Anomaly (Star Trek: Enterprise)

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"Anomaly"
Star Trek: Enterprise episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 2
Directed by David Straiton
Written by Mike Sussman
Featured music Jay Chattaway
Production code 302
Original air date September 17, 2003 (2003-09-17)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Xindi"
Next →
"Extinction"
List of Star Trek: Enterprise episodes

"Anomaly" is the fifty-fourth episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the second episode of the season three. The episode was written by co-producer Mike Sussman and directed by David Straiton, his fifth for the show.

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 Enterprise is attacked by an Osaarian vessel, and in pursuit they discover that the aliens have information on the Xindi which they must retrieve to help them on their mission.

The guest cast included Robert Rusler, who had previously appeared in Babylon 5, and Julia Rose, who wore a costume originally created for Hilary Swank in the 2003 film The Core. The episode received ratings of 2.6/5 percent according to Nielsen Media Research, which was the same as previous episode "The Xindi". It was watched by 4.29 million viewers which was an increase and the fourth highest so far in 2003. The actions of Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) received criticism in this episode, but the special effects and action sequences were praised.

Plot[edit]

As the Enterprise is travelling through the Delphic Expanse, the ship is hit by destructive spatial anomalies which distort the laws of physics. They take most of the primary systems off-line, leaving the ship without weapons or warp capabilities. Ensign Travis Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery) notices there is another ship nearby but no life-signs are detected. Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) leads Lt. Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating) and several MACOs on a shuttlepod to the derelict ship in order to ascertain what happened to the aliens on board.

They discover the crew are all dead, with some killed by weapons fire and others by the failure of the life support system. The away team return to the Enterprise and Archer orders the ship underway, with the repairs to take place en route. Another vessel approaches Enterprise and a group of aliens beam on board, stealing weapons, food and equipment. The crew manage to fend them off but one crewmember is killed in the chaos.

The aliens also leave behind one of their own, an individual named Orgoth (Robert Rusler). Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) recognizes him as an Osaarian. Archer hopes to track the other ship and recover the stolen items, but the Osaarians have masked their ion trail. He confronts Orgoth, now imprisoned in the brig. Orgoth explains they were attempting to find new trade routes, but after being hit by the spacial anomalies they wanted to return home, but were unable to cross the thermobaric clouds around the perimeter of the expanse and turned to piracy. Orgoth adds he doesn't see Archer as someone who is ready to kill or torture just yet. Archer claims he's willing to do anything to find the Osaarian ship. Using data recovered from the derelict ship, the crew are able to track the Osaarian vessel.

As the crew follows the trail, they find a large sphere constructed out of a single alloy. Archer and several crewmembers take a shuttlepod into the sphere and discover a series of habitat modules containing most of the goods stolen from Enterprise. The crew also finds a cargo manifest. Upon translating the manifest, Ensign Hoshi Sato (Linda Park) learns the aliens recently attacked a Xindi ship.

Archer once again confronts Orgoth, demanding to know everything the Osaarians have learned about the Xindi. The Captain drags the Osaarian to an airlock hatch, locking him in and initiating the decompression cycle. Orgoth relents, revealing that the Osaarians took more than food and supplies from the Xindi; they downloaded the Xindi database. Orgoth provides the access codes to the Osaarians' main computer. With Enterprise's systems back online, Archer prepares to engage the Osaarian ship. As the two vessels fire upon each other, Mayweather maneuvers Enterprise close enough for Sato to access the Osaarians' computer, and manages to download the bulk of the Xindi database.

The Enterprise successfully defeats the Osaarian vessel. Since Orgoth assisted the crew, Archer sends him back to the Osaarians. Orgoth, however, cannot help but taunt Archer as he leaves, noting mercy will not serve the captain well in the Expanse.

