Broken Bow (Star Trek: Enterprise)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Broken Bow"
Star Trek: Enterprise episodes
Episode nos.Season 1
Episodes 1 and 2
Directed byJames Conway[1]
Written byRick Berman
Brannon Braga
Produced byDawn Velazquez
Featured musicDennis McCarthy
Production code40358-721 (101-102)
Original air dateSeptember 26, 2001 (2001-09-26)[2]
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
← Previous
Next →
"Fight or Flight"
Star Trek: Enterprise (season 1)
List of episodes

"Broken Bow" is the two-part series premiere of the science fiction television series Enterprise (later renamed Star Trek: Enterprise). It originally aired as a double-length episode, but was split into two parts for syndication, though releases on home media and streaming maintain its original one-episode format. 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 make-up.

It is nine decades since Zefram Cochrane produced humans' first warp flight (as seen in the film Star Trek: First Contact), and Earth finally launches its first starship of exploration, Enterprise NX-01. Commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer, and against the objections of the Vulcans, it departs on an urgent mission to return an injured Klingon to Qo'noS, the Klingon homeworld but come into conflict with the Suliban.


Part 1[edit]

On Earth in 2121, a young Jonathan Archer is painting a model spaceship with his father, Henry, principal designer of Earth's first Warp 5 engine. Without fully understanding the reasons behind the Vulcans' constraint, he believes that there must be an explanation for holding the human space program back.

Thirty years later, in 2151, a Klingon named Klaang crashes in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.[7] He kills his two Suliban pursuers, but is then critically wounded by a farmer. Archer, now Captain of the soon-to-be-launched prototype starship Enterprise NX-01, is called to Starfleet Headquarters, where he discusses the incident with Admiral Forrest and Vulcan ambassador Soval. The Vulcans wish to delay the launch of Enterprise. Archer, after consulting with the Denobulan Doctor Phlox, convinces Forrest to allow the new ship to take Klaang to Qo'noS.

Prior to departure, Archer seeks additional crewmembers, including Phlox and linguist Hoshi Sato, while Sub-Commander T'Pol is assigned as their "Vulcan liaison". Meanwhile, on a Suliban vessel somewhere, Silik, leader of the Suliban Cabal, speaks with a mysterious, nameless humanoid figure from their future.[8][2] The figure orders Silik to recover Klaang. On Enterprise Klaang regains consciousness, but the universal translator does not allow Archer and Sato to communicate with him effectively. Suddenly, Suliban attack the ship and main power is disrupted. During the chaos, one intruder is killed and Klaang is kidnapped.

Later, in Sickbay, Phlox shows Archer the autopsied Suliban corpse, and points out several genetic enhancements. Sato completes a translation of Klaang's speech, and keywords reveal that T'Pol has been withholding information about the Vulcan investigation, including the fact that Klaang had been on Rigel X. Meanwhile, an alien officer aboard the Suliban complex interrogates Klaang in the Klingon language. Arriving at the Rigel X Trade Complex, Archer, Sato, Tucker, and T'Pol are seized by Suliban agents.

Part 2[edit]

Sarin, once a member of the Suliban Cabal, tells Archer that she gave Klaang a message to the High Council with proof of Suliban involvement in attacks on Klingon factions, and that the enhanced Suliban are following orders in a Temporal Cold War. Suliban from the Cabal show up, and attack, Silik kills Sarin and Archer is shot, but the away team escape back to Enterprise. T'Pol modifies Enterprise's sensors to track the Suliban vessel that attacked them, and they follow it to a gas giant. Meanwhile, aboard the alien complex, Silik talks with the mysterious figure again.

Within the gas giant is the Helix, a Suliban structure composed of hundreds of Suliban cell ships, which the Enterprise crew scan to find Klaang. Using the grappler, Enterprise 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 Enterprise. After a brief physical confrontation between Archer and Silik in a temporally altered audience room, Tucker uses Enterprise's new transporter to beam Archer out of the Helix.

They deliver Klaang and his message (encoded as DNA in his blood) to Qo'noS and the Klingon Chancellor and Council. Archer tells Tucker and T'Pol that Starfleet has ordered them to continue their mission. After reconsidering his preconceptions of Vulcans, he also invites T'Pol to stay on board and she agrees to ask permission.


