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Impulse (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
ENT, Episode 3x05
Production number: 057
First aired: 8 October 2003
56th of 97 produced in ENT
56th of 97 released in ENT
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 97 released in ENT Remastered  
685th of 728 released in all
Teleplay By
Jonathan Fernandez

Story By
Jonathan Fernandez & Terry Matalas

Directed By
David Livingston
Unknown (2153)
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This article concerns the Enterprise episode. For the starship engine component of the same name, see impulse drive.

After finding the drifting hulk of a Vulcan cruiser inside an asteroid field, Captain Archer and his crew are surprised to find Vulcans "alive" on it. When they are stranded there, they must find out what happened to the crew before T'Pol succumbs to the same fate.


T'Pol scream

In space, everyone can hear you scream...

Archer is carrying T'Pol's body into sickbay. "She's coming to!" he shouts to Phlox. As they place her on the biobed, they restrain her, just as she regains consciousness. She threatens to kill Archer, calling him a murderer. Phlox applies the last restraint as T'Pol lets out an ear-splitting scream...

Act OneEdit

Phlox tries to sedate T'Pol, who thinks the doctor is trying to kill her. Archer holds her head still as Phlox applies the sedative. T'Pol struggles briefly, but the sedative takes effect, as Phlox sends the biobed into the imaging chamber.

One Day Earlier

Trip Tucker and Archer are in the command center. Tucker says that he has been talking with Chef, who is worried about the crew's morale and their lack of meals. He recommends they re-introduce movie night again, but Archer says there'll be plenty of time for movies after the Xindi mission. Tucker says it is either that or Phlox will have to start medicating the crew. Archer asks what he has in mind. "A comedy," Tucker replies, as T'Pol enters. She says she would have helped the two men with their work, but Archer didn't want to get her out of bed too early. "Besides, our resident insomniac was looking for something to do." Tucker asks T'Pol if she is doing anything on Tuesday evening. She guesses that it is movie night. Hoshi Sato contacts them from the bridge. She has picked up an automated distress signal – it is Vulcan. They have had no response to hails.

On the bridge, T'Pol recognizes the transponder frequency. It is from the Vulcan cruiser Seleya, a ship that entered the Expanse nine months previously. They set a course.

File:Enterprise Impulse.jpg

Enterprise arrives at the co-ordinates, finding an asteroid field affected by spatial anomalies. With their paths so unpredictable, Archer guesses that Enterprise will be too big to go in. Tucker finds out the reason the Seleya is there – the asteroids are loaded with trellium ore. Archer asks Sato to wake up Malcolm Reed, and send him to the launch bay. He then asks Tucker to get some of the ore. He and T'Pol then leave the bridge.

In the asteroid field, Archer is piloting the shuttlepod manually. Two of the asteroids collide, sending bits of rubble on to the hull of the small craft. Reed says they may need a fresh coat of paint when they return. T'Pol offers to take the helm. "Maybe on the way back," Archer replies. He then finds out from T'Pol that she served on the Seleya for over a year, as a deputy science officer under Captain Voris. It was her last assignment before joining the Vulcan consulate on Earth. The Seleya was charting the thermobarric perimeter when they reported being caught in a subspace eddy. They were eventually pulled in to the Expanse, and were never heard from them again. The Vaankara was sent to find them. "You already know what happened to that crew," says T'Pol.

File:Transporter Accident.jpg

Tucker and Travis Mayweather are transporting some of the smaller asteroids on to the ship, in an attempt to get some trellium. Tucker aims for something bigger, but as they energize transporters, an anomaly passes over it, and the transporter circuits become fused. The asteroid dematerializes, then rematerializes as small pieces, practically phased in to the transporter booth. Mayweather says that with transporters down, he can land on one of the asteroids in a shuttlepod, even though it is risky. Tucker looks back to the transporter. "This'll be a new one for the maintenance crew," he says, before leaving with Mayweather.

Shuttlepod One arrives at the Vulcan cruiser, which has taken quite a beating. Main power is off-line, life support is at a minimum, and T'Pol detects bio-signs. Archer tries to contact them, but again gets no response. They dock at the starboard docking port.

