Download many great scifi movies at
Renegade Studios. They are making
internet scifi movies starring your favorite scifi stars. Great stuff!
Headlines above from
LeVar Burton (Geordi) is co-executive producing a remake of "Roots" for A&E.
Yahoo TV’s 2 part story on “A Decade Without Trek.” Yahoo TV takes you on
a journey to 10 years ago when the last episode of “Star Trek” aired. In part 1
you will find the history of the “Star Trek” phenomenon and hear from some of
the key men and women who piloted the franchise. In part 2, you will hear from
the producers and directors of “Star Trek” and their opinion on the idea of the
“Star Trek” possibly returning to television. See here for
part 1of the story and here for
George Takei guest-starred on "Hot in Cleveland" April 15: THIS WEEK'S EP
OF "HOT IN CLEVELAND" WILL MAKE YOU SAY "OH MY!" “Duct Soup” TV-PG
Starring: Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White
Guest Stars: Dave Foley, Craig Ferguson, Kurt Fuller, Michael McMillian and
The gang pitches in to help plan the rehearsal dinner for Joy’s son’s
wedding, and things go awry when an expected guest from Joy’s past shows up.
Reading Rainbow - DVD for 'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie' and 3 Other Episodes
PBS releases these classic episodes starring host LeVar Burton
NEW DVD FEATURES FOUR CLASSIC EPISODES FROM THE ICONIC SERIES READING RAINBOW
IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE First READING RAINBOW DVD from PBS Distribution,
Available on May 12
Arlington, VA; April 27, 2015 - "Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as
high..." is the opening to the instantly recognizable theme song for the iconic
series READING RAINBOW. PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing four
episodes from READING RAINBOW on the new DVD "IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE."
Since 1983, this beloved children's television series has been bringing stories
READING RAINBOW aired on PBS from 1983-2009. Hosted by LeVar Burton (Roots, Star
Trek: The Next Generation, Perception) for its entire 26-year run, the program
encouraged a love of literature in millions of children and garnered more than
200 awards, including 26 Emmys and a Peabody Award.
READING RAINBOW has helped children build lasting relationships with books at
home and in the classroom. The four episodes and books, featured in this DVD are
"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," read by Beth Howland, "Owen," read by Matthew
Broderick, "Two Old Potatoes and Me," read by Jordan Puryear, and "Mr. George
Baker," read by Wayne Brady.
"IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE" will be available on DVD May 12, 2015. The DVD
run time is approximately 120 minutes and its SRP is $6.99.
VOTE for Scott Bakula for Favorite Actor in a New TV Series,
and for Zoe Saldana for Favorite Movie Actress, in the People's Choice
LATEST COLLECTION OF ICONIC SERIES ARRIVES IN STUNNING HIGH-DEFINITION
STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION THE SIXTH SEASON & CHAIN OF COMMAND
Packed With Exclusive, Must-Watch Special Features Including New Interviews,
Deleted Scenes And Gag Reel
Available June 24, 2014 Street Date: 6/24/14 SSN6 Blu-ray SRP: $130.00 U.S.
Chain Of Command Blu-ray SRP: $28.28 U.S.
Cover Art Pic #1
Cover Art Pic #2
The newest high-definition collections of the iconic sci-fi series, STAR
TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® – THE SIXTH SEASON BLU-RAY and STAR TREK: THE
NEXT GENERATION® – CHAIN OF COMMAND BLU-RAY arrive June 24 from CBS Home
Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution. Both collections
feature a trove of newly produced material that unlock secrets to the Star
Trek® universe, including a special three-part documentary on the sixth
season and a never-before-released gag reel.
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – THE SIXTH SEASON BLU-RAY includes all 26
episodes of the penultimate season, remastered into spectacular
high-definition. Fans can dive into the sixth season of the series with a
brand new, three-part documentary “Beyond the Five Year Mission – The
Evolution of Star Trek: The Next Generation” featuring fascinating
interviews with cast and crew. Plus, fans will enjoy never-before-released
commentary on select episodes from Ronald D. Moore, James L. Conway,
Jonathan West, and Mike and Denise Okuda, along with a must-see gag reel.
The sixth season collection includes classic episodes such as Brent Spiner’s
dual performance as Data and his father Dr. Noonien Soong in “Birthright,”
the critically acclaimed two-part episode “Chain of Command,” Riker
(Jonathan Frakes) coping with a bizarre identity crisis that pits him quite
literally against himself in “Second Chances,” and James Doohan reprising
his Original Series role as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott in “Relics.”
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – CHAIN OF COMMAND BLU-RAY is a
feature-length presentation of the two-part sixth season episode. As a
possible Cardassian attack looms, Captain Picard, Dr. Crusher and Worf
embark on a secret mission to find and destroy suspected biological weapons,
leaving the Enterprise under the leadership of the cold and demanding
Captain Edward Jellico (Ronny Cox). Soon after, Picard is captured by the
Cardassians and is brutally tortured for information. The crew’s dismay
quickly turns to anger as Jellico’s plans exclude a rescue mission. With his
options running out, Picard must fight to save his sanity and ultimately his
Ranked by Entertainment Weekly as one of the best episodes of Star Trek: The
Next Generation, “Chain of Command” is also lauded for its “eerily
prescient” (Slate) depictions of torture. Along with exclusive audio
commentary with Ronny Cox, Jonathan West and Mike and Denise Okuda, the Blu-ray
also features the newly-produced documentary “The Privilege of Rank: Making
‘Chain of Command.’”
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – THE SIXTH SEASON BLU-RAY will be available
in 1080p with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Stereo Surround,
French Stereo Surround, German Stereo Surround, Castilian Mono, Italian
Mono, and Japanese Mono. The six-disc collection also includes English SDH,
and French, German, Castilian, Italian, Japanese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish,
Norwegian and Swedish subtitles. The Blu-ray is Not Rated in the U.S. and
rated PG in Canada. It will be available for the suggested retail price of
$130.00 U.S. and $150.00 Canada.
From deadline.com: The first 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards were
handed out this afternoon at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards
ceremony at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles.
Appearing backstage with executive producer Jerry Weintraub,
Behind the Candelabra actor Scott Bakula said that when it
comes to importance for an actor in getting into character,
“costume is 80 percent, hair and makeup 20 percent.”
Weintraub was asked why he wanted to bring the Liberace
story to TV. “I didn’t want to bring it to TV, I wanted to
make a film,” Weintraub said. “I knew Liberace personally. I
thought he was extraordinary.” It was HBO, Weintraub said,
that sought to bring the story to the small screen.
From Entertainment Weekly: Actor Patrick Stewart, 73, wed
singer Sunny Ozell, 35, on Sept. 7. And if that's not
charming enough for you, fellow knighted actor Ian McKellen,
Benedict Cumberbatch is nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a
Miniseries or a Movie, for his role in "Parade's End". Alfre Woodard is
nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a
Movie, Steel Magnolias". Former Star Trek actors James Cromwell (American Horror
Story: Asylum), Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story: Asylum), and Scott Bakula
(Behind The Candelabra) are all nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting
Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
The Emmys air September 22 2013 at 5:00pm on CBS.
From tvline.com: Did J.J. Abrams' 'Star Trek' Kill a 'Worf' TV Series?
Michael Dorn, who played the honorable Klingon in two "Star Trek" series, says
that a proposed show was back-burnered because of the reborn "Trek" movie
Ever since the cancellation of the much-maligned Enterprise, fans have wished
for another Star Trek series to grace their television screens on a weekly
basis. Turns out, they might have had their wish if it hadn't been for that
pesky kid known as J.J. Abrams -- or, at least, that's the story according to
one former Trek star.
In an interview with Big Shiny Robot, Michael Dorn -- who played surly Klingon
Worf in both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine --
talked about the possibility of a new series focusing on his character.
"Last year, there was interest and I talked to a couple producers, and we
actually had [a] pitch meeting with Paramount and CBS," Dorn said. So why
haven't we heard more about this Worf series before now? "Business things got in
the way in terms of the J.J. Abrams movie coming out and CBS/Paramount and their
relationship with J.J. Abrams," he explained. "I don't think they wanted to step
on his toes by putting a new series on, but it's not dead yet."
Firstly: Given the whole reboot of continuity that the Abrams movie brought, any
potential TV series -- and definitely movie project -- set in the "old"
continuity is probably pretty dead, let's be honest. There are, of course,
always the spin-off novels for those who want to know what those characters are
up to these days, anyway.
Secondly, what's with Next Generation stars trying to get new shows based on
their characters off the ground? Just the other week, Jonathan Frakes was joking
about a Rikers in Space series. How long before LeVar Burton pitches Reading
Rainbow: Starfleet Edition?
William Shatner posted this on his Facebook page: I’m looking for true stories
on how watching Star Trek (any series) affected your career decisions later in
life. Did you go into a career in Science or Aviation or even become an
Astronaut due to Star Trek and Science Fiction?
I want to hear your story. Please send me an email of your story on what about
Star Trek made you choose your career path. Send a email with your story in the
body of the email to:
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 5/8/13
Zachary Quinto is a New Yorker Zachary talks about his excitement over
moving back to New York to star in "The Glass Menagerie" on Broadway.
