Jean-Luc Picard has the phrases but Jonathan Archer had the speeches
Den of Geek did an article talking about Star Trek and its best catchphrases, ranking Jean-Luc Picard number one, but Jonathan Archer deserves respect too.
When talking about Star Trek command phrases, it’s hard to do better than “Make it so!” or “Engage!”. Those two command prompts rock. So it’s easy to see why Jean-Luc Picard always ranks among the top of any captain countdown list. That may be part of why Jonathan Archer of Star Trek: Enterprise fame doesn’t often get talked about in the same light. Sure, the series wasn’t as critically successful as Picard’s The Next Generation, but it’s still a good series and Archer was a true star in that show.
The problem with Archer is he never really had that one command. Nothing you could shout in unison with him. What he did have, however, was the ability to deliver a speech like no one else in Star Trek.
Sure, Picard is/was played by Patrick Stewart, a stellar actor with a turn in the Royal Shakespeare Company. Yet, his delivery and acting always made you think he was still in that Shakespeare like role. There was a bravado and cadence to his delivery that really hammered home the idea that he was high brow.
Not Archer, though. No, when Jonathan Archer spoke, he spoke as if he was a man leading officers. Not high brow, but an earnestness that couldn’t really be duplicated. He had this compassionate way of building up to and then delivering a point. He was Mr. Feeny in space. Sure, Archer didn’t have the one-hit lines that made others popular in Star Trek but what he did have was a relatability that made his speeches seem less like they were from Moby Dick and more from Mr. Rogers.
Both styles have their place in Star Trek, no doubt, but how about a little more respect for the every-man that was Captain Jonathan Archer?