(written from a Production point of view)
The crew takes shore leave on the famous pleasure planet of Risa. For many, it is anything but a vacation.
- "Captain's personal log, February 18, 2152. It took a while but we finally made it to Risa. With any luck, this will be my last log entry for the next two days."
After two aborted attempts, Enterprise NX-01 finally arrives at the pleasure planet of Risa. Since they can only stay for two days, the crew draws lots to see who can take shore leave and who must stay on board to keep the ship running. Captain Archer, Ensigns Hoshi Sato and Travis Mayweather, Commander Trip Tucker, and Lieutenant Malcolm Reed get to be among the lucky few who get to go down. Captain Archer feels bad going down while half the crew has to stay on board, but T'Pol reassures him that he need not worry because everyone drew lots and it was a fair draw. He still feels uneasy, believing the crew should come first, but she insists that he needs a vacation.
On their way down to the planet in a shuttlecraft, they discuss their plans. Mayweather plans to spend his shore leave rock climbing at a place called Galartha, where the cliff-face changes pitch while one climbs it; Reed and Tucker plan on broadening their "cultural horizons", as they state somewhat mischievously, making Sato wonder if that is all they think about. Sato herself plans on doing something constructive with her time, such as learning new languages without relying on her universal translator so much. Reed and Tucker poke fun at her, teasing her that she only has two days, which she probably shouldn't be spending by just merely talking to people. Captain Archer does not seem nearly as excited and adventurous about his plans for shore leave, stating that he got a little villa overlooking the ocean and plans on relaxing there with Porthos and reading.
Back on the ship, Doctor Phlox, who also received shore leave, plans on spending his time not by going down to the planet but by hibernating, telling T'Pol and Crewman Cutler to wake him up only if there is a medical emergency.
Down on the planet, Tucker and Reed, who plan to spend their shore leave seeking female companionship, go to a bar where they meet plenty of what they are looking for. Archer goes to his villa overlooking the ocean to find that T'Pol left him a copy of The Teachings of Surak to read. While he spends some quiet time alone relaxing on his patio, he meets a beautiful alien woman named Keyla who appears somewhat reserved and reluctant. She turns down his invitation to go for dinner but suggests meeting up the next day.
In the meantime, Sato, who has been planning to spend her shore leave learning new languages, strikes up a conversation with an elderly Risan couple, who are surprised that she speaks their language so well and that she bothered to learn it in the first place, since so few people do. After the couple leaves, an alien male approaches Sato. He overheard her conversation with the Risan couple and is fascinated by her ability to learn new languages so rapidly. He tells her the name of his home planet (which is quite long). When Sato asks him to repeat it more slowly, he informs her that to do so would change the meaning of what is said. Intrigued, Sato continues to talk with him, trying to learn his language. He invites her to dinner and she agrees.
Tucker and Reed, meanwhile, have the time of their life surrounded by beautiful women in the nightclub they visited. They meet two particularly attractive and interested women who suggest a stroll down to the subterranean gardens. Reed and Tucker eagerly accept. The women lure them to a secluded place that does not resemble gardens at all, suddenly asking them how much starship captains get paid on their world and about the kind of valuables they have. Tucker and Reed quickly realize that there has obviously been a misunderstanding here, but before they can explain, they find out that the alien women are actually male thieves in disguise, who, disgusted to find that Tucker and Reed are carrying nothing of value, knock them out with their weapons and steal their clothes so they can sell them.
Back on the ship, T'Pol receives a message from Mayweather, asking her to send down a shuttle for him to come up; he had a little rock-climbing accident, and is currently being treated in the central hospital. He complains that not only does the rock face change, but that it also has handholds that change – causing him to fall. T'Pol asks him why he didn't let them treat him down there on the planet, but Mayweather explains that he is not too fond of alien hospitals and wanted his own doctor to take a look at him. However, he soon finds out that Phlox is actually not available as he is in hibernation. Mayweather is not too happy about this, especially since he has been experiencing difficulty breathing. To be sure, they take him to sickbay for observation.
