CelebWatch: Stardate 07.31.08

This week, the Watch brings you an update on the much-rumored stage team-up of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, as well as news on Scott Bakula being a candidate for a SAG board election. Plus: interviews with Robert Picardo, Wil Wheaton, and Chris Pine, and pics from the San Diego Comic-Con. If that isn’t enough, we also have Jonathan Frakes singing!


Stewart/McKellen ‘Godot’ update
Rumors that Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) and his X-Men co-star Ian McKellen will reunite for a production of Waiting for Godot (first reported in June) continue to abound. According to Variety, the actors will reportedly team up for Godot at the struggling Theater Royal Haymarket next spring. It is hoped that their pairing will help get Haymarket out of its current box office slump. In the meantime, Stewart is currently starring with Doctor Who‘s David Tennant in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet, which premiered at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on July 24th. The Leamington Observer covered the show’s premiere and also interviewed Stewart, who discussed his love of Shakespeare and the theatre. You can read that report here.

Chris Pine, the actor playing James T. Kirk in the upcoming Star Trek, tells the National Ledger that he’s ready for the swarm of attention (and lack of privacy) he will be getting as a result of his role in Trek.

It’s definitely something I thought about upon taking something like ‘Star Trek.’ There’s a certain price one pays for being able to act, which is what I’ve chosen to do, and a certain price to get to that position where one is able to get more opportunities, to be picky, to say yes and no, and be particular.

Pine can next be seen in the film Bottle Shock, which opens this Wednesday. It’s not opening everywhere, though, so check your local theaters to make sure it’s playing in your area.

Spiner Talks Trekkies
Brent Spiner (Data) was asked five questions by blog.JR.com, which you can read here. For one of the questions, Spiner tells us how he really feels about Trekkies:

Well, if you mean the movie, “Trekkies”, I’ve never seen it. I hear it’s great, but I still haven’t seen “The African Queen”, so priorities…Now, if you mean the group of people who enjoy Star Trek on a grand scale, I’d say outside of Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa they are among the finest people on earth.

Wheaton on being villified by Trek fans
Spiner isn’t the only one talking Trek fans. The third and final part of ComicMix’s interview with Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) is up for your reading pleasure here. For those who don’t feel like reading the whole thing (shame), here is an excerpt some excerpts:

What makes a book — just a standard book — very good, is the story and the dialogue and the interaction of the characters. So what makes a comic book great is those ingredients all put together, matched up with good pacing and really good artwork. A lot of the Alan Moore comics have all these wonderful elements that make reading comics fun, too. Top Ten is like playing “Where’s Waldo,” because after you’ve read the story you can go back through and read it again. Or if you read Watchmen and see the issues, there’s the Rorschach issue that’s in the middle where it mirrors itself — that kind of stuff. A book like Sin City that uses positive and negative space really creatively, that’s a great book, too.

Of course, I should disclaim all this stuff. I recently wrote that I was worried about the new Star Trek movie being good, and I was vilified by Star Trek fans for having the temerity for expressing an opinion about this. Like I don’t deserve to have an opinion about this.

It was like I farted in church. It was just like the very few times I wrote anything political. It’s as if, because I was a celebrity at one time, I’m not allowed to have these opinions as a voter and as an American.

Takei helps ACLU honor Nichols
Last week The Watch noted that Nichelle Nichols was being honored by the ACLU, now we have a couple of photos of her co-star George Takei presenting her with the ACLU Liberty and Justice Award for recognition of here "contributions toward establishing and protecting civil liberties and civil rights."

Aww, isn’t that sweet

Bakula nominated in SAG board election + attending Saget roast
Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) will be attending the Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget, according to the Comedy Central Insider. Don’t ask us why, we just report these things. In other Bakula news, he and his one-time Enterprise co-star Keith Carradine (A.G. Robinson in “First Flight”) are among the candidates running for an upcoming board election in the Screen Actors Guild, according to The LA Times and The Hollywood Reporter. Bakula and Carradine are two of the eleven actors running as part of the new SAG group MembershipFirst to fill in 11 national board seats and 22 local seats. Good luck to them both!

