Shatner on Stern: Talks Trek Fueds, Abrams Trek, Berman Trek, and more | TrekMovie.com
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Shatner on Stern: Talks Trek Fueds, Abrams Trek, Berman Trek, and more May 14, 2008

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Books,Feature Films (TMP-NEM),Shatner,Star Trek (2009 film),TOS , trackback

Wednesday morning William Shatner was the guest on the Howard Stern Show promoting “Up Till Now“. The interview went on for almost and hour and ranged on a number of topics from the book, to problems with the Trek cast, to the Abrams movie, to the death of Kirk and much more.
Excerpts and AUDIO below.


Excerpts from the interview

Shatner: I was probably an angry man…may have mistreated Trek co-stars
Stern played an infamous audio clip of Shatner mocking a director while recording a voice-over. Although Stern and his sidekick Robin Quivers thought it was justified and hilarious, Shatner admitted he might have gone too far and it was ‘bad behavior’ on his part. Stern then noted that many of his former Trek co-stars ‘hated’ him and asked if he might have treated his Trek co-stars poorly:

Stern: Did you treat these people like you treated that [director]?
Shatner: Looking back I may have, it was terrible of me. I took that too far and I very well may be guilty of all this.
Stern: Do you think you are an angry man? Have you been to a psychiatrist and been diagnosed…
Shatner: No, no, I have not been to that kind of therapy, but I probably was a very angry man.

Shatner was specifically asked if he deliberately ‘tanked a scene’ where Sulu was promoted in Star Trek II (as contended by George Takei), therefore denying Takei’s character the promotion (until Star Trek VI). Shatner replied “that’s absurd.” On Nichelle Nichols, Shatner denied he slept with her, but noted “she had enough activity on her own.” Regarding Leonard, Nimoy Shatner admitted that he had “a couple of disagreements” early on but that they became friends, noting “Leonard took me under his wing when my life took those turns and he is my dearest friend.”

Shat has a message for Geroge Takei
Much later in the interview the subject of the Takei feud came up again and Stern asked Shatner if Takei passed away, would he even go to Takei’s funeral

Shatner: Here is my feeling about those poor people. There is something pathological (laughs) about forty years later…I am supposed to have done something. Maybe I did. I have no recollection. But hey, isn’t it time to let go>? Let it go. He’s seventy something years old, he’s going to die soon, I’m going to die soon. Hey man it’s a long journey, forget about it. Come on George have a good time. Move on.

Shatner on not being in Abrams Trek: I think they had story problems
Of course the subject of the new Star Trek feature came up.

Stern: You still are peeved they are going to have a new Star Trek movie without you?
Robin: …and Leonard is in it.
Shatner: Leonard is in it and I am not. They are making a Star Trek movie without Captain Kirk, without the old Captain Kirk. There is a young Captain Kirk. So I think they had story problems and didn’t know how to solve it. But I am not peeved, just disappointed. And JJ Abrams is such a great movie maker that I would have love to have done something.
Stern: You would love to work with him
Shatner: I would love to work with him, but I got a lot of things to do.
Stern: ….So when they make a new Star Trek movie and put Leonard into it, is it jealousy? Professional jealousy?
Shatner: No, no. Leonard got most of what he asked for and I think that is really good.
Stern: He is getting a lot of money for it?
Shatner: Oh my god.
Stern: Do you know what he is getting?
Shatner: I have no idea but it is a lot of money.

Shatner on Berman: He wanted to kill me off
Shatner also talked about how his character was killed off in Star Trek Generations

Stern: You do claim in the new book that you are upset how they killed your character off in Star Trek
Shatner: Thinking back, they were going to kill him off anyway. They said ‘you can be in the movie and die or don’t be in the movie and we are still going to kill you.’ So I was kind of hung up, so I said I am going to be in the movie. But looking back I wish they had done it with more tympanies and trumpets.
Stern: Of course they should make something dramatic there…
Shatner: They did, but in a way I think the producer [Rick Berman] was trying to kill the character off because it was a legacy of the old guard and this guy was head of the new guard with Patrick [Stewart] and The Next Generation. So I think he was trying to kill as many antecedents, like a lion killing the cubs

Audio Book editing skits – Shatner amused, Parton not
During the interview, Stern ran a number of ‘clips’ which edited together parts of previous Shatner audio book clips, turning them into extremely rude statements. This is a regular feature of the show, and they have done the same with George Takei (who is a regular on the Stern show now). However one celeb is not amused. Dolly Parton tells Reuters today “”I have never been so shocked, hurt and humiliated in all my life” after getting the Stern treatment. So there you have it…Shatner and Takei can take it, Parton cannot.

Listen to Audio
The entire 53 minute Shatner interview (WARNING: Contains MUCH adult material):

 

Comments

1. Jeyl - May 14, 2008

Wow. I better be careful around Mr. Shatner.

2. Sisko's Shrimp Gumbo - May 14, 2008

“like a lion killing the cubs” hahahaha

3. J_schinderlin56 - May 14, 2008

Sigh….

Shatner. Sometimes I think the guy’s ego is out of control. He has the arrogance to taunt another director, yet put out a piece of trash like Star Trek 5.

I think even Gene Rodenberry said that movie isn’t cannon.

He admits he’s an angry man?

Ok. At least he admits it.

4. ME - May 14, 2008

Lets face it….Shat Lost his marbles long long ago…..Not that I still dont love the guy…

5. CmdrR - May 14, 2008

So, George called in sick? Too bad. That would have been some good subscriber radio.
In truth, I’m tired of the feud.

But, I also thought Shatner said he HAD done the wild thang with Nichelle, in one of his Star Trek Memories book. I know he threw Roddenberry and Nichelle under that bus. Then again, if I were young, famous and in Hollywood in the 60′s… hailing frequencies open!

6. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 14, 2008

Seems that Bill has changed his story a little bit on some of that, particularly on tanking the promotion scene in TWOK and why he agreed to kill off Kirk.

7. J C - May 14, 2008

Somebody’s got a book out

8. Captain Robert April - May 14, 2008

Can’t wait to get ahold of this book….

9. Orb of the Emissary - May 14, 2008

My, my… I think someone else besides George Takei needs to move on. Any thoughts on that Mr. Shatner?

10. That One Guy - May 14, 2008

CmdrR, I agree. The stupid feud that rages between Shatner and the rest of the TOS crew needs to end. It is quite possible that he is sincere in the regards that he is truly sorry. But I don’t agree with him saying “get over it.” I would say “I’m sorry, blah blah blah, I hope you can forgive me” and be done with it.

#4, everyone loses their marbles every once in a while. My uncle is a paranoid schizophrenic, so believe me…. I know…

It can make for interesting conversations at dinner.

11. WVtrekker - May 14, 2008

It would be much better if he just said, “I’m sorry, ” and let it be. That “Just get over it” rutine is low class. Put the ego aside a moment and act like a nice guy. Just say it:

“George, I’m …..sorry. Please…….forgive me.”

12. Joel - May 14, 2008

I love Shatner but he needs to get over so much. Enough with the feuding. At least he seems to be getting over not being in the new movie. Comparing Shatner to most of the other original cast members, THEY are the ones that should be complaining. Shatner has had an incredible career resurgence with Boston Legal even winning an Emmy. Enough is enough.

