‘Supernatural’ Actress Kim Rhodes Was Rejected As T’Pol On ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ For “Wrong Body Type”

Kim Rhodes and Jolene Blalock against Star Trek: Enterprise background - TrekMovie

When Star Trek: Enterprise was in development in 2001, one of the actresses on the shortlist to play the key role of T’Pol was Kim Rhodes, who had recently appeared in a guest role on Star Trek: Voyager. The actress recently opened up about the casting process, revealing how she got close to landing the role—and why she didn’t.

Kate Mulgrew lobbied to get Kim Rhodes back for more Trek

This story comes from a recent episode of the popular Delta Flyers podcast, where co-hosts Garrett Wang and Robert Duncan McNeill are currently rewatching season 6 of Star Trek: Voyager. For their episode about the episode “Ashes to Ashes,” they were joined by guest star Kim Rhodes, probably best known as Sheriff Jody Mills on Supernatural. On Voyager, she played Ensign Lyndsay Ballard, who had been transformed into Jhet’leya, a Kobali.

In the Patreon subscriber-only section of the podcast, Rhodes talked about how Kate Mulgrew took the young actress under her wing, taking her side in a dispute with the episode’s director and—when she learned that Rhodes had only done soap operas like Another World and sitcoms—giving her tips on how to do single-camera shows.

Mulgrew was obviously impressed with the actress; after the episode was done, she contacted executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga and said, according to Rhodes, “Get this girl on our show.” Mulgrew asked the executive producers to bring Rhodes back as a recurring character on Voyager.

Kate Mulgrew and Kim Rhodes In “Ashes to Ashes”

Not the right Enterprise body for Paramount execs

Instead of finding a role for Rhodes in the final season of Voyager, the executive producers looked to her for a bigger role in their next series. According to Rhodes, Berman and Braga had her in mind as the Vulcan T’Pol, the female lead on Star Trek: Enterprise. Rhodes described how that went:

… what they did was they wrote a role for me in the next Star Trek  series. And so Rick Berman and Brannon Braga met with me and were like, “Here’s why you’re gonna play this role.” I have secret insight into what a Vulcan actually is because of their conversations with me, and ultimately, I screen tested in front of 35 people at Paramount and then I went to my agent and they called my agent said I did not get it because I was the wrong physical type.

Robbie McNeill asked her, “They said you were the wrong physical type?” and she responded:

Yes. I specifically said ‘did they mean I was too fat?’ and my agent said ‘yes.’

Rhodes, who was 32 at the time, told the podcasters she then took a year off from Hollywood and went back to theater, adding, “I learned what exactly pretty is as pretty does in Hollywood.”

The role of the T’Pol was one of the last big casting decisions for Enterprise; Jolene Blalock landed the part just a couple of weeks before production started on the pilot episode in mid-2001. At that time, the 26-year-old actress had made the transition from modeling to acting, having landed her first guest role in 1998.

Jolene Blalock with the rest of the Enterprise cast in a season 1 publicity photo

Given Rhodes’ comment about screen testing in front of over 30 people (as well as Braga and Berman’s enthusiasm about bringing her onto Enterprise), this decision was likely made at a higher, corporate level. (Enterprise had both UPN and Paramount executives closely watching the development process.) Network execs were clearly looking for another actress who would garner the same kind of initial attention given Jeri Ryan on Voyager in a similar catsuit-type outfit. Blalock appeared on the cover of Maxim magazine for the October 2001 issue, which came out in September just before the show premiered. Maxim was a staple of that era, and many actresses showed up on the cover in revealing poses; we’ve since learned that many of them were pressured by the shows they appeared on to do it.

Jolene Blalock on the cover of Maxim’s October 2001 issue.

Rhodes’ career moved forward anyway

Things went just fine for Rhodes, in the end. She was in the main cast of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody (as Carey Martin) between 2005 and 2008, and she did get some Trek work in, offering her voice to the 2001 game Star Trek: Away Team.

