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Broken Bow (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"Broken Bow"
ENT, Episode 1x01
Production number: 001
First aired: 26 September 2001
  1st of 97 produced in ENT
  1st of 97 released in ENT
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 97 released in ENT Remastered  
629th of 728 released in all
Enterprise (NX-01) leaving drydock
A feature-length episode

Written By
Rick Berman & Brannon Braga

Directed By
James L. Conway
April 16, 2151/2121
  Arc: Temporal Cold War (1 of 13)
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  Arc: {{{wsArc4Desc}}} ({{{nArc4PartNumber}}} of {{{nArc4PartCount}}})  
For the town in Oklahoma, please see Broken Bow.
For the novelization, please see Broken Bow (novel).

Earth launches its first starship of exploration, Enterprise, on a mission to return an injured Klingon to his homeworld. (Series Premiere)

Summary Edit

Teaser Edit

Jonathan Archer, 2121

Young Jonathan Archer

In San Francisco of the year 2121, a young Jonathan Archer paints a model of his father's spacecraft. When he recites a quote from a speech by Zefram Cochrane, Henry Archer tells him the inventor of the warp drive would be proud of him. Jonathan curiously asks about his father's ship, wondering if it will be bigger than "Ambassador Pointy's" ship. Henry corrects his son, noting that the Ambassador is actually named Soval, an extremely helpful Vulcan. Jonathan responds that – according to Billy Cook, an acquaintance of his – Humans would already be flying at warp five, if the Vulcans had not intervened. Although Henry Archer does not fully understand the reasons behind the Vulcans' constraint, he believes that there must be an explanation.

Thirty years later, the Broken Bow incident takes place in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, on Earth. A pair of aliens pursuing Klaang, the Klingon pilot of a crash-landed K'toch-class scout ship, attract the attention of a farmer named Moore. Although Klaang eventually manages to kill the aliens, he is shot with Moore's plasma rifle.

Act One Edit

Starfleet and Vulcan personnel discuss Klaang

Several Starfleet and Vulcan personnel discuss Klaang

Aboard an inspection pod, Jonathan Archer, now a captain in Starfleet, and Commander Charles Tucker inspect the prototype NX-class starship Enterprise NX-01 in the Orbital Drydock Facility, a spacedock orbiting Earth. After being called back to Starfleet Medical, Archer attends a meeting where a group of high-ranking Starfleet officers, including Admiral Forrest, discuss Klaang with several Vulcan dignitaries: Ambassador Soval, Tos and Subcommander T'Pol. Archer also meets an alien doctor who is providing Klaang with medical care. Eventually, it is decided that Enterprise will launch ahead of schedule on a mission to return Klaang to the Klingons' homeworld, Qo'noS. The Vulcans completely disagree with this; they had objected to Humans returning Klaang out of fears that a perceived provincial attitude and accompanying volatile nature of Humans would complicate Human contact with the Klingons so soon. Vulcan objections, however, fueled the idea that Vulcans have deliberately withheld information from Earth for over a hundred years.

Aboard Enterprise, Lieutenant Malcolm Reed and Ensign Travis Mayweather discuss the vessel's transporter, a brand-new piece of equipment first installed on their ship. As they walk through a corridor, Mayweather reminisces about his childhood aboard cargo ships. When they enter Engineering, Reed introduces Mayweather to Commander Tucker. Meanwhile, Archer travels to Brazil to recruit linguist Hoshi Sato as his communications officer.

Another addition to Archer's crew is Subcommander T'Pol, whose assignment for the position of executive officer and science officer was obligatory in exchange for the Vulcan star charts. In the captain's ready room, T'Pol is introduced to Commander Tucker by Archer and she gives him a PADD confirming her new assignment. An embarrassing encounter with the captain's dog, Porthos, then follows, since Vulcan females have an heightened sense of smell. Along with T'Pol – whom Archer saw as a Vulcan "chaperon" – the Doctor he met before, at Starfleet Medical, is also added to Enterprise's crew.

Enterprise (NX-01) in drydock

The spacedock where the Enterprise was constructed

At Enterprise's launching ceremony, Admiral Forrest makes a speech and remarks there is no better person to captain the first Warp 5 starship than the son of its inventor, Jonathan Archer. After this, a recording of a speech by Doctor Zefram Cochrane is played, from the dedication ceremony of the Warp Five Complex, 32 years ago.

"On this site, a powerful engine will be built. An engine that will some day help us to travel a hundred times faster than we can today. Imagine it. Thousands of inhabited planets, at our fingertips. And we'll be able to explore those strange new worlds and seek out new life, and new civilizations. This engine will let us go boldly, where no man has gone before.

As these historic words are spoken, Archer remembers his childhood, when he and his dad placed an anti-gravity controller into the model. Mayweather then asks for instructions. He responds, "Take her out, Mr. Mayweather. Straight and steady." And so, the NX-01 Enterprise leaves spacedock and jumps into warp.

File:Temporal communications chamber.jpg

Meanwhile, in a strange chamber aboard an alien complex, a Suliban officer confers with a mysterious silhouetted figure and promises to recover evidence that the figure requires. This evidence apparently was in the hands of Klaang when he was pursued by the Suliban.

