This week, The Celeb Watcher brings you casting news for Trek vets Scott Bakula, Connor Trinneer, Simon Pegg, and George Takei. We also got appearances for Nichelle Nichols and Jolene Blalock, confessions of a Star Trek: Voyager writer, Saldana getting the cold shoulder at a Beverly Hills jeweler, and more. Plus: Win a date with Paul McGillion!
Enterprise stars get new roles
Variety reports Enterprise stars Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) and Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) have won major roles in two upcoming projects. Bakula will play the second lead opposite Matt Damon in The Informant, an espionage thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven). Bakula’s character is FBI Agent Brian Shepherd, who joins with Damon’s biochemist character to foil an international price-fixing scheme. Trinneer, in the meantime, will star in the Sci-Fi Channel movie Termination Shock. He plays the lead role, a “space smuggler” with a beautiful woman as his cargo. (Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it?)
We got more work! Woo-hoo!!!
Takei + Sandler = Comedy Gold
On Thursday morning
TOS star George Takei (Sulu) revealed on The Howard Stern Show (where he has been appearing all week) that he just landed a part in the new Adam Sandler movie and had to fly back to California for filming. He didn’t know anything about the role or even what film it was, but it is likely Bedtime Stories, the fantasy family comedy Sandler is currently filming. And for the ‘it’s a small Trek world’ category, Takei was supposed to be seeing Macbeth (starring TNG’s Patrick Stewart) Thursday night, but had to skip it for the Sandler flick. In the meantime, Takei talked with MediaWeek about the popularity of reality shows like the one he’s on, Secret Talents of the Stars (premiering Tuesday, April 8th, on CBS):
I think people take a certain evil glee in seeing celebrities out of their element, wrapped in hubris and possibly falling on their faces.
Simon back with Frost and Wight + sees a Who
Variety has confirmed that Simon Pegg (the new Scotty) is current writing the third film with his Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz writing partner, Edgar Wright, called The World’s End. Pegg will also star in the film along with regular collaborator and friend Nick Frost. In other Pegg news, he recently geeked out at the premiere of the fourth “series” (or as us Yanks call it "season") of the newest Doctor Who in London. Pegg played a villain, "The Editor," in the first series episode called "The Long Game" back in 2005, but gave no indication he would return to the show. He did, however, call the premiere two-part episodes "wonderful." [BBC]
Pegg going from Who to Trek did the Geek Exacta
Blalock presenting at space tech awards
The US Space Foundation has announced that Jolene Blalock (ENT’s T’Pol) will be a special guest presenter at the 24th National Space Symposium’s Space Technology Hall of Fame Private Induction Ceremony in Colorado Springs. She will also be special guest master of ceremonies for the Space Technology Hall of Fame Dinner… the question is, will anybody be able to focus on the actual dinner? Both events take place April 10th.
Tiffany’s Saldana snub
Zoe Saldana (the new Uhura) was spotted shopping in Beverly Hills this week and, according to E! Online, encountered a very snooty employee at Tiffany’s. She then went shopping at Bulgari, where she had a more pleasant experience. Okay, enough about this, I wanna know when Zoe is gonna talk Trek?!
How could you snub that face?
Nichols at the Backlot
Speaking of Uhuras,
TOS star Nichelle Nichols has invited us all to attend the Los Angeles-area premiere of her new film, Lady Magdalene’s, at the Black Film Festival. The problem is that the screening began Thursday at 7pm, so you’ve already missed it. Bummer. While you’re all cursing me for not bring you this news sooner, check out Nichols’ press junket for the festival below.
But wait, you may have missed Nichols this time, but you can still catch her in two weeks at Starfest… in Denver. Also joining her will be Zachary Quinto (the new Spock) and Nana Visitor (DS9’s Kira Nerys).
Gay Trek geeks highlighted + Fuller on sci-fi
DS9/VOY writer Bryan Fuller and Trek author Andy Mangels are among the six “gay geeks” whom AfterElton believes have most influenced current popular culture. Mangels was specifically highlighted for bringing gay characters into the Star Trek universe via the novels and comic books, while Fuller is seen as “a strong advocate for gay visibility on the shows he’s worked on.” In other Fuller news, the writer talked with The Guardian regarding the popularity of “harcore” sci-fi with mainstream audiences, using J.J. Abrams’ Lost, Ron Moore’s Battlestar, and his own Pushing Daisies as examples.