Down on the planet, Tucker and Reed finally regain consciousness. Their hands are tied and the aliens have stripped them down to their underwear. They realize that they have been down there all night and that shore leave is almost half over. They scream asking for help, but no one can hear them as the aliens sealed the door when leaving them down there. While Tucker is angry, stating that he doesn't plan on spending his short time on the planet tied down in some basement, Reed notes that the Vulcan database never mentioned anything about crime on Risa. Tucker states that actually it contained some warning about such things, and before they know it, they start arguing with and blaming each other for their situation.
On the ship, Mayweather's health is deteriorating further and he is experiencing more difficulty breathing. It appears as if the pain medication he was given on Risa has caused an allergic reaction. Crewman Cutler recommends they wake up Phlox to treat Mayweather.
However, the doctor isn't fully awake and it takes him a while to both remember what he's supposed to be doing and how to treat Mayweather. Despite his almost delirious state, he finally manages to treat him, confirming that he has had an allergic reaction. He promptly passes out face down on a biobed the moment he has finished treating Mayweather.
On Risa, Sato continues spending time with her new alien friend, who invites her to a steampool that he has been planning on visiting and she agrees to join him. They get along quite well, and Sato ends up spending the night with him.
While Sato is enjoying the time with her new companion, and Tucker and Reed try to find a way out of their embarrassing situation, a somewhat lonely Archer finally receives a visit from Keyla, who is suddenly very talkative and asks him many strange questions. She tells him that she had a family that was killed by the Suliban. Archer feels bad, remembering how he aided a few Suliban prisoners escape once. They open a bottle of Risan wine, but Keyla doesn't appear to be in the best mood. Upon asking her if something was the matter, Keyla begins talking about the Suliban again, asking Archer if he has ever seen any of them and what he knows about them; she insists on knowing where they come from and where they live. Archer apologizes for not being able to tell her more, however, Keyla doesn't stop prying, acting more agitated, yelling at Archer to tell her more about where they live. This is when Archer realizes that something is not right and that there is more going on here than what meets the eye. When she leaves his place to get a sweater for their walk along the beach, Archer transmits a bioscan of Keyla to the ship. It turns out that she is a Tandaran who has undergone plastic surgery to disguise herself. Once Archer discovers her true identity and confronts her, she knocks him out and disappears.
While Reed and Tucker manage to cut through the ropes to free themselves, leaving the cellar and walking back to the bar and to their rooms in their underwear, Sato, who has spent the night with the man she just met, is getting ready, albeit reluctantly, to go back to the ship. She explains that she wished she could spend all day lying in bed with him, but that she has to go. Captain Archer also finally awakens with a headache, realizing that he was out all night after Keyla knocked him unconscious.
On the shuttle flight back to the ship, everyone is rather quiet and not nearly as eager and talkative as they were on their way down two days ago. An embarrassed Tucker and Reed are sitting there in their underwear and robes, trying not to smell or let anyone know what really happened to them down there, while Archer smiles, stating that he in fact got plenty of rest and went out like a light. Sato seems to be the only one with a smirk on her face, even though she also doesn't reveal what really happened, merely stating that she in fact learned several new conjugations. Thinking that Archer had a dull time just reading, Tucker suggests that next time they have shore leave, instead of just sitting around and reading books, he should try and get out, look for a little excitement and meet new people. Archer nods and smiles.
"Captain, you need a vacation."
- - T'Pol, to Archer
"I'll bring you a souvenir."
- - Tucker to T'Pol, before heading down to Risa
"Malcolm and I plan to, uh… broaden our cultural horizons."
"Is that all you two think about?"
"Well, how we choose to relax is our own business."
- - Tucker to Sato, on what he and Reed will be doing on Risa
"Before I left Earth, I learned 38 languages and now all I do is push a button and the computer does all the work."
"Isn't that what it's for?"
- - Sato and Rostov
"Now she's interesting."
"I don't think 'she' is the right pronoun."
- - Reed and Tucker, in the nightclub
"I don't care what it tastes like!"
- - A disoriented Phlox after being awakened suddenly from his hibernation.
"Most of what I have learned about them has come from rumors and hearsay. But you have seen them face to face. I want you to tell me what you know. Where are their helixes? Where do they live?!"
- - Keyla, grilling Archer about the Suliban
"I'm gonna check out now. I can't have you interfering."
- - Keyla, after knocking Archer out in his room
"You were willing to follow two aliens into a basement!"
