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More From Roddenberry: On Trek’s Future After Him & Recasting March 6, 2008

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

Last week we ran some quotes from a recently released audio interview with Gene Roddenberry from the 70s where he discussed changes in Trek designs and that he had considered doing his own prequel to The Original Series. In the last week some friends of the site have found other quotes from Star Trek’s creator that showed that he was pretty flexible and open to a future of Trek without him.

Roddenberry on doing Star Trek without Leonard Nimoy
from 1977 letter to fans on the controversy over doing the ‘Phase II’ TV series (aka ‘Star Trek II’) without Leonard Nimoy (who did not want to return to series television), taken from “The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture” by Susan Sackett and Gene Roddenberry.

Do we still want Nimoy-Spock in Star Trek II? Yes, of course. Must we have the Nimoy-Spock combination back no matter what the schedule or terms or cost? Of course not.

Roddenberry on recasting
from 1981 letter to the fans regarding the death of Spock controversy in the upcoming Star Trek II, taken from “Star Trek:Creator – The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry”

Even if Nimoy never plays Spock again, I think it would be wonderful years from now to see Star Trek come back with an equally talented new cast playing Spock and Kirk and Bones and Scotty and all the rest as they say tomorrow’s things to tomorrow’s generations…

Roddenberry on if he would have done Star Trek differently
from 1988 Interview, “The Star Trek Interview Book” by Allan Asherman.

…there are literally hundreds of things I would have done differently with the luxury of hindsight, but I’m quite pleased, given the time, the place, the problems we faced, our own lack of knowledge at that time, because we’ve grown since then, that we did as well as you can reasonably expect. We made lots of mistakes, but obviously we did enough things right that it worked despite the mistakes.

Roddenberry on Trek’s future after him
from 1989 interview, Star Trek Communicator Magazine

I feel that we’ve got such good people in Hollywood, and will in future as well, that I would be happy to have a Star Trek come on in 15 or 20 years where people say, "Now that is good!  That makes Roddenberry look like nothing!" And that would please me!

recount of 1990 appearance, taken from “Making of Deep Space Nine” by Judith and Gar Reeves-Stevens

…at a STAR TREK convention in Los Angeles, about a year before his death, Gene Roddenberry spoke to the gathered fans about the future of STAR TREK. He had seen his creation span generations of viewers, he had heard the fans of The Original Series and the Next Generation debate the pros and cons of both, and though there had been no formal talks of a third series at this time, he spoke of how he perceived STAR TREK’s future, after he was gone.

With a charm and sincerity that clearly came from a person who was used to studying human behavior from the perspective of one who looked into the future, Roddenberry said he expected — indeed, he hope — that in the years to come, new generations of fans would look at the new forms of STAR TREK being produced and say, ‘This is the real STAR TREK. Those other people back there at the beginning, they didn’t do it half as well.’

Thanks to Jon, John, Judy and Gar

Comments

1. Xplodin' Nacelle - March 6, 2008

Wow, these are really a treasure. Thanks for unearthing them guys.

2. Pragmaticus - March 6, 2008

A true visionary.

3. soki la schtroumphette - March 6, 2008

“I think it would be wonderful years from now to see Star Trek come back with an equally talented new cast playing Spock and Kirk and Bones and Scotty ”
I hope you’re right, Gene! :-)

4. Summer Storm Pictures - March 6, 2008

This guy was the real deal. He was a ”piece of work” willing to give a ”piece of his heart.” Star Trek is not about hardware or canon, it’s about storytelling and character. If the Enterprise is a rubber raft in the next movie (a 150-million dollar rubber raft) — if the story is good and the characters tell us a tale worth telling — I’m happy in advance.

5. CmdrR - March 6, 2008

No fair! Gene gets to watch for free. ;-)

Thanks, Anthony. I only wish this would silence the canonistas, but of course you could overload the matter-anti-matter converters thru the phaser ODN’s and still not make the detractors glow and disappear.

6. Neal - March 6, 2008

Phase II is one of the most intriguing “might-have-beens” in tv history. Kirk on the air every week, mid 70s. What a thought. I wonder if the costumes would have become progressively disco-ized. Starfleet meets Elvis jumpsuit. Command insignia the size of a frying pan.

On the TMP remastered DVD, there are some Phase II screen tests, so short but so filled with possibility. Same outfits as from TOS.

7. British Naval Dude - March 6, 2008

Well crack my knuckles and jump for joy
J.J. got a clean bill o’ health from Roddenberry-oy!

arrrr….

8. Vulcan Soul - March 6, 2008

#5 – To overload the M/AM converters through the phaser optical DATA network makes no sense, CmdR ;)

And yeah, I’m scared too.

9. Captain Otter - March 6, 2008

Wonderful and timely quotes. Thank you.

10. Mary Jane - March 6, 2008

#5 quote: “I only wish this would silence the canonistas”.

Roddenberry IS canon. He’s the fundament. If he said it’s okay, it’s okay. Every canon junkie who doesn’t adhere to this simple rule, is imho insincere.

