Podcast: All Access Digs Into Star Trek Business News And Reflects On The New William Shatner Documentary

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 177 - TrekMovie

Anthony and Laurie are joined by Brian Drew from the Shuttle Pod podcast this week. They start by looking at the latest competing offers to buy Paramount Global, what else is on the table, and how all these high-level business dealings might impact the Star Trek franchise on TV and the big screen. And in other business news, we hear what some executives had to say about the future of Trek on the big screen and why Star Trek: Legacy has not been greenlit for the small screen. There is also some production news to catch up on for the Section 31 movie and Strange New Worlds and a few Discovery season 5 tidbits.

The trio then moves on to talk about the new William Shatner documentary You Call Call Me Bill and the NYC premiere event (that Brian and Laurie attended) where Shatner and his director, Alexandre O. Philippe, did a Q&A with Neil deGrasse Tyson. All three offer their thoughts on the doc and how it fits its subject perfectly.

They wrap up with a Star Trek prediction update from the BBC, a look forward to Adam Nimoy’s new memoir about his father, and a look back at Gene Roddenberry’s The Lieutenant.


Apollo Bids $11 Billion For Paramount TV And Film Studios [UPDATE: Redstone Prefers Skydance Deal]

Paramount Has A Plan To Bring Star Trek Back To The Big Screen, Says Roddenberry Entertainment Exec

CBS Chief Says Star Trek Remains A Priority For Paramount, Answers Why ‘Legacy’ Has Not Been Greenlit

Anson Mount Teases Filming “Something Different” Today For ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 3

Filming On The ‘Star Trek: Section 31’ Streaming Movie Has Wrapped

Watch: Full ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 5 SXSW Panel Video

Check Out New Posters Celebrating The Final Season Of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Watch Trailer For ‘William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill’ Documentary Coming In March

Adam Nimoy’s newsletter Thoughts from Talos IV

Sanctuary Districts And Irish Unification: Star Trek’s Vision Of 2024 Comes Strikingly Close


Anthony: The ‘banned’ Star Trek episode that promised a united Ireland [BBC]
Laurie: Gene Roddenberry’s first TV series, The Lieutenant, on YouTube
Brian: Adam Nimoy’s The Most Human: Reconciling with My Father, Leonard Nimoy

Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and should you be so inclined, please review us on Apple.

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Happy Birthday Mr. Shatner! 93 years young!

No need to be formal, VZX…. he says you can call him Bill :P

Lol that’s right! If I ever met him I still don’t think I would call him Bill, though. I met Nichelle Nichols once and I was too nervous to say a word!

Same happened with me and Jonathan Frakes. Of course, I met Frakes and his wife while manning the drive-through at a Burger King in Bangor, Maine… not exactly where one expects to meet Will Riker and Laura from “General Hospital”

Doesn’t he live in Maine?

Looking forward to his documentary. The one and only James T. Kirk, to me.

Same. Pine and Wesley play James T Kirk. William Shatner IS James T Kirk!

Happy Birthday to William Shatner – the best Captain Kirk and best Star Trek captain!

Hear hear! I love Bill as Kirk – the only Kirk.

Happy Birthday, Shatner! More energy and good health for you to enjoy!

When you have time off from new Star Trek episodes, you could do some reviews of The Lieutenant. I bet you could even get Gary Lockwood too…

Happy Birthday, Mr. Shatner!

Adam Nimoy’s autobiography — My Incredibly Wonderful, Miserable Life, published in 2009 — blames his addictions and failed marriages on his father’s preoccupation with his career. He writes as if everything he doesn’t like about his life is his father’s fault and as if he has no contribution to his own problems. So I hope Adam has grown up a heck of a lot since he wrote that book!

