Genre(s): Science Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy, Drama
Paramount | NR – 1025 min. – $129.99 | January 7, 2014
Directed by: Various
Writer(s): Gene Roddenberry (created by)
Cast: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, Linda Park, Connor Trinneer
Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Number of Discs: 6
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, German, Japanese
Disc Size: Various
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C (unconfirmed)
THE SEASON – 4.5/5
Season three of “Star Trek: Enterprise” finds the series hitting its high mark even if perhaps too late after the first two seasons left fans frustrated, few new viewers outside the base and ratings on the decline, though producers did add “Star Trek” to the title in the hopes for a rebound. Also slightly changed is the main title song which received a slight update with a more upbeat… well… beat. Still not a great theme by any stretch but a minor improvement I suppose.
This third season, interestingly enough given the next year it was cancelled, is easily the best and it appeared the show runners and producers, along with the cast, were finally beginning to get their space legs with focused stories and character drama that felt somewhat genuine rather than forced and/or manufactured.
Captain Jonathan Archer (SCOTT BAKULA) and the crew of the Starship Enterprise – including Science Officer Sub-Commander T’Pol (JOLENE BLALOCK), Chief Engineer Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker (CONNOR TRINNEER), Tactical Officer Lieutenant Malcolm Reed (DOMINIC KEATING) and Helmsman Ensign Travis Mayweather (ANTHONY MONTGOMERY) and Communications Officer Ensign Hoshi Soto (LINDA PARK) – go from explorers to hunters but that isn’t the only controversial change-up as T’Pol goes through a character transition as well.
As the Enterprise tracks down the Xindi, an unknown race who is thought responsible for the attack, they enter a zone known as the Expanse, where gravitational distortions makes is very difficult to travel within it and travelers are at risk of even death unless the hulls of the ship are not lined with a protective metal known as Trellium-D, a substance not only hard to come by, but also has a adverse psychological effect on Vulcans and long-term exposure leading to insanity. I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d like this season-long arc, not to mention some of the creatures behind the conspiracy, but kudos to the writers and producers for finally giving something for viewers to care about and be invested in.
Season Three isn’t without its hiccups, episodes which I suppose weren’t awful but paled in comparison to the others and harkened back to the previous seasons. One such episode for me was ‘Extinction’ in which Archer, Reed and Sato, when visiting a planet to investigate a Xindi ship, become infected with some kind of virus which transforms them into an alien species. Complicating matters is an exterminator (ROGER CROSS) is tasked with taking out anyone infected. I guess conceptually its fine and at the end Archer makes a poignant decision, but the rest of the episode was utter trash and honestly tough to sit through. Another misstep was ‘North Star’, again, interesting concept sending the Enterprise crew to the Old West (a planet set in that time), but once again, not executed very well at all.
Performances wise, the third season does provide for some great moments. Scott Bakula’s Archer finally gets some depth and has to make some difficult decisions which goes against his entire being; Connor Trinneer gets many scenes as he deals with the death of his sister; John Billingsley gets an entire episode to himself in ‘Doctor’s Orders’ providing some much needed depth to an otherwise sidestepped character; and lastly Jolene Blalock, despite apparently not liking the direction they were taking with T’Pol receives some dramatic growing pains that, much like Archer, gets her out of the humdrum seen in seasons one and two and tackling an issue not broached upon (at least very much) in the franchise.
All in all, “Star Trek: Enterprise”: Season Three finally gets on track providing some excellent drama and top-notch performances that sadly was too little too late despite getting a fourth season only to get canned. If only the producers had done this with the second season, or that the network allowed them to, otherwise new viewers along with die-hard fans, would’ve been pulled in and the series might’ve even challenged “The Next Generation”. Oh well. At least this season was so damn good and can be relived in HD.
