(written from a Production point of view)
Enterprise is sent to assist the Fortunate, an Earth freighter that has been attacked by Nausicaan pirates. But the Fortunate may not be as innocent as it seems.
Aboard the cargo ship ECS Fortunate, Captain Jackson Keene and first officer Matthew Ryan play a game of low-gravity football in one of the cargo modules, while they discuss the ship's operations. Their talk is interrupted by the arrival of Nausicaan pirates, who launch an attack on the ship.
Enterprise NX-01 is on a mission to drop subspace amplifiers when Admiral Maxwell Forrest calls Captain Jonathan Archer to help the Fortunate, being the fastest ship in the area to reach the distressed freighter. As they approach the Fortunate, T'Pol and Travis Mayweather brief the rest of the crew on what they can expect to find, including that most freighters are slow and lightly armed, but that the crews are used to dealing with problems on their own. On arrival, Malcolm Reed confirms hull damage on the Fortunate with down systems and T'Pol reports that the Nausicaans have left the area. They don't respond to their hail but T'Pol does read life signs. Archer orders an away team and Mayweather flies Archer, Reed and Phlox over to the freighter.
On arrival, the Enterprise crew are greeted by Ryan and the rest of the freighter's command crew, who report that Keene was badly hurt in the attack, but that they can handle the damage and require no further assistance. Phlox insists on treating Keene, however, and then Archer insists on sending repair teams over to help speed up repairs. Ryan reluctantly agrees to both of these with some trepidation. As he walks away with his team to another area of the ship, it appears the group does not want to raise suspicion, as they're holding a Nausicaan prisoner for information.
Aboard Enterprise, Ryan is touring the ship with Mayweather, visiting the transporter alcove and engineering. He initially bonds with Mayweather due to their shared background of having grown up on freighters. Mayweather discusses his early life on the ECS Horizon and leaving to join Starfleet, while Ryan reveals that he was born on the ECS North Star, a freighter which was destroyed in a pirate attack; Ryan survived, but his parents, who were crewmembers, did not. In engineering, it's suggested that the Fortunate's warp drive can be upgraded to shorten their journeys, but Ryan dismisses it, in a polite but direct way. During lunch, however, Ryan starts to challenge Mayweather's choice to leave the Horizon. The mood of the discussion quickly sours, with Ryan accusing Travis of having betrayed his family by choosing to join Starfleet rather than staying on and replacing his father.
Meanwhile, aboard the Fortunate, T'Pol becomes suspicious when she finds that the crew have disabled the internal sensors, and decides to run a full scan of the ship when she returns to Enterprise. She notifies Archer who, a little while later, summons Ryan to his ready room under the pretense of discussing the repairs, only for Archer to confront Ryan about the captive Nausicaan. Archer tells Ryan that taking prisoners is immoral and asks that the Nausicaan be handed over, so that he can be returned to his people. Ryan refuses to do so, as Starfleet does not have jurisdiction on his ship. Archer acknowledges that, but also decides to force the issue by telling Tucker to remove all the newly-installed components from the Fortunate, which will leave her stranded and helpless.
Ryan seemingly then caves in and allows Archer to see the prisoner, however, he dupes Archer, T'Pol and Reed into entering a cargo module. Another of the crew is also present with a weapon, and they soon find themselves in a firefight. Ryan and his accomplice manage to make it back to the entrance, blast a hole in the wall, and detach the module from the rest of the ship.
The Fortunate attacks Enterprise and disables her sensors before going to warp. Tucker is unable to stop them, and forced to spend time retrieving the crew. Archer intends to go after them, and Mayweather states finding the Nausicaans is the key.
Once the Fortunate is safely at warp, Ryan interrogates the captive Nausicaan and demands the shield frequency of his ship, intending to take on and destroy it. When he gets them, he leaves to prepare for the attack. Shaw, however, has reservations about Ryan's methods, seeing as he almost killed the pirate. Ryan, however, insists they need to make a show of force and start inflicting damage on the Nausicaans for once.
With its faster warp drive, Enterprise is able to effect repairs and begin chasing down the Fortunate before it leaves sensor range. Tucker, trying to get the sensors back online, talks with Mayweather about the odd situation of a Starfleet vessel hunting one of its own. Mayweather understands the nature of cargo crews, and knows the problems that would arise if Starfleet started micromanaging his father's ship. Tucker replies that times are changing, and Ryan will have to change with them. Feeling conflicted, Mayweather goes to talk to Archer. He wonders whether they should be interfering with this matter, possibly letting Ryan on his own. Archer, however, tells Mayweather that Ryan's actions are immoral and driven solely by revenge, and this is against Starfleet code of behavior. Furthermore, the idea of letting a large group of Nausicaans be killed doesn't sit well with him, regardless of the fact they're alien. Mayweather understands, and Archer dismisses him by jokingly reprimanding him for questioning his orders.
