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Enterprise visits a Vulcan monastery, only to find that it is in the midst of being taken over by the Andorians.



Several hooded Vulcan monks are meditating in a monastery, when there is a loud banging. The doors fly open and four aliens walk into the roomAndorians.

Act One[]

In the ready room, Trip Tucker is telling Captain Archer that using the Vulcan star charts takes all fun out of being explorers. Archer replies that Humans have never been to these places and mentions that a protostar encountered a week before was nowhere to be seen on the star charts. Tucker jokes that if the charts are inaccurate, good luck getting the Vulcans to admit it.

Next trip is planned by using the star charts

Archer and Tucker decide the next stop is a Vulcan monastery

T'Pol enters, saying that Archer wished to see her. He explains that while going through the charts he found a remote outpost on a planet a few light years off their current heading. T'Pol replies that she is aware of the outpost, which she calls P'Jem. She describes it as an ancient Vulcan spiritual retreat, a sanctuary for kolinahr and peaceful meditation. Archer's interest is piqued and he asks if they could visit. T'Pol replies that the Vulcans may object to the intrusion. However, Archer decides that it is worth a detour and has Ensign Mayweather change course. T'Pol notes that she will find the proper protocols for the visit, and leaves.

File:T'Pol and Phlox in the mess hall, June 2151.jpg

T'Pol and Phlox talking about the planned visit of the monastery

Later, she is sharing a meal with Doctor Phlox in the mess hall. He observes that she seems hesitant about being seen with a Human crew. She remarks that it would create a "certain awkwardness." Phlox states that he sometimes feels out of place aboard Enterprise NX-01 and reminds her of the Vulcan motto 'infinite diversity in infinite combinations'. Phlox states that the Human mission is to seek diversity, so a Human/Vulcan cultural exchange is simply fulfilling that mission.

In the launch bay, Tucker incredulously asks if the monks don't even know that they are coming. T'Pol states simply that it was not possible to hail the monastery, as the monks consider technology a distraction from their spiritual pursuits. T'Pol then explains that they should not speak to anyone unless spoken to first, talk to anyone who appears to be meditating, or touch any relics or ornamentation. The three then enter the shuttlepod.

P'Jem monastery

The monastery at P'Jem

Planetside, the trio notes that door to the monastery looks bashed in. T'Pol rings for admittance, but no one answers. They enter anyway, but are told by a solitary monk that they have arrived at the time of kolinahr and that the order must remain in silent reflection for the rest of the lunar cycle. Disappointed, they only wait for the reception of the stone of J'Kah before leaving. However, T'Pol notes that there are too few monks in the atrium, and that a statue appears to have been knocked over.

Andorian reflection

The reflection seen by Archer

Archer and Tucker pretend to wander around aimlessly, looking at the monastery. When Tucker remarks on a broken vase, the monk states that kohlinar encourages the members of the orders to face their emotions and that the repercussions can sometimes be violent. The threesome are not convinced, and continue to wander until Archer spots the reflection of a blue alien hiding behind a wooden frame. Tucker and Archer rush the frame, knocking over the alien. Before they can restrain him fully, more rush in and take the three hostage.

Act Two[]

The three are led to a back room where the rest of the monks are being held. The blue-skinned aliens are from the Imperial Guard of AndoriaCommander Shran, Tholos, Keval, and Thon. When Shran questions Archer about their reasons for visiting the monastery, he explains that the Humans have come out of simple curiosity. But given that they are traveling with a Vulcan, the Andorians find this incredible. Shran states that their arrival has proved that P'Jem is far more than a spiritual sanctuary.

T'Pol and Vulcan elder

T'Pol talking to the Vulcan elder

After the Andorians leave them in confinement, T'Pol and the elder monk explain that Andorians are known for their suspicious and volatile nature. Vulcans and Andorians are from neighboring star systems and have been in conflict for many years. A treaty was signed to alleviate tensions, but some Andorian factions still believe that the Vulcans are bent on the conquest of their homeworld. When Tucker asks why the Andorians have invaded P'Jem, the Vulcan Elder points to their suspicion that the Vulcans may be hiding a long range sensor array here. The Andorians have actually come twice before, he says, both times leaving on the same day. Unfortunately, Archer's arrival has amplified their suspicions and – in the words of an initiate – "endangered us all." Learning that T'Pol has been aboard the Human vessel for "nine weeks and four days", the Elder asks her how she has been able to bear the smell. She tells him she has grown used to it (although a nasal numbing agent has also helped).

