Star Trek: Enterprise didn’t have a fallback plan without Scott Bakula
Usually, when a series as big as Star Trek is casting for an important role like the captain of the Enterprise, there would be a line of actors being considered. The production team would pore over auditions, call back actors for more reads, and take quite some time before finally making a decision. That wasn’t how things worked with Star Trek: Enterprise as Scott Bakula had the interest of the team from the start.
According to a quote by James L. Conway, a director of Star Trek: Enterprise, in The Fifty-Year Mission, The Next 25 Years, Bakula was the only actor ever discussed for Archer. But no one on the team had ever met him, talked to him, or heard him do the material. They just knew they wanted him as he was popular from Quantum Leap and had a huge TV audience.
Star Trek: Enterprise only wanted Scott Bakula for Captain Archer
While the production team waited, there were rumors that Bakula had been offered a CBS comedy pilot, and everyone got worried because they didn’t have another Captain Archer. But Bakula read the script and he liked the character. His deal wasn’t finalized until the table read of the script only three days before production began.
Not everyone was a fan of Scott Bakula’s Captain Archer, though. In fact, fans criticized the character for being too soft or too uncertain. But Executive Producer Rick Berman said they wanted a captain who was a little green.
"“We wanted a captain who was taking those first steps out into the galaxy, we wanted him to be a little green. We wanted him to slowly build up a sense of confidence in what he was doing. We wanted him to be a man of great curiosity, an historian of sorts. But at the same time someone who was in awe of everything he saw.”"
While Bakula wasn’t everyone’s favorite, he did lead Star Trek: Enterprise for four seasons, and the series continues to gain new fans since it has become available to streaming platforms. Like him or not, he’ll always be Captain Jonathan Archer.