When the Fortunate finally chases down the Nausicaan ship to an asteroid, it turns out that not only did their prisoner give fake shield frequencies, but that the asteroid is home to a heavily armed Nausicaan base. Ryan only becomes even more determined, believing that they can destroy the entire base and deal a crippling blow to Nausicaan operations in this area of space, but the rest of his crew argue that they're out of their league. The matter is soon rendered moot, as the Fortunate is attacked and quickly loses all engine power, and the Nausicaans begin to board her.
Enterprise arrives on the scene, and hails the Nausicaans. The Nausicaan captain is initially bullish, saying that because the Fortunate attacked them, the ship and the lives of her crew are forfeit. He orders Enterprise to leave the area, threatening them with same fate if they do not comply. Archer, on the other hand, points out that while the Nausicaans may have the numerical advantage, Enterprise is far more heavily armed than any of their ships. The Nausicaan captain sees sense, and consents to letting the two Earth vessels leave if the prisoner is returned unharmed.
Archer tries to get Ryan to hand over the Nausicaan, without much success, as Ryan continues to point out that unless they send some message to the Nausicaans, their attacks on Earth freighters will continue. Archer and Mayweather dismiss his argument, however, pointing out that he has surrendered the moral high ground by taking a hostage and launching a sneak attack on the Nausicaan base. Mayweather further points out that, if anything, Ryan's actions are guaranteeing that any future attacks by the Nausicaans will be even more violent, and that not only will he be responsible for the death of his own crew, he will be endangering the lives of many more freighter crews, including Mayweather's own parents. On hearing this, Ryan finally caves in and surrenders.
Some time later, Archer meets with Captain Keene, who has finally regained consciousness. Archer offers to take Ryan into custody and take him back to Earth to stand trial for his actions, but Keene asks that Ryan not be charged with anything. He intends on punishing Ryan himself, by demoting him to the lowest-ranking crewmember on the Fortunate, an able crewman. Both captains regret that things got to this point and that Ryan could not look past his need for revenge, but agree that it is the right course of action, and Keene says that next time the Fortunate makes port, he will install the warp drive upgrade that Ryan had earlier scorned. The two captains shake hands, before Enterprise departs.
- "Captain's starlog, supplemental. We've picked up a faint warp trail that could be the Fortunate, but we won't know for sure until our long-range sensors are back online."
"The Earth Cargo Ship Fortunate. Y-class freighter. Maximum Speed: Warp 1.8. Crew complement: 23."
"Not counting newborn babies."
"I grew up on a J-class. A little smaller, but the same basic design. And one thing I can tell you is that at warp 1.8, you've got a lot of time on your hands between ports… That's how my parents wound up with me."
"Do you have any helpful information on this vessel beyond its… recreational activities?"
- - T'Pol and Mayweather, as T'Pol gives a dry briefing on the Fortunate
"Ready or not, here I come! Have you seen Nadine?"
"I'm sorry. I don't know which child is named 'Nadine'."
"I just told him the truth."
- - Boy, T'Pol, and Nadine, during a game of hide and seek as Nadine hides
"I want those codes!"
- - Matthew Ryan, to his Nausicaan prisoner
"They say that for a split second, you can actually feel yourself in both places at once."
"Why do you think I wanna try it?"
- - Ryan and Mayweather, on Enterprise's transporter
"Warp 1.8 works just fine for us. Any faster and there'd be no time to enjoy the trip."
- - Ryan, after Tucker tells him things are going to change when faster engines get installed in freighters
"You ever think about doing something else?"
"You mean join Starfleet?"
"The food's not bad."
- - Mayweather and Ryan
"Under the circumstance, I defer to your experience."
- - Reed and Phlox, in the middle of a firefight
"Ryan, you're making a big mistake!"
- - Archer, when Ryan and Fortunate personnel fire at him and the away team
"The Nausicaans. Ryan's after revenge, sir."
"A very primitive emotion but it would explain his irrational behavior."
"It's rational to him."
- - Mayweather and T'Pol, trying to determine Ryan's motive
"Just because someone wasn't born on Earth doesn't make them any less Human."
