Part II of the sci-fi prequel’s best television moments
Click here to read part I of the series.
14. “Twilight” (aired Nov. 5, 2003)
These “reset button” episodes have made their way into every Star Trek spin-off. In these episodes, cataclysmic events occur and then a time change reverts everything back to normal. From “Yesterday’s Enterprise” in The Next Generation, to “Year of Hell” in Voyager, these episodes are a normal occurrence in the spinoffs. In this one, part of the Xindi story arc, an anomaly causes Captain Archer to get parasites in his brain that prevent him from forming new long-term memories. With no recollection of the present day, Archer is relieved of command, Earth is destroyed by the Xindi, and Archer ends up living
on an alien planet with T’Pol as his caretaker.
15. “Similitude” (aired Nov. 19, 2003)
This episode explores the nature of cloning and the decision to end one’s life at the expense of another. In the episode, Trip ends up in a coma following a severe head injury. In order to save him, Phlox informs Archer that a creature in his menagerie of creatures can create a biomimetic symbiote—albeit one with a 15-day lifespan. This episode was the first written by Manny Coto, a sci-fi writer and Star Trek fan who would become the executive producer for the fourth season in part because of this episode.
16. “Borderland” (aired Oct. 29, 2004)
Star Trek: Enterprise’s fourth season, along with its third, are considered by many to be the best Star Trek season in years. One of the things that Coto did was try to connect the dots that the series had with the rest of the franchise. A prequel of sorts to “Space Seed,” Enterprise receives word that genetically-enhanced humans—called Augments—from the Eugenics Wars have hijacked a Klingon vessel, and the Klingon Empire threatens war. Their “father” is none other Dr. Arik Soong, an ancestor of Data’s creator Noonien Soong, played by Brent Spiner. This marked the first of three three-part stories that the fourth season offered.
17. “Cold Station 12” (aired Nov. 5, 2004)
The second part of the Augments trilogy is the darkest of the three, and it has to do with how the Augments try to get an access code to the rest of the cold-storage embryos from the Eugenics Wars. We finally get to see the effects of the Symbalene blood burn, first mentioned by Spock in the original series, and mentioned again by Barclay in The Next Generation episode, “Genesis.”
18. “The Augments” (aired Nov. 12, 2004)
The final episode of the arc has action, intrigue, and drama. Two references to the original series and The Next Generation are made here, both in the same scene. Considering that LeVar Burton directed it, it’s no surprise. Mark Rolston makes an appearance as a Klingon captain. Rolston was previously a part of TNG’s “Eye of the Beholder.”
19. The Vulcan Trilogy (“The Forge”/ “Awakening”/ “Kir’Shara”; aired Nov. 19-Dec. 3, 2004)
One of the things that the fourth season did was bring in some well-known Star Trek authors to write scripts. Those authors were Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, well-known Star Trek authors who collaborated with William Shatner on several trilogies of novels. In this trilogy of episodes, a bomb goes off at the United Earth embassy and kills 31 humans and 12 Vulcans. Throughout the exploration of the three episodes, Archer becomes inhabited by the katra (essence) of Surak, the father of the modern Vulcan era of peace and logic. Guest star Robert Foxworth turns in another wonderful performance as Administrator V’Las, the head of the Vulcan High Command who has a secret agenda.
20. The Romulan War Prequel Trilogy (“Babel One”/ “United”/ “The Aenar”; aired Jan. 28-Feb. 11, 2005)
This epic trilogy presaged the Romulan Wars, something that was mentioned in The Original Series, and sadly never seen in Enterprise; due to this trilogy’s low ratings the series was cancelled Feb. 2, 2005. In this trilogy of episodes, a drone ship masquerading as other ships, destroys an Andorian ship commanded by Shran (Jeffrey Combs). This brings the Andorians and Tellarites to each other’s throats just prior to a conference between the two organized by Earth before we find out it is the Romulans who are attempting to destabilize the region.
21. The Klingon Forehead Two-Parter (“Affliction”/ “Divergence”; aired Feb. 18 and 25, 2005)
One of the more interesting two-parters in Star Trek attempted to explain the differences between the Klingons seen in Enterprise and the 24th century era shows with those seen in The Original Series. Obviously, the real reason why that happened was the original series couldn’t afford it. These two-parters also feature one of the last appearances of James Avery from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
22. “Bound” (aired April 15, 2005)
One of the things that “Borderland” showed us was a scantily-clad Orion female for the first time since The Original Series. It was all too brief, unfortunately, and we get a whole episode of eye candy when Archer accepts three Orion slave girls as payment for a magnesite mining operations.
23. “In a Mirror, Darkly,” (Parts I and II – aired April 22 and 29, 2005)
Enterprise finally gets its mirror-universe episode when it is set entirely in the parallel dimension (again, for the sake of continuity). Commander Archer learns of a special starship in Tholian space and stages a mutiny in order to get to it. The ship is none other the U.S.S. Defiant, the same ship that went missing in The Original Series’ episode “The Tholian Web.”
24. “Demons” (aired May 6, 2005)
The final two-parter in the Star Trek franchise has to deal with one last obstacle humanity must overcome in order to be a full member of the interstellar community: their own prejudices. In this episode, Enterprise returns to Earth for a conference to see the formation of a Coalition of Planets—a precursor to the Federation. However, it is all for naught when John Frederick Paxton, (special guest star Peter Weller, who would go on to play Admiral Alexander Marcus in the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness), leader of an isolationist group called Terra Prime, takes control of an array to aim it directly at Starfleet Command.
25. “Terra Prime” (aired May 13, 2005)
The concluding part has the crew attempting to rescue Trip and T’Pol from Paxton. A touching moment between the two characters occurs when Trip talks to T’Pol about Vulcan-Human hybrid babies, something that paves the way for Spock. It’s a touching scene.
Photo: CC BY 2.0 by kennymatic