During 2007 we will peridically post retrospective interviews, features and found clips to celebrate TNG’s 20th birthday. Here is a BBC interview with Patrick Stewart from a few years ago (edited to just the Trek bits). He talks about how he got the job, the choice of Picard’s accent, fandom and the film Trekkies.
The last time we saw Captain Picard he was sitting in space dock fixing up the Enterprise and saying goodbye to old friends after the events of Nemesis. Now that the TNG film era is over, it is up to Trek Novels to continue the story. Riker and Troi have already set off in the popular ‘Titan’ book series, and so Picard must move on without his loyal first officer and trusted counselor. The first of these post Nemesis novels (Death in Winter) was released in hardcover in late 2005, and it focused on Picard/Crusher romance that has been brewing for far too long. That book gets re-issued in paperback later this year along with a slew of new TNG books to help celebrate the TNG 20th anniversary. In the second part of our interview with Simon & Schuster editor Margaret Clark, we find out what is next for The Next Generation.
This week issue 3 of Star Trek The Next Generation The Space Between hits the stores with a story set sometime during season 7. After reading issues 3 & 4 the narrative threads that IDW promised are now becoming apparent. One thematic is that each issue focuses on characters, often one character, with a "A" narrative, and there is a "B" narrative with other characters. The photo covers clue you in to this, with issue 3’s featuring Worf and Troi whose romance is set against the story of the Enterprise crew being challenged by a very cool ship that is a hybrid of a Romulan Warbird, a Borg vessel, and a Federation starship. The issue deals with how the crew must defeat this mystery ship while Worf has to figure out how to balance his romance with Troi with his obligations to Starfleet.
As the 20th anniversary of The Next Generation approaches (on September 28) you’ll start to see more and more tidbits, information, and a general celebration of TNG around the web and here at TrekMovie.com. To get an early start one of our intrepid community members Greg Mefford has put up an Entertainment Tonight clip of TNG’s announcement back in early 1987. It includes an interview with David Gerold as he writes a season one TNG episode.
Patrick Stewart seems to be continuing to distance himself from Star Trek and Jean Luc Picard. In an interview with The Stage, the veteran actor talks about the life changing event in 1986 when he choose to do Star Trek: The Next Generation instead of taking a role in "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf" on the London stage. I was a different actor after that — doing that kind of play, and finally being able to make truth of an emotional commitment to a role like that in such a small, exposing theatre, with the support of three magnificent actors [Billie Whitelaw, Saskia Reeves and Matthew Marsh], made all the difference to me. The calamity that then happened to me was that I was offered Star Trek: The Next Generation. […]It did change many, many things, and I’m immensely grateful for that. I have worked hard not in any sense to feel they were wasted years —though time is a factor in all of this, and I now have a lot of catching up to do. I feel that acutely — not that there have been lost opportunities, but that there are things I might have done and I’ve got to do a lot of them quickly now.
2007 is the 20th Anniversary of Star Trek The Next Generation, and IDW is planning to celebrate by setting their first Star Trek comic in Jean Luc Picard’s time. IDW is the latest inheritor of the Star Trek comics license (after being owned by both DC and Marvel over the years). The six issue series titled "The Space Between" spans the TNG era, with the first issue taking place in season 1 and the second during season 5. IDW have assigned an experienced team with writer David Tischman and Casey Maloney doing the artwork. Considering that IDW has experience with comics based on media items (such as Transformers and 24) it is no surprise that fans should be hopeful for the future of Trek comics. TrekMovie.com got a chance to speak to IDW editor Dan Taylor and see the first two issues and we like what we are seeing (and hearing).
In the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine, Brent Spiner (Data) talks about the last Trek movie, Star Trek Nemesis. Not only did Spiner star in Nemesis, but he co-wrote the story (along with screenwriter John Logan). Spiner on why the film failed We worked on the story with the intention of making it for the fans. With every Star Trek movie prior to that we tried to find a way to bridge the gap between the fans and the general public. Even reading the latest quotes from J.J. Abrams about the next movie, it makes sense for the movie to be as inclusive as possible. With Nemesis we said, ‘Forget that! Lets make a movie for the fans, because that’s the people who actually go to see the films.’ And what happened? They didn’t go! Usually the films opened big, even if they had a lot of competition, but Nemesis didn’t even do that. This was a message from the fans that they were done with us.
