The Star Trek franchise has seen its share of ups and downs over its illustrious 50 year history. Star Trek's many installments have endured cancellation, corporate penny-pinching, writers strikes, cast departures, and big budget flops. And it has always managed to bounce back.
We're entering a new Star Trek renaissance thanks to its recent revival on television, but the road to Star Trek saturation hasn't always been smooth. Worse than the random bad luck the franchise has suffered over the years are the self-inflicted wounds unintentionally inflicted by the people charged with shepherding our favorite space-based entertainment. Of course no one deliberately sets out to assassinate a character or kill your childhood, but the producers of Star Trek have occasionally made... choices.
Here are ten of those decisions that are little more than unforgivable sins against the Star Trek Universe (that you know we're going forgive).
10. Forcing "Star Trek" Into Enterprise
You might argue that "Star Trek" should have always been in the title when Enterprise – just Enterprise – premiered on UPN in 2001. At the time, creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga explained that the name "Enterprise" had become so synonymous with the franchise that putting "Star Trek" in the title was simply redundant. They also explained that, because the series preceded the existing Star Trek franchise, Enterprise was better suited by this simplified title – it was its own show, with its own rules and conflicts all borne out of the "100 years before Kirk" timeframe.
And then the show premiered and it was basically the old Star Trek formula with a 22nd century coat of paint.
Apparently the executives at UPN mandated that all the famous Trek hallmarks like phasers and transporters continue to play a part in Enterprise and vetoed Berman and Braga's plans to set the first season entirely on Earth. As aired, Captain Archer and the crew of Enterprise encounter the threat of the Klingons for the very first time, but luckily still have phasers (erm, phase pistols) and photon torpedoes (erm, missiles) at their disposal to reduce any real threat or tension that might've come from the prequel setting.
After two low-rated seasons, UPN requested the "Star Trek" brand be slapped back onto Enterprise, rechristening it "Star Trek: Enterprise". The network believed that by retitling the failing the show (as well as retooling certain aspects to make it sexier), viewers would miraculously return to both Enterprise and save the sinking UPN. However, this was emblematic of the network's failure to embrace what made Enterprise the unique show it was conceived to be and (despite the rebranding) Star Trek: Enterprise was just as unsuccessful with audiences, canceled after another two seasons.
The show has since been retoactively titled Star Trek: Enterprise on Netflix and other streaming platforms where audiences have rediscovered the series and given it new life. But renaming Enterprise midway through its run remains a bizarre and embarrassing episode in the history of the franchise and a reminder of the poor management and lack of imagination that put Star Trek on life support in 2006.