11. Batts - March 6, 2008

If we think JJ Abrams does not have the ‘green light’ to be as flexible with all of this new material in mind. Think again! GR was definitely opened to new things. The Nimoy/Spock bit was a bit shocking. He is saying his franchise will go on regardless of whether or not Spock is played by someone else. Whoa!!

Perhaps that is the attitude of most bosses today. The company will continue without you. Now will the recasting of Spock be as successful and well received??? Maybe the producers of James Bond asked the same question??

12. Jorg Sacul - March 6, 2008

I suppose it is pretty arrogant for fans to say that nobody will ever play the roles of our valiant, er, Enterprise crew as well as the originals. But then, I remember when everyone said that DVD was the ultimate video presentation format.

Did the audience of the Bard get up in arms when other actors played Hamlet? And yes, I’m comparing Trek to Shakespeare, at least in the sense that “the play’s the thing”.

13. Russ... a Trek Guy from way back - March 6, 2008

#5 Excellent use of technobabble!!! LOL.. had me rolling for a while.

As someone pointed out, Gene was a kind, warm person who was not afraid of the future. He laid the foundation (and a very strong, solid one to boot) and it’s up to the future generations to build upon his foundation. I think JJ Abrams is doing a great job and have faith that I will be watching the new movie multiple times when it comes out (me alone, me with the wife, me with friends, etc..).

14. Batts - March 6, 2008

Just to get a little clearer with what I said. GR’s thoughts on flexibility and growth is what I meant by giving JJ more creative latitude or room to play with as far as ship design, uniforms are concerned. My opinion.

15. Cobra Commander - March 6, 2008

I’m a huge fan of GR the creator. I’m not a fan of GR the “ego.” But, perhaps like the ‘The Enemy Within,’ you can’t have one without the other.
I like that he said, “We made lots of mistakes, but obviously we did enough things right that it worked despite the mistakes.” This statement sums up my view of canon pretty well. I’m willing to overlook the early mistakes. Mistakes made later, however, I find NO excuse for. So much has been (firmly) established over the decades that following established facts should be expected. Following canon doesn’t have to be fanboy or far-fetched. Just respect what’s been established and work within those parameters. If JJ, the writers, and the actors can do that, I’m sure GR will be very proud!

16. Iowagirl - March 6, 2008

- We made lots of mistakes, but obviously we did enough things right that it worked despite the mistakes. -

It definitely did work. Thank you, Gene, for the vision you carried into effect.

17. THX-1138 - March 6, 2008

I’m kinda glad that Phase II was not a reality. I fear that we might have seen a Buck Rogers-beedy beedy beedy, type show. But it could have been cool.

Lord, Buck Rogers was bad. What was that robots name? Tweeky, or something like that? The people who prduced and wrote that show must have been a little “tweeky” themselves.

18. CmdrR - March 6, 2008

If Richard Burbidge doesn’t play Falstaff, I will boycott this production of ‘Henry IV.’

Oh yeah, he’s been dead for 500 years.

Some protests are just plain silly. If Roddenberry was cool with change and Nimoy is cool handing over the role of his professional career, then who are we to go nuts?

19. Redjac - March 6, 2008

#5, #10 — Roddenberry didn’t produce anything that broke canon — nor did he say he wanted anything that broke canon. He only said he’d be ok with other actors and other producers going forward with Trek.

There are no canon issues here. However, what is not said in this article/quotes is that he DID take issue with things producers/writers/directors wanted to do that DID break canon or deviate from is view of what Trek should be.

Sybok is one example…the militarism of the TOS feature films beginning with TWOK…

I think most “canonistas” just want things to adhere to what Roddenberry established and established on-screen storylines/character development.

I don’t think Roddenberry would disagree with that position.

20. Redjac - March 6, 2008

#17 — TWIKI was the robots name…and yes, that series was wretched.

21. orion pirate - March 6, 2008

Gene was amazing. I was born in the wrong part of the century, I want to meet him so badly.

“…I think it would be wonderful years from now to see Star Trek come back with an equally talented new cast playing Spock and Kirk and Bones and Scotty and all the rest as they say tomorrow’s things to tomorrow’s generations…”

THAT is amazing. I wish he could be around now to see it happening. I wonder what he’d think of the new cast…

22. James Heaney - Wowbagger - March 6, 2008

I think I have a new signature quote coming on.

Happy to know I have the same perspective on canon that the G.B.G. does.

23. I Am Morg Not Eymorg - March 6, 2008

Batts and others

Keep in mind that he said this back when he and Nimoy weren’t the best of friends. They had a falling out between the second and third seasons and they didn’t reconcile until shortly before his death during TNG.

And of course Star Trek will go on. It already has. It was even alive in the cold hard winter years of Mod Trek. :) :)

24. CmdrR - March 6, 2008

20. Redjac – March 6, 2008
#17 — TWIKI was the robots name…and yes, that series was wretched.

Erin Gray in spandex at least made some of it watchable.

25. THX-1138 - March 6, 2008

#20
They have the costume for TWIKI (thanks for that) at the Science Fiction Museum. The years have not been kind to it. I imagine it was stored in a garbage can out in the rain after series ended it’s run.

