Keating Couldn't Break Producers' 'Stranglehold' On Reed

By Michelle
August 23, 2005 - 8:59 PM

Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) told a radio talk show host that he was happy to have had a four-year run on Star Trek: Enterprise although he committed himself to a seven-year contract if the show had lasted, and when asked whether there would be an Enterprise movie, said, "I would eat my hat, if I had one."

On the BBC Radio's Five Live, Keating told host Phil Williams that he thought the words "Star Trek" had been absent from Enterprise's original title because "the Powers That Be were trying to, sort of, just gradually divorce themselves from the Star Trek mantle so they could stop paying vast amounts of, you know, commission money" to the owners of the name. Ironically, in the end, the show was so much a part of the Star Trek canon that the final episode "was not, in earnest, a finale episode of Star Trek: actually harkened back to The Next Generation," with two guest stars from that series. Since the producers were trying to wrap up nearly two decades of the franchise, "I wasn't too put out", said Keating, who noted that The Next Generation was the most popular of Rick Berman's Star Trek shows.

"I really didn't get too knickers-in-a-twist-y [but] a lot of other people did," noted Keating. "One or two of my cast members, I know, had voiced their disdain. We got into some deep water, fairly early on, and I know that Rick quickly turned the ship back...we tried to sail this line that was a bit meandering." Keating's perception was that the network executives had wanted to attract a younger audience to the series, so much so that there was talk of putting "a boy band in the mess hall scenes...Boyz II Men, in space." It never happened, and there was not much effort by UPN to keep the show in the minds of the public in later seasons.

Though the actor met with Brannon Braga a few times to discuss developments in his character's arc, he said that none of his story ideas were incorporated into the show. "Brannon and particularly Rick were very much masters of their own domain," he explained, noting that they did not wish to give up their "stranglehold" over the creative direction of the series. Keating observed that Braga is now working on new series Threshold for CBS ("I didn't get a part in it!") He was unsure what Berman might be working on at Paramount but said that if Star Trek returned, it would be under the direction of Viacom's Les Moonves, who now runs Paramount Pictures and UPN: "If he does reinvent it, it will have his paw mark on it."

As for Keating himself, he has just finished a film, Certifiably Jonathan, which may debut at the Sundance Film Festival. In a few weeks he will begin work on the horror film Hollywood Kills. His reason for being at the BBC was because he had had an audition there for a comedy called Broken News, which he described as a spoof on 24-hour news channels. Because of Enterprise, he is not desperate for roles, as the four seasons he filmed "should, you know, keep the wolf from the door for a bit."

The original audio interview is at The BBC. Thanks to TrekWeb for help with the transcript.

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