Scott Bakula may be following in the footsteps of past Star Trek captains William Shatner and Patrick Stewart, but as far as the star date on the captain's log, he's way ahead of both Kirk and Picard.
In a preview of the new fall show Enterprise (which dispenses with the Star Trek name in the title altogether), Bakula tells Entertainment Tonight, "I am the first captain of the first starship to go out into space. This is 150 years from today. This is 2151, 100 years before Kirk and Spock. So we are the first. We've just figured out how to use the propulsion system and we are going out in warp speed for the first time."
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The former star of the sci-fi series Quantum Leap says that Trekkies, excuse us, Trekkers, will "get a kick [out] of" the new show, especially when certain technologies are still in the developmental stage. "I think [seeing these things used for the first time] will be fun, not only for the people who know the show really well, but also for newcomers," says the 46-year-old actor.
However, Bakula balked at discussing whether anyone will be "beaming up" yet. "Oh, no, I can't tell you about the beaming thing. There will be surprises," he promises.
Although the show is set before the original, low-budget 1960s series, with its foam-and-cardboard sets, it will be a challenge to make the ship look less advanced than the creaky crate Kirk commanded, acknowledges Bakula, who says that they ended up with a "submarine type of feel" to the new set.
As for the costumes, which have changed with each new Star Trek series, Bakula says his new spacesuit is the envy of one Next Generation star. "They're kind of jumpsuit-y, but with pockets. Jonathan Frakes came by and was almost in tears [when he saw them]: 'We would've killed to have pockets! And a zipper?' We have those things, so we're feeling pretty cozy in them, but they're not leotards, which is great."