Regeneration (Star Trek: Enterprise)
|Star Trek: Enterprise episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||David Livingston|
|Written by||Mike Sussman
|Featured music||Brian Tyler|
|Original air date||May 7, 2003|
|List of Star Trek: Enterprise episodes|
"Regeneration" is the 49th episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the 23rd episode of the second season. It first aired on May 7, 2003 on the UPN network in the United States. The episode was written by Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong, and was directed by David Livingston. It was a follow-up to the feature film Star Trek: First Contact.
Set in the 22nd century, the series follows the adventures of the first Starfleet starship Enterprise, registration NX-01. In this episode, several cybernetically enhanced aliens are accidentally reanimated by a research team in the Arctic. The aliens assimilate the researchers and their ship before escaping into space. The Enterprise pursues the ship and is attacked, forcing Archer to destroy the vessel. Afterwards they discover that the aliens sent a message into the Delta Quadrant containing the coordinates of Earth, a message that will not arrive until the 24th century.
The episode utilised props and costumes from previous Star Trek series in order to represent the Borg. The guest cast including Bonita Friedericy, the wife of main cast member John Billingsley. The ratings received by the episode were similar to those received during the previous week, and the number of viewers were one of the highest for the year. The critical response to "Regeneration" was mixed, with concerns directed at potential continuity problems, and that the appearance of the Borg was a little obvious. A follow-up episode to "Regeneration" featuring the return of Alice Krige as the Borg Queen was pitched for the fifth season of Star Trek: Enterprise.
A team of researchers discover remains of what appears to be a crashed spaceship in the Arctic, with several humanoid bodies with cybernetic implants frozen in the wreckage. The bodies are taken to the nearby compound, to be thawed out. The scientists are astonished at the level of technical sophistication present inside the bodies of each creature, but unknown to the research team, nanoprobes begin to repair the biological and artificial systems of the aliens. Suddenly the seemingly dead subjects reanimate and attack the scientists without provocation, assimilating them and their transport craft. Using the scavenged wreckage of the destroyed sphere to enhance the transport, they escape into space.
The aliens begin to upgrade the vessel with a faster warp drive and to equip it with weapons. The Enterprise is ordered to intercept the craft and rescue the "kidnapped" researchers. They receive a distress call from a Tarkalian freighter, when they arrive they discover the ship under attack from the transport, which is now covered in alien technology. Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) orders the ship to open fire on the transport in order to disable their weapons, but the ship jumps to warp speed. Archer chooses to help the Tarkalians rather than pursue their attackers. An away team finds only two crew members left aboard and brings them to sickbay. They are showing early symptoms of assimilation. Archer finds their situation reminiscent of a story he attributes to Zefram Cochrane, who once told an audience at Princeton University the true story of what happened during first contact, mentioning cybernetic creatures from the future and a group of humans arriving to stop them (the events of Star Trek: First Contact). T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) dismisses this, citing that Cochrane was noted for his imaginative stories and his frequent inebriation.
The assimilated Tarkalians awaken in sickbay and inject Doctor Phlox (John Billingsley) with nanoprobes. They then escape into the crawl spaces of the ship. Lt. Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating) and Archer go in search of the aliens and find them modifying ship's systems. Archer and Reed's phase pistols are ineffective due to the alien's personal shielding. Instead the crew withdraw from that section of the ship and open it into space to eliminate the threat. Afterwards, Reed begins upgrading the pistols in case they encounter more of these aliens, while Phlox discovers a way to purge himself of his rapidly spreading infection using a large dose of "omicron radiation" to destroy the nanoprobes.
The Enterprise catches up with the assimilated transport, but the modifications made aliens whilst on board the Enterprise activate and it is shut down as the alien ship attacks. Archer and Reed board the ship with explosives and upgraded pistols, shooting several aliens including the science research team. They plant their explosives and beam out just as their weapons once again become ineffective. With the transport crippled, Chief Engineer Trip Tucker (Connor Trinneer) removes the alien modifictions from the Enterprise, which regains main power. Archer realizes they cannot help the altered crew members, nor can they allow them to continue on their way. He orders the assimilated transport's destruction. Later, Phlox informs the captain that while he was infected he kept hearing a repeating numerical sequence, believing it was a distress signal. Archer consults with Starfleet and discovers that the numbers were the coordinates to Earth. T'Pol is not worried as the signal was sent into the Delta Quadrant and would take almost 200 years to reach its destination. Archer is not comforted as he believes they have only delayed the invasion until the 24th century (as seen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds".