Episodes (favorites marked with an asterisk):
1. The Xindi*
7. The Shipment
9. North Star
11. Carpenter Street
12. Chosen Realm
13. Proving Ground*
16. Doctor’s Orders
18. Azati Prime*
20. The Forgotten
22. The Council*
24. Zero Hour*
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.5/5
As with previous seasons, this one comes with a glossy and slightly embossed slip cover. The six discs are housed in a Blu-ray Keep Case with episodes and summaries printed on the inner cover.
Audio Commentaries – There are 7 commentaries on 6 episodes: ‘Impulse’ with David Livingston (Episode Director) and David A. Goodman (Consulting Producer); ‘Twilight’ with Mike Sussman (Co-Producer) and Tim Gaskill (Journalist/Editor); ‘North Star’ by Goodman and Chris Black (Co-Executive Producer), and another with Michael DeMeritt (First Assistant Director); ‘Similitude’ with Manny Coto (Co-Executive Producer) and Connor Trinneer and another track with Coto from 2005; ‘The Forgotten’ with Goodman, Black and Trinneer; and lastly ‘Countdown’ with Black and Andre Bormanis (Executive Story Editor).
Text Commentary with Mike & Denise Okuda on ‘The Xindi’, ‘Impulse’ and ‘Countdown’
The Xindi Saga Begins (13:12; SD) is an older featurette chronicling the season 3 featuring interviews with producers and writers on the changes in this season.
“Enterprise” Moments: Season Three (12:58; SD) recounts some of the highlights of this season.
Deleted Scene (1:08; HD) on ‘Chosen Realm’
Deleted Scenes (4:42; HD) on ‘E2’
In a Time of War (1:26:34; HD) is a three-part documentary – Call to Arms (28:07), Front Lines (29:51), Final Conflict (28:36) – focusing on the season-long story arc and features new interviews with the cast (including Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, John Billingsley, and others) and crew.
Temporal Cold War: Declassified (20:17; HD) – This is the other new featurette on the aspect of the Temporal Cold War in the series and its incorporation into the Xindi storyline in season three.
** Archival Mission Logs **
Enterprise Profile: Connor Trinneer (17:15; SD) gives a look at the actor and his approach to his Tripp character that expanded in the third season due to his sister’s death.
A Day in the Life of a Director: Roxann Dawson (17:27; SD) – Dawson provides insight into the daily interactions and responsibilities while directing an episode.
Behind the Camera: Marvin Rush (15:44; SD) is another behind-the-scenes featurettes where cinematographer Rush (who worked on “The Next Generation”, “Voyager”, “Deep Space Nine” and “Enterprise”) provides insight into his job.
Also included are some shorter features: Enterprise Secrets (4:12; SD) which reveals some set trickery using the Paramount New York back lot which had been used throughout the “Star Trek” TV series franchise; Outtakes (6:14; SD) consisting of line flubs and other on-set missteps; Photo Gallery with pics from set; lastly are NX-01 File 07 (1:37; SD), NX-01 File 08 (5:46; SD) and NX-01 File 09 (3:09; SD), short featurettes of various topics such as costumes and such.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
“Star Trek: Enterprise”: Season Three arrives at light speed onto Blu-ray presented in its original 1.78 broadcast aspect ratio and in impressive 1080p high-definition. The transfer, like with seasons one and two, the picture might not look perfect, but considering the source and the work done, the detail levels are good and colors appear to be well balanced. There are some minor bouts of grain but it never is overpowering.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
While “The Next Generation” got an upgrade to 7.1 channels, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track may not pack the same punch yet it’s certainly good enough presenting clear dialogue from the center channel, good ambient noises (such as ship sounds) for the rear speakers though when we get into action-heavy scenes, that’s where this lossless track isn’t quite complete.
OVERALL – 4.5/5
Overall, “Star Trek: Enterprise”: Season Three is the “Star Trek” fans wanted providing for some amazing stories and a season-long story arc to go along with remarkable performances from the core cast. The Blu-ray released by Paramount once again gives us good/excellent picture and audio transfers and a wealth of extras worth perusing.