Eager to visit the deep-space colony of a race called the Paraagans, Captain Archer leads an away team toward the surface of an alien planet. While piloting the shuttlepod into the atmosphere, Reed proceeds cautiously as he follows the Paraagan landing protocols precisely, a necessity due to the high concentration of the volatile gas tetrazine at a certain altitude. He closes the shuttlepod's plasma vents as instructed (exhaust plasma being the only thing hot enough to ignite the tetrazine), but just then the shuttlepod is rocked by a deafening explosion, and a massive shockwave scorches the planet beneath them. After getting back to Enterprise safely, the distraught team learns the colony of 3600 people has been obliterated, and tries to figure out what happened. Reed is absolutely certain both plasma ducts were closed without malfunction, but Archer orders an investigation while he braces himself to report the incident to Admiral Forrest. While the crew continues its analysis and Archer deals with intense feelings of guilt, Forrest convenes an emergency meeting of the Command Council. He later informs Archer that Enterprise is to return home, and a Vulcan ship will rendezvous with them in three days to pick up T'Pol and Dr. Phlox.
Star Trek: Enterprise, a prequel set before the original series, follows the crew of Earth's first warp five starship. Lead by Jonathan Archer and his crew, the series follows their adventures as they explore never before seen parts of the galaxy, setting foot on new worlds and meeting new races, as well as some familiar ones.