Bakula: The Time Is Right For An Arc

By Caillan
June 4, 2003 - 9:22 AM

Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) said recently he is "thrilled" about the changes in store for Enterprise's third season, especially the chance to explore a long-running storyline.

"I'm very excited about it," Bakula told Kathie Huddleston at Science Fiction Weekly during a press conference to promote Enterprise's new season. "I love the sense of purpose, of intensity, of sense of mission. And it's not like I'm not a fan of the prior Star Trek franchises where it was kind of a planet every week. But ... it just feels like the right time to really get into something that has arc, that will survive not just the standalone episodes per se. That will have something for the fans to really hook onto every week and really get involved with. So I'm very excited about it."

The new arc was set up in last month's season finale, "The Expanse", in which a mysterious species known as the Xindi launched an attack on Earth. In order to prevent a second, more devastating attack, Archer led the Enterprise into an uncharted area of space known as the Delphic Expanse to track down the Xindi.

Asked if the story was inspired by the recent war in Iraq, executive producer Brannon Braga said "it was an unintentional parallel". "But what you have in this case is a series of preemptive strikes," he continued, "[where] Archer begins to unravel the mystery and it may very well be that you don't know where the first strike happened. It becomes an interesting question."

Much of Archer's information on the Xindi and the nature of the attack came from 'Future Guy', one of the parties involved in the Temporal Cold War, a mainstay of the series since "Broken Bow". "People who've been following Enterprise for the last two years, it clicks in a little bit more into our mythology and it's a little bit less coincidental," said executive producer Rick Berman.

Kathie Huddleston raised the idea that 'Future Guy' might not be telling the truth. "Exactly," Braga replied. "And that's all part of the mystery that they're going to be getting into as they enter the Expanse to try and figure it all out."

The new mission will affect the lives of the Enterprise crew, especially its captain. "I haven't seen any pages for next season, so this is just conversations that I've had with Rick and Brandon, but he's more determined," Bakula said of his character, Jonathan Archer. "He's more driven, and in a sense he's more worldly. He's maturing as a captain, and he's maturing in his third year of deep space exploration, as the first man to do this. So I think he's going to be ... I hate to say, more interesting than he's been in the past, but he's definitely going to be more driven and evolving."

The situation has also changed for Sub-commander T'Pol, who resigned from the Vulcan High Command to accompany her NX-01 comrades on their perilous new mission. Asked about a potential new character arc for the Vulcan, Berman joked, "She'll be doing the entire third season in the nude."

Although T'Pol won't really be stripping off on the bridge, she will experiment with "different outfits" and "some slight changes in her hairdo", according to Berman.

The producer continued, "But I think also we're going to see her try to experiment a little bit with some of her emotions with the help of her fellow alien Doctor Phlox, she's going to perhaps try to experiment with some of the emotions that she sees exhibited with her counterparts everyday. So that will be something ... another element of the season that I think is going to fun as well."

To read the complete interview, in which there is more talk about the Xindi and the desire to shake up Enterprise, head over to Sci-Fi Weekly.

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