Burton to appear with Vereen (again)
LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) will be making a special appearance when actor, dancer, and singer Ben Vereen takes the stage at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse for a night of conversation and music, as reported by Broadway World. Vereen played Geordi’s father in the TNG episode “Interface”; before that, Burton and Vereen worked together on several other projects, most notably the acclaimed mini-series Roots. The Freud Playhouse event, called “Ben Vereen: Up Close & Musical”, will be presented by the Reprise Theatre Company for one night only: on September 8th at 8pm.

Picardo talks ‘Atlantis’, attending ConnectiCon with Phillips
In a new interview with SyFy Portal, the one, the only Robert Picardo (VOY’s Holodoc) says it may take a while for fans to get used to his character on Stargate: Atlantis coming in and taking charge of things, since fans had just gotten used to the previous commander (played by Amanda Tapping, who parted the show for Sanctuary). Bob explains:

I was at the premiere for [‘Stargate: Continuum’ Thursday] night, which was pretty spectacular. I’ve never been at a premiere on top of an aircraft carrier before. And when I laid eyes on Amanda, she was so beautiful. Even I would rather watch her than me. [She is a] terrific actress [but] I don’t look like I am trying to replace her in any way. In fact, I’m trying to provide a middle-aged, bald alternative.

In other Picardo news, he and his friend and VOY co-star Ethan Phillips (Neelix) will be attending the ConnectiCon in Hartford, Connecticut this weekend. For more info, see the con’s official site.

Trek celebs hit comic con
Lots of our favorite Trek stars showed up at Comic Con last weekend to promote various things, appear on panels, sign for the fans or maybe just party. Here are a few of them.

Wil Wheaton at the Trek publishers panel

LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis
signing at the Lightspeed booth

Simon Pegg at the Hamlet 2 party (Wire Images)

Robert Picardo at the EW/SciFi party (Wire Images)

Jonathan Frakes ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’
Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker) broke into song at a hotel bar near the San Diego Comic Con. Check out his rendition of “Ain’t Misbehavin'” below.

Frakes misbehavin

Visitor casts the ‘Swing Vote’
In the off-chance you’re heading out to see Swing Vote this weekend, be on the lookout for Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys). The political comedy features Visitor in the supporting role of Galena Greenleaf, the wife of the Democratic presidential candidate played by Dennis Hopper. She’s not the only Trek alum appearing in the film, though; TNG cameo-maker Kelsey Grammer (Capt. Morgan Bateson) stars as the other candidate, while Charles Esten (Divok in TNG’s “Rightful Heir” & Dathan in VOY’s “Remember”) and Mark Moses (Naroq in VOY’s “Riddles” & Henry Archer in ENT’s “Broken Bow”) also have supporting roles.

Nana Visitor (center) with Dennis Hopper (left) and Nathan Lane in Swing Vote


  • William Shatner (he who was Kirk) will be among the 10 “Giants of Broadcasting” to be honored by the Library of American Broadcasting in New York on September 25th. (TV Technology)
  • In his latest Fine Print column, Armin Shimerman explains what travel provisions are offered by the Screen Actors Guild.
  • Casey Biggs (Damar) will be starring in the Berkshire Theatre Festival production of Noël Coward in Two Keys, which runs from August 12th through August 30th. (Playbill)
  • The episode of NBC’s Fear Itself featuring real-life couple John Billingsley (Phlox) and Bonita Friedericy (Rooney, ENT’s “Regeneration”) aired this past week; check out some reviews at Fangoria and IGN.

Trek Birthdays: The Trek Continues
Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) will be turning 30 on August 7th. They grow up so fast, don’t they? Other Trek actors celebrating their birthdays in the coming week include: Bobby Bass (a TOS extra & stunt double), 66; Ray Buktenica (Deyos), 65; Joanna Cassidy (T’Les), 63; Shannon Cochrane (Kalita; Sirella; Senator Tel’aura), 50; Daniel Dae Kim (Gotana-Retz; Corporal Chang), 40; Richard Fancy (Capt. Satelk; Sky Spirit), 65; Molly Hagan (Eris, DS9’s “The Jem’Hadar”), 47; Catherine Hicks (Dr. Gillian Taylor, Star Trek IV), 57; Leland Orser (Gai; Lovok; Dejaren; Loomis), 48; and Louise Sorel (Rayna Kapec, TOS: “Requiem for Methuselah”), 68. Celebrating their birthday today, though, is Melanie Shatner, the youngest daughter of William Shatner who appeared in the TOS episode “Miri” and in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (directed by her father). To everyone listed here and everyone who isn’t, TrekMovie.com wishes you all a very happy birthday!

