This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe. An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
back to Character Insight! This week, we profile Daniels, the recurring character from Enterprise.
Daniels is a temporal agent who travels through time frequently to achieve missions related to the Temporal Cold War. Although the parts of the Cold War that viewers can see are limited thanks to seeing things from Archer's perspective, the storylines involving Daniels reveals that time is a tapestry in which many different threads come together (and can be torn asunder when desired by bad actors). Daniels is one of only four recurring characters to appear in all four seasons of Enterprise.
Daniels appears as a regular crewman initially, as he infiltrates the crew to prepare for the appearance of Silik, the antagonist leader of the Suliban Cabal. His first three episodes focus on this ongoing battle through time with Silik, highlighted by being stuck in the 31st Century with Captain Archer. However, they escape with some engineering ingenuity and some 22nd Century technology.
Once the Xindi become a regular threat, Daniels appears on multiple occasions to try and convince Archer that he should not commit suicide to stop the Xindi. Daniels explains that Archer is critical to the formation of the Federation, and the Federation is what stops the Sphere Builders, a race that bribes the Xindi to destroy Earth before the Federation is formed. If this sounds familiar, it is because this is just like how the Borg tried to travel in time to stop Earth from making First Contact.
Of course, then Enterprise totally jumps the temporal shark and pits Archer's crew against some aliens aligned with the Nazis. Yes, the Nazis again...it's a wonder Lincoln didn't get shot too.
Although the stories related to the Cold War can be hard to follow, Daniels is a fun conduit to show that time is yet another dimension to conquer and control. His character has helped spawn a series of books called Department of Temporal Investigations, for those who enjoy this time travel stuff.
The Quote of the Week is from "Azati Prime"
Temporal Agent Daniels:
If you destroy their weapon, they will only build another. You are
the only one who can convince them of what I have told you. It is
crucial to history that you do not sacrifice yourself.
Captain Jonathan Archer:
My concern is with preventing the deaths of billions of people. If
that's a problem for history, then history will have to suffer!
Matt Winston played Daniels, and he has appeared in great movies like Fight Club, AI, and Little Miss Sunshine.
Speaking of movies, don't forget to help vote for the upcoming list of
best Trek movie villains over at strawpoll.me/1175936. You can help
craft Character Insight!