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Memory Alpha
Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

For the DIS episode with a similar title, please see "Project Daedalus".

The inventor of Earth's transporter comes aboard Enterprise for an experiment.



Enterprise NX-01 is in orbit of Earth. Captain Archer and Commander Tucker walk down a corridor towards the ship's transporter. Tucker admits to the captain that he has more than a few butterflies in his stomach, as Emory Erickson, the inventor of the transporter, is coming aboard. Tucker tells the captain that as a seven year old, his mother bought him Emory Erickson: Father of the Transporter and he had her read it to him every night for a month and the book is the reason why he became an engineer. Upon handling the transporter console, Tucker makes some last minute adjustments to his Starfleet uniform much to Archer's amusement before beaming up the legendary inventor, along with his daughter, Danica. "Nothing seems to be missing", the elder Erickson quips upon materializing, sitting in his wheelchair. Archer warmly greets the two Ericksons, his old friends, and introduces Tucker to the both of them. While being wheeled down the corridor by his daughter, Emory hopes that Archer won't mind his "borrowing" the ship for a test that may make Enterprise and indeed all of Starfleet obsolete. "Sounds like you're trying to put me out of a job", Archer says while Emory laughs.

Act One[]

"Captain's starlog, supplemental. In preparation for Dr. Erickson's experiment, we've reduced power in all but essential areas of the ship."

In Enterprise's mess hall, Commander T'Pol is reading a PADD. Tucker asks if she wants some company. She gestures for him to sit and he notes that they have not talked to each other too much since she returned from Vulcan. He notes that she has spent much time alone and she tells him she has been reading the Kir'Shara, which she finds "Interesting... extremely". Tucker tries to get T'Pol to open up to him about the recent death of her mother, T'Les. T'Pol would rather not and Tucker brings up the loss of his sister Elizabeth as well, telling her that losing a family member is the worst thing that can happen to a person. T'Pol sees no point in discussing her situation further and Tucker decides to leave her to her reading.

Later, in the captain's dining room, Archer, T'Pol, and Tucker have dinner with the Ericksons. Emory discusses his new invention: sub-quantum teleportation. He explains the process as stepping onto a transporter pad on Earth, a few seconds later, the person materializes on Vulcan. Tucker remarks that that is over sixteen light years. Emory states that, theoretically, there is no limits to the distance, which is one of the things he is on the ship to test. After Emory repeats that starships may soon be a thing of the past, Archer suggests he really does want to put him out of a job, to which Danica slightly admonishes her father. Emory believes Starfleet will look quite different after his invention reaches widespread use. Archer recalls Emory and his father having discussions over the future being in either warp drive or the transporter pad. Emory admits he misses having those talks as well as Henry Archer himself. He raises a toast to his late friend.

When Tucker admits that it is hard to imagine beaming anyone that far, Erickson reminds him that all breakthroughs seem hard to imagine before they actually happen. Emory recalls when he developed the first transporter, most people could not grasp it and some still cannot. He remembers when the transporter was first approved for use on bio-matter, people gave off a litany of unsafe terms about the device and how he had to fight all "that nonsense", as he puts it but notes that he eventually won out. Tucker then raises his glass and toasts to a successful experiment.

"Captain's starlog, supplemental. We're entering an area known as the Barrens. There's not a star system within a hundred light years. Perfect conditions for Emory's test."

As Tucker makes the necessary modifications to Enterprise's transporter for the test, Emory recalls the early days of the transporter and how he was the first person to go through it. He remembers it taking a full minute and a half to cycle through and that he could actually feel himself being taken apart and put back together again. He lost his lunch the first time he materialized, then promptly got stone drunk, something he learned from Zefram Cochrane. Tucker notes that the experiment is going to require more power than he thought. Tucker asks Emory if he can take a look at his power converter so the test will not require as much energy. Emory evades giving Tucker the converter and insists he can handle a simple power upgrade himself.

Meanwhile, in engineering, Archer gives Danica a tour. He is surprised that she seems to know as much about his ship as a member of her crew. Danica admits she has read everything she could about Enterprise and could describe all of her missions. When he wonders why she has not yet signed on to the vessel, she admits she cannot leave her father alone, especially as he still has not gotten over the loss of his son, Quinn Erickson, even after losing him fifteen years prior.

Later, in the Erickson's quarters, Danica arrives to inject a needle into Emory's deformed back. He asks if she liked her tour and she says she did. He notices that she is upset. She admits she is at having to lie to the crew and tells her father that they could talk to Archer and he might be able to help them, since he is a longtime family friend. Emory insists they cannot, as Archer's first duty is to his ship and he would not understand.