"Gorgeous aliens! Remember, they were gorgeous!"
"They were male!"
"Not at first!
- - Reed and Tucker, while being restrained in the basement
"Whatever's in that bottle you broke got all over me. It stinks to high heaven."
"It's not like I had a choice. We needed something to cut through those ropes."
- - Reed and Tucker, after freeing themselves
"Have you ever been to an alien hospital?"
"Yes. In San Francisco."
- - Travis and T'Pol, in the launch bay
"What about you, Hoshi? Do anything constructive?"
"As a matter of fact, I learned several new conjugations."
- - Tucker and Sato, talking about their shore leave (a double entendre mixing linguistics and sex)
Story and script
- Teleplay writer Chris Black found this episode took a long time to come to fruition. "We had been talking about doing a shore-leave episode literally from the time I showed up," he admitted. Although the Shore Leave Planet from TOS: "Shore Leave" was briefly considered as the destination, it was rejected because it is depicted as being new to Starfleet in that episode, set in the future of this one. Another idea – Wrigley's pleasure planet, which had been mentioned once in TOS: "The Man Trap" – has a name that was thought to sound too Human and too well-known for the relatively distant region of space which Enterprise was now meant to be in. The writers finally settled on choosing Risa, not only because it had been established earlier in the Star Trek franchise but also due to the increased likelihood that it might be in Vulcan ken. "The Vulcans have been there and T'Pol would know about it," said Black.
- Of all the side plots involving activities undertaken by members of Enterprise's senior crew, that which was possibly most tweaked was the story line featuring Archer. For this, the writers took inspiration from the movie To Catch a Thief, while also wanting to keep the captain slightly more reserved than entering into a passionately romantic entanglement. "We wanted to have Archer involved in a little intrigue, to put him into an almost Cary Grant-like role from a Hitchcock movie – where he meets Grace Kelly in the villa next door and she's very mysterious," recalled Chris Black. "More of a flirtation than a full-blown romance [here]; we didn't want Archer to be 'involved.'" The concept of the mystery woman was first thought up, before she was made an agent of the Tandarans. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 143, p. 31)
Cast and characters
- Mayweather actor Anthony Montgomery was amused by the fact that, due to Mayweather being a thrill-seeker, he suffers an injury on Risa and returns to Enterprise very soon thereafter, spending hardly any time on the planet surface. "That was so funny," remarked the actor. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 19)
- Dey Young previously played Arissa in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "A Simple Investigation", as well as Hannah Bates in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Masterpiece Society".
- Kellie Waymire makes her last appearance as Elizabeth Cutler in this episode, due in part to her sudden death in November 2003. She previously appeared as Layna in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Muse" and Cutler in the Enterprise episodes "Strange New World" and "Dear Doctor".
- Joseph Will previously appeared as Kelis in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Muse", as a Quarren security officer in the Voyager episode "Workforce, Part II", and Michael Rostov in the Enterprise episode "Vox Sola". He later reprised his role as Rostov in the second season episode "The Crossing".
- The two dogs in this episode, Prada (Porthos) and Tibbis (Rhylo), had actually worked together before, as spy partners in the movie Cats & Dogs. This episode was also Prada's last episode. Breezy, who was a stand-in for Prada when a more "spunky" Porthos was needed, took over the role completely from that point on.
- Dennis Cockrum, whose scene as Freebus was cut from the final episode, previously appeared as the Corvallen freighter captain in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Face of the Enemy" and as Orek in the Voyager episode "Live Fast and Prosper". He later returned to play the alien barkeep in the second season episode "The Communicator".
- According to a call sheet for Monday 25 March 2002, the two contest winners Jordan Mann and Henry Geller were chosen to play a Risian and an alien bistro patron as part of the "Risan Bistro Night Group". However, neither contest winner appears in the final version of this episode.
- Rudolph Martin played the alien Ravis, Sato's love interest.
- Finances restricted the making of this episode. Explained Chris Black, "We got down to the end of the season, and we were really up against it in terms of budget; we would have loved to do more with Risa, and we found out we just couldn't afford to." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 143, p. 31)
- This is the only Enterprise episode to be directed by Michael Dorn. He previously directed the Deep Space Nine episodes "In the Cards", "Inquisition", and "When It Rains...". Dorn's direction of this episode makes him the only Star Trek regular to be involved with the majority of Star Trek episodes set on Risa.
