Dominic Keating On ‘Star Trek’ Audition + Coto v Berman/Braga

Dominic Keating (Lt. Malcom Reed on Star Trek Enterprise) reveals in a new interview with the official Star Trek Magazine, that he had an audition for JJ Abrams new Star Trek feature film. Keating also drew a sharp contrast between Enterprise’s 4th season showrunner Manny Coto and show creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.

Keating on his audition for Star Trek:

It was to play Jim Kirk’s uncle in the Midwest, where Jim grows up, before deciding to be a spaceman. I only got to read one scene, so maybe it was just that scene. I know I have it a good read. I didn’t say anything at the time, but I’m sure, even if they’d liked me, theid go, ‘Well, who is this guy?’ They’d say, ‘Oh, he played a part in Star Trek…’ And that it’d be, ‘No.” So that’s not going to happen. Would have been fun.

The 4th season of Enterprise is considered by most fans to be the best and much of the credit is given to writer/producer Manny Coto, who was brought in during the 3rd season and made show-runner for the 4th. The change was not lost on Keating:

The one thing I noticed in season four, and no detriment to Brannon [Braga] or Rick [Berman], was that the had a guy given the pole position, who was absolutely gagging for it. The life blood that came int the fourth season was palpable, and you saw it and felt it, whereas Rick and Brannon had been writing Star Trek for 15 or 16 years.

The latest issue of Star Trek Magazine has much more from Keating as well as other good articles on the film, and much more. Pick it on newsstands now.


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The 4th season was the best. Especially In A Mirror Darkly, Part II

I liked his character on Enterprise. Butt Tripp was my favorite. The 4th season was a lot of fun. If they would have started the series that way I think Enterprise would still be around.

They should do a TV movie for Sci-Fi that would be cool.

I assumed they’d have wanted him to play an elderly Reed teaching weapons/self-defence classes at Starfleet Academy. That would’ve been okay, I guess.

I agree with #2. That whole Xindi arc left me absolutely cold. It’s such a shame that by the time that show really came into its own, it was canceled.

Gotta love Trip, and that T’Pol was no slouch either.

The 4th season of Enterprise may have been it’s best, but it it had only one way to go after 3 dismal years. The source material was lacking to begin with, so even Manny’s talent could bring it out of it’s morose dwellings.

The both the new Battlestar Galactic and Enterprise had a world changing calamity similar to 9/11. Each had an opportunity to play on that foundation and make political statements, like TOS did. Battlestar exceeded for the most part in this. But Enterprise took the premise and wasted it on pedestrian retreads of previous Trek plots.

After establishing that type of tone for the series, it could do nothing but fail. I think Trek fandom should make Entrprise aprochyphal, not TAS

How nice of him to give away a scene from the new film. No sour grapes from the cast of Enterprise. cough cough

The fourth season was Enterprise’s finest and there were some nice moments, but looking back now it was still a mediocre effort in my opinion. There were too many weak episodes (Daedalus, anyone?) and outright ripoffs (Home was Ent’s version of TNG’s Family). The multi-part episodes all started off strong but fizzled at the end as they almost all had resolutions that were brought out in the last 5 or 10 minutes. Archer was still a wildly inconistent character, vacillating all over the place (in particular, he came across as a real jerk towards his crew in Daedalus). And let’s not forget “These Are The Voyages”, B&B’s “valentine to the fans” that ended the whole series.

ENT was my least favorite incarnation of Trek which is saying something because DS9 was bloody boring until they got Worf and until the war.
ENT was undoubtedly at its best during season 4 and it should have kept going, maybe if they did something with the Romulan war instead of the Xindi temporal cold war it would have got its 7 seasons like all modern Trek.
And for as much as I think the Borg rock a fat one it was just wrong to throw them in there to get viewer ship back, and the series finale, OMG lets not get started on that.

But if I saw Dominic on JJ’s Trek as Kirks uncle I would still be thinking Malcom Reed, I don’t think its good to recast trek alumni just for the sake of getting them in there as a cameo, that ruins movies/tv shows.

enterprise ruled, far superior to deep snore nine and star trek: lost in space

but, the younger generation grew up knowing only those shows as ‘star trek’ and naturally reacted badly to the adventures of john archer and crew… which was a real loss

pity, that


I like to watch Enterprise because it’s a sort of fun sci-fi show, but I still can’t mentally place it in the Star Trek universe. As a show, I like it much more than, say, any Stargate shows. But I won’t be running out and getting any episodes on DVD. Enterprise just seemed out of place. But I won’t say it was bad, just that I don’t care enough to defend it.

