For a lot of fans, Enterprise must have seemed to be the red-headed step-child of Star Trek shows. It lasted only four seasons and was so difficult to find on television because of trouble inside the Paramount TV operation that to many it seemed to fall by the way side. The show has been re-issued on Blu-ray and stands up as a worthy entry into the Star Trek franchise.
The Blu-rays look gorgeous, as all the Star Trek Blu-ray's have, and rewatching the adventures of Captain Archer and his crew has been nothing short of delightful.
I had a chance to talk to Scott Bakula about Enterprise and his time as Captain Archer. He'll next be seen in Steven Soderbergh's Liberace bio-pic for HBO called Behind the Candelabra.
Bryan Young: With the re-release of Enterprise, it's been over 10 years since it started and almost 10 since it ended and I'm wondering how differently you look at it now than when you started?
Scott Bakula: It was a good experience for me when we shot it. We were all disappointed that we were off the air after four years, but at the same time, given all the political machinations that went on during our four years we were lucky to get the four years we did on network television, which was a first. Here we are, we went off the air, here we are eight years later and I just keep bumping into more and more people at the few conventions that I go to and so many people have discovered the show in the last several years since we were off the air. They're so excited to see me because there's not a lot of press going on about Enterprise, so they have lots of questions. We were kind of out of it, so this re-issue is gonna be fantastic. It'll bring us back into the limelight and give more people a chance to discover us. With the Blu-ray, you'll really see the great creative work that was done on the show.
BY: As a fan watching at the time, it was very frustrating because the show was changing stations and networks in the middle of the run and it was hard to find in some areas even.
SB: It was muddy waters for a lot of it. It was the best laid plans in the beginning and then so many things happened beyond any of our control. Often times, you just had to put your head down and do your work and then you let the business stuff take care of itself.
BY: How does the experience of stepping into Star Trek differ for you than stuff like say, I can't imagine you doing a lot of convention appearances for Men of a Certain Age?
SB: [Laughs] No. The good news is that I had a lot of experience with this with Quantum Leap before Star Trek. Although the convention thing wasn't as insanely prevalent as it is since I got involved with Star Trek. But I knew the fan, I understood the the sci-fi fan. I had a pretty healthy understanding of that before Star Trek, so, it's been a great relationship. I appreciate the fans, I appreciate the support, I appreciate the longevity of the support, and the intelligence of the support is something I've enjoyed. Stepping into it was daunting but it's a unique environment to step into. Men of a Certain Age had its own uniqueness, certainly, but everybody gets that when the TV shuts off that that show is over for the week. With any kind of sci-fi, the imagination continues and the world exists and you create that in your own mind and it lives in you. The first time I saw 2001 on this huge screen in the '60s, I'll just never forget and that's a big difference, I think.
BY: Were you a fan of the Star Trek franchise before you stepped in?
SB: I was. The original show, with my age and the timing of things, I fell in love with the original show with Kirk and Spock and Bones and those folks when I was in college and it was in reruns. It was every night at 11 o'clock. Everyone would pile into one room and watch that show and I completely was sucked into it.
BY: I imagine you were pleased then by the nod to Archer in the new Abrams Star Trek?
SB: That was a huge surprise. I had no idea it was coming. So much so that I had to turn to my kids and say, "Did I just hear... what? They were talking about what? My dog? Did I hear that?" And they shushed me. They said, "Shut up, Dad, the movie's on." I had to come out of the movie and make a few phone calls and ask other people and they said, "Oh, yeah, you made it. You made it in the movie, the dog and you." So, I thought Abrams did a beautiful job of that and it was fantastic. Those actors are great.
In addition to this interview with Scott (for the full interview, visit Big Shiny Robot!), we've been given this exclusive behind the scenes look at making of the pilot of Enterprise, featuring the director, James Conway:
Star Trek: Enterprise Season 1 comes out on Blu-ray on March 26.