Pegg Talks Star Trek and Breaking the Odd Numbered Curse

Simon Pegg has been making the rounds promoting the DVD release of Spaced and naturally, the topic of the new Star Trek film has been coming up. In several new interviews, Pegg discussed how he got the role of Scotty, the accent, his fellow Trek actors, being on the set with Leonard Nimoy, odd numbered Trek movies. Oh, and boobs.


Over at the Kevin and Bean archive, Pegg again related how J.J. Abrams offered him the role of Scotty and Pegg’s subsequent contact with Chris Doohan, the son of original Scotty actor James Doohan. Pegg also explained how he and his castmates approached such iconic roles:

I think everybody had to just take it from the ground up and go back to what all the original guys did with it and look at the characters, see who they were and play them as that.

Pegg also praised his castmates’ likenesses to their respective characters:

Zach Quinto, who does Spock, is phenomenally like… I mean, he looks like Leonard Nimoy. On set, out of the corner of your eye, you’d think it was Leonard, it was really weird. And Chris [Pine], who’s Kirk, has just got that fantastic sort of swagger, you know, that Shatner had and it’s… I think it’s going to be right, I’m so excited about it.

And on Zoe Saldana, who plays Uhura:

She was amazing. She really pulled Uhura off the page into 3D beauty.

In addition, Pegg described what it was like working with Leonard Nimoy, who returned as Spock for the film:

What was weird for me about doing Star Trek was…to have [Nimoy] on set, to be near a character that I had known since I was a child. Not just the actor but the character. I rarely saw him out of his ears, you know, because he used to get into make-up first. It was phenomenal, and he was such a gentle, sort of brilliant guy.

To hear the whole interview – including some discussions on God’s Third Leg, Megan Fox, and boobies – head over to Kevin and Bean Archive and download the podcast.

Pegg (sort of) shows off his Scottish Accent
For more Peggy goodness, MTV has a video interview with Pegg and his Spaced cohorts in which he talks about doing Scotty’s accent; you can check that out here.

Pegg on breaking the odd numbered Trek movie curse
Also, has listed five reasons why you should check out Spaced. Reason number five was "American fans will see a show that was a commentary on pop culture, before the creators joined the pop culture landscape themselves.
", and Pegg was quoted saying:

It is quite like the snake eating itself. I think when we started making references to Spaced in Shaun of the Dead that’s was the most crystal moment of self indulgence ever. In Spaced there is a line where Tim says something about every odd number Star Trek movie being shit which is a huge irony considering I’m starring in Star Trek 11. So it is funny how those things come back to haunt you. Obviously the rule doesn’t apply anymore [laughs].

Scotty and Spocky partying
Lastly, Jonathan Llyr of Hardcore Nerdity has sent us a pic of Pegg with the new Mr. Spock (Zachy Quinto) at the Maxim Party at ComicCon this past weekend. Check out Hardcore Nerdity on Wednesday for a few more pics from the party featuring Pegg, Zach Quinto, and J.J. Abrams.

Mr. Scott I need you to reconfigure my iPhone

VIDEO UPDATE: Pegg on Letterman – MacGregor offered role of Scotty?
Pegg was a guest on Late Night with David Letterman on Monday night and the subject of Star Trek was brought up. In talking about the film’s secrecy Pegg stated his code name on the set was ‘MacGregor.’ He then stated he thought it was cool at first being a Scottish name, but then found out it was because the role of Scotty had been first offered to Ewan MacGregor…then again he may have been joking, but check it out anyway

[flashvideo filename= height=240 width=428 image= /]

Get the Spaced DVD
Spaced: The Complete Series is out now

The DVD set is available at Amazon for $34.99




Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

That’s odd. This post is #1 which is an odd number

Never heard of Spaced.

Does the fact that the last even numbered one was cursed itself break the odd numbered curse?

Only Tibetan numerologists of Appalachia know for sure.

Nemesis was doomed from the start. Fans refused to give it a chance.


You should check it out. Very funny.

Not to mention that this is a reboot of sorts, so the numbering starts over really.

This is 0 which is nether odd or even!

“Obviously the rule doesn’t apply anymore…”


Someone once told me every even number film is good, every odd number one isn’t but every 5th one absolutely stinks!

