(written from a Production point of view)
When Trip Tucker assists an alien vessel with repairs, a "friendly" encounter with one of the crew leads to rather unexpected consequences.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Log entries
- 3 Memorable quotes
- 4 Background information
- 5 Links and references
A sudden wave of odd malfunctions are affecting Enterprise, such as a gravity outage while Captain Archer is showering. Malcolm Reed informs Archer it will be temporary, and, indeed, it kicks back in before Archer can pull himself back to the floor. He falls hard.
Malfunctions continue to affect multiple systems. During a buffet in which Doctor Phlox is encouraging T'Pol to try Human food more, T'Pol calmly disagrees and goes to get some carbonated water, only to find a thick sludge come out of the machine instead. In engineering, Commander Tucker receives more malfunction reports when Archer arrives for an update. He's isolated it to the plasma exhaust, but needs more time. Just then, a small explosion in the room halts the conversation. Archer and a crewman put it out, but it forces Tucker to order the ship to slow down to impulse, something he'd rather not do since he thought he could figure it out.
It is soon discovered that the malfunctions are caused by a cloaked alien ship which is using Enterprise's plasma exhaust to replenish its teraphasic coils because its own engines are malfunctioning. The aliens deeply regret the incident and Archer graciously offers to help them. Tucker is sent to the alien vessel to assist them with the repairs. With a few inoculations from Phlox, Tucker is excited to need to stay a few days on an alien ship for the assignment.
Travis Mayweather easily brings Tucker over and docks with the ship. Tucker enters and climbs a long ladder into a small chamber. Oddly, the room starts to fill up with a gas that burns his lungs. He's alarmed, despite a voice calling in to say his discomfort will subside if he breathes normally.
At first, Tucker has an unpleasant experience as he adjusts to the ship's environment. During the three-hour decompression he calls Archer a few times. Then, he refuses to rest after, preferring to get a head start on the work. The aliens allow it, but he starts to feel nauseated and feverish. The feeling increases as he is led to the engine room. However, he finally accepts the suggestion (and Archer's order) to rest a little and begins to feel better soon afterward. In quarters prepared for him, the female Xyrillian engineer on board the ship, Ah'len, helps Tucker recuperate, offering him the closest thing they have to water on the ship: small cubes. Tucker is also fascinated to see that they have grass and food growing all over the ship itself.
After some time, Tucker helps the aliens with the engine and now enjoys himself. While coordinating with T'Pol, he relates the fascinating things he's seen to her and the crew. When it comes to a point where they need to wait, Ah'len shows him around the ship and introduces him to some interesting features of their technology: notably a kind of holodeck where various environments are simulated. She also plays some sort of a "game" with him whereby both reach into a pool of pebbles that enables them to read each other's minds. It is an interesting and enjoyable experience for Trip. When the coils come back online and thus the repairs are concluded, Trip finally returns back to the Enterprise, having thoroughly enjoyed his three-day trip.
After the Xyrillian starship cordially leaves, Tucker discovers a strange growth on his lower arm while talking to Reed. He thinks it is an allergic reaction but, after being examined by Dr. Phlox, he learns that it is actually a nipple. Phlox scans him and informs him that he is pregnant.
Tucker goes through a thorough scan while Archer and T'Pol are called to sickbay to hear the situation. Phlox states no genetic material is taken from the male involved and therefore Tucker is only serving as a host to the embryo. However, it's integrated with his pericardium, so Phlox is reluctant to remove it without more information. Then, Tucker is asked some rather uncomfortable questions by Archer and T'Pol about his stay on board the alien vessel, as Phlox says there must have been some lengthy physical contact to transfer the genetic material. Tucker is emphatic that he was a "gentleman" the entire time, which prompts disbelief from T'Pol, who expresses surprise that Tucker couldn't keep it together for three days. Tucker continues innocence, but then remembers the pebble "game" he played with the female engineer. The doctor tells him that apparently the "game" served to transfer genetic information to him. They realize that they have to find the Xyrillians to find information about the gestation process.
