Bakula On Archer's DevelopmentBy Caillan
November 12, 2002 - 4:12 PM
Although his character may have been more concerned about fulfilling his father's dream than exploration when Enterprise launched, Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) says the NX-01 captain has relaxed over the course of the series so far.
"I think he started out pretty tightly wound, very guarded, emotionally tight," Bakula told Scr(i)pt Magazine's Rich Whiteside. "It was his life's dream to be able to take this ship out. There was so much [that emotionally] led to it, his dad's involvement, his dad not being there to see it launched, the Vulcan involvement, which he had huge issues with at the time. I think the big difference is that he's commanded Enterprise for a year, and he's loosened up a lot. And [concerning] his precious ship, he's allowed other people to share in that moment with him a little bit, I think; he was pretty selfish about it in the beginning, but now he's become a little more universal and global as he's started to travel."
Bakula has no formal role as a producer on Enterprise, but he often gives feedback on Jonathan Archer's development. "When they wrote the pilot I didn't have any input. However, I've had a lot of input since. They've been, 'Did you like this? How do you feel about that? This is what we're thinking about.' They're great about asking my opinion on things and taking my suggestions."
The creation of the character is very much an ongoing role, according to the actor, who prefers to remain in the dark when it comes to the overall plan for the series. "I had the pilot script, and we talked a little about it...and we're still talking about some of his back story. Still, some of it's a mystery to me - a lot of the elements of the series are a mystery to me. They haven't divulged to me what's going to happen or where we're going with things. And in a way, that's fine because Archer wouldn't know anyway."
Bakula said he often draws inspiration for roles from people he has met, and Archer is no exception. "I've known a lot of military men and women in my life, and certainly this guy is a military guy. So I incorporated certain mannerisms there. [I asked myself] 'what kind of military guy is he?' [I knew] his dad was part of [the back story] and worked off what I had in the script. Then I did my own creative stuff. And again, I tend to be relatively organic as an actor, as I read a scene more and as I ready the script more, I get a sense [of the character], and of how this guy his going to resonate."
The full article, entitled 'The Launching of Enterprise,' can be found in the November/December issue of Scr(i)pt Magazine. Thanks to Bakula News and Ann and Trudy at the Scott Bakula Fan Forum for this!