We’ve spent the past few weeks boldly going through every Star Trek show—from its origins, to its highest highs, and its darkest chapters. We’ve even voyaged far and wide to give you the low down on the essential episodes of the franchise’s vast history. Now, it’s time to go back even further than the beginning: and chart Star Trek’s furthest-flung prequel.
As part of our ongoing efforts to give you things to distract yourself in the moment of history in which we live, io9 is offering up weekly guides to the very best each Star Trek show has to offer. So if you’re about to follow our advice and help yourself to all the Star Trek, here are at least some highlights you can look forward to as you boldly go absolutely nowhere outside.
Broken Bow (Episodes 1 and 2)—When a Klingon messenger is waylaid by the Suliban, Earth decides its time to rush its experimental warp drive ship out of drydock and into action: the Enterprise NX-01.
Fight or Flight (Episode 3)—As the Enterprise crew adapts to their new life in space, the discovery of a corpse-strewn alien vessel has Ensign Sato questioning her role on the ship.
The Andorian Incident (Episode 7)—Oh thank god, Shran is here.
Silent Enemy (Episode 12)—When a mysterious new foe waylays the ship, Archer decides its time the Enterprise got some really big guns.
Dear Doctor (Episode 13)—The basis for the Prime Directive is argued when Archer and Doctor Phlox butt heads about helping out a sickened species.
Sleeping Dogs (Episode 14)—Finding a scuttled Klingon vessel, the crew finds themselves faced with the warrior species’ at-times-frustrating view of honor.
Two Days and Two Nights (Episode 25)—It’s a Risa episode! Everyone takes a break on the iconic Trek paradise planet, only for most of the Enterprise team to find vacation not all that relaxing.
Shockwave, Part 1 (Episode 26)—The Enterprise seemingly causes an accident that destroys an entire colony, only to discover much larger forces are at play (one of Enterprise’s most vital plotlines, the Temporal Cold War, really kicks off here).
Shockwave, Part 2 (Episode 1)—As the Suliban take over the Enterprise, Archer desperately tries to get back from the alternate 31st century.
Carbon Creek (Episode 2)—Everyone knows first contact between Zefram Cochrane and the Vulcans occured in 2063. But T’Pol has a very different story about the real first encounter between her people and humanity.
Minefield (Episode 3)—Encountering a deadly minefield, the Enterprise comes face to, err...not really face with a new species: the Romulans!
Cease Fire (Episode 15)—Tensions between Andoria and Vulcan over territory threaten to spill out into all-out war, and Archer is called in to mediate.
Future Tense (Episode 16)—After finding an abandoned vessel seemingly from the future, Archer finds himself face to face with another classic Trek race, the Tholians.
First Flight (Episode 24)—Informed about the death of a former colleague, Archer reminisces about his time in Starfleet’s NX program and Humanity’s quest to build a Warp 2 engine of its own.
The Expanse (Episode 26)—A new alien race, the Xindi, stage a surprise, devastating attack on Earth, changing everything for the Enterprise’s mission.
The Shipment (Episode 7)—Enterprise meets the Xindi society for real, when they find a mining outpost working on the devastating weapon it wants to use to destroy Earth.
Twilight (Episode 8)—After an anomaly renders him unable to form long term memory, Archer wakes up one day to find out the Xindi-Earth conflict is over... and humanity lost.
Similitude (Episode 10)—When Phlox creates a clone of Tucker to save his life, the ethics behind this new form of life are brought into question.
Carpenter Street (Episode 11)—Archer and T’Pol go back to contemporary Earth to stop two Xindi from unleashing a bioweapon.
Proving Ground (Episode 13)—SHRAN’S BACK, BABY. The Andorians arrive to help the Enterprise find the Xindi weapon, only to reveal ulterior, motives.
Harbinger (Episode 15)—Trip and T’Pol hook up. Oh, and I guess the Enterprise finds out the identity of the real threat behind the Xindi’s plans, that’s also important.
Doctor’s Orders (Episode 16)—Doctor Phlox finds himself going a little bonkers when he’s tasked with sedating the crew to survive a long trip through a nebula. A worse version of Voyager’s “One,” if only because no one on this show could be Seven of Nine, not even Phlox.
Azati Prime (Episode 18)—When the Xindi weapon is located, Archer races off on a suicide mission to destroy it, while the Enterprise is besieged by Xindi forces.
The Council (Episode 22)—A desperate Archer has to make his case to the Xindi Council that they’re being manipulated by the Sphere Builders.
Countdown (Episode 23)—The Xindi conflict continues, as Archer and rebelling Xindi factions race to stop the weapon from being armed.
Zero Hour (Episode 24)—With the weapon on its way to Earth, the Enterprise crew has to pull out all the stops to save the day.
Storm Front, Parts 1 and 2 (Episodes 1 and 2)—Remember when this show was about time travel war and not Giant Sphere War? Well, about that: now the crew is stuck in World War II and the Nazis have invaded America.
Borderland, Cold Station 12, and The Augments (Episodes 4-6)—To try and prevent war with the Klingon Empire, Archer has to team up with criminal geneticist Arik Soong. Spoilers: Soong doesn’t co-operate for long, and eventually gets the idea that maybe his bloodline should get into this whole “artificial lifeform” deal.
The Forge, Awakening, and Kir’Shara (Episodes 7-9)—The Vulcan Embassy on Earth is bombed, and Archer and T’Pol are called in to investigate. Finding themselves flung into a religious dispute that could reform Vulcan society altogether, the duo has to save the day while Enterprise holds back the Andorians from exploiting the situation. Which means, good news everyone: More Shran!
Babel One, United, and The Aenar (Episodes 12-14)—Speaking of “More Shran,” Archer finds himself at a nexus of peace discussions between the Tellarites, Andorians, and Vulcans that could one day form a vital stepping stone to wider unity between these civilizations, like...I dunno, some kind of united entity? Of multiple planets?
Affliction and Divergence (Episodes 15 and 16)—Phlox is kidnapped by Klingons looking to augment their species, leading to...well, an excuse to explain why Trek Klingons don’t look like TNG Klingons.
In a Mirror, Darkly, Parts 1 and 2 (Episodes 18 and 19)—In more fannish prequel joy, Enterprise goes Mirror Universe as we get to learn what happened to the Defiant in the Original Series episode “The Tholian Web.”
Demons and Terra Prime (Episodes 20 and 21)—A bunch of racist humans try to stop the founding of the Federation from happening. Hmmm, too real these days, perhaps.
These Are the Voyages... (Episode 22)—Would you like to watch a show completely undermine its characters, existing fanbase, and entire storyline just for some awkward TNG nostalgia? By all means stop before this, but in some ways, you have to see what might be the worse final episode of a Star Trek series ever.
Star Trek is available to stream, currently for free, on CBS All Access.
For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.