(written from a Production point of view)
Enterprise finds a fully inhabited Earth-like planet, where some of the inhabitants are suffering from a mysterious disease.
During a briefing detailing possible phenomena for Enterprise to visit, T'Pol mentions two stellar phenomena nearby. Mildly impressed, Archer asks her to continue. Trip Tucker chimes in to mention an M-class planet on their course with five hundred million life signs. Excited, Archer takes Enterprise into orbit around the planet.
Act One Edit
Early scans reveal a pre-industrial society, which excites the whole crew. Hoshi Sato remarks that there are numerous languages being spoken on the planet, but that she's found at least one useful word: Akaali, the name of the planet's humanoid species. While T'Pol objects to sending an away team, mentioning the Vulcan protocol of waiting until a species has managed warp flight before making first contact, Archer is determined to investigate firsthand. After using sensors to get a closer look at the planet and its people, Phlox performs cosmetic surgery to disguise the away team, testing his skills out first on Sato.
Curiously, the crew also detects low-level neutrino emissions which are out of place for the society. T'Pol suggests the presence of an antimatter reactor is possible, either through an undetectable advanced civilization present or another "visitor" like themselves. Archer orders a team of himself, Tucker, T'Pol, and Sato. After a bit of time getting dressed, Archer pilots the team down successfully.
Act Two Edit
On the planet's surface, T'Pol and Sato explore common areas. On the streets nearby, they see various people covered in lesions. One in particular is curious about them, but doesn't approach. Meanwhile, Archer and Tucker manage to localize the source of the neutrinos; a shop owned by an antique collector. Breaking into the shop at night, they reach a force field-guarded door where they are confronted by an Akaali who has been watching the shop for some time. She believes Archer and Tucker to be in league with whoever owns the shop and that they have caused a disease among the Akaali. She believes it is not coincidence that the shop owner arrived two months ago and that people have only become sick in that period. T'pol just arrives and, from behind, stuns the Akaali woman before she fires a loaded crossbow. Archer didn't think that was necessary, and now is forced to do something with her instead of leaving her there. Sato finds her name – Riaan.
The next morning, the Akaali woman wakes up to see Archer watching over her. He says she just collapsed, but she doesn't believe him, and asks if he's working for Garos. Archer says he's not working for anyone, and goes to leave, seemingly convincing her about that at least, but she wants him to explain himself. He explains he's an investigator and wants to talk to her the next day about the sickness she mentioned. As he leaves, he says his name is Jon – an odd name to her.
Back in the shuttle, they learn from Malcolm Reed that the energy field is strong enough to withstand a torpedo barrage. Archer informs the group that the Akaali woman mentioned a sickness, and Sato confirms her observations earlier. Tucker suggests taking someone to the ship for examination by Phlox, but T'Pol quickly notes the fear of alien abductions which happened on Earth. She suggests talking to the shop owner, first.
There, Archer and Tucker engage the owner, and, upon scanning him, they discover he is not Akaali but a different species. They confront him, and he quickly takes out his own scanner and notes the same thing about them, smiling.
Act Three Edit
The owner then asks Archer who he is. He explains they're from Earth and found the emissions and returns the question. The owner's name is Garos, a Malurian, and he relates the story of being on a survey mission in the area before he decided to settle down on the planet. He confirms the presence of a reactor, but assures Archer that it is simply to replicate food and materials. They mention Riaan's accusations, but Garos is aware of them, dismissing them as someone who's just blaming the newcomer. Archer asks to see the reactor just as another customer enters. Garos politely asks them to leave and they do so, not wanting to make a scene.
Archer asks T'Pol to meet him at Riaan's apothecary to get the story from her about the disease. While T'Pol discretely scans her equipment, Riaan explains what she knows, even though she still comments on Archer's evasiveness about his personal background. Riaan learned about the epidemic eighteen months ago, and can't determine the cause. She knows Garos leaves crates intended for locations outside the city, but hasn't yet found out how they get there. She thought Archer and Tucker were the ones. T'Pol has gotten enough information and discretely asks Archer to leave, but Archer wants to stay with her for awhile, sending T'Pol back to the ship.
With Riaan's samples of the "disease" on the Enterprise, Doctor Phlox discovers that the water supply is contaminated due to leaks of tetracyanate 622, an industrial lubricant, into the environment. T'Pol leaves to inform Archer.
