(written from a Production point of view)
Enterprise is hijacked by a group of religious extremists who worship the mysterious spheres in the Expanse.
In November 2153, the Enterprise NX-01 has found another Delphic Expanse sphere. Commander Trip Tucker and Ensign Travis Mayweather take several scans in a shuttlepod. Interestingly, the sphere is exactly the same as the others, down to the last detail. As they leave, they are observed discretely by an alien ship. The captain orders for information about their armaments, noting that they may have expected them.
The Enterprise soon comes to the aid of a Triannon vessel that has been disabled by spatial anomalies in the vicinity. Archer hails them and agrees to help, but tells Lieutenant Malcolm Reed to take full security precautions, making sure none of them are armed. In sickbay, Archer meets the group. Phlox informs him that they refuse invasive scans due to religious reasons, but are nevertheless not in danger. Archer meets the captain, Pri'Nam D'Jamat, who is grateful for his help, and asks him to dinner. The Triannons are a group of religious pilgrims that venerate the spheres and their "Makers". They believe that the Delphic Expanse is the "Chosen Realm" of the "Makers", and that the anomalies ("the Makers' Breath") are reshaping it into a paradise for the faithful. There's clearly a divide between the crew's scientific study of the spheres and the Triannons' reverence of them. Meanwhile, one of the Triannons, Indava, approaches Phlox with a difficult question.
Later, D'Jamat eats with two of his people, and they talk about preparation for something. One questions whether the ship's arrival was just a coincidence, as they risked their lives to help them. D'Jamat doesn't believe it's a coincidence and questions the man's faith. He then goes to Archer and says he wants to repay the kindness, remarking on a "glorious journey" they're about to embark on. He reveals that organic explosives are implanted in the bodies of all of his followers, who are now positioned throughout the ship. After he instructs one to detonate, blowing a hole in the Enterprise's hull and killing a crewman, he threatens Archer with the destruction of the warp core if Archer does not hand over control.
D'Jamat's crew arms themselves and forces the crew into quarters. He escorts Archer personally, but won't yet answer his questions about what he wants, simply saying he also lost a crewmember and he will say a prayer for them both.
D'Jamat reveals his plans on the bridge, ordering Mayweather to take Enterprise to Triannon and T'Pol to destroy his old ship. Bringing Archer to the command center, he explains he wants to end a religious war that has consumed his people for a century by using the firepower of Enterprise to destroy their enemies, the "heretics". Archer questions whether he's just using a version of truth, but D'Jamat dismisses it. He also informs Archer he found data on the spheres in the ship's database, which he considers to be a crime punishable by death and destruction of the ship. With the fact that they risked their lives to save his people, however, he only asks that one of the crew dies, of Archer's choice. He quickly deletes the 19.3 XB of information on the spheres and gives Archer six hours to choose.
In his quarters, Archer gets a visit from Yarrick, who gives him a report of the ship's repairs. Archer takes the opportunity to talk to him, since it was his wife, Indava, who had earlier talked to Phlox about ending her new pregnancy. Phlox had told Archer she had come to disagree with D'Jamat's interpretation of the faith, and that Yarrick had doubts as well. Yarrick insists he'll follow D'Jamat to his death, but Archer clearly made a mark. Yarrick leaves the room and argues with Indava, who hadn't told Yarrick she talked to Phlox. She doesn't want to raise a child in D'Jamat's war, which she doesn't believe will end even if they use the Enterprise. She doesn't think Yarrick believes that, either.
Archer goes back to the ready room to face D'Jamat, who had been viewing his captain's logs. D'Jamat is eager to relate himself to Archer, saying they're both fighting for their people. Archer dismisses this, and is forced to listen to D'Jamat's story of a similar "hard choice" he had to make about killing a child rather than allowing it to alert a heretic village. He compares it to Archer's "torture" of a person via the Enterprise airlock. Seeing as there will be no agreement, Archer informs D'Jamat he chooses to sacrifice himself.
D'Jamat asks Archer to reconsider, but Archer is sure. Impressed by Archer's sacrifice, D'Jamat also grants his request for the quick, painless death offered by the use of a special "disintegration device" used to dispose of hazardous waste. At the transporter, the Triannons are tricked into thinking Archer was killed, when in reality he was simply transported to another part of the ship. D'Jamat seems to buy it and gives T'Pol his sympathies.
Later, Yarrick expresses his concerns again with D'Jamat in the command center, that three people are already dead. Further, that these non-believers may not necessarily be their enemy. D'Jamat doesn't entertain the conversation, restating that the Makers speak through him, and warning Yarrick that he's expressing heresy. Afraid, Yarrick acknowledges it and stops.
