From Hidden Frontier
| Star Trek: Hidden Frontier|
|Audio Play/Teleplay by|
The Tholians finally make their move, and the galaxy will never be the same. Commodore Knapp deals with a rebellious daughter.
Commodore Knapp's daughter, Traya, receives word from Harvard University that she's been accepted for its next freshman class. Her father doesn't understand why she isn't happy about the news. Traya instead wants to attend the Cardassian Cultural Institute, where she has won a scholarship to study their ancient culture. Knapp questions her motives and announces that Earth is the safer place for her to go. Traya questions his sincerity about wanting to build relations with other species and storms off.
Meanwhile, Commodore Cole and the USS Independence begin the third month of deployment at the head of Starfleet's blockade of the Briar Patch. Tholian ships continue to mass near the entry points to the currents that grant access to the interior of the Patch. The Independence gets word that the Tholians and Breen have launched a massive assault against the Federation, heading straight for Earth.
Tholians and Breen Advance on Earth
On Deep Space 12, Commander James Darwin reports to Admiral Nechayev that the Tholians and Breen are advancing closer to Earth, now threatening Alpha Centauri. Nechayev asks about the integrity of the blockade with so many ships diverted to assist in defending the Federation's core systems. Cole reports the line will hold as long as no more ships are diverted. This diversion appears to be the Tholians' real goal, so they can gain access to the interior of the Patch and find more tetrahedrons, even though the artifacts remain a mystery. .
Later, aboard the Excelsior, Lieutenant Matt McCabe and recently promoted Lieutenant Ro Nevin report to Shelby that the destruction of Osiris II by the first tetrahedrons they encountered should have produced more energy than it actually did ("Encke"). McCabe and Ro believe there is a connection between the tetrahedrons, the power they drain from planets and the Dyson Sphere discovered by Commander Tolian Naros to be the Grey's home at the center of the Briar Patch.
More Tetrahedron Mysteries
Naros interrupts to confiscate McCabe's research, explaining that he's under standing orders to turn it over to the Grey Research Facility. Shelby is furious and orders Naros to tell her the truth about his connection with the Patch, the Grey, Tren'La and Siroc. He avoids answering by stating that the outbreak of hostilities obliges him to move quickly, but assures Shelby she can debrief him later if she wishes.
Shelby pays a visit to Tren'La's Princess Illiana, offering to try yet again to establish contact with Illiana's son, Aris, who sacrificed himself to free Knapp from fold space after Knapp trapped them there while defending the station from the last Grey attack ("Worst Fears, Part 3"). The desperate Illiana herself has only made fleeting telepathic contact with Aris in the three years he's been lost. Shelby says she knows people on Deep Space 9 who may be able to help.
Later, Nechayev reports that Starfleet has pulled another 20 ships off the blockade, leaving the line dangerously exposed. Meanwhile, the Klingon and Cardassians have joined Starfleet's forces against the Tholians at Alpha Centauri, where the Breen's use of illegal subspace weapons, and the Tholians' webs, have proved a devastating combination. Nechayev worries that if Alpha Centauri falls, they can expect a massive assault against Deep Space 12. Shelby reports that their recent intelligence may result in assistance from Deep Space 9.
Following the meeting, Nechayev urges Knapp to send Traya to join the other non-combatants on Ba'ku. Knapp says Traya isn't speaking to him, since the Tholian attack proved him wrong that Earth was the safest place for her. When Knapp raises the issue at dinner, Traya refuses to leave , claiming that the station, while a target, is better defended than Ba'ku. Knapp is called back to Ops when a red alert has been called. Listening posts have gone dark and the blockade is dangerously thin. They contact Commodore Cole to urge her to hold back the Tholians, who must not gain access to the Patch currents on the other side of the blockade.
“Launch All Ships”
Cole understands her orders may demand the ultimate sacrifice. She strides confidently onto the bridge of the Independence and delivers a rousing speech to inspire the diverse crew on the Federation's starships -- "Today we stand on the line between peace and war. But we defend this line with more than just a fleet, phasers or photon torpedoes. We defend it with spirit." And she orders all ships to battle stations.