While searching for the Xyrillian ship, a hormonal Trip finds himself irritated frequently. Later, Tucker is in engineering and becomes very concerned about the lift being dangerous to a child or a short alien, pulling a confused crewman Dillard aside to talk about it. Dillard expresses his concern and Tucker drops it in frustration. At dinner with Archer and Phlox, Tucker suspects that T'Pol told everyone about his pregnancy, as he believes everyone is looking at him differently. Archer and Phlox try to calm him, but also remind him that they may not find the Xyrillians, meaning he will need to deliver the baby. Tucker's appetite seems to have increased, prompting Archer to order 8-hour check-ups with Phlox.
Finally, they discover the Xyrillians hitchhiking on a Klingon battle cruiser as they did with Enterprise.
Archer decides that they need the Klingons' cooperation since they will not be able to communicate with the Xyrillians without alerting them. This means a difficult explanation of the situation, as the Klingon captain, Vorok, is irate, firing on the ship first without answering the initial hail, then, after answering, immediately preparing to take the Xyrillians' ship and execute the crew. Archer tries to entice them to stop, but is unsuccessful. T'Pol then mentions Archer's experience with the Klingon chancellor, appealing to the honor and wisdom in heeding his request. Vorok then agrees. Archer also asks to allow Tucker to come with them to the ship, which is dismissed until they give the full explanation, including Tucker showing his now-protruding body to them (to his embarrassment). The Klingons find all this very amusing, and the captain decides not to destroy the Xyrillian ship if the Xyrillians promise to share some of their technology, in particular, the holographic technology.
On the Xyrillians' ship, the Klingons provide topographical data on their world and are amazed at the technology. The Xyrillians agree to adapt the technology. When Tucker is finally able to explain his situation to Ah'len, she apologizes, saying she didn't know that was possible. After examination, she finally concludes that the embryo could safely be transferred to another host – it is also revealed that the embryo is a girl and is very healthy.
As they depart, T'Pol informs Tucker that he may be pleased to know that after some research she found that this is the first recorded incident of a Human male becoming pregnant – "just how I always wanted to get in the history books", Tucker responds.
"Captain's starlog, supplemental. We've spent eight days looking for the Xyrillian ship. But so far, we've... had no luck."
"There's an old saying: 'When in Fellebia, do as the Fellebians do.' "
"It's difficult enough having to smell all of this. Eating it is out of the question."
- - Phlox and T'Pol
"Three days on an alien ship."
"Remember to mind your manners."
- - Tucker and Archer
"I feel like I've, uh... got a fever. I'm having trouble focusing, breathing. I really think I need to get back, captain!"
- - Tucker, to Archer while on the Xyrillian vessel
"I'm not sure if congratulations are in order commander but, you're pregnant."
- - Phlox, to Tucker
"Three days. You were only there for three days, and you couldn't restrain yourself."
"I'm telling you, captain, I was a complete gentleman the entire time."
"I imagine that's a question of how you define 'gentleman' "
- - T'Pol and Tucker
"Take a nap, Trip. That's an order."
- - Archer
"I'm the chief engineer. I spent years earning that position. I never had any intention of becoming a working mother!"
- - Tucker
"Tried these scrambled eggs? Tastes just like the real thing today."
- - Tucker, to Reed
"You may be putting those nipples to work before you know it."
- - Tucker and Phlox
"I considered myself a diplomat from the minute I set foot on that vessel. Well... there was that box of pebbles."
- - Tucker and Archer
"One of the first things a diplomat learns is not to stick his fingers where they don't belong."
- - T'Pol, to Tucker
"You'll probably feel a bit nauseated in the mornings, so get sufficient rest and exercise and see me at least once a day. That nipple may not be the only surprise your body has in store for you."
- - Phlox, to a pregnant Tucker
"I can see my house from here!"
- - Vorok, upon seeing a holographic representation of the capital city of Qo'noS on board the Xyrillian ship
"If the starship profiles the Vulcans gave us are correct-"
"They're correct, lieutenant. That's a Klingon battle cruiser."
- - Reed and T'Pol
"Perhaps a little lunch might help. I hear Chef has prepared Rigelian sausage. (Tucker groans) Being vegetarian I can't speak from experience, but I'm told it's quite succulent."
