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First look: ‘Enterprise’

Bakula all engines ahead with 'Trek' spinoff

UPN this fall is going where, well, many other people have gone before.

It’s hardly news when a new “Star Trek” series debuts, but “Enterprise,” the franchise’s fifth entry, blasts off with quite a few factors flying in its favor.

“We have paid close attention to all things ‘Star Trek’ in conceiving the show and plan to utilize and exploit a lot of the things that people have come to appreciate about ‘Star Trek,'” says co-creator and exec producer Brannon Braga.

“Enterprise” also may be the closest “Star Trek” spinoff yet to the original late-’60s series. The new skein serves as a prequel to the first series and chronicles the intergalactic escapades in the 22nd century that leads to the formation of the Federation.

“Enterprise” also boasts popular TV star Scott Bakula (“Quantum Leap”), who creators-executive producers Rick Berman and Braga hope to turn into the next Capt. Kirk — smooth, daring and a hit with the female fans.

“This character is bold and brash and yes, the closest to Kirk, even though I’m a hundred years before Kirk,” says Bakula, who plays Capt. Jonathan Archer.

One other thing has changed: Unlike “Star Trek,” “Star Trek: Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: Voyager,” the new series is indeed going where no “Star Trek” series has gone before: This time out, it’s just “Enterprise.” Nope, not “Star Trek: Enterprise.” Just “Enterprise.”

“Our feelings were, in trying to make this show dramatically different, which we are trying to do, that it might be fun not to have a divided main title like that,” Berman says. “If there’s any one word that says ‘Star Trek’ without actually saying ‘Star Trek,’ it’s the word ‘Enterprise.'”

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