- "Two Days and Two Nights" was filmed between Tuesday 19 March 2002 and Wednesday 27 March 2002 on Paramount Stages 8, 9, and 18. Second unit shots were filmed on Wednesday 3 April 2002 and insert shots on Tuesday 9 April 2002.
- Paramount Stage 8 housed the sets of the sickbay, the interior of the shuttlepod, the mess hall, Phlox's quarters, and the interior and exterior sets of Archer's and Keyla's villa and balconies. Stage 9 had the Risan bistro, Sato's villa on Risa, the basement under the nightclub, and the Risan nightclub, while Stage 18 was used for the bridge of Enterprise, launch bay one, the interior of the shuttlepod, and the corridor sets.
- Though no stunt performer or stunt double was needed in this episode, Stunt Coordinator Vince Deadrick, Jr. worked three days on set to coordinate the falls of Scott Bakula, Dominic Keating, Connor Trinneer, and John Billingsley.
- The door control in Archer's villa is shaped like a horga'hn. The horga'hn symbol also appeared on storage containers in the basement under the nightclub.
- The Season 1 DVDs contain a deleted scene from this episode. Numbered Scene 1-2, it consists of a one-and-a-half minute exchange between Jonathan Archer, Trip Tucker, T'Pol, and Freebus. In it, we find out how the crew paid for their shore leave, with Freebus taking an unspecified amount of dilithium to cover "all" costs for the vacationing crew members. We also learn that Risa has numerous diversions for Vulcans.
- This is the last of three stories set mostly on Risa. In addition to this episode, these include TNG: "Captain's Holiday" and DS9: "Let He Who Is Without Sin...", both of which involved Michael Dorn portraying his regular character of Worf. However, the planet also briefly appears in TNG: "The Game" and, hereafter, in ENT: "The Seventh".
- Phlox stated in a previous episode, "Dear Doctor", that Denobulans hibernate for six days a year. In this episode, Phlox follows through on this necessity (though, as he puts it, he can "get by" with only two days of hibernation).
- The Tandaran plotline, begun in "Detained", is never revisited after this episode.
- The book The Teachings of Surak was translated by Skon of ShiKahr. Skon is the father of Sarek and grandfather of Spock, as established in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
- This is the first time we see both Enterprise shuttlepods launching simultaneously.
- Archer is seen with a bag bearing the logo of Friendship 1, a probe seen in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
Reception and aftermath
- Chris Black ended up frustrated by this installment. His dissatisfaction with it largely stemmed from the tight financial situation in which the episode was produced. Another reason was that he felt the script had been hobbled by the need to explain the back story of "Detained" once this episode's mystery woman was made a Tandaran agent. "So I don't want anyone to get the impression that I didn't like 'Two Days and Two Nights'," he clarified. "I did like the show, but you always go back through the process and kind of kick yourself when you think, 'It could've been more!'" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 143, p. 31)
- Shortly after the making of this installment, Rick Berman described it as "very funny." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 11) Years later, Brannon Braga characterized this episode as a boring one, about which he rhetorically asked, "Who cares?" ("To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise, Part III: First Flight", ENT Season 1 Blu-ray special features)
- On the first broadcast of this installment, the episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 3.1 and was watched by a total of 5.26 million viewers. 
- This episode won the 2002 Emmy Award in the category Outstanding Hairstyling For A Series. The team included Michael Moore, Gloria Pasqua Casny, Roma Goddard, Laura Connolly, and Cheri Ruff.
- The "Ultimate Guide" in Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 79 rated this episode 3 out of 5 arrowhead insignia.
- The unofficial reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 369) calls this installment "a comedy episode that's not terribly funny, but does genuinely feel like the characters are on holiday." The book's critique of this episode concludes by stating, "The funniest bit, ironically, is Phlox's hibernation."
- Several items from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including Archer's telescope,  his water polo bag,  two scripts of this episode,   and costumes of Dominic Keating,    Linda Park,   Carlos Milano,  Whitney Hall,  Connor Trinneer,   Anthony Montgomery,   Dey Young,  James Ingersoll,  Dennis Cockrum,  Stephen Wozniak,  Kellie Waymire,  Geoff Meed,  and background actors. 
