Grand Slam XVI: Spiner On Dreamland, Typecasting, Nemesis + Interview

Brent Spiner, Star Trek The Next Generations’ Data, took the stage Saturday at Creation’s Sci-Fi Grand Slam and entertained the large crowd with jokes and stories from his career in and out of Trek. He talked a lot about his new CD Dreamland, and also covered typecasting and gave his assessment of the TNG era films. See below for pics, quotes and also an exclusive video interview.

Brent started off by discussing his Dreamland CD, which he described as ‘an audio film.’ He touted the talents of his collaborators (Mark Hamill and Maude Maggart) and that the New York Times dubbed it ‘ingenious’ (see our video interview below for more on Dreamland).

He then took questions which ranged from: did he take anything from the set of TNG (his visor from "All Good Things" and a uniform from First Contact…which he ‘wore home’), if he was planning on doing any theater in LA (no), if he wanted to do theater in New York again (definitely yes), why he didn’t direct any TNG episodes (he loves sleeping too much), if had plans on doing a another TV series (yes, and is currently in the running for a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style improv comedy show), and more.

During the entire appearance Spiner was very jovial and at one time even used a mock humility gag on getting crowd to applaud him, with lots of "no please, no please, no you don’t have to…oh go ahead, no really don’t…no really do". He then admitted he stole the bit from Eddie Izzard, who he revealed was one of his ‘friends’ on his MySpace page. He boasted about some of his other ‘friends,’ including Sid Ceasar and ”Weird Al” Yankovic, but there was one he can’t seem to get, saying "I was refused by Shatner."

One interesting part was when a fan said he loved Spiner in his role as the frazzled Area 51 scientist in Independence Day, which led the actor to talk about typecasting.

It was a good role and I was really lucky to get that role. People have asked me if I was typecast for playing Data on Star Trek, for like 150 years. And truly I was not, because what other roles are there like that. But I was typecast as the scientist from Independence Day. I am in a movie right now, a really terrible movie, called Superhero: The Movie…The director called me, actually a really brilliant guy, and he called me and told me he had a part…of a scientist. ‘How funny you should think of me as a scientist’…I just did a voice-over role in a cartoon film the other day, what is the role? A scientist. Can I tell you, I know nothing about science.


Nemesis: "well, it wasn’t the worst"

Nemesis: Not the worst TNG movie
At one point a fan came up and said his favorite movie was Star Trek Nemesis (which had a story co-written by Spiner). This kicked off a discussion by Spiner of the TNG film series.

I think Nemesis got a bad deal. It’s not great, let’s face it…I think it is actually better than Insurrection, myself, and I think it is touch and go between Generations and Nemesis. Clearly First Contact is the best movie we made…I think it has it’s good moments and its not so good moments. The moment everybody seems to love is when Data gets blown up. To me, that was a no brainer. This was the last time we were going to do a movie together and so we have to do something big at the end. So, for Data to finish his journey by sacrificing himself — doesn’t that seem like the right thing to do. And here is the other part: If you had come to see the movie, Data would have been back again. But nooooo…nobody came! Something weird happened with that movie and we tried to analyze what went wrong and whether it was the movie that was bad. And we kind of went ‘Really, the movie didn’t open.’ We opened worse than any other movie we had done by a long shot. And so we thought ‘I guess it is gone now.’ So there you have it. But there is a new Star Trek movie coming and I can’t wait to see it, well I can wait. But, I am glad it’s coming. I hope it is a huge success. I know it will be. I am sure you will show up for that. one. No I really do. I hope it is a grand success, and I am sure it will be.

Brent strikes a pose

Brent also gave a quick video interview, mostly about his new CD, "Dreamland." Spiner also had some word’s for TrekMovie’s John Tenuto (about his ‘Trek Stars Sing‘ article)

As noted in the video above, you can keep in touch with Brent Spiner and get info (and purchase) his new CD "Dreamland" at


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Ah good old Brent… Such a legend.

Brent Spiner, a complete class act as always! :D

ahhh I sooo wish i was there,, cheers for the report !!

Well, it’s good to know that had we gone to see the movie, we would have been rewarded with more Data (as if it wasn’t obvious). I personally stayed away from the movie because of what they did to Data, so he really did it to himself by allowing his character to die.

I can now put away the latest Next Gen novels without Data and remember that he really was reborn from the mess that was B4.

so, umm, what’s the name of his NEW CD???

