Enterprise journeys to Babel with a Tellarite ambassador on board for peace talks with the Andorians, when a distress call from Shran is received.
(Part 1 of 3)
On the bridge of the Andorian warship Kumari, Commander Shran crawls out from under the wreckage of his damaged ship which has been attacked by a Tellarite vessel. He attempts to contact Imperial Command, but communications are down. The computer announces a warp containment breach in two minutes, leaving Shran no other choice but to order the crew to abandon ship, vowing to make the Tellarites pay for the loss of Kumari.
In Captain Archer's quarters aboard Enterprise, Archer and Hoshi Sato roleplay that Sato is a Tellarite ambassador, in preparation for the real ambassador's arrival. They discuss the Tellarites' frequent arguing and Sato tells the captain to keep Porthos out of sight during their stay, as they consider canine a delicacy.
- "Captain's starlog, November 12, 2154. We've arrived in orbit of Tellar Prime. Starfleet's ordered us to transport their ambassador to a neutral planet, designated as Babel, where Earth's mediators will try to settle a long standing trade dispute between the Tellarites and the Andorians."
While Archer and Trip Tucker walk through a corridor, Tucker tells the captain that the engineering staff are busy trying to finish a mud bath which the Tellarites requested. He also asks why Enterprise is transporting the Tellarites to Babel, since they have warp capability. Archer responds by explaining that Babel is on the far side of Andorian space, and that the Andorians won't allow Tellarite ships to pass through their territory. Archer reminds Tucker that the conference is urgent – if it fails, it may mean war between Andor and Tellar.
In Enterprise's mess hall Archer and Ambassador Gral talk. Archer tells him that that the starship has just entered Andorian space. Gral recalls the last time he was in the Andorian territory, on the command deck of a Tellarite cruiser. He asks why his race should trust Starfleet to settle the dispute between the Andorians and Tellarites, when the Andorians helped save Earth from the Xindi. Archer reassures Gral that Starfleet's intention is to establish peaceful relations between the two species, which won't happen if they choose sides. When Gral argues that Humans have no experience in interstellar affairs, Archer reminds Gral that the Tellarites' options are limited.
Sato reports that Enterprise has received an Andorian distress call. At the helm, Travis Mayweather notifies him that there are no other Andorian ships within range of the vessel that sent the distress call and that it would take Enterprise two hours to intercept the Andorian ship. Archer orders Mayweather to change course.
Enterprise arrives at the source of the distress call. Judging by the debris pattern left by the Andorian vessel, Malcolm Reed determines that the vessel's reactor breached. T'Pol detects large amounts of duranium alloy and concludes that the ship was probably an Andorian combat vessel. When Reed reports that he's found multiple bio-signs aboard escape pods launched from the ship, Archer orders that they are brought into Enterprise's launch bay.
In sickbay, Phlox is attending to Lieutenant Talas' injuries when Archer and T'Pol enter. When Archer tells Shran that nineteen of his crew were brought aboard, the Andorian commander informs Archer that the complement of the Kumari was eighty-six. Shran also tells Archer that he believes they were attacked by Tellarites. The Kumari was escorting the Andorian ambassador's ship to Babel when they were both attacked. The ambassador's vessel was instantly destroyed and the Kumari shortly after that. Shran was surprised at the attacking vessel's maneuverability. He suspects that the Tellarites have been improving their warships and suggests that Enterprise scan for the Kumari's data recorder. When he tells Shran that a Tellarite delegation is aboard Enterprise, the Andorian becomes agitated. Archer reminds Shran that he's on board Archer's ship. The Andorian commander warns that if the two groups' proximities are significantly reduced, it will result in bloodshed.
In the cargo bay, Malcolm Reed reports that he's analyzed hull fragments and that the damage seems to have been caused by Tellarite particle cannons. T'Pol tells Archer that the memory core of the Andorian data recorder was damaged, but that she was able to reconstruct the last few seconds of sensory data that it recorded. She plays back a visual record of a Tellarite vessel firing. Archer orders Enterprise to Andoria at maximum warp speed.
In Gral's quarters, the ambassador denies that the Tellarites attacked the Andorian ships. Archer offers the Kumari's sensor logs as proof, but Gral replies that they could have been fabricated. When Archer tells Gral that his intention is to transport the Andorians back to their homeworld, the Tellarite responds that his delegation will be arrested by the Andorians and held responsible for the incident.
Shran makes a toast to his ship while he and Archer share a bottle of Andorian ale in his quarters. Archer and Shran talk about the Tellarites. Shran is convinced that they attacked the Kumari and the Andorian ambassador's vessel. T'Pol hails Archer and informs him that Enterprise has detected an Andorian ship on an intercept course.