Act Two Edit

Aboard Enterprise, Archer observes a jar full of immunocytic gel worms in sickbay. The doctor he met earlier, a Denobulan in the Interspecies Medical Exchange program named Dr. Phlox, asks the captain to make sure that he doesn't shake the worms. Archer helps Phlox unpack medical equipment and an Altarian marsupial, an animal that makes the captain squirm because its droppings are used as medicine. Meanwhile, Travis Mayweather shows Commander Tucker the "sweet spot", an area of every ship where gravity is reversed. Mayweather is a well-traveled "space boomer" and has visited the planets Trillius Prime, Draylax, and both the Teneebian moons. Later, when Tucker enters the ship's mess hall, he is offered a seat by Crewman Fletcher but the engineer replies that he has already been asked to the captain's mess. There, the engineer eats with Archer and T'Pol while they discuss Human evolution.

However, all is not well – during a test of the ship's warp reactor, a verbal conflict between Hoshi Sato and T'Pol arises. When Ensign Sato insults T'Pol in the Vulcan language, the science officer retorts that she herself was instructed to speak English during her assignment aboard the ship and expects Hoshi to do the same. Later, the vessel loses main power while Archer, Hoshi and Phlox are in sickbay, trying to interrogate Klaang. Alien soldiers board Enterprise and attack the Starfleet officers. Klaang recognizes the aliens as Suliban and, although Archer manages to shoot one of the aliens, the Klingon is abducted from the ship.

Act Three Edit

On the bridge, an irritated Archer asks his crew why the Suliban were not detected by Enterprise's sensors. When Lieutenant Reed tells him that the starboard sensor logs did record a spatial disturbance, the captain orders the bridge crew to conduct a full investigation into the incident. T'Pol advises Archer to consult the astrometrics computer in San Francisco, believing that he himself has no hope of finding Klaang. However, the captain decides not to take her advice and forbids T'Pol from contacting Starfleet. In sickbay, Phlox shows Archer the corpse of the alien soldier that was left aboard Enterprise. The doctor has learned that the alien has Suliban DNA, but its anatomy has been altered by very sophisticated genetic modifications.


Enterprise heads to Rigel X

In engineering, T'Pol helps Tucker to review the sensor data. Archer and Sato soon enter. Using both Sato's translation of Klaang's words as well as T'Pol's reluctant assistance, Archer learns that Klaang visited Rigel X just before his scout ship crashed on Earth. The captain contacts the bridge and orders Mayweather to set course for the tenth planet in the Rigel system. Meanwhile, an alien officer aboard the Suliban complex interrogates Klaang in Klingonese. This Suliban officer asks Klaang where he left a particular unnamed item, but the Klingon claims ignorance. He tells the officer that he was sent to meet a Suliban woman named Sarin on Rigel X but that Sarin did not give him anything. As Enterprise approaches the planet, Archer and T'Pol brief an away team in the ship's launch bay. Archer informs the officers that Klaang was a courier and tells them to find the person who gave the Klingon whatever he was carrying, so they might find out why the Suliban have captured Klaang.

The team travel to Rigel X in Shuttlepod 1 and search in a trade complex on the planet's frozen surface. Reed and Mayweather are persuaded, by a man who claims that he saw Klaang, to watch a pair of alien females performing with butterflies. The pair of officers doubt the man's honesty and soon leave. While T'Pol investigates, Tucker finds difficulty with accepting several aliens that he encounters, including a Lorillian mother and son. Archer and Sato meanwhile catch a fleeting glimpse of a group of Klingons. Soon after, the entire away team is attacked and captured by Suliban.

Act Four Edit

Sarin - Suliban


Sato, T'Pol and Tucker are imprisoned by the alien soldiers in a section which is sealed by a force field. Archer is taken to a woman who looks Human but who changes her appearance after she kisses the captain. The woman's name is Sarin – the same Suliban female that Klaang met on Rigel X earlier. Sarin was once a member of the Cabal, the Suliban military. She informs Archer that the Cabal are following orders from a faction in the Temporal Cold War, a conflict fought through time. The Suliban are promoting internal strife in the Klingon Empire and Klaang was transporting evidence of this back to Qo'noS to prevent a civil war.

Sarin offers to help Archer find the Klingon, but agents of the Suliban Cabal discover them and open fire. Sarin frees the Starfleet officers but is killed in the fight between the Cabal and her small group of renegade Suliban. Archer, injured while on the run, manages to escape in the shuttlepod. With a damaged thruster, the shuttlecraft ascends into the atmosphere as T'Pol contacts Enterprise and announces that she is taking command of the ship. When Captain Archer loses consciousness, he dreams about himself as a child flying his model spacecraft on a beach with his father. He is disappointed when the model crash-lands in the sand, and his father tells him that he can't be afraid of the wind as T'Pol watches from the shore.

Act Five Edit

Trip and T'Pol, decon

T'Pol and Tucker decontaminating

After Shuttlepod 1 has returned to Enterprise, T'Pol and Tucker use the decon chamber to rid themselves of a protocystian spore they picked up on Rigel X. Here, Tucker questions whether he should take command rather than T'Pol, because she was only assigned to the ship as an "observer". The engineer worries that T'Pol will not continue the search for Klaang if she takes command.

Six hours later, Archer regains consciousness in sickbay. Phlox removes, from Archer's leg, an osmotic eel that the doctor used to cauterize the captain's wound. T'Pol and Tucker visit and the Vulcan informs Archer that they have tracked a Suliban ship that left Rigel X just after the captain was injured. Archer is surprised that T'Pol didn't order a course back to Earth, but the Vulcan states that, as acting captain, she was obligated to anticipate Archer's wishes. Archer responds that, as acting captain, she could have done whatever she wanted.

As Enterprise continues to follow the Suliban ship, Archer, back in his quarters, is making a log entry, pausing the log several times to question himself about T'Pol's motives to continue the mission.

