Aliens Plague the Crew in 'Observer Effect'

By Michelle
November 5, 2004 - 9:44 PM

See Also: 'Observer Effect' Episode Guide

A deadly virus threatens to ravage the crew as noncorporeal beings study their fortitude in the face of the crisis in "Observer Effect", the 11th episode of Star Trek: Enterprise's 22-episode season. Principal photography began two weeks ago and concluded on Monday for the installment that marks the mid-point of the show's the fourth season.

In "Observer Effect", according to's production report, an away mission ends in disaster when Tucker and Sato return to the ship with a virus that Phlox cannot cure...nor is he certain he can keep the rest of the crew from becoming infected. While Archer and his team look for a solution, noncorporeal entities occupy the bodies of some of the officers to evaluate how the humans adapt and deal with the threat. Written by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens (the second script for the pair, after "The Forge"), the episode will spotlight the performances of the regular cast as these aliens move from body to body, maintaining consistent personalities in each host.

The official site posted the following official synopsis for "Observer Effect":

Noncorporeal aliens study the Enterprise crew as they respond to a fatal viral infection brought on board from an away mission.
It will be directed by longtime Trek veteran Mike Vejar, whose most recent episode previously was "Cold Station 12" which will air this week.

Because it is a "bottle show", using only standing sets and taking place entirely in a familiar Enterprise environment, there were no guest stars for the episode. Instead all seven regulars had significant roles to play, allowing the crew to finish visual effects for "The Forge." Nearly all of "Observer Effect" was shot in Sickbay and at the site of the quarantine, the Decon Chamber, where Linda Park and Connor Trinneer were made up to appear in various stages of disease.

Other scenes are set in the turbolift, airlock, mess hall and various familiar spots around the ship. The crew put together a medical lab on a swing set and brought in props, including a defibrillator, plus EV suits to demonstrate the critical nature of the quarantine.

"Observer Effect" is tentatively scheduled to air on Friday, January 7th, making it the first Enterprise episode broadcast in 2005 after two weeks of reruns on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. For the original production report, visit this page at

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.