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Exclusive Interview With Scott Bakula, Captain Jonathan Archer From Star Trek: Enterprise
By James W, Wednesday 28th August 2013

Scott Bakula has had an incredibly varied acting career and his starring role as Captain Jonathan Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise earned him a legion of loyal fans. Here he chats exclusively to CBS Action about his time on Enterprise and his plans for the future.

CBS Action: Are you surprised that eight years after it was cancelled people still want to talk to you about Star Trek: Enterprise?

Scott Bakula: Yes I am, but at the same time, in the way TV recycles, it is still being shown so I am constantly running into people who are just discovering it or others who are falling in love with it all over again.

CBS Action: When you were first offered the role of Captain Archer did you have any doubts about signing up to such a career defining character?

Scott Bakula: Two things went through my mind. My career was already established, I had a reputation and a following and I was fairly well known for the work I had done – I wasn’t the guy bursting out of nowhere as the captain. And I felt great that the series was set 100 years before so it freed me to not have to live in the shadow of anyone. Yes it was still Star Trek, but I was the first captain to go into space and it was like the Wild West where there were no rules. So ultimately I didn’t worry about it. I just wanted to go and explore.

CBS Action: Is there a common denominator between the actors who have played Star Trek captains?

Scott Bakula: I think there is a certain leadership quality. Having now spent some time with each of the captains I think there is a certain kind of presence. Everyone is certainly unique in the group but there is a kind of gravitas – Bill (Shatner) does it with the biggest twinkle in his eye – but there is a responsibility that comes with this part.

CBS Action: Which of the captains are you closest to?

Scott Bakula: Probably with Bill, although if I was in the same city as Patrick (Stewart) more I would probably spend more time with him. I am always happy to see everybody of course and it is one of the joys of doing conventions getting to see them all but there is a certain sympatico with Bill and I. We didn’t meet for years but when we did we kind of latched on to each other. He is a terrific guy and it has been a great gift getting to know him. We have some similar history, he is big into horses and so is my wife’s family and her father once bought a horse from Bill years ago… And Patrick is terrific too - he will get upset if I play favourites!

CBS Action: If the series hadn’t been cancelled do you think you would still be playing Archer now?

Scott Bakula: Sure. I wasn’t happy in any way that it was cancelled and I didn’t want to get out of it. I loved the cast and the work days never felt like work, it was like having my set family. There were a lot more stories to tell with the character but we fell victims of outside circumstances. It was a great four years.

CBS Action: What was your weirdest experience with a fan?

Scott Bakula: I was at a convention in London some years ago and a guy came up in line and asked me to sign a uniform. I opened it up and looked at him and said "This looks exactly like my uniform" and he said "It is your uniform". When the show finished even I couldn’t get own uniform! They were checking car trunks when we wrapped to make sure no one was walking off with memorabilia. I was a little bit ticked off that he had my uniform and if I wanted one I’d have to buy one.

CBS Action: Are you still in touch with any of your old castmates?

Scott Bakula: We stay in contact but we don’t see each other a lot because people have moved away. Linda (Park) lived in London and New York, Jolene (Blalock) is busy having babies and Dominic (Keating) I’ve seen in London a few times and that’s great to spend time with him on his home turf. I feel fortunate to have worked with them because they are great actors and made life on set really enjoyable.

CBS Action: You have done a lot of varied roles since leaving the show – was it hard to get work outside the sci-fi genre after Enterprise and Quantum Leap?

Scott Bakula: No because I had done a fair amount of other work before I got Enterprise. I did Chuck but apart from that I haven’t done any sci-fi since we came off air in 2005 – maybe I am due some sci-fi.

CBS Action: How much did it mean to you winning an Emmy for Behind The Candelabra?

Scott Bakula: It was a total surprise. The movie has been incredibly well received in the US and in Britain. I am excited the movie is doing so well as so many people worked hard to pull it off. It was so much fun to make – we started laughing from the first costume fitting. Each collection of outfits necklaces and rings and fur coats and watches was funnier than the next. It was amazing the synthetic fibres we used all used to wear that were all strange chemical combination and the bell bottoms. I remember in the 70s having a pair of leather trousers that weigh about 40 pounds so they kept slipping down. Looking back it was all this crazy stuff.

CBS Action: What are you working on now?

Scott Bakula: I’ve just finished a movie called Basmati Blues with Donald Sutherland, Tyne Daly and a bunch of Indian actors. But it feels like going back to school where my kids are starting a new term and I’m looking at some things.

CBS Action: Would you sign up to another long running TV series again?

Scott Bakula: Sure I love it, I’ve had some fantastic experiences on series TV. I’d like to do something that shoots in town so I can stay at home. Men Of A Certain Age was three years of work off and on and I really enjoyed that.

CBS Action: Talking of Men Of A Certain Age you are approaching a big birthday next year (60) – how are you feeling about that?

Scott Bakula: I always feel that age is relative. I am working the other way. It’s like when you install solar panels in your house and the electricity meter dial that is always spinning starts going the other way. I feel like I am getting more energy now being put back in than when I was younger.

Star Trek: Enterprise weeknights at 8pm on CBS Action, Sky channel 148, Virgin channel 192, Freesat channel 137.


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