(written from a Production point of view)
An Enterprise landing party believes T'Pol is conspiring with a species of rock creatures on a strange class M planet.
Enterprise encounters a new world much like Earth. A small away team stays on the surface overnight to continue researching the planet. During the night, a violent windstorm blows up and forces the crew to shelter in a local cave. In the cave, however, the crew members believe they are not alone, eventually suspecting T'Pol of conspiring against them with aliens on the planet.
While headed for an unnamed nebula, Enterprise NX-01 unexpectedly passes an unknown planet with an Earth-like atmosphere and surface. In the mess hall, Elizabeth Cutler and Ethan Novakovich sit down with Cutler enjoying Vulcan food when they see the planet through the windows in surprise. On the bridge, T'Pol designates this type of planet as Minshara-class. Sensor scans of the planet reveal no sign of intelligent lifeforms. Captain Archer asks for scans of any beacons that might indicate possession of the planet, but T'Pol finds none. He then moves ahead to explore the planet. T'Pol quickly reminds him there are other protocols, for example, sending automated probes for six days. She meets dismissal from the crew and Archer instead orders her to plan an away team.
T'Pol chooses her away team to be comprised of Archer, T'Pol, Malcolm Reed, Trip Tucker, Travis Mayweather, Cutler, and Novakovich. Archer brings Porthos. They travel to the surface by shuttlepod with a very excited Human crew. Archer tries to get T'Pol to relax, but she is not about to entertain the relaxed nature of Archer's command. After a few hours of exploration, the captain and Reed return to Enterprise, while the rest stay on the surface overnight for scientific investigation (though Tucker and Mayweather stay more for personal interest).
After some time telling ghost stories, a storm emerges. The team retreats to their tents for awhile. Novakovich briefly thinks he heard someone, but Cutler dismisses him. Then, Tucker jumps abruptly, having noticed an alien scorpion in his sleeping bag. He and Mayweather panic, but Tucker tells T'Pol he has it under control. Soon, however, he asks T'Pol about a nearby cave she had discovered earlier, asking to relocate and the surface crew takes shelter.
Archer calls in and learns about the storm, telling Reed to keep the shuttlepod on standby in case. Meanwhile, T'Pol and Tucker are discussing how to settle in the cave. When Mayweather goes back to the original camping site to recover food which they had forgotten, he thinks he sees a few seemingly humanoid lifeforms wandering around outside. As he tells this to the rest of the crew on his return, Novakovich notices movement in the back of the cave, seemingly losing his mind before running out of the cave. Tucker and Mayweather try to follow and search for Novakovich, to no avail. However, Tucker briefly notices a lifeform which apparently emerges out of a rock and sinks back in again.
Meanwhile, T'Pol has gone to explore the deeper parts of the cave, leaving only Cutler behind, who does not feel at ease about it at all, and eventually decides to go after T'Pol. When she nears T'Pol, she thinks she sees her talking to a few lifeforms, but by the time the two actually meet there is no one else there anymore and T'Pol denies any meeting. They go back to the front of the cave where they meet Tucker and Mayweather again and hear about the rock body. Cutler then tells about T'Pol's meeting but the latter denies again. The others do not believe her and are becoming suspicious about the away mission as they only remained overnight at her suggestion.
The captain finally decides to get the away team back to Enterprise. Archer orders everyone to the landing site, but Novakovich openly disobeys him, seemingly afraid of something. Archer finds he cannot land the shuttle due to the storm. The away team is then forced back in the cave for the night.
Back in the cave, Tucker openly questions T'Pol on who the aliens are. Seeing Tucker becoming irrational, T'Pol tries not to engage him. Mayweather points out they need water, and T'Pol responds she found some earlier in the cave. However, Cutler and Tucker don't trust her, thinking she is going to conspire with them. Taking her phase-pistol, he orders her to sit down and decides to wait it out, despite her informing him that she can go without water for days, whereas he cannot. Soon, however, the state of all the members of the away team becomes more serious, including T'Pol to a lesser degree. Tucker become quite delusional and keeps pointing a phase-pistol at T'Pol and shooting at the rocks.