As for Phase II, the disco theme to Star Trek just keeps running through my mind.

26. jon1701 - March 6, 2008

25#

You mean this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDCAJhLqiXs

27. CanuckLou - March 6, 2008

The TOS characters – not the actors that originally portrayed them – are iconic in the same sense as Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Batman, Superman etc. ST XI will be proof of that.

The TOS characters are too good, too great, too entertaining, and too inspirational to have them chained to one era in time.

The world is about to re-discover these great characters!!

28. Shatner4TrekXI - March 6, 2008

Being open to new things doesn’t mean the man wouldn’t have protected his vision had he lived. The garbage of the post-GR era probably could have been avoided.

29. trekofficial - March 6, 2008

NOT CANNON!!! Im sorry but the tone of the interviews was 0.009% not how roddenberry would have answered these are bogus. I intend to let everyone aboard by ship (the U.s.s. Hilary) know this!

30. Dr. Image - March 6, 2008

Gene Roddenberry = TRUE open mind.

31. Michael Hall - March 6, 2008

“Erin Gray in spandex at least made some of it watchable.”

What was Pam Hensley, chopped liver? :-)

I have a book somewheres which goes into detail about the proposed Phase II production, including scripts and story treatments. With all due respect to the people involved (Roddenberry included), I think it likely the series would have been regarded as an expensive disappointment, and Trek as a franchise would have most likely died with it.

32. Closettrekker - March 6, 2008

“… I think it would be wonderful years from now to see Star Trek come back with an equally talented new cast playing Spock and Kirk and Bones and Scotty and all the rest as they say tomorrow’s things to tomorrow’s generations…”—–GR

Prophetic? Maybe. According to the article, this quote was from 1977. Now, 31 years later, this is indeed happening—at least the recasting of the iconic TOS characters.
Will they (Orci, Kurtzman, Abrams, and Lindelof) say today’s things to today’s generation, or will the themes of STXI be timeless, much like TWOK? I hope for the latter. I do not believe that TUC holds up as well as TWOK, and that it is partly due to TUC’s attempt to “parallel” events going on near the time of the film’s release. Of course, there is much to be said for TWOK simply being a better film, but I don’t think that immediate post-Cold War themes resonate with audiences the way they did in the very early 90′s. Now granted, you could break down TUC’s theme to its simplest form—”our fear of change”, and I suppose that much is timeless. TUC just doesn’t hit home like it did then.

“I feel that we’ve got such good people in Hollywood, and will in future as well, that I would be happy to have a Star Trek come on in 15 or 20 years where people say, ‘Now that is good! That makes Roddenberry look like nothing!’ And that would please me!”—GR

I’m glad to see that, 20 years ago, he had such an attitude about this prospect. I don’t think that Abrams and co. will receive any recognition for creating the vision of a better future for mankind within the Star Trek Universe—–but if they are successful in marketing this film to the broad and general audience which they covet, they could be recognized for making that vision more relevant than ever.

33. Dennis Bailey - March 6, 2008

#28:”Being open to new things doesn’t mean the man wouldn’t have protected his vision had he lived.”

Doesn’t mean his interpretation of “his vision” would have pleased you at all, either.

Most of what was good, storywise, on TNG occurred after and in spite of GR.

34. Iowagirl - March 6, 2008

#27
Not meaning to discuss our different views on re-casting itself, as different views are perfectly alright. But I don’t think it’s correct to say STXI will be proof that TOS characters are iconic. This proof has already been supplied, as Kirk, Spock & Co. have become icons and archetypes long ago, and it was GR’s fundamental idea, the original writers’ conclusive characterization, and the original actors‘ congruent portrayal that made them reach their iconic heights. They are instantly recognizable even for people who don’t deal with scifi or ST, and they are not “chained” to one era in time. They’ve accompanied us for 4 decades now, and they’ve become an integral part of pop culture.

Therefore, I think suggesting that the characters need STXI to come into their own (at least this is how I understand your statement), is rather far-fetched and not applicable.

35. British Naval Dude - March 6, 2008

Awwk- I’m getting a message from TWIKI:
“bee-dee bee-dee bee-dee
I was suppposed to be in Phase II but, even for a robot, I was just too much of a wanker.
bee-dee bee-dee bee-dee”
Poor lil’ tinman…

There are things that Gene didn’t want that appeal to many fans
There are things that Gene did want that don’t appeal to many fans
Just stuff writers pull outta thar bums… and then Fox steals from them.

As Gene might say “The real writing is in the re-writes… and the re-writes, and the re-writes…”

36. Captain Hackett - March 6, 2008

I like Buck Rogers but I hate that stupid robot named Twiki. The series could be much better off without the robot.

It is great to see that we know more and more from Gene. Hopefully we will get much more details from his thoughts.

37. ARAN - March 6, 2008

#32 Isn’t TUC sort-of paralleling the state of Trek right now? Those who are looking forward to change in Trek, and those who don’t want to see this change in Trek?