- - T'Pol, in a deleted scene in which she seems to be teasing (or punishing) Tucker
"I've run a check through the Starfleet database. You might be pleased to know that this is the first recorded incident of a Human male becoming pregnant."
"Just how I always wanted to get into the history books."
- - T'Pol and Tucker (last lines)
- The final draft script of this episode was issued on 26 July 2001.
- Randy Oglesby (Trena'L) later played the recurring character Degra during the third season of Enterprise.
- Julianne Christie (Ah'len) previously appeared as Dexa, a Talaxian, in VOY: "Homestead".
- Executive Producer Brannon Braga thought this episode's depiction of Tucker was effective and helped set Enterprise apart from the other Star Trek series. Braga believed what was especially refreshing was the way in which the character is at first very eager to go aboard the Xyrillian ship but soon becomes desperate to leave the vessel due to how strange he finds it. "That's the kind of stuff you would never see a Riker do, because they're just too seasoned," remarked Braga. "And Connor [Trinneer] just brought more to Trip than we could've imagined." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 23)
- Connor Trinneer found he had a lot to do in this Enterprise installment. "And I really took that episode and tried to make it my own," the actor stated, "because it was really centered around Trip and that whole experience [of winding up pregnant]. And it was funny. And I even had some ideas that I threw out that they were like, 'Yeah, that's great, that's great.' I think they were kind of giving me enough rope to hang myself with and I didn't." ("To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise, Part III: First Flight", ENT Season 1 Blu-ray special features)
- This is the first episode of the series to be directed by Mike Vejar.
- The Klingon battle cruiser that appeared in this episode was a very much "unexpected" reuse of the K't'inga-class model. For more information, see Vorok's battle cruiser.
Deleted scene 44
On the season one DVD release of Enterprise, there is one deleted scene which was removed from this episode. The number of the scene, 44, indicates the scene's original place in the episode before being cut.
The scene mostly takes place at the console in Enterprise's situation room and shows Tucker (who is not feeling very well), T'Pol, and Reed discussing whether or not they are actually tracking the stealth alien vessel. Tucker attempts to dismiss himself, only for T'Pol to recommend a meal, revealing she has been told that Rigelian sausage, which has recently been prepared by the ship's Chef, is notably "succulent." Tucker replies that he plans to lie down for a while but, as he waits for the turbolift door to open, Reed comes up with a faster way to detect the alien ship's plasma trail – by modifying Enterprise's UV sensors. He asks for the engineer's help to do so but Tucker, about to vomit, rushes to a door at the port side of the situation room, opens it and exits. A toilet is presumably on the other side of the door; Tucker can then be heard to vomit.
- This episode features the first appearance of holodeck technology. It is unknown whether Federation holodeck technology was later developed from this basis, or developed independently.
- This episode shows what Archer believes is the first inter-species pregnancy involving a human. However, it will later turn out it is not even the first instance of first inter-species reproduction involving Tucker: "E²" reveals that the half-Vulcan son of an alternative version of him operates in the Delphic Expanse. In "North Star", Enterprise will also uncover another earlier precedent, when they witness descendants of Humans and Skagarans. On the other hand, T'Pol's claim that this is the first recorded incident of a human male becoming pregnant remains unchallenged.
- This is the first known hostile encounter between a Starfleet vessel and a Klingon ship.
- The "mind reading" sequence makes mention of how Archer saved Trip's life in the Omega training mission, established in the previous episode, "Strange New World".
- T'Pol later brings up Tucker's dalliance with the female Xyrillian engineer in "Oasis", which causes him to angrily reply that T'Pol will "never let that go."
- Captain Archer says he has known Trip for eight years. This matches up with the episode "First Flight" which takes place in 2143, eight years earlier.
Reception and aftermath
- This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 5.2 and was watched by a total average of 8.16 million viewers. 
- In Star Trek Magazine's "Ultimate Guide", this episode was rated 1 out of 5 arrowhead insignia and was named the worst installment of Enterprise's first season. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 78)
- The unofficial reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 360) comments about this episode, "A 'male pregnancy' story sounds terrible, but this pulls it off, with a blend of humour, genuine humanity and freakiness. An early sign that Connor Trinneer is going to be a useful member of the cast, this is a good episode."