I fear he may not have, though, because his documentary about his father, made in 2016, includes a lot of the same material. In that documentary, Adam talks about his troubled relationship with his father and makes it clear that he didn’t get what he wanted from his father until the last few years of Leonard’s life. He never tells us, though – I learned this from Shatner’s book about Leonard – that when Adam wanted to stop being a lawyer and start being a director, Leonard arranged for Adam to shadow a director on The Next Generation and essentially be tutored in the craft by a working professional, something that a person whose last name was NOT Nimoy could probably not have arranged at all, and if they had been able to arrange it, they’d have had to show some talent and training first.

Adam doesn’t seem to take the cultural standards of the time into account. Leonard Nimoy was born one year before my own father was born; Adam is two years older than I am. I remember the times during which he and I were raised, and the cultural standard then was that the woman raised the children and the man worked hard and supported the family. It was considered normal, natural, and desirable for the wife to devote herself to the children and for the husband to devote himself to his career so that he could provide financial support for his family. Nowadays, we find those attitudes sexist and limiting, and I’m glad that our cultural standards have changed. But I think it’s unfair to judge a man for not living up to standards that didn’t exist at the time!

A reading of Leonard’s autobiographies shows that he spent an enormous amount of time and energy on his career because he needed and wanted that creative outlet. But it also shows that during the years of the TV show, he made a huge number of personal appearances all over the country for anyone who would pay him – at a time when he was exhausted from working 12-16 hours a day on the show – in order to provide for his family while he could. He thought that his popularity and marketability would decline after the TV show went off the air – a reasonable conclusion, given what happens to most TV actors – and he was determined to take advantage of every available opportunity while he still had them. There was no creative outlet for Leonard in all those public appearances; he did them to support his family.

By the standards of the time, Leonard was doing the right thing and more than the right thing, was going above and beyond and working himself into exhaustion to provide for his family.

Leonard never got what he wanted and needed from his own father, or from his mother, either. They were very invested in the success of his older brother and had less attention for him, plus they never understood either his ambition to be an actor or the show that made him a star. Leonard’s parents disappointed him at least as much as Leonard disappointed Adam … and Leonard went on to become a great man. Not just a great actor, though he was that, but a man whose intimates (except for Adam) all talk about his goodness, kindness, and generosity.

So I’m very skeptical about Adam’s new book; I fear he may be taking yet another opportunity to trash his father, to live off of his father’s fame even while badmouthing it. I devoutly hope that I’ll be proven wrong, but Adam was already 60 years old when he made the documentary.

So, Adam, what have YOU accomplished that’s one-tenth as meaningful as what your father did?

He directed a pretty good BABYLON 5 and an NYPD BLUE also, I think, but like you said, the op he got wasn’t necessarily earned. I say that with a bit o’ sour grapes, since I was told via phone in January 91 that I was under consideration — based only on a letter I sent to Meyer, sight unseen — for an assistant’s job on TUC that I didn’t even know was available. The caller — it might have been Denny Flinn, I don’t honestly know — hoped I could come in that day for a meeting, not realizing I lived 400 miles north of there. Anyway, that’s the first ‘in the biz’ job Adam got.

Sorry you weren’t close enough to take the job!

And yeah, okay, Adam directed a few decent episodes, AFTER his father arranged for him to be tutored. That still doesn’t amount to much, compared to all that his father did, not just Spock but all the directing and the photography, and the various times Leonard stood up for people with less power than he had and made sure they were treated fairly.

Ha, I can feel that pain. My Dasd is WAY more successful than I am. Without mentioning his name, he literally has a United States Patent that was on the space shuttle. I type on a computer and stuff LOL

Oh, but that’s not the same at all! I wasn’t saying that all children should surpass their parents; I was saying that Adam seems intent on bad-mouthing the father whose reputation he lives off of and who GOT him the job opportunities he’s had.

You, on the other hand, have a perfectly respectable job doing perfectly reasonable work. You aren’t hanging onto your father’s coattails so hard that your knuckles are white while simultaneously bad-mouthing that father.

I hope you have a good life and don’t feel bad about the differences between you and your father! As far as I can tell from our conversations, you’re a lovely person, and THAT beats everything else in the “Am I worthy” measure.