"Enterprise starlog, Captain Jonathan Archer – April 16, 2151. We've been tracking the Suliban ship for ten hours, thanks to our... science officer, who came up with a way to tweak the sensors. I have no reason to believe that Klaang is still alive, but if... what the Suliban woman told me is true, it's crucial that we try to find him. I still haven't decided whether to ask Subcommander T'Pol about this 'Temporal Cold War.' My instincts tell me not to trust her."

Archer hears the warp drive changing and looks out his window to see that the ship has dropped out of warp. He contacts T'Pol, who asks him to come to the bridge.

Gas giant

Gas giant

There, a gas giant is displayed on the viewscreen. T'Pol tells Archer that the Suliban craft entered the planet's radiation belt a few hours ago, scattering the vessel's warp trail. T'Pol instructs Reed to run a spectral analysis on fragments he has detected nearby. The bridge crew finds that the fragments were left from fourteen different ships. Realizing that Enterprise has found an area used frequently by the Suliban, Archer orders Reed to activate the ship's weapon systems and to polarize the hull plating. The captain then directs Mayweather to set a course that will take the ship into the planet's atmosphere.

Act Six Edit

Aboard the alien complex, the Suliban officer talks with the mysterious figure. The officer is unsure whether Sarin gave the Enterprise crew anything, but he knows that Enterprise has followed a Suliban ship and is nearby. He promises the figure that he will destroy the Human vessel before it locates the Helix, the complex that he is currently on. The figure says that he didn't intend for Humans or Vulcans to become involved yet, and demands that the officer must stop Sarin's message from reaching Qo'noS.

In the atmosphere of the gas giant, Enterprise almost loses the warp trail. T'Pol estimates that the ship's condition should improve, shortly before the bridge starts to shudder. She uses a viewer at her station to determine that the quakes are being caused by unexpected liquid phosphorus. When the ship's condition improves, the officers detect two Suliban cell ships and the helix. Sato reads more than three thousand bio-signs aboard the alien station, but is unable to find Klaang with the ship's sensors. When Suliban ships start attacking, Enterprise returns to the phosphorus layer, where the enemy vessels can't find the Starfleet craft. T'Pol reports that the helix seems to be comprised of hundreds of other vessels, locked together by magnetic seals. When Sato finally detects Klaang aboard the complex, Reed suggests using the transporter to get him out but Archer finds Reed's plan too risky. The captain decides to use Enterprise's grappler to retrieve one of the attacking cell ships and bring it aboard Enterprise.

In the situation room, aft of the bridge, Mayweather questions Archer and Tucker about the workings of the captured Suliban vessel. As the engineer seems to be slightly unsure of the craft, Mayweather believes that he would make a better pilot. Archer replies that the ensign is needed on board Enterprise and Tucker believes that piloting the Suliban vessel won't be as hard as it seems.

In the captain's ready room, T'Pol attempts to discourage Archer from leaving. She suggests that he appeal for support from a nearby Vulcan ship. The captain suspects the Vulcan is displaying emotional concern, but T'Pol claims that the Vulcan High Command will hold her responsible if anything happens to Tucker or the captain. Reed enters, carrying two cases into the room – one holds a magnetic device and the other holds two newly designed weapons called phase pistols. According to the lieutenant, the weapons have two settings – stun and kill. He advises Archer not to confuse the two.

Jonathan Archer and Charles Tucker III in a Suliban cell ship

Archer and Tucker operate the stolen cell ship

Archer and Tucker leave Enterprise and use the captured cell ship to travel to the helix, where they find Klaang. Although the Klingon is initially hostile, Archer threatens the alien with his phase pistol so he will cooperate with the captain's orders. Together, the three men move through the helix and attack any Suliban guard that approaches them. The captain instructs Tucker to return to the cell ship with Klaang while he stays behind and tries to separate the helix using the magnetic device. After doing so, Archer contacts Tucker and tells the engineer not to return for him, but to take Klaang to Enterprise. Tucker complies as several of the drifting enemy ships surrounding the commandeered cell ship collide.

Act Seven Edit

Tucker ignites the cell ship's thruster exhaust, giving Sato, on board Enterprise, the opportunity to tell T'Pol what to look for. When T'Pol detects Tucker's position, she thanks Sato in the Vulcan language.

Aboard the helix, Archer fights with the alien officer. The alien nearly kills Archer with his own phase pistol, but the captain moves out of the way just in time. The alien chases Archer into another room where a strobing, pulsating light throbs. Just as the alien shoots again, Archer is beamed aboard Enterprise. Tucker apologizes for using the transporter, but claims it was the only way to recover the captain. Enterprise immediately leaves the gas giant at warp speed.

Klaang confronts the Klingon Chancellor

Klaang confronts the Klingon Chancellor

After arriving on Qo'noS, Archer, Klaang, Sato and T'Pol enter the Klingon High Council Chamber. As Klaang addresses the High Council in Klingonese, Sato tries her best to interpret his words. According to the linguist, Klaang says something about disgracing the Klingon Empire and mentions that he's ready to die. The Klingon Chancellor approaches Klaang and makes a small cut in his hand with a jagged dagger. The Klingons then pour some of Klaang's blood into a vial which they examine with a large scientific device. The extracted DNA from his blood contains a wealth of Suliban information. The Klingons shout in gruff approval, but soon quiet again. The Chancellor approaches Captain Archer and, holding the dagger against the captain's throat, says something in Klingonese that Archer interprets as a thanks. Once the Chancellor leaves, Sato comments that the captain's interpretation was incorrect, and claims that Archer wouldn't want to know what the Klingon actually said.