Scott Bakula stars as the Captain of NX-01 Enterprise, Jonathan Archer

Production began on Monday, May 14, 2001,[9] and saw the return of many crew with past experience of the Star Trek franchise.[10] Director James L. Conway had previously directed various episodes of Star Trek across the different series, and was offered the chance to direct the first episode of Enterprise by Rick Berman. Conway thought the script was fantastic and wanted to do the episode but at that time he was executive vice-president at Spelling Entertainment and had to ask Aaron Spelling and Duke Vincent for permission for a leave of absence to do it. Conway said it was the best experience he ever had directing a TV show. They had a long 32-day filming schedule, and a huge budget. All the sets had to be built, costumes and props had to be made, and all the setup costs of the show were included in the budget of the premiere. He also knew many of the crew from his previous work. Conway described himself as "a fan first and a director second" and he hoped that he did justice to the scripts and brought enthusiasm to every episode he did.[1] Conway returned to direct several more Enterprise episodes, including "In a Mirror, Darkly" Part 1. Returning crew included First Assistant Director (1st AD) Jerry Fleck, Director of Photography (DP) Marvin V. Rush, and Visual Effects Supervisor Ronald B. Moore, all whom had been with the franchise since The Next Generation.[10] Michael Okuda continued as Scenic Arts Supervisor, and as technical consultant to the writing staff. Production designers Herman Zimmerman and John Eaves also worked to create the look of the new series.[11]

The episode introduces much of the cast of Enterprise, which remains for the rest of the show; it also has many guest stars. James Cromwell reprises the character Zefram Cochrane (uncredited),[6] having previously played this character in the 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact.[12] Klaang, the crash-landed Klingon was played by Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr.[6] John Fleck played the Suliban leader Sillik. Starfleet personnel, Admiral Forrest, Admiral Daniel Leonard, and Commander Williams, were played by Vaughn Armstrong, Jim Beaver, and Jim Fitzpatrick, respectively. Their characters were named after actors Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and William Shatner. This was Armstrong's ninth of twelve different characters on Star Trek.[6] Vulcans are played by Gary Graham as Soval, and Thomas Kopache and as Tos. The character name "Tos" is another nod to The Original Series commonly abbreviated as "TOS".[6] The butterfly dancers at Rigel X were played by the Klimaszewski Twins, Diane and Elaine.[5] In Part 2, the Suliban female Sarin was played by Melinda Clarke, and the mysterious "Humanoid Figure" was played by James Horan.[6]


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.[13] It was first aired on UPN on September 26, 2001.[14] The broadcast saw the episode come in first place during the timeslot, with 16 million viewers watching, with an average of 12 million. This was slightly lower than the premiere of Voyager but represented an increase of 42% over the final episode "Endgame", and was the best ratings for any series on that the channel since Voyager.[15][16]

In the UK, "Broken Bow" first broadcast on satellite TV channel Sky One,[17] before airing on Channel 4 during July 2002.[18]

This episode was released as part of Enterprise season one, which was released in high definition on Blu-ray disc on March 26, 2013;[19] it has 1080p video and a DTS-HD Master Audio sound track.[20]

On the launch of the Paramount+ streaming service, on March 4, 2021, a one day only free Star Trek marathon was presented, featuring the first episodes of the various Star Trek television series, including "Broken Bow". The marathon started at 7 am PT/10 am ET and was Live streamed on the YouTube internet video platform, going through each episode chronologically in order of release with "Broken Bow" airing after "Caretaker".[21]


The episode received positive reviews from critics.[22] Ron Wertheimer of The New York Times gave the episode a positive review, saying "Enterprise gets back to basics, then improves on them."[23] David Segal of the Washington Post was critical of the first episode, "the script is riddled with clunkers and jargon" and that the show "has a bargain-basement feel that lands just this side of camp; the space fights aren't much more convincing than PlayStation offerings. And everything is wrapped in a trite message about unity and the importance of getting along."[24] Laura Fries of Variety says the prequel setting "rejuvenates a somewhat tired notion" but also says "viewers are reminded that this is more akin to their father's Star Trek." She praised Bakula for bringing "an earthy quality back" to the captain, making him "personable and accessible".[25] Howard Rosenberg of the Los Angeles Times predicted that Star Trek fans would either "raise the bar impossibly high for this series or watch it because they watch everything with this brand" but as a casual viewer he found the premiere "mildly entertaining, but mostly plays rather tepidly, its occasional glints of intellect pushed far into the background by action."[26] Allan Johnson of the Chicago Tribune was positive about the series as an accessible entry point for potential new fans.[27] Entertainment Weekly gave it a grade B+, and said it was "appealing to both Trekkies and non-fans of this pop-cultural institution".[28] Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel calls the story "a standard adventure" and is critical of action sequences as "familiar" and that "It goes boldly and unapologetically where dozens of series have gone before." He praised Blalock for her performance "Star Trek purists might not be amused, but the captivating Blalock energizes the franchise. Enterprise needs every bit of pizazz she can supply."[29] Aint It Cool News gave the episode 4 out of 5, praised Blalock for her performance, and said "Clearly, an extraordinary amount of love and attention went into this endeavor, from the propulsive teleplay to the careful casting to the world-beating production design."[30] IGN rated it 3 out of 5, and wrote "There's enough new, interesting stuff there to make me want to see more."[31] rated it 5 out of 10.[6]

