The Delphic Expanse is not a good place to be if you're a Vulcan. That was made clear in last season's finale "The Expanse
," and in the latest Enterprise
episode to complete production, we come face-to-face with the horrific effects this region of space can have on the green-blooded species.
In "Impulse," directed by stalwart Trek veteran David Livingston, the NX-01 receives a distress call from a Vulcan ship stranded in the Delphic Expanse amidst an asteroid field. When Archer and his team board the badly damaged ship, they are confronted by a group of Vulcans who have gone violently insane and have physically turned into something that can best be described as walking dead.
Seven stunt people, along with a few extras, were dressed in tattered Vulcan uniforms (similar to what T'Pol wore in the first two seasons, but soiled and torn), and were made up to look pretty scary — gaunt cheekbones, sunken eyes, pale skin and lesions. Jolene Blalock herself took on various stages of the "zombie" makeup as her character gradually succumbs to the same effects.
The bulk of the shooting on this episode took place in swing sets representing the ravaged Vulcan ship — mostly Corridors, but also a Sickbay, an Auxiliary Control Room and an Accessway, all of which had a great deal of action take place between the crewmen and the homicidal Vulcans. All these sets were dressed to be in a state of great disrepair — metal debris strewn about, broken conduits, tangled circuitry, etc. — and some walls were spattered with green "blood." Lighting effects by Director of Photography Marvin V. Rush and his team created quite a spooky atmosphere, and there will be some creepy sound effects laid in during post-production — the creaking of the ship, a lot of ominous "thumps" and much more.
Another set constructed was the surface of an asteroid where Trip Tucker and Travis Mayweather attempt to mine a deposit of trellium, a substance vital to their survival in the Expanse. Several more scenes were shot in the Shuttlepods, and in the Transporter Alcove, Sickbay, Bridge and other standing sets including the relatively new Command Center.
The stunt crew, supervised by Vince Deadrick Jr., also included doubles for the human characters and T'Pol for the many fight sequences staged. Aside from the stunt people, the only other guest cast is Sean McGowan as "Hawkins," the MACO soldier first introduced in "Anomaly." Principal photography concluded Wednesday after approximately eight-and-a-half days, in a schedule that was extended due to a great deal of overlapping second-unit shooting for prior episodes.
As always, a lot of work will go into the visual effects in post-production, to create the asteroid field, the exterior of the damaged Vulcan ship, and the weird rippling effects of spatial distortions which plague the NX-01, among other things.
"Impulse" was scripted by Jonathan Fernandez, the new Story Editor this season (Andre Bormanis has been upped to Executive Story Editor). The story concept originated from Fernandez and Terry Matalas, a production associate on the show. Livingston, the director, has served as producer on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, and has directed many episodes of all those shows. This is his ninth Enterprise credit, the last being "Regeneration."
Being as close to a horror show as Star Trek gets, "Impulse" is appropriately scheduled to air in October — tentatively set for Wednesday the 8th.
More information about "Impulse" can be found at its preliminary Episode Detail page.
Please note: All production and story information is subject to change.