Aboard Enterprise, Archer tells his crew that the starship's mission is to continue. Tucker begins work on repairing the starship as Archer orders Mayweather to set a course for an inhabited planet nearby. Although there is an ion storm between the starship and its destination, the captain tells Mayweather that they can't be afraid of the wind.

Henry Archer and young Jonathan Archer

Archer with his father, Henry

Archer remembers himself as a child, standing beside his father as his model spacecraft flew across the sunny morning sky.

Deleted scenes Edit

There are several deleted scenes from the feature version of the episode. There were three presented in the extra features of the Enterprise season one DVD release. The numbers on the scene tag are the numbers of what the scenes would have been in the episode.

"Broken Bow" deleted scene 092 Edit

Markalian dockmaster, broken bow

The alien dockmaster

Archer and Sato are meeting with an alien dockmaster in a landing port control tower, asking questions about Klaang, and querying what business he had on Rigel X. Although the dockmaster is preoccupied monitoring the traffic to the planet's trade complex, including a craft he calls Elkan Nine, he is curious to learn that the officers are Human and, with some persuasion from Archer, researches Klaang in Rigel X's records. He informs the officers that the Klingon visited the planet in a K'toch-class vessel seven days earlier, but does not elaborate on what Klaang did, or whom he met, stating that visitors to Rigel X "value their privacy". When Archer mentions the Suliban, the dockmaster claims he has never heard of the word, and suggests that the officers' translator must be malfunctioning. Sato, holding the translator, confirms that the device is not at error, however.

"Broken Bow" deleted scene 099 Edit

This scene features Reed and Mayweather, moments after having observed the butterfly dancers on Rigel X. The same alien who persuaded them to watch the dancers follows them through a crowded, narrow arcade and presents them with the opportunity to view an "inter-species performance". Seeing Reed consider this, Mayweather realizes that the alien knows nothing about Klaang and advises Reed that their "guide" is trying to take advantage of their interest in the new surroundings. Reed declines the offer and, as he and his companion walk away from the alien, Mayweather exclaims disbelief that they were almost fooled by the man. While the officers move past an entertainer demonstrating fire-breathing skills, Reed replies by reminding his companion that they are explorers.

This version of the scene slightly differs from the scene as it was written in the episode's script, which mentions a "topless fire-eater" of unspecified sex earlier than when the fire-breathing female, dressed in a bikini, appears in the filmed version of the sequence. Also, in the script, the alien reacts to Reed's dismissal of his offer by shaking his head in disappointment and disappearing into the crowd. The filmed version of the scene, however, shows none of this and the camera pans away from the alien while he is standing still in the position where the officers leave him.

"Broken Bow" deleted scene 154-155 Edit

File:TPol - early pilot haircut.jpg

In this scene, Sato and Reed discuss the symptoms of frost bite (as Sato is convinced she has it) while Enterprise NX-01 tracks the vessel they are following. When an alarm rings, and Mayweather alerts T'Pol (who we see, for a split second in her original look) to the fact they are losing sight of the ship, she orders an increase in speed. Mayweather reminds her that he cannot do so without authorization, which they subsequently receive from engineering.

Memorable Quotes Edit

"Where no man has gone before."

- Said twice, first by young Jonathan Archer, reciting a speech by Zefram Cochrane, which is heard later
- This was the very first line of the series.

"How big will it be?"
"Pretty big."

- Jonathan Archer asks his father Henry about the upcoming starship to have the first warp five engine

"Neptune and back in six minutes."

- Archer, marveling at Enterprise

"Great... you scratched the paint."

- Archer, after a small inspection pod piloted by Tucker bumps into the bottom of Enterprise

"Where'd he come from?"
"Corn farmer named Moore shot him with a plasma rifle."

- Archer, asking about Klaang, a Klingon with Williams and Forrest's response

"Volatile? You have no idea how much I'm restraining myself from knocking you on your ass."

- Archer's first words to T'Pol, in response to her claim that Humans are not ready to make their own decisions

"Don't screw this up."

- Forrest, after Archer declares he and the crew of Enterprise will return Klaang to Qo'noS

"It's a Klingot."
"A Klingon."

- Admiral Leonard and Tos, while observing Klaang

"Listen to me, you're making a mistake!"
"When your logic doesn't work, you raise your voice? You've been on Earth too long."

- Soval and Archer

"You're upside down, Ensign."

- Tucker to Mayweather while in the sweet spot of Enterprise

"I heard this platform's been approved for bio-transport."
"I presume you mean fruits and vegetables."
"I mean armory officers and helmsmen."
"I don't think I'm quite ready to have my molecules compressed into a datastream."

- Mayweather and Reed, discussing the ship's brand new transporter

"Keep your shirt on, loo-tenant."

- Said twice, first by Malcolm Reed doing an impression of Trip Tucker, then by Tucker himself

"Four days and four days back. Then she's gone. In the meantime we are to extend her every courtesy."
"I don't know. I'd be more comfortable with Porthos on the bridge."

- Archer and Tucker, discussing T'Pol

"I took a shower this mornin', how about you, Cap'n?"

- Commander Tucker, making fun of T'Pol's heightened sense of smell

"T'Pol tells me she's been living in the Vulcan compound in Sausalito."
"No kidding. I lived a few blocks nearby when I first joined Starfleet. Great parties in the Vulcan compound."

- Archer and Trip

"Grandma taught me to never judge a species by their eating habits."

