FedCon Sat: Frakes Reveals Star Trek Sequel Set Visit + Shatner On JJ Not Hiring Him + McFadden Hopes For ‘Big Bang’

On Saturday, the third day of this year’s FedCon, Jonathan Frakes revealed he had been on the set of the new Star Trek movie, William Shatner filled not one but two rooms and talked about JJ Abrams not hiring him, while Gates McFadden told the audience about her heroes and said she hoped to join Wil Wheaon on Big Bang Theory. See below for full report.



Jonathan Frakes reveals his Star Trek sequel set visit

In many ways Jonathan Frakes’ second appearance this weekend was a continuation of his first panel with the jokes and comedy, and with Frakes leaving the stage to roam through the audience and even with a sequel to yesterday’s question about "bedroom scenes". The actor-turned-director did however reveal a bit of information that was new: he told the audience that he had paid a visit to the set of the next Star Trek movie and had witnessed a scene with Chris Pine and the villain Benedict Cumberbatch, whom Frakes described as "awesome!"

Jonathan Frakes remembered how friendly DeForest Kelley had been to him when First Contact, Frakes’ debut movie as a director opened. He said that he was very nervous back then when he received a phone call from DeForest Kelley, who reassuringly congratulated him on a fine movie. Someone then indeed had a question about the bedroom scenes Jonathan Frakes seemed so eager to talk about yesterday and the actor summed up all the different species members that Riker had had relationships with.

Asked for a story from North & South, Frakes recounted how he fell in love with his wife during the shoot. According to Frakes, during a weekend trip to New Orleans some members of the company took the then 23-year old, innocent Genie Francis to a strip joint with male strippers, and she was appalled. "And the big flirt I was back then, I asked her if she would like me to get her out of there." Then the first challenge of the young love arose when Genie had an appetite for a grilled cheese sandwich at 3 o’clock in the morning. Frakes concluded: "And you know why we’re still together? Because I found her one!"

Shatner talks buying JJ Sushi, New Documentary Danny Crane & more

William Shatner’s outsized superstar status was underlined by the fact that where convention star guests usually fill one hall, on this evening Shatner filled two. William Shatner’s appearance in the main theatre in front of weekend-ticket holders was broadcast live to a second room where the day-ticket holders were seated. Although the FedCon booklet mentioned that this latter group might not be able to see the actor in person and have the opportunity to ask him questions, a number of people were not aware of this, which led to a bit of discontent. However, William Shatner was nice enough to briefly drop by the second room to at least say hello to those who would not be able to see him in person during his panel.

Shatner first told his audience about his latest projects, among them his his new documentary about conventions which will air later this year in Canada under the title "Fan Addicts" and in the US, where it will be called "Get a Life!" This title is based on his previous book "Get a Life!" about conventions and his discovery that people generally attend "to see each other, and not me – which I had thought all the time."

Shatner then took questions, answering them with grace and wit. Shatner admitted that he had never seen any of the Star Trek shows other than his own. He said he didn’t really know why but it might have been due to feeling jealous or envious. Asked about his idea for an appearance on Enterprise in a Mirror universe episode, he said he couldn’t remember the details. He did remember though having met JJ Abrams for lunch before they started filming Star Trek (2009). Shatner’s comment on that meeting: "I bought him sushi and he still didnt give me a job!" Leonard Nimoy of course did get a job in that movie, on which Shatner opined dryly: "I told Leonard: You’re old when you travel back in time and you’re still old."

Asked about how much William Shatner is part of Denny Crane, he described the character as a "befuddled old man" and joked that the audience would discover during the panel that he and Denny Crane have a lot in common. On a more serious note he then added "No matter how good the actor is, he can only bring himself to the role." and that – as someone who has had to exercise his brain regularly by learning lines and so forth – it was an interesting opportunity for him "to examine how someone’s brain got fried."

