CelebWatch: Stardate 06.05.08

Close your eyes and run like hell, it’s CelebWatch time again! This week brings news on a snub from the Shat, yet another award for Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks acting for President Bush, Colm Meaney’s Life on Mars status, a health scare for Kelsey Grammer, good news for Wil Wheaton (and bad news for Wheaton’s fans in Tulsa), Zoe going to the dogs, and much more!

Another award for Stewart + waiting for Godot with McKellen?
Well, surprise, surprise, surprise! Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) has won yet another award for his performance in Macbeth. This time it’s an Audience Award for Favorite Leading Actor in a Broadway Play. To see the full list of winners, click here. In the meantime, Stewart and his X-Men co-star Ian McKellen may be reuniting for a West End revival of the play Waiting for Godot. According to the Daily Mail, Stewart and McKellen are amidst “delicate negotiations” which could result in these two titans of the theater pairing up on the stage for the first time.

Stewart and McKellen at Cannes 2006
…the pair could be sharing the stage for the first time.

Shat snubs autograph seekers + Talks Playboy with Leno
Last year Autograph magazine named William Shatner one of the 10 worst Hollywood Autograph signers, and it looks like he may make their list again this year. In Autograph’s most recent email newsletter, they have some bones to pick with the Shat:

William Shatner rejected 200 phone orders from fans who weren’t able to attend his book signing for his new autobiography, Up Till Now, at Book Soup bookstore in West Hollywood, Calif. on Saturday May 17. Bookstores normally take phone orders for signings, so Book Soup was quite surprised that Shatner declined to sign the books, according to a representative of the store. Autograph seeker Stephen Duncan reported that Shatner’s reasoning for cancelling all the phone orders was because fans could turn around and sell the signed book on eBay for $100. A visit to his website shows Shatner himself is selling signed copies of his autobiography for $94.95

One person who did get a signed copy was Jay Leno, who showed it off when Shatner visited him on The Tonight Show this week, below is a section of Shatner’s segment where he talks about freaking out on game shows, his Playboy shoot and the ‘interwebs’

If you want to get your own signed copy of his book, Shatner will be at the Comic Book and Sci-Fi Convention at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles this Sunday. Just make sure to show up in person…Bill doesn’t like it when you phone it in.

Shatnerless Takei wedding makes news
Speaking of Shatner and snubs, earlier this week TrekMovie reported that George Takei had included Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols into his upcoming wedding and the Leonard Nimoy was also invited. The world media quickly picked up on the fact that there was a certain name missing from the list. Sparking headlines like "Trekkie Star Kirked Off" and "Sulu Disses Capt. Kirk". But perhaps there is some hatchet burying going on. George’s partner Brad Altman tells AP they only have 200 seats and "Our contact list has, like, 3,500 names, so we have to whittle it down and I don’t know if William Shatner is going to make the cut." and William Shatner released a statement wishing "the happy couple all the best" and "George deserves a moment of happiness."

Fox News covers Trek politics

Will Meaney still enjoy ‘Life on Mars?’
Exactly what the hell is going on with Colm Meaney (Miles O’Brien)’s new series, the US version of the UK’s Life on Mars? Will the pilot be reshot? Will Meaney or anyone else be recast? This is what ABC producers and executives are currently discussing… at least, that’s what a source tells The LA Times. The Times also fully explains why David E. Kelley left the project and how it also involved Kelley’s current series, Boston Legal, starring William Shatner (James T. Kirk).

Kelley wanted a renewal for “Boston Legal” so that he could close out the drama’s storylines. ABC just wanted its way on “Life on Mars.” So a deal was struck: Kelley would essentially give up stewardship on “Life on Mars” if ABC would agree to 13 more episodes of “Boston Legal.”

Is this the cast you’ll see when “Life on Mars” arrives this fall?

Brooks performs for the Pres
Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko) performed at the National Theatre in Washington, DC for President George Bush on June 1st, according to The Associated Press. Brooks and other celebrities performed pieces from the play The Civil War as part of a gala benefiting the Ford’s Theatre (currently under renovation); Bush said it was “by far the best” Ford Theatre gala he’s attended thus far. According to Washingtonian, Brooks played Frederick Douglas.

If you squint you can see Avery (right)

Shimerman & wife see Summer & Smoke
Armin Shimerman (Quark) and his wife (and two-time DS9 guest star) Kitty Swink have joined the cast of the LA Theatre Works production of Summer and Smoke, which runs June 18-22 at the Skirball Cultural Center. (TheaterMania) In the meantime, Shimerman has written another “Fine Print” column for Backstage; you can read it here.