A few months back this site (when we were called ‘The Trek XI Report’) and TrekWeb reported on some comments from Marina Sirtis (article here). The actress had some rather negative views of the executives at Paramount and J.J. Abrams plans for the franchise. The quotes were taken from publically available transcripts of an online chat she held with fans. Gustavo Leao of TrekWeb is now reporting that she has posted a new message to her fans voicing concerns about this: I have always thought that the chats I have with my fans are private to us and I never imagined that anyone would then take any information I divulged and post it on another site. What I tell you guys is for us only. My feelings on certain topics such as Shatner were never intended to be made public. To be honest I feel utterly betrayed.
Brent Spiner (TNG: Data) is already on record as being against the prequel concept for Star Trek XI and now he is also questioning the ability for Trek to again break out to the mainstream. In an interview with FilmFocusUK, Spiner jabs at JJ Abrams and Paramount saying that they spent too much money on Mission Impossible III. He then questions whether they will do the same on Trek XI And that’s the big fear with this Star Trek movie because this new regime at Paramount; I don’t know that they understand the franchise. Maybe [Abrams] will be able to do it, maybe he’ll be able to bridge the gap between the fans and the general public, but everyone’s tried to do that – that’s always been the intention – and they’ve never been able to do it. They’ve realised that if you spend any more than fifty million dollars on one of these movies you’re going to lose money. There are only so many fans that are going to go. If they come along and make an one-hundred and fifty million dollar movie they’re going to have problems. But I think he could be the guy to do it. He’s a perfectly capable guy and his shows are fun and he seems to know what he’s doing.
In April G4 TV created a new way to watch the Original Series called ‘Star Trek 2.0’. The new format presented the show in a ‘window’ surrounded by ‘interactive content’ in the form of chat, trivia, stats and a stock market type ticker called a ‘Spock Market’. Trek purists consider it butchery, but apparently it has been their top rated show amongst the key young male demographic. Now G4 is announcing that they will do the same for TNG with the launch of the somewhat redundantly titled ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation 2.0’ in January. More info at G4.
Jonathan Frakes (TNG: Riker) seems to be one of the only ‘Next Gen’ actors who is ok with JJ Abrams plans to go back to the TOS era for the next Trek film. But in a new interview with IF Magazine he still thinks that we will eventually see some of the familiar faces from the recent Trek shows, and makes it clear he is ready as well. iF: Do you think there will ever be a return of NEXT GENERATION crew in one form or another?FRAKES: I think probably, they’ll use STAR TREK actors from different crews, based on whom they can get and whom they’ll want to use for a story. I think the audience really likes to see people again whom they have identified with. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to use some of us in something. iF: Sort of like you coming onto ENTERPRISE for the final episode?FRAKES: Yeah. Marina [Sirtis] and I are always available.
The man who directed two out of the 4 TNG era Trek films seems OK that their reign is over. In an interview with the Indiana Star Jonathan Frakes (TNG: Riker) admitted that he doesn’t know anything more about Trek XI than what is rumored, but didn’t understand those fans who are against a Kirk & Spock prequel: Seems like a perfectly good idea. . . . (The movie’s producers) just need to remember Gene Roddenberry’s vision It is good to see that he hasn’t joined the chorus of other TNG actors (Sirtis, Spiner and Dorn) who are slamming Star Trek XI for its rumored premise (and presumably for not including them).
