Shades of the Federation — and Archer's key role in its formation (as foreseen by Daniels) — come into play in the second part of a trilogy dealing with the Romulan threat.
The episode is titled "United," conceived by Manny Coto and scripted by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Picking up from where "Babel One" left off, Archer and his crew determine that a single marauder ship is responsible for the attacks which threaten to pit the various species in the region against each other. In order to locate this stealth vessel, T'Pol and Mayweather have devised a wide-range "virtual" sensor grid that will require the cooperation of over 100 ships. Archer then forges an alliance among Andorians, Tellarites and Vulcans to accomplish this and track down the marauder — an alliance which proves very tenuous when Shran challenges a Tellarite to a duel. Also at stake are the lives of Trip Tucker and Malcolm Reed, who in the previous episode got trapped on the rogue ship when Enterprise first encountered it and it suddenly fled. The two officers are stuck in a section of the vessel without life support, and they have to match wits with an unseen enemy in order to survive (the unseen enemy, of course, being those pesky Romulans).
The entire guest cast from "Babel One" stayed on for Part 2, including Andorians Jeffrey Combs and Molly Brink, Tellarites Lee Arenberg and J. Michael Flynn, and Romulans Brian Thompson and Kevin Brief. Joining the latter are two Trek newcomers: Geno Silva as Romulan senator "Vrax," who is overseeing Thompson's "Valdore" and Flynn's "Nijil"; and Scott Rinker as a mysterious "Pilot" working with the Romulans. Silva has been seen in such movies as "A Man Apart," "Amistad" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," and on TV shows including Alias, The Sentinel and Miami Vice. Rinker was in "Shoot or Be Shot" with William Shatner, plus Boston Public, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other TV shows and movies.
They don't play a major role in the story, but Remans will be seen in this episode. Two Reman Commandos flank Senator Vrax as he makes his intimidating appearance, and they are played by extras in prosthetic masks as designed for "Star Trek Nemesis." It's been known since "Balance of Terror" that Remus (a.k.a. Romii) is the twin world of Romulus, but it was not until the latest movie that Remans were established as a separate species. Given that, though, it makes sense that they would be around in the 22nd century as part of the Romulan Star Empire.
Principal photography took the usual seven days from Thursday, November 11, through last Friday the 19th. Nearly half the schedule was spent on Romulan sets, with the remainder spent on standing ship sets. Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating had all their scenes in cramped quarters representing sections of the marauder ship — such as a "Service Junction" and "Superstructure" — wearing EV suits the entire time. The Romulans and Remans occupied the "Romulan Command Center" set, and since they never personally interact with other characters, they did their scenes all in one full day on that one set.
Some specialized stuntwork was required for the aforementioned duel which took place on the Launch Bay set. A traditional Andorian fight-to-the-death called the "Ushaan" was choreographed by stunt coordinator Vince Deadrick Jr., involving wristbands on the two contenders connected by steel cables. A new Andorian weapon is introduced — analogous to the Vulcan lirpa — which is basically an ice-miner's tool called the "Ushaan-Tor." Stuntmen Gary Wayton and Kim Koscki did the moves where actor close-ups were not required. The makeup department was ready with a supply of blue blood as well as the usual wound applications. The blue blood was actually used in several scenes, including one in which Shran makes his challenge by emptying a leather pouch filled with it onto a Tellarite, and also a Sickbay scene where it runs through an I.V.
This is the third script of the season for the Reeves-Stevens couple, prominent Star Trek authors who joined the writing staff this season. They also wrote last week's "The Forge," and "Observer Effect" scheduled in January. "Story by" credit on this episode is assigned to showrunner Coto.
David Livingston was director on this show, his third of the season after "Borderland" (which will repeat in December) and next week's "Kir'Shara."
"United" is tentatively scheduled to air February 4, 2005. Updates will be posted in Episode Detail.
The current schedule from UPN for the following weeks (subject to change) is as follows:
12/10 Repeat of "Borderland"
12/17 Repeat TBD
12/24 Repeat TBD
12/31 Repeat TBD
01/14 "Observer Effect"
01/21 Repeat TBD
01/28 "Babel One"