At San Diego Comic-Con TrekMovie had a chance to sit down with Joseph Gatt, who played Science Officer 0718 in Star Trek Into Darkness. We talked about his hopes for the next movie, his Trek GE commercial, what he thought about his new comics back story…including his ‘full frontal’ image, and more.
INTERVIEW: Joe Gatt Talks Science Officer 0718 and next Star Trek
Interview conducted at San Diego Comic-Con.
TrekMovie: You have been involved in so many sci-fi/genre productions, so here at Comic-Con what do the fans usually recognize you from most?
Joe Gatt: That is a really good question. It has been everything – Banshee, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, The 100, Thor. I guess people here are fans of everything. It really depends. Sometimes I will go to a convention and one thing will stand out. I’ll go somewhere and sign a bunch of Banshee photos and no one will really care about Star Trek – I know that is really terrible thing to say! And then I will go to other cons and it will be all about Star Trek and no one will care about Game of Thrones.
TrekMovie: Have you been asked a lot about Trek here at SDCC?
Joe Gatt: A lot of people are asking. A lot about the new movie. Obviously I know nothing, or nothing more than anyone else knows. We know that Roberto Orci will be directing and he is the process of writing the show and we know he will be shooting sometime early next year. But other than that, that is all we know.
Joeseph Gatt as Science Officer 0718 in "Star Trek Into Darkness"
TrekMovie: Do you know if your character will be involved in the new movie?
Joe Gatt: I have no idea for sure. All I can say is that my character was there when we set off on the five-year mission and Roberto Orci seems to seems to be a big fan of my character. And my character was built up upon in the IDW comic books and we learned about the back story of how Science Officer 0718 was created. So there seems to be a lot of interest in the character. So here’s hoping that he will be back and with a lot stuff about the character in the new movie.
TrekMovie: Anything in particular you would like to see developed in his character or story?
Joe Gatt: It would just be great to see more of the character and how he interacts with the ship in more detail and how he interacts with the crew. Of course as an actor it would be great if he was the lead in the show and saved the day. It all comes down to Science Officer 0718 and he saves the Enterprise! [laughs]
TrekMovie: I could see it, a Science Officer 0718 spin-off series!
Joe Gatt: Fans have tweeted ‘there should be a whole show about Science Officer 0718’ which is really sweet. It’s not going to happen but it is lovely that some have kind of fallen in love with that character, because it is a very small role, but it really stood out and some have taken notice.
2nd of 2-issue "I, Enterprise" storyline from Star Trek Ongoing Comic focused on backstory for Science Officer 0718
TrekMovie: Speaking about the characters back story, did they tell you much about it when you were filming the movie and how different was it than the one in the comics? What did you have to go on for your motivation?
Joe Gatt: We came up with a basic back story when we were filming the movie. You know JJ [Abrams] is a very practical guy. We are not going to go into a huge amount of detail about a character that is not really going to be at the front of the story. So we had a basic background that he was a cyborg kind of character – part human and part android – part artificial. We didn’t have too much more detail besides that he has kind of a telepathic interaction with the ship and other than that it was pretty simple. So I was excited when the comic books came out. So this is what my back story is and it was even more than I imagined. Wow, so the Enterprise created me? I really loved it. I am the humanoid version of the Enterprise. That is pretty exciting. I feel kind of privileged.
TrekMovie: OK, well I might kind of embarrass you a bit right now. But the comic shows your character’s creation and he is – well – naked and has a sort of Ken Doll like appearance in the ‘fully functional’ area.
Joe Gatt: I thought there was a bit of smoke covering my little area, I don’t remember the Ken Doll situation. Kind of like an albino version of Dr. Manhattan. I’m really glad in the comics they gave me back a little bit of my physicality. In the movie they put me in a baggy blue shirt and I was like ‘damn I really wanted that tight shirt.’
From Star Trek Ongoing Comic #32 – Science Officer 0718 is ‘born’
– and needs to put some pants on
TrekMovie: So more of this [shows Joe above image from comics] in the next Star Trek film?
Joe Gatt: Yep, just me walking around naked on the bridge, sure why not? Got the Ken Doll thing going on. They did it with Dr. Manhattan. But, I have a feeling they don’t want to go for an R-Rating.
TrekMovie: After the movie came out you did a commercial for GE with John Cho. How did that come about and what was it like shooting it?
Joe Gatt: That was really fun. My manager got a call from GE directly and they said ‘can you ask Joe if he would be interested in reprising his role in a commercial?’ I was like ‘yeah sure.’ So they flew me and John Cho out to New York and rebuilt the bridge of the Enterprise on a sound stage. Well they didn’t rebuild the whole bridge, but they had the main parts of it. We were in our original costumes – they even had our names on the tags. We shot it in a day – it was great fun. Hanging out with John Cho – hadn’t seen him since shooting the movie – it was fantastic. Playing with the holograms and stuff. It was great. Had a fantastic time.