I like the Quinto and Pegg pic.

OK, who’ll be the first to photoshopp them in their star trek uniform


This movie is .011111

Just saw Pegg on David Letterman and when asked about the new Trek film, he said the studio had a chip implanted in his head and if he said too much it would explode….


@4 — I’m largely a fan of the original but I still went to Nemesis opening night, as I’ve done for every Trek film. I went with an open mind, wanting to like it. Unfortunately I was disappointed. I don’t think it’s presumptions to say the majority of Trek fans wanted to like it.

We can debate the merits of Nemesis as a film but to suggest that it failed because of the fans’ mindset going in doesn’t make sense.

Also, that odd-even crap is a tiresome cliche. Just one for-instance: I hadn’t watched Trek III in some time but it recently was on the Universal HD channel, and it is an awful lot of fun as the middle film in that trilogy. The gang is in great form, with Mark Lenard as Sarek, to boot. Someone on another recent thread noted how great the ILM effects are in that, too.

As for the comments he made about his castmates, it seems interesting that Karl Urban was not mentioned. In fact, I think it’s weird because, after Pine as Kirk, he’s the other role I’m most curious about.

But then again he didn’t mention Harold or the kid playing Chekov. I really at a loss because the latter is slated to play Kyle Reese in the next Terminator movies and their is no way in hell he strikes me as being anything like Michael Biehn.

“there” not “their” damn it evil scotch!

@4 “Nemesis was doomed from the start. Fans refused to give it a chance.”

I beg to differ. I really wanted to like it. I’ve wanted to like it all of the five times I’ve seen the film. The problem, for each time I watch it, I hate it even more. It’s a truly horrible piece in every way. Both as a Star Trek film and as just any film in general.

American friends: I cannot stress to you just how good Spaced is. It’s really amazing. It’s about us, made by us. You’ll love it, get involved.

McGregor the 1st choice for Scotty?

if that had happened wouldnt the universe explode or something? Crossing any element of Wars with Trek would be like crossing the streams in can never happen (although i do secretly hope for a Ford cameo as April or an admiral)

I’ve always found the “odd number curse” thing peculiar because I love ST:III.

Yes, the most exciting “action” piece was backing the Enterprise out of the garage, but III was very much a character piece.

If you love these characters, then III should be loved, too.

13… STIII is one of my favorites, and following “Khan” was no easy slot to fill. But I think it holds up very well. I really got what director Nimoy was after; it’s a very operatic film. The characters are really at their best, and everyone seems so comfortable in their skin. You can sense the cast had a good time making this movie. Nimoy brought a perfect vision into the film, in spite of whatever weaknesses may exist. And I think most of those weaknesses are in the production, rather than in the story or characters. For example, imagine how much more interesting the film would have looked had the planet shots taken place on location. It’s understandable that for the $$$ they had to work with, and the need to control the weather and fires, etc., but I think it would have given the film a more epic look.

I wonder what he meant about Zoe pulling Uhura off the page into 3D beauty. She was not just a literary creation before. Nichelle was coming at ya in 3D years ago…

the whole odd = bad, even = good rule has never held any water for me as ST III is 2nd only to Khan imo….its the Empire Strikes Back of the movie series (well the of the Genesis trilogy)…great acting, chracterisation, FX (best of the film series), emotional scenes (Ent/David), Classic trek moments, stunning visuals (watching the ent go down in flames), intergalatic space travel (visting 3 planets) homages to the TOS (Ent countdown, tribbles, nasty klingons, Kirks fistfight, Sarek, Vulcan) – people say Trek V is closest in tone to TOS but i believe its III

Never understood why its considered one of the lesser films…its probably the most hard core Trek film (for fans) and when it came out reviews were good (although not up to Khans) and it was just as successful…i think that fans have just leapt on the bangwagon as the other odds werent that great…although when Nemesis came out the whole rule fell apart anyway

i just wish K Alley had been savikk again..its really disrupting when they recast roles like that..the character just loses impact…even in Dark Knight it didnt feel right (Rachel)

21 – yes location wouldve really made a difference…

then again filming on soundstages added to that bug budget TOS feel


Funny, the absence of Katie Holmes and her Dawson’s Pout™ made TDK feel absolutely right to me! ;)