- Trip, in response to T'Pol's criticism over Humans still eating the flesh of animals

"You can't be afraid of the wind."

- Said twice, first by Henry Archer when young Jonathan Archer was having trouble flying a model starship, then at the end of the episode by Captain Archer, in reply to Ensign Mayweather's suggestion to fly around an ion storm, a minor spatial disturbance

"On this site, a powerful engine will be built. An engine that will someday help us to travel a hundred times faster than we can today. Imagine it - thousands of inhabited planets at our fingertips... and we'll be able to explore those strange new worlds, and seek out new life and new civilizations. This engine will let us go boldly... where no man has gone before."

- Zefram Cochrane's speech from the dedication ceremony for the Warp Five Complex, in 2119

"Take her out, Mr. Mayweather... straight and steady."

- Captain Archer, ordering Ensign Mayweather to leave space-dock

"Let's go."

- Captain Archer's order to engage warp and depart Earth

"Optimism, captain!"

- Phlox's advice to Captain Archer, before the Denobulan doctor smiles a massive grin

"Ponfo mirann!"

- Hoshi Sato's Vulcan insult
According to Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, this phrase can be translated as "Go to hell!" (Episode's audio commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD)

"I'm not interested in what you think about this mission, so take your Vulcan cynicism and bury it along with your repressed emotions."

- Archer, to T'Pol

"How complicated can it be? Up, down, forward, reverse... I'll figure it out."

- Tucker's response to learning the controls of the captured Suliban vessel

"He says, 'his wife has grown ugly'?"

- Hoshi Sato, translating Klingon spoken by Klaang

"I think the doctor's right, Captain; unless "stinky boots" has something to do with all this?"

- Hoshi Sato, after Phlox explains that Klaang has no idea what he is saying

"Do you know how to tell him to shut up?"
"Shut up!"

- Archer, asking Hoshi to translate his request into Klingon, and Hoshi, not even bothering to do so

"Now get the hell out there and make yourself useful."

- Captain Archer, to T'Pol

[Klaang says something in Klingon]
"I don't particularly like the way you smell either!"

- Trip Tucker, while flying back to Enterprise with Klaang

"Ensign Mayweather tells me that we'll be at Kronos in about eighty hours. Any chance he'll be conscious by then?"
"There's a chance he'll be conscious within the next ten minutes. Just not a very good one."

- Archer and Phlox discuss Klaang's condition

"Your superiors don't think we can flush a toilet without one of you to assist us."

- Captain Archer, to T'Pol

"That's... never happened before."

- Archer, to Sarin after she kisses him and transforms into a Suliban

"Bridge, we're taking damage down here! What's going on?"
"Just a little trouble with the bad guys."

- Tucker and Archer

"I'll take that as a thank you."
"I don't think they have a word for thank you."
"What did he say?"
"You don't want to know."

- Archer and Hoshi, in reference to the Klingon Chancellor's response to Klaang's return

"I hope nobody is in a big hurry to get home. Starfleet seems to think that we're ready to begin our mission."

- Archer

"I'm reading an ion storm on that trajectory, sir. Should I go around it?"
"We can't be afraid of the wind, Ensign. Take us to warp four."

- Travis Mayweather and Jonathan Archer

Background Information Edit

Broken Bow audio commentary recording

Recording a new Blu-ray audio commentary in 2013

  • This is the first episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, then called simply Enterprise, and the only feature-length episode of the entire series.
  • The name of this particular episode (pronounced "Broken Boh", rather than rhyming with "cow") was chosen around the same time as the identically named town featured herein received its moniker. The name was used as this episode's title partly because it – in episode co-writer Brannon Braga's opinion – worked "great" as a title, another reason being that it integrated well with the naming of both the town and the Broken Bow incident. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 22)

Story and ScriptEdit

  • At first, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga did not plan to write this episode together, an experience that nevertheless set a precedent for subsequent episodes of the same series. "I don't know why we decided to write the pilot of Enterprise together, the first time we wrote together," Braga recalled. "We were working out the story; beating out the story, scene by scene, and one of us just said, 'We're practically writing this together. Let's do it!'" [1]
  • The writing duo set out with a particular aim in mind. Admitted Brannon Braga, "Our goal, as lofty and pretentious as it sounds, was to do the best pilot ever for Star Trek." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 22) How they would try to achieve this underwent much consideration, while the plot formed. Braga commented, "We had to basically come up with a story that would give Enterprise a reason to go on its first mission, other than: 'let's just launch and go out and have our first adventure.' We wanted to give Archer a specific noble goal – a test; an incident that would test humanity's ability to prove themselves, and kinda piss off the Vulcans, too. I had an image of Klingons in small-town America. My first image was, 'What if we show Klingons attacking Iowa?' Then we pared it down to, 'What if a Klingon crash-landed in a cornfield?'" Braga also noted that the mission he and Rick Berman decided upon – returning Klaang to his people, in defiance of the Vulcans – additionally enabled the writers to bring T'Pol on board the ship. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 22)
  • After conceiving of the contortion abilities exhibited by the Suliban, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga consulted Visual Effects Producer Dan Curry, ensuring that it would be possible to show such flexibilities on-screen. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 27)
  • Several of the guest characters' names were invented as homages to The Original Series. These consist of Admiral Forrest (named after DeForest Kelley), Admiral Leonard (Leonard Nimoy), Commander Williams (William Shatner) and Tos (an abbreviation of The Original Series).
  • Farmer Moore was named after Ronald D. Moore, a former Star Trek staff writer and friend of Brannon Braga.
  • The two Teneebian moons that Ensign Mayweather visited when he was young were originally scripted to be two Andorian moons.
  • This episode's script was entirely written without any of the show's regular cast having yet been selected. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 9, p. 22)


