Who Was Jonathan Beckett Archer? A Star Trek Personnel File
Captain Jonathan Becket Archer was considered to be the “greatest explorer of the 22nd century” (by historian John Gill). He was instrumental in the success of the NX Program and captained the USS Enterprise through many early pivotal moments in the Human expansion into the larger universe.
Jonathan Beckett Archer, son of renowned warp scientist Henry Archer and his wife Sally, was born October 9th, 2112 on Earth in New York State in the United States. His paternal great-grandfather, Nathan Archer, was a captain in the United Nations Peace Directorate who served in North Africa during the Eugenics Wars. When Jonny was young and unable to go to sleep, his Mother would read to him the poem, “The Song of the Wandering Aengus”, it would be many years till he found out that his Mother wasn’t the author but that the poem was written by W B Yates. He was given “The Cosmos A to Z”, which he got on his eighth birthday in 2120. In December, before his family moved to San Francisco he went on a hike to the Nacaijin Gorge. His parents urged him to take along the family dog, Maska but he refused. This proved almost fatal because a Suliban Cabal agent followed him. In a scuffle that followed, Archer was kicked onto the ice. He was saved by a dog he thought was Maska, but was actually his future dog Porthos, sent back by a Timlot Danlen (also known as Daniels) of the Federation Temporal Agency.
He built a remote-controlled star ship model with his father in 2121 and asked him when his dad’s real warp ship would be ready. He was told many more years and to not distrust the Vulcans because of their interference in his project. Archer attained Eagle rank in Scouts, earning 26 merit badges including the Wilderness badge for going to a New Zealand rain forest.
Archer worried about failing, asking his father what would happen if he were to do so, his father replied, “Don’t fail”.
Henry Archer’s health began to fail due to Clarke’s Disease (a degenerative brain disorder marked in its final stage with hallucinations) in 2122, with his life ending 2 years later. He would never see what would become of his son’s great career.
Archer was active in sports and participated in the 2134 North American Water Polo Regionals. He also travelled to Africa and witnessed a Giraffe giving birth.
Starfleet Flight School & Early Career
Archer attended Starfleet Flight School based in San Francisco and entered the NX program in 2132. He developed a relationship with Margaret Mullin, who rejected his marriage proposal citing her fears about becoming the widow of a test pilot. He graduated in 2136 and became a Commander in the NX Program. During this time, he finds 2 lifelong friends, Charles “Trip” Tucker III and A. G. Robinson. Together they work to break the Warp 2 barrier.
The prototype NX-Alpha is destroyed during a flight test. Robinson is able to eject himself in an escape pod, becoming the first human to do so while in warp. Robinson and Archer argue over what was to blame, later realizing that Robinson was right and there was a flaw in the engine designs from Henry Archer’s plans.
The destruction of the protype gives the Vulcan naysayers enough standing to cancel the NX warp program. The three humans do not agree and believe the design to be sound now. They take out the Beta, the second test protype, in an unauthorized test flight and reach Warp 2.5. The NX Project is successfully reinstated with their achievement and Archer and Robinson suffer only a grounding for 3 months and an inquiry.
Captaining the Enterprise
Archer beat out his friend Robinson, and the Vulcan’s choice of Gardener to become Enterprise’s first Captain. The Enterprise was the first ship to have a Warp 5 engine based on his father’s designs. The Enterprise launched three weeks early due to a Klingon crashing on Earth after being attacked by the Suliban. Their goal was to start a Klingon civil war as part of their Temporal Cold War in the 31st century with many different factions. The Vulcans push for another delay in the launch due to Klaang being injured on Earth. Archer would not tolerate another delay and asked to take Klaang back to his people. The Vulcans objected, thinking that humans were not ready and were too volatile to handle such a mission. They were overruled by Admiral Maxwell Forrest. He gave Archer three days to assemble his crew and start the mission.
Archer recruited his old friend Tucker as chief engineer, Denobulan physician Doctor Phlox, Malcolm Reed as the armory officer, and Hoshi Sato for communications due to her specialty in exolingustics.
Archer had to compromise with the Vulcans to get access to their star charts, by bringing aboard a Vulcan science officer. He was assigned T’Pol who made it clear that she looked forward to the mission being concise and short.