Zachary Quinto's Ultimate Vulcan Moment Zachary tells Jimmy about the time
he felt the coolest he's felt playing Spock, and the challenge he and Chris Pine
had during their recent "Star Trek Into Darkness" press tour.
It's rumored that the villain in the new Star Trek movie, played by Benedict
Cumberbatch, is Khan.
Win top-tier tickets to the 2013 Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas
Answer the question "What date saw the broadcast of the final episode of the
original Star Trek TV series (in the U.S.)?"
Email your answer to
email@example.com with the subject line "Vegas
Competition", or (U.S.) send it on a postcard to: Star Trek Magazine, Titan
Magazines, 2819 Rosehall Lane, Aurora, IL 60503. (UK) Star Trek Magazine,
144 Southwark Street, London SE1 OUP. Include your name and full address.
Ends July 14.
Alfre Woodard is nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding
Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special, for her role
in "Steel Magnolias). The awards show airs Friday, February 1 on NBC.
On "The Big Bang Theory" January 10th, the cast dresses up as “Star Trek:
The Next Generation” characters and travel to a comic book convention.
Of Gods and Men - cool online Star Trek movie, starring Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols!
We’ve just uploaded an advanced clip from the next episode of FX’s
late-night comedy series, BRANDX WITH RUSSELL BRAND, which airs Thursday
nights at 11:00 PM ET/PT only on FX.
Shatner's Shat-oetry Need an idea for a Valentine’s card? Perhaps you
shouldn’t ask William Shatner.
"Castle" on ABC has a special Star Trek/scifi-themed episode 11/4: CASTLE
AND BECKETT TAKE ON A MURDER AT A SCI-FI CONVENTION, ON ABC'S "CASTLE"
Armin Shimerman, Ed Quinn, Christina Moore, Erin Way and Chris McKenna Guest
Jonathan Frakes Directs
"The Final Frontier" - When a body is found at a sci-fi convention, Castle
and Beckett are warped into the heart of fandom -- a world of egotistic
celebrities, diehard costumed fans and enough drama for two galaxies, on
"Castle," MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC. Armin Shimerman
("Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"), Ed Quinn ("Eureka"), Christina Moore ("True
Blood"), Erin Way ("Alphas") and Chris McKenna ("One Life to Live") guest
star in this episode, which is directed by Jonathan Frakes ("Star Trek: The
"Castle" stars Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, Stana Katic as NYPD
Detective Kate Beckett, Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers, Molly Quinn as
Alexis Castle, Penny Johnson Jerald as NYPD Captain Victoria Gates, Tamala
Jones as Medical Examiner Lanie Parish, Jon Huertas as NYPD Detective Javier
Esposito, and Seamus Dever as NYPD Detective Kevin Ryan.
Guest Cast: Armin Shimerman as Benjamin Donnelly, Ed Quinn as Gabriel
Winters, Christina Moore as Stephanie Frye, Erin Way as Audrey O'Neill,
Chris McKenna as Simon Westport.
"The Final Frontier" was written by Kate Sargeant and directed by Jonathan
"Castle" is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format,
with 5.1 channel surround sound. A TV parental guideline will be assigned
closer to airdate.
For more information on "Castle," visit
Follow us on: Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/Castle Twitter @Castle_ABC, #Castle @ABC_Publicity
On "Celebrity Apprentice" George Takei introduces his charity, the Japanese
American National Museum.
J.J. Abrams has a new series, "Revolution", beginning 9/17 on NBC.
Today September 8th, 2012 is the 46th anniversary of the premiere of Star
The next Star Trek movie is now due out 2013!
Eternal Image Launches STAR TREK(TM) Cremation Caskets
First-Ever STAR TREK(TM) Cremation Caskets Now Available
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Oct. 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eternal
Image, Inc. (the "Company") (OTC PINK:ETNL), a public company engaged in
the design, manufacturing and marketing of officially licensed, Brand-name
memorial products, today announced that it has launched its line of STAR
TREK(TM) cremation caskets.
"Our Star Trek(TM) cremation caskets provide customers with a complete
package for their loved one's cremation service," said Nick Popravsky, VP
of Sales & Marketing for the Company. "We will soon be announcing the
availability of a new Star Trek(TM) cremation urn that will provide the
perfect complement to this cremation casket line."
Crafted from fiberboard and cloth, the official STAR TREK(TM) cremation
caskets offer a new and previously unavailable option for families of STAR
TREK(TM) fans that have arranged a traditional viewing.
The Company has three cremation casket models to choose from: Star
Fleet Delta, Federation of Planets and Klingon. Consumers can view
photos of these caskets as well as obtain ordering information by
visiting the following link:
Please call Eternal Image directly at 248-932-3333 for additional
THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE
Meet George Takei, Aubrey O'Day and Lou Ferrigno
A Trekkie, a pop star and a hulk talk tasks, strategy and the truth about
Meet George Takei
George Takei - Star Trek's Sulu - talks about his chosen charity, the
Japanese American National Museum.
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION will be available in high-definition for
the first time ever, in celebration of the show's 25th anniversary. Please
also see the information on
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION®
TO BE AVAILABLE IN HIGH-DEFINITION FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER FOR ITS 25TH
Star Trek: The Next Generation® – The Next Level Blu-ray Disc™ Will Be
Released On January 31, 2012
Complete First Season Blu-ray Available Later in 2012
LOS ANGELES – September 28, 2011 – The beloved series STAR TREK: THE NEXT
GENERATION® will be transferred to high-definition for the first time ever
and released on Blu-ray™, it was announced today by Ken Ross, Executive Vice
President and General Manager of CBS Home Entertainment.
All 178 episodes from seven seasons will be transferred to true
high-definition 1080p for release on Blu-ray and eventual runs on television
and digital platforms both domestically and internationally.
“Fans have been clamoring for a high-definition release of STAR TREK: THE
NEXT GENERATION® for years,” said Ross. “Transferring the series to
high-definition presented difficult technical challenges, but our team has
come up with a process to create true 1080p HD masters with true HD visual
effects. We can’t wait to show fans how pristine the series looks and sounds
with our upcoming Blu-ray releases.”
Transferring STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® to high-definition presented
numerous challenges – The series was originally shot on film and then
transferred to videotape, which was used to edit episodes together. In order
to create true HD masters, CBS is going back to the original uncut film
negative – all 25,000 plus film reels of it – and cutting the episodes
together exactly the way they originally aired. The visual effects were all
shot on film and will be painstakingly recompositioned, not upconverted from
videotape. The newly cut film will then be transferred to true
high-definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio. Denise and Mike Okuda are
consulting on the project.
While the first full season won’t be available until later in 2012, CBS Home
Entertainment is releasing STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® – THE NEXT LEVEL,
a single Blu-ray disc to give fans a taste of the series in HD, on January
31, 2012. The disc will include the feature-length pilot – “Encounter at
Farpoint” – as well as two more “fan favorite” episodes, “The Inner Light”
(Season 5) and “Sins of the Father” (Season 3). The single disc will be
available for a suggested retail price of $21.99.
One of the most popular series in the STAR TREK franchise, STAR TREK: THE
NEXT GENERATION® celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012. It premiered in
first-run syndication during the week of September 28, 1987 and ran through
Set in the 24th century on the Starship Enterprise, about 100 years after
the original STAR TREK series took place, the series starred Patrick Stewart
as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker,
LeVar Burton as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, Marina Sirtis as Counselor
Deanna Troi, Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data, Michael Dorn as Lieutenant
Worf, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher and Wil Wheaton as her son
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION® won numerous accolades, including 18 Emmy®
awards, and was the first – and only – syndicated television show to be
nominated for the Emmy® for Outstanding Drama Series for its seventh season.
It was also ranked #46 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time list
Alfre Woodard (Lily, First Contact) is nominated
for Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
Vote in this poll!
CBS INTERACTIVE LAUNCHES THE OFFICIAL "STAR TREK(tm) PADD APP" FOR iPAD
App Merges 24th Century Technology into 21st Century Mobile Device
SAN FRANCISCO - July 11, 2011 - CBS Interactive today announced the launch
of the official STAR TREK PADD app, based on the iconic television
franchise. The STAR TREK PADD (Personal Access Display Device) app
provides fans with the ultimate mobile "Trekker" experience. The app
features an authentic reproduction of the LCARS interface-the fictional
computer operating system depicted in the STAR TREK television series-as
well as a rich, interactive database of STAR TREK television series
information, including images and an episode guide.
The STAR TREK PADD
app is now available for $4.99 in the App Store .
Developed in conjunction with CBS Mobile by app development studio
ArcTouch http://arctouch.com/ , the STAR TREK PADD app transports fans
back through the extensive 40-year history of the STAR TREK television
franchise, including its amazing universe of characters, planets and
technology spanning from STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES all the way to
STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE. The app also includes a recognizable computer
voice as well as familiar STAR TREK-related sounds.