Since Novakovich would not go in the cave with the others, Archer decides to use the still experimental transporter to bring him back. The transporter is unable to distinguish between Novakovich and the plant life being blown around him, with several leaves are embedded in his skin as a result in the attempt. Following that, Phlox discovers that he has been affected by a kind of local pollen brought by the storm (and that the others could be affected as well). Archer calls down to T'Pol and learns that Tucker is holding her hostage. He doesn't believe Archer when he tries to explain, saying he isn't there and they're not imagining anything. However, he listens when Archer orders him to lower the pistol. He tells them to get farther inside the caves and away from the pollen.
Later, the situation worsens when Cutler and Mayweather are delirious and Tucker thinks he sees Archer and argues with him. T'Pol, now speaking only Vulcan, sees a chance to get her pistol back and the tension reaches its maximum in T'Pol and Tucker pointing phase-pistols at each other.
On board Enterprise, Phlox discovers that the pollen has a poisonous effect and thinks it is too late for Novakovich. It may not be for the away team, so Archer orders him to keep studying it. Unfortunately, the storm will persist for nine hours.
Phlox fortunately can make an antidote (as well as a sedative) that the ship can beam to the away team. However, when Archer tries ordering Tucker to take it, Tucker doesn't believe it, still locked holding pistols with T'Pol. T'Pol, speaking Vulcan, tells Hoshi Sato that she believes Tucker will kill her. She relays it to Archer, and he continues to reason with Tucker, mentioning an earlier time when he had to simply trust him. Tucker then thinks he sees the rock people around them just as Phlox gets the antidote ready for transport.
Finally, the captain, unable to reason with Tucker, resorts to elaborating on Tucker's delusions. This way T'Pol – who is being given instructions by Sato because she has fallen back to her native speech, suggesting that she has been affected as well, only able to control it better – is finally able to overwhelm Tucker. She then proceeds to administer the antidote to all members of the away team, herself included.
The next morning, the storm is over, everyone is fine and the planet is as beautiful as it was the day before, making the previous night look like a bad dream.
"You expect us to sit up here for a week while probes have all the fun?"
- - Trip Tucker
"You'd have better luck making friends with a housefly."
- - Tucker to Cutler after she tries being friendly to T'Pol
"Where no dog has gone before."
- - Tucker, following Porthos' ebullient departure from the shuttlepod and marking his territory at a nearby tree
"You have your assignments. We'll rendezvous here at 1900 hours… unless the captain wants us to pose for more pictures."
- - T'Pol
"It's beautiful all right but I couldn't call a place home unless it came with a pair of warp nacelles."
- - Mayweather and Tucker while on the planet
"Who's there? Who is that?!"
"This is Captain Archer. We're attempting to land. I want you to get back to the cavern."
"Go to Hell!"
- - Novakovich and Archer
"Let me guess… no ghost stories on Vulcan?"
- - Tucker, to T'Pol
"Looks like we might have ourselves a bit of weather!"
- - Tucker, on the planetary storm
"That's it. To the left of that trinary cluster."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah I'm positive. Just another speck of light… no different than any other."
- - Cutler, Tucker and Mayweather, looking up at the stars
"Give me your boot."
"So I can squash it."
"Are we allowed to squash alien lifeforms?"
"If they're inside your sleeping bag. There it is. Wait a minute. Where'd you put the phase-pistols?"
"You wanna shoot a bug?"
"I'm just gonna stun it."
- - Tucker and Mayweather
"Your emotions are beginning to affect your judgment. You're becoming irrational."
"You've never seen me irrational."
- - T'Pol and Tucker
"I can survive without water for several days. Can you?"
- - T'Pol, to Tucker
"I have no idea what you just said… but it didn't sound very nice!"
- - Tucker, after T'Pol speaks to him in Vulcan
"And I have a phase-pistol pointed at my head."
- - T'Pol
"Under stress, you become volatile. You're a far more dangerous species than I previously believed."
"Your people have been telling us that kind of crap for a hundred years!"
- - T'Pol and Tucker
"Say one more word of that gibberish, and I'm gonna split you in two."
- - Tucker, to T'Pol who speaks in Vulcan
"Hope she knows the difference between stun and kill."
- - Archer moments before T'Pol fires her phase-pistol at Tucker to subdue him
"Challenge your preconceptions or they'll challenge you."