What Lost did was to introduce a high concept that was dabbling in science fiction that wasn’t hardcore. Battlestar Galactica … is one of the best shows on TV in my personal opinion, yet it hasn’t achieved mainstream popularity because it’s people on spaceships. It works better for a mainstream audience when it’s a much more grounded world with one element. So in Pushing Daisies the element is touching dead things and bringing them back to life. Because I think in America, we need heroes.
Klink talks Voyager
Voyager writer Lisa Klink discussed her profession with Adopt A Writer. Regarding the challenges of writing for a Star Trek series, Klink reveals:
The toughest thing about writing for “the franchise” was the fact that so many stories had already been told in that universe. It was really difficult to come up with something original.
That certainly explains a lot. Incidentally, she also said Trek’s long history was one of the great things about working on the franchise… in other words, Trek’s history was both a blessing and a curse for Klink. Interesting…
Dinner with Paul
Want a dinner date with Stargate Atlantis actor and Star Trek movie cameo-maker Paul McGillion? The Vancouver Province reports that McGillion and several other celebrities are auctioning dinner dates (as well as TV & film memorabilia) on eBay to help fund the cancer treatment for Babz Chula, a popular Canadian actress. The auction began April 2nd and runs until the 12th, so start bidding!
Awww! McGillion shows his love for Babz Chula.
Wheaton turning chicken?
Sony has tapped TNG’s Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) to appear on its web-based comedy channel, C-Spot, according to Monsters & Critics. Specifically, Wheaton will be a guest-star on an episode of Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Show. He has already appeared on Chicken Soup for the Soul, now all he has to do is voice on Robot Chicken and the poultry trilogy can be complete!
Happy birthday, Grace!
The big Trek birthday this week is Grace Lee Whitney (Yeoman Janice Rand), who turned 78(!!!) on April 1st. Other Trek luminaries who celebrated their birthday this week are:
- Sharon Acker (Odana, TOS: “The Mark of Gideon”) is 73
- Richard Bellis (composer, DS9: “The House of Quark”) is 62
- Casey Biggs (Damar on DS9, etc.) is 55
- James Black (Klingon Helmsman, DS9: “Shattered Mirror”) is 46
- Estelle Harris (Old Woman, VOY: “Sacred Ground”) is 76
- Steve Holladay (stuntman, Star Trek Nemesis) is 59
- Jana Marie Hupp (Ens. Pavlik, TNG: “Galaxy’s Child”; Lt. Monroe, TNG: “Disaster”) is 44
- Jacqueline Kim (Demora Sulu, Generations) is 43
- Harry Landers (Arthur Coleman, TOS: “Turnabout Intruder”) is 87
- Marley McClean (Mezoti on VOY) is 21
- Phil Morris (Cadet Foster, Star Trek III; John Kelly, VOY: “One Small Step”; etc.) is 49
- Rae Norman (Penny Muroc, TNG: “Tapstry”) is 50
- Adam Scott (Defiant Conn Officer, Star Trek: First Contact) is 35
Happy Bday Grace
- Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) will star in a reading of the one-act plays Farfetched Fables and The Fascinating Foundling at The Player’s Club on April 21st. (TheaterMania)
- Tim Russ’ (Tuvok) hit sitcom, Samantha Who?, will return to ABC this Monday. (KETV)
- TOS director Ralph Senensky will be Ralph Senensky will be included in the 2008-2009 edition of the Cambridge Who’s Who Executive, Professional and Entrepreneurial Registry for excellence in television production.
- TMP model-maker Greg McCune discussed the finer points his profession with Popular Mechanics.
- Star Trek film producer Ralph Winter is producing a new action series for Fox called Man and Wife. (Hollywood Reporter)
- TOS guest actress Elinor Donahue (Nancy Hedford, “Metamorphosis”) discussed her days on the old sitcom Father Knows Best (co-starring the late Jane Wyatt) with The Arizona Republic.
- Maryann Plunkett (Susanna Leitjin, TNG: “Identity Crisis”) will be performing in a production of The Good German at the Museum of Jewish Heritage this Sunday. (Huliq)
- Starfleet Academy superintendent Tyler Perry discussed his vast media empire in an article featured in this week’s Time.