"STAR TREK fans are passionately involved with all things STAR TREK. The
STAR TREK PADD app lets die-hard fans and casual enthusiasts use the
authentic LCARS interface to access the extensive official STAR TREK
database, and easily connect with other Trekkers. We expect that the app
will also introduce the show to a new generation of fans, leveraging 21st
century technology to provide a glimpse into the 24th century," said Rob
Gelick, Senior Vice President and General Manager, CBS Mobile.
The app includes the following features:
* A rich LCARS graphical interface that provides an authentic and
immersive experience, complete with STAR TREK-related sound effects and
prompts from a recognizable computer voice. * An official database of
STAR TREK information, including aliens, ships, places, and technologies
as depicted in the STAR TREK television series, plus a detailed episode
guide. * The official STAR TREK Facebook fan page and Twitter feed
integrated into the app to let fans catch up on the latest news and
connect with other Trekkers.
"Back when the PADD first appeared on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, none
of us imagined that today we'd be able to hold the real thing in our
hands. But the STAR TREK PADD app, running on your iPad, is an actual
miniature, handheld, touch-sensitive, 24th-century-style computer screen,"
said Michael Okuda, who was in charge of computer interface design for the
Starships Enterprise and co-authored the STAR TREK Encyclopedia along with
"We're honored CBS chose us to develop the official STAR TREK PADD app,"
said Eric Shapiro, CEO of ArcTouch. "We're true STAR TREK fans and were
intensely focused on making this app both useful and fun, while
maintaining authenticity and reproducing the LCARS design faithfully."
The STAR TREK PADD app is now available for $4.99 from the iTunes App Store for
the iPad in every one of the more than 120 international markets where the
show's five series are licensed.
TM & (c) 2011 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. STAR TREK and related
marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc.
About CBS Interactive
CBS Interactive is the premier online content network for information and
entertainment. Its brands dive deep into the things people care most about
across news, sports, entertainment, technology and business. Leading
properties include CNET,
tv.com and much
more. With hundreds of millions of unique visitors from around the world
each month, CBS Interactive cbsinteractive.com is a global
top 10 Web property and the largest premium content network online.
Follow CBS Interactive on Twitter and
Scott Bakula Teases 'Funnier, Dramatic-er' MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE, Hopes
for CHUCK Encore. http://bit.ly/l7LjTI
Michelle Forbes is nominated for a Critics' Choice Television Award.
Watch it Monday, June, 20 on VH1.
Late night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC (6/9/11)
Kirstie talks about her 'Organic Liason' and shows Jimmy how to cha-cha.
Total Iceholes with Kirstie Alley
Jimmy and Kirstie face off in a game of Total Iceholes for insane bragging
Tonight Show - Kirstie Alley (Saavik) sat down with Jay on Friday to give
us an update on her life. Look below to find out about her "Dancing With
The Stars" experience and see what she really thinks of her competitors!
And we welcomed Erik Rivera to the stage for his first stand up
performance on the Tonight Show! See all the fun in the full episode here:
Plus, Jay shares some extra footage following Katie Couric's last show!
Kristie Alley, Part 1 (5/20/11)
Part 1: Kirstie Alley talks about her weight loss and near death
Kristie Alley, Part 2 (5/20/11)
Part 2: Kirstie Alley talks about being in the DWTS finals and what bugs
her about Maks.
Kristie Alley, Part 3 (5/20/11)
Part 3: Kirstie Alley calls her Dancing With The Stars competition liars.
Tonight Show -
watch the full show for a performance by Good
Plus, go backstage with Bryan and William Shatner in the
Backstage with Bryan: Does This Thrill Bill?
Bryan talks with William Shatner and the participants of "Does This Thrill
KELSEY GRAMMER NARRATES PBS' "PIONEERS OF TELEVISION";
FOUR-PART SERIES CELEBRATES THE EXTRAORDINARY TALENT AND THEMES
OF EARLY TELEVISION PREMIERING JANUARY 18, 2011 AT 8 PM (ET/PT) ON PBS
Television Icons James Garner, Linda Evans, William Shatner, Leonard
Nimoy, Angie Dickinson, Stefanie Powers, Robert Conrad, Mike Connors,
Nichelle Nichols, Martin Landau, Bill Cosby, Fess Parker and Many Others
Reveal How They Broke New Ground in Their Famous TV Roles
A special "Legendary Women of Television" event with Angie Dickinson,
Linda Evans, Nichelle Nichols and Stefanie Powers will take place at New
York City's 92nd Street Y on January 16 to mark the series premiere.
Join PBS as PIONEERS OF TELEVISION reveals intriguing stories and uncovers
fascinating facts from the early days of television, including:
-- Gene Roddenberry's first choice to play Spock in "Star Trek."
-- William Shatner's first TV role (hint: it's not in the "Science
Fiction" episode). -- The first show to have actors use a Teleprompter
instead of memorizing their lines. -- America's biggest western movie
star who turned down the starring role in "Gunsmoke." -- Albert
Einstein's favorite TV show (hint: its stars were puppets). -- The woman
and man who shared television's first interracial kiss. -- The famous
actors who started their careers as local children's TV hosts.
* * * Answers revealed on season two of PIONEERS OF TELEVISION
These and many other little-known facts about some of the most beloved
series and stars in television history are revealed when PIONEERS OF
TELEVISION returns for a second season Tuesdays, January 18 - February 8,
2011, 8-9 p.m. ET/PT on PBS. Narrated by Kelsey Grammer, this four-part
series transports viewers behind the scenes for a revealing look at the
inception of four of the most popular genres in television: science
fiction, westerns, crime dramas and local kids' TV.
Utilizing new interviews with legendary stars, along with
never-before-seen images and timeless footage that still entertains
decades later, PIONEERS OF TELEVISION brings to life the fascinating
history of some of the most successful and beloved shows in television.
Stars such as James Garner, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle
Nichols, Angie Dickinson, Bill Cosby, Robert Culp, Stefanie Powers, Martin
Landau, Peter Graves, Robert Conrad, Linda Evans, Mike Connors, Fess
Parker and writer Stephen J. Cannell are among those interviewed whose
imprint on the iconic genres they helped create still impact the medium
To mark the premiere, New York City's 92nd Street Y will celebrate the
"Pioneers of Television" when they welcome four Legendary Women of
Television: Angie Dickinson, Linda Evans, Nichelle Nichols and Stefanie
Powers for a special evening event on Sunday, January 16. Additional
information can be found at www.92y.org.
"PIONEERS OF TELEVISION takes viewers back in time to a different era of
entertainment, both humorous and poignant," said John Wilson, PBS chief TV
programming executive. "Executive producers Steve Boettcher and Michael
Trinklein have once again delivered a remarkable series that captures the
innovation, genius and vision behind the early years of television."
An icon of television in his own right, Kelsey Grammer, who is currently
starring in Broadway's La Cage Aux Folles, played the celebrated character
Dr. Frasier Crane over a span of 20 years. Says Boettcher, "We are
thrilled to have Kelsey Grammer as our narrator, a TV legend that has tied
the record for the longest-running television character in TV history. We
appreciate his resonant voice, but we are even more heartened by his
enthusiasm for PIONEERS OF TELEVISION."
PIONEERS OF TELEVISION depicts the epic beginnings of the four featured
television genres and explores the stories and influences of their
groundbreaking pioneers. The hour-long episodes are:
"SCIENCE FICTION" (Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 8-9 p.m. ET/PT):
Storytellers Gene Roddenberry, Irwin Allen and Rod Serling created the
storylines and characters behind the best-loved futuristic television of
their time. But as Roddenberry's "Star Trek" competed for ratings with
Allen's "Lost in Space," each show's creator aimed for a very different
direction. This episode explores how Roddenberry and Serling (of "The
Twilight Zone") used the future as a stage for modern morality plays, and
William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols and other science-fiction
stars describe how they prepared to interact on-camera with a malevolent
alien force… or, perhaps, a giant radish.
"WESTERNS" (Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 8-9 p.m. ET/PT):
Known everywhere as the quintessential American cultural identity,
westerns filled small screens across the country night after night and
were some of the most successful television shows in history. Fess
Parker's portrayal of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett channeled the
bravery, independence, honesty and rugged individualism of a young nation
-- and made Walt Disney enough money to build an empire. Westerns
introduced James Garner, who starred in the television hit "Maverick,"
where he developed the reluctant hero character that would cement his
successful TV and film career. Garner, in his only recent interview, and
Parker tell their stories, and Linda Evans recalls how two strong female
characters emerged with her onscreen interaction with Barbara Stanwyck in
"The Big Valley." This episode also examines the success of Robert Conrad
in "The Wild Wild West," the popularity of "Bonanza" and the creation of
the classic series "Gunsmoke" with James Arness -- one of the
longest-running television series of all
"CRIME DRAMAS" (Tuesday, February 1, 2011, 8-9 p.m. ET/PT):
As viewers reveled in being transported to shadowy underworlds, creative
geniuses emerged in the forms of Jack Webb ("Dragnet"), Desi Arnaz ("The
Untouchables") and Bruce Geller ("Mannix" and "Mission: Impossible").
