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Spiner: I’m Too Old To Play Data October 2, 2008

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Celebrity,TNG , trackback

Brent Spiner has a new video interview promoting his new album Dreamland (see TrekMovie review), but he also talked a bit about Trek. Next Generations Data said that he was too old to return to the role, but ‘never say never.’ The actor also talked about his future projects including his new documentary.  



VIDEO [via uinterview]

Too old for Data
Most of the interview is about Dreamland, but Spiner was asked if we will see Data again

Sean Connery said ‘never say never’ so I would never say never, but ‘probably never.’ We are getting a little old in the tooth to be doing it — at least I am. Data is a character that is about youth in a way, he is about childlike wonder and exploring humanity with childlike eyes and my eyes aren’t looking childlike anymore as well as you can see. Some of the other people could come back way easier than I could. But it is sort of like — I don’t know if you are Marx Brothers fan, but i the early day so Marx Brothers films starting with Coconuts, Harpo was otherworldly, he was like an angel from another world, a cherub. Somehow by the later films I thought he was least effective because he wasn’t young anymore and there was something about him being youthful that made it work. Grocho worked all the way to the end, but he didn’t have to have this childlike essence. So I don’t I will be doing it again. That being said, you never know.

Dreamland the movie? + new documentary
Regarding future projects, Spiner did say he wants to turn Dreamland into a film, possibly something animated or maybe a concert film, but he needs to find a director. He also talked about his new documentary, but was a bit cryptic:

I’m going to go from one end of the country to another — just going to people’s houses and talking to them. There’s a specific reason, which I’d rather not talk about, but I won’t be making fun of people, that’s not what I’m looking for. I really am just looking for ordinary people or extraordinary people or peculiar people or not peculiar people to visit. Just a variety kind of a cross-section of America and there is a theme, but I’m going to keep that to myself just at the moment because it’s so simple that I’m afraid somebody else will do it before I get out there. So I am not going to say it.

Spiner wants people to write to him about it at brentdoc@aol.com (Leave name, address, phone number)

Brent at LA Comic Book Show
Spiner will be appearing next weekend (October 12) at the Los Angeles Comicbook and Science Fiction Convention. He will be signing his Dreamland. More info at the official site.

For more on Brent, visit therealbrentspiner.com

[H/T: TrekToday]


1. EM - October 2, 2008

I would still like to see an older wiser Data.

2. Jordan - October 2, 2008

Hate to admit it, but its true. Perhaps they can make him younger with digital technology in the future.

3. captain shroom - October 2, 2008

These days all he has to provide is a voice and the rest would be CGI. He’s supposed to look artificial anyway.

Not that a ‘generations’ project is even remotely on the radar…

4. I'm dead Jim - October 2, 2008

Never say never is right. Data (or B-4, whatever) could probably find a way to age himself on the outside so to fit in with his aging colleagues. PLEASE OH PLEASE DO IT! It would be great to have on last GREAT TNG film even if it’s made for TV. Just make it as good as the best two part episodes.

5. Orb of the Emissary - October 2, 2008

Data did indicate during the run of TNG that he was made to simulate certain characteristics of humans. Maybe aging is one of them?

6. HiTrek Redneck - October 2, 2008

Remember the movie ‘Bicentennial Man’? That android was similar to Data in a way. Data wants to be human, what if he found a way to age like a human. Of course this is all strictly speculating that a TNG movie will ever be made again, but the story of Data aging would be interesting. He would finally get to REALLY face mortality the way we do……

7. I'm dead Jim - October 2, 2008

Oh, and I liked Nemesis okay but maybe we could pretend that never happened so that Data could be himself, not B-4. :-)

8. earthclanbootstrap - October 2, 2008

I’d sorta prefer to trust his instincts on this one. It’d be like seeing Colin Baker or Tom Baker going back to play the Doctor again (Peter Davison’s clever little bit for Children In Need notwithstanding). It just wouldn’t…
look right.
And I applaud him for the grace and sense to see that.

9. scarfguy - October 2, 2008

Oh please don’t tease me about Tom Baker getting into the TARDIS again! Doctor Who was never the same without that man. Always wished there was a way to bring him back, even The Five Doctors had to use stock footage too bad….

10. MORN SPEAKS - October 2, 2008

I agree, but I think the overall cast deserves one last very good movie deserving of their final curtain. Just like the original cast did with Star Trek V.

11. Paul Murphy - October 2, 2008

In the TNG episode Inheritance, data met a woman who claims to be Soong’s lover therefore his “mother,” but he realizes that she, too, is an android, however she ages and doesn’t even know shes an android so theres always a way to effectively continue Data’s story.

12. Jorg Sacul - October 2, 2008

10. *cough* uh, Star Trek VI :-)

13. GO - October 2, 2008

#10 – not sure “deserving” has anything to do with anything.

The original cast didn’t “deserve” positive reviews on Star Trek V, they justly “earned” it.

TNG messed up with not one, but two final films. Pretty much end of story.

Thank God for First Contact on DVD.

14. GO - October 2, 2008

12. *cough* *choke* *cough* *cough* right you are…

15. Scott - October 2, 2008

Nemesis was a little anti-climactic, not the sort of ending fans needed, but I still maintain it was a solid Trek film and one of the most emotional of the series, as it dealt with the concept of family more than about who blows up the biggest ship. And besides, we do have the final TNG episode, which as I recall was pretty fantastic. You know, sometimes the heroes should just ride off into the sunset in their prime. We don’t always need to see them shuffling through ‘one last adventure’, teetering into senility. There was something fitting about the final scene in Nemesis, where Picard is seen walking down the corrider of the Enterprise, and the shot of the E being refitted. We knew then that the story would continue, but it wasn’t necassary to see how it might ultimately end. Somewhere out there, Picard was still captain of the Enterprise, and that’s the way it should be. It’s about keeping the legend intact, and not needing to know what happens after the sunset.

16. Energize - October 2, 2008

Why not? Can’t Data age? In All Good Things Data dyed his hair grey.

17. AJ - October 2, 2008


Scott: Yes, the last scenes of Nemesis were OK, and the cut scenes would have made the end even better.

But the entire film suffers from lack of purpose. It takes Trek canon minutiae (Remus) and weaves an implausible takeover of Romulus, and the manufacture of the most destructive ship in the quadrant by a bunch of 2nd class miners. It then attempts to manufacture a revenge fantasy for Shinzon against Picard, who has never met him or wronged him, but is simply plonked into the relationship by the writers.

The Romulan film we all wanted was taken from us, and the idea of a 2nd Data “brother” was awful and tired, due to lack of imagination. The dune buggy didn’t help, either.

I think Spiner’s Data is a wonderful character, and it would be great if he could be somehow brought back, even via CGI. Before that, a commercial case needs to be made by TPTB to resurrect the 24th century.

