EXCLUSIVE: London Star Trek Gala & Press Conference Report w/ Pictures & Video + First UK Reviews

On Tuesday night (UK time) JJ Abrams and his cast came to the London gala premiere of Star Trek, the final stop on their global tour before coming back to the states. TrekMovie was there every step of the day and has a full report from the premiere and the press conference. Plus we have a summary of the first reviews coming from the UK.


Star Trek in the UK
by TrekMovie UK correspondents Ronan O’Flaherty and David Wineman

The tour finally has landed. After two weeks of going around the globe, the gala premiere tour reached London on Monday. JJ Abrams and his and team delivered an excellent evening of entertainment, proving that even after a tiring tour; they can still get excited about the movie. If the turn out for the premiere is any indication of how successful the movie may be, then the future really has begun. Below is a report from the big events of the day.

London Blue Carpet – VIDEO
TrekMovie had a chance to chance to talk to JJ Abrams and many of the stars on video:

  • JJ Abrams talks to us about the new movie and is number 12 on the cards?
  • Zachary Quinto talked about how he brought his own style to the Spock character.
  • Simon Pegg, at his home premiere talks Scotty and is he up for number 12, also says ‘hell yeah’ the new Star Trek breaks the ‘odd numbered curse’
  • John Cho took time to talk to us about the background to his Sulu character and his influences.
  • Eric Bana talked to us about playing the bad guy and what research he had to do for the movie.
  • Finally Zoe Saldana talked to us about how Nichelle Nichols played a role in her interpretation of the character.


Of course TrekMovie was not the only media outlet on the blue carpet. All the major UK players were there, here are a couple of videos from Sky.

General report

Blue Carpet

Pictures from the Blue Carpet
Slideshow of some pictures from the Blue Carpet


UK Premiere – mini-review – crowd loves it
As the film rolled the audience settled in to watch the new movie unfold. So as to not spoil the movie, let’s say that it is amazing. A stunning piece of work so well crafted and delivered by the team on both sides of the camera. As the credits rolled, the applause went up around the cinema – the crowd seemed to be taken in by every minute of the film.

UK Press conference VIDEO
Before the premiere, JJ Abrams and his team held a press conference. TrekMovie was there, but SkyTV had the exclusive video rights. However, the people at Sky were kind enough to send over the embed code for their video, here it is

UK Press conference Part 1

UK Press Conference Part 2

Lots of good stuff in the UK press conference, but, here is a bit from Simon Pegg (who admits to being a ‘nerd’ and fan of Trek since he was nine) on what is in the movie for Trek fans:

…if you are a Star Trek fan, there is a lot in it for you. There is a level of conversation between viewer and film and if you do know Star Trek you will get lots of little bits and pieces and feel spoken to and acknowledged as well. It is an important fan base. They are dedicated, they love their stuff and it is an important thing. And what JJ has miraculously managed to achieve with this — there are lots of people in the past when you try to appeal to the fanbase and a new viewership, it is a very hard balance to strike — and I think this nails it completely. You can watch this and not know anything about the existing history and love it for the sheer adventure – the human story and ideas of it. But if you do know it, and you see that the surface of Vulcan looks a little bit like Vasquez Rocks from the episode "Arena" — nerd — fantastic! It just nails it. I am very proud of it    


Reviews are in – UK critics love Star Trek
The first wave of reviews have come in from the UK, and they are (almost entirely) positive about this new Star Trek. Here are some quotes:

…if anyone could have a decent crack at resurrecting Star Trek – one of television and cinema’s longest running franchises – it could be worse than self-confessed fan, Lost creator JJ Abrams.

But does he manage it?

Well, the answer is a pretty simple one. Yes. Star Trek is a decent film that does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s big, flashy and action packed with impressive special effects. Kids will enjoy it and the snappy dialogue provides enough laughs for mum and dad.


