Star Trek: Enterprise (2005): S04E12 – Babel One


Introduction

“Babel One” is the twelfth episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise.

“Babel One” was the first of a three-part story which continued in the episodes “United” (S04E13) and “The Aenar” (S04E14).

The arc was intended to precede the Romulan War which had been mentioned in previously aired episodes of the franchise, while “Babel One” was a reference to the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Journey to Babel” (S02E10).

In this episode, Enterprise is escorting a Tellarite Ambassador, when they respond to distress calls from Andorian vessel under attack. Pursuing the mysterious attacking vessel, they begin to uncover a plot to derail cooperative relations between the Tellarites, Andorians and Humans.

The guest cast included several actors who had previously appeared in the franchise, including Lee Arenberg, Brian Thompson and Jeffrey Combs. It also featured Molly Brink for the second time as Lieutenant Talas. The episode required extensive make-up for the guest cast, with Brink undergoing more than four and a half hours of work prior to filming for her first day on set as she had to be painted blue head to toe in addition to the normal prosthetics.

Reviewers were positive of the episode, calling it an improvement on the previous week’s “Observer Effect” (S04E11), and praised the ending. Although Nielsen ratings of 1.7/3 percent showed an improvement over the previous episode, the number of actual viewers was the lowest yet for the series with 2.53 million watching the episode on the first broadcast.

Outline

It is November 2154, and Captain Archer and Ensign Sato spend time preparing for the arrival of Ambassador Gral and the Tellarite delegation, by practising being blunt, complaining, and arguing. En route to the trade summit on “Babel One”, they detect a distress call from the Andorian warship, Kumari, now under attack. Enterprise alters its course to assist, and arrives to find Commander Shran, Lieutenant Talas, and 17 other survivors in escape-pods. Archer goes to meet him in Sickbay, and an angry Shran claims that both the Andorian Ambassador’s and his ship were attacked and destroyed by a powerful Tellarite vessel.

Scans of the debris indicate Tellarite weapon signatures, and recovered sensor data shows a Tellarite vessel firing. With both delegations on board, and accusations of duplicity rising between the groups, Archer considers taking the Andorians to their homeworld. At full warp, Enterprise is suddenly attacked by an Andorian ship. When attempts at communicating fail, Archer demands that Shran intervenes – he complies by explaining how to knock out its shields – but the attempt is ineffective. Enterprise is spared only when the attacking ship has to retreat because of a fluctuating power grid. T’Pol then notices that the “Andorian” and “Tellarite” ships have the same energy signature. The alien vessel is then tracked, and it appears to be capable of holographically disguising itself. Shran is unconvinced, and using Talas as a distraction, manages to escape and capture Gral, before order is restored. However, when Archer convinces Shran to examine the evidence, a member of the Tellarite delegation is able to wrest a weapon from Talas, and shoots her.

Meanwhile, Commander Tucker, Lieutenant Malcolm Reed and two MACOs beam aboard the ship, only to find it deserted and without life support. Although the MACOs are beamed back, the transporter is damaged before Tucker and Reed can be rescued. They are able to locate an oxygen supply within the ship’s systems, but become stranded when the vessel warps away, and make their way to an empty bridge. On Romulus, it is revealed that the ship is actually a drone, controlled by a pilot under the command of Romulan Admiral Valdore, supported by a scientist called Nijil, in an attempt to prevent a regional détente.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): David Straiton.
  • Writer(s): Michael Sussman and Andre Bormanis.
  • Release Date: 28 January 2005.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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