13. dave l - May 14, 2008

i dont agree after 40 years they need to get over it. Whatever “it” is. Why do people want Shatner to kiss their buttoxes for

14. Hat Rick - May 14, 2008

Shatner is a very talented man — a consummate bon vivant as well as an actor, writer, producer, and entrepreneur — but I frankly respect the character he is most identified with, James T. Kirk, a great deal more. I believe that that is my right.

I am secure in my confidence that, no matter what Bill Shatner does or doesn’t do, it won’t affect my admiration for the Admiral. Thank goodness for that.

15. TK - May 14, 2008

I have to say, I am glad there wasn’t a sulu promotion in STII, as much as I respect and enjoy the character Sulu, I think it would have been too distracting and derailed the story slightly. Maybe at the end of IV, but not II.

16. Captain Robert April - May 14, 2008

I’ve also gotta get Sirius one of these days…

17. hitch1969© - May 14, 2008

VIVA LA SHAT™!!!

The man is a class act, an thassa fact. I only heard part of it on the way to work, so A PLUS to big dawg AP for having the cajones to post the entire interview. Sometimes you amaze me with your cool, AP. You have your moments indeed.

BEST!!

=h=

18. Ralph F - May 14, 2008

I don’t doubt the Berman bit about cleaning out the old guard. Having seen this a dozen times in “professional” offices, I would have to imagine it’s almost a given.

As far as grudges go, that’s a lot of energy just wasted. I’ve seen people go to their deathbeds holding grudges, or having grudges held against them. What’s the point in it?

19. Denise de Arman - May 14, 2008

Berman would have killed Kirk in Generations even if Shatner had not been in the movie. That would have been some very creative writing – how exactly would he have gone about doing that…

20. Mike T. - May 14, 2008

Sulu being promoted in Trek 2 would have been as bad as Worf leaving the Enterprise and just happening to be around when it was movie time.

It would have made more sense for Sulu to be with Captain Terrell when they found Khan, Sulu held a higher rank, right.

21. sean - May 14, 2008

Here’s a question – How could they have killed Kirk without Shatner? A passing reference to him being dead? Were they going to haul out one of his old stunt doubles from TOS and kill him that way? What?

22. diabolk - May 14, 2008

Newsflash… by the time of Generations, under normal circumstances, he would have been dead anyway. Berman was using an empty threat but Shatner probably didn’t think it through.

23. sean - May 14, 2008

I’d have to agree his tone is somewhat inconsistent…one minute, he’s admitting that he might have behaved poorly and mistreated his co-stars, then the next minute he’s denying events and saying people need to get over it. And is he implying Nichelle was a bit of a tramp? That’s probably not going to help mend any fences with her! Ha.

24. steve623 - May 14, 2008

Oh my.

25. Eric Cheung - May 14, 2008

The original idea was that sabotaging Sulu’s promotion in Star Trek II would benefit Takei by keeping him in the company of the Enterprise crew. But it is faulty logic, never mind the fact that he had no right to protect his peers in that way, if that was his real motive. It sounds like retroactive justification.

They probably still would have had Sulu help Kirk steal the Enterprise for one more mission, maybe by pulling strings even, or conversely by raising the stakes in that there are now two captains conspiring to break Starfleet regulations (well three counting Scotty). He would have been in Star Trek IV simply because he would have still been on Vulcan at the end of III. There are definitely ways he could have been in V and most definitely in VI.

All these ways would have been far less convoluted than how they got Worf into the Next Gen movies. In fact it was precisely the idea that Worf would revert to Starfleet service that I disliked most about Worf in Nemesis. Ditto Wesley. Why mess with the closure of a character that’s not yours if you’re not really going to build on it? I think Worf’s job experience as a diplomat would have improved his arc in Nemesis considering he comes to gain new respect for the Romulans that fought in battle with honor. But I digress with 20/20 hindsight.

I guess my point is that the people who wrote the TOS movies would have been smart enough not only to include Sulu the captain in the later movies but use it as an asset to raise the stakes in the storytelling as they demonstrated in the climax to Star Trek VI.

26. Dennis Bailey - May 14, 2008

The silly story about the Shat tanking Takei’s promotion scene in ST II has never rung true, to me.

27. I Love My Moogie - May 14, 2008

I love that Shat—-he’s a mensch!!!

28. Dom - May 14, 2008

Actually, a ‘feud’ would imply an issue **between** people. Shatner hasn’t demonstrated any issues with his ex-castmates: they’re the ones chucking out the abusive remarks and trading off the ‘We hate Bill!’ gravy train they created. I guess what it really means is that they’ve run out of interesting things to say, unlike William Shatner who can always be relied on for good entertainment.

What it looks like is jealousy, as they haven’t made much of an impact beyond their roles in a TV show that was cancelled almost 40 years ago and desperately want the worship of Trek fans.

It’s silly, because I find every TOS character, no matter how much they claim to have been sidelined, far more memorable than pretty much any of the characters from subsequent shows.

They’re too old for this nonsense! All they did in the 1990s was spout abuse at Shatner and damage the public’s perception of TOS. Now Trek has moved on they should shut up and get on with their lives before they ruin the new Trek!

29. crazydaystrom - May 14, 2008

#24-
‘Oh my.’

Oh Shat!!! :-)

30. Daoud - May 14, 2008

#23 C’mon… Nichols admits to having “been with” Roddenberry. What more do you need?

#26 I agree: I always thought it was revision to ST III:TSFS where part of the lines remained, IIRC… SULU: “I’m hoping for Endeavour.” SCOTT: “Why would you want that bucket of bolts?”

Early versions of “The Vengeance of Khan” never had any Sulu promotion stuff. So, seems like endless retellings of half-truths baked into an obviously false statement.

31. sean - May 14, 2008

#30

Uhh, how about evidence she had ‘been with’ anyone else? So she had an affair with Rodenberry, that means she slept with everyone? Come on.

32. Brian - May 14, 2008

Look…we all know Bill can be a real horse’s behind, but I have to agree with him on one thing…..IT’S BEEN 40 YEARS!….geez George, move on with your life! Does he have so little to say in interviews that Shatner-bashing is a standard part of his spiel to reporters?

At some level you get the feeling that the supporting cast somehow feels that Shatner denied them superstardom of something. I also find it interesting that all those bad stories about him surfaced AFTER the original cast stopped making movies. If they hated him that much, they should’ve stood on principle and simply stopped appearing in the films with him.

33. CmdrR - May 14, 2008

Actually, who cares?
As sex scandals go, it’s a bit tame since some’s are dead and some’s are living in the present.

34. krikzil - May 14, 2008

I’m sorry but Doohan and Takei spent/have spent years trashing Shatner on the con circuit and in books. To quote Shatner, GET A LIFE!

I honestly don’t think Shatner intentionally did anything to them. He was single-minded on the set of Trek trying to make it the best it could be. It wasn’t personal and they WERE the supporting players not the stars. Nimoy was the same way and just as determined to get what he wanted but he isn’t denigrated like Shatner. In the beginning — 20 years ago — it was amusing when Doohan would go off about Shatnter and I really used to like Takei but it’s just gotten ridiculous.

“Early versions of “The Vengeance of Khan” never had any Sulu promotion stuff. So, seems like endless retellings of half-truths baked into an obviously false statement.”