Meanwhile, in Enterprise's armory, the lights flicker and go out. Lieutenant Malcolm Reed and Ensign Burrows notice something in the room with them. Reed takes the upstairs part of the armory and orders Burrows to take downstairs. Burrows looks around and does not see a deformed shapeless matter head toward him until it is too late. He screams and Reed contacts sickbay through his communicator for medical assistance. Reed turns Burrows' body over and sees his face has been completely deformed.

Act Two[]

Near the transporter, T'Pol and Archer ask Emory if he had ever encountered anything like the anomaly that killed Ensign Burrows out here in the Barrens. Emory replies that he did not and wishes he had an explanation for Captain Archer. He shifts in his wheelchair in discomfort and notes that it is time for his treatment. Danica wheels him away to their quarters.

Alone together in their quarters, Danica yells at her father, telling him that they are responsible for Burrows' death. Emory tries to make her calm down but she says that they must come forward with the truth. Emory tells her he only needs a couple of days to complete his work and bring Quinn back.

Later, Tucker and Emory begin work on the "test" by beaming a probe to the target coordinates, under the supervision of the bridge. The probe was beamed 40,000 kilometers away from Enterprise. According to Tucker, nothing has ever been beamed that far before. To celebrate, he offers to take Emory to the mess hall to eat. Emory refuses, opting instead to view the data as it comes in. Tucker offers to bring something back but again Emory turns him down and asks him politely to stop distracting him.

In Archer's quarters, Tucker enters, now suspicious of Emory's true motives. He tells Archer that all the things Emory had him do – such as tapping into the warp core and re-routing the plasma flow – was not necessary for the test. His sub-quantum version of the transporter should use less energy, which is one of the reasons why it is so brilliant. Tucker suspects that Emory's sub-quantum transporter may be a smokescreen for something else. Archer admits that he now too has suspicions about his old friend. Emory's earlier claim that he never encountered the anomaly earlier in the Barrens was not the truth. Five years prior, a crewmember on his research vessel had seen something similar to the form that appeared on Enterprise. Just then, T'Pol calls Archer and tells him they are picking up another anomaly on the ship.

Archer meets up with T'Pol on C deck with two MACOs. The MACOs split up and Archer warns them to not let the anomaly touch them. Archer and T'Pol go into the decontamination chamber and are cornered by the anomaly. It passes through a door through T'Pol who yells in agony. Later, T'Pol is being treated in sickbay. Dr. Phlox notes that she is fortunate she did not sustain prolonged contact. T'Pol tells Archer that she managed to take visual readings of the anomaly with her Vulcan scanner. Upon being projected onto the main sickbay monitor and visually enhanced, Archer recognizes the anomaly as being Quinn – Emory's son.

Act Three[]

Archer confronts Emory with this new information in his assigned quarters. Emory admits to lying to Starfleet and the captain. He has not come aboard to test a new transporter, he is on Enterprise to bring his son back. He explains that he was conducting first trials fifteen years ago and Quinn wanted to be the first one to go through the transporter. Emory admits that the sub-quantum transporter is a fundamentally flawed concept. It will not work in the 22nd century nor even a thousand years from 2154. Archer is incredulous that Emory would let Quinn go through with the test but Emory said that after inventing the first transporter, there was nowhere to go but down and he saw his new invention as a way to try to recapture past glory. Archer tells Emory he should have trusted him. Emory says all he needs is one more scan and he can bring Quinn home. He begs Archer to let him try.

In Archer's ready room, he orders Tucker and T'Pol to help Emory with whatever he needs. Tucker angrily chastises Archer, telling him that had Emory alerted them to the dangerous anomaly in the Barrens, Burrows might still be alive. Archer says all they need is one more day to get Quinn back. If they do not attempt it now, Quinn's signal will be irretrievable, as it has been decaying for the past fifteen years. Archer orders Tucker to get started.

Back in the transporter, Tucker is grudgingly helping Emory to complete the modifications. Emory tells Tucker that he liked it better when he worshipped his shadow, like he did when Emory came aboard. Tucker looks back at him and Emory tells him "It's an honest answer." When Tucker suggests he may be out of practice with the "honest" part, Emory asks him to reserve judgment on his actions when the engineer loses a son. Tucker tells him forcefully that he has indeed lost someone close to him, his sister, and he would do almost anything to get her back, but he would not put others in danger. He eventually heads to engineering, leaving Emory alone.

