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Shadows of P'Jem (episode)

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"Shadows of P'Jem"
ENT, Episode 1x15
Production number: 014
First aired: 6 February 2002
13th of 97 produced in ENT
14th of 97 released in ENT
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 97 released in ENT Remastered  
642nd of 728 released in all
EnterpriseOverCoridan2151
Teleplay By
Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong

Story By
Rick Berman & Brannon Braga

Directed By
Mike Vejar
Unknown (2151)
Arc: Vulcan vs. Andoria (2 of 7)
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Archer and T'Pol are taken prisoner during an away mission on a war-torn planet in the Coridan system.

Summary Edit

Teaser Edit

After the discovery of P'Jem as a base for spy activity against the Andorians, it is destroyed in an attack by the Andorians. In response to this, the Vulcan High Command calls for an end of joint Earth-Vulcan fleet operations and requests the transfer of T'Pol off Enterprise.

Act I Edit

On board Enterprise, Captain Archer mentions he's found an interesting place to visit in the Vulcan database: the Coridan system. One planet in the system is home of over three billion humanoids. He mentions this to Trip Tucker over breakfast, but is pulled away by a communication from Earth.

After Admiral Forrest informs him of the details of the Vulcans' recent decision, Archer summons T'Pol to his ready room to let her know about it. He gives her a PADD with all the details of the destruction of P'Jem, and informs her that the Ni'Var is coming to pick her up. She says she will get another crew member to finish the sector scans she was performing. Archer is unhappy about the transfer, and tells her this. He feels that the Vulcan High Command is having an emotional response, and that they are punishing him and her by taking her away from the ship, depriving Enterprise of a capable officer and her skills. T'Pol says she is responsible for the destruction at P'Jem, and leaves.

Archer tells Tucker that he'll be taking T'Pol down to the surface alone so he can have some final time with her before the transfer. He wants to try to convince her to fight the transfer and stay on Enterprise.

Phlox visits T'Pol in the mess, drawing her attention from the PADD she was studying, to talk to her about the transfer. She indicates that she thinks the High Command's punishment is logical. Phlox reveals that T'Pol is not the first Vulcan posted to Human ships, but she is the first to last more than a few weeks. The other Vulcans all requested transfers, citing the Humans as too unpredictable. He also warns her that the rest of the crew are planning a going-away party in her honor.

P'Jem monastery

The monastery of P'Jem (2151)

Once Enterprise is in orbit, Archer and T'Pol head down to the capital city in a shuttlepod. Archer's attempts at small talk are broken by the sudden approach of a fixed-wing aircraft. They are told to change heading and reduce speed. Sensing trouble, Archer brings the weapons online and attempts to defend the shuttlepod, but it is shot down and Archer and T'Pol are both captured.

Act II Edit

After they regain consciousness, they struggle to break free from their restraints. They are interrogated by the leader of the dissidents, Traeg. He doesn't recognize Archer's species, but he does recognize T'Pol as a Vulcan, and states that the Vulcans are supporters of the government, meaning they are enemies. They demand to know about the shuttlepod and the phase pistols they found. Archer mentions that the protein resequencer can make chicken sandwiches. For this response, he is pistol-whipped. T'Pol quickly lies and says that Archer is a steward to stop him from being beaten further.

Meanwhile, on board Enterprise, the crew learns from Chancellor Kalev about the capture of the hostages. She isn't very helpful, merely telling them not to give in to any demands from the dissidents.

T'Pol and Archer fall on each other

Archer gets a face full

Archer and T'Pol manage to stand up and shift in their bonds until they are facing each other. As T'Pol is undoing the knots, Archer tries to tell her that she's not responsible for the destruction of P'Jem. She says she should have protested, instead of letting Archer take Enterprise to the planet and P'Jem.

Just as they manage to get their bonds off, a guard comes. They try to subdue him, but are interrupted as more guards arrive and recapture them.

