Scott Bakula On Fandom, Quantum Leap Future, & Enterprise Reference In Star Trek Movie

Scott Bakula, Captain Jonathan Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise, is out promoting his role in the new movie The Informant!, and in a new extensive interview he gets into what effect being part of Star Trek and Quantum Leap has had on his life, excerpts below. Bakula also says that he expects that he would not be involved in any future version of Quantum Leap. And in a separate video interview, Bakula talks about Quantum Leap, Chuck and more, including the Enterprise reference in the new Star Trek movie.

Bakula on fandom and turning down sci-fi
To many, especially genre fans, Scotty Bakula is best known for his roles on the sci-fi shows Quantum Leap and Star Trek Enterprise. In an extensive interview with Moviehole, the actor discusses fandom, and he has turned down more sci-fi roles.

Question: How was it for you dealing with some of those hard core fans from both of those show? I mean, the Trekkies are a bunch unto themselves.

Bakula: Yeah. Well, you know, science fiction fans, if they love you, they’re – you’ve got ’em.

Question: But God help you if they don’t.

Bakula: Well, they let you know, you know? And they don’t really – you know, they really don’t hang around if they don’t like you, because they’re just – if they’ve – if you’re in, you know, then you’re in forever. And they’re demanding fans. They expect that you be honest in your science fiction, and correct in your science fiction. And they expect you to be available, and a part of the world of science fiction. And they claim you. So, there’s kind of a responsibility about that. But I knew that. I knew when I took Enterprise that I was perpetuating that. But they’re loyal, and they ask you to be really good. And they really watch. And, you know, for a performer, that’s – you can’t really ask for more than that. They’re not casual. They’re intent. And you better have – you better not screw up your facts, your logic, they’ll ring you up on that one. And so – you know, that’s who you work for. We work for our fans, and for an audience. And so I love them. They’ve been great to me.

Question: Are you a fan of those genres yourself?

Bakula: I am. I look back now, it’s like, "How did I end up in all these science fiction things?" And then I look back at the stuff that I loved when I was a kid, and the TV shows that I liked, and the books that I liked and Ray Bradbury, and all the things that I loved reading. And then I say, "Well, you know, it’s kind of"- when I open up a script that says, "The guy – he wakes up and he’s in a bed, and nobody knows – he looks in a mirror and he’s somebody else, and they can’t figure it out, and this hologram appears," I’m just sucked right in. I’m not going, "This is stupid." I love it. So, it’s – I’m drawn to it. It’s hard for me to say no to science fiction stuff.

Question: Really?

Bakula: Which I have to do. You know? You just can’t – because – and people are always like, "Well, let’s send him a script about some sci-fi thing." Or, "Let’s write him another sci-fi show." And it’s like, "Well, hang on. I just can’t keep doing that over and over and over again." But to be in those two franchises have been just remarkable.

Read much more, including how expects he would be recast in any future version of Quantum Leap, at Moviehole.

Bakula on Archer reference in Star Trek
Bakula also talked to Collider, where he discussed The Informant, Quantum Leap, Chuck and more, including the reference to Archer (and Porthos) in the new Star Trek, of which Bakula stated:

Totally surprised by that, I didn’t see it coming. I bought a ticket and saw the movie with my boys and–it was so fast to be quite honest–I wasn’t sure that I heard it, because there was so much going on in that movie–great movie incidently, I thought they did a wonderful job–but I thought "did he just talk about my dog dying?" And the you are on to something else.


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One of the things that I loved in the novelization was the ending. And how a certain animal reappears on board the Enterprise. I wish they could have put that in the movie just has nod to the fans of Enterprise. But then again that does not mean they could have it roaming around the Enterprise next time around.

I thought he was a great captain. I really enjoyed his tight-lipped stoicism, the way he managed his crew, and the way he grew during his mission. I was very sad to see this series end.

When and where was this referenced in the movie, what moment?