I like the fact that, even though he was pretty much involved in Nemesis behind the scenes, he doesn’t give us some “it was the best thing we ever did/it was all the fans fault”-bullshit like some other people continuously did (Yes, I’m looking at you, Mr. Berman). And his ranking of the Next Gen movies is pretty much my own opinion and that of most of the fanbase, I guess. I even share his opinion that Generations and Nemesis are on par (Nemesis had a far better script – even though it was butchered by the editor/director -, Generations had an incredible visual style. The lights and camera work were damn near perfect, especially the Amargosa scenes have an incredble atmosphere).

Spiner is just so darned likeable … one of the Trek gang that, even if you’re in the mood to be surly, there’s nothing upon which to surl. He’s just a likeable, groovy guy and always fun to watch on-screen.

That CD thingy sounds very interesting …

What a cool bloke!

I don’t really understand what he means by Data would have been back again. Oh, no.. wait I re-read it.

What he means is, if it had done good box office, then they’d have made another, then B4 would have become Data, then the sacrifice would actually have been as meaningless as it actually appeared.

I saw it at the cinema anyway, and it annoyed me a lot of the way through, but B4 was perhaps the most annoying thing of all. You take your big dramatic climax and you neuter it completely.

I mean, it wasn’t as bad as say “Starsky & Hutch” as films go… but I feel he really is too invested in Data to be objective on that film, and as he was just so, so good for the other films and seven series, I really can’t begrudge him his rose tinted visor on that point.

And if they’d done another film without him, it wouldn’t be the same anyway, so all in all it just shows you how much better it is to say “We’re ending this now, and this is how we want to end it!”. TOS almost got that , then stuffed it up with Generations, DS9 had the best ending IMHO, Voyager was OK if predictable and Enterprise stuffed it up too in spite of a great fourth season.

If there is a point here, it’s that Trek cannot do endings ;-)


I consider “All Good Things” a spectacular close to 7 years of TNG goodness.

The great John DeLancie as Q bookending the series was a stroke of genius, and the story itself was stupendous. I don’t think you’ll find too many who disagree.

As a business, however, a show going off on a high note these days always implies a sequel, a spin-off, or a film.

TNG never really hit its stride as a film property, FC excepted. FC was a great stand-alone piece, and it didn’t do anything for our characters except get them in and out of trouble. STIX should have been great, but success breeds complacency and we got Insurrection, and died quietly with Nemesis.

What exactly is Brent Spiner saying about Nemesis here? I don’t quite get it.

Sorry, Brent: Nemesis was indeed THAT bad! Besides, how can any movie with Gates McFadden in it be good??? Crusher is without doubt the second most boring character in all of Trekdom (Chakotay wins the top prize). FC was a successful fluke despite ol’ Gates!

PS: I loved Brent in Independence Day!

@10: AJ

You are quite right, especially about All Good Things, perhaps what I should have said was Trek can’t leave a good ending alone without coming back and ruining it… :-)

We await DS9 – The Revenge of The Prophet, where Sisko comes back but turns to evil after getting Dax pregnant only to be told that it’s a bit naughty so he abandons all his principles in a split second of petulance. Then there are fights on a lava planet and stuff but no one cares at that point.

That ought to do it.

12. – Wow man, got some issues with Dr. Crusher… or Gates McFadden?

How can someone that gets like 15 minutes of screen time ruin a movie? That’s like saying LL Cool J ruined Charlie’s Angels 2. LOL

Dr. Crusher, along with Worf and LaForge, were sadly neglected in the movies, in my opinion. The movies became the Picard and Data show(s). What made TNG successful was the ensemble, not any one or two actors.

Yep, I’m with him on Nemesis. It wasn’t the steaming pile people like to say it is. Not Great. But not the worst. I’ll leave that to STV.

I rather enjoy reading people’s thoughs on Nemesis. Not only cast members, but everyone’s thoughts … and I think it’s because, even after all this time, I still can’t decide quite what to make of it.

It’s been said on these boards before that, in its heart, there was the framework of a story contained within Nemesis that was worth telling, but that the whole darned thing was just executed poorly — and there may be some merit to that theory.

I remember leaving the theatre here in my little Nova Scotian town thinking, “Well … what, exactly, was the point of all that?” And even after going back to it and watching it again repeated times since, I’m still left with the same sort of emptiness — and it’s not just with regards to Data’s death. The same sort of emptiness resonates with the Riker/Troi wedding (which was heavily edited-down anyway, from what I’ve read), Picard’s less-than-meaty interactions with Shinzon and even the entire secondary (or perhaps tertiary) story with the Remans. And let’s not forget B4 and the whole Argo adventure.