Bana to stand-up for Apatow?
Will Star Trek ’09 villain Eric Bana (Nero) be returning to his comic roots? CHUD is reporting that writer/director/producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) is looking to cast Bana in his new movie, a dramedy about stand-up comedy. Bana, who started out as a stand-up comic in his native Australia before turning to ultra-serious fare like Black Hawk Down and Munich, is apparently in talks to play some guy named Clarke, the boyfriend of the character being played by Leslie Mann.

The tagline doesn’t really fit the story, but hey, it’s still funny. (Image from /Film)

Wheaton remembers Justman  + book goes to #1 (at one store)
Various sites have been reporting on the deaths of composer Alexander Courage, director Joseph Pevney, and TOS/TNG producer Robert Justman, three people who helped make Star Trek the cult phenomenon it is today. Wil Wheaton wrote his own personal remembrance of Bob Justman, here is an excerpt:

When I talk about the things that make Star Trek what it is, that set it apart from other science fiction on television, I’m usually talking about something that was directly created or heavily influenced by Bob. His contributions to this thing we all love so much are difficult to overstate.

In the meantime, Wil’s book, Happiest Days of Our Lives, is currently the top best-selling paperback at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore. Wheaton is pretty happy about that, stating on his blog:

To keep this in perspective, Mysterious Galaxy is just one store, where I did a heavily-attended reading and signing last month, so I’m not under the delusion that I’ve grabbed a brass ring here, or anything like that . . . but it still feels pretty damn good to see this.

Tulsa Trek this weekend
Unfortunately Wil Wheaton had to cancel his appearance at the Tulsa Trek Expo due to personal family matters. There are still many other Trek personalities attending, however, including Walter Koenig (Chekov), Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), and Linda Park (Hoshi), so if you’re in the area, why not drop by? Should be fun!

Trekkin to the book show
Last weekend’s Book Expo in Los Angeles seemed to be a good place to run into Trek luminaries. William Shatner, Wil Wheaton and Leonard Nimoy were all there signing copies of their recent books.

Authors John Scalzi (left) and Wil Wheaton at the 2008 Book Expo. Lookin’ sharp, guys!
(Media Bistro)

Shatner ran out of copies of his autobio at the show
(LA Times)

Nimoy shows off "The Full Body Project"

Grammer suffers ‘mild heart attack’
TNG cameo-maker and former Frasier star Kelsey Grammer (Capt. Morgan Bateson) had a health scare over this past weekend. People Magazine broke the news that the 53-year-old actor suffered what’s being called a “mild heart attack” after paddle boarding with his wife near their home in Hawaii. He was admitted to a Honolulu hospital, from which he was released on Wednesday, and is set to be resting comfortably (again according to People).

Zoe’s for the dogs
Star Trek’s new Uhura, Zoe Saldana was one of the celebrity judges at the 7th annual Nuts for Mutts Dog Show, which is put on by the animal rescue group New Leash on Life. Photographer and friend of TrekMovie, Albert L. Ortega sent in this shot.

Isn’t she cute (and Zoe is cute too)


  • The Shakespeare Theatre has a nice article on Rene Auberjonois (Odo), currently hard at work on The Imaginary Invalid. You can read the article here.
  • The official Stargate site has a close-up interview with Robert Picardo (The Doctor), which you can read here.
  • Tim Russ (Tuvok) will be appearing at the Louisiana Star Trek Convention and Sci-Fi Expo this weekend, where he will also partake in a band performance, according to his official site.
  • John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox)’s new film, Ripple Effect, will be premiering at the Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville, Maine, on June 20th; VOY guest actress Virginia Madsen (Kellin, “Unforgettable”) also stars. (Morning Sentinel)
  • Jennifer Morrison (Winona Kirk) is currently filming the movie Table for Three for Starz Productions. (Hollywood Today)
  • Veteran Trek performer John Schuck and his fellow cast members from the Broadway musical Annie were on hand for a signing of Annie: The 30th Anniversary Cast Recording CDs at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square on June 4th. TheaterMania)
  • Stephen Collins (you know, Will Decker?) is returning to Broadway for the first time in 14 years to play King Arthur in Spamalot, beginning June 24th. (National Ledger)
  • Actor and writer Robert Schenkkan (“head exploding guy”, aka Dexter Remmick, from TNG’s “Coming of Age” & “Conspiracy”) gave an exclusive interview to if Magazine, primarily regarding his adaptation of The Andromeda Strain; you can read the interview here.
  • A musical play called An Italian Straw Hat will make its world premiere at the Segerstrom Stage in Costa Mesa, California, on September 5th. Why does this matter? Because it features music by veteran Trek composer Dennis McCarthy. That’s why. (Playbill)
  • Trek VFX supervisor Dan Curry and TMP photo effects director Douglas Trumbull are part of a team whose goal is to raise public awareness of something called The Overview Effect and who are calling for the creation of an Overview Institute. You just can’t make this stuff up. (Carolina Newswire)
  • JoBlo rates the various, um… attributes of actress Rachel Nichols, who plays an Orion in the upcoming Trek film. You can see what JoBlo thought of Nichols by clicking here.

