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- "Unexpected"
- "The Andorian Incident"
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- "Shockwave"

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(Star Trek: Enterprise production code 005)
  • written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
  • directed by Mike Vejar
  • music by Jay Chattaway
  • 43 minutes
Region 1

Region 2

05: Unexpected

It might be hard to find another Star Trek episode that shouts "RESET BUTTON" more loudly than this one. Indeed, many of the resets we witness here will call into question the whole concept of parking this show in Star Trek's past instead of continuing with its 24th century present.

This show had been set-up to be different from other Star Treks in that it was going to handle language challenges more directly instead of relying on the old invisible Universal Translator all the time. Well, after a brief half-scene to remind us of this, the aliens are suddenly all speaking and understanding English perfectly, and Hoshi's expertise seems to be no longer required. The most she does after this reset button is pushed is to fill Archer in on what Stovokor is. Most Trek fans will already be way ahead of our new intrepid captain regarding this bit of Klingon culture - let's hope our protagonists don't make a habit of falling too far behind the audience.

One of the excellent things about this episode is that it depicts the way the environment of an alien ship might induce an entirely different state of mind and energy, which I felt to be a more realistic portrayal of space exploration and interstellar culture. But this aspect is curtailed about 1/3 of the way through, and though it receives slight mention in later dialogue, gets glossed over a bit too completely. Why don't the Klingons show any signs of struggling with this challenge when they board the ship?

On that subject, you have to call into question the whole reasoning behind sending Tucker over to that ship alone with nothing but his toolkit and his expertise. Is that expertise really going to be of much use when the ship is so different from our technology that it is half-organic, as evidenced by the food and grass growing out of its walls and floors? With the crew of that ship having to explain every small detail of their way of life to him, how can he claim to better know how to fix their engine than they do? It would be more believable if he were bringing them some raw materials that they had run out of. Tools and expertise, not so much.

And then there are holodecks. These were only prototyped in Kirk's time, as seen in the animated episode "The Practical Joker", and were still a relatively unknown luxury to the crew of The Next Generation when they first assembled on Enterprise D some 200 years in this episode's future. But, considering how accustomed the writing team are to using holodecks, they wind up caving on the premise of setting their new show "Enterprise" in the past, and cheat by using holodecks. The aliens give the technology to the Klingons.... are they ready for that at this time? Will they still be able to make the request for shore leave in "The Trouble With Tribbles" a reasonable one if we know they have this alternative?

On the note of the Klingons, firstly it's great seeing that old D7 class cruiser here, even if it means they won't be upgrading their ship design for another hundred years or so.... and it makes you wonder why the Romulans would copy a 100 year old ship in "The Enterprise Incident". Or is there some minor difference that makes this a "D6 class" cruiser? It's great that the ship sees almost as much action here as it has in all other movies/episodes featuring this model combined.

But Klingon attitude is a bit of a reset as well. I guess it's mostly the pilot story "Broken Bow" that contains the aberration, where Archer's ship was somehow able to fly into the heart of Klingon Territory and bring a passenger all the way to the High Council Chamber, unchallenged. In this episode we suddenly get the more traditional TOS-and-earlier style response. As this tension is diffused in part by having T'Pol recite the other response from "Broken Bow", it makes the shift a little more obvious and less believable.

The premise itself is a cheesy something that crops up once in a while on various shows or movies - the pregnant man. It's not quite as anatomically ridiculous here as it often is elsewhere, but this is not a great place to go in any case. The episode attempts to draw a lot of its drama out of the projected changes that this will have on Tucker's life long term, which of course are all cancelled and reset neatly by the end of the episode, as expected. As a story idea, this really wasn't worth the trouble.

Thankfully, this episode is better than the previous two in giving us tidbits of humour amongst the crew, with Archer's incident in the shower in the opening teaser being one of the best bits. Classic!

Well, where the pilot episode had worked hard to project a sense that Enterprise would be a different show to other incarnations of Star Trek, this episode "Unexpected" seems to be destroying a lot of that work, demonstrating instead how this show will abandon those differences and simply become more of the same meaninglessness week after week - Star Trek Voyager extended.

Read the next In-depth Analysis Review: "The Andorian Incident"

This story has become available on DVD and Blu-ray in the Enterprise Season One box sets:


DVD Canada


7-disc DVD set

DVD Extras include:

  • Featurette: Creating Enterprise
  • Enterprise Profile: Scott Bakula
  • Cast Impressions: Season One
  • Star Trek Time Travel: temporal cold wars and beyond
  • Enterprise secrets
  • Admiral Forrest takes center stage
  • Outtakes and deleted scenes
  • hidden NX-01 File featurettes
  • Inside Shuttlepod One
  • Pilot story audio commentary by writer/creators
    Brannon Braga and Rick Berman.
  • text commentary for the pilot story "Broken Bow".
  • text commentaries on "The Andorian Incident"
    & "Vox Sola".
Blu-ray U.S.

Blu-ray Canada

Blu-ray U.K.

NEW to Blu-ray for March 2013!

Blu-ray Bonus features include:

  • All extras from the standard DVD set, plus:
  • "In Conversation" featurette w. Berman & Braga
  • "Cast Introduction"
  • "Enterprise: On the Set" featurette
  • "To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise" featurette
  • Pilot story audio commentary by Connor Trinneer (Chief Engineer Trip Tucker), Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed), writer Brannon Braga, director James L. Conway, and FX producer Dan Curry.
  • Audio commentary by Dan Curry and
    writer André Bormanis on "Silent Enemy"
  • Audio commentary by writers Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong on "Shadows of P'Jem"
  • Audio commentary by Braga, Trinneer, Keating, and director David Livingston on "Shuttlepod One".

Review written by Martin Izsak. Comments on this article are welcome. You may contact the author from this page:

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Read the next In-depth Analysis Review: "The Andorian Incident"

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