The Council (Star Trek: Enterprise)
|Star Trek: Enterprise episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||David Livingston|
|Written by||Manny Coto|
|Featured music||Velton Ray Bunch|
|Original air date||May 12, 2004|
"The Council" is the seventy-fourth episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the twenty-second episode of season three. It first aired on May 12, 2004, on the UPN network in the United States. The episode was the fifth of the series written by Manny Coto, and it was directed by David Livingston, his fourth of the third season.
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, Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) attempts to convince the Xindi Council not to use their superweapon on Earth. Meanwhile, Subcommander T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) leads an away team to a nearby sphere to attempt to retrieve a data core in order to get more information on the Sphere-Builders.
The episode featured several returning guest stars, including Randy Oglesby, Tucker Smallwood, Josette DiCarlo and Sean McGowan. Additional sets were required for the scenes at the Xindi Council, while the sets for Degra's ship had been created for an earlier episode. Although most scenes were filmed between February 12 and 23, the scenes featuring the Sphere-Builders were filmed in conjunction with the following episode on February 26. Two reviewers praised the episode, and it was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. There was a slight increase in ratings with the episode earning a 3.4/5% audience share, translating into approximately 3.35 million viewers.
Previously on Star Trek: Enterprise, the Enterprise enters the Delphic Expanse after Earth is attacked by a prototype weapon sent by the Xindi. They are a group of five surviving races who each evolved on the same planet. Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and the crew investigate the presence of a superweapon with which the Xindi intend to destroy Earth. During the mission they discover that the Xindi are creating the weapon as they believe that humans will wipe out their species in the future. Archer convinces several Xindi to support his cause, including Degra (Randy Oglesby), one of the designers of the weapon.
In "The Council", Enterprise is en route to the planet of the Xindi Council under escort by Degra's ship. Archer is briefed by Degra on the various members of the council. Meanwhile, a shuttlepod departs Enterprise to investigate a nearby sphere in order to try to gain information on the Sphere-Builders. Other Xindi ships join the escort as Enterprise approaches the planet, with a few shots between the newcomers and the flagship of Reptilian Commander Dolim, but the flagship backs down and allows Enterprise to approach. Once on the planet, Archer enters the council chamber and explains the situation to the Xindi; however, Commander Dolim walks out in protest. Afterwards, Dolim meets with a Sphere-Builder, who insists that the weapon must be launched. Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) and Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker (Connor Trinneer) show a hologram of the Sphere-Builder they previously met to the council – who recognise it as the Guardian race who have been protecting their race.
The council votes to delay the launch of the superweapon, with even Commander Dolim agreeing. The away team reaches the core of the sphere and retrieves a memory module, but they are attacked by automated defense systems. Corporal Hawkins (Sean McGowan) is killed whilst saving the lives of Subcommander T'Pol (Jolene Blalock), Lieutenant Commander Malcolm Reed (Dominic Keating) and Ensign Travis Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery). Dolim confronts Degra in the Primate's quarters and kills him, whilst declaring that the Reptilians intend to take over the Xindi Council. All of the Reptilian and Insectoid members of the council walk out and launch the superweapon. Dolim escorts the weapon on his flagship, with Enterprise and vessels from the Aquatics and Primates in pursuit. The Reptilians enter a subspace vortex after kidnapping Ensign Hoshi Sato (Linda Park) by transporter beam.
Filming on "The Council" began on February 12, 2004, and concluded on February 23, having taken seven days to film with shooting placed on hold for Presidents' Day. The exception to this was the scenes featuring Sphere-Builders which were shot in conjunction with the following episode, "Countdown", on February 26. Manny Coto wrote "The Council", his fifth episode for Enterprise. David Livingston directed the episode, which was his fourth of the season – tying Roxann Dawson for the most episodes during season three. It was the second time that Coto and Livingston had collaborated on an episode, having previously worked together on "Harbinger".
A number of temporary sets were built for the episode, including those for the Xindi Council, which were meant to be originally created in-universe by the extinct avian race of Xindi. The sets for Degra's ship continued to be used, and the Enterprise sets still featured damage following the actions in earlier episodes. "The Council" featured a larger than normal number of guest actors to represent various members of the Xindi Council. These included Tucker Smallwood as the Primate Council Member; He had previously appeared in the role earlier in the season in "The Xindi" and "Rajiin". Smallwood had also appeared elsewhere in the genre in Space: Above and Beyond as Commodore Ross. Sean McGowan made his fourth and final appearance of the series in "The Council", while Randy Oglesby also made his final appearance as Degra. Josette DiCarlo returned as a female Sphere-Builder, after first appearing in "Damage", while Mary Mara and Ruth Williamson both made their Enterprise debuts as other Sphere-Builders.
Reception and home media release
"The Council" was first aired on May 12, 2004 on UPN. It received a 3.4/5% share, meaning that it was seen by 3.4 percent of all households, and 5 percent of all households watching television at the time of the broadcast. This translated to approximately 3.35 million viewers. It was a slight increase on the ratings received by the previous episode "E²", which was viewed by a 3.3% audience share.
Michelle Erica Green watched the episode for TrekNation, calling it a "taut, tense action episode" with predictable plot twists that still felt "wrenching" when revealed. Although she felt that the launch of the superweapon was outweighed by the murder of Degra, she found the episode "quite engrossing" and thought "The Council" demonstrated that Enterprise was "coming into its own". Jamahl Epsicokhan, for his website "Jammer's Reviews", said that the death of Degra was a shame as he was the "season's most pivotal and interesting character". He said that the shot of the superweapon being launched was a "terrific and fearsome shot", and gave the episode a score of 3.5/4. The episode was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects, but lost to the team that worked on the episode "Countdown".
The first home media release of "The Council" was as part of the season three DVD box set, released in the United States on September 27, 2005. The Blu-ray release of Enterprise was announced in early 2013, and released on January 7, 2014.
- "Star Trek: Enterprise Series 3 - 22. The Council". Radio Times. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
- "Production Report: Approaching the Inner Lair of "The Council"". Star Trek.com. February 26, 2004. Archived from the original on February 27, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Davenport, Callum (August 18, 2003). "Tucker Smallwood". Trek Today. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Krutzler, Steve (May 13, 2004). ""Council" Can't Legislate Rating Upturn; The Good News: Numbers Steady". TrekWeb. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Green, Michelle Erica (May 13, 2004). "The Council". TrekNation. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
- Epsicokhan, Jamahl. "Star Trek: Enterprise "The Council"". Jammer's Reviews. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
- Green, Michelle Erica (September 13, 2004). "'Enterprise' wins two Emmy Awards". Trek Today. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Douglass Jr., Todd (September 27, 2005). "Star Trek Enterprise – The Complete 3rd Season". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
- "Enterprise Trekking To Blu-ray; Fans Helped Pick Covers". Star Trek.com. January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2013.
- Miller III, Randy (January 7, 2014). "Star Trek: Enterprise - Season Three (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- The Council at the Internet Movie Database
- "The Council" at TV.com
- The Council at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- The Council at StarTrek.com