Back on the station, Darwin reports that they have lost contact with ships stationed near the edge of the Briar Patch. The time has finally come. "Launch all ships," Nechayev orders. Three task forces assemble -- two to follow Excelsior to fight the waves of oncoming Tholians and Breen at the edge of the Ba'ku system, and one to form around Knapp's ship, the Antietam, to defend the station.
At the blockade, the Tholians open fire and a spectacular battle begins. The Tholians begin to break through but have not yet reached the currents.
Enemy forces engage Shelby's and Knapp's battle groups, and the station charges its defensive systems for its own defense as wave upon wave of Tholian and Breen ships press their attack.
Near the Excelsior, a Breen cruiser launches two subspace charges against the Potemkin and the Kennedy successfully causing a warp core breach that destroys the Potemkin. The Breen deploy subspace charges across the battle line, destroying some of their own ships with the unpredictable weapons in order to block the Federation fleet from following them as they head for their objective -- entry points to the currents near Ba'ku.
Without a means to counter the subspace charges, the fleet is paralyzed. Shelby, Ro and McCabe come up with a solution, inspired by the acoustic countermeasures submarines in Earth's Cold War used to fend off enemy torpedoes: photon torpedoes' warp guidance system can be modified to mimic the subspace signature of a warp core, drawing away and sealing the subspace tears created by the Breen weapons. Shelby orders them to prepare the countermeasures -- quickly.
Fate of the Blockade
Meanwhile, the battle goes badly for the Independence, which suffers heavy damage and casualties. Still, Cole continues to fight. At the station, Knapp leads his task force in a spirited defense of Deep Space 12, but Darwin notes that their forces are not taking out enough enemy ships. Nechayev believes the Tholians are trying to threaten the station so that Cole's fleet is recalled to assist in its defense. The Admiral isn't willing to do that. Yet.
The Independence continues to take on heavy damage, and Cole informs Nechayev she cannot hold the Tholians back any longer. At the station, a Tholian ship on a suicide run careens into one of the Deep Space 12's pylons, breaking through its shields and exposing the station to enemy boarding parties. A reluctant Nechayev finally orders the return of Cole's fleet.
Clearing a Path
Under enemy fire, Ro and McCabe complete their torpedo modifications and Shelby tries the new countermeasures. They successfully draw away the subspace charges left behind by the Breen. The other Starfleet vessels prepare their torpedoes and they all clear a path back to Deep Space 12. However, the enemy has detected the use of the countermeasures and turns back to face Starfleet again -- still outnumbering Shelby's battle groups.
The blockade is now a total loss, as Cole's ships head back to defend the station, leaving the Tholians free access to the currents that lead to the now-defenseless interior of the Patch.
Shelby's ships have made it back to the station where they continue to fight the Tholians and Breen, the outcome still in doubt, with many losses and Excelsior‘s defenses rapidly diminishing. McCabe announces that the nearest Patch current is opening. Could it be more Tholians?
A Lone Defender?
From the current emerges a single vessel, the USS Defiant. Suddenly, the ship is followed by wave after wave of Dominion vessels. The Defiant‘s commander, Captain Kira Nerys, announces she's brought Shelby the assistance she requested. With the added Jem'Hadar ships, the battle turns in favor of the Federation. Haviing achieved their objective of breaking the blockade and gaining unfettered access to the Patch's interior, the Tholians and Breen retreat from the Ba'ku system.
On the homefront, the Romulans attacked the Tholians from their rear flank, forcing them to abandon their charge toward Earth. As the Federation and its allies get ready to celebrate their victory, Nechayev prepares to go to Earth to remind them of the "mighty price" they have paid now that the Tholians have massive forces pouring into the Patch's undefended interior.
A Lesson Learned
Later, Shelby personally thanks Kira for getting Odo to convince the Dominion's rulers to assist the Federation. Kira remarks that even the Founders understand the danger posed by Tholian control of the tetrahedrons. She also gives Shelby the other item she requested -- an improved psionic device like the one used in an earlier, unsuccessful attempt to communicate with the Grey's leaders, the Ethereals. Shelby hopes the device can be used to ask Aris to act as an intermediary.
