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Shatner: Roddenberry Was A Chiseler June 2, 2008

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Shatner,TOS , trackback

It appears that William Shatner’s media tour for his autobiography “Up Till Now” may never end. In many of the previous interviews Shatner has noted that he thinks his former co-stars (in particular George Takei) should ‘let go’ of previous grievances, but in a new interview (and in excerpts from his book) it is Shatner who is airing a grievance…this time with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

Shatner on Roddenberry (from Parade interview)

He was a chiseler who wanted a cut of outside money his cast earned, demanded to be called ‘master,’ and prohibited poor Nimoy from using a company pencil.

More in the book
Although Shatner is known for his wry sense of humor, from reading his new book it appears he is serious about this issue. In “Up Till Now” Shatner writes:

After the first thirteen episodes writer/producer Gene Coon was brought in and Roddenberry became the executive producer, meaning he was more of a supervisor than working on the show day -to-day. After that his primary job seemed to be exploiting Star Trek in every possible way.

There are also more details in the book on what Shatner was referring to in the ‘chiseler’ comment he said to Parade. The book contains the recounting of a story from Leonard Nimoy about how he was offered $2000 (more than he made in a week) for a personal appearance on a Saturday and to make it he would have to leave an hour early on Friday. Nimoy gave notice a few days in advance but didn’t hear anything back until Friday. Then Roddenberry called Nimoy to his office. Roddenberry demanded that Nimoy give him 20% of his speaking fee as an agent, even though Nimoy’s agent had lined up the appearance. Nimoy refused and, again from “Up Till Now“, Nimoy is quoted recounting the following exchange between himself and Roddenberry:

“He looked at me and said, ‘The difference between your agent and me is that your agent can’t get you out of here at five o’clock on Friday and I can. And all it’ll cost you is twenty percent ”
“‘Gene, I can’t do that to this agent,’ I said. ‘He got me the job.’”
“And then he said, and I will never forget his exact words, ‘Well, you’re just going to have to learn how to bow down and say master.’”

Nimoy refused and eventually Roddenberry backed down and allowed Nimoy to go, but Nimoy is quoted in the book saying it “was the end of any semblance of a friendship” with Roddenberry. Shatner’s comment about the pencils is also in the book, recounting how studio later sent Nimoy a memo “informing him that he was not permitted to use the studio’s pens and pencils.”

For his part, Shatner notes in the book that he refused to go along with one of Roddenberry’s money making schemes.

Gene and I had a similar argument about a small medal of honor he wanted me to award to a member of the crew on the show. It had absolutely nothing to do with the plot–and everything to do with the fact that this medal was going to be sold by Lincoln Enterprises. The actors’ contracts called for a minimal participation in merchandise revenue and this was just a clever way to get around that.


More new pics of Shat at Parade

Shatner stilling ‘puzzling’ why he isn’t in Abrams Trek
In case you have been hiding under a rock, William Shatner still wants to be in the new Star Trek movie. In a separate interview with the UK’s Press and Journal, Shatner notes

I find it peculiar that I wasn’t asked. It was a great role that was written for me and as I aged, they aged the captain. I know that the director and producer JJ Abrams is a nice guy. I wasn’t hurt, but I was puzzled. I didn’t need the movie as a crutch professionally because I have so much to do but I’m amazed they didn’t solve the storytelling problems to incorporate me.

See the Shat tonight
William Shatner will be appearing on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, tonight (Monday June 2nd). We will update with video from that appearance by midnight Pacific)

 

Up Till Now is available now in Hardcover and audio

Up Till Now (Hardcover)


 

Up Till Now (Audio)

 

Comments

1. Andy Patterson - June 2, 2008

I love Shatner. I don’t care what anybody says.

2. The Rusted Robot - June 2, 2008

Awesome

3. Will Decker - June 2, 2008

I definitely think I have to go find that book

4. Joel1245 - June 2, 2008

Shatner: “I didn’t need the movie as a crutch professionally because I have so much to do but I’m amazed they didn’t solve the storytelling problems to incorporate me.”

Um, Mr. Shatner, that’s because Kirk DIED in Generations. Kirk “died” after the Enterprise B incident and was gone for 78(?) years and then he “died” on Veridia III for real. They couldn’t write the character in. How hard is that to understand?!!

5. Redjac - June 2, 2008

That little story about Roddenberry wanting to be called “Master” is hilarious…and I can’t get the image of Roddenberry in Sith robe out of my mind…lol!!!

6. Redjac - June 2, 2008

The Shat is dense when it comes to not being able to figure out why he’s not in the new film…

And I, for one, am tired of hearing him and fans talk about it.

Shat needs to move out of his daughter’s basement and “Get A Life”.

7. Dasinfogod - June 2, 2008

I had understood the use of the IDIC pendant was also a marketing avenue for Lincoln Enterprises, and that Nimoy wasn’t too thrilled to be hawking them in “Is There In Truth Is No Beauty”.

I still have the little 35mm film frames sold by Lincoln in the late 60s, mounted into slides, that were taken from outtakes collected from editing room remants. They’re kinda cool, but am told that when Paramount bought out Desilu, they put a stop to Roddenberry’s practice of selling what was essentially studio property (albeit discarded material).

8. Crusade2267 - June 2, 2008

I read the book, and it’s pretty good. I’d definately reccomend it.

9. CmdrR - June 2, 2008

Gene Roddenberry was human. In some cases, he was nasty. I hate the part of hero worship where you have to realize that, but it’s true. And while I wish Gene were here to give his side, I just don’t doubt the words of Mr. Shatner or Mr. Nimoy.
Still love Trek. Still admire Roddenberry’s contribution. But, it’s time to put things in their proper place.
Thanks — um, Staff.

10. ensign joe - June 2, 2008

Wait… since when was Shatner NOT in the new movie?

11. Scott - June 2, 2008

Gene was a true visionary.
Surely he was also a egomaniac.
The Master thing is probably true.
Some liberal minded people
become fascists if they get drunk
with power. Gene seemed like
a thoughtful person & a nice guy.
However all people have a dark side.

12. Decker's Stubble - June 2, 2008

It’s funny how often Star Trek episodes offered soap-box lectures about the evils of materialism, and here’s the Great Bird tripping about pencils and trying to get a ‘piece of the action’ from Nimoy.

Also, don’t forget about how GR ripped half the royalties from the TOS composer.

13. Decker's Stubble - June 2, 2008

11 – is that a haiku?

14. Paulaner - June 2, 2008

Roddenberry is dead and cannot reply or bring his point of view. Maybe the Shat is right, maybe he’s wrong, but as a matter of fact that poisonous comments sound a little gratuitous.

15. Tom - June 2, 2008

Bob Justman and Herb Solow’s book is worth a read on Star Trek for balance, considering their intimate behind the scenes involvement.

They recount the IDIC story as well as Roddenberry getting co-credit to Courage’s Star Trek theme.

(Unrelated, but also worth a read is the story behin the studio’s canning of the No. 1 character from “The Cage”, and it has nothing to do about belivabilty of a woman as second in command.)

It’s hard sometimes to see our childhood heroes as less-than-perfect, but it does make them more human.

16. ety3 - June 2, 2008

After learning about the “Alexander Courage’s theme song lyrics” underhandedness some years ago, I don’t doubt much of anything said about him.

17. Tom - June 2, 2008

Oh, #11

I think you mean dictatorial or tyrancial, not fascist?

18. CmdrR - June 2, 2008

I wonder whether Louis B. Meyer’s behaviour in real life would have turned off audiences to some of the great MGM movies. Probably not. In like fashion, Gene’s legacy is bigger than his failures to be a nice guy. OK, maybe he was an outright a-hole at times. I think you have to look at the whole picture. Do we discount FDR’s leadership because he lied in the lead-up to WWII? Do we admire Neil Armstrong less because he had bouts of depression? Heroes are full of problems. Welcome to life after age 8.

19. Paulaner - June 2, 2008

#17

Same thing. I can tell you for sure since I am Italian, where fascism was born and expressed itself as a tyrannical regime.

20. Relentless - June 2, 2008

I remember reading in one of Shatner’s older books that Robert Wise wished he never took the directors seat for TMP. Mr. Wise said that it was a nightmare having setup shots for the day, and then Gene coming in and changing the scenes around on Mr. Wise. Robert Wise was an excellent director, he didn’t need Gene hounding him on the site everyday.

21. Greg Stamper - June 2, 2008

Stories like this make me appreciate people like Gene Coon, Robert Justman, etc. all the more.

I remember listening to Mr. Roddenberry speak at an on-campus event many years ago. I wondered then why he referred to Leonard Nimoy as “the actor who plays Mr. Spock”. He never used ‘any’ actors names during the entire evening. I thought that odd.

22. SJB - June 2, 2008

Gene was NOT a good person. Star Trek fans often confuse this because the love she he created so much. He deserves praise for the show he created, but as a person, he probably deserves a good punch in the face.

23. SPB - June 2, 2008

MIDDLE GROUND.

I honestly don’t understand the Shatner-Haters, nor the Shatner-Apologists. I personally enjoy his work and his interviews, and he’s arguably the second most recognizable face of STAR TREK. He’s given a lot to the fans, whether it’s his performances as Kirk, his appearances at conventions or his willingness to parody himself, much to our delight. In that sense, I cannot fathom the out-and-out HATRED that this man seems to instill in so-called TREK fans.

But the other side of the coin are those who would boycott STAR TREK XI and cannot seem to grasp that it ISN’T some vast conspiracy against Shatner that keeps him from being in the new film. I’m sure it has everything to do with story and script first, and a huge payout second. In that sense, yes, Shatner has indeed shot himself in the foot by accepting a part in the lackluster GENERATIONS and continually whining about not being in TREK XI (not to mention asking for a whopping paycheck for almost anything he does these days).

Some keep saying they’re “tired” of all the Shatner stories. I’m just tired of the vitriol that gets spewed back and forth whenever his name pops up these days. I’d love to see him in TREK XI, too, and I’m still holding out some (tongue-in-cheek) hope that he might make it, but he’s probably not going to be in it and that’s fine, too. Where’s the middle ground with Trekkies these days, where the Shat is concerned…?

24. Horatio - June 2, 2008

First and foremost, Star Trek was created as a gimmick to make money. Period. Money for the creators, money for the studio and money for anyone else who could feed off of it.

In that the show managed to catch lightning in a bottle and the fans took it to mythical proportions still doesn’t alter the sobering fact for many here that it was still all about money.

It was Gene Roddenberry’s vision that got the show rolling. It was the contribution of many – producers, writers, actors, production workers and executives that made it what it was. Roddenberry milked it for every penny he could. And why not? It was technically his baby.

I don’t understand the defication of Gene Roddenberry. I always had the impression he was just as surprised of the show’s success as was everyone else. He just rode the Trek Gravy Train as long as he could -as did everyone else involved with “the Franchise”.

25. Trekboi - June 2, 2008

it is very conveniant to out live people and get the last word…

26. KennyB - June 2, 2008

Sounds to me like Gene and The Shat were just too much alike. The only time Shat really shows any interest in Trek is when there is a pay check attached to it……

27. NoonienSpock - June 2, 2008

11,19

Communism is on the far left and fascism is on the far-right, ideologically. Tyrants can emerge on either side, of course (… the communist dictator seems more the hypocrite than the other, somehow).

‘Liberal-minded fascism’ makes little sense to me, anyhow.

28. Duane - June 2, 2008

I prefer to leave the garbage outside and enjoy what TOS gave us. They were all young, ambitious, and relatively not-so-very wealthy. Many of us would have likely done the same.

But if I ever ask someone to “bow down and say master”, please shoot me and take me out of my misery.

As far as WS not appearing in the next movie, it appears that he does not understand that we go to movies for the story they tell and not only for the people in them. Possibly he is joking. I would, in his shoes. I still love him anyway, just as I love my friend’s d og that craps on the floor from time to time.

29. J_schinderlin56 - June 2, 2008

It’s funny that Shat makes those kind of statements about Roddenberry
(And I’m not saying that they’re not true)

Lots of people say the same kinds of things about him.

30. Dave - June 2, 2008

Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact=Gene Roddenberry. Sometimes, you have to realize your heroes are real, fallable people. FC, in many ways, is a broad parallel for the real-world creation of Star Trek. Gene created something lasting and beneficial for so many people out of some less than savory motives.

31. J_schinderlin56 - June 2, 2008

Oh and yes Shat has given the fans alot, but he’s taken alot too.

Like their money.

