Star Trek: Enterprise ended its abbreviated, four-year run on May 13, 2005, and it did so with "These Are the Voyages...," without question the most controversial of the Star Trek series finales. Enterprise closed out much of its business in the two episodes before it and, in fact, most fans believe "Demons" and "Terra Prime" represent the show's true finale. However, there's no denying the existence of "These Are the Voyages..."
So, why all the ruckus over "These Are the Voyages..." Where to begin? First, it was the only Trek series finale -- not including TOS, as that show merely ended, and The Animated Series -- that didn't close with a two-hour finale. An hour simply didn't seem to do the show justice.
Second, and far more importantly, as it further stoked the ire of frustrated Enterprise fans, "These Are the Voyages" was essentially a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, with Riker (Jonathan Frakes) studying the last mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise under the command of Captain Jonathan Archer. And Charles "Trip" Tucker died.
No one involved meant to slight Enterprise, of course. Rather, knowing that 18 years of continuous Star Trek on television were coming to an end, executive prodcuer Rick Berman intended "These Are the Voyages..." to serve as a "valentine" to longtime fans. "I would have never done it if I had known how people were going to react," Berman told StarTrek.com in 2011. "We were informed with not a whole lot of time that this was our last season. We knew that this was going to be the last episode of Star Trek for perhaps quite some time – and here we are, almost six years later. So it was the last episode for quite a length of time. It was a very difficult choice, how to end it. The studio wanted it to be a one-hour episode. We wanted it to be special. We wanted it to be something that would be memorable. This idea, which Brannon (Braga) and I came up with – and I take full responsibility – pissed a lot of people off, and we certainly didn’t mean it to. Our thought was to take this crew and see them through the eyes of a future generation, see them through the eyes of the people who we first got involved in Star Trek with 18 years before, with Picard and Riker and Data, etc., and to see the history of how Archer and his crew went from where we had them to where, eventually, the Federation was formed, in some kind of a magical holographic history lesson.
"It seemed like a great idea," Berman continued. "A lot of people were furious about it. The actors, most of them, were very unhappy. In retrospect it was a bad idea. When it was conceived it was with our heart completely in the right place. We wanted to pay the greatest homage and honor to the characters of Enterprise that we possibly could, but because Jonathan (Frakes) and Marina (Sirtis) were the two people we brought in, and they were the ones looking back, it was perceived as 'You’re ending our series with a TNG episode.' I understand how people felt that way. Too many people felt that way for them to be wrong. Brannon and I felt terrible that we’d let a lot of people down. It backfired, but our hearts were definitely in the right place. It just was not accepted in the way we thought it would be."
Some interesting tidbits about "These Are the Voyages":
-- Brent Spiner recorded new dialogue for the episode, while William Shatner and Patrick Stewart's voices were archival dialogue.
-- Jonathan Frakes, with his appearance in "These Are the Voyages...," could stake claim to appearing in all four live-action Trek spin-offs.
-- Production on "These Are the Voyages..." commenced on February 25, 2005, with much of the cast and crew working that same day to complete production on the episode "Terra Prime."
-- The Archer-T'Pol embrace was the final scene filmed, and Jolene Blalock and Scott Bakula shot it on March 5, 2005, Blalock's 30th birthday.
-- Many members of the Enterprise writing and production team appeared as extras during the Earth Starfleet ceremony sequence, among them Manny Coto, Doug Drexler, Andre Bormanis, Larry Nemecek, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and Dave Rossi.
-- Allan Kroeker, who directed "These Are the Voyages...," had previously directed the finales of both Deep Space Nine and Voyager.
So, what are YOUR thoughts about "These Are the Voyages...?"
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