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Feature: Enterprise

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The Enterprise crew: Mayweather, Reed, T'Pol, Archer, Sato, Phlox and Tucker

The start of a new year marks the start of a new era in the UK for the Star Trek franchise. Yes, folks, Enterprise is making its début on Sky One, and star Scott Bakula is here to tell us all about his splendid fledgling series!

Science Fiction is nothing new to Scott Bakula. From March 1989 to August 1993, he starred as Dr Sam Beckett, leaping through Time on the hit show Quantum Leap. Now Bakula has taken another ‘leap' into the Science Fiction genre, with the role of Captain Jonathan Archer in the new Star Trek show Enterprise. Whereas The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager took place after the infamous Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Enterprise is set 150 years before Kirk ever commanded the vessel. When we caught up with Bakula, he had only filmed the pilot and two other episodes – everything was new to him.

From the time you were approached about doing the show to now, how has your character changed?

The way I work is you kind of get into it and then you find things and feel how your relationships are going to work – because it's not always the same as it is on paper. But Brannon [Braga] and Rick [Berman] were really great about setting this character and selling him to me. They pretty much delivered on that. And that doesn't always happen... They've done a good job, I think, of making him a pretty good dynamic, and interesting, with a lot of room to grow.

What did Rick and Brannon actually say that sold you on the character?

They just talked about going back to a feeling of the Kirk/Spock/Bones relationship. More about the relationship between the crew and the captain and his officers as opposed to a relationship to the universe. And that right away was very appealing to me. Much more of a human approach in terms of emotions, and things going on on the ship that he's not always happy about.

Archer's a Starfleet brat, basically, I grew up in the system. My dad was part of the whole thing. Fulfilling this life-long dream to captain a starship and then being the first one to go out, all of these things were very appealing to me. I myself was an avid fan of the original Star Trek, so to get an opportunity to go before and do all the things they were talking about… It was a big carrot and it was a good one to put out in front of me!

How much of the universe will we see?

We are actually going on a mission, but what's limited us is our warp capacity. We've been working on this engine, which my father has been working on in conjunction with the Vulcans for a good 50 years. And we are finally able to achieve warp speed that will allow us to really travel. So, for instance, Travis Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery), my navigator, he's a space boomer. He's grown up on cargo ships. So it's more about finally having a capacity to go out to entirely different solar systems that we did not have before. So that's the big jump-off here.

We're a hundred years before Kirk and Spock and so there's no Federation. There are no rules… that again was what was exciting about this… it's the Wild West and there is no one out there you can complain to. So you have to find your own way, and my character and the ship, we are taking Earth into the universe and [this is the story of] how we do that and how we present ourselves and the mistakes that we are going to make. He is a very fallible kind of captain… and so I think he makes it really exciting...

by Sue Schneider

Mondays, 20.00
Sky One from Monday Jan 7 2002

Get the full four-page interview when you buy
Cult Times #76.

Images © Paramount Television, UPN
Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Cult Times Special #20, see below for ordering options
Cult Times #76
January 2002
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