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!
RIP Paul Sorensen, 1926-2008