Beamed to a secluded part of the ship, Archer begins fighting back against the Triannons; he contacts Phlox, who is under guard, to see what he needs to neutralize the explosives. Subduing and tying up a nearby Triannon, Lyaal, Archer takes a medical scan and sends it to him. Then, he disrupts main power, taking the ship out of warp. On the bridge, Lyaal is noticed missing and D'Jamat orders T'Pol to find both him and the disruption. In engineering, Tucker insists he didn't do anything, and Nalbis vouches for him. Then, Tucker's guard isolates a location and he goes to investigate with Yarrick. Archer then waits for them and stuns the guard, leaving Yarrick. He appeals to Yarrick one last time, that D'Jamat's actions aren't consistent with how he was brought up and, after noting his wife and child will die with the current path, Yarrick is convinced. They go back to his hideout where he will explain how to reroute environmental controls to sickbay. Phlox now has an airborne agent to nullify the organic explosives.
Meanwhile, four ships intercept the Enterprise. They are the "heretics" D'Jamat is looking for, and, after a hail, a firefight is inevitable. D'Jamat orders T'Pol to fire, but she refuses, prompting another Triannon to take her place.
Soon, one ship is disabled. D'Jamat orders the ship destroyed, and, despite T'Pol trying to interfere, the Triannon fires and destroys it. The Triannon crew continue to fire on the convoy, destroying two of the four ships. Yarrick arrives, informing D'Jamat that the warp engine will be back online soon, though, discretely, he does reroute the environmental system like Archer instructed. Meanwhile, Phlox lets out his Pyrithian bat to distract his guard. He's successful and subdues him, free to put the neutralizing agent into the environmental system.
Archer frees Reed and secures the armory. The neutralizing agent enters the air before the Triannon guarding the armory can explode. With the MACOs free, Archer takes back engineering while Reed leads a team to search the rest of the ship. Reed and Money get in a fight and receive some help from Indava. They then continue to the bridge, where the alien ships have signaled surrender. D'Jamat ignores it and orders more firing, but finds that weapons are not in their control. Archer informs them he has control of the ship and that their explosives are neutralized. Soon, Reed's team stuns the rest of the aliens, with Yarrick's help. Archer hails the ships and halts the fight.
Archer and T'Pol return D'Jamat and several others to Triannon, where Archer reveals that the war is already over. As they stand looking out over the charred remains of a city, Archer explains that the conflict decimated their planet eight months before. There were millions of deaths on both sides and no major cities are left. Archer remarks that D'Jamat thought that his faith was going to bring peace and coldly says "Here it is", before leaving D'Jamat and his followers on the devastated landscape.
"You wanted to kill someone? Kill me."
- - Archer, to D'Jamat
"My people have certain… customs regarding death. There's a device on board – we use it to dispose hazardous materials… but, on rare occasions, when the situation arises, we've also used it for executions… It's considered humane."
- - Archer, tricking D'Jamat into "executing" him by transporter
"We've just begun this mission, and already, three people are dead."
"And that bothers you…"
"Shouldn't it?!… These people are not our enemy!"
"They are non-believers… that makes them our enemy!"
- - D'Jamat and Yarrick
"When you question me, you question the Makers… and there's a word for that: heresy… When you begin to sympathize with the enemy, you risk becoming the enemy."
- - D'Jamat, to Yarrick
"These people you're fighting… what makes them heretics?"
"We believe the Makers created the Chosen Realm in nine days. They believe it took ten."
"For that, you've been at war for over a century?!"
- - Archer and Yarrick
"There'll be an extra helping of snow beetles for you tonight, young lady."
- - Phlox, to his pet Pyrithian bat, after the animal distracts the Triannon guard long enough for the doctor to sedate him
- Final draft script: 20 October 2003 
- Filmed: 21 October 2003 – 29 October 2003 
- Premiere airdate: 14 January 2004 
- Episode writer Manny Coto explained the story; "It's a very rigid theology and Enterprise has broken several taboos and must pay for it. The episode dramatises where the intractability of religious extremism ultimately leads. Fundamentalists of all stripes – it's a rigid belief that's not based on empirical evidence, that's what I'm attacking." 
- This episode was formerly known as "Untitled Sphere Story".
- Filming for this episode ran simultaneously with the previous one, "Carpenter Street", for two days. The interior sets of the Triannon vessels were the only newly constructed sets for this episode. 
Props and costumes
- The design of the Triannon vessel was created by John Eaves who inked four different concepts for this ship in early October 2003. One of the sketches later became the Denobulan shuttle seen in the episode "The Augments". 
- A number of props and costumes from this episode was later sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. Among the items are Triannon computer interface panels,    a Triannon communicator,   several Triannon brooches, , and the costumes worn by Lindsey Stoddart,   Gregory Wagrowski,   and David Youse. 
- The costume worn by Gregory Wagrowski as Ceris was previously worn by Alexander Slanger in the second season episode "The Breach". 