On the ship, Tucker and Malcolm Reed are discussing a possible shuttle location in their sensor readings. As they are deciding whether to send a rescue team to the location, they receive an audio transmission from the dissidents demanding forty phase pistols in exchange for their hostages. The communication cuts off abruptly. Reed mentions that they only have fifteen phase pistols aboard, and that even if they exchanged them for the hostages, there is no guarantee that they would return the hostages.

Another transmission interrupts the conversation, this time from the Ni'Var. Captain Sopek demands to know where Captain Archer is. Tucker fills them in on the situation, including the fact that T'Pol has also been captured with Archer. Sopek states that since it involves a Vulcan citizen, they will take over the investigation and handle the rescue. He cuts off the transmission right after telling Tucker to not do anything foolish.

Act III Edit

Sopek meets with Tucker and Reed on the bridge of Enterprise. He outlines the Vulcan rescue plan: they intend to go in, strike at the terrorists, and recapture the hostages. Tucker tries to talk him into using a different approach, but Sopek is firm in his logical decision. After Sopek leaves, Tucker orders Reed to warm up the shuttle and get ready to move in.

On the planet, Archer and T'Pol have been retied separately. A guard comes in and leaves food dishes at their feet. Archer orders T'Pol to eat to keep her strength up, and then does his best to eat his food. T'Pol copies him, flopping over and pushing her face up to the dish. As they are eating, Archer discovers a com device inside his dish.

On the bridge, Sopek contacts Enterprise to ask about a shuttle launch they have detected. He demands to know where it was headed. Hoshi Sato stalls him for a few minutes before intentionally breaking off the transmission.

On the planet's surface, Reed and Tucker are making their way towards the shuttle signature when they are captured by a pair of masked assailants. Thy'lek Shran takes the hoods off of the officers and interrogates them. He claims that the Vulcans are preparing for a war against the Andorians. He also tells them that both Archer and T'Pol will be killed once the weapons are delivered to the dissidents.

Shran also says he and Tholos will release the officers, as he feels he has a debt to them for helping him to discover the listening post at P'Jem. Once he rescues Archer and T'Pol, he'll consider the debt repaid. Given the number of guards, Tucker feels the odds are unfair and he volunteers himself and Reed to help rescue the hostages. Shran agrees to let them help.

Via a com device that was smuggled in by a guard who is working with the Andorians, Tucker tells Archer about their plan to rescue him and T'Pol.

Act IV Edit

Tucker approaches the guards outside the compound and distracts them with Andorian ale. At the same time, the operative lets in the Andorian agents. Suspecting a trap as Reed makes a noise, the outside guards grab Tucker, causing a commotion and distracting the wall guards. The Andorians make short work of the wall guards, and open the main gates to let in Tucker and Reed. Just as they are moving further into the compound, a Vulcan commando team led by Sopek blows a hole in the fence and starts firing. The Andorian operative is shot by a wayward blast just as he enters the cell to release Archer and T'Pol.

With their escape cut off and the guards alerted, the rescue team is forced to join the firefight to save the hostages. After exchanging fire with the dissidents, the team manages to reach the cell. Shran gives back the Vulcan scanning device to T'Pol and pronounces his debt repaid. Just as this happens, the Vulcans set off an explosion which kills and knocks out the remaining dissidents.

Shran and Sopek on Coridan

Thy'lek Shran and Sopek

As the rescue team is leaving, the Vulcans accuse the Andorians of violating the Tau Ceti Accords. As they argue back and forth, Traeg, despite his wounds, aims his plasma pistol at Sopek and fires. T'Pol instinctively jumps in the way of the blast, saving him. As Archer orders the crew to take T'Pol back to the ship for medical treatment, Sopek says she's no longer Archer's responsibility. Archer disagrees, and they carry her off to the shuttlepod to return to Enterprise.

