Enterprise: Desert Crossing

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Enterprise LogoDesert


Cast & Crew

Director: David Straiton
Story By: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga & Andre Bormanis
Teleplay By: Andre Bormanis

Scott Bakula as Captain
Jonathan Archer
Connor Trinneer as Chief
Engineer Charles 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
Clancy Brown as Zobral
Charles Dennis as Trelit
Brandon Karrer as Alien Man

Airdate Information

Originally Aired: May 8, 2002
Season: One
Episode: Twenty-four

Shuttlepod OneWhat

After giving a helping hand to Zobral and his ship, he invites Trip and Archer
to his homeworld (a vast desert planet) so he can repay the favor. Not anxious
to delay their trip to Risa (again), Archer acquiesces and heads to the desert

After being wined and dined like kings, Archer and Trip are invited to join
a local game called Geskana (think lacrosse with energy balls). Meanwhile, T’Pol
(in command of Enterprise) receives a call from the local government.
It appears that Zobral and his men are terrorists and that they should extract
their men immediately or suffer the same fate as the criminals.

T’Pol contacts the away team, apprising them of the government’s request. Archer
decides to get out, but before he has a change Zobral pleads with him to hear
his side of the story. Apparently the planet suffers from an oppressive caste
system, which was supposed to be abolished. After hearing the legend of Capt.
Archer the "Suliban Savior," he decided that this was the man to lead

Archer, who really doesn’t want to get involved, says no. But before he and
Trip and leave, the government begins shelling the terrorist compound. Hiding
in a bunker, Trip and Archer discuss the matter further, solidify Archer’s feelings.
He would like to help, but Enterprise can’t jump to the aid of every
oppressed civilization in the area. They need to explore. After the bunker collapses,
the two make a run to the surface, grab water canteens and make for open desert.

For the next day they make slow progress across the desert, Trip taking the
heat the worst. They finally make it to a run down shelter for shade and water.

Zobral, who apparently escaped the shelling, makes it back to Enterprise.
He pleads for their help, but is told the true story of the Suliban liberation
(see Detained). T’Pol and Reed manage to convince him to help them recover their
lost crewmates, since he put them in danger in the first place. Using Zobral’s
knowledge of the planet’s sensor grid, Reed pilots a shuttlepod down to commence
a search for the captain and engineer.

Archer and Trip are located on sensors both by the shuttlepod and the local
government at the same time. The two manage to evade the long-range shelling,
long enough for Reed to blast the cannon. They are rescued just in time and
returned to their ship. Zobral apologizes for the misunderstanding and goes
back to fight his own battle.


I must be going through "Dune" withdrawal, because I kept waiting
for sandworms. :)

This wasn’t a standout episode, but it does fit a lot of pieces together from
the past. Enterprise is earning itself a reputation throughout the quadrant.
And good or bad, it’s coming to bear on the crew.

Archer’s coming to the difficult point in being a starship captain. Sometimes
you just have to say no. It’ll be nice once we see how policy is made, and is
that policy going to come from Archer or Earth?

But why should we worry? Next time we’re going to Risa!

High Point

While I know some of the ladies out there had their own reasons for enjoying
the shirtless Geskana match, it was cool to see the crew get out and enjoy themselves.
Seems like previous crews have been, unrealistically clean.

Low Point

It sort of fits into a flub, but since when does boiling water remove dangerous
chemicals and not just microbes? But, in Archer’s defense, I’d drink the nasty
water rather than wait for dehydration to set in. Choice of evils baby. (Thanks
for the idea Fiziko)

The Scores

Originality: I wouldn’t call it real original, but it wasn’t boring either.

Effects: Not too many to speak of. There were some sloppy blue screen shots
in the desert (mostly during the match). My guess is this was shot on the beach
(closer to the studio) instead of the open desert. 3

Story: I do like the fact that the Enterprise is becoming famous and
it’s coming back to haunt them. It’s a great way to deal with mankind’s first
major foray into deep space. 5

Acting: Clancy Brown is a fun sort of character actor. Fiziko pointed out to
me that he was also on "Earth 2" which I didn’t catch more than the
first two episodes. But he’s great here, giving all sorts of gusto to his performance.

Emotional Response: None really, except for a few chuckles here and there.