Reed is the first one on board, followed by Archer, T'Pol and Hawkins. Reed discovers a smattering of a blue compound on a bulkhead, and finds out that it is trellium. T'Pol's scanner picks up some biosigns on their deck, but it can't isolate them. They split into pairs. Reed and Hawkins go starboard. They find Vulcan blood on another bulkhead, next to a computer terminal. Archer and T'Pol hear a knocking, and head towards a jammed door. Picking up a single biosign, T'Pol tries the override to the door. They force it open... as a Vulcan comes through, wielding a weapon, nearly striking T'Pol. Archer wrestles him to the ground, where the Vulcan crewman scratches his face. Now standing up, T'Pol shoots him, but he does not fall to the ground. Next she kicks him, before Archer downs him with another shot.

Act TwoEdit

T'Pol is leaning against the door, recovering from the shock. As they start moving the Vulcan crewman to the shuttlepod, two more crewmen wielding the same weapons walk towards them. Again, it takes two phase pistol shots to down them. Archer contacts Reed, who has not run into anyone yet.
Reed defends himself

Reed defends himself

As soon as they stop talking, Reed and Hawkins are attacked. Hawkins is downed, while Reed keeps firing at the Vulcans heading towards them. Eventually getting up, Hawkins uses his baton to defend himself, as Reed himself is attacked. One of the Vulcans puts his weapon around Reed's neck, intent on strangling him, but he is saved by Archer, who shoots the Vulcan down. More Vulcans are converging on their position, so Archer suggests they retreat, as the other Vulcans begin to rise. Hawkins sets his weapon to kill, which T'Pol notices. T'Pol, then Archer, order him to switch back to stun, as there is still a chance the Vulcans could be rescued. The team get back to the docking port, but they are blocked by two Vulcans, who just stand there. Archer tries to talk to them, but they seal the hatch, giving them no access to the shuttlepod. The rear door opens, revealing three Vulcans, who are armed with welding tools, firing at point blank range. They are downed by several shots, as even more crewmen approach. The team moves away from the area, up a ladder leading to the next deck. Archer is the last one to go up, and the Vulcans grab him as he climbs. Fighting them off, he gets up the ladder and closes the hatch. The Vulcans on the other side begin banging.

Archer tries to contact Enterprise, to no avail. T'Pol believes they can contact the Enterprise from the bridge if their comm system is intact, but there is one slight problem – the bridge is seven decks above them. If the whole crew is still alive, there will be 147 Vulcans on board. Malcolm suggests using one of the Vulcan shuttles, but the bay has decompressed. The four bulkheads leading to their own shuttle have been sealed. They decide to press on. As Hawkins is badly injured, they decide to go to the Seleya's sickbay, which is just two decks up. T'Pol tells Archer that she may be succumbing to the same thing that is affecting the Vulcan crew, so Archer tells her he'll get her out of there as soon as possible.

Travis landing

Mayweather lands Shuttlepod Two, or rather skids

Tucker and Mayweather are in Shuttlepod Two, looking for a large asteroid with plenty of trellium near the surface. "There isn't a flat spot much bigger than my quarters," says Mayweather, but Tucker gives him the choice. He takes the opportunity. Hitting a small outcropping and then skidding to a halt, Mayweather asks the chief engineer not to write up that particular landing in his log. "Are you kidding?" he replies. "I'm gonna recommend they give you a medal." They set out.

Archer and his team have reached the Seleya's sickbay. They are almost surprised when yet another Vulcan jumps down from above, but Reed has it covered, shooting the man before he hits the floor. As Reed patches up Hawkins' wound, Archer asks about the man lying on the biobed. T'Pol is slowly losing her grip on her emotional control. She tells Archer that the man on the biobed is called Solin, and that he is the chief engineer. When T'Pol asks him questions, he doesn't answer, but only struggles to break free from his restraints. She eventually shouts at him, causing her to recoil when Solin again doesn't answer. She knows that she is losing control and believes that it is too late to save her. Archer reassures her, and with a steady hand on her shoulder, calms her down enough to continue.

Moving through an access tube, T'Pol struggles to keep moving. When they come out, they find a lot of debris blocking their way. Archer and Reed squeeze through, telling Hawkins to look after T'Pol, while they proceed towards engineering and the two biosigns they have just picked up. Hawkins gives T'Pol some water, before apologizing for his earlier actions. He asks how the crew could have become so violent when they don't have emotions. T'Pol corrects him on a common misconception – they do have emotions, but they are kept suppressed and under control. She relates Vulcan's past to their present situation. Vulcans used to be extremely violent, and they nearly destroyed themselves.

Archer and Reed go through the access tube next to engineering, but as they open the hatch... there is no-one there. Archer climbs out, before being promptly attacked by two Vulcans who had hidden themselves at the side. Reed takes one out with his rifle, and Archer punches the other one. Calling T'Pol and Hawkins to them, they continue.

