DST3: Sirtis Calls Star Trek Nemesis Director ‘Idiot’ + Crosby & Ryan Talk Proposed Nemesis Roles

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With most of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast in London at Destination Star Trek this weekend, conversation inevitably turned to their last feature film, 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. Some interesting things were said by Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Denise Crosby and even Jeri Ryan.

Dorn, Sirtis, Crosby and Ryan Talk Star Trek Nemesis

Much has been said about the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis, which turned out to be both a critical and financial disappointment, and it turns out that Destination Star Trek in London was a chance for even more to be said. During a Next Generation cast reunion (moderated by William Shatner) on Saturday, one audience questioner asked the group "how did it feel" filming Star Trek: Nemesis as "the end of an era." Shatner asked Michael Dorn to take the lead, who replied:

"We knew it was the end, but it wasn’t like ‘oh my god’, it was sort of like, it was a tough shoot and there was a lot of different things happening…"

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Michael Dorn at Destination Star Trek London – says Star Trek: Nemesis was a tough shoot (Photo: Daniel Lewis)

Not satisfied with this answer, Marina Sirtis (appearing a little frustrated) interjected

"Oh come on say it! The director was an idiot!"

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Marina Sirtis at Destination Star Trek London – doesn’t hold back on her opinion of the director for "Star Trek: Nemesis" (Photo: Daniel Lewis)

The comment was met by applause and Shatner, quick to jump on the band wagon, asked "Who was the director?" and swiftly replied with the quip "Stuart Baird… son of a bitch!" After the Sirtis eruption, Dorn returned to his answer and noted that it wasn’t a big deal for him because he had been through a ‘finish’ twice before (with Next Gen’s "All Good Things" and DS9’s "What You Leave Behind").

Later during the same TNG reunion chat, Denise Crosby was talking about the development of her half-Romulan character Sela, when the subject of Nemesis came up again. Crosby told the crowd:

"I talked to the producers of Nemesis when I found out that they were doing a story about Romulans…and I suggested they should try to visit that character [Sela]…I can’t tell you what they said, but they did not do that."

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Denise Crosby at Destination Star Trek London – says she tried to talk her way into Nemesis (Photo: Daniel Lewis)

During her Sunday talk at Destination Star Trek in London, Star Trek: Voyager star Jeri Ryan was asked about the possibility of a Star Trek: Voyager movie. Directly replying to the question she answered "that ship has probably already sailed", but it lead her to talking about Star Trek: Nemesis, which was filmed just half a year after Voyager went off the air. Jeri recalled a certain telephone conversation about the film:

"the call came and they said ‘put Jeri Ryan in the movie’, and I’m like okay… in what way are you going to put Jeri Ryan in this movie? ‘Well, we’re going to replace one of the characters with Seven’…which makes absolutely no sense"

Ryan then went on to speak of a fear of being typecast, and having only just finished work on Voyager (and having just started on Boston Public), she declined the offer of the role in the movie. Ryan continued, telling the gathered fans that after this she was then asked "would you be a guest at the wedding?" Again, Jeri summed up the general feeling in the room, shouting into the microphone "No! I don’t know these people, I don’t want to go to their wedding!"

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Jeri Ryan at Destination Star Trek London – says she turned down offer to replace one of the characters in "Nemesis" (Photo: Daniel Lewis)

Which character would Ryan’s Seven have replaced?

It has been reported before that Ryan turned down a role for Nemesis, with the speculation that Kate Mulgrew’s brief role as Admiral Janeway was written in after Ryan turned down the part. Today when Ryan said the plan was to have Seven "replace" one of the characters in Nemesis, the London audience gasped, taking it to mean she was talking about replacing one of the main TNG cast and not Mulgrew’s cameo. That may not have been what she meant, but her latest comment is more evidence that the role they had in mind for Ryan was more substantial than a simple cameo.


Publicity photo for "Star Trek: Nemesis"

More DST 3 to come

Destination Star Trek wrapped up today, but TrekMovie has much more coverage coming including panel highlights, exclusive interviews, cosplay photos and more.

Our coverage so far:

 

All DST photos by Daniel Lewis for TrekMovie.com

Ronan O’Flaherty is an Irish based, life-long Star Trek fan, software engineer and radio presenter. His site is currently under revamp at www.ronanoflaherty.ie.

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I wish I could have been there!

Just hearing Marina Sirtis declare Stuart Baird an idiot would’ve been worth the price of admission. ;)

Don’t mince words, Marina. Tell us what you *really*think!

