Judgment (Star Trek: Enterprise)


"Judgment" is the nineteenth episode of the second season of Star Trek: Enterprise, the forty-fifth episode overall. It first aired April 9, 2003 on UPN.[1]

Star Trek: Enterprise episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 19
Directed byJames L. Conway
Story byTaylor Elmore
David A. Goodman
Teleplay byDavid A. Goodman
Produced byDawn Velazquez
Featured musicVelton Ray Bunch
Production code219
Original air dateApril 9, 2003 (2003-04-09)
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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Star Trek: Enterprise (season 2)
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Captain Archer appears before a Klingon tribunal, charged with attacking a Klingon space ship and inciting a rebellion.

This episode guest stars J. G. Hertzler as a Klingon lawyer. Bakula picked this episode as a favorite of his.


Captain Archer finds himself in the witness stand of a Klingon tribunal where he's charged with both aiding rebels opposed to the Empire and of attacking a Klingon ship. In his cell, under the pretext of needing to be checked for contagion, Archer is visited by Doctor Phlox, who gives Archer an update that efforts to have him released are under way. Archer tells Phlox to relay a message, that no matter what the outcome, Sub-Commander T'Pol will leave orbit and keep the Enterprise's crew safe. In the chamber, the prosecutor, Orak, faces off against Archer's advocate, a veteran of the courts named Kolos.

Orak calls as his first witness Second Weapons Officer (formerly Captain) Duras to testify—a process in which Archer is not allowed to interject. Duras then relates a biased tale of himself confronting a belligerent Archer, who supposedly fires on the Klingon ship first. Archer cannot hold his tongue, and is quickly silenced with pain sticks by the tribunal guards. Back in the cells, Kolos is tasked with offering Archer a deal. Rather than plea bargain, Archer insists that Kolos actually work harder to put up a valid defense. In response, Kolos relates how the judiciary used to be about the law and honor, but more recently the warrior mindset meant that victories became the accepted norm.

Kolos re-enters the court and advocates for Archer's right to testify based on an archaic judicial charter. Archer is permitted to relate his tale of helping the neglected refugees and merely damaging the Klingon warship, giving Kolos the chance to relate the numerous times Archer has helped the Empire in the past. Archer is still found guilty and sentenced to life on the Klingon dilithium mining planet of Rura Penthe. Kolos protests, and is himself sentenced to a year at Rura Penthe. Meanwhile, T'Pol uses irregular back-door diplomatic channels and bribes to arrange to get the captain back. Kolos remains, deciding to obey the law he has served for so long with honor.


Archer's escape from Rura Penthe is referred to in the 51st episode "Bounty", when he is captured by a bounty hunter. In the season finale, "The Expanse", there is a subplot where he is again pursued by Duras.

This episode noted for featuring Rura Penthe and also connecting to the Duras plot.[2][3]

In the script, the name of the Klingon colony where the tribunal takes place, was revealed to be Narendra III,[4] which was an important plot point in the 1990 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Yesterday's Enterprise".[3]

In the 1991 film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy are held prisoner by the Klingons, and sentenced to work in the mines of Rura Penthe. The Klingon courtroom in "Judgment" was also made to look like the one from this film, and the judge also bangs a spherical metal gavel that creates sparks.[3]


James Conway, returns to direct, his last episode was the Enterprise pilot "Broken Bow".[3][5] The script was written by written David Goodman, based on a idea from himself and newcomer Taylor Elmore.[3] Goodman said the episode was fun to write, and that he included as many references as possible to the Klingons from Star Trek: The Next Generation and most of them remain in the final episode. The episode was an attempt to reconcile how the Klingons in The Original Series seemed different from the Klingons in The Next Generation. Goodman explained that the Klingons were undergoing a cultural shift, but deeper under the surface was the basis for what we later learn about the Klingon culture. Goodman would explore the topic further in his book Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years.[6] Originally, the crew would have rescued Archer from a prison transport rather than Rura Penthe, but Brannon Braga liked "Archer on a prison transport" concept so much he wanted to make it into a separate episode, which eventually became "Canamar".[7] Filming took place from January 17 to 28.[5]

J. G. Hertzler guest starred as Advocate Kolos

Guest star J. G. Hertzler portrayed Advocate Kolos. Hertzler is known for playing the Klingon General Martok in Deep Space Nine and many other Star Trek roles. He also previously worked with Scott Bakula on Quantum Leap in the episode Sea Bride.[8] The episode was directed by James L. Conway who cast Hertzler as Martok in Deep Space Nine. Hertzler was required to audition for the part and he was surprised to get the role, but he grew to like Kolos immensely and was pleased to get the chance to work with Scott Bakula again. Hertzler said the Klingon makeup still took about 3 hours, and he worked 3 days that were as long as 16 to 18 hours, but he loved it.[9]