18. Scott - October 2, 2008

AJ, yes Nemesis was a flawed script, but I still think it was salvaged by some great, emotional performances and direction. As a comparison, Star Trek V also had a flawed script, but the direction was also bad and virtually no real acting involved anywhere.
I agree, Data could be brought back as partially CGI. I read that the new Terminator film has a CGI’d Arnold over the face of another actor portraying a terminator. X-Men 3 had a nearly convincing CGI treatment of a young Professor X and Magneto. Both actors had CGI treatment to their faces in that scene. The technology is getting better all the time. I think it likely we’ll see many of our old, favorite actors CGI’d into new films someday. I can’t wait for that, because I want to see Christopher Reeve as Superman again!

19. Toddk - October 2, 2008

I would hate to rub salt in it for data fans but if you compare data from farpoint and data from nemesis, the changes are very apparent. the same thing goes for sirtis and frakes. Its one of the things that made the finale of enterprise kind of awkward.

maybe filmation could make a TNG saturday morning series with the TNG cast (whether the TNG cast would like to participate remains to be seen)

I agree that “all good things” makes up for a final TNG ending.

20. MONGO - October 2, 2008

Mongo think Data mans right. Sometimes story end. Maybe in 20-30 year we all complain about new actors in TNG reboot.

Mongo always think should have made movie with Q. Make it lighter than all serious TNG movies. Even TOS knew to put a lighter touch in Trek IV.

21. Newman - October 2, 2008

Think Mr. Spiner would come to Canada to talk to me???

No, he probably wouldn’t…

22. mikeEhunt - October 2, 2008

lets forget Nemesis what an utterly disappointing POS

23. starfleetmom - October 2, 2008

Direct it and not be in it?? No way! I love the Dreamland CD and he certainly needs to be in the film and or stage produciton. I’m sure there are plenty of qualified directors out there…and he can be the creative consultant.

24. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

I think the best ending for the TOS-era crew would have been the end of TVH—when Kirk and company went to warp aboard the Enterprise-A. It was understood that they would once again explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no man had gone before. I didn’t personally need a follow-up to that.

The mistake, IMO, was milking it dry with that cast afterward, with stories that ranged from bad (STV: Shatner’s Great Trek Turd Of ’89) to decent (TUC) to downright awful (with Shatner’s participation in GEN).

For fans of TNG (which I admittedly am not), I think you should be careful what you wish for.

Beyond that, JJ Abrams is asking (or is going to ask) mainstream audiences to put aside their preconceived notions about Trek, in an attempt to make this massive budget Star Trek film a success and infuse new blood into the fanbase. IMO, casting aside the TNG-era for the forseeable future seems wise, with that objective in mind.

I think that, by the time anyone in power wishes (if at all) to greenlight another TNG-era project, it will not be with the cast with which you are familiar.

25. Mike T. - October 2, 2008

I agree with #19, a animated series would be the way to go for probably all of the Berman era Trek shows since all of the actors are getting up there in age.
Nearly all of the TNG actors have voiced animated shows/movies (Stewart did TMNT) and they could read their lines anywhere on the planet if they can’t make it to a studio.

As for Data returning, when Riker shows up on Romulus for the peace talks discussed at the end of Nemisis, a Romulan officer could present him with something they found drifting in the wreckage of Shinzon’s ship, Data’s badly damaged head. When they repair his head it could look like the aged Brent Spiner.

26. Ian - October 2, 2008

@ #5

How about Data wants to experience what it’s like to be perceived as older and has a makeover at Starfleet Medical and Starfleet Science supervised by Dr. Crusher? He would still have the positronic capacity and memory of the Data we know, but would look older. Kinda far fetched maybe?

27. Ralph F - October 2, 2008

Why not have that part of B-4’s “hidden programming”? The capability to age?

I also like #25’s suggestion re/the wreckage; sounds like the opening teaser of an episode. Would be a fun TITAN novel.

28. Energize - October 2, 2008

Maybe Data creates an aging chip so he can age along with his fellow companions if he wishes?

29. Ler - October 2, 2008

Going off #25s suggestion, not only has the damage made him look older now, but the Thalaron radiation has caused his systems to begin to deteriorate, giving him a future lifespan of a few more decades or however long.

30. Izbot - October 2, 2008

“Spiner: I’m Too Old To Play Data”

Ya think? Shoulda said that before making Nemesis.

31. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008


32. JWW - October 2, 2008

brent could pull it off, his skin is just sagging, nothing a few stitches and botox couldnt fix… good as new!

thats the downside of playing a famous artificial character…

someone else could portray soong’s robot, couldnt they?

brent was smashing as arik soong, in the ‘enterprise’ series… that installment was really getting good, too bad the young’ns couldnt recognise a real trek series when they saw it…

how did ‘top model’ outlive ‘enterprise’?

i guess we get the tv we deserve…

33. JeFF - October 2, 2008

Recast Data in a younger body… duh.

…and bring back the rest.

34. classictrek - October 2, 2008

you feel old when you here that ‘the next generation’ are too old to play their parts!!

Im not a N Gen fan (im TOS only) but i think Star Trek 10 should have been their farewell movie instead of doing Nemesis. It would have drawn more people in the theatres if they knew this was their final movie and would have brought about closure. Would have made more sense then for the New movie (trek 11) to go back to the beginning.

#24 clossettreker
I understand that you dont rate Trek 5 but i personally think it has some classic trek moments. I actually liked the movie but admittedly it could have been better.

I loved TUC and the final swansong for the original crew. I wish they had called it a day then and that shatner and co didnt appear in trek 7. i think that was a big mistake.


35. ThePhaige - October 2, 2008

No emotion = emotion chip
No aging = aging chip

36. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

#32—“how did ‘top model’ outlive ‘enterprise’?”

Well, for one thing, it was on the UPN.

Guaging what the seems to me to be the ‘majority’ opinion (although my conclusion is certainly not scientific) among people who post here about it, by the time ENT developed into something they could sink their teeth into, not enough people were left watching.

I didn’t see it until after it was cancelled and I bought the DVD set. I like it (and I didn’t really like much of the rest of Berman-era Trek), and I agree about Spiner in the augment episodes…

37. garen - October 2, 2008

#27 said it.

There’s nothing to say that B4 wasnt designed and built to show signs of aging.

And i like the idea of #35. An aging chip creates instant age-ability. But that might a little tough, and obvious feeling to shoe-horn into a script.

38. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

#34—“…admittedly it could have been better.”

I’ll resist the temptation to, once again, list the reasons why I would like to forget it and get my money back. Instead, I’ll just say that I think the notion that “it could have been better” is a significant understatement, IMO.

But if you enjoyed it, good for you.

“I wish they had called it a day then and that shatner and co didnt appear in trek 7. i think that was a big mistake.”

All things being equal, I couldn’t agree more.

39. Phil - October 2, 2008

CGI Data….yeah, that worked real well with Jar Jar…

40. TOS-TNG Luva - October 2, 2008

Berman basically got sloppy with the tail end of VOY and entire ENT. No bail out for him. :)

41. R0gueD3m3nt0r - October 2, 2008

im just glad he’s not whining about “not being in the next film” like shatner is.

and he’s not having post character death denial like shatner too haha

love ya mr. spiner!

42. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

#41—I have to agree with you there.

43. Sean4000 - October 2, 2008


Darn good idea! I like it a lot.


44. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

#43—Yeah, his solution is definitely better than Shatner’s reassembling DNA idea!