But despite all that — and, admitedly, it may just be me being sentimental, because I’m of the era that was first introduced to Trek through the adventures of the TNG crew — it really seemed like there was a film of quality buried deep beneath the surface elements of Nemesis … pity for us, it has been condemned never to emerge.

In an ironic way, mirroring the Picard/Shinzon interaction the film itself tried to capture, Nemesis could have been better than the sum of its parts — it could have been a better man, er … a better movie.

But, alas, instead of being presented with a “Picard”-quality movie, we got stuck with a “Shinzon” — a product that felt like it was all death-ship-ray and no subtext, no heart and no real meaning.

Anyway, time for breakfast …

Gates McFogie is only given minimal screen time because her stilted acting, poor attempts at masking her advanced age & overall dreary character makes every moment she’s on screen utterly unwatchable. Fifteen less minutes of her would have made NEM that many times more watchable!

I’m glad to see that Brent is his usual merry self, which is always a delight. You know, even reading the transcript, I can somehow hear his voice in my head saying those things. It’s his way with words, his tempo, his sharp side remarks — all in good fun — that really stand out for me.

Brent is a good guy — a real sport, and I wish him every success. Heck, maybe he could even show up in a cameo in the sequel to the next Star Trek movie.

No need to play B4. He could play Dr. Arik Soong in a flashback. He could play Dr. Noonien Soong in a flashforward. He could even play Data again.

Wouldn’t that be something?

Lava flows are everywhere, and the automated droids are running amok as the final showdown ensues.

Ben Sisko has returned from the wormhole for this one fight…this one showdown…with Dr. Crusher and Commander Chakotay!

Chakotay: “My spirit guide tells me you’re important up in that wormhole! But no one cares down here! Give it up, Sisko!”

Crusher: “My, Captain, I hope we don’t get off on the wrong foot here. I haven’t been laid in over 20 years despite the fact my Captain acts like he’s in love with me. I think Jean-Luc is, is…”

Sisko: “GAY, Beverly? Of course he is, can’t you see? Just listen to him speak Klingon! Haven’t you seen that clip of him dancing around the Bridge?

Chakotay: “Sisko, this is your last warning!”

Sisko and Crusher both turn to Chakotay and fire phasers simultaneously and Chakotay’s head explodes with that skin-peel-off effect a a la “Conspiracy” Boom! Peel! Splat!

Crusher: “Are you married or dating anyone?”
Sisko: “I am the Herald of the Bajoran Prophets, and I sit at their right hand in the Great Wormhole.”
Crusher: “My right hand spends too much time in the wormhole as well. Sorry Captain, but I have no time to discuss this logically. Wes! Two to beam up!”
Sisko; “Wha…?” (Beaming Effect)

No one ever, ever comes to get Chakotay and encase his wrecked body in a black hi-tech exoskeleton.

However, a strange couple comes, gathers his body, and prepares it for dinner for their real estate agent (do the research).

The End.

They waited too long on Nemesis — 4 years after the last TNG movie. That had to be a problem. Brent is also quite correct that Insurrection wasn’t that good either.

Taking our intimate TV characters and throwing them into a 100 minute movie with special effects galore and little time for the characters themselves — wait, that sounds like I’m talking about STTMP….

Here are my somewhat disorganized thoughts about Nemesis, in a “now it can be said” style:

1. The movie was too dark. Not just metaphorically, but physically. I didn’t like the lighting at all. And where it was brighter, it was too bright — the wedding scene was too stagey, the humor was forced, and there simply wasn’t the grandeur, or failing that, the pinache you would expect from a wedding reception of this caliber. Worf feeling the effects of too much alcohol — not the thing I really want to remember from a wedding. What would have been better, for example, would have been Lwaxana Troi showing up — in traditional UNdress. What happened to her, anyway? But I digress…..

2. Shinzon was too much of a punk. He was, I’m afraid, miscast, in my view. I didn’t see much of Picard in him, in any way, shape, or form, or anti-Picard, for that matter. Nor did the Viceroy seem all that interesting; do all Remans look like The Wolfman?