A review of the Blu-ray release by, commented on the visuals, remarking "The scene in Brazil in "Broken Bow" does offer some nicely brilliant greens, and certainly some scattered traces of good, honest colors are seen throughout, but mostly this is a very uninspired palette. " also pointing out the special effects are in lower resolution than HD that causes some "jagged edges, and lack crisp details." They were more positive about the audio, remarking of the surround sound track "The controversial theme song has never sounded better. It's rich, full of life, and with well-defined vocals and precise instrument clarity and reproduction. Much of the action on board the NX-01 is brought to life by the subtle, deep hum of the engines and the little odds and ends sound elements that define the atmosphere."[32]


"Broken Bow" was nominated for three Emmy Awards.[33] The episode won an in the category award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series.[34]

In 2014, The A.V. Club include this episode on their list of 10 episodes that best represented the series. The double-episode was praised for establishing most of the key ideas that would drive the show. "It's a faltering beginning, but it hints at the potential Enterprise would spend seasons trying to realize."[35]

In 2016, The Hollywood Reporter rated "Broken Bow" the 80th best episode of all Star Trek episodes.[36] In a 2015 Binge-watching guide for Enterprise by Wired, they said that when the NX-01 leaves space dry dock for the first time is the best moment in the whole series.[37] In 2017, GameSpot ranked this as the 4th best pilot episode of a Star Trek series.[38]

In 2016, IGN ranked "Broken Bow" the 21st best episode of all Star Trek up to that time.[39]

In 2016, Empire ranked this the 37th best out of the top 50 episodes of the 700 plus Star Trek television episodes.[40] In 2016, SyFy ranked "Broken Bow" as the 3rd best out of 6 Star Trek TV show pilots.[41]

In 2020, ScreenRant ranked "Broken Bow" the 4th best episode of all Star Trek franchise television episodes.[42]


Broken Bow
AuthorDiane Carey
CountryUnited States
SeriesStar Trek: Enterprise
GenreScience fiction novel
PublisherPocket Books
Publication date
1 October 2001 (hardback)
1 June 2003 (paperback)
Media typePrint (Paperback, Hardback)
Pages282 pages
ISBN0-7434-4862-6 (first edition, hardback)
ISBN 0-7434-7062-1 (paperback)
813/.54 21
LC ClassPS3553.A6684 B76 2001
TextBroken Bow at Internet Archive

A 240 page novelization written Diane Carey was published in 2001 by Pocket Books.[43] Carey was given only the script and wrote the novel without any further information from the production team. She said would normally take about two weeks to write a novelization, but that Broken Bow was written in just four days.[44] In the Season 1 DVD special features, producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga discussed how Diane Carey used the character's internal monologues to frequently criticize the script.[45] It was Carey's last Star Trek novel.[6]