Kim Rhodes in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody

The actress continued to work regularly in Hollywood after Enterprise went off the air, most notably in the role as Sheriff Jody Mills on the popular CW show Supernatural, a recurring character on the show for a decade. She also reprised her “Ashes to Ashes” character Jhet’leya in Star Trek Online‘s “Dust to Dust” mission.

Jensen Ackles and Kim Rhodes in Supernatural

Jensen Ackles and Kim Rhodes in Supernatural

For anyone curious about the specifics behind the dispute while filming “Ashes to Ashes” or Mulgrew’s advice to Rhodes on acting for single-camera shows (plus more great stories), we recommend subscribing to the Delta Flyers podcast on Patreon to get the whole story.


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Yikes…just…yikes…

Agreed.

That Maxim cover is disturbing looking back.

I recall they were pushing the boundaries when Playboy could no longer be displayed prominently in many stores (groceries, drug stores, airport kiosks).

I’d wondered at the time about the career pressures that would have pushed young actors to pose for those. I hadn’t thought though that they were pushed to do it by the senior people responsible for promoting Star Trek. I guess I was more naive than I realized.

I have a hard time believing that Blalock, a former model, worked so hard to make her body look so good that she did not intend to cash out with her beauty — especially given that she signs that cover still at conventions for fans — and they pay for that opportunity to have her sign that cover still today!

If someone can provide me a quote from her that says otherwise, I am fine to be shown wrong on this. But yea, Laurie Ulster is correct — some actresses certainly were pressured into Maxim covers — and there is no defense for that crap. But others I am sure with fine with the $.

Modeling for ads and fashion is not the same thing at all.

Maxim covers weren’t modeling – they were as close to soft-core as could be sold unwrapped at the local kiosk or market.

Blaylock is (I believe) on the record about some of the exploitive stuff. The EPs may have thought they could push her further down that path because she had modeled, but it doesn’t mitigate how exploitative it was.

First of all, at conventions, for her autograph sessions, you can buy “Maxim-like” photos of her (which she gets a cut of) in skimpy attire which she then signs for you — you pay like $50 for that…and the line is typically a couple hundred fans long, so a very nice money-making situation for all involved. Additionally, Chase Masterson has done the same thing for years at conventions.

Secondly, she has never complained about the Maxim cover, in fact, before Trek she had posed for Playboy, after done with Trek, she did a Playboy interview with sexy (not nude) photos as well. What she did complain about in several interviews was the rigors of having to work so hard to stay slim for both modeling and her Trek costume, and that her modeling career jaded her and led her to acting.

By the way, I personally never cared for Maxim and would never do one of the lame autograph things a convention. I just think that you are rather naïve in your opinions here.

Did other Trek actresses like Jeri Ryan or Marina Sirtis ever do the Maxim covers? (or other Maxim like magazines), I remember one UK scifi magazine called SFX (still going I think) that would often have ‘Maxim’ like covers (but don’t think was ever as revealing as the Maxim covers) featuring SF babes of the era like Buffy, Scully, Lois, Pam Anderson/Barb Wire, Babylon5, Trek etc and they used to often (cleverly? creepily?) obscure the ‘F’ in the title..

I think Fangoria had a sister magazine called Femme Fatales – is that it?

I don’t recall other Trek actresses doing Maxim, but could be wrong?

I remember Femme Fatales (advertised in Cinefantastique) but no SFX was/is a UK Sci fi magazine bit like Starlog but done almost in the style of Maxim. There was also FHM and Loaded mens magazines, Seven and Troi etc must’ve featured on some of them at some point like T’pol

back when TNG was in it’s first season Dense Crosby outright posed for Playboy IIRC

That’s not very logical.

Gah, they’re such pervs. It’s completely gross. But at least she missed out on being objectified like T’Pol was…

I haven’t seen those decon chamber gel-rubbing scenes in decades, yet I still cringe at the thought of them.

Just f**cking lovely.

Sounds like a Berman thing to say.

Not disagreeing, because Berman is a sexist pig, but Rhodes specifically says Berman and Braga both fought for her to get the role (though probably for equally shallow reasons).

