Star Trek: Enterprise – 1×09 – “Civilization”

Star Trek: Enterprise
Originally Broadcast November 14th, 2001
Reviewed by T’Bonz

The Story

Excited to find a planet similar to Earth, Archer, T’Pol, Tucker and Sato dress as the planets inhabitants in an attempt to explore, without revealing their advanced technology to the population. While examining the pre-warp planet and its people, they soon discover the population is becoming mysteriously ill.
Continuing to investigate the source of the illness, Archer meets the town’s apothecary, Riann. With her help, it is learned that the illness is being caused by an industrial lubricant being leaked into the water supply. The source of the leak is coming from a secret mining operation being run by a race called the Malurians. They’re mining for a veridium isotope, which is used to make explosives.

Archer decides to remove the reactor from the planet by transporting it to Enterprise. However, the Malurians aren’t making that easy. They threaten to attack Enterprise if they don’t leave orbit, and fire a shot to show their strength. With Archer still on the planet, T’Pol is in charge and resolves to give them the reactor if they want it that badly. Ordering Tucker to transport the reactor into space, right in front of the Malurian ship, T’Pol then tells Reed to fire a torpedo blowing it up and disarming the ship.

Leaving Riann with a kiss, Archer leaves and Enterprise rides off into the sunset.


I liked this episode because it had a real TOS feel to it. We could feel the crew’s excitement when they discovered an M-Class planet with inhabitants similar to humans. I could easily picture Kirk and Co. showing the same kind of emotion. Archer reminded me more of Kirk in this episode than in any other. He got to kiss a woman and have a fist fight with an alien all in the same episode!

T’Pol is starting to impress me more with each show. Her arrogance is slowly fading, and she becomes a little more likeable every week. She hasn’t risen to the level of Spock yet, but with time, maybe she will. She handled Tucker’s insubordination well, and I liked how she disabled the Malurian ship. She’s becoming quite an asset to Archer and crew.

Seeing the Malurians was a great touch. These are the same aliens destroyed by Nomad in TOS episode “The Changeling”. I commend Berman and Braga for doing a better job in maintaining continuity than they did with Voyager.

The questions about just how much they should interfere with another culture were good, and it was a nice beginning to what will be known later as the Prime Directive.

The not-so-good

Riann. I cannot believe the lack of emotion or reaction she showed to the things going on around her! This woman was from a pre-industrialized planet, and all of a sudden, she has aliens, a shuttlecraft, and phasers all over the place, not to mention a strange guy kissing her out of the blue, yet she shows almost no fear or other emotions. It didn’t work for me.

I would really like to have them focus on some of the other characters for a change. We still don’t know much about Mayweather, Hoshi, Dr. Phlox and Reed. Give them their time. I’ve seen enough of Tucker and T’Pol for now.

Porthos was missed again this week. I hope he’ll make an appearance soon.


This was a good episode. I’m interested to see if they can keep TOS spirit alive in future episodes. If so, we’re in for a great seven years.


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