Cast and characters
- This episode brought back Conor O'Farrell and Gregory Wagrowski. O'Farrell previously appeared in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Little Green Men" and in the Enterprise first season episode "Rogue Planet" while Wagrowski played Solok in the Deep Space Nine episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite".
- "Chosen Realm" was the second writing credit for Manny Coto.
- This was the seventh of ten directing credits for Roxann Dawson on Enterprise.
- The Triannons are also referenced in the third season episode "Harbinger".
- This episode shares several elements with the original series episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield". Both episodes feature two factions of the same species fighting over what seems like an insignificant difference in their faith or physiology. Both of the factions share an immense hatred for the other, the ship is hijacked, and the episodes end with the species' home planets being shown as lifeless, decimated by war.
- D'Jamat talks to Archer about the time where he had to torture a prisoner in the airlock. He refers to Orgoth, whom Archer interrogated in "Anomaly (ENT)".
- After Archer's "execution", he contacts Phlox with the phrase "Don't feed him cheese" to recognize him, from his advice in "A Night in Sickbay".
- This episode marks the final appearance of the Pyrithian bat.
- Actress Kim Fitzgerald received credit for playing a "Crewman" in the end credits of the episode. However, she did not appear in the final episode.
- A scene in the situation room including dialogue between T'Pol and D'Jamat was cut from the episode but is featured on the ENT Season 3 DVD and ENT Season 3 Blu-ray releases. The scene features Conor O'Farrell, Jolene Blalock, David Youse, Tayler Sheridan, and a background actor.
Point of Interest
This episode is similar to the Original Series episode 'Let That Be Your Last Battlefield' where the two factions of Cherron fought each other so grievously by the strength of their faith and convictions over who was right that left their home worlds devastated and still burning from the devastating wars wage by the peoples involved in both episode where both Enterprises of each series was essentially taken over by in habitants of another race with the view of apocalyptic cities shown at the end of each respective episode.
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as T'Pol
- Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed
- Anthony Montgomery as Travis Mayweather
- Linda Park as Hoshi Sato
- Connor Trinneer as Charles "Trip" Tucker III
- Conor O'Farrell as D'Jamat
- Vince Grant as Yarrick
- Lindsey Stoddart as Indava
- Tayler Sheridan as Jareb
- David Youse as Nalbis
- Gregory Wagrowski as Ceris
- Ron Balicki as Triannon
- Jorge Benevides as R. Azar
- Steve Blalock as Triannon
- Jackson Bolt as Triannon
- Breezy as Porthos
- Autumn Leigh Brown as sciences division crewman
- Jason Collins as R. Ryan
- Shawn Crowder as Triannon
- Evan English as Tanner
- Duncan K. Fraser as Walsh
- Jeremy Fry as Triannon
- Hilde Garcia as Rossi
- Michael Glover as Triannon
- Glen Hambly as operations division ensign
- Aldric Horton as operations division crewman
- Amina Islam as command division ensign
- Roy Joaquin as sciences division crewman
- Ricky Lomax as W. Woods
- Andrew MacBeth as E. Hamboyan
- Aouri Makhlouf as sciences division crewman
- Dorenda Moore as S. Money
- Cesar Rodriguez as sciences division lieutenant
- Aric Rogokos as sciences division crewman
- Lidia Sabljic as command division crewman
- Ron Sarchian as Triannon
- Paul Scott as Triannon
- Paul Sklar as R. Richards
- Chris Torres as B. Moreno
- Max Valentine as Triannon in engineering/ Triannon in armory
- Unknown performers as
- Armed Triannon
- Armed Triannon
- Armed Triannon
- Armed Triannon
- Female operations division crewman
- Female operations division crewman
- Sciences division crewman
- Sciences division lieutenant
- Triannon bridge guard
- Triannon bridge guard
- Triannon bridge guard
- Triannon guard
- Triannon in engineering
abortion; antidote; armory; assembly line; barbarian; biohazard; biosign; brooch; cloaking barrier; communicator; convoy; Cotton, B.; death penalty; Delphic Expanse sphere; distress signal; divine; Earth; environmental controls; environmental controls console; environmental relay conduit; EPS manifold; faith; flunky; god-like being; hazardous material; heretic; heresy; histolytic analysis; Holy Regiments; Janaran tea; kindred spirit; Makers; malnutrition; medical care; medical scan; Muratas Star Cluster; mythology; non-believer; nonessential personnel; organic explosive; Orgoth; paradise; pilgrim; pilgrimage; prayer; pregnancy; Pri'Nam; Pyrithian bat; religion; snow beetle; spiritual leader; suicide; tattoo; text message; transporter; Triannons; Triannon (planet); Triannon boy; Triannon language; Triannon ruins; Triannon War; Triannon mythology; Triannon vessel; venom; village; XB
- "Chosen Realm" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Chosen Realm" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Chosen Realm" at Wikipedia
|Star Trek: Enterprise