It sounds to me like a higher-up studio person, unrelated to the show’s well-known producing team, nixed her casting. That would be my guess anyway. T’Pol was designed as the “hot girl” role, and that was still an era where those went almost exclusively to women i’d wager were actively struggling with eating disorders.

Thankfully shows like Mad Men helped changed that, but it’s still obviously a problem for women in the industry that needs to be more seriously addressed.

“Mad Men” changed that? Really, the Show with two hot female leads? Christina Hendrick and January Jones? Which is ironic as “the plain one” was the real breakthrough star,,, Elizabeth Moss! She’s don a heck of a lot more notable and quality work than the other two combined since the show ended!

LOL, yeah, I agree with you…Mad Men, huh???

As someone who was involved with Mad Men, yes, Mad Men. The character of Joan wasn’t given a physical character description such as “Marilyn Monroe type” and when cast, producer’s admitted that Christina Hendricks was not what they had originally envisioned for the character. The character of Peggy, played by Elizabeth Moss, was never described as or intended to be “the plain one”, just an ambitious young women in her 20’s who wants more and feels restrained by her upbringing, surroundings and the era in which she lives. January Jones was exactly as described as she was supposed to reflect the perfect ‘trophy wife’ of the time period and the perfect match for her perfectly well groomed husband. As Roger says in one episode, Betty and Don looked like they belonged on top of a wedding cake, which was the point.

So, to AlphaPredator’s point, the casting of Christina Hendricks and Elizabeth Moss was not typical at a time when you were more likely to see someone like Elisha Cuthbert cast as Joan and Kristin Bell as Peggy.

“Hey, we didn’t really mean to cast this Pamela Anderson actress for Baywatch, but it all worked out.” ;-)

I had a professor who was friends with a writer on Baywatch when it originally debuted on NBC and he tried his best to convince us (and likely himself) that it was a well written show with strong female characters.

Yeah, that still makes me chuckle to this day. That’s a loyal friend, let me tell ya’.

LOL. That reminds me of the old saying, “I read Playboy for the articles.” :-)

For me T’Pol was never a hot girl. That hair was awful. Seven Of Nine, on the other hand, was very hot.

If people are going to comment on something, no offense you should at least read the article first. It says she was up for the role because it was Berman and Braga who wanted her in the first place. That’s why she was even there. It was the studio executives who nixed the idea.

But yes I know Berman can be a sexist pig, certainly not defending him. But this was the opposite of that.

You’re right, it does sound like a Berman thing to say (even though in this case it wasn’t him who caused this). All opinions are welcome here and don’t sweat the predictable chaff.

Sounds like a typical Sumner Redstone

You can just picture the room of studio/network execs leering over the candidates for this role.

Apart from Phlox, every character apparently was cast with an eye towards being the unrealistic Hollywood ideal.

Rhodes might have done better with the career she’s had – she still got a few years of paychecks as a regular on a series and didn’t run into typecasting issues she might have encountered after 4 years as a Vulcan. I’m not presenting that as a consolation or justification for the gross AF casting process.

Looking at the pictures I see no noticable difference between the two women’s “body types”. None whatsoever, not that “body type” should ever decide anything.

Agreed. If anything Blalock is IMO just too thin, and Rhodes has a normal, I would say fit or slim, female physique.

Come on guys, Blalock has a significantly larger bust line, and it’s accentuated further by its proportion to her slim torso.

I find the studio’s behavior unacceptable and abhorrent, but to say they have the same body type is stretching the eye test significantly.

Fair but given the clothes the 2 women are wearing in these pics its not exactly easy to tell. The only form fitting VOY suit ever was Seven’s/

With respect Upper Decks, having seen both women in multiple other roles, the percieved difference in bust line is entirely down to costuming. Blalock, just like Jeri Ryan, is not as large as her padded costume made appear. In all other respects the two women could be twins, approximately equal height, waist, hips, hair, eye, and skin tones.

Dude, you can find their measurements online and it refutes this. Blalock has a two inch thinner waist and a one inch larger bust — may not sound like much, but including the two measurements together create a certainly noticeable difference in the proportion of their bodies when compared to each other.

