(written from a Production point of view)
While in a shuttlepod performing tests, Tucker is attacked by a hostile alien and forced to crash-land on a desolate moon.
Trip Tucker is in a shuttlepod orbiting a gas giant with dozens of moons. The location is perfect to test the new autopilot upgrades, but he is suddenly attacked by an unknown ship and pushed into the atmosphere of one of the moons, where the engines of both ships go offline, forcing Tucker's shuttlepod and the alien ship into emergency landings.
At the time of the incident, Enterprise NX-01 is too far away to see where Tucker crashed. Enterprise's search efforts are further hampered by the selenium isotope content of many of the moons' atmospheres. The ship soon encounters an Arkonian ship, which initially appears hostile. The Arkonian ship is also missing a scout ship and suspects that Enterprise may be involved. Moreover, the Arkonian captain is suspicious of T'Pol, as the Arkonians have had a rather unfavorable relationship with the Vulcans. However, Captain Archer manages to make a tentative arrangement by suggesting that they join forces to find their missing crew members; in return, he promises to leave their system as soon as their crew members have been recovered.
On the moon, where it is nighttime, Tucker is repairing his transceiver when Zho'Kaan, the Arkonian pilot, attacks him and steals it. Tucker is taken prisoner when he tries to recover the device. Even though the absence of a universal translator prevents the two from understanding each other, they are able to exchange simple words. Zho'Kaan agrees to let Tucker try some repairs. However, the poor communications prevents Tucker from doing a efficient job and he falls back on having to use force to make progress. Knowing that necessary components are back at his shuttlepod (as well as a supply of edible rations and water), Tucker tricks and subdues Zho'Kaan.
On board the Enterprise, Archer laments the delay in finding Tucker. T'Pol advises him that many of the moons have an approximate overnight temperature of −10 degrees and, more importantly, a daytime high of 170 degrees. Archer states that he hopes Tucker landed on the nighttime side, but acknowledges that time is limited.
Back at Tucker's shuttlepod, the horizon is beginning to glow with the approaching sunrise. With their roles reversed, Tucker is able to fix the transceiver, but it is useless because of the interference from the content of the surrounding volcanic rocks. He tries to explain to Zho'Kaan that he will need his help to bring it to a nearby mountain, but as soon as Tucker unties him, the Arkonian assaults him. They are exhausted by the ensuing fight and the Arkonian finally understands that it is best to cooperate.
The two climb the mountain and Tucker is finally able to get a message out. By that time, Zho'Kaan has begun to succumb to dehydration; the sun has begun to rise and the temperature is rising rapidly. Since no shuttlepod can get them back, Archer suggests using the transporter, but Doctor Phlox advises against it, as it will probably be fatal to the dehydrated Arkonian's fragile endocrine system. Tucker refuses to let his new "friend" die on the moon and suggests the Arkonians make modifications to one of their shuttles to be able to get them. Just as everything seems to be lost, they are finally rescued.
Back on Enterprise, the Arkonian captain tells Archer that if Zho'Kaan fired on Tucker unprovoked, he would be disciplined. He also reminds Archer of his agreement to leave the system as soon as the missing crew members were found. T'Pol congratulates Archer, as he was able to establish better relations with the Arkonians in one day than the Vulcans in a hundred years. In sickbay, Tucker and Zho'Kaan recover, and through the universal translator Zho'Kaan thanks Tucker for his help.
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- "Chief Engineer's Log, supplemental. This turned out to be the perfect spot to test the autopilot upgrades. The gas giant has dozens of moons. It's like a... gravitational jigsaw puzzle. Watch out, Travis. These modifications are working so well, pretty soon we won't need pilots anymore."
- "Chief Engineer's Log, supplemental. For the record... I was attacked by a small craft. I don't know what I did to provoke them. Then something in this moon's atmosphere neutralized my engines and I was forced to make an emergency landing. Looks like I took some damage on impact. Main power's still off-line. I don't think I'll be flying out of here. First things first. I'll try and get the transceiver working... contact Enterprise."
