Why did Enterprise get such a lousy ending? We now know…

For years, both fans and friends of the show, Star Trek: Enterprise, have complained about the series finale. To pretty much everyone, the last episode of the show, “These Are the Voyages…” was kind of a let down. Instead of the big speech by Captain Archer, which essentially started the Federation, we saw Riker and Troi end the holodeck program and walk out.

The final episode was written by Enterprise co-creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, and it aired on May 13, 2005. Unlike the other recent Trek finales, “These Are the Voyages…” was not an epic two-parter. It was a normal length episode. It was Berman who was the Trek czar at Paramount after creator Gene Roddenberry died, and oversaw The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.

Riker and Troi "end" Enterprise, and exit the holodeck. Courtesy of CBS / Paramount
Riker and Troi “end” Enterprise, and exit the holodeck. Courtesy of CBS / Paramount

The show gave us a few hints of where the crew would go after the end of the series, Hoshi Sato (Linda Park) was headed to Brazil, while Trip Tucker (Connor Trinneer) tragically died in a closet. Sadly, Trip sacrificed himself to save Archer.

“It’s shocking how much wrong they managed to pack into one normal-sized episode of television,” said Phil Pirrello of the Hollywood Reporter.

The fans were not happy, and neither were the stars of Enterprise, who felt that they too were robbed of a good ending. Trinneer said the cast was “hurt” by the ending. “We were all, as a cast, disappointed,” he told Trek Today back in 2005

Still to this day, fans are not happy with the way Enterprise ended:

Comments from “Trekkie Geek”

“These Are the Voyages…” was so disliked, that some claim it was the reason there was no Star Trek until the J.J. Abrams reboot in 2009.

So why did the creators make “These Are the Voyages…” end the way it did? We now know why, thanks to a recent episode of the Inglorious Treksperts podcast.

The Treksperts, Mark A. Altman and Daren Dochterman, hosted Manny Coto on their show. Coto was the Enterprise Season Four showrunner, and knew exactly why Enterprise ended the way it did.

When asked about “These Are the Voyages…” this is what Coto said:

“Brannon and Rick wanted to do a finale for the entire run of all their shows. That was what they wanted to do. I kind of always look at ‘Demons’ and ‘Terra Prime’ as the finale for Enterprise, and they were going to do the finale for the whole thing. That was the thinking.”

So, instead of an ending featuring just the cast of Enterprise, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga made an ending which they considered was the ending of an era. Even though many are upset with what happened, Berman and Braga did it their way to mark the end of their involvement in running Trek.

“Demons” and “Terra Prime” were episodes 20 and 21 of Enterprise’s Season Four, and “These Are the Voyages…” followed.