How can anyone NOT find her sexy? I mean, seriously???

Happy birthday: Rene, Anthony, and Zach!
Among the Star Trek alumni who had birthdays this week are DS9’s Rene Auberjonois (Odo), ENT’s Anthony Montgomery (Ens. Travis Mayweather), and Zachary Quinto (Spock in 2009’s Trek). Auberjonois turned 68 on June 1st, while Montgomery and Quinto both celebrated their birthdays on June 2nd: Montgomery turned 37, while Quinto turned 31. Other Trek veterans who had birthdays this week include: “Pen Pals” actress Nikki Cox (30); Star Trek: The Motion Picture effects man John Dykstra (61); “Where No Man Has Gone Before” actress Sally Kellerman (72); “We’ll Always Have Paris” guest star Michelle Phillips (64), actress Suzie Plakson (50), whose roles include Dr. Selar and K’Ehleyr; and the latest Alexander Rozhenko, Marc Worden (32). To these and everyone else with a birthday this past week, happy birthday from TrekMovie.com!


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Whoo-hoo! Um… go Wil! I saw him speak at a Brewery in Escondido a couple of weeks back. Very entertaining speaker. Signed my book too.

Rachel Nichols is unquestionably gorgeous. Jo-Blo is really harsh on her!

The fox News clip, did I hear right or was he poking fun at James Doohan? One guy said that everyone but Shatner was invited, and the other chimed in “not scotty”, was that meant to be funny?

Fox News is not even considered a news source here (in this part of the world) so the negative connotation of everything they dont like is not heard here, but I just think that was a horrible thing to say.

And I’m not flaming!!! If i misheard please let me know, ……. Oh, and well done to all the Trek Cast members, they seem to be really happy with where their lives are at, I wish em’ all the best!

The wedding would have been a fine occasion to bury the phaser between George and Bill – especially after George said only recently that their feud had been hyped by the media. Of course, it’s George’s & Brad’s big day and they can do whatever they want to, but it would’ve been a perfect opportunity and a nice gesture all the same.

Anyhow, Bill is sending his best wishes – that’s classy.

why did they need an american Life on Mars anyway ? i mean what was wrong with the british one ? meh , whats next an american dr who ? (hmm that would be worse them the red drawf pilot lol). but really the show is in english , i dont see the point in doing it again.

Slight amendment, Stewart and McKellan worked together back in the day at the RSC. Nothing significant, but they have done it.

An american Doctor Who was attempted in 1996, although it was co produced by the BBC. It had Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. Things like a camp master and suddenly the Doctor being half human in this incarnation pissed the fans off.

I enjoyed Paul McGann as the Doctor but it works best being made in Britain.

Was Life On Mars actually shown in the states by the way? Its a great show, it recently had a spin off called Ashes to Ashes which was in 1981

Re #6: I’ve lived in England, and love to watch British shows, but I have to admit, I often can’t understand the slang, and political and pop culture references on such shows. Of course that can add to their charm.

But I can understand why they would remake it for an American audience. I’m thinking of a show like “Eleventh Hour,” where Patrick Stewart’s partner was often incomprehensible. Apparently they’re remaking that.

What’s slightly ironic is that they’re casting an Irish guy for “Life” and an English guy for “Hour” (Rufus Sewell).

Scott B. out.

If you don’t find Rachel sexy, it’s only because you’ve just found out JJ’s not going to dig you out of that rocky grave on Veridian III. And, Anthony, warn me next time before you put a link like JoBlo — not exactly work-friendly. But, as long as I’m on the subject… Zoe gets six hot dogs with zesty chili sauce.

Will Decker as Arthur? I fart in his general direction. (No, really, he’ll be great.)

What’s Wil Wheaton’s new book, “Manly Men’s Guide to Manly Facial Scrub”?

Nice comment from Bill on George & Brad’s wedding. Time to hang up the old hard feelings.

You can’t have Doctor Who made in the U.S.. Otherwise, how could you find the Brit actors to play the Americans with the TERRIBLY NASAL Yankee accent?

