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Archer and Mayweather accidentally enter a militarized zone and are detained by an alien race called Tandarans, who are at war with the Suliban. Both men find themselves sharing cells with some Suliban detainees who they believe are wrongly imprisoned.



Travis Mayweather wakes up in a prison cell, oblivious to how he got there. Lying next to him is Captain Archer, unconscious. Travis goes to his cell door and opens it. In the corridor outside of his cell he sees two Suliban.

Act One[]


Colonel Grat, who is in charge of Detention Complex 26.

Travis explores the corridors and discovers that all the inmates are Suliban. He returns to find a conscious Archer. The captain asks if Travis knows who attacked their shuttlepod, but he doesn't know. Trying to learn more about the place, Archer boosts Mayweather up so he can take a look outside. There is a five-meter-high wall surrounding the building and possibly a guard tower, though there are no people visible. They proceed to walk the corridors when they meet a lone Suliban who calls them the "new arrivals". An alarm goes off, prompting all the Suliban to exit their cells and remain still. Guards enter. One Suliban drops a cup and is rewarded with a shock from one of the guards. A Major instructs Archer and Travis to follow him. They are then taken to Colonel Grat, the man in charge of the detention complex. He tells them that the Tandarans are at war with the Suliban, though he conflates them with the Cabal. The shuttlepod Archer and Travis were on had been at the wrong place at the wrong time (near Tandaran military installations) and the Tandarans mistook them for disguised Sulibans. But since their DNA identified them as Human, Grat tells them they should be released shortly. Unfortunately, Grat doesn't have the authority to release them. They'll have to appear before a magistrate on Tandar Prime. A transport will be arriving in three days to take them there. In the meantime, they'll have to wait it out in the complex. Archer wants to contact Enterprise NX-01, but that's also against regulations. However, Grat assures him that he will personally call Enterprise to explain the situation. Grat also suggests that they keep to themselves and not become too close to the Sulibans detained with them. The Major returns to escort Archer and Travis back to their "quarters".

Back in their cells, Archer and Travis are seen eating. Travis suggests that the Tandaran food would be better used as a valve sealant for Commander Tucker. Archer goes to refill his cup from the common area when he spots a Suliban child, Narra, helping her father hang clothing. Archer, being a "very curious man" as he later says, makes contact with a Suliban named Danik. From him, he learns that not all Suliban are in the Cabal or genetically enhanced and that they are only normal civilians. The alarm goes off again and Klev enters. Because he was out past curfew, Danik is put into isolation for the night, which leaves Narra alone without her father.

Act Two[]

Meanwhile, Enterprise is trying to find out what happened to Captain Archer and Ensign Mayweather. T'Pol and Trip want to speak to Archer, but Grat won't let them. He explains the situation to them and assures them that their captain is fine. He tells them that the Central Magistrate's Office on Tandar Prime will contact them once they arrive. Hoshi tried to trace the signal but couldn't locate it. T'Pol and Trip discuss what should be done. Tucker considers a rescue mission, while T'Pol favors diplomacy. In the end, the Enterprise sets a course for Tandar Prime.

Back at the complex, Archer learns from Danik that the Suliban homeworld had become uninhabitable about three hundred years ago and as a result they are mostly a nomadic people. The Suliban who have settled in the Tandar sector have been confined to detention camps since the early times of the war between the Tandarans and the Cabal. The Tandarans had questioned the loyalty of all Suliban living in their territory. For everyone's safety, the Suliban were relocated, but only temporarily. Once the Cabal is destroyed, the Suliban will be released. Danik's friend Sajen brings him a letter which informs him that the appeal his wife had requested, which was to be transferred to the same complex as her husband and daughter, had been rejected. The alarm goes off again for midday inspection. After Archer leaves, Sajen expresses his distrust of Archer and fear that he may be working for Grat.

In the common area, Major Klev informs Archer that Colonel Grat wants to see him. Archer tells Grat that he's spent some time getting to know the Suliban in the complex. Grat learned from the Tandaran Intelligence Agency that the captain has considerable knowledge about the Cabal and asks Archer to tell him what he knows. Since Archer is unwilling to take sides in their conflict, he is not cooperative. Grat then warns Archer that another transport won't be arriving for another 60 days, implying that if he doesn't get the information he wants, Archer will miss the original transport scheduled to arrive in the morning.

Act Three[]

Grat contacts Enterprise to inform them that the hearing has been postponed for at least a few more days (enough time to interrogate Archer in the complex). He suggests they continue to Tandar Prime, where an ambassador will show them their capital city. At that point, Enterprise is able to trace the signal back to the prison camp and T'Pol decides to take matters into her own hands.

