Captain Jonathan Archer....
I had not (and still haven't) seen any of Bakula's other work. So I guess I'm much different than everyone else here. He had a clean slate with me.
I loved the whole back-story with Archer. His father and all. Thought it brought some depth to the character the other Captains didn't have.
I was impressed with Archer early on. I thought he jumped into his character better that the rest. Scott is a stand-up guy and took the role of Captain seriously.
As the series went on, I had a few problems with the character. Some the way he was written and some concerning Scott's acting.
If you have read my season one reviews they kept having him put down T'Pol because of his distaste for the Vulcans. Initially I could see this but time and time again she proved her loyalty to her captain and they just kept beating the dead horse. I believe Archer would have been able to put his "preconceptions" behind him sooner. He was more mature than that.
I personally love ENT seasons 1 & 2. I don't think Enterprise nor Archer "needed" season 3 to become a great Star Trek Captain. Archer was always at his best taking the high road, being level headed and outsmarting his foes. Season 3 put him in a completely different situation. Arguably more pressure than any other Star Trek Captain has ever faced. Singularly charged with saving humanity? ... with no help??? I can understand the pressure and how that burden kept pressing and pressing. He didn't need to act like a tough guy to be the tough guy. When he did, it did not resonate well with me.
This is where I'll address Scott's acting a little. From chewing butt in his Cabin, to the mirror universe, etc.... he does not do "mad" or "angry" very well. I don't think it's in him. I can understand the story put the character in situations where that reaction was appropriate, but he just doesn't play that part very well and I believe Archer was at his best when he kept his cool and used his brains.
I believe ENT Season 4 was Star Trek's finest season, not only because of the nature of the stories but because the writers got it right with Archer and how Scott best played him.
It's moments like his conversation with T'Pol in Trips cabin in TATV, his speech to the counsel in Terra Prime, his guidance to Hoshi throughout her first couple years in space, his ability to earn Shran's trust and his good natured inner self that made Archer special.