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Vanik was a Vulcan officer in the 21st and 22nd century, ranked captain. He joined the Vulcan Space Program in 2075 and took command of the starship Ti'Mur in 2136, remaining in that position until at least 2151.

In that year, Vanik shared a meal with Jonathan Archer, T'Pol, and Charles Tucker III aboard Enterprise NX-01, when the two starships encountered each other during Enterprise's survey of a rogue comet. The dinner did not go well, as Vanik did not eat and barely spoke, and when he did, he used veiled insults. Frustrated, Archer finally demanded to know why the Vulcans were spying on him. However, Vanik refused to give him a proper answer, so Archer directly asked him to leave the ship.

It was later revealed that Vanik's reason for following Enterprise was to transport T'Pol back to Vulcan for her arranged wedding.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Reed and Travis Mayweather became stranded on the comet when the ice under their shuttlepod collapsed, trapping them. With the Enterprise's grappler unable to retrieve the shuttlepod, Archer accepted assistance from Vanik. He, with the use of his vessel's tractor beam, managed to rescue the crewmembers.

Later, when T'Pol decided not to leave Enterprise, Vanik returned to Vulcan without her. (ENT: "Breaking the Ice")

Vanik was played by actor William Utay.
In the writers' second draft script of "Breaking the Ice", Vanik was described as "an older man with a hardened, humorless expression." The episode's final draft script exchanged the word "hardened" for "stoic." The aforementioned earlier draft also established that Vanik was born on Vulcan, was aged 112 years old as of 2151 (suggesting he was born in 2039), and that, prior to encountering T'Pol in 2151, neither Vanik's name nor his reputation was known by her. Vanik was additionally referenced in the final draft script of "Fallen Hero", which defined V'Lar as being markedly different from him.
Vanik's mirror universe counterpart appeared in the novella "Age of the Empress". He is depicted as the commanding officer of the Ti'Mur and a member of the rebellion against the Terran Empire in 2155.

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