45. Snowblind - October 2, 2008

Jar Jar was just a terrible character, it wouldn’t have made any difference if he were an actual actor.

46. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

Me’sa terrible character?

47. The Last Maquis - October 2, 2008


Yeah, why didn’t They put Q in any of those movies?

He was They’re Real Nemesis. I’m still waiting for the Wrath of Daimon Bok movie. Nemesis was Awesome. Berman sucked.

48. Chain of Command - October 2, 2008

I read a post earlier about the last TNG episode, “All Good Things” being a great farewell. I suppose it could be considered that, but am I one of the only people who never really liked it? I mean, it’s good, but pretty lame compared to episodes like “The best of both worlds”. That was TNG’s best hour (Well, two hours). Even better than First Contact IMO

49. Elvis Gump - October 2, 2008

Just bring in John DeLancie as Q to wave his magic hand and make Data human and old. Spiner’s nearly 60 if I’m not mistaken isn’t he?

One of the things I was ALWAYS disappointed with in the TNG movies was no Q. It started as a really clunky character in the “Farpoint” pilot, but he and the writers really nailed that character especially in the end.

50. Oregon Trek Geek - October 2, 2008

#25 has an awesome idea(s) on all counts.

Also, a CGI Data, if done well, could be really cool.

I still hope for more on-screen TNG. The small screen would be fine too. I still like the idea of an anthology series, one 2-hr movie per month or so, with the various series casts trading off. One month, voyager, next month TNG, then DS9, etc. And occasionally some crossover stuff.

51. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

#50—If Paramount is anticipating success with the new film (as they certainly appear to be in feeling comfortable enough to with move the release to May), I don’t think any projects for a ‘niche’ audience will be forthcoming. I think that’s exactly what an anthology-type series would be. Such a series would be a “geek members only” club, IMO.

In fact, I think that any potential new Trek series is years away.

52. Magic_Al - October 2, 2008

Post-Gollum, a CGI-motion capture performance of Data by Spiner could be superior to his past performances. It could be more of an acting challenge to have the same range through those layers of technology. but the physical presence of Data as an mechanical being would be more convincing than a man in clown makeup.

53. Adam Cohen - October 2, 2008

Data died. If they can’t bring back Kirk, surely the do not have the technology to bring back Data either (insert sarcastic grin here).

I think the de-aging work that they did to Patrick Stewart in X3 shows that we’re in an age where this sort of a revivial is quite possible. Now, if they could get someone other than Brent Spiner to write it, we might be okay!

54. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

#53—They ‘have’ brought back Kirk….just not Shatner (insert equally sarcastic grin).


55. Xai - October 2, 2008

I have to be consistent.
I am against Shatner’s Kirk being resurrected and I am against Spiner resurrecting his portrayal of Data.
Dead is dead. This is science fiction mythology, but sometimes heroes DO die and stay dead after they saved the day.

56. Spocks brain - October 2, 2008

Hey Spinner if you read this, Robin Williams played the leading character in the BICENTENNIAL man movie, that showed a robot, evolving, growing and YES, even aging and finally dieing so he could become “more human”. He couldnt not endure the fact that he could live forever yet others would die. This is a factor one must understand about data, in the long run, he could live forever.. but would he WANT that?

I would love to see a Movie about data.. gesh I could think about 1000 stories that I could use data in…. that would work so fantastic just like things are now.

Science Fiction is about daring the impossible, and finally seeing that what people thought impossible most probably come possible with time and effort.

I would like to see data again… dont EVER think you are too old. You still have that wonder and youthfulness inside you, and it should remain part of you even if you are 120 years old.

Take care.

57. Resident nEvil - October 2, 2008

I think a lot of you are missing the point.

Spiner isn’t saying that there’s no way an older Data could fit into the continuity (refer to Shatner’s concept for a “Jurassic Park” style resurrection).

What he’s saying is what made the character of Data so endearing was his childlike innocence, and that, as an older actor, that aspect of the character would be lost.

His comments about Harpo, especially, echo that sentiment. It wasn’t a storyline or canon discrepancy for Harpo to age, but as he did, he lost his childlike appearance and demeanour, and that made the character less effective.

Sure, they could find some way to bring back Data. But as a wise man once said: “Just because we CAN do a thing, does not mean that we MUST do that thing.”

58. Third Remata'Klan - October 2, 2008

Much as I would love to see Data again, he’s 1) DEAD and 2) yeah, Spiner is getting too old to play him.

However, he’s in no way to old to play other characters, like he did on Enterprise. Why not another ancestor of Noonien Soong in the sequel to J.J.’s Star Trek? I’d love to see Spiner on Trek again, even if he’s not Data.

They really need to work on that CGI “de-aging” thing before they can start using it effectively. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen look kind of like wax sculptures in the opening scene of ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’.

59. Third Remata'Klan - October 2, 2008

#55 – Xai

Agree with you 100%.

60. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

#57—I think you’re right.

” We are getting a little old in the tooth to be doing it — at least I am. Data is a character that is about youth in a way, he is about childlike wonder and exploring humanity with childlike eyes and my eyes aren’t looking childlike anymore as well as you can see.”

” Some of the other people could come back way easier than I could.”

Now, I think there he addresses the fact that some of the other characters’ more advanced age would be less of a liability, and that may be true. However, is that really what average moviegoers (or established fans, for that matter) want to see in a feature film? Judging by the numbers at the box office the last couple of times out, the answer is very likely “no”.

“Just because we CAN do a thing, does not mean that we MUST do that thing.”

I think that is true of both characters (Data and Shatner’s Kirk), although I would substitute the word, ‘must’, with the word, ‘should’…

Of course someone could concoct an explanation for the reappearance of ‘either’ character, but to what purpose? Are either of them relevant to the future of the franchise?

I don’t think so.

61. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

#58—“Why not another ancestor of Noonien Soong in the sequel to J.J.’s Star Trek?”

Now that’s an idea, as long as it is part of a good story…I think that ENT set the stage for that very well. The question is what the interesting story is (in a potential sequel) that makes that viable.

62. HerbieZ - October 2, 2008

you may think your too old, but we want Data!

63. SPB - October 2, 2008


…then it’s very simple (and to elaborate on what #49 Elvis Gump suggested:

Have the film deal with the aging and mortality of humans (by the time they ever MAKE a new TNG film, the principals will be more than a little long in the tooth). Have Q re-appear to taunt Admiral Picard and crew, at the same time mocking their age by appearing “aged” himself (which would simply be John de Lancie as he looks and sounds in, what, 2019?). At some point during the film, hopefully during the climax, and after lamenting the loss of Data, Q decides to show the crew what Data WOULD have looked like had he 1) been human and 2) survived NEMESIS. Cue entrance of 60-year old Brent Spiner for a brief, touching conversation between the “human” Data and Picard. Make sure you have your hankies.

64. Mike - October 2, 2008

Look, I’ll be honest, Spiner is right on this issue to an extent. However, they can tastefully make it possible if need be. If it works with the story we can see a role for an older looking Data. As a die hard fan, I’d love this more than anything. On the other hand, if it wasn’t done correctly it could be a worse decision then killing him off in the first place.