Sato and Reed discuss the situation

Hoshi Sato and Malcolm Reed discuss the situation

Back on Enterprise in the situation room, Lieutenant Reed points out an alien vessel that the sensors have detected. He is distressed that they had scanned for alien ships before sending down the landing party and that they have not heard from Archer in some time. Hoshi Sato and Travis Mayweather feel he's over-reacting – the captain is probably on a tour or observing some meditation ritual.

Archer interrogated by Shran

Archer is interrogated by Shran

Archer is brought out for interrogation. Shran wants to know where the sensor array is. Wrongly disbelieving Archer's protestations of ignorance, Shran beats him. He is no more satisfied with Archer's explanation for the use of a Vulcan science officer aboard a Human vessel. Enterprise tries to contact its captain by his confiscated communicator. Shran seizes it and declares the landing party to be prisoners of the Imperial Guard – and its hostages, to be killed if Enterprise attempts any action. Shran terminates the conversation and destroys the communicators, one after the other.

When Archer is returned to confinement, Tucker is appalled by the signs of torture. Even the Vulcans now relent; there is a transmitter which the Humans may use, it turns out, in the monastery's catacombs, amongst the sacred relics.

Act Three[]

Tucker with torch in catacombs

Tucker passing the catacombs

Following the Vulcan initiate by torchlight through the catacombs, Tucker spots some natural light coming in through holes at the top of a stairwell. Next he is startled by the remains of Haadok, one of the founders of P'Jem, and addresses the other dried bodies as "fellas". Just before reaching the transmitter he asks about another passage, and is told it leads to the reliquary of sacred artifacts. Tucker recognizes the transmitter as using a krellide power cell and is sure he can fix it. He gets back in time for the Andorians' headcount.

Archer and T'Pol using a blanket

Archer and T'Pol sharing a blanket

The merits of a transporter landing are debated. The Andorians do not have this technology, T'Pol says. Archer offers to share his blanket; she says she'd rather freeze, as "it's been 24 hours since I took my nasal numbing agent." Finally lying down beside her captain, she debates his planned resort to non-pacifistic means then turns away and snags the blanket from him.

Tucker raises Enterprise and tells Malcolm Reed that the landing party has walked into a "hostage situation". Reed has read about the Andorians in the Vulcan database. Tucker tells him that they suspect P'Jem to be a covert spy station, and have left Archer with "a face full of bruises". Nonetheless the captain's orders to Reed are to wait.

Map of stones

A map of the catacombs

In the morning the monks and the landing party make a map of the catacombs. The Elder lies to Archer about the reliquary, saying "no one has entered it in years." T'Pol notes that the stairwell must be under the atrium. Tucker models the pattern of light he saw there and Archer wonders if it might not be the large face on the atrium wall. He braves one more torture session, feigning such desperation to escape confinement with the Vulcans that he would even promise information for Shran and then delay giving it. After a punch in the kidney and a kick in the stomach, Archer offers trivia about Earth – the fact that bacteria accounts for 70% of the planet's lifeforms, and amusing anecdotes about historical Humans in Canton, Ohio.

Assault team ready to beam down

The assault team ready being beamed down

Archer is returned to confinement – but he has tossed a green statuette through one of the openings in the atrium wall for Tucker to recover.

Reed has the two tactical crewmen in his landing party set their phase-pistols on stun. One expresses hesitation about beaming down; Reed dismisses his fears and orders him onto the transporter platform – but confesses to some nervousness of his own.

Act Four[]

Shran at P'Jem

Shran confronts the Vulcans about the energy sourge

The landing party heads off into the catacombs. The Andorians come fast but are too late to find anything that might account for the energy surge. T'Pol suggests that their equipment may be at fault; Shran prefers the possibility that the Vulcans may have equipment of their own. He leaves Tholos to watch the prisoners.

Reed's party finds the stairwell and places three micro-charges inside the atrium wall face.

Tholos pays T'Pol unwanted sexual attention, telling her what he has heard of her world's exotic mating rituals. Intervening, Archer is threatened with death.

Shran knocked to the ground by an explosion

Shran knocked to the ground by the explosion

Reed sets off the charges and Shran is knocked forward onto the floor. The landing party enters the atrium and stuns Thon before he can rise and fire. Shran fires and hits one crewman; Reed drags him to safety. Keval has come to; Shran calls his name and tosses him a weapon. The two escape the Humans by plunging into the exposed stairwell.

