Billingsley Believes Fourth Season Was BestBy Michelle
May 30, 2005 - 3:46 PM
"Candidly, I’d have wished for the final episode to be a two-parter," admitted John Billingsley (Phlox), who nevertheless said that the mood on the set of Star Trek: Enterprise remained upbeat "right up to the end of the shooting."
In a new interview in TV Zone (via The Great Link), Billingsley stated that UPN's announcement that this would be the last season of Enterprise was hardly news to the cast. "Unless I'm totally nuts, I doubt that [the cancellation] came as a surprise to any of us. I think there was a sense of resignation on all our parts right from the get-go this season," he admitted. "We were picked up for [Season 4] primarily because it would allow Paramount to syndicate the show. Once that target was reached, it seemed highly unlikely to me that we were coming back."
Even so, the cancellation did not affect the crew's committment any more than the sense of fun on the set. The expectation that this would be the last year "certainly didn't effect the quality of anyone's work. In fact, ironically, this was our best season yet," he said. Billingsley added that he enjoyed the people he worked with, "and will miss hanging out with them on a regular basis."
Despite disappointment with "These Are the Voyages..." in which he wished that Phlox and most of the other Enterprise characters were not given an opportunity to have their own stories told, presumably because of the presence of Riker and Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Billingsley said that he was pleased with the two-parter "Demons" and "Terra Prime", the penultimate episodes of the fourth season. "I feel as if they smack the template around a bit," he explained. "One thing that’s always bugged me about Trek is this conceit that one day we’re going to become better than human [but] this two-story arc actually had people on Earth behaving atrociously, foolishly and with prejudice. Oddly enough, that to me was a breath of fresh-air."
Billingsley believes that no matter how positive a future is in store for humanity, "you're not ever going to be able to completely eradicate the impulse of hatred in some people. You can, however...[harness] such behaviour. That’s the best we can hope for."
The full interview in TV Zone issue #190 also contains Billingsley's thoughts on "In a Mirror, Darkly" and his plans for the future. These excerpts may be found at The Great Link.