Takei Trashes Paramount, Enterprise and DS9

Before you can say “oh my” there are more frank opinions from George Takei (see previous article). In the second part of iF Magazine’s interview with the original Sulu, the actor lets loose on his opinion of post Roddenberry Trek. Regarding why the ‘Star Trek Excelsior’ Series never happened, Takei claims that Paramount ignored what the fans wanted, saying:

There was a flood of letters from every corner of the world advocating for this Excelsior series and then Paramount suddenly decided they didn’t want fan advice or participation and went ahead and did what they wanted to anyway with ENTERPRISE; which was a disastrous failure.


Takei went on to talk about changes in Paramount after Roddenberry’s time:

The people that really understand and love STAR TREK are no longer there. When Gene Roddenbery passed, that really was the end of STAR TREK, as we knew it. The series that came on immediately after was DEEP SPACE NINE, which was the polar opposite of Gene’s philosophy and vision of the future, so STAR TREK lost it’s way then and now the people at Paramount are all new people.

But Takei says that, if called he is ready to serve:

My love for Sulu is there and if someone comes up with a wonderful approach to Sulu given the passage of time and given the aging process we all go through I would be up for it. In the crew of the Enterprise, Chekov was supposed to be the youngest, but Takei was actually the youngest if you get my meaning. [Laughs] I think it is still credible that we could get Sulu into some vigorous drama.

Although Takei may have a long wait for a return to Trek, he did return to Heroes in Monday night’s episode

Read the rest at iF Magazine.

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I disagree with his assessment of DS9, *but* …

“Star Trek: Excelsior” could have been a far better show than “Star Trek: Voyager.”

I’m still kinda surprised they didn’t make that one happen.

The Wild Man of Borneo

Yeah, DS9 was great. It blows me away each time I catch it on tv.

But yes, a show about the Excelsior with Sulu at the helm would’ve been something awesome. There was so much potential there.

I also disagree. DS9 is definetly one of the best series ever made. It was about a better mankind too, but getting that is not as easy as it is in TOS or TNG.

Oh my.

And it’s easy to trash ENT after it failed. Who can really say what had happend to an Excelsior-Series… Maybe it would have failed too? No-one knows…

An Excelsior show would rock the boat, but alas, such is life.

We could have had a great turn of the 24th Century show on board a beautiful ship with a dynamic cast and an established universe.

We got Enterprise.

I used to like George Takei now he sounds like a poor man’s William Shatner. Once they start talking, they don’t shut up.

Star Trek Excelsior would’ve been a great series, especially if it would’ve took place in that time right after Kirk was lost on the Enterprise-B, although there’s no telling how it would’ve done after they did everything they had wanted to during the first season, at this point it’s likely any proposed series would’ve looked better after Enterprise. And as for DS9, it’s my favorite series (after TNG)…i loved the ben sisko-jake sisko father/son relationship, the spiritual tie-ins, the coverage of a federation-dominion war, the exploration of the klingons, etc…not to mention one of the best assembled casts ever…meeting Avery Brooks has been one of my all time favorite memories, and a DS9 movie to explore what happens to Sisko, who knows what would’ve happened, although that’s for a different discussion…and god bless george takei and his generosity to trek (video games, voyager appearance, etc.)

as always george is right, well just have to settle for the xbox game and the new voyages episode (WHICH IS HEARTBREAKING!!!).

unless some billionaire like mark cuban has got some money to spare!!

i just love georges opening monologue ” where none have gone before!”

berman hated everything to do with old trek and im glad hes out of a job, as the saying in hollywood goes ” s#$@ eventually floats!”

Two things:

First – I loved DS9 best when it was called Babylon 5. Favorite show of all time, as a matter of fact.

Second – Though an Excelsior show could have been a truly remarkable thing, Enterprise is actually my second favorite Post TOS Trek series, right after Next Generation. I believe that what killed Enterprise was that it followed the craptastic Voyager, and it was stuck with a doomed network. I’d love to see where it would have gone in seasons 5 – 7 if Manny Cotto had stayed at the helm.

#6. I don’t think it’s fair to compare Takie to Shatner. This seems to be part 2 of the same interview, where as Shatner has done many of these types of interviews.

oh and herb solow is a proffesor in WALES, not WHALES!

star trek iv wouldve been a totaly different movie if they came back to save wales!!!

ds9 was a great show, but I think that I can see where takei is coming from. Enterprise was definitely crap, they used far Too many hostage situations. (like every episode). I can’t wait to see what shows are possible after this new movie(s).

I love George Takei, but he was terrible in that Voyager episode.

