Slow News Day Video…’After They Were Famous’

In 2003 the British ITV program ‘After They Were Famous’ did an episode on Star Trek, focusing on the Original Series. It includes interviews with all the cast alive at the time (including Doohan)  as well as Bob Justman and Herb Solow. It has a lot of behind the scenes footage as well. It is now up on YouTube (in four parts…click more for parts 2-4)

video courtesy of YouTuber ENTERPRISENX01, who put together a nice 40th Anniversary Tribute as well

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paul austin
December 27, 2006 2:41 pm

I found this a while back, its amazing—-just seeing ‘behind the scenes” footage from the sets of TOS makes it valuable in my book. This thing really needs to get a good release…hell I’d pay to get a decent copy….gladly

December 27, 2006 2:45 pm

I agree. One of the best I’ve seen, very sorry it never made it’s way to the states. For an interviewer to actually get Shatner to be serious is worth the price of admission alone. Add to that, the home movies and the cool Enterprise FX shots, and you have some choice material here.

December 27, 2006 3:36 pm

Wow, that behind the scenes footage is priceless, I really hope this is published on DVD somewhere.

December 27, 2006 4:47 pm

Good stuff from the Brits. Thanx for posting it for us all to see.

December 27, 2006 5:14 pm

ITV and BBC have done some great docs in the last several years about a lot of pop culture topics. I didn’t know TOS had been the subject of one but I’d love to see it. I’m sure if there’s enough interest in it, someone will start selling bootlegs of it on eBay. God bless capitalism.

December 27, 2006 7:08 pm

I was not expecting this feature to really hold my attention. I’ve seen so many “behind the scenes” programs over the years. But this was truly excellent! Far Superior to most DVD extras done by Paramount.
Someone needs to get in touch with Bill Blackburn about his footage from the TOS days. If he often took his camera with him over those years he may have tons of footage.

Also, nice model used for the production. It often conveyed mass — something the early efforts of the CBS Digital Department had a problem with.
#2 jonboc — I agree, they really did a nice job interviewing the actors in particular Mr. Shatner.

December 27, 2006 7:23 pm

I wonder… will Blackburn’s Super 8 film finally answer the question of Cestus III and the infamous crumpled steel?!

And yes — fantastic documentary!

December 27, 2006 7:55 pm

Wonderful piece. Great to see the ‘home movies.’ It goes to show how much goes into a TV show, that I’m still learning new things after all these years of being a fan.

Stanky McFibberich
December 27, 2006 8:32 pm

Very good, especially the first two segments.

December 27, 2006 9:08 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! I wasn’t expecting much, having been somewhat disappointed by what I thought were somewhat lackluster special features on the Trek DVDs. But this BBC special was quite impressive.

December 27, 2006 9:50 pm

This was fun and I’d love to see some sort of expanded DVD of it. C’mon, someone must see $$$$$ signs………..

December 27, 2006 10:53 pm

Good stuff. Where the hell has this been hiding? It looks like it was made on the 35 anniversary.

Thanks for putting this up. Great fun!

Josh T. (Tiberius) Kirk Esquire'
December 28, 2006 3:45 am

Many reputations are bourne out of jealousy and spite, small-mindedness and simplistic attitudes, remember, we don’t make our own reputations, it is defined by others, and how we are viewed sadly can be at the mercy with those that don’t have our best interest in minds.

Shatner is just damn fine. He was the star of the show, would it be more appropriate to have a closeup of Sulu or Chekov and hear Kirk’s off screen comment?


I’m not an actor, but I would imagine being the star of a television series is quite difficult and not entirely as glamourous as one would might think, shit runs downhill from the top, so the star has the burden of creating a happy, fulfilled enviroment for the lower tier actors and frankly those no one tunes in to see.

December 28, 2006 5:15 am

It was a very good documentary only marred by Matthew Kelly’s OTT voiceover, but this is present-day ITV, so you have to expect them to find some way to dumb it down!!!

Wish I had a DVD recorder when it was shown, because it’s one of those shows worth keeping!

December 28, 2006 10:45 am

Are the ship scenes digital?

December 28, 2006 10:50 am

To answer myself, yes – wonder where they are from in 2002?

December 28, 2006 12:22 pm

Nice stuff… I personally wouldn’t buy it. But interesting.

December 28, 2006 12:47 pm

On the one hand, we know Trek needed the big ego of Shatner (and of Nimoy) to handle those impossible lines. You can mumble through talk of the impending destruction of the universe.
On the other… BG does an excellent job of giving us an ensemble cast, yet once Olmos hits the CinC, he IS in command. There’s a good balance there. DS9 did that, too. Enterprise definitely did NOT balance the players.
After 40 years, we should accept that we have the TOS as it is, not as it coulda shoulda been.