- - Archer, explaining to Mayweather why the crew of the Fortunate can't kill Nausicaans as a matter of revenge
"Any other orders of mine you'd like to question?"
"Not today, sir."
- - Archer and Mayweather
- Production number: 011-40358-010
- Working title: "Untitled Boomer Story"
- Final draft script: 21 September 2001  
- Monday 24 September 2001 – Admiral Forrest's office, mess hall (Paramount Stage 8); Corridor, engineering (Paramount Stage 18)
- Tuesday 25 September 2001 – Situation room, bridge, ready room (Paramount Stage 18)
- Wednesday 26 September 2001 – ECS Fortunate bridge, Nausicaan ship bridge (Paramount Stage 8)
- Thursday 27 September 2001 – Fortunate access corridor, Fortunate infirmary, Int. Shuttlepod 1 (Paramount Stage 18)
- Friday 28 September 2001 – Fortunate cargo module 4, Fortunate access corridor (Paramount Stage 18)
- Monday 1 October 2001 – Archer's quarters (Paramount Stage 8); Bridge, ready room (Paramount Stage 18)
- Tuesday 2 October 2001 – Fortunate access corridor, Fortunate cargo modules 8 and 4 (Paramount Stage 18)
- Air date: 21 November 2001
Story and script
- The end of the episode vastly differed between this script and the final version of the installment. (citation needed • edit)
- According to the call sheet, an insert re-shoot of scene 15 for the episode "Fight or Flight" in the situation room without any actor was filmed on the second day of production, Tuesday 25 September 2001.
- Also noted on the call sheet, scene 10 of the episode "Breaking the Ice" in the mess hall, was re-filmed on the third day of production, Wednesday 26 September 2001. Connor Trinneer and Jolene Blalock only filmed this scene on that day.
- Also on Wednesday 26 September 2001 a second unit meeting took place at 11:30 am in the Cooper Building, Room 205. On this day, Scott Bakula didn't film any scenes but was present for an interview, filmed on the bridge set on Paramount Stage 18, at 9:45 am. The call sheet for this day and for Thursday 27 September 2001 also reminds the cast and crew members to get their Paramount Photo IDs from the Pickford Building this week. It was opened every day until 6 pm. The principal actors had their photo IDs on Monday 1 October 2001 at approx. 9:30 am except Jolene Blalock who had her appointment at the end of the day. The photo ID schedule was overseen by assistant directors Jerry Fleck, Michael DeMeritt, and Michael Risner. (Call sheets)
- The call sheet for Thursday 27 September 2001 remarks that the minors Daniel Asa Henson and Elyssa D. Vito had to attend school with their on-set teacher Richard Wicklund after they finished hair and makeup. (Call sheet)
- On Friday 28 September 2001 none of the principal actors filmed any scenes. The cast of this day consisted of the guest actors, stunt performers, and background actors. The call sheet of this day also listed the heights of stand-ins Tarik Ergin as 6'4" and Gregg Hinton as 6'5". (Call sheet)
- On Monday 1 October 2001, a green screen was used for the scene where Captain Archer talks to Admiral Forrest on his monitor. (Call sheet)
- On Tuesday 2 October 2001, Entertainment Weekly had a photo shoot with the main cast in front of the bridge set on Paramount Stage 18 at 8:30 am. (Call sheet)
- The call sheet for Tuesday 2 October 2001 also features the reminder for the 3rd Annual Costume Gala and Potluck Lunch, held on Wednesday 31 October 2001. According to the note, there were "no prizes for impersonating cast and crew members this year". (Call sheet)
Cast and characters
- Guest actors Lawrence Monoson, Kieran Mulroney, Vaughn Armstrong, Danny Goldring, Charles Lucia, and D. Elliot Woods all appeared in a Star Trek production before they worked on this episode.
Props, costumes, and sets
- The sets used to depict the Fortunate were redressed NX-class sets commonly shown as areas of Enterprise. The corridors of the Fortunate were redressed corridors from Enterprise, with a new lighting scheme and several new additions to the walls. Similarly, the cargo module of the Fortunate was the launch bay of Enterprise, filled with several types of cargo tubs and boxes. All the sets were built on Paramount Stage 8 and 18.
