Great Expectations

In the second half of our Television Critics Association (TCA) focus, Enterprise start Scott Bakula and Connor Trinneer reveal how much they are enjoying their time aboard ship, and how impressed they are with the direction the show has been going. Abbie Bernstein reports.

Scott Bakula and Connor Trinneer have had a long day. Both were at Paramount Studios at 7am for an early call, they finished filming at 7.30pm and have driven out to Pasadena for 9pm, where a mass of reporters are picking their brains for some hot Enterprise gossip. Thankfully, their hectic schedule hasn't diminished either man's enthusiasm for the show.

Bakula expounds on the difference between Enterprise and its Star Trek ancestors. 'I never thought of the previous series' characters as being awestruck by anything. They dealt with a situation in their way and they moved on to the next situation, because they had such a clear-cut mission.

'Ours is kind of 'whichever way the wind blows' ' it's uncharted and there are no rules. This feels a little different. There certainly is that desire to get out there and experience everything and try everything. We're rookies, we're raw. The joy of it is, everybody's got their own other set of rules and we're making mistakes. And I think that's great. I think it's interesting to see how people behave when there aren't rules, with the choices that they make and who they feel that they have to answer to ' is it just the admiral back home on a viewscreen, or is there somebody else, a higher consciousness that they're answering to''

For Trinneer, simply being a TV series regular is a new frontier. 'Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. It's nice to do something every day, to get out there and ply your trade on a daily basis. You've got 80-90 pages of a TV script, whereas I did a play in Lincoln Center a couple of years ago, eight performances a week for nine months, which is such a great gift, because you know it so well that every time you do it, you can forget about what you're doing.

'Here, I've got to be damn sure I know those eight pages we're doing that day. So you've got your brain in different places. You're compartmentalizing in a way that you wouldn't have to do in a long theatrical run. I think it's a matter of your own process ' every time I do a play, it's different. Obviously, every day on a show, you're doing something six or seven times to get one good take. So it's a different process entirely. I can't say that one of the other is better ' they're both about as much work.'

Bakula is not only excited about the show, but he's also loved the Enterprise sets. 'They'll add a little hallway or a little compartment or there'll be a place that we've never been on the ship before, so we're just finding all these new nooks and crannies. It's expanding. I'm sure the other shows did the same thing, but for us, it's new.'

Trinneer has been reveling in the whole Star Trek experience, and has now appeared at several conventions. His first was in Portland, Oregon, 40 miles from where he grew up. 'I had a hoot. I had a great time. I was a bit nervous, because I had no idea what to expect. I walked in there and they all stood up, almost 400 of them, and they gave me a standing ovation, and you know what' When you've got that kind of love coming at you, you're going to have a good time. I walked out there, they tossed me the microphone, and I said 'You got questions'' And 'bam', people were 'intrigued', 'complimentary' ' fill in the adjective. It was really cool. Also surreal, to be honest.'

Now that he's answered so many questions about working on Enterprise, is there anything Trinneer hasn't been asked yet''

'What do I think of the hair'' he replies.

Okay, what does he think'

'I would like a little more life in my hair, maybe a bit more lift. But it's based in the military and you sort of have to have a consistent, homogenous idea about how men wear their hair. It's a very little concern of mine that I never think about unless somebody goes, 'Anything you haven't mentioned''' he laughs.

There are rumours of visits to Enterprise by characters from other Treks, Bakula reveals. 'There's talk about them traveling back in time to us. Rick [Berman] was talking about bringing Patrick Stewart in somehow and bringing Whoopi [Goldberg] in. They're great, but there's no rush. I really hope they don't do that until Year Two or Year Three, because there's so much of our character relationships that we still have to explore.'

Trinneer is thankful that his character, Chief Engineer Charles 'Trip' Tucker, isn't as bound to the engineering set as his character's professional peers have been. 'It is my office, but I don't s pend any more time in there than I spend anywhere else. In fact, it's kind of hard to shoot the engineering room, because that big warp reactor's right in the middle. It doesn't seem to be where Scotty was in the original. He was there all the time. I'm everywhere.'

Trip is often in the middle of the action, which suits Trinneer fine. 'I've always been a really physical person,' he says, 'so any time that they'll let me do something stupid, some sort of stunt, I do.'

'I often break stuff,' he laughs. 'I've sort of become relatively well know for breaking any prop I get by the end of the day. But any chance I get to do my own stunts, I love to ' I love the physical nature of it. It's like playing in the sandbox.'

Bakula says everyone is consistently having fun. 'We have such a great cast. I've always enjoyed being on set. The hours are so long and the work is so hard that when you're there ' if you can't have fun while you're there and enjoy the people that are there for the hours, it's a long time to be there. We're always playing ' we're always having a good time.'

Star Trek Magazine Issue 117