Groundbreaking actors Bill Cosby ("I Spy") and Angie Dickinson ("Police
Woman") reveal the methods behind their successes as the first
African-American and breakthrough female lead characters in a television
series. Barbara Bain and Martin Landau share the secrets behind the
innovative hit "Mission: Impossible"; Peter Falk's friends and colleagues
recall the evolution of his "Columbo" character; and James Garner and
series creator Stephen J. Cannell recount the success of the "The Rockford
"LOCAL KIDS' TV" (Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 8-9 p.m. ET/PT):
Local kids' programs shaped the childhoods of millions of American
children in the early years of television. Performers such as Willard
Scott and William Shatner honed their skills performing on live TV with
small budgets and little support. With the flimsiest of second-hand store
costumes and their own imaginations, they learned how to make their
audience laugh, smile and think. One early talent, Stan Freberg, got off
the bus in the middle of Hollywood, became a cartoon voice talent and
created "Time for Beany" -- a show that captured seven out of 10 viewers,
including Albert Einstein, during its run in Los Angeles. Freberg's story
is told along with the stories of legendary Muppets creator Jim Henson
(who started on local television as a teenager), actor Chuck McCann
(originator of New York's "Puppet Hotel"), Larry Harmon (who popularized
Bozo the Clown) and Nancy Claster (who developed the Baltimore kids'
series "Romper Room" -- the first franchised show in television history).
* * * Talent Interviews and DVD Screeners are available upon request * * *
An encore presentation of three episodes from the first season of PIONEERS
OF TELEVISION, which explore the early years of sitcoms, late night and
variety shows, will air Tuesdays, February 15 - March 1, 2011, 8-9 p.m.
ET/PT on PBS.
Access behind-the-scenes photos and watch video interviews with television
pioneers on the PIONEERS OF TELEVISION Facebook page
(facebook.com/pioneersoftelevision). The series will also be accompanied
by a website on pbs.org, launching in late 2010, with a special "in
memoriam" section featuring videos of the last interviews of Stephen J.
Cannell, Robert Culp, Peter Graves and Fess Parker filmed by the PIONEERS
OF TELEVISION producers shortly before their passing in 2010.
Beginning in January, the PIONEERS OF TELEVISION will star on PBS Arts,
PBS' new website that offers Americans the opportunity to experience the
arts and explore the creative process through special virtual art
exhibits. The PIONEERS OF TELEVISION exhibit will focus on the art of
acting for television, offering exclusive video clips of actors discussing
their craft, along with rare backstage photos of TV's iconic stars
preparing for their scenes. This unique insider's look at the world of
television acting will be online at pbs.org/arts.
PIONEERS OF TELEVISION is produced for PBS by Boettcher/Trinklein
Productions. Steve Boettcher is director/producer. Mike Trinklein is
writer/producer. Underwriters are Public Television Viewers and PBS.
Don't miss selected PBS programs streaming free online, the day after
broadcast, on the PBS Video Portal (pbs.org/video/).
* * * Answers:
-- Gene Roddenberry's first choice to play Spock in "Star Trek": Martin
Landau -- William Shatner's first TV role: Ranger Bob on "Howdy Doody" --
The first show to have actors use a Teleprompter instead of memorizing
their lines: "Dragnet" -- America's biggest western movie star who turned
down the starring role in "Gunsmoke,"
(but recommended Jim Arness for the part): John Wayne
-- Albert Einstein's favorite TV show: Local Los Angeles children's show
"Time for Beany" -- The woman and man who shared television's first
interracial kiss: Nichelle Nichols' Lieutenant
Uhura and William Shatner's Captain Kirk in "Star Trek"
-- The famous actors who started their careers as local children's TV
hosts: Merv Griffin, Ted Knight,
Soupy Sales and Adam West (among others)
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans -- from
every walk of life -- the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds
through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than
118 million people through television and nearly 21 million people online,
inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and
public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to
world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been
consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions.
Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital
content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS'
premier children's TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are
parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing
curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is
available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the
Submit your questions for Simon Pegg!
Thirty (30) questions will be selected for the 6th Annual Christmas Q&A on
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Whoopi Goldberg (10/13/10)
Actress Whoopi Goldberg discusses the latest Tyler Perry film.
Bid on an auction (proceeds
go to help Haiti) and Nichelle Nichols may choose to follow you on Twitter,
thank you on her Twitter, call you on the phone, and send you an autograph!
Other celebrities are also involved, including Levar Burton and Jeri Ryan.
More info at http://www.twitchange.com
Bid ends 9/25/10.
How high are the expectations for the sequel to last year's Star Trek movie?
Would you believe the film's creators have set their sights on The Dark
Knight, which shattered all sorts of box office records two years ago?
"The bar is very very high for the sequel," Lost creator and Trek producer
Damon Lindelof told Eonline. "We are looking at a movie like The Dark Knight
which actually went one step beyond Batman Begins. It was really about
something and at the same time was a superhero movie. We don’t want to
abandon all the things that made the first movie work — have it be fun and
emotional, but we also want the movie to thematically resonate, so we are
putting on our highfalutin hats."
Lindelof isn't the only Star Trek producer thinking along those lines. "Our
aspirations are for the [Star Trek sequel] to be even bigger and better than
the first one," producer Bryan Burke told Trekmovie.com. "I don’t mean that
just in scope, I mean content and characters and emotionally. We had a lot
of conversations about Batman Begins and how that movie kind of re-invented
that franchise, and we looked at what The Dark Knight did and how that
really ramped it up and they went to a different place with that film, and
how those two films keep re-inventing themselves and are not the same thing
There are some interesting parallels between J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movie
and Batman Begins. Both films grossed about the same amount of money ($372M
for Batman vs. $385M for Trek). Both revived franchises that had been
dormant at the box office since the previous installment bombed. The Dark
Knight was far and away the biggest box office hit of 2008, earning over a
Star Trek writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have settled on a story
and villain for the sequel to J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot, and are
preparing to turn it into script form. The film is currently slated for a
summer 2012 release.
In an interview with Trekmovie.com, the co-writers refused to divulge any
details about the story or villian. They'll be working with Lost co-creator
Damon Lindelof to polish up their ideas and work out any issues that arise.
They did say the sequel will have a different focus than the first film. "I
think the emphasis is a little different as the first movie is really about
watching the team come together," Kurtzman said. "That doesn’t go away in
the second movie. The second movie is about how does the team now that they
are on their journey, live together as a family, so that is still a big
engine of the narrative."
The film apparently doesn't have a title yet, and the pair traded ideas with
the interviewer about whether the film should stick with the format used by
the Star Trek: The Next Generation films (Star Trek: [something]), or go the
route the Batman franchise has gone, with The Dark Knight not referencing
the franchise directly.
"Encounter At Farpoint" Director Allen – Dead at 75
from TrekMovie.com by TrekMovie.com Staff
The man who directed the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation,
along with a number of other TNG and DS9 episodes passed away on Jun 27.
Corey Allen, actor and Emmy-winning director, died in Hollywood of natural
Former Doctor Who star David Tennant, and Anton Yelchin, who played
Chekov in last year's Star Trek, have both joined the cast of Fright Night.
The film is a remake of the 1985 film with the same name, about a teenager
who discovers his neighbor is a vampire.
Yelchin will play the teenager, while Tennant takes on the role of a
magician who claims to be an expert on vampires, a role originally played by
Roddy McDowell. Collin Farrell and Toni Collette have also been cast in the
"GEORGE TAKEI'S AMERICA: A HOWARD 100 NEWS DOCUMENTARY" TO AIR ON SIRIUS XM RADIO
* Reported by Steve Langford of the Howard 100 News
* Premieres June 28 at 7:00 pm ET on Howard 101
Beloved Stern Show announcer and actor George Takei, like you've never
heard him before....
On George Takei's America: A Howard 100 News Documentary, Takei
transports listeners back into his family's emotional and compelling
history, retracing with Howard 100 News reporter Steve Langford the
exact steps he took as a 5-year old boy, when he and his little brother
and baby sister and their parents were rounded up by American soldiers and
ordered at gunpoint into prison camps for 4 years in the spring of 1942.
Takei takes us to the house in East Los Angeles, where the Takei family
first surrendered, then showing us the horse stalls at Santa Anita
Racetrack near Los Angeles, where George's family was forced to live under
armed guard for several weeks, before being shipped off to prison camps in
Arkansas and Northern California. But it's how George Takei's family
survived this unspeakable injustice, ultimately taking this American
tragedy and turning into the American dream, that makes George Takei's
America....George Takei's "America the Beautiful."