65. Closettrekker - October 2, 2008

#63—“Have the film deal with the aging and mortality of humans…”

Again? They’ve already visited that theme, to various degrees, on three occasions.

66. SPB - October 2, 2008

#65 –

Well, you know, “STAR TREK Meets ON GOLDEN POND.” (I kid.)

Sure, it’s been touched on before, but none have had Q (which could really open up the subject–how would on omnipotent being perceive “death?”) and maybe a future TNG movie could even deal with the impending death of, say, Picard or Riker. Not outside the realm of possibility…

67. Lostrod - October 2, 2008

Hi Closettrekker

I WISH I had to spend the time you do spending commenting on this site. I barely I have time to skim through them, much let respond with a page fuls of replies.. :)

This particular chain brings up the whole trapic of aging of the ST characters.

I’ve sat through dozens of juvenile comments about Mr. Shatner’s age, weight, girth, etc. As if, normal humans (like myself) never age, lose hair, gain weight, etc. I spnt the number on active duty with the ARNG at Fort Godon, GA and GAINED 8 pounds! Sheesh!

Regarding Mr. Spiner’s Data character, there are dozen’s of explanations to accomodate a return of Data, as well as a return of Mr. Shatner as Kirk (not necessarily on line duty Kirk – perhaps as a laid back, Corona drinking RETIRED Star Trek officer.

FYI – as a proud member of the TXARNG, I was called up to support the folks impacted by hurrican IKE. How ya doing/


68. Lostrod - October 2, 2008

Why make Data older? Why not be creative enough to figure out how an older Data could interact with the audience?

This is science fiction,after all.


69. The REAL Redjac - October 2, 2008

Exactly, #68!

70. John Pemble - October 2, 2008

Scan Brent’s face and CGI the character’s face with some voice overs and tah dah… Data can live in the movies.

71. Xai - October 2, 2008

67. Lostrod – October 2, 2008

“I’ve sat through dozens of juvenile comments about Mr. Shatner’s age, weight, girth, etc. As if, normal humans (like myself) never age, lose hair, gain weight, etc. ”

And we never die and stay dead, either.

72. Izbot - October 2, 2008

Maybe in 15 or 20 years they’ll recast TNG and do it all over again. By that time technology will have caught up and make it possible to do a TNG-Remastered project without it costing a fortune, too. Replace those cheesy 80s/90s effects.

And in 15 or 20 years I may be ready to revisit the Enterprise D. When I’m a grandparent.

73. Elvis Gump - October 2, 2008

Even though it’s Trek, there has always been the wildcard of pure fantasy in the series as I pointed out like Q. Considering how close Picard was to Data, for Q to bring Data back and make him human would be the sort of confounding thing Q would do. Think of Data realizing he HAS to eat, HAS to sleep and on and on. He’d be a puddle the next day in Picard’s Ready Room going “How do you LIVE like this?” I’ve given you a set up, entertain me and write the rest.

Imagine Data’s mind being actually put into a human body. There would be the justification of the childlike humor. Let Spiner play it as his age which would be north of 60 even if this idea went into pre-production right this minute.

There’s really never ever been a barrier to new Trek stories other than the staleness and ruts the producers led the writers into. The went to really nutty places with “Insurrection” and “Nemesis” to my mind. Those stories might have made okay two-parters for tv, but face it even then they wouldn’t have been memorable. They didn’t remotely top BoBW or “All Good Things”.

The need to come up with epic enemy face-offs even though they had the lesson of “Voyage Home” that you could succeed without doing that still didn’t sink in someplace. I suspect the problems went higher than even Berman with the studios that wanted more and more action.

It really was hard for any either era of Trek to go to the movies. The TOS cast really only really succeeded with “Wrath” and “Voyage”, the rest weren’t even great tv story ideas. TNG really only got it right with “First Contact”. The other series were two utterly esoteric to even consider transferring to the big screen.

I don’t think there will ever be anymore TNG. Now that Abrams has the ball it’s his to continue or kill-off forever. Paramount has never shown enthusiasm for making anything other than money for small investments of budget before now and with what they’re blowing on XI I can’t see them giving us back a TNG movie too.

It’s not impossible. not undoable, but Paramount will never do it. So that’s that.

Spiner, thanks for the memories. Hug the rest of the cast for us.

74. Jabob Slatter - October 2, 2008

I need another TNG movie the way I need a mile of barbed wire to pass through my intestines.

75. Bob Tompkins - October 2, 2008

Since Data is dead, Spiner would have to return [probably] as B4.

It has not been established that B4 does not have an ‘aging algorhytm’ built into him.

Since TNG is dead for at least the foreseeable future when all of those roles could be recast for a reboot, then the point is rendered moot, as is Spiner’s and my speculations.

76. Enterprise - October 2, 2008

Data isn’t dead. The memories of Data were downloaded into B 4. But, don’t they have the blueprints in the Enterprise computers? Geordie could rebuild Data, and transfer all of Data’s memory from B 4 into him. Presto. New Data.

77. d - October 3, 2008

or maybe jordi makes a new data that looks like the older spiner. He can do anything now that he doesn’t wear those funky specs.

78. Kirk's Toupeé - October 3, 2008

Please, no more TNG movies….Nemesis was absolutely awful..

Mr. Spiner has a lot of integrity for taking this stance..Respect!!

79. The Underpants Monster - October 3, 2008

Well, if he feels he’s too old it’s his decision. But it was established in the TNG episode “Inheritance” that Data was designed to change appearance over time to simulate human aging, although no specifics were given.

80. Jeff Jacobs - October 3, 2008

Since Enterprise already introduced Arik Soong, perhaps they could work in Brent as Arik’s son/grandson working on some early version of the artificial intelligence that would eventually become Data.

81. The Underpants Monster - October 3, 2008

IIRC, I saw Nemesis for the first time last night.

I was pleasantly surprised; it wasn’t one of the better films, but it was worlds above STV:TFF.

IMO, its problems stemmed from the same source, though – the taste level of the director, and not knowing when enough of something was enough (what my director fried calls TMS – “too much stuff”).

There were plotholes in the Shinzon storyline, but nothing that couldn’t have been addressed if they’d scrapped the B4 storyline and focused that time and energy more on making the main story work. Leaving the spotlight firmly on Picard and Shinzon would have made the whole thing more cinematic, as well.

The comic relief was too heavy-handed (although not as heavy-handed as it was in STV). Picard’s slgihtly off-ness actually kind of works as a simple midlife crisis, which plays well with the discovery of his quasi-son.

So, all in all, not great but not horrible, either. I tend to think its box-office failure was largely due to lack of marketing, which could have overcome the early naysayers. I’m about as big a TNG fan as they come, and I didn’t even know the movie was being made until the week before it hit theaters.

82. The Underpants Monster - October 3, 2008

Oh, and if they want to work Data into a later project, I suppose that if they found JUST the right actor they could get away with saying he’d just changed his faceplate or something.

83. Closettrekker - October 3, 2008

#73—” The TOS cast really only really succeeded with “Wrath” and “Voyage”, the rest weren’t even great tv story ideas.”