You are right that TUC’s “simplest theme” of our fear of change is timeless, but I think it was about more than just the ‘fear’ of change. I always thought it was about the small few who dared to open their eyes and bring about that change.

38. Andy Patterson - March 6, 2008

It is fascinating to me just how the right set of circumstances came together to make Star Trek work. I remember reading all “the making of ” books 25 yrs ago. Reading about Gene Coon in there and others. It’s kind of like who was the more important, Stan Lee or Jack Kirby? Who made all those comicbook characters work? I think it is a combination of everyone involved.

But while I appreciate the humility Rodenberry shows, I think you have to have and show that feeling of ownership. Not just to further your name and the mythos that surrounds you but so that the unique vision you had can be carried on by others who want to produce new versions of it. True I think future generations can draw on this material and make new stuff – I always think of the original series as the best – the real deal.

39. SPOCKBOY - March 6, 2008

I just uploaded this for you guys.
It’s Roddenberry discussing the Philosophy of Star Trek
Very interesting….

http://evoca.com/myrecordings/index.jsp

: )

40. TWIKI and NOMAD - March 6, 2008

Hey BND-
Must sterilize- Zzzaaaaaaapppppppppp!!!!
be dee be dee be dee

41. British Naval Dude - March 6, 2008

Arrrrrghhh!!!!

I die, Horatio… unless can repair tha unit…. bee dee bee deee

42. Redjac - March 6, 2008

#24 She was the best thing about Buck Rogers…no doubt.

43. Steve S - March 6, 2008

27. “The TOS characters – not the actors that originally portrayed them – are iconic in the same sense as Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Batman, Superman etc. ST XI will be proof of that.”

I’ve been saying this for years. The fact that fans conflate the personas of the TOS characters to the actors that played them is silly in the extreme. It is like Shakespeare banning any future performances of Hamlet after the death of Richard Burbage.

If Star Trek XI is successful enough to spawn a new TOS series (and I think this is the direction) I suspect a TV cast could be hired to play the characters there and they could retain the movie cast for theatrical releases. I hope they do this.

44. Papa Jim - March 6, 2008

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Roddenberry at a lecture at Stanford in 1974. He truly was a great man and visionary.

45. Batts - March 6, 2008

#23 thanks for that background information. I am sure there was more than meets the eye with GR’s remarks. However, a fellow trekkie probed further and set the record straight that there was a conflict between the two of them way back between 2nd and 3rd seasons.

I still cant digest someone else playing Spock!! Please see my comments at #11 to understand why i make this statement. OK! But having Nimoy in the film will definitely ease the pain.

46. Closettrekker - March 6, 2008

#37–” I always thought it was about the small few who dared to open their eyes and bring about that change.”

That is certainly the resolution to the conflict, and the way the fimmakers chose to approach the theme. Personally, I never liked the idea of my heroic Captain Kirk and company being presented as so backward. I think the TOS writers presented them as a far more enlightened version of ourselves. Their attitudes (Spock aside) in TUC seemed to me to be a departure from that enlightenment. As if Jim Kirk would be so ignorant as to blame an entire race for one Klingon criminal’s murder of his son, or behave in such an undiplomatic manner at dinner with his guests–Klingon or not. Anyway, I digress.

The resolution to “our current conflict”, over the changing of the guard in Trek, will be the success or failure of STXI’s ability to bring the iconic TOS-era characters to a new generation of fans.
Some of the naysayers, who feel that no other actors can successfully bring the heart of those characters to the big screen will never be satisfied that they can, no matter what success the film may have. That is to be expected. To expect such a diverse group of fans as those who love Star Trek to be in 100% agreement about anything other than “Star Trek (in one form or another) is great”, would be delusional. After all, our diversity is our strength as a group of human beings. Besides, if everyone were in full agreement, then commenting here would not be nearly as fun…

47. Larry Nemecek - March 6, 2008

Anthony, good work on the old quotes—i was familiar with a couple of them. ;-) Anyone who gets to see the future Star Trek: The Tour sites, the famous “yellow sweater” interview video has a clip of Gene on this very subject again, from 198, that we included in the “Gene Memorial” info documentary at the entrance.

48. Devon - March 6, 2008

Looks like J.J. and Co. are getting somewhat of a blessing from beyond!

Good stuff! Thanks to Anthony and whomever else responsible for finding this stuff out.

49. CmdrR - March 6, 2008

To overload the M/AM converters through the phaser optical DATA network makes no sense, CmdR ;)

Thanks for the reality check, Vulcan soul. Must be the tetrion particles decompiling my heuristic subroutines. (Lord, I pray they keep the technobabble to a minimum in the new flick.)

50. Sean4000 - March 6, 2008

where people say, “Now that is good! That makes Roddenberry look like nothing!” And that would please me!

Whoa! Strong words from The man himself. Damn. JJ has a lot to live up to!

51. AdamTrek - March 6, 2008

IMO, if Gene was alive today he would be ABSOLUTELY THRILLED about the new movie. Wouldn’t it be interesting if he could be on this site giving blog updates giving us tidbits about the new movie yet really telling us nothing. Kinda like Bob Orci. Only Gene. Michael Bay would say “Awesome”.