I’m not a strict canon-head, but Enterprise always had a way of setting off the “Not Consistent With What You Know As Star Trek” alarm.

But, yeah, I like to watch it.

I’ve said this before but the ENT finale wasn’t MEANT to be its final episode. It was just the last episode COMPLETED when the show was cancelled. “These Are the Voyages” was just supposed to be a regular ep.

#11 agree w/you. I liked it, but not enough to get emotionally invested. I never even watched it until Sci Fi started running it ad infinitum.

I’ve actually never (gasp!) watched any of the Star Trek versions other than TOS, TAS, and Enterprise. What few episodes of TNG I saw bored me to death, and after that I was sort of put off by the whole thing. But, you know, all of them had something that some fans could relate to, so in no way do I mean to trash any of them. I just think Enterprise maybe got bashed a little more than it truly had coming.

You’re right, “Fandom Menace” (love that name!). When watching Enterprise, I frequently forgot it was even part of Star Trek. It really did feel anachronistic. But I still found it mildly enjoyable.

Yeah #6, now that I know the secret that Jim Kirk has relatives, I will be totally unable to enjoy the new movie! ;)

As far as Enterprise goes, it had a great many things going against it. Not the least of which was the miscasting of so many of the leads. I love Scott Bakula in nearly everything else he’s been in, but he was mediocre to forgettable in ENT. Same goes for John Billingsley, The actress playing Hoshi was essentially set dressing, and Jolene Blalock wasn’t exactly stretching her acting muscle with T’Pol’s two moods – irritated and asleep. I agree that Trip was probably the best developed character of them all, but even that wasn’t enough to pull me in. Everytime I see the show come on I just get frustrated at what a missed opportunity it was. Someone needs to blacklist that casting director, seriously.

I got my Star Trek Magazine a week ago!

—12. ‘Beach O. Inthanity – April 17, 2008
I’ve said this before but the ENT finale wasn’t MEANT to be its final episode. It was just the last episode COMPLETED when the show was cancelled. “These Are the Voyages” was just supposed to be a regular ep. —

You may have said this before, but you’re not completely correct

The episode ‘as originally envisioned’ was to have been a regular episode during the third season I believe. It was rewritten when Berman and Braga knew for sure that Enterprise was being canceled, and it was fully intended to be the finale.

News that the series was canceled came about before all the episodes were completed. Why do you think there all of those ‘Save Enterprise’ campaigns leading up to the end of the series? They also threw in the whole thing about killing Trip because they knew the series wasn’t coming back. This has been addressed in a few interviews by Brannon himself.

I loved ENT’s final season and a half, and I also would have liked to have seen it keep going. While it was not at its best in the first two and a half years, I don’t think it was, even then, any worse than the other Trek spinoffs (except maybe DS9 toward the end), especially VOY. I actually purchased the DVD sets, something I never bothered to do with any other Trek TV series, aside from TOS.
As someone who was never a big fan of TNG-era Star Trek, I actually found ENT rather refreshing. I liked the grit and uncertainty of it all. I also thought the Borg plot was a bit too much, until I actually thought about what effect the events of FC may have had on the timeline in general. In retrospect, it makes more sense to me now than it did then (I was never able to actually watch the series during its run because of the network it was on, so I only heard about it).
The biggest complaints I heard from Trek fans who did have access to the UPN was about canon violations. I have to say that, after viewing the entire series on dvd, those reports were grossly exaggerated. While they may have debunked some of the fanon (that is, preconceived notions about Trek history which were never based on actual canonized Trek), I thought they did an admirable job of tapdancing around issues of continuity, and never actually violated canon.
Of course, the bland characters are a complaint that I hear alot. To me, they were no less bland than the characters in TNG. The iconic characters of TOS have never been truely succeeded. I really just enjoyed the feel of a much more raw and even strained Terran/Vulcan alliance which started with the pilot episode, and became somewhat of a series-long arc. I also felt that the show’s producers/writers were rather bold on occasion, even exploring the issue some fans have with the Klingon ridges and the lack of those ridges on Klingons seen in the TOS-era. “In A Mirror, Darkly” was fantastic, and the many 3-episode mini-arcs were quite enjoyable as well. I also feel that “Terra Prime” is one of the better written Star Trek episodes in any series.