I feel bad for the TNG cast. They really had the rug pulled out from under them during the production of “Nemesis”. The cast did their best considering that there were idiots and scumbags in charge — Stuart Baird and Rick Berman — who obviously cared more about their egos than making the best possible movie.

Replacing one of the TNG cast members with Jeri Ryan was a stupid idea….glad she wanted no part of it. And it’s too bad they rejected the idea of Sela, there was an opportunity for a real tie-in to the TNG series.

Why was the director of Nemesis an idiot?

Part of me still craves closure with the TNG crew. A quick reference or appearance of “Captain Data of the Enterprise” during a prime timeline moment in the next movie would be nice, or a mention of the Titan.

Say what you will, but I really like those white dress uniforms they wore at the wedding.

Stuart Baird is actually a pretty amazing editor. Just not a great director. Although, calling him an idiot is kind of uncalled for 12 years later.

#5.

Those uniforms were first worn during a ceremony scene in “Insurrection”. I also believe the DS9 crew wore them on one of their episodes. I think it was the one set aboard the Bellerephon (sp?), sister ship of the Voyager.

Am I the only one who liked Nemesis? It was far from the best Trek movie, but Tom Hardy was good in it, amd Data and Picard had a lot of good moments. Plus, its always great seeing the Romulans get more focus. It would have been cool if Sela had been in it, but I don’t really see how they could have fit Seven into the movie.

Nemesis had many problems, but Stuart Baird was the least of them. The main problem was the story and the script and a troupe of actors who by this point were phoning it in (which had begun in Insurrection which has some of the hammiest acting I’ve ever seen). Ironically Sirtis may have been the worst offender.

I’m actually amazed Baird was able to pull off what he did given what he had to work with. Nemesis looks like a movie unlike some of its predecessors and looks a million times more professional than Insurrection. I’d go so far as to say Baird and his cinematographer were the film’s mvp’s.

Everything wrong with that film begins with the story/script and ends with the actors. Baird has been unfairly cast as the villain in this for way too long by both the cast and the fans.

All good things should have been made as their first movie followed by First Contact.

Nemesis should have been vs the Borg not Tom Hardy playing a Picard clone out for revenge.

Generations and Insurrection would have been good on tv or dvd specials.

By Nemesis they had turned the movies into the Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner Show.

Foolish, when combined with a lousy story and dickhead director.

m’na, m’na, that’s all, folks!

Man…I knew Crosby was looking pretty rough, but Sirtis looks downright haggard, and Dorn? He looks like an anorexic teenager is wearing his skin like a cheap mascot costume.

my fan 50th movie would be movie with all the series crews.

Enterprise
TOS
TNG
DS9
VOYAGER

brought together by Q to save the galaxy from the borg.

nx 01, uss enterprise A, D, uss voyager refit and defiant refit all flying in formation towards borg armada led by borgified Khan it would be a 3.5hr master piece.

The Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans, Dominion, Cardassians and Ferengi would all team up and join the alliance to stop the borg threat once and for all which would lead to peace in the milky way.

Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, Archer save the galaxy then go drink and play poker.

New Enterprise built at end that has officers and crew from klingons, romulan, vulcan, cardassian, dominion and ferenghi and humans.

Just laugh and enjoy it lol

Just make a good movie, Bob.

Please….

I’m feeling quite contrarian at the moment. I suspect that if you take all the fine suggestions flung around here, and do exactly the opposite…you’ll have a hit on your hands.

Have fun.

Vice President Humongowitz

Thing is, if we call Baird an idiot, we might also have to call writer Logan an idiot too. And if we do that, we might have to call Piller an idiot for the fairly lame Insurrection. But if we do that, then we’d also have to Moore and Braga idiots for the near-incoherent Generations. See? So we’re better off just saying Stu tried his best. And if he wasn’t the best choice for director, that fault goes to the studio and the producers.

edit: should read “…not have SAID THAT…WAS an idiot…”

@10. I don’t hate it…well, I don’t hate any Trek movie, but on my list Nemesis is in the bottom third ………..

Baird was a horrible choice for director. Sure, he’s a good action editor, but as a director – I don’t know. And the fact he admits he’s never seen any episode or movie in the series just spells disaster. Still wish we could get a proper TNG send off.

Why is Guinan wearing glasses in the photo? Does she have the same allergy to Retinax as Kirk? Or is that a cast photo? If it’s a cast photo, why are Frakes and Sirtis getting married? And why is Spiner so glum?

I’m just curious about that.

11 – McT

Couldn’t have said it better. Completely unfair to lay all the blame at Baird’s feet. The old adage “success has many fathers, but failure only one” definitely applies here.

