Star Trek 50th anniversary: How the cosmos forced Dominic Keating to watch reruns

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As part of CNET’s coverage of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, I talked with nearly a dozen cast members from across the franchise about everything from Star Trek’s inclusive message to their favorite characters.

By Ian Sherr

Dominic Keating watched the original series religiously as a child growing up in the UK, but he didn’t keep up with Star Trek after that.

It wasn’t until he was living on a commune in Malibu, California, in 1994 that he began watching again. He was sharing a satellite dish connection with someone, and that someone controlled the box. It was either set on adult programming or “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

That ended up being a good thing, because fellow British actor Patrick Stewart, became a role model. And so, when after seven years in Hollywood a part in Star Trek came along, “I knew I’d hit the mother lode,” he said.

Keating only watched a few episodes of “Star Trek: Voyager,” a couple of the older movies and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” But he knew Star Trek was going to change his life.

What he loved most about the experience, was working with people like Scott Bakula, best known for starring in the sci-fi series “Quantum Leap” a decade earlier. Bakula signed on as Captain Jonathan Archer on “Star Trek: Enterprise,” which ran from 2001-2005. Bakula was a real gentleman, Keating said. To this day, whenever he’s confronted with a challenging situation, he asks, “What would Scott do?”

Keating also really likes the conventions: “It’s like being Brad Pitt for the weekend.”

startrek50cropped2.jpgNow 55, Keating has kept his sci-fi connections alive by voice-acting in the hit dungeon exploring game Diablo III, and joining the cast of the upcoming sci-fi comedy film “Unbelievable!!!!!” He also recently recorded an audiobook version of “The Iliad.”

Here are edited excerpts of Keating’s answers to my warp-speed round of questions.

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