- Several props and costumes from this episode were later sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction including:
- D. Elliot Woods' Nausicaan costume and his special effects mask including the bruises  
- Danny Goldring's Nausicaan costume 
- Scott Workman's Nausicaan costume 
- Carrick O'Quinn's Nausicaan costume 
- Mark Ginther's Nausicaan costume which was later worn by Michael McGrady in the second season episode "Canamar" 
- Kieran Mulroney's trousers and jacket 
- Chairs seen aboard the ECS Fortunate 
- Trays and shakers seen in the mess hall 
- A Fortunate logo application seen on several cargo containers 
- A prop gage readout seen above the bed in the infirmary of the Fortune 
- An assignment patch of the Fortunate was sold off at the "40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection" at Christie's. 
- Some of the cargo containers seen in cargo module 4 aboard the Fortunate were originally rolling composters obtained by Laura Richarz that were only slightly modified. They were originally used as self-replicating mines in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes "Call to Arms", "A Time to Stand", "Behind the Lines", "Favor the Bold", and "Sacrifice of Angels". They later appeared as background containers in the Star Trek: Voyager episodes "Memorial", "Child's Play", and "Flesh and Blood" and also in the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes "Canamar", "Bounty", and "The Xindi".
- Mayweather mentions to Ryan that Starfleet has plans to build three more NX-class ships in the near future, Enterprise itself, the lead ship of the class, having launched only four months previously. The next NX-class ship, Columbia NX-02, was seen when it was introduced later in the series: first while still under construction in the season two finale "The Expanse", as well as when it was ultimately launched, in the season four episode "Affliction".
- This episode features the first on-screen appearance of the Nausicaans in Enterprise. The outing also depicts the first official contact between Starfleet and the Nausicaans.
- Admiral Forrest references the scans Enterprise took of Archer's Comet in "Breaking the Ice" as being "incredible."
- The end-of-transmission screen from Admiral Forrest references the signal as relayed from Relay: Echo 1/Transponder 4. A relay that hadn't been deployed yet as evidenced in the episode "Silent Enemy".
- Variations of the Nausicaan ship studio model later appeared as the Xindi-Insectoid patrol ship in the third season episode "Stratagem" and as an alien science vessel in the fourth season episode "Bound".
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 3.8 and was watched by an average of 6.11 million viewers. 
- The "Ultimate Guide" in Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 78 rated this episode 3 out of 5 arrowhead insignia.
- The unofficial reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 362) calls this installment, "A nice episode, a rare Star Trek story where both sides in a dispute are equally wrong and equally hot-headed."
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.5, 1 July 2002
- As part of the ENT Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of the ENT Season 1 Blu-ray collection
- As part of the ENT Season 1 digital release
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Sub-Commander 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 Tucker III
- Lawrence Monoson as Matthew Ryan
- Kieran Mulroney as Shaw
- Vaughn Armstrong as Maxwell Forrest
- Danny Goldring as Nausicaan Captain
- Charles Lucia as Captain Keene
- D. Elliot Woods as Nausicaan Prisoner
- Daniel Asa Henson as Boy
- Elyssa D. Vito as Girl
- Jef Ayres as Haynem
- Mickey Cassidy as Fortunate crewman
- Derek Coleman as Fortunate crewman
- Amy Kate Connolly as sciences crewman
- Donovan Dickens as boy
- Dawn Drake as operations crewman
- Evan English as Tanner
- Mimi Fisher as Bennett
- Hilde Garcia as Rossi
- Robert Garcon as operations crewman
- Mark Ginther as Nausicaan
- Jack Guzman as sciences crewman
- Peter Harmyk as Fortunate crewman
- Pete Henderson as Fortunate crewman
- Joel Heyman as command crewman
- Aldric Horton as operations crewman
- John Jurgens as command crewman
- John Kim as Fortunate crewman
- Marina Logan as Fortunate crewman
- Carmen Nogales as operations crewman
- Carrick O'Quinn as Nausicaan
- Alise Phelan as sciences crewman
- Prada as Porthos
- Mark Rogerson as operations crewman
- Chris Torres as Fortunate crewman
- Cynthia Uhrich as operations crewman
- Michelle Van Den Broeck as sciences crewman
- John Wan as operations crewman
- Mark Watson as operations crewman