Takei returns to his announcer's chair on The Howard Stern Show on
August 9, and SIRIUS XM will air an encore presentation of George
Takei's America: A Howard 100 News Documentary that night at 7:00 pm ET on
Howard 101. Howard Stern programs both of his SIRIUS XM Radio channels,
Howard 100 and Howard 101. Howard 100 and Howard 101 are available online
worldwide through SIRIUS Internet Radio at http://www.sirius.com/ , as well as at
Audio clip from George Takei's America available here:
was on the Soap Opera Digest website: Calliope and Eugene Reunion on DAYS? With
Arleen Sorkin returning as the zany Calliope Jones, is it only a matter of time
before John deLancie, her longtime partner in frolic and fun, returns as the
equally zany Eugene Bradford? "Well, they want him back, but he's very busy,"
reveals Sorkin, who's kept in touch with deLancie over the years. "He's got a
lot going on. Hopefully, they'll get him." Indeed, deLancie has enjoyed great
success in film and prime-time since exiting daytime in 1989; most notably his
seven-year run on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.
Queen to knight 'Star Trek' star Stewart
Published: Dec. 20, 2009 at 2:52 PM
LONDON, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will knight
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" actor Patrick Stewart, Buckingham
Palace sources say.
The Mirror reported Saturday that Stewart, who played Captain Jean-
Luc Picard on the science-fiction TV series and in multiple "Trek"
films, will be honored by the queen for his 50-year career on
television, cinema and the theater.
"It's a fantastic accolade for a fantastic actor," an unidentified
observer said of Stewart being added to the New Year's Honors list.
"He is a man at the very top of his trade who has mastered both
popular TV and classic roles."
The Mirror said Stewart, who was born in Mirfield, England, began
acting with a small drama group while attempting to become a reporter in
The 69-year-old actor went on to roles in films such as "Dune,"
"Masterminds" and the "X-Men" film series.
William Shatner has been a regular on The Tonight Show this season - doing
interpretive readings of novels, tweets, etc. What he didn't expect
while reading an excerpt from Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue"? A visit from
the author herself. Then, Palin turns the tables. Watch and see!
Shatner Gets Served By Palin (12/11/09) [4:22]
Sarah Palin makes a surprise appearance and gives Shatner the smackdown
Bergen, Roddenberry to TV Hall of Fame
Inductees will be honored at a Jan. 20 ceremony
By Nellie Andreeva
Nov 10, 2009, 01:43 PM ET
Candice Bergen, Charles Lisanby, Don Pardo, Gene Roddenberry, Tom and Dick
Smothers and Bob Stewart have been selected as the
next inductees into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame.
They will be honored at a Jan. 20 ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
"This year's inductees have challenged and shaped popular culture, changed
television for the better and entertained us
royally while doing so," TV Academy Chairman-CEO John Shaffner said.
The inductees were selected by a Hall of Fame selection committee from
submissions from TV Academy members and industry
Top syndication and reality agent, WME partner Mark Itkin, chaired the
committee, which included ABC TV Group president Anne
Sweeney, Fox's president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell, MTV,
VH1, CMT and Logo president of programming Brian
Graden, TV producer/director Lee Miller and production designer and
president of the art directors guild Thomas Walsh.
"These individuals have each made extraordinary and lasting contributions
that have meant so much to multiple generations of
television viewers," Itkin said. "Their work will endure for decades to
Miller will produce the Hall of Fame Gala with Kevin Hamburger.
The remains of actor James Doohan, who played the starship Enterprise's
chief engineer, Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, on Star Trek, will be blasted
into space this month, the company organizing the flight told the Reuters
news service. The Canadian-born actor died two years ago at the age of 85.
The Houston-based commercial company Space Services told Reuters that some
of Doohan's remains were packed into a rocket at Las Cruces, N.M., on March
30, ahead of the flight scheduled for April 28.
The company had originally planned to blast Doohan's remains into space two
years ago. But the flight was delayed by tests, then by a misfire during a
practice launch last year.
From azcentral.com 9/21/06
Remastered 'Star Trek' holds course with original
Sept. 21, 2006 12:00 AM
After watching two remastered episodes of the original Star Trek, I have one
word of advice for Trekkers: Relax.
As a lifelong fan of the series (let's not go down the whole Trekker/Trekkie
road), I was ecstatic to hear they were blowing the mustiness off the
original series. Purists may cringe, but it's nice to see the starship
Enterprise looking shiny and new, and orbiting real-looking planets.
As you may or may not know, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Star
Trek, Paramount put the influential sci-fi TV series through a digital wash
and rinse and swapped out the stodgy '60s special effects for modern
computerized ships, planets and phaser fire. advertisement
To me, everything just looks better, including the planets, which now have
cloud cover and no longer resemble big colorful blobs. The audio is clearer
and the distinctive uniforms are vibrant again, and gone are the scratches,
hairs and other junk that gummed up the negative.
Unlike George Lucas with the Star Wars series, or Steven Spielberg with E.T.,
the Paramount people say they didn't add or subtract any content. They just
souped up what's already there. The Enterprise doesn't do barrel roles, nor
do hundreds of enemy ships suddenly appear out of nowhere.
The computerized special effects are essentially digital replicas of the
original models; Paramount even visited the Enterprise model hanging in the
Smithsonian, taking exact measurements for the ship's computerized
Over the weekend, Star Trek's new local home, Channel 61 (KASW), aired two
refurbished episodes: "Miri," which starred Kim Darby as a teen survivor on
a plague planet, and "Balance of Terror," in which Capt. Kirk (William
Shatner) matches wits with a Romulan commander (Mark Lenard, who's better
known for playing Spock's dad).
"Miri," with just a few special effects shots, isn't that great a test for
the "HD quality" Star Trek. The uniforms look vivid (like they did on my
grandmother's giant console TV set), but the show is set in a
post-apocalyptic slum, not in outer space. I couldn't tell if the blue-red
sores on the landing party were jazzed up; they still looked just as gross
as I remember.
"Balance of Terror," essentially a Star Trek version of the submarine movie
The Enemy Below, showcases the new format. The episode includes dozens of
effects shots of the Enterprise battling a cloaked Romulan warbird.
Actually, the Romulans benefit most from makeover. The warbird wasn't a
staple on the show, and it looked like a flimsy model.
Now, as the camera sweeps over the top of the Romulan ship, we see what
appear to be real metal plates, with variation from one to another. Wow. The
techies also improved the look of the Romulans' plasma projectile, which
chases the Enterprise into the interstellar hills.
A note for true Trekkers: When the Enterprise fires its phasers in "Balance
of Terror" (a first-season episode), the blasts come in short bursts, like
photon torpedoes. As the series went on, this inconsistency would be
addressed, but Paramount doesn't tamper; the only improvements are brighter
bursts and added reverb.
This may seem like a minor point (OK, it is), but it does prove that the
digital remastering is meant to help the original effects shine through,
rather than just re-doing them totally.
While some will consider these "improvements" as a betrayal of the original
work, it's not worth too much righteous indignation. Star Trek, remember, is
a sci-fi show, so the changes seem much more natural and hardly an affront.
And if any show deserves to have the best technology available, it's Star
Trek, which inspired thousands to invent that technology in the first place.
From star-ecentral.com 9/26/06
Star Trek Is A Rumor Wreck
By Josh Tyler: 2006-09-16
Seriously Paramount, give us some real information on Star Trek XI soon, or
we'll tear ourselves to pieces. We can't take much more of this.
Forget every rumor you've heard about Trek casting over the past few months.
We're back to square one again.
Remember how William Shatner confirmed that he'd been contacted about being
in J.J. Abram's new Trek prequel? Forget it. He's now contradicting himself.
On his official site he now says, "There are lots of underground rumblings
about STAR TREK. Some of it is burbling, some of it is barely noticeable. I
know nothing except that where’s there’s rumblings, there’s gas and in this
case, the gas is coming from JJ Abrams and none of it seems to be directed
in my direction."
Confused yet? Wait, there's more. Remember all the rumors about how Matt
Damon was being approached to be Kirk? Remember how Abrams' approached
Shatner about getting his blessing to cast Damon? Well apparently he wants
him so bad that he's not even returning his calls. IESB asked Matt Damon
about it at a recent press junket, and Matt denies everything. Apparently he
hasn't heard anything from Abrams or Paramount. His publicist even went so
far as to admit that they've even been calling around to Matt's talent
agency to see for themselves if there have been any inquiries, and the
answer is absolutely no.
The fact that Damon has his people checking on the project makes me think
that perhaps he's interested in doing it, but if nobody offers it to him
then it's going to be kind of tough for him to take it. What's going on with
Star Trek XI? It's anybody's guess. At this rate there's a good chance that
the Enterprise will end up being crewed by nothing but tribbles. They'll
work for scale. Meanwhile, I'm going to my quarters with… a headache.
Kirk and Spock in new 'Star Trek' movie
Source: Jam! Movies
Date: 31st August, 2006
Posted by: Paul Heath
Jam! Movies have a bit of scoop. It seems that Spock and Captain Kirk
(Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner) could be returning for the new STAR TREK
movie. Nimoy dished some gossip to the site.
"The head of production at Paramount called my agency to tell them about
this project and they are aware of Bill's and my contribution to the
franchise, and they'd like us to know they might want some involvement. It
was all very, very general.
"They might possibly want Bill and I to set up the story as a flashback. But
that's just conjecture on my part."