Not helped by a weak script, but he overracted badly. His eyes were virtually popping out of his head at every moment.

I dont think the Excelsior series would have fared much better than what we got to be honest.

Takei doesn’t have the charisma to carry a series. That’s why an Excelsior show would not have worked.

Though Enterprise was just as bad.

I guess george takei aims to the dominion war, which was really really really to long.
so it was more difficult to bring in other interesting stuff.

I disagree about everything except Enterprise.

As much as the fanboy in me would have liked to see an Excelsior show, the fact is that George Takei doesn’t have the acting chops to make an effective series lead. He’s good in small doses and with good writing and direction (which is why he was so good in ST6) but he could not have carried a series the way Shatner, Stewart, or Avery Brooks did. As much as I loathe Rick Berman, he made a good call there.

I understand Mr. Takei’s point of view on DS9, but I disagree. With TNG, Roddenberry went ridiculously overboard with his optimistic view of the future and made it hard to write realistic stories with good conflict. DS9 was a good reality check. It said “sure, 24th century Earth is a paradise, but it takes work to maintain”. I didn’t agree with the idea that it was dependent on Section 31 do do its dirty work, though.

I think DS9 and Enterprise were a lot better than any Ecelsior show could have been. They’re proabably my two favorite Trek shows. They had more interesting plots and character development than TNG and Voyager did combined. I would have loved to have seen a Sulu show instead of Voyager though…

Bless you, Sulu, but who could have known? Enterprise found its footing in the third season and became a great show in its own right in its fourth. It was too late at that point, sadly, but “Sulu: Master of Navigation” could just as easily have failed, depending on the quality of writing. I’d still like to see it, but its unlikely now. Personally, I think Star Trek could spawn some great miniseries’. Excelsior adventures, admitedly should be a series of its own, but a mini would be good too at this point.

Firstly I love all the Star Trek series!

DS9 was a great series and I think it’s a shame that George Takei feels the way he does about the it.

Enterprise was not a ‘disastrous failure’ as George puts it. There were a combinations of things that resulted in the show being cancled. In fact I think that the fourth season was one of the best that Star Trek has ever seen.

An Excelsior series would not have been as good as Enterprise.

And George it’s never gonna happen so just let it go!!!!

have to admit also that i’m sad that he’s going all shatner and being a sour-pus about trek after him. life goes on. the first 6 trek flicks were the best, but cheese louise, don’t bash what failed commercially just because you can. be grateful to have been a part of the golden years. golden decades, actually.

and DS9???!!! that was the best. the uneasy frontier politics made it great, and after the dominion war began, it became unique in the trek world as a realistic saga of the need to defend utopia. as much as war sucks, its always going to exist, and it shouldnt be avoided in trek.

I agree with Takei, after Roddenberry’s death Trek really started its nosedive into crap.

#19. exactly, brother

I gotta chime in here. DS9 was a f__ing excellent show. It wasn’t TOS. It wasn’t TNG. It dared to be something else, and still it was great Star Trek.

DS9 had a ton of weirdness in it that I couldn’t buy (aliens possessing Sisko’s mom to make the dude a prophet) and much of the dialogue seemed like it was being written by high school amateurs. I totally see where Takei is coming from.

Long time lurker to these forums, first time poster :-)

The problem with Paramount and their tight-fisted hold of the Star Trek franchise, is that they NEVER listen to fans when it comes to plotlines or story ideas. The only reason the Excelsior series never came to fruition is because fans demanded it! Fans had far better ideas for a Kirk-meets-Picard story, but Paramount never listened and we got Generations instead. When they DID decide to listen – even a little bit – it was during the 4th season of Enterprise, but by then it was too late. (Incidentally, Enterprise season 4 is the best season of that entire series)

Another thing fans had wanted is Star Trek TV movies. In this way stories don’t have to be confined to one crew or one century, but could focus on various aspects of Trekdom. Again, fans want it so badly they ain’t gonna get it…

I disagree with ol’ George, DS9 was even better than TNG :-)

you simply cannot play to the fans in any series. fans want picard and crusher to get together and riker and troi to get back together from season one. if the fans had their way, it would have happened and all the waiting and awkward chemistry would be lost. FANS WANT ONE THING. WHATS BEST IS ALMOST ALWAYS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. look at any other series too. half the reason people tune in each week is to see if their FAN DREAM came true.

TO JJ AND CO.: DO NOT PLAY TO THE FANS. SURPRISE US WITH WHAT WE DIDNT EVEN KNOW WE WANTED BUT CANT IMAGINE BEING WITHOUT WHEN ITS DONE!

