One of the biggest highlight’s this weekend at the Star Trek Convention was the joint appearance of Star Trek’s original Kirk and Spock: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. The discussions covered the new Star Trek movies, details on Shatner’s The Captains documentary, Star Trek history and more. There was also a surprise appearance by Patrick Stewart. A full report and lots of photos below.
Nimoy: Never say never to more Star Trek + talks TOS, TNG & more
The Nimoy and Shatner show on Saturday started out with Leonard Nimoy solo quickly going to Q&A. A highlight was a question regarding returning for one more time for the 2012 Star Trek sequel. Nimoy started his answer by again praising the new Spock, Zachary Quinto, as "a very talented and well-trained actor", saying he is "very proud that [Spock] has a new life, and is preformed by a very talented young man." Nimoy demurred on the notion of appearing in the next Star Trek film, noting that the writers used him effectively to "bridge the gap" in the first film, but he didn’t "see the need" to appear in the sequel. The audience of course did not agree, with a round of applause to show they wanted him back. Nimoy then offered this ray of hope to the fans, noting "I have learned in my Star Trek career – never to say never."
The rest of the Q&A covered a lot of familiar territory like his famous "Shatner stole my bike" story, and his favorite TOS episodes (which would be "Amok Time", "Devil in the Dark", "This Side of Paradise", and "Space Seed" ). He noted that for these and other great episodes, writers like DC Fontana and Theodore Sturgeon don’t get enough credit for the quality of Star Trek. Nimoy was also asked if he thought Star Trek: The Next Generation lived up to the original Star Trek. The actor said he didn’t like to compare them, but noted how TNG "had it’s own qualities and it’s own tonality." Nimoy did admit that he was first skeptical when he learned "they were doing a show without us", but then saw that it was a good show with its own "wonderful quality that deserved to be around a long time."
A funny moment came when a young fan asked about directing the pon farr scenes in Star Trek III, and he cracked up the crowd replying "Pon farr is a delicate subject." It was interesting how many young kids were in the audience and asking questions, which was something that Nimoy noted as a good thing to see Star Trek appealing to yet another generation.
Shatner: Finally seen Star Trek 2009 + Pine to join Captains doc +STV lessons
Nimoy’s solo time transitioned for Shatner’s solo time, and the original Kirk began with going over his various projects, like Aftermath, $#!* My Dad Says, Raw Nerve, Weird or What, and his new The Captains doc (more on that below). Things moved onto Q&A and one of the questions asked him why he doesn’t want to see the new Star Trek movie. Shatner replied with a yell "have I got a surprise…I saw it! I saw that wonderful motion picture!" Bill then recalled how after meeting JJ Abrams before the film was made he "sat by the phone but it never rang" until Leonard Nimoy called with the news of his return to Spock and Bill’s reply was "they are doing it without me?!"
Regarding Bill’s The Captains doc, Shatner confirmed that Chris Pine, Star Trek’s new Kirk, will be included. The film crew for The Captains were filming his appearance on stage and were also filming Bill around the con (see photo below). Regarding this, Bill said "it was so much fun, walking among you, I’ve never done that before except once before and I was wearing a mask." Recalling interviewing Avery Brooks for The Captains, Bill talked about how impressed he was with his resume as a professor, musician and actor, but noted "Avery Brooks is a magnificent guy, but he is kind of out there." But Bill was so impressed with Brooks’ ability as a jazz pianist he asked him to provide music. Shatner also revealed that he asked George Takei to participate in the documentary and Takei declined.
Shatner wrapped up his solo time by answering a question on which was his favorite of the original Star Trek feature films. After a pause Shatner (in a mock serious tone) said: "V, V was so good, we had such a good time on V. Everybody loved V. It was huge, it broke records, it was brilliantly received, and it is by far the best movie ever made." Bill then went on to say he learned some hard lessons directing Star Trek V especially on dealing with a budget, noting "I had $30 million and I spent $29 of them before we started shooting."
Nimoy & Shatner joke and get serious
The panel continued with Leonard Nimoy joining Shatner for some time together on stage, where the two joked around and showed the chemistry built up over decades. Shatner began by berating Nimoy to appear on his new sitcom, which Nimoy declined, noting that he has said yes in the past to working with Bill on Raw Nerve, TJ Hooker and even his Comedy Central Roast. Shatner claimed that Nimoy didn’t appear on his roast, and Nimoy exploded back "you forgot!" [For the record, Nimoy did appear on the show in a taped segment, but not at the actual roast]. The two continued to joke around and at one point Shatner exclaimed "I am having the best time, and they are paying me!"
Although Shatner and Nimoy’s convention appearances are usually full of laughs, this time there actually was a serious moment. Nimoy noted that after all their long years of friendship they "had never talked about what it was like on those sets doing those [original Star Trek] episodes." Shatner then told a story about the day his father passed away while they were in production on "The Devil in the Dark". He was informed of his father’s death at noon and had six hours to fill until the next flight out so he decided to try to work in between but it was a "struggle". "The one thing that I will never forget was your presence like I have seen since then with elephants supporting each other in grief, having a physical presence which is also an emotional presence in support of the other. You were supporting me….your presence got me though that," said Shatner. For his part, Nimoy revealed "I don’t know if I have said this, but I want to say how proud of an experience it
was to work with you in those very intense, often difficult and trying times…it was a great and proud experience working with you and I want you to know that and the world to know that."
Nimoy, Shatner, and Stewart!
A great bonus moment for the fans came up when Nimoy returned to the stage for his joint appearance with Shatner. Shortly after Nimoy joined Shatner, Patrick Stewart came to the stage to say hi. Captain Picard didn’t stay long, but it was great to see these three Trek icons together.
More Vegas Star Con 2010
For more from the con see our full reports:
- Thursday: Takei, Koenig, deLancie + TOS guest stars
- Friday: DS9 Stars and Guest Stars
- Saturday: Costumed Trekkies Record Setting
- Saturday: CBS Consumer Products Panel
…And much more to come with coverage of Voyager, TNG and Enterprise stars
All photos by Anthony Pascale/TrekMovie.com except where otherwise noted