(A MISSING LINK ESSAY)
This weekend, 'Enterprise' ended its run after four years on the air. (Within the reality of the TV Universe, the spaceship had been going boldly on its continuing mission for ten years.
'Kevin Hill' was a drama starring Taye Diggs, about a litigating ladies' man who met his match in Sarah, his cousin's daughter whom he was raising. 'Kevin Hill' will be having its season finale this coming Tuesday. There has been no word yet as to its future, whether it will be renewed or cancelled.
Both shows were part of the UPN schedule. And that's about all they had in common. Different production companies, different genres. Within their own bubbles of reality, 'Kevin Hill' was part courtroom drama, part warm and fuzzy domestic situations, while 'Enterprise' was the fifth series in the venerable sci-fi franchise first begun by Gene Roddenberry back in the 1960s.
And it's my contention that had they done a crossover two-parter between the series, both shows would have had an invigorating jump-start to a guaranteed pick-up for one more season.
They had the usual obstacles to crossing over with each other that have been faced by other shows in the past, like 'Law & Order' and 'Homicide: Life On The Street', 'The Practice' and 'Gideon's Crossing', and 'Magnum P.I.' and 'Murder, She Wrote'; namely, that the two shows were of different productions companies and both were set in different locations. But at least they shared the same network which was more than the crossovers between 'Ally MacBeal' and 'The Practice' and 'The X-Files' and 'Homicide: Life On The Street' had going for them.
The fact that their genres were so different shouldn't have been a stumbling block either. After all, 'The Associates was a sitcom on ABC, while 'The Paper Chase' was an hour-long drama on CBS and Showtime; and yet Professor Kingsfield crossed over to the comedy back in the late 1970s. 'Lou Grant' was spun off from the 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' and was seen as one of the best dramatic series from that same time period.
Perhaps it was because the genres for both shows were so radically different, as well as the fact that they were set in nearly 150 years apart, that proved to be too daunting an obstacle for the Powers That Be to even entertain the possibility of a crossover. But had they opened their minds to such an idea, I know their scriptwriters would have found a way to make their crossover a reality of television magic.
And that "magic" lay in the grasp of 'Enterprise'. Long before the premise was just shunted aside and later ignored, their overall storyline dealt with a temporal cold war which threatened all of the possible timelines - not only those yet to come, but those that had already played out. The shadowy nemesis behind their forced involvement was known in fan-base bulletin boards as "Future Guy".
'Star Trek' series have visited the late 20th-early 21st Century time period before. And having someone involved with the machinations of time travel would have smoothed the need for too much exposition. 'Enterprise' had even gone back to an alternate version of events in the 1940s at the beginning of this past season, so it wasn't outside the realm of possibility.
But what possible need would the crew of the 'Enterprise' have had for going back in time to 2004-2005 Philadelphia and meddle in the life of lawyer Kevin Hill and his ward Sarah? "Future Guy" could have sent them hurtling back through the space-time continuum (or as Stony Stephenson knew it in 'Between Time And Timbuktu', the chrono-synclastic infundibulum) in order to insure that the Suliban (as the most logical alien race to be involved) did not cause the baby's death.
Why would they have wanted to do that? After all, Sarah was just a baby. Ah! But she would have grown up to become a woman, one who might one day have children.
And one of those children could have been the ancestor for Ensign Travis Mayweather, pilot on board the 'Enterprise'.
A two-part crossover with a storyline like that might have been able to shake off the arthritic posturings of 'Enterprise' and injected a jolt into the public's awareness that 'Kevin Hill' even existed on the network. (Of course, it might have helped if the show had a better time slot. It was continuously massacred by such competition as 'The West Wing', 'Alias', and 'American Idol'.)
But it didn't happen, and now it's too late... at least in the official vision for both shows. However, this is Toobworld, where both shows do indeed occupy the same fantasy universe, albeit at different points in Time.
And there are legions of fanfic writers out there in cyberspace who could perhaps do justice to the idea, much to the delight of Diane Werts and to the consternation of Lee Goldberg. (Sorry, Lee! LOL!)
Would such a Sweeps stunt have been able to save both shows? Who knows? Maybe "Future Guy" did/does, but we won't be hearing from him ever again - not unless some future incarnation of the 'Trek' franchise brings him out of temporal mothballs.
(Of course, when I asked "Who knows?", perhaps I was referring to a certain Doctor, a time traveller from Gallifrey who might have had some insight from the vantage of his TARDIS police box.......)
Hrmmmm..... and that gives me an idea for yet another "Missing Links" essay!