#24 I couldn’t agree more. As long as they stayed away from the mumbo jumbo it was great. But I never bought the whole Prophet crap. I mean really… how can an evolved society still believe in the superstitious narrow mindedness of religion knowing full well they were “worm hole aliens”?

I signed on to see the Federation build in Enterprise, to see the “where no one has gone before” and “seek out new civilizations” part that the show promised. I signed on for the wonderous ride of humanity into space. I did not sign on to see an uncritical reanactment of the US war on terror that in real time had already gone sour with events in Abu Graip and turned into a forseeble mess. I stopped watching Enterprise when it became a piece of pro-war propaganda. Star Trek has most of the time been at its best when it took a critical eye on the human codition with the hope always firmly in place that we can learn to be better than that. When I heard the show was back on track, I gave season 4 another chance. The needless death of Trip that served absolutely no point which even Braga admitted to after a time did it for me. I’m done with Enterprise.

As much as I like George Takei, I don’t think he could have carried a series. But at least he has a love for Trek and an understanding what it is about. And with the right supporting cast, who knows. I mostly disagree with him on DS 9. That show was underrated except for the last season.

lets avoid politics here please. there is no right or wrong. only opinions

I love the TOS movie period. I love the Excelsior and its design. Sulu was an interesting character. But I have to wonder if Excelsior as a series lacked any concept of depth. The only reason people wrote to Paramount, or at least petitioned for a Star Trek: Excelsior series is because of George. And kudos for him for being a pain in the ass for Paramount. But frankly, his assertion that post-Roddenberry Star Trek was simply not good enough is ridiculous.

These kind of comments come from actors, many of whom have not followed these series as fans. I’ll always be interested in his views on TOS, TAS and the movies, but when it comes to TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT, it’s best just to ignore them. Takei is probably experiencing some great fan love from his work on Heroes, but he has become a broken record in regard the Excelsior series. It’s time has passed, and he failed to get it made. Deal with it and try not to be bitter over the success of the other series.

and religion for that matter. isnt trek about acceptance?

#10

I am just sick of former Trek stars lamented their Trek past. Bashing other Trek shows for their own benefit just seems low to me.
Shatner says Trek XI isn’t going to be good without him.
Takei says an Excelsior series would of been better than Enterprise.
It just seems a case of boo hoos to me.

and DS9 was an AWESOME show!

The Sulu show would’ve been great had someone with Nick Meyer’s sensibilities produced, but if Berman produced it I can guarantee it would’ve been as flat and lifeless as that Voyager episode in which Sulu appeared.

KevinA Melbourne Australia

Sour Grapes…Who cares if Takei didn’t like DS9 or ENTERPRISE, he has a vested self interest to propagate.

ENTERPRISE was killed off by Paramounts disarray when it split up and UPN’s change of demographic and bad marketting. I loved ENT particularily the last 2 seasons. And I like TNG, DS9 & VOY and was born in the 50’s so I grew up with TOS. It’s was my favorite show of all time until TNG.

I’m equally excited about a re-boot or re-start to STAR TREK in the JJ Movie. Having followed it for over 40 years I think I have a better appreciation of Star Trek then some of the grumpy old men who worked on it.

I’ll grant you guys DS9 even though I thought it blatantly ripped off B5, but I find it hard to sympathize with Voyager and Enterprise fans, those shows were just crap and no thanks to Berman and his cronies.

#32

As STXI concerns TOS, Shatner isn’t exactly bashing an “other” Trek show for his own benefit. We should differenciate between Takei’s lament and Shatner’s reasoning.

What a tool!

A Takei anchored show would have been just as bankable as any of the other shows during the TNG era. There was plenty of room for ”something different” during an age of endless tech-talk gibber-jabber.

Enterprise was a victim of the ”studio machine”, not the actors. The ”bait and switch” tactic about Enterprise and how it was going to be a ”fresh vision” ended up being just more of the same and the cast was lured onboard. It was a desperate move to wring yet more revenues out of a twenty-year-old aging ”TNG vision”, and even in their final desperate move somehow tricking Coto onboard to ”save the franchise” was too much too late. No matter what, I always have a warm spot for Enterprise and especially the actors, who poured their heart and soul into it, and like a band, ”played wonderful music on the deck of the Titanic”, but alas it was April 12th…

I figure we have to take what he says with a grain of salt, and maybe Dr. McCoy’s salt creature girlfriend can take care of him ;)
Seriously, he probably watched little or none of the show and is going by what others have told him. You notice he had nothing bad to say about Voyager because he was on it, maybe if he did a guest spot on Voyager he would have seem what the show was about and saw it in a better light.

