(written from a Production point of view)
Enterprise discovers a deuterium mining colony that is being controlled by Klingon marauders. The crew trains the colonists to defend themselves and prepare for battle against their Klingon oppressors.
The colonists of a mining colony are busy working on a bright day. There is much to do, but then one of the colonists spot a shuttle approach. They don't recognize it, but are expecting one possibility. As it gets closer, they see it is someone else. A shuttlepod approaches and lands.
Archer, T'Pol, and Tucker exit the shuttle and meet the colonists' leaders. They hope to make a trade for deuterium, but the colonists appear unwilling to trade even a small amount despite the fact that Enterprise has detected they have a large reserve. The colonists' leader, Tessic, states they are keeping this reserve for someone else and demands the Enterprise crew leave immediately as the colonists are anxiously preparing for the arrival of this other ship. By offering to help with repairs to some broken deuterium pumps however, the crew manages to make themselves more welcome. After further negotiations they strike a deal to exchange power cells and medical supplies in exchange for deuterium, though only if they also manage to help repair the pumps within two days.
Meanwhile, Tucker finds a boy named Q'ell in the shuttle, having slipped in unnoticed to check out the shuttle. Tucker is amused, and talks with him about the shuttle and its capabilities. He appears to be very interested in ships. He offers to give him a ride to the Enterprise if he gets permission.
Upon further inspection of the colony, the crew learns how poor the colony is despite its deuterium riches. T'Pol dismisses the point of observing that, but Archer is suspicious, especially as they are expecting a certain deadline. E'Lis is taken to the Enterprise and meets Doctor Phlox to get medical supplies. She's pleasant with him, but Phlox notes that he's surprised they don't have certain basic items. Also, she has requested some odd items to treat plasma burns which seems unlikely. She explains it away calmly, but it seems something is bothering her. She doesn't explain, but thanks him as she leaves.
The colony learns of the Klingon ship and alerts everyone. It appears they are a few days early. Tessic demands that Archer hide instead of getting involved, preferring to handle the situation like they've done before. Archer considers it and agrees, ordering the Enterprise to hide from the Klingon ship, while he and the rest of the crew stay out of sight in the colony observing Tessic's meeting with the Klingons. The Klingons turn out not to be interested in any trade with the colony; instead, they expect to be simply given all the deuterium reserves. Because of their early arrival and the broken pumps the reserves are not at the expected level and the Klingon leader Korok turns violent against Tessic. Demanding that more deuterium be ready when they return within four days, the Klingons leave. Archer discusses the situation with Tessic, finding out that the Klingons have been bullying the colonists for some time already. While they did try to revolt, several colonists were killed in the attempt and Tessic now simply wants Enterprise to settle its deal and leave before the Klingons return. They go, but not before Tucker says goodbye to Q'ell, and to apologize for not being able to show him the ship.
After returning to Enterprise, Archer feels uncomfortable simply leaving the colony and wants to help. While T'Pol agrees interference would be allowable in this case, she argues it would only make matters worse for the colonists in the end as the Klingons will simply return when Enterprise is no longer around. Archer however returns to the colony to offer Enterprise's help not just to drive the Klingons off once, but to teach the colonists some self-defense.
In the night, Archer returns to the colony and offers his help. Tessic initially refuses, as more of his people will be killed. However, he is even having trouble with his equipment, so he pauses. Archer appeals to the long-term situation and promises to teach them.
After Tessic accepts Enterprise's help, they plan in a tent. Reed examines the weapons and states they will need some deception as well. T'Pol notes that the Klingons are crude in their tactics, and slow to adapt. They plan on moving the colony, since all the buildings are modular, a bit to put it in range of the deuterium field. They confirm that they can hide the existing wellheads and that the hills are deep enough to hide in. Training will take place on the weapons.
Archer, Mayweather and Tucker help move the buildings while Reed trains some of the colonists on the weapons on the Enterprise. Sato chimes in with a tip she learned as well through her training with Reed earlier. Later, T'Pol, with Mayweather helping demonstrate, teaches the colonists some simple Vulcan weapon strike avoidance techniques. Progress is steady for the next few days. Weapon training gets better and the new location for the colony is coming together. Q'ell is bringing water to everyone, pausing to talk to Tucker and say he wants to help and fight but won't be allowed.