"That's something Mr. Velik used to say. Tenth grade biology class. He was a Vulcan scientist who came to teach us about life on other worlds. I'd never seen a Vulcan before… not up close. He scared the hell out of me."
"Perhaps it's not too late to follow his advice."
- - Tucker and T'Pol
- The title of the episode "Strange New World" references both a narration spoken by William Shatner in the opening credits of Star Trek: The Original Series, as well as the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, in which the inhabitants of an entire civilization are drugged. Huxley took his title from a well-known line in The Tempest by William Shakespeare: "O brave new world, that has such people in 't!" spoken by Miranda, who has lived her life isolated from society. She marvels when strangers wash up shipwrecked on her island home.
Story and script
- This was the first episode of Enterprise for which series creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga did not receive sole writing credit. "They decided that, since we were a little more experienced in the Star Trek world, it would make sense for us to do one of the early shows, and this was the first one after the pilot," commented staff writer Phyllis Strong, recalling how she and writing partner Mike Sussman were assigned to pen the script for this installment. Sussman remarked, "We were the guinea pigs! [....] I think it was a learning experience for all of us." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 11, p. 46)
- Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong worked on this episode while the series was still developing. Sussman recalled, "They hadn't started main casting! We wrote 'EXT. SPACE—ENTERPRISE' and I go, 'I wonder what the Enterprise looks like?' We had just gotten used to writing for Voyager and its characters; and now we have brand-new characters who are from 200 years earlier and we had to 'unlearn' everything we learned. But I liked the take on the characters – much more like people from the present; more easily related to, I think, by the audience."  Sussman also stated, "We didn't even know who to imagine [as the characters] – not all of the actors had been cast, and there were so few scripts to go by as a blueprint." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 11, p. 47)
- The writing of this episode, with its emphasis on how Enterprise's crew copes with the pollen-induced hallucinations, was a result of the series' writing staff deliberately setting out to concentrate more on character-centered stories than on high-concept science fiction yarns. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 62)
- As a member of the writing staff, André Bormanis contributed to this installment, devising a memorable line of dialogue. "That was a contribution to a script that was obviously written by a couple of other people," Bormanis recalled, "but as we were developing that story I said, 'Wouldn't it be fun if Porthos trots off to the brush and Trip turns to Archer and says, 'Where no dog has gone before'?'" (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 61)
- This episode was originally to have included the demise of Crewman Novakovich, the first member of the crew to die aboard the NX-class Enterprise. (Information provided by Mike Sussman; ) Novakovich's death, caused by his exposure to the alien pollen, was actually written into in an early draft of the episode.  During filming, Scott Bakula was concerned that it didn't seem right to kill off Novakovich without dealing with the loss (as originally written, Novakovich's death was not dissimilar to that of the many security guards who died in Star Trek: The Original Series). (Information provided by Mike Sussman; ) Remembered co-writer Mike Sussman, "It was felt at the time that the death of a crewmember would require time to show Archer and the crew dealing with the loss, and there wasn't time for such a scene."  The producers agreed with Bakula and revised the script so that Novakovich lived (although the character was never seen again). (Information provided by Mike Sussman; )
- The final draft script of this episode was issued on 6 July 2001.
- This episode was about midway through its production when Rick Berman was interviewed for an appendix section of the Template:Novels Broken Bow called "Behind the Scenes of Enterprise", written by Paul Ruditis. (Broken Bow, paperback ed., p. 255)
- In "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", Captain Archer's bio screen reveals that this episode's planet, the first M-Class one visited by Enterprise NX-01, was later named Archer IV, a planet originally mentioned as the site of a battle between the Klingons and USS Enterprise-D in TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise". Captain Archer also mentions the planet to Captain Hernandez in the fourth season outing "Home".
- In the later Season 1 episode "Oasis", while strolling through the corridors of a Kantare supply ship, Archer asks Travis Mayweather if their visit to the ship is turning into one of his famous ghost stories, such as the one he tells in this installment.
- This episode marks the first time T'Pol is seen using the Vulcan nerve pinch.
- This episode is also the first to establish that "class M" (as Star Trek fans are accustomed to hearing it) actually stands for, in Vulcan planetary classification, "Minshara class".