  • Scott Bakula waited until after he and Paramount Television executives Kerry McCluggage and Garry Hart had read this episode's script before accepting the role of Jonathan Archer. Bakula later recalled, "Garry Hart told me when he read the script he immediately thought of me." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 9, p. 12) The script gave Bakula a similar impression. "They had him pretty much on the page when I got the pilot script," Bakula said of the character. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 14) His approval of the script actually helped convince Bakula into committing to portray Jonathan Archer over the course of the forthcoming series. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 9, p. 12) The actor subsequently commented, "Actually, the monumental event of the [first] season, for me, was the pilot." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 33) Compared with later installments of the series, he found this outing was "very physical." In addition, of all Captain Archer's lines of dialogue from ENT Season 1, Bakula reckoned that his line here, "Let's go!" was the most like a catchphrase, such as, "Engage," "Make it so," or "Do it!" from the other series. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 27 & 30)
  • Similarly to Scott Bakula, T'Pol actress Jolene Blalock auditioned for her role only after she read the script of this episode. "It was just brilliant," she later reminisced. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 37)
  • Hoshi Sato actress Linda Park was thrilled that this episode depicts the linguist at her place of work, Amazon University. "That side of her is great because we see her doing what she loves to do," Park enthused. Of Sato's dispute with T'Pol in this installment, the actress stated, "What she finds so annoying about the Vulcan is she seems to look down on people who are vulnerable and passionate and act with a sense of childishness. Hoshi thinks the Vulcan is arrogant and full of herself." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, pp. 52 & 53)
  • While playing the Suliban's mysterious benefactor herein, actor James Horan was not given a copy of the full script but was instead provided with only the pages featuring his own dialogue. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 44)
  • Vaughn Armstrong (who holds the record for playing the largest number of alien guest characters on the various series) played his first human role in this episode as Admiral Forrest.
  • This episode features the second of three guest appearances of a (former) WWE superstar on Star Trek (in this case, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr.). The other two were The Rock and The Big Show.


  • This is the second of two feature-length episodes of Star Trek directed by James L. Conway, the other being DS9: "The Way of the Warrior".
  • James Conway found that directing this episode easily fit into his schedule as an executive vice-president at Spelling Television. "They've often called me and wanted me to come and do a Star Trek show and I was not able to, but this time, because the pilot episode fell between seasons, we were just finishing our own pilots and I was available," Conway remembered. "When Rick [Berman] called, I was thrilled that he asked me, and thrilled that I was able to come in!" (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 46)
  • When James Conway arrived to helm the episode, its script was finalized. "When I first read it, I said, 'This is a wonderful script, but I can't believe they're ever going to let us do it; it's so expensive!' There was a lot of action and a lot of visual effects – much more than you'd ever find on a television show. But they let us do it!" (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 46) Scott Bakula observed, "They spent a fortune on this pilot." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 33, No. 5, p. 21)
  • In total, the making of this episode involved the creation of forty-three different sets. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 86) "It was definitely like a movie workload," noted Senior Illustrator John Eaves, who was tasked with designing the interiors and exteriors of the NX-class Enterprise as well as designing the other vessels that appear herein. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 48) Concerning the over-forty sets used in this episode, James Conway remarked, "We'd never walked on to [them] before – and that means you have to prelight and light all these sets for the first time." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 47)
  • Both the Interspecies Medical Exchange ward and the observation deck of the Orbital Drydock Facility were mostly redresses of a set that went on to represent Enterprise's armory, during the series run. (text commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD)
  • The model starship which young Jonathan Archer plays with in flashbacks throughout this episode was designed by illustrator Jim Martin and built by the Paramount Pictures prop shop. (text commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD)
  • The osmotic eel that Phlox uses on Archer's leg was created by Makeup Supervisor Michael Westmore. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 112)
  • The producers at first hoped for production on this episode to begin in May 2001. However, as the costuming department prepared to start their efforts on Enterprise while simultaneously wrapping up work on Star Trek: Voyager, threats of an actors' strike loomed on Hollywood, endangering this plan. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 72)
  • Upon initially reading the pilot script, Costume Designer Robert Blackman was intrigued with the idea of creating clothing designs that were not products of the extremely distant future. "With that, came a lot of interesting things we hadn't done before," he said. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 71)
  • Robert Blackman produced full-body sketches of both the pair of butterfly dancers and the yellow-skinned alien man who, on Rigel X, invites Reed and Mayweather to watch them perform. Creating the look of the dancers entailed a collaboration between Blackman's costume department and Michael Westmore's makeup department. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 8, pp. 92 & 93)
  • The first scenes to be shot on the first day of this pilot episode's production were the bridge scenes that form part of Enterprise's launch. James Conway supervised these initial scenes. (text commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD)
  • This episode's production was at first complicated by the fact that the type of film initially used for shooting the series had to be compatible with DVD formats, causing Director of Photography Marvin Rush to make some choices he might otherwise have made differently. Production Designer Herman Zimmerman later noted, "We had some learning curves we had to assimilate the first few days of shooting, knowing that we were heading in that direction." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 61)
  • This episode's production schedule consisted of more than seventeen days, at which point, Rick Berman stated, "We're half-way done with" it. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 134, pp. 12 & 76)
  • This episode's production incorporated an unusual amount of location filming. James Conway explained, "We did two days in Bakersfield [[[California]]] [...] and then we were three days at a water treatment plant and one day in an electrical power plant, and one day at Malibu, so we were out quite a bit." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 47) Bakersfield was used for the sequence depicting the Broken Bow incident, standing in for Broken Bow itself; the fact that a grain silo was planned to be shown exploding required the on-site construction of that building as a full-scale mock-up. Malibu stood in for Hoshi Sato's Brazilian, outdoors classroom as well as some of its surroundings – involving the addition of a yawning and the classroom itself – and Malibu's Zuma Beach was used for the beach scenes that feature in Archer's flashbacks. (text commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD) Rigel X scenes were filmed at the Redondo Power Plant and Hyperion Water Treatment Plant. ("These Are the Voyages..." text commentary, ENT Season 4 DVD) The footage taken in Bakersfield was shot on 12 and 13 June 2001, whereas the scenes captured in Malibu were filmed on 19 June 2001. (citation needededit) The late June filming of the Malibu scenes was near the end of the episode's shooting schedule. (text commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD)
  • While directing this outing, James Conway endeavored to embellish it with "as many dynamic angles as I could find a way to put in." Despite thinking that the eventual version of the episode includes "a lot of dynamic shots" as well as "a lot of pace and energy," he also believes it contains no filming techniques that set it too far apart from the earlier-made Star Trek productions. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 47)
  • Ultimately, James Conway – a director of fourteen previous televised Star Trek episodes – discovered that he was well-suited to the shooting of such an historically important installment of Star Trek as this. "Having been a fan, and having directed all those episodes and being fluent with all of the Star Trek stuff," he related, "it enabled me to completely understand all of the jokes and all of the subtext and be able to translate them to film." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 47)
  • James Conway additionally found that the episode's production "ran very smoothly." "Our hours weren't too bad [....] Given all those things [the multitude of new sets and complex action sequences as well as the rare length of time spent on location], and with all the complications that we had, I thought it went incredibly well." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 47)

