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Summary

Enterprise passes a previously unknown Minshara-class planet with an Earth-like atmosphere and surface. Captain Archer orders a shuttle to be prepared for an away mission. After an afternoon studying the planet, Sub-Commander T'Pol, Commander Tucker, and Ensign Mayweather request further time on the planet, and do so with Archer's approval. Crewmen Cutler and Novakovich are also allowed to remain on the surface to study nocturnal life. The Captain and Lieutenant Reed then return to Enterprise.

Later that evening, a violent storm front approaches so Tucker suggests that the landing party use the cave that T'Pol discovered earlier for shelter. Once there, Mayweather goes back to the original camp-site to recover food, and notices three humanoid life-forms wandering around, but T'Pol's scans reveal no unusual bio-signs. In the confines of the cave, Crewmen Cutler and Novakovich begin seeing and hearing humanoids too. Tucker also reports to Archer about seeing a mysterious alien life form too. Searching for these other lifeforms, T'Pol takes a phase pistol and walks deeper into the cave. In her absence however, the landing party then become increasingly suspicious of her behavior, thinking that she is withholding information about the aliens from them.

Concerned, Archer and Reed attempt to reach the landing party in a shuttlepod, but cannot do so until the wind dies down. Novakavich is emergency beamed up due to his erratic behavior and bio-sign, and Doctor Phlox finds he has been exposed to tropolisine, a hallucinogenic compound found in pollen. Phlox also discovers he is near-death, poisoned by an unexpected side-effect of the chemical. On the planet, Tucker is increasingly suffering from hallucinations. T'Pol reports to Archer that he is irrational and that Mayweather and Cutler are nearly unconscious. Reed beams an antidote down to the cave, and despite Tucker's interference, T'Pol is able to administer it. The next morning, the storm blows over, and everyone is fine.

Errors and Explanations

Ex Astris Scientia

Nitpicking

  1. In attempt to appease Tucker, Archer says: "Starfleet sent us here to make contact with a silicon-based lifeform." Exactly such a lifeform, however, was later said to be completely unknown in TOS: Devil in the Dark. How can Archer simply make up such a lifeform if none is known yet? Is he a visionary? The existence of such a life form may have been theoretically established. (NB: There is more on this in query 8 of the Nit Central section!)
  2. What the devil happened to Novakovich? According to Dr. Phlox, he was going to recover at first, then he was going to die, and in the end he was suddenly fine again. This may be how the situation appeared to Phlox, nevertheless it didn't make much sense - especially since it didn't play much of a role: the problem that was facing the rest of the survey team was a different one. Novakovich presumably made a full recovery.

Daystrom Institute Technical Library

Yet Another Trek Inconsistency

  1. Dr. Phlox talks of "tropolysine atoms" saying that they have an extra neutron which breaks down into a toxic substance inside the body. Presumably tropolysine is an element as yet unknown to us. If an atom gains an extra neutron it simply becomes an isotope of the same element. It might be unstable and undergo radioactive decay, thus damaging the body, but it shouldn't really be able to produce a poison by this method. The radiation may lead to the production of poison in the body.

