Twilight (Star Trek: Enterprise)
|Star Trek: Enterprise episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Robert Duncan McNeill|
|Written by||Michael Sussman|
|Featured music||Dennis McCarthy|
|Original air date||November 5, 2003|
"Twilight" is the eighth episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, originally broadcast on November 5, 2003. It was the sixtieth episode of the series overall. The episode was written by co-producer Michael Sussman, and directed by former Star Trek: Voyager actor Robert Duncan McNeill.
Set in the 22nd century, the series follows the adventures of the first Starfleet starship Enterprise, registration NX-01. In this episode, following an accident, Captain Jonathan Archer's (Scott Bakula) long term memory is affected and he is relieved of duty. The crew of the Enterprise subsequently fail to stop the Xindi attack on Earth resulting in the remnants of the human race resettling another planet. Dr Phlox (John Billingsley) finds a way of curing Archer in the past, in the hope that it would undo everything since the Captain was originally injured.
The episode and script was praised by Bakula during the shoot, which required the actors and sets to be aged in order to appear older in later time frames. The production of the episode was suspended for a day following the death of first assistant director Jerry Fleck, who was in pre-production on the following episode "North Star", which subsequently resulted in crew changes on "Twilight". References in the episode were made to locations previously mentioned in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Space Seed" and the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. On first broadcast, "Twilight" was watched by 3.88 million viewers, more than the following episode. The critical response was positive.
While rescuing Sub-Commander T'Pol from a spatial anomaly, Captain Archer is infected by subspace parasites in his cerebral cortex, resulting in anterograde amnesia. His condition prevents him from forming new long term memories. This allows him to remember everything prior to the accident, but any new memories fade within a few hours. It soon becomes clear that Archer is not fit for duty, and he is subsequently relieved of his command. T'Pol is granted a field commission to Captain, but the mission fails and Earth, alongside every other human colony, is destroyed by the Xindi weapon. The few surviving humans form a convoy, led by the Enterprise, which travels to the planet Ceti Alpha V.
Twelve years pass and Archer, still plagued by memory loss, lives with T'Pol in a house on the colony. They are visited by Doctor Phlox, who eventually engineers a cure. He also discovers that when the subspace radiation treatments kill one of the parasite clusters in Archer's brain, it also vanishes from every other previous medical scan – as if the parasite had never existed. Therefore, since Archer will never have been infected, he would have remained Captain and possibly prevented the chain of events that led to Earth's destruction.
Unfortunately, the ship, now captained by Captain Tucker, is observed and attacked by Xindi vessels before the treatments can be completed. Outnumbered and heavily damaged, Phlox, T'Pol, and Archer race against the clock to create a subspace implosion. The ship is destroyed, but their plan works and the subspace parasites (which exist outside the normal space/time realm) are also destroyed by the implosion. The episode ends with the time-line reset; Archer is in sickbay recovering from a physical injury but will never develop the amnesia he originally suffered.
The script for "Twilight" was written by Mike Sussman, one of the co-producers on Enterprise. The producers had considered showing the episode later on in the series in order to show what could have happened if the Xindi were successful in their attack on Earth, but instead elected to show it earlier in the series to demonstrate the stakes in the storyline during season three. "Twilight" was directed by Robert Duncan McNeill, his third directing credit for the series following "Cold Front" and "The Breach". McNeill had previously starred in Star Trek: Voyager as Tom Paris. McNeill was interviewed for the magazine Star Trek Monthly shortly after reading the script for "Twilight" for the first time. He explained that after reading it, he said "Holy crap how are we going to do that?" He explained that the episode would see the Enterprise destroyed but wasn't yet sure how they were going to film certain sequences such as the roof being blown off the bridge and the crew being sucked out into space.
Filming on the episode began on September 10, 2003, the same day as the airing of the season three premiere episode, "The Xindi". Production ran through to September 17. Production was suspended for a day on 8 September following the death of first assistant director Jerry Fleck over the preceding weekend. Fleck had been in pre-production for the following episode "North Star". Following the death of Fleck, the first assistant director on "Twilight", Michael DeMeritt, moved on to working on "North Star" and Arlene Fukai took over on "Twilight".
Whilst filming the episode, Bakula described it as "potentially the best script we've had and the best show to date". He found it hard to describe, saying it involved "time travel into the future, parasites in my hippocampus, and Xindi and subspace implosions". In order to represent the changes in time frames throughout the episodes, several of the cast were required to have their make-up adjusted between scenes. This included adding grey make-up to the dog actor who portrayed Archer's dog, Porthos, but the scene was cut from the final broadcast. Costume changes were made to represent promotions granted to the characters over the changes in time periods. These included Bakula who wore a wig during the later time periods shown in the episode. The wig he wore had originally been created for Gary Graham in his role as Ambassador Soval. The sets on the Enterprise were dressed to represent ongoing wear and tear.
During the shoot of the previous episode, "The Shipment", director David Straiton wore a suit and tie on the final day of shooting, something that Bakula described as being out of character. After McNeill heard about Straiton, he sought to outdo his fellow director. So instead, he arrived on the final day of shooting for "Twilight" wearing the uniform he wore as Tom Paris in Star Trek: Voyager. He hoped this would cheer the cast and crew up after a week of working on such a somber episode.
Guest stars in "Twilight" included Graham in his recurring role as Ambassador Soval, who appeared in two scenes. Brett Rickaby made a guest appearance as Yedrin Ross. Rickaby had previously appeared in the television series Carnivàle. Richard Anthony Crenna was also credited in this episode as a security guard on board the Enterprise. "Twilight" contained references to the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Space Seed" and the associated film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. These references included the humans settling on Ceti Alpha V, the planet that Khan Noonien Singh and his followers were exiled to in "Space Seed" and escaped from in Wrath of Khan. Reference is also made to the Mutara Nebula, where the climactic battle occurred between Captain James T. Kirk and Khan.
Reception and home media release
"Twilight" was first aired on November 5, 2003 on UPN. It received Nielsen ratings stating a 2.6/4% share. This means that it was seen by 2.6 percent of all viewers, and 4 percent of all households watching television at the time of the broadcast. This was the same as the ratings received by the following episode entitled "North Star", but the total number of viewers was 200,000 higher as "Twilight" was watched by 3.88 million people. These figures placed "Twilight" sixth in the timeslot based on the Nielsen ratings and fifth based on the number of viewers.
Jamahl Epsicokhan on his website "Jammer's Reviews", thought that the episode's story bore similarities to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" due to the alternative timeline and also the film Memento due to the memory issues suffered by Archer. Epsicokhan also suggested that the flashback sequences were similar to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Visitor", but was a "substantially less poignant take on hypothetical material". He said that the episode had "something for everyone", with an "apocalyptic" action storyline which tied in neatly to an interesting character drama. He gave the episode a score of three and a half out of four. The review on Ain't It Cool News also suggested that the storyline had been inspired by a number of different episodes in the Star Trek franchise, including the Voyager episodes "Year of Hell" and "Endgame", as well as The Next Generation's "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "All Good Things...". But the reviewer thought that the episode presented the viewer with a sense of what is at stake with the fight against the Xindi for the first time, and gave the episode a score of four out of five, a grade described as "better than most motion pictures".
The first home media release of "Twilight" was as part of the season three DVD box set, released in the United States on September 27, 2005. The Blu-ray release of the third season of Enterprise took place on January 7, 2014.
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