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Broken Bow

"Broken Bow" is the title of the first episode (episode number 001 (Paramount Pictures, n.d.)) of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise (then called Enterprise). It originally aired as a double-length episode, but has been split into two segments for repeats. The episode caused quite some controversy at the time, especially as it featured the Klingons, far before many fans expected them to appear. (It was also the first time most fans heard the widely-disliked theme song.)


The episode is set on 16 April, 2151 (Paramount Picturew, n.d.). A Klingon, the first that Earth has ever encountered, lands on Earth on the North American continent, pursued by something unknown (Berman et al., 2001). The Vulcan ambassador to Earth insists that the humans return the injured Klingon to his government as soon as possible; otherwise, a war might might develop. The Earth government agrees, and sends the first Starship Enterprise, captained by Jonathan Archer, with the Klingon to Qo'noS.

This Enterprise, dubbed NX-01, is the first of an experimental project to create a spaceship capable of travelling at warp factor 5. Tensions exist between the advanced Vulcans—who have ships that travel faster—and the Earthers; the Vulcans refuse to give Earth better technology, a decision that foreshadows the Prime Directive. Zephram Cochrane makes a cameo appearance in an archive tape, revealing that his speech to mark the start of the warp 5 project was the source of the phrase "to boldly go where no man has gone before."

En route, the Klingon is captured. Investigations reveal that this was the doing of the mysterious Suliban, who an informant claims are pawns in a "temporal cold war." Through a combination of ingenuity and violence, Enterprise manages to recapture the Klingon and return him to the homeworld. The Klingons seem relatively pleased by this; they decide not to declare war on Earth for the time being.