December 28, 2006 12:48 pm

make that can’t mumble

Stanky McFibberich
December 28, 2006 1:34 pm

Who cares if it was balanced? Who cares if it is a so-called ensemble cast? Why shouldn’t two or three characters stand out from the rest? The spin that the supporting cast puts on their experience with Star Trek is no more valid than that of Shatner and Nimoy. To me, they come across as jealous whiners sometimes. Maybe Shatner did get a little hoggish over things and maybe he didn’t. The only people who ever seem to complain about him are those cast members who had the secondary roles. As much as I like some of those characters, they should realize everything can’t be even all the time just because they think they were promised a bigger part. Maybe they were, but that’s life. The same thing can be said for just about any type of job. Somebody always feels “unappreciated”. Those people should be happy that people are still talking about them 40 years later even though some in episodes they had little to do. They have done very well through the years going to conventions and so forth, for basically doing nothing but showing up and bantering a little.
And for heaven’s sake, I wish people who are interested in Battlescow Galaxative would find the proper forum for their interest.

December 28, 2006 4:56 pm

Leftenant Uhura! Awesome!

December 28, 2006 5:19 pm

The narrator was a bit painful for me to hear. Not that I have a problem with the British, but I just couldn’t take hearing him…

Great piece, over all though

December 28, 2006 8:25 pm

#15, The ship FX sequences in this special, if I remember correctly, were made with one of Jim Key’s fantastic 6 foot replicas. Just goes to show what can be done with a real physical model these days.

Josh T. (Thesaurus) Kirk Esquire'
December 28, 2006 10:14 pm

Good point Stanky.

Kelly and Nimoy adore/adored the Shat, only those who had no career outside of Trek seemed to resent him.

Patty boy Stewart seemed to enjoy the hell out of Shat as well.

paul austin
December 29, 2006 12:14 am

I attribute the hatred of the Shat a few things but larely the following(IMHO). First off lets state the obvious by saying every show needs a star, and for TOS the Shat was clearly the star…quickly it would include Nimoy and then of course De later. There were stars and there were supporting players. Now I think over the years (especially the early 70’s conventions) our friends the TOS supporting cast were frequently inundated with remarks and compliments saying “why werent you freatured more” “you should have had more lines/stories…etc” and with most actors being driven by ego I think they got sucked in and really felt slighted. I mean if you went from week to week with people telling you that you are marvelous and should have the spotlight more…who wouldnt start to believe it? I think the utter adoration of the trekkie sparked this and the balance became distorted.
If TOS Phase II had ever happened, I think things would have been more ensemble. Lol but what happened? The big screen came calling and with it the “big three” getting most of the screen time…and rightly so. Old wounds or the perception of old wounds re-oppened.

December 29, 2006 6:24 am

I agree with Paul, years of being put high on a pedestal by fandom, combined with comics, books, and fan fiction, fleshing out their characters, no doubt elevated these supporting players own self-importance. I love Uhura and Sulu as much as the next guy, but truth be told, they were in the end credits, if they were there at all. They were supporting players….great supporting players, but that is the extent of their involvement. Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley were hired as the stars that this show would revolved around, and revolve around them it did. And rightfully so.

December 29, 2006 7:45 am

I’d prefer to see that model filmed and used than the CGI stuff. Seems like it would be cheaper to do, and look better.

Wonder why? I also asked myself the same question during Superman Returns… why not use all the great greenscreen flying shots of Routh rather than replace them with unconvincing CGI?


December 29, 2006 9:09 am

The more of this I watch the more amazed I am at the Enterprise footage, and blown away by it. It has real mass, weight and size. Much better than the digital work on ST:R , as good as it has become. But what I am seeing in this special makes me wish they were doing more in the Remastered episodes stuff that looks this good.

December 31, 2006 8:52 am

According to the bit players, Shatner had an ego. Gee…I’m shocked. lol.

I have always felt they were simple jealous and envious…and it sold tickets and books.

The one thing I really respect and admire about Shatner is that he never once has said a negative thing about his supporting cast. Not once…despite the fact they’ve been blasting him for years. This shows me he is nothing but class and the others are just a bunch of tiny mean spirited little people. Throughout the years, my admiration for him has grown and it has diminished with them.

The Dude
January 4, 2007 10:35 pm

Great point, StephenMartin. Shatner always struck me as very positive and likable.

July 10, 2007 2:41 am

But seriously.. those effects shots are very nicely done! That strange pull-up at the end is just gold!