Trip Tucker was the engineer we loved on Star Trek: Enterprise.
Known for playing Charles “Trip” Tucker III on Star Trek: Enterprise for four seasons, Connor Trinneer turns 53 today. Though Trip was the engineer on the Enterprise, he spent just as much time outside the engineering department as he did in it, maybe even more so. To celebrate Trinneer’s birthday, let’s take a look at three of the best episodes that really gave Trip a chance to shine.
Shuttlepod One—Season 1, Ep. 16
Trip and Reed believe the Enterprise has been destroyed after seeing debris in an asteroid field Captain Archer and the crew were mapping. The two men, who are aboard a shuttlepod, have ten days of oxygen, but they don’t have anywhere to go. Later, a breach in the hull reduces their oxygen time to only two days so they lower the temperature to conserve power.
Trip grows exasperated with Reed’s defeatist attitude, and the back and forth with the pair keeps the episode moving so fast you don’t even realize it’s almost over. Trinneer is at his best with the frustration and his later attempt to sacrifice himself in an effort to save Lt. Reed.
Dawn—Season 2, Ep. 13
When Trip is in a shuttlepod that is shot down by an unknown alien species, he is forced into an emergency landing as is the alien who shot him. They both end up on an unknown planet where they each take turns being the other’s prisoner.
But it’s not the fighting that makes this a standout episode for Trip; it’s the realization that his enemy, later identified as Zho’Kaan, is going to die because his body cannot handle the heat of the planet as the temperature rises to 170 degrees. Trip has the opportunity to be rescued by the Enterprise, but he won’t leave without Zho’Kaan even though the alien attempted to kill him. Trip isn’t willing to leave anyone behind to die.
Terra Prime—Season 4, Ep. 21
In this second part episode that began in “Demons,” T’Pol and Trip are still being held captive, but they are allowed to see their baby who was created without their knowledge or consent. The baby, who is later named Elizabeth after Trip’s sister, is sick, and once Trip and T’Pol make it back to the Enterprise, they were hopeful Dr. Phlox could help. Unfortunately, there’s nothing the doctor can do.
Trip and T’Pol’s grief is so real it’s practically palpable, and Trip’s attempt to make T’Pol feel marginally better, saying there’s nothing to prevent them from having a baby together, is both pitiful and endearing. Needless to say, this should have been the finale of the series if it had to end.
Trip Tucker made the Enterprise come alive.
The character of Trip Tucker brought a lot of humor to the series. With his country charm and good looks, he was easily a bright spot aboard the ship. Even in the darkest of moments, he had a way about him that lightened the atmosphere around him. To me, he was one of the best, if not the best, characters on Star Trek: Enterprise. I only wish there could have been many more episodes to showcase this character.