(written from a Production point of view)
|"Strange New World"|
|ENT, Episode 1x04|
Production number: 004
First aired: 10 October 2001
|←||3rd of 97 produced in ENT||→|
|←||3rd of 97 released in ENT||→|
|←||631st of 728 released in all||→|
| Teleplay By|
Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
An Enterprise landing party believes T'Pol is conspiring with a species of rock creatures on a strange class M planet.
While headed for an unnamed nebula, Enterprise unexpectedly passes an unknown planet with an Earth-like atmosphere and surface. T'Pol designates this type of planet as Minshara-class. Sensor scans of the planet reveal no sign of intelligent lifeforms.
An away team comprised of Captain Archer, T'Pol, Malcolm Reed, Trip Tucker, Travis Mayweather, Elizabeth Cutler, and Ethan Novakovich travels to the surface by shuttlepod. After a few hours of exploration, the captain and Reed return to Enterprise, while the rest stay on the surface overnight for scientific investigation (though Tucker and Mayweather stay more for personal interest).
After some time telling ghost stories, a storm emerges and the surface crew needs to take shelter in a nearby cave. While T'Pol and Tucker are discussing how to settle in the cave, Novakovich notices movement in the back of the cave. When Mayweather goes back to the original camping site to recover food which they had forgotten, he as well sees a few seemingly humanoid lifeforms wandering around outside. As he tells this to the rest of the crew on his return Novakovich seems to lose his mind and runs away out of the cave. Tucker and Mayweather try to follow and search for Novakovich, to no avail. However, Tucker briefly notices a lifeform which apparently emerges out of a rock and sinks back in again.
Meanwhile T'Pol has gone to explore the deeper parts of the cave, leaving only Cutler behind, who does not feel at ease about it at all, and eventually decides to go after T'Pol. When she nears T'Pol, she finds her talking to a few lifeforms, but by the time the two actually meet there is no one else there anymore and T'Pol denies any meeting. They go back to the front of the cave where they meet Tucker and Mayweather again and hear about the rock body. Cutler then tells about T'Pol's meeting but the latter denies again. The others do not believe her and are becoming suspicious about the away mission as the prolongation was specifically upon the instigation of T'Pol.
The captain finally decides to get the away team back to Enterprise but the shuttle is unable to land due to the storm. The away team is then forced back in the cave for the night. However, since Novakovich would not go in the cave with the others, it is decided to use the still experimental transporter to bring him back. The transporter is unable to distinguish between Novakovich and the plant life being blown around him, several leaves are embedded in his skin as a result. Following that, Phlox discovers that he has been affected by a kind of local pollen brought by the storm (and that the others could be affected as well).
This is followed by a phase where the state of all the members of the away team becomes more serious. Tucker become quite delusional and keeps pointing a phase pistol at T'Pol and shooting at the rocks. Meanwhile, on board Enterprise Phlox discovers that the pollen has a poisonous effect, creating the need to transport an antidote (as well as a sedative) to the team on the planet. The tension reaches its maximum in T'Pol and Tucker pointing a phase pistol at each other.
Finally, the captain, unable to reason with Tucker, resorts to elaborating on Tucker's delusions. This way T'Pol – who is being given instructions by Hoshi Sato because she has fallen back to her native speech, suggesting that she has been affected as well, only able to control it better – is finally able to overwhelm Tucker. She then proceeds to administer the antidote to all members of the away team, herself included.
The next morning, the storm is over, everyone is fine and the planet is as beautiful as it was the day before, making the previous night look like a bad dream.
"You expect us to sit up here for a week while probes have all the fun?"
- - Trip Tucker
"Where no dog has gone before."
- - Tucker, following Porthos' ebullient departure from the shuttlepod and marking his territory at a nearby tree
"You have your assignments. We'll rendezvous here at 1900 hours... unless the captain wants us to pose for more pictures."
- - T'Pol
"Let me guess... no ghost stories on Vulcan?"
- - Tucker, to T'Pol
"Looks like we might have ourselves a bit of weather!"
- - Tucker, on the planetary storm
"That's it. To the left of that trinary cluster."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah I'm positive. Just another speck of light... no different than any other."
- - Cutler, Tucker, and Mayweather, looking up at the stars
"Give me your boot."
"So I can squash it."
"Are we allowed to squash alien lifeforms?"
"If they're inside your sleeping bag. There it is. Wait a minute. Where'd you put the phase pistols?"
"You wanna shoot a bug?"
"I'm just gonna stun it."
- - Tucker and Mayweather
"Your emotions are beginning to affect your judgment. You're becoming irrational."
"You've never seen me irrational."
- - T'Pol and Tucker
"I can survive without water for several days. Can you?"
- - T'Pol, to Tucker
"I have no idea what you just said... but it didn't sound very nice!"
- - Tucker, after T'Pol speaks to him in Vulcan
"And I have a phase pistol pointed at my head."
- - T'Pol
"Say one more word of that gibberish, and I'm gonna split you in two."
- - Tucker, to T'Pol who speaks in Vulcan
"Challenge your preconceptions or they'll challenge you."
"That's something Mr. Velik used to say. Tenth grade biology class. He was a Vulcan scientist who came to teach us about life on other worlds. I'd never seen a Vulcan before... not up close. He scared the hell out of me."
"Perhaps it's not too late to follow his advice."
