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Blalock is one happy Vulcan

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For some Trekkies, the line between "Star Trek" and reality is fuzzy. They confuse the actors with the characters they play.

And that goes for one Trekker who happens to be one of the stars of "Enterprise." Jolene Blalock — who refers to herself as "a geek" — has a habit of sometimes talking about her "Enterprise" character, Vulcan Subcommander T'Pol, in the first person.

"I think it's a love-hate relationship with me," said Blalock, speaking of T'Pol, not Jolene. "I think everybody is beginning to become a little more comfortable with me and my presence."

T'Pol is sort of the odd-man-out on this Enterprise. Set 100 years before the original "Star Trek," this is the story of the first Earth starship to explore deep space. And T'Pol and Vulcans in general are resented by humans, who feel they're being kept back by the condescending aliens.

But Blalock said she's pleased with what's happening with her character — that T'Pol is becoming more than just the ship's evil stepmother.

"Of course I'm going to pipe up. Of course I'm going to suck the air out of the situation and say, 'Oh, I'm sorry. There's protocol to follow,' " she said. "But they've started to mix it up a bit so it's not so predictable. So she's going indirectly to get her way rather than so directly, because obviously she found out that doesn't work — that (Capt. Archer) is not going to listen anyway."

While many, if not most, "Trek" actors go out of their way to make it clear that they're simply playing a part, Blalock is obviously thrilled to be part of the legacy of the show.

"When I signed on for this, they never asked me if I liked 'Star Trek' or if I had followed it," she said. "It just happens to be a bonus, I guess, because I loved 'Star Trek' growing up. The original."

And she sees the show progressing in the same direction as the original series.

"I see relationships between each character forming, and yet I'm still the odd man out," she said. "But yet, there's the beginning of that loyalty that was in the original 'Star Trek' between Bones and Kirk and Spock. And that's one thing that I love that they're doing is that they're not coming in with that loyalty. They're showing that loyalty progress and how that began."

The only thing she doesn't like about her character is that "she can't smile. I hate that. But she's been a lot of fun to develop. She's been constantly changing."

And she credited the writing team, led by executive producer Brannon Braga, for the fact that "each episode has had an arc, where she begins somewhere and ends somewhere else. And I love that."

She also loves the look of the character, which she said allows her to sort of disappear into T'Pol.

"Going through hair and makeup and putting on this uniform and putting on the prosthetics, I'm really hard-pressed to find Jolene," she said.

Blalock is enough of a Trekker that she admits that she was somewhat taken aback at one episode in which the Vulcans — long the most high-minded race in the "Trek" universe — were shown to be devious liars. (They were not only spying on their Andorian neighbors, but they lied repeatedly to cover up doing so.)

"I know. I thought. 'What are they going to do in the next episode?' " Blalock said. "But, you know what? I just put it up like — Vulcans have been out in space for quite a long time. A lot longer than humans. You can kind of look at it or compare it to the Catholic Church. So there's good and there's bad. And that's just the way it is. They've been there for a long time. And power is power. And people do a lot of funny things with power.

"I mean, take a conglomerate. You can't have black without white and you can't have white without black. We may be a superior species. We may be in control. But it doesn't mean that we are not afraid of losing that control."

(By "we," of course, she means the Vulcans.)

If she were writing the show — which, of course, as an actor she's not — she would like to address the issue further.

"I would actually bring in her father," Blalock said. "And I would have something on that side of the Vulcan darkness."


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com