- The shot of Enterprise flying over Risa was later reused as Earth in the fourth season episode "Demons".
- 18 March 2002: Final draft script is submitted
- 19 March 2002: Production commences
- 25 March 2002: Risan bistro scenes are filmed
- 27 March 2002: Final day of principal photography; Risan nightclub scenes are filmed
- 3 April 2002: Second unit shots are filmed
- 9 April 2002: Insert shots are filmed
- 15 May 2002: Premiere airdate
Video and DVD releases
- This was the last volume of Enterprise released on VHS, due to the dwindling home video market, and PHE choosing to focus on the DVD format.
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
- Dey Young as Keyla
- Kellie Waymire as Elizabeth Cutler
- Rudolf Martin as Ravis
- Joseph Will as Michael Rostov
- DonnaMarie Recco as Dee'Ahn Female
- James Ingersoll as Risan Man
- Jennifer Williams as Risan Woman
- Geoff Meed as Dee'Ahn Male
- Stephen Wozniak as Latia Male
- Toshiya Agata as alien bistro patron
- Deena Alvarado as Risian waitress
- Tom Archdeacon as Risian man
- Jef Ayres as Haynem
- Stephen Blackehart as Risian man
- Jennifer Bowman as Risian woman
- Solomon Burke, Jr. as Billy
- Rick Burns as Risian man
- Robert Casey as alien nightclub patron
- Dennis Cockrum as Freebus (deleted scene)
- Diamond Cook as Risian woman
- Rob Cushman as Risian bartender
- Dawn Drake as operations division crewman (deleted scene)
- Alison Ebbert as alien nightclub patron
- Patrick Emery as Risian man
- Evan English as Tanner
- Sharon Ferrito as Risian woman
- Susan Foley as Risian woman
- Stacy Fouche as operations division crewman
- Heidi Franz as alien bar patron
- Noriko Fukai as alien bistro patron
- Hilde Garcia as Rossi
- Whitney Hall as Risian waitress
- Glen Hambly as operations division ensign (deleted scene)
- Kristin Hjellegferde as alien nightclub patron
- Dawn Hoes as Risian woman
- Amina Islam as command division ensign
- Terita Jackson as Risian woman
- Kerri Jones as Risian woman
- John Jurgens as command division crewman
- Martin Ko as command division ensign
- Lynne Langdon as Risian woman
- Sven Lindstrom as crewmember
- Anna Llurch as alien nightclub patron
- Traci Lynn as alien bistro patron
- Rosalyn Macie as Risian woman
- Carlos Milano as Risian waiter
- Marlene Mogavero as operations division crewman
- Peter John Narus as alien bistro patron
- Paula Neiman as alien bistro patron
- Stephen Novik as alien nightclub patron
- Monica Parrett as command division crewman
- Kevin Porter as Risian man
- Prada as Porthos
- Larry Ready as alien bistro patron
- Cesar Rodriguez as science division lieutenant
- Tony Ross as Risian man
- Lisa Roumain as female Kaitlen
- David Silverstein as alien nightclub patron
- Virginia Simonson as Risian woman
- Dawn Stern as Latia Female
- Tibbis as Rhylo
- James R. Tweedell as alien bistro patron
- Thelma Tyrell as operations division crewman
- David Venafro as alien nightclub patron
- Antonio Vesa as Risian man
- David Keith Anderson – stand-in for Anthony Montgomery, Dawn Stern, and Stephen Wozniak
- Gina Chai – stand-in for Linda Park
- Amy Kate Connolly – stand-in for Kellie Waymire, Dey Young, Jennifer Williams, and DonnaMarie Recco
- Evan English – stand-in for Dominic Keating and Dennis Cockrum
- Simone Montanti – stand-in for Jolene Blalock, DonnaMarie Recco, and Geoff Meed
- Louis Ortiz – stand-in for Joseph Will, John Billingsley, Rudolf Martin, and Scott Bakula
- J.R. Quinonez – stand-in for Scott Bakula
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Scott Bakula
- Mark Watson – stand-in for Connor Trinneer and James Ingersoll
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- "Two Days and Two Nights" at Wikipedia
- "Two Days and Two Nights" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Two Days and Two Nights" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
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