The Temporal Cold War
is a fictional
conflict waged throughout history in the Star Trek
universe, notably during the 22nd century AD
. First established in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Enterprise
and recurring until that series' third season finale, it is a struggle between those who would alter history to suit their own ends (the Cabal
) and those who would preserve the integrity of the original timeline.
Factions in the war include:
The Temporal Accords were a historic agreement to preserve the integrity of the timeline. Its principles were rejected by Vosk, who started an outright rebellion using stealth time travel. Unlike Earth's historical Cold War, the Temporal Cold War involves countless unknown factions, each with its own agenda. Humanity in the 31st Century is attempting to ascertain the identity of their adversaries and to thwart their efforts.
Although the scope of the war was unprecedented, most of its casualties were unaware that they were involved in an organized conflict; hence the term "Cold War". Timelines were changed frequently, with history being rewritten or significant events being erased. Eventually the struggle broke out into full-scale war.
The war was mainly fought in the 22nd century, the main focus point at where the Federation was founded. One faction, the Sphere Builders, who were defeated by the Federation during the 26th century, convinced the Xindi to destroy Earth; no Earth, no Federation, no one to stop them. The Enterprise managed to stop them and send them back into their trans-dimensional realm.
However, this was not the end, for the dangerous time faction, the Na'kuhl, lead by Vosk, ended up in 1944. They made an alliance with the Germans to exchange technology for supplies for a "temporal conduit". In an alternate timeline, they went back to their time period and made several alterations to history, causing a "chicken or the egg" paradox. Luckily, when Captain Jonathan Archer, Silik (the leader of the Suliban Cabal), and the crew of the Enterprise came back before the Na'kuhl entered the conduit in New York City and destroyed it. In the subsequent explosion, Vosk is killed, and the present timeline is restored. As a result, the Cold War "never heated up".
Millions of years ago
- The Na'kuhl prevents the Suliban from attaining sentience, but this incursion is undone by Daniels' colleagues.
Thousands of years ago
- As a prelude to invasion, a number of planetoid-sized spheres are constructed to reconfigure space and make it suitable for transdimensional beings known as the Sphere Builders. The region becomes known as the Delphic Expanse.
- An unknown temporal agent assassinates Lenin, preventing Russia's Bolshevik Revolution and the rise of Communism.
- Vosk aids the Nazis in invading and occupying the Eastern Seaboard of the United States during World War II.
- The temporal cold war ends, and is at least partially negated, with the death of Vosk.
- The Sphere-Builders tell the Xindi Council that Humans will eradicate them in the future.
- The Suliban Cabal begins taking orders from the 29th Century.
- Daniels infiltrates the Enterprise crew to protect them.
- Enterprise is implicated in the destruction of a mining colony by the Cabal.
- The Xindi test a prototype for a preemptive strike on Earth, killing 7 million.
- The final version of the Xindi weapon, capable of destroying a planet, is built and then destroyed by a combination fleet consisting of Enterprise (NX-01) and several Xindi ships (as well as help from the Andorians).
- A faction led by the mysterious Future Guy contacts the Cabal in the past to employ them for their own ends.
- Vosk rejects the Temporal Accords.
According to Manny Coto
, a new executive producer during the fourth season, his fellow producers Rick Berman
and Brannon Braga
never fully planned out the Temporal Cold War storyline.
According to Braga himself, they did not even firmly decide on the identity or back story of the 29th century leader of the Cabal
(dubbed "Future Guy" and "Temporal Shower Guy" by fans
). At the end of the second season of Enterprise
, poor ratings and reviews led to a new attempt to revamp the show by creating the Xindi
By the end of the third season, Coto felt the need for change, one of these being the removal of the TCW arc. According to him, "I felt that everything that had been said about the Temporal Cold War had already been said. I felt a heavy reliance on time travel at the beginning of Enterprise." Nevertheless, he says "I was secretly hoping for a season five to address the time travel."
The following is a list of episodes which involve the Temporal Cold War story arc. A subplot of this arc involves the aftermath of Archer freeing a group of Suliban wrongly detained as a result of the Cold War.