Thoughtful post. And Adam isn’t the least bit unique in his experience with his Dad. My father was born during the same era as Leonard, and acted the exact same way towards me. We were never close, and he was basically absent from my life until shortly before he died. As you indicated, these fathers were products of their time. Respectfully, Adam needs to get over it if he hasn’t. I learned long ago that carrying around that resentment and anger is toxic and does you no favors. LLAP.

It’s a shame that the cultural standards of the time allowed so many fathers to be emotionally absent, and I’m glad things have changed. But Adam’s holding Leonard to standards that didn’t exist at the time is really unfair. Sorry to hear that you didn’t get what you needed from your father, but glad to hear that you managed to deal with it.

Nelson Mandela famously said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies.” He was a wise man.

Isn’t Rod Roddenberry’s situation a bit similar though as well? I remember reading in several different sources about how he never had a really good relationship with his father. But now he kind of became the defacto “protector” of the franchise in his name.

Both of these ‘kids’ of famous people are simply riding the financial coattails of their Dads, imo. I’ve always thought so. Who knows, I may probably do the same thing if that was the case, but without the bad-mouthing. I hope Shatner’s daughters don’t do the same, reap the monetary benefits of their parent and smack-talk him at the same time once he’s gone. It’s disingenuous.


I haven’t kept up with what Rod Roddenberry is doing, so I didn’t realize that he was talking about a bad relationship with his father.

The thing is, though, a LOT of people want to talk about what a jerk Gene Roddenberry could be, whereas Adam is the ONLY person I’ve ever seen who says bad things about Leonard Nimoy. Nichelle Nichols wants to tell you about the time Leonard got her pay parity with Takei and Koenig; Grace Lee Whitney wants to talk about how gentle and supportive Leonard was after she was sexually assaulted; Takei and Nichols want to tell you about how Leonard ensured that they were hired for the animated series. Leonard is described as kind and generous by everyone but Adam.

Honestly I think everyone should avoid dismissing Adam’s story just because it’s about an actor they admire. Everyone’s life is more complicated than black and white, especially if you have a workaholic and alcoholic father. Or if you are that workaholic and alcoholic father.

From what I’ve seen, it’s not some Christina Crawford hit job – it’s an account of his experience, which includes a reconciliation by the end of Nimoy’s life, and I’m sure it could be helpful for a lot of people out there.

Rod resented being an intern on set during making of TNG at the time, but now realises how many would have killed for that gig.

Hi!!! Miss you! But anyways. I remember Adam Nimoy in the Big Bang Theory playing himself doing a documentary about his recently lost father the great Leonard Nimoy and interviewing Sheldon. I can’t speak for the man as I do not know him but that ep was very honoring of Leonard Nimoy.

Yes, but Adam Nimoy didn’t WRITE that episode; he just showed up and said what The Big Bang Theory writers told him to say. Several of the writers have made it clear that they revere Leonard Nimoy, but that has no bearing on what Adam thinks or feels or does.

Because I lived in a TV-free household for a couple of decades, I only just finished watching The Big Bang Theory in December. Oh, god, I LOVE it! I love many things about it, but the reason why my mother strongly suggested that I check it out is because Sheldon practically worships Spock. As all right-thinking people do, of course. :-) :-) :-)

(Sorry for the delay in replying to you. Last Sunday was my birthday, so I was busy the day I got this, and I’ve been mostly sick since then.)

Happy Birthday, William Shatner.

Happy Birthday, Laurie.

Laurie mentioned that she was going to watch Boston Legal. Shatner created two iconic characters – Denny Crane is a great achievement. Shatner’s chemistry with James Spader is the backbone of that show, but there are also great performances by Candice Bergen, Betty White, Rene Auberjonois, et al. It’s fun to see Trek folks popping up throughout the series, and occasional inside jokes are made. Jeri Ryan is in a memorable episode as a movie star accused of murder. There is an episode where a 1950s television drama with young Shatner is repurposed in the story as a Denny Crane flashback.