Great actor, lousy character. From day one, Archer was written as a bipolar nut job, one minute he’s emotionally raw and screaming at T’pol, the next he’s clowning around with Trip. In the 4 years that show was on, I can count on 1 hand the amount of times he was the calm cool person a captain should be. I wish him the best, but I wish the writers of Enterprise the worst.

I love Scott Bakula, and I enjoyed his work in Quantum Leap so much. I was therefore disappointed when I watched Enterprise and found that I couldn’t like the Captain Archer character at all. I really blame the writers on this one. If *they* couldn’t figure out what Archer should be like, Bakula had no choice but to simply do the best he could with what was given to him.

#4 it was referenced when Scotty was telling Kirk and Spock why he was on Delta Vega.
“I transported admiral archer’s prized beagle”
“What happened”
“I’ll tell you when he reappears” “Still feel bad about that one”

It must be weird to go see a movie and suddenly the characters are talking about you.

“I “BOUGUTH a ticket and saw the movie with my boys”

spell check ftw

At least Scott made the effort to see it, Shatner, on the other hand, is obtuse.

I never watched Bakula on QL.

His “Archer” was stiff as a board, and when the show tried to “amp” him up for the Xindi arc, it was too obvious, like “who is THIS guy?” Also, absolutely no testosterone whatsoever,

None of the ENT characters really had decent arcs over the 4 years it ran. In the 4th year, they tried to solve everything, and they almost did. Except Archer.

I really liked the character of Archer, thought he was a great captain, and would loved to have seen him in cameo in the new movie..

Did you ever think that they did (Enterprise creators) wanted a picture perfect captain. If they had Capt. Perfect it would have been hard for the public to think he was real. So he seemed stiff at times but how many of you have been around Military Academy Grads. They can seem hard and have a cold heart, this because they have been educated to go by the books, going by the heart will kill your future faster than thr book can.

I never really got worried or upset because he used logic before his heart. But just look at my name here and you’ll see why I reason logic over emotions. Being a scatter brained person with his heart on his sleeve may get you in bed more but to not have the emotions play with you, you need a strong heart and mind to get things done in the real world.

Who do you think would have won WW 2 faster, Patten or Hefner. I say Capt. Archer was closer to Patton then Hugh. But Archer may have had some oh Hef’s mags under his bed, but he was far to organized to let you and your cameras see them.

I liked Capt. Archer and “Enterprise” as a whole.

#5 (Valar1): Your character observations are absolutely correct. But that’s exactly why I liked Archer and Enterprise. He and the show were not typical. It was refreshing to see that after Voyager, which was a good show for other reasons, but it was… well, typical. :)

Loved Enterprise, couldnt bear QL… total chick series.

I was very surprised to have loved him in the role of Archer, and was disappointed that he wasnt in the movie in some way.

Great that his character was mentioned, though, I thought that was very cool and one of the few redeeming aspects of the picture.

Love Bakula and he was perfect in Quantum Leap. But his “down home” friendly demeanor just didn’t serve him well as a starship captain. Archer came off as a pretty lame captain, partially due to how he was written and also how he was played by Bakula. He just can’t convey authoriy convincingly. Not his fault, just poor casting.

All the best for Scott.

not to nitpick, but in the Bakula quote:

“great movie, incidentally.”

I suppose I did nitpick. :-)

I always saw Archer as an explorer at heart. He wasn’t a soldier, he’d much rather be out hoppin’ galaxies than zapping aliens. If his character seemed like a fish out of water at times, I think this is the reason.

I’m finding it a touch humorous he might have thought, “hey, they made me an admiral!”

*might not have*

I rate Bakula but really didn’t like him at all in Enterprise. A very curious and uptight portrayal that just didn’t connect with me.
And I wish they hadn’t put the reference in Trek ’09. It leant a credibility to Enterprise that the show just didn’t deserve.

