'Enterprise' Introduced At UPN Press Tour

By Christian
July 17, 2001 - 1:06 PM

For its annual press conference yesterday, UPN invited reporters to hear the producers explain the series' premise, tour the sets of the new starship Enterprise, and mingle with cast and crew at a Paramount-hosted party.

The first reports of the event appeared today at TrekWeb and Zap2It, with more extensive information on the Enteprise introductory event expected as the day progresses. The reports included new information on the state of the universe in the 22nd Century, the series' music, and the technology used in the starship.

Most interesting for many reporters, however, was the presence of the new stars of the series. Lynda at TrekWeb noted that all actors seemed very enthusiastic about the series, with Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) saying he couldn't wait for the excitement. Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer), familiar with science fiction fandom from Quantum Leap, said he was looking forward to fan response to his portrayal of Captain Archer.

The two "aliens" on the cast described how they would play their characters. Jolene Blalock described the Vulcan T'Pol as "feline in her movements, and diplomatic in her speech." Once in full costume, "I am T'Pol," she said. Meanwhile, John Billingsley (Doctor Phlox), simply said "I dig it" about his makeup.

Below is a summary of the most important points revealed during the press conference and set tour:

  • The time-travel element in Enterprise, which will start with the future villain in 'Broken Bow,' will recur in future episodes, according to executive producer Rick Berman. In addition, Berman revealed that Earth itself is a "terryfing place," though less so than in 'Star Trek: First Contact.'

    Earth, however, will be nothing compared to the unfamiliar universe that the Enterprise crew will be exploring. "They will meet many friendly - and terrifying - aliens," Berman told Zap2It. "It's always something filled with awe and excitement."

  • All previous Star Trek series have used orchestral scores, but Berman said that this may change for Enterprise. "We're hopefully going to be using a little bit more contemporary kind of music. [...] It's not all of a sudden that the show is going to be scored with electric guitars. It's going to be a little hipper, I think."

  • There will be even less familiar 24th century technology than originally thought in the series. Rather than shields, the Enterprise will only have hull plating to defend itself. For offense, it lacks photon torpedoes, instead only having a form of high-powered missiles.

    The controls inside the ship are a combination of buttons and simple computer screens, and the helm is controlled also using a joystick. And while transporters are present, the crew will intend to only use them to move cargo.

  • The sets are apparently "very military in design," according to TrekWeb, with submarine influences clearly present. Interesting features include the chairs, which are able to slide from station to station, and foot-long grip handles on the walls for people to steady themselves on if the ship is rocked.

    Some new sets included the Armory Room, which stores the aforementioned high-tech missiles and experimental photon torpedoes, and the "Situation Room," apparently a pre-cursor to the Ready Room and the Observation Lounge. The bridge itself includes 81 plasma screens as well as the new Captain's Chair, a modified version of an actual Porsche chair.

More comments about the sets as well as more answers from the producers, including Berman's thoughts on Voyager, can be found in TrekWeb's full report. More on the design of the ship, guest stars in the pilot, and the state of the universe in the series can be found in Zap2It's full report.

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