GE Star Trek Commercial featuring Gatt and John Cho
TrekMovie: So you mentioned Bob Orci directing the next movie, so how do you feel about him being in the director’s chair?
Joe Gatt: I think he knows the show as well as anybody does. As to what he would be like as a director, I have no idea. But from my experience, if he is going to be surrounded by the best people – the best crew – the passion that he has and the knowledge that he has for the genre and Star Trek – that is all that is going to matter. Just like JJ, he is going to do what what is best for the show and the best for the fans. I think he is going to do a fantastic job, I have no doubt.
TrekMovie: So wrapping up, what other projects do you have coming up.
Joe Gatt: I am currently in The 100 on the CW which is in the middle of shooting its second season. You can currently see me in Teen Wolf terrorizing Beacon Hills. I have a couple of other things coming up in the pipeline but nothing I can talk about, as is the usual for projects I work on. I usually work on things that have to be kept secret until the very last minute. But I’m really excited about a couple of things I am working on and so you will be seeing a lot more of me.
After this he can do Mr. Clean commercials!
Orci should give him a good scene that uses this — whatever it is — role as ship’s holographic interface — oh wait, that’s “Andromeda.” Anyway, it’s a cool idea, though I’m not really sure I want one character who can basically replace the entire crew… since we already have a briefcase that basically replaces Starfleet.
Guess he is the male version of Rommie :)
Wow, I can’t wait until this IDW trade of this hits, I’m sure Orci is enough of a geek to get more of his weird robot powers into the next flick
Now why couldn’t THIS be the story for the movie?
Sounds like a TOS story, but Kirk talks the enterprise computer into a hissy fit, or it explodes.
Khan died… Just like Kirk prime, and apparently you can’t bring him back.
Mr. Science Office 0718 was another one of those little annoyances in the background…and the one question he’s asked he answers wrong. Trek has this ongoing fascination with AI, and for whatever reason it always seems to get it wrong. I get that the creative team is seeding this universe with characters that may provide useful storytelling venues in the future…by why would you put a cyborg on ship, presumably with attributes far beyond our new and improved action figure Spock, then relegate him to some job far below his abilities?
A very quotable cyborg.
I enjoyed seeing him in STiD. And I think it was a really good idea to keep his character so subdued. Without much explaination, his really added a little extra visual depth to the technolgy and personell of STiD.
I totally agree!
Gatt’s great, but his character’s kind of pointless.
#9. BatlethInTheGroin – July 30, 2014
“Gatt’s great, but his character’s kind of pointless.” — BatlethInTheGroin
Oh no, you didn’t just say that about a Ken doll android? Did you?
I think he should have been called Science Officer 1701, but JJ’s attached to the number 0718 — birthday of his uncle, or something.
After reading the comic, I sure hope that McCoy got replacements for the protoplasm and other organic elements [that went to make up 0718] he needed for treatments of crewmembers in Medical. More weird science!
And yeah, put him in a tighter shirt in the next Trek. Along with the rest of the guys! They work hard to get into such great shape.
Science Officer 0718 needs to stay in the background. I’ve no issues with interesting characters in the background, but a cyborg begs way to many questions for a useful marionette to just be a junior grade officer. Either embrace that AI is much more advanced in this universe then we’ve previously seen in Trek (let’s face it, SO 0718 is Commander Data), or dump it.
I’d like to see more from the character in the movie. Maybe one good scene.
I think it’s an interesting experiment; a more personable and ergonomical computer interface than the “ethereal voice from everywhere” of the 2360’s n 70’s.
He should come back, but not too big a role.
It would be interesting if 0718 was once a great cadet but had a terrible headowund and has now finally patched himself back together enough to make it back to the bridge.
Had someone thought more deeply about 0718 character and the last Trek, perhaps Pike could have made for an interesting of back story for this type of cyborg charcter. Perhaps Pike should have (regrettably) been severely injured in the first so many minutes, but return after some crazy SF surgeon puts him back together – under Kirk’s orders! And this would have given our “simple country doctor” plenty to b_tch about. AS well as make him a true miracle worker, Strangely, I would think it would be fun watching Scotty have help in the repair effort, too. : o : )
Anyhow. The thought of a mentally disabled cyborg crewmember has interesting piosibilities that go beyound Commander Data or Lieutenant Commander Geordie La Forge (BTW, when you Google “Geordie” he does NOT get a 1st page hit – take that Next Gener’s)
But Pike just did not ever get the oportunity to really come back… tragically.
A key character trait for Pike. Perhaps Greenwood should point this out and demand to come back each flick, Like Kenny!
ps. Don’t ask me how I know Kenny dies almost each episode on South Park.
Your comment really resonates with me, now that I read it. : )