On the bridge, Sato fails to contact the Andorian vessel, which soon attacks Enterprise. Mayweather reports that they have lost warp velocity and are now traveling at impulse speed. Shran attempts to command the attacking vessel to cease hostilities, but with no success. Eventually, Archer orders Reed to open fire on the attacking ship. With a fluctuating power grid, the vessel retreats, but Reed is confused. He claims he didn't target its power grid and can find no explanation for the damage which it apparently took.
In the briefing room, Archer asks Shran why the Andorians are attacking Enterprise when their government requested Starfleet's assistance. Ambassador Gral is convinced that the Kumari sent out a distress call to lure Enterprise into a trap, but Shran assures Archer that the Andorians do not wish to begin hostilities with Starfleet. Gral suspects that the Andorian Imperial Guard may have taken action without consulting their government first. Shran theorizes that the vessel which attacked Enterprise may not have been Andorian in design. He noticed that its shield matrix had a completely different configuration to any of the other ships in the Andorian fleet. He argues that there have been several reports of missing Andorian ships, and that the Tellarites could have commandeered such a vessel, enhancing its systems. Gral claims that the Andorian is suffering from paranoia. Eventually, their verbal arguing becomes physical and Archer and two MACOs have to restrain them. The captain threatens that if they continue to fight, he'll have them arrested and held in the brig.
In the Tellarites' quarters, Gral tells the other members of his delegation that Archer claims to be impartial, but Gral believes the captain is more inclined to trust the Andorians. One of the other Tellarites comments that a MACO has been posted outside their quarters and that it is evidence to believe that they are being held prisoner. He offers the possibility that Archer is conspiring with the Andorians.
When Shran arrives on the bridge, Archer and T'Pol show him that the energy signatures of the ship which destroyed the Kumari and the vessel which attacked Enterprise are identical. Shran finds it hard to believe and still thinks that the Tellarites are behind the attacks. Tucker contacts the bridge from engineering with the news that warp power is almost ready to go back online and that hull plating will be ready to use within an hour. Archer informs Shran that Enterprise has detected the attacking vessel's warp trail and his intention is to follow it. Shran argues that some of the Kumari's crew require urgent medical attention from Andorian physicians, but Archer replies that if they continue to Andoria, the vessel will have disappeared again.
In the captain's mess, Archer and T'Pol eat alone. Archer thinks it may have been a mistake for Starfleet to involve itself in the continual feuding between Andoria and Tellar, a dispute which has lasted for more than a century. Perhaps Starfleet should have allowed the Vulcans to mediate the conference. T'Pol informs him that the Andorians still do not trust the Vulcans, even though relations have improved between them. Archer struggles to find much that the Andorians and Tellarites have in common, but T'Pol answers that similar statements have been made concerning Humans and Vulcans. She tells Archer that she received a personal message from Koss on Vulcan. Their marriage has been officially dissolved. Archer says that he's sorry to hear that, but T'Pol replies that his apology is unnecessary. Malcolm Reed contacts Archer and tells the captain that the Andorian ship has been detected.
In space, an alien vessel continues on its course.
In a large, darkened room, two Romulan officers detect a vessel approaching. One, Admiral Valdore, orders the other, Nijil, to display the approaching ship on a viewscreen. It is the Enterprise, on an intercept course.
On the bridge of the Starfleet vessel, Archer and Reed are puzzled. Enterprise has followed the warp trail to its present location. There is a ship on the main viewscreen, but it looks nothing like the Andorian ship that attacked earlier. Sato hails the vessel, but there is no response. When Archer asks what the spikes on the vessel are, T'Pol replies that they appear to be subspace transceivers. She determines that its hull is also lined with multispectral emitters, but she doesn't wish to guess their function. Archer orders Reed to take a team of MACOs aboard the alien ship. The security officer reports that the vessel's life support is not functioning, so Archer orders him to take Tucker too. Perhaps the engineer will be able to fix it.
Nijil reports that the propulsion matrix is still not operating on the alien ship. Valdore seems impatient when he asks how much longer it will take to be fixed, but all Nijil says is that it is being repaired. Valdore orders Nijil to prepare a core overload, as he isn't prepared to allow Starfleet to gain possession of the ship.
Tucker contacts Enterprise from the alien vessel. He reports that the away team hasn't met with any resistance, yet, and that he's found a computer interface. The only problem is that there's no power on the ship. The away team requires T'Pol's assistance to bring it online. She tells Tucker to uplink his scanner.
Suddenly, the away team are thrown to the deck as the alien ship lunges forward and fires on Enterprise.
Archer calls for evasive maneuvers on the bridge of his ship as his crew attempts to retrieve the away team. T'Pol reports that the hull plating of the alien vessel has been reinforced. As a result, Enterprise is only able to transport one member of the away team at a time. Both of the MACOs are beamed off the ship before the primary phase coil is fused and the transporter goes off-line. It will take several hours to repair and Enterprise is beginning to suffer extensive damage. Archer contacts the away team and explains the situation to Tucker before Enterprise withdraws from the engagement at maximum warp.
