Spiner and Sirtis Talk About Treks That Might Have Been

SciFi Pulse has a couple of magazine excerpts up from TNG stars Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis. Spiner talked to Dreamwatch magazine about the idea for Star Trek XI that he and Star Trek Nemesis story co-writer John Logan had::

the next film would have been was a Justice League of Star Trek. Something would bring all the great Star Trek villains together, from Khan to Shinzon, and Picard is the only person who could stop them and he actually has to go through time and pluck out the people he needs to help him. He goes back to the moment before Data blows up and takes him back to get Kirk and Spock, and go even further back and get Scott Bakula’s character Archer.

The only problem Spiner saw with that idea was the cost…TrekMovie suggests he looks a little harder

Predicting Trek XI won’t be a prequel?
Although Spiner recently told Starburst Magazine he thinks Abrams is a good choice to head the franchise, he tells Dreamwatch he isn’t too keen on the whole prequel notion.

I don’t think it’s a great idea to do a prequel to anything….When has that ever been interesting? If Enterprise really said anything it was, ‘Don’t go back, go forward.’ That’s part of the whole beauty of Star Trek; it’s always been about ‘Go Boldly Where No One Has Gone Before’, not ‘Go Back to Where They Once Were That We Never Saw.’ I think that before that film gets made they’ll have a completely different idea of what it should be.

So let me get this straight…going ‘backward’ as a prequel to meet Kirk and Spock is bad, but going back in time to meet Kirk and Spock is brilliant…OK then. Although Spiner has recently stated that he is resigned to it being ‘over’ for the TNG crew, maybe this is a bit of wishful thinking.

Sirtis would still play Troi
Marina Sirtis has not been shy about her views of Trek and it’s new direction, and it is no surprise that she still wants to play Troi again. The actress tells SFX: "I’d be happy if I was still playing her [Troi] now. No really. Being on Next Generation was the best experience of my life." After her attacks on Paramount and JJ Abrams, we are going to out on a limb and say that Sirits playing Troi is not going to happen anytime soon. Sirtis also revealed that she thought Buffy’s James Marsters should have played Shinzon (Picard’s clone) in Star Trek Nemesis.

I didn’t think Tom [Hardy] was at all convincing as a young Patrick. Don’t get me wrong – he’s a great, great actor and a really lovely guy. But he didn’t look a bit like Patrick At all. They should have cast James Marsters. They auditioned him, you know. I think physically he was much more suitable for the part.

Sirtis also says that one of the reasons Nemesis failed was because it involved too much of Patrick Stewart’s character " I think the fans want to see the whole team in action, while that was very much Picard taking centre stage." Sirtis in the past has stated she thought Nemesis ‘sucked’, but I guess she thinks that if it only had Spike and more of her it would have been a hit…ok then.  

SciFi Pulse Excerpts:
Spiner from Dreamwatch
Sirtis from  SFX


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More sour grapes. Well, they had their chance and they blew it…twice (or 3 times, according to some).

It’s really too bad because the TNG cast is still relatively young enough to do another film, but since their films never approached the quality of the TV series, it’s over.

Spiner’s character “data”, suprise! Takes everbody back in time for a little Star Trek costume party.I guess Shatner and Nimoy would be a 70 something Kirk and Spock to facilitate a Data centric story.Gimme a break!Just re-cast the original characters just like they do with James Bond.Star Trek has been dying a pathetic slow death since “Undiscovered Country”.People who put down money to go to the movies don’t care about next gen.Next gen is for suckers.

It seems clear in hindsight that the correct course would have been for TNG to continue on television instead of Voyager taking its place. All of Voyager’s and Enterprise’s seasons could have been TNG seasons. Fatigue could have been staved off with gradual cast changes, as is done on E.R. and other very long-running shows. They could even have introduced Voyager’s characters, but added them to the 1701-D as TNG cast departures required (leaving guest appearances possible without convoluted explanations).

There was no need from fans’ point of view for a TNG film series if the TV series could have continued. And I think it’s clear that TNG, as a concept, worked far better as the TV show it was designed to be than it did shoehorned into repetitive, futile attempts to remake Wrath of Khan in movie after movie.

Since Voyager found itself falling back to a TNG/TOS formula instead of truly embracing the creative possibilities of its lost-in-the-wild premise, it seems all the more pointless that TNG was forced to fizzle out in an awkward theatrical format that it was never meant for.

I hate this new idea of Trek XI going back in time, being a prequal…it sucks!!

There are sooo many ideas that I as a relativley new and less extreme fan have in mind, and soo many loose ends to tie up from all the series (excluding Star Trek/Enterprise) Like Sisko’s return, What happens to the Voyager crew (we know Harry becomes a captain for example)? , B4 becoming the new Data, Picards new team, La Forge maybe leaving (he is also a captain (Voyager: Timeless episode) and finally what about Riker as Captain of the Titan and the possibility of the Romulans becoming an Ally… grrrr all this aprehension and loose ties anger me!!