Shatner revealed that he had received an offer to appear on "The Big Bang Theory" but had turned it down. Asked why, Shatner replied: "It just seemed like something I shouldn’t do. It was an intuitive decision." A bit later, the actor elaborated on why the part that is closest to his heart used to be Captain Kirk but his heart evolved, Shatner said, and now it is Denny Crane because "saying something as Denny Crane required you to say it on three different levels and you would maybe catch two, certainly one."

Gates McFadden on friendship and inspiration – and hoping to be on ‘Big Bang’

Earlier on Saturday, Gates McFadden had entertained the crowd during her second time on stage this weekend. She started her panel updating the audience on her professional career. McFadden has been working as an artistic director at Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles for the last two years. There she actually directed Denise Crosby in one play and both women really got to know each other only then since they had hardly any common scenes during TNG’s first season.

McFadden found it a shame that the two of them didn’t get the chance to get to know each other better during Trek since both are sure that they could have been good friends back then. She regrets that the TNG writers didn’t include more material about female friendships in the scripts. In her opinion, this aspect was sometimes reduced to "going to the gym together."

A fun idea was brought up in connection with Wil Wheaton and his recent stints as an evil version of himself on "The Big Bang Theory": wouldn’t it be fun if Gates McFadden played his mother on the show? That prompted Gates McFadden, who loved the idea, to suggest that she as his mother then should be as nasty as Wheaton himself appears on the show.

McFadden’s time on stage ended with a discussion of her personal heroes and the women who inspire her. People like Judy Dench and Hillary Clinton inspired her, she said, in addition to her own mother. Her heroes include the Mercury 7 astronauts specifically and all people who dare to venture out into space and not just pretend to like she did as an actress. She herself would love to go into space for real once before she dies, McFadden said.

On Sunday William Shatner will appear a second time and Walter Koenig and Garrett Wang will take the stage together before FedCon XXI ends with its traditional closing ceremony.

Henning Koonert, TrekMovie’s German correspondent, is one of the managers for The TrekZone Network, a leading German Star Trek website (and TrekMovie.com partner). Henning will be reporting from FedCon XIX, so look for more updates.

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Be nice to see some more Trek stars on Big Bang Theory.

Bill’s trimmed down a little, I think.

Wish I could be a totally rich nerd and attend many more of these conventions.

Must Shatner and Frakes age? I wont accept that :)

Mr. Shatner is apparently discussing not being asked to be in the FIRST movie, but has anyone asked him if he will be appearing in the SECOND ST movie? Hmmmmmm…
Well, if J J Abrams asks and he turns down the role a second time because it’s not big enough, then I will be a little miffed.

looking forward to october when the when the five captain are coming to london

Frakes got to visit again?!? Awww man. He always gets to just drop by…

Shatner is being his usual disingenuous self. He WAS asked to be in the first film–they even wrote him a very stirring scene. But he turned it down because the role wasn’t central enough for him. So the problem wasn’t J.J. Abrams–it was Shatner’s ego.

As far as Shatner turning down TBBT?
Same thing as in Dandru’s post- Mr Shatner’s ego.
Shatner does look good in those pics by the way.
I admire Shatner’s career greatly- I wish he would take part in projects where he doesn’t have to be front and centre all the time.
Your legacy is secure Bill.
Take a lead from Nimoy- if its a good character – take the job

McFadden playing Wheaton’s mum in a show, where Wheaton plays himself, while within the show’s universe, Weasley as a fictional character, the whole TNG-series, and therefore also Gates McFadden exist?

My brain hurts! (I am loving this idea!)

If McFadden played Wheaton’s mother on BBT, I would have a geekgasm.

Nitpick: Shatner’s character was Denny Crane, not Danny.

7. Landru’s cousin, Dandru

Unfortunately, they never showed Shatner the scene. I think if he would have read it, he would have agreed to be in it. It would have been a great ego stroke for him.

Fun to see Shatner.

