CelebWatch: Stardate 07.24.08

This week the Watch brings you: images of Patrick Stewart caught in the act (of rehearsing, that is); Rene Auberjonois playing priest for real; sad news for those hoping to see Colm Meaney on Mars; George Takei’s gameshow victory; a challenge to Trek fans from Robert Picardo; and more! In the immortal words of LeVar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it; read below to see for yourself!

Stewart rehearsing Hamlet
Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) is done with Macbeth, but he is far from done with Shakespeare. Stewart will be starring in the Royal Shakepeare Company’s production of Hamlet at Courtyard Theatre in Statford-upon-Avon, where he will play the dual roles of King Claudius and the Ghost of Hamlet’s father. The production doesn’t start until August 5th (and runs through November 15th, after which it transfers to West End), but WhatsOnStage has rehearsal photos of Stewart and his castmates, including Doctor Who‘s David Tennant, who plays Hamlet. The same images are available at Picasa Web. Check ’em out!

"Shake this guys hand if you agree the Enterprise D could totally
kick the Tardis’ butt" (ok maybe we made that up)

There are also some photos of Stewart from his visit at the London Film and comic Con from earlier this up at Flickr.

Oh yeah, I am that cool

Father Auberjonois pronounces couple man and wife
Who knew? Rene Auberjonois (Odo) has played a priest many times in his career (MASH, The Patriot, Saving Grace), but as it turns out, he really is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church. This came in handy this past Sunday when one of his co-stars in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s The Imaginary Invalid wanted to get hitched to his longtime sweetheart. According to The Washington Post, the two were married on the Lansburgh Theatre stage following the Sunday night performance of Invalid and it was none other than Auberjonois who conducted the ceremony. So, I ask again… who knew? Oh, and the best of wishes to the happy couple. Speaking of Invalid, the play’s run has been extended to August 2nd, so see it while you can! In other Rene news, the actor will be a guest at the small Reunion 6 convention in the West Midlands, England, in September.

Meaney leaves ‘Mars’
It’s sad but true: Colm Meaney (Miles O’Brien) is no longer part of the cast of the Americanized version of Life on Mars. According to Toledo Blade, the entire pilot episode featuring Meaney as Detective Gene Hunt has been scrapped in favor of a new version with a different cast, with the sole holdover being Jason O’Mara (who plays the lead). At the Life on Mars panel at the TCA Press Tour, O’Mara speculated that the reason Meaney was not involved with the show anymore was due to the production’s move from Los Angeles to New York. O’Mara explains:

I know the Colm has homes in L.A. He spends time in Dublin, England and Spain. So that’s a lot of bases to cover. I’m not sure exactly how he’d make New York work. He’s got a family. I think honestly it was in the spirit of starting over, wasn’t it?

Life on Mars is still set to premiere on ABC this fall. There is no word yet on who is replacing Meaney in the role of Hunt.

Meaney (far right) is off Mars

Shat tribute page + Shatner talks death
Starpulse.com has written a tribute page to The Man, The Myth, The Legend… the Shat! It basically details the highlights of his entire career. You can read that here. In the meantime, iFMagazine has the lowdown on why Shatner’s series, Boston Legal, will only have 13 episodes in its fifth and final season. Shatner also has an interview with The Age in which the actor discusses his late wife, Nerine, and her tragic death, followed by reflections on his career, including Star Trek. Notably, he reflected on Kirk’s death scene in Star Trek Generations, stating:

In the original script, Kirk died when he was shot in the back. But trial audiences hated it, so I ended up getting crushed to death seconds after I’d saved a galaxy. One of my enduring lines in the original series was, ‘Captain on the bridge.’ I did a little improvisation and, as everything collapsed upon me, I yelled, ‘Bridge on the captain.’ Sadly, they cut it.

Shatner says Kirk’s death has made him think more about his own mortality.

I lay awake thinking about it the night before,” he admits. “And I’ve thought about it a lot recently. I recognize I am getting older. A while back a horse fell on me  that’s why I needed the hip replacement. I could easily have been killed. Afterwards, I realized that, in that split second, inches from death, there was no big realization, no moment of clarity. I had always thought in that split second, I suppose I thought there would be some dawning. There wasn’t. But I’ve been thinking about death a lot.

