Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 1 of Enterprise, the fifth (and so far final) Star Trek TV series finally arrives on Blu-ray Tuesday. Besides all 25 episodes, the six-disc set is chock full of special features including an eight-part documentary including new cast and crew interviews about the launching of the space exploration prequel series and behind—the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, cast commentary, and a frank conversation with shows creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, who admits his true feelings about Diane Warren's theme song. Scott Bakula, aka Captain Jonathan Archer, commander of the Enterprise NX-01, shares some memories and what else is in the stars for him.
TV Guide Magazine: Enterprise was perhaps the most polarizing Star Trek spinoff. Some loved its pre-Kirk early space exploration appeal but other Trekkers complained it wasn't really Star Trek, because it was before Starfleet and the exploration of lots of alien planets.
Scott Bakula: [Laughs] It always cracks me up. It reminds me of a letter we got on Quantum Leap from someone who seriously told us, "You're breaking all the rules of time travel." The rules were mostly the one set up by Mr. Spielberg in Back to the Future. In a funny way, I think our show, as time goes by, is going to resonate and we're going to enjoy it more. I hear it all the time. "I didn't give it a chance when it came out. I'm watching it now and I love it."
TV Guide Magazine: Why was there so much opposition?
Bakula: It was a challenge to do something 100 years before Kirk and Spock. Our world had so radically dramatically changed since 1966 when the original show was on. So we really couldn't use that technology that was available then. We had to make artistic choices that would seem balanced and appropriate. Some people took issue with that. I was very impressed with how the Enterprise crew managed to take the world today, what the near future would look like and blend them into a watchable show. I think they did a great job.
TV Guide Magazine: Tell the truth. Did you ever get that much maligned Enterprise theme song "Where My Heart Will Take Me" out of your head.
Bakula: Oh, no. [Laughs] That's a sign of a good theme song. It's very memorable and fans still ask me to sing it.
TV Guide Magazine: Why do you think Enterprise only lasted four years?
Bakula: The difference between our show and the other franchises was that we were not syndicated. Had we been syndicated and not on UPN, I believe we would have run at least another year, probably the full seven years that the other shows did.
TV Guide Magazine: Were you surprised that your show turned out to be the final frontier, at least on TV?
Bakula: I don't know if it's the last show in the franchise, though a good portion of the people who were big fans are not at Paramount any more. Also, the new Star Trek movie franchise is so incredibly successful that it takes the focus away from TV. Clearly Star Trek and Star Trek fans are not going away. If one thing's true in our business, people tend to repeat successful things as often as they can. So I won't say it's over.
TV Guide Magazine: Would you like to appear in a Star Trek movie?
Bakula: I would love to. I haven't been asked but my dog and I got a mention in one movie. That might have to do. But you never know.
TV Guide Magazine: How did you get involved with the Blu-ray project?
Bakula: I saw Brannon one day and he asked if I had done any commentary for the Blu-ray version. He told me it was unbelievable and I should call them. So I called and wound up talking for two hours about the first season — about the cast, about coming into such an iconic franchise, what it was like the first day as a Star Trek captain. A lot of the cast and technical people were interviewed as well as Brannon Braga and Rick Berman. It's pretty informative.
TV Guide Magazine: What's one of your strongest memories from that first season?
Bakula: It was pretty overwhelming to walk on the stage where all the sets were built for the first time. Henry Zimmerman designed them and they were so well conceived; beautiful to look at, camera friendly and they were real! We were able to go up and down the stars, things were made of steel. The props actually worked because we were set earlier than the Kirk days, we had to manipulate controls and not just talk to computers. We had cool moving pieces that worked for four years. I joked when the show was over we should take the sets and turn them into playgrounds because my kids, who were young at the time, had a blast on the set climbing up and down things.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's move ahead a few years. Did you have the most fun ever working with Ray Romano and Andre Braugher on the sadly short-term TNT series Men of a Certain Age?
Bakula: There's always a certain amount of sadness when we talk about that show. Because we were having such a great time. [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: You're guesting on Two and a Half Men in April. Who are you sleeping with?
Bakula: I have an 18-year-old girlfriend. [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: And in a cast full of surprises, you play a choreographer in HBO's May Liberace movie, Behind the Candelabra. You've sung and danced on stage. Will we see you hoofing in the movie?
Bakula: I don't get to sing or dance. I'm just the procurer who brings the lamb to slaughter. I bring this young man Scott Thorsen, played by Matt Damon, to see a show starring my friend Liberace, played by Michael Douglas. The kid is bowled over by Liberace's mystique.
TV Guide Magazine From Liberace to Shirley MacLaine! How was playing her son in the upcoming movie Elsa & Fred?
Bakula: It's hard to have words to describe it. I just had a ball with her! It was directed by Michael Radford, who did Il Postino. I was so honored to be part of the project.
TV Guide Magazine: Finally, congratulations on your new pilot with Geena Davis. What can you tell us about it?
Bakula: Geena plays a bounty hunter. I play her ex-husband, a cop and they have an 18-year-old daughter. Marsha Mason plays my former mother-in-law and [Leverage producer] Dean Devlin is producing and directing the pilot. It should be a lot of fun.
Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!