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Following the crash landing of a Klingon vessel, Captain Jonathon Archer hastily prepares his ship and crew to return the injured pilot home.
On Earth, in the year 2121, a young Jonathan Archer paints the edge of a model of his fathers spaceship, when the young boy quotes the famous line 'where no man has gone before' from Zephram Cochrane, his father - Henry Archer - remarks that the inventor of the warp drive would be proud of him. The young Jonathan asks him about his new ship and if it'll be bigger then 'Ambassador Pointy's ship.' Henry corrects his son, noting that the Ambassador's name is Soval, Jonathan persists saying that his friend believes humans would already be flying at warp 5 if the Vulcans hadn't of intervened. Henry responds that they must have their reasons.

30 years later in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, following the crash landing of a Klingon scout ship, the pilot is being pursued by a pair of aliens. This commotion draws the attention of a Farmer who grabs his plasma rifle. Meanwhile, the Klingon leads them to a silo where they contort their bodies to slide under the door and enter the building just as the pilot leaps from the upper hatch, he runs clear and fires his weapon - destroying the silo and killing the alien pursuers. The farmer arrives and following brief but tense standoff with the pilot, he fires his rifle striking down the Klingon.

In Earth orbit, Captain Jonathan Archer and Commander Charles Tucker III are inspecting the ventral section of the new warp 5 starship Enterprise NX-01, the pair are very friendly with each other enjoying the view and the specs on the new ship. Neptune and Back in 6 minutes remarks Archer. They're inspection is interrupted by a call for Archer to attend to Starfleet Medical 'right away.'

At Starfleet Medical, Vulcan Ambassadors Soval and Tos, Subcommander T'Pol, Commander Williams, Admirals Leonard and Forrest discuss the Klingon pilot who is recovering in a medical chamber - being attended to by an alien doctor and several human nurses. Soval insists that the Klingons want them to expedite the matter, which Leonard rebuffs since it happened on Earth. Tos rejects that notion which Forrest takes offense to just as Archer walks into the room.

Archer receives the background information - this Klingon is named Klaang, he's a courier carrying crucial information back to his people when he was forced to crash on Earth, where Farmer Moore shot him with a plasma rifle. The Vulcans suggest delaying the launch of Enterprise until this matter is resolved, suggesting that the humans don't want to make an enemy of the Klingon Empire. Tos points out that if they hadn't convinced the Empire to let them take Klaang's corpse back to Qo'nos, Earth would be facing a squadron of warbirds by the end of the week.

This confuses Archer, as the alien lying on the biobed doesn't appear to be dead. Checking with the Doctor, Archer confirms that he could live and after some more heated words, Archer convinces Admiral Forrest that he can have the Enterprise ready to go in 3 days and that they'll take the pilot home - alive.

In spacedock, the Enterprise is a hive of activity as they prepare for their expedited departure. In the transporter bay, Lieutenant Malcolm Reed and Ensign Travis Mayweather discuss the new transporter technology which has just been approved for bio transport. Reed queries the helm officer what that means and when Mayweather tells him that he means people, the armory officer says he's not sure if he wants his molecules taking apart.

Dissatisfied with another container of valve sealant, the pair walk to engineering to discuss the late arrival of much needed parts to align the deflector, where Tucker tells them that they'll be here in the morning.

Meanwhile in Brazil, Ensign Hoshi Sato is teaching a language class as Archer watches on. After assigning a task to the class, Hoshi spots Archer and the pair walk away to discuss the new mission. Hoshi doesn't want to leave her class at a critical point in their studies, but Archer plays a snippet of Klingon from a Vulcan tricorder-like device. When Hoshi queries why the Vulcans were agreeing to the mission, Archer informs her that they've made a few compromises.

In the Captain's ready room on the Enterprise, Tucker and Archer discuss having T'Pol as their science officer, the engineer laments that he'd rather have the Captain's dog - Porthos - on the bridge. The beagle lifts his head after hearing his name but the door chime interrupts the pair. T'Pol enters and is very curt before smelling the dog, Archer comments that he forgot how sensitive the female Vulcan sense of smell is before introducing Tucker who says he prefers to be called 'Trip' - she acknowledges him before leaving the ready room.

Later, in a viewing room on the drydock, Admiral Forrest gives a speech to attending human and Vulcan dignitaries while the senior staff of Enterprise watch on. Forrest remarks that they spent almost a century wading ankle deep in the ocean of space, and now it's finally time to swim. As a clip of Zephram Cochrane plays on a monitor, the senior staff leave and take their stations on the bridge. As Archer orders Mayweather to 'take her out, straight and steady' the moorings are cleared and the starship lumbers up to speed and into warp.

