Gimme That Star Trek Ep.45: Enterprise’s Retro Design

Remember the controversy about Enterprise's designs looking too advanced to be precursors to The Original Series'? Well so's your phone! Siskoid meets Ruth and Darrin Sutherland of the RAD Adventures Network to talk about the show's aesthetic and whether or not knee jerks were right or wrong, back then and indeed, today, between Discovery and Strange New Worlds pushing things further.

Listen to Episode 45 below!

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"Star Trek Theme" by Alexander Courage, with the Irredeemable Shagg on vocals. End theme: "Deep Space Nine Theme" by Dennis McCarthy.

Bonus clips from: Enterprise's "Broken Bow", starring Scott Bakula, Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating.

And thanks for leaving a comment!

14 responses to “Gimme That Star Trek Ep.45: Enterprise’s Retro Design

  1. I guess the incongruities with TOS bothered me a little when Enterprise debuted, but I got the aesthetic of bridging the modern astronaut with the classic look.

    Full disclosure, I haven’t watched Discovery, but I like what I see of Pike’s upcoming show. And, yes, setting a show in that time means making a concession to a more modern futuristic look is unfortunately necessary.

    What I don’t like in Picard, which I understand originated in Discovery, is that jaded, “gritty” addition to Trek to make it appeal to an outside audience that honestly still isn’t interested just because they curse now. That seems silly to me.

    I did enjoy Picard over all, and I appreciate pulling the Federation back from the brink of darkness, but I don’t think I want that in the pre-Kirk era.


    1. I think Discovery has walked that back, because Tilly held back an F-bomb a couple weeks ago. I’m thinking it’s because there were complaints, or new showrunners didn’t like it. The language hasn’t been worse than in the movies since then.

    2. Yes, the pessimistic look at the future is one of the more difficult things for me in both Discovery and Picard. I understand the reasoning, but Star Trek’s optimistic view of the future is a wonderful thing about the series and a constant for most of its 50+ years. I still thought the Picard series was well made and engaging, so I enjoyed it over all, but hope the optimism returns in the next season. Darrin

  2. Season 4 was definitely the best one, and what I wish they had started with. Instead of getting it together too late to save the show.

    The time travel patchwork plot and the “the ends justify the means” season earned it no more chances.

  3. firstly, what a couple of sweethearts those Sutherlands are! Love those two.

    Siskoid and I kinda talked about this a few shows ago, but Trek has to keep up aesthetically with the times, always pushing forward and looking familiar at the same time. Personally, i love the clunky look from the 60s. When someone flips a switch, there’s some effort to it. It’s business for an actor. And it adds to the reality of things.

    But things move on.

  4. What a great topic of discussion, and always a joy to hear the Sutherlands! Loved it.

    Honestly, I was in post-Voyager Star Trek fatigue and never got around to watching Enterprise, which is not Enterprise’s fault and not me following the negative press, just didn’t make a point of trying it out. (I’ve probably lost what little is left of my Trek cred.) But you’re all enticing me to give it a go. Thanks, gang!

  5. Well, I was mentioned in the episode so I feel the need to comment. (Just kidding, Darrin, I would have commented anyway. 😉 )

    If there’s one thing about Enterprise that I have no problem with, it’s the look. Like you all said, this is a much more cramped ship, akin to a submarine, so the way everything is laid out makes a lot of sense. Similarly, the uniforms being a midway between the NASA jumpsuits and the TOS uniforms works. The set design and costuming are spot on.

    My issue with the show was the apparent lack of knowledge of TOS in the writing. There were specific things mentioned on screen that were directly contradicted in Enterprise. Add the annoying (to me) Temporal Cold War and I couldn’t watch more than a few episodes before the 4th Season, and even that course correction wasn’t enough to win me over. And for a show where the Captain almost started an interplanetary war to save his dog, that’s saying something.

    I think that it’s due to this that someone that knows me has warned me off of Discovery. I’m glad there are people that enjoy Enterprise and Discovery, they’re just not my kind of shows. If I need my Trek fix, there’s always Star Trek Online.

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