Very true. I’ve got 3 versions of the script.

35. Trechie - May 14, 2008

#31

You are forgetting about Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr but I’ll stop there.

36. hitch1969© - May 14, 2008

Folks, I think the story about Shatner getting Sulu’s scenes cut is being misconstrued by Stern and Co. I don’t think that the story ever was about TWOK. What it was in IV, the scenes that they filmed in SF and Shatner somehow SABOTAYGED© that backstory. I think thats what it was.

someone correct me please.

BEST!!

=h=

37. Richard Daystrom - May 14, 2008

Whatever. It’s all old news. Give me some pics of the new movie JJ!!

38. Sean4000 - May 14, 2008

The picture for this article is making me very upset.

Good article though.

39. lostrod - May 14, 2008

#36

It was not Mr. Shatner who eliminated Sulu’s backstory in San Francisco. It was the child actor who was to play Sulu’s ancestor. The child froze, had a meltdown and his mom joined in. The scene could not be shot and the production team moved on.

The fact that people are posting that somehow Mr. Shatner was responsible shows just how rediculous some of these rumours are. It gets posted, repeated over and over accross the net until a lot of people actually believe it.

40. Garovorkin - May 14, 2008

This whole subject is getting old , if fact it’s been old for a long time, yet the media kicks it up again Why? How many ways can they beat this dead horse? i just cannot work up the gumption to care anymore. What happend between George Takae and William Shatner 40 years ago and more recently they both need to turn the page so do the media outlets it isn’t a news worthy topic and it isnt even gossip worthy, Both these men are wealthy and successful, they don’t need to do this tit for tat thing its silly.

41. Xai - May 14, 2008

I really don’t care who screwed who or anything about this “feud”. I can see where Shatner possibly could have done something to upset Takei and vice-versa..but what does it matter?
Two old men need to stop acting like brats and we all move on.

NEXT!

42. Dennis Bailey - May 14, 2008

#34: ““Early versions of “The Vengeance of Khan” never had any Sulu promotion stuff. So, seems like endless retellings of half-truths baked into an obviously false statement.”

Very true. I’ve got 3 versions of the script.”

Come on, guys – this is not at all difficult to research. Of course there’s a scene referring to Sulu’s promotion – here, scan this for starts:

http://www.geocities.com/ussmunchkin7/Star_Trek_II.htm

And before someone offers up something lame about the script being tampered with, that site is far from being the only source in the world of this draft. It’s been available for decades.

I don’t believe that Shatner interfered with the scene – but claiming that it never existed is misinformed nonsense.

43. jeffv88 - May 14, 2008

Ilisten to stern everyday and yet i has dt omiss this today in the morning and afternoon replay crys SIRIUS 100 baby!!!

44. Daren Doc - May 14, 2008

I find it funny listening to the supporting cast year after year thrashing out at the star of the show… I think a lot of the “feud” is because it makes tabloid headlines, and let’s face it… actors like attention. Lord knows, they’re not gonna get it beyond a lot of overpriced convention appearances, so they get out there and make comments about an actor who is still vibrant and working, getting Emmys and starring in a top TV show.

I’m sure Mr. Shatner is telling the truth when he says he’s not bitter about the new movie… just disappointed. I can certainly understand why he would be… the train is going on without him… and with his “best friend” in the club car.

And at least Trek V has some enjoyable scenes in it… and you can tell that the film as a whole “means well”… just doesn’t quite make it. I think that has more to do with studio waffling and non-support and a writer’s strike than it has to do with Shatner’s direction. Some sequences in the film are the most cinematic in the whole series.

45. VOODOO - May 14, 2008

George Takei is making a living at this point on bashing Shatner. It may or may not be true, but at this point he needs to let it go. The whole thing is getting tired.

46. Stanky McFibberich - May 14, 2008

Takei is/was never going to be a star or the lead, or for that matter, a major player in a Star Trek production, Shatner or not. His character was never intended to be more than a supporting element of anything.
I’m almost starting to like Koenig more than Takei because of all of Takei’s whining, and I can’t stand Koenig.
The supporting players should be happy they even have a mention this many years later. Supporting players of any other shows of the time have been long forgotten for the most part.

47. DEMODE - May 14, 2008

Daren Doc…

You really need to get hired on someday to work on a TREK V Special Edition. I know you hear that all the time, but fact is, if anyone can make that movie better, it’s you!

48. krikzil - May 14, 2008

“I don’t believe that Shatner interfered with the scene – but claiming that it never existed is misinformed nonsense.”

Misinformed nonsense? FYI– scripts go through many revisions…colored pages are used. I have several versions of many of the Trek Movie scripts. It’s fascinating to see how movies evolve. So, we aren’t saying it didn’t exist at one point; just that it wasn’t always there.

49. sean - May 14, 2008

#35

Uhh, are you insinuating she slept with Martin Luther King, Jr.? Because…wow. Where’s your basis for that one?

50. coxathrobbin - May 14, 2008

#42: He may not remember something like that. I know that I don’t remember things that other people did at work last WEEK, let alone 26 years ago (filming date for TWOK).

I also think it’s hard to keep a square head on your shoulders when you’re the lead in a Hollywood project. A hundred or so people whose jobs depend on the lead will cater to him/her and I think it’s hard for people, especially actors who are needy for approval anyway, to always behave appropriately when you have sycophants telling you how wonderful you are, catering to your whims, giving you a sense of power. You have this unknown guy from Canada who all of a sudden is a star and from his own admission had very demanding parents, so to go from one behavioral paradigm to the other was probably bound to create some diva moments, but really, it’s not like the other cast mates were big stars before the show, so Takei blaming Shatner for his life not turning out perfectly is a bit much. He only worked with him part-time for three years on the show and had a bit of a movie career which he failed to parley into something more.

Doohan, Koenig and Nicoles were only mediocre successes before Trek and after because they were mediocre. They were well-suited for their TOS parts, which is the only reason they had parts of any size in feature films because they were associated with Trek, which has brought them lives beyond the means of their talent.

51. thebiggfrogg - May 14, 2008

Re: 46
Most TV shows have been long forgotten–much less their leading men or supporting players. One reason this probably has gone on (though I think it is played up quite a bit for the media) is because the show has gone on.
I’ve grown to like Shatner again over the past 10 to 15 years. He wisely chose to mock himself a bit. My guess is he is the kind of friend that is fun to be around, but is a real pain-in-the-ass and you have to sort of put up with him for long stretches. He definitely seems to have the big ego and prima donna thing.
As for the supporting players they made a contribution (although part of the reason they are bigger than their screen time is because of the later embellishments of the animated series, the novels, and the movies). If it weren’t for them, Trek would have been just another sci fi show lead by three white guys. The supporting players made Trek a breakthrough–too bad most of the time that amounted to just showing their faces.
After McCoy, Sulu is my favorite character, so he must have contributed something to the show. They have struggled in their careers, but they haven’t been forgotten (love B5 and Koenig’s role in it; love Takei’s activism on behalf of Muslims and homosexuals; Nichols work with NASA was great; and loved seeing them all again in the Trek movies! The movies would have sucked without them).

