The Starship Enterprise is hijacked in Strange New Worlds episode 7, which is the latest instance of the Federation flagship getting stolen by aliens.
Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Episode 7 – “The Serene Squall”
Dr. Aspen (Jesse James Keitel) hijacks the USS Enterprise in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode 7, which continues a weird trend with Starfleet’s most famous starship. In Strange New Worlds episode 7, “The Serene Squall,” Dr. Aspen, a former Starfleet Counselor working beyond the borders of the United Federation of Planets, hijacks the Enterprise. However, the Federation flagship itself is not her goal; rather, Dr. Aspen revealed herself to be a pirate named Dr. Angel who wanted Spock (Ethan Peck) as her prisoner in exchange for the release of her husband, Spock’s Vulcan half-brother Sybok. Yet Dr. Angel took the Enterprise with relative ease and this has happened numerous times throughout Star Trek.
In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’23rd century, the Enterprise is the Federation flagship, just as the USS Enterprise-D is in Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s 24th century. However, the Enterprise has a remarkable track record of being hijacked. In Star Trek: The Original Series, Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán) and his genetically-engineered followers were able to take over the Enterprise from Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner). A year later, the Enterprise was hijacked by the Kelvans from the Andromeda Galaxy, who took the starship into the Galactic Barrier. Kirk himself stole the Enterprise, which he then destroyed before Klingons could hijack it, in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. In TNG‘s era, the Enterprise-D was commandeered by the Bynars and three Ux-Mal criminals also attempted to seize control of the Federation flagship. Perhaps the most humiliating Enterprise-D highjacking was at the hands of the Ferengi after Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and some of his crew were temporarily reverted into children.
Related: Strange New Worlds Massively Retcons Spock & Chapel’s Friendship
Strange New Worlds episode 7 highlighted just how easy it can be to steal the Starship Enterprise. Posing as Dr. Aspen, Dr. Angel was welcomed aboard and even a guest at dinner with Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and his senior staff. Dr. Angel had the full run of the ship and manipulated Spock by playing on his emotional human side while she also tricked Pike into beaming into a trap she set on her pirate ship, the Serene Squall. Dr. Angel pretended to be on Spock’s side as the pirates boarded the Enterprise and took the crew prisoner, and the Vulcan never saw it coming when Angel turned on him. In spite of Spock’s best efforts, Dr. Angel was able to gain access to the Enterprise’s command codes and she controlled the ship until Captain Pike, in turn, hijacked the Serene Squall and took the Enterprise back.
It’s always a shock how easily the Enterprise can be hijacked but there are built-in reasons why it happens throughout Star Trek. For one thing, it’s a trope that Starfleet tends to be confident to the point of error in their ship’s systems and security protocols. There are redundancies in place in terms of how to access starship command codes that are designed to prevent hijackings. Yet it can and does still happen because Starfleet is also very trusting, sometimes to a fault. Starfleet’s enemies prey on the Federation’s openness and trusting nature. While the Enterprise’s crew invariably regains control of their stolen starship each time, the Enterprise tends to be taken by rival aliens who know how to manipulate the weaknesses of its primarily human crew.
As a canonical prequel to TOS and TNG, Strange New Worlds episode 7 is now the first known instance of the Starship Enterprise being hijacked – at least in the 23rd century because the NX-01 Enterprise was also commandeered by Triannon fundamentalists in Star Trek: Enterprise. Meanwhile, Dr. Angel stealing the Enterprise in a failed attempt to free her husband cleverly echoes how, 28 years later, Sybok (Lawrence Luckinbill) and his Galactic Army of Light will hijack the Enterprise-A to reach Sha-Ka-Ree in his quest to find God. in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode 7 certainly won’t be the last time enemy aliens get their hands on the Starship Enterprise, even if they can never possess the Federation flagship for long.
Next: Strange New Worlds Makes Pike’s Dark Future Even More Tragic
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams Thursdays on Paramount +.
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