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Star Trek Enterprise: Bio for Subcommander T'Pol
Commander T'Pol is a fictional character played by Jolene Blalock in
Star Trek: Enterprise. She is a Vulcan who serves as the science officer
aboard the starship Enterprise.
T'Pol is the first Vulcan officer to serve a prolonged term on a human
vessel. The previous record was 10 days; by comparison, T'Pol served
aboard the Enterprise for ten years (2151-2161). As a Sub-Commander
serving the Vulcan High Command, she was stationed aboard the Enterprise
in April 2151, as an observer to Captain Jonathan Archer and his crew,
whom the High Command insisted were not ready for interstellar space
exploration. After the success of the Enterprise's initial mission led
to the vessel being given an extended exploration mandate, T'Pol
requested to stay aboard.
T'Pol remained aboard the Enterprise despite several attempts by her
superiors to recall her to Vulcan. T'Pol's decision has brought
considerable scrutiny upon her from her superiors, and increasing
support for her from her captain; she ultimately resigned from the High
Command and accepted a field commission from Starfleet in 2154,
resulting in her being given the Starfleet field rank of Commander.
Originally viewed by her crew mates with resentment and suspicion, T'Pol
has been forced to earn the trust of fellow officers. The character of
T'Pol has developed from that of a "broken record" spouting the dogma of
the Vulcan Science Council to that of a questioning scientific mind.
Though she does not openly defy or reject the rulings of the Vulcan
Science Council, her experiences on the Enterprise have proven to her
that they can be wrong.
T'Pol is considerably more emotional than many other Vulcans and has
always struggled to control her emotions, something that greatly
concerned her mother. Her emotions became even more difficult to control
following an exposure to a toxic substance which damaged the part of her
brain responsible for emotional control. Nonetheless, T'Pol serves as an
icon of Vulcan integrity. Her willingness to question the stale,
self-serving decisions of her superiors (at least prior to the Kir'Shara
incident), and her respect for Captain Archer position her at the
fulcrum of human/Vulcan relations.
Throughout the entire Enterprise run, T'Pol never once said the
trademark Vulcan greeting "Live long and prosper". With the exception of
the episode In a Mirror, Darkly, T'Pol never rendered the Vulcan salute
Little is known of T'Pol's early years, save that she was born in 2088
or 2089 (as is reckoned on earth, making her 62 or 63 years old at
Broken Bow). Approximately 16 years before joining the crew of the
Enterprise, T'Pol served as an agent for the Vulcan intelligence
service. It would appear that she gained some stature with the service,
as one of the soldiers under her command recognizes her during a visit
to Vulcan years later.
During a mission to apprehend a pair of rogue Vulcans, she was forced to
shoot and kill one of the fleeing men. She resigned from the service as
a result, and the guilt over killing someone face-to-face caused her to
suffer a nervous breakdown or emotional collapse which led to her
undergoing a procedure, the Fullara, that erased all memory of the
incident. This "memory cap" disappeared when she was briefly reactivated
as an agent during 2152 in order to capture the last of the rogue
Vulcans, and she experienced another emotional collapse which was
alleviated by the support of Captain Archer. Given the option to once
again suppress her memory of killing, she chose to live with it instead.
Pa'nar, trellium, mind melds, and emotion
T'Pol, who is described by her superiors as a maverick and a rebel,
became fascinated by Tolaris, a member of a group of emotionally free
Vulcans encountered during the first year of the Enterprise's mission.
Tolaris introduced her to the concept of the mind meld, which at the
time was considered a taboo activity among Vulcans. After experimenting
with the activity several times, she severed her relationship with
Tolaris after he forced a mind-meld upon her (essentially a form of
mental rape). She later learned that she had contracted Pa'nar Syndrome
from the encounter. This condition, which has some parallels with the
human virus HIV, was kept in check with medication and may or may not
have played a role in T'Pol's gradually increased emotionalism over the
next three years. In 2154, T'Pol, who had been told that Pa'nar was an
incurable virus, learned that the condition was in fact caused by an
improperly trained melder, and contrary to what the Vulcan High Command
had decreed, it was indeed curable by the touch of an experienced mind
(in T'Pol's case a service provided by future Vulcan elder T'Pau).
T'Pol was told that she is genetically incapable of initiating mind
melds herself, however following the 2154 overthrow of the Vulcan regime
that stigmatized mind-melding she learned otherwise. She performed her
first mind meld upon Hoshi Sato, with the assistance of Jonathan Archer,
who had learned details about mind melds during a period of time when he
held the katra of Surak. In fact, not only is T'Pol telepathic, but the
episode Affliction revealed that she is able to communicate with Charles
'Trip' Tucker, III over great distances using her new-found mental
abilities. It was established a year later (in Bound) that this is
because of a mating bond between the two.