As the station begins to recover from the attack, surrounded now by a large fleet of starships, Knapp tells Traya over dinner that he has learned an important lesson: That they won the battle because of the Federation's relationships with other races, including current and former enemies like the Cardassians, Romulans, Klingons and the Dominion. He understands Traya's desire to help strengthen ties with the Cardassians and gives her permission to go to school on Cardassia. A grateful Traya hugs her dad.
- Commodore Cole's speech on the eve of battle was inspired by Shakespeare's "Henry V," Act 3, Scene 1
- Cole's speech is the only spoken-aloud reference to the name of the show in all the 37 episodes to date.
- In a nod to Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT), all five founding races of the Federation were included in the montage of Starfleet officers depicted during Commodore Cole's speech – Terrans, Andorians, Vulcans, Alpha Centaurians, and Tellarites – as well as Klingons and Bajorans.
- "Behind us is a hidden frontier, with secrets we do not understand. But we do know this: the Briar Patch hides many people and planets that can no longer protect themselves. Starfleet has no nobler calling than preserving the peace so that all of our peoples can benefit from the exploration of space. ... 'The game is afoot,' ladies and gentlemen. Battle stations." – Commodore Cole to her fleet as the Tholians mass against them for battle.
- This is the first episode released in high-resolution format, using BitTorrent for distribution.
- This episode featured the largest cast, including background players, that had ever appeared in a Hidden Frontier episode to date. That record was broken later in Season 6, in "Beachhead" (HF 6.04).
- Bobby Rice replaced Arthur Bosserman as Lieutenant, junior grade Ro Nevin, and Noora Hadden replaced Crystal Huerta as Knapp's daughter, Traya.
- Michael Bradford won the role of the Harvard University admissions officer in an online audio audition. His last name, unfortunately, was misspelled in the credits as Branford.
- Mona Eadington (Captain Kira Nerys) also began a recurring role as the Computer voice for the Federation LCARS system aboard Starfleet vessels and Deep Space 12.
- The music for this episode was primarily derived from the soundtracks of Air Force One and Star Trek: Nemesis, both composed by Jerry Goldsmith.
|Star Trek: Hidden Frontier Chronology|
"The Battle is Joined"
|Star Trek: Hidden Frontier||Next Episode|
"Dancing in the Dark"
|Hidden Frontier Universe Chronology|
"The Battle is Joined"
"Dancing in the Dark"
Cast and Crew
|Commodore Ian Quincy Knapp||David W. Dial|
|Captain Elizabeth Shelby||Risha Denney|
|Commander Tolian Naros||Larry LaVerne|
|Doctor Henglaar||John Whiting|
|Lieutenant Commander Robin Lefler||Joanne Busch|
|Lieutenant Matt McCabe||Wayne Webb|
|Counselor Myra Elbrey||Barbara Clifford|
|Lieutenant, junior grade Ro Nevin||Bobby Rice|
|Lieutenant Corey Aster||J.T. Tepnapa|
|Ensign Jorian Zen||Adam Browne|
|Commodore Jennifer Cole||Jennifer Cole|
|Admiral Alynna Nechayev||Reneé Huberstock|
|Traya Knapp||Noora Hadden|
|Commander James Darwin||Cliff Gardner|
|Captain Kira Nerys|
Computer Voice (uncredited)
|Princess Illiana||Katie Moss|
|Lieutenant Biederman||Michael Hoff|
|Commander Joseph Johns||Mike Johns|
|Ensign Terna||Tasian Taylor|
|Lieutenant Thompson||Tony Williams|
|Harvard Admissions Officer||Michael Bradford|
|Ensign Alex Wozniak||Sam Bacsa|
|Background Performers||Brandon Iskander|
Christopher "John Fox" Jackiewicz
|Executive Producer||Rob Caves|
|Assistant Director||J.T. Tepnapa|
|Associate Producers||Risha Denney|
|Graphic Artists/Support||Jeff Hayes|
|Casting Director||J.T. Tepnapa|
|Head of Story Department||Mike Urvand|
|Tape Operators||Jennifer Cole|
|CGI Artist||Rob Caves|
with Lightwave 3D®
|Assistant CGI Artist||David Berry|
|CGI Model Makers||Rob Caves|
and various others
|Support Services||Sam Bacsa|
|Craft Services||Betty Bainton|