52. Katie G. - May 14, 2008

Xai:

Just goes to show how desperate they are for attention. I mean, come on…

Pathetic. And very sad.

kg

53. hitch1969© - May 14, 2008

D-Russ B_Flav:

I apologize for my misinformed nonsense, I don’t own any Star Trek scripts, and was talking out of my ass. The story just reminded me of the SF scenes in IV, I spose. And… I didn’t even get that story right.

I promise to report more accurately when BIG DAWG AP promotes me to editor of the FanMade column. I keep checking my supermodeldoug@aol.com email address… it’s gotta be there any day now man.

CROSS FINGERS!!

=h=

54. Xplodin' Nacelle - May 14, 2008

LMAO at the “Gorilla Handshake” story!

55. Xplodin' Nacelle - May 14, 2008

The other funny thing from the interview was Howard, & Artie teaching The Shat about “the products that Lipton, & Nestea are known for.” – LOL

56. Biodredd - May 14, 2008

#42 – The passage in reference comes from a copy of the script with no draft reference to indicate where in the writing process this scene may have been cut, but based on differences in dialogue which still seems clunky in passages, my best guess is the FIRST DRAFT.

29 INT. SPACE SHUTTLE 29

A new composite. Bones, Sulu, Uhura and Kirk — who
sits, reading. Through the windows we can see the
approach to the starship ENTERPRISE. Kirk looks up,
nods. Sulu activates a comm button.

SULU
Enterprise, this is Admiral Kirk’s
party on final approach.

ENTERPRISE VOICE
(filtered)
Enterprise welcomes you. Prepare
for docking.

Kirk looks up from his book as Sulu sits next to him.

KIRK
I really must thank you.

SULU
(embarrassed)
I am delighted; any chance to go
aboard Enterprise, however briefly,
is always an excuse for nostalgia.

KIRK
I cut your new orders personally. By
the end of the month, you’ll have your
first command: USS EXCELSIOR.

SULU
Thank you, sir. I’ve looked
forward to this for a long time.

KIRK
You’ve earned it. But I’m still
grateful to have you at the helm
for three weeks. I don’t believe
these kids can steer.

Sulu laughs.

From the web page Dennis Bailey referenced in his earlier message…

57. S. John Ross - May 14, 2008

I think the “get over it/move on/let it go” sentiment is just … well, it can’t amount to anything. Star Trek has defined the entire course of their lives – all of them. Star Trek continues to be – for better or worse – something people will always remind them of, every day they step into any corner of the public eye. When its gone, it’s what each of them will be remembered for. Boston Legal is swell, but it’ll be a footnote right next to T.J. Hooker. Shatner and Takei and every one of them will always be the Star Trek gang, whether or not that’s a good thing and whether or not they want it.

And if your honest-to-gosh Star Trek memories are of bad work experiences, then those are your memories, and those are the things people are reminding you about every time a Star Trek logo hoves into view. And that goes _triple_ once it’s known that there are scabs to pick at, because every interviewer is going to want to pick at those scabs because it makes for entertainment.

In a twisted and unfortunate way, I think Shatner’s lucky that his life took some bad turns back in the day and that gave him a bonding experience with Nimoy. Maybe if he could have a rotten day and be placed at the mercies of Nichols and Takei that would heal things over and there’d be nothing else for the media to zero in on but the good times, and everybody could chuckle over it without any ironies. But until something like that happens (or just a good intense night of apologies, confessions, maybe some booze and a game of Twister) simply “letting it go” isn’t an option for anyone involved … even if the remaining cast lives so long they literally forget everything about Trek, the interviewers will still helpfully remind them …

I think it’s mostly a media thing, but it’s not like the media are going away, either. Only the death of the franchise would make them lose interest, and for at least the next year, the franchise ain’t dyin’.

Anyway, that was a fun hour of radio stuff. Thanks for posting it.

58. SolFlyer - May 14, 2008

TEXT!

Loverly…

..thanks.

I had never heard that “they were going to kill him off anyway”. Interesting.

And I would have loved to have seen the Sulu promotion in Trek II. It would have made the McCoy rescue/Enterprise theft scene in Trek III so much stronger, knowing what Sulu was giving up to help.

59. Al - May 14, 2008

I really think he has apologies enough. He’s right – move on

60. Iowagirl - May 15, 2008

Today’s issue of Stars Unravelled:

GLOBALLY UNIQUE BUSINESS CONCEPT: Ta-kei makes prosperous living from mispronunciation
NEWS OF THE WEEK: Nichols did have sexual encounter(s)
And in our SPECIAL EDITION: Shatman admits having an ego

Don’t miss our next week’s leading article: Roddenberry “I was abducted by Aliens with pointed ears!”

61. Dom - May 15, 2008

Yeah, Star Trek V has a lot going for it: unlike Nemesis and Insurrection, which were just dull and unambitious, STV:TFF is overambitious, given that the budget was cut in half and the studio got cold feet on the subject matter.

Interestingly, given the complaints of Shatner’s former co-stars, Shatner made a point of giving them all at least one special ‘moment’ in the film!

And, face it, who hasn’t had a blind spot for mispronouncing certain names (Shatner probably knew Takei as ‘George’!) and who hasn’t unwisely slept with a co-worker on some occasion?

62. Jim Smith - May 15, 2008

I like both Shatner and Takei, both in their ‘Trek’ roles and – based on what I’ve seen of their public personae, as people.

I can totally understand how the other ‘frequent players’ in TOS (because it simply doesn’t have a large regular cast in the way the others do) came to resent Shatner being the star of it, because they saw it as an ensemble show and he didn’t.

I can also totally understand how it never occured to him that from their POV the series was an ensemble and he was hogging it, because from his POV (and that of the network) it wasn’t that kind of ensemble.

It is possible for two good people to have a sincere disagreement and for neither to be objectively wrong, y’know. It’s a shame they don’t get on, although I’d hoped that post the Roast, Shatner and Takei could make nice.

– and Nichelle Nicholls was, nay is, a strikingly beautiful woman – I would suggest that her personal recreations are her own business and that it’s inappropriate to make perjorative comment on that. To judge an adult for being sexual is, well, immature.

63. brady - May 15, 2008

#42 What pages are you talking about…..its a large read.

64. I Love My Moogie - May 15, 2008

#56:
That scene is in the final cut, just with the few noted lines deleted, I don’t see where Shat ‘threw’ the scene. They also cut Saavik being half Romulan, is Bill the blame for that too?

Maybe Takei’s reading of the lines were so uninspired that Meyer had no choice but to cut them, Shat had no issues with Chekov having extended screen time.

Watching George as captain in TUC was embarrassing, watch carefully—he even spits as he orders ‘SHIELDS’ as the wave is about to hit the ship.
Who wants a captain that gives juicy orders???

65. fakesteve - May 15, 2008

sounds like Bill loves Berman as much as I do ;))
(I never considered the uninspired killing of Kirk canon anyway, like most of BermanBragas crap)

66. Dom - May 15, 2008

Hi Jim (62)

The modern ensemble drama didn’t exist outside of soaps until after TOS. David Gerrold, the real creator of TNG (although it was take away from him and made more dull) came up with the idea of an ensemble cast for the new Trek show, because he wanted to have a more flexible cast.

If the supporting cast of TOS claim that they thought it was an ensemble series, they’re talking hogwash. TOS was always a star vehicle (excuse the pun!) for William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, with Deforest Kelly proving to be such a strong performer that he ended up rounding out the ‘ruling trinity.’