The Enterprise was launched but soon tensions raised between Sato and T’Pol during a test of the warp reactor. They tore into each other and Sato insulted T’Pol in Vulcan. T’Pol reminded Sato that they both were expected to speak only English.
The Enterprise lost main power suddenly while interrogating a semi-conscious Klaang in sickbay. Aliens had boarded the Enterprise and abducted Klaang. Archer managed to get a lucky shot in, injuring one of the aliens. Archer then headed to the Bridge to find out why the alien ship wasn’t detected and also ordered no contact with Earth, which T’Pol was requesting. Doctor Phlox having examined the body of the alien killed during the incursion, found that it was a Suliban but its anatomy had been greatly altered by genetic modifications. T’Pol and Engineering worked to figure out the puzzle of the ship being able to go undetected while Sato had been breaking down the Klingon language. T’Pol helped confirm Sato’s translation that Klaang had visited Rigel X just before crashing on Earth, and the Enterprise headed for Rigel X. Meanwhile, the Suliban, one being called Silik, were interrogating Klaang, asking about a missing item. Klaang resisted and denied everything saying only that he had met a Suliban woman named Sarin, but no exchange was made.
The Enterprise then sent a team to Rigel X, and they made contact with Sarin, who informed Archer of the Temporal Cold War, a war being fought not just in one time, but many. Sarin offered to help them find Klaang but then the Cabal and Silik attacked, and she was killed. One Enterprise crew member was killed. Archer was almost killed as well but the crew managed to escape back to the Enterprise. T’Pol took command while Archer was recuperating. He awakened to find that she had respected his wishes of continuing their mission, and that they had tracked the Suliban to a gas giant and they found a space station where the Suliban likely had Klaang. The crew pulled together to gain entry and rescue Klaang. Archer was almost killed again, but Tucker used a transporter to save him just in time.
The Enterprise arrived at Qo’noS with Klaang, who told the High Council that he was ready to die for failing the Empire. The Klingon Chancellor then approached Klaang and made a small cut on his palm with a jagged dagger. The blood was collected in a vial and analyzed where it was discovered that Klaang had brought back valuable Suliban information. The Chancellor then approached Archer, putting the dagger to his throat and addressing him in Klingon. Archer believed the Klingon was thanking him for returning the missing Klaang, but Sato disabused him of this notion and told him that he didn’t want to know what the Klingon had actually said.
Archer realized that the mission would not have been successful without T’Pol, and he felt ready to leave his feelings about Vulcans behind him. The Enterprise then received orders to continue their mission of exploration instead of returning to Earth. He offered T’Pol the position of second-in-command and she accepted.
The Enterprise maked first contact with the Andorians at the ancient Vulcan monastery at P’Jem. They were highly suspicious of Humans, due to their alliance with Vulcans but Archer’s actions of uncovering a listening post beneath the monastery helped to cultivate their trust. This trust and friendship became invaluable when the Andorians later assisted the Enterprise during the ship’s mission to the Delphic Expanse to neutralize the Xindi threat after the Xindi attack Earth.
The Enterprise discovered a Class M planet that was named Archer IV in his honor. Though the planet had initial issues for humans, a cure for its problematic pollen was discovered and it was colonized.
The Enterprise encountered Silik, now disguised as a pilgrim to infiltrate the ship and disable it, but was stopped with the help of the Temporal Agent Daniels, who had been posing as a crew member.
Archer and the Enterprise made first contact with the Ferengi, but not officially, as Jean Luc Picard has that honor. The Ferengi stuned the crew of the Enterprise and attempted to rob it. T’Pol, Archer and Tucker were able to retake the ship.
Archer ordered the Enterprise to go to warp five when running from two hostile Mazarite ships. The Enterprise was able to attain 5.2, running faster than any Earth vessel before.
The Suliban destroyed a mining colony on Paraagan II. Daniels gave Archer the design for a quantum beacon, he constructed it and boarded a Suliban stealth cruiser and was able to prove it was them who had destroyed the colony. This resulted in Silik attempting to capture Archer. Daniels saved Archer by transporting him to the 31st century. Although this disruption resulted in a timeline where Earth had been destroyed, Archer and Daniels were able to repair it, but not before Archer learned how he was key to the future creation of the United Federation of Planets.
