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02/21/2003 Archived Entry: "Die, Enterprise, Die!"
Posted by CKL @ 02:59 PM PST

This is almost, but not quite, the last straw: TrekToday reports that "The Borg [Will] Appear On 'Enterprise.'" My Ghod, people, if you really want to ignore continuity and write a new history, just do it. Don't pussyfoot around and claim that you're adhering to the established Trek universe when what you really want to do is tear it down and build a new one. It's clear that you don't want to produce a Star Trek show, so don't even pretend to try.

Sure, it's a rumor, and web sites get things wrong all the time. Producers have even begun misinformation campaigns to keep the fans guessing. But let's assume, for a moment, that this report is true. It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

I don't want to count all the ways Enterprise has already screwed with continuity. The too-modern design of the NX-01, the Ferengi episode, the Vulcan AIDS episode, the holodeck episode... it would just be too depressing. It's not, as Brannon Braga claims, "airtight." Not even close.

But the really annoying thing is that they have an out. An easy loophole, an obvious one, a trick that most Trek fans would easily accept and perhaps even welcome: time travel. A parallel timeline. This hypothetical Borg episode would be the perfect turning point for Enterprise to assume its own identity.

It's so simple: in First Contact, the eighth Trek movie, the Borg traveled back in time and attempted to kill Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of Earth's first warp drive. The crew of the Enterprise-D managed to stop them, but what if one of the Borg scout ships crashed into the Arctic Circle? What if that ship is the one found in this hypothetical episode of Enterprise? The timing's just about right, if the excerpt on TrekToday is for real. I wouldn't be surprised if this is what the original writers had in mind.

So now Jonathan Archer and his crew are in a parallel universe, playing out a history which will be similar to the original Trek timeline, but not exactly. Perhaps the Romulan War will happen earlier. Perhaps the Federation will be founded earlier. Perhaps a lot of things will be different. Perhaps Enterprise will actually turn into a good series.

But, of course, the producers won't do that. They have not the courage of their convictions. They want it both ways; they want a Star Trek show that isn't really Star Trek. They didn't know what to do with Voyager, and they don't know what they want to do with the franchise as a whole. They're fumbling around, afraid to kill the goose that laid the golden eggs. They don't realize that the goose is already dying from neglect.

And they wonder why people aren't watching.

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