Nit Central

  1. Derf on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 6:42 pm: Well, the transporter suffered a major setback in this episode. In Broken Bow, Archer was transported while running at full speed and a phaser beam aimed at him, yet he was transported safely. In this episode, crewman Novakavich was transported from the surface, yet he had plants and leaves embedded in his skin when transported. Hhhmm ... if they could've only gotten him to RUN!! Rene on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 7:11 pm: The storm interfered with the transporter. Lolar You wont scramble my molecules Windrunner on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 9:34 pm: Oh yeah about the transporter. Archer was running in a relatively straight line (with someone shooting at him, very bad idea) with a calm environment around him (at least as calm as having someone wanting to kill you can be). The hapless victim of the transporter this time around was in the middle of a small tornado of debris. The error correction scanners and et al were overloaded and its lucky that he wasn’t reduced to chunky salsa. Now that would have made me appreciate the shuttles a lot more. Heck even a long rope would be better after seeing that. Trike on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 11:58 pm: I thought the transporter malfunction was because the crewman was clinging to the rock, and the other debris had either become stuck to his uniform or got caught in the transporter beam. In the first episode, Archer was not touching anything, so the circumstances were better. Derf on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 10:13 am: Well ... okay, you're right. The storm made it difficult to isolate the crewman's pattern. But THAT would mean that the transporter would've had trouble beaming down the hyposprays later in the ep ... wouldn't it? Trike on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 10:45 am:Derf, I think sending the hyposprays to the surface was different because the transport began in a sterile transporter chamber.
  2. Derf on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 6:58 pm: T'Pol gave Travis the Vulcan Neck Pinch in order to give him the hypospray. But, she gave him the pinch backwards from the way Spock had always done. Spock always approached the "victim" from behind to administer the pinch. T'Pol gave Travis the pinch from the front. Yet, it seems that it works either way. Rene on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 7:11 pm: What's the different where the Vulcan approaches the victim? Mikey on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 7:39 pm: Derf: In Star Trek 4, Spock was sitting across from the punk rocker on the bus and he neck-pinched him from the front. And wasn't he facing the guard in TOS episode when he told him he had a multi-legged creature on his shoulder? Regardless, if Spock is able to nerve-pinch a friggin horse, I don't see why T'Pol can't nerve pinch a human from the front.Lolar Windrunner on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 9:30 pm: I thought the nerve pinch was omnidirectional. Since it was sort of a vulcan martial/spiritual arts thing.
  3. Jason on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 7:25 pm: I like the tents. As a matter of fact, I've camped in nearly identical tents myself. Only mine had screens instead of the clear plastic windows. The bug in the sleeping back was cool. supercooladdict on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 7:30 pm: Yeah. those plastic windows in the tents threw me, I saw them in there tents you could see out and I was all like, whoa man, why don't they close their tents. While I guess these might have been standard emergency tents or something they keep in the shuttlepod, I would kinda figure they'd have something more advanced then it comes to tents. I mean I have a better tent than they have, minus the clear windows. I would have figured they'd have geodesic dome tents or something a little more impressive. Then again, maybe all the space age stuff is in the materials. like maybe they're ultra insulated tents or water proof or something.
  4. SMT on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 7:29 pm: I noticed this before in Fight or Flight, but saw it again here. Archer has a framed photograph in his cabin, of a large airplane flying over what appears to be San Francisco. From its shape, I can only conclude that the plane is the "Spruce Goose", Howard Hughes's famed boondoggle of the late 1940s. That plane made only one flight, and never got more than a few feet off the water(it was a seaplane). I suppose it could be a digitally altered photo, made to create a scene that never happened, but I don't see why one would do that. Lolar Windrunner on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 9:30 pm:Maybe the spruce goose in this universe wasn;t the same as in Archer's? maybe it went operational or that was a recreation someone in the future created.Logan on Tuesday, October 16, 2001 - 3:08 pm:SMT, I believe that photo is actually of the "China Clipper" taken circa 1936.
  5. Didn't the landing party run out of water fast? They spent just part of a local day and night on the surface before they ran low. Granted that the local day seems to be longer than Earth's, but they would have known that in advance, and should have planned accordingly. Maybe there was something in the environment, which didn’t appear on the scans, that increased their thirst.