Archer enters a tent where a pondering Tessic is cleaning his weapon. Archer states they're ready, but Tessic reveals he's worried about losing people. Archer relates by saying he thought his mission would be peaceful, but, when he was shot in the leg by a Suliban, he saw his crew shot at while passing out. He had to be able to fight. He admits he's nervous, but he's confident they can do this. Just then, he gets a call to learn the Klingons are on their way.
The Klingons return to an empty colony. Korok shouts out to call someone toward them, but they only hear silent pumps and doors rustling open and shut. They don't realize the colony is in a different spot. One colonist draws them outward, where a trip-wire is set up, knocking one of them down, then Reed starts the firefight from the hills. Another colonist inside the colony draws a Klingon around a tent and successfully dodges his mek'leth strikes and draws him into a tent where Archer is waiting to knock him out. T'Pol uses her skills to disarm and knock out another Klingon. They retreat, allowing the Klingons to regroup.
They now see that the colonists are all hiding in the hills and start to move toward them, angered with the humiliation they're experiencing. Archer and Reed determine they need to change the Klingons' approach toward their trap, so they move carefully, knowing they're being seen. One of them steps on something, and realizes something is amiss. But they are within the trap, so they set the field on fire to block their path. Tessic approaches the Klingons and demands they to beam back to their starship and not to return as the colonists will be ready for them next time. Korok seems humiliated, denounces the colony's deuterium as worthless, not even fit for a garbage scow, and beams back. Relieved and cheering, the colonists stand.
Before finally leaving the colony, the Enterprise is granted a lot more deuterium than originally agreed to in the deal as a reward for their help. Q'ell sneaks into the shuttle again, and Tucker bids him farewell and leaves him schematics of the Enterprise for reading. Archer bids the group farewell and they depart.
"There's a saying on my world: 'Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime.'"
- - Archer, quoting an English proverb during a conversation with Tessic
"I sense what you're about to say is not going to make me happy."
- - Korok, to Tessic
"Klingons carry disruptors, but they prefer to use bladed weapons in combat. The two most common being the bat'leth, a curved, bilateral sword, and the mek'leth, two-pronged dagger. The bat'leth can decapitate its victim with one stroke, while the mek'leth is typically used to slash the throat… or disembowel."
- - T'Pol, to the miners
"You won't hurt me."
"It's not you that I'm worried about."
- - T'Pol and Mayweather, demonstrating Vulcan self-defense tactics to the miners
"PetaQ! You'll live to regret this!"
"If you're thinking about coming back, I wouldn't advise it. We'll be ready."
- - Korok, trapped by a ring of fire while Tessic demands he and his fellow Klingons leave
"I can get my deuterium anywhere! Yours isn't even fit for a garbage scow!"
- - Korok, to Tessic
- The evasive techniques T'Pol teaches the colonists are drawn from the Vulcan martial art Suus Mahna, which is named after Mike Sussman.
- Among the recycled phasers used by the deuterium miners are Jem'Hadar hand phasers, Bajoran phaser rifles, and the Klingon sniper rifle from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
- A Kreetassan merchant recommended the colony, probably when Enterprise visited the Kreetassan homeworld in the previous episode "A Night in Sickbay".
- We learn that Phlox's osmotic eel (seen in "Broken Bow") is a female. In "Minefield", however, it was stated to be male.
- This episode was inspired by the 1960 feature film The Magnificent Seven, which itself was inspired by the 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai. The colony represents the village in that film; the deuterium represents the rice; the Enterprise crew represent the seven heroes, etc.
- Both Larry Cedar and Bari Hochwald guest-starred in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Cedar played Nydrom in DS9: "Armageddon Game" and Tersa in VOY: "Alliances", while Hochwald played Doctor Elizabeth Lense in DS9: "Explorers" and Brin in VOY: "Friendship One".
- Several items from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a Klingon PADD pouch,  a metal canteen,  and a Klingon bat'leth strap. 
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 "Trip" Tucker III
- Larry Cedar as Tessic
- Steven Flynn as Maklii
- Bari Hochwald as E'Lis
- Jesse James Rutherford as Q'ell
- Robertson Dean as Korok
- Brian Avery as Klingon marauder
- Michael Bailous as Klingon marauder
- Michael Braveheart as Klingon marauder
- Christopher Doyle as Klingon marauder
- Leigh Hennessy as colonist
- Dan McCann as Klingon marauder
- Pablo Soriano as Klingon marauder
- Unknown performers as
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- "Marauders" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Marauders" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Marauders" at Wikipedia
"A Night in Sickbay"
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