Star Trek: Enterprise (2003): S03E08 – Twilight


Introduction

“Twilight” is the eighth episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise. It was the sixtieth episode of the series overall.

In this episode, following an accident, Captain Jonathan Archer’s (Scott Bakula) long term memory is affected and he is relieved of duty. The crew of the Enterprise subsequently fail to stop the Xindi attack on Earth resulting in the remnants of the human race resettling another planet. Dr Phlox (John Billingsley) finds a way of curing Archer in the past, in the hope that it would undo everything since the Captain was originally injured.

The episode and script was praised by Bakula during the shoot, which required the actors and sets to be aged in order to appear older in later time frames. The production of the episode was suspended for a day following the death – at home – of first assistant director Jerry Fleck, who was in pre-production on the following episode “North Star” (S03E09), which subsequently resulted in crew changes on “Twilight”. References in the episode were made to locations previously mentioned in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Space Seed” (S01E22) and the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. On first broadcast, “Twilight” was watched by 3.88 million viewers, more than the following episode. The critical response was positive.

Outline

While rescuing Sub-Commander T’Pol from a spatial anomaly, Captain Archer is infected by subspace parasites in his cerebral cortex, resulting in anterograde amnesia. His condition prevents him from forming new long-term memories. This allows him to remember everything prior to the accident, but any new memories fade within a few hours. It soon becomes clear that Archer is not fit for duty, and he is subsequently relieved of his command. T’Pol is granted a field commission to Captain, but the mission fails and Earth, alongside every other human colony, is destroyed by the Xindi weapon. The few surviving humans form a convoy, led by the Enterprise, which travels to the planet Ceti Alpha V.

Twelve years pass and Archer, still plagued by memory loss, lives with T’Pol in a house on the colony. They are visited by Doctor Phlox, who eventually engineers a cure. He also discovers that when the subspace radiation treatments kill one of the parasite clusters in Archer’s brain, it also vanishes from every other previous medical scan – as if the parasite had never existed. Therefore, since Archer will never have been infected, he would have remained Captain and possibly prevented the chain of events that led to Earth’s destruction.

Unfortunately, the ship, now captained by Captain Tucker, is observed and attacked by Xindi vessels before the treatments can be completed. Outnumbered and heavily damaged, Phlox, T’Pol, and Archer race against the clock to create a subspace implosion. The ship is destroyed, but their plan works and the subspace parasites (which exist outside the normal space/time realm) are also destroyed by the implosion. The episode ends with the time-line reset; Archer is in sickbay recovering from a physical injury but will never develop the amnesia he originally suffered.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Robert Duncan McNeill.
  • Writer(s): Michael Sussman.
  • Release Date: 05 November 2003.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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