Maybe Jeri meant that Seven would’ve been one of the characters who shows up at the very end of the movie to replace one of the characters who had left the Enterprise … i.e. something along the lines of the Stephen Culp role that are among the shots that ended up being deleted from the final scene during the theatrical release. An appearance by Seven there might’ve made a pretty cool, upbeat, and somewhat symbolic ending, that way.

Sidenote question for anyone who attended this “Destination Trek” thing: Creation has (finally!) scheduled Jeri Ryan for a convention appearance in the Seattle area in December, but the website is advertising a really odd restriction of single-character photos only for her autographs (translation: no cast shots for all the fans who generally take years trying to collect those things). Was the same restriction going on at this London thing?

16. Phil

will do my best. Tough crowd!

To follow up my previous post, I have to laugh when I read people raking Baird over the coals for his comment about knowing nothing about Trek before directing Nemesis. Oh ye of short memory. Both Nick Meyer and Harve Bennett are both on record (many times over) about not knowing a thing about Star Trek except for “is that the one with the guy with the pointy ears?” and yet they went on to help create several films that have come to DEFINE Star Trek for many of us. So this notion that knowledge of Trek is a prerequisite to making a great film is laughable and contemptible.

John Logan gets a free pass by the cast due to his fanboy status, yet it’s his script, and the story by himself, Berman and Spiner, that lets the entire “enterprise” down. Knowledge of Trek does not a sure thing make. Not by a long shot.

21. Hat Rick

Those are sun glasses, not prescription glasses. Besides, in TNG “Time’s Arrow”, a younger Guinan wore sunglasses then, too.

Stuart Baird was clearly brought in as a new broom and it seems a lot of the ‘family’ weren’t cooperative. If Baird was so terrible, in a producer-led franchise such as the TNG films, he could have been replaced. Nevertheless, Rick Berman didn’t kick him out and Berman himself oversaw the hacking of the film into an utter mess. None of the TNG films represented the best that TNG could have been in the cinema. TNG ended really well with All Good Things… and the films are like a mediocre coda. Generations saw the crew take a dose of stupid pills (‘Oh look, our chief engineer’s been kidnapped and tortured: let’s let him run around the ship having not checked his VISOR’s been hacked! Oops, the ship’s been destroyed in the stupidest way imaginable!’) and, in giving Data his emotions, basically ended the character’s journey and rendered him irrelevant. Much as the X-Men films have fallen into the trap of being ‘Wolverine and Pals,’ missing the point of the great ensemble of characters (watch the 1990s cartoon series to see how badly the films miss the mark), the TNG films attempted to turn Picard and Data into the new Kirk and Spock, when neither character has a big enough contrast from one another. Both characters have Vulcan-esque aspects and, in trying to ‘big them up’ for a movie, Picard veers wildly between theatrical ham (like the character Patrick Stewart played in Frasier) and stoic, underplayed TV character, while Brent Spiner… Read more »

Just relax. The next big movie will be Axanar

Stay classy Marina.

@dswynne, 26: Okay. Well, it still looks odd to me.

The photo looked as if it was a publicity pic gone slightly wrong.

I don’t know who was running the show that day, but I’d be interested in the backstory behind that image. Did some publicist think it would be a great idea to have the cast, in costume, do a wedding shoot? It seems like a half-baked situation to me. I don’t think of 24th Century wedding celebrants as having exactly the same photographic poses as folks three to four hundred years prior, but the photo in question definitely looks like it was posed in a 20th Century style. Takes me completely out of the futuristic context it’s supposed to to represent.

The glasses, sun or not, don’t look very Trekkish to me, either.

16. Phil – October 5, 2014
…I’m feeling quite contrarian at the moment. I suspect that if you take all the fine suggestions flung around here, and do exactly the opposite…you’ll have a hit on your hands.

———

Agreed. We have terrible, terrible ideas. Don’t ever do what we say… (advice that would cause smoke to pour out of the typical TOS overlord computer/android — “you say not to do what you say, but yet you are saying it, but…’)

BTW. I agree that the story — and the actors starting to just play themselves — sunk Nemesis. It’s hard to tell what exactly Baird contributed — to me Nemesis looked and felt like everything else from the Berman factory ca. 2000, albeit maybe a bit drearier.

Frakes did First Contact which was good and looked good — and then Insurrection, which wasn’t so good and looked chintzy. So, I dunno.

Stuart Baird’s contribution to cinema is mighty and he deserved respect. Is Nemesis a bad movie? Yes. Was he the wrong guy for the job? Yes. Is he a bad director? Maybe. But he deserves more respect than this

Stuart Baird deserves respect for being a good editor. But for being a director…? Well, Marina already answered that.