All in all, I think ENT is highly underrated, and will end up standing the test of time better than some people think. I think I’ll watch some this weekend.


You mean to tell me you weren’t completely enraptured with the brilliantly executed TNG? Guards, seize her! (I kid)

DS9 was the show that I tried and tried to get into but the spark never caught fire. I recognize that it was well done, but I guess it just wasn’t for me.

Voyager was honestly, to me, hit and miss. The good stuff I thought was very good, but the bad stuff just stunk.

But these opinions are just that. Opinions. Bottom line is you like what you like. And don’t get cheesed off if someone else doesn’t like the same things.

if enterprise didnt have that damn theme song it might have survived

i have faith indeed

I don’t entirely agree that it was the fault of the actors. Characters on TV or in movies are defined by their protrayers to a degree, yes, but I think Enterprise’s problem was the way the characters were (and sometimes weren’t) written. Trip was well-developed, but by their fourth seasons, the other shows (primarily TNG and DS9. VOY pretty much never) were MUCH farther along character-development wise. ENT like most of the others mostly suffered from a lack of consistency and originality.
For instance, where is it written that just because Nimoy’s Spock’s hair looked that way that ALL Vulcans had to have that funky black bowl haircut? Hell, even the ENT Vulcan women’s hair was a version of that. At least they got away from the TNG bump-headed Vulcans/Romulans.
Making the Andorians’ antennae move was off-putting, not just because blah blah “TOS didn’t show them that way”blah blah, but because it made them TOO different from the TOS Andorians. Almost like the differences between Caucasian and, say, Asian humans. Both same species, yet obvious visual differences. Imean, why dd htey have to make them move? Aren’t Andorian antennae like human ears (however more sensitive they may fictionally be)? Do your or my ears move about randomly? Don’t think so. Having them swivel directionaly like a dog’s or a cat’s ears would have made more sense, believablity-wise
I liked the explanation for the smooth-headed Klingons. Coto was at least TRYING to tie the show ino TOS.
I agree with THX and Spockanella, though. Despite this rather lengthy opinion I cannot seem to get emotionally invested in the show.
Thought the “Mirror, Darkly” eps were pretty good…

I stand humbly corrected….

The only reason I watched that abomination was because I needed a Star Trek fix. At that time anything would do. What can I say, I was strung out. I’d take anything, even a crappy misinterpretation of the early days. That is how desperate times were back then.

lets all just pretend it was a dream sequence and wake up now to the new JJ Abrams Trek and move on.

some nightmares just need to be forgotten.

The 24th century left me cold. I got absolutely NO Trek vibes from any of it. Maybe a hint here and there in Ds9, but most of it was cut from such a different cloth of TOS that I never found it inviting much less entertaining.

But I found the cast of Enterprise to be an island of freshness in the Berman infested waters of Trekdom. Archer was a pretty lousy captain, but the rest of the crew had some nice chemistry. And the stories seemed to be a lot more fun than the 24th century mediocrity that flooded the airwaves for 15 years.

While Enterprise wasn’t TOS, it was, at least, a step in the right direction. A small step, but a step none the less. And Reed was a good character whose potential was never really realised. I would have welcomed an appearance by him in Trek 09.

Well said #17!!!!
Enterprise didn’t get the love it deserved.
I skipped it entirely during its initial run. I am guilty. But watching it in re-run on SciFi has been great. I am now saddened that there were only four seasons.

My Fav’s in order:
TOS (Loved it since I was 4 years old)
TNG (Loved it since the beginning & all the movies)
ENT (Just now discovered what a gem I’d missed initially)
TAS (Can’t help it; it’s still TOS, just animated. I consider it canon)
DS9 (Liked several episodes, but never caught my complete attention)
VOY (Wow, this was suprisingly weak . . . so sorry)

I should add here too that last Saturday while no one was watching the auditorium, an art director from Enterprise was there giving a slide show from behind the scenes of the set.

