — her emotions seem close to the surface and her hands appear to be shaking uncontrollably. There’s no time to dwell on this, however — Enterprise still requires a lot of work in order to be fully operational.
  20. Forgotten - Enterprise is still undergoing repairs, but Captain Archer is determined to make it to Degra’s rendezvous point on time. The crew, however, is still reeling from the loss of the 18 crewmen who died during the Xindi attack. The loss seems to be hitting Trip especially hard, particularly when Archer orders him to write a letter of condolence to an engineering crewman’s family. T’Pol, meanwhile, is dealing with problems of her own — she’s coping with the lingering effects of her trellium addiction, and is finding her emotions difficult to control. Phlox points out that the addiction caused serious damage to her neural pathways. She may have to learn to live with these emotions.  Enterprise finally meets up with Degra, who leads them inside a nearby Sphere cloaking barrier. He then invites Archer onto his ship to meet with him and the Xindi-Arboreal from the Council. Degra explains that he was the one who arranged for Archer to be returned to Enterprise. He also called off the Xindi attack on the ship. Degra goes on to reveal that the Xindi weapon is set to be launched in a matter of days — if the Xindi are to believe Archer’s story, they need proof and they need it soon.
  21. E2 - As Enterprise heads toward its rendezvous with Degra and a fateful meeting with the Xindi Council, the crew faces a dangerous trek. To reach their destination, they must enter a subspace corridor guarded by the Kovaalans, a species that isn’t very tolerant of trespassers. As Archer attempts to devise a game plan, the crew detects another ship. Strangely enough, it’s an NX-class Starfleet vessel … and as it approaches, it becomes apparent that its designation is Enterprise NX-01!  The ship’s captain, Lorian, hails Enterprise and tells them to alter their heading. He then comes aboard Archer’s Enterprise and tells the captain that the current mission will not be successful. If Archer takes his ship into the subspace corridor, it will be thrown back in time 117 years.
  22. The Council - With Degra’s help, Captain Archer prepares to meet with the Xindi Council. As they go over their plan, Degra offers a little background on the Sphere-Builders’ involvement with the Xindi. After the Xindi homeworld was destroyed, the Sphere-Builders began appearing to the survivors, guiding them to habitable planets and valuable resources. Because of this, the Sphere-Builders are worshipped by the Xindi and are referred to as “the Guardians.” This belief, Degra explains, is what Archer’s up against.  Flanked by a flotilla of Primate, Aquatic and Arboreal ships, Enterprise enters Xindi space. Archer, Degra and a skittish Hoshi Sato head down to the Council chamber, located in an ancient stronghold built by the extinct Xindi-Avian race. Finally facing the Council, including the hostile Reptilians and Insectoids, Archer explains that the Sphere-Builders have manipulated the Xindi — they are really just preparing the Delphic Expanse for colonization.
  23. Countdown - The Xindi-Reptilians have kidnapped Hoshi, hoping that she will be able to decipher the Aquatics’ launch code. This will give them the three codes they need to deploy the superweapon and destroy Earth. Hoshi refuses to cooperate, so Commander Dolim has her injected with parasites that invade her neocortex and render her more compliant.  Meanwhile, Archer meets with Trip and T’Pol to go over strategy. Using the memory core that T’Pol retrieved from one of the Spheres, they determine that four of the dozens of Spheres are integral to the subspace energy grid that connects them all. The closest is Sphere 41 — if they can damage it, it might disrupt the entire grid, putting the Sphere-Builders’ plans in jeopardy.
  24. Zero Hour - Aboard Degra’s ship, Archer, Reed and Hoshi work with the Arboreals and Primates to stop the Xindi weapon from launching. Archer plans to destroy the weapon from the inside by overloading the power systems, but he needs Hoshi to decrypt the weapon schematics. A ragged Hoshi is still recovering from her ordeal with the Reptilians, but she’s determined to help. Despite her condition, Archer plans to take her with him when he boards the weapon. As Archer outlines his plan, he suddenly finds himself transported to a futuristic council hall — he’s face-to-face with Daniels, the mysterious time-traveling operative he’s encountered many times before. Daniels tells Archer that he’s going to be a crucial part of forming the “United Federation of Planets” that Daniels has spoken of before. He urges Archer not to go on this mission and to send Reed or someone else. Others are not crucial to the future of mankind — Archer is. 
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Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars) 

