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Enterprise is launched.
Series: ENT
Episode: 1x01
Original Airdate: 2001-09-26
Production Number: 001
Year: 2151
Date: April 12
Story by: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by: James L. Conway
Young Jonathan Archer.

Earth launches its first starship of exploration, Enterprise, on a mission to return an injured Klingon to his homeworld.



In San Francisco a young Jonathan Archer paints a model of his father's spacecraft. When he recites a quote from a speech by Zefram Cochrane, Henry Archer tells him the inventor of warp drive would be proud of him. Jonathan curiously asks about his father's ship, wondering if it will be bigger than "Ambassador Pointy's" ship. Henry corrects his son, noting that the Ambassador is actually named Soval, an extremely helpful Vulcan. Jonathan responds that according to Billy Cook, an acquaintance of his, Humans would already be flying at warp five if the Vulcans had not intervened. Although Henry Archer does not fully understand the reasons behind the Vulcans' constraint, he believes that there must be an explanation.

Thirty years later, the wreckage of a crashed Klingon K'toch-class scoutship lies in a cornfield in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, Earth. Klaang, the Klingon pilot of the craft desperately flees from two pursuing aliens. This incident attracts the attention of a farmer named Moore. Although Klaang eventually manages to kill the aliens, he is shot by Moore's plasma rifle.

Act One

Several Starfleet and Vulcan personnel discuss Klaang.

Aboard an inspection pod, Jonathan Archer, now a captain in the Earth Starfleet, and Commander Charles Tucker inspect the prototype NX class starship Enterprise in a spacedock orbiting Earth. After being called back to Starfleet Medical, Archer attends a meeting where a group of high-ranking Starfleet officers, including Admiral Forrest, discuss Klaang with several Vulcan dignitaries - Ambassador Soval, Tos and Subcommander T'Pol. Archer also meets an alien doctor who is providing Klaang with medical care. Eventually, it is decided that Enterprise will launch ahead of schedule on a mission to return Klaang to the Klingons' homeworld, Qo'noS. This decision infuriates the Vulcans, who had objected to humans returning Klaang out of fears that a perceived provincial attitude and accompanying volatile nature to humans would complicate human contact with the Klingons so soon. Vulcan objections, however, fueled the idea that Vulcans deliberately have withhold information from Earth for over a hundred years.

Aboard Enterprise, Lieutenant Malcolm Reed and Ensign Travis Mayweather discuss the vessel's transporter, a brand new piece of equipment first installed on their ship. As they walk through a corridor, Mayweather reminisces about his childhood aboard cargo ships. When they enter Engineering, Reed introduces Mayweather to Commander Tucker. Meanwhile, Archer travels to Brazil to recruit linguist Hoshi Sato as his communications officer.

Another addition to Archer's crew is Subcommander T'Pol, who has been assigned the position of executive and science officer, in exchange for the star charts provided by the Vulcans. In the Captain's ready room, T'Pol is introduced to Commander Tucker by Archer and she gives him a padd confirming her new assignment. An embarrassing encounter with the captain's dog, [[Porthos]}, then followed - as Vulcan females have an heightened sense of smell. Aside from the T'Pol, whom Archer saw as an Vulcan "chaperone", the Doctor he met before at Starfleet Medical is also added to the Enterprise' crew.

At Enterprise's launching ceremony, Admiral Forrest makes a speech and finds there is no better person to captain the first warp 5 starship than the son of its inventor, Jonathan Archer. After this, a recording of a speech by Doctor Zefram Cochrane is played.

File:Temporal communications chamber.jpg

Aboard a strange alien complex, an alien officer talks to a mysterious figure.

Meanwhile, in a strange chamber aboard an alien complex, a Suliban officer confers with a mysterious silhoutte and promises to recover evidence that the figure requires. This evidence apparently was in the hands of Klaang when he was pursued by the Suliban.

