What Star Trek: Enterprise's Linda Park Wanted For Hoshi, But Never Got

On "Star Trek: Enterprise," the character of Ensign Hoshi Sato, played by actress Linda Park, served as the communications officer on board the titular ship. "Enterprise" takes place a century before the events of the original "Star Trek" series, so the franchise's notorious universal translator hadn't yet been refined, leaving human translators like Hoshi to fill in the gaps. Hoshi had a talent for xenolinguistics, but didn't quite have the constitution for long-range space missions or combat situations. She was young and inexperienced, and had to constantly face her anxieties head-on. As the show progressed, Hoshi came into her own, displaying more and more confidence. 

The problem with characters that can be defined as "young and inexperienced" is that eventually they will have to become adult and experienced. They will then require other character traits to define them ... and TV writers don't always think that far ahead. Many of the "youthful" characters on "Star Trek" seem to lose personality as they get older. 

In Hoshi's case, she began the series relying on Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) and her fellow crewmates for support. As she gained confidence, however, the character started to become more isolated. Most of the Hoshi Sato stories on "Enterprise" involved many scenes of the character alone, experiencing transporter psychosis or gallivanting off with an alien co-star. She didn't have too many notable, one-on-one scenes with her co-stars, with only John Billingsley (who played Dr. Phlox) notwithstanding. 

Park talked to StarTrek.com in 2010, and aired her grievances about her issues with Hoshi, while also citing the episodes wherein she felt she had the most to do.

Park wanted more personal interaction with her Star Trek co-stars

When asked what more Park wanted to see for Hoshi on "Enterprise," the actress was quick to answer, saying:

"What I would have liked to have seen was more personal interaction. A lot of what Hoshi did in her side stories was very introverted and personal and isolated. Except for the Mirror Universe episodes, her personal scenes were usually isolated from the rest of the crew. She did have the one where she went off, that kind of Beauty and the Beast episode, and she was away from everybody else." 

The Mirror Universe episode was called "In a Mirror Darkly" (April 22 and 29, 2005), and featured an evil version of Hoshi Sato who connived and manipulated other characters in order to become empress of the galaxy. The Beauty and the Beast episode was called "Exile" (October 15, 2003), wherein Hoshi was telepathically contacted by a handsome alien (Maury Sterling), only to find that he was beastly in person. Hoshi was left alone with the alien to aid a translation project, but she soon learned that he wanted to keep her on his planet indefinitely; he was very lonely. It's a fine story, but it did indeed keep Hoshi isolated from her fellow crewmates. 

Park continued:

"'Vanishing Point' was kind of in her own mind, and even then she couldn't really interact with anybody else because she was becoming a non-entity. I did get some interaction with Phlox, which I loved because I loved acting with John Billingsley and I loved being around him. We actually had a lot of great personal scenes, and that's my own personal taste." 

"Vanishing Point" (November 7, 2002) saw Hoshi mysteriously phasing out of existence after using the ship's transporter. The entire episode was eventually revealed to be a dream.

Park hoped for deeper relationships between Hoshi Sato, Captain Archer, and Trip Tucker

Park noted that "Star Trek" was great in its ability to tell deeply personal stories inside a fantastical, futuristic context. She felt, however, that Hoshi's stories were personal to the point of loneliness. She felt that Hoshi's relationship with Captain Archer could have been more deeply explored, or perhaps her interactions with the ship's engineer, Trip Tucker, played by Connor Trinneer. She didn't even care what kind of relationship Hoshi had with these characters, so long as they were richer than what she got: 

"I love sci-fi and drama and comedy, but the unifying thread of the shows I like is that the personal stories are ingrained very richly into whatever else is going on. So I would have loved more interaction with Connor and Scott, more coloring outside the lines of the boss-employee relationship, whether it was conflict or romantic. I don't mean to the level of soap opera, but they're out in space and they're going to fight and have awkward moments." 

Park went on to reiterate that her favorite episode was "In a Mirror Darkly," as she was allowed to play against type, and turn Hoshi into an aggressive, evil person. She also got to end the episode becoming Empress, which was likely fun for her. She noted that it was her favorite, however, merely because it broke with the status quo; if she played an evil character in every episode of "Enterprise," and was suddenly asked to be kind and meek, then she would likely have liked that, too.