  6. Did that stun shot really knock Trip out until morning? They've got those phase pistols a bit overpowered. Lolar Windrunner on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 9:30 pm: Trip may just be very sensitive to being stunned. I am sensitive to drugs that make you drowsy. (one spoonful of nyquil and I am gone for several hours, the one time I had codiene for a broken leg, I was out cold for almost the entire day off one pill.) Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 3:53 am: SMT, I think that while the stun setting knocked him out, he may have slept longer as his body recovered from the tripolisene.
  7. Steven Oostrom on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 10:06 pm: Archer returns to the Enterprise in the shuttlepod, leaving the away team on the surface in substandard shelter. Somehow, I think that without reliable transporters, protocol would require a shuttlepod remain with an away team at all times. On the other hand... when Archer makes his attempted rescue, winds that were said to be about 80 km/h (which is not really that bad, I recall walking home from school one day in 110 km/h winds), and he had trouble with the shuttlepod. Somehow, I think that given the conditions the shuttlepods are expected to operate in, they would have made a more robust and more durable craft. Bill Alston on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 12:45 am:While they should have left the pod planet side, maybe have Mayweather fly the Archer back then come back down. But when coming in, with a storm like that, gusts and wind shear (and didn't they mention wind shear on trying to land?) would be buffeting that little pod around something fierce, just like turbulence in modern air liners.Steven Oostrom on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 10:25 pm: All true, but surly they could have designed something to handle that, especially since the shuttlepod in all likelihood gets its lift from antigravity fields and not aerodynamic lift or rocket thrust.
  8. Trike on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 11:58 pm: I was surprised at the mention of silicon-based life when Archer made his bluff about the rock people. If I remember correctly, in the original series episode The Devil in the Dark, such life hadn't even been theorized. Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 3:53 am: Trike, I seem to recall McCoy, in The Devil in the Dark, saying that silicon life was impossible in an oxygen atmosphere, so it would seem to have been theorized, at least.Trike on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 10:45 am: Thanks, KAM, for the update from The Devil in the Dark. Even so, since the planet in this episode was oxygen-nitrogen based, it still doesn't fit what McCoy said. But Archer was trying to fool an engineer, not a doctor. ScottN on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 11:24 am: And an engineer who was whacked out of his mind by psychotropic agent to boot.
  9. Dustin Westfall on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 12:51 pm: I'm curious why the Armory officer is the one running the transporter. Do they not have a normal transporter operator? Josh M on Saturday, August 24, 2002 - 12:56 am: Why would they? They hardly use the thing. O'Brien used it all the time on TNG and he told Worf that it was totally boring. inblackestnight on Thursday, July 05, 2007 - 7:03 pm: When did he tell Worf that? Josh M (Joshm) on Friday, January 25, 2013 - 3:19 pm: Bar Association (DS9).
  10. When they launch the shuttlepods, do they depressurize and repressurize the launch bay? The reason I ask is, the launch bay seems to be modeled off an underwater launch platform, where small craft are launched (see the Abyss, SeaQuest, etc.). However, that wouldn't work in a space environment due to the vacuum. The only way for it to work would require a TNG era shuttlebay forcefield. Josh M on Saturday, August 24, 2002 - 12:56 am:Yes, I believe they do. In Cold Front Archer had to repressurize the bay after Silik opened the doors.
  11. The Undesirable Element on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 2:43 pm: Why did this pollen make Tucker go mad while it made Cutler and Mayweather fall asleep? PaulG on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 7:57 pm: TUE: Chemicals can affect different people differently. Perhaps Trip was more resistant than the other two. Perhaps Mayweather had a larger dose because he went out for the food. As for Cutler, maybe females are less resistant than males. There are other explanations as well.
  12. Jason on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 7:08 am: I just thought of something, when the shuttle brushes it's wing against the rock, it's reported that there was a plasma leak. This doesn't sound right, unless there was a conduit running through the wing. And the wing doesn't look thick enough to have one running through it. LUIGI NOVI on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 1:55 pm: It’s even worse. Reed says, "Thruster 4 is down. We’re leaking plasma coolant." How in the world does brushing the wing against the rock damage the THRUSTER? Seniram 21:22, September 4, 2018 (UTC) It could have jolted the control linkage in the wing into striking the plasma coolant line for the thruster, causing the leak.