Captain Kirk had a 20th/21st century lawyer ancestor, and his name was Denny Crane.

Todd Stashwick was in the first episode! That was fun. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It’s interesting how most of Shatner’s roles have been comedic. In the documentary (which I saw at the premiere in NYC with the Q+A with Neil Degrasse Tyson) they pull so many clips from throughout his acting career, and a lot of them are from silly commercials, silly appearances at shows he’s done, and then the occasional clip of 60s roles like Trek and Twilight Zone. While all his stuff is fun, it’s definitely his more “serious” roles that I think will be his greatest achievement. Or at least when it comes to playing characters named Captain Kirk.

Denny Crane had a comedic edge, and that is probably what he is most remembered for, but also a very serious storyline about mental decline. I think Shatner has an underappreciated range as an actor.

We rewatched THE INTRUDER again last year, and I still think it is Shatner’s best work, a role that really required the full range of his talent.

I love THE ANDERSONVILLE TRIAL, but actually don’t think he is great in that (still very much in Kirk mode), which is too bad because Jack Cassidy is phenomenal in it — even Cameron Mitchell really brings it, possibly for the only time I’ve ever seen him to do so.

Just saw him on Kimmel promoting the film, and boy, he looked better than he has in years. Ozempic maybe, he seemed much lighter.

The Intruder is hands down Shatners best role I think. That movie scared the hell out of movie. Also did you see him in Incubus? Making a full length movie in a made-up language (esperanto) shouldn’t have been an easy task. Whenever people make fun of Shatner’s acting, I refer to them to both The Intruder and Incubus to show that he was more than the stereotypes made about his acting.

I have a faint memory of seeing INCUBUS in the early 80s, but I’m not sure if it was a fuzzy VHS copy or something on a station like WGN or TBS. I think poster VOKAR here mentioned it to me, as Leslie Stevens of THE OUTER LIMITS was its principal creative force. Probably ought to give it another go in higher def (have rewatched some original OL recently and remain impressed with them, though I was cherry-picking through the ‘best’ of them, including the Ellison eps, so that shouldn’t have been a surprise.)

I don’t know if there is a higher definition version of Incubus out there. It is quite a rare film to find actually. For this reason I try to keep the version I have as a cherished possession although it is of lower quality. The original Outer Limits is also very good and needs to be seen by the lovers of pure science-fiction.

Hey, kmart (shoppers?), THE INTRUDER is IMHO a masterpiece of low low budget filmmaking and social statement, partly Corman, partly (largely!) Shatner, and also due to the work of Beaumont. The first time I saw it (on a muddy VHS tape) it blew me away, also it had the spirit of humanist Serling, hovering in the room as it played, since it follows the vibe and message of one or more of Serling’s “social message” TZ episodes in the air as well.

As for INCUBUS, I can barely endure it as anything but an oddball curiosity, not unlike Leslie Stevens’ Warren Oates/Corey Allen/Kate Manx starring, sick little indie ’60s film, PRIVATE PROPERTY. Hard to tell what was going on in the mind of Stevens when you look at those two bizarre films, Stevens’ fairly “mainstream 60s-70s TV sf-ish” OL episodes, and things like his “spy-fi” pilot and series, PROBE/SEARCH.

An old friend of mine from my “philm skool” daze related to me his sit-down lunch conversation with Stevens, in which Mr. S told him the storyline of a hoped-for OL revival which sounded more than anything like a vague retelling/pastiche of the 60s theatrical feature, FANTASTIC VOYAGE, and one of Stevens’ very own OL teleplays.

Good grief! My low budget 60s B-filmmaker and TV writer pal, A.C. Pierce, pitched more unique and interesting sf/fantasy concepts (mostly unproduced, except for a retitled and wholly uncredited riff that came to be known as MAN FROM ATLANTIS) and an unproduced script for Norman Lear/Bud Yorkin called OPERATION ICE FLOE to star Dan Blocker as a tugboat captain, only years later to surface as SALVAGE-1 (its pilot?).

