A younger version of "T'Pau" and an older version of "Surak" than those we saw in the Original Series will be among the elements of Vulcan history explored in "Awakening," the second of three episodes dealing with a significant transitional phase on that planet.
Roxann Dawson — not exactly a stranger to Vulcans — was in the director's chair for this mid-trilogy tale which greatly deepens the lore of the Star Trek universe and helps connect the current era to the future we've come to know (related story).
The script, penned by seasoned staff writer Andre Bormanis, picks up where "The Forge" left off. Archer and T'Pol, after a perilous trek across a Vulcan desert, finally locate the Syrrannites, a revolutionary faction blamed for the bombing of the Earth embassy. The Syrrannites claim to embrace the true teachings of Surak — the father of Vulcan philosophy who instigated the Time of Awakening almost 2000 years ago — but Archer and T'Pol are highly skeptical of their professions of pacifism. Meanwhile, Trip Tucker is in command of Enterprise, and with Ambassador Soval's help, contends with an obstinate Vulcan High Command whose campaign against the Syrrannites could endanger the captain and first officer.
One of the leaders of the Syrrannite group is T'Pau, who — as we know from "Amok Time" — is destined to become a very important figure on Vulcan and in the Federation. The part originally played by Celia Lovsky has been re-cast with the young Kara Zediker. Zediker has done a variety of roles in television and movies, but she might be most recognizable as "Elizabeth Nash" in the first season of 24.
Another very important figure in Trek lore has been re-cast, but this time a bit older. Surak — seen in this episode through mystical visions — was introduced in "The Savage Curtain" by the late Barry Atwater. The role's been taken over by Bruce Gray, whom we've previously seen (but only on monitors) as "Admiral Chekote" in TNG's "Gambit, Part I" and DS9's "The Circle."
In each case, a conscious attempt was made to cast actors who look reminiscent of the originals (unlike in the case of, say, Zefram Cochrane or Kahless).
Continuing as "Administrator V'Las" from the prior episode is Robert Foxworth, and Joanna Cassidy reprises her role from "Home" as T'Pol's mother "T'Les." Gary Graham, of course, is back as "Soval." The guest cast is rounded out by John Rubinstein as "Kuvak," another member of the High Command. Rubinstein was in an earlier Vulcan-themed Enterprise episode, "Fallen Hero," as the hostile "Mazarite Captain." He also played the human "John Evansville" in Voyager's "The 37's."
Most of "Awakening" takes place in the cavern hideout of the Syrrannites, so all the ship scenes were taken care of up front in the first two days of production, which commenced Thursday, Sept. 23. Standing sets used included the Ready Room, Launch Bay, the Shuttlepod interior, and a full day on the Bridge.
The desert cavern is referred to as the "T'Karath Sanctuary," and it is made up of several sections dressed with ancient Vulcan artifacts (similar to those seen at P'Jem in "The Andorian Incident"), including a few mummies. Four of the seven shooting days were spent on these swing sets, with Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, Zediker and Cassidy, along with a half dozen or so Syrrannite extras. During the fourth day, however, the artifacts were removed from the main cavern set and re-dressed for the two Surak vision scenes, taking place in the same location 2000 years prior. There were some brief exterior desert scenes, but they all take place at night, so they were faked on the soundstage (with digital effects to follow) rather than hassling with a location shoot.
The final day of production — last Friday, Oct. 1 — was spent entirely on sets depicting the Vulcan High Command Conference Chamber, for scenes solely with Vulcan players Foxworth, Rubinstein and Graham, and three extras.
This was the first episode of the season for both director Dawson and writer Bormanis. It's Dawson's 10th Enterprise episode overall (after two Voyagers), her last being "E²." Bormanis has numerous writing credits on Voyager and Enterprise, his last being the penultimate episode of Season 3, "Countdown."
"Awakening" is tentatively scheduled to air Friday, November 26, with the conclusion of the Vulcan trilogy set for the following week, December 3.
As usual, further information will be posted near airdate in Episode Detail.