TNG@20: Stewart Interview

During 2007 we will peridically post retrospective interviews, features and found clips to celebrate TNG’s 20th birthday. Here is a BBC interview with Patrick Stewart from a few years ago (edited to just the Trek bits). He talks about how he got the job, the choice of Picard’s accent, fandom and the film Trekkies.

video edited from full interview (part 1) (part 2)

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Even Stewart had issues with the “Trekkies” film and it’s emphasis and inappropriate focus on overtly eccentric individuals who just happen to be Star Trek fans as somehow representative of the vast demographic of fanhood.

re: 1

I plan to watch Trekkies this week sometime to see what that is all about. Have never seen it before.

I don’t know if it was the characters or the actors who played them, but as hard as I tried to like Next Generation for several years, it just never really grabbed hold for me. I wouldn’t say it was a bad show, just a bland show.
Occasionally I pop in one of the old tapes that I recorded back in those days and rarely can I even make it through an episode without completely losing interest in the first few minutes.

I must admit it is still better than the vast majority of shows they make now.

TNG grabbed me the moment I revisted the show when Season 3 had started.

One of the best shows ever made, ever.

Great interview. That Yorkshire accent bit was pretty funny. Glad they decided against it!

#3- I agree, one of the best shows ever. If it seems a little bland now, it’s only because they kept going back to the same well with some of the later series.

man, i like him. greatest captain ever.

That is an awful set… yikes. What year was this from? :-)

Thanks for posting this!

OK… Who’s got the clip of him doing Clouseau in a Picard uniform??

Picard is a good character. His was one of the few to begin to emerge during TNG’s largely vapid first season. (Any criticisms of blandness rest squarely on the 1st, 6th, and 7th season, although there are exceptions.) Picard was meant, I believe, to be the anti-Kirk. Less impulsive, more diplomatic. Yet, Stewart to his credit found places to imbue passion. (OK, he doesn’t bed down EVERY space chick, but he does get a few.) The result was a viable contrast to Kirk rather than the original attempt to unKirk the command chair. I even like the two together in Generations, except for Kirk’s gawdawful death scenes.

As always, thanks Anthony for finding these gems.

Good interview to watch, bad set and all. Patrick looks quite enthused during this interview, which is nice to see. It was nice to hear that he doesn’t think we are all nuts (the fans).

Let’s not forget that during TNG’s entire run, it was Patrick Stewart’s CONSIDERABLE “acting chops” that helped to elevate the material. The man is a very talented actor!

It was wired watching Next generation despite loving the show I did find it kind of slow pacing compared to other Trek like Voyager, TOS, Deep space nine, and Enterprise. They avoided internal conflict and battles to much but it was still a great show.

What made TNG great was that the charicters were all whole, full bodied individuals who grew as the show progressed. (Even Wesley grew from major pain to minor annoyance. Watch “The Naked Now” and then watch “Journey’s End,” you can see the difference.) One of the things that I was really dissapointed with in all the TNG movies is that they basically became the Picard and Data show.

Generations: Picard’s Nephew dies, Data gets Emotions.
First Contact: Picard deals with his Assimilation, Data nearly gets assimilated.
Insurrection: Picard deals with Morality, Data becomes a big kid.
Nemesis: Data dies and Picard is sad.

With the possible exception of First Contact, in none of the TNG movies do we really get to see Geordi or Worf or Beverly or Riker or Troi do what they do best. When Data died, shouldn’t it have affected his best friend Geordi more? And why was Worf demoted to Comic relief in Insurrection? Can anyone really remember what Beverly was doing in any of the movies (Other than yelling at an EMH?)

Patrick Stewart is a great actor. I’ve been fortunate enough to see him on stage a number of times. He was the Captain, and thus, the star of the show, and he did some GREAT acting on TNG. But what good is a captain without a good crew behind him? The writers lost sight of that when they made the movies.

Never liked picard.Couldn’t warm up to him.he seems so pompous and defensive.Didn’t help it any that Stewart shouted out his lines like he was still on stage

Patrick Stewart was so good in TNG. I really do hope we see him in action again as Picard.

I was always in favour of the darker road that Trek took, i thought it mirrored our own time (which it did) but after hearing part of Mr. Stewarts interview I realised Trek was about hope, yes there were battles but it was about hope. Trek has lost that, the series needs to be put back to the times of TOS, even following the adventures of Pike or April, to reclaim what it has lost, even a TV series about Sulu could achieve that. A series set during the time of TNG, but following the lines of the series. DS9 was a wonderful series and I loved it, VOY was pathetic and Enterprise was OK. But nothing will ever beat TNG, not even TOS in my mind, but if Abrams is going back to TOS to bring Trek back to its former self, go for it! Thank you Mr Stewart, you made me remember why I liked Trek, it was not the effects but the stories.

Great guest to interview. Trekkies was a bit, well let’s make fun of uber trek fans but as the film ends you understand that eccentricities of these fans is nothing more than that. I mean when I wear my uniform to work once a year I get my balls busted but it’s a compliment. Patrick, it’s OK the fans knew they were being filmed and they didn’t care.

I am watching Trekkies right now.
Most of the people featured in this film are on a different level of fandom than myself. I enjoy the show, but they really seem to have a LOT of fun with it.
I have never attended a convention (largely because of where I live), but I can see that it would be interesting to attend one once.
It would have been more enjoyable going to a convention before the days of the spin-offs when it was just the real Star Trek being celebrated.
The guy driving around in the Captain Pike life-support vehicle and the “Cousin Eddie” cap with ear flaps is killing me. :)

Does anyone like the first 2 seasons of NG? I thought those years were more in line with TOS , the later seasons seamed to get way too talky

A few weeks ago, Paramount said that they where going to start making Direct-to-DVD movies of old franchises, and that Star Trek might be one of them. Does anyone out there think the TNG crew would go that route, with Stewart and all returning? Granted, Stewart would probably ask for a fair amount of cash if he did it, but do you think he would ever go for it if they asked him too?

In my eyes, a movie is a movie, whether it premiers in a theatre or it goes directly to DVD. It would be a great way for TNG to continue making more movies.

Parkinson is the DADDY of Interviews!!

I never got into TNG, but I thought Stewart was an excellent choice for the captain. IMO Picard was the glue that held that show together, and it probably wouldn’t have worked had they put some Kirk knockoff in that chair. I liked Geordi too, but the rest of the cast was uninteresting to me, and I thought the show was sterile and boring. It just never seemed to have that special something that TOS had.

I’m not trying to piss off any TNG fans, that was just what I got out of the show.

As far as direct- to-DVD TNG, I don’t think it would be profitable at all. Even a 50 mil gross wasn’t enough for Paramount to continue TNG in the theaters, and I know they wouldn’t make that kind of money from DVD’s.

#21: The problem is so much money gets spent on advertising to promote the films when they are sent off to the theatres first. That’s one of the reasons why Nemesis didn’t make as much of a profit as it could have (the fact that it wasn’t very good didn’t help it either).

Disney and Paramount have started making Diecct to DVD movies of franchises where they already have a built in audience, and they are doing well. “American Pie” has 2 direct-to-dvd sequel movies out now, and both have done very well. Babylon 5 has a Direct-to-DVD movie in the works right now. TNG could easily surpass all of those movies in terms of profit.