52. Trek Nerd Central - March 6, 2008

Very generous sentiments. A good daddy always wants his own child to surpass him.

53. Dr. Image - March 6, 2008

GR wasn’t perfect,and he’s had his detractors, but without him there would be NONE OF THIS.
And that’s a pretty heavy concept.

54. Go Spock! - March 6, 2008

awesome! and brilliant quotes!
its nice to reflect on Mr. Roddenberry’s original thoughts!
:)
still can’t wait for… MAY!

55. Chris Pike - March 6, 2008

GR knew the future in many ways…

56. Miguel - March 6, 2008

Every angry fan who doesn’t consider non-TOS or non-TNG Trek incarnations are real should read this.

(Minus ENT)

57. diabolk - March 6, 2008

Doesn’t sound like a person eager to grab credit for someone else’s work to me, as some have painted him.

58. acb - March 6, 2008

It is interesting to see some of Roddenberry’s early thoughts. Though I have to admit, it seems like these are being thrust upon us so that we do not put the new film in any sort of critical critique. Now I know many fans have unreasonable expectations or ideas already that the new film will not work or that it hurts Trek in some manner.

This is simply not fully true, nor is it possible to determine, at this junction from an audience standpoint. Is there reason to have caution? Absolutely. When the focus of the new film within the studio is “mass marketing” it is reasonable to worry that some may consider adding elements from other success franchises into Star Trek to “make it work.”

Dirt, grim and anger are all the rage in many recent sci-fi productions, and you know what that is fine. Shakespeare is some of the most violent material out there. And like my Shakespeare I don’t mind some grittiness in my Trek, but where it makes sense. The Enterprise dirty from space travel? Yep. Kirk’s emotions get the best of him at times? Yeah, but not when it risks his ship. The Enterprise a “warship”? No, because would you want something/someone representing you to someone you have never met and sending the wrong message of just who you are? Neither would a group like Starfleet.

This is where they began to make the missteps in TNG on film. They began to attempt at catering to mass audiences (action and dirt) while forgoing what actually made TNG work in the first place (the characters and their relationships).

Does J.J. Abrams get this? I think so. Whether or not he fully understands who Spock is from the inside out or what drives Scotty to build his own legend among engineers is not certain. But what Abrams does get most of the time in his work is a sense of interaction, desires and drives for characters. He understands relationships.

Hopefully those in charge, both at the studio and behind the lens, understand what really makes Trek….well trek. Yes Roddenberry understood notions of change and alterations will be neccessary and eventual. But at the same time, he balanced that understanding with knowing that the characters have to stay who they are……not be Kirk or Spock in name only then make “darker” adjustments so that 9 year old Billy in Ohio will now think Trek is cool. After all……….Billy may just be dumb.

59. 790 - March 6, 2008

Yea I agree Miguel, but (+ ENT).
^
I’m sure Deep Space Nine, Voyager and even Enterprise would have made Gene proud…
Oh yeah and JJ’s vision I guess. We’ve yet to see it so jurys out on that one til next year.
Personally I think releasing it at or around the same time as T4 is a bad move.
(Paramount did the same thing to Nemesis as well).

60. trekofficial - March 6, 2008

I heard theres gonna be product placement in the new one is this true????

61. jonboc - March 6, 2008

#43 “The fact that fans conflate the personas of the TOS characters to the actors that played them is silly in the extreme”

No, what’s silly is the fact that so many think that just the words on the page “make” a character. Wrong….epecially if it’s a character that is not born from literature. It’s how the actor breathes life into those characters and how the actor recites those words. That’s why I LIKE Shatner’s Kirk and don’t like Cawley’s Kirk. It’s why I love Sean Connery as Bond but think Lazenby was lame. It’s why I thought Buddy Ebsen was THE Jed Clampett and why Jim Varney was not. It’s why Fred Gwynne rocked as Heman Munster and John Shuck did not.. Yes yes yes, ANYONE can play any character. But don’t mistake that for a guarantee that any incarnation of a character will be good.

62. Snake - March 6, 2008

hey I’ve got all those books and magazines mentioned there (btw the Star Trek Comminicator issue was actually called ‘The Offical Fan Club Magazine’ back then – hows that for an annoying nitpick?) think that was the issue where gene also said that the TOS and TNG crews should never be mixed..(guess he mustve timetravelled to xmas 1994 b4 his death)

gene mustve been a cool guy to say stuff like ‘in 20 years that makes Roddenberry look like nothing’ (btw he was bang on with the time period there wasnt he – 20 years from 1989 = 2009) – Lucas was the absoulute opposite when he was asked about Star Wars’ future wihout him and if hed let people take over – he came out with the rather posessive “not really..its sort of my thing..”

i’ll start checking out more books to find more evidence that supports the possibility that Roddenberry traveled into the future to may 2009, saw JJs universally praised film become the top grossing film of the year, winning awards etc then went back to 1968 and proceeded to drop hints in interviews over the years about how making a prequel with kirk and spock would be a really great thing to do …(sort of a First Contact–Regeneration–Q Who timeline thingy)

63. Closettrekker - March 6, 2008

#56—Why “minus” ENT? Seemed to me that the last 3 seasons paid more “Star Trek” than any of the other spinoffs. I rather enjoyed the TOS tie-ins. Obviously, it wasn’t GR’s utopian Federation, rather it was a depiction of the road to that vision. Certainly the characters were no more bland than TNG’s or VOY’s.