During T'Pol's early years aboard the Enterprise, she demonstrates an
unusual (for a Vulcan) willingness to explore human culture and customs,
although she states that certain human foods do not agree with her. At
the urging of Trip Tucker, she agrees to sample pecan pie, a dessert she
initially dismisses as being "mostly sugar". She begins attending the
ship's weekly movie night social event (with Captain Archer), expressing
particular admiration of the film Frankenstein. She was reportedly less
successful at mastering the art of eating with chopsticks, to the
amusement of her crew mates (in one episode, Trip refers to her efforts
as "dinner and a show"). Prior to her posting aboard the Enterprise,
T'Pol on at least one occasion left the Vulcan Compound in San Francisco
and visited a jazz music club; the chaotic music generated an emotional
response that came back to haunt her during a brief period when she
abandoned her nightly meditation ritual (concurrent with her
experimentation w ith mind-melding). T'Pol also confessed to Tolaris
that she enjoyed drinking different flavors of tea, an enjoyment being
an unusual indulgence for a Vulcan.
T'Pol also became adept at "play acting" which she found was often
needed in order to successfully fulfill a mission. For example, she once
pretended to be a slave when Ferengi pirates hijacked the Enterprise
(Acquisition), distracted a group of Suliban invaders by acting deranged
(Shockwave Part II), and pretended to be a domineering Vulcan commander
preparing for an execution (Precious Cargo). In the latter example there
is a clear indication that T'Pol enjoyed taking part in this sort of
On several occasions during her first two years aboard the Enterprise,
T'Pol resisted efforts by her family and the Vulcan High Command to get
her to leave the ship and return to her Vulcan obligations. When pressed
for a reason by Vulcan Ambassador Soval, T'Pol replied that she found
working aboard the Enterprise "gratifying", for which she was chided for
engaging in an emotional indulgence.
In 2153, after being ordered to leave the Enterprise and return to
Vulcan, T'Pol resigned her commission with the Vulcan High Command in
order to accompany the crew of the Enterprise into the Delphic Expanse
to find the Xindi, a mysterious race accused of killing seven million
humans on Earth. Despite being technically a civilian, she remained as
first officer of the Enterprise and the crew continued to refer to her
by her High Command rank of Sub-Commander during the mission.
While investigating the Vulcan ship Seleya (Impulse), which had become
trapped in The Expanse, T'Pol experienced the side-effects of
Trellium-D, a compound the ship had used to protect itself from
anomalies within The Expanse, but which had the side-effect of creating
permanent psychosis in Vulcans. T'Pol's brief exposure led to her
experiencing extreme paranoia and losing control of her emotions. She
recovered upon returning to the Enterprise. The compound, which
Commander Tucker brought aboard, was necessary to line the ship so that
the Enterprise could traverse the Expanse. Captain Archer, rather than
line the ship with the concoction (lethal to T'Pol), stored it in a
locker in the cargo bay.
T'Pol, however, found herself wanting to experience more of the emotions
the Trellium-D had unlocked. She discovered how to liquefy small, safe
amounts of the compound and began to secretly inject herself with it,
beginning approximately three months prior to the Enterprise's arriving
at Azati Prime (Azati Prime). This led to what she felt was improved
relations with her crew mates, in particular chief engineer Trip Tucker,
which led to a sexual relationship in Harbinger where she experienced
jealousy when Tucker began making romantic overtures toward a MACO
onboard. In the same episode, she referred to it as an exploration of
human sexuality. However, this one-time encounter resulted in the
formation of a psychic bond between doesn't manifest until the second
half of Season 4.
Over time, as T'Pol became addicted to the Trellium-D injections, her
emotions began to flow more freely. This came to a head when the
Enterprise reached Azati Prime (Azati Prime) and Jonathan Archer chose
to undertake a suicide mission in order to complete the Xindi mission.
T'Pol's emotional reaction toward Archer's departure and presumed death
incapacitated her as a commanding officer (ending up in crying and an
attempt to recover him). She attempted to hide her condition, and the
Enterprise was nearly destroyed in a subsequent Xindi attack which may
or may not have been made worse by T'Pol's state.
After the attack, T'Pol's supply of Trellium-D became difficult to reach
(being located in a heavily damaged part of the ship) and she nearly
died during a clandestine attempt to retrieve it. Soon after, she lost
her temper with Archer (who had since returned to the Enterprise). He
indicated he needed her for a difficult (and morally questionable)
mission. She was nearly killed while trying to recover more Trellium-D
after experiencing an erotic dream involving Tucker. This led her to
seek medical help from Dr. Phlox to whom she confessed her addiction.