Meanwhile, Archer and Riaan spy on the shop. At one point, Archer's translator malfunctions. To prevent Riaan from suspecting he is not Akaali, he kisses her. He says afterward that someone had been watching them, and the kiss was an attempt to avoid suspicion, as it might be considered normal behavior from a man and a woman alone together in the dark of night. She expresses no objection. Shortly after, they follow a man who is taking crates from the shop. In a clearing in the woods, a Malurian shuttle tractors the crates aboard. Unfortunately, Archer and Riaan are seen and fired upon by a Malurian on the surface. Archer leaves Riaan to subdue him, and does so, taking a small device from him. Riaan now sees the person is alien, and looks to Archer for answers.
They return to the city and, using the Malurian device, manage to gain access to the reactor. It is an unexpectedly large facility, and Riaan is further amazed.
Act Four Edit
Archer informs the Enterprise of his discovery: the Malurians were using the antimatter reactor to gather a kind of veridium isotope. T'Pol confirms it is most likely used to make explosives. Archer is determined to take the operation down, but can't risk using the phase-pistol and detonating anything. Instead, he intends to disable a dampening field to allow Enterprise to get a transporter lock on the reactor. Unfamiliar with the controls, he instead sets off an alarm which shuts the doors and alerts Garos' ship to the presence of the Enterprise. Garos hails the Enterprise and fires a warning shot, telling them to withdraw and that Archer is dead.
In the facility, Garos tells Archer to leave, saying he's instructed the Enterprise to send a shuttle to take him and Riaan. Archer instead gives Riaan the pistol and tells her to fire on anyone entering the room. Eventually, he succeeds in disabling the dampening field and they leave the facility. Garos' ship fires on the Enterprise while T'Pol orders Mayweather to keep the ship in transporter range. She intends to beam the reactor into space next to the ship and detonate it. Tucker fights with the transporter system and eventually gets it there. Reed successfully hits it, taking down the ship's shields. Meanwhile, Archer and Riaan are in a public firefight with the Malurians. Together, they subdue the Malurians. With Archer now holding them, Garos is informed the reactor is destroyed and he has no choice but to leave. Riaan is amazed as they beam off the ground.
Before leaving, Archer shares a moment with Riaan, giving her the required treatment for anyone affected by the toxic compound, and explaining that it would be best if she kept everything that happened to herself. Before leaving, the two kiss, with Riaan teasing that it's because his translator has malfunctioned again.
Log entries Edit
- "Captain's starlog, July 31, 2151. We've removed the mining equipment from under the shop. As far as we can tell, none of the Akaali knows what really happened… with one exception."
Memorable quotes Edit
"Starfleet could've sent a probe out here to make maps and take pictures, but they didn't. They sent us so that we could explore with our own senses."
- - Archer
"It's remote and sparsely populated. If you're exposed, there's a reduced risk of cultural contamination."
"This must be why aliens are always landing in corn fields."
- - Archer and T'Pol, when selecting a landing site
"78 light years to get here… our first act is breaking and entering."
"Maybe you don't have to mention this part in your log."
- - Archer and Tucker
"Let's try not to shoot anyone else while we're here, okay?"
- - Archer and T'Pol, after she stuns Riaan
"What did you do to me?"
"Nothing. You just collapsed."
"That's the second lie you've told me. You're not very good at it."
- - Riaan talking to Archer after waking up from being stunned by a phase-pistol
"Someone was walking this way but he turned and went around the corner. I thought if we pretended to be…"
- - Archer, as he tries to explain to Riaan why he suddenly kissed her while he was secretly fixing his translator
"Have you ever seen anything like that?"
"Actually, I have…" (a gun blast hits a tree before he can elaborate)
- - Riaan and Archer
"Is there anything else that you'd like to tell me, Jon?"
- - Riaan, realizing that Archer and the Malurian were not Akaali
"Even if we get the reactor, how are gonna keep them from getting it back?"
"If they want it so badly, perhaps we should give it to them."
- - Hoshi and T'Pol
"The oil lamp… there should be least a liter of residic oil in the container below it. Residic oil ignites at 398 degrees – you wouldn't happen to have anything that gets that hot?"
- - Riaan
"Is your translator broken again?"
"I'm sorry? I don't understand a word you're saying."