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Good Stuff! Happy Birthday to All

don’t you mean Dr. Jillian Taylor (sp?) for Catherine Hicks in the trek birthdays?

hey…was JJ involved with Armageddon?

Typo alert: Chris Pine was quoted in the National Ledger, not “Heath Ledger”.

Might as well jump in there…you know, I think I have to revise my opinion of Wil Wheaton. Like someone said in a previous post about him, it’s easy to confuse the character (Wesley Crusher) with the person who played him. I still find the way Wil Wheaton presents his opinions to sometimes to be grating, but I could say the same for some of the folks posting here (myself included at times, no doubt). So, to be fair, yes, Wil Wheaton is just as entitled to his opinions and concerns as the rest of us, and I am hereby resolved to try to do a better job giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, and this may be “first”, but if it’s not, no big deal.

Looks like Wheaton’s got his phasers set to full whine.

“Chris Pine, the actor playing James T. Kirk in the upcoming Star Trek, tells the Heath Ledger ”

That’s a bit tasteless isn’t it?

i vilify will wheaton because he is whiny and annoying

“In the off-chance you’re heading out to see Swing Vote this weekend…”

Oh yeah, I’ll be there! [read with heavy, heavy sarcasm] Sorry, but despite my sympathetic political views this film looks like a total bore — Kevin Costner’s still alive?!

Oh and Frakes is my hero.

Also RE: Swing Vote….

Dennis Hopper as a Democratic presidential candidate named “Greenleaf”? No irony there! What’s Kelsey Grammer’s Republican candidate named? “Bloodkill”?


I’m glad to see Will Wheaton knows he’s not a celebrity.

I wish he’d stop whining though and just do his own thing.

6., 8. RE: Wheaton’s “whining”

I gotta agree with Wil, he’s being treated unfairly with regards to his outspokeness and opinions. His musings above read as measured and rational to me, not “whiny”. So you guys didn’t like Wesley Crusher, I get it. Give Wil a break. I find his insights revealing and humorous.

Wil has insights to Star Trek that few others do. If you loved TNG it’s worth your while to read his memoirs. He’s an entertaining writer.

And no he is NOT Wesley. Wesley was annoying and badly written. Wil was a child actor taking direction.

Now I wish Frakes had done a song on TNG. Seven seasons with a holodeck and we never got a Spiner song either.

Izbot#13- Wheaton has, as reported by this website, on at least two occasions referred to all the ST movies except two as being “unwatchable”. That, as well as other morose, expletive-filled statements, has invited any crticism he might have garnered here or elsewhere.

Also, as reported by Chuck Trotter, Wheaton also did not like the most popular X-Men movie, X-Men II. One wonders what Wheaton would like to see on the big screen – perhaps something he wrote, directed and starred in himself?

Gah! Could Frakes GET any more charming?!? And the gray beard is adorable. I know he’s busy directing and stuff, but I wish he’d do more onscreen work.

15. Denise de Arman –
“Wheaton also did not like the most popular X-Men movie, X-Men II. One wonders what Wheaton would like to see on the big screen – perhaps something he wrote, directed and starred in himself?”

That’s a bit of a stretch. I didn’t particularly care for “Batman Begins” (gasp!) but one shouldn’t infer that I think I could’ve done a better job at the helm (I couldn’t have). As for saying some Trek films are “unwatchable” I can respect that opinion as I can’t watch “Insurrection” or “Nemesis” without getting angry at how ‘wrong’ they both are. Plus, just because you were on Trek doesn’t presuppose you are a huge Trek fan (just ask Robert Beltran).