I have to disagree. 5 of the 6 original films did well at the box office. TMP is the best sci-fi story of any ST film (although its cerebral tones did not mesh well with its budget and scale). I still find it to be my second favorite ST film. TWOK and TVH are certainly the most crossover-friendly. TSFS was a good ‘fanboy’ film, and TUC was a respectable sendoff. Only the battered TFF really “failed” (yet with a profit…go figure).

The original series characters were more than just ‘successful’ in transitioning to the big screen, but actually displayed some ‘crossover’ appeal. In contrast, TNG-era films were always “geeks only”.

“TNG really only got it right with First Contact.”

IMO, that’s only true if “got it right” means achieved ‘mediocrity’. I find that FC is rather overrated (although there probably are not alot of people on this particular thread would would agree). I think that the opinions of TNG fans about FC tend to be inflated by the consensus that it was the ‘best’ of the TNG-era films, when really all that means is that it was the only one of them that did not fall within the range of ‘bad’ to ‘awful’.
While it was certainly better than STV or any of its TNG-era brethren, it really isn’t anything special either, IMO.

I think given the niche audience of everything beyond Generations, Paramount would have been better off (at least more cost-effective) in releasing the TNG movies on dvd only.

84. Todd - October 3, 2008

I don’t see why Data couldn’t have had a “refit” to make him appear older – in an effort to emulate humans.

It’s clearly already happened anyway – even comparing “Farpoint” with “First Contact” there’s evidently some aging going on. Maybe it’s part of his program?

85. Todd - October 3, 2008

^^ Actually a TNG ep establishes that Data does have aging program (Inheritance?). Problem solved.

86. The Underpants Monster - October 3, 2008

Or, a cyberntitcist might use Data’s memory in his creation of a new andriod. Then, the new character could still have that childlike wonder, but also carry some of Data in him.

Just blue-skyin’ while my tea brews. Earl Grey, of course.

87. Terpor - October 3, 2008

He’s not that old i hope we see him again in Star Trek XII :)

88. Dr. What - October 3, 2008

All they needed to do was make Data touch B4’s head and say “Remember”. Then they could bring him back.

Oh wait. “Download”. They did that didn’t they?

89. DEMODE - October 3, 2008

Nemisis is a film that is in dire need of a Directors Cut. Don’t know if Baird would ever go back and do that, but it would be good if he did and put in many of the scenes that where taken out that were really good character moments, like the talk between Data and Picard in the ready room. I don’t think Data should ever come back per say, but I would be ok with his programming changing B9 to be more like Data. Hell, B9 and Geordi could even create a new body and transfer Data’s programming from B9 to that body. How hard would that be? As for being to old, who cares!

90. Elvis Gump - October 3, 2008

I thought I would check this thread one more time and I have to say, yeah, I want more TNG or just one more satisfying story as a conclusion to their era, and as bad as “Nemesis” was overall in some ways, I don’t feel cheated if Spiner wants to pack it in and do something else.

The TNG cast gave us the most Trek we ever got. THe first two seasons were pretty bad, but when it hit it’s stride they were hitting home runs left and right. It waned a bit after season five, but “All Good Things” was as moving as the best of it.

Even in the worst TNG movie “Insurrection” there were still so many great moments like Geordi “seeing” for the first time, Or as crappy as what they did with F. Murray Abraham and the Sona or whatever those people were called, Picards little romance with Donna Murphy was very sweet. And all of it was really the affection we have for the actors over the stories.

When I got my 42″ HDTV this past spring I watched all my DVDs in order again and by the time I got through “Nemesis” and Picard walking through the corridors with “Blue Skies” playing I even reconsidered that film. It wasn’t the ending I wanted, but Picard is still out there. I liked that they’d all moved on. They can stay out there in our imagination forever without riding off into the sunset literally.

When we love something we never want it to end. But it always has to and sometimes not the way we wanted. If you’re old enough you remember that feeling with TOS. The 70’s seemed bleak. Even Star Wars was something I didn’t even want to go see because I felt like it was going to be a rip-off of something we Trekkies had loved so much. But it wasn’t. And we got the TOS movies eventually, again not what we were expecting- I remember in high school bewilderment after watching TMP the first time nearly 30 years ago. I remember a year or two into college staying in my seat embarrassed a bit at crying over Spock’s ‘death’ a few years after that. Hey big boys don’t cry do they? Over a sci-fi film? Was that a first for anyone else?

Are any of you old enough to remember feeling that betrayal when Shatner told us all to “get a life” on SNL more than 20 years ago now? But he WAS right. Look at what the poor guy went through. Shatner became the jerk that no one liked anymore, but it wasn’t his life long dream as an actor to be a hero to a bunch of nerdy kids. Could we really blame him? I’m not a fan of “Boston Legal” but I’m happy for him because I think he finally got what HE wanted.

We got more than we ever really could have asked for from the casts and crews of these movies. As a kid growing up in the American South it was one of the first times I could remember a character like McCoy being portrayed as a decent Southerner, a gentleman and I loved him and the writers for it.

I can remember the hate that boiled for “Enterprise” from so many fans that I couldn’t understand. I didn’t really love it until it’s last season, but I think the fans killed the franchise with their criticism and disinterest as much as Berman and Braga did with their indifference phoning it in so long. Even then I was happy to watch Spiner in “Threshold” which tanked because miffed Trek fans didn’t support it. I didn’t and watching it until later & was actually impressed by it. Catch it if Sci-Fi channel runs it again. It was worth your time.

There’s no tv franchise bigger than Trek. We got tons and tons of it, with some real gems. If the new movie is a stinker it won’t be the first time we got one of those too. What can we do? Shrug and pop “Wrath” or “Voyage Home” or “First Contact” in and remember the good stuff.

If you want more of a particular era at this point, write a book. I’ve got tons of them on my shelf. I might even buy yours.

But we should feel lucky I think. And give a shout out of thanks to all the casts for what we got.

I’ve got a VHS from the years I lived in LA. The day of the LA Riots in 91 I popped a tape in recording the nightmare that was engulfing the city. At 8pm that Wednesday night KCOP-13 broke away from the coverage to premiere the TNG episode “The Perfect Mate” which I believe was Famke Janssen’s first acting role. I remember the despair of that day whenever I’ve seen that episode ever since. I still have all my old VHS tapes of that era and mark moments of my life when I saw things like that for the first time.

We were blessed to have shining little what-ifs of a perfect future we’ll probably never see in our lifetimes. They took us to some really wonderful places.

I say clear skies and smooth sailing to Spiner and the rest of the casts. It was a great ride. I’m gonna be 46 when the new movie rides into theaters next summer. I hope it’s good, I hope it sparks a new era for kids, something they’ll enjoy as much as we did all the clunky plywood and less than cutting edge FX of our youth. But even if it’s bad, I won’t feel cheated. We will always have our Trek, we’ll always have our ‘Paris’.

When you get old enough, well, that’s enough.

91. DEMODE - October 3, 2008

Oh, and to clarify… I don’t want Data being brought back ala Spock. I don’t have any problem with them transfering Data’s memory (programming) from B9 to a new body for Data. Data said in Nemesis that B9 would carry all of his thoughts and memories… essentially, B9 carries a back up copy of Data.