Although T'Pol subsequently overcame her addiction, Phlox determined
that she had permanently damaged her brain, and as a result might never
achieve the same level of emotional control she once had. A subsequent
encounter with an elderly version of herself (due to an Expanse-related
anomaly seen in the episode Eř - an alternate universe episode)
indicated that she will live with the after effects of her Trellium-D
exposure for the rest of her life. The older version of T'Pol served
aboard an alternate time line version of the Enterprise, which had been
transported into the past. Aboard the alternate Enterprise, T'Pol and
Trip Tucker had married and conceived a son, Lorian, who at the time of
the encounter was the captain of the alternate Enterprise. The older
T'Pol advised her that Trip Tucker could provide a safe outlet for her
newfound emotions if she could learn to trust him. She also advised her
younger self that she could not imagine what her life would have been
like without him. However, T'Pol did not take up such a relationship.
Following the Xindi mission, she continued to experience difficulty
controlling her emotions and became particularly emotional following the
death of her mother (as seen in the episodes Awakening and Kir'Shara).
T'Pol, who (at the time) holds the record for the longest time a Vulcan
has spent serving with humans, has demonstrated her ability to adapt.
Originally, she required a form of medication in order to tolerate the
odors given off by humans and Captain Archer's pet dog Porthos (because
of Vulcans having a sensitive sense of smell).
It's revealed that she has a sense of humor, one she can demonstrate (as
she has in "Future Tense" and other shows, including Bound). And, in a
case of "when in Rome, do as the Romans do," she has also begun eating
some types of foods (fruit, popcorn) with her hands, breaking a
long-standing Vulcan taboo in the process. (This last has never been
explained fully on screen, however.)
Following the death of her mother (see below), the divorce of her
husband Koss and the discovery of the Kir'Shara, T'Pol began to
re-evaluate Surak's teachings and what it means to be Vulcan. As a
result, she began to distance herself from some from her crew mates,
choosing to spend her free time studying the newly found word of Surak.
Her decision had an adverse affect on her relationship with Commander
Tucker. (In Bound, however, she re-established her romantic relationship
with Trip. T'Pol asked Trip to return to the Enterprise and, when he
replied that he "would think about it" she showed her emotional
commitment by pursuing him down the corridor and kissing him.)
She has also experienced some success in controlling her emotions to a
greater degree than she had over the two years. T'Pau's therapeutic
mind-meld cured the Pa'nar Syndrome and may have helped restore some of
her emotional balance as well. This, combined with the fact that T'Pol
no longer has the added stress of living with an incurable, potentially
fatal condition, may have calmed her mind sufficiently to maintain
control. Despite this, she has admitted to Phlox that she had never
before felt so unsure of herself.
Relationship with Charles 'Trip' Tucker, III
The relationship between T'Pol and Trip Tucker is a complex one.
Initially, the two had a somewhat combative association.
During the third season of Enterprise, while the the ship was engaged in
pursuing the Xindi weapon in the Expanse, T'Pol and Trip Tucker became
increasingly intimate. This process began because Trip had trouble
sleeping (due to his sister's death in The Expanse). Dr. Phlox's urged
T'Pol to assist Trip's by using Vulcan neuropressure, a system of
massage that T'Pol referred to as "intimate" and which is frequently
conducted in a semi-clothed state.
A few episodes after this, starting in Impulse, T'Pol begins to take
Trellium-D, which has the result of lowering her barriers and producing
In Harbinger, a few months after Trellium-D usage and neuropressure
sessions, T'Pol learns that Trip is attracted to a MACO aboard the
Enterprise. T'Pol begins to display signs of jealousy regarding Trip's
activities with another woman aboard the Enterprise and, ultimately, she
and Trip have sex. Afterward, T'Pol attempts to distance herself from
the act by referring to it as an exploration of human sexuality. After
they engage in sex in Harbinger, they do not engage in the act again in
In Zero Hour, T'Pol reveals her age to him, which she indicated she
considers "intimate" information. At the end of the Xindi mission, when
Trip tells her he has no home left to go to, T'Pol invites him to
accompany her home to Vulcan.
After arriving on Vulcan, T'Pol is blackmailed into marrying her
original betrothed, Koss, although her mother, T'Les suggests to Trip he
should express his feelings to T'Pol before the ceremony so that she
could have all available information. Trip declines, saying that she is
under enough stress and he cares about her too much to make things even
more difficult for her.
Following the discovery of the Kir'Shara in season four, T'Pol's husband
divorces her and Trip attempts to reconnect their relationship. T'Pol is
studying the original teachings of Surak , and disregards that request.
