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The Best of Charles 'Trip' Tucker III

For Connor Trinneer's birthday, let's celebrate the NX-01's chief engineer!

Graphic illustration of Trip Tucker

That's why we chose this life, right? See things we've never seen before. Hell of a ride, though. Hell of a ride.

Trip Tucker, "Dawn"

We recently saw the return of Charles "Trip" Tucker III in the Star Trek: very Short Treks' "Holograms All the Way Down." Among the reaction, one thing's for sure — fans can't get enough Trip adventures starring actor Connor Trinneer.

In celebration of Trinneer's birthday today, we're highlighting a couple of our favorite Trip-centric Star Trek: Enterprise episodes that showcases the gifted orbital engineer's good humor, sense of humanity, and charisma.

"Shuttlepod One"

With life support dwindling on their shuttlepod, Reed and Trip Tucker bundle up while sharing a bottle of booze in 'Shuttlepod One'

"Shuttlepod One"

The list kicks off with the episode "Shuttlepod One," which highlights the start of one of Star Trek's best unlikely bromances — the congenial Trip Tucker and buttoned-up Malcolm Reed — in quite the predicament in the early days of space travel.

Returning from a mission, Trip and Reed happen upon a debris field at the Enterprise's rendezvous point. With their sensors array and comm systems down, and seeing parts of their ship on an asteroid's surface, the duo assume the worst — the Enterprise is destroyed and their crew dead. Stranded with only 10 days of air, the odd couple start to get on each other's nerves as Trip hopes to be found alive clashes with Reed's "realistic" pessimism. Reed finds Trip's optimism "treacly" while Trip sees Reed as "the grim reaper."

Freezing and sharing a bottle of Kentucky bourbon, the duo start to see they have a lot more in common than they realized. However, their damaged shuttlepod is in a much dire state. Facing the slim possibility of survival, Trip tries to sacrifice himself so Reed has a better chance of survival. However, Reed would rather have Starfleet find two dead bodies instead of one. Thankfully, Enterprise arrives in time to save the two from lack of oxygen and hypothermia. And so begins an excellent friendship.


I'm the chief engineer. I spent years earning that position. I never had any intention of becoming a working mother!

Trip Tucker, "Unexpected"

Aboard the Xyrillian ship, Ah'len examines Trip Tucker's body discovering the female embryo within him in 'Unexpected'

"Unexpected" is another bright spot in the series. This is the one where Trip goes down in history as the first human male to become pregnant.

Following a three-day mission aboard an Xyrillian ship to help with repairs, Trip returns to the Enterprise. Noticing an unusual growth on his wrist, he visits Dr. Phlox. Turns out, the growth is a nipple, plus there's an embryo forming in his ribs. Congrats - Trip's pregnant! Phlox, Archer, and T'Pol refuse to believe the flirt was a mere "gentleman" aboard the Xyrillian ship. He suddenly recalls a pebble game, which was where the genetic material transfer occurred. The embryo contains none of his genetic material; he's simply a host for the alien embryo.

As the Enterprise tries to track down the Xyrillians, Trip begins to experience the gamut of pregnancy hormones like irritability, increase in appetite, and the overwhelming concern about the safety aboard the ship for the future child. Luckily for trip, they're able to locate the Xyrillians and transfer the embryo, but not without revealing his growing state to a ship of amused Klingons.


Trip Tucker shows a cogenitor Charles around the NX-01 including the transporter room in 'Cogenitor'


Not all first contacts go smoothly.

Preparing to study a hypergiant star, the Enterprise makes first contact with the Vissians, another species in the area studying the same phenomenon. When Archer invites Captain Drennik and his crew aboard the Enterprise, his crew starts to mingle with the Vissians. Trip meets a Vissian couple and their "cogenitor," a a member of the Vissian's third gender. Cogenitors are viewed as less than a pet; they're nameless and not allowed to learn. Despite having the same mental capacities as other Vissians, their only function is to facilitate pregnancies among Vissians.

Believing the couple's congenitor to be mistreated, Trip secretly begins to teach it how to read and to view itself as equal to other Vissians. However, Trip learns a hard lesson in non-interference with other cultures when the cogenitor requests asylum, and Archer had to deny the request. Archer comes down on his friend and colleague reminding him he's not a first-year recruit. Despite coming from a good place, Trip's impulsive actions led to the ruin of the lives of the Vissian couple who were planning on having a child as well as cogenitor who took their own life knowing they would not be able to live a fuller life.