It was mostly cute photos of the cast and crew, but one interesting thing he said was that he had always felt that as art director he wanted the entire show to look like TOS, but that the network stepped in because the network felt that a vintage looking show would not have mass appeal.

I sincerely hope that next May that is proven wrong in a BIG way. I think anything that harkens back to the canon and look of the original series will be impressive to so many out there, even non fans. The look of it is incredibly appealing with the primary color scheme and massively cool sets.

And on a side note: I have to say I was and have been always impressed with the first, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, set designs. I think that movie is really incredible artistically speaking. Especially the AMAZING Spock sequences. Those are some of my all time favorite movie visuals ever. They remind me very much of the first opening sequence of Blade Runner…

15 or 16 years… well, in the series finale of ENT Bermanbraga showed again their huge respect for the whole franchise, the fandom and the actors. haha.

I think of all of the shows, Enterprise was the most dynamic when it came to the dynamic and scope of it’s production.

It always feels “big” to me when I watch it – like a movie – despite its obvious character and writing flaws. And frankly, that’s what I love about it – and why I continue to re-watch many of the episodes. I always seem to find something new each time I see an episode.

Now don’t get me wrong, Enterprise has its share of stink-filled episodes – but so does every Trek incarnation – Voyager much more than all of the others. But TOS, TNG, DS9 – you can’t deny that there are episodes that just make you shudder.

In short, I like Enterprise. I like the idea of Enterprise. I think Enterprise was one of the most realistic Treks ever. And I wasn’t going to let the occasional drift from canon to color my opinion of the show. I wish it had been given the chance the other shows had.

Such is life.

@25… great timing… ;))

In fact, I wonder if Ridley got the idea or inspiration of that opening sequence from Star Trek The Motion Picture.

See, now maybe JJ will create an iconic movie here with real heart, influencing others in the sci fi genre in the future.

Ok, I’ve said my piece. :)

#14. I respectfully disagree about John Billingsley, he made Phlox one of the better realized and entertaining characters. Phlox was Neelix done right (well conceived character, not irritating) the way Jake Sisko was Wesley done right.

wow awesome timing!

…The life blood that came int the fourth season was palpable, and you saw it and felt it…

That’s what happens when you have fans working on a production of what they’re a rabid, hardcore fan of. Which is why Abram’s “Star Trek” should have been done by someone like Manny Coto – as it is, Abrams is just doing it for the money he’ll make. That’s not inherently bad, and I’m not saying Abrams is bad because of his motivations, but I AM making the point that the product will be very different than a product that is a result of a real love for the genre.

I agree the 4th season saw what Enterprise should have been… that is once they got past “Evil Space Nazis Meet The Sopranos.” (Yikes, what a steaming pile that two-parter was.)
I also liked a lot of the elements early in the series, before it went off course. I very much liked the idea that Earth ships were unprepared for the pummeling the would take at the hands of more experienced space-faring races. Phlox had a great early ep, deciding which of two races might live and which might die.
No Trek series is 100% gold. In the immortal words of Frye, even TOS had “about 30 really good ones.” I think Enterprise had about 30 really good ones in four seasons.

In my opinion, “ENT” is just as good as “TNG” and “DS9”. I consider all three to be my favorite of the Trek shows.

#30’s right IMHO

John Billingsley’s Phlox was one of the best parts of ENT. A great character and well-executed by John. I loved the Phlox scenes.


Stop Bashing Nemesis, I agree with you 100%. The 3rd season of ENT should of focus more on the Romulans instead of the Xindi war. Though the Xindi had their moments, the Romulans would have gone more with established canon (the show was a prequal, right?).
And I too would of just thought of Malcolm Reed instead of Kirk’s uncle had Dominic Keating been cast in the upcoming movie.
I think it’d be cool if we saw Jolene Blalock or John Billingsley reprise their roles of T’Pol and Dr. Phlox in cameos in the new movie. That would definately bridge ENT with the rest of the Star Trek series. :-)

Manny is the man. Though enterprise had some early off good stories, that xindi/zindi crap was just just that crap. And who the funk is future guy anyways?