I can’t help but recall the story about the lady who Paid $200 to get her picture taken with him and Nemoy.

Neither one of them even said hi to her, she walked up behind them, the photographer shot the picture before she was ready or even looking at the camera, and they ushered her and her husband out and moved through the line as quick as possible.

32. MORN SPEAKS - June 2, 2008

Something I have learned as I get older is that people we revere or hold to high standards usually fall short. I’m sure overall Gene was a good guy and he made something wonderful, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a saint.

33. Captain Pike - June 2, 2008

I hope these anecdotes take some of the shine off GR as the be all and end all in regards to the “GR Vision of Star Trek”. I gag every time I heard Abrams et al invoke “Gene Roddenberry’s Vision®” when they’re talking up the new movie.
Creatively I’m much more in love with the work of Gene Coon, Bob Justman, Matt Jefferies, Wah Chang, WW Theiss, and the fine writers who contributed to TOS. I don’t enjoy the “GR Vision” as presented in TMP and early TNG.

34. steve-o - June 2, 2008

So everyone knows. do not buy the audiobook from itunes!
almost everyone has had trouble with the download. it restarts ipods after playing only a few seconds of the book.
I as well as a bunch of others have remarked on this problem in the rating section of itunes.. however i dont even know if there is a way to talk to anyone about this problem

anyone else have something similar happen?

35. hubertis bigend - June 2, 2008

“Riding on their armchairs
They dream of wealth and fame
Fear is their companion
Nintendo is their game
Never done jack and two thumbs Down
And sidekick don’t say dick
We’ll laugh at others failures
Though they have not done shit”

-William Shatner, ‘Has Been”

36. Duane - June 2, 2008

33.

I agree with you in many aspects. But we have to give significant credit to the guy that make the spine that allows the body to walk. And that is the really tough part.

37. Bill Sammich - June 2, 2008

As Peter Weller said as Paxton on Enterprise: I’m not the first leader who failed to live up to his vision for a better world (paraphrased, cannonites don’t shoot please ).

That’s the way I look at it.

Richard Wagner wrote Beautiful music and was an unrepentant antisemite
Mozart wrote Beautiful music and was a ho’ fo sho’

With Roddenberry, the Shat and all the rest…. they are human and subject to all of our human deficiencies. What will remain dear to me is the art they shared and helped create that inspires me to want to better myself and my world.

38. jr - June 2, 2008

he’s still not in the movie

39. Ryan T. Riddle - June 2, 2008

Holy Shat! I got a chance to get the Shat sign my copy of “Up Til Now.” So far, it’s an entertaining book.

40. MrRegular - June 2, 2008

Gene Roddenberry was a visionary and a deeply thoughtful man. “The Last Conversation” is a must read for insight into his genius.
However, he was a complicated man. “Inside Star Trek” gives insight into another side of GR, his total disregard for his family in his “home away from home” with the woman who later became his wife and his “casting couch” shenanigans that he openly flaunted.
It’s important to understand his total character and not jump to conclusions of “sainthood”.

41. bill hiro - June 2, 2008

“Communism is on the far left and fascism is on the far-right, ideologically. Tyrants can emerge on either side, of course ”

The political spectrum is not a plane so much as a sphere. Radicals and reactionaries do tend to exist on opposite sides but as the extremes of both sides travel to the far side of the sphere, they essentially end up in the same place.

42. Anthony Pascale - June 2, 2008

guys….lets not turn this into a yet another boring ‘left v right’ poltical debate…aren’t there enough other sites on the web for that?

43. Ali - June 2, 2008

Gene also did a lot of strange things in the 70s after TOS and before TMP.

44. OR Coast Trekkie - June 2, 2008

Just because someone created your favorite tv show and played the protagonist for your favorite tv show doesn’t make them great people…

45. Christopher Mulrooney - June 2, 2008

I have SHAT’s SH()() book read page 10 if you have it and tell me when Dale Jr Passed away? Come on get it right there is a differen’t to SR and JR. Get it right if your going to make Race Car Driver References. I have read up to page 33. I am not sure about going on with it. I am already mad at the MR SHATNER for the Fawl treatment I got from him at the Book Soup Book Store in West Hollywood. I was in my Army Uniform and wanted him to autograph the book “To The Troops” and I was going to send it out after I read it to a Soldier deployed overseas. I was going to radomemly ad it into a care package, but shatner wasn’t going to do that he said “I’ll only write names nothing else” and was really rude about it. Differn’t comments then he made on his website about the Walter Reed Medical Center problems that he wrote about last year. Anyways Thanks for letting me Rant you can see more of the rant on my site. http://www.trektothetroops.org/site

He can write all he wants about Gene Roddenberry, but Shatner can’t event halfway fill his shoes. Liked his comment that it was his agent that got him the job > BULL CRAP if it wasn’t for Gene Roddenberry he wouldn’t have had the job in the first place. Also he should have bowed down to his Master. LOL (I doubt Roddenberry was like that) Shatner needs to get knocked off his high horse litterly and start to find himself again to be a nicer person before he passes on a mean old man!

46. Dom - June 2, 2008

Roddenberry’s tyrannical behaviour is legendary. I suspect the problem for him was that Trek developed a life of its own and he was desperately trying to keep control of it.

Eventually, of course, Nimoy, Shatner and co took it over, creatively. As much as anything that’s why he created TNG: he (and his lawyers) desperately wanted to regain control of Star Trek. This was part of what became the ‘Cult of Roddenberry’, where it seems Roddenberry started to believe his own myths. I’m sick of this ‘Gene’s Vision garbage. It disrespects all the other people who took Gene’s initial idea and turned it into something bigger!

Roddenberry’s ‘Vision’ created ‘The Cage,’ ‘TMP’ and some of ‘TNG’. Most of TOS, and the rest of the TOS-based films were the result of a lot of other people’s contributions as well.

47. Christopher Mulrooney - June 2, 2008

Oh did I forget to mention he was a WWII Pilot and a LAPD MotorCycle Cop he went far as he put his vision out there he took risks and made it happen. he went from a small town of El Paso Texas to Hollywood. He deserved every penny he made and his contributions were endless to what he put back to sociality. So what if he milked Star Trek, He created it was his vision it was his Intlectural property.

Thanks,

Chris

(Sorry for Type’os in a hurry for Finals.)

48. Darth Doorchime - June 2, 2008

If the story Shatner wrote down is (litterly!) true, then Roddenberry had no excuse for being such an ass to Nimoy. Doesn’t change that what he started and helped to create is wonderfull on lots of levels. I just don’t see the need to write this down now of paying much attention to it as Shatner seems to do now.

And oh, 37, I’m just guessing that you do not mean to say that homosexuality is a “human deficiency”. That would be worse than everything Roddenberry alledgedly ever pulled.

49. Mr. Bob Dobalina - June 2, 2008

Gotta love that Shat! Can’t wait for Leno tonight, should be good.

50. Kev-1 - June 2, 2008

Spock’s quote to Saviik in Trek II sums this up best “Nobody’s perfect.” For my money , if all GR did was combine the words “Star” and “Trek” into a title, that’s enough to grab some cash, within reason of course.

51. NCC-73515 - June 2, 2008

The more I read about him, the more I dislike him.
He refused to do a cameo. Now he wonders, why he’s not in it.
Gene created Trek.

52. CmdrR - June 2, 2008

Falacy ad hominem. Confusing the man with the message. As Spock would say, “Most Illogical.” Trek is great. Roddenberry was human.

53. Rich - June 2, 2008

#51
You ought to learn a little about what (and whom) you’re talking about before you make yourself look even dumber than you already do.
R.I.P.
The Bird
Bob Justman
Sandy Courage
Dee Kelley
Jimmy D
Joe Pevney
Marc Daniels
Encino Fats

54. The Underpants Monster - June 2, 2008

Some of the most brilliant and inspiring people I’ve ever known or worked with have also been some of the most difficult and frustrating. It’s often a package deal.

Shatner’s quotes in interviews often come across as a bit petty, but without the original context it’s hard to make that judgment. I guess I’ll eventually read the book and see.

55. Rich - June 2, 2008

oops! sorry, #51
I was referring to a post that said something to the effect that it seems that all of the original TOS people were something that rhymes with “tricks”

it must’ve been deleted.
again, my apologies!

56. Anthony Thompson - June 2, 2008

I’m sorry, but Shatner is coming across as a pathetic and clueless puke. A first-class jerk.

57. US Taxpayer Dude - June 2, 2008

A Note on Political Theory of Ancient Times:

Liberal = fascist i.e., anti-aristocracy, rule through power
Conservative = rule by Aristocracy/Monarchy
Left = Revolutionary radicals who sat together on the left side of the French republican assembly
Right = Conservatives favorable to the king who sat on the right side of the French republican assembly
Republican = Aristocracy of merit
Democracy = mob rule
Federalism = a league of independent governments

Today the USA is more akin to a centralized corporatist state than a federal republic in which member states have primary power. It was certainly never a democracy, which the founding fathers would have found a repugnant idea.

The Federation appears to be a federal government, of course, with member planets ranging across the board.

58. TomBot2008 - June 2, 2008

Well, I for one, don’t care too much about what went down in the old days… It’s somewhat interesting, but in the end, I wasn’t there… I only “received” the product, Star Trek, and enjoyed it on it’s “own” merits and faults. So, taking sides, de-camping to cults of this person or that, seems silly to me. I’m sure they all had their faults. Shatner is just as wiley as ever, if not svelt. The one thing that really bites about the movie being pushed to next year… having to endure the dog and pony show that much longer.

59. Vulcan Soul - June 2, 2008

Me: Shatner IS a whining attention whore who behaves more like a teen drama queen than a man of age and stature. GOOD that he’s not in the new movie. This loser doesn’t deserve to be in it.

60. demon barber of starfleet - June 2, 2008

Agreeing with #1. I love ‘im. Don’t care what anyone else thinks.

Though seriously. Kirk died. He couldn’t be in the new movie so I don’t get why Bill is still riding that.

61. jim kirk - June 2, 2008

Roddenberry was No saint, he cheated on his marriage, he used the coach in his office as a casting coach with sexy actresses, was said to have has fling with Nichelle Nichols, haad an affair with Majel Barret before they marrient, he was very profit oriented, and took credit for a lot more than he deserved, but in the end, no one is perfect, we can still appreciate Gene for Star Trek and leave it at that. We had heard more than enough about Shatner’s disappointment at not being in the new movie, but I hold no ill will toward either shatner for expressing it, or JJ Abrams for his decision to not include him.. what matters most is making the best movie possible and if the script had to be manipulated, weakened to make a cameo possible by Shatner, I’d be against it. I also admire shatner the actor and accept his ego and his eccentricities.. I do not take anything his says with any heavy implications.

62. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

Yeah Roddenberry was not a saint, but Shatner might want to think about what his career would be now without trek, A footnote without him Shatner and the others would not have near the success they have now,. Trek made then. So they had had to put up with a little unpleasantness in their careers, hey thats show business. Im not Roddenberry’s biggest fan but you know what, he proves one important point you don’t get famous or powerful or influential show by being a nice guy. Given the nature of Televions production and the business I would done same damned thing that Roddenbery did to get ahead and so would anyone else in his position. William Shatner who is not saint himself should not be so indignant about that little fact of show business. Also its very easy to attack someone who isn’t here to defend themselves.

63. opcode - June 2, 2008

I agree with #14, it is easy to say things about someone who isn’t here to give his side. In fact I am getting the impressing that Mr Shatner loves to do that. I remember reading his movie memories and he was all nice about people who was still around, but usually had just bad things to say about anyone who had already passed away, like Roddenberry and Persis Khambatta.
And about not being in the new movie, I am sorry Bill, but you need to realize that Star Trek isn’t about you. Besides, why people would want to see Jim Kirk close to his 80′s and overweight is completely beyond me…

64. Dennis Bailey - June 2, 2008

McCoy to Spock: “I’d pay real money if he’d shut up.”

65. Commodore Lurker - June 2, 2008

Decloaking . . .
I’d really like to hear what Nimoy says on the subject.

Denise, you’re the read everything Nimoy’s ever written person, did he ever write anything about this meeting?

I’m really repulsed that the Shat would piss on Roddenberry’s grave this late in the game. Even if it is true, it is totally unnecessary to bring it up now. No wonder the others “dispised” him. He lost one fan here; now I dispise him too.

William can go Shat himself.
Recloaking.

66. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

I wonder if Shatner would have come out with this little Tell all Tome of his if Roddenberry were here right now? I think not.