I also wouldn’t want to see a whole movie about this. This could happen within the first 20 minutes of the film. Not that difficult!

92. Izbot - October 3, 2008

76. Enterprise –
“Data isn’t dead. The memories of Data were downloaded into B 4. But, don’t they have the blueprints in the Enterprise computers? Geordie could rebuild Data, and transfer all of Data’s memory from B 4 into him. Presto. New Data.”

Well obviously, yeah, that was the built-in escape hatch the script provided should it be later determined Data’s death was not well-received by audiences. And personally the whole issue of Data’s death became pointless for that very reason. Spock’s simple “Remember” line in TWOK may have hinted at some potential for his later resurrection to some fans (it buzzed right past my clueless 14-year old ears when I first saw the film in the theatre) but introducing Data’s duplicate and then killing off Data after his memories had already been downloaded into that duplicate earlier was terribly gutless on John Logan’s part — and obvious and unoriginal.

Also, your statement doesn’t address the main issue here: how can the aging Brent Spiner still play Data or even B-4? You realize Brent Spiner and not some younger actor played B-4, don’t you? And for a ‘younger’ model of Data, B-4 looked pretty haggard to start with. Unless you are saying Geordi could build a new Data that doesn’t look like Data and another actor is playing him.

Spiner’s reasoning is right on the, er, nose here. Data has to exude childlike niavety and you just don’t get that with a guy his age.

Unless you’re trying to make Data an allegory for early-onset Alzheimer’s or dementia.

93. Izbot - October 3, 2008

I’ve posted this a dozen times before, I’m glad the TNG films are done and I hope we don’t see any more. I am so looking forward to May and for what may be the very first Star Trek film in which “aging” isn’t a recurring theme. The original crew did it throughout their films (to great effect in TWOK) and then the TNG crew picked up the baton with Generations and carried it straight though to it’s inevitable conclusion — death (as in death of the series). It was a long, slow march to death that went on for decades, this obssession in Trek films with old age and death.

Depressing. Boring. Bring on the new blood!

94. Izbot - October 3, 2008

90. Elvis Gump –
“Are any of you old enough to remember feeling that betrayal when Shatner told us all to “get a life” on SNL more than 20 years ago now? But he WAS right. Look at what the poor guy went through. Shatner became the jerk that no one liked anymore, but it wasn’t his life long dream as an actor to be a hero to a bunch of nerdy kids. Could we really blame him?”

I remember that well but not the way you remember it. I saw it for what it was: a hilarious send-up on a sketch comedy show. I never once thought what I was seeing in that sketch was the “real” William Shatner using his own words to finally let the world know how he really felt about Trek and its fans. It was a comedy sketch written by SNL writers. It was funny because it was unexpected and frankly, Trek fandom was just beggin’ to be satirized.

I laughed my ass off.

95. The Underpants Monster - October 3, 2008

#90; Elvis – Yes, I also have memories of moments in my life that are inextricably tied to TNG episodes. (Nothing so profound as your, though!)

I remember my boss letting me have a few minutes off to run home and set the VCR for “The Best of Both Worlds,” and that it was really the only nice thing I can ever remember him doing. I was working on some big sewing projects during “Hide and Q” and “Sarek,” and I see scenes from those episodes in my mind every time I pick up a needle. Little things like that, but still powerful memories.

96. Pah Wraith - October 3, 2008

Great respect for mr Spiner – hope he doesn’t change his mind…

97. Izbot - October 3, 2008

The “Blue Skies” moment at the end of Nemesis resonated with me about as much as the “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” moment at the end of Final Frontier.

Which is to say, it didn’t.

98. RFBurns - October 3, 2008

Let Data rest in peace. Perhaps with an upgraded B-4 with parts from the deactivated Lore, B-4 could have improved capability and also carry the memory downloaded from Data in Nemisis. Lore was never destroyed, just deactivated. Using certian components to improve B-4 may be the best way to bring the essence of Data back, but not necessarily bring back Data. Data is gone, sacrificed himself heroically in Nemisis and it should be left that way.

99. Toddk - October 3, 2008

#98 good points regarding lore, but i still have to agree with spiner that it would take a miracle and fans would have to demand it. But now isnt the time. we have the new movie coming out. so the dust will settle ad we’ll go from there. (my fingers are crossed).

100. Steve Short - October 4, 2008

Spiner as Dr. Soong and how he made Data and all his brothers maybe someone younger to play Data. Maybe a family tree story about all the Soongs from Enterprise to Next Generation that would make a nice movie or 3 part mini-series. Spiner would be great playing most of the parts in the movie.

101. Izbot - October 4, 2008

100. Steve Short –
“Spiner as Dr. Soong and how he made Data and all his brothers maybe someone younger to play Data. Maybe a family tree story about all the Soongs from Enterprise to Next Generation that would make a nice movie or 3 part mini-series. Spiner would be great playing most of the parts in the movie.”

And Arik Soong could make a clone army based on his own DNA. And we’d find out that the colony Data was built at was populated by decesendants of those clones — all played by Brent Spiner! And then Noonien Soong discovers a small door on the 7 1/2 floor of an office building that leads through a tube into the very mind of Brent Spiner — played by Brent Spiner! And, yes, this must be a multi-part epic saga. “Brent Trek Episode One: Attack of the Brent Spiner Clones”, “Brent Trek Episode Two: Multiplicity”, “Brent Trek Episode Three: Being Brent Spiner”, “Brent Trek Episode Four: Revenge of the Soongs”, “Brent Trek Episode Five”…

102. Closettrekker - October 4, 2008


103. Izbot - October 4, 2008

If we wait a little while Spiner can play Dr. Noonien Soong without the need for all that aging makeup.

104. Shamrock - October 4, 2008

Actually I would like to see family sitcom where Brent Spiner plays all the characters (he has been in drag before,remember).

And yes I would like to see one more TNG movie. It could be lighter, slightly ironic and Q-based story line.

But I don’t think the problem is how to bring Data back to life or how to make BS look younger. These problems will be easily soved if the script is good enough. And there’s your problem. Nemesis sucked because of it’s bad script .
Why not to have some real scifi-writer to write the script (well, I won’t mention any names)?

105. Scott - October 4, 2008

Animated TNG!
They should do a ST TNG Animated Series!
Bring Data back to life in 2-D!
Data could live again.
It could be set in the current day Federation.
Have the Enterprise & the Titan!
They could have a episode where the Enterprise
find Data’s burned head out in space.
Then attach it to B12’s body!
Presto Data is back!
Have the original cast back to do the voices.
Maybe even throw in some DS9 characters.
At the least it would make a Hot Ass DTV!

106. Izbot - October 4, 2008

105. Scott –
B12? Isn’t that a vitamin?

107. Closettrekker - October 4, 2008

#106—I think that’s what Roger Clemons claimed he was getting injected in his a$$.

108. Cygnus-X1 - October 4, 2008

Good, old Yellow Eyes is back.

I’ve got to see abysmal “Three Musketeers” that he was in, now.