#59–NEM had no business in theaters to begin with. None of the TNG films had the marketing power of a big screen revisit of the iconic TOS characters. This is not the same thing.

#61—Just because Lazenby was a poor James Bond does not mean that NO ONE could be. I think his point that the characters are the icons is a valid one. Of course Kirk is associated with Shatner and Nimoy is associated with Spock, but that is only because (beyond fan productions) they are the only ones to have ever portrayed those characters. George Reeves was the only Superman we knew until Chris Reeve took it to a whole new level, and I personally don’t want a Shatner impression from Chris Pine. There are never any guarantees in art, but the point is still valid. Shatner was never captain of the Enterprise—-Jim Kirk was.

64. S. John Ross - March 6, 2008

Groovy quotes.

65. Closettrekker - March 6, 2008

I meant “last season and a half” in that posted response to #56—-sorry.

66. Michael Hall - March 6, 2008

“Shatner was never captain of the Enterprise—-Jim Kirk was.”

Very well put!

67. CanuckLou - March 6, 2008

@34 Sorry Iowagirl I did properly articulate what I intended. I agree with you that the character are already iconic. I meant that ST XI will show that they are timeless and can be continually re-interpreted and presented to new generations of fans yet to come.

68. Viking - March 6, 2008

#17 THX-1138: I think that you can get good insight into what the look and feel of Phase II would have been like by taking the concept drawings and stills of the test footage, and holding them up next to other Roddenberry projects of the same era – Genesis II, Planet Earth, and The Questor Tapes. The set designs, production values, etc. seem to bear an eerie similarity to each other in many ways. And given how Roddenberry liked to recast preferred actors in his various projects, it would give you an idea of who some of the guest stars might have been during that time.

69. orion pirate - March 6, 2008

I agree with #27. Though no matter who plays the characters in the future, the originals will always be the best IMHO.

70. Kevin - March 6, 2008

Oh sheesh, I’m so tired of seeing people compare Trek to Bond, Shakespeare, Batman, Superman and whatever else has had several actors playing a single part. There’s a HUGE difference between those and Trek. Those were based on literary works. Trek was a television show and the actors that portrayed those characters created them along with a team of writers and yes Gene Roddenberry. Nimoy created the very demeanor of Vulcans, not to mention the salute, and the neck pinch. Uhura was tailored for Nichols because she and Roddenberry were… well… you know. Shatner gave Kirk his energy and made him the strong Captain that he was. Would the character be even remotely the same had Lloyd Bridges been cast?

Look at it this way. If someone says which actor they preferred playing Batman, what are they comparing it to? They’re comparing the actors portrayal and the script with the comics. If someone says which Kirk they prefer what are they comparing it to? Not comics or books or legend, but to Shatner.

Do I mind recasting these roles? No. As long as they pay homage to what was done before. As long as they are portraying these characters close to the source material- and THE source material is Star Trek TOS.

71. Doug - March 6, 2008

#70: comparing TREK to Shakespeare isn’t so much of a stretch when you remember just how many times “Star Trek” paid homage to the bard.

There are dozens and dozens of quotes, situations and metaphors to the great Shakepearean plays and poems. TREK’s production crew certainly knew who was the greatest writer of all time.

72. OR Coast Trekkie - March 6, 2008

There we go gentlemen (and ladies) straight from the horses mouth…

73. Kevin - March 6, 2008

Yes of course they used a lot of Shakespeare. That doesn’t make it Shakespeare any more than it makes me Shakespeare if I quote him.

74. Dr. Image - March 6, 2008

Lazenby had the misfortune of having to take the reins of an iconic character from someone else for the FIRST time ever.
Now, it’s not such a big deal. And now, we’ve got the best Bond ever.(IMO)
Hey, we’ve gotten used to Cawley and co., now it’s onward to the future of Trek character re-casts.
There will doubtlessly be many, many more.

75. Tango - March 6, 2008

Would replacing Spock actors be like replacing Darans in Bewitched?

76. SPOCKBOY - March 6, 2008

#39
Sorry guys.
Here is the Roddenberry file…

http://trekmovie.com/2008/03/06/more-from-roddenberry-on-treks-future-after-him-recasting/

77. SPOCKBOY - March 6, 2008

whoops!
Long day….

http://evoca.com/everyone_recording.jsp?rid=144585

: )

78. Garovorkin - March 6, 2008

the question is that would Phase to have been a success without Spock? no it would not have succeeded from what i remember reading about Phase 2 the Sonak character was supposed to be Spock’s replacement and the Decker character would have been the first officer, eventually captain in place of Kirk. Would Phase 2 Have succeeded at all ? int the mid 70′s no it would have the audience for trek though large they would not have been sufficient to sustain the show for more then one season or 2. Back then only 3 networks none of which was particularly sympathetic to scifi.

