What was it about the role that attracted you?
Crudely what attracted me was the fact that he was the captain. I had thought originally that I was being cast as some token Englishman on the crew. Nobody said anything to me about captain until I think I went back for my last audition interview at Paramount and that peeked my interest much more when I realised that it was the head guy on the ship.
It�s perfectly clear that as the captain I was going to be having the dominant role in most of the episodes and that was appealing too. I wasn�t interested in coming to Hollywood to sit around, and in fact I had a rude awakening in that respect �cos I was unaware of how hard the work was going to be. How intense and � and all consuming, whereas if I�d been playing one of the other characters it would have been very much less so.
Roddenberry had created quite a complex and at times mysterious character. Guarded, cautious, careful in showing his feelings in expressing his ideas about many things and I found that very interesting.
The reason that I�m struggling a little bit with this question is there actually weren�t many good reasons for accepting it, and again I�m looking back over a big chunk of history now. I was just excited by the whole prospect of working in a television series in Hollywood. I had never anticipated that as an actor I would ever end up here. It may be some sort of fantasy I�d thought about from time to time but it was completely unrealistic.
It was just something that I felt I couldn�t pass up on. It was too unexpected, unusual and interesting, as well as remunerative too to ignore.
Nobody believed that the series would ever become the success that it did. In fact one of the reasons that I signed on was that I was assured that the six year contract that I was signing was meaningless, that this series would do one, perhaps two years at the most because nobody expected it to be successful.