  1. ^ a b STARTREK.COM STAFF (February 16, 2012). "Catching Up With Director James L. Conway, Part 2".
  2. ^ a b c "Next on Enterprise: Broken Bow". Archived from the original on September 26, 2001.
  3. ^ "10.11.02 Sensor Sweep: Who's in Movies, TV and Theatre". October 11, 2002. Archived from the original on March 1, 2003. Mark Moses, who played Jonathan Archer's father "Henry Archer" in the Enterprise pilot "Broken Bow," as well as "Naroq" in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Riddles."
  4. ^ Laurie Ulster (March 11, 2021). "13 Original Series Actors Who Couldn't Get Enough Trek". Star Trek fans have seen Joseph Ruskin play five different characters in four Star Trek series
  5. ^ a b c Pat Jankiewicz (December 2003). "Trek Twins". Starlog Magazine 317. pp. 84, 85.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h DeCandido, Keith R. A. (November 15, 2021). "Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: "Broken Bow"". Retrieved May 4, 2022.
  7. ^ This episode only says that the crash was in "Broken Bow"; however, in Detained, there is a reference to this incident having taken place in Oklahoma.
  8. ^ "Broken Bow". Archived from the original on June 16, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2022. He is referred to as "Humanoid Figure" in credits, as seen at
  9. ^ "Production News: UPN President Introduces Enterprise". May 17, 2001. Archived from the original on May 20, 2001. the new show — which started production on Monday
  10. ^ a b "Production News: Star Trek Veterans Back on the Job". May 15, 2001. Archived from the original on May 20, 2001.
  11. ^ "Production News: Okuda to Make His Mark on New Series". March 12, 2001. Archived from the original on April 12, 2001.
  12. ^ Jones, Mark; Parkin, Lance (2003). Beyond the Final Frontier: An Unauthorised Review of the Trek Universe on Television and Film ; Season Summaries, Characters, Episodes, Movies. Contender books. p. 175. ISBN 978-1-84357-080-6.
  13. ^ "Paramount Premieres "Broken Bow"". Star September 21, 2001. Archived from the original on September 24, 2001. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  14. ^ Bradley, Christian (September 14, 2016). "Trek-a-Day Episode 1: Broken Bow". Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  15. ^ "Dispatch: Enterprise Scores Solid Ratings with Debut". Star September 28, 2001. Archived from the original on October 7, 2001. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  16. ^ Kissell, Rick (September 28, 2001). "'Enterprise' a star player for UPN". Variety.
  17. ^ "Star Trek moves to Channel 4". BBC News. November 5, 2001. Archived from the original on January 4, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  18. ^ "Hello Fellow". Star Trek Monthly. Vol. 1, no. 97. October 2002. p. 7.
  19. ^ Scott Collura (March 26, 2013). "Remembering Star Trek: Enterprise with Scott Bakula". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  20. ^ "Star Trek: Enterprise - Season One Blu-ray Release Date March 26, 2013". Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  21. ^ TrekMovie com Staff (March 4, 2021). "Paramount+ Launches With Free Episodes, A Star Trek Marathon, And Free Month Offer". Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  22. ^ "Dispatch: Enterprise a Hit with Critics". September 26, 2001. Archived from the original on February 3, 2002.
  23. ^ Wertheimer, Ron (September 26, 2001). "TELEVISION REVIEW; Boldly Going to a Time Before Kirk and Spock". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015.
  24. ^ Segal, David (September 26, 2001). "Creaky 'Enterprise': Set Your Phasers on Stun". Washington Post.
  25. ^ Fries, Laura (September 26, 2001). "Enterprise". Variety.
  26. ^ Howard Rosenberg (September 26, 2001). "'Enterprise' Visits Familiar Territory". Los Angeles Times.
  27. ^ Allan Johnson (September 26, 2001). "'Enterprise' gives UPN 'Trek' with future". Chicago Tribune.
  28. ^ Steve Daly (September 21, 2001). "Enterprise". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  29. ^ Hal Boedeker (September 26, 2001). "IT'S STEAMY IN OUTER SPACE". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on May 12, 2022. Retrieved May 4, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  30. ^ Hercules Strong (September 25, 2001). "HERC Reviews ENTERPRISE!!". Aint It Cool News.
  31. ^ Jason Bates (October 8, 2001). "SciFi: Enterprise, Broken Bow". IGN. Archived from the original on November 14, 2001.
  32. ^ "Star Trek: Enterprise - Season One Blu-ray Release Date March 26, 2013". Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  33. ^ "Enterprise Nabs Five Emmy Noms". July 18, 2002. Archived from the original on December 21, 2002. "Broken Bow" is also up for Outstanding Makeup For A Series (Prosthetic) and Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series.
  34. ^ Ruiz, Tony; Montgomery, Daniel (May 4, 2020). "All 28 classic 'Star Trek' episodes that won Emmys: From 'The Next Generation' to 'Discovery'". GoldDerby. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  35. ^ Wilkins, Alasdair (August 6, 2014). "Enterprise was forever torn between our future and Star Trek's past". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  36. ^ Aaron Couch; Graeme McMillan (September 8, 2016). "'Star Trek': 100 Greatest Episodes". The Hollywood Reporter.
  37. ^ McMillan, Graeme (July 29, 2015). "WIRED Binge-Watching Guide: Star Trek: Enterprise". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  38. ^ Complex, Valerie (October 20, 2017). "Every Star Trek Pilot Episode, Ranked From Worst To Best". GameSpot. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  39. ^ "Star Trek: The Top 25 Episodes". IGN. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  40. ^ Ed Gross (July 27, 2016). "The 50 best Star Trek episodes ever". Empire (film magazine). Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  41. ^ Roth, Dany (January 15, 2016). "First Contact: Every Star Trek pilot, ranked". SYFY WIRE. Archived from the original on June 4, 2019. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  42. ^ "The 15 Best Episodes In Star Trek TV History, Ranked". ScreenRant. May 28, 2020. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  43. ^ "Broken Bow (Star Trek: Enterprise #1)". Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  44. ^ Caillan (September 26, 2001). "Carey Talks 'Enterprise' Pilot Novelisation". Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  45. ^ Star Trek Enterprise Season 1 DVD Extras "In Conversation" (2012-12-12) Rick Berman and Brannon Braga (at 57 minutes). ""No good Starfleet captain would have done this but Captain Archer was no ordinary starfleet captain."
  • 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.

External links[edit]