In the captain's quarters, Danica asks Archer if she can come in. After meeting Porthos, Danica apologizes to Archer for lying and inadvertently causing an Enterprise crewman's death. Archer accepts it and states that while they can't get Burrows back, some good may still come out of this with Quinn's rescue. Danica tells Archer that getting Quinn back is all her father has thought about for the last fifteen years. Archer hopes that with Quinn coming back to his father and sister, Emory and Danica can finally think about something else.

In engineering, T'Pol hands Tucker some power conversion tables to help with the transporter modifications. Tucker tells her he is trying to decide what to show on movie night, either a horror film or a musical. T'Pol tells him she doesn't think she'll have time for either. Tucker tells her she can't stay in her quarters all the time reading the Kir'Shara and that she joined Starfleet to be able to interact more with Humans. She tells him she may have found some new priorities and leaves for the bridge.

In launch bay 1, Archer is pushing Emory around in his wheelchair, looking for Quinn with a scanner. T'Pol tells the captain that she had picked up something his area but it had disappeared. Suddenly, the lights in the bay flicker and Quinn appears. His father tries to speak to him, but the anomaly goes into a wall and causes a massive explosion in front of Emory. Archer pushes him out of the way, saving his life.

Act Four[]

Tucker tells the captain that the anomaly knocked out an EPS junction and he cannot believe Archer is still going through with the plan. Archer angrily tells him that they will not be arguing about this subject again. Tucker tells the captain that Quinn just barely missed a stack of torpedoes which would have destroyed the ship. Archer maintains that when they retrieve Quinn, these distortions will stop. Tucker suggests that Archer is putting his personal feelings before the safety of Enterprise to which Archer tells his chief engineer he is very close to insubordination and angrily orders him to do his job.

In Emory's quarters, he tells the captain he got what he needed of Quinn on his scanner, so they should be able to get a solid transporter lock on him when he reppears. Emory apologizes for putting so much onto Archer and that he does not deserve it. Archer tells him to make this worthwhile, they need to get Quinn back. Emory admits he is very scared about bringing his son back, as he has waited so many years for this moment and worries about something going wrong. Archer recalls a piece of advice his father gave him the day he entered flight training when Archer asked him basically the same questions. "Don't fail" was his response.

Standing at the transporter console, Archer, Danica, Emory, Tucker, and Dr. Phlox are standing by, waiting for Quinn to turn up somewhere on Enterprise. T'Pol reports nothing initially, then finds a distortion on B deck. Locking on, Emory and Tucker beam the shapeless mass into the transporter chamber. Something goes wrong, however. Tucker does not have a strong enough signal so Emory has him recalibrate the confinement beam. Phlox is reading massive cellular deterioration in Quinn. He is losing cohesion and if he is materialized, he will die within seconds. Emory tries a few technical solutions but Archer, Phlox, and Danica try to persuade him to let his son go, as there is nothing he can do to save him. Emory cannot bring himself to do it but finally beams him aboard, apologizing to his son. Quinn materializes and promptly collapses. Emory goes to his son's side and begs him to forgive his father. Quinn asks "What is it? What..." and dies. Emory closes his son's eyes with his hand and breaks down in tears.

Afterward, Archer visits Emory in his quarters. Emory has come to terms with the loss of his son, stating that he could not leave Quinn in between life and death. He supposes he accomplished his goal of bringing his son home. However, Emory will have to answer to Starfleet for his actions. Archer believes, with all of Emory's accomplishments, Starfleet will take that into consideration when determining his punishment. Emory also realizes that, as he let go of Quinn, he will have to let go of Danica, as well. He considers becoming a teacher, something Archer thinks he'd be good at.

In sickbay, Dr. Phlox can find absolutely no traces of Pa'nar Syndrome, which was cured by T'Pau on Vulcan by the use of a mind meld. Dr. Phlox notes that she was diagnosed with an incurable disease and now it is gone. Vulcans all over their homeworld with Pa'nar Syndrome are coming forward because of the Kir'Shara, no longer afraid of the stigma that was attached with it. Phlox notes that T'Pol and her people are reexamining their core beliefs, which is something most individuals never do.

T'Pol comes to engineering to speak to Tucker. She tells him that she is going through some very complicated issues and that she is learning, for the first time, what it truly means to be a Vulcan. With this profound realization, she tells him they will not have time to pursue a relationship. Tucker tells her he understands. "At least my warp engines still need me."