It is what it is. And as a man who has always struggled with his waistline, I can personally tell you that a two inch waste size difference for me relates significantly to the profile of my overall body.

That was a stupid, nonsensical, and sexist reason not to hire her. But, regardless of “body types” I’m still glad that the role went to Blalock. She was great as T’Pol.

I agree with this post. Blalock is one of the most underrated Trek cast members, and she played a superb Vulcan.

I would also observe that we’re getting a lot of hearsay in this article — an interview on a podcast whereby the star reports a 20-year-old conversation with her agent, in which the agent reported on a conversation she had with one person (we don’t know whom), not the entire Paramount corporate seuit.

I’m not saying the story is *false* – far from it – but we should be open to the possibility that it’s incomplete or has been distorted in some way. In particular, the agent gives off a vibe of having told her client that the role was “in the bag,” and the agent has an incentive to cast aspersions as a way of explaining why her own judgment was wrong. It is possible that they just liked Blalock’s audition better.

Are you trying to tell me that Hollywood agents don’t always tell the complete truth?

Are those the same studio execs who wanted to put a boys band in the ship’s mess area? Not only are they ignorant clueless morons they’re chauvinist pervy pigs too? I almost didn’t watch Enterprise because of how they were objectifying T’Pol and not even being subtle about it and we have Berman to thank for that. None of this is Blalock’s fault of couse, but Rhodes would have been a great choice as well.

I was never a fan of T’Pol on Ent. I think Kim dodged a bullet. She was fantastic on Supernatural and she’s had a great career.

I would tend to agree with that, but I wonder how that Rhodes would have done. I think she’s a considerably better actor than Blalock overall.

Agreed!

Unfortunately none of this is surprising. Hollywood can be a $%$# up place to work, especially if you’re a woman.

Right. I mean, the fact that Hollywood is a total mess is so widely known, this is barely even news to me. Actually kind of surprised to see an article like this here.

It needs to be said, again and again.

Otherwise, we’re just bystanders, and part of the problem.

Was she a Star Trek fan?

As I understand Jolene, was a fan since childhood.

Plus, I say she played a Vulcan better than any actor since Nimoy did his amazing Vulcan half breed interpretation. You have to understand the character and genre.

I love T’Pol. She is one of my top 10 favorite characters. But I’m guessing the other actress could’ve done a great job too or even better. Obviously we’ll never know now.

And I don’t think you have to be a ‘fan’ to play the role. Chris Pine certainly wasn’t a Star Trek fan and I think turned out to be a decent Kirk overall.

How is Rhodes being a fan of the show, or not, relevant in any way?

I think a Trek fan is more intelligent. And understanding a Vulcan can be a tricky thing for an Actor and important to fully grasp. I have only seen it done well only a few times. Acting without emotion is not easy.

I did like Jolene’s performance. Obviously, Nimoy was great has the half bread, and I also liked the Next Gen performance by Alexander Enberg’s Taurik in Lower Decks. And, of course, Mark Lenard. Although Mark’s performance was often too emotional sometimes, too.

I like my Vucans delivered d r y. A good writer will always make it interesting.

TIM RUSS! Tim Russ as well! Very well acted throughout all his Treks as well.
He did pull off Tuvix.

Having worked in the business for over 20 years…I’m shocked that people are shocked that Hollywood behaves this way.

Who is shocked? It’s more like we are pissed that we have very specific information now the supports our suspicions of Hollywood regarding a Star Trek series.

It’s reinforces our disappointment with this sort of casting practice — that’s how I would put it.

Not shocked at all. Now that Bill Cosby is out of the pokie, I see he’s planning on performing again. Banking on the short memory of his fans, I guess. Larry Nassar apparently still thinks he’s the victim of a woke witch hunt (no, Larry, you’re not), and still has his defenders.Teri Garr still throws up a bit when Trek is mentioned around her. TOS was incredibly sexist.

We have a long way to go, it seems…..

She dodged a bullet. That dumpster fire of a Trek series, the only Trek series since the 1960’s that was cancelled due to lack of viewership, has not been kind to the acting resumes of the actors involved, with Bakula being the exception (but he was already a Hollywood TV star).

