‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ star Scott Bakula on reunion possibilities

April 02, 2013 | 3:33 p.m.
Scott Bakula in "Enterprise" (UPN)

Scott Bakula in “Enterprise” (UPN)

Scott Bakula was already familiar to television audiences as Dr. Sam Beckett, the time-traveling do-gooder he played for five seasons on the NBC series “Quantum Leap,” when he won the role of Capt. Jonathan Archer, commander of the first Warp 5 starship, in 2001 for the new show “Star Trek: Enterprise.” It was a role he played for four seasons until the series was canceled in 2005, and it placed him in the fairly elite ranks of actors to wear a captain’s uniform on a “Star Trek” television series, though he hasn’t become as indelibly identified with Archer as, say, William Shatner has with James. T. Kirk (apologies to Chris Pine).

As the first season of “Enterprise” comes to Blu-ray, Bakula spoke to Hero Complex about the character, his memories of the series and what, if anything, might prompt an “Enterprise” reunion. “Veronica Mars”-style Kickstarter campaign, anyone?

HC: You’re unique among the “Star Trek” captains in that you were well-known to U.S. audiences before you took the role. Did that have any effect when you were deciding to take the part?

SB: It did, to a certain extent. I was sold on the part when they told me it was 100 years before Kirk. But the fact that I’d done “Quantum Leap” and I have a certain level of notoriety from other things that I’ve done — I felt like I wasn’t going to fall into a “this is the defining moment of my career” kind of situation. Not that the other folks didn’t have careers, but people knew me from a lot of other things. So I was comfortable taking it on. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be known as the captain of a starship for the rest of your life, so it became a non-issue pretty quickly for me.

HC: When you step into a franchise that has such a devoted fanbase, did you second-guess any of your choices in creating the character?

SB: What I’ve found, and I’ve done a few sci-fi things, the awareness of that is important only in that it pushes me to make better choices, more interesting choices, to make sure pieces line up. You get in the most trouble in sci-fi and fantasy when you start contradicting yourself in story and plot and themes. People are like, “You can’t change it like that. That’s BS, I’m out.” The fans encourage the creators to be better. I think there’s nothing wrong with that.

HC: How strange was it to be making and promoting a science-fiction show in the aftermath of 9/11? What are your memories of that time?

SB: Most of my memories of that time are about what happened in reality after the event that summer, the real reality of what happened compared to launching a TV show. I’ll never forget showing up the morning after the pilot premiered [on Sep. 26, 2001] and there was a guy in front of the studio with a sign that said, “Love the show, hate the song.” And I pulled into the lot and thought, “Really? Is that what we’ve become?” We have this horrible thing that’s happened on our own planet, in our country and we make a TV show, it’s fiction. Yes, it’s storied and has a long history and we have big shoes to fill. I get all of that. But it’s still a TV show and the pilot I thought was extraordinary. Those kind of moments give you perspective into what’s important in work and life and what we’re on the planet to be doing. It was an extraordinary time and a terrible, devastating time. We had guest stars come in who had lost friends in the tower. Everyone was affected on so many levels. Our show shifted in the middle of the second season to a parallel pursuit of the Xindi and trouble on planet Earth. We had to go there. The writers were being affected by it in their own lives and it permeates your work and creativity. Instead of shying away from it, we embraced it and that’s when the show took off.

HC: Did the thing about the song come up a lot?

SB: Yes. There were two things that were somewhat irritating that came up in the period of time that we made that show. People either loved or hated the theme song and people loved or hated that I had a dog on board. It was a little obsessive and a little shortsighted, missing the big picture. It’s not that people don’t want to love your show. I always know that the guy who wore that sign, he wanted to love our show. He said so on the sign. But we’ve created a world where people have forums to speak their minds anonymously or not. You want to encourage that, but you also have to take it with a grain of salt. There’s going to be critics of everything I do, every day. We put our heads down and worked as hard as we could for as long as they let us, with great results.

HC: How did you handle the technobabble? Many “Star Trek” actors have complained about it.