67. David P - June 2, 2008

JJ Abrams has his head where the sun doesn’t shine, just cast the Shat before it’s too late!

68. Jeffrey S. Nelson - June 2, 2008

The IDIC medallion from Lincoln Enterprises is a well documented story. Have no doubt that Roddenberry was after a piece of the action wherever possible. But Shatner’s self-promotion isn’t exactly low key.

69. SPOCKBOY - June 2, 2008

#33
I agree,
Creatively I’m much more in love with the work of Gene Coon, Bob Justman, Matt Jefferies, Wah Chang, WW Theiss as well.

Imagine Star Trek without the Enterprise, the bridge, phasers, Klingon and Romulan ships, communicators, and tricorders, hot chicks in beautiful costumes, amazing story ideas, just to name a few of the myriad of remarkably creative contributions from the aforementioned (normally unsung) heroes of Star Trek.

:)

70. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

#69 I agree Spockboy Trek would be nothing with the out their contributions it would not have made one season let alone three.

71. ster j - June 2, 2008

#53. Encino Fats???

(And Bill, that is NOT the most flattering pic of you in the mafioso suit with the orangish tie that looks like your bare belly is peeking out over your belt as you sit on a throne (which at first glance looked like a commode) *with a big stick between your legs!!!* That fabulous book cover is your money shot!)

72. Jason - June 2, 2008

I guess all people do have a darker side. That’s pretty common in everyone but I never really thought about that with Roddenberry.
Of course all they’ll usually ever show from interviews is the good stuff, but it’s a bit of a shock none the less. From the sound of it he may have become a bit nicer and wiser once they started work on TNG.

Oh well, any personal issues he may have had, he still created Star Trek.

73. Michael Hall - June 2, 2008

Well, while I certainly won’t defend Roddenberry’s actions towards Nimoy, I’ve never understood Shatner’s long-standing pearl-clutching attitude towards the marketing of IDIC pins on the Lincoln Enterprises website. Not only does it seem does it seem to overlook the obvious fact that everything in this society, from flag-lapel pins to Cheerios, is put on offer to make someone a profit, but conveniently ignores that the marketing of such tchotchkes has been more profitable to Paramount, and thus to keeping Trek alive, than all the royalties from film and TV put together.

At least with IDIC, the sentiments being promoted with the medallions were healthy and productive. And unlike some, whatever his other faults I don’t recall Roddenberry ever using his unexpected celebrity to do anything but make himself some money and promote a hopeful vision of the future for millions who were sorely in need of it. Recognizing the essential truth that life, in the end, had been pretty good to him, I never heard him publicly utter (or write) a mean-spirited word about anyone, least of all the former colleagues who to one extent or the other had the good fortune to share in his success. Unlike some.

74. krikzil - June 2, 2008

I really don’t blame Shatner and Nimoy for commenting about the merchandising. Let’s remember they got almost nothing up until the Movie years. Nimoy was suing Paramount about merchandising revenues and it was only settled to get him in the movies.

Roddenberry came up with a great idea but as a man, he was very flawed. Nichols talks about her coming to his house, seeing Majel there and deciding it was all too much for her. Gene was MARRIED at the time he was seeing both of them and whoever else. Lots of folks made Trek what it is — the actors, the producers and the writers, not just Gene.

As for the $200 dollar Nimoy/Shatner picture story….blame CREATION, not them. It’s how all the photos were done. Large line, just moved through.

75. Martin Pollard - June 2, 2008

Whether Roddenberry was a sinner or a saint, Shatner taking potshots at someone who can no longer defend himself is pretty low in my book. Why doesn’t glory-hound Shatner just piss on his gravestone while he’s at it?

The apologists from the Church of Shatner can defend him all they like, but trash-talking a dead man puts him at the bottom of the barrel, in my opinion.

76. tom - June 2, 2008

would be great if shatner was announced to be in the film at comic con. not likely though. Bob Orci hasn’t said much about this since he said he was working on it

77. Green-Blooded-Bastard - June 2, 2008

I like Shatner because he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s enjoying his old age and doesn’t give a crap what any of us here think, rest assured. He’s proud of his work on Star Trek, but he would probably be the first to admit it doesn’t define who he is as a person nor as an actor.

And if I remember the lost interviews correctly that were posted here some months back, GR did come off as just a regular guy looking to make a buck without any mention of some vision of the future. For that, you can probably thank the writers for the most part. I can’t fault him for that, but lots of people here have deified him as though he were god’s gift to science fiction. The original series only ran for three seasons before it was canceled, and the cult following that ensued was what helped pave the way for the movies. Yes, I said cult-following. It has become very mainstream since then, but when the show was canceled, not one of the actors or GR himself could have predicted what was going to happen. They’ve even admitted to as much.

I can’t go off on Roddenberry because he has helped create something that is very endearing to me, but for anyone to say were it not for Roddenberry there would be no Shatner is ludicrous. William Shatner is an actor, and a good one at that. He might not have wound up in a sci-fi show or movie, but he would have eventually found his niche and been successful anyway. He has that kind of perseverance and charisma.

As for Gene Roddenberry, i hardly believe a guy that was so hung up on exploiting his own show was the “visionary” that created a future where money was no longer a driving force in people’s lives. To insinuate that is to say in some part that men no longer have a desire to succeed, in that to some people, success for them is measured in no small part by the amount of material wealth they accumulate. There will always be people that reach for the greater good (in what ever way you care to define that), and men that only wish to capitalize on their skills and better their living conditions to as great a degree as they are free to, and they have every right to do so. I cannot see such a future where there are no longer distinctions between economic classes because the one factor that must always be taken into account is man. Quite frankly, I don’t care to ever even see that kind of a future, because that only means I have lost my ability to make myself happy should happiness to me mean being rich.

78. Daoud - June 2, 2008

“It’s complicated.”

In any event, the IDIC story is very well known and has many print references. The Nimoy appearance story also has appeared before.

GR was very imperfect. Look, he even milked out _Star Trek Letters_ with Susan Sackett once upon a time, and that was reprinting fans’ letters to Gene and others.

It was really all about getting “A Piece of the Action” with Gene. He certainly was always active.

Shatner’s just telling it like it is though. Or was, rather. There’s always Star Trek XII after all.

79. Xai - June 2, 2008

67. David P – June 2, 2008
“JJ Abrams has his head where the sun doesn’t shine, just cast the Shat before it’s too late!”

…and i’d say that some fans are “in the dark” because none of us know what was discussed between the production team and Shatner…( and yes, there were meetings.)
And I don’t think that your comment is the kindest way to talk about the man trying to save Star Trek, even if you dislike his casting choices.

80. Anthony Pascale - June 2, 2008

Xai…you tell that David P guy…he has a real attitude problem

81. Magic_Al - June 2, 2008

There’s nothing wrong with exploiting success, especially when successes come few and far between as they do in show biz. As far as GR knew Star Trek was here today and could be gone tomorrow (and it WAS gone tomorrow, no one knew it could come back), so get what you can while you can. But, when success is a team effort there’s going to be friction when someone takes more than their fair share. Shatner and Nimoy would have been fine with the IDIC thing if they were in for a piece of it. That kind of merchandising is common now, and everybody’s contracts say what they get or not. It wasn’t even THAT badly shoehorned into the show — a lot of fans accept it as part of Vulcan philosophy.

82. MiniKirk - June 2, 2008

How suprising that “The Great Bird of the Galaxy” was crooked. It’s not like our old friend Harlan Ellison has been saying that since ’67 It’s just refreshing to hear about it from someone else. Especially the Shat. Oh well, he might have been a douche, but at least he gave us Trek.

83. MiniKirk - June 2, 2008

there were supposed to be and tags in that. I don’t know why they didn’t show up. They go in front of “How suprising…” and behind “…since ’67.” also there was supposed to be a period in there.

84. MiniKirk - June 2, 2008

sarcasm tags damnit! ugh, technology is not my friend today.

85. Xai - June 2, 2008

80. Anthony Pascale – June 2, 2008
“Xai…you tell that David P guy…he has a real attitude problem”

Anthony, I’d say what I “really think”… but then we have this problem with me spelling the nasty words correctly, then you have to censure my comment and ban me to an alternative reality where I can read is stories from British Naval Dude.

Can I say “Double Dumb… Butt” on here?

;-)

86. Viking - June 2, 2008

Ya gotta love a man who still uses the word ‘chiseler’ in contemporary conversation. LOL

87. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

In the series Third Rock from the Sun didn’t Shatner play a character called The Big Giant Head? My memory may be a big off on this one.

88. DW - June 2, 2008

I’m amazed that a director with the stature of a Robert Wise would *allow* a TV producer like Roddenberry (or anyone else for that matter) to come in and change his scene setups for *anything*.

Sadly, Shatner’s comments weren’t the first I’d heard of Roddenberry’s less appealing qualities. The common thread I’ve drawn from the various stories tend to follow a theme – that Roddenerry was a creator of great ideas and concepts, but not always the strongest in the details to execute them. The downside is that he wasn’t always aware of his limitations, and thought himself equally skilled in all areas of a project when he really wasn’t. I recall a story about some script writing he had done (possibly for one of the movies), but those in charge of the movie’s production found most of it to be unusable.

The point? Its hard for any of us to recognize that the idealized vision we think of our favorite characters, leaders, whomever, pales against reality. Shatner, Nimoy, Roddenbery, all of them, have their public faces and their dark sides. Nimoy drove a sound effects specialist to distraction for a particular effect he wanted for Trek III; Shatner and Takei have opted to take their feuds public; the list goes on.

At the end of the day, we have what Trek was, the wish of what it might have been, and the fun of knowing that, once in a while, those two universes collided both because of and in spite of that particular ensemble of actors, writers, and producers. Now, we have a new Trek ahead, with unknown potential. Here’s to wishing we could all just enjoy t for what it is, and not just use it as a launching pad for campaigns of ill-will. It needlessly diminishes their legacy, and to a lesser degree, that of classic Trek as well. It’s just time to move on.

89. Xai - June 2, 2008

#87 Garovorkin

Bingo.

90. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

#88 The concept was that they were going to go back in time and try to prevent the assassination of JFK, but they were not going to succeed, A very lame brained concept. Outside of trek what other success did Roddenberry really have?He created the legend that was himself. He lost complete say on the trek movie franchise when the first one did not turn out to be proffitable enough at the box office. He was not the main driving force for next generation really.

91. MikeG - June 2, 2008

Celebrities have always been held in high esteem. They make extra-ordinary amounts of money when they are successful. They receive a tremendous amount of attention. They are adored by millions, and if they aren’t adored they still wind up on the news. It is certainly arguable whether any celebrity deserves such perks, since there are people who work a lot longer, harder and are, fundamentally, unfulfilled, who don’t make a fraction of a star’s paycheck, nor are they usually even acknowledged in life.
The fact that the Star Trek “family” is a disfunctional one serves to reveal their ordinariness. The actors are not the characters they play. The fact that we get to see Mssrs. Shatner and Takei duke it out in public, for example, is totally ironic considering they played characters from a more Enlightened future. It just goes to emphasize that even when people support, or promote a Higher Ideal, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are capable of living up to it. Star Trek (as an ideal) stands for hope, and promise, and optimism, and something greater than pettiness, greed, anger, jealousy, and so forth, right? When you hear the actors picking on each other, can you hear Dr. McCoy saying, “It’s a wonder these people ever got out of the 20th century…,” if you listen hard enough?
I often hear people humorously say, “Can’t we all just get along?” and I think we might want to ask that of our Trek heroes, knowing full well they are not about to. But human nature is what it is, and it hasn’t changed very much over the past few gazillion years. We shouldn’t be criticizing any of them, because we are all part of the machine that creates them.

92. Scott - June 2, 2008

#57
“Liberal = fascist i.e., anti-aristocracy, rule through power”

Completely, breathtakingly wrong.

Liberal is left wing. Fascist is extreme right wing.

93. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

#91 Celebrity Diva Syndrome, something they all come down with eventually.

94. Anthony Pascale - June 2, 2008

I have repeatedly warned that the left wing right wing political debate should end…so next person who keeps it going gets banned…how about that…and I don’t care who ‘started it’…this isn’t 3rd grade…you will just have to live without replying to the above…or you can reply and it will be your last

95. Xai - June 2, 2008

91. MikeG – June 2, 2008
” We shouldn’t be criticizing any of them, because we are all part of the machine that creates them.”