- Walter Koenig (Chekov) will be attending the Planet Comicon in Kansas City, which starts this Saturday.
Special thanks to Tara Jeffrey, Jennifer Kirk (no relation to James T.), J. Neil Schulman, and Mary Jo Tenuto for submitting stories for this column.
I think Connor Trinneer is one of the best actors to ever appear in Star Trek.
As much as I love Star Trek,,,, I really didnt like the way “Enterprise” came to an end,,
Boy it would be great to fix THAT Trek mistake on the big screen
and the Kirk death mistake..
Happy belated Birthday, Grace Lee Whitney! Saw her on a Convention a couple of years ago. She seemed a very likeable lady, and a very sweet and affectionate soul.
And she was great as Janice Rand.
I’d LOVE to win a dinner date with Paul McGillion! Unfortunatly I be rather poor so there’s no way I’d be able to afford any of those things on ebay.
Um…this Babs Chula…she’s popular??? Yeah…so popular that I haven’t heard of her and there’s no wikipedia page for her. *looks on imdb* But I’ve apperantly seen her in MacGyver and 21 Jump Street… and heard her in G.I Joe and Sonic the Hedgehog. She’s got cancer??? What kind??
Just a qucick note on the doctor who season series thing, back when the show was first on they used to be called “seasons” and they got up to 26, a good number. and then when it was resurected in 2005 they decided to call them series to diferentiate. making the current series 4, actually season 30 if you follow. good old Pegg was good in his episode, to be fair the episode he was in was a bit pants though. The new series is looking the daddy though.
Wow. So Grace Lee Whitney was 47 when I saw her at a Star Trek convention in Eugene, Oregon in 1977. Almost ten years after the original series…what a babe.
Want some awesome Pegg geek trivia? Before he signed to play the Editor, he was originally going to play the larger role of “Pete Tyler” in another episode (a character that wound up a recurring role) but was struck by a dilemma.
The dilemma? That George Romero suddenly upped and asked him to appear in Land of the Dead and the filming dates co-incided. Rather than make him choose, the Who showrunners moved him to another part in another episode.
It also means that Scotty is the first time Pegg has been recast as an iconic SF/Fantasy character. The zombie he plays in Land of the Dead is Bub – the “tame” zombie from Day of the Dead (he even still has his collar).
Oh, and #5 – that’s actually a fan myth. Back when the original series was being produced they called them “series” too. It was only in the ‘wilderness years’ when the show was off-air that fans got into the habit of referring to them as ‘seasons’ as things like TNG made that term more familiar to British SF fans.
The new showrunners call them ‘series’ simply because that’s BBC policy just as it was when the original series one was made in 1963!
Found a pic of Pegg as Bub!
Ugh, Sandler is not funny at all in my opinion. I’d rather see Takei staring with a more talented comedian. Nice to see Bakula getting some high-powered gigs.
Agree Sandler blows chunks. Takei could blow him out of the comedy water.
Umm, no pun intended : )
I agree, Harry. I understand he’s from Washington State, but I think he did one of the best southern accents I’ve ever heard, and I’m a Southerner.
I’ve been watching the remastered TOS episodes from the 1st season & I didn’t remember that Grace Lee had the fourth lead. She had a great bod but with the hair & makeup she was almost like a blond version of Elvira. It’s funny how dated it seems now with Kirk cursing whoever assigned him a female Yeoman. “The Enemy Within” & “The Dagger of the Mind” were almost shameful opprotunities for Shatner to overact. I heard Quinto’s Spock was going to be more emotional & I really have to hand it to the writers because Nimoy’s Spock featured lots of smirks & some very telling expressions of being very pleased with himself.
“I think people take a certain evil glee in seeing celebrities out of their element, wrapped in hubris and possibly falling on their faces.”
What is George Takei in anything?
I’ll take Trek Quotes for 400, Alex.
Speaking of Connor Trineer, I think it would be great to eventually see an on-screen continuation of Star Trek: Enterprise. I know that this may not be entirely popular with everyone, but nevertheless, there it is.
The literary relaunch seems very promising.
Connor is a fantastic actor, easily one of the best on any Trek. He’s above a Sci-fi Channel movie.
#14—I would watch it.