SB: That’s the kind of thing you can either make your enemy or your friend. I chose to make it a challenge. The joke always was, it’s like Shakespeare. When you get Shakespeare, you don’t go in and say, “I don’t know why he put that comma there or why he made those words like that and I don’t want to do those anymore.” I just said I’d try to be as letter perfect as I possibly can. If I don’t like what’s on the page, then I will talk to them. But once I go with it, the goal is to deliver it. We had a fair amount of technobabble, but I’d say in some instances we have less than the other shows because we were a more primitive ship with more primitive things to work with, so often times we didn’t have to explain what we were talking about. If you say you’ve got a “phase cannon,” you kind of get what that is. A phase pistol, the word pistol is there. It’s not a phaser. We had a lot of words that were not alien words, so to speak. But there were times when I had a big, fat monologue and there was lots of crazy stuff coming out of my mouth. It was a challenge and I liked it.

HC: The success of the “Veronica Mars” Kickstarter campaign has fueled a lot of speculation about other fan-favorite shows that could be brought back after cancellation. There was a big fan push to save “Enterprise” when it was canceled. Would you be open to a Kickstarter reunion?

SB: I talked about that in the beginning, before Kickstarter was around. If the fans want us to do a movie or the fans want more episodes, why don’t we let the fans be investors in the show? This is eight years ago and it didn’t go anywhere. I’d love to do [a new season], but the big problem with our show is that it requires effects and sets. A lot of our sets have been sold. Our bridge is in Germany, assembled in a guy’s garage.

HC: Really?

SB: Yep. He’s a fan, he’s got a whole museum of stuff. He gave me a card at a convention in London. He said if you’re ever in Germany, I’ve got the bridge, I’ve got the uniforms, I’ve got everything. I guess we could all shoot in Germany in his garage.

– Patrick Kevin Day

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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Comments


47 Responses to ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ star Scott Bakula on reunion possibilities

  1. david t. lindsay says:

    only if they do an entire season in the reverse universe. I loved that song!

  2. ionstorm2 says:

    That's got to be the best garage of all time!

  3. srsly b. hurt says:

    The song was horrible, the dog was lame, and when they went on the crusade against the Xindi, I quit streaming it off Netflix. Star Trek isn't about vendetta and war without end, it's about potential, and unfortunately, the show had none.

    • Danielsan says:

      You should really watch season 4.

    • Yrdnal says:

      Um… that WAS the point. But you had to get there. Instead you quit.

    • Victorinox says:

      War has been present in every iteration of Star Trek. We had the Earth-Romulan War, the Federation-Klingon War, the Federation-Cardassian War, the Federation-Tzenkethi War, the Borg invasion, the Dominion War, etc. etc. etc., so how is the Xindi war any different?

      The song was "different" but in my opinion, it was a great song. If they were going to change the usual instrumental music I can't think of a better choice. I probably would have preferred an instrumental song like the other shows, but for me that is not enough to say the show is bad.

      Finally, the dog made Archer a bit more like "us". In the Star Trek future apparently people don't have pets, but this part of the ST universe is not that far into the future, so humans still have some of our current traits, such as pets. What's the problem with that?

    • Jassen says:

      Umm…you do realise Star Trek is pretty much Marines in space? Of course there would be war!

    • Jake says:

      “Star Trek isn’t about vendetta and war without end”

      Without wanting to spoil the ending you should really, seriously finish watching that season, for exactly the reason you just mentioned.

  4. Khan the easy way says:

    Yeah, but wouldn't the guy in Germany give the bridge back if it meant a new season of the show? (Or at least, sell it back for cheap?)

  5. @ShannonNutt says:

    Mr. Bakula needs to watch BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME. Sets are NO LONGER NEEDED. They can shoot green screen and it will look exactly like the bridge from the old show.

  6. Andrew says:

    New Season, or movie??? I say run with new sets. I don't think they should pick up right where the show left off. It has been a few years, and the actors have all aged. Doug Drexler already has the Refit CG model ready to roll, and it would be expected that over time, the interiors, uniforms, and even the crew would experience changes. And there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that, or having a different Star Trek story going. This is the original time line, BEFORE the events portrayed in J.J. Abrams 2009 movie, so they would be unaffected by any of that – leaving them WIDE OPEN for new and exciting story lines!

