Star Trek: Enterprise was going to be vastly different.
Star Trek: Enterprise was the show that started it all, in a timeline sense, that is. The show highlighted the beginnings of the United Federation of Planets and the events that helped lead to many different alien races coming together to help one another prosper.
It featured Scott Bakula as the star of the show and captain of the ship, Jonathan Archer, all while leading the crew of the NX-01 Enterprise on a whole lot of missions.
The series almost didn’t happen, however, as the show was deadset on getting Bakula to come in as Archer, and without him, the show wouldn’t have happened. And that’s almost what happened when Archer rejected the leading role, not wanting to have to follow Kate Mulgrew’s turn as Kathryne Janeway in the timeline.
Doing a sequel series of sorts was never something Bakula wanted to do, so some things were changed.
Star Trek: Enterprise changed up its initial formula
Speaking on the special features section for The Star Trek: Enterprise Complete Series DVD (via CBR), Archer revealed he didn’t want to continue on the storyline set by prior captains, saying;
"My initial first thought was…I am not interested in doing that. I don’t want to be the next captain after Janeway somewhere in the twenty-whatever century."
And while those involved in the show wanted a more futuristic setting, much like how the Next Generation followed the Original Series, the decision was made to do a prequel, set about 100 years before the Original Series.
The general thought, though never directly stated, was that the show changed its era to accommodate Bakula. James L. Conway directed the pilot for Enterprise spoke on the Shuttlepod Show, and revealed that there was no backup for Archer should he decide not to do the show.
So it sure sounds like changes were made to get Bakula on the show, and we’re forever grateful.