“The Augments” is the sixth episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the eighty-second episode overall.
In this episode, “Augments”, genetically enhanced humans, and Doctor Arik Soong, their surrogate father, escape Cold Station 12 after stealing frozen Augment embryos from storage. Soong plans to hide out with the Augments and raise the embryos, but Malik, their leader, is tired of hiding and attempts to instigate a war between Starfleet and the Klingons.
The production of the episode reunites fellow Star Trek: The Next Generation alumni Burton as the director and Brent Spiner as Arik Soong. On The Next Generation, Burton previously played Geordi La Forge, while Spiner played Data.
Most of the guest cast from the previous two Enterprise episodes in the story arc returned for “The Augments”; Mark Rolston makes an appearance as Klingon Captain Magh. The sets were also reused, but a new one was built for the Klingon escape pod used by Soong. UPN first aired “The Augments” on 12 November 2004, where it was watched by 2.1% of the US population. It received mixed reviews by critics, who spoke negatively of Malik’s character, but praised the performance of Spiner as Soong and the relationship between T’Pol and Tucker.
At the end of “Cold Station 12” (S04E05), Doctor Arik Soong and the Augments he secretly raised depart the space station, taking with them 1,800 frozen Augment embryos preserved from the time of the Eugenics Wars. Before leaving, Malik steals several pathogen samples from the station and sets the containment fields to fail. In “The Augments”, Captain Archer restores stasis around the central compound, and is beamed from space to safety, with the Enterprise in pursuit of Soong, Malik, and the Augments on their stolen Bird of Prey. Soong and the Augments arrive in Klingon space where he shares his plan: Soong intends to hide out in a region where Starfleet would have trouble tracking them down. Malik objects to Soong’s plan, noting that Khan Noonien Singh also ran away on the SS Botany Bay.
In pursuit of the Augments, Enterprise arrives in Klingon space having faked a Klingon warp signature. Soong releases a hostage on a Denobulan shuttle into a gas giant, forcing the Enterprise to abandon their pursuit and mount a rescue operation. Escaping, Malik proposes a new plan: trigger a war between Starfleet and the Klingons as a distraction by firing a pathogen-filled torpedo at a Klingon colony. He reasons that Starfleet will be too busy fighting the Klingons to hunt down the Augments. Soong will have nothing to do with Malik’s genocidal proposal. On the Enterprise, Commander T’Pol asks Commander Tucker about the distance between them after her recent arranged marriage (“Home” – S04E03), and he tells her he has come to terms with their new relationship.
Back on the Bird of Prey, Soong works on a way to remove aggressive behaviour from the unborn Augment embryos. Malik, concerned by Soong’s plan to hide from Starfleet and his tampering with the embryos, leads a mutiny which confines Soong to his quarters. With the help of Persis, Soong leaves the ship in an escape pod. Enterprise, once again in pursuit, detects the pod and brings Soong on board. Heading towards the Klingon colony in high warp in an attempt to stop Malik’s plan, the Klingons detect their ship. Enterprise is forced to disable a Klingon cruiser when it tries to board. Malik kills Persis for her betrayal, and continues with his plan to attack the Klingons. Scans of the Qu’vat colony reveal three main population centres; the torpedo is armed with pathogens and prepared for deployment.
The Enterprise arrives late, just after Malik fires the torpedo, but Enterprise destroys it, saving the Klingon colony. Soong helps disable the Klingon ship, hoping to save some of the Augments. However, Malik scuttles the Klingon ship, killing the remaining Augments and the embryos, and transports himself onto Enterprise in an attempt to kill Soong in revenge, but Archer manages to kill Malik first. The Klingons call off their retaliation against Earth, and Soong returns to the Starfleet Detention Centre. In custody, he begins to doubt the feasibility of genetically engineering humans and wonders if perfecting artificial life has better prospects for the future.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): LeVar Burton.
- Writer(s): Michael Sussman.
- Release Date: 12 November 2004.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.