Visual EffectsEdit

  • For the visual effects artists who participated in this episode's creation, the aim was simply (in Dan Curry's words) "to do the best work we've ever done." The workload they were presented with was an extraordinary challenge, though. "The pilot has over 300 effects shots in it; a lot of movies don't have that many, and they probably have more than a month or two to do them!" exclaimed Visual Effects Supervisor Ronald B. Moore. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 24)
  • In order to tackle the massive amount of work, the in-house VFX team from Paramount brought in both of their regular CGI vendors, Foundation Imaging and Eden FX. Foundation was assigned to handle most of the space shots whereas Eden was principally brought in to deal with CG elements which had to be added to live-action footage. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 24)
  • The workload was so enormous that, at Foundation Imaging, Robert Bonchune had to divide his supervising duties with David Morton. "This is the biggest thing we've ever done for Star Trek. We had over 70 shots, so it's a huge show," related Bonchune. "Dave Morton and I split the roles on the pilot. He supervised the gas giant stuff; I supervised model construction and space sequences." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 24)
  • To make sure all the visual effects could be approved as quickly as possible, Dan Curry and his boss, Supervising Producer Peter Lauritson, regularly visited the CGI vendors instead of waiting for the companies to deliver their input. This freed Ron Moore from having to supervise the incoming shots and, as an alternative, he devoted himself to overseeing the compositing work at CIS Hollywood. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 24)
  • The pace was frantic, especially because the VFX artists were unwilling to compromise on quality. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 24) "The thing that I stressed to our vendor companies and the staff," said Dan Curry, "is that the technology to create visual effects is available to anyone who wants to invest in the hardware, so what we have to do is make sure that we try to approach everything with superior artistry and thinking; we try to make sure that each shot informs the audience about what's going on and delights them with images and surprises." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 25) Curry relished the adrenaline involved in the frenetic approach to delivering the VFX and the process worked well, with all the shots being completed on time. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 24)
  • One of the first shots that Eden FX did for this episode was that of the wrecked Klingon ship in the cornfield. In common with the other shots they delivered, this involved adding a CG element to live-action footage. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 27) An establishing wide shot of Amazon University was an obvious visual effect. Subtler VFX were used to expand the spacedock observation deck, adding an additional level to the room and making the audience larger. Phlox's immunocytic gel worms were also depicted with CGI. (text commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD)
  • Showing the Suliban's extraordinary physical maneuvers and some of their technology in this pilot episode represented other challenges. In fact, adding a pre-echo effect to all the footage set in the temporal communications chamber was one of the most difficult effects in the whole episode. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 28) Midway through the installment's post-production schedule, Dan Curry explained, "Ron [Moore] has, working with Paul Hill at CIS, been focusing on the temporal chamber stuff [....] And I've been focusing on, among other things, the Suliban's [dislocation ability], again working with John Teska out of Foundation." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 77)
  • Entirely CGI models were used for not only the Suliban but also the starship Enterprise's senior officers; this signified the first time such models were utilized for the regular characters of a Star Trek series. Regarding these digitized versions of Enterprise crew members, John Gross – a co-founder of Eden FX – said, "They were used a lot in the pilot." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 28)
  • By the time the group finished their task of completing a total of over 300 VFX shots, all members of the team were exhausted but happy with the experience. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 10, p. 30)

Music and SoundEdit

  • During shots set on the NX-01 bridge, background sound effects from the TOS-Enterprise bridge can be heard.
  • An instrumental version of the ENT theme song, "Where My Heart Will Take Me", plays over the closing credits of this episode.