- Rock creatures, such as the ones hallucinated by the away team in this episode, were an abandoned concept developed for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
- This is the first appearance of Crewman Elizabeth Cutler.
- At the episode's start, Cutler reads two pages from the Handbook of Exobiology about termites on Loracus Prime. The text includes a reference to Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development, mentioned in TOS: "Bread and Circuses". The two pages and an unseen cover were created by Geoffrey Mandel; the cover featured a Kaferian apple and a singing plant from Talos IV, which appeared in TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and TOS: "The Cage" respectively.
- Following the development of this episode (involving the decision to have Crewman Novakovich ultimately survive), it was two more years before an Enterprise NX-01 crewman was lost in the line of duty (not counting the "death" of Daniels in "Cold Front"): Crewman Fuller in "Anomaly".
- The bug seen inside Trip's sleeping bag resembles the parasites seen in TNG: "Conspiracy".
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 5.0 and was watched by a total average of 7.81 million viewers. 
- The unauthorized reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 359) says of this episode, "It's very odd to switch focus to minor crewmen Cutler and Novakovich before the main ones are firmly established – if viewers were still joining the show, it would be very confusing. This is an episode that starts with a lovely sense of wonder, all the crew stopping to just look out the window at the new planet. If it ends up as a more standard story of crew seeing things and getting paranoid, it's at least a well-told one."
- In the "Ultimate Guide" in Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 78, this episode was rated 3 out of 5 Starfleet insignias.
- Among the items from this episode which were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay were two fold-out camping chairs. 
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.2, 6 May 2002
- As part of the UK VHS collection Enterprise 1.1-1.3 Collectors Edition: 19 August 2002
- As part of the ENT Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of the ENT Season 1 Blu-ray collection
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
- Jef Ayres as Crewman Haynem
- Sandro DiPinto as a science division crewman
- Evan English as Ensign Tanner
- Jack Guzman as a science division crewman
- Mark Major as illusory alien
- Marlene Mogavero as an operations division crewman
- Prada and Breezy as Porthos
- Pablo Soriano as illusory alien
- Gary Weeks as an operations division crewman
agriculture; Archer IV; atmosphere; atom; beacon; biology; bioscan; boot; bug; cabin; camping; camping chair; Captain of Webb's cargo vessel; cargo vessel; cave; cavern; chloromethane; city; comet; communications officer; continent; cormalite; Crew of Webb's cargo vessel; delirium; distress beacon; distress call; Earth; ecology; entomology; EV pack; firefly; Florida Keys; food pack; geological analysis; geophysical survey; ghost; ghost story; grade school; headache; hill; housefly; humanoid; hurricane; impulse reactor; inaprovaline; inch; insect; ion storm; landing thruster; life pod; light year; limestone; log entry; logic; Loracus Prime; man-made satellite; marker buoy; matter stream; marsupial; Mayweather's uncle; meter; Minshara class; mountain; nebula; neck; neutron; nitrogen; nitrogen dioxide; nitrogen narcosis; nocturnal; northeast; Omega training mission; oxygen; palate; phase discriminator; phase-pistol; plant; plasma coolant; plomeek broth; pollen; probe; psychotropic compound; rescue operation; rock people; sample container; scientist; scorpion; shore leave; Shuttlepod 1; Shuttlepod 2; sleeping bag; snow; Sol; southwest; sterilization; storm; subspace noise; submolecular scan; subspecies; survey team; swimming pool; tent; tenth grade; termite; Titan; toxin; trace element; transporter accident; trinary cluster; tropolisine; uncle; vector; Velik; Vulcans; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan cuisine (aka Vulcan food); Vulcan High Command; Vulcan language; Vulcan nerve pinch; Vulcan ship; warp nacelle; weather report; Webb, George; Webb's cargo vessel; Webb's language; west; wind shear; windstorm; Y-500 class
Handbook of Exobiology references
biologist; biology; burrowing insect; Darwin, Charles; DNA; finch; Gagarin Radiation Belt; Galápagos Islands; genus; Handbook of Exobiology; Hodgkin, A.E.; Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development; log; Loracadae; Loracus devil mite; Loracus system; meteorite; spitting termite; star; theory of evolution
- "Strange New World" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Strange New World" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Strange New World" at Wikipedia
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