Production: Nice sets for both Zobral’s and the abandoned settlement. Alien,
yet recognizably desert dwellings. 5

Overall: A fun little story, with the hintings of what’s going on outside of
Enterprise. This adds a great amount of depth to the setting. 5

There! A #4-free review. Happy Alexius?! Also note the daring use of both
capital and lowercase letters for the first letters in words.

Total: 29 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Completely Useless Trivia

Clancy Brown is no stranger to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. He’s appeared in several
such shows and movies including:

Featured Web Sites

Next Time on Enterprise (May 15, 2002)

Another Double-Feature! One new and one old.

Next Time on EnterpriseTwo
Days and Two Nights

When the crew takes shore leave on the famous pleasure planet of Risa, Archer
has a mysterious encounter with an alien woman; Hoshi has a surprising romantic
rendezvous; Mayweather has a rock-climbing accident; and Trip and Reed go clubbing
only to end the evening as unwitting victims of robbery. Meanwhile, Phlox stays
on board the Enterprise with T’Pol to take his annual 48-hour hibernation and
exhibits some uncharacteristic oddities when they have to wake him up after
an injured crew member returns from shore leave.

Next Time on EnterpriseShadows
of P’Jem

Archer and the crew are disappointed to discover that T’Pol has been ordered
by the Vulcan High Command to leave the Enterprise – and equally frustrated
at her seeming indifference to leaving their ranks. T’Pol’s last mission as
a Starfleet officer, however, proves eventful when she and Archer are kidnapped
by a militant faction on an alien planet and find themselves once again at the
mercy of the volatile Andorians.

9 replies on “Enterprise: Desert Crossing”

  1. Cool episode
    I like the fact that they got off the ship and weren’t in a position to auto-magically fix everything like is common in Star Trek.

    The Zobral character was cool, very boisterous and blunt. The “alien” effects were non-existent, just the chin tattoo… but hey, I guess they have a budget.

    Another “typical” was the soap-box trek always has.

  2. Shuttle pods need feet
    The way the pod landed in the desert in a pile of sand really made me notice that shuttle pods need landing gear.

    Has any Trek shuttle been shown with wheels or skids or some other kind of feet?

    • Re: Shuttle pods need feet

      Has any Trek shuttle been shown with wheels or skids or some other kind of feet?

      Voyager had landing gear (what a silly-looking concept). In TOS the shuttles had their engines lower than the body of the ship with (immovable) pads mounted under those. It’s probably the closest thing to landing gear the shuttle’s have had.

      Other than that, no other craft had them to my knowledge, not even the really heavy Runabouts. Anyone remember the Delta flyer ever landing?

  3. Also…
    Don’t forget what’s probably Clancy Brown’s most famous role, as the Kurgan in Highlander.

    • Re: Also…

      Don’t forget what’s probably Clancy Brown’s most famous role, as the Kurgan in Highlander.

      :::Sound of Brian smacking his forehead::: Duh! How’d I miss that one?

      • Re: Also…

        Don’t forget what’s probably Clancy Brown’s most famous role, as the Kurgan in Highlander.

        :::Sound of Brian smacking his forehead::: Duh! How’d I miss that one?

        Well, he wasn’t chopping anyone’s head off, and he had hair, and he didn’t have safety pins in a huge nasty cut in his throat, so we’ll forgive you this time. ;)

  4. When did they retrive the first shuttle?
    OK I guess I missed it, but after Archer and Tripp started their desert march and abandoned the shuttle they were picked up by the second shuttle. Who went back to retrive the first? Or does Enterprise just have a few ‘spares’ somewhere. Don’t tell me they beamed up the shuttle, their transporters aren’t that good. NCC1701 could have done that, not this Enterprise.

    While on the subject of the shuttles, lets not see anymore episodes where the shuttle is in a different system from Enterprise. These ships DON’T have warp drive like the shuttles on TOS and later. They are only good for ground to orbit transport, and maybe getting a good fraction of an AU (but not much more than that) from Enterprise to observe something.

    • Re: When did they retrive the first shuttle?

      While on the subject of the shuttles, lets not see anymore episodes where the shuttle is in a different system from Enterprise.

      They usually explain these away as the Enterprise dropped them off, and will be coming back later to get them (“Shuttlepod One” being an example).

      I don’t have an answer for the missing shuttle. It seems like a bit of an oversight. Based on the size of Enterprise and her crew, I can’t imagine they have too many spares. And, unlike the TOS/TNG/DS9, they can’t get easy replacements from Starfleet.

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