“Broken Bow” is the two-part pilot episode of the science fiction television series Enterprise (later renamed Star Trek: Enterprise).
It originally aired as a double-length episode and released as such, but was split into two segments for syndication.
It is the first Star Trek episode in the Prequel-Era.
A novelisation of the episode, written by Diane Carey, was published in 2001. The episode won the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series, and was also nominated for sound editing and make-up.
It is nine decades since Zefram Cochrane produced humans’ first warp flight (as seen in the film Star Trek: First Contact), and Earth finally launches its first starship of exploration, Enterprise NX-01. Commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer, and against the objections of the Vulcans, it departs on an urgent mission to return an injured Klingon to Qo’noS, the Klingon homeworld.
On Earth in 2121, a young Jonathan Archer is painting a model spaceship with his father, Henry, principal designer of Earth’s first Warp 5 engine. Without fully understanding the reasons behind the Vulcans’ constraint, he believes that there must be an explanation for holding the human space programme back.
30 years later, in 2151, a Klingon named Klaang crashes in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. He kills his two Suliban pursuers, but is then critically wounded by a farmer. Archer, now Captain of the soon-to-be-launched prototype starship Enterprise NX-01, is called to Starfleet Headquarters, where he discusses the incident with Admiral Forrest and Vulcan ambassador Soval. The Vulcans wish to delay the launch of Enterprise. Archer, after consulting with the Denobulan Doctor Phlox, convinces Forrest to allow the new ship to take Klaang to Qo’noS.
Prior to departure, Archer seeks additional crewmembers, including Phlox and linguist Hoshi Sato, while Sub-Commander T’Pol is assigned as their “Vulcan liaison”. Meanwhile, on a Suliban vessel somewhere, Silik, leader of the Suliban Cabal, speaks with a mysterious, nameless humanoid figure from their future. The figure orders Silik to recover Klaang. On Enterprise Klaang regains consciousness, but the universal translator does not allow Archer and Sato to communicate with him effectively. Suddenly, Suliban attack the ship and main power is disrupted. During the chaos, one intruder is killed and Klaang is kidnapped.
Later, in Sickbay, Phlox shows Archer the autopsied Suliban corpse, and points out several genetic enhancements. Sato completes a translation of Klaang’s speech, and keywords reveal that T’Pol has been withholding information about the Vulcan investigation, including the fact that Klaang had been on Rigel X. Meanwhile, an alien officer aboard the Suliban complex interrogates Klaang in the Klingon language. Arriving at the Rigel X Trade Complex, Archer, Sato, Tucker, and T’Pol are seized by Suliban agents.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): James L. Conway.
- Writer(s): Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.
- Release Date: 26 September 2001.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.