Bakula Enjoys Archer's Ambiguity

By Michelle
September 24, 2003 - 10:45 PM

"I was not dissatisfied with Archer in the first two seasons," Scott Bakula (Captain Archer) told fans in a recent online chat. "I felt like he was learning as he went along and was developing his skills as a captain along with his crew and ship. In my opinion, it's a lot different to be captaining a starship in your own back yard, so to speak, than when you get out into deep space and are facing the unknown."

Speaking in his second chat in as many weeks on, Bakula spoke about upcoming episodes, saying he was particularly excited about this evening's episode, "Extinction."

"We spent about three to four hours in make-up, alien make-up, each day and from what I'm told, it's the first time cast members have spent almost an entire episode in alien disguise," he said. He added that he wore more make-up when he played his own father on Quantum Leap, though "that was in the old days."

Director LeVar Burton, Bakula said, "has great energy and a great sense of fun." In "Extinction", he was "extremely turned on by the flame-throwers. That kinda got him going."

Asked whether the darker side of his character would affect Archer's relationships with the crew, Bakula said, "I'm definitely sending a different message to the crew and to all of my officers and the sense of no-nonsense and whatever-it-takes should be passed on to all of them...I think there's a sense that the captain is less involved in the day-to-day problems of his crew." He also thought that since 'Cogenitor', Tucker and Archer's relationship had been more on a professional level than their previous friendship.

Bakula liked the ambiguity of not knowing whether Archer would have let the Osaarian die in the airlock in "Anomaly" if he did not cooperate. "Whether or not Archer would have let that happen is an element of the character that I hope is intriguing and exciting for the fans, as do the writers...when you're playing a character and the audience isn't sure what that character's going to do, then the writers have succeeded in making good television."

"Certainly my character is experiencing stronger emotions and a greater sense of desperation than he has in the past," he noted. "Hopefully these are new elements that, if and when we survive the Expanse and the Xindi, these character flaws or adjustments will all add into Archer's character and his ability to captain a ship.

Bakula spoke as well about integrating the MACOs into the crew, his uncertainty about what Archer will do when the crew finally tracks down the Xindi and his enthusiasm for the Expanse arc. The full transcript may be found here.

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