The alien ship pursues Enterprise, as Malcolm Reed begins to run out of oxygen. Tucker shares his supply of air with Reed, but Reed comments that Tucker's supply won't last forever. The engineer tries to get life support on-line.
On the bridge of Enterprise, Mayweather struggles to outrun the alien vessel, and with the help of new injectors, he eventually manages it.
In the Andorian's quarters, Shran is still slightly suspicious of Gral. He wonders how Archer could have been fooled by the Tellarite's deception. He tells Talas that he won't entrust the security of Andoria to Starfleet, even though Talas believes Shran has little choice but to allow Archer to deal with the situation. Shran promises never to trust the Tellarites again. He wants Talas to bypass the security protocols so that he can interrogate Gral.
On the alien vessel, Tucker is struggling with the environmental controls when Reed asks if life support is operational yet. Tucker wonders if the ship has life support at all but Reed is sure that the bridge must have an environment, so both officers head to the bridge.
Nijil reports that Enterprise has moved out of sensor range of the Romulan ship. Valdore insists that it must not be allowed to escape, as too much has been revealed to its mostly human crew. Nijil argues that the Romulan drone-ship is only a prototype which wasn't ready for combat. Valdore orders that the Romulans begin a search for the Starfleet vessel.
- "Captain's starlog, supplemental. Our battle damage has been repaired, and we've resumed our search for the alien vessel."
In Archer's quarters, T'Pol has determined that the alien ship is neither Andorian or Tellarite in origin, but there's an extreme possibility that it is Romulan in design. She reports that the vessel's power matrix uses boridium cells, a similar technology to what the Romulan minefield used in 2152. When Archer asks why the Romulans would be in this area of space, T'Pol replies that they have been known to retaliate against species which they view as a threat. However, the captain answers that he doesn't know anything about Humans, Andorians or Tellarites having threatened the Romulans. He thinks it is possible that the Romulans feared an alliance between all three species, which is why they interfered. He tells her that the conference on Babel has been postponed for the foreseeable future. T'Pol reports that Enterprise is too far away from the alien ship to contact Tucker.
On the Romulan vessel, Tucker and Reed are having difficulty locating the bridge. Tucker suggests following data conduits that run throughout the ship. He tells Reed that they probably lead to the bridge. They find a chemically-fueled maneuvering thruster, powered by oxygen and liquid hydrogen. Reed suggests that they refill their air tanks.
Outside the Andorian's quarters, Talas tries to seduce the MACO on duty there. When the officer tells her to return to her quarters, she and the MACO fight each other. The Andorian eventually knocks the MACO to the ground. She and Shran escape from their quarters.
Nijil detects a problem with one of the fuel tanks on board the Romulan ship. He's certain that it is not the result of another malfunction, but that the starboard transfer valve has manually been opened. Valdore orders Nijil to activate the drone-ship's internal sensors. While Tucker and Reed work on restoring their air supplies, they are detected by Valdore. He asks if the inertial stabilizers are off-line, to which Nijil replies affirmatively. Valdore orders the pilot to initiate evasive maneuvers, throwing Tucker and Reed to the deck of the Romulan ship.
Talas and Shran make their way through Enterprise's corridors. After firing at a pair of MACOs, they enter the Tellarites' quarters. Talas assaults Gral's aide, Naarg, while Shran points a phase rifle at maximum setting at the Tellarite ambassador.
On Enterprise's bridge, T'Pol and Hoshi Sato have determined that the function of the emitters on the Romulan vessel's hull is to act as holographic projectors. The vessel is designed to use the emitters to mimic a wide variety of different ships. The vessel's disruptor uses triphasic emitters which can simulate the effects of different kinds of weapons. The ship is unable to mask its power signature, however. An officer hails the bridge, reporting weapons fire outside the Tellarites' quarters on G Deck. Archer rushes off the bridge, calling for a team of MACOs to go to the Tellarites' quarters and for that deck to be sealed off.
In Gral's quarters, Shran insists that the Tellarites were the reason for the disappearance of several Andorian ships, but Gral argues otherwise.
Fighting Andorians on the way, Archer and several armed MACOs run towards the Tellarites' quarters. The captain enters and convinces Shran to give his weapon to Archer. Just as Shran does, though, Gral's aide fires at Talas. Archer returns fire at the Tellarite, who falls to the deck. The captain sends for Doctor Phlox, but Talas' injuries are only superficial.
On the Romulan ship, Reed and Tucker arrive at the bridge, only to find it deserted.
Nijil reports that the away team has entered the bridge of the drone-ship, as Valdore gazes out a window on Romulus.
