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Feature: Star Trek: Enterprise

Tactical Advantage

Dominic Keating Although his character of Lt Malcolm Reed is likely to shoot first and ask questions later, Dominic Keating lowers his guard to talk to us

First it was the Klingons and Romulans, then the Borg, followed by The Dominion and Species 8472. Every Star Trek series has had at least one alien race that has posed a major threat to the future of the Human race. On Star Trek: Enterprise, Captain Archer and the Enterprise NX-01 crew are searching the Delphic Expanse for the Xindi, a species that is planning to destroy Earth. Their mission has kept the ship’s weapons and tactical officer Lt Malcolm Reed on his toes. Fortunately, the stiff-upper-lipped Brit is more than up to the challenge as is the actor who plays him, Dominic Keating.

“I’m very pleased about the Xindi story arc this season,” says Keating. “I think the fans like the fact that there’s an ongoing adventure they can tune into each week and follow as opposed to a neatly packaged episode that we fly away from time after time by the seat of our pants. The writers are definitely enjoying themselves and Scott Bakula [Captain Jonathan Archer] is happy that we have a mission and something to sink our teeth into.

“As for me, our third year has helped me develop a greater confidence in myself as an actor and in playing Malcolm. I’d done a great deal of acting before being hired for Enterprise, but I wasn’t exactly the seasoned performer that one becomes after two-and-a-half seasons of working as a regular on a TV series. It’s funny, a good mate of mine recently visited me on the set, and at one point he remarked how good it was to see me in my element and so relaxed. We’d be chatting and having a cup of coffee when suddenly I’d be called away to act. I’d put my cup down, go do a scene, and then come back and say, ‘Now where were we?’ It’s all in a day’s work,” he chuckles.

The NX-01 has already been in the Delphic Expanse for six weeks when Enterprise’s third season opens. In the first episode, The Xindi, the ship arrives at an alien mining colony where Archer asks to question a Xindi worker. Instead, its foreman (Stephen McHattie) leads him and Commander Tucker (Connor Trinneer) into a trap. Keating was most impressed with guest-star McHattie’s work. “Apparently, he’d auditioned several times for Star Trek and for whatever reason was never cast,” notes the actor. “Luckily, our producers were able to get Stephen for this role and he was amazing. He’s a consummate performer and it was a pleasure to act in a scene with him.”

by Steve Eramo

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TV Zone #174
April 2004
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