I believe that we need a grand finale… a film that has it all all the past crews, all the old enemies and maybe one new threat, the daddy of all threats… a Quadrant battle that in some way involes all aspects of what we understand Star Trek to be… then we can all rest in peace and maybe… finally let Star Trek rest in peace, face it guys… Treks over, but let it go out with a big bang, a final bow…. Thank You

It wasn’t so much the story but in fact the current turmoil that this country is going through with its war in Iraq. Why would anyone want to see a film with so much inner conflict and controversy when all we needed for that was to simply watch the evening news or talk to a neighbor – etc?
If Nemesis was a actually adventure instead of a tragedy THEN it would have been much better….after all who wants just conflict and the death of one its favorite characters? Not me! The film was too dark and had they released something remotely similair earlier in the series it would have been a HUGE hit – at least I think so.

Marsters? How does he look more like Stewart? :-/

Uhm… as a TV TNG fan, I think they blew if all 4 times. First Contact was the only reasonable effort, and realistically, that wasn’t even very good. Nothing that I loved about TNG has ever really appeared on the big screen.

Star Trek was a series about ideas. Everyting afterward was a continuing soap opera in space, perhaps it might have been called, “Star Trek: Daze of Our Lives” lol!

Who cares about the intricate, wholly irrelevent and emminently forgetable nuances of so-called “canon”????? IT’S A FANTASY PEOPLE! IT DOESN’T MATTER!

If this Abrams guy has half a brain, he will realize he has the ability to do something on the order of Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V in space. Now that — that I’d pay money to see.

Who the hell cares who Troi is banging this week or what affectation Data lands on that week?


this website is just a shrill for the prequel idea

I think you mean “shill”. While it’s possible, I don’t think this site is some kind of secret web marketing tool for Trek. a) the current higher-ups at Paramount don’t seem that astute or that interested in Trek. b) many of the posts here are pretty critical of the current state on things Trek.

TNG is 20 years old and looks just as quaint as TOS. It’s earnestness and political correctness seem very more dated.
Every good idea in TNG was beat to death in DS9, buried in Voyager and then given a zombie-like resurrection in Enterprise. I say it’s time for some good old-style TOS action/adventure.

The TNG crew “blew it” exactly once in the movies.

That’s why they’re not doing another.

I Agree with Old on the Canon deal. It’s just fiction, with an official status.

Spiner’s idea also sounds stupid to me. That must have been developed in
many places around the country by deranged fanboys.

Wow. Some franchise fatiguers have hit the site. And it looks like we have some guys who still think TOS stands for “The Only Series.” Interesting to see the two groups within a half-lightyear of one another.

I was reading Brent Spiner’s plan for XI and kept thinking, “Okay, when’s Tony gonna come out with a punchline and shout ‘September Fools!'” Trek definitely dodged a bullet there. The fanboys were running the show.

James_El_Jay, that sort of “epic” fanboy thinking really *would* bury Star Trek–no offense intended. AbramsTrek, if we’re lucky, is going to be the start of something new. A return to the storytelling roots of Star Trek, which, as we all know deep down, is the only thing that really matters.

*wanders off humming ‘The Start of Something New’ from High School Musical*

The Glory days of trek ended in 1994. Even though I absolutley loved FC and Generations however without the TNG series Trek was finished.

You next gen fans need to write to someone to bring next gen back to tv.Stop riding the coatails of tos success with your stupid movie pitches

The original crew could have done another movie in 1994, something along the lines of Magnificient 7, one last adventure. Personally, all that came after the original was ok, but these series aren’t iconic like the crew that did it first. Think in 20 years there will be a comeback of any of the spinoff series? For that matter, where were the conventions exclusively devoted to only one of the spinoff shows? That only happened with the first S.T. The rest were just analog copies which got fuzzer and fuzzer with every incarnation.

The public associates S.T. with the original, here’s a small example, my kids are watching this Superdog cartoon as I type this and what do I hear, a dog saying, “I’m an afgan, not a scotty, so none of that beam me up scotty stuff here”. Bring back S.T. not the copies. People know these characters and have an affection for them.

I really don’t like the Brent Spiner/John Logan writing tandem. Look what they did with the last movie! And a Legion of Doom re-hashing all these old Trek villains is just stupid. Obviously that was never going to happen because Berman had Jendressen working on a totally different concept anyway. Spiner, go back to doing dinner theater in Cleveland, ok?

The Spiner/Logan idea would have been a good comic but not a trek movie.

I think TNG worked fine as a TV show, albeit a frightfully dated one now – philosophically, it’s more out of touch with our times than TOS.