The idea of Life on Mars is so good that it can be translated to any culture. It’s funny that people are going bats over the US adaptation, but not about the Spanish version being set in 1978, post-Franco. Funny, but there’s definitely a touch of xenophobia going on!

I actually liked McGann’s Doctor Who film: I wish it had gone to a series.I reckon the kinks could have been smoothed out in a weekly show. The half human thing could have been cut for the series version of the film. And The Master, as played by Eric Roberts, was no more camp than Anthony AInley and definitely less so than John Simm’s crazy turn.

I’d actually like to see the Doctor Who format adapted to lots of different countries: a US version, a German version, an Australian version (think if the fantastic locations; I’d shoot the current series entirely in Australia or New Zealand, if it was me!) a French version . . .

Fascinated to know what’ll happen with the US LoM. Reshoots and recastings aren’t uncommon, post-pilots. Crossing fingers: I’m also looking forward to the Spanish show!

#11:”You can’t have Doctor Who made in the U.S.. Otherwise, how could you find the Brit actors to play the Americans with the TERRIBLY NASAL Yankee accent?”

Too true. LOL

To be fair, a lot of British feel the same way about American actors with their “posh” and “mockney” feigned accents.

Yup, cross-the-pond accents runs the gammit. Hugh Laurie does well, Jamie Bamber mediocre, Dick Van Dyke HORRIBLE (but we loves ‘im anywayz, we do.)

You hear all these bad things about Shatner, I’m sure some are exaggerated and some are true. My own experience with seeing him live, he’s great on stage, funny, personable, engaging, a little internal off-stage, but not more than Nimoy or any of the other “big stars” at Trek cons. Clearly he’s done these shows a billion times and kinda goes through the motions when it comes to photographs and autographs (but think about having to sign or take a picture 800 times in a row, I’d get bored too).

So yeah, great on stage, but not all super friendly in person, like say Garrett Wang. (Who I think it more a rarity, than the norm. Most actors at these cons aren’t that personable off-stage, or even on, sometimes. So I’m not really picking on Shatner here, he’s not any different than most of them, other than he’s usually the biggest draw.)

That said, last time I was at Grand Slam in California, a couple gals I sorta got to know while I was there missed their call to take a photo with him because their watch had stopped or something. They were devastated and teary-eyed because that was the whole reason they had traveled to the show. Even though the program and ticket says, “hey if you miss your photo time, you miss it, you’re out of luck, forget it”, Shatner came back 20 minutes later just to take a picture with them. So he’s cool in my book.

So now we don’t only have TakAAAAi but also Nimóy and Kónig.

#10 CmdrR “Will Decker as Arthur? I fart in his general direction. (No, really, he’ll be great.)”

It’s alright Brave, Brave, Brave, Brave Sir Robin. :) Just beware of French castles, ok.

I would like to have seen more of William Decker in Star Trek. Maybe, they can pull off a 2010 like thing where Decker comes back from wherever Vger went to I always like Stephen Collins, great guy!

#15 … My former boss had a similar encounter w/ The Shat, which he relayed to me. Bill appeared at some sort of function in the Midwest where only the press would be allowed access to him. No autographs or fan photos (this was not a con).

But when my boss (who was part of the media) privately told Shatner that two 10 year old boys had shown up and were eager to meet him, Shatner lifted the velvet rope and let the boys come up close so he could shake their hands and talk to them. My boss was impressed that Shat made those kids’ day.

All i want say is : Shit Pickle! William Shater is teh man :)

I meant Shatner :)

#17 It’s Willard Decker. (You’re thinking of William Riker, who was Decker redux: you know Gene just took the Phase II characters and turned them into TNG, right? Riker=Decker, Troi=Ilia. Xon=Data.)

#15. cap97

“…Shatner came back 20 minutes later just to take a picture with them…”

#18. Shatner_Fan_2000

“…Shatner lifted the velvet rope and let the boys come up close so he could shake their hands and talk to them…”

Also – –

“…William Shatner released a statement wishing “the happy couple all the best” and “George deserves a moment of happiness.” ”

That’s really good to hear. We should do a thread where people only post these accounts. Makes me feel much better about him.


JoBlo couldn’t find tail at a squirrel convention. They give that fetching girl, Rachel Nichols soaring marks for her physical attributes but give her low scores for her “career” and “personality”. Her personality is scored low because she hasn’t made huge strides in her career, speculating it’s because she has a bad attitude or something. Then they say she doesn’t have a skyrocketing career. Makes a lot of sense. Like any of the donut munching basement dwellers at JoBlo would be able to form a sentence if a girl like her talked to them.

