Star Trek: Enterprise, titled simply Enterprise for its first two seasons, is an American science fiction television series created by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. It originally aired from September 26, 2001, to May 13, 2005, on UPN (see list of Star Trek: Enterprise episodes). The sixth series in the Star Trek franchise, it is a prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series, set in the 22nd century, a hundred years before the events of The Original Series and just prior to the formation of the United Federation of Planets. It follows the adventures of the Enterprise, Earth’s first starship capable of traveling at warp five, as it explores the galaxy and encounters various alien species.
Following the culmination of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and with Star Trek: Voyager scheduled to end, UPN asked Braga and Berman to create a new series to continue the franchise. Rather than setting it in the 24th century alongside Deep Space Nine and Voyager, the duo decided to set Enterprise in an earlier period, allowing them to explore new parts of the Star Trek fictional universe. Wanting a more basic, relatable, character-driven series, Berman and Braga concentrated on a core trio of characters: Captain Jonathan Archer (played by Scott Bakula), Commander Trip Tucker (Connor Trinneer) and Sub-commander T’Pol (Jolene Blalock).
The show broke with Star Trek convention in several respects. In addition to dropping the Star Trek prefix, Enterprise used the pop-influenced song “Faith of the Heart” (performed by Russell Watson) as its theme. It was filmed on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles, California, on the same stages that housed the Star Trek series and films since the abandoned Star Trek: Phase II in the late 1970s.
The first two seasons were characterized by stand-alone episodes that explored topics like humanity’s early relations with the Vulcan, and first encounters with the Klingon and Andorians, aliens already familiar to the Star Trek franchise. Seeking to attract a wider audience, UPN called for changes for its third season. The series was renamed (from simply Enterprise to Star Trek: Enterprise) and reconceived to focus on action-driven plots and a single, serialized storyline: the crew’s mission to prevent the Earth being destroyed by a newly introduced alien species, the Xindi. In 2005, UPN cancelled the series after its fourth season, despite a fan-led campaign to continue it. The cancellation marked the first time in 18 years that no new Star Trek episodes would be produced, the beginning of a hiatus that lasted until the launch of Star Trek: Discovery in 2017.