In a chamber aboard an alien complex, an officer confers with a silhouetted figure about the information Klaang had with him at the time of the crash on Earth, the officer says that his soldiers died and that the Humans have the Klingon. The figure insists that the information must be recovered and the officer agrees.

Back on Enterprise, Archer is getting acquainted with Doctor Phlox, the alien doctor that was working at Starfleet Medical. Phlox is unpacking his menagerie of creatures that seem to aid him in his research. Examining Klaang whose lying unconscious on the main biobed, Archer informs Phlox that they'll be arriving at Qo'nos in eighty hours and the Klingon should be walking off the ship alive and well.

In the 'sweet spot' - halfway between the gravity generator and the bow plate - Trip and Mayweather get to know each other, the young helm officer recounting his time as a space boomer aboard his parent's cargo vessel where they visited many other worlds. Later on Trip is called to dinner in the Captain's dining room with T'Pol where they discuss the Vulcan officers disdain for humanity and their lack of devotion to logic, claiming that humans are still carnivores who will revert to their primal instincts.

On the bridge a short time later, Mayweather is pushing the engine harder, reaching warp 4.4 while Hoshi feels uncomfortable traveling at such velocities. T'Pol suggests the communications officer should return to her quarters and lie down, to which Hoshi responds with a Vulcan phrase. Not showing her offense, T'Pol strongly asks Hoshi to only speak English, as she was told to do. They're interrupted by a call from Phlox; Klaang is waking up.

Archer and Sato go to sickbay where the universal translator is not having an easy time translating what Klaang is saying. After a minute Phlox interjects that the Klingon probably doesn't know what he's saying, Hoshi agrees considering the last sentence is that his wife has grown ugly. Just then the ship shakes and T'Pol reports that they've dropped out of warp, main power fails and the lights go out. Just as Archer is about to leave sickbay to get back to the bridge Hoshi spots a figure with some form of masking technology. A brief fire fight ensues where everyone is overpowered, then main power is restored. Much to Archer's disappointment, Klaang is gone.

On the bridge the senior staff discuss the situation, Archer is annoyed that the state-of-the-art sensors didn't detect anything. Reed informs him that they did record a disturbance just before power went out - the Captain tasks Trip with analysing the information. Reed informs Archer that the weapons still need to be calibrated and the armory officer is sent to do that. Hoshi works the universal translator to understand what the Klingon was saying and T'Pol confronts Archer about the failure of his mission - the Klingon is gone, Starfleet will understand. The pair take this conversation into the ready room where Archer tells the science officer to bury her cynicism along with her repressed emotions. This is exactly what T'Pol expected to hear - this is a perfect example of why humans should remain in the Sol system.

In sickbay, Phlox is performing an autopsy on the soldier that was killed during the earlier incursion. The Doctor confirms that these aliens are Suliban but they have had some significant genetic alterations including enhanced lungs, eyes and skin. Phlox hasn't seen anything like it.

In engineering, Trip and T'Pol are analysing the sensor data but the Subcommander continues her insulting manner by saying that Vulcan children play with more sophisticated toys than the Enterprise sensors. This irks Trip who suggests that T'Pol should realise the Captain knows what he's doing and he deserves their support. Archer arrives before the conversation can go any further looking for an update, but there is nothing beyond learning that the disturbance was likely a stealth vessel with a tricyclic plasma drive, if they can figure out the decay rate of the plasma they'll find the warp trail. Hoshi enters and informs Archer that the translation is complete - but it doesn't make sense.

T'Pol informs Archer that the Suliban are from sector 3641 and they've never posed a threat - until now. Several words didn't translate include Rigel, which T'Pol hesitantly informs them that Rigel X is the last place Klaang visited before crashing on Earth. Enterprise sets a course.

Back on the alien complex, the Suliban officer is questioning Klaang who is hooked up to some medical devices. Klaang doesn't know where IT is but the Suliban don't believe him. The officer confers with the Doctor who informs him that the drugs are working and he should be telling the truth. Klaang does give up information that he was sent to Rigel X to meet a Suliban female named Sarin who apparently gave him nothing. Not happy, the officer instructs his soldiers to keep him alive while he's gone.

Meanwhile, Enterprise arrives at Rigel X and enters orbit. T'Pol and Archer brief Trip, Reed, Mayweather and Hoshi about what they are about to encounter, they're distributed universal translators and board shuttlepod one which enters the atmosphere and lands on the pad of a snow covered outpost.

In the outpost, Trip takes in this alien world with boyish wonder as T'Pol studies him. Reed and Mayweather have entered a nightclub where two dancing women are eating butterflys with their long tongues - similar to Earth lizards, their guide asks if they want to meet the dancers but when Mayweather presses him for more information about Klaang the guide deflects the question by asking which dancer Reed would prefer. Mayweather surmises that this alien knows nothing of value and they leave.

