Archer is confronted by a member of his crew who claims to be from nine hundred years in the future – and is there to capture a Suliban operative who has boarded the Enterprise.
While on its way to a stellar nursery, Enterprise encounters an alien transport ship with pilgrims aboard. The pilgrims have come to see the Great Plume of Agosoria, a phenomenon their religion associates with the beginning of the universe. Captain Archer invites the pilgrims aboard to show them Enterprise.
The guests are greeted without incident. After, following the tour of the ship by the guests, the Enterprise is hit by a plasma storm. An antimatter cascade occurs, nearly destroying the Enterprise. Without the actions of an anti-saboteur, who unplugged an antimatter conduit before the storm, destruction would have been certain.
At this point, a crewman named Daniels begins explaining strange things to Captain Archer. He talks about the events of a Temporal Cold War, and claims that the 22nd century is seen as an important front in the war. Archer is skeptical at first, but is convinced when Daniels shows him amazing technological devices, such as the Temporal Observatory. Daniels also reveals facts that would be impossible to know otherwise. He reveals that there is a Suliban named Silik aboard the Enterprise, who saved the ship, and must be captured by Daniels.
Captain Archer offers Daniel his full cooperation. Silik then makes contact with the captain to find out who is searching for him (he detected tachyon radiation that would not normally be on the ship). He learns from an unfortunate communication from T'Pol that it is Daniels who is seeking him. Before stunning the captain, he presents relativist arguments about Daniels just being in another faction and not being who he seems to be. He also suggests that the antimatter cascade wasn't accidental.
The Suliban is then able to dispose of Daniels (though we can suspect he didn't really kill him). After Archer wakes up, he realizes that Silik stole Daniels' Temporal Observatory, and goes after him with another device that allows him to walk through walls (reminiscent of the phenomenon seen in "The Next Phase"). Archer is then able to prevent the Suliban from getting away with the device, choosing not to kill the man. The last words Silik tells the captain are "You may have endangered your future, Jon", leaving the audience and the captain with a final puzzle.
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"If you don't mind my asking, what brings you here?"
"A job. I'm escorting a group of spiritually minded men on a pilgrimage to the Great Plume of Agosoria."
"The - the what?"
"Every eleven years one of the protostars gives out a neutron blast. These gentlemen believe it's a sacred event. If you ask me, I think it's just another ball of hydrogen!"
- - Archer and Captain Fraddock
"It's customary on Earth to greet someone with a... handshake."
- - Archer, to Prah Mantoos
"For you, Captain."
"It's beautiful. What, uh, exactly is it?"
"A clock! It charts time from the beginning of the universe."
- - Prah Mantoos and Archer
"Aren't you going to take the chair?"
"You're in command!"
"I'm fine right here."
"Haven't you ever wondered what it's like?"
"I can wait until I'm promoted."
(Mayweather thinks about it, then takes his place in the Captain's chair.)
"The bridge looks a lot different from here. Think anyone would mind if I fired a torpedo?"
- - Hoshi and Mayweather
"You might want to focus your sensors on that plasma lightning up ahead."
"We're aware of it."
"You ever been in a plasma storm?"
"Then you know it can get a little bumpy. I suggest we try and go around it."
- - Captain Fraddock and T'Pol
"We've got a power surge in the impulse relays. Here's a good example of how we can reroute the energy flow to protect our critical systems."
- - Trip, to the group of visitors touring engineering
"Trip, what's happening?"
"That last bolt struck the warp manifold! We've got an antimatter cascade, sir! If it reaches the warp reactor..."
(Everyone holds their breath as they await the inevitable.)
"I think we're alright Captain. The cascade stopped in its tracks."
"Good work, Trip."
"It wasn't me, Captain."
- - Archer and Trip
"I'm sorry about the mess. Sometimes I think my bunk-mate majored in Chaos Theory."
- - Daniels, to Captain Archer
"Are you Human?"
"More or less."
- - Archer and Daniels
"You're from... 900 years in the future, and you need my help?"
- - Archer, to Daniels
"The Vulcan Science Directorate has studied the question of time travel in great detail. They found no evidence that it exists, or that it can exist."
- - T'Pol, to Captain Archer
"Starfleet's in store for one hell of a report. I'm not quite sure where to begin."
"I'd be glad to help."
- - Archer and T'Pol
- According to dates given, this episode actually takes place a week after the next episode, "Silent Enemy".
- This episode marks the first appearance of Daniels (Matt Winston) on the series.
- This episode also marks the first time Silik's name is given.
- This episode marks the first appearance of movie night. Ensign Mayweather gripes that out of 50,000 titles in the movie database, they could find no better movie that Night of the Killer Androids.
- Ensign Mayweather is briefly the highest-ranking bridge officer, and sits in the command chair as is his privilege in that capacity. He thus becomes the first ensign in Earth/Federation Starfleet history to do so.
- This episodes marks the first appearance of T'Pol's disbelief in time travel based on the Vulcan Science Directorate's conclusions.
- Both the Temporal Observatory and the phasing device are lost in this episode, but Daniels's Temporal Database remains to be used in "Shockwave" and the episode "Future Tense" its last appearance in the series.
- Several costumes from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including the costumes of John Fleck  and Lamont Thompson  and an unnamed pilgrim's robe. 
- The following year, Trip Tucker recalled seeing the Great Plume of Agosoria to Zho'Kaan while they were stranded on a moon together. (ENT: "Dawn")
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.6, 22 July 2002.
- As part of the ENT Season 1 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Subcommander 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
- John Fleck as Silik
- Matt Winston as Daniels
- Michael O'Hagan as Fraddock
- Joseph Hindy as Prah Mantoos
- David Keith Anderson as a pilgrim
- Adam Anello as an operations division crewman
- Solomon Burke, Jr. as Billy
- David Christian as pilgrim 
- Cecilia Conn as a command division crewman
- Mark Correy as Alex
- Evan English as a pilgrim
- Hilde Garcia as Crewman Rossi (deleted scene)
- Lindly Gardner as an operations division crewman
- James Horan as Humanoid Figure
- Aldric Horton as an operations division crewman
- Amina Islam as a command division ensign
- John Jurgens as a command division crewman
- Robert Middleton as pilgrim 
- Carmen Nogales as an operations division crewman
- Louis Ortiz as Suliban medic
- Cary Lee Sato as pilgrim 
- Thelma Tyrell as an operations division crewman
- John Wan as an operations division crewman
- Mark Watson as an operations division crewman
- Gary Weeks as an operations division crewman
- Tyson Weihe as a pilgrim 
- J.B. Williams as a pilgrim 
- James Woods as a pilgrim 
- Prada as Porthos
Agosoria; antimatter; Borothans; chaos theory; cheese; Chef; Consulate; "Cycle of Renewal"; genetic enhancements; Giza; Great Plume of Agosoria; Great Pyramid; Hindu; hydrogen; Illinois; "Invocation of Renewal" Jupiter Station; kaana-sah; Klingon Empire; magnetic constrictors; nacelle; neutron; "Night of the Killer Androids"; orange juice; plasma storm; Porthos; positron; protostar; religion; Saint Peter's Square; Sarin; scrambled eggs; stellar nursery; Suliban; Suliban cell ship; Suliban helix; tachyon radiation; Tal-Shanar; Taylor; Temporal Accord; Temporal Cold War; Tibet; time travel; transport; ultraviolet radiation; voo-sinteel; Vulcan Science Directorate; warp coil; warp field theory; warp reactor; Xyrillian ship.
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