In the confinement room, Tucker has failed to subdue Tholos and has been beaten for his efforts. Archer nearly succeeds but he too is thankful for Reed's entry. The Elder hypocritically –and with some emotion – says: "You've turned a place of solitude into a war zone." Reed, Archer, and T'Pol prepare to hunt for the two Andorians in the catacombs. Tucker is given a phase-pistol and told to stun Tholos if he wakes. The initiate takes up Tholos' weapon and will come along, saying to the Elder meaningfully: "We must protect what is ours."

Metal door in reliquary

A metal door is discovered in the reliquary

T'Pol locates the fugitive aliens in the reliquary. The initiate tries to block the Humans, but Archer pushes through. A firefight ensues, smashing several religious treasures – but sparing a statue of what looks like a horse. Even the initiate gets off a shot.

Vulcan listening post

The secret listening post of the Vulcans

During the fight a hanging sheet is revealed to be concealing a large atypical metal portal. Archer opens it and is stunned to find behind it a huge multi-level listening post. Archer calls a cease fire and invites the Andorians to take a look. The sensor array is powerful enough, Reed observes cynically, to tell the Vulcans "what every Andorian is having for breakfast." Furious that the Andorians were right about the Vulcans using the monastery for spying all along, Archer commands T'Pol to make full scans of the station. The initiate briefly takes Archer hostage in a last attempt to protect the remaining secrets of the base. Archer's blow, which handily disposes of this threat, is quick but "boy," Archer says, "did it feel good."

Shran thanks Jonathan Archer

"We are in your debt."

He commands T'Pol to hand her scan records over to the Andorians; she commands Enterprise to allow them to leave the planet unmolested. Shran remarks that he is in Archer's debt.

Memorable quotes[]

"I thought Starfleet training was tough."

- Archer, to Tucker after T'Pol briefed them on the numerous rules on visiting the monastery

"You say this is a place to purge emotions? Looks like somebody had to purge pretty bad. He bashed the door in."

- Tucker, to T'Pol when they come across the damaged entrance to the monastery on P'Jem

"Energize… before we change our minds."

- Reed, to Sato

"Okay, okay. Don't get your antennas in a twist!"

- Tucker, to Keval

"Why did you come here? Answer me, pink skin!"

- Shran's first words to Archer

"Take a look at the Vulcan database. See if it has anything on these Andorians."

- Reed, to Sato

"I'll enjoy having you – as a prisoner."

- Tholos, to T'Pol

"The smell must be intolerable."
"You get used to it. And I was given a nasal numbing agent."

- The Vulcan Elder to T'Pol, on living with Humans

"Whose idea was it to visit this place?"

- Archer

"I don't take orders from a com voice, ensign, not unless that voice belongs to the captain."

- Reed, to Mayweather

"Sir, you're wearing a hole in the deck plating."

- Mayweather, on Reed's nervous pacing on the bridge

"So if anyone has a suggestion… I'm all ears. No offense."

- Archer, to Vulcan monks

"For people without emotion you sure have a flair for the dramatic!"

- Tucker, upon witnessing the Vulcan elder open the secret entrance to the catacombs

"Andorians, yes. I've been reading about them in the Vulcan database. Militaristic, blue-skinned?"
"That's them."

- Reed and Tucker

"I've heard about your mating rituals… that Vulcan women force their men to fight to the death. Would you like me to kill someone for you?"
"Leave her alone."
"Would you like me to kill him?"

- Tholos, to T'Pol and Archer, to Tholos

"Violence in a sanctuary, captain?"
"Very disrespectful, but, boy, did it feel good!"

- Reed and Archer

"All this time… they've been calling these monks liars - and all this time, they've been right!"

- Archer, after discovering the listening post

"We're in your debt."

- Shran, to Archer after he gives him evidence that the Vulcans are spying on Andorians

Background information[]

Production history[]

Story and script[]

  • The Gorn were originally to have been featured as the villains in this episode. One reason why their role in the story was replaced with the Andorians was that the Gorn, unlike the Andorians, were considered to be unable to talk. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 136, p. 37)


  • This episode marks the first appearance of an updated makeup design for the Andorians, which was created by Michael Westmore and used for the species whenever they made subsequent appearances on Enterprise.
Shooting The Andorian Incident

A moment from this episode's production

Cast and characters[]

Gregg Sargeant, The Andorian Incident, production photo

Stunt actor Gregg Sargeant behind the scenes

Props, sets, and costumes[]

Andorian scanner, it's a wrap

The prop Andorian scanner with display graphics designed by Geoffrey Mandel

P'Jem catacombs blueprints, it's a wrap

The blueprints of the catacombs


Special and visual effects[]