The secondary cast was meant to add a little fun background detail to the show, with Scotty being the main secondary cast member. If some of the secondary actors got ideas above their stations in later years, after failing to build a career post-Trek that’s their fault.

And to be blunt about it, if they felt that strongly about Shatner, they should have made an issue of it at the time or quit!

67. Jon - May 15, 2008

“If you prick us do we not bleed, if you tickle us do we not laugh, and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?!” ~Shylock, The Merchant of Venice

68. Eric Cheung - May 15, 2008

Well, supposedly the scene wasn’t in the original draft of the film, but added after Takei lobbied for a captaincy. Rightly or wrongly he fought hard for it througout the process and eventually, either because Nicholas Meyer bought his arguments that it would be symbolic of the true equality Roddenberry was going for by having someone of a different heritage helming a ship, or because Meyer was pragmatic about appeasing his cast.

In any case, the story rings true when compared to Shatner’s side of the story about the Life Magazine episode. In the new book he defends the idea of shooing photographers from Life away from Nimoy as protecting the makeup secrets, absurd because Roddenberry himself approved of the shoot. As stated here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=565380&in_page_id=1879 he talks about his view that acting is a competitive sport rather than a collaborative process as filmmaking and theater and television must be. Even competitions are subjects to rules of common decency. Competition is rendered invalid when you play dirty. He attributes his competitive spirit to the actor’s ego, but there is a difference between fighting for your career and doing what he did: compare himself to others and step on them on the way to the top.

Many of the cast nearly did quit when it was announce that Shatner was about to direct Star Trek V. One of the biggest problems with that film is that the humor was often at the expense of the other castmates, a problem that would plague the otherwise wonderful Star Trek VI.

69. Dennis Bailey - May 15, 2008

That draft is so similar to the final version – mainly having additional stuff that will be cut – that it’s probably a fairly late draft. Certainly it’s one that Meyer worked on.

I find “Star Trek 5″ unwatchably bad. I can’t say that has a lot to do with the camera direction per se, since pretty pictures couldn’t save that film’s script or the premise as elaborated in the story – and, of course, Shatner was enormously involved in all of that.

Hitch, I wasn’t talkin’ at *you.* ;)

70. Dom - May 15, 2008

Hi Dennis (69) STV’s original idea – Kirk, Spock and McCoy’s friendship tested to the limit, an epic journey to the end of the universe where they battle the Devil and almost get trapped on the other side of the River Styx, battling stone warriors could have been amazing. In many ways, elements of STV are closer in spirit to TOS than any other Trek movie.

Unfortunately, what we get is an enormously compromised film, resulting from the creative cowardice of the studio and awful FX. A story that takes an hour to get going, then goes nowhere!

And actually Eric (68) maybe the supporting cast should have quit, if they felt that strongly about it. But they didn’t. And they came back for yet another movie.

71. Cervantes - May 15, 2008

#38 Sean4000 – Lol, yeah it’s upsetting me too!

#44 Daren Doc – agree with all your points there, and am one of those that sure wish you’d get a crack at any future enhancement, if there ever was to be one…

72. Magic_Al - May 15, 2008

Shatner appeared on Glenn Beck’s radio program this morning and it ended with a discussion of Shakespeare, with Beck saying he hates it (but loved Patrick Stewart in Macbeth) and Shatner chastising him seriously, saying, “your education is lacking in certain areas.” I find that a very entertaining understatement, and Shatner delivered it just like Kirk lecturing a misguided alien.

73. Eric Cheung - May 15, 2008

70. Perhaps they should have, though I don’t have all the facts at my disposal. I haven’t read enough sides of the story to know for sure. And who knows what their managers advised? Some of it may have had to do with contracts for further work or commitments they already had and the leverage they had in negotiations or perhaps they reluctantly decided to give him a shot. Supposedly the environment on the set amongst the cast was generally good, it was mostly Shatner’s fights over budget that seemed to dampen spirits.

74. CmdrR - May 15, 2008

Wait. Kirk’s dead? When the hell did that happen!?!?!

75. Bones Thugs & McCoy - May 15, 2008

What alien species would Howard Stern be?

He resembles a Cardassian, but his attitude is more Ferengi…….

76. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 15, 2008

#70—I wish they would have. Quite frankly, I have always been of the opinion (albeit, after the fact) that TVY should have been the last of the original cast movies. I would like to have seen them (the characters from TOS) move on with their careers more realistically. The Enterprise-A should have gotten a new helmsman, a new navigator, a new Engineer and communications officer, etc. It is completely unreasonable that officers like Sulu would remain misplaced under Kirk’s command. It is difficult to believe that Starfleet would misappropriate personnel resources so badly as to allow Spock (a Captain), Scotty (a Captain), and Sulu/Checkov/Uhura (all holding the rank of Commander) to continue to serve aboard the Enterprise. Promoting Sulu and giving him command of Excelsior was the one thing done in that regard that actually made any sense at all. If the film series were to continue, there is no reason why one or more of the original supporting characters could not appear from time to time when appropriate, and replacing them aboard the Enterprise would introduce newer and younger characters to build upon, much like some of what was planned in ST:Phase II.

As for their decision to return for TUC, obviously Shatner had nothing to do with directing that film, so why would they not? The issue was reportedly with the notion of Shatner being the director of TFF (aka The Great Trek Turd), not with the notion of acting in another ST film in general.

As for STV: TGTT, there are a dozen more issues with that film than just studio budgets and f/x, IMO. I find it the only one of the original films which I find completely unwatchable. It was certainly the only one in which I was actually embarassed in the theater. From start to finish, it was a poor film. That is, of course, my opinion—but I doubt anyone will contend that it was anything but the weakest of the original 6 movies.

77. thebiggfrogg - May 15, 2008

Shatner told off that blowhard, windbag Glenn Beck? Go Shat! His education is seriously lacking!

78. Iowagirl - May 15, 2008

#66, 70
Very good points, Dom.

And your summary of what STV could have been like is spot on. I think you can still feel that spirit, and the film’s accordance with TOS, although TFF’s true idea got lost after being butchered by the studio.

#72
LOL – love that.

#74
I think they showed a vid of it on YouTube a couple of years ago. It wasn’t well done and I mean, who would believe it anyway…?

79. Eric Cheung - May 15, 2008

76. I agree that they should have promoted the crew off of the Enterprise. Imagine the epic stories that could have been told by making them less about the crew of the Enterprise and more about this group of seven people who became a family only to be pulled back together by extreme circumstances.

The crew remaining together for the first four movies holds together, but yeah, after that they should have moved on. They very well could have all been brought together as diplomatic escorts from their various Starfleet ships in Star Trek VI without much stretching at all. Star Trek V wouldn’t have happened or it could have revolved around the foreshadowing it did do by starting to lay down the groundwork for improving relations between the Klingons and the Federation. Maybe it could have even just been a Kirk Spock McCoy adventure making the reunion in VI all the more satisfying.

But generally, yeah I think characters should have big things happen to them, especially when their stories are on a canvas as large as the silver screen.

80. J C - May 15, 2008

79 Well ,We know Kirk moved on after the decommissioning of Enterprise A because He wasn’t captain of Enterprise B.

81. Eric Cheung - May 15, 2008

Yeah, but it was the end of their movies. I was talking more about a possible way the tone and scale and themes of the movies might have been different. And I don’t know if he did move on because it was in his mind with enough regret that his biggest piece of advice to Picard was not to retire.