  7. tomr says:

    This show had a lo of potential and the fourth season was just the start of quality story lines to go along with a quality production.
    A new season of this show would be a great way to introduce a new generation to Star trek on television. I think it would now pull in good ratings!

  8. Mike says:

    I liked the show and recently re-watched it on Netflix. Bakula did a great job and Jolene Blalock should get much more credit than she does for being a good actress. The storylines just weren't good enough and I think the "100 years before Kirk" setting was to blame. I think the writers felt hemmed in and constrained because they had to tread lightly. I enjoyed the Andorians whenever they showed up. Jeffrey Combs was great. They just never took any chances. The ship was slow, the ground it was covering had already been tread and it wasn't as rough 'n tumble old west discovery as it should have been. And the alien Nazis? *just soo bad*

  9. Martin Netter says:

    Yes the guy in Germany with his big warehouse wont to help it they need it for a new season still stored the most of the ship..

  10. Robert Karma says:

    In looking back at the way the story-line of Enterprise evolved it couldn't avoid being impacted by the post-9/11 shock felt in our culture and then the response of our government to use it to launch a "war on terror." The Xindi arc was created to be a parable for dealing with a sudden and devastating attack on our planet with the threat of a more serious attack to come. How do you deal with a shadowy, unknown, foreign, alien foe who threatens your species? So the crew of the Enterprise goes in search of these Xindi and discover some are good sentient beings, some are determined to strike Earth because they were misled into thinking humans were a threat to their survival. The issues were convoluted and lost in shades of gray. Archer showed a harder edge because he believed he had to violate his principals in order to serve the greater good. There was a moral uncertainty in dealing with this threat. So I understand what the script writers were trying to do but going so dark over the course of an entire season is just not Star Trek's milieu. Season 4 really got Enterprise back on track in setting up the coming Romulan War and the founding of the Federation. We found out what happened to the Klingons, we visit Vulcan and learn more about their species, culture and diversity, we see the Augments and Dr. Soong, we went through the mirror to the alternate universe for a fantastic double episode. The foundation for a successful run for three more seasons was in place. Unfortunately the breakup at Paramount spinning off the TV side to CBS prematurely ended the mission of Capt. Archer and crew. I would love to see Season 5 via Netflix. I really wanted to see the birth of the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan War. They could get back to the positive secular humanist vision of the future as envisioned by Gene Roddenberry. Star Trek works best as a weekly series on the small screen. I hope that Enterprise returns to finish their story and that other Star Trek projects are in the works for television.

  11. Mark says:

    It was all that time in the Expanse, that killed the series. I hated it. It was drawn out and confining. Ruined the mood of the show. I think if they were to do some episodes (wishful thinking) that were more on par with what Trek always was, a action/adventure "Wagon Train to the Stars", as Gene Roddenberry called his original creation, it would take off and thrive.

  12. Nancy Johnson says:

    Loved the show! And loved the theme song. I don't think that most people got the song. It wasn't especially written for the show but the lyrics, if you listen to them, give meaning to the show. They talk about having faith to believe that you can do anything and that no one is going to hold you back. That's what the idea of the show was partly about–starting the exploration and not being held back any more by anyone; they were ready to get out there and weren't afraid to go.

  13. Don says:

    I have watched every Star Trek series from its being and Enterprise is the BEST of all! Also I found the sound quality was outstanding, even today no TV program has sound that good!

  14. Datacat says:

    DATA HAD A CAT.

  15. Gertie says:

    I have watched every Star Trek series several times as well as the original Battlestar Galactica. Please bring the remakes of Enterprise with the same actors if possible. Please do not make any other show the way that the Remake of Battlestar Galactica was made. If you are planing to bring back shoes pick where you left off. Take a hint from Star Wars. There a lot of series that were not compleated and it would be great to keep those coming back. This prequal fits in with all the other Star Trek shows and we deserve to keep them that way. As for the music go on line and read the words it has a beautiful message. And the dog is a pet something most people love and have when we can.

