The Worst Star Trek Series Wanted To Save The Show With Musical Numbers
A network executive from UPN suggested that Star Trek: Enterprise should have weekly performances from young and hip bands.
Star Trek may be one of the greatest sci-fi franchises in the history of our planet, but it went through a very dark period in the early-aughts that almost ended in the first cancellation since Star Trek: The Original Series. Screenrant reported on a behind the scenes suggestion from UPN to the team working on Enterprise, that is, well, how to put this, a huge clue that the network executives had no idea what Star Trek even was, or what the show was about. Apparently, an executive suggested weekly musical acts, requesting a new “hip young band” that would perform each week in the mess hall of the Enterprise.
Yes, a person in a position of power over the future of Enterprise on UPN, wanted a new band to appear each week for a musical number, despite the fact that the show is about a spaceship, in space, in the far future. Instead of correcting the executive, producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, allegedly, opted to explain that Enterprise was not one of those shows, alluding to other primetime shows aired by the network such as Platinum and Rock Me Baby. At the time, no one knew that a Beastie Boys cassette would someday save the Enterprise in Star Trek Beyond.
Starring Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer, including Jolene Blalock (T’Pol), Conner Trinneer (Trip Tucker), Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed), Hoshi Sato (Linda Park), Anthony Montgomery (Travis Mayweather), and John Billingsley (Phlox) as the rest of the crew. Enterprise was a prequel, set 100 years before The Original Series, during a time period when Enterprise was the only ship humans had capable of Warp-5 travel. Episodes in the first two seasons, prior to the musical number suggestion, were focused on first contact with different species, or how humans and Vulcans navigated the early days of their alliance.
The stand-alone episodes were not a ratings hit, bringing Enterprise to the edge of cancellation after the second season. The third season changed the name of the show to Star Trek: Enterprise, introduced a long-form storyline with a new alien race, the Xindi, and continued to not have musical numbers every episode. The lack of a weekly musical guest is good, but music was an ongoing problem with the show, considering how it has the worst theme song in the history of the franchise, even a disco remix would have been an improvement.
A Russell Watson sung cover of “Faith of the Heart” by Rod Stewart marked the first time vocals were used as a Star Trek theme. The song is so bad for the series, that fans picketed outside of Paramount Studios following the first episode, and the reception never got much better. Noted nerd and Star Trek actor Simon Pegg has admitted he never watched an episode of Enterprise because he can’t get past that theme song.
Would a weekly appearance by a young, hip, real-world band have saved Enterprise from cancellation? No, no it would not, in fact, musical numbers would have likely sped up the cancellation and denied us the the rather decent third and fourth seasons, which showed promise and took advantage of the unique time period afforded to the prequel. Though if somehow Dragon Sound, from the incredible film Miami Connection, was able to perform each week, that may have been the only musical guest capable of producing great ratings on UPN.