Of course will JJ make some money… but anybody who saw his performance at last years TED conference knows that he is full of ideas, and able to transport them into his projects. When the franchise ended up in the hands of Berman and Braga, they used it like a money printing machine. They acted like they could serve any crap to the trekkies out there, as long as it was labeled “Star Trek”. Voyager was bad, Enterprise was worse. TOS was made by people who loved what they did, take a typical Bragasode and feel the difference. Should the ratings drop you could be sure that Braga was coming up with the Borg, in every timeline.

JJ Abrams is the best that happened to Trek since Gene died.

IMHO-What made Enterprise hit the ropes was Bakula’s performance and the outlandish attempt to get male views by putting Blaylock in what was pretty much a cat suit.

No imagination and no taste.

That show had so much promise to be a hallmark of Star Trek, but the fans were failed by the writing, acting and general thought behind the show. I knew after season two that this could signal the end of Star trek as we know it.

Good job Berman, you almost killed Star Trek!

I never accepted the premise of “Enterprise”. …Well, you see it’s a show about the first Enterprise who set off into space with the first vulcan and they saved the Earth from destruction, etc.

No one ever mentioned it in any of the series, because it didn’t exist. It’s ‘history’ was all over the map. That show was simply a way for them to cash-in and keep the cash rolling into Paramount.

However the checks all bounced.

#32—“That’s what happens when you have fans working on a production of what they’re a rabid, hardcore fan of. Which is why Abram’s “Star Trek” should have been done by someone like Manny Coto – as it is, Abrams is just doing it for the money he’ll make.”

First of all, what evidence do you have to show that Abrams is just doing it for the money he’ll make? In that case, why agree to direct a movie within a “dying” franchise under the pressure of a $150 million investment? That is an accusation which requires some evidence, IMO. You are attacking his integrity (and his sanity) for no reason at all.

I like Manny Coto, but Paramount only approved this project because it involved an A-list Hollywood name like JJ Abrams. Otherwise, there is no Star Trek movie—especially with that superior budget.

And since when are Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (the writers of STXI) not fans of Star Trek? If it is just the director which you are concerned about, what about Robert Wise and Nick Meyer? Were they “rabid” fans of Star Trek? Absolutely not. If anything, JJ Abrams is a bigger fan of Trek than either of them was when they directed a ST film. One of his favorite experiences was, apparently, going to see TWOK with his friends, and he describes himself as a fan. I never heard Wise or Meyer say anything like that. In fact, Meyer said he had never seen the show (TOS) prior to taking on the film. Somehow, I doubt that Wise had either. So, is he (Abrams) a liar? And what reason do you have to believe that?

I have nothing against differing opinions, but in this post, you are presenting certain things as fact that actually have no basis in truth whatsoever. In fact, the only two statements you made which are not completely unsupportable are that Manny Coto is a rabid fan and looking to make money is not a bad thing.

It’s one thing to be skeptical, but you are peddling false propoganda which is seemingly geared toward discrediting JJ Abrams with no basis in fact. And why on this thread (which had nothing to do with Abrams, by the way)?


To me, those are all minor points. I don’t really care if the Andorians’ antennae move or if Vulcans all share the same barber. If the stories & characterizations are there, I’m on board.

The problem I had with ENT was with the weak characters and the borrowed storylines. Archer (as portrayed by Bakula) bored me to tears, and isn’t someone I’d ever want to know. The T’Pol character turned Vulcan aloofness into full-fledged misanthropy. and Hoshi & Mayweather…well, there’s not even enough character there to assasinate. They were just tedious.

It’s not about the actors being ‘bad’, but just a case of otherwise good actors either A)working with flawed material or B)working in the wrong medium. I think both came into play on Enterprise.


Sorry, Phlox always struck me as rather cartoonish. That CGI smile didn’t help!

I enjoy Enterprise. Tho’ I be seein’ much of it fur the first time just now. Yes- I saw the baddies mentioned here. But most of tha’ goodies too.

Mayhaps if it wuz syndicated instead of on an unknown esoteric network…

perhpas Dr. Phloxx will indeed, as suggested, appear in ST 11 (no he won’t ta’ be sure) but if he had a scene curin’ a crewman’s constipation then that’d be grand… maybe even curing various constipation abounding here and thar’…. and put ‘im inna catsuit…


I enjoyed Enterprise. I like the fact that some of the alien made famous on TOS were brought back like the Andorian, Tholian, and teleriate. I kind of wish they used the Tholian and teleriate a little bit more during season one like they did with the Andorian. If they ever make another Star Trek series the security officer should be an Andorian.