Takei wins gameshow
George Take (TOS: Sulu) was one of the guest celebrities on the premiere episode of ABC’s “Wanna Bet.” The Brit import is a bit of a twist on the Gong Show model with celebrities betting on if contestents can pull off various stunts. In the end Takei was the best ‘better’ and won over $100K for his charity of choice, the Japanese American National Museum.

Picardo challenges Trekkies to watch Stargate
In a new interview with GateWorld, Robert Picardo (The Doctor) discussed… well, Stargate: Atlantis. Hey, it’s a Stargate site, what’d you think he was gonna talk about? Anyway, in the interview, Bob challenged any of us Trekkies not currently watching Atlantis to do so and not become a fan.

There are a few Star Trek fans out there — and I’m going to find out who you are and where you live — who don’t watch Stargate now. And what I want to say now is … I welcome you. … If you’re a “dyed in the wool” Star Trek fan, I’m not going to deal with that issue right now. You have to step out of the shadows, and turn on Stargate Atlantis. And give me three episodes. Watch me in three episodes, and I challenge you not to become a Stargate fan. And if you don’t become a Stargate fan … then I don’t want to hear about it. [Laughter] Just give me my shot, OK?

To conclude the interview, Bob was asked if he would return as The Doctor in some capacity should the franchise ever return to the 24th century, to which he replied:

I had a fun time. It was a great run. I think it’s a great idea that J.J. Abrams is going to reboot the franchise. And I suspect the movie will be a great success because I think he’s a very smart guy and an exciting director. So I think your question has already been rendered moot by that. That they are going to start over again, and they are going to be set in a different point and time. Sure, it was great fun to play the character. It would be wonderful to kind of slip the shoes on again. But I don’t see it happening. What they might do, if they start making Star Trek movie after Star Trek movie, is they might start stunt casting, in different ways, some of the familiar faces — but probably playing different roles because of the different time frame.

Wil Wheaton doesn’t read Trek comics
The second part of ComicMix’s interview with Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) is online. In it, Wheaton confesses that – despite the fact he written stories for two issues of the Star Trek manga – he does not read Star Trek comics. He tries to explain:

It’s not that I have no desire. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that I have a limited amount of time and I have to choose really carefully where I invest that time. If I’m forced to choose between a Star Trek comic or [Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’] Criminal, I just enjoy Criminal more, so…

Wil later clarified his comments on his blog:

Um. In other words, I have no desire and I don’t care, I guess. That sounds really harsh, but . . . well, I just don’t know how to finish that without feeling like a dick. I guess that I like Star Trek a lot, but not enough to read the novels and comic books . . . yep, feeling like a dick right now.

That’s okay, Wil… if it’s any consolation, I don’t really read the Trek books, either. They have very lovely covers, though.

Reeves-Stevenses talk Enterprise + Trek ’09
Hardcore Nerdity has posted their latest podcast containing an interview with Star Trek writers Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens. The duo talk about being a husband and wife writing team, their work on Star Trek: Enterprise, the decline of Trek’s popularity, and their thoughts on the new film. Regarding the latter, the topic came up when the Reeves-Stevenses were asked if Trek’s message of hope for the future had been diluted:

Judith Reeves-Stevens: Trek was unusual because it could match its timing. And that’s why we’re all looking forward to the new movie because we want to see what Orci & Kurtzman are going to do with JJ Abrams to catch this time.

When asked how they would have approached a new film:

Garfield Reeves-Stevens: I think that it’s probably the correct decision to go back to the beginning. And not so much re-imagine or reboot or anything but simply to… it’s like Star Trek Remastered. You know, those special effects shots, they don’t hold up in high-def, so let’s bring a new audience into it. … There’s a third generation of Star Trek fans and I think JJ is gonna be the one that reaches them.

To hear the full interview (which also includes a big discussion on The Dark Knight), head on over to Hardcore Nerdity and download the podcast (HCN #11).


  • Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys) talks Battlestar Galactica, product placement, and Dark Angel at SyFy Portal.
  • Tim Russ (Tuvok)’s band will be playing at the “Kibitz Room” in Los Angeles on July 27th at 10pm, according to Tim’s official site.
  • The Associated Press has an interview with Stephen Collins (Will Decker) in which the actor discusses his role as King Arthur in Spamalot; check it out at Yahoo TV.

Stephen Collins continues to look on the bright side of life as Arthur, King of the Britons, in Spamalot.