I disagree. I didn’t raise them. I doubt their parents raised them to act they way they do at times. I understand we are all human and have our flaws, but I’d hope that people at their age (some of the the TOS cast) would have been mellowed by time and experience. None of them has had huge career (not even WS in comparison to many) and all had their “fruit salad” days when young.
I don’t expect them to like each other… just be civil. I don’t care to have Shatner’s, Takei’s or Roddenberry’s flaws to be exploited in tell-all books or “feuds” on TV talk shows. It’s a tabloid mentality that type of information feeds. It contributes nothing to the good of us all and is degrading others for profit.
I won’t be reading the book.

(Kicks soapbox aside and vaporizes it with a type 2 phaser.)

96. Garovorkin - June 2, 2008

Ironic that Roddenberry for af the ideals that espoused for the future and the cast members who played these characters with High Ideals in real life could not live up to them. They are after human and humans are flawed creatures and i think this will always be so in the present and in the future.

97. Ice Nine - June 2, 2008

Bill thinks that his old costars should “let it go.” I think Bill should let it go about the movie.

No surprise about Roddenberry. It may have been his baby, but better people mothered it.

98. Will H - June 2, 2008

On the subject of GR, Im a bit suprised but as both Shatner and Nimoy are saying he was a dick I dont doubt it. Still, his vision was a great one and ahead of its time. However, outside of the basic premise of Star Trek Im not a big fan of the GR Vision idea. I enjoyed the TOS movies far more than the series and I think that TNG’s evolution is proof of how his vision doesnt hold up well over time. As for JJ, well I think he’s just saying he’s gonna hold up GR’s vision and all but I doubt he actually plans to in any way…unless u count the fact that theyre both using Star Trek to make a quick million or so. Seems that JJ should have given Shatner a roll in the movie, even if it wasnt as James Kirk, he coulda found another roll, just to have him in the movie, and I do think it was insulting of him not to.

99. Xai - June 2, 2008

98. Will H – June 2, 2008
” Seems that JJ should have given Shatner a roll (role)in the movie, even if it wasnt as James Kirk, he coulda found another roll, just to have him in the movie, and I do think it was insulting of him not to.”

Because it’s unreported what the nature of the meetings between Shatner and Abrams were, I do not see how you expect your statement to hold up. Shatner was on the record saying that he doesn’t do cameos (at that time… later quotes indicate something else). Shatner may have asked for a sizeable payday, JJ may have offered him something he didn’t want to do. The point is, we don’t know the real WHY of Shatner’s non-appearance. Assuming it’s all JJ’s fault before facts are known is not fair to anyone involved.

100. Katie G. - June 2, 2008

Well, I’m fighting another damn cold and feeling crummy so I’m not going to read all of the posts which means that I may be repeating what someone already said. Maybe I should keep my opinion to myself but I don’t want to.

So, disclaimer – -

DON’T READ THIS IF YOU ADORE MR. WILLIAM SHATNER.

All I can do is shake my head. I used to adore him but the more I “get to know him” (from everything he has said) I grow to dislike him. And I really don’t like having these feelings. I don’t want to lose the awe and wonder that I had for the man.

But…

First, don’t speak ill of the dead. If you have a grievance with someone, confront them and DON’T AIR THE DIRTY LAUNDRY (especially after they’ve died and can’t defend themselves). Gene Roddenberry may well have said/done these things but is this the way Shatner wants to go out? Ripping others to shreds on his way down? I don’t care if others have done that to him. I don’t care if Gene did/said something to Leonard Nimoy. It is Leonard’s business and if he wants it known, leave it to him to publish. What “others” have said/done may or may not be true but if he is supposed to be this “great” man don’t you think that he should be setting an example?? In my opinion what he’s doing is just wrong. I guess I expected more from the Captain of the U. S. S. Enterprise.

Second, the more he talks like this, the more it arouses my suspicion about what the “real” William Shatner is like and it pains me. I REALLY HOPE I’M WRONG. I cannot believe that people close their eyes to this just because the man originated “Captain James T. Kirk”. It’s fiction.

I used to think he was wonderful and now I just feel sick. I once said that I thought George Takei was just looking for attention with all the comments he was making. Now it looks like Mr. Shatner has been playing the same game. Desperate, absolutely desperate for attention. It’s so SAD.

As a matter of fact, in order for me not to make any more of these comments, I’ll have to stop reading these articles. (Sorry, trekmovie.com staff, NO reflection on you.) It is difficult to read this and not get upset. I definitely will NOT buy his book. I don’t care how clever he is or how charming he is or how funny he is. Not anymore. I KNOW that we all make mistakes but this guy…

Also, I’m probably going to get a lot of hate “mail” for saying this but I’ll bet very few (if any) of the above posters who talk like they were in the room when these this happened, really KNOW anything at all. All they know is what they’ve HEARD or READ from what OTHERS have HEARD or READ. In a courtroom, that is called “hearsay” and is not accepted. Even if all of it is true, why bother? The nastier it gets, the more you have to lower yourself to get “even”. It destroys the soul.

Another thought: If he’s making all of this up just to stir up controversy, that makes him all the more disturbed and not a hero. Either way he loses. I fear it is too late for him to defend himself. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

Does he wonder why the ones who COULD get him into the movie didn’t try harder to get him into the movie? Well, duh. It looks like he compliments them and when it doesn’t work, he attacks. Then he back-peddles, compliments them again, and it still doesn’t get him in, then he attacks again. We’re all going to push up daisies at some point. What do you choose to leave behind – - stuff like that?? What a sad, sad man.

Better go. My head is pounding and I don’t know if I’ve made sense and I don’t feel like proofreading. Sorry if I ruffled any feather. Mine sure are askew right now…

kg

101. Katie G. - June 2, 2008

Feather(s)!!!!!!

kg

102. Denise de Arman - June 2, 2008

Will H. #98- You never read or heard Nimoy call Gene Roddenberry any kind of name – you read an excerpt from William Shatner’s book about incidents which he says happened. Before you assign any of this to Nimoy, read what he has written himself. I think you will see that his style of writing is far less inflamatory than that of Shatner, who I personally think should stick to telling his own story, not Nimoy’s or anyone else’s (in a court of law that is referred to as heresay and is not admissible as evidence).

103. Denise de Arman - June 2, 2008

Katie#100- “in a court of law that is called heresay” – great minds think alike, my love.

104. Katie G. - June 2, 2008

Thank you, my dear. Most kind.

:-)

Goodnight!

kg

105. S. John Ross - June 2, 2008

#100: “First, don’t speak ill of the dead. If you have a grievance with someone [...]”

I myself find it a little disturbing that Shatner seems to be passing on what sounds like a private Leonard Nimoy story (hopefully he asked Nimoy’s permission), but while it’s a nice idea to “not speak ill of the dead,” the rules do change when you’ve touched millions of lives … Gene Roddenberry is a historical figure, a major part of 20th century pop culture. And while it’s a bummer that he’s not here (either to defend himself, or just to hang out and collect kudos), reminiscences of him _are_ a matter of historical interest.

106. Thomas - June 2, 2008

I don’t know what to think anymore. There were times in the past when I was willing to give Shatner the benefit of the doubt on his comments, but there comes a time when I have to say “no more”. I don’t really care anymore about what Shatner wants or thinks. In terms of his being in the movie or not, if he is, he is; if he isn’t, he isn’t. I know nothing of what went on behind the scenes, but if there were meetings, then there seems to have been some kind of breakdown. The funny thing is, no matter what we may eventually learn about those meetings, we will probably never know the real story. Each side will have their own version of the events where they try to paint themselves in the best possible light.

107. Badge - June 3, 2008

I don’t like Roddenberry, never have, and I don’t like the backstabbing industry. A previous poster said that we all have our bad sides or our dark sides. I think this is really true.

I cannot imagine trying to make a buck back then and I don’t blame Roddenberry for wanting to make a buck or for his tacticks. I’d do the same. However, having said that, having gotten a degree in film, television production and media arts, I am happier not having to put up with the whole thing.

Back stabbing, backstabing industry. Lucus had it right, for those of you who know what I’m talking about.

Roddenberry may have created the series and the premis but he didn’t ever direct the actors and sculpt thier character. He just set the paramiters.

108. Iowagirl - June 3, 2008

C’mon, many things have been told and will be told about GR, many of them not very flattering. Shatner’s and Nimoy’s somewhat strained releationship with Roddenberry is well-known and this story is just one of many Shatner tells in his autobiography. But we also all know about Roddenberry’s achievements, his creation, and we respect him for that – I think that’s what matters at the end of the day.

As for the Shat still being puzzled and amazed why he isn’t in the new film – as far as I’m concerned he may go on whining as long as he wants to, ’cause I’ve already moved back into my mum’s basement and got myself a very puzzled, amazed, yet inquisitorial life… ;)

109. Hallbjorn - June 3, 2008

I read the book and I could not put it down. Like some here I’d recommend it to anyone !

110. Barry - June 3, 2008

Gene Roddenberry WAS weird. Robert Justman just passed, read his book ‘Inside Star Trek’ he co-wrote with Herbert Solow and you’ll see that Gene was not the shining untarnished mystical bird everyone says he is. He was also a womanizer, adulterer, sometimes liar and was out for a buck with the whole IDIC/Lincoln Enterprises thing.
Come on people, be sci-fi fans sure, but admit to some reality.

111. spockanella - June 3, 2008

My opinion, I don’t care what Roddenberry did or said or did not do or did not say, nor do I care how or if Shatner responded to it. I refuse to deify either one of them. We are talking about two creative human beings who had their flaws and their shining moments. So what? It is what it is, and all the back and forth in the world won’t change one piece of it.

Shatner’s out to sell books and make money. What better way to do that than to include inflammatory statements guaranteed to get Trek fans up in arms so they’ll generate lots of buzz and, thereby, sales? Folks, we are being manipulated. That’s the part I don’t like.

This makes it sound like I am anti-Shatner. Not true. I still like him, and I still like Roddenberry, despite all their imperfections. I just think maybe a little objectivity is called for here.

112. JL - June 3, 2008

Man, he looks so bloated in that photograph. And his bitter ways are a big turn-off.

I think I’ll erase this stuff from my memory and continue to enjoy TOS.

113. star trackie - June 3, 2008

#62 “Yeah Roddenberry was not a saint, but Shatner might want to think about what his career would be now without trek, A footnote without him Shatner and the others would not have near the success they have now,. ”

Well, that’s only speculation. Seeing as how Shatner was already a very much “in demand” actor (networks don’t just give the lead starring role in a series to just anybody) he would’ve landed another series I’m sure. He was doing just fine prior to StarTrek and there is no reason to believe he wouldn’t have continued to do fine without it.

114. Chris M - June 3, 2008

I have no doubt that the recounts of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are accurate. It is disturbing to know that Gene Roddenberry had these attitdes towards his stars and his creation. Turns out he was just another flawed human being like the rest of us. There is no excuse for his attitude however!

Having said that to quote William Shatner in regards to those cast members who had issues with him: “It’s been forty years don’t you think it’s time to let go!”

Let’s not judge the man on his actions forty years ago and how about we let him Rest In Peace.

Without Gene Roddenberry there would be no Star Trek so we should all be grateful for that, even if he did at times treat his creation as a bit of a cash cow!

If we’re going to talk treating your creation like a cash cow then can anyone say Geoarge Lucas and Star Wars Episodes 1-3?!

115. Trek Nerd Central - June 3, 2008

Goodness, folks, I think we all need to calm down. We will not determine in this thread the relative jerk-ness of Roddenberry and Shatner. This is an eternal debate on the order of:

1) Does it matter Picasso was a schmuck? and:

2) Who wrote Shakespeare’s works — Shakespeare, or some nobody who called himself Shakespeare?

Let us scratch our beards and reflect.

116. Hat Rick - June 3, 2008

About William Shatner’s comments about Gene Roddenberry: Sigh. Not again with the backbiting between the people of Trek!

Do you see Harrison Ford saying nasty things about George Lucas? Or Connery complaining about Albert Broccoli? Or Tom Baker dishing about whoever (no pun intended) produced Doctor Who?

(And might I also venture: Please, not in front of the children! ;-) )

I really don’t care for the tell-all nature of certain kinds of books these days. They have a right to be written and read, but I just don’t care much for that kind of thing.

Shatner is still cool, though. And Roddenberry much more so.

117. Garovorkin - June 3, 2008

And all of this matters Why?

118. Tim Utton - June 3, 2008

Shatner is god.