- "Chief Engineer's Log, supplemental. It's been two hours since we started signaling Enterprise. No response yet. The sun's not even up yet and it's already hotter than hell. My sparring partner doesn't look too good. I can't be sure, but I don't think his species can sweat. For the record, I have learned one thing about him – his name's Zoh'Kaan. Anything you want to say to the folks back home?" "Nohkto." "Yeah. That means "bad. You would be proud of me, Hoshi. I've picked up about a dozen words in his language. A couple of them are real tongue-twisters."
Memorable quotes Edit
"I'm no good until I've had my coffee."
- - Tucker
"I don't understand a word you're saying!"
- - Tucker, when Zho'Kaan yells at him in Arkonian
"Kushka to you too!"
- - Zho'Kaan and Tucker
"I try anything, I'm a dead man. I get the message."
- - Tucker, when Zho'Kaan has his pistol shoved into his neck
"Well, looks like we've made some headway in our First Contact between Humans and, um... whatever you are. Unfortunately, your first word is something you wouldn't wanna use in polite company."
- - Tucker curses while trying to repair the Arkonian transceiver while Zho'Kaan repeats what he said
"That was quite a trick."
- - Tucker, when Zho'Kaan spits on his arm to heal his wound
"I wouldn't trade my time on Enterprise. Not for anything. I've seen things I could never imagine back home."
- - Tucker
"That's why we chose this life, right? See things we've never seen before."
- - Tucker
"It was a misunderstanding. I hope we can avoid them in the future."
- - Archer
"I guess we won't be adding the Arkonians to our list of friends."
"The encounter was less volatile than I expected." (Archer laughs) "You managed to establish better relations in a single day than the Vulcans have in a century."
"Let's hope it stays that way!"
- - Archer and T'Pol, after their encounter with Captain Khata'n Zshaar on board Enterprise
"Trip, when I fired at your vessel... I'm grateful I didn't destroy it."
"That makes two of us!"
- - Zho'Kaan and Tucker, in sick bay after their rescue
Background information Edit
- Brad Greenquist previously played Krit in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Who Mourns for Morn?". Gregg Henry starred in Star Trek: Insurrection as Gallatin.
- This episode establishes that transporting a patient with "acute cellular breakdown" may be fatal.
- Trip Tucker recalls seeing the Great Plume of Agosoria to Zho'Kaan ("Cold Front"), as well as spending a night with a princess ("Precious Cargo"), getting pregnant ("Unexpected") and riding in a Suliban cell ship ("Broken Bow" and "The Communicator"). In the final draft script, he also remembered encountering "Andorians, Klingons, Hudaks, Arkonians" (the penultimate name subsequently being reused as the name of an individual in later second season installment "The Breach") and admitted some things he personally wished.
- This episode is similar to the TNG episodes "Darmok" and "The Enemy". In "Darmok" Captain Picard is trapped on a planet with an alien that he cannot communicate with and they must work together to survive. In "The Enemy", La Forge is trapped on a hostile planet and with a Romulan whom he must work with to survive. This episode also bears similarities to the VOY episode "Gravity" in which Tuvok and Paris are trapped on a planet and must befriend an alien to survive.
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 Tucker III
Guest stars Edit
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Evan English as Tanner
- Aldric Horton as operations division crewman
- Mark Watson as operations division crewman
Stunt doubles Edit
acute cellular breakdown; Arkonians; Arkonian destroyer; Arkonian language; Arkonian patrol ship; asteroid; autopilot; carrier wave; Chef; chicken marsala; coffee; dehydration; diamagnetic mineral; endocrine system; First Contact; frequency; gas giant; gesture; Great Plume of Agosoria; Ice Caves of Etheenia (Etheenia); igneous rock; induction coil; intake manifold; isotope; jam; jigsaw puzzle; Kaitaama; kilometer; logic; marmalade; "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (Mary (literature)); Matalas Prime; moon; Mount Everest; orange juice; Porthos; princess; pulse-weapon; selenium; shuttlepod; Shuttlepod 1; spitting; steward; Suliban cell ship; tarrat-aash; thermo-kinetic analysis; tongue-twister; transceiver; transporter; universal translator; volcano; vomiting; Vulcans; Vulcan High Command; warp drive
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