"Sir, I wasn't kidding about Porthos.'"
"You think he's mangy?"
"No. But you might want to keep him out of sight. Tellarites consider canines something of a... delicacy."
- - Sato and Archer
"You people are even uglier than I remember."
- - Archer, as he introduces himself to the Tellarites
"I'm told this ship is the pride of Starfleet. I find it small and unimpressive."
"Funny... I was about to say the same thing about you."
- - Ambassador Gral and Archer
"We seem to keep running into each other, Captain."
- - Shran, to Archer
- - Commander Shran and Captain Archer
"I've never had relations with a member of your species. I was hoping you'd indulge me."
- - Talas, to the MACO crewman guarding her quarters
"Well, you said she had an awfully nice bum."
"This is true."
- - Trip and Malcolm, about T'Pol
- "Babel One" refers to the first Babel Conference, held in 2154. There was at least one other conference held on the planet Babel.
- Lee Arenberg, who plays the Tellarite Gral, was previously cast in the role of another character, a Ferengi, named Gral in DS9: "The Nagus". Apparently, it was a coincidence.
- The plot of the Romulan arc is similar to that of the game Star Trek: Starfleet Command III, in which the Romulans use holographic masking technology to provoke conflict between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.
- The MACO honor guard detail that met Gral in the launch bay was an homage to the honor detail that greeted Spock's father Sarek aboard the USS Enterprise in TOS: "Journey to Babel".
- Jeffrey Combs (Shran) and Brian Thompson (Valdore) previously appeared in DS9: "To the Death" together. They played Weyoun and Toman'torax, respectively.
- This episode was first broadcast on the UPN network on 28 January 2005, hitting a series low for viewership – only 2.5 million people watched. A few days after "Babel One" aired, Star Trek: Enterprise was officially canceled by UPN. Unlike most canceled series, the plug was not immediately pulled – UPN and Paramount allowed the show to complete filming its final season of 22 episodes.
- "Babel One" represents the first time that Romulus is seen on the series. In every occasion that it has previously appeared in a television series, it has been depicted using a matte painting. This time, CGI effects were used. The CGI model of the Romulan capital city seen in the final shot is a reuse of the digital model created for the feature film Star Trek Nemesis.
- In the mess hall, Archer says "When in Rome" (the full phrase ending, "... do as the Romans do"). T'Pol replies that she doesn't understand the phrase. This also occurred in TNG: "Justice", where, while jogging with the Edo, Riker said the phrase and Worf also had no clue what it meant.
- Jolene Blalock (T'Pol) and Brian Thompson (Valdore) previously appeared together in the TV movie Jason and the Argonauts. They played Medea and Hercules, respectively.
- This episode has a unique visual style accentuated by handheld cameras. This is especially noticeable during the shoot out between Archer and the Andorians. Additionally, there is a visually dynamic boom shot in engineering panning from a shot below Trip to a view of the warp core.
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as 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
- Jeffrey Combs as Shran
- Lee Arenberg as Gral
- Molly Brink as Talas
- J. Michael Flynn as Nijil
- Brian Thompson as Valdore
- Jorge Benevides as R. Azar
- Solomon Burke, Jr. as Billy
- Shawn Crowder as Carender
- Nathan Effron as an Andorian officer
- Yuri Elvin as M. Romero
- Glen Hambly as
- John Jurgens as an operations division crewman
- Kim Koscki as an Andorian officer
- Ricky Lomax as W. Woods
- Andrew MacBeth as E. Hamboyan
- Dorenda Moore as N. Myers
- Rife Sibley as a MACO
- Pablo Soriano as a Tellarite aide
- Chris Torres as B. Moreno
- David Venafro as an Andorian officer
- Breezy and Windy as Porthos
- Unknown performers as
- Shawn Crowder as a stunt double for Connor Trinneer
- Bevin Kaye as stunt double for Molly Brink
- Clark Tucker as stunt double for Dominic Keating
Alliance (2154); Andoria; Andorians; Andorian battle cruiser; Andorian escape pod; Andorian freighter; Andorian Imperial Command; Andorian Imperial Guard; atmosphere recycler; Babel; Babel Crisis; black box; (boridium) boridium cell; Chef; data recorder; disruptor; duranium; escape pod; fluorine; inertial dampers; hydrogen; Koss; Kumari; liquid fuel; luxury liner; MACO; maneuvering thruster; minefield; mud bath; multispectral emitter; oxygen; particle cannon; power grid; primary phase coil; prototype; Rome; Romulans; Romulan drone-ship; security protocol; shields; shield matrix; shield generator; subspace transceiver; swine; Tellar Prime; Tellarites; Tellarite canine; Tellarite cruiser; tri-phasic emitter; Vulcan (planet); warp containment breach; Xindi crisis
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