82. Ty Webb - May 15, 2008

Biggest mistake ever killing off Kirk.

83. Elrond L - May 15, 2008

#38 – yeah, I hate the picture of this article too. :-) What a depressing death that was. Interesting to see that Berman was essentially a corporate middle manager, using ‘Generations’ to clear out the last of the old regime. Not that I didn’t suspect that before…

It does bug me that Shat can’t seem to grasp why he’s not in the new movie — “script problems?” Dude, you’re dead, Jim!

84. star trackie - May 15, 2008

#83 “It does bug me that Shat can’t seem to grasp why he’s not in the new movie — “script problems?” Dude, you’re dead, Jim!”

Well you have to remember, this is Shatner’s Star Trek. This is the universe where Kirk died, where MCCoy died, where Scotty died….and of course where Spock died. And they all came back.

It’s not at all beyond the stretch of imagination, especially in the Star Trek universe, to bring people back from the undiscovered country. And I’ll say it again…just because we’ve been told that Shat isn’t in the movie, doesn’t mean he isn’t in the movie. Only time will tell.

85. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 15, 2008

#80—That is the way it played out, but my point is that it shouldn’t have. Kirk, having been reduced back to Captain and given the command of the Enterprise-A (I’ll address the merits of that story point some other time), could have continued to lead a starship crew in exploring the galaxy. He just shouldn’t have had the same department heads (Was he blackballing their advancement?). Star Trek could have added fresh blood in the form of a newer and younger supporting cast of characters to serve aboard the Enterprise. Spock could have gone on to become the diplomat he would later be, McCoy could have retired, Chapel could have become the Chief medical officer, Checkov could have been assigned as First Officer of the Excelsior, Uhura could have served as an Academy instructor or at Star Fleet Intelligence, and the voyages of the Starship Enterprise could have continued with another crew under James T. Kirk. Their adventures could have had them interacting with the older, more familiar characters from time to time, but new characters could have been developed, instead of fast-forwarding to the mid/late 24th Century and an entirely new Enterprise (D). Everyone has their own opinion…that’s just mine.

86. Andy Patterson - May 15, 2008

Shatner also revealed (through much cajoling from Howard – isn’t he like a little devil?) that he’d had threesomes as a younger single man. Shatner in an environement like Stern’s show can be very entertaining. He doesn’t really get “blue” and stays classy but it’s fun to hear him navigate Howard’s waters and come out the other side.

87. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 15, 2008

#84—At this point, I hope not. That would be extremely disappointing to me. I hope Abrams Trek is not that gimmicky. I think killing Kirk the way it was done was a poorly conceived idea, but it was done. I hope they leave it alone, and I think they will. I also disagree that this is “Shatner’s Trek”. I think that this is about TNG-era Spock and the “young” TOS-era Enterprise crew. That has nothing to do with Shatner. His older Kirk is gone. Shoehorning him into the plot would be silly. They just need to make a good movie.

88. Izbot - May 15, 2008

Shatner’s noting that Berman essentially told him, “Be in the film, don’t be in the film, I don’t care we’re still gonna kill off Kirk” sounds like classic Rick Berman. Reminds me of a story I read about Igor Stravinsky being told the same thing by Walt Disney over the use of ‘The Rite of Spring” in “Fantasia”. Disney told Stravinsky “You can be involved with arranging the piece or not be involved, it doesn’t matter. I’m using your music whether you like it or not.” Stravinsky, like Shatner, chose to go along rather than be bitter about it, even though Disney did a slash-and-burn job on the piece. It is typical of many Hollywood producer-types.

89. I Love My Moogie - May 15, 2008

#85:
Mr Poopey, if the films has gone in the direction of Shat commanding a new crew, Takei would have been the first one crying it was all Bill’s doing.

BTW, didn’t George raise a big fuss to get the ‘and George Takei’ billing in TFF & TUC? If I remember correctly, he threatened not to appear [gasping at the thought] unless Bennett gave it to him.

90. Dennis Bailey - May 15, 2008

#70: “STV’s original idea – Kirk, Spock and McCoy’s friendship tested to the limit, an epic journey to the end of the universe where they battle the Devil and almost get trapped on the other side of the River Styx, battling stone warriors could have been amazing.”

You see, that sounds just bombastic, childish and dreadful to me – as it did when it was first leaked. It’s not TOS; it’s much closer to the kind of mocking parody of TOS that too-serious sf fans used to make up in the early 1970s as examples of how dumb the series could get. A Trek film based on a ridiculous and irrational premise like that could not have been anything other than awful, and the final result pretty much lives up to it.

91. CmdrR - May 15, 2008

Izbot — Kirk’s fall from the bridge scene would like great re-cut to “Rites of Spring.”

ST:G is part of a good movie, with a major mis-step at the end. That’s true of 3 out of 4 of the last Trek films. Let’s all pray that XI gets it right. No rock monsters, no chasing God around the galaxy, no killing major characters, no fart jokes. Just classic Trek themes, the characters we love, and a new gloss of modern sfx and storytelling.

Is that too much to ask?

92. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 15, 2008

#89—Takei, of all people, did not want his character to be part of the Enterprise crew anymore. Why would he be the first to be upset? His wish was for his character to be part of a spinoff series. His motives were certainly selfish, but the realistic development of his character (i.e., promotion) made perfect sense. Why would Starfleet populate the Enterprise with older veterans in positions far below their grade? Of course Kirk would get newer and younger people in those positions. Life is not stagnant. I think TPTB were afraid to pursue that course and saw nowhere else for that ensemble to go from there. What they failed to see was that those characters could have appeared in certain situations, and the new characters could have added something for the future of the franchise. Personally, I would have preferred seeing that to watching Picard and co. in TNG. But that’s just me. What happened…happened.

93. Scott Xavier - May 15, 2008

So why do we care about takei, he adds nothing to an episode except comical relief. Why would sulu get a ship before bones, scotty, or dare I say it even Nurse Chapel? At least they have some reason for commanding a ship, a purpose to an episode.

94. Eric Cheung - May 15, 2008

92. I agree that the characters should have grown more in the movies, perhaps moving to other ships as you’ve said. Although I suppose a justification of having both generations of bridge crews stay with their captain so long is that the role of the Enterprise evolved away from exploration towards that of diplomacy, even public relations. That certainly seemed to be the role of the Enterprise-E in the Dominion War. Given the amount of press available at the christening of the Enterprise-B, within months of the events of Star Trek VI, it seems like that’s the role into which the senior officers of the first two Federation Enterprises grew–even to the point of boredom with celebrity.

It’s interesting to observe the general format of the TOS movies vs. the TNG movies:

TOS revolved around very episodic stand-alone episodes but its movies (really all of them), demonstrated a natural, almost serialized flow.

TNG as a TV show moved more towards arc and character driven stories, but their movies were stand-alone adventures.

My guess is that having two TV series that overlap the movie series timeline so closely may have felt constricting in the way they told stories. They couldn’t contradict the TV shows and they couldn’t just have half-a-dozen movies follow each other, each one immediately following the previous one. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t have their stories span more story time. It would have been interesting if the movie after Generations showed what happened after the destruction of the 1701-D and how the crew came back together leading up to the new ship. If the TOS movies could do it without too much exposition I think the TNG movies could have too, especially since it would have only had to do with the previous movie, not anything going on in the TV shows at the time.