Hurt, Trip decides to make a new start and transfers to another NX
starship, Columbia. While he is away on Columbia both he and T'Pol
experience telepathic contact in the form of both waking daydreams as
well as dreams while sleeping.
An emergency requires Trip to return to the Enterprise. While he is
aboard an attempted takeover by Orions reveals that Trip is the only
human aboard who is immune to the pheromones used by the Orions, which
proves to T'Pol they have bonded. An undetermined amount of time after
the two learn of their bond, their relationship undergoes a shocking set
of circumstances during the Terra Prime episodes(an episode many fans
indicate as being the "true" series finale citing their displeasure with
how the series was concluded) Trip and T'Pol learn that they have a
child. The baby was born using DNA samples obtained of the two and bred
by a terrorist group headed by a radical separatist Paxton who believed
earth should defend itself from alien worlds.
Relationship with Jonathan Archer
T'Pol also grew very close to Captain Jonathan Archer, to the point of
crying during the Xindi mission when she believes he has been killed in
Azati Prime. She also grieves in Zero Hour, when she believes he's dead,
by holding close a book of his and pets his dog, Porthos (whose smell,
as mentioned above, she originally could not stand).
In one alternate time line (depicted in Twilight), T'Pol devoted her
life to caring for Archer when parasites robbed him the ability to store
long term memory (the same ones he was infected with while saving her
life). Their relationship had evolved into something "closer" in this
future. (In a podcast from 2005, Mike Sussman indicated it was
romantic.) Dialog throughout the episode hints that T'Pol has fallen in
love with Archer.
There have been some signs that their relationship had the potential to
become more than simply that between a captain and science officer, most
notably in A Night in Sickbay in which the captain admits an attraction
There has also been evidence of extreme sexual tension between T'Pol and
Captain Archer, as seen in the episode Shadows of P'Jem where T'Pol and
Archer are tied up together and end up in embarrassing and sexually
stimulating positions as they try to escape the bonds. This was all
accompanied by intense staring, slight moaning and heavy breathing
Of course, Archer and T'Pol are friends, a friendship that was still in
place at the end of the NX-01's mission and through These are the
Near the end of the Xindi mission, T'Pol revealed to Archer and Tucker
that she was considering enlisting in Starfleet. (Since Mr. Spock was
the first Vulcan in Starfleet, it has been suggested that T'Pol did not
go through with her consideration.) Following the Xindi mission, she
accepted the commission and received the rank of Commander.
In May 2154, T'Pol officially assumed duties as a Starfleet officer.
However, as she does not wear a standard Starfleet uniform, it is
suggested that her relationship with the organization is a unique one.
(There is precedent for a Starfleet officer to not wear a regulation
uniform, however: Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation never
wore a regular uniform until the last couple of seasons of that series,
whilst Worf wore a Klingon sash with his uniform throughout most of his
The finale episode These are the Voyages... reveals that T'Pol remained
Archer's first officer aboard the Enterprise for a total of 10 years.
Her relationship with Trip allegedly ended at some point within a year
of the death of their cloned child in 2155 (see "Family", below),
although she remained emotionally attached to him and expressed concern
that she would never see Trip again after the decommissioning of the
Enterprise in 2161. Trip's death on a minor mission just prior to the
decommissioning affected her deeply, and she expressed a desire to meet
She also grew comfortable in confiding in the ship's Chef during the
years prior to the finale. Dialog in the finale suggests that T'Pol was
to be reassigned to another vessel following the decommissioning of the
Enterprise, implying that she remained a Starfleet officer for some time
T'Pol's ultimate fate has yet to be revealed. Given a Vulcan's life
expectancy of approximately 200 years, it is possible that she is still
alive at the time of Star Trek: The Original Series and subsequent
Little is revealed of T'Pol's family until the episode Awakening, in
which she was identified as an orphan. Her father (who has yet to be
identified by name) is deceased. T'Pol's mother, T'Les, who resigned
from the Vulcan Science Academy in 2154, died in her daughter's arms
during an attack on a Syrranite encampment in the desert region known as
The Forge that same year. T'Pol grieved upon her mother's death;
following the death of Trip in 2161, she confessed to Archer that she
missed her mother more as time went by. The series never made any
reference to her father.
T'Pol has no siblings, and the only other known "family member" is a pet
sehlat she had as a child.
T'Pol was engaged to marry a Vulcan named Koss prior to the start of the
Enterprise's mission, with the marriage scheduled for 2151 (about a week
after the events of Breaking the Ice to be precise) but elected to delay
her marriage indefinitely. The fourth season episode Home saw T'Pol
having to deal with the consequences of her decision, when she chooses
to marry Koss in order to save the reputation of her mother. She appears
to be unaware that Trip has fallen in love with her (although in The
Augments it is clear that she is beginning to realize his feelings).