119. Holger - June 3, 2008

If his comments are really meant serious, I cannot help but cry out: Sour grapes!
He’s annoyed he’s not in the new movie so he’s trying to disparage the franchise. Sorry, Shatner-Fans, but I can’t help it: that’s the impression I get here.

120. tronnei - June 3, 2008

#7

Paramount (actually, Gulf+Western) bought Desilu in late 1967. Those film clips from the cutting room floor continued to be sold throughout the 1970s–I know, ’cause I bought a ton of them. It was my major hobby during my teen years.

121. Garovorkin - June 3, 2008

This Tell all book is going to make Shatner a pile of money, for all of his sour grapes, many people are going to plunk down their 20 to 25 bucks for this little tell all tome, he might do the talk show circuit to sell his book, and it will probably be a book club or literary selection which will net him even more money So that when all is said and done, will give him a huge boast to his bank account and he will be laughing all the way to the bank.

122. Closettrekker - June 3, 2008

“I find it peculiar that I wasn’t asked. It was a great role that was written for me and as I aged, they aged the captain. I know that the director and producer JJ Abrams is a nice guy. I wasn’t hurt, but I was puzzled. I didn’t need the movie as a crutch professionally because I have so much to do but I’m amazed they didn’t solve the storytelling problems to incorporate me.”

I find it very difficult to believe that Bill is really that dense. The reasons are not the least bit complicated. His character died in a time period which has nothing to do with the story being told. By all accounts, the story begins well after the events on board the Enterprise-B and on Veridian III, and the rest of the story takes place long before those events. Ressurecting him for a role in the plot of this film would not only be utterly ridiculous, but would require an additional subplot at the very least, and to what purpose? A gratuitous Shat appearance and a paycheck for Bill? No thanks. The only appearance which would make any sense would be a cameo-type role as a different character or as Kirk in a flashback scene depicting, for example, a conversation between Kirk and Spock which took place prior to the events on board the Enterprise-B—the possibilities of which Bill himself dismissed when he so emphatically (and very publicly) stated, “I don’t do cameos”.

Bill was great for many years as James T. Kirk, but as a human being, he is a jerk, and hardly credible at all, given his history of changing his story to suit whatever his current self-serving agenda may be. My guess is, his purpose in telling such stories about GR is a childish attempt to divert attention from recent public comments from others depicting Bill as a not-so-good guy, and to show that he was not the only a$$hole on the set of Star Trek. Telling unflattering tales about a dead guy does not do anything to boost my opinion of William Shatner the human being.

I really hate seeing this behavior from him. I would have so much more respect for him if he had simply wished Abrams and company success in their endeavor to revive the franchise which, let’s face it, made Bill the successful screen actor he is today, and a very wealthy one at that! It seems he cannot do so without taking an underhanded shot at their lack of ability to overcome “a writing problem”, or something to that effect. I should not be surprised, as Bill wouldn’t know class from a kidney stone…

123. Izbot - June 3, 2008

Growing up with Trek and reading all the ‘official’ behind-the-scenes books (Star Trek Compendium, Making of Star Trek, all the magazine articles, etc) I was always proud of how this utopian/optimistic vision of the future apparently spilled over onto the set and behind the scenes — how every story told about the day-to-day workings of the show flowed over with warmth and goodwill, tolerence, good humor and a spirit of cooperation (this goes for every story I’ve read from the set of TNG as well). As the years have passed that story has changed. The on-set rivalries, the greed, the bickering, the bafflingly extreme examples of egotism. >sigh< All our heroes must die eventually. I don’t suppose it will be too long before TNG castmembers begin writing their own tell-all memoirs and we learn that all was not merry aboard the Enterprise-D neither.

124. Hat Rick - June 3, 2008

123, I do believe that the possibility exists that members of other Trek casts might see a benefit to writing their own “now-it-can-be-told” tales. But as others here have said so eloquently, cast members are as human as you and me, and we should harbor no illusions that, if that time comes, their story-telling would be simply an exponent of their innate humanity.

I am reminded of human foibles each and every time I drive on the freeway and some inconsiderate jerk cuts me off mistaking my lane-change signal for an invitation to participate in a bout of road war. The fact that it is fallible — oh so fallible — humans that have created a wondrous myth that we see in Star Trek is perhaps mute testimony to how rare an accomplishment Trek really is.

125. star trackie - June 3, 2008

#122 “I really hate seeing this behavior from him.”

..didn’t you type a few too many words there? Judging from your previous posts, it appears the words “seeing this behaviour from” are cluttering up how you really feel. lol

126. Anthony Thompson - June 3, 2008

Shatner accusing someone else of being greedy. Shatner accusing someone else of not being nice. Shatner, the creator of the classic ST5, denigrating the creative accomplishments of someone else. What an arrogant scumbag.

127. Chris Pike - June 3, 2008

Don’t believe him! Don’t take all that His Shatness tells as Gospel, ever, he doth embellish somewhat sometimes…

128. Garovorkin - June 3, 2008

An old boos of mine once said that human beings are like crab in bucket, when they see one of thir own trying to get out they pull them back in. Same with us and our celebrities the second we see them doing well we revel we get jealous because we wish we could be them with their accolades and money, we think to ourselves “how are they, they don’t deserve it, we deserve it”, so what we do is look for anything to tear them down with. If they have character flaws we magnify our perceptions of those flaws so that we have a justifiable reason to dislike them. In effect we love to tear down and de construct our celebrities and Icons , so they we can feel better about ourselves. When many people look at the news
stands what do they look for first? negative celebrity gossip, we feel happy at their misfortunes and eat it up .same with tell all books the publishers love those things even more then the reader who buy them and the celebrities who write them. Nothing is more juicy then celebrities writing tell all books about other celebrities, we love those even more.

129. Lilaeth - June 3, 2008

Shatner rocks!

He is THE captain of the Enterprise – the others are doomed to remain n his shadow!

130. Andy Patterson - June 3, 2008

I’m not so much defending but I don’t think any of Shatner’s comments are meant to be inflamatory, defaming….whatever other words go in the category when talking about supposed “character attacks”. This is all stuff he talks about in his book and speaks about them very matter of factly with really no hint ill will. It’s very clear to hear his meaning when one hears the book read on tape(CD). It’s really easy to sensationalize anything when you don’t know the context or the emotion behind the statement.

131. Shatner_Fan_2000 - June 3, 2008

What a lot of sissy responses we have here. SO WHAT if Bill dishes a bit of dirt on Roddenberry? Is anyone here familiar with the concept of celebrity bios? It’s not a new genre, and the “dirt” is always what helps these things sell. It’s expected. Bill has certainly been talked about in other people’s books. The incident described here was an arrogant (at best) move on Roddenberry’s part, and Bill and Leonard are free to talk about it all they want, as they are the ones who had to deal with it. I actually prefer hearing a person’s true feelings versus something sugar-coated and false. Maybe that’s just me.

Anyone saying Bill’s comments are making them hate him should move out of fantasy land. It must be getting crowded up there! And for what it’s worth, in Star Trek Memories, Bill had a lot of nice things to say about Roddenberry’s creativity & talent. That’s the way it is a lot of times – you respect people you work with, without necessarily considering them friends.

132. Katie G. - June 3, 2008

Makes me wonder if everyone is giving him business as an actor because he is so “good” or if it’s because he is so controversial. Like it’s not his talent they’re after, it’s the press he brings with him.

Are they laughing with him or are they laughing AT him? Hmmmm…

kg

133. Garovorkin - June 3, 2008

I don’t hate him, I don’t like him, he doing this make money it business thats all. Look at Conseco, He wrote one and made money at it.

134. Katie G. - June 3, 2008

#122. Closet-Trekker

“It seems he cannot do so without taking an underhanded shot at their lack of ability to overcome “a writing problem”, or something to that effect.”

The more I mull it over, the more I think it’s not a “writing problem” at all. These guys are talented. They could do it if they wanted to but the movie is not about the “old Kirk”, it’s about the young Kirk and besides, as he shows his true colours (dissing and back-peddling and such) they’re probably thinking “whew – - dodged a bullet there!”

Then again, being in the industry, they already knew what he was really like and avoided it from the beginning. The “writing problem” was just a polite way to say “thanks, but no thanks”. I’m glad J. J. et al are not joining the war of words with him. Just wish he’d show the same restraint.

Poor Bill.

kg

135. Katie G. - June 3, 2008

#131. Shatner Fan

“Anyone saying Bill’s comments are making them hate him should move out of fantasy land.”

Please don’t put words in other people’s mouths or twist what’s been written. “Hate” is a very strong word. I can dislike someone or dislike what they are doing without HATING them.

Also, please remember – - we are posting comments about the article, not attacking the people who post here. A lot of the comments above set my teeth on edge but I will not attack them for having a different opinion. How about following suit?

kg

136. Katie G. - June 3, 2008

#106. Thomas

Well said.

kg

137. Garovorkin - June 3, 2008

Stuff like this is a reality in the Entertainment industry and so many of us act so surprised and indignant by it? Please.

138. Jack - June 3, 2008

Dudes, Roddenberry was a Hollywood TV producer, Shatner is a Hollywood actor… these are two of the most self-serving, ego-driven, take-credit-from-others, get-ahead-at-all-costs, get-as-much-cash-as-you-can-cause-you’ll-be-unemployed-soon professions there are. With good writers and a lot of other people they managed to make three seasons of a great-at-times sci-fi TV show (with a concept of a future not ruled by racism, where the women wore as little as possible, at the heights of the civil rights movement..) 40+years ago… but both had plenty of other shows/ projects before and after… Trek turned out to be the big moneymaker… of course they both inflate their roles in it all and get caught up in all the fan worship (for a long time after the cancellation, they depended on it to keep their careers afloat).

139. Mr. Bob Dobalina - June 3, 2008

Some fans always will get bent out of shape when the great bird’s feathers get ruffled a bit . And there are always those fans that hate it when the Shat doesn’t kiss up to them like the other Trek “celebs” do…., oh well, makes me love the guy even more. After all, it IS Shatner’s world.. We just live in it.

140. Iowagirl - June 3, 2008

#132
- Makes me wonder if everyone is giving him business as an actor because he is so “good” or if it’s because he is so controversial. -

He certainly is a controversial personality, but he surely wouldn’t have been able to artistically develop a character, and make him his own, make him worldwide known, and then being awarded with Emmys and a Golden Globe for portraying another character just by being “controversial” and telling some stories. An almost 50 year spanning career requires some more substance than being controversial – I think it’s commonly called talent.

#134
- Then again, being in the industry, they already knew what he was really like and avoided it from the beginning. The “writing problem” was just a polite way to say “thanks, but no thanks”. -

I think we all should try not to lope the Presumption Road.

141. Garovorkin - June 3, 2008

#138 and 139 I agree with both of you Remember the war of words between Ellison and Roddenerry over the the Script for City and the things Ellison said of Roddenberry and now Shatner as well. Yes neither Roddenberry or anyone else in Hollywood is an angel . Hollywood is nasty place not for the timid .

142. Jack - June 3, 2008

ps. roddenberry and the network were worried about ratings and money and this hasn’t changed (I work in TV)… shatner is an actor, he puts on the costume they tell him to, he reads words off a page. emotes as he’s instructed and stands where he’s told… whatever his strengths and weaknesses, he ain’t James T. Kirk… (he’s not a doctor but he plays one on TV)… you can still love the show/characters and even though scores of flawed people scrambled to put it all together from nothing every week, struggled to keep it on the air and making money, and were mainly concerned about keeping their jobs… and it was all 4 decades ago.

143. K. M. Kirby - June 3, 2008

It sad that hewould gripe about not being included as second-fiddle in this new prequel, when he might still have a starring role in his own sequel some time in the next decade.

144. roddenberry was a rodent - June 3, 2008

I hate it when the truth is far worse than the ideal dreamy fun and loving picture you have painted about all these people who normally we would think as Giants of SciFi TV….

Their stupidity ruines everything… for some measly dollars they fuss and fuss about, and in the end it never counted all that much…

they all got rich anyway!

145. Shatner_Fan_2000 - June 3, 2008

#140 “An almost 50 year spanning career requires some more substance than being controversial – I think it’s commonly called talent.”

Exactly. Paris Hilton is controversial. Shatner is talented. Pretty big difference. Only … it has been more than 50 years, my friend. :-)

#134 “Then again, being in the industry, they already knew what he was really like and avoided it from the beginning. The ‘writing problem’ was just a polite way to say ‘thanks, but no thanks’.”

Kirk in Star Trek V: “You made that up.”