@2 CmdrR

Agree. Lotta things I’d do if I were rich.

And in the mean time, John de Lancie and Patrick Steweart were at the Dallas Comic Con. :P


@7 – Shatner was NOT asked, it was confirmed on the web for several times…

The anecdote about DeForest Kelley reassuring Jonathan Frakes reminds me why he is the one Star Trek actor I would have liked to meet above all. You’re still missed Mr. Kelley!

touching bit of info about DeForest Kelley and Jonathan Frakes

William Shatner still seems a bit bitter about not being offered a role in the first movie.

As for Jonathan Frakes, its cool he got to visit the set and witness a scene between Chris Pine and Benedict Cumberbatch. I bet he and J.J are good friends. I wouldn’t mind seeing Frakes appear on/direct an episode of “Fringe”. Or “Hawaii Five-O”. That would be cool!

And it was also classy of DeForrest Kelley to give some advice to Frakes!

They wrote a scene but apparently decided against Shatner before he ever read it. I don’t think he would have turned it down. It was well-written and he would have felt competitive with Nimoy. He’s appeared as Kirk in video games and TV commercials. Nimoy is usually the harder one to get.

Gates…. still hot.

Kind of off topic here, but i’m watching Inception for the umpteenth time and realizing just how wrongly-used Tom Hardy was in ST Nemesis. He’s an incredible actor (as some Trekkies couldnt admit then) and he really knows how to dive into a good rich character. Such a waste of great talent.

-Sorry for the random outburst Anthony but I had to get that off my chest.

16. William Kirk

And he was NOT asked to the Takei wedding. Right…

“confirmed on the web”. Are you kidding, homeboy?

Shatner felt he shouldn’t be a part of The Big Bang Theory on an intuitive level? Hmmmm…This from the man who was okay with killing off Captain Kirk because it seemed the right thing to do. I’m a big fan of Mr. Shatner, but sometimes I think he can make really bad decisions. As evidenced in much of his career outside of Trek.

I am not sure where to put this, but I notice on the Twitter board that Trekmovie is asking a Dutch tweeter for translation of an interview he did with Chris Pine in Cannes. I don’t know if it is the same interview as this (see below). I used Google translation software to translate into English.

‘The Guardians have the task of protecting children from all evil. Can you describe them as a kind of superhero?’
(Chris Pine answers):
“I think that’s a good characterization, yes. It’s always reassuring to know that secret superheroes who protect us and help of fears and threats to come. In your childhood that the tooth fairy and the sandman. For adults example, there are The Avengers , with their big guns and arrows and tight outfits. While it is unfortunate that somewhere adults can no longer believe in the same uninhibited way as children. ”

‘You yourself will soon be seen again in the role of another superhero, namely Captain James T. Kirk in the new Star Trek movie.’
(Chris Pine answers):
“It is true that we are almost finished recording the new movie. But I dare James Kirk is not really a superhero name. He belongs in the list at home with John McClane from Die Hard or Indiana Jones . They are really ordinary men who by chance end up in an extraordinary situation. And every time it is interesting to see how they deal with it go.”

BTW, I loved the reference to adults preferring their superheroes to have big guns and arrows and to be wearing tight outfits…LOL!!!

The translation of the entire Dutch interview appears on the Chris Pine in Cannes thread on this board.

#2 I feel your pain CmdrR!!

To Anthony and crew, Great article with lots of good information about Frakes, Kelley, Shatner and McFadden! Thanks :D

#22 I really like Tom Hardy too, as well as the movie Inception- I have watched it probably 4 times (not as much as ST 09 of course lol) I didn’t realize Tom Hardy was even in ST Nemesis. Guess I will have to watch it again now, darn it have to watch another Trek movie again! haha

“Shatner first told his audience about his latest projects, among them his his new documentary about conventions which will air later this year in Canada under the title “Fan Addicts” and in the US, where it will be called “Get a Life!” This title is based on his previous book “Get a Life!” about conventions and his discovery that people generally attend “to see each other, and not me – which I had thought all the time.”

