'Enterprise' Cast Talks Trek Inspirations

By Christian
July 18, 2001 - 12:07 AM

Fittingly for the crew of the first Starship Enterprise, the cast of Series V yesterday revealed that their introduction to Star Trek was the series that started it all - the 1960's Original Series.

"Well, I go back to the Original Series, so I'm an old cat" series star Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) told TrekToday contributor Jeff 'Koganuts' Koga. "That was my big thing, and we used to watch that ad nauseum in college, as I recall."

John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox) was also first introduced to Trek by the Original Series, though this happened far from voluntarily. "My first exposure was watching it in my brother's bedroom. He would sit on my head and make me watch it, actually. I like the show, but I was a little bit younger than Scott. I was kind of scared, the few episodes I saw. He wouldn't let me leave!"

Jolene Blalock (T'Pol) was much more of a Star Trek fan, having grown up on the Original Series. "My favourite was Spock, so it's really strange for me," she said. "I would sit there with my dad and my brother and just [watch] the show, watching the relationship between Captain Kirk, Bones, [and] Spock. Especially my favorite relationship was between Bones and Spock because it was just like this animosity and this love-hate relationship, but overall there was such utter loyalty between all three of them. I love the way they worked together, just the way Bones would be like, 'You green-blooded fool,' you know."

The actress got lost somewhere during The Next Generation's run, and never returned to the franchise after that. "But that's the advantage we have here," Blalock said. "This being a prequel [is an advantage] for all the viewers who got lost along the way. This is the beginning. You can get right back on and not miss a beat."

Growing up in England, Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) was introduced to the Original Series when it first aired in the UK. He got his first taste of The Next Generation after he moved to America - though like Billingsley, he did not have much choice in the matter. "I [lived] on a commune, and the guy there had the controls for the [satellite]. So whatever Victor watched, we used to have to watch. And him and Dervert just watched The Next Generation from the minute they woke up to the minute they went to bed."

"[I] used to sort of plug in now and again and watch this Shakespearean actor lording it over a bunch of space people," Keating joked. "And we used to think, 'God, oh, God, Patrick, you could be playing Mistress Quickly at Leatherhead now.'"

He fondly recalled the Original Series episode 'Operation: Annihilate!' in a humorous manner: "I remember the fried eggs falling off the ceiling on their shoulders. God, it was scary, man."

For Antony Montgomery (Travis Mayweather), the Original Series was one of the things that really inspired him for Enterprise. "[I] thought it was wonderful and never in my wildest dreams did I think I was going to move to California and be sitting up here talking to you right now. I just came out to do the best job that I could possibly do, and it happened to be on Enterprise. So I'm going to to give them everything that I can."

The only member of the cast who did not start out with the Original Series was Linda Park (Hoshi Sato). "I started with Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I loved it. I loved the Holodeck. I loved Wesley. He was, like, my first crush, along with 'Toy Soldier,' so that kind of kicked it into high gear for me. Later on I started to watch some of the [...] Captain Kirk episodes, [but] for me I'll always be a Next Generation fan. That was my first one, so I'm going to stay loyal to that one."

How she would deal with her own future fans was something that Park did not yet know. "You can try and prepare for it or whatever, but it just gives me a headache thinking about it. So I figure, heck, when I have to think about it, I'll think about it, and I'll deal with it then. Until then, I'm perfectly happy just being on the show and having lots of fun. So that's how I'm doing."

Finally, Connor Trinneer (Charlie Tucker) said he was a fan of the Original Series when he grew up, and already soon encountered the Trek fanbase. "My brother, who was - still is - really, really smart had these three or four friends who would watch the show and then walk the perimeter of the playground every day at recess having dialogue about the show. So I got exposed to some of that fan base really early. My plan is just to keep moving around, [and] go all over the place."

Besides Park and Trinneer, many of the other actors also talked about how they would be dealing with Star Trek fans. Their thoughts on Trek fans can be found below, together with some new photos of the cast members taken by Jeff. Click on the images for larger versions:

  • UPN Press Conference Photos - courtesy Jeff 'Koganuts' Koga, copyright TrekToday.com Scott Bakula - After starring in Quantum Leap for several years, Bakula already had quite a bit of experience dealing with a cult fan base. When asked how he would deal with an even larger one, he expressed a hope that "we'll all blend together nicely and everybody will get along. It should be great, actually. I'm really looking forward to it"

  • UPN Press Conference Photos - courtesy Jeff 'Koganuts' Koga, copyright TrekToday.comJolene Blalock - Enterprise's resident Vulcan hadn't yet given much thought to living with constant fan attention. "[As] far as being prepared, [I'm] using something that works for me, and that's just called denial."

    Blalock has been one of the Enterprise actors who has already gotten quite a bit of attention, primarily because of her photo shoot from the American edition of Maxim magazine. Amusingly, Blalock said that during one of her final Enterprise auditions, everyone present in the room had copies of the magazine in front of them. She also said that she will soon be doing another photo shoot, this time for the British version of Maxim. The issue will be out this Fall and will feature Blalock on the cover as well.

  • UPN Press Conference Photos - courtesy Jeff 'Koganuts' Koga, copyright TrekToday.com John Billingsley - As the first Trek fan Billingsley ever encountered was his coercive brother, one would expect him to be a little nervous about the millions of fans that Enterprise will undoubtedly attract. How was he planning to handle the expected fan onslaught? "Oh, God knows," he said. "I don't know. I'm sure it'll be fine. You know, it beats the alternative of no fan onslaught."

  • UPN Press Conference Photos - courtesy Jeff 'Koganuts' Koga, copyright TrekToday.com Antony Montgomery - Like Billingsley, Montgomery said that it was better to have some fans than having no fans. The actor was very excited about the fact that he now had a steady job with possibly seven years of work lined up, and expected to be able to deal with the fans. "[It's] okay," he said. "This is the reality that they've grown to love, so I want to give them as such of me in that reality as possible and maintain myself in the meanwhile."

Following the press conference, Paramount organized three tours of the Enterprise sets on Stage 18. Jeff reported that the only sections that were on the tour were the Bridge, Engineering and the Armory, all of which have already been described in other reports today. One thing that was still absent from the Bridge, or had been temporarily removed for the set tour, was the Enterprise's dedication plaque - when Jeff looked to see if he could find the ship's dedication motto, all he found were two black horizontal Velcro strips were the plaque was supposed to be. He also noticed that modern DJ mixing equipment and spectrometers were installed onto the walls of the Bridge and Engineering.

Besides members of the press, some well-known Star Trek fans also took a look at the Enterprise sets. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel creator Joss Whedon was seen going on the second of the three tours, and inspected the starship. Whedon, a well-known Star Trek fan, was visibly excited to be on the Enterprise sets, and can also be seen in the background in the above photo of Montgomery

Thanks go out to Jeff 'Koganuts' Koga for the above press conference details and photos! More information on the Enterprise UPN presentation is expected to appear over the coming days.

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