3. The pacing. It was just. … wrong. It reminded me of a British melodrama rather than an action-packed film, which, despite its cerebral intentions, it should have been. Trek is about philosophy, but it’s also about action and adventure, and I’m afraid that Nemesis really didn’t have much of the latter. Dune buggying with the Argo shouldn’t be the highlight of any Trek action sequence. (And what was up with the Argo, anyway? A dune buggy — the epitome of 24th Century wheeled transportation? But I digress….)

4. The ending: Data was not given his due. His death was not handled properly. Compare, for example, with the funeral scene in STII:TWOK. There’s not comparison.

Anyway, those are a few reasons Nemesis isn’t my favorite Trek movie.

Fans of Argo, your mileage may differ.

Trek has a lot of life left in her, and the more I read about it here on (a brilliant site, by the way, and I’ve seen a lot of Trek sites), the more I’m convinced of it.

The comments above that Trek cannot do endings is particularly interesting to me right now. I think that that’s true, and it may be true because Trek by its nature DOESN’T do endings — that is, Trek is about the future, and the future, inherently, is neverending, even if the characters themselves may end. Maybe it’s a psychological thing, but there is something about optimism and Trek, on one hand, and endings, that don’t mix well. “Happily ever after” is too easy a solution for Trek, and the undiscovered country is too vast, for real endings really to work.

One of the problems, I think, with Star Trek: Enterprise, which I was very supportive of in the beginning, but failed to follow after about the second ending, is that its ending was already predetermined. This was in its nature as a prequel, in which we know that Starfleet and Earth will survive because we’ve already seen its future (primarily the 23d and 24th Centuries). It had that much more to overcome, for that reason, to engage the viewer, and unfortunately it failed to do so until the latter part of its run. The Temporal Cold War arc was one way to break out of the limits of prequelism. Other stories it provided were sufficiently intense so that you basically forgot that its ending was predetermined.

Enterprise was canceled just when it showed that it could meet all our expectations, which is the tragedy of it all.

But what does this mean? In fiction, it means only that there is that much more to accomplish — in the future. That is, that we can, at some future point, pick up where Enterprise ended (forgetting, for the moment, the odd finale, which doesn’t actually preclude much in any case). There is still space in which to deliver compelling stories in the Enterprise timeline.

And this is, perhaps, where we can reach the central point of this piece: That Trek, first and foremost, is about compelling stories and characters told in a philosophically consistent way that uses the vehicle of space-based action-adventure to deliver new and insights about a broad range of interesting things. Trek isn’t about canon, because that would mean that Trek is primarily about itself. When TOS was aired, the Trek backstory had not yet been told, and the advantage of this was that it felt free to embark on the full range of possibilties: TOS was about good science fiction, good fiction, rather than about Starfleet or the Federation. This, I think, helped it tremendously by distilling the best of all the classic tropes (the god complex, the Frankenstein complex, and so forth) and giving the results to us in concentrated form one night a week for three brilliant seasons (the Freiberger syndrome notwithstanding).

Similarly, Trek can become mainstream again by incorporating something more than its own backstory. It can incorporate mythic dimensions, much as the Superman films have, and seize upon universal tropes in order to grab the attention of mainstream audiences.

That, and — let’s face it — lots of kewl ‘slosions, may be the best bet yet for mainstream success, without compromise.

The moral of this story, then, is that there is much yet to explore. As Browing said, and as Asimov repeated in his classic, Pebble in the Sky: Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be.

Or, in an more Trekkian turn of phrase: There are always…. possibilities.

Honestly, Next Gen was never my favorite of the franchises; DS9 takes that one. While I think Nemesis does not bear repeat viewing, I still think it was better than Insurrection (that was a 2 hr TV-sized episode I would’ve skipped if it were a broadcast). Nemesis had much potential; most of it unrealized. The Remans; a mysterious new race, reduced to vampiric thugs. Shinzon; possibly the worst “lookalike” ever cast. The “dark mirror to Picard” thing did NOT work at all. And Data’s “sacrifice” (with B-4 as a safety net) was hollow. If there were NO B-4 standing by it might’ve actually had some impact. Hate that shell-game Trek plays with death; it is immature and out of place in modern TV (where characters get whacked all the time). Now visually, Nemesis was beautifully shot; and there were some bits that seemed OK (the ship crash, battle scenes and Data’s wake). Most were terrible (the dune buggies, the stale wedding scene, B-4’s retardation, etc). In retrospect, it doesn’t take a warp field specialist to see why Nemesis tanked at the box office. Even Trek V, in my opinion, is slightly better; at least there’s some warmth there. Love the campfire scene and some of the buildup; too bad there was no payoff. But Brent Spiner seems like a witty and likable person. Wish him better films in the future!

