Surma: Casting For Later Trek

Amongst the casting decisions Ron Surma had to make, were finding suitable actors and actresses for the roles of the Borg Queen and Seven of Nine as well as finding a captain for Star Trek: Enterprise.

Alice Krige wasn’t available to reprise her role of the Borg Queen, and Surma had to find someone to do the job as well as Krige had done. “Alice wasn’t available and we had to find somebody else, and Susanna was really the only other choice for the role,” said Surma. “But that was not easy, for Susanna to come in and do that. Alice had set such a high standard and I think Susanna matched it.”

When the role of Kes was dropped from Star Trek: Voyager, Surma had to cast the new female Borg character. “Anytime there was a role for a beautiful woman it was a challenge because Star Trek was so specific in what they wanted,” said Surma. “You couldn’t be a contemporary beautiful woman. It didn’t fit the show. Junie and I had cast Jeri in several movies of the week when she was available, because she lived in Chicago. So we knew who she was. We’d gone through a lot of actresses for that role, a lot of good actresses who just missed. At the beginning of the process I don’t think she was in L.A. She usually came out for a couple or three months, and she was in town. And it worked out. She’s a wonderful person and a very good actress. Like I say, luckily, she was in town.”

For Star Trek: Enterprise, Scott Bakula was the first choice for everyone involved in the casting decision. “We all wanted Scott Bakula and, there was a wish list choice that worked out,” said Surma. “He was on the top of every list and it worked, thank God, because he was terrific.

Getting Jolene Blalock to say “yes” to the role of T’Pol was a challenge. “That was the toughest role to cast,” said Surma. “My assistant at the time, Chad, had put her picture up above his desk from the beginning. Her agents said no numerous times. She wasn’t interested. And that last week, she decided to come in. Thank goodness, because she was terrific. But that was the toughest role on Enterprise to cast.”

Surma is currently retired and is “enjoying my life.”


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