- - Riaan, while she and Archer kiss (last lines)
Background information Edit
Story and script Edit
- Mike Sussman saw the incorporation of the Malurians here as an amusing in-joke, they having originally been mentioned in TOS: "The Changeling", as a species wiped out by Nomad. Sussman later recollected, "It was like, 'Wouldn't it be great to see these guys?' So we made them the bad guys in 'Civilization,' the green lizard guys – they get their comeuppance a hundred years from now!" 
- The final draft script of this episode was issued on 7 September 2001.
- This episode originally included more fisticuffs, involving Archer actor Scott Bakula, than are ultimately in the outing. "We had this fight between him and some alien, and Archer beats the crap out of him," explained Stunt Coordinator Vince Deadrick, Jr.. "For the finale, I had him do a bevy of punches, saying, 'because you're pissed off.' And he didn't really want me to be the one to tell him that he was pissed off. He said, 'I think I would eliminate one of these punches,' because he was getting into that Archer frame of mind. Archer was still pissed off, but Scott had a different take about it. So we met there, and that's the communication [between actor and stunt coordinator]. Which is good." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 138, p. 43)
- This episode was in production on the Tuesday when the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 occurred in New York City, as well as at The Pentagon in Virginia and production was shut down for the day. In 2013, Mike Sussman stated that he still could not watch this episode as he could see in the footage the enthusiasm and light go from all the actors' eyes because of the events of 9/11. (ENT Season 4 Blu-ray "In Conversation - Writing Star Trek: Enterprise" special feature)
- According to the unauthorized reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 362), the set for the antiques shop in this episode included items, seen on-screen, which were actually "a variety of old props from the Star Trek storeroom."
- T'Pol makes reference to a protocol which states that it is wise "to wait until a society develops warp drive before initiating first contact." She goes on to say that it would be wise for Starfleet to adopt these "Vulcan protocols." Starfleet later adopts them as part of the essential Prime Directive, serving as a benchmark for measuring development of a civilization and admission to the Federation.
- This episode shows the first time chronologically when a chief medical officer performs a cosmetic procedure to make someone look like another species.
- This episode contains the first reference to Tellarites in Enterprise, who would make multiple appearances in the rest of the series, and other Star Trek productions.
- Just as Spock did many times, T'Pol has to hide her Vulcan ears from the indigenous people, which she accomplishes by wearing long hair to cover them.
Reception and aftermath Edit
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.6 and was watched by an average of 7.14 million viewers. 
- Star Trek Magazine's "Ultimate Guide" rated this episode 2 out of 5 arrowhead insignia. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 78)
- The book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 362) comments about this installment, "It feels like a Riker episode of The Next Generation, and the story doesn't amount to much, but there's something cathartic about seeing a Starfleet officer who isn't restrained by the Prime Directive starting a gunfight in an alien street."
- Some shots of Enterprise flying over the Akaali planet were reused for Earth in the fourth season outing "Terra Prime".
Video and DVD releases Edit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.5, 1 July 2002
- As part of the ENT Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of the ENT Season 1 Blu-ray collection
Links and references Edit
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Sub-Commander T'Pol
- Dominic Keating as Lieutenant Malcolm Reed
- Anthony Montgomery as Ensign Travis Mayweather
- Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi Sato
- Connor Trinneer as Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III
Guest stars Edit
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Evan English as Ensign Tanner
- Mark Watson as an operations division crewman
- Unknown actor as Malurian pursuer
- Unknown actor as Malurian shooter
- CGI – Malurian miner
Stunt double Edit
acoustic relay; Akaali; Akaali homeworld; Akaali language; Akaali system; alien abduction; antimatter reactor; apothecary; breaking and entering; civilization; clipper ship; collector; cornfield; crossbow; dampening field; Draylan; Earth; Epidemic casualties; evasive maneuvers; first contact; isotope; itch; J'ral class; lesion; Malurian; Malurian language; Malurian system; Malurian starship; microscope; Minshara class; neutrino; neutron star; pharmacy; polarized hull plating; quartermaster; residic oil; Riann's brother; supernova; tea; Tellarites; Tellarite merchant; Tengala Street; tetracyanate 622; universal translator; veridium; warp drive
| Previous episode:|
"Breaking the Ice"
| Star Trek: Enterprise|
| Next episode:|