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Entertainment Weekly's Fall TV Preview: More ENT Talk and More "Unexpected" Details

Posted: 15:00:42 on September 01 2001
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: Enterprise | www.stenterprise.com

Entertainment Weekly's Fall TV Preview has hit the stands and here's an excerpt from the mag's write-up on the newest 'Star Trek' series:

Set in the year 2151, ''Enterprise'' beams the ''Star Trek'' franchise back to an era two centuries before Picard made it so on ''The Next Generation'' and about a hundred years before Kirk hot-rodded around the galaxy in the original ''Trek.'' In this more primitive patch of the future, humans have just earned their learner's permits for faster-than-light deep space travel, Klingons and Vulcans are still our newly discovered neighbors, and Starfleet uniforms are dark blue jumpsuits that sometimes get accessorized with baseball caps.

''The whole feel of the show is different,'' says Scott Bakula, who's taking a quantum leap into the captain's chair as Jonathan Archer, commander of Starfleet's very first starship. ''It has a pioneer feeling to it, like we're in the Wild West. The characters are more emotional, more familiar. They still get scared seeing aliens. It makes the show feel a lot more contemporary and accessible.''

Not to mention sexier. Joining Bakula on the bridge is Jolene Blalock as subcommander T'Pol, a Vulcan scientist so icily hot, Spock himself would be biting his knuckles and leering like a Ferengi (''It's standard issue Vulcan wig and ears,'' she says, revealing her beauty secret). The pilot even has a steamy shower sequence featuring Blalock and Connor Trinneer, who plays engineer Trip Tucker, slathering biodecontamination jelly all over each other's bodies. Also on board are Linda Park as Hoshi Sato, an astrolinguist with a fear of flying; English actor Dominic Keating as tactical officer Malcolm Reed; Anthony Montgomery as helmsman Travis Mayweather; and John Billingsley as Dr. Phlox, a ridge-headed alien of uncertain origin.

The show's creative team, including executive producer Brannon Braga, took inspiration from the 1996 feature film ''Star Trek: First Contact,'' in which Patrick Stewart and pals warped back to an even earlier Earth time zone in order to prevent the evil Borg from barging in on the historic first date between humans and Vulcans. Says Braga, ''We wanted to go back to basics, to give the show more of a sense of danger and exploration and awe.''

The biggest advantage to setting the show in the not-too-distant future was that it finally solved a philosophical paradox that's been driving ''Trek'' writers nuts since Gene Roddenberry's death in 1991. One of the legendary creator's final contributions to the franchise was a ludicrous edict banning conflict between humans from the series. No longer burdened, in other words, with the stuff drama is made of.

Because ''Enterprise'' conveniently takes place before humans have evolved into the most boring species in the cosmos, this new crew won't have to behave like the Federation's usual bunch of interstellar social workers. ''My character doesn't care much for Vulcans,'' Bakula admits. ''He'd be thrilled if he didn't have one on his bridge.'' Captain Archer will be a bit of a throwback in other ways, as well. ''He's going to be more like Kirk,'' Bakula promises. ''More physical and emotional -- and with a girl in every port.'' -- Benjamin Svetkey

The full article also includes some subtle details about the previously-revealed episode "Unexpected", in which engineer Charlie Tucker becomes pregnant: "They're nipples," announces makeup artist Michael Westmore, proudly presenting three pink blobby things on a tray. "One of the characters gets pregnant by an alien and starts growing them on his arm. They're made out of gelatin, like the stuff you buy in the supermarket, which has more luminosity than rubber or latex." He gently pokes one with a fingertip. "You could actually eat these things if you wanted to."

[...]

"I don't know how much I'm allowed to tell you," Connor Trinneer says when he's asked how his character ends up with gelatin nipples stuck on his arm. "I get pregnant, but it's not like I get impregnated. It's an accident. This alien and I put our hands in this granule things and read each other's minds and the next thing you know I've got nipples coming out of my arm."

Pick up your copy of Entertainment Weekly today for the full article and photos.

(And thanks to TrekWeb reader 'Tad' who sent in the scans of the article).

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