The Expanse (Star Trek: Enterprise episode)

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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 byAllan Kroeker
Written byRick Berman
Brannon Braga
Featured musicDennis McCarthy
Production code226
Original air dateMay 21, 2003 (2003-05-21)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Xindi"
Star Trek: Enterprise (season 2)
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, and the Season Two finale. The episode launched a change of direction for the series,[1] starting with a cataclysmic attack on the Star Trek version of Earth and introducing a new alien foe, the Xindi.[1]

This episode set the foundation for the season-spanning Xindi story arc, encompassing all of Season Three and the first three episodes of Season Four. As such, the story line continues in the Season Three opening episode, "The Xindi".


In April 2153, an unknown alien probe attacks Earth, cutting a destructive swath 4,000 km long, from Florida to Venezuela, and killing millions. Shortly after, Enterprise is recalled to Earth by Admiral Forrest. On the way back, Captain Archer is kidnapped by the Suliban Cabal. He accuses the Suliban leader, Silik, of being responsible for the Earth attack, but Silik professes ignorance. The Cabal's sponsor, a vague and shadowy holographic human from the distant future, gives Archer information about the Temporal Cold War and the Xindi, the race that attacked Earth. He claims the Xindi have been told by another Cold War faction that their home-world will be destroyed, in 400 years, by Humans.

Enterprise is again ambushed and comes under heavy attack as she arrives just outside Earth's solar system, this time by a Klingon Bird of Prey commanded by Captain Duras at the behest of the Klingon High Council. Fortunately, three other Starfleet vessels quickly arrive, forcing it to retreat. The crew then learn that more than 7 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 are 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 the Delphic Expanse, a dangerous section of space that once destroyed the Vulcan ship Vaankara.

Archer, acting on advice from the shadowy informant, scans the crashed probe, revealing a component with an unmistakable date stamp placing the date of construction at 420 years in the future. Starfleet orders Archer to take Enterprise to the Expanse to try and stop the Xindi. At the same time, Starfleet begins refitting the Enterprise with improved weapons, shields, and a detachment of MACOs (Military Assault Command Operations soldiers) are stationed aboard for the mission.

Ambassador Soval informs T'Pol that her assignment on Enterprise has been terminated by the High Command, who deem this to be purely a human matter, However T'Pol refuses to abandon her crew and friends when they are heading deep into the unknown. On their journey towards the Expanse, intending to stop by Vulcan to return T'Pol, she reveals to Archer that rather than be forced back to Vulcan, she has resigned from the Vulcan High Command, and wishes to remain on board, a suggestion welcomed by Archer.

After a three-month journey, Enterprise begins to enter the Expanse when they are again attacked by Duras, who is at risk of losing everything if he fails. Tired of being dogged by him, Archer decides to test Enterprise's new upgrades. Duras' ship is destroyed by Archer, and Enterprise begins its mission.

Xindi Attack[edit]

Commander Tucker's younger sister, Elizabeth, was killed in Florida by the Xindi along with 7 million other Humans in the year 2153. The CGI depiction of the attack on Earth shows the beam hitting Florida in Moore Haven and cutting directly south, through the Big Cypress Indian Reservation in Hendry County, to Cuba, until reaching South America.


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?][citation needed]


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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cipriani, Casey (2016-07-27). "What 'Star Trek 4' Could Learn From These 'Star Trek' Episodes". Bustle. Retrieved 2018-11-10.


External links[edit]