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The Communicator (episode)

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(written from a Production point of view)
This article is about the Star Trek: Enterprise episode; for the hand-held communication devices, see Communicator. For the fan club magazine, see Star Trek: Communicator.

During an investigation of a pre-warp alien planet, Reed accidentally leaves his communicator behind. When he returns with Archer to get the piece of technology, they are captured by soldiers who accuse them of being enemy spies.


Jonathan Archer, Malcolm Reed, and Hoshi Sato are back from an away mission in a pre-warp civilization. Unfortunately, Malcolm realizes that he has lost his communicator. After scouring Enterprise and making certain it wasn't lost after returning aboard, the crew realizes it must have been lost on the planet. T'Pol stresses the importance of not contaminating a pre-warp culture, and Archer decides to head down with Reed to retrieve the communicator hoping it hasn't been found by someone else.

When Archer and Reed go back, the communicator has already been found and they fall into a trap set by the local military. This time, a lot of technology is found on them, including a phase-pistol and scanners. While interrogating them, a general named Gosis also finds that Archer and Reed are not of the same species as they are.

On Enterprise, a plan is made to rescue the captain and Reed. Trip Tucker suggests using a Suliban cell ship to rescue them, but says that he will need a little time to get the cloaking device working. He has a little accident in the process, and his forearm becomes "long-term" cloaked.

On the planet, Archer and Reed manage to explain their situation without going out of the local social context; they are spies, genetically enhanced prototypes and equipped with prototype devices as well. Following that, a doctor suggests killing them to study their enhanced organs.

Back in their cell, Archer and Malcolm discuss the implications of their actions, concluding that it is better never to tell the truth to the aliens (at the expense of their lives) and that T'Pol will certainly be able to retrieve the technology and their bodies when they are dead.

When she learns of the execution plan, T'Pol decides to rush things a little and Trip has to finish his work on the cloak on their way to the planet, confusing three local aircraft they encounter in the process. They finally rescue Archer and Reed and get all their technology back.

Back on the Enterprise, Archer and T'Pol have a conversation about the recent events in which they both conclude that they contaminated the civilization no matter what they tried, making the faction they had contact with believe that their enemies were far more advanced than they were. T'Pol also informs the captain she would not have expected them to sacrifice their lives to protect the inhabitants of the planet, suggesting that she is impressed by Archer's selflessness.

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Memorable quotes Edit

"My communicator..."
"What about it?"
"It's gone."

- Reed and Archer

"You won't be seeing your friends in The Alliance for a long time."

- Pell

"We came down to retrieve my communicator. Now, we've lost two of them. Not to mention my phase-pistol and a pair of scanners!"

- Reed

"Visitors from another world? There's no way to know how they'd react."

- Archer, when Reed suggests they tell Gosis who they really are

"Someone calling herself T'Pol seemed very concerned about her captain's well-being."

- Gosis, when he receives a transmission from T'Pol on Archer's confiscated communicator

"You've been surgically altered!"
"General, his blood - it's red."

- Gosis and Pell, after taking off Archer and Reed's alien disguises and seeing Reed's wound

"Guard towers, gun emplacements - it's not a hotel."

- Mayweather, when Sato locates where Archer and Reed are being held

"Are you all right?"
"Ugh. Just got the wind knocked out of me a bit."
"Maybe a little more than that..."

- Mayweather, when Tucker's hand and part of his arm disappear while working on the cloak for the Suliban cell ship

"Can you, uh, move your fingers?"
(Moves his invisible hand) "How's that?"
"You tell me."

- Phlox examines Tucker after the accident

"If... I were to extract the organs, I could study them in more detail."
"You'll be in charge of the execution. I'll inform the prisoners."

- Temec, on Archer and Reed's biological "mutations" and Gosis, to Pell

"It might be helpful on movie night if you bring a date... (Tucker looks at him) In case you wanna steal some popcorn!"

- Mayweather, to Tucker on the advantages of having an invisible hand

"You don't have to leave technology behind to contaminate a culture."

- T'Pol

"Dr. Temec has a theory about where you come from. I found it hard to believe until I saw this; it was taken by one of our reconnaissance pilots early this morning. He said the craft was traveling at very high speed."
"None of the other planets in our system is capable of supporting life. Where do you come from?"
"Our scientists tell me it's unlikely a craft of this size could have traveled from another star system. They suspect a larger craft must be nearby, perhaps even orbiting our planet. TELL ME YOUR ORDERS! Have you made contact with The Alliance?"

- General Gosis and Dr. Temec, interrogating Reed and Archer

Background informationEdit


  • The final draft of this episode's script was issued on 7 November 2002. The script specified that, during the scene in which the Suliban cell ship first appears in this installment, Tucker and Mayweather had "been working for over an hour," and that the episode's penultimate scene, with Archer and T'Pol in the captain's ready room, was set "a day later" than the scene before it.


  • According to this episode's production reportwbm, this installment "explores a premise hinted at in the original Star Trek." This, more specifically, was in the end of "A Piece of the Action", when Dr. McCoy confesses to having left behind his communicator on Sigma Iotia II, and Kirk jokes it "upsets the whole percentage." "'The Communicator' picks up on this idea, but with a far more serious tone," the production report commented.
  • This episode explores the importance of not introducing technology to civilizations which are not yet warp-capable. This would eventually be adopted by the Federation as one of its highest laws, the Prime Directive, a topic, coincidentally, explained in "A Piece of the Action".
  • Somehow, the Suliban cloaking technology used to rescue Archer and Reed was lost to the Federation by the time of Kirk's Enterprise.

Costumes and propsEdit

Links and referencesEdit

Starring Edit

Guest stars Edit

Co-stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt double Edit


Alliance, The; Battle of Britain; blood; bloodhound; blue giant; carrier wave; Churchill, Winston; city block; cloaking device; communicator; cultural contamination; diffraction relay; Earth; Epsom salts; flogging; floor plating; genetic engineering; Gosis' species; Gosis' species homeworld; hemoglobin; hotel; iron; kidney; kilometer; Klaang; Kultarey; lungs; liver; polarized hull plating; pre-warp; propaganda; Suliban; Suliban cell ship (spherical); Suliban helix; tavern; thoracic vertebra; Vulcans; World War II; X-ray

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Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 2
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