109. Jamie - October 4, 2008

Data could definitely return in a future film, without “B4”.

Ideally, B4 would be killed off — he malfunctioned prior to the film and we just see his inanimate body (very briefly) somewhere like a museum.

Data himself could return in many ways (this being science fiction). I think the most satisfying way would be if Data’s mind had been “saved” just before he died. Perhaps Data had an internal subspace transmitter that could send his mind somewhere else, in an emergency. That way, once Data’s mind was discovered, he could be transferred into B4’s body.

It would work best if finding Data was a total shock. Perhaps the Enterprise crew are summoned to some malfunctioning alien array in a distant location and LaForge is repairing the computer when he is unexpectedly reunited with Data (voice only). Then, towards the end of the film, Data is put into B4’s body, with Data’s fist “appearance” being a big moment. Like one of those scenes where all the crewmembers stand in a line as a character walks down the hall. Trek films certainly need more big moments like that. It would be one of those scenes where we only see obscured shots of the back of him until the very end, with some dramatic music.

Ah, I wish I could direct a film :(

110. Jamie - October 4, 2008

Oh, and I agree with Spiner about Data’s “youth” and “naivity” being a part of his appeal, but ever since “Encounter at Farpoint”, Data has gradually become a very mature and insightful character, giving people good personal advice and becoming much more human, especially with his emotion chip.

I don’t think the “naivity” is essential to his character anymore; I think he would make a good “wise old android”, who perhaps had more authority and people looked up to. In “All Good Things” — 17 years in the future — Data was seen as a university professor, and a much more human character, and this really worked well.

I don’t necessarily want to see Data doing loads more films. I just want to see a happy ending for him, like him going to Cambridge or something. NOT a meaningless death!

111. Izbot - October 4, 2008

109. Jamie –
“…Then, towards the end of the film, Data is put into B4’s body, with Data’s fist “appearance” being a big moment. Like one of those scenes where all the crewmembers stand in a line as a character walks down the hall. Trek films certainly need more big moments like that. It would be one of those scenes where we only see obscured shots of the back of him until the very end, with some dramatic music.”

Yeah, he could turn toward La Forge and say, “Geordi — your name is Geordi.” Geordi would smile, everyone would encircle him as the music swells in the strange red glare of Vulcan’s sun on Mt. Selaya.

Then in the next movie his getting readjusted to being alive again can be played for laughs. I’m thinking some sort of time travel should be involved. And a topical theme — something like saving the polar bears…

112. Closettrekker - October 4, 2008

#110—“NOT a meaningless death!”

What would be a “meaningful” death to you?

113. Shamrock - October 5, 2008

Problems with the numbers…
“Yeah, he could turn toward La Forge and say, “Geordi — your name is Geordi.” Geordi would smile, everyone would encircle him as the music swells in the strange red glare of Vulcan’s sun on Mt. Selaya.

Then in the next movie his getting readjusted to being alive again can be played for laughs. I’m thinking some sort of time travel should be involved. And a topical theme — something like saving the polar bears…”

I don’t want to see this happen but the happy end would be nice.

And I strongly suggest that somebody should save the polar bears…

114. Shamrock - October 5, 2008

Data should not be dead until he has build lots of little datas (with Borg Queen).

115. Jamie - October 5, 2008


I’m guessing you’re referring to the TOS movies. I am first and foremost a TNG fan. I’ve also grown an appreciation for TOS in recent years. But I’m ashamed to say I’m not too familiar with the TOS films. I have never seen 1,3 or 4, and it’s such a long time since I saw 2 and 5 that I can’t even remember them. (Although I’m aware of the basic plots of each film.) 6, I remember fairly well, then the TNG ones I’m obviously very familiar with and have watched many times. Perhaps I shouldn’t even call myself a Trek fan?

I’m curious: was my description of Data’s return to duty strangely similar to a scene from Star Trek 3 where Spock returns to duty after being brought back to life?

Maybe I should watch the first 5 Trek films. I do keep meaning to, I just never really got around to it. I always thought they seemed a bit boring compared to the TV show. Everyone says Star Trek 6 was great, but I didn’t really enjoy it. Conversely, everyone says Generations was rubbish, but I love that film. So I guess it simply comes down to the fact that I love TNG.


When I said I didn’t want Data to go out with a “meaningless death”, I really meant I don’t want to see Data have ANY death. But if Data has to die, I’d rather it was some kind of sacrifice, or if his death brought about some good, with no alternative but for him to die. In Nemesis, his death was incidental. It didn’t further the story at all. And he never got a big “moment” before his death, he never had a big speech or a goodbye or anything. So that’s what I would call a “meaningless” death.

116. Closettrekker - October 5, 2008


I strongly recommend that you watch the first 4 Star Trek movies. ST feature films were at their best when the focus was n the characters, and its best characters were, by far, the original ones IMO.

I’m not a huge fan of STVI, and I can’t stand STV, but the first 4 films are great. Here’s my list:

6. FC
7.TFF and any other TNG film

117. Izbot - October 5, 2008

115. Jamie –
“I’m curious: was my description of Data’s return to duty strangely similar to a scene from Star Trek 3 where Spock returns to duty after being brought back to life?”

Yeah, it was uncannily similar. I figured you either hadn’t seen it or maybe hadn’t seen it enough times to recognize the similarities but you almost totally described the final scene in the movie — right down to the mostly seeing the back of his head.

If you’re curious about seeing the new movie I’d recommend going back and watching the TOS-based films (well, you can skip 5 — you won’t be missing a thing). STVI was good but certainly not the best. And I think you’ll be slightly amused at how accurate you were at depicting the final scene of 3 without even seeing it!

As for fans panning Generations, most of the negativity comes from us old fans of TOS who felt Jim Kirk was not dealt with accurately or fairly in the film. And some of us strongly disliked Nemesis in part because Data’s death (and obvious potential for a resurrection) was, by comparrison, a sorry rehash of Spock’s death in STII.

118. Izbot - October 5, 2008

and some people don’t care for ST3 that much but for my money the villian, Commander Kruge, is one of the very best Klingons to *ever* appear in any Star Trek.

119. Closettrekker - October 5, 2008

TSFS is not a great “standalone” film, but is a worthy companion piece to TWOK. The theft of the Enterprise from Spacedock is a fantastic scene, IMO–well-scored, and tremendously effective. I think the TWOK-TSFS-TVH arc was the height of Star Trek’s run at the box office.

I think TMP is highly underrated, and in fact, its theme is very powerful (“Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?”). The conflict over Kirk’s decision to leave behind his calling as a starship captain is not resolved until the end of TVH, and Spock’s encounter with V’Ger ultimately results in his development into a man who is finally comfortable in his own half-breed skin.
TMP should definitely be viewed though in the director’s cut format. It makes a tremendous difference, IMO.

Star Trek was never as good on the big screen as it was from 1979-1986. I found the subsequent movies to be rather “phoned-in”. I hope to see that change in May, as Trek returns to its most romantic period, and its most interesting characters.

120. Closettrekker - October 5, 2008

And yes, Commander Kruge is great (Christopher Lloyd). I don’t know why General Chang (Christopher Plummer) is so overrated. Plummer is a great actor, but as a Klingon, Kruge is right up there with Kor and Kang, IMO.

