Star Trek: Enterprise (2003): S03E01 – The Xindi


Introduction

“The Xindi” is the 53rd episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the first episode of the third season.

Beginning with this episode, season three of Enterprise features an ongoing storyline following an attack on Earth by previously unknown aliens called the Xindi at the end of season two – “The Expanse” (S02E26).

In this episode, the crew of the Enterprise attempt to track down the location of the Xindi homeworld from a lone Xindi working in a mining colony. After being tricked by the mining foreman, Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker III (Connor Trinneer) escape with the alien, with assistance from Lieutenant Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating) and the ship’s new Military Assault Command Operations (MACO) team.

“The Xindi” saw the first appearance of several new sets, as well as a new costume for Sub-Commander T’Pol (Jolene Blalock). The episode saw a large number of guest stars, including several who would recur several more times during the third season such as Major Hayes played by Steven Culp, Tucker Smallwood as the Xindi-Primate Councilor and Randy Oglesby as Degra.

The episode received ratings of 2.6/5 percent according to Nielsen Media Research, and was watched by 4.1 million viewers. “The Xindi” received a mixed reception from critics, who praised the increase of action promised for the season by this episode but criticised elements such as the writing and the MACOs.

Outline

As Enterprise travels deeper into the Delphic Expanse, a secret council of aliens discuss what to do with the lone human spaceship. Meanwhile, Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) directs Enterprise to a mining penal colony within the Expanse. He then strikes a deal with the mine’s foreman (Stephen McHattie): in exchange for a half-litre of liquid platinum, Archer and Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker III (Connor Trinneer) will be allowed to meet a Primate worker named Kessick (Richard Lineback).

Archer requests the coordinates of Xindus, the Xindi homeworld, from Kessick. But the alien refuses to help unless Archer helps him escape. Archer declines, but he soon learns that the foreman had ulterior motives, since he has ordered three warships to overpower Enterprise and enslave his crew. Kessick claims to know how to escape the mine, but asks for Archer’s help in return for guiding the Starfleet officers. Archer reluctantly agrees, and Kessick leads him and Tucker through the mine’s sewage removal system. However, the group is soon detected in a conduit, and the foreman floods the system with plasma in an effort to kill them. They narrowly escape being killed, but quickly fall into the hands of the mine’s security forces.

Meanwhile, Sub-Commander T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) persuades Lieutenant Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating) to allow the newly assigned MACOs (Military Assault Command Operations) to attempt an extraction. Led by him, they perform remarkably well in combat, and manage to rescue Archer, Tucker, and Kessick. Enterprise then leaves orbit just as the warships arrive. Unfortunately, Kessick dies, but not before providing coordinates for the Xindi homeworld. When the ship reaches this position, there is nothing but a 120-year-old field of space debris (implying a destruction around the year 2033).

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Allan Kroeker.
  • Writer(s): Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.
  • Release Date: 10 September 2003.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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