In the previous installment of “Rewriting the Classics: STAR TREK ENTERPRISE,” we explored what I would change and how I would rewrite the pilot episode and pitch the series. If you haven’t read the previous issue, please go back and read it (it’s still sticky-d), then this will make more sense to you. So, to continue on, I’ll be moving forward with the bulk of how I would rework the series to make it not only fit canon but also make it good.
In our pilot episode, “The Embassy,” we were introduced to the Orion pirate Grusleth, who will be our main antagonist for most of season 1. We last saw Grusleth limping home after the expertise of Malcolm Reed at tactical with the expert flying of Ensign Travis Mayweather at the helm nearly blowing him out of the stars. We also saw T’pol go from being antagonistic to having increasing respect for Captain Archer.
As season one progresses, I would keep some of the filler episodes. That is, however, until we get to this one:
We start off on Enterprise, where Archer and crew are having a press conference over subspace. We are introduced to Travis’s ex-flame, Gannet Brooks (who we originally met in the season 4 penultimate arc, “Terra Prime”). We can tell there’s chemistry and history between Travis and Gannet by the way he reacts to her questions.
Things are going comical with some children asking some poop questions, when suddenly, the transmission fades out behind static. An alien ship decloaks and fires plasma weapons at Enterprise, severely damaging her forward hull plating. The plasma eats away at the bulkheads, and Enterprise comes face to face with a ship that looks very much like a hawk.
The ship is familiar to us as fans, but not to our heroes. The ship fires another plasma torpedo and cloaks. The torpedo, oddly, fades out and bounces harmlessly off of the hull. Archer wants to bring it aboard to analyze but gets into an argument with T’pol, who insists that it’s not a good idea.
In the middle of this exchange, that same torpedo activates and explodes, crippling Enterprise‘s warp drive. Archer orders Malcolm and T’pol to study whatever the sensors recorded of the alien ship while he assists Trip with repairs to the warp engines.
Just as Enterprise gets warp power back online, the aliens return. This time, they unleash disruptor beams at a vital EPS juncture, causing gravity to go awry throughout the ship. This slows down repair efforts greatly as the crew must now navigate zero-G. This also forces the ship to remain stationary as the inertial dampening system can’t compensate for a zero-G environment.
Reed and T’pol come up with an answer to the aliens: a phased-energy cannon. While gravity is being restored, Archer approves the plan. Reed and T’pol get to work converting a single particle laser cannon into a phased energy weapon.
Before too long, the aliens return. This time, they hail Enterprise and in a foreign language, Hoshi is forced to take center stage and answer in their native tongue. She advises Archer that these aliens have been actively scanning, they know about the weapon being produced, and have enough power to fire one more shot (which will be a kill shot) with their plasma torpedo.
Archer tells Hoshi to translate, “Go to hell” in their language. Just as Hoshi does, Archer gets the nod from Reed and T’pol that the weapon is ready. Reed locks on and fires at the alien ship. The weapon burns out automatically, having been overpowered to begin with. But as it does, it bloodies the alien ship’s nose just enough that they retreat.
As they do so, they send a simple message: very mustache-twirling to be sure, but they say, “You haven’t seen the last of us.”
We, as fans, know who they are and know this to be true.
Enterprise crew completes their repairs just as the episode comes to a close.
Remember, at this time, there are no interstellar colonies beyond Alpha Centauri. Nova Prime was a planet that had a caravan headed for it decades prior, but unlike the episode we got in canon, in this version, the convoy of ships hadn’t arrived yet.
Enterprise arrives at the caravan after receiving a distress call from one of the colony ships. It was under attack by an alien ship – Archer recognizes it as Grusleth’s very own interceptor. The colony ship was raided of most of its vital supplies and a few teenage girls were abducted. Archer orders Enterprise to escort the convoy into orbit of the planet while Reed, T’pol and Archer go off to rescue the girls by using another colony ship as bait.
Grusleth takes the bait and goes after the colony ship. Archer and company board Grusleth’s ship during the raid in search of the teenagers. It’s the first time Archer comes into hand-to-hand combat against an alien. Even though Reed is an expert martial artist, it’s T’pol who is the only one that made Grusleth break a sweat. After handily defeating our heroes, Archer and co. are captured by Grusleth with Archer and Reed scheduled to be executed.
Meanwhile, on Nova Prime, Tucker meets a woman by the name of Linda Rhyes. She’s a fabrication engineer and takes an instant liking to Trip, who reciprocates. The loss of the first colony ship really put a strain on resources, and so Rhyes and Tucker go to work trying to solve that problem.