For all of you Shat worshippers — get ready for the cruelest joke of all on you, when Shat himself makes fun of you for $$$ in this “mocumentary.”

“Shatner admitted that he had never seen any of the Star Trek shows other than his own. He said he didn’t really know why but it might have been due to feeling jealous or envious. ”

What a pompous jerk!

I assume that Jonathan Frakes meant that only Benedict Cumberbatch was “awesome” in the scene he saw him with Chris Pine. Surely, for the scene to really work, both actors would need to be “awesome” in their respective parts. I agree, from the little I have watched of Benedict Cumberbatch (watched my second Sherlock episode last Friday), he is really good, however what people should remember is that often an actor can only be as good as who they are acting with. One can often bring out the best in the other, or not.

I find it *interesting* that, after casting around for actors like Benecio Del Toro and others, JJ Abrams would select a “pasty white Englishman” Benedict Cumberbatch to play the main guest character for the movie. JJ Abrams needed people who could work well, be a good match, for the new cast they had already, who are very good actors. This would be especially important that he find the right people to play the two main lead actors, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. To me, getting someone of the calibre of Cumberbatch just shows how good Pine and Quinto really are at their work.

With modern makeup, prosthetics, whatever and post-production techniques, they can make these actors look anything they want. However, BEING those characters, whoever they might be, requires the skill of a particular actor.

Charla – Tom Hardy is the reason I might choose to watch Nemesis. Tom Hardy is on our TV screens in NZ at the moment, appearing as Heathcliffe in the latest interpretation of the Emily Bronte classic, Wuthering Heights. He is so very good. Interesting to note that Tom Hardy is often criticised by Americans for not having his teeth fixed, especially the crowded, crooked bottom teeth, yet in Wuthering Heights, looking the way he does made the character all the more convincing.

Besides, Tom Hardy has the most gorgeous lips in the universe. Chris Pine beats him on gorgeous (blue) eyes, but not quite in the lip department. Sorry, Chris. Oh, and while I am in this…er…um state, I have to say that Damon Lindelof has the most gorgeous looking brown eyes! and damn it, wouldn’t you know it…these guys were all born under the sign of Virgo!…sigh.

Edit: Damon Lindelof is Taurus, not Virgo. I keep getting him mixed up with Alex Kurtzman, not sure why. Kurtzman is Virgo (b. 7 September).

Keachick, thanks for clearing up for me the Tom Hardy teeth and lip situation, plus Linddelof’s and Kurtzman’s zodiac signs…not knowing the answers to these questions have been causing me to lose sleep at night. :-)

Thanks Henning. Excellent report. Good to hear from Jonathan Frakes. Though I wonder where he got the grilled cheese sandwich at 3:00 a.m. Always good to hear from William Shatner. And the bonus is to hear from Gates McFadden. Remember the great scene in “Generations” where she there’s a close up of her lovely face. The Klingon women remark how repulsive earth women are. That was funny considering we earthmen find Gates, a beautiful woman.

Is Garrett Wang going to complain again how Shatner showed him up at a previous convention? Even though I don’t think Shatner was as ugly as Wang claims. While Shatner has a huge ego, it’s well earned…what has Wang ever done? Worse Trek character ever!

27 – hear, hear, MJ! He refuses to watch any other Trek (Frakes seemed shocked by this in The Captain’s Summit on Blu-Ray) but expects to be offered a part in the new films. JJ owes him nothing.

@34. Agreed. Wang is an entitled idiot who keeps putting his foot in his mouth, who played an unmemorable bit character on a Trek series, who had a track record of being late to the set, who had delusions of grandeur (e.g. asked to have a stunt double as if he was one of the primary characters), and has been quoted multiple times taking potshots at his fellow Voyage actors and crew, as well as other Trek series actors.

