In addition to all the new Star Trek Universe show panels from Mission Chicago we have covered, there was a fun panel for Star Trek: Enterprise, which celebrated its 20th-anniversary last year. On hand were show stars Connor Trinneer (Charles “Trip” Tucker), Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed), and Anthony Montgomery (Travis Mayweather). The trio shared stories of their time on the NX-01 Enterprise, including some frank discussion about the series which ended in cancellation after four seasons. TrekMovie was there to report on the highlights.
7 years and movie?… that ship has sailed
When the moderator asked the group what it was like walking in for the first episode, the actors talked about how they were given high hopes for their future:
Connor Trinneer: We weren’t walking into a pilot, we were walking into a series. We had that luxury. So that was a little intimidating. We knew we were in it together. And we knew we were going to be together for well…
Anthony Montgomery: It was supposed to be seven years. We signed for seven years. They told us we were doing movies, because they didn’t do movies with DS9. They didn’t do movies with Voyager. So they told me that the fans love Star Trek and you guys are going be here for at least seven years, and you’re going to be doing movies and everything. And you guys know how that all turns out.
Regarding if they thought the show were more anticipating the show being big or worried it would fail, again they talked about the initial excitement, which soon turned to concern:
Anthony Montgomery: Really big, initially.
Connor Trinneer: But then, we wondered for a long time if we were going to be coming back to work.
Anthony Montgomery: That started in season one.
As for what was planned for the show beyond a fourth season, speaking for the group, Montgomery made it clear they were on a roll once they got to season four and it would only have got better:
Anthony Montgomery: They’d never told me where we were going, but I can tell you it would have been fucking great. What? Come on! Did y’all see season four? We have really stepped into our own by season four. So if we’d gone five, six and seven, man, I don’t know what it would have been, but we would have crushed it! I love that guy [points to fan] saying “you guys could still do it.” No, no, that that spaceship has sailed.
About that theme song…
One of the more controversial elements of Enterprise was the theme song: Russell Watson’s “Where My Heart Will Take Me.” As a group they defended the theme and talked about how producers were very optimistic about it, although Keating noted he wasn’t a fan of the new version of the song used for the final two seasons:
Connor Trinneer: They were very psyched about it. They were really excited about it.
Dominic Keating: I got to say when they suddenly introduced a tambourine and the upbeat version of that song for season three, I got to say, that is some goofy shit. I am watching the show now and I am on season three and I can’t even listen to it. It is naff, really naff. The original song? I didn’t mind at all. I thought it was rather beautiful.
Anthony Montgomery: I thought it was fantastic. And it fits our series. It does. For what our show is and what it represents in the franchise, I thought it was a perfect song.
Connor Trinneer: I think I heard it for the first time and went, “That’s a song, that right there is a song.”
Dominic Keating: I thought it was rather fitting with the graphics and absolutely the human endeavor and flight and I thought it was pretty cool.
You can watch and listen to the original version again here…
Representing Florida and Britain
The actors also talked a bit about how they developed the cultural identities of their characters. Connor Trinner described how he was taken by surprise when the writers identified Trip coming from Florida about halfway through the series:
Connor Trinneer: I’ve had done a play in New York for about a year playing this guy from Oklahoma and all this said was [Trip is] a good old southern boy. I know Oklahoma is a tip of the South or south Midwest. Anyway, I went in with that accent and worked on that and knew it really well … and then they wrote that I was from Florida and I went to the producers and said I’m not doing Florida and they’re like, “They’ll never know.” And I was like, “People in Florida will know!” And sure enough there was a family that came on the Make A Wish Foundation to our set and they were from the town Trip is supposed to be from and they were just like, “I just want to thank you so much for nailing our accent.”
And Leicester-born Keating talked about how he was proud to represent Britain, and he was given some leeway in portraying a British character:
Dominic Keating: It was it was an honor. And if anything, I got slightly a wider berth how they were particular about what they’ve written. Connor, if you wanted to change anything, you have to bring up the writers’ room, didn’t you? It had to go through a whole order of command to change an “and” to an “or” or a “but.” I could just go, “A British guy wouldn’t say that.”
More from Chicago
Okay, that’s really it for our panel coverage from Mission Chicago. Click here for all of our Mission Chicago coverage.
Find more Enterprise articles here at TrekMovie.