One of the things that I always felt rang true about the character was that he was far from the optimal star ship captain. That was kind of the whole point, really. The Vulcans didn’t want us out that far in space, and they were to an extent correct. The only reason that we were out that far was because he had pushed and pushed to get his daddy’s warp engine built, and maybe didn’t neccessarily have all of the skills going in to pull off the job of commanding the ship and it’s crew while simultaneously acting as Earth’s foremost emissary. A perfect captain would have been boring-same-old-no-conflict-predictable.

Bakula is a class act – always has been.

Scott… if you’re reading this… all your fans would love to see you at more conventions!

It also occured to me that the beaming experiment disapperance of “Admiral Archer’s prize beagle” might have been a future inspiration for Scotty to have [eventually] come up with that Loop idea to save himself and one other person when the Jenolan crashed on the Dyson Sphere…….

And yes, it would be amazing if the writers added Porthos (whatever generation he’d be by Kirk’s time) rematerializing somewhere in the next story, for whatever the reason. (Roberto? Alex?) It would be the last paragraph in the novel of ST09, used as one quick sequence in the following story. Would it work? Would it even be necessary? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s certainly an interesting thought!

I actually found the last season and a half or so of ENT to be quite entertaining, but I never found myself endeared to any of its characters, quite honestly.

Then again, I never found that any of the spinoff characters really endeared themselves to me.

But with that said, I would rewatch just about any of Manny Coto’s ENT episodes before I would ever touch another round of 24th Century reruns…As maligned as it is in much of the fan community, it’s actually my second-favorite Star Trek series.

I never found Scott Bakula all that interesting to watch. He kinda reminds me of Kevin Costner in that respect.

Mr Bakula seems . . . like a nice chap. Just nothing much beyond that!

Bakula now has a recurring charactor on “The New Adventures of Old Christine” on CBS. He’s a love interest for Julia Louis Dryfess.

Archer was awesome!…Would love to see a Enterprise mini series based on the Romulan Wars…etc….they went out on such a sorry note…
though I still wonder how old Archer is if he is still around for Scotty to interact with…must be pushing 150 at least…I am assuming this is some great great great grand puppy of the original Porthos…anyway a great reference…and if you read the novelization…
(SPOILER)…you find out what happens to Porthos….kinda cool….

Bakula’s a great guy. Intensely likable and thus one of those actors who is perfect for weekly TV because you just enjoy the guy’s vibe – kind of like James Garner was on The Rockford Files.

I don’t normally pick on the typos, but the quote above was funny. “….there was so much going on in that movie–great movie indecently,”

Man, I’m sorry I missed the indecent parts. Oh well, there’s always bonus features.

Reading Bakula talk is a little odd. I get the sense from this that he has a difficult time sorting his thoughts.

Hmm … “a great film indecently.” Might that read “incidentally”?

He did look a bit stiffer than your average Kirk or Sisko, but when they where commanding people out in space humanity already had 100 and 200 years experience in space respectively. Archer was the first, he had nobody to tell him what it was like out there because nobody had been. I bet that Kirk had a few classes on him at the Academy.
He probably wasnt intended to be like that to the story writers, but its a good explanation

#30—“…I still wonder how old Archer is if he is still around for Scotty to interact with…must be pushing 150 at least…”

Actually, Scotty’s experiment with the “prized beagle” takes place in 2257, making Jonathan Archer 145 years of age at that point.

Leonard McCoy lived to be at least 137 years old, so it is certainly not unheard of in the ST Universe. In fact, the oldest person to date lived to be 122 years and 164 days old. That person died 12 years ago, so given the likely advances in health/medicine over the next two centuries, it is not at all inconceivable that such longer lifespans could become far more common.

I read the novel my self and i hope that have that scene in the next Movie so we can see porthos apear. I hope that J.J and the court give Scott a small role in the next movie. Maybe have Scotty give Porthos back to Admrial Archer played by Scott.

I’m rewatching Enterprise again this week, on the second season. I really liked the show and especially the Archer, T”Pol and Trip relationships. I miss it. I even wrote letters to save it to no avail :( A Romulan war mini-series would be awesome! Reading the Enterprise novels too (waiting for Under The Raptors Wings). I liked Bakula since Quantum Leap when I was a kid. Best wishes to Scott!