"Captain's starlog, supplemental. We've rendezvoused with the Sarajevo, which will be returning Emory and Danica to Earth."

Emory and Danica bid Archer and the Enterprise crew farewell. Before beaming to the Sarajevo, Emory hands Tucker a PADD containing information about boosting the transporter's range a few hundred kilometers. Archer wishes the Ericksons good luck and Tucker beams them away. Archer, Tucker, T'Pol, and Phlox walk away from the transporter and down the corridor.

Log entries[]

  • "Captain's starlog, supplemental. In preparation for Dr. Erickson's experiment, we've reduced power in all but essential areas of the ship."
  • "Captain's starlog, supplemental. We're entering an area known as the Barrens. There's not a star system within a hundred light years... perfect conditions for Emory's test."
  • "Captain's starlog, supplemental. We've rendezvoused with the Sarajevo, which will be returning Emory and Danica to Earth."

Memorable quotes[]

"You want a mirror?"
"You got a mean streak in you, you know that?"

- Archer and Tucker, as Tucker adjusts his clothes in preparation for meeting Emory Erickson for the first time

"Nothing seems to be missing."

- Emory Erickson, after coming aboard Enterprise via the transporter

"The Vulcan Science Academy has been studying sub-quantum transporting for some time, with little result."
"I've been trying to get my hands on some of that research for years. In hindsight, it's probably just as well that I couldn't. Might've sent me down the wrong path."

- T'Pol and Emory Erickson

"Truth is, the sub-quantum transporter is a fundamentally flawed concept. It'll never work – not now, not a thousand years from now."

- Emory Erickson, to Archer

"I've waited so long for this moment. Planned for it. What if something goes wrong? What if I fail?"
"On the day before I entered flight training, I asked my father pretty much the same thing."
"What did he say?"
"Don't fail."

- Emory Erickson and Archer

"Quinn and I used to argue all the time... It wasn't till I lost him that I realized that those arguments were some of the happiest moments of my life"

- Emory Erickson, to Tucker

"The Kir'Shara is having an enormous impact."
"It's clearly had an impact on you. You, uh, seem more certain of yourself."
"I've never felt less certain."
"You're re-examining your core beliefs, something most people never do."

- T'Pol and Phlox

"At least my warp engine still needs me."

- Tucker to T'Pol, after she informs him about her study of what it means to be Vulcan.

Background information[]

Story and script[]

  • The genesis of this episode came from Manny Coto, who wanted it to feature the inventor of the transporter, since virtually nothing had been established about that person before. "I conceived of an idea of where we meet that character and he comes on Enterprise and has an alternate agenda and we beat it out from there," said Coto. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 37, No. 2, p. 37)
  • The post-production version of this episode's final draft script was submitted for archive on 4 January 2005. That script omitted the captain's starlog entry which opens the episode's first act. However, a supplemental log entry which is not in the episode was written into the script, immediately after Quinn Erickson's death scene. In that scripted dialogue, Archer reported, "Repairs have been completed, and we're bringing Emory and Danica back to Earth..."


Suzanne Diaz applying T'Pol makeup

During a break from filming on 18 October 2004, the makeup for the character of T'Pol is given a quick touch-up on the sickbay set




Links and references[]


Guest stars[]


Uncredited co-stars[]


alcohol; Archer, Henry; Barrens, the; Bible; bio-matter; brain cancer; butterfly; cell rate; cellular disruption; Cochrane, Zefram; confinement beam; data bank; data stream; delta radiation; Earth; emitter coil; Emory Erickson: Father of the Transporter; Emory's research ship (research ship); Emory's research ship crewman; engineer; EPS junction; feedback loop; flight training; fluctuation; hero worship; insubordination; kilometer; Kir'Shara; laser pistol; liquid courage; "lost my lunch"; lunch; mess hall; metaphysics; mirror; movie night; musical; neural activity; neurolytic enzyme; Pa'nar Syndrome; path; pattern buffer; plasma feed; plasma flow; power conversion; protein synthesis; protest; pulse; respiration; Sarajevo; Sarajevo-type; shuttlepod; Shuttlepod 1; sleep disorder; space-time; spacedock; stigma; sub-quantum transporter; subepithelial scan; subspace field; subspace node; T'Les; technical manual; telemetry; toast; transport sequence; transporter; transporter cycle; transporter lock; transporter pad; transporter range; transporter signal; transporter victims; Tucker, Lizzie; Tucker's mother; visual reading; vital signs; voltage; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan Science Academy; warp drive; wheelchair; xeno-biology

External links[]

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Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 4
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