Everyone I knew wanted to give Nemesis the benefit of the doubt when it was released, especially after Insurrection. The fact that the script was god-awful (Picard suddenly freezes at a critical moment leading to Data’s pointless death; Shinzon impaling himself quite deliberately; the Enterprise’s convenient ‘Bottomless Pit & Enemy Disposal System’) and that the production values somehow managed to be even worse than the TV show alienated just about everybody. Sure, the space effects and the ship ramming looked great, but the inside of the Reman ship looked like a long-lost Dr Who set from the 60’s (endless look-alike corridors that would bend when the actors leaned against them) and the use of a sloppy backdrop for Alaska was completely inexcusable for a modern SciFi film.

#21 – I always thing of STIII as really being STII, Part II, so the even/odd thing never works! ;-) IN my mind, TWOK through TVH is one big, sweeping movie divided into three chapters for convenience’s sake.

Pegg just gets more and more adorable, doesn’t he? And although I feel like my ovaries are growing back every time Ewan MacGregor steps onto a screen, he would have been so, so very wrong for Scotty.

Dude, what is with Pegg’s sandals in that MTV clip?!

Nemesis sucked. Period. It broke the “curse” by being the crappiest even numbered Trek which of course paved the way for the new film. I doubt very much we would be looking forward to J.J.’s Trek right now if it weren’t for the bloated crapfest Nemesis turned out to be.

Rick Berman & Brannon Braga…Kings of Crap who managed to nearly destroy one of the most beloved franchises in history. Nemesis was the last nail in the coffin…until J.J. came along with his crowbar and defibrillator.


You mention the bandwagon effect in reference to why we as fans put down STIII. But then, in the same post, you turn right around and join up with the bandwagoning “group think” that gives Nemesis such a bad name. Now i’m just playing devil’s avocate here….i know that you very well could have hated Nemesis even without the bandwagon….but i think for many people…it’s just become “cool” and “the norm” to hate on Nemesis the same way you describe people hating on ST III TSFS.

(can you tell i like Nemesis? i’m not the only one)

Each of the original series movies has its value. The problem with TMP was its timing, not necessarily its plot, and certainly not its character stories; watching it today, I am hard-pressed to stay seated through the second-half of the movie.

TSFS is one of my favorite movies. The sense of loyalty Kirk etc. display is core to the idealogy of Star Trek, and there are many episodes of TNG, DS9, and VGR which copy this. Seeing the Enterprise escape from the spacedock, Scotty sabotage the Excelsior, Kirk react to his son’s death, and how all the characters welcome Spock upon his return. I really think TSFS is a classic film, although yes, I agree with a previous poster that Robin Curtis may not have been the best casting.

In the same vein, TFF has a lot of fun moments reminiscent of the original series. I love seeing the triumvirate sitting around a campfire singing and teasing one another. Seeing the presence of Sybok drive Kirk and Spock apart and then bring them back together is touching. The music in the movie is also very good, even if it does not compare to James Horner’s themes. The downside to TFF was its effects, production values, and as the Shatner himself has admitted, lack of directorial strength.

Generations is, well, fun in its own right. I think they succeeded in weaving the two casts together in a single film. I hate that Kirk died, but Shatner’s novels since then have made up for that (in a small way). It was good to see what the Enterprise-D would look like on the big screen; I wish they hadn’t destroyed the ship, as it did not serve the grand purpose destroying the Enterprise did in TSFS. I grew tired with Soran and the Klingons after awhile, but the movie is at least watchable, unlike our next odd-numbered film.

I saw Insurrection on TV the other day. It’s not that bad, but, it’s not that good either. The musical score was weak, the props looked more like plastic than normal, the special effects were by and large disappointing, and the villains were kind of hollow. By the time it was revealed the Son’a and the Bak’u were one and the same, I had lost interest. The notion Picard et al were fighting the Federation just didn’t do it for me.

And Nemesis… It is amongst the worst movies of all time. The day it came out, I had been moving hundreds of thousands of dollars in server and computer equipment around Downtown Fort Worth, Texas. I was exhausted, miserable, cold, hungry, and I was looking forward to seeing all those characters again. Unlike Insurrection, which I initally liked despite its flaws, Nemesis felt like a total disaster with the passing of every scene. When it ended, people walked out silently, probably not stunned so much by Data’s death (that was a poorly kept secret anyway) but by how disappointed they were.

