Paramount Confirms Enterprise, Announces Full CastBy Christian
May 11, 2001 - 3:28 PM
After years of speculation, Paramount Pictures yesterday officially announced that the next Star Trek series will be called Enterprise, and will star Scott Bakula in the lead role.
According to a press release sent out by the studio, Bakula will portray the physical and intensely curious Captain Jonathan Archer. "Obviously, I love the genre and am a long-time fan of Star Trek," Bakula commented. "I am also thrilled to be working on a TV series again with Kerry McCluggage and Garry Hart, a relationship that dates back to 1988 with Quantum Leap."
Star Trek producer Rick Berman, who co-created the series, agreed. "We couldn't be happier. Scott personifies the charm and intelligence that the role calls for."
Paramount's press release did not officially confirm the next series' setting, but this news makes it all but certain that the series will indeed be set aboard a 22nd-Century Enterprise. More information about the show's premise can be found in the casting sheet that was leaked to the internet two months ago, as well as recent pilot script review.
Enterprise is scheduled to start shooting on Monday the 14th of May. Paramount still has not reached an official agreement with UPN, but the network is widely expected to announce the series when it unveils its Fall schedule on Thursday.
Paramount also revealed the rest of the Series V cast, though it did not announce which roles these actors would be playing. Below is the full list of principal actors for Enterprise, as well as some info on which character they will likely be playing. Please note that the below character information is based on the assumption that the basics of the original casting sheet are still unchanged - Paramount may well have decided to change some characters during the casting process.
Scott Bakula - Bakula is best known for his five-year role as Dr. Sam Beckett on the Quantum Leap drama series, but he has also appeared in series such as The Invaders and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Most recently, he played the lead role in the CBS comedy pilot Late Boomers, but now that he has signed on to Enterprise that show will have to look for another star.
Bakula will be playing Captain Jonathan Archer, a character that was originally to be called Jackson Archer. The casting sheet described him as a physical, bold personality, who unlike the Starfleet captains of later centuries exhibits a sense of wonder and excitement about the strange things he will encounter. He is said to hold a grudge against the Vulcans, who he blames for impeding humanity's progress - but with his first officer a Vulcan, he will have to reconsider these preconceptions.
- Jolene Blalock - Blalock previously had a starring role in the recent NBC miniseries Jason and the Argonauts, in which she starred as Medea opposite Jason London. In addition, she acted in the upcoming Diamond Hunters mini-series, and had a guest role in an episode of C.S.I.. The above photo comes courtesy of Jason London Online.
Though not officially announced, it is likely Blalock will be playing Sub-Commander T'Pau, an "austere yet sensual" Vulcan female. She's the Enterprise's Science Officer, assigned to the ship to oversee humanity's progress. Although she's cautious and guarded around humans, whom she considers primitive and irrational, she'll come to develop a grudging respect for Captain Archer.
John Billingsley - Billingsley is a 20-year veteran of the stage, who has said his greatest joy comes from performing in front of live audiences. He appeared in such plays as 'The Seagull' and 'The Nerd' before moving to Los Angeles, where he had guest roles on a great number of televisions shows. Science fiction fans will best remember him as Prof. Miles Ballard on the short-lived NBC television series The Others. The above photo comes courtesy of the official NBC site for that show.
Billingsley will likely be playing Doctor Phlox, a character who appears to be in his mid-40s. Phlox speaks with an alien accent, has an eccentric sense of humour that no one quite understands, and thinks that humanity is fascinating. He has filled Sickbay with all sorts of bizarre medical instruments for his own particular brand of "Intergalactic Medicine," making even the most routine visit to Sickbay an unexpected adventure.
- Linda Park - Parks appeared on an episode of the WB series Popular this March, playing an Asian woman named Anna Lin. The above Popular photo comes courtesy of B5LR.com's AntonyF.
Parks will likely be playinng the Japanese Ensign Hoshi Sato. She's described as "striking and intelligent," as well as an expert in exo-linguistics. As Comm Officer, she's not only in charge of all communications aboard the Enterprise, but also serves as ship's Translator.
- Anthony Montgomery - Generally credited as A.T. Montgomery, this actor is best known for his recurring role on Popular as George Austin. He had guest roles on shows such as Frasier and Charmed, and last year made his first film appearance in the horror comedy 'Leprechaun in the Hood.' The above photo comes courtesy of the Internet Movie Database.
Montgomery will almost certainly be playing Lieutenant Joe Mayweather, the African-American helmsman aboard the Enterprise. Mayweather was raised on cargo ships, and as a result is more "interstellar" than even the Captain. His closest friend is 'Spike' Tucker.
Dominic Keating - Keating is an experienced science-fiction actor, with credits on shows such as Poltergeist: The Legacy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and G vs E. He had a recurring role on The Immortal as Mallos, and has also had a regular role during the final season of the Teenage Health Freak television series. The above photo comes courtesy of the official 'The Immortals' web site.
Keating will likely be playing either Commander Charlie 'Spike' Tucker or Lt. Commander Malcolm Reed. Spike is described as a Southerner who enjoys using his "country" persona to disarm people. He was hand-picked by Captain Archer, who is something of a mentor to him. Though he is a brilliant officer, he has very little first-hand experience with alien cultures, and will often be a "fish out of water" on the series.
Connor Trinneer - Trinneer is probably best-known to the general public for his role as Zeus Zelenko on the long-running One Life to Live television series. However, he has also had guest roles on series such as Sliders, Touched by an Angel, FreakyLinks and Gideon's Crossing, and last year appeared in the TV adaptation of the 'Far East' play. Prior to appearing on television, Trinneer enjoyed a successful career on the stage. The above Sliders photo comes courtesy of B5LR.com's AntonyF.
Trinneer will likely be playing either Lt. Commander Malcolm Reed or Commander Charlie 'Spike' Tucker. Reed is the British Armoury Officer aboard the Enterprise, and a bit of a throwback in this new age of humanity's enlightenment. Reed is a 22nd Century soldier, "all spit and polish and by-the-book." He's also a man of contradictions - near-obsessed with munitions, but at the same time soft-spoken, shy and awkward around women.
According to a report that appeared on Ain't It Cool News this morning, Bakula reported to the Paramount lot yesterday for his first meeting with the rest of the cast.
As part of the meeting, the cast also took part in a "table reading" of the script. This reportedly went especially well for John Billingsley, who the site said will be playing a "distinctly alien" character, in all likelihood Dr. Phlox. There was immediate chemistry between Bakula and Billingsley, and the expectation was that the two actors will play off each other well on screen.
AICN stated that not only is Bakula being paid a "small forture" to star in Enterprise, but he has also apparently been given the level of creative involvement he requested. He reportedly gave significant input to the script and his character, all of which were used by the producers.
Apparently, the massively positive reaction of the fanbase when it was first announced Bakula was negotiating for the series was one of the reasons for his eventual hiring. Bakula himself is said to be very interested in Star Trek, and then especially its characterisation and emotion rather than mere technobabble.
Now that the series has been officially announced, we have created a new Enterprise Forum at the Trek BBS, where dozens of discussions are already going on about every aspect of Series V.
According to the official press release, Bakula will also continue to develop new projects for Paramount Network Television as part of this new deal. Together with partner Tom Spiroff and his production company Bakula Productions, he has already created TV films such as 'Bachelor's Baby' and 'Papa's Angels,' and the new deal gives him the opportunity to develop series, telefilms, features and specials.
This news item will be updated throughout the day as new information becomes available.