It lives! The Watch is back, and this week we’ve got news on George Takei hanging in the Australian jungles, an update on Patrick Stewart’s stage reunion with Ian McKellen, and much more Stewart news. Plus there’s a new baby for Catherine Hicks and new bruises for James Cromwell.
Get Takei out of here!
Between his ongoing spat with William Shatner and California’s decision to (again) ban same-sex marriage, George Takei (Trek’s original Sulu) could use some time away from it all. And what better place to go than the jungles of Australia? As revealed by News of the World, Takei will be participating in the British reality TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, in which ten celebrities live in the Australian jungle for several weeks and compete in trials in order to be crowned “King of the Jungle”. The winner receives a cash prize for a nominated charity. For his profile on the show’s official site, Takei had this to say:
I am a physically fit person. I work out every day. I used to run marathons! I like challenges. I am willing to boldly go. I think it is going to be good fun.
If you’re living in the UK, you can see George on I’m a Celebrity on channel ITV1 when the show begins November 16th. Oh, and in other Takei news, the actor will be among the guest stars on the new season of the animated series Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World which began November 11th, according to Broadway World.
Takei hopes to live long and prosper long enough to be named “King of the Jungle.”
Stewart and McKellen are ‘Waiting for Godot’ + much more Stewart news
It’s official. As reported by WhatsOnStage, TheaterMania, and oh so many other websites, X-Men co-stars Patrick Stewart (a.k.a. TNG’s Jean-Luc Picard) and Ian McKellen will reunite for a production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot at West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket next year. (Variety previously reported this as a possibility, but there was no official confirmation at that time.) Stewart will play the role of Vladimir while McKellen will portray Estragon in the play, which is scheduled to run from May 6 to June 28 following an eight-week regional tour and previews starting on April 30. In the meantime, Stewart continues starring in Hamlet with Doctor Who‘s David Tennant and will do so until the show wraps at the Novello Theatre on January 10.
Coincidentally, Stewart was the recipient of the Samuel Beckett Award at Dublin’s Trinity College on October 31st, as reported by Independent.ie. Stewart noted the timing of the award, given the fact that his next major project is a Beckett play (read above). In other Stewart news, the actor took part in a special called Working With Shakespeare at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford on November 2nd, as reported by The Coventry Telegraph. Stewart also toured some neighborhood regeneration project this past week, according to The Associated Press via Northumberland Gazette. Oh, then there was the time a few weeks ago when Stewart, as Chancellor of Huddersfield University, was called in to settle a dispute involving an author and a bishop; you can read about that here. But wait, there’s more! Patrick Stewart might be doing a movie with writer-director Damian Harris (Gardens of the Night). From ComingSoon.net:
I’ve got something I want to do in England which is called “Pop,” it’s sort of a grandfather-granddaughter story that I want to tell. I’m hoping to do that next year with Patrick Stewart at the end of next summer.
But I’m not done yet! The day after Godot closes (June 29th), Stewart will begin supplying the voice of God for a series of English mystery plays in Yorkshire, according to The Star. These shows will run until July 11th.
Visitor on ‘Friday:’ is she is or isn’t she?
In the last CelebWatch, we reported that Nana Visitor (DS9’s Kira Nerys) and her portrayal of Jason Voorhees’ mother did not make it into test screenings of the Friday the 13th remake. Now, however, Shock Till You Drop is reporting that Visitor will be seen in the movie in some sort of flashback. However, this report appears to have been written during a set visit when the film was shooting earlier this year, meaning that even though a flashback featuring Visitor was planned it may still not make the final cut. Whether she does make it into the film or not, Visitor did provide the creepy voice over for the film’s trailer, which was released a few weeks ago; you can check it out below. Friday the 13th slashes its way into theaters on February 13th.
His name was Jason… and today is his birthday.
TOS actress in contempt of court
Good grief! Actress and animal rights activist Pamelyn Ferdin, who appeared as a child on the Star Trek episode “And the Children Shall Lead” but who is best known for voicing Lucy in the Peanuts cartoons, has been found in contempt of court for violating an injunction prohibiting the harassment of personnel at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). According to the UCLA Newsroom (and later reported by The Associated Press and The Los Angeles Times, among others), a judge ruled that Ferdin “violated the injunction by distributing fliers that included UCLA researchers’ photographs, home addresses and phone numbers during demonstrations at the residences of faculty members on June 14.” Ferdin’s sentencing has been scheduled for November 18; she could serve up to five days in prison and/or pay a $1,000 fine. I hope the annual airing of all those Peanuts have been paying well.