#134 “I’m glad J. J. et al are not joining the war of words with him. Just wish he’d show the same restraint.”

When was he being unrestrained, all those times he called JJ a wonderful filmmaker and said he’s sure the movie will be great? He hasn’t bashed anyone. The oft-repeated “stupid business decision” comment could be directed at Paramount itself. And a lot of fans agree with him that it was stupid to leave him out. I appreciate his candor. He gives interviewers his honest opinion, but I’m sure he doesn’t go home and dwell on the subject. The man seems kinda busy.

146. warptrek - June 3, 2008

#27 et al…
On the subject of liberal minded fascism… yes, you bet it can and does indeed exist today. The definition of which I would state as following: I am much smarter and all knowing than you, I have the power and I have the well meaning of the people in mind, therefore shut up and take it even if you don’t like it.
Witness or own congress who’s overall approval rating has been hovering around 10-12% for almost a year or more…. yet they continue to do things and pass legislation that more often than not defies the will of the people. I live in NY state, basically a one party ‘blue’ state, where I would definitely call our governor and state assembly liberal minded fascists to the nth degree. The continuation of raising taxes and finding new revenues is astounding to me in a period of economic uncertainty where people do not know if they will be able to pay their bills or not…. It is maddening I tell you. Maddening! I keep wishing I will feel that tingle of the transporter beam any time now….

147. Closettrekker - June 3, 2008

#145—” He gives interviewers his honest opinion, but I’m sure he doesn’t go home and dwell on the subject. The man seems kinda busy.”

Not too busy to write about it in his book. You do not take the necessary time to devote a portion of your own autobiography to the subject matter without a little bit of dwelling.

“When was he being unrestrained, all those times he called JJ a wonderful filmmaker and said he’s sure the movie will be great? He hasn’t bashed anyone. ”

How about everytime he speaks on the subject. Sure, he softens it up first with a compliment, then sneaks in an uppercut like, “…stupid business decision”, “bad box-office decision”, or more recently, “I guess they couldn’t solve the writing problem”. But he’s not bashing anyone (LOL). Please…

“And a lot of fans agree with him that it was stupid to leave him out.”

And like Shatner, none of them have read the script, yet they seem confident enough in their prognosticating abilities to state repeatedly that it was a bad decision, and/ or to imply that a more talented writer could have solved “the writing problem”.

Simply saying that Shatner’s involvement in the film would have resulted in a bigger box-office draw is an argument with no basis in fact. Star Trek fans, whether they wish Bill was in it or not, will still see this movie (if not to be entertained, then simply to have something to gripe about on this site when the reviewing comments overload this site), and the heavily targeted average moviegoer who never really cared for previous incarnations of Trek or simply never gave it a chance due to preconceived notions about it, could just as likely be completely indifferent to his involvement or non-involvement in the film (having him cast in 7 earlier ST films did not seem to matter to them). For that matter, who is to say that his non-involvement will not encourage more average moviegoers to buy into the notion that this is a Star Trek movie they might actually enjoy, and that it is not simply more of the same? I will concede that this is pure speculation, but no more so than the numerous declarations on the part of the obviously prejudiced Bill Shatner and those who defend his every statement or action.

“The oft-repeated “stupid business decision” comment could be directed at Paramount itself.”

That might be true, if indeed Paramount actually told JJ Abrams NOT to include Shatner, but there is no indication that ever happened. One thing is clear, though. Paramount obviously did not believe they needed to make casting him in the film any kind of prerequisite to approving the project and throwing $150 million at it. Nor did they believe his absence would hinder their plans to make STXI their “Summer Movie” of 2009, a rather prestigious honor for any film—let alone a Star Trek movie.

It will be abundantly clear after viewing the film whether an appearance by Shatner’s Kirk would have benefitted the story in any meaningful way. Until then, anyone (including Bill Shatner) saying that it would is irresponsible conjecture—made without a shred of reason to support such a thoughtless conclusion.

148. Shatner_Fan_2000 - June 3, 2008

#147 Yawn. Not gonna get anywhere near that debate again. Been there, done that. Too late, it’s over now, what’s the point? I know YOU enjoy arguing it each and ever day, but I don’t. In the end, it all boils down to how much each individual fan likes Shatner. Those who like him a great deal wanted him in it; those who don’t, didn’t. Period.

“Sure, he softens it up first with a compliment, then sneaks in an uppercut like, ‘…stupid business decision’, ‘bad box-office decision’, or more recently, ‘I guess they couldn’t solve the writing problem’. But he’s not bashing anyone (LOL). Please…”

Again, it all depends on your viewpoint. *I* don’t consider that bashing, but some sensitive people do. His answer always basically amounts to some variation of, ‘I wanted to be in it, I’m not, I’m disappointed, I wish them well.’ That’s what I call: honesty. Bashing would be if he’d really griped, “I hope this movie bombs!”, a quote made up by a tabloid. Mentioning box office is his way of reminding people that he’s hotter than he’s ever been right now, and that his involvement certainly would NOT HAVE HURT.

149. Katie G. - June 3, 2008

Okay, can we drop this? We obviously have our own ideas about what’s going on and who’s thinking what and…

It sounds like it’s beginning to disintigrate. Remember the last one (you’re bashing, he’s complaining – no he’s not, yes he is, is not, is too…)? Let’s not do that again.

And Shatner Fan, you really need to quit attacking posters who have a different viewpoint than you do. None of us have the whole story so let’s just agree that we’re going to disagree. This should be a safe place to visit, not somewhere where we get mocked because the view is different from where we stand.

Anyway, I’m done with this topic and with anything else on Mr. Shatner. It’s too unpleasant.

kg

150. star trackie - June 3, 2008

#148 ” In the end, it all boils down to how much each individual fan likes Shatner. Those who like him a great deal wanted him in it; those who don’t, didn’t. Period.”

Yep. and I love SHATNER as Kirk. Not saying I won’t like Pine, but I do know, for a fact, that Shatner kicked ass AS Captain James T. Kirk. and WIlliam Shatner did not, nor has he ever, kicked my puppy or called me names. I’d love to see him in the role again.

151. Xai - June 3, 2008

131. Shatner_Fan_2000 – June 3, 2008
“What a lot of sissy responses we have here. SO WHAT if Bill dishes a bit of dirt on Roddenberry? Is anyone here familiar with the concept of celebrity bios? It’s not a new genre, and the “dirt” is always what helps these things sell.”

_My sissy response stands. Others can buy all the scandal-sheet, tabloid-journalism, tell-all books they want. I won’t and I don’t.
The dirt you say helps sell books is catering to a bad part of human nature that includes selfishness and vanity and profiting from the problems of others.
The fact that Bill Shatner likely has been mentioned in other books himself does not make it all OK for him to do likewise. And before you say I am a hater or a Shat-basher, please understand that I place all the books of this type under the same catagory, regardless of author.

Trash.
Please recycle.

IMO

152. Xai - June 3, 2008

146. warptrek – June 3, 2008

word to the wise… Anthony kaboshed the political in here.

153. The Underpants Monster - June 3, 2008

#148 – ” Those who like him a great deal wanted him in it; those who don’t, didn’t. Period”

Ellipses, maybe, but hardly period! I love his work, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his performances as Kirk. But I’m with JJ in that I can’t think of any device to bring him into the movie that wouldn’t reek of “cameo for cameo’s sake.”

154. Miguelito - June 3, 2008

Shatner (i’m not talking about Kirk) must be one of Hollywood’s most egotistic, arrogant, overacting actors there is.
I don’t care if gene was like the shat described., but some say that Zefran Cochran was maid by Gene’s image. It would make him even cooler. t
Te shat, though, has to understand that he is NOT star trek (what he doeas) and that he would be a NOBODY without it..

155. Closettrekker - June 3, 2008

#148—”…his involvement certainly would not have hurt.”

I beg to differ. If his involvement means a departure from the script and an additional subplot to explain his appearance, then at least creatively, it certainly would hurt. The story, by all accounts, takes place both long after his character’s death, and in another time period long before it. Obviously, assuming that information is accurate, his appearance would therefore make no sense without such a plot departure or unnecessary additional subplot.

Who is Bill Shatner to say that such a creative departure would be at all beneficial to the story?

Who are you to say it would not hurt the story?

By the way, if you do not care to discuss the subject, why would you respond to a post which presents a differing opinion? Your posts are always visible on any one of these Shatner threads on a given day.

“*I* don’t consider that bashing.”

The compliments you mention have never stood alone. They are always accompanied by either condescending and underhanded shots at the writers, or a flat-out criticism of the creative team’s decision-making skills. More often than not, it is both. How you can blind yourself to that is beyond me.

156. Garovorkin - June 3, 2008

#154 Miguelito I really don’t think you can say that about Shatner there are far bigger egos’s in Hollywood then him , In fact the Ego problem has became so bad that the state is concerned that the weight of all those egos might trigger the San Andreas fault line. I think its ballet question in the next state elections, im not sure on this one.

157. krikzil - June 3, 2008

I grew up in Los Angeles with 2 parents in the industry and several friends who “made it” so to speak. Believe me, Shatner doesn’t come close to the egos out there. Driven, single-minded — most definitely and that’s what made him so good as Kirk. I’ve been on a couple of his sets way back when and he was nothing but nice to the crew and fans. Actually, I’ve never seen any of the Trek cast misbehave. Roddenberry was very nice as is Majel at cons.

The so called “dirt” has been out there for years, discussed in all those autobiographies that have come out over the last decades. Nothing new. It just shows they are all human. And perhaps a lesson about blind worship, no?

158. Shatner_Fan_2000 - June 3, 2008

#155 “if you do not care to discuss the subject…”

What I won’t discuss (and you obviously will, probably until after the film’s release) is whether or not he should have been in the movie. Sure, I could provide a strong counter-argument to every reason you give for him not benefitting it, but why? Next topic, please. The movie’s filming has WRAPPED.

What I am here to discuss now are Shatner’s most recent comments about Roddenberry and the new movie team. I stand by the fact that he’s done nothing wrong, and the only people upset are taking things way too seriously. Me personally, I don’t get bent out of shape by things one celebrity says about another.

“The compliments you mention have never stood alone.”

That’s because they always ask the question in this context: ‘Why are you not in the new Star Trek movie?’ And he answers the question with his honest opinion. Good for him!

#151 “The dirt you say helps sell books is catering to a bad part of human nature that includes selfishness and vanity and profiting from the problems of others”

I really don’t even think there’s any dirt there. A little dust maybe. And it’s not like this stuff is made up, either. Again, I for one appreciate honest opinions and recollections. If Shatner had said, “Roddenberry was a God who could do no wrong”, when it is apparent that both he and Nimoy knew better, that would be disappointing.

159. Xai - June 3, 2008

158. Shatner_Fan_2000 – June 3, 2008

“Dirt” was your word, and I never said he made it up.
I believe that profiting from another human being’s problems is wrong. It doesn’t matter if you are Dr.Phil “curing” people on TV or Maury Povich “revealing” society’s ills on his show or a TV star judging another person’s behaviour in their autobiography. Lots of people doing it is what is truly disappointing and has never made it right. Ask the lemmings.

160. Dansk - June 3, 2008

The more I hear from Shatner, the more convinced I am that he’s a colossally self-absorbed jerk.

Get a life, Bill.

161. Lazyike - June 3, 2008

To the Shat Haters. Didn’t Spock die in Star Trek :The Wrath of Khan? I do believe he did maybe JJ should have had Nichelle or Walter as they never died in film? This “Kirk Died in Generations therefore he can NEVER be brought back in any way shape or form” Hate to break it to you but they raise characters from the dead all the time. There is No reason JJ could have set Shatner & Nimoy ‘s Kirk & Spock up to an hour BEFORE Kirk boarded Enterprise B.

I think it has to do more with Shatner being loathed by the cast.

162. Iowagirl - June 3, 2008

#148
Only … it has been more than 50 years, my friend. :-)

I never stood corrected more gladly, my friend. :-)

163. Iowagirl - June 3, 2008

^ Sorry, that was directed at Shatner_Fan’s post #145.