The Temporal Cold War wasn’t used as an excuse to explain why some stuff didn’t fit in the canon like many fans expected it would be used for or to bring back a character from other Trek series to Enterprise.

If you haven’t seen these episode I’m about to list than you should see it. It is a nice fix of good Star Trek and Science fiction.

Broken Bow
Fight or Flight
Strange New World
The Androian Incident
Fortunate Son
Cold Front
Silent Enemy
Dear Doctor
Shuttlepod One
Fallen Hero
Shock Wave
Vox Sola
Dead Stop
The Communicator
The Catwalk
Cease Fire
Future Tense
The Breach
First Flight
The Expanse

^And I haven’t gotten into Epidoes from Season 3 and 4.

#32 “That’s what happens when you have fans working on a production of what they’re a rabid, hardcore fan of. Which is why Abram’s “Star Trek” should have been done by someone like Manny Coto – as it is, Abrams is just doing it for the money he’ll make.”

Have to disagree there. JJ has publicly stated that he is a big fan of TOS, but not so much the other series. And more importantly, he is a HUGE fan of classic Twilight Zone. Imaginative television has rarely reached the level of quality achieved by the Rod Serling and the original TZ. JJ has even been quoted as saying he likes TOS andTZ because it invloves….REAL people and tests them by putting them in incredible, amazing and often very dangerous situations.

After 20 years of boring paint-by-numbers Trek, I can hardly wait to have creativity and imagination be a big part of Trek again. JJ is the man, and when I think about how Berman and company mishandled and transformed an incredible idea into a 20 year excercise of mediocrity, I can’t help but be totally jazzed that the new altered timeline version of TOS is JJ’s very capable hands.

I mean come on, Nimoy wouldn’t give Berman or Generations the time of day because it was such a stinker….but he can’t say enough good things about JJ’s take on TOS. Nuff said.

Wow, I think some of us store up this stuff.

Enterprise, YES:
It’s Trek, and it looks great.
A few good scripts.

Enterprise, NO:
T’Pol on drugs.
Continuity nightmares.
60% dull scripts.
Beginning with a “primitive” Enterprise and then quickly adding phasers, transporters and virtually everything else enjoyed by TOS.
Gratuitous cat suits, not to mention colligen and silicone (and I ain’t talking about Horta.)

Totally agreed with Keating on Season 4 of ENT. New blood, new energy (I think the same will be true with Trek XI). Season 4 is the only season of that show I own. At that point, it was JUST starting to feel like a true predecessor to TOS. A real shame. If that was season 1 instead of 4, I think it could’ve easily gone 7 years despite franchise fatigue.

If the new Trek somehow wipes the Enterprise past timeline from existence, (by establishing a different history) I will be happy.

“Enterprise” had its moments, but they were few and far between. The first season was all over the map from well-done (“Shadows of P’Jem”) to totally forgettable (“Vox Sola”). And the concept of the Temporal Cold War should be recorded for posterity as “Worst ideas for a recurring storyline” to warn future TV writers.

The second season really only had one or two good episodes, the rest was misbegotten junk.

The Xindi storyline was misguided in the extreme. They had a unique chance to tell an exciting story about either the Klingons or the Romulans (both of which we already knew the Federation had issues with in its early history) but instead Berman & Braga give us the thoroughly uninteresting Xindi, a race (or races) no one had mentioned before and almost certainly never will again. They could have backfilled the history of the Earth/Klingon/Romulan relationship and established why the Federation is founded, truly utilizing the show’s setting as a prequel, but they didn’t.

They also should have taken a page from Babylon 5 and fired the star when it was clear he was not working out. Bakula was great on “Quantum Leap” but was terrible on “Enterprise”, his scenery-chewing in “In A Mirror, Darkly” is abominable and ruins an otherwise first-rate episode. Like O’Hare on B5, they could have brought Bakula back for ocassional visits, but he was miscast as Archer and none of the hit-and-miss supporting cast could make up for that, the way DS9’s extraordinary supporting players made up for Brooks’ lackluster performance as Sisko.