Act V Edit

In the medical bay, Phlox updates Archer and Sopek on T'Pol's status. Archer discusses the situation with Sopek, telling him that he can see how the Vulcan High Command could be annoyed at her, but that it is unreasonable to punish her by stripping her of her position. Using the argument that she risked a lot to help Sopek, he asks him to go before the High Command and ask for leniency for her. Initially, Sopek disagrees, but Phlox mentions that it will be impossible to move T'Pol for some time. With this strong reminder of what T'Pol risked to save him, he agrees to discuss the matter when he meets with the High Command in three days time.

With Sopek gone, Phlox injects T'Pol with something to bring her around. When she attempts to return to her quarters, he tells her that she needs 24 hours of bed rest before she can return to duty. Archer tells her that she made a strong impression on Sopek, and that he will talk to the High Command. After saying that he thinks she's likely to stay on board Enterprise for a long time, she replies that she should have been consulted about it. Archer suggests she still has time to catch up to Sopek, but she lies back, stating that doing so would violate doctor's orders.

Memorable quotes Edit

"They've been in space for six months and they've already destabilized an entire sector."

- Soval, on the crew of Enterprise


"My assignment to the Enterprise was only supposed to last eight days. It was unrealistic to expect it to continue indefinitely."
"The High Command is looking for a scapegoat... someone to blame; they can't punish me, so they're taking it out on my science officer... sounds like an emotional reaction, if you ask me."

- T'Pol and Archer


"My superiors believe that I'm responsible for the destruction of the P'Jem sanctuary."
"Do you agree with their assessment?"
"It's the logical conclusion."

- T'Pol and Phlox


"You realize you're not the first Vulcan officer to be posted aboard a Human starship? The High Command has tried this before, but none of the others lasted more than a few weeks. They found their crew mates too chaotic and unpredictable. But you've been here more than six months, and you haven't merely tolerated this crew, you've become part of it. Isn't it logical to take pride in that accomplishment?"
"Pride is a Human indulgence."
"I suppose it is."

- Phlox and T'Pol


"I just... thought you might enjoy one final mission with your captain. Or maybe I should just take you back to Enterprise."

- Archer, to T'Pol as they descend toward Coridan


"Houdini could get out of this."
"Perhaps you should invite him on your next mission."
"Harry Houdini was a magician, an escape artist. He was famous for being able to free himself from any kind of restraint - rope, chains, anything."
"That seems unlikely."
"That's why he was called a magician."

Archer and T'Pol, as they work to free themselves from their restraints


"I'm curious about your starship, what can you tell me about it?"
"Our protein resequencer can make chicken sandwiches."

- Traeg and Archer


"You might have told us about your little war before you invited us down."

- Tucker, to Chancellor Kalev


"It's clear that living among Humans has caused my reasoning to become compromised."

- T'Pol, to Archer


"Your people took something away from my father that meant a lot to him. They're not going to do the same thing to me."

- Archer, to T'Pol


"It's not Vulcan policy to negotiate with terrorists."

- Captain Sopek


"This is Sopek. Where is Commander Tucker?"
"He's unavailable at the moment, can I take a message?"
"I want to know where that shuttlepod was going."
"What shuttlepod is that?"
"The one that left your launch bay nine minutes ago."
"I really wouldn't know, Sir. We get shuttlepods coming and going all the time. It's a little like Union Station around here."
"I want to know where Commander Tucker is..."
"I'm sorry, your transmission's breaking up..."

- Sopek and Sato, just before she intentionally cuts their transmission


"I'm getting real sick of being cut off."

- Tucker, on having his communications disabled twice


"You're awfully trigger-happy for someone who's repressed his emotions."

- Tucker, to Sopek


"Captain, can you hear me?"
"Trip?"
"It's me and Malcolm sir. We're about half a kilometer away."
"Just the two of you?"
"Not exactly. We met up with some old friends down here. Andorians. Apparently, one of them thinks he owes you a favor."
"He couldn't have picked a better time."

- Tucker and Archer, via a transceiver smuggled in by one of the guards


"You should be the one dying, not her."