Just compare Blalock’s modest listing of paid acting gigs over the past 20 years to Rhodes’ massive list — Rhodes blows her away. Unfortunately, being associated with that piss-poor, failed Trek series has hurt Blalock’s Career.

So Rhodes can take some consolation that that mysoginiastic, un-defendable behavior by the studio did not hurt her career at least, and was much more likely a benefit to her career. That doesn’t make it right of course — it’s sick and pathetic.

While I don’t agree with your assessment of Enterprise, it would have been cancelled any way. The following year UPN merged with the WB to create the CW. Most of the existing programming the CW started out with came from the WB, very little from UPN. Enterprise was very expensive, and the CW would not have been able to carry it.

That’s just a convenient excuse. You can bet your house that if the show’s ratings hadn’t kept tanking year after year that Moonvies would have move the series to syndication. At the end of the day (at least back in those days of broadcast TV and cable) it’s simple TV economics — a series has enough viewership to support production and it continues, or it does not and it’s cancelled. Enterprise kept losing viewers ever single season, and even within the 3rd and 4th seasons the viewership dropped nearly every freaking week. The numbers tell the story. Failed series get cancelled because they are not popular.

Blalock actually retired from acting after Enterprise, so her career wasn’t impacted negatively by the show, she just changed career to work with her husband in their company.

But that was not until 2017, so the comparison up until that point is still applicable.

BTW, this is “One Lion.” I decided to go with a new name for the New Year. I’m mentioning this in multiple posts to avoid anyone with old axes to grind from getting their panties bunched up…lol

Yah dude, I know who I’m talking too ;) could have picked an easier name no?

Anyway thanks for the info. I thought she had retired right after Enterprise.

:-) Just use “UpperDecks” if you need to reference/address me.

Not UDNN?

not so, she appeared in the 2nd ‘starship troppers sequel- marauder’ in 2008

I think Blalock’s career was impacted by her not being a very good actress. She started out as a model, and that seems to me to be the right role for her. Her Vulcan character was laughably bad, compared to Nimoy, Lenard, and Russ.

Vulcans are VERY hard to play well, and it was really not the right role for someone who’d had very little acting experience.

I agree that paradoxically Vulcans, despite not displaying emotions, are actually very hard to play. And the three you named are indeed the three best Vulcans ever. In all fairness to Blalock however, the writers are mostly to blame for totally missing the mark with Vulcans in Enterprise. Instead of being reserved and stoic they came out as arrogant and condescending.

“Great minds think alike” :-) (Honestly, I did not notice that you responded with a similar remark on the writers in the last hour before I wrote that comment.)

Vulcans never came across as arrogant and condescending before ENT, definitely not.

that was the arc regarding them holding back human space exploration.
lucky it was explained later as a romulan plot to corrupt the vulcan high command

Only in part, and a relatively small part. Soval wasn’t part of the Romulan plot, and indeed the plotters sidelined him (which prompted him to tell Archer that the latter had his complete support).

One of my favorite scenes from ENT was when Archer tells T’Pol that he understands why her people held Earth back (IIRC, this was in “The Communicator”).

The relationship between Vulcan and Earth was a high point of ENT and can easily make more overlook the less successful Temporal Cold War plot.

I don’t know, I thought she was actually fairly competent in the role. The writers on that shit show failed her and all of the actors though — that was the real problem with here character — I mean, it wasn’t her acting that gave us prejudiced Vulcans and soft core po*n decontamination chamber scenes.

Prejudiced vulcans are why Spock joined Starfleet.

I agree, I find her pretty forgettable, actually.

actually the show improved once manny cotto and the reeves stevens couple became showrunners and it did what it should have done at the start- stories related to the dawn of the origins of starfleet, the Fed and various OS related details.
shame it was too late for the ratings though later it turned out more people watched it than BSG

Enterprise was frankly doomed from the start. UPN was a dying network. They didn’t have nearly enough affiliates to get the neilsons ratings they needed. VOY survived because it was “the series that launched a network” and Jeri Ryan. Otherwise it would have probably been cancelled too. TNG and DS9 had it easy by comparison being first run syndication.