  16. Tara says:

    I recently watched Enterprise for the first time, and now I find myself liking it just as much as TNG, and I didn't think this was remotely possible. Seasons 3 and 4 are amazing, and I would be so, so interested in seeing a Season 5.

  17. shookwriter27 says:

    The show ended with Enterprise having been in service ten years. They could go anywhere with it. Just not a time travel story.

  18. Jake says:

    I’d kick in a few hundred for a crowdfunded miniseries. Why not? The show was great, I now belatedly realize after having watched it on Netflix.

  19. MikeB says:

    Please bring Enterprise back, but fix the known problems. It needs an original theme song. You can use the same original song for the closing credits. I’m lukewarm about the dog. (Either get rid of him or don’t take him on any more away missions.) Stop trying to sex it up with T’Pol and stop lightening her hair color. She’s a great Vulcan. (Can you imagine doing that to Spock!?) Two things that are suspect for resolving plots are awakening from a dream sequence and time travel. This screams cop out. Two-hour shows sound like a good idea to me. More time to have a plot. And please do more clever shows with new technology and new aliens that are not hostile. I’m referring to Season 3′s assumption that all aliens are hostile. When I watch Star Trek I would like to escape to a better place. The continuous war and negativity in Season 3 probably cost viewers. It wears you down. The writers must have the vision of a better, more interesting place. And do something to negate that ending at the end of Season 4. Criticism aside, Enterprise is worth bringing back. I will watch it and buy the DVD. I have the first 4 seasons already.

    • Juanne says:

      It’s easy to negate the season 4 finale. It was a hologram program that had faulty programming and incorrect information. There. All fixed. A line or two acknowledging that and the whole horrid mess is gone.

      And I agree, there are many interesting stories still to be told by Enterprise. The building of the Federation alone would be fascinating.

  20. Rick says:

    I'm one of those that has been watching the show via Netflix, and I'm quite keen to see the show return in some fashion. I had originally thought simply a film, but would LOVE to see a new season featuring the original cast; I'd even be willing to chip in some of my meager fund-age to see that happen.

  21. MikeB says:

    I like the Andorians, too. Especially Captain Schran. I hope Jeffrey Combs is still available to play him.

  22. Kenny says:

    Why is everyone down on Season 3? Anyone remember the Dominion War on DS9? Pretty much a season-long dark place…that show only gained steam as it went on, and some of the best writing in Trek history came out of that! I miss Enterprise…I miss Star Trek on TV, and most of all, I miss "our" timeline! There needs to be some sort of "Battle Royale" Trek event, much like the fan films that are being made, i.e. through Renegade Studios, where you have characters and events from all the "prime" timeline Treks, blended into one huge, kick-ass story. Can you imagine Archer in the 24th Century? Or, side-by-side with Sisko, or Kira for that matter (Hi, Nana!) since we still don't have a resolution to where/when/what Sisko is…Too many unanswered questions that could resurrect Star Trek on television, and restore it to it's rightful place in the Sci-Fi pantheon!

  23. Kenny says:

    Damned if I didn't misplace an apostrophe…

  24. Shelby D. Williams says:

    It was the Enterprise TV series that turned me into a devoted Scott Bakula fan years ago. I think he's simply amazing! I thought the biggest mistake on the show was not romantically pairing Archer with T'Pol. I thought they would've made the most interesting couple in all of Star Trek. Trip would've been better romantically paired with the cute Hoshi Sato. Hey, what are all of the Enterprise actors doing these days? Huge shout outs to the show's creators, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga!

  25. Roger says:

    Enterprise was my favorite of all the Star Trek shows because it's closer to our time and, thus, more approachable. I hope they do a reunion for sure, and I really liked the song.

  26. Dan Tagg says:

    I loved it then, i love it even more after watching it again. The show just inspires you. From the theme song, to the great cast and crew. I wish it never ended and I hope they can do it again. We need that kind of hope and inspiration in this world again.