Come to think of it, the Remans (with their Nosferatu makeup) would’ve looked right at home in the recent Will Smith version of “I Am Legend” (yet another mangling of one of my favorite horror novels). At least the Remans were “physical” and not hyperactive, roaring, video-game characters for Will Smith to point and shoot at (watching that film, I expected to see a score tally in the lower corner of the screen). Anyway, Nemesis is a rare time I’ve seen a true democracy at the box office; the movie was lousy and viewers voted with their wallets! Unlike other shlock-busters I won’t name. Hope my faith in Trek is restored in 2009. I’m not asking for the “Great American Movie”, just a good ol’ Star Trek movie will do!

Brent looks pretty good right now, I think he could come back and be Data again if the situation demanded it.
And I love the idea Brent had about a new Star Trek movie. From what I’ve heard, it was supposed to be like a “Trek’s Finest” movie with the cast from every series.

Hat Rick:

You may have hit the nail on the head there.

TPTB at Paramount didn’t realize it, but they had lightning in a bottle with Trek:

23rd Century: Allegory for issues in the 1960s. Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley

24th Century: Allegory for issues in the 1980s. Stewart, Frakes, Burton, etc.

Um, and there is also DS9, but they’re on a space station. Oh. and Voyager, too…but they’re in the Delta Quadrant
22nd Century: Rehashing old allegories

I always thought, like Hat Rick, that Trek avoided its “mythic dimensions.” The crew was always just one crew of hundreds on an assignment somewhere. DS9 tried to be different, and it worked fairly often, actually.

Next Trek should be in the 25th century, and it should not be afraid of its heritage. GR’s writer’s guide for TNG said “No Klingons or Romulans.” Yikes. Voyager tried to get out of Dodge. Why?

Let’s have a ship in the 25th Century called the Enterprise. She’s based in Sector 001. Built in SanFran even. Her heritage is legendary, and perhaps mankind has matured to a point which engenders respect in the quadrant, and Enterprise is the ambassador. Mankind has spent the last 300 years since first contact on a fast track to maturity. We’re friends with the Klingons and intermarry with Romulans, and we’re ready to meet more aliens. Easy-peasey, CBS.

Thanks, AJ. Your ideas are interesting. I would like to see Trek in its finest form in the near future, and what you say about it — the need to inspire by making every episode not only relevant, but pivotal in some broad sense, is key.

I will cite the new Galactica, here. Ron Moore has succeeded in making every episode count. There ARE no “fillers” in that series. There ARE no “let’s phone it in” episodes. EVERY episode MEANS something, and the stakes are high — the highest possible — every time you tune it. It’s fascinating, but beyond that, it’s on-the-edge-of-your-seat gripping. It’s mythic.

Why does Star Wars succeed? Again, at least in part, the stakes could not be higher. It plays into universal hopes and fears, and it does so in a bold, unabashed way. (Episodes I and II did suffer some, nevertheless, from prequelitus, although Episode III avoided it by “bringing it home” with style.)

Superman: Origins story. It fills in the the details in a way that tells us Why It Matters (TM). Why does Superman’s life matter? Because he, alone, is the epitome of SOMETHING. He is unique, and if something happens to him, all of that uniqueness goes away. In empathizing with his uniqueness, we, the audience, are engaged in a process of identification. What happens to/ HIM, happens to US.

In all the fuss over canonicity and backstory, we mustn’t forget that good cinematic storytelling requires a movie to have certain elements. You mention that the drab mundaneness of any crew on any starship takes away from that, and I think you’re right. Voyager suffered a bit from that, because it wasn’t really unique, except that it got lost.

Voyager started off very well. “Caretaker” gave it momentum, and it had us interested in its characters. But the Viidian arc more or less threw that away, and the series had to struggle to maintain anywhere near the same level of interest.

What happens in the next movie should matter. How it matters, I leave up to the producers, but it should matter significantly. All the backstory, all the detail, all the canoncity in the world won’t matter if audiences simply don’t care, and they won’t care if the story isn’t about anything that matters.