- - Tucker and T'Pol
- This was the first episode of Enterprise for which series creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga did not receive sole writing credit. "They decided that, since we were a little more experienced in the Star Trek world, it would make sense for us to do one of the early shows, and this was the first one after the pilot," commented staff writer Phyllis Strong, recalling how she and writing partner Mike Sussman were assigned to pen the script for this installment. Sussman remarked, "We were the guinea pigs! [....] I think it was a learning experience for all of us." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 11, p. 46)
- Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong worked on this episode while the series was still developing. Sussman recalled, "They hadn't started main casting! We wrote 'EXT. SPACE—ENTERPRISE' and I go, 'I wonder what the Enterprise looks like?' We had just gotten used to writing for Voyager and its characters; and now we have brand-new characters who are from 200 years earlier and we had to 'unlearn' everything we learned. But I liked the take on the characters – much more like people from the present; more easily related to, I think, by the audience."  Sussman also stated, "We didn't even know who to imagine [as the characters] – not all of the actors had been cast, and there were so few scripts to go by as a blueprint." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 11, p. 47)
- The writing of this episode, with its emphasis on how Enterprise's crew copes with the pollen-induced hallucinations, was a result of Star Trek: Enterprise's writing staff deliberately setting out to concentrate more on character-centered stories than on high-concept science fiction yarns. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 62)
- As a member of the writing staff, André Bormanis contributed to this installment, devising a memorable line of dialogue. "That was a contribution to a script that was obviously written by a couple of other people," Bormanis recalled, "but as we were developing that story I said, 'Wouldn't it be fun if Porthos trots off to the brush and Trip turns to Archer and says, 'Where no dog has gone before'?'" (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 61)
- This episode was originally to have included the demise of Crewman Novakovich, the first member of the crew to die aboard the NX-class Enterprise. (Information provided by Mike Sussman; ) Novakovich's death, caused by his exposure to the alien pollen, was actually written into in an early draft of the episode.  During filming, Scott Bakula was concerned that it didn't seem right to kill off Novakovich without dealing with the loss (as originally written, Novakovich's death was not dissimilar to that of the many security guards who died in the original Star Trek series). (Information provided by Mike Sussman; ) Remembered co-writer Mike Sussman, "It was felt at the time that the death of a crewmember would require time to show Archer and the crew dealing with the loss, and there wasn't time for such a scene."  The producers agreed with Bakula and revised the script so that Novakovich lived (although the character was never seen again). (Information provided by Mike Sussman; )
- In "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", Captain Archer's bio screen reveals that this episode's unnamed planet, the first visited by Enterprise NX-01, was later named Archer IV, a planet originally mentioned as the site of a battle between the Klingons and USS Enterprise-D in TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise". Captain Archer also mentions the planet to Captain Hernandez in the fourth season outing "Home".
- In the later Season 1 episode "Oasis", while strolling through the corridors of a Kantare supply ship, Archer asks Travis Mayweather if their visit to the ship is turning into one of his famous ghost stories, such as the one he tells in this installment.
- This episode marks the first time T'Pol is seen using the Vulcan nerve pinch.
- This episode is also the first to establish that "Class M" (as Star Trek fans are accustomed to hearing it) actually stands for, in Vulcan planetary classification, "Minshara class".
- Rock creatures, such as the ones hallucinated by the away team in this episode, were an abandoned concept developed for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
- This is the first appearance of Crewman Elizabeth Cutler.
- Cutler's biology text can be seen to list a number of Star Trek science concepts relating to alien life, such as Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development.
- Following the development of this episode (involving the decision to have Crewman Novakovich ultimately survive), it was two more years before an Enterprise NX-01 crewman was lost in the line of duty, in ENT: "Anomaly". (Information provided by Mike Sussman)
- The bug seen inside Trip's sleeping bag resembles the parasites seen in TNG: "Conspiracy".
- The unauthorized reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 359) says of this episode, "It's very odd to switch focus to minor crewmen Cutler and Novakovich before the main ones are firmly established – if viewers were still joining the show, it would be very confusing. This is an episode that starts with a lovely sense of wonder, all the crew stopping to just look out the window at the new planet. If it ends up as a more standard story of crew seeing things and getting paranoid, it's at least a well-told one."
- Star Trek Magazine rated this episode 3 out of 5 Starfleet insignias. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 78)
- Among the items from this episode which were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay were two fold-out camping chairs. 
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.2, 6 May 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 Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Subcommander 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
- Jef Ayres as Crewman Haynem
- Sandro DiPinto as a science division crewman
- Evan English as Ensign Tanner
- Jack Guzman as a science division crewman
- Marlene Mogavero as an operations division crewman
- Prada and Breezy as Porthos
- Gary Weeks as an operations division crewman
Archer IV; biology; camping; camping chair; choloromethane; cormalite; Earth; ecology; entomology; EV pack; Florida Keys; geological analysis; inaprovaline; life pod; limestone; logic; Loracus Prime; man-made satellite; marker buoy; Minshara class; neck; nitrogen dioxide; nitrogen narcosis; Omega training mission; plomeek broth; Titan; tropolisine; Velik; Vulcans; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan High Command; Vulcan nerve pinch; Webb, George; Y-500 class
burrowing insect ; Darwin, Charles; finch; Gagarin Radiation Belt; Galápagos Islands; Hodgkin, A.E.; Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development; Loracus devil mite; spitting termite; Loracus system; termite; theory of evolution
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