Enterprise 1.1

Starring: Scott Bakula, Dominic Keating & Jolene Blalock
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP 13.99
Certificate: PG
Available now

After almost 100 years of being held back by a "friendly" alien race called the Vulcans, mankind is ready for interstellar exploration. When a Klingon seeking refuge from other alien pursuers is shot on Earth by a farmer, the Enterprise NX-01 receives its first mission: to return the wounded alien to his homeworld. However, the aliens will not relinquish their target without a fight...

The pilot episode of Enterprise must be one of the most talked-about 90 minutes of TV ever produced. However, for UK audiences, the experience of watching the show has been incomplete as Sky has chosen to show a 4:3 transmission of Enterprise rather than the widescreen, 16:9 ratio format it was made in. Fortunately, the VHS release maintains the widescreen image and the result, at least visually, is a much-improved show.

Any pilot episode has a lot of work to do but the work level for Broken Bow is even higher. Not only must it set up the show, it also has to mesh with existing Trek mythology. The Magnificent Seven-style rounding up of the Enterprise crew is a nice touch and allows Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) the chance to show his character's people skills. It also gives plenty of opportunity to pad out the back-story.

Unfortunately, the scripting and bland costume design leaves the three junior male roles as almost totally interchangeable. Okay, one's black, one's British and one's a good ol' southern boy, but apart from that it's hard to tell them apart.

As for the actual plot. well, it doesn't really make that much sense but the pace of the action helps gloss over the weaknesses in the story such as why there is a massive fleet of single-seater Suliban run-abouts floating around inside a gas cloud.

But overall, Broken Bow is a solid pilot that pretty well sets up the show. More importantly, it's an enjoyable watch.

Anthony Clark

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