It was obvious from the beginning of Star Trek Enterprise that Jolene Blalock, portraying T’Pol, was going to add a sexy component to the show. They had her oil herself up in the very first episode.
It is a component that is part of all Star Trek series and Jolene Blalock filled the role perfectly. Of course, throughout the seasons, they had many other components that worked for them and just spiced up the episodes with a bit of sexual tension between T’Pol and the other co-stars.
However, near the 5th season, when ratings were starting to drop, they played their secret weapon.
T’Pol and Tom Paris, excuse me, Trip, started giving each other mutual massages as a way to treat headaches or something.
This lead to them starting a relationship and Trip even met her parents at one time.
This helped the ratings a lot, but it was still not enough. Around the middle of the 5th season, they were told on the grapevine that the sponsors were thinking of dropping the show.
They worked harder to increase the ratings and near the end of the 5th season, they were preparing for the 6th season, but they were still not sure it would get renewed.
They would be able to record 3 episodes of season 6 before the final decision about cancellation would happen, so they had a last chance to convince producers and sponsors that this show was going to continue.
The first episode of season 6 included T’Pol being stung by some bee like creature on a planet and it had a certain interesting effect on her.
In that episode they had some fun with the new look and T’Pol trying to adjust her uniform to her new dimensions.
Of course, they continued with the mutual massage storyline, although they allowed themselves to make it slightly more explicit.
And they show some promo pictures, both as advertisement to producers and the “money-men” behind the show, but of course also to be used to advertise the show once it was ready to air.
They wanted to make it clear to the audience what to expect and that there would be a lot more sexual content coming up in the 6th season of the show. Not only from Jolene Blalock, but also from Linda Park.
And they produced another promotional banner to be used on websites and probably not in places that could be viewed from traffic.
Of course, they couldn’t show anything too graphical in the promotional material, but they had been given an R rating as part of this last ditch effort to save the show, so everything inside the episode was basically on the table.
Even though it hadn’t been 7 years since the last cycle, they made an excuse for T’Pol to go through Pon Farr again with Trip.
Even after showing a first draft of the first episode to the studio, they were not convinced that they were going to renew the 6th season, but the showrunners still had two more episodes to produce before the decision would be final.
They decided to go with an episode in the theme of “everyone has gone crazy” due to some virus on board. Always popular. And of course it gave them an opportunity to have T’Pol walk around naked on the ship.
They also had her running around slapping people and laughing.
Even after the crisis was resolved, they did not put her back in uniform, but instead gave her a “random” piece of clothing that didn’t cover much.
Near the end of the episode, they had to fight off the aliens, and in her hurry, she was not able to get all the gear required to fight, but she got most of it. Those fight scenes were really great.
The studio said they were intrigued and that they were looking forward to seeing the third episode. This gave the team renewed faith that they could maybe pull this off.
They went straight on to the third and final episode and Jolene Blalock could not believe her eyes when she read the script. But she figured, she was contractually bound and also had gone this far, so if this was truly their best chance at saving the show, she would do her very best.
The promo shot for the third episode gave everyone an idea to expect more of T’Pol in this episode.
The first scene showed T’Pol on an alien planet without much further explanation about why she had to take a bath in a lake.
When she came back to the ship, she did not disclose her mission and we were to understand that she had been recruited by Vulcan intelligence on a secret mission.
Her uniform was more and more obscene at this stage in the show. It took some attention away from what was going on, on the bridge.
The next scene was with Trip and marked the first, and maybe the last, time that there has ever been any kind of explicit sex in the Star Trek universe.
It was very explicit, although Jolene Blalock was told that they would probably not show the scene in all detail because they would lose their R rating. However, the producers and the studio would be able to see the unaltered version.
After having sex with Trip, she transported the sperm sample, in her vagina, back to the planet. There she had sex with an alien and apparently the plot was something about mixing the DNA and gaining some scientific advantage out of it. To be honest, I didn’t quite get the plot.
With this episode completed, the team was happy to have done something never seen before and that would definitely be popular among many of the viewers of Star Trek.
They were thrilled to deliver the episode for viewing by the studio.
The answer came 2 days later. “The plot doesn’t make sense” was the comment “the decision to cancel the show is final”.
It was a great shock to the team and they never got to use the promo shot for the 4th episode of season 6 which we will never know what could have been.