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Speculating on ENTERPRISE Part Two

How does the newest TREK tie into the franchise's complicated continuity?

By Mike Whybark     February 28, 2002

The titular starship ENTERPRISE
© 2001 UPN

With the newest STAR TREK show, ENTERPRISE, a bonafide hit, it only seems right to do a little cross-indexing of data between the new show and the Kirk-era STAR TREK which takes place 115 years later. In part one of our study, we learned that we might be in store for some very distinct future plot developments for the new show.

Temporal Cold War.

Jolene Blalock as Subcommander T'Pol on ENTERPRISE

Since this is the most active of the continuing story arcs, audiences can expect to see this thread pop up sooner than most of the other speculations engaged in here. What's known so far is that a shadowy figure, who works with a faction of the chameleon-like Suliban, is up against the representative of another group involved in the struggle that appears to be human. More doings sure to come, but in what direction none can say.

Captain, where are we going now?

Time travel in and of itself opens the door for that tried-and-true (or is that "overused") technique of introducing guest stars in the form of actors from other TREK series. Bakula, in fact, mentions, "They're trying to come up with a way for Patrick to do an episode."

Could that be Patrick Stewart, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard of TNG? Don't put money on the Bald One until the cagey voice of caution speaks in the form of executive producer Rick Berman (referring more generally to the concept of bringing other series' cast members into the show): "We have to be very careful with how we do that, but we might."

Human Interstellar Colonization.

Khan arrives in "Space Seed"

A few sublight colony ships are known to have headed out and successfully founded colonies (seen in "Terra Nova," the episode in which the human colonists wore cool-looking SURVIVOR-esque tribal outfits). STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, generally acknowledged as the best TREK movie ever, is in fact a continuation of a story that began in TOS episode "Space Seed." In that episode, a young Ricardo Montalban plays Khan, the leader of the Botany Bay, a sleeper ship full of genetically-engineered superhumans fleeing the end of the "Eugenics Wars" of the 1990s.

It seems likely there are other surprises from Earth's first age of space exploration awaiting discovery. However, the bulk of human settlement would occur once warp ships are easily built and launched perhaps a development for later in the series.

Founding of the United Federation of Planets.

This happens between the initial episodes of ENTERPRISE and TOS, but it's never been discussed in detail on any of the shows. In the mid-'70s TECHNICAL MANUAL published by Ballantine Books and developed under license by Franz Joseph Designs, the United Federation of Planets Articles of Federation are published in full (all 10 pages!). It states that the UFP was founded on Stardate 0963; how this jibes with stardates used onscreen is indeterminate. The Franz Joseph publications do not have the status of events and information presented in the context of the shows and movies, but are regarded as semi-authoritative, mostly on matters of technical information such as a ship's plans.

The founding of the Federation is clearly an important event for STAR TREK as a whole. Yet, the events presented in ENTERPRISE seem earlier than might be expected for the mature alliance between Vulcan and Human. Thus, it's an event of low probability for the immediate future.

Picard and Dathon at Eladril.

An interesting possibility opens with the creative decision to equip xenolinguist and Communications Officer Ensign Hoshi Sato (Linda Park) with a partially functioning translator, especially in light of the much-praised TNG episode "Darmok." This relatively simple story (Picard must cooperate with an alien captain with no apparent common vocabulary) becomes an extended meditation on the limitations of language itself and the importance of metaphor and context to communication in general. Will Berman and his partner Brannon Braga rise to the moment and produce something as astonishing as "Darmok," perhaps Sato and Archer at Centarus?

More Personal Directions.

In addition to these potential future plotlines, the cast has some tidbits and desires that we'd be remiss not to share with you.

The titular starship ENTERPRISE

Looks like Sub-Commander T'Pol may be slated for some romance. Actress Jolene Blalock states, "I won't tell you what, but they throw me around a bit."

Anthony Montgomery (Travis Mayweather) mentions that the "Powers that Be" are working on an Archer-Mayweather episode, but admits he has yet to see the script. He also sees his character as ambitious, and hopes he'll be promoted over the course of the show.

"I want to see Travis go to the pinnacle and lead everybody, but I also want to see him in zero-G with tears rolling up his face."

Dominick Keating (Lt. Malcolm Reed) is proud of the lifeboat episode in which his character and Chief Engineer Trip (Connor Trineer) are "marooned on Shuttlepod One... with only 40 hours of air left."

John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox) speaks amusingly of discovering that his character is a polygamist, as recently revealed in "Dear Doctor."

"I had described my race as semi-monastic, so I had to immediately change my back-story. I meant polygamist, it just came out monastic."

He adds (in front of his real life spouse) that he'd "like my wife to play both of my wives, and in fact all of the women from the planet Denobulan."


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