Just in time for Halloween, LA Theatre Works present the classic radio play ‘War of the Worlds’ performed by a whole bunch of Trek stars. Lending their voices are John de Lancie, Gates McFadden, Leonard Nimoy, Dwight Schultz, Armin Shimerman, Brent Spiner: and Wil Wheaton. de Lancie, a LATW regular, directs. It was originally aired last night on KPCC in Los Angeles. No word yet how many Angelinos thought aliens were actually attacking Grovers Mill, New Jersey. It is available online for free until Nov 4, after that it will be available for purchase. [Listen with RA ]
Article Updated: The Christies Trek auction is over and according to their release it brought in $7,107,040 (more than double their expectations). The highest priced item was the model for the ST:TNG Enterprise D for $576k, a new world record for Trek memorabilia. Other items that far exceeded expectations were McCoy’s TOS spacesuit for $144k and Picard’s flute from ‘Inner Light’ for $48k. Christies touts it as a truly ‘global event’ with bidders coming in from all over the world, however all but two of the top 10 items went to Americans. could have been yours for half a $mil
Spotted this tidbit about Denise Crosby in the most recent Vegas con report on StarTrek.com After producing and hosting the first two "Trekkies" documentaries, Crosby said she is toying with ideas for a third one. "We’ll see — I’vegot it in mind to do. I’d like to do three; I just think three seems more complete — I’m looking at the boxed set down the line, y’know?" She said the theme of the next project would likely involve what she called "fan filmdom." It would be an interesting move for Paramount to put out another ‘Trekkies’ movie around the same time they are trying to expand the audience for Star Trek with Star Trek XI. If it does happen one would hope that Crosby and the other producers strived to be a bit more balanced then the previuos two films. Many Trek fans have felt that Trekkies I and II reinforced many of the negative stereotypes of Star Trek fans, some of which are now being dispelled by Trek Sociologist John Tenuto. The choice of the so called ‘fan films’ is also interesting, it could be seen as one step closer to legitimacy for these independent Trek films.
StarTrek.com has posted a very belated con report from the Creation Vegas convention from 5 weeks ago (see our story here). This one covers many different people but has some more detailed comments on Trek XI from Michael Dorn, Rod Roddenberry and Paula Block…here they are… Rod Roddenberry Thinks Abrams ‘gets it” I am very open to J.J. Abrams doing this next movie. I like thefact that it’s someone new. I also like the fact that he’s an actualfan of the show … I’d be concerned that it might be, y’know, another version of ‘Star Wars’ but now called ‘Star Trek’ … [But] I think he’s one of us. He gets it, he has the passion, and I think he’s gonna do a great job. I just want to make sure he’s strong enough to stand upto the executives that say, ‘We need bigger breasts.’ That comes afterwards — let’s get the story first.
SciFi Pulse has a couple of magazine excerpts up from TNG stars Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis. Spiner talked to Dreamwatch magazine about the idea for Star Trek XI that he and Star Trek Nemesis story co-writer John Logan had:: the next film would have been was a Justice League of Star Trek. Something would bring all the great Star Trek villains together, from Khan to Shinzon, and Picard is the only person who could stop them and he actually has to go through time and pluck out the people he needs to help him. He goes back to the moment before Data blows up and takes him back to get Kirk and Spock, and go even further back and get Scott Bakula’s character Archer. The only problem Spiner saw with that idea was the cost…TrekMovie suggests he looks a little harder
Recently we reported that Brent Spiner (TNG’s Data) was resigned to Star Trek Nemesis being the end of the line for the Next Generation crew. But it appears he is not bitter (unlike a certain former Counselor) and is upbeat on Star Trek XI’s Producer JJ Abrams. Spiner tells Starburst Magazine: I think he’s a fine choice, why not? Lost is a really interesting show. Alias was fun. I haven’t seen Mission Impossible III. But who would be better? Spiner also scoffs at ‘purist fan’ reaction to CBS adding CGI effects, telling Starburst "I don’t think that remastering the Star Trek series to look better is really tampering with it.” In other Trek Remastered news, the Jules Verne Adventure Expo will be showing the remastered versions of ‘The Naked Time’ and ‘City on the Edge of Forever’ on October 15th in Los Angeles. That will be the first public showing for the remastered ‘City’, which is considered by many to be the best episode of the series and TrekMovie.com will be there.
