Sorry this is so late gang…

Proving Ground

Cast & Crew

Director: David Livingston
Written By: Chris Black

Scott Bakula as Captain
Jonathan Archer
Connor Trinneer as Chief
Engineer Charles "Trip" Tucker III
Jolene Blalock as Sub-commander
Dominic Keating as Lt.
Malcolm Reed
Anthony Montgomery
as Ensign Travis Mayweather
Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi
John Billingsley
as Dr. Phlox

Guest Cast
Jeffrey Combs as Shran
Molly Brink as Talas
Randy Oglesby as Degra
Scott MacDonald as Xindi Reptilian
Tucker Smallwood as Xindi Humanoid
Rick Worthy as Xindi Sloth
Granville Van Dusen as Andorian General
Josh Drennen as Degra’s Assistant

Episode Information

Originally Aired: January 21, 2004
Season: Three
Episode: Thirteen
Production: 065

What Happened

Andorian Imperial Guard Commander Shran and his warship track Enterprise down in the Delphic Expanse to offer Captain Archer help as an ally, and together, the two former adversaries plan to steal a prototype of the Xindi’s planet-destroying superweapon. As a confrontation with the Xindi looms, Lt. Reed gets help fixing the NX-01’s damaged weapons systems from a striking Andorian female, Lt. Talas, a contentious officer with her own agenda.


Back on track, finally! Bringing back Shran and company was an excellent move as they lend a little more meat to the scenes and dialogue. But have we wandered too far afield at this point to make a coherent story out of this arc? What’s worse, this may be all the Enterprise we get to see, ever. While some people embrace this idea, I’d prefer to see Star Trek go out on top, not crawling out through the dog door.

High Point

Andorian Mining Commission. You don’t have to go high-class to play spy games.

Low Point

Was anyone surprised by the double-cross?

The Scores

Originality: Not stunningly original, but it was interesting. 3 out of 6.

Effects: As usual, very good. 5 out of 6.

Story: Finally getting back to that all-important task at hand! 4 out of 6.

Acting: Jeffery Combs deserves his own Trek series. Can that be arranged? 5 out of 6.

Emotional Response: We weren’t really surprised at the double-cross, but the acting still makes it sting. 4 out of 6.

Production: I liked the Andorian ship. Clean, but cool. 5 out of 6

Overall: I’m just glad we’re back on track for the season. A decent episode with some good acting and plot development. Now just keep B&B away from the scripts for the rest of the season! 4 out of 6.

Total: 30 out of 42

Episode Media


This Week on Enterprise (January 28, 2004)

Twilight (Originally Aired Nov. 5, 2003)

After Enterprise is assaulted by severe spatial distortions, Archer loses the ability to form new, long-term memories, causing him to wake up each morning unaware that any time has passed since the day he was afflicted. Despite the crew’s best efforts to keep him involved in decisions, it becomes clear over time that they can’t continue to function in this manner, leading T’Pol to become his caretaker and Trip to take command of the ship. Read the Original Review

Next Week on Enterprise (February 4, 2004)


Having located the prototype of the Xindi superweapon, Archer and the crew manage to capture the weapon’s creator, Degra, and launch into an elaborate scheme to dupe their prisoner into revealing the location of the final weapon under construction. With time running out before the Xindi discover Degra’s disappearance, the entire crew play key roles in the massive charade which combines Archer’s acting skills, Trip’s faux alien shuttlecraft, Hoshi’s decrypted data and Dr. Phlox’s memory tampering, in order to trick the Xindi scientist into believing he and Archer are now allies and on the run after escaping a Xindi-Insectoid prison.[Video Preview]

Additional Notes and Comments

If you’re interested in what’s in TheAngryMob’s review queue, check out my What’s Coming page.