But TNG is a small-screen concept. It’s storytelling is rooted in 80s/early 90s TV storytelling styles. The characters and actors’ performances are similarly TV in feel.

DS9, Voyager and Enterprise all suffered because they were also locked into that late-80s formula, their stories and characters blithely continuing and out of date style, ignoring the advent of The X FIles, Buffy/Angel, Alias Lost, 24, new Battlestar Galactica and so on – mostly because they were saddled with a worn-out production team who appeared to be blissfully unaware of the rest of the business.

TOS, which I’ll admit is my favourite, was ‘filmic’ right from the start. The characters were larger-than-life archetypes, played by actors who had no problem taking those characters on to the big screen.

Look at the two main movie Trek captains. Right up to the bitter end, Shatner conveyed charm, confidence and humour. Patrick Stewart seemed to be underplaying – he wasn’t, but Picard, as a character, wasn’t right for the cinema.

Film and TV are very different, in spite of how much they cross over. The TNG crew was fine for TV, but they should have stuck with the original crew (not necessarily cast) or certainly the more dangerous 23rd century for movies.

In an ideal world, TNG should have had a more ‘elastic’ cast: more characters should have been killed off or moved on and there should have been more additions to the cast. It was just too . . . safe.

Well, I think, that TNG and its actors weren’t unqualified for cinema. It was the producers’ fault that the style of TNG has changed on the big screen. There was no need to alter it into a more TOS-like style or to leave the philosophical style behind. Because you must know that the cinematic TNG-style wasn’t the same as the succesful TV-style of TNG. They shouldn’t have changed it, there was no need to make Picard to a action hero or to destroy the Enterprise-D. Patrick Stewart and the others are great actors especially for the big screen. Unfortunatly it went wrong. The character development had come to late in “nemesis”, instead of being made after “generations”.

Hmm. If I’m honest, what I saw in the TNG movies was TV acting, which wasn’t helped by the TV series producers running things.

In Generations, Rick Berman, presuming to know the characters better than actors who had played the roles for 30 years, insisted Chekov and Scotty call Kirk ‘Captain’, when everyone knows they’d have called him ‘Jim.’

I wonder how TNG would have fared in films written, produced and directed by the likes of Nicholas Meyer, Harve Bennet and Leonard Nimoy.

When a TV show with its TV cast transfers to the big screen, things that were once dealt with in nuance are dealt with in broad strokes. The TOS crew were always painted in broad strokes: I mean Uhura was never given a first name and Sulu didn’t get one officially until Star Trek 6, but no one really noticed.

TNG’s arrival in cinema was kinda doomed by its backroom staff from the beginning. None of the TNG films really **felt** like theatrical movies. They were always more like TV episodes projected on a big screen.

Hopefully Abrams can balance the nuance and broad strokes just right for his film.

Related to the TNG series the TNG movies didn’t feel theatrical at all, and that was the big problem – the reason why it had to fail.
I only know the german versions of Star Trek, so I´m not sure who names whom how. But I’m absolutely sure that only Bones and Spock said “Jim” to Captain Kirk. For all the others he was just the captain. And if I remember correctly, Sulu was called “Hikaru” in Star Trek 5, while Uhura got her first name “Nyota” in one episode of the original series.
It’s hard for a new generation of prducers to get back the old feeling, if even the old producers at last didn’t know or even did forget what exactly the typical star trek feeling was. I hope this eleventh adventure will satisfy all of us.

Uhura has three possible ‘non-canon’ names, but none was ever used in any show or film. There is a common misconception that Kirk calls Uhura by her first name in STIV, but that is a result of a mumbled line by Shatner. The first ‘official’ use of Hikaru, I’m pretty sure, was when he used his own name in STVI at the beginning.

As for the use of ‘Jim’, there was precedent for Scotty to call Kirk by his first name as far back as TOS. Certainly, the retired former Captain Kirk on vacation with Scotty and Chekov would have been likely to be on first-name terms with men he’d served with for decades.

Doohan, Koenig and Shatner wanted to use ‘Jim,’ but Berman insisted they use ‘Captain’ which is a much more TNG thing (along with most of the TOS characters’ dialogue in the movie, which just doesn’t sound like them!)

Dom, that’s interesting re: the “Jim” issue from Generations. I had never heard of that story before. It’s obvious that Berman didn’t “get” the orignal series, and I absolutely cannot stand watching Generations, but I have to admit the actors’ talent shone thru in the Enterprise-B scenes. That’s the difference between TOS and TNG, and something you were alluding to– the actors in TOS had more going for them. Were they all better actors? No. But they were far more charming. And in Star Trek, that means a lot.

My idea for the next Trek Film would be Tiberius Kirk from the mirror universe causing all sorts of hell in the “regular” universe. We (the fans) would have Kirk back in some manner and he could probably show the TNG crew what a Star Trek film is.

Welcome to 2008!