Reception and AftermathEdit

  • Rick Berman was extremely enthusiastic about this episode during its production. Seventeen days into the installment's shooting schedule, Berman gave an interview to Star Trek: Communicator in which he said of the pilot, "It is everything I hoped it would be," and remarked that the episode's revelation of the Vulcans having been "rather patronizing" to Humans historically is "learned by the audience in a very entertaining fashion." Berman also commented about the selection of James Conway as the director of this outing, saying, "He couldn't have been a better choice because [...] the stuff we're getting from him is all pure gold." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 134, pp. 12, 13 & 76)
  • The first footage from this episode that was seen by Trip actor Connor Trinneer was viewed by him after he had completed his work on seven episodes of the series; he glimpsed sections of the pilot while rerecording lines of dialogue in a "looping" session. In an interview with Star Trek Communicator later that day, Trinneer declared, "The graphics and effects are unbelievable. It all looks outstanding. And it's a real experience seeing yourself in it all." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 56)
  • Prior to the show's telecast premiere, UPN ran a pre-recorded message in which Scott Bakula urged viewers to donate blood to the American Red Cross in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The episode premiered just two weeks after those attacks.
  • TV commercials promoting the series premiere incorporated the song "Wherever You Will Go" by The Calling.
  • A certain amount of controversy was sparked when it was decided to have the Klingons appear as they did after The Original Serieswith their trademark forehead ridges. This at first caused much speculation and debate among fans as to how the race had evolved from having bony ridges on their foreheads, in this episode, to having smooth foreheads in Kirk's era. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 74)
  • This pilot episode was given a special premiere at the Paramount Theater, at Paramount Studios. [X]wbm
  • The episode was viewed by an average of 12.5 million viewers on its network premiere, making it UPN's best Wednesday night rating, and its second highest-rate night of all time (after its launch night, when "Caretaker" premiered). (Star Trek Monthly issue 86) The pilot was well received by not only fans but also critics, earning positive reviews. Of the episode's success, Brannon Braga remarked, "We pretty much accomplished what we set out to do [....] And the icing on the cake was the overwhelming response of the audience and critics. That was something we hoped and prayed would happen, but it exceeded our wildest expectations." Braga was personally happy with the installment too; he termed it "certainly the most ambitious" of Star Trek's pilot episodes and went on to say, "If you look at the sheer amount of action sequences and production value, it was pretty impressive." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 22)
  • In hindsight, Rick Berman thought this episode turned out to be "terrific", and named it as one of his favorites from all the episodes he himself worked on. [2]
  • This episode won the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series, beating out a later episode, "Breaking the Ice", in the same category. "Broken Bow" also received Emmy nominations for its prosthetic makeup designs and for its sound editing.
  • When this installment was released on VHS, Star Trek Magazine rated the episode 5 out of 5 arrowhead insignias. (Star Trek Monthly issue 90, p. 56) In the same publication's "Ultimate Guide", however, the episode was given only 4 out of 5 arrowhead insignias. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 77)
  • The book Star Trek 101, by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode as one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • The unofficial reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 358) says about this pilot episode, "An excellent start, a clever bend of Star Trek traditions, like Klingons and alien dancing girls, and intriguing new elements like the time-traveling baddies and the spiky relationship with the Vulcans. An episode that introduces the new characters well, it has some nice variations in tone, from comedy to action. It's a shame the transporter is used as a deus ex machina – it's not so much that you see the solution coming, it's that after 700 previous episodes of Star Trek it's hard to get excited about seeing it."
  • Several items from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a language lecture computer [3] and a Suliban interrogation device. [4] The disruptor rifle used by Klaang at the beginning of this episode was also auctioned off in It's A Wrap! (item #2890), along with a Denobulan medical chest used by Phlox (item #480).

Production History Edit

Video and DVD Releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also Starring Edit

Co-Stars Edit

Uncredited Co-Stars Edit

Stunt doubles and stand-ins Edit

References Edit

2121; Altarian marsupial; "Ambassador Pointy"; april; astronaut; Atlantis; autonomic system; autosequencer; boomer; bread stick; Broken Bow; Broken Bow incident; California Clipper; Chinese food; clock; Cook, Billy; corn; cornfield; Corvallen; courier; crash landing; decontamination chamber; Deep Flight 1; dockmaster; Draylax; Draylaxian; droppings; Earth; Elkan Nine; Emmette, SS; Emmette-type; endocrine system; enzyme; farmer; fire; First Contact; gas giant; genetic engineering; hay; immunocytic gel worm; inspection pod; ion storm; Jelik; Klingon; Klingon disruptor; Klingon language; K'toch-class; life span; linguistic database; liquid; logic; long range sensor; Lorillian; McIntyre; methane; model; nitrogen sulfide; non-humanoid; Oklahoma; Orbital Drydock Facility; osmotic eel; OV-165; paint; paint brush; phase pistol; phosphorus; plasma coil; plasma rifle; protocystian spore; remote control; remote controlled model spaceship; Sausalito; scoutship; Sector 3641; sensor log; silo; Starfleet Medical; stethoscope; Suliban; Suliban Cabal; Suliban cell ship (cylindrical); Suliban cell ship (spherical), Suliban helix, Suliban pistol; sweet spot; cyclohexane; Teneebian moons; Tholia; tricyclic plasma drive; Trillius Prime; valve sealant; vegetarian; viewer; Vulcan; Vulcan Compound; warp; Warp Five Complex; warp five engine

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Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 1
Next episode:
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