It should be no surprise that people want in to Star Trek XI, here are this week’s entries: Star Trek: Voyager‘s Kate Mulgrew (Janeway) told a crowd at Vegas Con that not only does she want to play ‘Admiral Janeway’ again, but she thinks it will happen. Totally Kate reports her as saying: "I think maybe they will do it. This is the fortieth anniversary. Who knows? By the sixtieth all the captains may have come together in some motion picture. With any luck they will." Keep sitting by the phone Kate. Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes (Riker) seems to be a fan of Trek XI prodcuer J.J. Abrams, telling Star Trek magazine "I’m addicted to Lost". He also put in a pitch for another shot at the Trek director’s chair, telling the mag that he hopes Abrams is too busy to direct (Abrams has said he will probably direct, but he does have a lot of stuff on his plate). After Star Trek: Insurrection, not sure Paramount is ready to hand back the keys.
The Toronto Star talked to Leonard Nimoy about Star Trek, Photography and his upcoming appearence at next weekend’s Fan Expo Canada. Nimoy was asked about Star Trek XI and the reported Kirk and Spock storyline, but he didn’t seem to know anything besides what has been previously reported. However when asked if he had any casting ideas, Nimoy said something quite intriguing I haven’t gone there yet. I think it’s premature. Although I do, by contract, have the right to approve the casting Want to Recast Us? Only After We Say So
One of the persistent rumors about Star Trek XI is that it centers on the life of Kirk and Spock at the Academy. The Academy story is not a new one, it was originally proposed by Harve Bennett as an idea for Star Trek VI; the studio eventually went with Nick Meyer’s Cold War themed ‘Undiscovered Country’. Last year the Academy notion came back when William Shatner revealed that he is working on a Starfleet Academy book series with his longtime writing partners Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. He also revealed at the time that he had pitched the idea as a series to ‘top executives’ at Paramount. The Trek Movie Report has learned from a studio insider that the Shat went right to the top and pitched it to none other than Viacom Chairman Sumner ‘Get Tom Cruise Off My Property’ Redstone. Supposedly Shatner went in to Paramount after Star Trek Enterprise became ratings challenged in it’s second year. Shatner believed that Paramount/UPN would replace Enterprise with his Academy show, but they stuck with Enterprise for 2 more seasons before pulling the plug. There are currently no known plans for new Trek on TV. But Shatner still plans on getting his story out there in book form,
As expected, there was no real news from the Official Star Trek Convention in Vegas, but our friend ‘davidoflondon tips us off to what some of the Trek luminaries were saying about it. Captain Kirk himself William Shatner continued his fawning over Trek’s new master by saying “JJ Abrams is going to lift us on the wings of fantasy”…We get it Bill, you want to be in the movie. Shatner was joined by Mr. Spock himself on stage and Bill ribbed Nimoy about how the first pilot for Trek (shot with Jeffrey Hunter playing Captain Pike). Shatner referred to it as “the one you were in that didn’t sell”.
Tipster ‘davidoflondon‘ sends us a Trek XI tidbit from Yesterday’s events at the Official Star Trek Convention in Vegas. Star Trek Nemesis and Star Trek: The Next Generation co-stars Brent Spiner (Data) and Jonathan Frakes (Riker) spoke to the fans and took some questions. As expected the subject of the next movie came up. When asked if Spiner’s character Data was really dead they said that it was up to Trek XI producer JJ Abrams. Well known for being jokesters, Frakes and Spiner put their tongues in cheeks when asked if Frakes would direct Trek XI. David reports: He (Frakes) said he was definitely going to and he wanted Brent to play every role. He said Brent does a particularly good Picard and Brent, of course, obliged with an impersonation of Patrick Stewart.
