Divergence (Star Trek: Enterprise)
|Star Trek: Enterprise episode|
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||David Barrett|
|Written by||Judith Reeves-Stevens
|Original air date||February 25, 2005|
|List of Star Trek: Enterprise episodes|
"Divergence" is the sixteenth episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise. It originally aired on February 25, 2005 in the United States on UPN. It was the fourth episode of Enterprise to be written by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, and was the first episode of a Star Trek series directed by David Barrett. "Divergence" is the second part of a two part story, following on from "Affliction".
Set in the 22nd century, the series follows the adventures of the first Starfleet starship Enterprise, registration NX-01. In this episode, the Columbia arrives so that Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III (Connor Trinneer) can conduct repairs on the Enterprise before the two ships pursue a lead to a Klingon research outpost. Meanwhile, Phlox is under pressure to cure the virus that the Klingons created from augmented Human DNA.
Filming took eight days, with a two week seasonal hiatus towards the end of December. In addition to the guest stars who appeared in "Affliction", they were joined by Wayne Grace as Fleet Admiral Krell. The episode received Nielsen ratings of 1.7/3 percent, which were lower than the previous week's episode. The critical response was negative, directed mainly at plot holes and characterisation. However, the two-part story has been named as one of the best storylines seen in Enterprise.
Following the events of "Affliction", Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) has been taken by the Klingons to find a cure for a virus created from the DNA of genetically engineered humans. It is causing the Klingon's forehead ridges to disappear and to generally appear more human as well as causing them to become extremely aggressive. Meanwhile, affected Klingons attacked and boarded the Enterprise, and Lt. Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating) attempted to cover up their true origins under orders from Section 31; a secretive agency within Starfleet. The Klingons sabotage Enterprise and depart, causing the warp core to build into an overload.
With the warp core reaching dangerous levels and the ship unable to decrease speed below warp five, Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) releases Lt. Reed from the brig following his earlier actions as the Columbia is en route with Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III (Connor Trinneer) to conduct repairs. However the crew realise that the transporter cannot be used at warp, and so Enterprise and Columbia will need to travel at close proximity in order for Trip to be transferred by zip line between the ships. Once on Enterprise, he successfully performs a cold boot on the warp drive, using Columbia's warp field to prevent Enterprise breaking up from the sudden decrease in speed while the warp drive is offline.
Archer questions Reed about Section 31, but he doesn't know the answers to Archer's questions. Meanwhile, Phlox and Antaak (John Schuck) update General K'Vagh (James Avery) on their progress in creating a cure. K'Vagh contacts Fleet Admiral Krell (Wayne Grace) who tells him that if a cure is not completed then the colony will be destroyed in order to prevent the disease from spreading. Back on Enterprise, Archer is contacted by Harris (Eric Pierpoint) from Section 31. Harris reveals that Phlox is on an important mission. Wanting to know more, Archer speaks to Reed once again. The lieutenant reveals the location of a Klingon genetic research facility; Archer allows Reed to resume his position on the bridge and orders a course set to the facility while Columbia remains behind.
Harris contacts Krell, to inform him that Enterprise is on the way. They discuss an agreement between the two, and Krell reveals that he tricked Harris. Enterprise arrives at the colony, and Archer beams down to the research base and confronts the Klingons and Phlox. A Klingon battlecruiser under the command of Krell and two Birds of Prey arrive in orbit and claim the colony along with Enterprise for the Klingon Empire and block all communications. The battlecruiser begins an attack on the colony; Enterprise attempts to intercept but is attacked by the Birds of Prey. Meanwhile, Phlox infects Archer with the virus as he needs human antibodies for the cure, causing small Klingon ridges to appear on his forehead. Columbia arrives and goes into combat with the two Birds of Prey, while Enterprise deals with the battlecruiser. Columbia's weapons are taken offline and Enterprise is having difficulty intercepting the battlecruiser. Antaak transports a canister of the virus onto the battlecruiser and infects the crew, including Krell. Antaak contacts him and tells him to call off the attack or else he will destroy the cure and kill himself and his crew. Krell stands down the attack. The virus remains contagious, and causes the ridges to dissipate on any infected Klingon but due to Phlox's work, they suffer no other effects. Archer recovers fully, and Tucker agrees to remain on the Enterprise.
Filming began on December 14, 2004 and ran for four days before the cast and crew went on a two week break over the holiday period. The production overlapped on December 16 with second-unit filming on the episode "United", which required most of the main cast with the exception of Billingsley as Phlox. The opportunity was taken to film the majority of the sequences with Phlox, K'Vagh and Antaak at the same time on a different sound stage so as to not delay the production. After the break, production resumed on January 3, 2005. Minimal shooting was conducted on the first day for "Divergence", as further second-unit filming took place in the afternoon for "United" and for "Babel One". On the second day, Eric Pierpoint and Wayne Grace filmed their scenes as they both appeared on only one set each. Whilst filming was scheduled for seven days, the second-unit filming for "Divergence" pushed into an eighth day on January 6, which overlapped with the production of "Bound".
Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens joined the staff as writers during season four. Prior to "Divergence" they had already written the episodes "The Forge", "Observer Effect" and "United". The Reeves-Stevens said of "Divergence", "we've written a multiple-starship action sequence that's never been seen before, and that everyone's very excited to bring to the screen." "Divergence" was the first Star Trek credit for director David Barrett. Several guest cast members resume their roles from "Affliction", including James Avery as K'Vagh, John Schuck as Antaak, Terrell Tilford as Marab and Eric Pierpoint as Harris. They were joined in "Divergence" by Wayne Grace as Krell. Grace had previously appeared across the franchise including in a voice role in the computer game Star Trek: Klingon Academy, a Cardassian in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night" and as the Klingon Governor Torak in Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Aquiel". Kristin Bauer made her franchise debut as Laneth. She later became better known in her appearances as Pam in HBO's True Blood.
Reception and home media release
"Divergence" originally aired on UPN, on February 25, 2005. According to Nielsen Media Research, the episode received a 1.7/3 percent share. This means that it was seen by 1.7 percent of the population, and 3 percent of all viewers watching television at the time of the broadcast. This was less than the ratings received by the previous episode, "Affliction", which scored ratings of 1.8/3 percent. It finished behind programs on NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox as well as What I Like About You and a repeat of Reba during the second half hour on The WB.
Michelle Erica Green, in her review for TrekNation, said that it wasn't as good as the previous episode and thought that there were plot holes. She felt that some of the episode featured bad science, such as when Tucker was transferred between the two ships. She also criticised Archer going down to the Klingon base on his own, calling him a "putz" and said of the Klingon attack, "since when do Klingons destroy ships with deadly subroutines rather than, you know, BOMBS?" She thought the characterisation was forced, and wanted a better resolution to the events in "Affliction" which she had called "one of the greatest hours of Star Trek ever". Jamahl Epsicokhan on his website "Jammer's Reviews", gave the episode a score of two out of four, saying that the battle scenes were "painfully routine" and that where the episode "runs off the rails is in these final 10 minutes". He felt that it was a pattern of the final episodes in story arcs not having a "satisfying finish" and that "Divergence" followed in this pattern set by "The Augments" and "The Aenar". The two part story in "Affliction" and "Divergence" were subsequently ranked the fifth best story of Enterprise by Den of Geek writer James Hunt.
The only home media release of the episode is on DVD as part of the season four box set. This was released in the UK on October 31, 2005, and on November 1, 2005 in the United States. The Blu-ray release of the final season of Enterprise is due on April 1, 2014.
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- Divergence at the Internet Movie Database
- "Divergence" at TV.com
- Divergence at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Divergence at StarTrek.com