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'Shuttlepod One' and 7 more great 'Star Trek: Enterprise' episodes you should watch

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the airing of "Shuttlepod One" with the best Star Trek: Enterprise episodes. 

By Vanessa Armstrong
Star Trek: Enterprise Shuttlepod 1 SCREENGRAB

It’s hard to believe that Star Trek: Enterprise premiered more than 20 years ago, but it’s true! The show debuted on the now-defunct UPN on Sept. 26, 2001 and took place in the 22nd century — the early days of Starfleet and 100 years before Captain James T. Kirk commanded the U.S.S. Enterprise.  

On Enterprise the show, Earth’s first starship — the U.S.S. Enterprise NX-01 — is captained by Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula). He and his crew have several adventures in the unknowns of space as Starfleet and Earth go through the growing pains of becoming an intergalactic player. 

One of the most memorable episodes from the show’s four seasons is “Shuttlepod One,” a story that spends the majority of its time on a malfunctioning shuttlecraft with Commander Tucker (Connor Trinneer) and Lieutenant Reed (Dominic Keating), who think that the Enterprise has been destroyed and that they’re stuck puttering through space until their oxygen runs out and they die. “Shuttlepod One” gives us some intimate moments with Tucker and Reed, and it also emphasizes the hard reality of living in space in the early days of Starfleet. It’s also been recognized as one of the most memorable episodes of the entire Star Trek franchise. 

This episode — the sixteenth episode from the show’s first season — turns 20 years old today, and to celebrate the occasion, here are seven more of Enterprise's finest hours that you should revisit or check out for the first time. 

“Broken Bow” (Season 1)

Star Trek: Enterprise Broken Bow SCREENGRAB

“Broken Bow” is the two-part pilot for Star Trek: Enterprise and sets the stage for the entire series. In it, a Klingon named Klaang crash lands in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Archer, who is just about to helm the first Enterprise convinces the Vulcans to let him and his newly-formed crew take Klaang to Qo’noS, the Klingon homeworld. Things go awry, as things often do in Star Trek, but Archer ultimately completes his mission. The newly-formed Starfleet then tells him to keep exploring, and Archer does for another four seasons. 

“The Andorian Incident” (Season 1)

Star Trek: Enterprise Andorian Incident SCREENGRAB

“The Andorian Incident”, the first season’s seventh episode, is one of the most significant of the series. In it, the Enterprise heads to a 3,000-old Vulcan monastery and are surprised to find that it is full of armed Andorians. The Andorians believe that the monastery is hiding surveillance tech that spies on them, and they ultimately find out that they’re right. The deception is one that escalates the tensions between the Andorians and the Vulcans, a dynamic that has ripples throughout the Star Trek franchise. 

“Silent Enemy” (Season 1)

Star Trek: Enterprise Silent Enemy SCREENGRAB

Season 1’s harrowing and tense twelfth episode sees the Enterprise attacked by an unknown starship home to a dangerous alien species never before encountered. Soon, these aliens invade Enterprise's dark corridors and submit the crew to bafflingly aggressive mini-hells, before disappearing into the vastness of space. These would-be villains are never seen again, which is too bad. Because they made quite the impression in "Silent Enemy" and could have been worthwhile threats for Archer to combat. 

“Dead Stop” (Season 2)

Star Trek: Enterprise Dead Stop SCREENGRAB

“Dead Stop,” the fourth installment in Season 2, sees the Enterprise nursing its wounds after being caught in a minefield in the previous episode, as Enterprise took advantage of serialized storytelling to tell this sometimes scary, always thrilling tale. When Captain Archer issues a distress call, he and his crew must dock the ship at an autonomous repair station in the vicinity. The repair station, however, isn't as benignly helpful as it wants you to think it is. The crew ultimately realizes that the station kidnaps sentient beings and uses their brains to up its processing power. “Dead Stop” is a frightening Star Trek episode, with a Matrix-esque premise that is pushed to some suspenseful and chilling conclusions — especially with that ominous last shot. It’s worth watching for the creepiness factor alone. 

“Judgment” (Season 2)

Star Trek: Enterprise Judgment SCREENGRAB

“Judgment” is an Enterprise episode that focuses on a courtroom trial serving as a pseudo-sequel to Star Trek VI's Klingon "show trial" where Kirk and McCoy took the stand following the assassination of Klingon Chancellor Gorkon. In this case, Archer is the defendant in a Klingon tribunal, where he’s been accused of attacking a Klingon spaceship and aiding rebels of the Klingon Empire. The episode comes in the backhalf of the second season and explores what happens when honor and ethics fall to the wayside in the thirst for victory. It also includes a wonderful performance by guest star J.G. Hertzler (from DS9 fame) as Archer’s Klingon counsel. 

“Regeneration” (Season 2)

Star Trek: Enterprise Borg Regeneration SCREENGRAB

“Regeneration” brings the Borg once again to the Star Trek universe. In this exciting second season episode, the Borg and their nanoprobes are found in a crashed ship on Earth, in the Arctic Circle, and Archer and the Enterprise are tasked to figure out what the heck is going on. The Borg begin assimilating, as Borg are wont to do, and Archer ultimately destroys their ship and those who had been assimilated. The episode ends on a very ominous note, with the Borg transmitting Earth’s coordinates out to the Delta Quadrant, where it will ultimately arrive 200 years in the future.  

“Impulse” (Season 3)

Star Trek: Enterprise Impulse SCREENGRAB

“Impulse” is another creepy Enterprise episode where Archer and his crew attempt to rescue a Vulcan ship in distress and find its crew acting like a bunch of killer zombies. The setup is a classic haunted ship scenario, with sub-Commander T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) especially dealing with the psychological aftermath as she too begins to become affected like all of the other Vulcans on this derelict vessel. It is, in a few words, a messed up episode, and one that will stick with you long after you watch it. 

All four seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise are available on Paramount+. 

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