Wil is one of the very rare few who instead of toeing the line with respect to saying what is expected of former Trek actors actually speaks his mind. Too many like Spiner above (“Trek fans are the greatest people on earth!”) just give cheery platitudes that keep them safely beloved in the hearts of us and the public at large. I think many readers here find Weaton’s remarks “undignified for a former Trek star” who they feel should act and speak as elder statesmen and not as your average genre fan. Wil talks just like us and some people resent it!

Too much Trek history has been sugar-coated by those involved so that what emerges is a set where everyday was a party and the writers and show-runners were all considered geniuses and humanitarians. I for one like finding out my heroes had flaws and were as human as you or I (“I’ve never met a paragon before” as someone once said). Wil’s no robot who justs confirms what we want to believe, namely that the bon amie evident among the characters in Trek extend to the actors and every person involved in the making of the show. We forget that for the actors and people involved Star Trek was a job that they went to everyday. I welcome unvarnished memoirs of Treks past. Now if only someone would write a scathing tell-all about VOY!

Re: Wheaton

If you don’t like what someone has to say, DON’T READ IT. It’s not like he’s advocating eating babies for a better tomorrow, so I don’t get what all the uproar is about.

When did Trek fans get so anal? Seriously? For a show that most ‘fans’ seem to ‘like’ because of it ‘pushing boundaries’ and all that jazz, most of the Trek fans posting here seem to be stuck in their own ways…just WOW.

Yeah, let’s not make Wil Weaton the Danny Bonaduce of Star Trek!

Frakes looks like he really enjoys a good party!!

Wil has the right to say whatever he feels. He is more on the inside of Trek than most of us will ever get.

And, his former status does not negate his rights to give his opinion. No one is forcing us to agree (or even read) what he says.

I can imagine it’s tough for a child actor as they mature (age). He had a peach of a job 20 years ago.

I respect Wil (but I always though Wes was superfilous (sp?)

I wish I hadn’t mentioned Wil Wheaton, although I’m sure someone else would have. I just don’t want to be a party to starting off the “Wil Wheaton is bad vs. Wil Wheaton is good” debate, which was not my intent at all.

There’s a lot of other good, fun info in the article. I think I’ll try to focus on that, and hope other people here feel the same.

I make no issue with his original comments one way or the other. That’s not the point. The point is I find it highly annoying when someone makes controversial statements, knowing them to be so, and then complains about the reaction. Wil shook the beehive and then complained about being stung. Cause and effect, my man.

A nice round-up indeed.

As far as Wil Wheaton is concerned, I myself don’t mind if Wil Wheaton himself is ‘whiny’ or not….what I REALLY found objectionable was that the writers/makers of Trek at the time, thought it was a good idea to include his ‘whiny’ Wesley Crusher character in the first place!

Oh, and that bit near the bottom should have instead stated –
William Shatner (he who is, and always will be Kirk)….

MY MY times have changed…


Izbot- I personally do not care for Wheaton, as I have met him in person and was not impressed, so perhaps I should suspend any other opinions having to do with his statements – nah. Any person should be prepared for negative feedback when making derogatory utterances about Product A to the fans of Product A. Knowing that his comments would be read on his blog by many Trek fans, and appear on other Trek-related sites where thousands of fans come to read and banter (the polite verb), why Wheaton seems to not understand descenting feedback is a mystery. If he is truly concerned about being “vilified for having the temerity to express an opinion”, it seems he would have been more discerning when making his remarks. Since he seems to feel he is entitled to express verbally any opinion which comes to mind, do not the recipients of his profound wisdom then also have the right to respond negatively? According to his above remarks, apparently not.

Also, his remarks concerning the Trek movies implied that ALL the Trek movies were “garbage” and “unwatchable” except for two, reported here at Trekmovie. It is inexplicable to me that a self-confessed Trek fan, as Wheaton claims to be, would make such affronting statements to this fanbase without expecting some sort of backlash. I personally think that was his exact intent – a strange effort to bring attention to himself as appearing to be knowledgeable about such things. My own opinion, but as Wheaton seems not to fathom, we all have them.

