“Azati Prime” is the eighteenth episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the 70th overall.
The episode featured several guest actors, including those playing members of the Xindi Council, as well as Matt Winston who reprised his role of Temporal Agent Daniels for the second time this season.
Set in the 22nd century, the series follows the adventures of the first Starfleet starship Enterprise, registration NX-01. Season three of Enterprise features an ongoing story following an attack on Earth by previously unknown aliens called the Xindi. In this episode, the crew track a Xindi superweapon down to a planet and Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) seeks to destroy the weapon in a suicide attack. He is captured, and the Enterprise is seriously damaged after an attack by four Xindi vessels.
The USS Enterprise-J appeared in this episode, based on designs by Doug Drexler. The ship was from 400 years in the future from the timeframe that the series is set in, and the bridge set was created mostly using green screen. John Eaves also created several designs of aquatic Xindi vessels for this episode. “Azati Prime” received Nielsen ratings of 2.6/4 percent. Critical reaction was mostly positive, with praise directed at the pacing of the episode and the plotting of the overall arc.
Despite their time-wasting detours of recent days (“Harbinger” (S03E15) and “Hatchery” (S03E17)) Enterprise reaches Azati Prime before the Xindi finish construction of their superweapon. Captain Archer sends Commander Tucker and Ensign Mayweather on board a Xindi shuttle they had previously captured to investigate the planet. Working their way past security, they approach the weapon, which is being built underwater. Meanwhile, Archer orders Enterprise to destroy a Xindi detection facility on the planet’s moon to prevent it from signalling the ship’s presence. The shuttle returns with scans of the weapon, confirming it is just days from being finished, so Archer designates himself to pilot a suicide mission to destroy it. The crew try to talk him out of it but he is resolute.
Archer then suddenly finds himself 400 years in the future on board the USS Enterprise-J, alongside Temporal Agent Daniels. They are at the battle where the Sphere Builders (the alien species first seen in episode “Harbinger”) are defeated, and Daniels gives Archer an initiation medal from a Xindi who had joined Starfleet as temporal evidence. Back on his Enterprise, Archer rejects the notion of a Human-Xindi détente, and leaves on the shuttle. He arrives at the superweapon construction site but finds it gone, and is rapidly captured by the Xindi Commander Dolim.
The Reptilians begin to interrogate Archer, who then asks to speak to Degra, the Primate scientist from episode Stratagem. Using Daniels’ medal, Archer tries to convince Degra that the Reptilians cannot be trusted, but Dolim arrives with armed colleagues and takes the Primates away. Meanwhile, Sub-Commander T’Pol, now in command of Enterprise, displays signs of an emotional breakdown. She also decides to go on a mission, to negotiate a peace, and reacts angrily when Tucker tries to stop her. An attack from four Xindi ships follows, and as the episode concludes, Enterprise is left severely damaged.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Allan Kroeker.
- Writer(s): Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, and Manny Coto.
- Release Date: 03 March 2004.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.