  27. alberto says:

    I think the theme song is ok, one thing do you remember Trip dies?, will he appear again? I said this because the relationship with T'pol can´t stay like this he dies and to say she left widowed.

  28. hope says:

    great show… I would love a season 5.

  29. Lisa says:

    I am a die hard TOS, TNG, and Voyager fan, so when Enterprise came out I was very excited…plus I was already a huge Scott Baku.a fan and was thrilled he was the captain. I actually quit watching the show after the first season because so many story lines were imitations of story lines from Voyager! I kept thinking, this is sci-fi…why would you ever have to borrow parts from old series?!
    Well, I decided to give it a try with Netflix streaming and tolerated (barely) the imitated story lines to get through it all. I agree with others, the last season is when the show really started to work. Unfortunately, that is when it ended and I'm not sure we ever got a good feel for the character growth. Oh well. The new movies have been great. I would love to see a movie of these characters too. Too bad it didnt make the 7 year mark.

  30. Lisa says:

    P.s. I also agree that the finale was a slap in the face to the cast and fans of Enterprise. Completely hijacked by TNG. poor, poor taste! No info for what they've been doing for ten years and then we spend most of the time trying to figure out what the hey is going on on both ships. Ugh! I cant believe the first and last characters we saw in the episode were from another series. :P
    I liked the opening song and the images to go with it.

  31. Robert P says:

    I agree , I would love to see more seasons of Star Trek Enterprise. Keep the same crew, they were all great. I'm watching the whole series for a second time on Netflix. Tv needs Star Trek. I like the song, I like the dog, and T'pol is, well….. come on you know what I mean. Please bring it back!!!!!!

  32. Patteph says:

    The theme song was an acquired taste, but once I got used to it it was great! I don’t see the issue about Archer having Porthos, as long as they don’t take him on any more first contacts (or off of enterprise on inhabited planets for that matter). Two comments above really struck me, and I agree with them heartily. They do need to stop “sexing up” T’Pol, and I like the idea about the season four finale being a sensor glitch. I might have been able to better get into the other Star Trek series’ if they hadn’t messed up with Enterprise’s ending so badly. I miss Enterprise, with its awesome bridge design and Phlox’s sick bay. Please bring back Enterprise for season 5!

  33. Mikey says:

    Love the show, love the dog, hate the song. One wonders, if the show runners better understood their audience, would this show still be in production. Think about it, you watched the same discussion about the Firefly song harrying the show before it’s eventual cancellation. Only ego would have you launch a trek series with a dread, bad soap opera song like that.

    It’s a product, why would you intentionally handicap it in the eyes of your target market.

  34. Bob Ormerod says:

    Having read most of the posts, I like the song, fine to have a pet dog onboard, As with another post, having been a fan/watching Star Trek as a kid in the 60's since the beginning with Kirk, I think Enterprise is the best of all the different series produced. Kirk being the classic of course that kicked it all off. I didn't like The Next Generation with Picard, nor Voyager. I liked the recent two Star Trek movies with the young Kirk, better than the films with the original Kirk cast I thought. I too would love to see a Season 5 (A UK Fan). PS: Bakula was cast well as the Captain, a good actor, I enjoyed the Quantum Leap Series he was in.

  35. marsdenstar says:

    Is it true Enterprise will be back?

  36. shorty says:

    if they're gonna do this reunion episode/movie OR a new season they shud do it now & get the surviving cast memembers & guest stars on it cuz it was just announced in the past 2 wks. that leonard nimoy AKA Spock has copd & may not be around to much longer..

    sad think is: spocks' father sarek died of the same disease too .., " i guess stuff really does run in the family " ! ..

  37. shorty says:

    if they're gonna do this reunion episode/movie OR a new season they shud do it now & get the surviving cast memembers & guest stars on it cuz it was just announced in the past 2 wks. that leonard nimoy AKA Spock has copd & may not be around to much longer..

  38. Red bird says:

    Loved it overall – favorite of the Treks

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