Back on Grusleth’s ship, Archer and crew run into an old friend: Shran! Yes, the incident at P’Jem happened just as it did in canon. Shran is actually a member of Grusleth’s crew, but he assists Archer in his escape and the rescue of the girls – “My debt is repaid, in full,” he proclaims to Archer.
During the final fist-fight against Grusleth, we come to realize that Shran is not working with Grusleth but is actually on assignment from the Imperial Guard… well, we find this out after the fight that he helps Archer win. Grusleth is KO’d just long enough to make their escape from the interceptor.
The girls are reunited with their families and gratitude is expressed by all. Even the colony’s resource situation is dealt with. Before Tucker joins the party to return to Enterprise, he shares an intimate moment with Rhyes before departing back to the starship.
“SHOCKWAVE” – Season 1 Ender, Season 2 Opener
In this rework of the cliffhanger, a Vulcan colony is destroyed. The same result: Enterprise is recalled. On their way back to the Vulcan ship, a swarm of Orion interceptors disables Enterprise and the entire crew is taken prisoner. The ship is taken to an Orion-controlled space station where interrogations, tortures and auctions begin. The crew that aren’t sold are locked away in quarters.
This includes Trip, T’pol and Phlox, who the Orions scheduled for execution.
Archer, Travis, Reed and Hoshi are sold into slavery. Hoshi and Travis are forced into the Orion sex trade. Reed and Archer are sold into labor slavery, under the watchful governorship of Grusleth.
Behind the scenes, we see Grusleth speaking with a Romulan officer. Their meeting is short but the Romulan quips that during the course of their mission, Enterprise has made quite an impression – so much so that the Romulans are starting to get nervous as to the impact of the humans’ presence in the region. Grusleth, who is very arrogant with his defeat of the Earth vessel, promises the Romulan that Earth will be of no consequence to the Romulan/Orion “deal.” “The Andorians are more of a problem than these rodents,” Grusleth vows to his partner.
The Romulan leaves the scene, but with that exchange, we get a glimpse as to the politics of the Alpha/Beta quadrants during this time period.
Archer and Reed make their escape, along with a handful of labor slaves. In the confusion, Archer KO’s Grusleth, again. They steal a small runner and head out into space.
Grusleth pursues in his Interceptor, which can overtake the runner easily, and does.
Meanwhile, docked at the Orion base and after learning what happened to the crew, Trip and T’pol, along with those who remained captive aboard the ship, manage to retake Enterprise the same way they did against the Suliban in the canon episode – faking a warp core breach. In open space, Enterprise picks up Archer’s comm signal and they go to rescue him. However, there is a battle with Grusleth’s interceptor, and Enterprise is badly damaged as a result. Archer’s runner is crippled and Enterprise can’t manually bring it in without being destroyed, herself.
Leaping into action, Trip runs to the cargo transporter and beams Archer, Reed and a handful of alien escapees aboard. Reed and a handful of others vomit after realizing how, exactly, they ended up on Enterprise from the fiery pits of hell that were about to consume them on the runner.
After regaining his composure, Reed suggests nuking Grusleth. With the hull plating polarized, it should shield them from the EMP caused by the nuclear detonation – but it won’t help Grusleth any as it’ll short out his entire power grid. Archer and Trip are hesitant but eventually allow the plan.
Enterprise nukes the Orion ship just before jumping to warp. Grusleth’s ship is crippled and he is severely injured as a result.
Meanwhile, Enterprise heads back to Rigel X – back to where it all began. Reed, T’pol and Archer land with a security detail where they find Hoshi and Travis. During a cutscene, we would’ve seen them overpower their master. Both are naked when the crew finds them, and quickly cover them so they can escape the scene.
Back on Enterprise, Archer makes his report: the destruction of the colony was not the result of Enterprise‘s mission in the region but because Grusleth bombed it. Archer gives the Vulcans the coordinates of Grusleth’s ship. The Vulcans agree to take Grusleth but demand Archer surrender himself as an accomplice to terrorism.
That’s when T’pol steps forward and goes to bat for the Enterprise crew.
Season two begins when Archer reveals that the Vulcans dropped the charges against Enterprise, thanks to T’pol.
That wraps up Season 1.
In the next installment, I’ll go over various episodes of Season 2 that will be reworked or added into our story. Stay tuned!