The Trek Continues: Trek Birthdays
Among those Trek celebrities who will be blowing out one more birthday candle in the coming week are actors Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys) and Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher). Visitor will turn 51 on July 26th, while Wheaton turns 36 on July 29th. Other Trek luminaries celebrating birthdays this week include: Kathryn Hays (Gem in TOS’ “The Empath”), 75; France Nuyen (Elaan in TOS’ “Elaan of Troyius”), 69; Carel Struycken (Mr. Homn), 60; David Warner (St. John Talbot; Chancellor Gorkon; Gul Madred), 67; Michael Welch (Artim in Star Trek: Insurrection), 21; Celeste Yarnall (Yeoman Martha Landon in TOS’ “The Apple”), 64; Dey Young (Hannah Bates; Arissa; Keyla), 53; and visual effects assistant/associate Chad Zimmerman (VOY, DS9), 37. To everyone listed here (and those who are not), TrekMovie.com wishes you a very happy birthday!

In Memoriam: Paul Sorensen
Actor Paul Sorensen, 82, died in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, on July 17th, 2008. He played the captain of Merchantman in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. (Variety)

RIP Paul Sorensen, 1926-2008


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Aww, I was looking forward to Colm Meaney on Life on Mars. Stupid ABC…

I’m sad to hear that Colm is no longer going to be in Life on Mars…he would have been a reason to watch that show. Other than him I don’t know if I can make time in my TV schedule for the show.


“What the hells going on? When will I get paid off?”

Very memorable moment from ST: III.

RIP Paul!

I hope to see Stewart in Hamlet. I love his performance in Macbeth.
Cool if not first.

Y’know, I’ve really wanted to get into Stargate, beacuse I like several of the actors involved. I’ve watched a few episodes, and everything seemed well-done, but I got the feeling that to really get it I’d have to make a commitment to watch a lot of past episodes, which I just don’t have the energy to do.

Stephen Collins is NOT Graham Chapman

> Regarding the latter, the topic came up when the Reeves-Stevenses
> were asked if Trek’s message of hope for the future had been deluded:

deluded should be diluted…. LOL! Made me laugh when I read it.

That was the best typo of the day.

I think Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens make a good point about going back to the “beginnings” of Trek, as it does re-introduce the characters to a whole new generation of fans while making it relevant and up-to-date technologically at it’s shown on the big screen.

I’m hoping Star Trek will be shown on IMAX.

OK, maybe not everyone can do this, but last month I got the ten season collection of Stargate:SG1. I had seen a few of the episodes over the years and found it to be pretty good. The bad part was all the back-story involved! So I took the leap and made the purchase. I can only imagine how much more expensive it would be to catch up on all the Trek stuff if I were starting over from the beginning.

By the way, as an agreement with my wife, I only watch the episodes when I’m on the treadmill. Now a few pounds lighter I’m ready to start on season 2 today.

You know, I’ll be completely honest. I read an interview with Wil Wheaton and he seems like an all right guy. I’ve even checked out his website after reading the article and he still seemed like a pretty affable enough and funny too. But I always hated that character Wesley Crusher.

I am not a fan of TNG and Wesley Crusher is an example of on of the many things that felt so wrong with that show. To be fair, neither Gene Roddenberry nor George Lucas seem–I should say seemed because maybe Lucas learned his lesson–to get how annoying a know it all dorky little kid character is. I never liked him. He was always messing around on things he shouldn’t have been allowed to mess with. And I don’t want to see the Wonder Years in space. And if you’re gonna do the Wonder Years in Space, make the kid like the Wonder Years kid. He was not a genious.

And to be really honest and awfu, a part of me still hopes they do something to Wesley Crusher. I mean something bad. I hate him! Whether it be in a novel, or comic book, or whatever, I hope to read that they have Wesley get captured and beaten to a bloody pulp. No, have Rikers twin go nuts and work with the Cardasians and capture Wesley and beat him to a bloody pulp. And twin Riker–what was his name? Tom or something–leaves his DNA behind on the scene. And Will Riker is blamed because they have identicle DNA.

I will say that I did like the chief from TNG, DS9. It’s nice to see a regular character who is an old salty NCO.

Jeez, poor kid suffered enough having Beverly as a mother. Did he really ever stand a chance of turning out normal?