The show’s 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks good but it’s not as good as the complete restoration that the Next Generation sets got.  The image itself is clean looking without any scratches or damage, but the detail isn’t as sharp as it should be.  The show frequently looks soft especially in low lit scenes but fares better during brightly lit periods. Since most of the show takes place in darkened areas, it’s pretty prevalent throughout the season.  Colors are decent but don’t really pop out unless the scenes are outside or in a bright environment like the sickbay or on a planet based episode like “North Star.”  There’s also some light grain present throughout the show and the black levels are decent but not as solid and dark as they could have been.  Overall, this is a slightly above average transfer that could have used a little bit more love, but it still works and the show looks better than I remember.
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Audio (4 out of 5 stars) 

Enterprise: Season Three‘s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix sounds much better here than it did when it was on the air. From the much criticized opening song’s nice presentation to the ambient noise of the bridge, it all sounds great. Each channel is used well to deliver clear and clean sounding effects and dialogue as well as some very accurate cross channel activity.  The front channels offer some crystal clear dialogue while the rear channels deliver an active soundfield that brings to life every phaser blast, explosion, and warp jump.  Some episodes really take advantage of the channels especially the final three that close out the Xindi arc.  I also like the constant ambience of the Enterprise itself which you really notice when it’s not there during the behind the scenes scenes in the extras.  Fans of the show should be fairly pleased with the show’s audio presentation.

Extras (5 out of 5 stars) 