If they ever do a film for The Romulan Wars it would need to be placed during the time of NX-01 and that would be a great way to get the cast back together.
Connor may be good, but Stewart/Meaney/Auberjoinois et all are a cut above.
Sci-Fi Channel recycling ST plots? I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you.
And OK, I’ll say it. Grace Lee Whitney is a GILF.
seems we be seein’ more of the original alum now then we have inna long, long time…
Could it be tha internet’s fault?
No excuses from past Voyager writers… the novelists still be going strong…
O’ course I be worse at writin’ than them. It be shameful as I be ta’ let tha’ kitty free of Zoe’s new handbaggie, But I be an’posted me preview o’ the next ep in tha’ unkown area o’ chat but 1216 still be bonnieville o’ plenty gud
can I get me cloaking device now? arrrrr….
*reads all the TOS-related info, sleeps through the rest*
its cool that they,re all still getting jobs…….
What’s everyones opinion of a terran Empire spin off series?
It’s understandable that Connor Trinneer can do a passable southern accent if he is indeed from Washington State. Many of the people from north Idaho have southern accents.
Trip was our favorite character when my wife and I used to watch Ent. To us, he was the most believable and sympathetic, which made the series finale that much more of a letdown. I hadn’t been that pissed off since I watched Generations. It’s nice that he’s been revived in those books.
@ #2 – Couldn’t agree more!
@ 14, 16 & 17 – That’s a pretty good idea. I would watch it. I think a TV movie would be just the thing.
#22 that that would have been a cool idea for a series. The concept of a mirror trek universe where evil is in ascendance .i like the Mirror Enterprise episode with Archer begin a bit of an S.O.B. I think that would have been a far more interesting take then Enterprise or how about an evel next gen universe series or A captain Sulu commanding the I SS Excelsior. Trek from the darkside definitly would be worth exploring. That would garner tremendous new respect for Trek.
Nothing against Paul McGillion, but I’m more interested in the other half of that “win a dinner date” — Jewel Staite (Kaylee from Firefly/Serenity and Jennifer Keller on Stargate: Atlantis).
But, alas, she’s married — come to think of it, so am I. ;)
I think that film is already in production :)
I still think at the end of the film Shatner’s Kirk is going to walk out from behind a curtain and Kirk and Spock will have that hug long postponed from ST V. Now that will bring down the house!
just my nickel’s worth
Happy Birthday for the forever lovely Grace Lee Whitney!
Just another plug for Starfest—April 18-20 in Denver. It’s a great show and certainly one that will appeal to Star Trek fans this year.
See ya there!
Funny coincidence… I just watched that Dr. Who ep with Pegg last night, after I got the DVDs this week…
# 4 – Dierna
BABZ (not Babs) Chula has been pretty much a fixture in Vancouver’s arts, music and entertainment scene for decades. So while she’s not widely known outside of Vancouver, she is VERY well known and loved there, be it by local or visiting talent. She beat breast cancer several years ago but its back and has spread to her liver as well as blood cancer. :( All her friends including David Duchovny (X-Files, Californication), Nicholas Lea (X-Files) and of course Paul McGillion as well as many other well known names are banding together to support her.
#12, 23: So we *have* found an American actor who can do a proper Southern accent!
However, I always wondered what part of Texas Connor Trineer was from.
Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|
Hubby and I watched the first season of Enterprise and stopped mid-season. A friend told us that they’d changed direction in season 3 but we refused because of the suckage of the first season. When Sci-Fi started playing the reruns I got hooked on Seasons 3 & 4. Now I’m the one telling Hubby to give it a try. I was fuming during the finale! I wonder if it would’ve had the same reputation if the last 2 seasons were used instead of the first two.
Not only would I watch a fix for the ending of Enterprise, I would pay for it whether it’s a DVD or in theaters! I would also like the mirror uni spin-off, with a healthy side of alt Trip and T’Pol, please ;)
Ha- that’s funny! Connor is not from Texas nor does he have a southern accent…He is from Washington State…and the accent…well… that’s acting my dear…and Mr. Trinneer does it well…Now for my Question, to anyone who will answer…I just read somewhere that Connor will be doing 5 Episodes of CSI: Miami in 2009…I have not heard anything from Connor himself…so I would like to know if it is true. Please respond with any information you might have…thanks! ~S