I personally did not like T’pol that much. She seemed more cold than logical. Maybe that was Ms. Blalock’s take on it, or she was told to act that way. I also didn’t like they were clearly casting someone with a large bust, as they did with Jeri Ryan. I like Star Trek for the story, the ships, the morality plays, not if the women have big chests.

I think she came across that way because the writers didn’t give her great material to show more of the Vulcan logic.

They put her into a catsuit, something no Vulcan has worn before or since. Even when she sort of joined Starfleet at the end, she wore this unique tight outfit with a deep neckline. I recall her wearing an actual uniform only on occasion, when she was undercover or something. (With a uniform baseball cap covering her ears.) And she looked good in it. :-)

And by the way, this is typical of Trek of that era. Every series from then has the character that TPTB clearly intended as “the hot one.” Troi didn’t wear a regular uniform until Jellico, praise him, put her in one, and until then she showed a *lot* of skin. In DS9, weirdly, Kira started with this really tight uniform. And of course there’s Seven of Nine.

It’s to the *other* actresses’ credit that they often outshone the one meant to be the center of attention- and even more, it’s to the credit of the “hot” ones that they all did a really, really good job. Yes, even Blalock, and of course Ryan, and Sirtis.

There was a genuinely sexy Vulcan female on DS9 in THE MAQUIS 2-parter, and she didn’t look like she had steel boobs either. I didn’t ‘get’ the Blalock casting at all, but to be fair, I’ve only gotten through less than 30 eps of the series (hating all but one of them.)

Yeah, Enterprise is a dumpster fire of a series.

not so, it improved around s3, 4 thanks to manny cotto.

I agree she played it much more cold than logical. Mean even. But I totally think that was the writers, not her. I mean they decided that the Vulcans would have a huge distrust of humanity and thought it was a mistake to launch the Enterprise. And T’Pol was the embodiment of that

We’ll never know what she would have been like in that role, but it doesn’t make me sad that we got Blalock as T’Pol. The performance of her trying to control her emotions contrasts perfectly with her supermodel body. That the other actress has been called fat is just a perk of the job she chose.

Blalock really surprised me, because I thought she was hired for the catsuit, but she could actually play a great Vulcan. Even when they exceeded the sexiness meter of a Vulcan she maintained a dignity to the character.

Same opinion. Thanks :)

It’s obviously awful for Rhodes to be told that; it’d be awful even if it was only implied, much less if it’s outright stated. I’m glad she went on to have a great career. And her one episode of “Voyager” is a stone-cold classic.

The last time I watched “Enterprise” I found myself bothered by how objectified T’Pol/Blalock was. (And, to a lesser degree, Hoshi/Park as well.) And yet, since I’m very much part of the target audience for that sort of thing, I kind of can’t help but enjoy what I’m seeing. It’s just that I don’t enjoy that I’m enjoying it, you know?

In the end, I’m left with two things above all else. First, the hope that Blalock was at least a willing participant in all of this. Probably not, but I do hope so.

And second, I love T’Pol. Part of that is because of how attractive she is, sure. But that’s only part of it, and not even the most notable. So even though the approach they used with the character was more than a bit iffy, I still think Blalock played a great character on a pretty great Trek series.

I appreciate the honesty in your post, and understand your feelings.

I think it has to do with what the world was like when we were growing up vs now.

What you’re demonstrating is a growth mindset, which is healthy! We’re products of our time, but we have the ability to move beyond who we were and make sure future generations have a better outlook on equality. It all starts with us

Aah yes the early 2000s, the era of American Pie movies and ‘you aint sexy you aint coming in’ casting.

Skeevy feckers. I bet they used one of the decontamination scenes as their audition scene for T’Pol.

Yikes. That blows.

From the last Photo from her here, she could play some Sister Role of the Vulcan pardon Nimar Ambassador on ST:Discovery

The fact that some of you are taking this as an opportunity to discuss (and compare) the physical appearance of actresses rather than criticising the sexist and mysoginistic tendencies of the Hollywood entertainment machine is really gross.

