The first thing I noticed about the Enterprise finale was how sluggish the theme song felt. See, I've watched almost all Enterprise episodes in Singapore, which uses PAL TV standards; NTSC has slightly fewer, unless I mean more, frames per second and so US TV shows get this speedup. It's not much, but it's enough that any theme song I'm familiar with from Singapore TV feels slow in the US. Lilo and Stitch's theme feels like a dirge.
The first episode, with the Earth-supremacists who took over the Death Ray Beam of Death on Mars was exciting and I enjoyed it, though I wondered why Enterprise didn't fire on the Death Ray Beam of Death Station once they opened fire, since no matter how much Hoshi Sato trusts Archer there's this Death Ray firing at Earth. It was curious setting the climax in Act III, but the last act was affecting. Archer's speech to the crowd gathered at the State University Planetarium Room From 1973 was sort of stirring, but I don't think he knew what point he was trying to make; I didn't figure it out myself. Somebody needed to turn on the lights; episodes of the Original Show where the ship was blacked out had less black than this. I loved the Carl Sagan Memorial Station.
The Finale was ... weird. It wasn't as mind-bogglingly awful as I expected, but there wasn't enough of the Riker framing story or the Archer/Shran story for either to quite make sense. ``Will, since you're unsure how much of secret illicit research you were ordered to not discuss you should reveal to your current Commanding Officer, go to the holodeck and review an odd story about somebody going against his Captain's quickly barked order not to lead a species of Anonymids to Shran instead leading them to the Explode Cable and getting himself killed.'' That's the sort of advice that made everybody go to Troi for a lack of enlightenment. I loved the retro-characterization of Chef as confidant to all.
When Trip found the Explode Cable, I laughed. And after ten years of aliens invading the ship and taking Archer hostage every five weeks on average they don't have any contingency plans? Or is anyone nearby supposed to find the nearest Explode Cable? And the entire ship full of Anonymids happened to be inside the blast range of about four feet? It was clever of Troi to mention Trip was going to die 15 minutes before he did, since that way anyone who hadn't seen spoilers was spared any sense of shock or surprise, and by going from Intruder Alert to Explode Cable in under a minute they didn't even have tension or suspense to bog anyone's feelings down.
We didn't get to hear even one word of Archer's Speech? Yes, decent authorial caution will leave offstage the Greatest Speech of All Time, since it's so hard to write one, but they couldn't have ended with Archer's first words? Not even a ``Friends ... '' start?
The CGI of Enterprise-D, though, and of the Real Enterprise, looked marvelous, though the concluding ``Space ... the final frontier'' narrative didn't actually feel like it fit at the end of these stories.
Trivia: Charlie Chaplin's last film for Keystone Studios was His Prehistoric Past, with him in a caveman setting. Source: Keystone: The Life and Clowns of Mack Sennett, Simon Louvish.
Currently Reading: The Victorian Internet, Tom Standage.