164. The Angry Klingon - June 4, 2008

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Gene and his family back in 1983 and the man was a paradox…I never knew anybody who could be so selfless and selfish at the same time. He wrote the ‘lyrics’ to Alexander Courage’s theme music so he could take half of the royalties which royally screwed Courage and was the reason he never composed anything else for Trek. He would indeed try to cut himself in on everything possible BUT he would also be incredibly generous and go out of pocket to help people. A lot of times it seems people with a great love of humanity have little love of humans…they are fine with the big picture but not so good with the individual. Gene was wondrously flawed…the genius eccentric uncle that the children adored and the parents tried to tolerate…the business owner that treats his customers like royalty but his employees like subjects…he was the very reason and best example of why utopia can never exist…it is the perfect vision that can be conceived of but never executed by imperfect man. In the end Star Trek was a group effort made wondrous by many talented people…it was Gene’s idea but made real by many contributions…Courage, Justman, Pevny, Coon (the OTHER Gene), Jeffries, Chang teh cast and crew…a collaborative effort invisioned by one man and executed by many. Ignore the man behind the curtain…

165. jeannie Spock - June 4, 2008

Leonard Nimoy has covered a lot of the history of his relationship with GR in both his books ‘I am not Spock’ and ‘I am Spock’. Agreed, he is not quite as scathing as Shatner seems to be. Strange he never mentioned that specific 20% fee incident though. At least Shatner is not afraid to speak his mind, after all, many of the cast have spoke their mind about HIM.

I am a great fan of Nimoy but I really feel he hasn’t told a really full and true story in his autobiograpys. In his books there is no mention at all about his depression and alcoholism during the Star Trek years, also he hardly mentions his wife and there is nothing about marriage problems. In his second book he doesn’t even mention his first wife’s name. You can hardly write an autobiography without covering these important areas even if they are painful.
I think these areas of his life are interesting to fans and admirers and perhaps we will see another book ‘Perhaps I am Spock after All’

166. Shatner_Fan_2000 - June 4, 2008

#164 … Nice post.

167. Closettrekker - June 4, 2008

#161—”There is No reason JJ could have set Shatner & Nimoy ’s Kirk & Spock up to an hour BEFORE Kirk boarded Enterprise B.”

JJ did not write the script, nor is any part of the plot set in that time period. “Can” and “should” are two very different things. Paramount turned down a script which dealt with Kirk’s resurrection. They did, however, approve this one—which has nothing to do with Shatner’s Kirk or that time period. There is nothing to indicate that adding such an additional subplot would do anything to benefit the story. All it is guaranteed to do is benefit Shatner, and Paramount did not spend $150 million to do that…

#164—Nice perspective. We are all human. Even Shatner has displayed some good qualities from time to time.

168. Garovorkin - June 4, 2008

#164 incredibly well said.

169. Katie G. - June 4, 2008

#165. jeannie Spock

“You can hardly write an autobiography without covering these important areas even if they are painful.”

I’m afraid that I have to disagree with that statement. If it is your life and you are writing it, you can include/exclude whatever you want. It’s his business what he chooses to reveal. It is not the public’s right to say “you can’t omit that”.

And yes, it is true to some point that we “contributed” to his popularity (financially and fame-wise), but that doesn’t mean we “own” him, like a slave who was property in Bible times. There are many stars out there who haven’t written an autobiography. Are we going to start demanding that they have to write one and reveal everything? Don’t think so. Can you imagine what John Larroquette or Harrison Ford would say to that? (I wouldn’t be able to repeat those words here.) They are very private people as are many that are out there. If they want to tell us these things, it is a privilege that they are letting us in. If not, while disappointing, it is their right just as it is yours and mine.

Sorry. Felt that had to be said.

kg

170. Anthony Thompson - June 4, 2008

164

That was a fair-minded and insightful post.

171. The Underpants Monster - June 4, 2008

#161 – That’s a very good point. However, they had to spend the entire next movie bringing him back – not only was it the central focus of the movie, but its title! Unless JJ was going to make Star Trek XI: The Search for Kirk. I’m noy saying that wouldn;t be an interesting movie, but it’s not the movie he set out to make, not the movie the studio gave him the funding for.

#164 – Also a good point. I know that when I refer to Roddenberry in terms of his contribution to Star Trek, I automatically assume that the creative team assembled around him is included in that reference.

172. krikzil - June 4, 2008

Given it’s science fiction, Kirk could easily have been brought back with little fuss and without taking up the entire plotline. He could just have BEEN alive at the beginning and then as Spock is going through time or whatever happens in the movie, it could have been filled in a quick flashback, the easist being that he was in the Nexus and they went and got him. Much simplier resurrection than what we went through in ST3 for Spock. Again, people who already identify as Trek fans would accept it and those who were new to the movie really wouldn’t care. Most of my friends, family and acquaintances have only a passing familiarity with Trek and what’s gone on. What they DO know is that Shatner is Kirk as Nimoy is Spock.

173. Closettrekker - June 4, 2008

#172–But again, to what benefit? Why would they go into the Nexus and get him? How would that benefit the story? Who is to say that would make a better movie than the one which has been written and wrapped filming? Once again, “could” and “should” are very different terms…

174. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine - June 4, 2008

“27. NoonienSpock – June 2, 2008

11,19

Communism is on the far left and fascism is on the far-right, ideologically. Tyrants can emerge on either side, of course (… the communist dictator seems more the hypocrite than the other, somehow).

‘Liberal-minded fascism’ makes little sense to me, anyhow.”

Wow. Whoa. Can’t let that one go by unchallenged. Fascism is essentially the populist idea that the government, led by elite leaders, can best serve the needs of the many; “socialism”. Socialism is left-wing. Fascism is erroneously called “right-wing”. Please go read a few books on the French Revolution, the original Progressives, H. G. Wells, Mussolini, Father Coughlin, FDR, Hitler, and Woodrow Wilson, Tom Hayden, and the SDS. All men of the left, and all rather more similar than many modern day leftists would like to realize. The “right’ is far more accurately decribed as an extremely individualistic, libertarian view of the role of government, sometimes to a fault. Anyway, fascism is left wing. You could look it up.

175. Mark Lynch - June 5, 2008

#169
Totally agree with what you said. It is their life and it is not our right to know every facet of a celebrities private life. Now if you are talking public life then we need every stone turned…. :)

While Mr. Nimoy’s alcoholism and marriage problems would no doubt make interesting reading, I would certainly feel very strange reading about it, almost like some kind of voyeur. Some things are better left unprinted.

Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

176. Miguelito - June 5, 2008

To all those who believe they can get Kirk from the Nexus.
He can’t leave the nexus because he already left it.
That is why Guinan could not leave it because she already has.
The Kirk in the Nexus is just an echo of Kirk..
Of course there are bigger egos than Shatner, but he is an pompous egomane. I do like Kirk. I’m now in a daily TOS session to catch up with the movie.
I don’t believe Roddenberry was a gentle “saint. To quote Riker in FC about Cochran: “I don’t believe your a saint Doc, but you sure had a vision”.
I think that phrase summens Trek.

177. Darco - June 5, 2008

shatner is a media whore

178. Deanna86 - June 5, 2008

Totally a media whore, I lost my respect for that man seeing him on that stupid show Boston Legal, making a fool of himself.. But I do think there is some truth in his words, altough I had such great opinion about GR. A person who invents a total world without money and materialism to bitch about pencils… hmmmmm

179. Closettrekker - June 5, 2008

#178—Without getting into Shatner’s credibility, or lack thereof, I must point out that while GR may have believed that his vision of mankind’s future was a utopian one, he still had to live in the same world we all did—one dominated by money, materialism, and financial responsibilities.

While I believe in the benefits of peace, I have still served my country in combat on two occasions. After all, I still have to live in a world where peace is not always available to me and millions of people who can do nothing about it.

GR was as human as the rest of us. His idealistic visions did not pay all of the bills…As far as the “company pens” go, who knows what the rest of the story was? What if Gene was just having a bad day? Maybe some a$$hole at the network just cut their budget again, and Leonard just happened to cross paths with him that day at the wrong time!

180. COMPASSIONATE GOD - June 5, 2008

Re: 42. Anthony Pascale – June 2, 2008
“guys….lets not turn this into a yet another boring ‘left v right’ poltical debate…aren’t there enough other sites on the web for that?”

NO!

Now who ya’ votin’ for?!?!! ;)

On the serious side, I learned much about GR during the convention explosion in the 70s. While a kid finding out that your favorite series’ creator was not the then-sold father-like man was disappointing, ultimately, it was not too damaging, as I heard similar stories about other big TV producers of GR’s time on TOS. Greed, tyranny, shortsighted behavior were a part of many, so I cannot blame Shatner for telling us–mere OBSERVERS–that which he actually lived through as one of the key players in TOS history.

181. Katie G. - June 5, 2008

#179. Closet-Trekker

“…What if Gene was just having a bad day?…”

I totally agree and hope that when I have a bad day, my actions at that weak moment will not go down in history as how I live my life every second. I have many regrets (about dumb things I’ve said/done) but I’ve also done some incredible things that surprised even me so hopefully someone will notice that as well.

Unfortunately, some people feel that when they write a book (or even just talk) they have to talk about others. Hey, if your life is so exciting that you think we’d like to know about it, tell us stuff you’ve done and leave others out of it. If Mr. Shatner knows the power of the media and deliberately puts these things in his book, he’s got to know the effect it will have on people (imo). And there are some posts above that prove my point. Some accept it without a nanosecond’s doubt. And I’m not arrogant enough to insist it’s true just because Mr. Shatner said it was.

I learned a painful, embarrassing lesson once. Years ago I was told something about someone and I acted on what I heard just to be shown to be wrong and have the talebearer exposed as a liar. I won’t make the same mistake twice. Now I either find out for myself or dismiss it. One great rule of thumb is if you can’t say a certain something about a person when they’re present, don’t say it at all and if you’re around someone who wants to talk about another person, excuse yourself. You will become known as someone who will not listen to gossip thereby probably being someone who will not start it. I want THAT as part of my reputation.

I do really like Bill, but sometimes the things he says or does make me sad.

I’m preaching again. Sorry. Just feel strongly about these things in my old age. It’s all Closet-Trekker’s fault. I’d better get to bed.

:-|

kg

182. krikzil - June 6, 2008

“#172–But again, to what benefit? Why would they go into the Nexus and get him? How would that benefit the story? Who is to say that would make a better movie than the one which has been written and wrapped filming? Once again, “could” and “should” are very different terms…”

#172–I’m not saying that getting him from the Nexus be the FOCUS of the NEW movie. I said as a quick flashback explaining his current presence. I’m just countering all the comments that it would be hard to bring him back and would have to be the focus of the new movie. Uh, no. The movie apparently concerns time travel and we are going to get to see scenes from the characters lives through time so… As to benefit…well, Kirk would be ALIVE and we’d have the Kirk/Spock team. That’s a benefit since for many fans, they embody Trek. They are arguably the most recognized characters of the entire Trek franchise.

And I’m sorry, I do believe having William Shatner in the movie would make financial sense. Whether you like him or not, he is popular and he does generate media attention and is quite popular with a lot of the younger folk today becuase of his crazy commercials and Denny Crane character. As various posters on this site have pointed out, he’s also generating more attention for the new Trek Movie — THAT HE’S NOT EVEN IN — than anyone else. And yes “could” and “should” can be two different things but since we have no idea beyond the basics what this movie is about, it’s all speculation in a vacuum. As such, I’m free to believe that having Shatner and Kirk in the movie would have been better for it.

183. krikzil - June 6, 2008

Sorry…should have said “#173″.

184. Katie G. - June 6, 2008

#182. krikzil

In ST:Generations, Guinan said she couldn’t leave the Nexus and come with Picard because she was a shadow of the real person that he knew who had already left the Nexus, so Kirk can’t leave either (the reflection/shadow Kirk) because the real Kirk left with Picard and died saving the Universe.

Perhaps they could find a way but, again, it might take too long to work out and apparently that’s not the story that J. J. was given to produce.

“…but since we have no idea beyond the basics what this movie is about, it’s all speculation in a vacuum.”

EXACTLY.

And we’re all dizzying ourselves going in circles speculating and not being able to breathe! (Vacuum, no air, can’t breathe – - okay, you get it.)

kg

185. Closettrekker - June 7, 2008

#182—You are “free” to believe that, as you pointed out. However, while you are correct about the time travel involved in the storyline, it has also been made clear that the story takes place post-Nemesis and pre-TOS. That’s it. That, IMO, leaves no room for a stopover in either the period just before the Enterprise-B incident, or the Nexus. The Kirk in the Nexus, as Katie G. pointed out, is but a shadow of the man Spock knew. And rescuing Kirk from his fate aboard the Enterprise-B would be irresponsible, considering the potential impact to the timeline which Spock knows to be correct. We have never known Spock to behave so. There is one thing we do agree upon.

