The Expanse (Star Trek: Enterprise)

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"The Expanse"
Star Trek: Enterprise episode
The Expanse (ENT episode).jpg
A crewman in Engineering during the Enterprise's battle with the Klingons.
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 26
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Written by Rick Berman
Brannon Braga
Featured music Dennis McCarthy
Production code 226
Original air date May 21, 2003 (2003-05-21)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"The Xindi"
List of Star Trek: Enterprise episodes

"The Expanse" is the fifty-second episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, the twenty-sixth episode of the second season. This episode was the second season finale and marked a change of direction for the series by launching the season-long Xindi story arc, a season-spanning story arc that would encompass all of Season Three and the first three episodes of Season Four.


In April 2153, Enterprise is recalled to Earth by Admiral Forrest, when an unknown alien probe attacks Earth, cutting a destructive swath and killing millions. On the way back, however, Captain Archer is kidnapped by the Suliban. He is angry with the Suliban leader, Silik, thinking the Cabal responsible for the Earth attack, but Silik professes ignorance. The Cabal's sponsor, a vague and shadowy holographic human, gives Archer information about Temporal Cold War and the race that attacked Earth.

Enterprise is again ambushed and heavily damaged, just outside the Earth's solar system, by a Klingon Bird of Prey commanded by Captain Duras at the behest of the Klingon High Council. Fortunately, three other Starfleet vessels soon arrive forcing it to retreat. The crew then learn that more than seven million people have been killed, one of them being Commander Tucker's younger sister, Elizabeth. Archer relates his encounters to Starfleet and the Vulcan High Command, and it is clear that the Xindi of the present pre-empting the destruction of their home-world in the future. Ambassador Soval is dubious of Archer's temporal war argument, and tries to dissuade him from venturing into this dangerous section of space.

Archer, acting on advice from the shadowy informant, then scans the crashed probe, revealing a component with an unmistakable date stamp of minus 420 years. Placing the date of construction in 2573. Archer then negotiates to enter an area known as the Delphic Expanse to try and correct the time-line. In time, Starfleet accepts, and begins refitting the Enterprise with improved weapons, shields, and a detachment of MACOs (Military Assault Command Operations soldiers). As Enterprise begins its journey toward the Expanse, they are again attacked by Duras. His ship is destroyed, and Enterprise continues into the unknown.


Main article: The Expanse (novel)

A novelized adaptation of the episode by J.M. Dillard was published as The Expanse by Pocket Books in trade paperback format in October 2003. The novel also adapted the following episode, "The Xindi". These two episodes stand as the final televised Star Trek episodes to be novelized to date.[when?]


This episode was nominated for the 2003 Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series.

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