121. RetroWarbird - October 5, 2008

I understand Brent’s thoughts on coming back as Data, sure. But I wouldn’t care, I still want to see it, and more importantly, it’s an easy-as-heck thing to work around.

For instance, there’s the “Touch of Gray” instance in All Good Things where Data had added gray to his hair to try to artificially age himself so he matched his friends and crewmates.

Or there’s the notion that … perhaps as a prototype, B-4 isn’t ageless, and was designed to age similarly to a human, and since that’s “Data’s new body”, voila …

Etc …

That being said … they could just bring back Arik Soong in a permanent role. Khan-style cryo-freeze or Scotty-style stasis … that’d be just as good.

122. Izbot - October 5, 2008

Jamie –
I agree with Closet that TMP is largely underrated and it is also my personal favorite of all the Trek films. It is now only available in the Director’s Cut on DVD which is the best version. The theatrical version was famously rushed to meet it’s locked-in opening date and badly needed a final editting (and even some of the special effects weren’t completed in time for its’ release). As a result it got the reputation for being overly long, repetitive and a little boring. But the Director’s edit fixes all these problems marvelously and even includes some new effects.

It is the most thought-provoking of all the films, which appeals to me, but some people find it’s still a bit short on action. That, in contrast, is addressed in TWOK.

123. trequer - October 5, 2008

I agree with the “wise old android” theory. He should have grown up in the movies (with help from that emotional chip)

124. Izbot - October 5, 2008

123. trequer –
“I agree with the “wise old android” theory. He should have grown up in the movies (with help from that emotional chip)”

The thing about Data was he was supposed to ‘live forever’, that he could conceivably be around for hundreds if not thousands of years. His death in Nemesis should’ve been particularly painful given his unique potential. I didn’t get that from the film, instead he’s mourned just like any other dead human — mourned even less than short-timer Tasha Yar. I do believe that had Data lived a century or so and we were able to visit him in another Trek taking place in the 25th century or later (thanks a lot for ruining any chance of that happening, John Logan) we would’ve seen a much more humanlike Data along the lines he was progressing as proposed in “All Good Things”.

Killing him off because Spiner felt he was too old to play him much longer or just to add some emotional punch to Nemesis was just a poor decision. Motion-capture cgi and other existing technologies could easily allow Data to live on using Spiner’s voice only for many years to come. There was no good reason for killing him off in the first place. And even less sense in telling everyone it was going to happen before the movie even came out (just like they did with Kirk in Generations).

And regarding the emotion chip: It seems Moore and Braga intended for Data to evolve in the movies and that’s why they gave him emotions right away in Generations. However, writers of the subsequent films had either no interest in furthering this development or no ideas where to carry it which is really a shame. In the second film Data suddenly has the ability to turn his emotions on and off but in Insurrection it’s clear that backward-looking Michael Piller had no interest in dealing with its existence at all. The only mention of his emotion chip is in a throwaway line saying Data “didn’t bring it with him” on that mission — despite the fact Generations makes it explicit that the chip had fused with his software and could not be removed. By Nemesis all mention of the chip had disappeared.

125. Ramulon - October 5, 2008

Why couldn’t Geordi and Barkley bring Data back as a hologram? The technology exsist. Could open up the door to a lot of possiblities.

126. Daniel - October 5, 2008

Spiner is NOT too old to play data again! Just look at him in the video, those head movements and the way he talks… He would be as brilliant as a Data as anytime before.

127. B-who - October 6, 2008

I always got the impression that Data’s memory wasn’t *completely* duplicated in the transfer to B4, or that B4’s ‘faulty’ programming either didnt compensate to preserve everything from the transfer intact, or was insufficient to access the memories in their complete form. Sort of when you back up a program or files on a hard drive but the new disk is imperfect, so you end up with fragmented data.

128. Jamie - October 6, 2008

There would be no problem with Data physically ageing. It is not firmly established that Data can’t age, in fact, LaForge briefly mentions Data’s “ageing chip” (or program) in a TNG episode (I think it was in the 6th season). Yes, there is information to contradict this, but it’s certainly not clearly established that Data can’t age. The android of Data’s mother (Juliana Tana) had an ageing chip, so it’s certainly something Soong was capable of doing.

Izbot & Closettrekker,
Thanks for the recommendations. Based on your comments, perhaps I have overlooked the best Trek films. I will have to see 1–4 (director’s cut of TMP of course).

I was always a TNG fan, although my appreciation for TOS has grown quite a bit this past few years, especially with TOS-R coming out, which I have been really excited about. The fact is, I didn’t arrive on earth until 1977, so to my eyes, TOS has always looked a little old fashioned and cheap. But after watching a lot of Trek, and seeing one or two of the spinoff series completely flop, I had started to appreciate the original for the great show that it was, despite the age of the production.

Then when TOS-R came along and brought it up to date, that was a tremendous thing for someone like me. I’m not nostalgic about grainy old film: I am strongly in favour of remastering and retouching of old things. As long as the aim is purely to enhance the original vision, compensating for the limitations of the original budget and technology — not to change the story or the style. (For this reason, I would imagine that I will like the director’s cut of Star Trek TMP.)

It’s strange how my description of Data’s return to duty was so similar to the corresponding scene in The Search For Spock. I cannot ever remember seeing that film, although maybe I saw it years ago on TV as a kid and I was tapping into my subconscious memory?

Or… perhaps a more plausible explanation is that I am trapped inside a loop of time — an earlier incarnation of myself at a later stage of the loop has determined the only way to break out of the loop and I have sent a message to myself, embedded in my subconscious, which is causing me to keeping thinking about The Search For Spock, which is, presumably, the key to breaking the loop?

I wasn’t kidding when I said I wish I could direct a film. The fact that I recreated a key scene from a popular film might suggest I think like a pro… or that my work would be highly derivative! Anyway, I’m a graphic designer and I live nowhere near a big city, so I guess I’m in the wrong career and the wrong place. Shame though. I have a really strong sense of the way I would shoot things.

Jamie :)

129. Tekolar - October 7, 2008

Let Q bring him back. Let the Fairy Godmother make Pinocchio a real boy… got my drift?

130. Joe Schmoe - October 8, 2008

I guess there is an extremely small possibility that when Shinzon’s ship blew up, in some strange way all the particles that were Data randomly collected and just so happened to recreate the body and mind of Data.

You know, about the same chance that I can swallow a Humpback Whale entirely whole. And come out the other end totally intact.

And about the same chance that all the matter exploded from the Big Bang, and now we randomly have people who can walk and chew gum at the same time.

131. Jamie - October 10, 2008

Data’s mind is a computer. It can perform complex operations much faster than a human’s. If Data knew the ship was a bout to blow up, he would have time to do something — even during the explosion. If he had some way of transmitting the contents of his mind, he might have done that.

Or, Data could backup his mind every day on board the Enterprise. There are always ways to bring him back.

I would think it “harder” to bring him back if his body had been physically destroyed, but they kept a body preserved for him (B-4) so that isn’t a problem.

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