Like many people, I yawned at the thought of yet another attempt to breathe life into a series that seemed finished, after the pompous, pointless and all too aptly named Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002.

The original cast had long gone, and the ideas had dried up. Why try to reanimate a corpse?

The short answer is that J.J. Abrams had come up with a tremendous idea, inspired no doubt by the success of Batman Begins and Casino Royale, both of which had reinvigorated tired franchises by recasting and going back to basics.

Daily Mail

With countless spine-tingling action sequences, a perfect recreation of Vulcan and a script full of loving nods to its forebears, Abrams has made the continuing missions of the Starship Enterprise one that millions will be eager to follow. [rating 8/10]


Just when you thought that the Star Trek phenomenon had truly run its course, along comes J. J. Abrams’s stunning prequel to resuscitate the most enduring franchise in sci-fi history. The past five decades have produced five television series and ten films — not all of them successful — so veteran Trekkers had no right to expect such a dazzling and beautiful rebirth. [rating 5/5]

UK Times  [also read JJ Abrams interview]

Throughout, Abrams and his writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman adhere to the three driving forces of Roddenberry’s series: action, character, and smuggled-in, high-minded morality. The pace rarely lets up, and when it does, midway through, the story starts to look thin. Everyone jabbers about falling through black holes and “red matter” until the fighting and the whipcrack dialogue crank up again.


In a way, Star Trek is this year’s Iron Man. Both were superbly cast, full of great character interaction and genuine humanity. But the pair were also seriously hampered by badly conceived storylines and humdrum action sequences (remember Tony Stark’s rubbish fight with Ironmonger at the end of the film?) that stops them joining the likes of Jaws, Star Wars and Independence Day in the annuls of truly great summer films.

The great thing about both Iron Man and Trek, however, is that they lay the groundwork for (what we hope will be) mind-blowing second installments. By the end of Star Trek, we have a (mostly) brilliantly cast crew in place on the bridge of the Enterprise. For Star Trek 2 (or should that be 12?) here’s hoping a strong new adversary returns to threaten the Federation (wouldn’t Klingons or The Borg be awesome?) — then perhaps Abrams’ promise of genuinely exciting space adventure will be fully realised.  [rating 3.5/5]


Bottom Line: J.J. Abrams gives the Starship Enterprise all it’s got, and it’s more than enough.

THR (reporting from UK – first trade review of Star Trek)

Ross loves it
UK film critic and popular TV presenter Jonathan Ross was also at the premiere. He has not done a formal review but he did tweet "Best Star Trek film EVER!" and "Pegg was fantastic. Nailed it!". Ross also attended the after-party where he sent in this photo…

According to Ross, Pegg wore nothing under the Kilt

Even more UK video coverage


More TrekMovie Star Trek World Tour coverage
TrekMovie has been covering each stop on the world gala tour for JJ Abrams and his Star Trek team, with our own team on the spot when possible. Here is a summary of articles so far:

JJ and his crew are now done with their globe trotting and headed back to the states. There will be a press junket next weekend (TrekMovie will be there) and a gala premiere on the 30th (TrekMovie will be there too). So stay tuned to the only website covering the JJ Abrams Star Trek world tour stop-by-stop.

Photos and video (except where noted) by Ronan O’Flaherty and David Wineman for TrekMovie.com

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it’s coming home! not too long now…. (home to me anyway…West Virginia, USA)

Hopefully, I’m first!!! Anyway, the movie is coming very soon! I can’t wait!!!! Woohoo!!!


I hope its not too much like iron man, as much as everyone liked that movie, I wasnt a huge fan. Im hoping for something more of the same quality as Dark Knight, but only a little over 2 weeks, hard to believe.

I love that Simon Pegg wore a kilt.

Scotty: Zach and Pine just squeezed my arse by the way.

There is so much homoeroticism on that set. :D

Got my IMAX tix and all meetings cancelled.
Almost as excited as that cold day on December 7, 1979… At least this time, thanks to TrekMovie and the Paramount full court press, I know what a great move it is I’ll be in line for.