She didn’t answer that. She called him an “idiot”. His career proves that while he may not be a good director, he is no an idiot.

33. Matt – October 6, 2014 The antipathy for Baird, especially coming from people directed by him, may be about his personality rather than his technical skills as a director. 11. MacT – October 5, 2014 Nemesis had many problems, but Stuart Baird was the least of them. The main problem was the story and the script and a troupe of actors who by this point were phoning it in (which had begun in Insurrection which has some of the hammiest acting I’ve ever seen). Ironically Sirtis may have been the worst offender. Totally agree that the writing was, by far, the worst problem with the TNG movies. And Berman has a writer credit on all of them. There was something about that guy that seems to have infected scripts co-written by otherwise good writers of Trek TV, like Moore and Piller. As for the actors phoning it in, I mostly got that impression with Frakes’ performances. There are scenes in the TNG movies were he appears to be doing a line reading rather than an actual take for the movie. As for the rest of the main cast, I tend to think that their “hammy” acting was the natural consequence of hammy dialogue. I mean, what more could Michael Dorn have done with a line like, “Definitely feeling aggressive tendencies, sir!”? Or, Spiner with all of his corny emotion-chip scenes? Or, Stewart with the stilted emotional outbursts written for his character (see, it’s a movie now, so the characters… Read more »
27. Dom – October 6, 2014 TNG wasn’t really suitable for the cinema… I don’t know about this. In theory, I can’t see any reason why TNG should have been less suitable than TOS for the big screen. TNG episodes like The Face of the Enemy or Gambit or Chain of Command and many more were just as much “stand-alone movies” as any TOS episode. I’m currently re-watching TOS and noticing with almost every episode that TNG was a logical outgrowth of TOS; they took the TOS formula (which didn’t change very much across three seasons) and expanded it in several directions, often with variations on themes and plot elements from TOS. TNG episodes, like TOS episodes, tended to be driven by a thematic concept and/or thematic statement (as opposed to DS9, which was also partly theme-driven but much more more character-driven). And, what TNG did was to expand the ways of telling the stories—such as in flashbacks and putting the puzzle pieces together, as in episodes like Timescape, Clues and Cause and Effect, i.e. the “mystery” episodes; or, for example, by having more than one narrative arc occurring simultaneously—as in episodes like Chain of Command, where the Riker/Jellico storyline and the Gul Madred/Picard storyline run almost entirely in parallel from the point that Picard, Worf and Crusher leave the Enterprise onward until the end of the episode. And, TNG also added more elements to the TOS formula, such as character development (particularly for Data, but also for Picard, Beverly,… Read more »

28. feyd – October 6, 2014

Just relax. The next big movie will be Axanar

Definitely looking forward to that.

The Axanar webpage still projects 2015 for the release date. Here’s hoping.

Sirtis? Bitter?

# 25. MacT – October 6, 2014 “Both Nick Meyer and Harve Bennett are both on record (many times over) about not knowing a thing about Star Trek except for “is that the one with the guy with the pointy ears?” and yet they went on to help create several films that have come to DEFINE Star Trek for many of us.” — MacT Repeat a lie enough times and it might make it true for the collective consciousness but it doesn’t make it true in reality: http://archive.org/stream/starlog_magazine-060/060_djvu.txt “I [Harve Bennett] have to backtrack a moment to explain all this. I live with a wonderful lady who’s been the joy of my life for years. She is a Trekker. She is, was, and always will be a Trekker. During our long time together, I’ve been force-fed Star Trek re-runs . . . literally. She’d be sitting there, in front of her TV set, and I’d be moaning ‘How many times do we have to see these things?’ She’d sit there like a stage mother, muttering, ‘Now watch. Spock is going to say this.’ She’d recite the dialogue with the characters. I’d say clever things like ‘Look! Why do you persist in watching this stuff when you know everything that’s going to happen?’ Her response was ‘Shhhhh.’ Since I always was being told to shut up during the 17th showing of ‘The Tholian Web,’ I finally gave in and started watching. I became hooked. I became fascinated by the show. You… Read more »

On one of the blu ray special features Sirtis states:

“The fans don’t want to hear this, but at this point the relationships between us are more important than the work.”

Well, it certainly shows on screen. I think the reason they hate on Baird so much is that they were used to working with their buddies (various Trek insiders) at the helm and now they had someone from the outside. So instead of the country club atmosphere and coddling they were used to they had someone who wasn’t there to be their best friend.