Archer and Danik continue to talk. Danik suggests that Archer tell Grat what he knows about the Suliban since it would foster his release. Archer refuses because he dislikes being "strong-armed" and seeing how the Suliban are being treated in the complex. He asks if anyone has ever tried to escape. He learns that there is a docking bay in the complex about 100 meters away. Three Suliban previously tried to escape, but they were all killed under the false pretense (planted by Colonel Grat) that they were armed. Archer implies that with help they may have escaped. He says Enterprise will come looking for him, and when it does, he'll offer to help any Suliban escape that wants to.

In the common area, Travis tries to spark up a conversation with Sajen, but he is cold towards him.

Detention complex 26 schematics

Jonathan Archer and Danik look over the schematics of Detention Complex 26

While Archer looks over schematics of the complex in his cell, a communicator is beamed next to him. He contacts Enterprise and discovers that they are in orbit of the detention complex. Because it won't be long until Enterprise is detected by the Tandarans, Trip suggests beaming Archer and Travis out. But the Captain has other ideas. He wants to help the Suliban escape. When Archer tries to enlist the Suliban in an escape attempt, Sajen refuses because he believes that there is no hope of escape and that he would be killed. He also believes that Archer and Travis may have been planted among the Suliban to stir up trouble so that the guards would have an excuse to kill them. However, Danik agrees to the plan.

Archer is questioned by Grat about some unusual energy readings that came from Archer's quarters. Archer avoids revealing anything, only to have a beaten and bruised Ensign Mayweather brought into Grat's office. When Grat discovers a communicator Travis had on him, and after Archer refuses to explain himself, he sends Archer into an isolation cell.

Back on Enterprise, Doctor Phlox performs a procedure on an unseen crewmember. On the bridge, Hoshi receives a call from the captain, but it turns out to be from Colonel Grat (who is using Travis's communicator). Learning they are no longer on their way to Tandar Prime, he openly threatens Enterprise if they come any closer to his patrol ships.

Act Four[]

Sajen has a heated conversation with a bruised Travis, which leads him to reconsider his attitude towards escaping.

Enterprise is hailed by Colonel Grat who threatens to attack if they don't withdraw. T'Pol insists they didn't come for a fight. Under the pretense of sending Grat copies of Earth's historical database, the Starfleet Charter and a record of all Human contact with alien species, as well as the Vulcan database, Hoshi jams Grat's frequencies. Meanwhile, Trip is able to transport Lieutenant Reed (who is disguised as a Suliban) into the prison. There, he finds Travis and arms him. They meet up with Danik and go over the details of the escape plan, as well as figuring out where Archer is being held in isolation. The alarm goes off again, this time without incident.

In space, the Tandaran patrol ships open fire on Enterprise, but are quickly disabled and veer off. Enterprise enters the atmosphere and launches Shuttlepod 2 with Trip at its helm. On the planet, Malcolm sets off some explosions that blows out a wall and also manages to incapacitate Major Klev and two of his guards. Following Malcolm's lead, the Suliban begin trying to escape. As it approaches the complex, Shuttlepod 2 destroys the unmanned guard towers protecting it. A firefight ensues in the common area, with Danik trapped. Just as Malcolm reaches Archer in isolation, Grat arrives and knocks Malcolm out. He yells at Archer, telling him that he has condemned these people rather than free them. During the Suliban's escape, at Narra's behest Sajen goes back for Danik. Malcolm comes to, disarms Grat, and leaves with Archer and Travis.

On the shuttlepod home, Archer is satisfied to have helped these people, but following his last encounter with Grat, he wonders if these homeless Suliban will stick to their conviction or fall to the attracting Cabal as Grat predicted.

Memorable quotes[]

"Why are we here?"
"Why are any of us here?"

- Archer and a Suliban woman, while imprisoned by the Tandarans

"We were simply curious."
"Your curiosity almost got you killed."

- Archer and Grat

"You're familiar with the Cabal?"

- Grat and Archer

"They call this a proper meal? I should save it for Commander Tucker. It'd make a good valve sealant."

- Mayweather on Tandaran prison food

"If you want to explore alien cultures you'll need to learn to respect their laws. If Captain Archer were here, I'm sure he'd agree. If you'd like, I'll contact the Vulcan High Command. They might be willing to send an arbitrator."
"A Vulcan lawyer? They'd be better off getting the electric chair."

- T'Pol and Tucker

"I'm willing to compromise, Captain. Just tell me what you know about Silik."
"Well, he's about this tall, a little on the scrawny side, bad teeth."

- Grat and Archer

"Still think we're working with the Tandarans? You know, we could have left this place a long time ago if we hadn't decided to help you."
"I never asked for your help."
"Why? Because we're not Suliban? Because we look a little too much like Tandarans? I'll admit, when I first came here it wasn't easy to see past my preconceptions about the Suliban, but I did. Why can't you?"

