Awakening (Star Trek: Enterprise)

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"Awakening"
Star Trek: Enterprise episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 8
Directed by Roxann Dawson
Written by André Bormanis
Featured music Jay Chattaway
Production code 408
Original air date November 26, 2004 (2004-11-26)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Forge"
Next →
"Kir'Shara"
List of Star Trek: Enterprise episodes

"Awakening" is the eighth episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, and originally aired on November 26, 2004 on UPN. The script was written by André Bormanis and the episode was directed by Star Trek: Voyager alumni Roxann Dawson. The episode was the first of the season for both Bormanis and Dawson. The episode is the second of a three-part episode arc which started in "The Forge" and concludes in "Kir'Shara".

Set in the 22nd century, the series follows the adventures of the first Starfleet starship Enterprise, registration NX-01. In this episode, the Vulcan government seek to make the Enterprise leave orbit so they can attack a renegade faction of Vulcans called the Syrrannites, and afterwards the long-standing enemy of the Vulcans, the Andorians. Meanwhile, Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) have been captured by the Syrrannites, and it is discovered that Archer has the katra of Surak. He has visions which lead him to find an ancient Vulcan artefact called the Kir'Shara as the Syrrannites come under attack from the Vulcans.

Elements of the plot of the episode were compared by executive producer to the Protestant Reformation with the Vulcan High Command representing the Catholic Church. The producers took care to cast actors in the roles of T'Pau and Surak who looked similar to the actors who portrayed those parts in The Original Series. Nielsen ratings for the first run of the episode saw a decrease from the first part of the trilogy, down to 1.8/3. The critical response was mixed, saying that whilst they were entertained by the episode, there were several elements in the plot which were problematic.

Plot[edit]

"The Forge" saw the Enterprise called to Vulcan to investigate the bombing of Earth's embassy. Once arrived they were informed that a renegade faction of Vulcans, known as the Syrrannites, may have been responsible for the attack. Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) travel into the Vulcan desert known as the Forge in order to find the Syrrannites. Whilst travelling they meet a Vulcan traveller, and when the three are hit by a sand-fire storm, the Vulcan dies but not before transferring a katra to Archer via mind-meld. Shortly after, Archer and T'Pol are captured by the Syrrannites.

Continuing in "Awakening", Administrator V'Las (Robert Foxworth) and Ambassador Soval (Gary Graham) meet to discuss Soval's use of a mind meld. As the act is considered to be criminal by the Vulcan authorities, Soval is dismissed from the Ambassadorial service. Meanwhile, Archer and T'Pol have been captured by the Syrrannites. After a short while, T'Pol is taken to see her mother, T'Les (Joanna Cassidy). The two disagree about the purposes of the Syrrannites, as the Vulcan government call them extremists which T'Les denies. Archer begins to see visions of an old Vulcan (Bruce Gray), and the Syrranites determine that he had the katra of Surak transferred into him via mind meld. A ritual is performed to transfer the katra into the mind of T'Pau (Kara Zediker). However, Archer continues to see the vision who informs him that he must find a Vulcan relic known as the Kir'Shara.

V'Las abandons his plans to exterminate the Syrrannites after he cannot convince the Enterprise to leave orbit. Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker (Connor Trinneer) refuses to leave Archer and T'Pol behind even after direct orders from the Admiralty. He attempts to send a shuttlecraft down with assistance from Soval, but they are fired upon by Vulcan patrol vessels. V'Las orders three Vulcan warships to engage Enterprise, and Soval suggests to Tucker that they should retreat.

Once Enterprise leaves orbit, the Vulcan military begin to bombard the cave complex where the Syrrannites, along with Archer and T'Pol are staying. Most of them evacuate the area, with the exception of Archer, T'Pol and T'Pau who will look for the Kir'Shara. Archer leads the two down a corridor and opens a door to reveal the object. They leave the caves quickly as the bombardment reduces the area to rubble. T'Pol finds that her mother was seriously injured in the attack and dies in her arms. On the Enterprise, Soval reveals that the Vulcans are preparing to go to war with the Andorians, as the Vulcans believe they are building a superweapon based on Xindi technology. In response to this, Tucker orders a course change to take the ship to Andoria as the episode ends to be continued in "Kir'Shara".

