Star Trek: Enterprise (2003): S02E16 – Future Tense


“Future Tense” is the 42nd episode (production #216) of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the 16th of the second season.

The Enterprise finds a derelict ship, apparently from the future, and is attacked by Suliban, and later Tholian, ships seeking its possession.


The discovery of a derelict pod with a long-dead human pilot opens up a mystery. Some of the crew speculate he is the first human to invent warp drive technology, Zefram Cochrane, but DNA profiling reveal the remains are not his. Commander Tucker and Lieutenant Reed examine the mysterious pod and discover, via a floor panel, that it is larger on the inside than the outside. They also recover a device from the core which still has a weak energy signature. Shortly afterwards, a Suliban ship arrives and claims salvage rights, but Captain Archer refuses to yield it without explanation. They open fire, and beam in a boarding party, but are finally repelled.

Undaunted, Enterprise then sets course to rendezvous with Tal’Kir, a Vulcan ship. Doctor Phlox’s scans reveal the dead pilot has multi-generational DNA fragments from several alien species including Vulcan, Terrelian, and Rigelian. Seeking answers, Archer and Sub-Commander T’Pol enter Agent Daniels’ cabin, and they learn that the pod is a time travel vessel from the 31st century. Meanwhile, Tucker and Reed, on returning to the pod, get stuck in a recurring time-loop. This heightens T’Pol’s concerns and she discusses the situation with Archer, who feels they must have more information on the Temporal Cold War.

Tholians arrive, requesting the pod and warning Enterprise of temporal radiation. Again, Archer refuses, and they leave after he threatens to destroy it. The crew, reaching the rendezvous destination, discover that the Tholians have disabled the Tal’Kir, and soon disable Enterprise as well. The Suliban arrive and a battle ensues between them and the Tholians. The Tholians succeed in destroying the Suliban ships. After working through another time-loop, Archer and Reed booby-trap the pod and send it out into space, but the Tholians immediately disarm the device. Tucker then gets the temporal distress beacon to power up, and soon the future ship and its contents dematerialise. The Tholians leave, and Enterprise assists the Vulcan ship, becoming Archer’s olive branch to the Vulcan High Command for their support and help.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): James Whitmore, Jr.
  • Writer(s): Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong.
  • Release Date: 19 February 2003.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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