The first contact with the Romulans didn’t go well as a Romulan mine attached to the hull, as it is disarmed it triggered spikes that pierced Reed’s leg. Archer saved Reed as he carefully followed the tactical officer's directions.
The Enterprise crew explored a planet that had a pre-warp civilization. Archer and Reed were sentenced to death after being captured. They were believed to be enemy super soldiers. Not wanting to spoil the evolution of the Planet to that possible future of joining the rest universe once they achieved warp drive, Archer unknowingly built doctrine that would someday become the “Prime Directive", resigning he and Reed to death to keep it unspoiled.
The Enterprise investigated a black hole near a trinary star system. The effects of the black hole caused odd behaviors and then comas. T’Pol was able to awaken Archer and steer the ship from certain death.
Archer mediated a territorial dispute between Vulcans and Andorians, which adverted what would have been a war between them.
Borg, two centuries before the Enterprise-D encountered them were found on Earth in the Artic circle. They assimilated the scientists that found them. They had arrived from the 24th century when the Borg had attempted to intervene and stop Earth’s fist warp flight with Doctor Cochrane. The Borg attempted to leave Earth on the Scientists transport but were destroyed before doing so.
The Enterprise assisted Raatooras rebels which offended the Klingon Empire. Archer was put on trial, spared the death penalty but sentenced to Rura Penthe. Archer escaped and a bounty is put on his head by Duras. Archer made first contact with the Tellarite Skalaar, a bounty hunter who eventually helped him when the Klingons scrapped his ship.
A prototype Xindi weapon attacked Earth, and an area of damage going from Florida to Venezuela killed seven million people. The Enterprise was recalled and outfitted with new weapons to confront this new threat.
The Enterprise travelled to the Delphic Expanse. They dealt with Duras, who had been hunting them, and discovered that the Xindi had been manipulated into attacking Earth by the Sphere Builders. They were a faction involved with the Temporal Cold War. Their goal was to prevent the Federation from being founded as they were the ones who stopped the Sphere Builders in the 26th century. The Enterprise was able to convince the Xindi that Earth was not a threat. They were able to find and destroy the spheres and the even more powerful weapon that would have destroyed Earth. The crew created a reversal overload in the weapon, but Archer stayed behind to confront one of the Aliens. He was believed to be killed but rather had been thrown back to WW2 on Earth in an alternate timeline where the Na’kuhl were helping the Nazis to win the war by conquering America. He was able to stop them and end the war.
The Enterprise dealt with a part of resurrected Earth history from the Eugenics Wars. Dr. Arik Soong was responsible for reviving Augments, who were genetically engineered humans. These Augments attacked and stole a Klingon ship. Enterprise was able to stop the Doctor and the Augments as well as preserve peace with the Klingons.
The Earth embassy on Vulcan was bombed, resulting in the death of Admiral Maxwell Forrest, one of Archer’s friends and mentor. It was discovered to be the work of a Vulcan named V’Las of the Vulcan High Command, and not the Syrranites, a Vulcan splinter group. He had wished to wipe out the Syrranites and start a war of conquest against Andoria. The Vulcan High Command was dissolved, and a new era starts as Vulcans will no longer stand in the way of Humanity’s advancement.
Klingons stole Human Augment DNA to engineer their own. Unfortunately, this bred a virus that threatened to wipe out all Klingons. Dr. Phlox found a cure saving all the Klingons.
The leader of Terra Prime, a xenophobic terrorist group threatened to attack all alien and Starfleet ships with a veteron array on Mars. Archer confronted and fought him, but the weapon was still fired at Earth. Luckily, there were no human casualties.
The Federation’s Beginnings
Archer started negotiations that brought about the formation of the Coalition of Planets and the Federation. His command of the Enterprise ended, and he served in the new Federation Starfleet as a Chief of Staff and attained the rank of Admiral. He was also honored by being named an honorary member of the Andorian Imperial Guard and served as an ambassador to Andoria. He was elected as the President of the United Federation of Planets in 2184, a position he held for 8 years.