26. Denise
Well put. You have a valid point that his “all but two Trek movies are unwatchable” quote was off-the-cuff and maybe intended to stir controversy — controversy he seems to have been ill-prepared to handle. So he’s eating crow today. He certainly is a polarizing personality but he’s still ‘family’. I’ll admit I couldn’t stand Wesley that first season of TNG (if ever there was a Mary Sue character he was certainly Gene Roddenberry’s) but I became sympathetic of Wil Wheaton at the time because of the almost universal panning he got for the character he was portraying. As a kid that must’ve been very difficult to deal with and I think it’s a credit to him that the worst anyone can say about him now is ‘he’s whiny’. To my memory he’s not known as being in and out of rehab and hasn’t been arrested for beating his with wife so I’d say he’s weathered the storm of child stardom fairly well compared to most.

Izbot- I am different than most in that I appreciated his character on TNG more than I do the man – differences make the world go around.

Cool, Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellan are two of my favorite actors. Sure wish I was going to be in England next year.

BTW, Charles, thanks for another great article.

Heh….lots of folks happy to throw a rock at Wheaton, but Brent Spiner tosses out this obvious “I won’t directly bite the hand that continues to feed me” Eddie Haskel comment that actually throws a subtle jab and nobody blinks. Wil, you just keep on sayin’ what you want to. Never forget, Shat aimed a solid punch in the solar plexus at the rabid fans on SNL…and it’s not like it’s hurt his career in the long run.
Pick any episode…heck “Spock’s Brain” even and a half dozen nutballs will wind up a bowl of acid to lob at you for daring to suggest it isn’t gold.
Half of us who come here every day have some of the same concerns Wil does about the new movie. And so what if I don’t agree with him about a film or episode’s specific qualities? That doesn’t make the parts I agree with less valid.
This need to put people into boxes is what makes some of you sheep. Baaaaa baaaaaa.

Most of the regular commenters on this site have, at various times, made derogatory references to some aspect or another of Product A. We all love Trek in general, but most of us have specific shows, films, character, etc. we’re not shy about deriding.

Time to round up Bill Gates and Laura Schlesenger( Big trekkies!) and make them contribute their money for us fans to make Star Trek 12 with the TNG Cast!

“The point is I find it highly annoying when someone makes controversial statements, knowing them to be so, and then complains about the reaction.”

Thank you. “Free speech” does not also mean “free from criticism speech”. When you say something, you have to expect that some people aren’t going to like it and will say so. You also should expect some people will think you should have had the good taste not to have said it in the first place.

I think we may get some good stuff for the new movie at the vegas convenion. Since they did not have much for comic con, maybe we will get a uniform glimpse, shatner announcement, enterprise or cast photo. JJ said the marketing will heat up.


Wil Wheaton = Insignificant

Im happy that Wil is possibly the first trek related person to be open and say that this new movie could suck and Im glad for it and I think people need to grow up and respect other’s opinions. I agree, it could suck, JJ Abrams is not a movie god that can touch anything and make it perfect. Lets face it, this movie’s probably either gonna give new life to Star Trek or nail its coffin shut harder than the worst parts of Enterprise. Time will tell.

Wheaton isn’t whining. Though, it sounds like some are whining about Wheaton’s opinions. He’s been asked questions, and some of them are in regards to his opinions on certain subjects.

If a person says he doesn’t like something, and is asked why not, and his answer is, “because it sucks,” that doesn’t make him whining. He’s answering the friggin’ question, honestly. It’s kind of refreshing. You have the right to disagree. You have the freedom to say I disagree. Hell, you can even say he’s whining. But like Chris Penns character in Resevoir Dogs said–you can say that “he started the Chicogo fire, but that doesn’t necessarily make it so.”

Just my ten cents. Didn’t mean to whine over the matter.

Reservoir Dogs and Chicago. I can neither type, nor spell. So, what? I can read. And I do. And I believe Swift talked about eating babies. What’s wrong with that? He was being sarcastic. But that’s why I love his writing.

38 Charles Trotter

Ok how about a full uniform picture. You are right , probably not much . Nimoy did say that there would be some crowd pleasing at the con. So maybe there will be something new


I think its funny that Wheaton said that. He knows full well that he got that reaction from fans not because he expressed his opinion, but the manner he expressed it in. Silly, silly Wheaton.