Production[edit]

The episode was shot over seven days, with the majority of filming taking place on standing ship sets for the Enterprise. The Command Centre set was used for the second time, having previously appeared in the first episode of the season. It had been introduced as a new set for the third season as an area on the Enterprise where the crew would plan their next move in the mission against the Xindi. A new set was created for the brig, where the Osaarian Orgoth was held prisoner. One day of filming was on sets to represent the Osaarian base, with the majority of those made up using green screens that would allow the sets to be digitally inserted in post production.[2]

Julia Rose made her debut as MACO Corporal McKenzie,[2] having beaten between 25 to 40 other actors to get the part. The spacesuit costume that she wore in the episode was reused, having been created originally for the 2003 Paramount Pictures film The Core where it was worn by Hilary Swank. Rose was a fan of Bakula from his time on Quantum Leap and described him as the "Dad" on set.[3] Nathan Anderson returned as Sergeant Kemper for the second time.[2] Robert Rusler, who appeared as Orgoth,[2] had previously appeared in the cast of the second season of Babylon 5 as Warren Keffer.[4] "Anomaly" was the fifth episode to be directed by David Straiton, and was written by Mike Sussman who is also the co-producer for the show.[2]

Reception[edit]

"Anomaly" was first aired in the United States on UPN on September 17, 2003. According to Nielsen Media Research, it received a 2.6/5 percent share among adults. This means that it was seen by 2.6 percent of all households, and 5 percent of all of those watching television at the time of the broadcast. It was estimated that "Anomaly" was watched by 4.29 million viewers, which was the highest since "Future Tense" in February 2003 was watched by 4.62 million and the fourth highest of 2003 so far.[5]

Michelle Erica Green, writing for TrekNation, compared the actions of Archer in this episode to those of Kathryn Janeway in the second part of the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Equinox, but felt that here it came across as "callous and horrific".[6] She felt that Archer's actions were typical of a "Hollywood fantasy (or nightmare) post-9/11 leader" but thought that they were realistic.[6] She also praised other elements such as the special effects such as the derelict ship, calling it "creepy, vivid, [and] entirely believable."[6] Jamahl Epsicokhan at his website "Jammer's Reviews", called the episode "proof that action-centric Trek can indeed work, and work well."[7] He thought it was a vast improvement on the previous episode and found the stronger version of Archer interesting. He praised the soundtrack by Jay Chattaway which he felt suggested that the typical Star Trek music was being revised. He gave the episode a score of three and a half out of four.[7]

The only home media release of "Anomaly" has been as part of the season three DVD box set, released in the United States on September 27, 2005.[8] The Blu-ray release of Enterprise was announced in early 2013 and season three is expected to be released in January 2014.[9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Star Trek: Enterprise Series 3 - 2. Anomaly". Radio Times. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Production Report: Turning Physics Inside Out in "Anomaly"". Star Trek.com. July 23, 2003. Archived from the original on June 4, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ Linskey, Annie (September 9, 2003). "GHS grad lands enterprising role in TV series". Greenwich Time. Archived from the original on September 20, 2003. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ Cavazos, Norma (October 16, 1994). "Nemeth is 11th-Hour Choice as Host 'Extra', Job Came on Strength of Audience Testing". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved October 19, 2013.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ Krutzler, Steve (September 19, 2003). "Final Ratings: ENT Tries to Make Demo Drop a Brief "Anomaly" as Audience Largest Since February". TrekWeb. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Green, Michelle Erica (September 18, 2003). "Anomaly". TrekNation. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Epsicokhan, Jamahl. "Star Trek: Enterprise "Anomaly"". Jammer's Reviews. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ Douglass Jr., Todd (September 27, 2005). "Star Trek Enterprise – The Complete 3rd Season". DVD Talk. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Enterprise Trekking To Blu-ray; Fans Helped Pick Covers". Star Trek.com. January 7, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ Lambert, David (October 14, 2013). "Star Trek: Enterprise - 'Season 3' Blu-ray Announced: Date, Cost, Package, Extras". TVShowsonDVD.com. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 

External links[edit]