What’s up with IGN UK? Independence Day? That is just insulting to the very fabric of this website. Geez!

Paramount is aiming for a younger crowd. The likes that love brainless movies with a lot of action like Transformers. And it looks like they’re in a panic…

Paramount is apparently in a wee bit of a panic about this, seeing as a recent poll indicated that only 44 percent of under-25s intend to see “Star Trek” on its May 8 opening weekend (as opposed to 67 percent who intend to see “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”).


Trek has now turned into a kiddie action movie.

This news makes me extremely happy for all those involved with bringing us this spectacle of a motion picture. Congratulations to all of them – cast, crew, the higher-ups, etc. – for their very hard work.

Now I’m off to my DeLorean to go watch the movie. I’ll come back and let you know how it is :) :) :)

That man is soooooo captain kirk

#9 – That article along with the writer’s opinion is a complete hack job. He says he has never seen the show and only one movies. Need he say more?

He attributes the massive marketing with the fact that Paramount is nervous while seemingly ignoring the fact that ST has a huge hole of “uncool” to dig itself out of. Apparently, his explanation is is the only viable one.

He then concludes that he isn’t even going to review the movie. Probably because he so insecure about his coolness.

T-minus I can’t wait any longer.

Liking this more and more! I hope they get a Second Crack at the Enterprise and having more Klingons in it would be fun! I can not wait for 7PM on the 7th of May!

#5: Yes, me too. Especially since nothing comes between Mr. Pegg and his kilt.

#12, writing in response to #9, wrote:
“He then concludes that he isn’t even going to review the movie. Probably because he so insecure about his coolness.”
I have found this to be true as well. The people who fear they are uncool are most critical of Star Trek. Those who are so cool that we are comfortable with being uncool can openly, unequivocally, embrace our love for Star Trek.

The reviews are in, and it appears that, in Britain, at least, Star Trek rocks!

I’ve got my tickets for IMAX in Lacey WA. I’m ready to go. Can’t hardly wait!

Hmmm I guess so. Are we not supposed to comment on the site and engage in an open dialogue anymore? I mean I get that it is your site but really what did I do?

Wow, really excellent coverage. This site has been outdoing itself lately.

I believe this will be an excellent movie but I don’t believe it will be the best ever.

First Contact and Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country are 3 hard films to beat. I could also come out saying it’s the best of a new series of Trek movies.

Maybe I am too scared to prefer a film with the new cast over tha film with the lengedary originals. I guess I feel it would be disrespectful to the originals. Perhaps the changes are also keeping me thinking ths as well. I don’t know.

Nyway I stil intend to love the film, despite my disagreements over JJ’s changes at least it is keeping Trek alive.

To compare Star Trek with Independence day… Now that’s what I call blasphemy.

#9 – “Trek has now turned into a kiddie action movie.”

No. The movie, which ADULTS including those who are Trekkie base and others who have seen this so far have really responded extremely well. So obviously not whatever you said it was.

The marketing changes nothing about the movie. Get real.

#9 – “Trek has now turned into a kiddie action movie.”

I sense your fear that the movie will be over your head.

@24 hahahahahahahahahaha

I loved ID4 for what it was and that’s not Trek; critics of Trek.
Have you noticed the pattern or need to always gauge a another Sci-fi character or movie to Trek. Gee you think they get eventually?

I’m so excited for the movie, looking for to JJ & Company version.
Always wonder what Ron D Moore’s version of Voy. would have been like?

OMG!!! Zoe is so F***in’ HOTT!!! Achingly!!

…and yes, REAL MEN really do wear nothing under their kilt!!
Cheers Simon!! Tip a pint for us, Mate!!

#12? HELL YEAH!!! WOOT!!!

Good job, Ronan and David… and nice lens flare!