Meanwhile, I’m working on a $5,000 micro budget feature out here in da desert, to get “in da can” before I turn 70 this year. Ha!

I envy ya on that last part, Kev! My brain and vision are still ‘trained’ to look at found objects as set pieces and/or possible inclusions for miniature builds — everytime I see a large multi-row colored pill container at Goodwill, I am thinking ‘instrument panel with xmas lights behind’ or foreground miniature roof for cockpit.’ Some things can’t ever change!

I hear ya there, Kev! I spent so many years making my silly short “sky-fry” (as DJS might call ’em) films, but ’twas fun indeed while it lasted! This 5k film will clearly be my last stand…or fall?

The just ordered The Intruder, don’t know how I missed that one all these years. Thanks for that.

I definitely want to check out The Lieutenant, curious about that one. I saw almost all of the other Roddenberry pilots, were impressed by some not so much by others.

Shatner is a worldwide national treasure. The Academy should really give him an honorary Oscar before he passes away.

Happy birthday to the wonderful William Shatner. The absolute legend of Star Trek

And damn you Paramount for robbing us of a final Shatner Kirk performance in Orcis ST3 (choosing instead to go ‘Fast Furious meets Guardians’ for added box office that did not materialize and sunk the movie franchise) damn you

Amen to that.

There has been no attempt from Paramount to rectify this. New shows, multiple Legacy characters and no William Shatner!


Was Shatner supposed to be in that?

Yes it has been discussed on TM a few times by Orci himself and on his twitter, the original ST3 scrip was about a villain (Bryan Cranston was approached and seemed eager) who considered the kelvin timeline an abomination that needed to be changed back (shades of Soran?) via some ancient time device that several factions were after (it wasn’t too clear what it’d be exactly – a time travel or timeline altering device). New Kirk/Spock are faced with dilemma of letting the changes happen (therefore restoring Vulcan/Spocks mother, USS Kelvin/Kirks father) or fight for the timeline they’ve ever known. Somewhere along the line Shatner Kirk appears (deaged slightly, presumably to 90s/Generations age) and would help them.. also Alice Eve was to return as Carol.

That seemed to be the natural plot to do next especially for the 50 anniversary, going back to the first film (that fans and general movie audiences alike loved) in a similar way to Dark Knight Rises did, and dealing with the ramifications of the new timeline, there was stuff to do with timetravel and alt timelines in that City on the Edge/Yesterdays Ent way (ID did a slight bit of that showing an alternate universe version of Trek II), and most of all getting William Shatner back (resurrecting his character after his unsatisfying death, probably in a similar way to how the villains returned in Spiderman NWH),

But the studio were seduced by seeing GOTG making about 800m and the F&F movies ever ballooning box office and figured audiences wanted ACTION and ZANINESS above all else (esp now Star Wars was back making little old Star Trek seem abit redundant), and not something that centred around the past/celebrated the legacy of Star Trek for those silly trekkies to go nuts over

…ugh. What a missed opportunity, never to be possible again. Thanks for the encapsulation there. The way the 50th anniversary was handled is a disgrace.

Yeah a missed opportunity of galactic sized proportions. It went from being about the reset of the Trek universe/potentially wiping out the new timeline guest starring the biggest Star Trek actor imaginable, to some beef the villain had with the federation (again) for being abandoned/stranded (despite the fact he could seemingly leave the planet anytime he wanted). Look at the event pictures the 25th and 30th anniversaries got (war & peace with the Klingons forming the origins of TNG, and a Borg invasion time travel spectacular/battle for the fate of ‘star trek’ itself!) the Orci ST3 was on a par with those in terms of event level in the star trek canon!

I also liked the way the Orci version seemed to be a commentary on the fandom, how some diehard fans refuse to let go of the past/refuse to embrace the new timeline (in this case the Cranston villain wanting to reset the timeline back to Prime), presumably in the film the timeline wouldn’t have been reset and Shatner Kirk would’ve sacrificed himself to ensure the Kelvin timeline continued (sacrificed by going back to the Prime timeline to his ‘Generations’ destiny/fate ..or maybe not..)