At least Shat earned the right to be an a-hole. What did Garret Wang ever do to deserve this platform in Trekdom?

Funny, considering wang is slang for dick. So, Wang is being a………..

…….rather unpleasant fellow!


Everybody have fun tonight,
Everybody (Garret) Wang chung tonight.”


#30: It doesn’t matter what his sign is. Astrology is complete bullshit.

MJ – You’re welcome. Any time, mate.

I get a kick out of Garret Wang. : ) He’s a good-time, affable kind of guy. That’s probably why he gets invited to lots of conventions.

27. MJ

Hear, hear! And he’s still griping about not being in JJ’s movie – three years after the fact!

I have not heard Garret Wang make the evil remarks everybody says he has. I’m not saying you guys are lying but I have not heard them.

As for his character on Voyager, I liked his character. And not because I’m Asian. He was the little brother, you worried about. Remember how the Borg Quenn threatened Harry. “We’ll see you soon, Harry..” (Unimatrix Zero, part one) If you were a Voyager fan, it made you worry. They’re going after Harry. One of my favorite moments was when other officers warn Kim about Paris in the pilot. Harry says this, ” I don’t need anyone to choose my friends for me.” (Pilot: Caretaker.) That leads to a friendship between Harry and Tom. It also led to many joyous visits to the Holodeck. Loved the second season episode “Non Sequitur” where Harry sacrifices his happy life back on earth to return to his own timeline. Brannon Braga wrote that one.

And if his character was that bad, they would have gotten rid of him. Voyager did that with Kes. Then in season seven, they found a way to move Neelix. I liked Harry Kim on Voyager. He was a good friend to Tom. And as he pointed out, he’s had memorable moments on the adventures of Voyager.

@ 36 37

Hey. Watch it with the names being used to describe a particular male organ. ;-) I like the name Johnson. It sounds bigger.

Bernie Wong aka Basement Blogger


sorry if we gave you the wong impression!

(runs and hides)

Sorry to be off-topic, but if you’ve be never seen this before, you need to go to YouTube and search “Turkish Star Trek”. It’s…astonishing.

@ 44

Ha. I wish I had a dollar for every time our Harry Ballz squirted out bad pun.

@45. Wow, I had no idea. Complete sets and everything. Looks like Phase II in Turkish. My, the skirts are so short on the female crew you can see their butt cheeks sometimew…whoops!


A dollar?

When asked how much he paid for his earrings, the pirate responded, “two dollars!”

The person asking the question replied, “two dollars?”

The pirate chuckled and said, “yes, a buck an ear!”

@45. In doing that youtube search, came across an amazingly good recreation in India of the final shootout in The Matrix:


@47. Q: What change to you get back from LeBron James when you give hime a dollar:

A: In rerturn, he only gives you 3 Quarters.

@34 Sonak
I concur. This is the NEW franchise. If he couldn’t be bothered to care about ANY other Trek franchises then he has no right to them. Kirk is my favorite captain (barely beats out Picard) but then Bill killed him off (was very miffed at that). I don’t want to see him in a JJ Abram’s Trek movie or show if there ever is one. We have a new Kirk. He’s going to have to accept that and stop complaining about it.

I’m not saying that he isn’t an important figure in Star Trek, of course he is–he’s Captain Kirk! What I’m saying is: he can’t accept a supporting role then he shouldn’t be complaining about stuff when it turns out well. Whether it’s with Trek or something else.

He seems to have one foot out the door anyways (very reluctant to be around the actual fanbase). I know a Trekker (in her 60s) who said she met him once. “He’s a jerk” is how she put it. She also met Leonard– “He a darling, he really is”. If either actor would do, then which one would you rather hire? Glad to see Leonard, glad not to see Bill. Sorry.

@45 Thomas
Wow! Um, very interesting to know that they made their own Trek. Pales in comparison to the original, but I guess we should be flattered and take it as a compliment.