Thar’s my two cents!


27 – yeah Trek III is the yang to ST IIs yin…in II we are told the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or one…then in III it was reversed…II, III, IV form a great trilogy much like the SW originals –

30 – I wouldn’t say I hated Nemesis but I didn’t think much of it…id put it above TFF and INS but its in the same league as those…

I don’t believe in curses, but beyond that, I disagree with the validity of the “evidence”.

TMP is an excellent film, and my second favorite in the feature film series. The Director’s Edition is wonderful.

TSFS is very decent to me. It has some fantastic moments. IMO, it is the second act in a story arc which spans TWOK-TVH.

Ok, TFF (aka The Great Trek Turd Of ’89) is horrible…but it has nothing to do with any curse.

I never expected much of anything from the TNG-era films, and I don’t even put them in the same category. FC is the only one I was even remotely entertained by, and even that was mediocre and formulaic at best.

I think it is more accurate to say that the even-numbered films have had more crossover appeal (again, I’m speaking of the original film series).


I think you’ve hit it on the head. It wasn’t so much that TMP & TSFS were bad films, just that they appealed more to the hardcore Trek audience. TWOK and TVH had crossover appeal for obvious reasons, and TUC was the swansong for TOS, so more people were interested in that than normally would have been. For me personally – especially when I was a kid – TSFS was one of my favorites.

Of course, there’s TFF – a film that manages to be so bad it will make a grown man weep.

Wow you guys are good. Guess I didn’t have to stay up late to watch Pegg on Letterman (12:35 AM start time in my market). Nice work getting all this stuff up so quickly.

An aside: Gillian Anderson was great too, but X Files 2 was disappointing to me. Felt like a 2 hour TV episode not quite worthy of a movie ticket price. Then again, I was never a hard core fan of the show (which surprises friends who know I’m a Trekkie).

And: Letterman has always been my guy. Glad Leno’s moving on.

#34—I’m still hoping that one of Spock’s time travel stopovers is to Sarek’s home on Vulcan, where he once again poses as his cousin Selek, sneaks into the childrens’ bedroom, and smothers Sybok with a pillow…oops.

Wish he’d done a little of his Scotty. Even two seconds. Also, I’m going to have to get me some Roman sandles like he’s wearing in the MTV clip.

Boy…he’s being cagey on this. He almost did the accent on the MTV thing. I haven’t felt such a tease from a person since college.

I have little doubt that STXI will be a strong film. The question to me is whether it will justify its budget at the box office. IMO, that is two very different things. Quinto made an interesting comment the other day when asked about the possibility of sequels. He noted that it hinges upon opening weekend, and that is probably very true. Paramount, having committed such enormous resources, is betting on Star Trek.
The hype machine is likely to begin in full force around Christmastime, and hopefully will be sustained through May, when the future of the franchise will be determined—not by whether the film is good, but by how many people give it a chance.



Did you see the movie in downtown Ft Worth? At least that’s a nice place to see one.

I’m slowly realizing that I may be the only trek fan out there who enjoyed Nemesis. Sure, it’s a long way from perfect. The idea of a Picard-clone that doesn’t look anything like Picard strains a viewer’s indulgance, but the idea of a mad warmonger with an abnormal fixation on Picard and a seemingly unstoppable ship made a lot of sense. The way Data’s death was handled wasn’t quite right, but to that it was needless isn’t true either. He made the ultimate sacrifice for his crew members.

I could go on, but the parallels with Wrath of Khan should be more than obvious. Even if they didn’t do it successfully, the production crew deserves a little credit for trying to resurrect a successful formula, which, to at least some extent, worked. It’s not as good as FC or GEN, but it does not feel like an extended episode a la INS.

Furthermore, those viewers who offhandedly reject all four TNG movies really do betray their bias. Nothing wrong with being partial to Kirk and co., but don’t pretend it was the fault of the TNG movies. FC was better than TWOK and GEN was better than TSFS.

As I have said, I love the ships. The Enterprise, to me, is a character in each movie. Though in some, she figures more promiently.