Atrium window

The backdrop seen through the window

P'Jem monastery

Black Pool Studio's creation

Satellite image of P'Jem

The photograph from Yosemite National Park


  • In this episode, first contact between Humans and Andorians occurs. It was the first episode to prominently feature Andorians since TAS: "The Time Trap" in 1973. It is also the first of many episodes dealing with Andorians owing Humans a favor or vice versa, others being ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem", "Proving Ground", "Zero Hour", "Kir'Shara" and "These Are the Voyages...".
  • This episode also marks the first time of multiple occasions over the course of the series Captain Archer acts as mediator between two of the four species who in 2161, ten years after this episode, will found the United Federation of Planets, thereby making first steps towards establishing the union.
  • This is the first episode in which Malcolm Reed commands the ship in the absence of Archer, T'Pol, and Tucker.
  • This episode further establishes that the Andorian system and the Vulcan system are neighbors, which was first implied in DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight".
  • T'Pol notes that she has been on Enterprise for nine weeks and four days, placing this episode on June 19, 2151.
  • This timing creates issues demonstrating the problem with warp speed -- as defined, it really isn't all that fast in terms of true interstellar distances, vs. the needs of storytelling to "get on to the next interesting place". The star the monastery circles is an actual, known star that lies at a known distance from Earth. If Enterprise, even with its theoretical maximum warp of 5.1, headed for it upon leaving Earth in the first episode, it could just have made the trip (not counting in their journey to Qo'noS). Which leaves zero time for the various other jaunts and time spent in the preceding episodes.
  • Before using the transporter, a concerned tactical crewman says he has heard "stories" regarding transporter usage by Humans. Some of these stories are elaborated in "Daedalus".
  • While harassing T'Pol, Tholos mentions kal-if-fee although not by name but calling it "Vulcan mating ritual", a ritual performed by James T. Kirk and Spock in TOS: "Amok Time".
  • This episode mentions the time of kolinahr, the Vulcan purge of emotions, a ritual Spock failed in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  • The fate of P'Jem is revealed in "Shadows of P'Jem".
  • It is implied that Reed came up with the future stipulations that landing parties had to check in every ten minutes and scan for alien ships before arriving at their destination.


Ships of the Line 2003 actual back cover

Chauvin's creation (top, center)

  • In 2002, Eric Chauvin created the January image for the Star Trek: Ships of the Line 2003 calendar depicting the landing of Shuttlepod 1 at the landing platform at the monastery at P'Jem.
  • Roxann Dawson was later interviewed on this directing job in the article "Dawson Chic" in the Techno Beat section of Star Trek Monthly issue 90 in April 2002.
  • Roxann Dawson cited this, from the ten Star Trek: Enterprise episodes she directed, as the one she was personally fondest of. She based this opinion on the highly enjoyable experience of directing it and related, "It's my favorite, I think […] That one stands out in my head." [33]
  • There were many complaints from fans about how this episode portrays the Vulcans. "We took a lot of heat on 'The Andorian Incident'," said Chris Black, "that [the Vulcans] flat-out lied – they flat-out lied – that they have this spy station [on P'Jem]." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 143, p. 30)
  • This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 4.5 and was watched by a total average of 7.19 million viewers. [34]
  • This episode was chosen as the #2 "fan favorite" in an on-line poll conducted by UPN. It was re-broadcast on 1 April 2005 in this capacity. (Note: the poll was conducted before the final six episodes of the series were aired.) When aired as a fan favorite, the opening credits were updated to the Season 3 and 4 version. However, this is not the case on the season one DVD and Blu-ray releases of the episode.
  • Star Trek Magazine's "Ultimate Guide" rated this episode 5 out of 5 arrowhead insignias and referred to it as the third best episode of Enterprise's first season, also naming Jeffrey Combs as the "Best Guest Star" in the same season based on his performance herein. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 78)
  • The unofficial reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 361) comments about this episode, "If there was one person in the audience who didn't see the twist coming, it would be extraordinary. Despite that, it's a good episode for Archer and T'Pol, and an important one for the running plotlines. There's a fine mix of threat and intrigue, and a nice contrast between Archer's naive and direct approach and the Vulcans' shiftiness disguised as restraint."

Video and DVD releases[]


The VHS cover including "The Andorian Incident"

Links and references[]


Guest stars[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]




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Script references[]

altar; Altar of C'thia; Atlanta; class 3 pulse rifle; creature; databank; evolved; Hall of Katras; landscape; mausoleum; Memory Alpha; Mount Seleya; Starfleet Ranger School; Sulok; T'Kosh; vibration; volcanic; well

External links[]

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