Star Trek: Enterprise

Season 3 Episode 9

North Star

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Nov 12, 2003 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
151 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Enterprise discovers a planet in the Expanse whose society is identical to the "wild west", and is surprisingly inhabited by humans, who are oppressing another species.

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  • A story worthy of the original series

    At this point in the series, the Xindi arc is in full swing and a good time to be a fan. This episode takes a little break from that and in my opinion gives a story one could see Kirk and Spock be in as opposed to Archer and T'Pol (not disrespecting them, but its a high compliment).

    While this may be a "morality episode", it show's us just what kind of people we are and who we choose to be. We can be the teacher seeing unjust laws and trying to do something about them, the deputy abusing his power, or the sheriff who enforces the law simply because its the law while not like it, but afraid to change it and how we as people when shown there is a better way we work on making things better. All it takes is at least at least one person to show us the way, and that is Archer.

    I should note that Archer is no saint though. When we first saw him he held Vulcans with deep mistrust, anger, and resentment. Archer had to work hard to overcome these feelings and even then they were still somewhat present in the next season.

    This episode in particular to any other of Enterprise somehow captured the magic of the original series, and was a welcomed surprise.

  • Cowboys and injuns in the expanse. Oh dear oh dear oh dear....

    Just when they were doing so well with the third series, this abomination comes along. A western set in outer space, with authentic cowboys, and an alien race playing the role of the oppressed Indians (I know you should say Native Americans nowadays, but in the context of this episode I think Indians is the only appropriate term).

    This episode piled cliché on cliché, leading to a completely predictable and utterly improbable ending, where everyone learned to get along nicely, despite the centuries of hatred and oppression.

    Humans abducted from earth by aliens, an authentic western village in outer space (that hasn't developed a bit in two centuries and is immediately recognisable to everyone who's ever seen a John Ford western - thank you Trip) - it's all been done to death in previous series of Star Trek and other shows.moreless
  • A shoot-em-up blast from the past (but taking place in the not-too-distant future). ***ALERT - SPOILERS***

    It's nice when a sci-fi show takes a break, and tries something a little bit out of character.

    In this episode you get that along with a shoot-em-up, wild-west setting.

    Not a huge fan of time-travel episodes, I love the episode because the crew (n the normal timeline of the show) stumbles on a settlement of humans on a planet - much like the setting of an old western.

    We come to discover that the humans were actually abducted from earth centuries ago by another race of people---brought to the planet to provide slave help. Now the two races uncomfortably, co-exist on the planet.

    Only Star Trek can cover issues of alien abduction, slavery, prejuduce, and a wild-west shoot-em-up in one 42 minute episode.

    Fun one!moreless
  • Combines a story about the overcoming of prejudice and alien abductions. Played out in wild west setting.

    A well told story with a politcal and sociological theme. Combines the notions of prejudice and discrimination, with the abuse of power and placea it in the context of alien abductions from Earth. It is all packaged up in a Wild West setting.

    Dialogue is nominal, as the number of quote entries shows. Screenplay is fairly slow initially, but picks up rather sharply, when Archer is forced to help Bethany escape her fate. From this point on, it switches from mainly being setup and deepening in content, to being action oriented. Costume and locations as you'd expect are based around the lifestle of North Americans in the early late nineteenth century.

    Archer plays his role very well in driving the narrative through his scenes with the prejudicial Bennings. While the sheriff also provides an element of balance and genunine remorse and uncomfortablility at the situation. Whereas his scenes with Bethany also provides the counterbalance to the whole argument of what is going on, on the planet. There is a very good story within this episode. Unfortantely though, I couldn't get away from the feeling that this has been done before, in other StarTrek's. While it never reaches the dizzy heights of some episode, it is not bar far the worst. Though there are other better epsiodes, I found this one to be enjoyable if rather predictable.

    However, I would recommend this as worth a watch, as once past the middle of the show, the action gets cranked up considerably in the best traditions of a gun fight at the Okay Corral.moreless
  • A victory for the little people

    Wow, simply beautiful. I don't want to say much except that you've gotta see it through. For the most, it seems like tired themes transferred to a different setting (different for Star Trek, that is). But the ending made it all worthwhile. I doubt I would have ever signed up on this site if not for this episode. Rare and powerful optimism for a TV drama. I was moved to tears (and that doesn't happen easily these days). Somewhere Gene Roddenberry is smiling and saying, "Bravo." I know I am. See it for the little people...may their stars shine brighter.moreless
Dominic Keating

Dominic Keating

Lt. Malcolm Reed

John Billingsley

John Billingsley

Dr. Phlox

Jolene Blalock

Jolene Blalock

Sub-Commander T'Pol

Connor Trinneer

Connor Trinneer

Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III

Linda Park

Linda Park

Ensign Hoshi Sato

Anthony Montgomery

Anthony Montgomery

Ensign Travis Mayweather

Jon Baron

Jon Baron

Skagaran Boy

Guest Star

Emily Bergl

Emily Bergl


Guest Star

Glenn Morshower

Glenn Morshower

Sheriff MacReady

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Nitpick: Archer seems to think that the humans on the planet would be safe. By this time it is well-known that the Xindi want all humans killed and have been tracking Enterprise. The humans on the planet now appear to were in more danger now than before.

    • Goof: Bennings shoots Bethany on her exposed left side, but when Dr. Phlox is pulling the bullet out, he's taking it from the right. Later when she's commenting on how she doesn't have a scar from it, she's looking at her left side again.

    • As with the Voyager episode "The 37's", the question of why aliens would go the the trouble of abducting humans and transporting them over such a great distance is left open.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Bethany: You must think we're barbaric. All the things humanity's accomplished--building ships like this, traveling to other worlds and we're still down there shooting each other.
      Archer: The progress on Earth, it didn't happen overnight.
      Bethany: But it was progress all the same. You've managed to change. We haven't. Even if you could take us back, I don't think we're ready.
      Archer: It may be a while before we're able to start sending ships here. My guess is, by the time they arrive they'll find things have changed.

    • (To Draysik when Deputy Bennings is taunting him to shoot him)
      Archer: Excuse me, do you think I could get some more coffee before you shoot him?

    • (After Trip gets on a horse)
      T'Pol: Do you have any experience riding these animals?
      Trip: I've seen every John Ford western.
      T'Pol: Who?

  • NOTES (0)


    • Speed:
      When T'Pol is being held, Malcom stuns her with a phase pistol fire, cocks his head, then stuns the man who had been holding her. The situation, action and gesture are almost identical to the scene in the 1994 movie Speed, in which Officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) shoots his partner, officer Harry Temple (Jeff Daniels), being held captive by the mad bomber (Dennis Hopper).