  13. Sparrow47 on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 10:14 am: Did it strike anyone else as odd that all the humans were seeing virtually the same thing when they were all nutso? Normally when people get tripped out on hallucinogens, they see wildly different things. With the exception of Trip's teacher, everyone was seeing aliens. Jackknight on Sunday, October 14, 2001 - 7:47 pm: True, but for the most part, they saw different aliens. Novakovitch hears voices; Mayweather sees what look like Starfleet officers; Cutler sees what look like blue-faced aliens; Trip sees the rock aliens.LUIGI NOVI on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 1:55 pm: For one thing, they’ve been travelling for weeks through space looking to encounter alien life, so they have aliens on the brain. Second, what the first person reports seeing can influence what the others see. Lastly, Travis’ vision of Trip was distorted, Novakovich heard voices, and we don’t know what T’Pol saw or heard, if anything.Sparrow47 on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 3:16 pm: True. To a point. However, if you get three people in a room, have them all drop acid (not that I know anything about this), and ask them to tell you what they experience, you're going to get three wildly different answers, no matter if one of them says, "Hey, check out that rock guy," when starting out. The other two will most likely say, "Huh?" and resume talking to the linoleum or playing with the lamp. While it is true that each person here saw/heard things differently, they all centered on rock people. Also, we do know that T'Pol at least heard something, as that's why she went back in the cave to begin with. And it's possible she saw something as well, because she was standing there staring at something before Cutler showed up.LUIGI NOVI on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 9:45 pm: The people Travis saw were dressed in what looked like Starfleet uniforms (as someone else mentioned), not rock people. Novakavich heard voices, and we never saw exactly what, if anything, he saw. The aliens Cutler saw didn't look like rock aliens. And T'Pol (hate to repeat myself :)) did suffer some effects, but we didn't see what what she saw, so I respectfully disagree with your statement about "they all centered on rock people" :)
  14. If that pollen blows down from the mountains so much, wouldn't there be quite a bit of it floating around even without a storm? LUIGI NOVI on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 1:55 pm: Not necessarily. Perhaps the pollen just came into season.
  15. LUIGI NOVI on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 1:55 pm: In Act 1, T’Pol says that a storm front is approaching from the southwest. How exactly are directions determined on a brand new planet? Do the crew simply assign directions based on the relationship between Earth and the Sun, and decide that whichever direction from which the sun rises on the new planet is West, and the opposite is East? And do they continue to use Earth as the standard in the 24th century multi-planetary Federation? And what do they do for planets belonging to binary or trinary star systems? Maquis Lawyer on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 9:09 pm: Luigi Novi: You asked how the crew determined the directions on a brand new planet. How about this? All of the planets in our solar system generate a magnetic field (as well as a gravitational field). Like all magnetic fields, planetary fields have a positively and negatively charged pole, which we designate, respectively, as north and south. The planets rotate from west to east along this axis. For some reason, Uranus (that's YUR-an-us, not Your-anus) tilts so far on its axis that its "north" pole is south of its "south" pole. From this perspective, Uranus appears to rotate backward, but it still rotates from west to east based upon where the "north" pole is located. Anyway, the same physics ought to hold true in other solar systems, particularly with "Earth-type" planets. So once you determine the north pole of a planet, you can label the cardinal directions (north/south/east/west).ScottN on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 10:29 pm: Maquis Lawyer, you are partially correct. Uranus has an axial tilt of 98°, making it retrograde. In addition, Venus also has a retrograde rotation. It is difficult to tell, because it is 243 days retrograde, while its orbital period is 224 days. Steven Oostrom on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 10:31 pm:Directions are probably arbitrary. The direction a planet rotates in probably defines east and west, and then the other directions follow from that. Therefore, every planet has the sun rising in the east. Since this Enterprise is an Earth ship, I'd imagine that they would continue to use this concept of directions. As for binary or trinary star systems, the planet would orbit one of the stars in the system and that would become the "reference" star if you wish. Planets are more likely to appear in binary-star systems if the stars are well-separated. If the stars are very close together, then the distance a planet would have to orbit to form a stable orbit would be far too large for it to be class-M. The only exception I could see would be a very bright Sirius-like star with a very close companion star, so that a planet far away would still receive enough solar radiation to be class-M. In this case, the two stars always remain very close to each other in the sky and so can be considered one star in terms of defining direction. I do not think this would be a problem in defining directions.


Enterprise Season 1
Broken Bow I Fight or Flight I Strange New World I Unexpected I Terra Nova I The Andorian Incident I Breaking the Ice I Civilization I Fortunate Son I Cold Front I Silent Enemy I Dear Doctor I Sleeping Dogs I Shadows of P'Jem I Shuttlepod One I Fusion I Rogue Planet I Acquisition I Oasis I Detained I Vox Sola I Fallen Hero I Desert Crossing I Two Days and Two Nights I Shockwave
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