This.

I know. All the Bond Girls are chosen the same way and nobody said a word

i think they want more from ‘bond girls’ these days.
at least a few have been award winning actresses

John Billingsley will always be the one for me! ;)

Though his Maxim cover was decidedly less sexy.

Good choice. Jolene Blalock was perfect for that role, and she did an amazing job.

This is an outrage. AN OUTRAGE. I am outraged.

Hollywood of course holds itself out as the paragon of progressivism (this may shock you, but it really isn’t), so naturally they don’t like this being discussed, but of course it’s true, and always has been. (And I’m not even bringing up horrors like Weinstein.) Actors are literally sorted into different books: Tom Cruise and, say, Tom Hanks are not in same book. Someone who looks like Tom Hanks can still be a huge star (and not every pretty boy will be), but Hollywood has its rules. Whoopi Goldberg makes cynical, but true, comments about herself vs. other actresses (including black actresses) every now and then.

I would just like to say that the powers that be at Paramount have been screwing this kind of thing up since the 1980s when it comes to Star Trek.

Troi
Seven of Nine
T’Pol

All 3 characters would have been much better served by putting them in a regular uniform. But someone at Paramount thought all 3 characters needed to be in form-fitting outfits to get the young horny boy demographic.

Goes back much further than that. TOS had female crew members in Go-Go dancer uniforms, and virtually every female guest star was in barely there costumes. If Roddenberry could have had them all naked, he would have.

tbh Troi looked even better in the standard uniform (see Generations)

It’s a shame really. She was great in that Voyager Episode and I never really liked Blalocks portrayal of T’Pol (then again she barely got any good material despite: “be sexy!”, so that might not’ve been her fault) …

Just shows again how much of a missed opportunity Enterprise was. Just like Voyager before it.

Well, She was also Commander in Chief, when the Captain was away from the Bridge, right? So save the Ship while under Attack is more then just being “sexy”. As if She could only doing that. That’s no justice for her, too

Ultimately Blalock was a good choice, despite the piggishness around hiring her. I thought it strange that they intended to “sex up” Star Trek with T’Pol, then gave her the hair and makeup they did the first two seasons. I love Enterprise, I wish they gave it as much forbearance as Discovery unwarrantedly (IMO) gets, but I think it marks a point where TPTB wanted to rev Star Trek’s engine, intensify it, make it darker, cooler—and that’s how you get to today’s Star Trek. Explosions, unlighted sets, cartoonishly hardboiled characters, and little else. SNW seems to have taken a right turn towards something that looks like Trek pre-2005, so that’s promising to me.

It was the right move.

Love how Laurie covers for Berman and Braga hehe –
“ Given Rhodes’ comment about screen testing in front of over 30 people as well as Braga and Berman’s enthusiasm about bringing her onto Enterprise), this decision was likely made at a higher, corporate level.”
Blalock mentioned in a contemporary interview they had the maxim magazine spread in front of them while she auditioned lol

What really dates Enterprise more than anything is just how far off the mark they handled female representation. Hoshi was helplessly neurotic and needed constant emotional support while T’Pol was gratuitously objectified and passive. Admittedly, the male cast was objectified as well, but they certainly had way more to do to balance it out and they were always strong and capable. T’Pol was likely intended to be more like a Seven-of-Nine character which worked well on Voyager, but ultimately wasn’t executed nearly as well for Enterprise. I don’t think Blalock was the right choice for the roll either, I still find her performance perplexing.

Strongly disagree with this Enterprise take, both Hoshi and T’Pol had great character arcs. Hoshi saw though a ruse by a mind-reading alien to save the crew, and it was basically her and Archer who saved all of humanity at the end of season 3, she was plenty strong enough. Having someone uneasy with space travel and being so far from Earth was a really nice touch for (chronologically) the earliest series, and it didn’t take her long to get over it anyway. T’Pol saw more change and growth as a character than any other Vulcan we’ve ever had on Star Trek, dealing with difficult topics like addiction, duty vs loyalty and arranged marriage. Both great characters.