Now that we had a look to all the series since TOS, it is about time to introduce the prequel: Enterprise – the adventures of the first crew, before the United Federation was founded.
This series is packed with politics. Sometimes very subtly, sometimes very obviously; political stories are at the core of Enterprise.
In the first season the political stage between Earth and Klingon is set. The Vulcans are introduced as friendly, but strict teachers, often acting as the “over protective fun-ruiners”. For the first time we meet the Andorrians, a race with their very own conflicts and enemies, as well as intra-political troubles with the telepathically active part of their species.
Dr. Singh and his Augments begin here, setting the stage for the later ensuing conflict around Khan, as well as setting the ground stone for the creation of Data.
Enterprise picks up acute themes of today’s normal politics, with the Doctor being the centre of these plots. Racism is a big theme in ENT, as well as classical relationship structures. The freedom to be what and who you are – nevermind race, culture and religion – is a key element here.
Besides those smaller political plots, Enterprise comes with its own season-spanning megaplots. On the one hand there are the Suliban. With an intricate intra-political system of five different subspecies, the Suliban are Enemy Nr. 1. While dubious time agents take a role as both friend and enemy in this conflict, Earth’s fate once again lies in the hands of few men and women, the crew of the Enterprise. Many fans were sceptic towards this plot. With America at war with the Taliban, the Suliban seemed to be a close reference. Many expected a pro-american campaign glorifying the US’s war against terror. I for one did see those tendencies, but in the end it is diplomacy, not homicide that is needed in this conflict. I personally did find quite a few critical episodes and not a total “hyping” of war over diplomacy.
But you should decide it for yourself. I loved Enterprise, and it is the winner for being the most political of all the Trek series.
Spoiler alert. The foundation of the Federation is the grand finale of the series – how could it not be?