Notes[edit]

Production[edit]

"Awakening" was the tenth and final episode of Enterprise to be directed by former Voyager actress Roxann Dawson

"Awakening" was the second part of a three-part trilogy of episodes during the fourth season of Enterprise that were created to deal with the differences between the Enterprise-era Vulcans and those seen in series set later in the timeframe of the franchise. Show runner Manny Coto summed up these differences saying, "Our Vulcans lie, our Vulcans are monolithic, our Vulcans are not pacifistic."[2] He sought to introduce a situation which he compared to the 16th-century Protestant Reformation and wanted to include a Vulcan character who would effectively be in the role of Martin Luther, while the Vulcan High Command represented the Catholic Church.[2]

The episode saw the re-casting of two roles which had previously appeared in episodes of The Original Series. These were the parts of T'Pau and Surak. T'Pau made her first appearance in "Amok Time", where she was played by Celia Lovsky. For "Awakening", Kara Zediker was cast in the role. Zediker had previously appeared in the first season of 24 as Elizabeth Nash.[3] Surak had been played by Barry Atwater in "The Savage Curtain", but this role was taken by Bruce Gray for "Awakening". Gray had previously portrayed Admiral Chekote in The Next Generation episode "Gambit" and the Deep Space Nine episode "The Circle". For both of these parts, the producers attempted to cast actors who looked similar to the originals.[3]

Robert Foxworth reprises his role from the first part of the trilogy as Administrator V'Las, and Joanna Casidy had previously portrayed T'Les earlier in the season in the episode "Home". John Rubinstein, who appears in "Awakening" as Koval, has previously appeared as a Mazarite earlier in the series in the episode "Fallen Hero" and had appeared in "The 37's", an episode of Voyager. Gary Graham returned as Soval, who he has portrayed throughout the series from the pilot episode onwards.[3] Director Roxann Dawson has previously portrayed B'Elanna Torres in Voyager, and "Awakening" marked the tenth episode of the series that she had directed. It was her only episode of season four, and her last on Enterprise. It was also writer André Bormanis' first episode of the season, who had previously written several episodes of the series as well as Voyager.[3]

Filming started on September 23, 2004, and concentrated on Enterprise ship scenes on the standing sets for the first two days. After that production moved to the cave sets, which were dressed with Vulcan artifacts. On the fourth day of production, those artifacts were removed so that the same sets could use used to film the visions that Archer has of Surak. All exterior scenes in the Vulcan desert-like Forge were shot on a soundstage. The final day of filming took place on October 1, when all the scenes set in the Vulcan High Command were filmed. These involved only Foxworth, Graham and Rubinstein as well as a handful of extras.[3]

Reception and home media[edit]

"Awakening" was first aired in the United States on UPN on November 26, 2004. The broadcast saw the episode come in fifth place during the timeslot, with a Nielsen rating of 1.8/3. This means that it was seen by 1.8 percent of all households, and 3 percent of all of those watching television at the time of the broadcast.[4] It gained higher ratings than The WB, which aired re-runs of What I Like About You and Grounded for Life, but was behind the other four major networks with NBC's Dateline winning the hour with ratings of 5.9/11.[4] The ratings received by Enterprise continued a downward trend in recent episodes,[5] with ratings of 1.9/3 received by the previous episode.[6]

Michelle Erica Green, reviewing the episode for TrekNation was undecided about whether the main point of the episode where Captain Archer is expected to lead the Vulcans back to their main path of logic was a "wonderfully progressive concept or just regressive Trek in which humans have all the answers".[7] She thought that the change in Soval's opinions in this episode was difficult to accept and that the other members of the main cast didn't get a great deal to do in the episode. However, whilst she thought that "Awakening" was a visual improvement over "The Forge", she was reserving judgement until she had seen the third part of the trilogy.[7] Jamahl Epsicokhan at his website "Jammer's Reviews" thought that certain elements of the plot didn't follow logical paths, such as how Archer found the Kir'shara in a few minutes when apparently the Syrrannites had been looking for it for two years even though "it sits in a chamber behind a door that practically announces, 'IMPORTANT RELIC INSIDE'?"[8] However, he called the episode entertaining and gave it a score of three out of four.[8]

The first home media release of "The Forge" was in the season four DVD box set of Enterprise, originally released in the United States on November 1, 2005.[9] The Blu ray release of the final season of Enterprise is due on April 1, 2014.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Star Trek: Enterprise Series 4 - 8. Awakening". Radio Times. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Producers Reveal Tidbits about Season 4". Star Trek.com. July 21, 2004. Archived from the original on October 14, 2004. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Production Report: "Awakening" Deepens Vulcan Mythos". Star Trek.com. October 8, 2004. Archived from the original on October 9, 2004. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "CBS Tops NBC for Friday Win". Zap2it. November 27, 2004. Archived from the original on March 18, 2005. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ "'The Forge' Fails to Ignite Ratings". TrekNation. November 20, 2004. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ "'CSI: NY' Gives CBS the Lead on Friday". Zap2it. November 20, 2004. Archived from the original on November 16, 2005. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Green, Michelle Erica (November 27, 2004). "Awakening". TrekNation. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Epsicokhan, Jamahl. "Star Trek: Enterprise "The Awakening". Jammer's Reviews. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  9. ^ Douglass Jr., Todd (October 24, 2005). "Star Trek Enterprise - The Complete Fourth Season". DVD Talk. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Final Season Enterprise Blu-ray Set Available April 1". Star Trek.com. December 18, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 

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