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The Communicator (episode)

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"The Communicator"
ENT, Episode 2x08
Production number: 034
First aired: 13 November 2002
33rd of 97 produced in ENT
33rd of 97 released in ENT
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 97 released in ENT Remastered  
661st of 728 released in all
Suliban cell ship open
Teleplay By
André Bormanis

Story By
Rick Berman and Brannon Braga

Directed By
James Contner
Unknown (2152)
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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 lost his communicator on the mission and they must go back to prevent any cultural contamination.

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 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

"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

"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 Information


  • According to the production reportwbm, this episode "explores a premise hinted at in the original Star Trek". In the end of "A Piece of the Action" when Dr. McCoy confessed to leaving behind his communicator on the gangster planet, and Kirk joked that it "upsets the whole percentage". "The Communicator" picks up on this idea, but with a far more serious tone. When the NX-01 crew goes undercover to survey a pre-warp society on the brink of war, Lt. Reed loses his communicator. He and Archer go back to retrieve it, and things do not go well."
  • 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".

Costumes and props

Links and references


Guest Stars


Uncredited Co-Stars

Stunt double


Alliance, The; Battle of Britain; blood; bloodhound; blue giant; carrier wave; Churchill, Winston; Communicator; cloaking device; cultural contamination; diffraction relay; Earth; Epsom salts; genetic engineering; Gosis' species; hemoglobin; iron; kidney; kilometer; Klaang; Kultarey; lungs; liver; polarized hull plating; Suliban; Suliban cell ship (spherical); Suliban helix; Vulcans; World War II;

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Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 2
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