"Judgment" first aired April 9, 2003 on UPN. According to Nielsen Media Research it was rated 2.5/4 and was watched by 3.7 million viewers.[10]

In 2014, The A.V. Club gave this episode an honorable mention in their list of recommended Enterprise television episodes.[11]

In 2019, Den of Geek recommended this episode to understand the importance of the character Kolos to the show, praising "great acting" by actor J.G. Hertzler and said the episode has a "thought provoking" narrative about culture.[12]

In 2021, The Digital Fix noted this episode for its focus on Klingons, but showing the audience a different side to the aliens with a "brilliant performance" by J.G. Hertlzer as a Klingon lawyer.[2] They felt the episode reminded them of scenes from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and noting that it is set on Rura Penthe which was also featured in that theatrical film.[2]

Home media releaseEdit

"Judgment" was first released for home media use on DVD as part of the second series box set of Star Trek: Enterprise.[13] The episode also featured as one of the three Enterprise episodes on the Star Trek Fan Collective DVD Set "Captain's Log". Scott Bakula said he picked it as his favorite episode because he loved the simplicity of it, the tremendous guest cast, and the moral lesson of a few people standing up and making a difference.[14][15][16] A release on Blu-ray Disc for season two occurred on August 20, 2013.[17]


  1. ^ Heath, K. M.; Carlisle, A. S. (2020). The Voyages of Star Trek: A Space-time Continuum. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-5381-3697-3.
  2. ^ a b c Baz Greenland (2021-03-22). "Star Trek: Enterprise Revisited - A Look Back At Season Two". The Digital Fix. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Production News: ... And Don't Wait for the Translation!". STARTREK.COM. 2003-01-29. Archived from the original on 2003-06-05. purposefully evoke the imagery and mood of the similar scene in "Star Trek VI"
  4. ^ "Judgement FINAL DRAFT January 16, 2003" (PDF).
  5. ^ a b Amy Lawrence (January 16, 2003). "Amy's Casting Couch". FilmJerk.com. Archived from the original on 2003-01-18. Jim Conway directs this episode, which shoots from January 17 to 28.
  6. ^ Walker, Adam (November 23, 2012). "Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years - David Goodman Interview Part II • TrekCore.com". TrekCore.com. I shoved as many TNG Klingon references as I could into there, and most of them stayed in so I was very happy about that.
  7. ^ Audio commentary for "Judgment", by writer David A. Goodman via them0vieblog.com
  8. ^ STARTREK.COM STAFF (June 29, 2019). "J.G. Hertzler Reflects on His Many 'Trek' Roles". StarTrek.com.
  9. ^ Steve Krutzler (February 26, 2003). "Interview: Klingon Justice Has a Unique Point of View and Actor J.G. Hertzler Helps Bring It to Life in ENTERPRISE's Upcoming "Judgment"". TrekWeb.com. Archived from the original on 2003-04-01.
  10. ^ "Episode List: Star Trek: Enterprise". TVTango. Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  11. ^ Wilkins, Alasdair (2014). "Enterprise was forever torn between our future and Star Trek's past". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
  12. ^ Lisa Granshaw (September 26, 2019). "Star Trek: Enterprise and the Importance of Its Characters". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  13. ^ Schultz, Paul (July 29, 2005). "DVD Review: Star Trek Enterprise - The Complete Second Season". The Trades. Archived from the original on November 10, 2006.
  14. ^ Curt Fields (July 28, 2007). "Sampler collects favorite episodes from five 'Star Trek' TV series". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2021-05-10 – via Los Angeles Times. Bakula says one factor besides its simplicity is how it still resonates today with its theme of helping your world to a better future.
  15. ^ Todd Douglass Jr. (August 5, 2007). "Star Trek Fan Collective - Captain's Log". DVD Talk.
  16. ^ Williams, Bill (August 15, 2007). "TrekWeb Reviews Captain's Log The Fan Collective DVD". TrekWeb. Archived from the original on February 4, 2010.
  17. ^ "Enterprise Season: Two Blu-ray Available August 20". StarTrek.com. May 23, 2013. Archived from the original on February 18, 2014.

External linksEdit