Ferdin then and now
Zoe has ‘Burning Palms’
Zoe Saldana, the actress who plays Uhura in the new Star Trek, is among the players who have signed up to star in the film Burning Palms, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, written and directed by Christopher Landon (Disturbia), will be a “satire of Angeleno stereotypes as told through five interlacing stories.” Joining Saldana in the film will be William Shatner’s former Boston Legal co-star Lake Bell; already a part of the cast was Tom Wright, whom we Trekkies probably best remember for playing Tuvix in the VOY episode of the same name. Principal photography on Burning Palms is currently underway in Los Angeles for a 2009 release. The lovely Zoe was also spotted this week at the 2nd annual H.E.L.P. Malawi Fundraiser at in New York.
(L-R) H.E.L.P. Malawi founder Jillian Wolstein, actress Zoe Saldana, and jewelry designer Lori Leavitt
Cromwell involved in bike accident
Zefram Cochrane may be able to fly a warp-powered spacecraft, but his bicycling skills could use some work. Actor James Cromwell, who played Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Enterprise‘s pilot, was involved in a bike accident over this past weekend, according to The Associated Press. The actor is in the hospital, having suffered a broken collar bone and a partially deflated lung, but he is expected to make a full recovery. Apparently, Cromwell is a “serious cyclist” and was training when the accident
occurred. Fortunately, he’ll be okay, but I would lay off the bikes for a bit. That’ll do, James. That’ll do.
Hicks welcomes daughter #2
Actress Catherine Hicks, a.k.a. Dr. Gillian from Star Trek IV, gave birth to daughter Gemma on Tuesday, October 28th. Gemma is Catherine’s second daughter with husband and make-up effects whiz Kevin Yagher, to whom she has been married since 1990 (their first daughter, Catie, was born in 1992). According to CBS3.com (Philadelphia’s CBS affiliate), Hicks and Yagher were hoping to witness the Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series on October 27th, the day before Hicks’ labor was to be induced, but Game 5 was suspended on account of a crap load of rain and postponed until October 29th. As a result, Hicks and Yagher settled for watching the game with their new baby girl from the hospital room, hoping their new daughter’s birthday will be marked with a win from the Phillies Wednesday night… and it was. Congratulations, Catherine and Kevin!
- Tonight’s episode ("Frozen") of the CBS science-focused procedural crime drama Eleventh Hour, was written by former Trek science advisor and writer/producer Andre Bormanis (full episodes available at CBS.com)
- LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) is currently acting in a Lifetime TV Movie called Taken in Broad Daylight, set to air in February 2009. (WorldScreen.com
- Avery Brooks (Ben Sisko) will serve as an emcee at a gala celebrating the 200th anniversary of The Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City on November 10th. (MarketWatch)
- Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) will be appearing at the Big Apple Comic Book, Art, Toy & Sci-Fi Expo at the Penn Plaza Pavilion in New York City on November 14th from 3 to 6pm. (Comic Book Resources)
- Michelle Forbes (Ro Laren) will be appearing on the Canadnian series Durham County and she took time out to discuss her role on the show in an interview with BlogCritics Magazine.
- It appears that Chase Masterson (Leeta) started writing columns for Hollywood Today Newsmagazine earlier this month; you can read her first entry here.
- Robert Picardo (The Doctor) and John de Lancie (Q) reteamed for another Star Trek music concert, this one held in Colorado and conducted by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. (Rocky Mountain News)
- Vaughn Armstrong (Admiral Forrest, etc.) attended Collectormania Midlands and Sports-mania 3 in Coventry, England, last weekend. (Coventry Telegraph)
- Christopher Lloyd (Kruge) will be among the stars attending the first annual 3DX Film and Entertainment Technology Festival in Singapore later this month. (AHN)
- BMS Entertainment has bought the North American distribution rights for the film The Race, which stars Colm Meaney. (Variety)
In Memoriam: Ray Ellis a.k.a. Yvette Blais
Ray Ellis, the composer, conductor, and arranger who, credited as Yvette Blais, co-wrote the music score for Star Trek: The Animated Series, has died at the age of 85. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ellis died in Encino, California, on October 27th due to complications from melanoma. Ellis composed the music for many other Filmation TV shows, in addition to his prolific work as an orchestrator and arranger on many hit records in the 1950s and 1960s.