“North Star” is the sixty-first episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the ninth episode of the third season.
In this episode, the crew of the Enterprise discover a lost colony of humans in the Delphic Expanse. The colony originated from a wagon train from the American Old West in the 1860s which was abducted as slave labor by an alien race called the Skagarans. The humans overthrew the Skagarans and now treat them as second class citizens.
Goodman wrote the episode after he was set a challenge by executive producer Rick Berman, and wrote in references to the 1940 film Santa Fe Trail and The Original Series episode “Spectre of the Gun” (S03E06). The episode was mostly filmed on the Western town set nicknamed “Six Points Texas” at the Universal Studios lot. Critical response to the episode was mixed, but the ratings held steady from the previous episode with a 2.6/4% share.
While in the Delphic Expanse, Enterprise discovers a planet inhabited by 6,000 humans who are living in the fashion of the 1860’s American frontier. Captain Archer, Commander Tucker and Sub-Commander T’Pol beam-down to the surface in period costume to investigate. They head into one of the numerous towns to observe the humans and aliens first-hand, and while Tucker and T’Pol acquire a horse, Archer stops Deputy Bennings from belittling a “Skag” waiter in the town’s tavern. After questioning Archer on his plans and intentions, Sheriff MacReady tells Bennings to keep a close eye on Archer.
Archer, wishing to learn more about the Skagarans, enters the house of a teacher named Bethany he had seen earlier. The two depart for “Skag Town”, the remnants of a 300-year-old wrecked spacecraft, but the deputy notices them leave. They arrive and find Tucker and T’Pol, who had arrived earlier. They then travel back to Enterprise to investigate some data logs found in the wreckage, while Archer stays behind. On Enterprise Ensign Sato discovers that the humans overthrew their Skagaran masters after being brought to the planet. Meanwhile, Bennings and some men arrive and arrest Bethany for teaching the children, and she is later detained in prison. Archer helps her to escape, but she is shot in the process. Archer orders an emergency beam-up in front of Bennings and other locals.
Doctor Phlox treats her injury and discovers that she is one-quarter Skagaran. Meanwhile, back on the planet, Bennings hands in his deputy badge because MacReady orders him not to take any further action against the Skagarans. Archer returns in a shuttlepod along with T’Pol and a security crew, led by Lieutenant Reed – all wearing their modern uniforms. Landing in the centre of town, he informs the Sheriff that he is from Earth and will return to help them once their mission is over. Bennings then shoots MacReady, starting a firefight. In the chaos, Archer is also shot by Bennings, but finally overpowers him in a fistfight. Enterprise then departs, but not before returning Bethany to the surface, and providing her with a PADD to educate the local children about Earth’s recent history.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): David Straiton.
- Writer(s): David A. Goodman.
- Release Date: 12 November 2003.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.