Leonard Nimoy continues to prosper
Behind the iconic ears and bowl haircut you'll discover an interesting guy
By JIM STOTEK -- Toronto Sun
Leonard Nimoy (AP file photo)
Three decades ago, as the craze over a long-cancelled show called Star Trek
became feverish, Leonard Nimoy wrote a book called I Am Not Spock.
A little over 10 years ago, noticing that when people called out "Spock!" on
the street he'd turn around, Nimoy bowed to the inevitable and wrote a book
called I Am Spock.
Now J.J. Abrams is coming up with the next Star Trek movie, in which a young
Kirk and Spock meet at Starfleet Academy. That means somebody else will be
cast as Spock.
Which means, we tell Nimoy, you are not Spock again.
The Vulcan laughs. Nimoy lets go a loud guffaw over the phone from his Lake
Tahoe home and says "I never thought of that. My next title should be 'I Am
Not Necessarily Spock.' "
Retired, and devoted to his family and his photography hobby, Nimoy doesn't
much care about doings in Hollywood. But the actor/director -- who'll be
appearing this weekend alongside old friend William Shatner at the Canadian
Expo at the Metro Convention Centre (the annual Nerd Woodstock) -- could be
coerced to boldly go back for the right set of pointy ears.
"The head of production at Paramount called my agency to tell them about
this project and they are aware of Bill's and my contribution to the
franchise, and they'd like us to know they might want some involvement. It
was all very, very general
"They might possibly want Bill and I to set up the story as a flashback. But
that's just conjecture on my part."
Whether or not it brings him back to the screen, Star Trek has brought Nimoy
out of the house quite a bit more this year -- the occasion being the 40th
anniversary of the launch of the USS Enterprise's five-year mission on NBC,
Sept. 8, 1966 (the episode, for trivia buffs out there, was "The Man Trap,"
about a salt-eating vampire creature let loose on the Enterprise).
"It is a long time ago," Nimoy says, "yet some of it is extremely fresh in
my mind. I vividly remember some of the earliest makeup tests and wardrobe
fittings, the first days of shooting. I remember shooting with Jeffrey
Hunter on the first pilot (1965). And then the phone call I got from the
studio saying they wanted to make a new pilot and they wanted me back."
Well, sort of wanted him. The most common studio memo that greeted the
original Star Trek pilot (with Jeffrey Hunter as Capt. Pike) was "get rid of
the guy with the ears."
And even 40 years ago last August, Nimoy recalls, "I opened up my mail one
day and found a brochure from NBC's sales department which they were sending
to potential sponsors. And in the photographs of me in that brochure, the
pointy ears had been removed. I called Gene (Star Trek creator Gene
Roddenberry) and he said he explained that somebody in sales had become
concerned that the religious Bible Belt might be offended by the idea of a
devilish looking character coming into their homes. So to play it safe they
got rid of the ears."
Instead, he became Trek's most popular character, surviving even his own
death in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. "I really thought I was finished
when I saw that script, it's over."
Nimoy likens today's appetite for Star Trek to the '70s, "when there was
this great demand and no product" (the last Trek series, Enterprise, was
cancelled two years ago).
In fact, though much is made of a rivalry between "Trekkers" and Star Wars
fans, Nimoy credits George Lucas for giving Trek life. "In '77 I was in
Equus on Broadway and I kept hearing about the phenomenal success of Star
Wars. I went to a theatre in Times Square and the place was packed with
screaming, shouting, cheering people. And I thought 'Wow. I think we're
going to be getting a call from Paramount. And sure enough, three weeks
later, they announced their Star Trek movie."
Along with Shatner, Nimoy had the active non-Trek career, his as a director
(Star Trek IV and two movies shot in T.O., The Good Mother and the smash hit
Three Men And A Baby).
"These days I'm very much involved with my photography. My work is in
several museums in the U.S. and in galleries. I work with nudity, female
figures." Some of them -- the ones in his Full Body Project --quite, shall
we say, Rubenesque. "That's one of the areas of my work," he says. "Not all
of it, but it is a definite thread."
(See it on leonardnimoyphotography.com).
As for attending Trek conferences, "That's like taking a victory lap," Nimoy
says. "They say wonderful things and stroke your ego. They tell you how
you've affected their lives in a positive way, and thanks for all the years
Ditto, we say, and thanks for talking to us.
"Live long and prosper," Nimoy says with a chuckle.
THE LEONARD FILE
BORN: March 26, 1931 in Boston, Mass., to Ukrainian-Jewish immigrants
MIDDLE NAME: Simon
MORE THAN JUST SPOCK: Film director, poet, author, musician and photographer
(check out his work at leonardnimoyphotography.com)
ROLE REVERSAL: Nimoy replaced Martin Landau in Mission: Impossible in 1969.
Ironically, Landau turned down the Spock role to play the "Rollin Hand"
character in Mission Impossible.
MUSIC MAN: Nimoy also has released several albums of vocal recordings
including Trek-related songs and cover versions of popular tunes.
DID YOU KNOW?: Nimoy directed a 1985 music video for The Bangles' Going Down
-- source: wikipedia.com
He is part alien: half-Vulcan, half-Human.
Mr. Spock was in "constant struggle between the Vulcan logical self and his
human emotional self"
Famous for his Vulcan nerve pinch. "This manoeuvre renders most humans and
humanoids unconscious by applying pressure at the intersection of the
shoulder and neck of humans."
Takei takes to Net Trek
George Takei, famous for playing helmsman Hikaru Sulu of the celebrated
starship USS Enterprise in Star Trek (the original series), is returning to
the role for a fan-produced, downloadable Internet-only episode of the show.
It's part of The New Voyages, a series of full-length Web episodes produced
by longtime fan James Cawley. What started out as a fan effort has evolved
into a slick production with professional outfits donating their time and
resources, Cawley told the Associated Press.
The series unofficially continues the mythology of the original show, with
its storylines taken from unfilmed scripts written for a planned 70s revival
that never materialised.
Takei's episode, World Enough and Time, will see the intrepid helmsman being
transported to an alien world. He spends 30 years there, aging and even
having a child.
Cawley himself plays Captain James T. Kirk in The New Voyages.
Trekkers should check out the link below for more info on the series and to
download the episodes.
From TVGuide.com 8/31/06 Exclusive! "New" Star Trek Is Set on Stunning by Michael Logan Behold Star Trek's "new" Enterprise.
Star Trek purists, take a deep breath! On Sept. 16, the iconic ‘60s series will
return to syndication for the first time since 1990, but with a startling
difference: All 79 episodes are being digitally remastered with
computer-generated effects not possible when Gene Roddenberry created the show
40 years ago. The news could cause Roddenberry loyalists to have a collective
cow, but the longtime Trek staffers in charge of the makeover say they're
honoring the late maestro's vision, not changing it. "We're taking great pains to respect the integrity and style of the original,"
says Michael Okuda, who spent 18 years as a scenic-art supervisor on Star Trek
films and spin-offs. "Our goal is to always ask ourselves: What would
Roddenberry have done with today's technology?" Okuda's teammates on the
two-year project are his wife, Denise Okuda, with whom he's authored several
Trek reference books, and 14-year Trek production vet David Rossi. The upgraded episodes — to be shown out of order and one per week — will kick
off with "Balance of Terror," a big fan favorite "that gives us a chance to
really show off the ‘new' Enterprise," says Okuda. "The exterior of the ship now
has depth and detail, and it will fly more dynamically." Painted backdrops will also be brought to
life: Once-empty star bases will have CGI people milling about, while static
alien landscapes have been given slow-moving clouds and shimmering water. Okuda
notes that a view of Earth in the 1966 episode "Miri" has been "replaced with a
more accurate image, now that we've gone into deep space and looked back at
ourselves." Trek's opening theme is also getting an overhaul: The music has been re-recorded
in stereo, and a new singer has been hired to wail those famous but wordless
vocals. And goofs will be corrected: In "The Naked Time," there was no beam
coming out of Scotty's phaser when he tried to cut through the bulkhead outside
Engineering. Now there is. The "new" Trek debuts Sept. 16. Star Trek fans, pick up the new TV Guide to see what William Shatner and Leonard
Nimoy have to say about the series' 40th anniversary. Send in your comments about this article to
Zone, Trek Producer Piller Dies Michael Piller, co-creator of USA Network's The Dead Zone TV show and a veteran
Star Trek writer/producer, died in the early morning hours of Nov. 1 after a
long fight with cancer, the official Star Trek Web site reported. He was 57.
George Takei (Sulu) told the world he was gay 10/27/05. Most Trek fans
responded with tolerance as usual.
Past Time Magazine articles from Time Magazine
November 25, 1996
ALIENS! ADVENTURE! ACTING!