Sim looks over the gravely injured Trip Tucker as he considers his current dilemma in 'Similitude'


When Trip is near-fatally wounded, Archer and Dr. Phlox decide they cannot afford to lose their chief engineer during this critical moment in the Xindi crisis. To save Trip, he uses one of his larvae to create a mimetic simbiot, or clone of Trip, to harvest its necessary organs for a transplant.

Over the course of "Similitude," the simbiot would grow and die in the span of 15 days. We witness "Sim" age from baby to kid to teen to adult. While Sim develops his own memories and relationships with the crew, he also possesses the original Trip's experiences and memories. As the crew bonds with Sim, they learn that the transplant to save Trip will be fatal to Sim. As Sim argues for his right to live, he starts to grow resentful towards Trip, who is also him.

"The Forgotten"

That's the name of one of the places you destroyed, Florida. Did you actually see the cities burning, the houses, the people being vaporized? You know, I had a sister there.

Trip Tucker, "The Forgotten"

Overwhelmed by grief and anger over his sister's death, Trip Tucker confronts Degra about the destruction the Xindi weapon caused in 'The Forgotten'

"The Forgotten"

"The Forgotten" is a culmination of events in Season 3 following the Xindi's attack on Earth, which took 7 million lives including Trip's sister Elizabeth, as well as the most recent attack that took the lives of 18 crewman. Fueling Trip's drive is to track down the Xindi in the Delphic Expanse.

Trip is forced to confront his grief and loss when Archer orders him to write a condolence letter to the engineering crewman's family and the presence of Degra and Xindi-Arboreal from the Xindi Council. The Xindi weapon is to be launched in a matter of days; however, they have offered to stop it if Archer can provide concrete evidence that they've been manipulated.

In a standout moment, Trip calls out Degra for the Xindi's actions on Earth, forcing him to see its affects on others. Degra admits to Archer he never expected to meet anyone affected by what he's done. However, it's his private moment with T'Pol when he finally confronts what he's been suppressing all this time. He expresses his envy of the Vulcan's ability to express emotions. Comforting Trip, T'Pol helps him comes to terms with the grief and difficulty of the past few months. And in writing the letter to the crewman's family, Trip finally says goodbye to his sister as well.

"Demons" / "Terra Prime"

Mournng the loss of their cloned daughter, T'Pol and Trip Tucker sit together finding solace in their shared grief in 'Terra Prime'

"Terra Prime"

The most ardent fans consider the penultimate two-parter "Demons" and "Terra Prime" as the series' conclusion, exemplifying Star Trek's vision of an optimistic future. It's the NX-01 crew and their missions that paves the way for the good established by what will become the United Federation of Planets.

The two-parter's story and message is still very relevant to our world today. During a historic conference that sought to form a coalition of planets, an underground xenophobic terrorist group — Terra Prime — make known their opposition. Disgusted by Starfleet's alliances with other worlds, the group's leader John Frederick Paxton is intent on returning Earth to its "rightful owners" — humanity. In addition to taking control of Mars' verteron array, Terra Prime has also created a human-Vulcan hybrid infant from T'Pol and Trip Tucker's stolen DNA to show how humanity's genetic pool will be diluted and corrupted if alien-human relations continue.

In the series' finest moment, the Enterprise fights for Star Trek's very ethos at a crucial time in Earth's progression and future. Confronting a Terra Prime member's hatred towards Vulcans, the two-parter holds a mirror to the start of the series as Archer and Trip often clashed with T'Pol's presence on their ship due to their mistrust of Vulcans, demonstrating the crew's growth across four seasons.

BONUS: "First Flight"

In the locker room, as Archer gears up for the launch of the NX-Beta, Trip Tucker holds his helmet wishing he could head out with Archer and Robinson in 'First Flight'

"First Flight"

While not a Trip-centric episode, we had to close out the list with another episode that gives us the origins of one of Trip's bromances.

"First Flight" serves as a prequel to Enterprise as Archer reflects on his early days of the NX test program, demonstrating Starfleet's pioneering spirit, as he and his rival competed to be the first to break the Warp 2 barrier. It's here Trip meets his future captain and builds the foundation of their friendship as they examine what went wrong with the NX-Alpha test, which utilizes a warp engine designed by Archer's father.

In addition to breaking up Archer's brawl with rival A.G. Robinson, Trip decides to help the two pilots keep the NX program on track with an unsanctioned test run with the NX-Beta. Manning the ground, Trip wishes he could be out there with Archer and Robinson. Archer promises Trip that he will be out there one day; and when he's commanding his own ship, he'll ensure the engineer will be right there among his crew. It was their actions that night that ensured the NX program continued, furthering human exploration.