Filming took place between February 27, 2003 and while principle photography completed on March 8, the B unit shoot for the episode was not completed until March 11. This coincided with the commencement of filming on the following episode, "First Flight". The Borg in the episode were all played by stuntmen who had previously worked on Enterprise, with four main "Stunt Borg" and four additional Borg for background shots. Bonita Friedericy was cast as Rooney, one of the researchers that discovered the aliens. Friedericy is the wife of main cast actor John Billingsley, but did not share any scenes in the episode with her husband or film on the same days. Billingsley had suggested at one point during the filming of Enterprise that Friedricy should play all of his in-character wives. Director David Livingston is one of the more prolific Star Trek directors, and directed two other episodes in season two of Enterprise alone, "Stigma" and "The Crossing". The Borg make-up applied to Billingsley slowed down production, as there was discussion on set regarding how far the assimilation process on the character should progress.
"Regeneration" was intended to follow up on the events depicted in film Star Trek: First Contact which features a Borg sphere being destroyed whilst in orbit of 21st century Earth. Executive producer Brannon Braga initially refused to feature the Borg in Enterprise, calling it a "cheap trick". He agreed for them to appear when the premise for "Regeneration" was suggested, saying that "it was such a great concept I couldn’t resist it". The set pieces and costumes for the Borg were reused from earlier Star Trek productions, and had not been used since the series finale of Star Trek: Voyager, "Endgame". The Borg costume worn by Friedericy had been previously used by Roxann Dawson in the episode "Unimatrix Zero". For the sequence where the Borg debris is discovered, several other pieces of sets were re-purposed to act as debris. This including part of the saucer section of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E), which first appeared in First Contact. Brian Tyler produced the film score for "Regeneration", one of only two episodes of Enterprise he produced music for. The other episode was the earlier season two episode "Canamar".
Writers Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens pitched a story to be used for season five of Enterprise which would have followed up on the events in "Regeneration". They intended to bring actress Alice Krige back to Star Trek as a Starfleet medical technician who makes contact with the Borg seen in this episode. This was to result in the creation of the Borg Queen first seen in First Contact, which was played by Krige.
Reception and home media release
"Regeneration" was first shown in the United States on May 7, 2003 on UPN. It received a 2.7/4% share among adults between the ages of 18 and 49. This means that it was seen by 2.7 percent of all 18 to 49-year-olds, and 4 percent of all 18 to 49-year-olds watching television at the time of the broadcast. The ratings were the same as the previous episode, "Cogenitor", but saw an increase in overall viewing numbers from 4.08 million viewers to 4.12 million. This meant that "Regeneration" was the fourth highest viewed episode of Enterprise at the time of airing in 2003.
Michelle Erica Green reviewed the episode for TrekNation, and was concerned by the continuity issues that the events in the episode presented, such as why Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) didn't have a record of Archer and the crew's encounter with some nameless technologically-enhanced aliens who assimilated people when he met them for the first time in "Q Who". She thought that there were good performances by Linda Park and John Billingsley, but thought that Billingsley as Phlox could have been more emotionally effected by his partial assimilation. Jamahl Epsicokhan at his website "Jammer's Reviews" gave the episode a score of three and a half out of four, saying that it was "a deviously clever premise, with the best-executed action of the season", but that the show was "doing itself few favors by reaching into the obvious Trekkian bag of tricks". "Regeneration" was listed as the third best episode of Enterprise behind "In a Mirror, Darkly" and "Carbon Creek" by James Hunt at the website Den of Geek.
The first home media release of the episode was as part of the season two DVD boxset, released in the United States on July 26, 2005. One of the extras included on the sixth disc of the set was audio commentary on "Regeneration" by writers Michael Sussman and Phyllis Strong. The Blu ray release of Enterprise was announced in early 2013.
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- Regeneration at the Internet Movie Database
- "Regeneration" at TV.com
- Regeneration at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Regeneration at StarTrek.com