Today we have more highlights and photos from some of the panels held over the weekend at Destination Star Trek 3 in London, including Karl Urban talking more about the next Star Trek movie, William Shatner not talking about it, Jeri Ryan talking about her trepidation on joining Voyager, Nick Meyer talking Star Trek II themes, Nichelle Nichols talking about her time on TOS and more. Plus lots of additional photos from DST panels.
Karl Urban: Looking Forward To More Character Development In Star Trek 2016 – And Revenge on Pegg
Ironically Karl Urban spent much his time at Destination Star Trek 3 talking about Judge Dredd and how it seems unlikely that he will be returning to the role (blaming poor marketing for the film Dredd). But with regards to taking on the Star Trek role made famous by DeForest Kelly, the actor said he originally hadn’t though much about trying to convey that original version of McCoy "before walking onto the set". After that experience and through the interactions with Quinto’s Spock and Pine’s Kirk and saying some of the "iconic lines" from the classic series that made him reflect more on the role. Talking about the influence of DeForest’s McCoy he said that it was important to "infuse" his "McCoy with the original" while also wanting to put his own take on the character.
Karl spoke about working with the "phenomenal" J. J. Abrams. He also stated:
I can’t wait to get back to work on Star Trek 3
Urban also commented on the talents of the director of the upcoming Star Trek film saying Roberto Orci is a "great writer" who is "passionate about Star Trek" and that Urban. With regards to what he is most anticipating with the new movie, Urban said
I look forward to establishing more relationships forming from the nucleus formed in the first two movies.
Another thing Urban said he was looking forward to was seeking "revenge on Simon Pegg" after the famous neutron cream prank Pegg pulled on set during Into Darkness. Urban noted "[Pegg] must be worried as he is scared to take his calls". Joking that he doesn’t think about how to exact his revenge Urban adds that he doesn’t think about it "every day, no, just every other day".
When asked about ways to continue playing his Bones character, Karl admitted that he would be "open to voicing an animated series" if the opportunity opened, as it is less time consuming to record vocal lines.
William Shatner Talks Aliens and Horses (and not Star trek 2016)
For his solo panel, William Shatner took questions and it turns out none of them were about the 2016 movie, although it could have been because he took so much time on each answer. He spent 20 minutes alone talking about if he believes in aliens, but actually never definitively said he did but suggested everything pointed towards their existence.
One fan did try to get Shatner to talk about a Star Trek movie, specifically his last Trek film appearance in Star Trek: Generations. The fan wanted him to recite his "don’t let them promote you…" dialog with Picard, but he said he didn’t remember his lines so he brought the fan on stage to do the line. And of course the fan got a bit wrong and so he got heckled by a nitpicker in the audience (ahhh, Trekkies).
Bill also took a question on how he manages to keep looking good at age 83, and he said that it was partially genetic but he mostly attributed it to competitive horse riding which was his "major motivation." This spurned him to talk about horses and the trophies he had won for about fifteen minutes.
One last little Star Trek tidbit was regarding the shooting of the famous dinner scene in Star Trek VI, noting that he made "hundreds" of dollars off director Nick Meyer who was paying $20 for each time an actor ate the blue food.
Jeri Ryan: Originally Worried Voyager Would Ruin Her Career
During her time on stage Jeri Ryan talked about how she started with Star Trek: Voyager, joining the show for the 4th season. She said her audition scene for the role was a scene with Robert Beltran where "Seven laughs for the first time" and described the scene as "beautiful" and compared it to "a baby hearing its own laugh for the first time". This scene was never shown in the series, instead the ‘Harry Kim, take off your clothes’ scene was used instead. Much to Jeri’s dismay. Ryan also talked about how she had some second thoughts about joining the show the day before she was supposed to start when she caught an episode of Voyager on TV, saying it was "the worst hour" of TV she had ever seen, watching in horror through her fingers (as she demonstrated – see photo below). The next day she told Berman about her displeasure with the (unnamed) episode, but was relieved when the producers admitted it was "one of the worst" and they managed
to convince her that they’d never make another episode like that again, and she believed them, and decided to take the part.
On the development of Seven character Ryan called it "a gift, it was amazing to play", and talked about especially enjoying the "mother-daughter relationship with Janeway" in the earlier part of her run on the show, saying that both where "rich, emotionally loaded characters." When asked about the various roles she has taken up, she stated that she likes to "choose strong (female) roles" as she "wants young woman to see positive, strong role models" on television and does not want to play the "bimbo roles." Says that she "used my son as the model of Seven’s growth" watching him growing up and learning – much in the same way Seven had to do in the series.