Seeing Nana Visitor’s name about reminded me:

Watching previews at the movie theater the other day, it appeared as though Nana Visitor has a role in Kevin Kostner’s new movie. The one where his vote will decide who the next President will be, due to some computer glitch.

I watched the Life on Mars series on BBC. It was fantastic! The Brits are very brave when it comes to story telling. I won’t say what they did, but it was a refreshing shock to the system. I’m Canadian and our entertainment industry just doesn’t have the money to make consistantly entertaining shows. Sometimes we do, mostly we don’t. We get a lot of American and some Brtish. I just can’t envision an American version of Life on Mars that will live up to the original. I hope I’m wrong and I’ll give it a whirl. I highly recommend that you all watch the original and it’s succesor Ashes to Ashes.

Shatner is always sort of late to the party when it comes to self-reflection and “mortality”, now that he’s 70+ he acknowledges “getting older”? He arguably arrived there quite some time ago, it reminds me of his rumored objections to acknwledging Kirk’s Middle age in Star Trek II (reference Directors commentary) while in his 50’s- maybe he’ll hit 100 after all.

This is not meant as a put down more of an observation really.

Wil Wheaton is a d**k , lol well not really .

this is actually the 10th time or something i have said this on this very site , why , oh why do they need an american life on mars, cant they just buy the right and show the normal bbc life on mars.
or come up with their own orignal show .

12. The Underpants Monster –
I honestly would have only believed Wesley Crusher’s character if they had him in like two episodes and then it was always just Dr. Crusher asking where Wesely was–only to find he’s in the Holodeck. Every few shows they could have had Wes’s mom knocking on the door to the Holodeck saying stuff like, “Wesley Crusher! Are you in there! You’ll go blind young man.”

14. EM –
Life on Mars will be the Americanized version. That means will take a good show, make an equally good show, the T.V. folks will want the American version go on forever and ever and the show will end up sucking and making no sense. The folks in charge of the big three–ABC, CBS, NBC–need their shows to be great, then jump the shark and be on for two years too long. Case in point, The Office. Has anyone else wondered how long this fictional documentery is gonna take?

If the writers don’t play ball, stick to their guns and say the story ends when and how it should end, the T.V. programers milk it like Sci Fi has done with Battlesta Galactica. I have to wait a whole frakin’ year to see how it ends?

Stewart is also advertising TVs for Curry’s (a big box store in the UK) and Nintendo brain training

Enough blah blah. We want pictures.

Of Jolene Blalock and Megan Fox.

7. “Stephen Collins is NOT Graham Chapman.”

Neither was Tim Curry, and the critics loved him. For that matter, Clay Aiken is not Eric Idle, and the critics were blown away by his Sir Robin. In fact, Idle & Mike Nichols went after Clay for months before he even agreed to meet with them.

Or of Joleen Blalock with Megan Fox….

But maybe not wit’ Balock and Ambassador Fox (that poppin’jay!)

Or… uh… I best stop whilst I’m not too much in tha’ muck…


I confess to not having seen Spamalot. I take my Monty Python seriously, as do I my Trek.

I never liked Captain Decker as a character. He seemed wishy-washy and whiney. I always saw that quality in other Collins performances as well because of TMP. Jonathan Frakes took that role, updated as Riker for TNG, and made him into a man’s man, which Decker was not.

I also rate “Holy Grail” as one of my top films of all time, and to see him in the King Arthur costume rubbed me the wrong way, as I believe Chapman owns the role. I wish him well. In fact, now that I’m back in the NYC, maybe I’ll go check out Spamalot.

Collins as King Arthur.

Well, I didn’t vote for him.

Shatner says: One of my enduring lines was “captain on the bridge”..when did he ever say that?….It sounds silly for kirk to say it….also “bridge on the captain”? Gimmee a break bill!

Yeoman Martha Landon is 64!!!

It makes me wonder how the people of Vaal dealt with menopause and arthritis.

Was it because of the word I used to describe Kirk’s treatment of Decker? Apologies if so.

I don’t know why, but I have been carrying the thought that Carel Struyken passed away some years ago. Nice to know the big guy is still kickin’.