Sorry I meant to say if he did a guest spot on DS9, he would have possibly seen the show in a better light. Trying to rush before I go to work.

His guest spot on Voyager obviously gave him a good feeling about that show.

#35 DS9 blatantly ripped off B5?? I am amazed that myth still perpetuates.
Why would Ira Behr want to rip off a show like that when he and several other really GOOD writers could do just fine on their own?

George should maybe WATCH the show before he trashes it. DS9 had more diversity than any other, a fact I’m sure a guy like him can appreciate.

It;s also a myth about Coto being a savior. He was a scapegoat.

And #29- Sorry to be the one to tell you, in this world, there IS, right and wrong, and there IS crap Trek and good Trek. Just my opinion.

The guy really has an inflated sense of his importance.
He was the helmsman who in many episodes had about 3 lines. In the movies, he had a very minor presence as well.
I have no problem with him criticizing Enterprise, but his reasoning appears to be more jealousy motivated than anything for not getting “his show.”
He really likes to play that Roddenberry card for all its worth, too.
And, just to impersonate Mr. Dennis Bailey for a moment, I’d really like to know how many letters constitutes a “flood.” Let’s have some figures on that :)

#36

Shatner isn’t an innocent. lol. His put downs are legendary.

How did Shatner become a sacred cow? lol

4. Sebi – November 20, 2007 “And it’s easy to trash ENT after it failed. Who can really say what had happend to an Excelsior-Series… Maybe it would have failed too? No-one knows… ” A matter of history: Fans were trashing “Enterprise” while it was on the air, hence the bad ratings and the clawing and scratching for dear life move of injecting Coto in an attempt to save what should have never existed in the first place, so I agree with Mr. Takei. If you get past the obviously humorous moments in the TV special “How William Shatner Changed the World,” it was spot on about the direction of DS9–and how it was the opposite of the vision set by TOS . Although DS9 had a couple of compelling story arcs, still, it was a show that could not keep Trek fandom alive on its own. Consider this: Imagine if DS9 was the next Trek series in 1987 instead of “The Next Generation”; I think a great many things about the show would have contributed to either: A) Early cancellation, or B) the death of the franchise, when the series nature was another animal fans may not have warmed to at all, especially coming in the wake of Trek movies of the period. Amongst certain Trek fans, DS9 still get the love…or like, but years after its end, it did not turn into any sort of cultural phenomenon like TOS, or even enjoy the appeal of TNG. DS9 was… Read more »

There’s no doubt that on the surface, DS9 and B5 have similarities (I love them both), but there are also differences. There’s a lot of back and forth about which came first, who ripped off whom (and I won’t just go by Strazynski’s word on that), etc, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter. Both series were great, and were different enough to stand on their own.

As for “Gene’s vision” – which seemed to change if you read his comments over time, some of which contradict what he actually produced earlier – I can’t believe he really thought that the Federation could exist with no conflict and everyone loving each other, while all conflict came from outside it. For that to happen, everyone would have to have the same view of everything, with the only dissent being outside the Federation (a point about the Federation made by DS9’s Maquis arc). If that were the case, then it’s a fairly communistic view of the future, isn’t it? And I don’t think that’s what he had in mind – TOS mentions wars, and has conflict (and nearly another war with the Klingons too). Heck, they had to have a summit at Babel to keep races who’d been in the Federation since the beginning from overheating. So I wish folks would stop using “Gene’s vision” as a thin excuse to bash DS9 and the other series. It doesn’t hold water.

Deep Space Nine was the best written of all the modern Treks. All you have to do it look at the success of all the writers and producers after the series ended.

Excelsior was just a pipe dream and I don’t think George could’ve carried it. .

It’s not too late for a couple of direct to DVD Excelsior movies, IMO

I find it strange that your audience tend to like DS9. I find it , along with Enterprise, one of the weakest story lines in the Trek world. Too much emphasis on stupid background stories like Klingon bloodline, Bejoran religious fanatics and wormhole aliens… I really could not care for any of the characters nor the plot. The love story between the Major Kira character and the guy that looked like Spy Vs. Spy was awful.

Dave

P,S, Terry Farrell was the only good thing in the series.

It always confounded me why Paramount didn’t at least make a trilogy of Excelsior TV movies, starring Takei. Minimal risk, minimal loss.

#41. just meant to say that just because one person saw some phantom pro-war propaganda in enterprise doesnt mean that was the intent or the result. in fact, i seriously doubt that it was intended.

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