- Shran, to Sopek


"I know how you must feel. She saved my life once, too. She can be a real... pain in the ass! Stubborn, arrogant. Sometimes she makes me angry enough, I want to shove her out an airlock! I can understand why the High Command's upset, but it took a lot of courage to step in front of that plasma bullet. Do you really want to take her back home in disgrace?"
"Nothing can excuse what she did at the sanctuary."
"I'm not asking anyone to pin a medal on her. All I'm asking is that she be given a second chance."

- Archer and Sopek, discussing T'Pol


"I'd say the odds are pretty good you're going to be with us for a while longer."
"You should have consulted me first."
"It's probably not too late if you want to catch up to him."
"That won't be possible. Leaving sick bay would violate my doctor's orders."

- Archer and T'Pol

Background information Edit

Production Edit

  • Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong, both fans of The Original Series, enjoyed writing this episode, seeing it as a chance to "finally write some Andorian battle action." [1]
  • T'Pol actress Jolene Blalock pointed out that this episode's portrayal of Vulcans can be seen as analogous to the Catholic Church. "'Shadows of P'Jem' addressed something that I like to compare to the Catholic Church," she said. "When you take something that [...] in all aspects [...] represents holy, no matter how holy something can be, when power is mixed into it, things become shady. Everybody is subject to temptation, I guess. Whether it's greed or, you know, seven deadly sins, it doesn't matter. Whatever it may be, whatever their weakness is. The Catholic Church has its own problems [....] So, there's a certain darkness that some light was shed on in at the episode." ("NX-01 File 01", ENT Season 1 DVD special features)
Coridanite stunt performers

Vince Deadrick, Jr. with a cast of Coridanite-playing stuntmen

  • Some mood music helped the filming of the scene in which, while Archer and T'Pol are handcuffed, Archer's face becomes buried intimately close to T'Pol's bosom. "We wrapped for the night," recalled Stunt Coordinator Vince Deadrick, Jr.. "The next morning, we were supposed to start with that sequence, with them on top of each other, back in position. And the sound department put on the song 'Love Shack' really loud over the speakers. It was a great way to break the ice for the morning. Everybody got a big laugh out of it. It was perfect." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 138, p. 43)
  • Jeffrey Combs, Vaughn Armstrong and Gregory Itzin are all Star Trek: Deep Space Nine veterans, as they all played at least two characters on that series. Combs and Armstrong both appeared in that series' penultimate episode, "The Dogs of War". Jeffrey Combs played Weyoun and Brunt and Vaughn Armstrong played Danar and Seskal.

Continuity Edit

Reception Edit

  • On the first broadcast of this installment, the episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 3.8 and was watched by a total of 6.05 million viewers. [2]
  • Star Trek Magazine's "Ultimate Guide" rated this episode 4 out of 5 arrowhead insignias and cited a certain scene from this installment as the "best moment" from Enterprise's first season. This was, precisely, the moment when the Andorians and the Vulcan assault team confront one another at gunpoint. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 79)
  • The unofficial reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 365) comments about this outing, "An early follow-up to a successful episode, this is a good story built on good foundations, dealing with exactly the sort of diplomatic hi-jinks and actions with consequences that should be the bread and butter of Enterprise."
  • Several props and costumes from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including Dan McCann's costume. [3]

Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Guest stars Edit

Uncredited co-starsEdit

References Edit

Andorians; Andorian ale; Archer, Henry; chicken sandwich; Coridan; Coridans; Coridan aircraft; Coridan starship; dicobalt explosives; ditanium; Earth; Emerald City; Gardner; Houdini, Harry; logic; mining; Ni'Var; P'Jem; phase pistol; "pinkskin"; plomeek broth; protein resequencer; shanty town; Starfleet Command; Tau Ceti Accords (Tau Ceti); triaxilation; Union Station; Vulcans; Vulcan Consulate; Vulcan database; Vulcan High Command


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Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 1
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