Buggered Mind of Neale Sourna, The

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Trekkies Unite to Save "Enterprise"

Trekkies Unite to Save "Enterprise"

Fri Feb 25, 5:50 PM ET
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By Sarah Hall

Loyal Trekkies--er, make that Trekkers--beamed across the globe Friday to express their discontent over UPN's decision to axe Star Trek: Enterprise.

Earlier this month, the network announced the show's impending demise at the end of its fourth season, leaving Enterprise devotees facing the prospect of network television devoid of a Star Trek series for the first time in almost 20 years.

Aghast at the realization that the show had reached its final frontier, viewers galvanized a plan to keep Enterprise alive by attempting to raise $32 million dollars to fund the cost of a fifth season and alerting the powers that be to the show's committed fan base.

On Friday, Trekkies held "Save Enterprise" rallies at the Paramount lot in Los Angeles, the offices of CBS and the Sci-Fi channel in New York, the Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C., the offices of the BBC and Channel 4 in London and at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Tim Brazeal, a systems administrator from Knoxville, Tennessee who is spearheading the project, said that three people have pledged $3 million toward salvaging the show, while fan site TrekUnited.com had raised $49,410 by Friday afternoon.

According to chatter in fan forums such as TrekUnited.com and SaveEnterprise.com, the L.A. rally drew the most participants, with an estimated 200 to 400 Trek enthusiasts voicing their support for the show.

Rather than channeling their inner Mr. Spock, participants were urged to come dressed in normal attire, as a statement on SaveEnterprise.com advised, "Although we think that coming in dress would be great, we also think this would stereotype us all as 'Hardcore' Trekkers and would hurt more than help. Please wear your daily wear."

Most of the rally attendees complied with the dress code, though some could not resist donning Vulcan ears for the cause.

Enterprise, a prequel to the original 1960s Star Trek series, currently draws about 3 million viewers a week, about half the number who watched its first season, and way down from the 12.5 million who tuned in for its 2001 premiere.

As of now, its final episode is slated to air on May 13.

Efforts to save shows headed for cancellation typically fail, though dedicated fans managed to breathe life into past struggling shows such as the WB's Felicity and Roswell and ABC's Once and Again through Internet campaigns.

If the Trekkers fail in their mission to keep Enterprise on the airwaves, money will either be refunded to donors or donated to tsunami relief, Brazeal said.

However, even if Enterprise bites the dust, there's still a bright spot on the horizon for Star Trek fans.

Earlier this week, Variety reported that scribe Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers) has been hired to pen the script for Star Trek XI, the latest installment in the long-running sci-fi franchise.

The project was reportedly shelved in January, but production is apparently back in motion, though Paramount has not yet set a release date for the film, which is rumored to focus on the Romulan War, which took place before the original series.

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