#34—Actually, I think that was, to some extent, what the writers had in mind with the character. I think that Archer was supposed to represent a certain innocence and naivety in human space exploration in the mid-22nd Century, and I think he was supposed to come across as sometimes having to learn how to properly conduct himself the hard way.

It may not have been the most endearing trait in a starship captain, but I think that, in all honesty, he *should* have been stiff, nervous, etc. In that respect, perhaps the show’s producers paid the price for keeping the character within more “realistic” expectations….which is not always necessarily good for the audience’s appreciation for the character.

Audiences are easily endeared to guys like Kirk and Sisko, who are *almost* always sure of themselves and confident of the moral justifications of their actions. Archer was a character who was required to pave the way for guys like that, and it was always going to be a bumpy ride. In some ways, the show did that justice, but I think the character’s likability paid the price.

In the Prime Universe, on the screen for ‘In a Mirror Darkly”, Sussman said Archer lived to see the U.S.S Enterprise being launched… Not sure if its official canon since it was only in text on the viewscreen….

more work for Scott. If you can find a preview of the show…check it out. it looks really really good. Something that we havent really seen explored before on TV.

I think Bakula was clearly playing Archer as more of a modern day ASTRONAUT-type than a typical confident, hard-nosed Star Trek captain.

Which I thought was a perfectly legitimate idea (because of the time period), and a refreshing change of pace from previous shows.

The problem was he was written so inconsistently from week to week, and oftentimes came across as a complete DUNDERHEAD. lol

Scott Bakula is probably one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. But he is just not Captain material.

Bakula’s Archer is like when Capt. Kirk got split in half in TOS “The Enemy Within” except Bakula’s Archer is the nice half who couldn’t lead.

One of the best episodes of Enterprise was “First Flight”. Kind of makes me wonder how the series would have fared with “A.G. Robinson” at the helm of the NX-01?

I like more episodes of ENT than of any previous spinoff series.

“Cold Station 12”
“The Augments”
“The Forge”
“Babel One”
“The Aenar”
“In A Mirror, Darkly Part I”
“In A Mirror, Darkly Part II”
“Terra Prime”

That’s 17 episodes I enjoyed, all but one in the show’s “lame duck” 4th season.

I would struggle to find that many episodes of the other 3 Trek spinoffs combined that I liked as much, and with due respect to Ron Moore’s “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, probably not a single one better than “Similitude” or “Terra Prime”…Those episodes are quite poignant, without sacrificing good entertainment value.

“Quantum Leap” was a terrific show until NBC/Universal talked Mr. Bellisario into deviating from the show’s ‘internal rules’ and have Sam leap into famous people/events. The show’s final season with Oswald, Elvis, Vampires, Dr. Ruth, etc. was almost unbearable. And the finale was great until the last scene where “Sam Beckett never returned home.” What was Mr. Bellisario thinking there?

Mr. Bakula is a very good actor, but either he didn’t really get Archer/Starship Captain characters or was very badly written for in “Enterprise”. It might be a little of both.

I hope he returns to “Chuck” whenever NBC bothers to put that show back on the air.

@26 and 36:

I read the book too. I wished they would have included that scene at the end of ST XI. That would be a neat idea. Have Porthos re-appear in the transporter room at the beginning of the next movie. Then have Scotty give Porthos back to Admiral Archer. I have liked Scott Bakula since Quantum Leap. I actually liked the first season of Enterprise but lost interest after that.

ENT *became* my 2nd favorite spin-off but it didn’t start off that way. What I liked most about Archer’s development was how he started out as an idealistic explorer who eventually felt he had to resort to torture (during the Xindi arc). I think that was Bakula’s best performance as Archer as he suffered through that decision.


Only 17? I would say TNG and DS9 each had at LEAST that many episodes which could be called great.

Probably about 1/3 of each would I consider complete duds; the rest were still enjoyable in SOME way.

Never really watched Enterprise, but I dig Bakula from his other stuff.