- Connor Trinneer believes this episode helped make his portrayal of Tucker memorable for the Enterprise writing staff, making it easier to write his character into subsequent stories. "I think from that point forward," said Trinneer, "they were really able to hear my voice coming out of Trip. They were able to hear Trip's voice." ("To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise, Part III: First Flight", ENT Season 1 Blu-ray special features)
- A script from this episode was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. 
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.3, 10 June 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 Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as T'Pol
- Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed
- Anthony Montgomery as Travis Mayweather
- Linda Park as Hoshi Sato
- Connor Trinneer as Charles "Trip" Tucker III
- Regi Davis as Klingon First Officer
- T.L. Kolman as Alien Man
- Mike Baldridge as Dillard
- John Cragen as Crewman
- Drew Howerton as Steward
- Job Alonso as Xyrillian male 2
- Adam Anello
- Jef Ayres as Haynem
- Michael Braveheart as Klingon officer
- Solomon Burke, Jr. as Billy
- Christina Carmel as Xyrillian female
- Mario Carter
- David Citron
- Cecilia Conn as command crewman
- Amy Kate Connolly as sciences crewman
- Adam Conway as Xyrillian male 3
- Mark Correy as Alex
- Vince Deadrick, Jr. as Enterprise engineer
- Dawn Drake
- Michael Duisenberg as Enterprise crewman
- Evan English
- Stacy Fouche as operations crewman
- Hilde Garcia as Rossi
- Jack Guzman as sciences crewman
- Bryan Heiberg as operations crewman
- Ryan Hess
- Aldric Horton as operations crewman
- Martin Ko as command ensign
- Jason Lasater as Unnamed Enterprise (NX-01) personnel
- Alise Phelan as Enterprise NX-01 crewman
- Prada as Porthos
- Erik Prejean
- Mark Rogerson
- Cynthia Uhrich as operations crewman
- David Walrod as Xyrillian male 1
- John Wan as operations crewman
- Todd Wieland
- David Anderson – stand-in for Randy Oglesby
- Adam Anello
- Gina Chai
- Amy Kate Connolly – stand-in for Julianne Christie
- Evan English – stand-in for John Cragen
- Tarik Ergin – stand-in for Regi Davis
- Simone Montanti – stand-in for Jolene Blalock
- J.R. Quinonez
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Christopher Darga
- Pablo Soriano
- Mark Watson – stand-in for Connor Trinneer
3D simulator; ability; act of war; Ah'len's embryo; Ah'len's parents; Almack; amputation; artificial gravity; battle cruiser, Klingon; bioscan; blastocyst; blue; blueberry pancakes; carbohydrate; carbonated water; career; catfish; chef; chicken tetrazzini; civilian clothing; decompression cycle; delivery date; depth perception; dermal plate; diet; digestive tract; diplomat; drink dispenser; dutara root; EM residue; environment; exhaust port; Fellebia; Fellebian; fever; finger; flashpoint; game; gestation; granule; grass; green; hair follicle; hallucinogenic effect; Hart; history book; hitchhiking; holographic; hologram; hormone; host; injector cells; intercostal; ion matrix; interspecies pregnancy; Klaang; Klingons; Klingon chancellor; Klingon Empire; Klingon High Council Chamber; lawn; lungs; marriage; meter; milligram; mirazine; mood swing; nap; ocean; omicron band; orange: pancake; pebble; perceptual test; pericardium; plasma exhaust; plomeek broth; resequenced photons; polarized hull plating; pregnancy; protein; Qo'noS; Qo'noS capital; razor; red; respiration rate; romance; rowboat; saying; scrambled eggs; sexual encounter; shave; shore leave; shut-eye; Shuttlepod 1; Starfleet database; stealth device; stealth technology; Sto-vo-kor; telepathy; teraphasic coils; Thera; toast; topographical survey; UV sensors; vegetarian; visual simulator; Vorok's battle cruiser; Vulcans; Vulcan; warp reactor; water; Xyrillians; Xyrillian homeworld; Xyrillian ship; yellow
- "Unexpected" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Unexpected" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Unexpected" at Wikipedia
"Strange New World"
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