This movie seems to be breaking free of the idea that a Star Trek movie should span about a week to a month in story time as most of the others have.

95. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 15, 2008

#93–If that is your opinion of the Sulu character, fine, but do not confuse your opinion of Takei with the potential worth of the character he played. IMO, Checkov was the comic relief. Sulu was a good candidate for potentially getting a command at some point in his career, and eventually, he received one.

#94—I agree that the two eras co-existing would definitely have presented those kinds of issues. However, had they taken the course I suggested they should have, it would have eliminated the TNG idea altogether. It’s easy for me to say that, given that I am not a TNG fan, but it is simply my opinion that the evolution of the Enterprise crew would have been more entertaining to me, whether it happened in more sequential films to follow, or in a return to a television medium.

96. snake - May 15, 2008

In one of this weeks The Sun (crappy UK newspaper) it has a brief article where it states Shatner recently commented on the manner of Kirks death..on one of the takes he said he ran across the bridge shouting ‘Captain on the bridge’..then later after underneath all the rubble after the big fall went ‘Bridge on the captain’ but unfortantly it was cut.

i assume they got this from the Stern interview (i havent heard it)

Regarding the death of Kirk, before Generations I’d always hoped that IF Kirk had to die in a movie that it would be alone..(yep – Trek V) on the bridge of the NCC 1701 A (the age old captain goes down with his ship motif) saving his crew and maybe earth in the process…whilst the enterprise is destroyed… something like that scene out of ‘This side of paradise’ where hes alone on the bridge crossed with Star Trek IIIs destruct scene

97. I promise you, the sky won't fall - May 15, 2008

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-
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SHATNER is THE MAN . . . PERIOD!

Berman killed STAR TREK!

NIMOY is THE MAN also.

EVERYONE knows GENERATIONS was a HUGE mistake.

TAKEI is the THE MAN in his own way, but he does need to get over it.

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98. Scott Xavier - May 15, 2008

What heroic acts did sulu do? There was never any moments when sulu put his neck out there…

99. K. M. Kirby - May 15, 2008

If they truly wanted to put Shatner into a new Star Trek movie, it would be the easiest thing in the world. A story bringing him back in as the Mirror Universe Kirk, accidentally beamed out of the Nexus during a rescue attempt, has no real problems in terms of plausibility.

Obviously, there are other issues involved. Like the availability of director Nicholas Meyer, perhaps…

100. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 15, 2008

#99–How about the fact that bringing him back doesn’t benefit the story within the script that was actually approved by Paramount before they committed such enormous financial resources to this project? Your suggestion is fine for one of Shatner’s novels, but it doesn’t justify a $150 million budget for a feature film of epic proportions. Do you just want something like that to randomly happen in the film, just for the sake of shoehorning the Shat into it? It would have to benefit the story. The only gratuitous Shat appearance I could see working in this film is a GFII-like flashback scene, perhaps seen through the recollections of Older Spock, and obviously of a conversation which took place prior to his boarding the Enterprise-B. Unfortunately, that is probably too minor a part for Bill, as he is apparently opposed to appearing in a cameo type role within the film. I don’t think changing the story to accomodate Shatner’s resurrection would be either artistically appropriate or responsible. Orci and Kurtzman’s script, under the direction of JJ Abrams, and produced by Damon Lindelof and Bad Robot Films, should be allowed to succeed or fail on its own. It certainly should not be judged for lacking something before anyone knows whether it is good or bad. If after viewing the movie, I feel that Shatner’s appearance would have made it better by benefitting the story, then kudos to you and everyone else who has already made that decision despite the fact that it will not be seen by anyone prior to May 2009. Until then, I will trust the writers, producers, and director’s opinion that adding a Kirk-resurrection subplot to the story would not benefit the film and would be an out-of-place, unnecessary shoehorning of gratuitous Shat.
“You’re dead, Jim.”

101. Sisko's Shrimp Gumbo - May 15, 2008

I just thought of this now but did anyone think some of Howard Stern’s phrasing sounds like Daniel Plainview? (Are you an angry man?) Vaguely remember a similar line in There Will Be Blood

Imagine Kirk screaming “DRAINAGE” in TWOK, directed by P.T. Anderson
Cameo by Rollergirl in miniskirts
And The Colonel as Khan

Then it starts raining frogs on the Genesis planet hahaha

102. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 15, 2008

#99—”Obviously, there are other issues involved. Like the availability of director Nicholas Meyer, perhaps…”

The inclusion of the A-list Hollywood name JJ Abrams was key to Paramount’s approval of the script to begin with. Nick Meyer’s time as a Trek director was great, but not in line with the objective of securing a broader audience with cross-over appeal. They have handed that task to Abrams and co. Given the mainstream appeal of “Lost”, despite some very obvious sci-fi/fantasy elements within the show, it is a pretty good bet. Cloverfield had an enormous draw for what it was, and Transformers was enormously successful. Given that it was a kids movie based upon a toy and a rather ridiculous 1980′s cartoon, I can only imagine what they can do with something with the vast potential of Star Trek. Obviously, marketing will be a huge task. They must convince the average moviegoer to forget their preconceived notions of Trek and pay to see this film. Abrams name alone helps that cause, as does their prudent strategy of split marketing amongst mainstream media outlets and the sci-fi community respectively.

103. sean - May 15, 2008

#99

Yeah, that storyline has ‘plausibility’ written all over it ;)

104. toddk - May 15, 2008

I think the shat isnt being entirely truthful about whether berman would have killed kirk regardless, just look at all the posts talking about how this would have been accomplished..as far as the sulu promotion scene…maybe one day we will finally see that footage and we can judge for ourselves. but something tells me that it wont be any time soon. just look at the first 6 movie DVD’s and count the number of deleted scenes that are offered..and also nicholas meyer recently saying that he didnt want the wrath of khan remastered..seems like someone (perhaps shatner of nimoy) dont want the deleted scenes released..or is it something else?

105. Kev-1 - May 15, 2008

I for one and glad the crew was kept together in the TOS movies. That’s what people wanted to see, and what made TOS so special. What other group of actors has ever played the same parts over nearly 40 years? For Nimoy it’s 40+. It’s a sci-fi myth, Star Trek, not reality. That ‘s why they beam down in pajamas.

106. Mr. Poopey face (the poster formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 15, 2008

#105—Not everyone. I’d rather see character development that makes sense, even in Star Trek.

107. Xai - May 15, 2008

99. K. M. Kirby – May 15, 2008

“Obviously, there are other issues involved. Like the availability of director Nicholas Meyer, perhaps…”

Huge issues… Like…. the movie’s already been filmed.

108. Hat Rick - May 15, 2008

105, that’s an interesting observation. I’m trying to think of a similar group of actors who have had similar success playing the same characters over the course of decades, and the closest I can come up with so far is the Monty Python gang, before the death of one of the members. That troupe in its original form lasted for about two decades, and even at that, they didn’t play the same characters.

In the Bond franchise, they’ve had several actors playing Bond, obviously, and at least two Q’s (one played, coincidentally, by John Cleese of the aforementioned Python fame).