79. Kevin - March 6, 2008

It was to be the flagship for the Paramount network… I think we all know how well that network would have faired.

Paramount’s network would have been only available in a few areas (as UPN was to start) and the show would have only reached half Trek’s fans or less.

And as mentioned in 78, they had no intention of recasting Spock for Phase II, but replacing him with another Vulcan character.

A show that might have been interesting for us to see, but I’m certainly glad they went with a movie.

Trek always does it’s best in syndication.

80. kmart - March 6, 2008

Shat was Kirk, who IS the captain … w/o shat, there is no trek phenomena. Y’think there’d have been 30 eps, let alone a franchise, based on Jeffrey Hunter’s recessive pallid Pike? Not a chance in hell.

Trek is ACTOR chemistry as much or more than the writing (well, Gene Coon is as important as the shat/nimoy/kelley mix.)

That isn’t true of the other franchises mentioned (though anybody who can buy Craig as Bond clearly has problems with oxygen to the brain — he is like a muscular male Ilse Stepat (villainess in OHMSS), ugly as hell and horridly miscast, though even a great actor would not have been able to make CR watchable … thank god I have the Daltons and FRWL on DVD, so I won’t miss real Bond during the coming draught of the Craig era.

81. Devon - March 6, 2008

“Shat was Kirk, who IS the captain ”

Yep, Kirk was the Captain, we got that ;)

Now Chris Pine is Kirk, who will also be the Captain.

“Y’think there’d have been 30 eps, let alone a franchise, based on Jeffrey Hunter’s recessive pallid Pike? Not a chance in hell.”

Who knows?

82. Jabob Slatter - March 6, 2008

Does anybody have an argument here that isn’t tiresome?

Something tells me Roddenberry would run screaming from this forum. As I now do…

83. AC80 - March 7, 2008

Change is nice, but I really do hope TOS, the original Star Trek television series from the 1960s, is never forgotten or easily dismissed as crap. I find the thought of it being forgotten one day to be chilling.

#70. Kevin, you’re absolutely correct. A lot of people (some willingly) forget that Star Trek started with those original actors and that these actors have played these characters for 40 years.

Needless to say, for some of us it will be very awkward to watch other actors playing these roles, especially Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty. I envy those of you that will not have this problem. I really do.

84. Iowagirl - March 7, 2008

#67
CanuckLou, thanks for clarifying.

85. pissed - March 7, 2008

The Trek Movie report reboot agenda continues.

86. SD - March 7, 2008

Interesting and much food for thoughts, thank you for sharing!

87. Craig - March 7, 2008

The important distiction is that the Series has moved on with TNG,DS9 and VOY it isn’t the 70′s that time is gone. The TOS cast made the movies and the franchise evolved

88. Lee - March 7, 2008

Really is it so important who play the characters of Kirk…?. Original actors were great, that for sure!!. But I think there must be other nowadays actors capable for playing these roles which at least are untemporary ones (the leader explorer and pasionated captain, their reserved logical and confident official…).

I mainly concerned about the story itself. In the latests sixties they achieved to do innovative, from a scientist and social point of view, storylines also having a high human quality. They showed admirably well their dreams for future and their self-criticism about main problems at their own times. The result was an encouraging imagen for the future and posibilities of the humans and even a proposal for the ways they think there must be followed. Universe continues being huge and mostly unknown for our generation (independently of the dense and complex science-fiction world developed along years around the Star Trek main storyline). What are the dreams of this generation? and so what are the ways we would like following?. In the new film, could we see just another epic story? or are they also going to give their point of view about the society and the problems of today since a critical constructive focus?. Star Trek includes so many aspects (humor, epic, social discussion, scientists advances or posibilities) but which ones are going o be emphasized?.

89. Closettrekker - March 7, 2008

#83–”…for some of us it will be very awkward to watch other actors playing these roles, especially Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty. I envy those of you that will not have this problem. I really do.”

It won’t be awkward at all for me. The recasting of these iconic characters after all these years is the ultimate tribute to the work of those actors who portrayed them for decades. I’ve often said,” may we all be so respected for our work–forty years from now”.
No need for envy. You need only to embrace this change for the glorious tribute it is. Why some choose to treat it as a funeral for the original actors is beyond me. My imagination, necessary to enjoy science fiction to begin with, will prevent me from seeing it as awkward. After all, Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley weren’t really Kirk, Spock, and Bones either! GR thought that this prospect would be an honor, and so do the majority of the original cast members who are still with us, now that it is actually coming to fruition. Only Shatner (who admittedly has never even bothered to watch an episode of Star Trek) has expressed any other feelings about it, and believe me, he’ll get over it. So will you.

90. allyn - March 7, 2008

Never quite got the whole “canon” thing…

For those “canonistas” here, please tell me, given Star Trek canon (TOS, movies, TNG, etc), how Stardates fit in to canon and how they are consistent?