Act Two

Aboard Enterprise, Archer observes a jar full of immunocytic gel worms in sickbay. The doctor he met earlier, a Denobulan in the Interspecies Medical Exchange program named Phlox, asks the captain to make sure that he doesn't shake the worms. Archer helps Phlox unpack medical equipment and an Altarian marsupial, an animal that makes the captain squirm because its droppings are used as medicine. Meanwhile, Travis Mayweather shows Commander Tucker the "sweet spot", an area of every ship where gravity is reversed. Mayweather is a well-travelled "space boomer" and has visited the planets Trillius Prime, Draylax, and both the Teneebian moons. Later, when Tucker enters the ship's mess hall, he is offered a seat by Crewman Fletcher but the engineer replies that he has already been asked to the captain's mess. There, the engineer eats with Archer and T'Pol while they discuss Human evolution.

However, all is not well - during a test of the ship's warp reactor, a verbal conflict between Hoshi and T'Pol arises. When Ensign Sato insults T'Pol in the Vulcan language, the science officer retorts that she was instructed to speak English during her assignment aboard the ship and expects Hoshi to do the same. Later, the vessel loses main power while Archer, Hoshi and Phlox are in sickbay, trying to interrogate Klaang. Alien soldiers board Enterprise and attack the Starfleet officers. Klaang recognizes the aliens as Suliban and although Archer manages to shoot one of the aliens, the Klingon is abducted from the ship.

Act Three

On the bridge, an irritated Archer asks his crew why the Suliban were not detected by Enterprise's sensors. When Lieutenant Reed tells him that the starboard sensor logs did record a spatial disturbance, the captain orders the bridge crew to conduct a full investigation into the incident. T'Pol advises Archer to consult the astrometric computer in San Francisco, believing that he has no hope of finding Klaang himself. However, the captain decides not to take her advice and forbids T'Pol from contacting Starfleet. In sickbay, Phlox shows Archer the corpse of the alien soldier that was left aboard Enterprise. The doctor has learned that the alien has Suliban DNA, but its anatomy has been altered by very sophisticated genetic modifications.

Enterprise heads to Rigel X.

In Engineering, T'Pol helps Tucker to review the sensor data. Before long, Archer and Hoshi enter. Using Hoshi's translation of Klaang's words and T'Pol's reluctant assistance, Archer learns that Klaang visited Rigel X just before his scoutship crashed on Earth. The captain contacts the bridge and orders Mayweather to set course for the tenth planet in the Rigel system. Meanwhile, an alien officer aboard the Suliban complex interrogates Klaang in Klingonese. This Suliban officer asks Klaang where he left a particular unnamed item, but the Klingon claims ignorance. He tells the officer that he was sent to meet a Suliban woman named Sarin on Rigel X, but states that Sarin did not give him anything. As Enterprise approaches the planet, Archer and T'Pol brief an away team in the ship's launch bay. Archer informs the officers that Klaang was a courier and tells them to find the person who gave the Klingon whatever he was carrying, so they might find out why the Suliban have captured Klaang.

The team travel to Rigel X in Shuttlepod 1 and search in a trade complex on the planet's frozen surface. Searching the complex, Reed and Mayweather are persuaded to watch a pair of alien females performing with butterflies by a man who claims he saw Klaang. Doubting the man's honesty, the officers soon leave. While T'Pol investigates, Tucker finds it hard to accept several aliens that he encounters, including a Lorillian mother and son. Meanwhile, Archer and Hoshi see a group of Klingons but they quickly disappear. Soon after, the officers are attacked and captured by Suliban.

Act Four


Hoshi, T'Pol and Tucker are imprisoned by the alien soldiers in a section which is sealed by a forcefield. Archer is taken to a woman who looks Human but who changes her appearance after he is kissed by her. The woman's name is Sarin - the same Suliban female that Klaang met on Rigel X earlier. Sarin was once a member of the Cabal, the Suliban military. She informs Archer that the Cabal are following orders from a faction in the Temporal Cold War, a conflict fought through time. The Suliban are promoting internal strife in the Klingon Empire and Klaang was transporting evidence of this back to Qo'noS to prevent a civil war.