I’ll close with this: I think that there was a reason that Gene Roddenberry named Kirk’s ship the Enterprise. During the defining war of the 20th Century, the Enterprise was the most-decorated ship in U.S. Navy, and its role in battle was pivotal. It is the only U.S. ship to receive a much-coveted honor from the Royal Navy. As a ship, it was a hero, and in some sense, upon its sturdy keel lay the fate of the entire world. And we knew it.

Roddenberry, I think, knew the power of myth, and the essence of myth is the boldness of the hero who goes where no one has gone before, because where he goes, we lack the courage to follow… except in myth, and avidly. We follow, and therefore we care.

Kirk is that hero upon whose fate the world must depend. It is within Star Trek’s ability, and toward its ultimate success, that we care.

Spiner, Nimoy, Shatner, Takei, Nichols — sing “We are the Universe”

#26 no objections from me

i think the reason nemisis wasnt as sucessfull as other trek movies,was because it was a little too dark of a movie for star trek, and it had an ending very similar to the wrath of needed a little more humor in it.but i dont think it was a bad film.they should have definitely left the cut scenes in it,especially the one with the new first officer.


1. Wrong director. Everybody loves Frakes and if you give him a good pitch he’ll hit it out of the park.

2. Miscasting. Shinzon should have been Patrick Stewart with a little disfiguring makeup showing genetic damage and a violent past. It might have been called a vanity project but Stewart’s acting would have satisfied fans.

3. Unoriginality. The entire B-4 subplot was a mistake. We’d already seen Data deal with both a brother and a child android and the death scenario was way too similar to Spock’s. The story principals fixated on killing Data and it became an exercise in making the character prominent in the film without really having a story to tell. Data needs to have a major role in TNG but they should have found a new way to move the character forward.

Spiner was one of the factors for the demise of Berman Trek- he was so full of himself that he pushed the rest of the cast out of the way to make it a Picard and Data love fest and a plot that was ripped off from Wrath of Khan. I’m glad the TNG stuff will be nothing more than a bad dream as the new Trek franchise rewrites canon with the real stars of Trek- James T Kirk and Spock!

#32 – How on Earth is Spiner “so full of himself”? I’m pretty sure that his interview disproves that on several different levels.

Canon is NOT going to be re-written. We have been told this so many times by so many different people. It’s more of a refit than anything. There is nothing canon involving Kirk and Spock’s childhood days, so this movie is all-new CANON material. As for your name, Trek does not suck hard. TNG will still remain canon, Voyager will remain canon, DS9 will remain canon, and Enterprise will remain…. there.

If anything can be charged with destroying canon, it would be Enterprise. I liked it, but I did not agree with it. I’m still waiting for an explanation as to WHY the name “Archer” was never brought up in any other series. And don’t give that “it was pre-Federation” crap… he was still a part of Starfleet history. You would’ve thought that Kirk, Picard, Janeway, and Sisko would have known the name “Archer” like the latter 3 know the name “Kirk.”

Spiner is a good guy.

This movie will be amazing.

That’s the bottom line.

Nemesis was a poorman’s remake of Star Trek II, but it was still better than Insurrection, which was truly awful. Showtunes, Klingon pimples, Riker and Troi’s middle-age horny, “are your boobs getting firmer?” Horrible.

And for the record, Gates McFadden is a beautiful woman.

Guys and gals, don’t forget to view that YouTube selection with Brent right up to the very end. You won’t regret it. :-)

Great information on his new CD and other things he’s doing. Kudos to Anthony Pascale for doing a yeoman’s job at reportage.

What @34 – Steve623 said.

Gotta love Spiner though. Glad to see he hasn’t lost his edge!

The adventure continues…



Another bang-up article! Great job on the interview as well! I loved it!

I must also respectfully disagree with the idea that Brent is “full of himself”. I think he’s just being honest about the fact that B4 could have been featured in a subsequent Trek film had the box office for NEM been much, much better.

I think that every single one of the TNG cast must have expected the receipts to have been far better than they were. I remember that when I first saw the weekly tally for NEM, I was encouraged, and then increasingly saddened when I saw Jennifer Lopez’s Maid in Manhattan overtake it.

The lesson for the current producers might be that throwing “insider” tidbits such as the Riker-Troi wedding and the return of Guinan simply wasn’t enough. Mainstream audiences simply didn’t “get” why these things were cool. This, and a lot of other things, meant the temporary cessation of cinematic Trek as a phenomenon.

May I say, to be a great TREK movie, Trek must first be a good MOVIE. The other things we know and love about movies in the Trek universe will then follow.