If canon isn’t needed for something as basic and as far back as stardates, why is it so necessary for Star Trek 2009?

91. Garovorkin - March 7, 2008

#89 Closettreker as ive stated before this movie will please most but all people. Hardcore trekies are not going to accept this as the real deal. But there is a way for them to enjoy the movie anyway. I would imagine that many hardcore trekies read the trek books and comics and enjoy the various fan incarnations of trek. They don’t view them as cannon but rather as side stories. I say to them why not view the Abrams movie as a side story, or an alternate universe Star Trek. A Trek from a different universe, that might help or look at it as a really goo science fiction movie with the external trappings of Trek Its how you choose to look at things. It just a thought that’s all.

92. CanuckLou - March 7, 2008

@70 Kevin, there is no difference. The difference exists in your mind only if you let it. ;)

93. MARIAN C. - March 7, 2008

-Great man…

94. Garovorkin - March 7, 2008

Gene Roddenberry was a great producer, i don’t think even he could have imagined what Star trek would ultimately morph into. The whole visionary mantle began in the early 70′s when he began the college lecture circuit and the Star Trek conventions began. Is he a visionary? well you could make that argument given the impact of Star trek not only on only popular culture but on the sciences as well. A lot of young kids became engineers and scientists to try and make the gadgets of trek into reality. Is the world a better place because of him? In some ways yes. I have difficulty buying into the whole utopian future notion that he preaches, I don’t think we will ever achieve the kind of enlighten development of humanity that he portrays in trek, because we by nature are very selfish and self absorbed people, we don’t seem to much concerned with thoughts of a bright and shiny future. With most of us its day to day living and let tomorrow take care of itself. Unfortunately this outlook may contribute to our downfall as a species. Still there is nothing wrong with visionaries and their dreams, it give us something to hope for.

95. LostOnNCC1701 - March 7, 2008

Every great visionary has allowed their product to change.

The US Constitution was written so that it could be easily modified and interpreted as the times changed, hence amendments and how a supreme court decision can change over time. (it should be noted however that many of the constitution signers thought it was a crappy document, and that is why it was made so that it could be possible to change it)

In Pop-culture, there are plenty of “renovations” that have made characters more relevant to current times. The original versions of Superman (who could only jump really far and lift heavy things) and Batman (who was just a masked avenger who routinely used guns) are not considered the definitive versions of the characters.

96. m0r1arty - March 7, 2008

I’m sure if he’d seen Voyager he’d have eaten the words “”Now that is good! That makes Roddenberry look like nothing!”"

-m0r

97. 7 of 5 - March 7, 2008

Regarding the current poll: how can anyone possibly answer with anything but ‘I don’t know’??

More to the point, we know very little of nothing about the film; we have the word of others that Trek is in good hands; we have snippets and incomplete images; we have directors and actors saying ‘WOW’. What we lack is the cold hard reality of the master print. We simply will not have any inkling of whether GR would approve or not until we actually see the finished product, and then we can only extrapolate based upon what we know of the Great Bird.

Any other answer is pretentious.

Not the most well-thought-out poll I’ve seen. I challenge you for better.

98. Garovorkin - March 7, 2008

#97 7 of 5 you’re right having the film in hand would obviously answer those questions. I think the film will be a success, tangible proof? honestly none, so we have to look at JJ Abrams record as producer and director, he’s has been successful, Alias and Lost both hit show,Mission Impossible 3 very good film, Cloverfield also quite good. I think based on that issue of his success there is a very good likely hood that we are going to get a good solid trek movie. Abrams and the studio have alot riding on the film so from a common sense standpoint they are going to do everything in their power to ensure that the film will be the best it can be, because failure, which is a possibility ,would be very costly to both director and studio. As to whether Gene Roddenberry would like the film, I agree we have no way of knowing what he would think even with the finished film. There is o way of knowing at all on this last point.

99. Chris M - March 9, 2008

Some more very interesting comments from te creator of Star Trek!

100. J. E. Carrales - March 9, 2008

26. jon1701 – March 6, 2008
25#

You mean this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDCAJhLqiXs

Oh, my GOD! I could imagine a Star Trek Phase II a la disco. That would have ruined history. In the late 1960s “campy” was acceptable because there was a certain amount of the 1950s TV sceen holding over. It was more of a tranistion between what Television was in the Golden Age to what it was to be in the 1980s. Thus, in 1968 someone like Herb Alpert could host the Hollywood Palace, a variety show, in the same television formula as Star Trek and there was a field in which serious Sci-Fi (Twilight Zone like anthologies, Star Trek and a few other notables) could exist with fantasy one like Lost in Space.

Star Trek is the perfect balance, in terms of genre, between Rocky Jones Space Ranger and the more serious Sci Fi Shows that would arrive in the 1990s.

I think that is fine with me. Star Trek TOS existed at just the right time. Had it been on the air in 1959-1961 it would not have hit, it it had come about in 1976, it would not have flown. The evidence for that is that programs from those times are somewhat fogotten or “dated” while Star Trek, while still dated, has a timeless quality. It was at the right place, at the right time in the right generation…it endures.

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