As far as Doctor Who, several actors have played the Doctor, and there’ve been several sidekicks and actresses playing those sidekicks.

Can’t think of any other comparisons at the moment.

So, good point, 105.

109. Battletrek - May 16, 2008

Nimoy is getting a lot of money for the new Trek. Do not trust Nimoy on whether this new film will be good or not.

110. Dom - May 16, 2008

The again, Dennis (90) Jeanne Dillard managed to pull a very good book out of all the compromised material, so there was something of quality there. It depends on how you look at Trek. TOS was a blood and thunder series, while TNG was effectively The Office without the jokes. You could easily translate TNG into a TV series about managers and middle managers in a corporation. I know some people like that.

Personally I prefer to see fistfights and hot women in minimal clothing, shot in soft focus, getting pulled by Kirk, while a bit of philosophy is thrown in for good measure.

Kirk’s team were soldiers on the unknown frontier fighting operatically big bad guys, exploring places so gobsmacking that they could blow your mind apart! TFF wanted to be something big, which is good. I would rather watch a failure with a good heart like TFF than endless discussions in a board room!

A disciplined, shorter recut of TFF, ditching the jokes Shatner was forced to add in and some new FX could still make a solid little film! In all honesty, though, I like the theory that the whole storyline was a drink-induced dream from Kirk, Spock and McCoy’s trip to Yellowstone!

111. Shatner_Fan_2000 - May 16, 2008

That was a very interesting hour of radio! 2 points:

It always cracks me up when people take everything a star (especially Shatner!) says literally. I’m sure Berman never said he was going to kill Kirk whether Shatner participated or not! That would’ve been kind of impossible. Rather, what Bill likely meant was what I’ve been saying for ages here whenever people grouse about how ‘Shatner agreed to kill Kirk!’: At the time, there were no plans for the TOS characters to ever appear again. They were effectively dead already. Those who were fans back then may recall that Paramount publicity made that quite clear after TUC. Berman then offered Shat one more chance to come back, and Shat accepted. We all know now that killing off the character was a bad decision, hindsight being 20/20 and Star Trek 2009 now being a reality. But in 1994, I can totally understand why Shat would’ve seen the offer as an opportunity worth taking. His choices seemed to be limited to either ‘never play the character again’ … or … ‘come back one more time, pass the torch to the new Captain and do a dramatic death scene, and of course get loads of pay and publicity.’ Many of us would’ve made the exact same choice Bill did.

Second, I’d like to point out that the Stern interview validates a 10 year old line of dialogue from the still funny Free Enterprise:

Sean: “Even Kirk never had a threesome.”

Robert: “That’s just because they couldn’t show it on network tv.”

112. Dom - May 16, 2008

Hi Shatner_Fan_2000 (111)

Killing Kirk off wasn’t a mistake in hindsight. Anyone with half a brain could see, even in 1994, that Generations was a rushed, badly compromised project that should never have been made.

The cast hated it (Ron Moore even looks back on it with regret!) The TV team had to rush a set overhaul. The costumes were dreadful and had to be ditched in favour of DS9 gear. It was leaden with excessive continuity references . . . and everybody already knew Kirk was going to die! Not to mention they used a TV director who pretty much never made another theatrical film, meaning the cinematographer had to bail out the whole production from looking like a TV movie.

The film was essentially what Shatner said it was: an attempt by Rick Berman to clear out the old guard so he could control both the film series and TV show. IIRC, as a result of a subsequent legal action, Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Micholas Meyer were barred from having anything to do with the TNG film series, in spite of the fact that these guys had worked on excellent, cinematic films.

If they had waited just one year to make Generations after TNG finished, Leonard Nimoy would have joined the writing team and might very well have directed the film. The original crew’s involvement could have been better utilised. Deforest Kelly and Leonard Nimoy might even have made an appearance in the film.

Generations was a terrible theatrical film, barely passable as a two-part TV episode of TNG and the blasé attitude to the TOS characters (as if Scotty and Chekov would call Kirk ”Captain!’ – something Berman insisted on!)

Thus, the film series went down the toilet. Jonathan Frakes made a really good stab at First Contact, even if it did still look cheap. He took advantage of the poor budget and made a really claustophobic film. But, notoriously, he was given far less freedom on Insurrection – aka ‘Star Trek: The TV Movie’ (my guess would be that there were fears he might become the TNG films’ Leonard Nimoy and wield too much power!) And Nemesis was a huge embarrassment.

Just think how well the TNG films might have fared with the contributions of Shatner, Nimoy and Meyer! It was a silly waste and JJ and his team are effectively (if not literally) having to reboot Trek to recover from it.

113. Mr. Poopey face(formerly known as Closettrekker) - May 16, 2008

#112—I think you give Shatner a little too much credit for his moviemaking abilities. I don’t think his directing work belongs in the same breath as that of Nick Meyer.
I do agree with your overall assessment of the TNG-era films as substandard, however, I attribute that more to the fact that TNG was far less suited for the big screen in the first place. Because of the iconic nature of the TOS characters (particularly, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty), it was a much better transition from television to feature films. They only had one really bomb, and that was TFF (The Great Trek Turd). TMP is a grand and epic sci-fi experience with tremendous visual quality, and I think its depth is often underestimated. TWOK is the mainsteam crossover and a great tie-in to one of the more memorable TOS episodes. Its multiple themes are very well done and proof that an enormous budget is not essential to the success of a TOS-era ST movie. TSFS is more of a lower budget project and a pure fan film, but it is certainly not on my list of ST films to criticize. It has some great moments. TVY was a wonderful revisit to the style of social commentary inherent in the original series, and the humor is very well done, IMO. TFF is a WTF moment for me, and I’d just like to pretend it isn’t there, but it always comes up. TUC is a decent bounce back, and although I have some issues with it, it isn’t a bad movie.

The TNG-era films were, IMO, straight-to-dvd quality movies…nothing more.

114. Dom - May 17, 2008

Contractually Shatner was allowed considerable influence on the Trek films, so I meant Shatner’s contributions across the board, not specifically directing. He and Nimoy had a lot of creative influence in the post-TMP films. Remember how, on TWOK, he made a list of remarks to Nick Meyer, resulting a redraft of the screenplay, which led to Shatner calling Nick Meyer a ‘genius.’

115. Stupis DeLupus - May 19, 2008

William Shatner’s face used for a mask on a deranged serial killer. To boldly go…

116. Joyce - June 25, 2008

When you read the biography of Deforest Kelly and what Leonard Nimoy had to say about Bill Shatner on Star Trek they never seem to blame him for what the other members of the cast did, they understood that as the perceived star of the show he rightly thought he had to fight to make it the best he could!
I love all the cast members of Star trek, having seen them at the coventions, but it does seem that it was they not Mr. Shatner who said the hurtful things! Although I really love to see Bill shatner and leonard Nimoy on stage together, I would really really love to see all the remaining cast members together on the stage, that would be a wish come true, and make my journer over to the Us from the Uk really something!.
I met Mr, Shatner this year on the set of Boston Legal and the following day at the Hollywood charity horse show , he seemed to have so much energy and he was really nice.
It was a mistake to kill of Captain Kirk – Bill shatner is so popular now with his part in Boston Legal I think it would have drawn in more people to see the new film.

Long may he go on entertaining us.

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