But it’s all water under the bridge, and I think that Brent was simply being perfectly frank and his opinion is reasonable, as far as I see it.

The Remans: Seemed to me like Orcs, rather. Understandable during the LotR hype.

I agree basically with all of the criticisms about Nemesis. IMO that’s the worst Trek movie ever, beating even ST V. But what I found most annoying of all was simply that nonsensical story: How and where would the Remans, an enslaved people, construct this Scimitar? How come the Remans develop weapons technology superior to Romulan and Federation technology? Did the Romulans allow them to? Why does the Romulan military deem it necessary to have a cloned-human slave become Praetor in a coup d’etat? What kind of a plan is it, anyway, to have a Starfleet cadet cloned? Maybe this Picard ends up as Lt. Picard, carrying reports to his superiors. Or did the Romulans foresee his career? Why exactly does Shinzon wanna destroy the Federation?? What kind of a plan is it to have B-4’s parts spread over a planet Starfleet shouldn’t visit because of the Prime Directive, and hope that the Enterprise will pick up B-4’s ‘positronic signature’ from that planet and come looking for the dismembered parts? Did the Remans know in advance where the Enterprise was going, and that it was passing by close enough to detect the radiation? What do you need cars for when you have all kinds of hovering vehicles? And so on, and so on…

Yes, many Trek movies have suffered from plot weaknesses, but Nemesis seems to me to be nothing else than a collection of them.
Call me old-fashioned, but when the story does not make any sense AT ALL, I don’t like a movie, regardless how cool the SFX are.

Ya know, when you put all these questions down in a list like that, it does look a bit like Swiss cheese, doesn’t it? The plot, that is….

Good list, 40.

Eddie Izzard did do a decent Star Trek sketch once, quite entertaining:

#40 as badly written and cheezy as Nemesis was, Star Trek 5 is still the worst, but Nemesis is not far behind on that score.

I don’t see why people hate Insurrection so much, it’s still sooo much better than Nemesis. Insurrection has many beautiful scenes and I actually like the humor in it. And, the most important thing, it still has that warm TNG feeling that Nemesis completely lacked. I think it growes on you the more you watch it. Nemesis just make me even more certain it’s crap.

I could write a long rant on why Nemesis is such a crappy film but most of it had already been said here anyway…

If I understand Spiner correctly, the cast knew going in that Nemesis was the last TNG movie, but that a surprisingly large gate might change minds. He’s also suggesting that Nemisis was one Trek film too many, that, regardless of its virtues, it had become just another Trek movie. Nothing very special. Fewer films, done better, might have been a better recipe.

And he’s on target with his mention of opening weekend money. If a film fails to impress on opening, it’s dead.

Hat Rick; #22, #27,#39 : Kudos! Excellent observations, all. Yes, Nemesis’ failure is not based on any ONE decision, but a collective (excuse the pun) of many bad decisions. And there WAS a little franchise fatigue setting in in 2002 (not to re-sing the tired song of Berman and Co.). Voyager had just went off the air the previous year, and Enterprise was in it’s 2nd year. That’s a lot of candy to spoil your appetite for dinner. And part of it was also the “auto-pilot” factor at that point. NG, Voyager and even the prequel Enterprise had a visual and aural “sameness” to them. Bland gray sets, wooden acting, dull lighting, boring spatial anomalies, etc. Sometimes, I’d forget which one I was watching! Nemesis did not help, either, at that point. Bigger portions, but more of the same! At least TOS and DS9 had some color and drama to them! In all honesty, I would’ve been OK if Trek waited even a few more years before re-launching, but from what I hear and see, this movie may be the shot in the arm the franchise needed. A fresh team in front of, and behind the camera is a good thing! No offense to Spiner (his performance is one of the few things I still enjoy from NG, besides Stewart and Dorn). Good to see him in an interview again; thanks again AP!

Sebastian, you are most kind. Great comments from you as well.

#43: “as badly written and cheezy as Nemesis was, Star Trek 5 is still the worst, but Nemesis is not far behind on that score”

Garovorkin, STV is superior in every way, except for FX, than NEM—-and GEN & INS too!!

Gotta love Brent’s sense of humor – ‘It’s like swimming in a rainbow full of naked babies!’


I know you are a TOS loyalist, but come on! TFF may win if we were talking about the single most EPIC failure in the Trek movies, but that’s about it. It is still the true Trek catastrophe, hands down.