But I do see that they found her so unappealing as to post several pics of her on their website.

And I agree with the CmdrR.–That link might have needed a NSFW.

The Overview project sounds cool as hell! Doug Trumbull has always thought out ahead of the curve. He’s like a modern-day Edison. With him and Dan Curry involved, the results will no doubt be astonishing. WOW!

Anthony —
I’m not saying I didn’t like it.
I’m just saying you can’t f***in’ show it off at work.


Hi THX-1138. In the world of six degrees of separation, Rachel Nichols is a friend of a friend of a friend of mine who also happens to come from Maine – old school connection, I believe. I obviously don’t know Rachel Nichols and am even more obviously never likely to meet her at that number of degrees of separation!! But, I mentioned her as the ‘new girl on Alias’ to my friend a couple of years back and my friend immediately knew who I was talking about and said she’s heard down the line that Rachel Nichols is as a really nice person.

The trouble with Jo Blo’s article is that they are looking for headlines and news stories – preferably scandal – in order to make a judgement on the likes of ‘personality’ and ‘career’. It’s sad that if you’re a nice person who quietly gets on with the job at hand, that somehow makes you unremarkable!

Actually, she’s appeared in shows like the massively-reworked The Inside, which was cancelled abruptly after seven episodes, although the ratings were growing week by week and her performance was considered good enough that she was the only castmember held over from the original pilot.

She had a good story arc in Alias and, given a direct follow-up to Alias is unlikely, I’d love to see a spin-off following her Rachel Gibson character.

After a few other film appearances, she’s now playing Scarlett in GI Joe, which is a pretty big role for someone Jo Blo rather bitchily dismisses. Roll on her appearance in Star Trek!!!

Didn’t think the pics were particularly NSFW: I’ve seen worse around the office! But Jo Blo’s title of the section, ‘Body Shop’, is pretty offensive in that context.

Man that chick is smokin’ hot.

No surprise about what an ass Shatner can be to autograph seekers. Kirk will always be my favorite character and I have a soft spot for Bill but I’m well aware that he’s as self-absorbed as ever. You would think he’d mellow with age.

Glad to see Stephen Collins on Broadway(maybe I’ll finally make time to see the play). I’m amazed there hasn’t been a TMP sequel in novel form where we would see what kind of lifeform came of the merging of Decker-Ilia-V’ger.

Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan are my two favorite actors in the world! I got to see Ian in King Lear and Patrick in Macbeth. They both were amazing!

Patrick Stewart rocks! He should get the ” Overall Great Person” award.

Charles, my point was that I didn’t realize (my bad) that the Nichols link was to pictures and not a discussion, as was sort of the indication of your text. Make no mistake, I thought the pics were great. But I own the business and my office is readily available to all who work for me when I’m in it. Just a little hard to get them to believe it was my normal geek stuff. I think they they still think I’m some sort of perv. And they are not too far off. But I am a discrete perv.

No complaint, really, just a suggestion. I loved the article this week. I think I lingered too long at JoBlo’s site, though.

Weddings are not an event that you also invite people to “bury the hatchet”. The couple, regardless of who they are, are busy enjoying their family and guests and, you know… getting MARRIED!

Really tired of this supposed feud making news.

“Autograph seeker Stephen Duncan reported that Shatner’s reasoning for cancelling all the phone orders was because fans could turn around and sell the signed book on eBay for $100. A visit to his website shows Shatner himself is selling signed copies of his autobiography for $94.95”

William Shatner is completely in the right. Why should he sign something for somebody whose only purpose is to sell it?

That’s why Shatner’s policy at appearances is to personalize autographs. If you think about it, why would any true-blue Trek/Shatner fan want a non-personalized autograph, anyway? The whole point is the idol-fan connection.

And truth be told, Shatner has every right to sell his non-personalized autograph at whatever price he sets. It’s his name, after all. If anyone profits off his name, it should be him.

However, I don’t see why Shatner couldn’t have personalized those phone-order autographs. Just like he does at his personal appearances, he could have taken the time by himself to personalize the autographs based on the phone orders. It would be even quicker for him because he wouldn’t be personally greeting each autograph seeker.

I suspect that Book Soup was too lazy to take and keep track of personalization orders for those phone orders. They just wanted to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible by selling non-personalized autographs.

I don’t blame Shatner for cancelling those orders.

Yeah, Shatner was simply making a logical business decision.

#8; The British “Life on Mars” aired in the U.S. on the BBC America cable channel.