25. Yeah, I on;y remember “Captain on the Bridge” in Trek 2, or was it “Admiral on the bridge”??

And as for Shat to only now start to feel mortal, he’s spent the for 75 years of his life active and in great health. Hip replacement is a major deal. I don’t know if BIll needed the surgery bc the horse broke his hip or aggivated some pre-existing condition, but you go from walking to helpless instantaneously. You really have to fight your way back just to be functional.

Bill seems to have recovered well, thank God!

Patrick Stewart and David Tennant Hamlet? Cool. What roll Will K-9 be playing?

Regarding Bill Shatner breaking his hip while horseback riding–I once new someone who broke his hip while horseback riding. He got out of rehab in 2 weeks while all the other hip replacement patients took many months. The doctors said that it was due to his hips were in good shape because of all the horseback riding that he did.

Tim Russ, I thought was a good actor, but he doesn’t seem to be getting high profile work. The man needs to eat. Someone cast him in something already.

Will Wheaton had a story on his blog about how he asked for a raise on TNG and they’re counter offer was that his character was getting promoted. He said something like (I’m paraphrasing) “That’s nice, but how I’m going to explain to the land lady that I have no money to pay the rent but that’s OK, my character is getting a promotion?”

Also, bring up Will Wheaton, and I have to bring up the movie “The last Prostitute”. Sorry. I’m sure Will would like to forget it, but I won’t. It”s in my nature.

Lastly, in regards to Paul Sorensen, I’m always sorry to hear about a death some someone I saw on screen. His part in Star Trek was small, but I wish we can all live forever. Mr. Trotter, perhaps you can also name one or two more mainstream parts that he is known for in addition to his connection in Star Trek. The man died, perhaps we can better honor him this way. Please don’t make me look it up in IMDB. That’s tacky.

“You know, I’ll be completely honest. I read an interview with Wil Wheaton and he seems like an all right guy. I’ve even checked out his website after reading the article and he still seemed like a pretty affable enough and funny too. But I always hated that character Wesley Crusher.”

…You know, over the years I’ve heard a lot of people make this same observation, and most of them were of the “Kill Wes!” factions that sprung up about an hour after Encounter at Farpoint premiered. Wil’s situation is almost identical to how Bob Justman perceived Majel Barrett for quite a number of years after having dealt with her as Nurse Chapel. After seeing her as Lwaxana Troi, he came to the conclusion that he’d been wrong, and the reason Chapel was such a bad character had nothing to do with Majel’s acting. She was perfect for Lwaxana, and it became clear that it was simply a case of Chapel being a poorly conceived and written character.

I am glad that Reeves-Stevenses like JJ that adds to my good feelings abut the movie!!!

For the record, Wheaton was great in Stand by Me. And like I said, he seems pretty cool in real life.

With that said, I wish Wesley Crusher was beaten to death like Robin was years ago in the Batman comics.

Either that or someone needs to go back in time, get them to cast Charlie Sheen in the role of a crewmen….Crewman Uncle Charlie…and then have crewman uncle Charlie introduce Wesley Crusher to the great things in life. Then Wes would chill out, focus on the girls, get drunk, and strive for mediocrity. Acting Ensign Crush shows up on the bridge with a hang over in a bathrobe and slippers and tells the Captain to remove that corn cobb and go kick some klingon butt.

In fact that should be the next T.V. Show. Wesley meets Charlie. It will be a 30 minute sitcom after Two and a Half Men is done. I’ll watch.

I must confess, I cannot begin to comprehend why some people were so put off by the Wesley character. I enjoyed him from day one, and continued to. Sure, he didnt fit in homogenously with the crew, or even with the Fleet, but I kind of thought that was the whole point.

Erm, “Wanna Bet” ist actually more based on Europe’s most successful TV Show “Wetten, dass…?!” (Which roughly translates as “I bet that…”), where celebrites are invited to bet if contestants can pull off various (sometimes rather st…range) stunts. Like blowing up hot water bags until they explode. Or recognising 30 different types of soccer-balls by just touching them with the tongue.

By the way, don’t try this at home.

I’m with you TUM#35 — I didn’t mind Wesley. He was a teenager so there was supposed to be a bit of tension with adults but the sheer hatred of the character was a tad shocking to me, especially since it was a real kid playing the role. It would have been hard enough for a seasoned actor to deal with that kind of reaction. I thought Wil Wheaton handled the backlash well and was charming, open and honest at his con appearances.

Will not be watching Life On Mars now. :(