A COOL NEW STAR TREK FILM HITS THE GALACTIC TRIFECTA
Captain Jean-Luc Picard is building up a head of righteous steam about the Borg,
the evil race that once enslaved Picard and has now infested the Starship
Enterprise with plans to do something very naughty to Planet Earth. Well, the
Captain will not abandon ship. He will face up to the Borg, he says. "And I
will make them pay for what they've done." As Patrick Stewart delivers this
line with a majestic ferocity worthy of a Royal Shakespeare Company alumnus, the
audience gapes in awe at a special effect more imposing than any ILM digital
doodle. Here is real acting! In a Star Trek film! From the successor to William
This is just one of the small wonders in Star Trek: First Contact, eighth in
the big-screen series and second with the crew of Star Trek: The Next
Generation. Here, for a change, is an action movie that takes its subject but
not itself seriously. It has a theme: the temptation to become something other
and powerful, instead of cozy, ordinary you. It borrows not only from the Trek
canon, but from other science fiction (eek!--there's a killer alien on board!).
Yet First Contact is no grab bag of camp gewgaws; it stands proud and apart,
accessible even to the Trek-deficient. This old Star, it seems, has a lot of
life in it.
In the script by Rick Berman, Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, the
Enterprise is sailing through space, with its Frisbee contours and fabulous tail
fins, toward mop-up duty in the Federation's war against its ugliest nemesis.
The Borg are flying back to the 21st century to prevent the first rendezvous
between humans and benevolent extraterrestrials, then to "assimilate"
all earthlings and turn them into crusty, cranky robots. Picard, who has been
denied active duty for the very reason he needs to fight--because of his earlier
assimilation by the Borg--disobeys orders and, y'know, saves the galaxy. But not
before his android Data (Brent Spiner) is captured by the seductive queen Borg
Under the suave direction of Jonathan Frakes, who also plays the Enterprise's
second-in-command, the movie glides along with purpose and style. It also allows
for a fun detour into a "holographic novel" set in the dear Deco days
of Indiana Jones. But it's mainly a three-way tug of souls among Picard, Data
and the queen of all the Borg. When she whispers to her onetime conquest Picard,
"You can't begin to imagine the life you denied yourself," she opens
the movie up to the ache of memory--to a good man's second thoughts when he
considers the road not taken, even if it's the road to Hell.
For their sequel, the Next Generation stalwarts will do battle with a
creature even meaner and mouthier than the Borg: the McEnroe.
November 28, 1994
As a new generation takes command, the Star Trek phenomenon seems unstoppable
FOR STAR TREK FANS, THE MEMORY STILL HURTS. IT WAS A Saturday Night Live sketch
eight years ago, and William Shatner -- the indomitable Captain James Tiberius
Kirk from the original TV series -- was playing himself making a guest
appearance at a Star Trek convention. After fielding a few dumb questions from
the nerdy, trivia-obsessed fans, he suddenly exploded: "I'd just like to
say Get a life, will you, people?! I mean, for crying out loud, it was just a TV
No matter that Shatner, in the sketch, quickly recanted, telling the
crestfallen Trekkies that his outburst was, of course, a re-creation of
"the evil Captain Kirk" from Episode 37. The put-down was like a
phaser to the heart. Trekkies (or Trekkers, as many prefer to be called these
days) have always existed in something of a parallel universe of TV viewing.
They're the ones who can debate for hours the merits of the episode in which Mr.
Spock mind-melded with a bloblike alien called the Horta, or the one where
Captain Kirk time-traveled back to the Great Depression and fell in love with
Joan Collins. They know the scientific properties of dilithium crystals, they
have memorized the floor plan of the Starship Enterprise, and they can say,
"Surrender or die!" in the Klingon language. They have immersed
themselves, with a fervor matched by few devotees of any religious sect, in a
fully imagined future world, where harmony and humanism have triumphed and the
shackles of time and space can be cast aside almost at will. Trekkies are
true-believing optimists, and a few of them may be nuts.
They are also the custodians of perhaps the most enduring and all-embracing
pop-culture phenomenon of our time. Consider the industry that has grown out of
a quirky TV series that ran for three years in the late 1960s, only to be
canceled because of low ratings. Two decades later, a second series, Star Trek:
The Next Generation, ran for seven seasons and became the highest-rated
syndicated show in TV history. A third Trek series, Deep Space Nine, if not
quite as big a hit, is currently the No. 1-rated drama in syndication. Six Star
Trek movies have earned a total of nearly $500 million at the box office.
Videocassettes (of every series episode, as well as the movies) are so popular
that most video stores devote an entire section to them. Star Trek is seen
around the world in 75 countries, and Trek mania has hit many of them; the
official Star Trek fan club in Britain has 18,000 members. Trek-related
merchandise, ranging from T shirts and backpacks to a $2,200 brass replica of
the Enterprise, has exploded in the past five years, with total revenues topping
$1 billion. More than 63 million Star Trek books are in print, and new titles --
from tell-alls by former cast members to novelizations of Trek episodes -- are
appearing at the rate of more than 30 a year.
And the Trek phenomenon is bursting again like a fresh supernova. A seventh
feature film, Star Trek: Generations, which opened over the weekend, brings
together for the first time the two Enterprise big shots: Shatner as the heroic,
headstrong Captain Kirk of the original series and of every movie until now; and
Patrick Stewart, the bald-pated Brit who succeeded him as the more cerebral
Captain Picard in The Next Generation. The new film, a smashingly entertaining
mix of outer-space adventure and spaced-out metaphysics, almost certainly marks
the last movie appearance of the classic Trek crew (Kirk, in a secret no one
seems able to keep, dies at the end of the film) and launches what promises to
be a new string of movies featuring Stewart and his Next Generation gang. With
Deep Space Nine continuing, and yet another TV series, Star Trek: Voyager,
debuting in January, the pump is primed for more TV-to-movie transfers in the
future. The mother ship of all TV cult hits seems poised to boldly go where none
has gone before: into eternity.
For all that, Star Trek has never won much respect. In the realm of long-
running entertainment phenoms, Sherlock Holmes has more history; James Bond,
more class; Star Wars and Indiana Jones, more cinematic cachet. And while no one
sneers at the Baker Street Irregulars, noninitiates consider Trekkies to be
pretty odd: Trekkies like Pete Mohney, a computer programmer in Birmingham,
Alabama, who leads a double life as captain of his local Starfleet
"ship," the Hephaestus NC-2004, and publisher of a 40-page Trekkie
newsletter; or Jerry Murphy, a Sugar Grove, Illinois, business manager and
father of two, who is commander of a local Klingon club and frequently dresses
up as one of the big-browed aliens for charity events. "Nobody messes with
Klingons," he says. "We're the bikers of the Star Trek world."
After all, you have to wonder about people who would pore over The Star Trek
Encyclopedia, with 5,000 entries on every character, planet, gadget or concept
ever mentioned in the series, from gagh ("serpent worms, a Klingon culinary
delicacy") to Pollux V ("planet in the Beta Geminorum system that
registered with no intelligent life-forms when the Enterprise investigated that
area of space on Stardate 3468"). Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek's late
creator and guiding spirit, once got a letter from a group of scientists who
complained about a scene in which Captain Picard visited France and looked up at
the night sky. By their calculations, they said, the stars could not have been
in that position in France in the 24th century.
Yet Star Trek has legions of more temperate fans too. General Colin Powell is
a watcher; so are Robin Williams, Mel Brooks and Stephen Hawking, the best-
selling physicist (A Brief History of Time) who made a guest appearance in an
episode of The Next Generation, playing poker with holographic re-creations of
Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton. Rachelle Chong, a member of the Federal
Communications Commission, has decorated her office with Trek paraphernalia and
dressed up as Captain Picard for Halloween. "I like the show because it
shows me tomorrow," she says. And sometimes today: the cellular phone-like
communicators used by the Trek crew back in the 1960s are almost exact
precursors of the personal-communication systems the FCC has just begun issuing
According to Paramount TV research, Star Trek's regular weekly audience of
more than 20 million includes more high-income, college-educated viewers (as
well as more men) than the average TV show. Even at the better than 200 Trekkie
conventions held each year, the clientele is more likely to be middle- ! aged
couples with kids in tow than computer geeks sporting Vulcan ears. "In the
early days, everyone had a shirt and a costume," says Mary Warren, who was
selling Trek apparel at a recent convention in Tucson, Arizona. "Now you
get all these normal people in here." Among the 2,000 who attended was
Elaine Koste, who came with her husband David and five-year-old daughter Karessa.
"I use Star Trek as a tool to educate my daughter," said Koste.
"It's good for her to see the characters deal with other races and teach
"People have not gotten a real sense of what Star Trek fandom is really
all about," says Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock, the superrational,
pointy- eared Vulcan on the original series. "I talk to people in various
professions all the time who say, 'I went to college to study this or that
because of Star Trek."' Jonathan Frakes, Commander Riker on The Next
Generation, concurs: "If you go in looking for geeks and nerds, then yeah,
you'll find some. But this is a show that doesn't insult the audience. It is
intelligent, literate and filled with messages and morals -- and that's what
most of the people who watch are interested in."
Star Trek has evolved over the years from the brash, sometimes campy original
series, with its Day-Glo colors and dime-store special effects, to the more
meditative, slickly produced Next Generation, to the relatively conventional
action-flick pleasures of the feature films. In all its incarnations, however,
Star Trek conveys Roddenberry's optimistic view of the future. Sinister forces
and evil aliens might lurk behind every star cluster, but on the bridge of the
Enterprise, people of various races, cultures and planets work in utopian
harmony. Their adventures, in the early days, were often allegories for
earthbound problems like race relations and Vietnam -- problems that were solved
with reason. A key concept of the show, which began during the Vietnam War, was
the Prime Directive. It stated that the Enterprise crew must not interfere with
the normal course of development of any civilization they might encounter.