Know this, if the film had been a success, Sirtis, et al, would be lining up to heap praise on Baird. But because it was a failure, and because their buddies Logan and Spiner wrote the story, they use Baird as the scapegoat because he’s the only non-member of their old boys club. Thus he’s the cast’s and some of the fan’s whipping boy.

Nemesis had a good story and a strong connection between hero and villain. It had a decent amount of action, a good soundtrack and some touching moments.

My criticism of it is that it was too generic with too many homages to the past films and with the second part of the film borrowing too heavily from TWOK (a regular offence with Trek films trying to copy the best incarnation). Also, Sirtis forgot to act when playing Troi: the accent was that of the actress not the character….

But it was a lot better than Insurrection and is unfairly criticised. The actors, fans etc., over-analyse the end of TNG. It’s quite simple. The market was saturated with Star Trek. There were too many shows, some still live, others constantly repeated on TV. Why pay to see it at the cinema when, in addition, it was low budget and essentially just another episode on a big screen. We needed a bit of time with no new Trek to get the appetite back for it. JJ delivered a fun, big budget film with new, young actors….

40. Disinvited – October 6, 2014

# 25. MacT – October 6, 2014

“Both Nick Meyer and Harve Bennett are both on record (many times over) about not knowing a thing about Star Trek except for “is that the one with the guy with the pointy ears?” and yet they went on to help create several films that have come to DEFINE Star Trek for many of us.” — MacT

And actually Nick Meyer studied a bunch of TOS episodes to prepare for writing TWOK.

41. Alec – October 6, 2014

Nemesis had a good story and a strong connection between hero and villain.

Uhh…I think it’s fair to say that “audiences” didn’t see in it what you saw in it, being that it did lousy at the box office. And I count myself in that group.

P.S.

And not just because it did lousy box office—as has been shown, box office revenue is not always indicative of good quality in the writing of a movie—but also because fans tend to rateNemesis poorly, from what I’ve seen.

And why is it Denise “can’t” tell us what they said? It’s not like there’s still possibility of a role. Those people aren’t running Trek anymore (thank God).

Well, I guess I’ll chime in here. Poor TNG cast. Aside from First Contact, they just didn’t make it as a great movie series. Logan is a great writer, but he’s a fanboy. Bad idea. You can’t put stuff on the screen you’ve always thought would be cool, and make it work as a riveting story. Just tell a great story, and the moments that you need will fall into place naturally, as part of the plot. First off, traditionally, the best villains are usually the ones they have history with. Borg, Khan etc. Shinzon? Not only was the plot surrounding how he came to power ridiculous and unlikely, there wasn’t enough time to develop an intriguing backstory, so, as it turned out, no one really cared much for Shinzon. There was supposed to be this tension between him and Picard, but you have to have something linking them in the past to make it interesting. Hence, The Shinzon character was flat and kinda boring. They could have chosen Armus, which would have been a Khan-type story. I’d imagine that black sludge hates Picard for keeping him stranded on Vagra. Plus, WE know he murdered Tasha. So that’s a good villain. Or…I don’t know…Q? Duh? How could they never made a movie featuring their key adversary? Bottom line is that the Nemesis script just didn’t work from the get-go. And we all know if a script is mediocre at best, they’d have to pull off some miracles to make it… Read more »
43/44. Cygnus-X1 – October 6, 2014 I think the reason it did so poorly, financially, is because of market saturation. When Nemesis came out there were 5 live actions shows of Trek available for free on TV at pretty much any hour of the day on some channel. Since ’93, not one but two Trek shows was being released simultaneously. Moreover, when Nemesis was released, ENT was pretty new and introducing yet another ship and crew. My point was, with so much free Trek available, in continuous production since the late ’80s, why keep paying to go to the cinema to see essentially another episode, given its budget, just on the big screen? Casual fans will not be prepared to do this. The shows had long been repeating themselves in terms of stories and character types. The quality was diminishing and it was a little tired, a little stale, to many people. Each fan will have his own opinion on the merits of Nemesis as a story. Personally, I though it was good. It was written by an Oscar-winning writer. It considered the issue of genetic determinism: the idea that our hero, Captain Picard, would have behaved exactly as Shinzon had done, had Picard lived Shinzon’s life. Shinzon was a terrible mirror for Picard; Picard, a beacon of hope for Shinzon. There was more depth to it than the previous TNG entries. It was fast-paced, action-packed with a good soundtrack. It had fewer problems/issues than many of the other films.… Read more »

When did Deanna get drunk in “First Contact”?!

@14 – id love to see photos of the posters here who routinely take personal shots at the appearance of these actors.

Denise Crosby is 56 years old.

Marina Sirtis is 59.

I think they both look great.

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