In another part of the complex, Trip is waiting for T'Pol who is talking with an alien in an office. Trip grows concerned for a child whose mother keeps taking away a breathing apparatus. After three times Trip calls out for her to stop, but T'Pol returns and says that the mother is weening her child onto the Rigelian atmosphere. T'Pol informs Archer that the station office has records of an enclave on level 19 where Klingons frequent for the 'live food.'

Hoshi and Archer arrive on level 19 to find it deserted... but after Hoshi recommends they go back to where there are more people, several Suliban attack and abduct the pair. They're brought to a prison cell guarded by a forcefield and reunited with T'Pol and Trip. Hoshi is put in the cell and Archer is dragged away and is asks by a mysterious figure why they were looking for Klaang - she informs Archer that her name is Sarin, and she continues to interrogate him. She appears as human, and as she draws closer to the Captain she kisses him and reveals her true skin - a Suliban. She has the ability to measure trust but it requires close contact. Sarin informs Archer that she was part of the Cabal, the organisation who are responsible for abducting Klaang and that she gave Klaang the message to return his people.

The Suliban have been staging attacks in the Klingon Empire making it appear as if one faction is attacking another. Without the proof the Klingons will be plunged into a civil war. Sarin also says that the Cabal aren't acting alone, they are receiving their orders as part of a wider temporal cold war. At that moment members of the Cabal attack Sarin and her soldiers. She manages to release the forcefield and they all rush to an elevator to get back to the shuttlepod, however the Suliban officer fires his disruptor and strikes Sarin twice in the back.

With her dying breathes she pleads with Archer to find Klaang and the Enterprise party race to the roof where Reed and Mayweather are waiting in the shuttlepod. The Suliban Cabal soldiers fire on Archer, T'Pol, Trip and Hoshi as Reed and Mayweather struggle to isolate their biosigns due to the building storm.

T'Pol races for the shuttlepod, but a departing ship fires it's engines which sends wake turbulence down and blows across the landing pad. Trip and Hoshi make it inside the shuttle, while Archer goes to rescue the science officer. The Vulcan manages to make it back while Archer is struck in the leg. Lifting off, T'Pol informs Enterprise that the Captain has been hit and she is taking command.

In the decontamination chamber, Trip and T'Pol are lathering up with a decon gel to get rid of a spore they've been infected with. The pair discuss the change in leadership and whether T'Pol is the right person for the job given that she is an observer on this mission, T'Pol retorts that her rank is higher than Trip. The engineer explains to T'Pol that Archer would've wanted to see this mission through, that he believes the Vulcans have held Earth back - Archer's Dad never got the chance to fly his warp 5 engine Trip explains... 30 years later, T'Pol is doing the same thing.

In sickbay, about six hours later, Archer wakes just as Phlox removes one of his eels from the wound which is healing nicely. Trip and T'Pol enter and inform the Captain that the Subcommander took charge, Archer stands presuming they're headed back to Earth, but to his shock the pair have worked together to modify the sensors to detect the Suliban warp signature and they are in pursuit. Archer senses a change in T'Pol, even though she wont admit it.

Back in his quarters, Archer dictates a mission log where he can't figure out why T'Pol helped them in their 'foolish mission.' It's been ten hours with still no sign. Archer ponders whether to trust the science officer with questions about the Temporal Cold War, but his thoughts are interrupted as the ships comes out of warp - they've arrived at a class 7 gas giant.

On the bridge T'Pol informs the Captain that the warp trail has dissipated and they've lost the only lead they had. But further analysis of the information reveals that several warp trails converge at this location, inside the atmosphere. Archer orders Enterprise in to investigate.

In the chamber aboard the Suliban complex, the officer speaks to the silhouette figure. The Silhouette figure grows impatient with the officer's inability to provide any information, but he assures the figure that he will destroy the Human vessel before they can gather any more information.

On Enterprise sensor resolution drops off due to the atmosphere but they continue on and eventually plough through to a more stable environment where they find several vessels and a superstructure. Investigating they learn that there are 3,000 lifesigns and the complex is made up of hundreds of different ships held together by interlocking magnetic seals.

Devising a way to get on board to rescue Klaang, the Enterprise descends once more and uses the grappler to snag a cell ship, as they do the pilot ejects and the ship is brought into the launch bay. Trip and Mayweather study the controls to learn how to fly the craft but while Trip struggles to learn, he convinces Archer that he'll figure it out. T'Pol interrupts to inform them that the Suliban are now using proximity charges to locate the ship.