- Travis and Sajen

"You had no right to interfere!"
"This isn't about my rights, it's about theirs."
"They have no rights, they lost them the minute the Cabal began attacking us. Do you know how many people the Cabal have murdered, how many ships they've destroyed, colonies? You just gave them eighty nine new soldiers!"
"What makes you think these people will join the Cabal?"

- Grat and Archer

"You look worse than I do."

- Reed in Suliban disguise to a beaten up Mayweather

"Major, do you have a second? I don't mean to cause any trouble, but I was wondering if it might be possible to get some better food. No offense, but the meals here are pretty awful."
"Eat what you're given."
"I'll try, but I'm not sure I can hold down another bowl of that what do you call it? It tastes like sawdust. Is that what they make you eat? Because if it is, I'd think about going on a hunger strike. I don't know how you –"

- Travis and Klev

"Captain … think they'll make it?"
"Do I think they'll get out of Tandaran space safely? Yes. Do I think they'll be alright…"

- Travis and Archer

Background information[]

Story and script[]

  • This episode's story is an allegory to the events surrounding the forced relocation of Japanese-American citizens (including a young George Takei) during World War II, in that Suliban are being detained in an internment camp despite being innocent. This was said to be for "their own protection." For more information, see the entry on Manzanar, which also was referenced in this episode.
  • Mike Sussman found that the experience of writing this episode confirmed his opinion of "message shows," which was already a negative one. [1]
  • The final draft script of this episode was issued on 1 February 2002.
  • Mayweather actor Anthony Montgomery particularly enjoyed this installment and his character's role in it. He stated about "Detained", "I was really excited about that one. It had nothing to do with Travis being a boomer at all; he got to learn a lot about Human compassion. I didn't want it to sound preachy, because it's really easy to fall into that trap, but everything just comes across as being passionate. I love the fact that they had Travis be the one to have the debate about prejudice, considering that African Americans are prejudged more often than not. That was a really special episode for me, and not just because they gave me work to do." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 16)


  • Both Dennis Christopher and Christopher Shea played Vorta in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Christopher appeared as Borath in "The Search, Part II" and Shea appeared as Keevan in "Rocks and Shoals" and "The Magnificent Ferengi".
  • Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell worked together for five seasons on the sci-fi series Quantum Leap. They played Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett, the Leaper who traveled through time, and Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci, his holographic Observer, respectively. Regarding the pair of actors, Enterprise co-creator and Executive Producer Rick Berman remembered, "We always thought it would be fun to get the two of them together, and I spoke to Scott, and he thought it would be a great idea […] [Stockwell] was delighted to do it [too]. It was a lot of fun." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 138, p. 20) In fact, the making of the episode was likewise enjoyable for the actors. One week after the episode's production, Bakula commented, "We had a ball." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 138, p. 85)
    • As a possibly reference to this, there are two scenes in this episode in which Grat is shown operating a PADD similar to a handheld computer known as a handlink; which Stockwell's character, Al, used in Quantum Leap to communicate with the show's artificial intelligence, Ziggy.


  • Grat refers to the events of "Cold Front", and states that the incident occurred "approximately three months ago." Although no exact date is given for the events of this episode, this would seem to indicate an approximate date for "Detained" of December 2151.
  • Act Four curiously leaves the fates of the two main Suliban characters unknown. Danik is last seen in a firefight with Tandaran guards, while Sajen is last seen going back for him. The episode never confirms, on screen or in dialogue, that they are among the escapees in the impounded ships.

Reception and aftermath[]

  • On the first broadcast of this installment, the episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 3.0 and was watched by a total of 4.88 million viewers. This was the lowest Nielsen rating in Enterprise's first season, though this episode's total number of viewers was higher than those for "Fusion" and "Desert Crossing", the only other installments of the season to have as low a Nielsen rating as 3.0. [2]
  • Star Trek Magazine's "Ultimate Guide" rated this episode 3 out of 5 arrowhead insignias. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 79)
  • The unofficial reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 367) comments about this episode, "Hints that the Suliban situation is more complicated than we've realised up until now and a fine confrontation between Bakula and Stockwell (without any cute Quantum Leap jokes) makes this a great episode."
  • This episode was deliberately aired the same week as the Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda episode: "The Knight, Death and the Devil" which guest starred Michael Hurst who had played Iolaus Hercules's (Kevin Sorbo) sidekick in Hercules the Legendary Journeys. Thereby the two competing sci-fi TV shows had their former sidekick episodes in the same week.
  • Several costumes, props, and items from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a Tandaran security patch [3] and a script from the episode. [4]

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Guest stars[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]



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External links[]

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