- Todd Wieland as operations crewman
- Frank Williams as sciences crewman
- Scott Workman as Nausicaan
- Unknown actors as
- David Keith Anderson – stand-in for Anthony Montgomery
- Gina Chai – stand-in for Linda Park
- Evan English – stand-in for Lawrence Monoson, Dominic Keating, and Mickey Cassidy
- Tarik Ergin – stand-in for Vaughn Armstrong, D. Elliot Woods, Danny Goldring, Mark Ginther, Carrick O'Quinn, and Scott Workman
- Gregg Hinton – stand-in for Mark Ginther, Carrick O'Quinn, and Scott Workman
- Simone Montanti – stand-in for Jolene Blalock
- Michael Muñoz – stand-in for Daniel Asa Henson
- Mom Muñoz – stand-in for Elyssa D. Vito
- Louis Ortiz – stand-in for Kieran Mulroney and Connor Trinneer
- J.R. Quinonez – stand-in for Scott Bakula and John Billingsley
- Pablo Soriano – stand-in for Charles Lucia and Lawrence Monoson
- Mark Watson – stand-in for Scott Bakula
- Unknown actor – hand double for Lawrence Monoson
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load; long-range sensor; low-yield; luck; lunch; machine shop; magic; main hatch; male; manual; maximum; maximum speed; maximum warp; Mayweather; Mayweather, Rianna; Mayweather's brother-in-law; Mayweather's sister; meatloaf; medal; medical supply cabinet; mess hall; meteor; meter; micron; microscope; milk; mind; minute; mission; mister; monitor; month; morning; mother; "mystery meal"; name; napkin; Nausicaa; Nausicaan; Nausicaan cargo station; Nausicaan ship; Nausicaan energy weapon; necktie; neural pathway; newborn; next generation; North Star, ECS; North Star survivors; nowhere; nutri-pak; NX; NX-03; NX-04; NX-class; offer; office; offline; online; operations division; opinion; opportunity; order; PADD; panic; parent; pay; pepper; permission; "permission to speak freely"; pet; pet skunk; phase-pistol; photograph; physician; pillow; pirate; planet; plasma burn; plasma cannon; plasma discharge; plasma rifle; plate; pleasure; point of origin; polarized hull plating; "pop-gun"; port; port (location); potato; power; Presidio; pressure; pressure loss; pressure suit; price; primary system; primitive; prisoner; privacy; problem; programming; progress; proposal; protocol; pullover; pulse; purge; quartermaster; quarters; question; range; rank; rank pip; rate; rational; reading; ready room; reception; recreational activity; recruiting pitch; red; region; relation; relay; remodulation; repairs; repair team; report; rerouted; rescue operation; resequenced; respiration; "revenge; run-in"; Ryan's father; Ryan's mother; salad; salt; sandwich; San Francisco; San Francisco Bay; scan; scanner; schematic; sciences division; science station; scope; second; sector; sector attacked by Nausicaans; sensor; serving case; shaker; shame; shelf; shield frequency; shield modulation; shields; ship; shipmate; shirt; shoe; shooting; short-range tactical scan; shuttlepod; Shuttlepod 1; signage; signal loss; sir; sister; situation room; skill; sky; sleep; smile; sneaking; socks; space; space boomer; spare part; spoon; star; starboard; Starfleet; Starfleet captains; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Com Net; Starfleet Medical; Starfleet officer; Starfleet uniform; Starfleet vessel; starship; statue; steak; stealing; stowaway; stubborn; stupidity; sub-commander; subspace amplifier; subspace band; survivor; synthesizing; table; tactical station; target; taste; tea; teaching; Teneebian skunk; thermos; Theta 309; time; tomato juice; torpedo; torture; touchdown; tour; tracking; transmission; Transponder 4; transporter; tray; trigger; trip; Trip; trust; truth; tube; turbolift; unconscious; unnamed asteroid; unnamed Humans; unnamed Nausicaan ships; unnamed Starfleet vessel; unnamed warp engine component; upgrade; utilities trunk; valve assembly; valve seal; Vega colony; vessel; vibration; vice admiral; viewer; viewscreen; Vulcan; Vulcan scanner; Vulcan uniform; warp; warp 1.8; warp 3; warp core; warp drive; warp five engine; warp reactor; warp three engine; warp trail; water; weapon; weapon discharge; weapons fire; weapons lock; weapons system; week; window; Y-class; year; young Fortunate crewman; Zefram Cochrane's statue; zipper
ancestor; armory; charge; complaint; country; Cross, Ryan; Earth standard; escorts; explorer; Gallant; gas; government; joke; night; patrol; policeman; postcard; ramp rats; Ship Toss; soldier; spacedock; stem; stern; stores; technical briefs; trial; Voltaire; Vulcan High Command; Vulcan ship
- "Fortunate Son" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Fortunate Son" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Fortunate Son" at Wikipedia
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