“…we have no idea beyond the basics what this movie is about…”

So how can you determine that Kirk’s resurrection would have any benefit to the story? Abrams apparently does not believe it would. And if Paramount (who we all know wants to make money, above all) believed that Shatner’s involvement would garner more profits, why would they not make his involvement a prerequisite to approving the project? Why would they throw $150 million at it and decide later (after it was clear that Shatner could have no role) that STXI would be their signature film of 2009 (the Summer movie)? I think you are overestimating Shatner’s box-office draw, and I think he does too. If he were in such high demand, he wouldn’t be stuck doing a televisioon show. I also believe you overestimate the popularity of Boston Legal and the Denny Crane character. Personally, I didn’t even know he was on it until I heard it here some months ago. I understand he has won an Emmy for his performance, but really, I don’t know anyone who watches that show (I tried to sit through an episode, but it did nothing for me). And do you really think that young people will flock to give Star Trek XI a chance because they like Shatner’s Priceline commercials? Come on now, that’s a bit of a stretch. I have to believe that if resurrecting Shatner would have benefitted the story or improved its box-office draw, then either Paramount or the film’s director would have recognized that and made it happen. The truth is, from everything we know about it, shoehorning Shatner into the plot would make no sense whatsoever. Kirk IS involved, but not at the age that Shatner could play him. What does Romulans travelling back in time to the era prior to TOS have to do with Shatner’s Kirk? Forcing it into relevancy just so we can have a gratuitous Shat appearance only serves to put the film’s credibility in jeopardy. I don’t want to roll my eyes in the theater, and that’s exactly what would happen. I have said a hundred times that a flashback scene depicting a conversation between Spock and Kirk prior to his boarding the Enterprise-B would have been a perfect way to include Shatner (and without any of the baggage), but Bill’s public dismissal of the idea of a cameo shot that possibility right out of the water. He has only himself to blame for missing a paycheck, and you have only him to blame for missing out on some gratuitous Shat. Putting the Generations baggage and Shatner’s “I’m too good for cameos” attitude on the shoulders of these artists who are working hard to bring the iconic TOS characters back to life is ridiculously unfair. It shouldn’t be their problem. JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof did not kill off Jim Kirk. Neither did Roberto Orci or Alex Kurtzman. You are disappointed that they did not make the movie you wanted. Well, that’s predictable, since they were not going to please everyone in the first place. But I’m not going to judge a work of art before its made available to the World. I’m not going to say they should have included one thing or another before I’ve even seen how it turned out. Shatner said his goodbyes to the Kirk character, and I said my goodbyes to him. It’s someone else’s turn now.

186. Diappointed Trekker - June 7, 2008

Seen his acting skills, interesting he can call GR a chisler

187. Shatner_Fan_2000 - June 7, 2008

#185 “If he were in such high demand, he wouldn’t be stuck doing a televisioon show. I also believe you overestimate the popularity of Boston Legal and the Denny Crane character. Personally, I didn’t even know he was on it until I heard it here some months ago. I understand he has won an Emmy for his performance, but really, I don’t know anyone who watches that show (I tried to sit through an episode, but it did nothing for me). ”

Stuck doing a television show, huh? Give me a break! Stuck at age 77 (an age when most people are retired if not dead!) being watched by millions of people every week in a brilliantly written, Emmy-winning (tv’s highest honor) role? Doesn’t sound so bad to me!

I have to take issue with you trying to minimize Bill’s current career. I’m reading his autobiography right now, and the early chapters really drive home that Shatner has been a star since the Golden Age of television. He is one of the last survivors a bygone era; he was already a big name in tv in the 50′s, holding his own against the likes of Steve McQueen. And not only is he still here while most of his peers have vanished, he is thriving, by anyone’s standards. His show is popular, it has a 5th season coming up, and just because you don’t like it or get it doesn’t mean that millions haven’t thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s biting, it’s smart, it’s topical, it’s political, it’s hysterical. And a large chunk of the success goes to Bill, who helped lift Star Trek up to the stratosphere 40 years ago.

Yes, he is a bigger name than anybody else in the cast of Star Trek XI. Ask the average person on a city street who Chris Pine is, no one would know. A few younger people might know who Eric Bana is. But mention the name Shatner, and I daresay most would instantly know who you’re talking about. Now I know you love to say Shatner doesn’t = box office dollars, and I’m not saying he does. Only a small handful of actors (Clooney, Depp, Pitt) have the kind of enormously high profile that makes audiences curious about everything they do. In the end, I tend to believe what Nick Meyer said about movies: People only care about one thing – is it any good? All I’m saying is that Shatner is an entertainment legend. Whether you like it or not, he is more popular than ever today and still known the world over as Captain Kirk. If he’s being interviewed every week about a movie he’s not even in, think about the press he could generate if he WAS in it!

JJ “didn’t want to tell that story”? Fine. We’ll all see how it turns out a year from now. But many fans wish he would have.

188. Closettrekker - June 7, 2008

#187 —Bill’s current career is very respectable. I only “minimize” it relative to the question of whether his presence would = more profits for the film, and specifically, whether young people would pay $ to see the film simply because he’s in it, as the poster I responded to asserted.

And yes, having portrayed the iconic James Kirk for so long, he IS an entertainment legend. His work is a big part of why I love TOS to this day. But that is rather irrelevant to what he can bring to the table now in STXI, with regard to younger audiences. That is the context from which you drew my comments.

Yes, JJ has chosen to tell Orci and Kurtzman’s story, and while some old-guard fans wish he was telling a Shatner’s Kirk story, those fans will likely see it anyway, even if just to arm themselves with the material needed to criticize it. The point is, Paramount was unwilling to commit $150 million to a resurrection of Shatner’s Kirk story. They were, however, willing to give Star Trek that treatment for the script that WAS approved…and that one doesn’t include Bill. So either Bill and his fan club are right and the box-office experts are wrong, or it’s the other way around…I know where I’ll put my money.

189. Disappointed Trekker - June 8, 2008

Think it’s awful ironic he’s telling his castmates to move beyond their hatred and grievances with him but apparently he’s been holding this against GR for over 40 years. Isn’t that the bald, overwieght pot calling the kettle black?

190. krikzil - June 8, 2008

“EXACTLY. And we’re all dizzying ourselves going in circles speculating and not being able to breathe! (Vacuum, no air, can’t breathe – - okay, you get it.) kg”

Katie — I don’t know about you but I’m not sure I can survive until next May! LOL. It was bad enough just waiting until Christmas. ah, but speculation is fun for me.

Frankly I don’t get why some people on this site have such a problem with people like me who choose to do so. Which leads me to….

“So how can you determine that Kirk’s resurrection would have any benefit to the story? Abrams apparently does not believe it would. And if Paramount (who we all know wants to make money, above all) believed that Shatner’s involvement would garner more profits, why would they not make his involvement a prerequisite to approving the project? Why would they throw $150 million at it and decide later (after it was clear that Shatner could have no role) that STXI would be their signature film of 2009 (the Summer movie)? I think you are overestimating Shatner’s box-office draw, and I think he does too. If he were in such high demand, he wouldn’t be stuck doing a televisioon show. ”

Closettreker — Well, I’d ask the you the same question in reverse — how do you know that it wouldn’t? You seem pretty entrenched in your veiwpoint to the point of trying to minimize Shatner’s current career. Slice it anyway you want, whether you watch his show or his commercials, he IS very popular now. He is relevant to people now or at least widely known and as I said in post, he does manage to generate a lot of press. Personally, while I have watched some episodes of Boston Legal, I’m really not a regular viewer. I work in the legal field and frankly, don’t want to spend my free-time that way. As for Paramount and business decisions. I really think they just put it in Abrams hands. He’s had success and that’s a pretty sensible decision viewed that way. I’m also not judging the film. What would be the point? I will judge it on its own merits when I see it (or a script leaks!). However, I am free to feel they missed an opportunity. No matter how much I enjoy the film, this won’t change.

Before you just write me off as a Shatnerbot, actually Spock is my favorite character but I feel what made his character so special was the relationship WITH Kirk. I didn’t like Generations for 2 reasons — Kirk died a stupid death AND there was no Spock ,which didn’t seem right. I also find it curious that so much is made out of Shatner saying he doesn’t do cameos. Nimoy refused Generations with the same sentiment. I don’t blame him and I don’t blame Bill Shatner. They’ve both earned more in the Trek Universe.

191. Closettrekker - June 10, 2008

#190—”Well, I’d ask the you the same question in reverse. How do you know it wouldn’t?”

It’s quite simple. I don’t, and I’ve never taken that position. I see it as a handicap to following the story which is already written, given the fact that Shatner’s Kirk was obviously not a part of it to begin with. I just believe that it should be left to Abrams and co. to decide if it would benefit or not, and we will not know if it would or would not until we see it. Therefore, it is unfair to say it was a mistake.

192. Closettrekker - June 10, 2008

#190—”Slice it anyway you want, whether you watch his show or his commercials, he IS very popular now. ”

I don’t disagree. I simply hold the opinion that it is a reach to conclude that his appearance would mean a bigger box-office draw for STXI.

“As for Paramount and business decisions. I really think they just put it in Abrams hands. He’s had success and that’s a pretty sensible decision viewed that way.”

You’re probably right, but they didn’t have to. Studios have made specific castings in films a prerequisite for directors alot more established than JJ Abrams. My point is that if Paramount believed Shatner would make them more money, they could easily have insisted that he be cast in the film. Studio executives get paid alot of money to make those decisions, and they do not doll out $150 million without thinking about things like that. They obviously did not feel that way, or perhaps they believed his absence would convince broader audiences that this isn’t the same ole’ Star Trek. That is, after all, one of the objectives…

“…actually Spock is my favorite character… ”

Mine as well–Spock is absiolutely the most interesting character in all of Star Trek history, IMO.. If only one of the original actors was to be included in the film, Nimoy was the best choice, IMO. His character’s presence does not present any dilemmas or handicaps to the story, and is alive and well post-Nemesis (the era the filmmakers wish to tie together with the pre-TOS years). I’m looking forward to seeing him (Old Spock) again on the big screen.

193. krikzil - June 11, 2008

“Therefore, it is unfair to say it was a mistake.”

Well Closettrekker, I’m guessing we are just going to have to agree to disagree. I still don’t get why it’s just an issue with you that some of us feel Shat/Kirk would have been a plus but that’s life.

“My point is that if Paramount believed Shatner would make them more money, they could easily have insisted that he be cast in the film. Studio executives get paid alot of money to make those decisions, and they do not doll out $150 million without thinking about things like that. They obviously did not feel that way, or perhaps they believed his absence would convince broader audiences that this isn’t the same ole’ Star Trek. That is, after all, one of the objectives…”

But I did have to comment on this. Paramount executives don’t really have a good track record in the Trek films they’ve greenlit so far so I’m not sure this is valid. Personally, JJ was interested, his films have made money and that’s all they cared about in my opinion of events. They are desperate to have a tent pole franchise.

194. Closettrekker - June 13, 2008

#193–”Paramount executives don’t really have a good track record in the Trek films they’ve greenlit so far so I’m not sure this is valid.”

They haven’t greenlit a Star Trek film with that kind of budget behind it since the late 70′s, and the past 4 films were based upon a series that was never really feature film worthy to begin with, IMO.

195. Kilo - July 5, 2008

While I greatly appreciate Gene creating Trek, to me he was always a “one-trick pony”. If you read what has been written by the actors and producers, Gene pretty much wanted every movie after ST:TMP to be a time-travel movie showing Spock to be the 2nd gunman on the grassy knoll… and Kennedy’s assassin! TNG’s first two years were rehashes of TOS, even to the point of Will and Deanna’s dialogue and back-story being identical to Illya and Decker’s. It was only after the reins were handed over did we get new ideas (regardless of whether they were good or not).
Gene… thanks for giving us Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the Enterprise… but, I for one refuse to raise you to the deity platform you always desired.

196. Joanne - March 28, 2009

The only thing that Shatner cares about is himself. He is selfish and only cares about money. He is not well liked by the Star Trek cast members and that has to mean something. I read that Shatner would read how many lines he had per script then get upset if someone else had more lines than he did. He felt because he was the Captain no one else should have more lines than he did. All he cares about is how much attention he can get and how much money he will get. He is no Captain Kirk. In fact he could learn a lot from Capt Kirk. By the way he mentioned that Capt Kirk was written for him-NOT true-he accepted the role. Shatner is so self centered-no wonder why he has been married so many times. I wish shatner would RETIRE!!!! We are so sick of you!!!!!!!

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