Monday, May 16, 2005


'Star Trek: The Next Generation' & 'Enterprise'

After dismissing the 'Law & Order' crossover between 'Special Victims Unit' and 'Trial By Jury' as "Been there, done that"istic, it might seem odd that I picked the finale of 'Enterprise' as the Crossover of the Week. Even though the 'Star Trek' franchise was fully integrated so that there really was nothing out of the ordinary when elements or characters from other 'Trek' shows appeared on 'Enterprise', this particular episode did manage to give it a twist that made it special.

There was more than just the "appearance" by four characters from 'The Next Generation' at play in this episode. (That's right - four characters. You may have heard only about Commander Riker and Counsellor Troi, but the android Data was heard on the intercom, and Captain Picard was fleetingly seen in the Ten-Forward Lounge... although he was probably portrayed by a body double for Patrick Stewart.)

Actually, this was an episode of 'The Next Generation' masquerading as 'Enterprise' since Riker and Troi were the focal characters; the regulars of 'Enterprise' only appeared as holograms in a historical recreation of their final mission.

And this wasn't the Riker and Troi as they would have looked at their current ages in the 'Trek' timeline. (Mr. Frakes and Ms. Sirtis have not been able to hold back Time - who do you think they are? Dick Clark and Cher?)

In fact, their appearance was situated in the middle of an already existing episode of 'TNG' from 1994, "The Pegasus". Their scenes in 'Enterprise' must have been happening during the commercial breaks.

The finale had its flaws, but that was to be expected considering that Rick Berman and Brannon Braga were in charge of the script. (They may claim that it's the franchise that is suffering from fatigue, but most die-hard fans will tell you that "B&B" lost the fire in their bellies yet refused to relinquish the reins.

(As the week continues, I'll have more O'Bservations about the end of 'Trek'.)

Still and all, the crossover between 'Enterprise' and 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' must be considered the Crossover of the Week for one particular reason.

There just wasn't any competition.

And that's a case of setting faint praise on "stun".



WordsSayNothing said...

Actually, to me, it looked like Picard's appearance was taken from some past footage from another TNG episode (perhaps even "The Pegasus" itself). If you rewatch the episode, there is a wide shot of Ten Forward with a lot of people including Picard (well, his back, anyway), and then it switches to a closer shot of Riker and Troi's table. Based on the lighting change, I thought the wide shot was old footage. In any case, Picard also has part of the narration at the end of the episode, so I think it still counts.

Toby said...

You know, I think I have to agree with you on that. It does look like a rather raggedy edit as it cuts from that pan shot to the view of Riker and Troi in the background, just before it jumps in for the close-up.

I would have expected it to have flowed straight across before it got to the close-up.

Thanks for the observation!