You would think Paramount would do something like this for the 60th Anniversary but Naaaaaa

Theres still time, but obvs the ideal time was the 50th , but a (belated) finale for the kelvin cast for the 60 anniversary (like ToS with TUC) would make alot of sense. And give the kelvin cast their ‘Picard s3’ after the disappointing/underperforming last movie, (as well as giving Shatner Kirk a ‘corrected’ death, abit like Data had!)

And its kind of obvious certain nefarious (or even noble) factions/individuals would find out about the altered timeline and want to somehow explore that and go about attempting to correct it especially a vulcan, (a’la Soran & Nero), and want to interrogate Spock Prime or somehow find out what he knew about the alt future ,, I mean that’d be the obvious way to go for the 3rd film (but could still be done for the 4th)

I agree that would be a great way to go. With the news coming out today in Variety it appears that the origin story is ahead of the Kelvin Trek 4 which just got a new screenwriter again. If that is the case, then the origin movie would have more of a chance of being ready for the 60th Anniversary. They really should try to get William Shatner involved in something. However, I just don’t see it happening.

I saw You Can Call Me Bill last night with 3 fellow Trekkies. I’m still thinking about it today. It’s perfectly Shatnerian, at the same time we all agreed that a few of the segments went on too long. Tighter editing would have improved it. BTW I used to work in TV back in the 80s, just saying.

I agree, I thought it was strangely edited and probably too long. It’s interesting to see the breadth of roles he’s played over the decades, but most of them being comedic (and a lot of them being straight up from commercials) gives the impression that much of his career has been about being a parody of himself. It’s like, here’s this nugget of wisdom from this nonegenarian, and boom here’s a silly Priceline commercial, undercutting the point.

Another excellent episode in a long line. And great guest in Brian. Really appreciate the both of you and Happy Birthday, Laurie! Live long

Thank you!

What a great podcast!

I’m a huge fan of Bill Shatner. I love his films, tv shows, books, and music. I am the teacher I am today because of his portrayal of Captain Kirk. I learned about compassion, empathy, justice, love, risk, family, friendship, and human decency from him. And everyday I bring those values to my kids because I want them to build a better future for humanity. He is the person I aspire to be in life. Thank you Bill! Happy Birthday! We love you!

I’m glad you feel that way! I think a lot of people do, and it’s a shame that as of late culture doesn’t seem to appreciate the “Captain Kirk types” and his character’s portrayal has amplified incorrect stereotypes about who Kirk really is. They even are trying to make Pike in SNW out to be the more “evolved” version of a captain compared to Shatner’s Kirk – which is nonsense because Pike in SNW isn’t anywhere near as interesting or charismatic a leader as TOS Kirk. I hope the culture reevaluates and learns to appreciate Shatner’s portrayal of Kirk as a hero in every sense of the word, who instills the good values to all of us.

Rewatching Picard season 3 episodes 9 & 10 (again, lol). Had a thought about Jack Crusher serving under Seven.

Presumably his abilities remain intact, they are part of his DNA after all. He could potentially link Seven and her crew for extreme circumstances. She has shown the ability to “Queen” a Cube in season 1 after all. The G is quite a bit smaller after all, if the crew trusts each other it could save them sometime.


Dang it, I forgot they removed the reciever DNA. They could potentially still do something like it but the extra steps would make Jack’s presence uneccesary. Oh well, he could do all kinds of things with fully mechanical drones tuned to his frequency.

Star Trek: Deus Ex Machina


Just saw the documentary this afternoon. Highly recommended that you get to a movie theater to see this while you can, since documentaries generally don’t stay in theaters very long. It’s your very rare chance to see clips from original series episodes on the big screen. And … man oh man … Shatner is a VERY fascinating and wisdom-filled philosophical human being and generator of ideas!