While coming closer to a giant star than any human starship has ever dared to go, the Enterprise is hailed by a Vissian ship which is venturing even closer. The Vissian captain is an amiable man open to technological and cultural exchanges between the two crews, and even offers Captain Archer the chance to accompany him on a close survey of the star’s surface aboard a Vissian “stratopod.” Meanwhile, Trip and Malcolm become friendly with some of the Vissians paying a visit to the Enterprise. Trip is fascinated to learn of the Vissians’ three-gender society, in which the third sex serves as a cogenitor during reproduction. But when he learns that the cogenitors are treated as second-class citizens, receiving few rights and no education, Trip tries to show the one cogenitor aboard the Vissian ship a new way of life. The cogenitor learns fast, picking up fluent English in only a day. When the cogenitor requests asylum, Trip’s well-intentioned interference could mean the end of friendly relations between the two crews.
written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
directed by Levar Burton
music by Dennis McCarthy
Guest Cast: Andreas Katsulas (Vissian Captain), F.J. Rio (Vissian Engineer), Larissa Laskin (Calla), Becky Wahlstrom (Cogenitor), Stacie Renna (Traistana), Laura Interval (Vissian Woman #2)
Notes: Andreas Katsulas played Narn Ambassador G’Kar in the pilot movie and all five subsequent seasons of Babylon 5, also appearing in the one-off spinoff The Legend Of The Rangers. Sharp-eyed Trek fans may also remember him as the devious Romulan Commander Tomalok in such Next Generation episodes as The Enemy, Future Imperfect and All Good Things; this was one of his last television performances before his death in 2006. Again, photon torpedoes are mentioned here as a technological advance that several other races – now adding the Visians to the Klingons – have made ahead of Earth.
LogBook entry by Earl Green