Who Was Captain Jonathan Archer?

Jonathan Archer was the protagonist of popular TV series Star Trek: Enterprise. The fictional character was played by the talented Scott Bakula. 

Captain Archer is known for his important contribution in formation of the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet. From 2151 to 2161, he served as the commander of NX-01 – the starship Enterprise. Later from 2184 to 2192, he was the president of the United Federation of Planets. 


Archer was born to Henry Archer, a famous warp engineer and his wife Sally on 4 August 2112 in Upstate New York. He spent most of the early years of his life in NY and then moved to San Francisco. Besides, Jonathan’s great-grandfather named Nathan Archer also served in the United Nations Peace Directorate as a captain and played his role during Eugenics Wars from 1992 to 1996.

In the second episode of the season First Flight, it was depicted that Archer spend several years as a test pilot of Starfleet’s NX program, which was based in San Francisco. He was fond of exploring things even when he was a young boy. Archer got Eagle Scout Award in a young age, and Boy Scouts of America presented him 26 Merit Badges (as mentioned in season episode Rough Planet).


Jonathan loved Water polo sports, and he would prefer to watch the games to relax himself in stressful situations. Moreover, he showed interest in technology and space flight from a very early age. Jonthan was just nine years old when he built a model starship with the help of his father in 2121. 



Archer enrolled in Earth Starfleet Flight School situated in San Francisco in the 2130s. Later in 2132, he was accepted into Starfleet as well as NX program. 

In the NX warp trails, Archer served as a commander test pilot along with Duvall, A. G. Robinson and Gardner. It is seen in the episode First Flight that Robinson pushed limits of the NX-Alpha (test ship) and caused its destruction. As a result, the Vulcans suggested to terminate the warp trials and Starfleet agreed to it. Later, Charles Tucker III stabilized intermix rations and Archer along with Robinson took out the second test ship (NX-Beta) without the clearance of its readiness. For the very reason, Captain Archer got suspended, and the program got delayed for next six months and resumed before the construction of Enterprise.

Love Relationship

During Archer’s time in Starfleet Flight School, he dated Margaret Mullin and just before a day of his graduation from the institute in 2136; he proposed her. However, the proposal of 24-year-old handsome Archer was declined by Mullin as she was not interested in becoming a ‘Starfleet widow’.

Captain of Enterprise


Archer became a Starfleet Captain in 2151. He was ready to take command of the first ship Enterprise NX-01 in order to use the warp five engine design by his father. Archer successfully convinced his superiors in the favor of Enterprise launch delay for three weeks when a Klingon crashed on the Earth.

Archer wanted to send the injured Klingon back home to Qo’noS. However, this mission didn’t show any positive response and a Temporal Cold War started and affected Archer and the Enterprise because Klingon was shot down by Suliban Cabal. The Enterprise was already in the space, so Starfleet allowed Captain Archer to commence the mission of ship exploration.

The Xindi

Xindi – a prototype weapon was seen on the orbit of earth on 22 March 2153. It killed seven million people by cutting a swath that was extended from Florida to Venezuela. On the other hand, Enterprise was outfitted and recalled with new weapons. 

In this scenario, Archer took the Enterprise to the Delphic Expanse in order to find Xindi and to prevent the launch of any other weapon that can destroy humanity and the Earth. Finally, Archer along with his crew was able to destroy the Sphere Builder artifacts that were responsible for the existence of Expanse’s. It convinced the Xindi Council to destroy the Xindi super weapon that could harm the Earth.

The Romulan War

The Enterprise and Archer saved T’Uerell, a Vulcan scientist, from the Romulans in 2159. The captain came to know that T’Uerell was responsible for several disasters in the Alpha Quadrant, like destroying a Starfleet member, exposing planets to toxins and more. T’Uerell hid and was not seen till late 23rd century until she was intercepted by the USS Enterprise and James T. Kirk.

After Starfleet

Archer retired as a Starfleet Captain on 1st January 2169. However, he continued serving as a diplomat by working in the Federation Ambassador to Andoria. In the 2175, he was selected for the Federation Councillor position for United Earth. 

The Network Wished to Kill Captain Jonathan Archer


When the season Enterprise was aired, it was not really a success like other Star Trek franchises. Although it started well, but the audience lost interest as the series progressed. UPN, the network behind the show, blamed the character of Jonathan for the downfall (apparently the performance of Scott Bakula). 

Producers and studio bigwigs discussed the possibilities of fourth series and the studio network suggested to replace Bakula with a sexier, younger captain. Fortunately, it never happened as the producers were in the favor of captain. 

Captain Jonathan Archer – Wrap Up

Jonathan Archer was a Starfleet Captain who was daring, brave and smart. He spent several years of his life serving as a commander and fulfilling his assigned duties like a hero. His love for science and technology helped him a lot in exploring the space and working in the field for the betterment.

Jonathan’s remarkable performance played an important role in saving humanity and Earth from destruction. He successfully portrayed himself to be a true hero. However, the character couldn’t earn the praises and fame that it deserved. What are your views on it?