Prior to her marriage, she negotiated with Koss' family to defer the
one-year Vulcan residence obligation required of newly-wed Vulcan
females, in order that she could join Starfleet as a commissioned
officer and stay aboard the Enterprise. Only a couple of months after
their marriage, Koss released T'Pol from their marriage arrangement
(effectively granting her a divorce) following the death of her mother.
The marriage was off icially annulled some weeks later (as per the
episode Babel One).
In the episode Carbon Creek, set in the 1950s on Earth, T'Mir (T'Pol's
great grandmother) was involved in an unplanned first contact mission in
1957 when her spacecraft crash landed on Earth and she along with two
crew members were forced to live among humans for several months, hiding
their Vulcan identity. During her stay, T'Mir provided a patent office
with a revolutionary method of adhering things - Velcro, in order to
raise college tuition money for a human teenager she had befriended.
Although she admits to "telling a story," the episode ends with T'Pol
privately producing an apparently cherished artifact of her
great-grandmother: the purse into which T'Mir had placed her cash upon
emerging from the patent office.
In the alternate time line seen in Eř, T'Pol marries Trip and they have
a son, Lorian, who becomes the captain of the Enterprise upon the death
of Captain Archer. The fate of Lorian following the restoration of the
time line is not known (the writers having left a door open for a later
return by the popular character). In this same episode, T'Pol met an
older version of herself (of age approximately 180 years). The fate of
"Old T'Pol" is also unknown.
The fourth season episode Demons revealed that T'Pol had a six-month old
daughter, the father being Trip. It was later learned that a terrorist
group called Terra Prime had created the child by cloning a sample T'Pol
and Trip's DNA, which had been stolen from the Enterprise. The cloning
procedure, however, was improperly done, and the child - who T'Pol named
Elizabeth in honor of Trip's deceased sister - died soon after being
rescued from the Mars facility where she was being held.
The existence of a psychic bond between T'Pol and Trip, revealed during
the fourth season; no such psychic bond is indicated between T'Pol and
Koss. However, These are the Voyages..., in establishing that T'Pol and
Trip ended their relationship within a year of the events of Terra
A two-part episode in the fourth season, "In a Mirror, Darkly",
introduced a Mirror Universe version of T'Pol. This version is more
cynical and openly emotional than her "real universe" counterpart, and
is also openly sexually manipulative, particularly of Commander Tucker.
The Mirror Universe T'Pol underwent pon farr at some point in the recent
past (it is not revealed if this was a natural occurrence or the result
of the same virus affecting the "real universe" version of T'Pol in
Bounty), and Trip mated with her in order to get her through it.
Physically, she differs from her real universe counterpart in that she
has long, blonde hair and, like other female officers in the Terran
Empire, she wears a two-piece uniform with a bare midriff (although
after transferring to the captured USS Defiant (NCC-1764), she adopts a
TOS-style miniskirt uniform temporarily until she is able to obtain a
more standard Empire uniform).
Mirror-T'Pol's mind meld abilities appear to be somewhat more advanced
than her counterparts, as she is capable of placing a form of
post-hypnotic suggestion into the minds of those with whom she melds;
since the real universe T'Pol had only recently learned how to meld, it
is unlikely she had yet achieved this level of melding proficiency. She
also appears to be more emotional than her counterpart, showing open
sarcasm and contempt for Archer, and is seen to either grin or snarl
(depending on one's point of view) during a brief bout of hand-to-hand
combat with Hoshi Sato.
Eventually, Mirror-T'Pol is forcibly transferred from the Defiant to the
ISS Avenger when Jonathan Archer attempts to rid his ship of all alien
crew members. T'Pol becomes convinced that Archer will never allow
Vulcans to be equals, and tries to stop him from taking over the Empire.
Mirror-T'Pol was inspired by reading the historical logs of our
universe's Defiant, which revealed that a universe existed where Humans,
Vulcans, and other aliens lived as equals in a benevolent Federation.
After recruiting the ISS Avenger's alien crew members to the rebellion,
T'Pol is caught and interrogated by Archer. Her ultimate fate is not
revealed; although both Archer and Hoshi Sato express a desire to have
her executed following her interrogation, the Defiant immediately enters
battle and this does not occur on screen.
During the episode's stated date of January 2155, T'Pol foreshadows
future events, such as the fall of the Terran Empire after several
centuries (which would be chronicled in the Mirror Universe episodes of
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.)
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