Talking about her costume on the show she said that the "Borg suit sucked" and that with the eye patch, she could only use one eye and she "lost depth perception (when) in full makeup". Joking that this was extra tricky on a bridge with steps. When asked about the Voyager finale "Endgame," she said that she "never wanted to see what happens when they get home" and instead wanted the focus on "her becoming less of a drone and settling into the family".
Some light-hearted moments from the talk include:
- Jeri describing the medical phrases in Body of Proof as a "piece of cake" in comparison to the technobabble in Voyager.
- When asked about her singing (The Killing Game, Someone To Watch Over Me), she claimed that she "doesn’t enjoy singing when other people can hear me" but that she "loves music, and (I) love to sing."
- When asked about playing the Doctor in a body swap scene (Body and Soul), she said it was a "fun" episode to film but that she "never wants to see cheesecake again! It was my favorite food.”
Nichelle Nichols Talks Gene Roddneberry, DeForest Kelley
Highlights from Nichelle Nichols panel
- On developing the character of Uhura she told the audience that Gene "didn’t tell you who the character was. He let you play yourself. Gene knew you before you knew yourself. Offered everyone a level of respect that he cast."
- Nichelle named her own character as Uhura, which is softened Swahili for truth – Gene was happy to use that as her name.
- When asked what it was like to work with De Kellye, Nichelle fondly remembers that he had a "had a great sense of humor with a straight face."
- On the writers of the show Nichols tells the crowd that "Gene only hired writers who wrote in his ‘spirituality’" and that Gene was able to “bring out your best" in the stories.
- Asked about why she never appeared in any other series, like other Original Series actors she answered "I don’t think I wanted to do more with (the) Uhura" character.
- Embracing the light side of the conversation, when asked if she enjoyed playing the mirror Uhura in the classic episode, Nichelle grinned and simply replied "Oh God yes!"
Robert Picardo (The Doctor, Star Trek: Voyager)
Robert was on stage with Nichelle Nichols, acting as moderator for her talk sessions, here are some highlights.
- Robert says that the "audience embraced Voyager from the start" and added that "joining the Star Trek saga was like jumping on a moving bus" already going at 60mph.
- He recalled having a conversation from De Kelly where he told him that in his holographic doctor role, he attempts to pay "homage to Bones", which prompted the joking reply "Oh? So you steal from me?"
- Picardo talked about the development of the franchise’s characters saying that "writers wrote to the strengths of the actors. They always wrote in that direction. It’s a Star Trek tradition."
- Joking about sharing the stage with Nichelle, Robert Picardo mentioned that he "wasn’t aware of Nichelle’s feminist influence, but I was aware of how much she rocked her costume" prompting a big cheer from the assembled crowd before Nichelle again, grinning, replied with "Cool!"
For the Wrath of Khan Q&A with director Nicholas Meyer he covered mostly topics he has discussed extensively before, such as Montalban’s real chest, combining all the scripts into one by picking out moments he wanted to keep, etc. He also showed a bit of self-deprication, noting that he thinks all of his own ideas "stink." Meyer also didn’t want to tell the audience what they should take away as the themes of the film – including the issues of aging, death and friendship – but instead felt that people should decide for themselves what to feel.
During his second panel on Sunday Meyer talked about "director’s editions" of films noting that he thinks they are usually not as good as the original and mostly just geared for making more money. He noted that the special edition of Star Trek II only added a minute of extra scenes and therefore it wasn’t a "director’s cut," but he did feel the little tweaks did improve Wrath of Khan, such as revealing that Midshipman Peter Preston was Scotty’s nephew, explaining why the engineer was so upset over his death.
Meyer also talked extensively about another subject he is familiar with – Sherlock Holmes. He said that in general he hasn’t liked any Holmes stories outside the original Arthur Conan Doyle classics, even admitting that his own Seven-Per-Cent Solution novel (and film) were a bit of "fan fiction." That being said, he felt the BBC series Sherlock starting Benedict Cumberbatch is "fantastic."
More Photos From DST 3 Weekend
TrekMovie wasn’t able to cover every talk for the weekend as we were doing a number of interviews as well (we will be posting those soon), but we were able to snap a few shots of Trek celebrities and can share those below.
More DST 3 to come
There is still more Destination Star Trek Coverage including exclusive interviews, cosplay photos and more.
Our coverage so far:
All DST photos by Daniel Lewis for TrekMovie.com
Ronan O’Flaherty is an Irish based, life-long Star Trek fan, software engineer and radio presenter. His site is currently under revamp at www.ronanoflaherty.ie.