Sarin offers to help Archer find the Klingon, but agents of the Suliban Cabal discover them and open fire. Sarin frees the Starfleet officers but is killed in the fight between the Cabal and her small group of renegade Suliban. Archer, injured while on the run, manages to escape in the shuttlepod. With a damaged thruster, the shuttlecraft ascends into the atmosphere as T'Pol contacts Enterprise and announces that she is taking command of the ship. When Captain Archer loses consciousness, he dreams about himself as a child flying his model spacecraft on a beach with his father. He is disappointed when the model crash-lands in the sand, and his father tells him that he can't be afraid of the wind as T'Pol watches from the shore.

Act Five

After Shuttlepod 1 has returned to Enterprise, T'Pol and Tucker use the Decon chamber to rid themselves of a protocystian spore they picked up on Rigel X. Here, Tucker questions whether he should take command rather than T'Pol, because she was only assigned to the ship as an "observer". The engineer worries that T'Pol will not continue the search for Klaang if she takes command.

Six hours later, Archer regains consciousness in sickbay. Phlox removes an osmotic eel from Archer's leg that the doctor used to cauterize the captain's wound. T'Pol and Tucker visit and the Vulcan informs Archer that they have tracked a Suliban ship that left Rigel X just after the captain was injured. Archer is surprised that T'Pol didn't order a course back to Earth, but the Vulcan states that, as acting captain, she was obligated to anticipate Archer's wishes.

As Enterprise continues to follow the Suliban ship, Archer, back in his quarters, is making a log entry, pausing the log several times to question himself about T'Pol's motives to continue the mission.

"Enterprise starlog, Captain Jonathan Archer - April 16, 2151. We've been tracking the Suliban ship for ten hours, thanks to our... science officer, who came up with a way to tweak the sensors. I have no reason to believe that Klaang is still alive, but if... what the Suliban woman told me is true, it's crucial that we try to find him. I still haven't decided whether to ask Subcommander T'Pol about this "Temporal Cold War". My instincts tell me not to trust her."

Archer hears the warp drive changing and looks out his window to see that the ship has dropped out of warp. He contacts T'Pol, who asks him to come to the bridge.

Gas giant.

There, a gas giant is displayed on the viewscreen. T'Pol tells Archer that the Suliban craft entered the planet's radiation belt a few hours ago, scattering the vessel's warp trail. T'Pol instructs Reed to run a spectral analysis on fragments he has detected nearby. The bridge crew finds that the fragments were left from fourteen different ships. Realizing that Enterprise has found an area used frequently by the Suliban, Archer orders Reed to activate the ship's weapon systems and to polarise the hull plating. The captain then directs Mayweather to set a course that will take the ship into the planet's atmosphere.

Act Six

Aboard the alien complex, the Suliban officer talks with the mysterious figure. The officer is unsure whether Sarin gave the Enterprise crew anything, but he knows that Enterprise has followed a Suliban ship and is nearby. He promises the figure that he will destroy the Human vessel before it locates the helix, the complex that he is currently on. The figure says that he didn't intend for Humans or Vulcans to become involved yet, and demands that the officer must stop Sarin's message from reaching Qo'noS.

In the atmosphere of the gas giant, Enterprise almost loses the warp trail. T'Pol estimates that the ship's condition should improve, shortly before the bridge starts to shudder. She uses a viewer at her station to determine that the quakes are being caused by unexpected liquid phosphorus. When the ship's condition improves, the officers detect two Suliban cell ships and the helix. Hoshi reads more than three thousand bio-signs aboard the alien station, but is unable to find Klaang with the ship's sensors. When Suliban ships start attacking, Enterprise returns to the phosphorus layer, where the enemy vessels can't find the Starfleet craft. T'Pol reports that the helix seems to be comprised of hundreds of other vessels, locked together by magnetic seals. When Hoshi finally detects Klaang aboard the complex, Reed suggests using the transporter to get him out but Archer finds Reed's plan too risky. The captain decides to use Enterprise's grappler to retrieve one of the attacking cell ships and bring it aboard Enterprise.