In his ready room, T'Pol recommends calling for a Vulcan ship thats less than two days away to render assistance, Archer is dismayed at that he thought he'd finally gotten T'Pol to understand why they had to do this mission on their own. Reed enters and runs through an electromagnetic pulse type device that will disable the maglocks connecting the ships together. He also shows Archer the new phase pistol weapons with two different settings - stun and kill. Archer leaves and hands command over to T'Pol.

On board the cell ship, Trip and Archer struggle with the controls as they descend through the atmosphere. They approach the superstructure and begin to scan for the right docking port. Finding it, they board the complex and race to the Klingon biosign.

On Enterprise, two more proximity charges detonate very close to the ship which cause some conduits to rupture, T'Pol orders the ship to change position otherwise there won't be a ship left. On the Suliban complex, Trip and Archer find Klaang and free him from the restraints, but after Klaang shoves Trip against a bulkhead Archer points the new phase pistol at him which he seems to understand.

Racing back to the cell ship, the trio are stopped by two Suliban soldiers, Klaang strangles one who would've sneaked up behind our Captain and engineer with his bare heads much to Trip's thanks. Archer shoots the other and sets the EMP device. However it works too well and Archer is trapped on board while Trip and Klaang are in the cell ship.

Through a garbled transmission Hoshi establishes that Trip is going to ignite his thruster exhaust so they can rendezvous, which T'Pol detects on her scanner and Mayweather lays in a course. Back on the complex, Archer stumbles upon a room giving off odd readings from his tricorder, he enters and finds a weird temporal distortion affecting his every move.

On Enterprise Trip argues with T'Pol about going back for the Captain, the Vulcan argues another rescue mission would jeapordise the primary mission of returning Klaang to his people, however T'Pol relents and Trip goes to tune the transporter.

In the temporal room on the Suliban complex Archer talks with the Suliban officer who knows many details about the Captain. After a brief struggle they return to the main corridor and while Enterprise takes fire from cell ships outside, Trip initiates the transporter and Enterprise flees at warp to Qo'nos.

In the high council chamber, numerous Klingons debate and argue when there is a booming knock at the door. Enter Archer, T'Pol, Hoshi and Klaang. The Chancellor cuts Klaang's hand and pours blood into a vile which a Klingon pours onto a computer console, which brings up a graphic showing the DNA strand and deep inside is what appears to be the information Sarin gave Klaang.

The Klingons in the chamber all react to this and the Chancellor approaches Archer with the knife he says something which Hoshi says he doesn't want to know. On Enterprise, Archer summons Trip and T'Pol to his ready room where he informs them that Admiral Forrest enjoyed giving the Vulcans a mission report for a change.

Archer also informs them that Starfleet is allowing them to continue their mission, Trip goes to start repairs and T'Pol has a transport en route to pick her up. However, after Trip leaves Archer swallows his pride and in a roundabout manner suggests that a Vulcan science officer would be handy, but he can't request her to stay... to which she replies that she'll request to stay on.

Walking onto the bridge Archer informs the crew that Starfleet seems to think they're ready to begin their mission. Reed has detected a class M planet which they set a course for.
A new series of Star Trek begins with this episode that set a few records when it went to air. It's the first episode, and series, to have a theme song with lyrics, the first to be shot on digital and in widescreen format. Overall, a very good start.

As I've mentioned, I am not opposed to new Trek... which changes some of the ideas from previous episodes. There is a back catalogue that is far too huge for a writing staff to trawl through to make sure every element is said in the right way, that a certain action has the right reaction etc. (Blatant omissions are another factor though...)

However, since first watching this episode, I've created my own theory as to why Enterprise (in universe) is so different from new Trek or Original Trek. I believe that the actions of the Enterprise-E during First Contact created a rift in the fabric of space/time that created this new parallel universe, and from this universe will come Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek: II.

J.J. Abrams has already stated that the new movies are set in a parallel universe, why could it not have started at First Contact? This way, the Original Series through to Voyager are intact, and so is this series. The Temporal Cold War and Future Guy (incidentally, James has lent his voice to Eternal Night...) could also serve to support my theory.

Some good comedic moments (Hoshi telling the Klingon to Shut Up!) mix with good set of action and intrigue to create a great episode.
Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathon Archer
Jolene Blalock as Subcommander T'Pol
Connor Trinneer as Cmdr Charles Tucker III
Dominic Keating as Lt Malcolm Reed
John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
Anthony Montgomery as Ens Travis Mayweather
Linda Park as Ens Hoshi Sato
Guest Cast:
John Fleck
Melinda Clarke
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister Jr.
Vaughn Armstrong
Jim Beaver
Mark Moses
Gary Graham
Thomas Kopache
Jim Fitzpatrick
James Horan
Joseph Ruskin
Written By:
Rick Berman and Brannon Braga
Directed By:
James L. Conway
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