Roger Lay Jr. and Robert Meyer Burnett have outdone themselves on these extras. As a fan of the show, I think these extras are worth the cost of the set alone.  This combination of old and new extras really captures how the show came about, what worked and didn’t, gives us a better picture of the actors and those behind the camera, and some long awaited answers that are given candidly and without any hesitation or waffling.  Once again, we are generously given all of the previous DVD extras and a bunch of new ones (that I’ve listed as new) below.  I’ve also notated whether or not the extras are presented in high definition or not.  If I could give this set’s extras a higher rating than five I would gladly do so.
Here are all of the extras broken down disc by disc:
Disc One:
  • Text Commentary by Mike & Denise Okuda on “The Xindi” (2005)
  • Archival Mission Logs:
    • The Xindi Saga Begins (SD) -  A short featurette that takes a look at the the new direction for the show and how it changed the tone of the show and the storylines.  
    • Enterprise Moments: Season Three (SD) - A more in depth look at the following episodes:  ”Twilight,” “Chosen Realm,” “Similitude,” “Harbinger,” “Azati Prime,” and “Zero Hour.”
Disc Two:
  • Episode Commentary by David Livingston and David A. Goodman on “Impulse” – NEW!
  • Text Commentary by Mike & Denise Okuda on “Impulse” (2005)
  • Episode Commentary by Mike Sussman and Tim Gaskill on “Twilight” (2008)
Disc Three:
  • Episode Commentary by David A. Goodman and Chris Black on “North Star” – NEW!
  • Episode Commentary by Mike DeMeritt on “North Star” (2005)
  • Episode Commentary by Manny Coto and Connor Trinneer on “Similitude” – NEW!
  • Episode Commentary by Manny Coto on “Similitude” (2005)
  • Deleted Scenes from “Similitude” (SD)
  • Deleted Scene from “Chosen Realm” (SD)
Disc Four:
  • No extras on this disc
Disc Five:
  • Episode Commentary by David A. Goodman, Chris Black and Connor Trinneer on “The Forgotten” – NEW! 
  • Deleted Scenes from “E2” (SD)
Disc Six:
  • Episode Commentary by Chris Black and AndrĂ© Bormanis on “Countdown” – NEW!
  • Text Commentary by Mike & Denise Okuda on “Countdown” (2005)
  • In A Time Of War: (HD) – NEW!  - All together these three part featurettes combine to make an hour and half documentary that they’ve broken up for some unknown reason. I wish they would just keep it whole so you don’t have to watch the credits three times and it could be one seamless experience.  With that minor complaint out of the way I only have praise once again for this ongoing documentary series.  Every season we get to see the next chapter of the saga to bring Star Trek to our screens and every time it’s just amazing to see.  Everyone is candid and no punches are pulled which is very refreshing.  Each part lasts about thirty minutes each so they’re full of goodness.  This set’s three part series includes “Part One: Call To Arms,” “Part Two: Front Lines,” and “Part Three: Final Conflict.”  It starts with how the events of 9/11 affected the show and the storyline both consciously and unconsciously.   We also hear how the studio demanded a more dynamic show and how tensions grew between the network and the showrunners.  Brannon Braga talks about how he fired many writers on the show and the arrival of Manny Coto and the fresh energy and ideas he brought to the show.  We also hear from most of the cast who talk about how they felt about this season which most of them enjoyed but many felt it should have happened sooner.  Others like Jolene Blalock states how unhappy she was with some of  the choices and felt that the showrunners didn’t listen to her, while John Billingsley felt that a few episodes were too ruthless for his tastes.  The cast also talks about hearing the rumors of their cancellation and meeting with disappointed fans who expected the show to live up to its promise of being different from the previous Star Trek shows.  We also hear from the writers of the show who talk about being happy with the new direction of the show while also being frustrated that it wasn’t planned all the way through which left them trying to tie up all of the plot threads that extended farther than they should have.  It wraps up with a talk about the Xindi and their creation which was limited to the budget and the special effects that could be afforded. We also hear from two of the actors who played the major Xindi roles.  As usual, this is a fantastic documentary that leaves you wanting more.  Now I just have to wait for the next season!
  • Temporal Cold War: Declassified (HD) – NEW! – Since the studio wanted to introduce a futuristic element to the prequel era show so the temporal cold war was introduced.  We hear from the actors who played a big part of that.
  • Enterprise Profile: Connor Trinneer (SD) – I was happy to see the focus fall on Connor Trinneer as he played Trip Tucker who was my favorite character on the show. He talks about how much this season challenged him as an actor and how it allowed him to process his own feelings about 9/11 by portraying Trip’s grief over his sister’s death that occurred during the attack on Earth.
  • A Day In The Life Of A Director: Roxann Dawson (SD) – One of the stars of Star Trek Voyager
  • Behind The Camera: Marvin Rush (SD) – Director of Photography Marvin Rush who takes us on the set of Enterprise to show us how scenes are filmed.  We see how the stage the scenes, how they set up the shots, and a behind the scenes look at a couple of scenes being filmed.
  • Enterprise Secrets (SD) - 2nd Assistant Director David Trotti takes us on a tour of the various locations on the Paramount lot where they filmed the show.
  • Outtakes (SD) – A montage of shots of the crew messing up lines and having some fun.
  • Photo Gallery (SD)
  • NX-01 File 07 (SD) – John Billingsley talks about how he wanted a scene that showed how well endowed Phlox was to justify his three wives. He got his nude scene but no opportunity to “show off.”
  • NX-01 File 08 (SD) – Costume Designer Robert Blackman talks about the evolution of the cast uniforms and shows us the various prototypes created before they settled on the final version.
  • NX-01 File 09 (SD) – A talk with writer Mike Sussman who talks about the episode “E2.” 
enterprise 2

Summary (4 out of 5 stars) 

Star Trek: Enterprise is a great show that only got better with each season.  You can see the improvement this season with several standout episodes that really raised the bar for the show and left it with a crazy cliffhanger ending that will surprise you.  This Blu-ray is also excellent with above average video and audio quality and some of the best extras that I’ve ever seen.  The extras alone are worth the cost of this set and I highly recommend that you buy this set.  This release is just the latest in a long line of stellar Star Trek Blu-rays and I can’t wait to see what they do with the the final one which is my favorite season of the entire show!
Order your copy today! 
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