I’m sitting in the UK with a broken arm and little to do with my time other than watch TV.

I’m something of a news junkie and I’ve seen very little coverage. Chris and Zac were on GMTV (early morning magazine program), but other than occasional short mentions on news bulletins, very little has been said about the premiere.

I hate to say it, but Wolverine is a lot more high profile. Friends kids seem to know more about “The x-men thing” than trek.

Maybe there’ll be more today.

With this new movie, I hope the new fans get proper Trek and it gets them interested in the other 5 series and rprevious 10 films.

I hope the new fans embrace all of Trek and not just Abram’s movie

Wouldn’t this be great or do you think new fans will just stick to Abrams Trek film


I just heard the comittee members (past and present) of the local Star trek Fan Club in Australia- “AUSTREK” (2nd oldest in the world at 33 years) got a preview screening of the film last night- what do u know about these events- who decides who sees them?

This is Not a rumour a now Ex friend who didnt get me in with him saw it last night.

hairy trekker – I’m worried about that too. There were a couple of stories on the 6 o’clock news last night, an article in the paper and some stuff on the BBC website, but I haven’t seen a single tv advert yet. I’ve got the impression from US Trekmovie commenters that there have been a lot of ads on tv over there. Hopefully the advertising will pick up over here in the next couple of weeks and Jonathan Ross will make a big deal about it on the Film Programme.

“On Tuesday night (UK time) JJ Abrams and his cast came to the London gala premiere of Star Trek”

Looks like they’ve been time traveling again because it’s still Tuesday morning here in London. ;-)

32 – unfortuantly Ross finished his Film 09 show last week until later this year…he’ll prob talk about it on his radio show this Sat though…dosnt look like any of the actors will be appearing in his Friday Night show though (bit too much of a gap between the prem and the nationwide release i suppose)

ITV1 (or itv2) usually show a premiere special of a big new film late at night and then repeated early sat morning sometime closer to the films nationwide release so check the tv schedules between now and May 8

some uk tv channel might do a star trek night closer to the films release as well…and some of the newspapers might give away a free magazine or dvd or the like


I read the full reviews of the Uk reviews.

The reviewer of Daily Mail is usually very critical but he really loved this film.

This is the kind of reviews and attention Star Trek should be getting. I am really happy that JJ Abrams has made people realise that Star Trek is cool.

I am not happy with all that he has changed but I can forgive him for it as it seems he has got the ideals and hopefully the characters right. Although this film is new canon as it is an alternate timeline, at least it can make be a great movie.

I think can also get past the cadet to captain if the film is excellent. It still makes no sense and is a little contrived but if this film is a great as everyone is saying I believe I can overlook this, it is an alternate timeline after all.

Now I know I said this will prob not be the all time best Trek movie but I do feel it will be up there with the top ones. The top three of First Contact, Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country are hard to beat. I believe this will be up there with those top 3 movies. Who knows I still might come out proclaiming it’s the best but I feel it would be more right to say it will be one of the best up there with the three I mentioned.

30 – We quickly discovered after DOCTOR WHO was revived in 2005 that kids did, and do, go back to the previous TV series and look at it, having been inspired to do so by the new version. I have every confidence this will happen with TREK also. So, I presume, do CBS, hence the ‘Best of’ DVDs and Blu Ray movies.

I hope they also get into TNG as well as this is a great showq in its own right

I would love them to also see DS9, Voyager and Enterprise as these are excellent shows as well.

I think DS9 is worth the new fans watching as well

“Throughout, Abrams and his writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman adhere to the three driving forces of Roddenberry’s series: action, character, and smuggled-in, high-minded morality.”

This is the statement that makes me smile. Sums up everything a Star Trek film should be nicely. That definitely sounds like the Star Trek I’ve always enjoyed. Especially the 2nd item, “character”. Puts my mind at ease and I really look forward to seeing good Star Trek finally back on the big screen. Its been far too long. (I’m one who hasn’t been too thrilled with any of the films after ST IV. So for me that’s a looonnng time. lol )

Wow…I have to admit, I was a little skeptical, but Pine looks like he’s got the Shatner charisma…I think he’ll do a fine job in this film and the pretty much guaranteed sequels..