On one of the asteroids, Tucker and Mayweather have collected a whole box with trellium ore. Mayweather remembers about the "accident" that Tucker and T'Pol had in the lab while trying to synthesize trellium-D. Suddenly, the asteroid shakes as a spatial anomaly strikes. Sato contacts them to tell them that the asteroid has changed course and is headed into a denser area of the field. They look up as they see a particularly large asteroid moving towards them.

Act ThreeEdit

Tucker and Mayweather board Shuttlepod Two and Mayweather launches it. The two large asteroids collide, sending small pieces at them. They only have one thruster left, but Mayweather can get them back to Enterprise.

Inside the Seleya's engine room, Archer's team find out that the transceiver has been damaged. T'Pol is in a very fragile state, but remains calm for long enough to tell Archer what needs to be done. Reed has encrypted the locking mechanism on the doors but he doesn't know how long it'll hold for.

In the launch bay, Tucker, Mayweather and an engineering crew are working on repairs to Shuttlepod Two. Tucker is contacted by Sato, who is receiving a transmission from the captain. Archer asks if they can go and pick them up, but it'll be a few hours before Shuttlepod Two is ready to go again. Archer says he's sending some biodata that he wants Phlox to analyze, before terminating the comm link. Tucker tells his men to get a repair team.

T'Pol loses control

T'Pol starts to succumb

On the Seleya, T'Pol has rerouted the bulkhead controls to engineering. Reed has finished realigning the actuator circuits, and as T'Pol puts her hand into an access port, she gets a shock. Angry, she throws the circuits at Reed and Archer. She then accuses them of undermining her work when Archer and Tucker looked over the Xindi starcharts without her. Archer tells her they are all going to get off the ship, safely. Reed suggests causing an overload in the Seleya's power grid that would override all systems, including the bulkhead mechanisms. T'Pol says that with the warp core being unstable, it would probably shut down antimatter containment, causing a reactor breach. Archer says there isn't any other choice. Backing off, T'Pol draws her phase pistol on Archer, as Hawkins and Reed point their rifles at her. Reed notices that T'Pol's phase pistol is set to kill. T'Pol thinks Archer is trying to get revenge on the Vulcans, who undermined his father's work, among other things. Archer reiterates: they're on a rescue mission. T'Pol doesn't believe him. Archer asks her why would they keep their weapons on stun if they were trying to kill the Vulcans.

There is a bang at the door, and as everyone turns, Archer seizes the moment. Disarming T'Pol, he then grabs his own phase pistol and points it at T'Pol.

In the Enterprise's sickbay, Phlox and Tucker are analyzing the bioscans. They have found out that trellium is the cause of the Vulcan crew's symptoms. Tucker notes that T'Pol hasn't shown any signs of trellium exposure, but Phlox guesses that it is because she has not been near large quantities of it. Unfortunately for the crew of the Seleya, they had the misfortune of wandering into an asteroid field loaded with the compound. Trellium-D has become a potent neurotoxin to the Vulcan nervous system, and it is stopping them from controlling their emotions.

In a corridor, two Vulcans open a panel and pull out an actuator.

Archer is talking to Phlox about the condition of the Vulcans. T'Pol can yet be treated but the Seleya's crew is beyond help. T'Pol thinks that Phlox is lying. Suddenly, communication is cut off, and the compartment is being filled with hexafluorine gas.

Act FourEdit

Seleya breach

Just a minor obstacle...

The Vulcan crew is attempting to gain access to engineering as Archer's team is trying to escape. They can't shut off the gas. Reed activates the overload as the team leaves through an access tube above them. As they walk along the corridors, the Vulcan ship begins its slow path to destroying itself. T'Pol tries to escape from Archer's care, but he stops her. Continuing, they find a rather large obstacle – part of the floor is missing, and the gap is significant. If they miss the jump, they will fall several meters to their certain deaths in space. They find a piece of framework, and throw it over the gap, so they can cross over. Archer asks T'Pol to go over with him but she refuses. As she is about to attack him, Archer stuns her, and lifts her over his shoulder, making his trip a lot more dangerous. He makes it however, as the ship rocks around him. Suddenly, the Vulcan crew appears, and Reed and Hawkins become occupied. Reed sends Hawkins across, but some Vulcans come from the side and almost pull him off. Archer and Hawkins get the bulkhead open slightly, as Reed attempts to cross the gap, firing all the time. He jumps the last part, before getting rid of the framework and sending another Vulcan plunging to his death.