In the situation room, aft of the bridge, Mayweather questions Archer and Tucker about the workings of the captured Suliban vessel. As the engineer seems to be slightly unsure of the craft, Mayweather believes that he would make a better pilot. Archer replies that the ensign is needed on board Enterprise and Tucker believes that piloting the Suliban vessel won't be as hard as it seems.

In the captain's ready room, T'Pol attempts to discourage Archer from leaving. She suggests that he appeal for support from a nearby Vulcan ship. The captain suspects the Vulcan is displaying emotional concern, but T'Pol claims that the Vulcan High Command will hold her responsible if anything happens to Tucker or the captain. Reed enters, carrying two cases into the room - one holds a magnetic device and the other holds two newly designed weapons called phase pistols. According to the lieutenant, the weapons have two settings - stun and kill. He advises Archer not to confuse the two.

Archer and Tucker operate the stolen cell ship.

Archer and Tucker leave Enterprise and use the captured cell ship to travel to the helix, where they find Klaang. Although the Klingon is initially hostile, Archer threatens the alien with his phase pistol so he will cooperate with the captain's orders. Together, the three men move through the helix and attack any Suliban guard that approaches them. The captain instructs Tucker to return to the cell ship with Klaang while he stays behind and tries to separate the helix using the magnetic device. After doing so, Archer contacts Tucker and tells the engineer not to return for him, but to take Klaang to Enterprise. Tucker complies as several of the drifting enemy ships surrounding the commandeered cell ship collide.

Act Seven

Tucker ignites the cell ship's thruster exhaust, giving Hoshi, on board Enterprise, the opportunity to tell T'Pol what to look for. When T'Pol detects Tucker's position, she thanks Hoshi in the Vulcan language.

Aboard the helix, Archer fights with the alien officer. The alien nearly kills Archer with his own phase pistol, but the captain moves out of the way just in time. The alien chases Archer into another room where a strobing, pulsating light throbs. Just as the alien shoots again, Archer is beamed aboard Enterprise. Tucker apologizes for using the transporter, but claims it was the only way to recover the captain. Enterprise immediately leaves the gas giant at warp speed.

Klaang confronts the Klingon Chancellor.

After arriving on Qo'noS, Archer, Klaang, Hoshi and T'Pol enter the Klingon High Council Chamber. As Klaang addresses the High Council in Klingonese, Hoshi tries her best to interpret his words. According to the linguist, Klaang says something about disgracing the Klingon Empire and mentions that he's ready to die. The Klingon Chancellor approaches Klaang and cuts a small wound in his hand with a jagged dagger. The Klingons then pour some of Klaang's blood into a vial that they examine with a large high-tech apparatus. The extracted DNA from his blood contains a wealth of Suliban information. The Klingons shout in gruff approval, but soon quieten again. The Chancellor approaches Captain Archer and, holding the dagger against the captain's throat, says something in Klingonese that Archer interprets as a thanks. Once the Chancellor leaves, Hoshi comments that the captain's interpretation was incorrect, and claims that Archer wouldn't want to know what the Klingon actually said.

Aboard Enterprise, Archer tells his crew that the starship's mission is to continue. Tucker begins work on repairing the starship as Archer orders Mayweather to set a course for an inhabited planet nearby. Although there is an ion storm between the starship and its destination, the captain tells Mayweather that they can't be afraid of the wind.

Archer with his father, Henry.

Archer remembers himself as a child, standing beside his father as his model spacecraft flew across the sunny morning sky.