But, I have to examine the psychology of why I like the movies were the ship is damnaged or destroyed. Is it because I feel the ship is sacrificing for the crew?

That brings me to Nemesis. I liked the segment where Picard (with Troi at the helm) uses the ship as a battering ram. It’s sad to see the ships damaged (or destroyed) but there something to be said for the ship “giving it’s all” for the crew she “loves”.

Of subject, I know but…thought I throw that in.

Steve @ 42, I agree, that was really a gripping moment of Nemesis for me, and probably a reason why I did not enjoy TVH. There was no enterprise in ST IV, just a old, beat-up bird of prey that looked like it had been atate-of-the-art in Archer’s day, and since then had been mass-produced by the 23rd century equivalent of the soviet union. This may have been totally on purpose, but the ship didn’t even figure into the plot very much at all. Perhaps that’s why it felt as if there was a crew member missing through the entire movie.

That was one of the worst possible the worst moments in Nemisis. Compleatly pointless, just done for effect. TO make it a full on action movie.
No style or substance to it. It was a really contrived action sequence. In fact the whole action sequence in that was a pile of crap. It was all on one level, fast pace star wars style. I think they diverted power to the shields about 80 times.
They had obviously run out of ideas, and though “why done we ram the ship”.
I made a post a while ago about the worst points of nemesis, and one of those points is that it had so many contrived plot points to move the script forwards.

Pile of tosh crap

#41—“FC was better than TWOK …and GEN was better than TSFS.”

Not even close on the FC/TWOK comparison, IMO. FC’s liberal use of character deviation is well-documented. The behavior of some of TNG’s regular characters is often baffling and inconsistent. Picard is certainly out of character. It is the most entertaining of the TNG-era films, but just because it stands out among its contemporary Trek film brethren, does not in any way put it in the category of TWOK, much less above it.

As for TSFS, it is certainly the weakest of the TWOK-TVH trilogic arc, but GEN? Are you serious? I might be able to buy ranking FC above TSFS (although I wouldn’t), but certainly not GEN. The only original Trek film worse than GEN and NEM is TFF (aka The Great Trek Turd OF ’89).

“…but the parallels with Wrath of Khan should be more than obvious.”

The parallels between NEM and TWOK are exteremely superficial. TWOK’s primary theme is life/death/aging (man vs. nature), and it has a secondary theme of revenge (man vs. man).

The only thing NEM has in common with TWOK is that both films involve a villain fixated upon the Captain of the Enterprise, and comparing the quality of the two films is a dignity I would never afford NEM.

It is obvious that you resent the comments by myself and others about the quality of the TNG-era films, and I am sorry, but that is just my opinion. I would prefer 5 of the 6 original films over any of the TNG-era movies (including the overrated FC) any day of the week. Watch them all you want. I have never paid a dime to see a TNG movie, and wouldn’t pay to see a new one either. The characters, to me, are not interesting enough to really justify feature film treatment, and never were. The only reason I am even on this site and excited about a new Star Trek movie is that Trek is going back to its roots, and the characters I fell in love with.
Look, plenty of people love TNG and I’m fairly sure that many people love at least one of its films. There is certainly no reason for you to get defensive, and absolutely no reason for you to delusionally overrate those movies in the process. They are what they are. If you like them…great. Enjoy.

I’ll change the channel in my living room everytime.

#43—That is exactly what makes the last sequence in TVH so powerful…

“Perhaps that’s why it felt as if there was a crew member missing through the entire movie.”

That is an interesting way to put that. I think I have “Scotty’s” soul when I think about the Enterprise.

I do love her. And, it’s interesting as well, that I can love her in all her forms as if her “soul” can be passed from form to form.

This entire ship love (grin) needs some investigation.

#47—“I think I have “Scotty’s” soul when I think about the Enterprise.”

Does that mean you will take a swing at someone for insulting her?

Does that mean you will take a swing at someone for insulting her?

Aye! Especially if they call her a garbage scowl.

#4- FANS refused to give Nemesis a chance???? HAAHAA!!
That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day!

#45 Closetrekker- FC overrated? I couldn’t agree more.

I think Pegg’s gonna be one of the highlights of ST11- and I NEVER bought that odd-number crap anyhow.