One of the things that I always liked about the original cast was the fact that they never took themselves too seriously…they were, at best, B or C rated actors, but they were fortunate enough to be involved in something like Trek, and at least towards the end most of them embraced it..even Shatner, the Transformed Ham, seems to have come to terms that he will always be “William Shatner, best known for his role as Captain James T. KIrk”

These young actors have the whole world watching right now, and the pressure must be daunting, plus being dragged around the world like this is never easy…Pine looks pretty worn out, but I think they’ll do the characters justice!


38. HesDeadJim – ‘…even Shatner, the Transformed Ham, seems to have come to terms that he will always be “William Shatner, best known for his role as Captain James T. KIrk” ‘

And Shatner has taken that hammy image and turned it into pure marketing gold. He can be annoying at times, but he is pure genius with the things he does. As a friend of mine once said, “look at this guy’s success… Captain Kirk WISHES he could be William Shatner”. :-))

The UK Times called Star Trek “the most enduring franchise in sci-fi history”?

I’d expect that from a US outlet, but from the land that brought us “Dr. Who”? I expect they’ll get some letters on that!

– Harry

I’ve been stuck on a date/time kick lately. Especially when it comes to Europian time zones, especially GMT. I know London is ahead of the US, but a full day ahead?? I think the premiere happened Monday night, UK time, as it is currently only 12:48pm on Tuesday in London right now. But I apologize in advance for being nit-picky.
Unless the premiere went past midnight, but technically that would be Tuesday morning.

I don’t know…I still expect to see Spock come back to the 24th century at an alternative ending of the fim to find Shat….uh Kirk with a big cheese eating grin …got ya!!

“But the pair were also seriously hampered by badly conceived storylines and humdrum action sequences … that stops them joining the likes of Jaws, Star Wars and Independence Day in the annuls of truly great summer films.”

Um… Independence Day???? He does know that Independence Day, well… sucked… right? Well, okay, it didn’t really suck, but to put it in the same leage as Jaws or the original Star Wars? Or even Iron Man? No. No, I don’t think so.

Regardless, great report! I’ll have to watch the videos later, though. But great work, seriously.

Oh, and I’m glad THR liked the movie. More positive reviews to keep the film’s Tomatometer high on RottenTomatoes! :-D

I wonder how often Rottentomatoes updates. They recently added a 7th review, but there are a lot more out there now. Its still at 100%.. i imagine it will be CERTIFIED FRESH based on the initial reviews.



That one crossed my mind as well. Awww, heck. Give Brent Spiner his crazy 2 minutes. It’s like Colm Meaney in “Die Hard 2.” We let ‘them’ have their ‘2 minutes,’ in major action films. Denise Crosby in “48 Hours” doesn’t count. Nor does Colm Meaney’s ‘other’ huge acting career.

Also how much more did “Godzilla” make “ID4” suck, simply by existing, than if it hadn’t been released at all?

Great report, and a great global tour on the part of the cast and crew. Just a little while longer…

“What it is is a hugely efficient, fast-paced reworking with a spry turn by Chris Pine as James T Kirk – reminiscent of cocky, pre-Angelina Brad Pitt – that has 24-carat star quality.”

The Guardian

So long story short, Star Trek IS this summer’s blockbuster

What John Cho said near the end of the Part II clip, wonderful. Go to 17:20. Sounds like he “gets it.” Dammit, I can’t wait for the movie!!

“That article along with the writer’s opinion is a complete hack job. He says he has never seen the show and only one movies. Need he say more? ”

And isn’t that exactly the audience they are aiming for? The movie-goer who has never cared to see Trek before?