Background Information

  • Several of the guest characters' names are homages to The Original Series. Admiral Forrest (named after DeForest Kelley), Admiral Leonard (Leonard Nimoy), Commander Williams (William Shatner) and Tos (an abbreviation of The Original Series).
  • Vaughn Armstrong (who holds the record for playing the largest amount of alien guest characters on Star Trek) played his first human role in this episode as Admiral Forrest. The character would continue to appear throughout the series.
  • Sections of Zefram Cochrane's speech were taken from the opening narrations heard in the title sequences of The Original Series and The Next Generation.
  • Gary Graham, who plays Soval in this episode, previously played Tanis in "Cold Fire", an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
  • Thomas Kopache, who plays Tos in this episode, would later play a male Sphere Builder in "Harbinger". He also previously appeared in TNG, DS9 and VOY.
  • The model starship which young Jonathan Archer plays with in flashbacks throughout this episode was designed by illustrator Jim Martin and built by the Paramount prop shop.
  • This episode's script establishes that the two Teneebian moons that Ensign Mayweather visited when he was young were originally two Andorian moons.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of the Denobulans, in the form of Phlox, although the name of his species would not be revealed until "Terra Nova".
  • Many have claimed that the Klingon-human First Contact seen here contradicts canon in that it seems to go against established facts from "First Contact" (TNG). In that episode, Captain Picard noted that initial contact between the two powers was "disastrous" and that it provoked Starfleet to change their First Contact protocols. Most believe the events seen in "Broken Bow" hardly constitute a "disastrous" initial contact, nor would it instigate a change in contact procedure since it was a Klingon who initiated first contact by crash-landing on Earth. However, it is most likely that Picard was referring to repeated contacts throughout the next several decades (such as those witnessed in "Borderland" and "Divergence"), leading to the adversarial relationship in 2218, as mentioned by Dr. McCoy in "Day of the Dove" (TOS). There are some, however, who believe that first contact between humans and Klingons came sooner than it should have as a result of the Temporal Cold War, although that claim is unsubstantiated.
  • A certain amount of controversy was sparked when it was decided to have the Klingons appear as they did after Star Trek: The Original Series - with their trademark forehead ridges. This caused much speculation and debate among fans as to how the race had evolved from having bony ridges on their foreheads in this episode to having smooth foreheads in Kirk's era. However, an explanation for these differences was finally provided in the fourth season episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence".

Memorable Quotes

"Where no man has gone before." - Said twice, first by young Jonathan Archer, reciting a speech by Zefram Cochrane, which is heard later. Very first line of the series

"Volatile? You have no idea how much I'm restraining myself from knocking you on your ass." - Archer's first words to T'Pol, in response to her claim that humans are not ready to make their own decisions

"Keep your shirt on, lieutenant." - Said twice, first by Lieutenant Malcolm Reed doing an impression of Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker, then by Trip, himself.

"You can't be afraid of the wind." - Said twice, first at the start of the episode by Henry Archer when young Jonathan Archer was having trouble flying a model starship, then at the end of the episode by Captain Archer, in reply to Ensign Mayweather's suggestion to fly around an ion storm, a minor spatial disturbance

"On this site, a powerful engine will be built. An engine that will someday help us to travel a hundred times faster than we can today. Imagine it - thousands of inhabited planets at our fingertips... and we'll be able to explore those strange new worlds, and seek out new life and new civilizations. This engine will let us go boldly... where no man has gone before." - Doctor Zefram Cochrane's speech from the dedication ceremony for the Warp Five Complex, in 2119

"Let's go." - Captain Archer's order to engage warp and depart Earth

"Optimism, captain!" - Phlox's advice to Captain Archer, before the Denobulan doctor smiles a massive grin

"Ponfo mirann!" - Hoshi's Vulcan insult. According to Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, this phrase can be translated as "Go to hell!" (Episode's audio commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD)

Links and References

Guest Stars


Altarian marsupial; Billy Cook; boomer; decontamination chamber; dockmaster; Draylax; Draylaxian; Elkan Nine; immunocytic gel worm; Klingon language; K'toch class; Linguistic database; orbital inspection pod; osmotic eel; OV-165; phase pistol; protocystian spore; Sector 3641; Earth Starfleet; sweet spot; Teneebian moons; Trillius Prime; valve sealant; Vulcan Compound; Warp Five Complex; warp five engine

Previous episode:
Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 1
Next episode:
Fight or Flight
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