Finally back in the shuttlepod, Archer's team find that the docking clamps are locked. They have just moments before the ship explodes. Then they are hailed – it is Shuttlepod Two, which frees them by firing phasers at the docking clamps. Both ships then race away from the cruiser as it explodes.

Tucker has collected over sixty kilograms of trellium, and it should be enough to cover the forward hull. As Phlox could take a while in finding an inoculation for T'Pol, he orders Tucker to put the trellium in a biohazard locker in Cargo Bay 1.

In sickbay, T'Pol is recovering. She is informed of the Seleya's destruction and Tucker's efforts getting the trellium. T'Pol wishes to be left on the next habitable planet, but Archer disagrees.

It is Tuesday night: movie night. Phlox, with a big bowl of popcorn, is discussing the film with Tucker. They are trying to solve the mystery out loud, much to T'Pol's chagrin. She tells them to use logic more quietly. He gives Phlox the "that's not fair!" look, as the film stops. Archer calls the crew to their stations, for a tactical alert.

T'Pol nightmare

Haunted forever

T'Pol walks down a corridor by herself, rather quickly. She suddenly slows however, when she hears something behind her. She turns, then, ignoring it, turns back as someone walks right past her. She enters the turbolift, and a Seleya crewmember appears next to her, attacking her. She walks out on to the deck, which has an eerie red glow, and is acting like one of the Seleya's corridors. She is grabbed by several Vulcans who push her to the ground... she hears Phlox call "T'Pol!" and wakes up in sickbay, hyperventilating. She looks up and sees yet another Vulcan, before sitting up straight and being held by Phlox. He calms her down and says that she is safe. Her breathing slows, and she lies back down on the biobed, scared by what could happen next.

Memorable QuotesEdit

"I hope you won't write that landing up in your log."
"Are you kidding? I'm gonna recommend they give you a medal."

- Mayweather and Tucker, on Mayweather's bumpy landing

"How were you at the long jump?"

- Reed, on the large gap between them and safety

"I'll KILL you!"

- T'Pol

"I can't try to save Humanity without holding on to what makes me Human."

- Archer, to T'Pol

"Part of the fun of a mystery is trying to solve it before it ends... using logic. You of all people should appreciate that."
"Then use logic more quietly..."

- Tucker and T'Pol, while watching a movie

Background InformationEdit

  • According to the text commentary on the DVD collection, this episode contains "probably" the shortest teaser in Star Trek history, clocking in at just over eighteen seconds.
  • T'Pol's irrational suspicion that Humans are against her is a reversal of a similar scenario depicted in "Strange New World", in which Commander Tucker and other Humans suspect T'Pol of working against them. In "Strange New World", the paranoid members of the crew are affected by hallucinogenic pollen while here, T'Pol is affected by trellium-D.
  • The events of this episode are later covered in "Home" when Archer is sitting before a hearing which includes Vulcan Ambassador Soval.
  • This episode finally reveals why the crew of the Vaankara acted in the way they did, in the video seen in "The Expanse". The crew of the Vaankara had been en route to assist the Seleya.
  • The Seleya was, of course, named for the mountain of the same name on Vulcan.
  • This episode began the subplot of T'Pol's addiction to trellium-D, which lasted for three months, ending in "Damage".
  • The outline of this episode is similar to that of DS9: "Empok Nor". In this episode the crew can't tell if anyone is on the Seleya, as O'Brien and team have the same luck with Empok Nor. Garak becomes affected with a psychotropic drug, just as T'Pol became affected to trellium exposure.

Links and referencesEdit


Guest Star Edit

Uncredited Co-Stars Edit

Stunt doublesEdit


actuator circuit; Archer, Henry; asteroid; bio-hazard locker; bulkhead; Crosby, Bing; D'Kyr-type; Delphic Expanse; distress call; Earth; forensics; hexafluorine; Hope, Bob; impulse assembly; intake manifold; kilogram; logic; long jump; movie night; nervous system; neurotoxin; paint; reactor breach; Seleya; subspace eddy; synaptic pathway; synaptic regeneration; transponder frequency; transporter resequencer; thermobaric perimeter; transceiver; trellium; Vaankara; Voris; Vulcan; water; Xindi starcharts

Previous episode:
Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 3
Next episode:

cs:Impulse de:Impulsiv es:Impulse fr:Impulse ja:ENT:幽霊船 nl:Impulse

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