Trip Tucker could have been played by another actor
For fans of Star Trek: Enterprise, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else playing the affable, southern, chief engineer of the Enterprise other than Connor Trinneer. Once Rick Berman and Brannon Braga saw the actor’s audition, they both believed the part was meant for him, but that didn’t make the casting process go any easier. (“Broken Bow” audio commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD/Blu-ray)
Back in 2000, a short-lived science-fiction series was coming to an an end. Now and Again only ran for one season, but one of the main stars of the series, Eric Close, had captured the attention of the network executives. And UPN wanted Close to play the chief engineer. Obviously, the network wanted someone who was better known in Hollywood, and Close had been in the soap opera Santa Barbara and Sisters as well as several movies prior to Now and Again.
Trip Tucker was a fan favorite
Most of Trinneer’s work had been on the stage prior to his casting as Trip Tucker so Berman and Braga had to fight for him to get the role. And once he was cast, Trip Tucker quickly became a favorite of the writing staff and the fans, making it easy to see why Berman and Braga wanted him for the part. After season two, Braga even said “you can’t go wrong with him because Connor Trinneer’s such a talented actor.” (Star Trek: Communicator issue 145, p. 26)
Though Eric Close is a talented actor as well, it’s hard to imagine him as Trip Tucker instead of Trinneer who gave the engineer a charming personality with a little bit of awkwardness that just worked. Enterprise fans are glad the producers fought for the right guy.