One of the fanboy wet dreams for Star Trek XI is to have a single film with every single TV Trek Captain, something never done on big or small screen or even in book form. It appears JJ Abrams isn’t going to provide that wish fulfillment for the Trek’s return ot the big screen, but Bethesda Softworks is going to do it for Trek’s return to gaming this fall. Bethesda just announced: Surrounding the 40th Anniversary of STAR TREK, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Scott Bakula, Avery Brooks, and Kate Mulgrew to Reprise Captain Roles for STAR TREK: Legacy™
JJ Abrams may be working on the New Kirk & Spock for Star Trek XI, but ‘Kirk & Spock Classic’ are still trekkin. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy showed up this week at TV Land to promote that network’s launch of Star Trek: The Original Series this fall (starting with a 40th anniversary Marathon on September 8th). Here are some photos from AP and Reuters:
Some Star Trek XI numbers 2…ranking of ‘TOS’ for preferred setting of STXI on new SciFi Wire poll (#1 ‘something new’) 2…ranking of ‘Matt Damon’ for the preferred new Kirk in a StarTrek.com poll (#1 ‘total unknown’) 5 (out of 5)… STXI’s level on Cinemablend ‘excite-o-meter’. 7…ranking of STXI on Cinescape top 10 movies in development Did someone mention Matt Damon? According to Moviehole, he has pulled out playing the title role in the Lance Armstrong biopic, to be replaced by Jake Gyllenhall. The reason given is ‘his busy schedule’. Matt will be filming Ocean’s Thirteen and The Bourne Ultimatum through the winter. Leaving his spring wide open…JJ Will Paramount bring back the Star Trek spoof Galaxy Quest at the same time its bringing back Trek itself? Tim Allen tells the SciFi Wire that a sequel idea has been presented to Dreamworks (now part of Paramount). Never give up, never surrender Tim.
Marina Sirtis (TNG’s Deanna Troi) and Levar Burton (TNG’s Geordi La Forge) attended a panel (at last September’s DragonCon) to discuss their work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. In a video posted this week to YouTube (below) you can see their answers to questions about their most recent Trek films as well as Paramount’s plans for switching from the TNG cast to a TOS prequel for Star Trek XI (NOTE: since this video was shot Paramount have cancelled plans for one prequel project from Rick Berman and greenlit another prequel project produce by JJ Abrams…but both concepts are rumored to be set pre-TOS and not include the TNG casts)
Now it’s Michael Dorn’s turn to let us know how he really feels. Dorn (Lt. Worf) talked to the Houston Chronicle as part of the release of the new ‘Star Trek Fan Collective: Klingon’ set of DVDs. Regarding the possibility of Star Trek XI being a TOS prequel he says “I think that would be a mistake…you dont go backwards in Star Trek”. Like Sirtis, Dorn also takes a swipe at the Trek TV Shows made after Star Trek: The Next Generation, “I don’t think he would have done any of those shows” Dorn said, referring to the late Gene Roddenberry (creator of the Trek franchise). Presumably Dorn’s comments are limited to Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise being that Dorn was on the Paramount payroll for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine for 5 years. Dorn who has the distinction of appearing in more Star Trek episodes than any other actor believes that Paramount has ‘milked the cashcow almost dry’, but would he play Lt. Worf again? “I’m smart enough to never say never”.
In a live chat with fans on her official site, Marina Sirtis (TNG: Troi) didnt seem too happy with the direction Paramount is taking for Star Trek XI. "I agree with you all about the prequel, Gene Roddenberry always said that Star trek should go forward" she replied to the sentiments that the next Trek film should be set after Star Trek Nemesis, despite its disappointing box office. Her fans seem to want the new Trek film to focus on the Rikers abourd the Starship Titan. Star Trek Nemesis established that Sirtis’ Troi and Jonathan Frakes’ Riker were married and went off to have their own adventures. The Titan has become the basis for a series of popular Star Trek books.
Earlier this year after it appeared Rick Berman and Eric Jenderson‘s script for Star Trek: The Beginning (which was to have a whole new cast set 100 years before the time of Kirk) was going no where, Patrick Stewart got some ‘one more TNG film’ buzz going. Stewart told an online magazine in March that he had ‘got some calls from some money people’ regarding reprising his role as Jean Luc Picard. Since that time word of Abrams being signed and a likely TOS era plot have come out. Stewart has continued to be very noncommittal on whether he would even want to be in another film In todays Daily Telagraph Stewart discusses the idea So could he ever be seduced by Hollywood again? Another Star Trek movie? “I have such mixed feelings about Star Trek. It’s like a romantic relationship that’s over. I don’t think it’s going to happen, but I haven’t ruled it out…