Broken Bow (Star Trek: Enterprise)

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For the novelization of this episode, see Broken Bow (Star Trek novel).
"Broken Bow"
Star Trek: Enterprise episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 1 & 2
Directed by James Conway
Written by Rick Berman
Brannon Braga
Produced by Dawn Valazquez
Featured music Dennis McCarthy
Production code 40358-721 (101-102)
Original air date September 26, 2001 (2001-09-26)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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List of Star Trek: Enterprise episodes

"Broken Bow" is the pilot episode of the science fiction television series Enterprise (later renamed Star Trek: Enterprise). It originally aired as a double-length episode, but has been split into two segments for syndication. A novelization of the episode, written by Diane Carey, was published in 2001. The episode won the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series, and was also nominated for sound editing and makeup.


On Earth in 2121, a young Jonathan Archer is completing a model of a warp-capable spacecraft under the supervision of his father, Henry Archer, principal designer of Earth's first Warp 5 engine. Their conversation reveals that Jonathan feels some resentment towards the Vulcans, whom he feels have been holding humanity back. Although Henry Archer does not fully understand the reasons behind the Vulcans' constraint, he believes that there must be an explanation.

In 2151, a Klingon named Klaang crashes his scoutship in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. He dispatches his two Suliban pursuers inside a silo, but is then shot unconscious by a corn farmer. Jonathan Archer, now a captain of the prototype NX-class starship Enterprise, is called to Starfleet Headquarters, where he discusses the matter of Klaang with others including Admiral Forrest, Vulcan ambassador Soval, Tos, and Vulcan Subcommander T'Pol.

The Klingon is a courier, carrying important information back to the Klingon homeworld, Qo'noS. The Vulcans believe that Klaang should be allowed to die and his corpse delivered to them, per Klingon ideals. Vulcan objections, however, fuel the idea that they have somehow deliberately withheld information from Earth for over a hundred years. After consulting with the Denobulan Doctor Phlox, Archer convinces Forrest to allow him to deliver a living Klaang to Qo'noS himself. Archer spends some time assembling the crew, including T'Pol as executive and science officer, Hoshi Sato as linguist, then the Enterprise departs after a short launching ceremony honoring Zefram Cochrane.

On a Suliban vessel, Silik, leader of the Suliban Cabal, speaks with a mysterious, nameless humanoid figure [1] from their future. The 'man' orders Silik to recover Klaang. Meanwhile, Archer and Trip Tucker, Archer's best friend and chief engineer, try to acquaint themselves with T'Pol over dinner. Klaang regains consciousness, but the universal translator does not allow the Enterprise '​s communications officer, Hoshi, to communicate with him effectively. Main power then goes out all over the ship while Archer, Hoshi and Phlox are in sickbay, trying to interrogate Klaang. After a brief scuffle with some camouflaged aliens, power is restored, but Klaang is gone.

In Sickbay, Phlox shows Archer the corpse of one alien soldier that was left aboard Enterprise, and the doctor has learned that the alien has modified Suliban DNA. Sato completes a translation of Klaang's speech, and T'Pol reveals that she has been withholding information from the Vulcan investigation, including the fact that Klaang had been on Rigel X. Meanwhile, an alien officer aboard the Suliban complex interrogates Klaang in Klingonese. Arriving at the Rigel X Trade Complex, Archer, Sato, Tucker, and T'Pol are seized by Suliban agents, and brought to Sarin. Sarin, once a member of the Cabal, tells Archer that she gave Klaang a message regarding proof of Suliban involvement in recent attacks on Klingon factions, to be delivered to the High Council. The Suliban are following orders in a Temporal Cold War, and Suliban from the Cabal show up and attack. Sarin dies but manages to free the group, who escape back to the Enterprise.

T'Pol modifies the Enterprise '​s sensors to track the Suliban vessel that attacked them. They track it to a gas giant. Meanwhile aboard the alien complex, a Suliban officer talks with the mysterious figure again. Within the gas giant is the helix, a Suliban aggregate structure composed of hundreds of Suliban ships, which they scan to find Klaang. Using the grappler, the Enterprise successfully grabs an attacking Suliban ship, the pilot ejecting. After studying the captured ship and its controls, Archer and Tucker pilot it to the Helix. Becoming separated, Tucker returns with Klaang to the Enterprise. After a brief physical confrontation between Archer and Silik, Tucker uses the Enterprise '​s new transporter to beam Archer out of the helix, and back to the Enterprise.

The Enterprise delivers Klaang to Qo'noS, where Klaang delivers his message (via the DNA in his blood) to the Klingon Chancellor and the High Council. Archer tells Tucker and T'Pol that Starfleet has ordered them to continue their mission and invites T'Pol to stay on as Executive Officer and Science Officer. T'Pol agrees to contact her superiors for permission.


The premiere of "Broken Bow" was at the Paramount Theatre on September 20, 2001. It was attended by the cast and crew of Enterprise as well as several from Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: The Next Generation.[2] It was first aired on UPN on September 26. The broadcast saw the episode come in first place during the timeslot, with 16 million viewers watching, with an average of 12 million. It was the best ratings that the channel had received since Voyager, but was an increase of 42% over the finale of that series, "Endgame".[3]


  1. ^ "Broken Bow". He is referred to as such only in credits, as seen at 
  2. ^ "Paramount Premieres "Broken Bow"". Star September 21, 2001. Archived from the original on September 24, 2001. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Dispatch: Enterprise Scores Solid Ratings with Debut". Star September 28, 2001. Archived from the original on October 7, 2001. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  • Berman, R. (Writer), & Braga, B. (Writer), & Conway, J. L. (Director). (2001). Broken Bow [Television series episode]. In Berman, R. (Producer), & Braga, B. (Producer), Star Trek: Enterprise. Hollywood: Paramount Pictures.

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