The comforting ethos of the series was expressed not merely in the amity of
the crew -- who never fought amongst themselves except when one or another had
been taken over by aliens, which seemed to happen about every third episode.
Beyond that, the freewheeling way the starship broke the constraints of time and
space was a testament to unlimited human possibilities. Hundreds of light- years
could be traversed in minutes (just accelerate to "warp factor"); crew
members could be transported from place to place in an instant ("Beam me
up, Scotty"). Time travel was a particular Star Trek favorite; characters
were often shuttling back and forth to the past, trying to rectify mistakes of
history and avoid disasters of the future. Talk about power trips!
Despite its techno-talk, Star Trek and The Next Generation were, at bottom,
shows about the nature and meaning of being human. The endless parade of evil
aliens and perverted civilizations -- from the bellicose Klingons to the
pernicious Borg, with their hivelike collective consciousness -- was always
contrasted to the civilized humans on board the Enterprise. The most popular
characters were the nonhuman ones -- Spock, the "logical" Vulcan, and
Data, the soulless android -- precisely because they were constantly being
confronted with the human qualities they lacked: the emotions they either
scorned (in Spock's case) or craved (in Data's).
Star Trek: Generations (directed by David Carson, who did several episodes of
the series) continues the exploration of this theme. Data (Brent Spiner) has an
"emotion chip" implanted in his brain, then suddenly has to deal with
unfamiliar feelings like fear, remorse and giggly irresponsibility. Captain
Picard, meanwhile, must overcome the siren-like lure of the Nexus, a timeless
zone of pure joy that is being sought by the villainous Dr. Soran (Malcolm
McDowell). The Nexus is a personalized fantasyland, where Picard experiences the
idyllic home life he never had. Captain Kirk is there too, going through his own
homey fantasy, but both must reject the Nexus and return to the real world to
help defeat Soran. Responsibility, caring for others, recognizing your mortality
-- these things too are part of being human.
Star Trek's optimistic morality plays were especially appealing when the show
first went on the air in 1966. "It seemed like there was a hell of a lot of
trouble in the world," says D.C. Fontana, a writer on the original show,
"and it was a time there might not have been a whole lot of hope in
America. And here comes this series that says mankind is better than we might
think." Says Ian Spelling, who publishes a weekly Star Trek newspaper
column: "It's a story of a positive future in which people are getting
along. And if they're not, they're trying to work things out."
The multicultural Star Trek crew -- a Russian, a Japanese, a black woman, a !
Vulcan (make that multiplanetary) -- was of symbolic importance to many viewers.
"As a teen, I was a fan," says Whoopi Goldberg, who had a recurring
role in The Next Generation. "I recognized the multicultural, multiracial
aspects, and different people getting together for a better world. Racial issues
have been solved. Male-female problems have been solved. The show is about
Star Trek has won praise from many science-fiction writers. Ray Bradbury, a
close friend of Roddenberry's until the latter's death in 1991, finds the show's
popularity unsurprising: "We're living in a science-fiction time. We're
swimming in an ocean of technology, and that's why Star Trek, Star Wars and 90%
of the most successful films of the last 10 years are science fiction."
Indeed, Star Trek has helped spark a revival of science fiction on TV, including
such shows as Babylon 5 and SeaQuest DSV and an entire cable network, the Sci-Fi
Many scientists too admire the show for its faithfulness to the scientific
method, if not to factual science. "They have a respect for the way science
and engineering work," says Louis Friedman, a former programs director at
Pasadena's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "For example, when you make
measurements of a planet and try to determine its atmosphere, then get into the
transporter ... well, if you had a transporter that's probably how you'd do it.
They make it believable because they go through a reasonable process."
Others attribute Star Trek's popularity less to its science than to its
dramatic and mythic qualities. Richard Slotkin, professor of English at Wesleyan
University, says the show echoes the pioneer stories that dominate American
history and literature. "What's so appealing about Star Trek is that it
takes the old frontier myth and crosses it with a platoon movie," Slotkin
says. "Instead of the whites against the Indians, you have a multiethnic
crew against the Romulans and Klingons."
Star Trek has always had its literary pretensions; allusions to Shakespeare
abound, and it has often been compared to The Odyssey. "There was something
heroic and epic to the underlying themes," says Patrick Stewart, a member
of the Royal Shakespeare Company. "In terms of its ambition, the stage on
which it was set was Homeric." Says Shatner: "I think there is a need
for the culture to have a myth, like the Greeks had. We don't have any. So I
think people look to Star Trek to set up a leader and a hearty band of
followers. It's Greek classical storytelling." Not that the stars buy all
the highfalutin analyses of their work. Kirk has been described as a classic
Kennedyesque cold warrior. "That's too esoteric for me," says Shatner.
"All I wanted to do was come up with a good character. I always played Kirk
close to myself, mostly because of fatigue."
Shatner wouldn't have played Kirk at all if the original pilot for the series
had pleased NBC. The show, which Roddenberry produced in 1964, starred Jeffrey
Hunter as the captain. But NBC wanted changes, and by the time a new pilot was
done, Hunter had dropped out. One actor who remained from the first pilot was
Nimoy as Mr. Spock -- though only after Roddenberry persuaded NBC not to drop
the character. The network had other alarming suggestions: at one point,
Roddenberry recalled, NBC executives suggested that Spock smoke a space
cigarette, to please a tobacco-company sponsor.
The original Star Trek never drew much of an audience, and it was saved from
cancellation after two seasons only with the help of a letter-writing campaign
from fans. But in its third season, NBC moved the show to a weak time slot, on
Fridays at 10 p.m., and cut its budget by $9,000 an episode, putting a further
crimp in the already bargain-basement special effects. The show was gone after
But three seasons and 79 episodes were just enough to put the show's reruns
into syndication, and there they were an enormous hit. By the end of the '70s,
the success of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind had prompted
Paramount to give its TV space crew a crack at the big screen. Star Trek: The
Motion Picture displeased hard-core fans. But it made a sturdy $82 million at
the box office and launched a series of films that peaked in 1986 with Star Trek
IV: The Voyage Home, which grossed $110 million. Only Roddenberry felt left out.
Though listed as executive consultant on all the films, he was largely
supplanted by other producers. "He was pretty bitter about the films,"
recalls writer Tracy Torme. "He really felt like they took the films away
Yet Roddenberry got a second chance on TV, when Star Trek: The Next
Generation debuted in 1987. The show, set 80 years after the original,
introduced a new Enterprise crew and had a much bigger budget. But still there
was turmoil: Roddenberry's insistence on rewriting scripts alienated many of the
writers. Things settled down when Rick Berman, Roddenberry's second-in- command,
and co-executive producer Michael Piller took control. The show soon hit its
stride, with an accomplished cast, better special effects and some of the most
imaginative sci-fi writing ever for TV. The series was ended last May, at the
height of its popularity, because Paramount wanted to switch it to the big
Deep Space Nine is a drearier show, set in a kind of outer-space bus stop,
where another imposing commander (Avery Brooks) presides over a melting pot of
alien riffraff. The upcoming series, Voyager, aims to return to the exploration
theme of the earlier series. Its premise: a Starfleet ship, chasing a band of
rebels who oppose a Federation peace treaty, is transported (through a pesky
space-time anomaly) to a distant part of the universe. The Starfleet crew and
the rebel band must then join forces to find their way back home. The new show
also responds to one longtime complaint about the Star Trek series: the lack of
prominent roles for women. The captain of this Starfleet ship is played by Kate
Mulgrew (replacing Genevieve Bujold, who quit the show after two days of
The Star Trek mystique has grown big enough that there's money to be made in
debunking it. Two cast members from the original show, Nichelle Nichols (Uhura)
and George Takei (Sulu), have written books in which they describe Shatner as an
egomaniac on the set. Shatner has given his side in two volumes of Trek
reminiscences, and some ex-colleagues charge that he has exaggerated his
creative role. "The only thing that surprises me about Bill's (first)
book," says Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who played Nurse Chapel in the
original series and later married Roddenberry, "is that he managed to get
it in the nonfiction category."
Bruised egos also resulted, not surprisingly, from the effort to combine the
two TV casts for a passing of the torch in the new movie. Nimoy declined a role
after he saw how small his part would be. "I told them," he says,
"'The lines that you've written to be spoken by somebody named Spock can be
easily distributed to any of the other characters on the screen."' Which is
what happened: Captain Kirk appears with two lesser members of the old crew:
chief engineer "Scotty" (James Doohan) and Ensign Chekov (Walter
Koenig). Several members of the Next Generation cast, meanwhile, were less than
thrilled with their relatively small amount of screen time. Says LeVar Burton,
who plays Geordi: "Hopefully, if we do another one of these, we will have
an opportunity to spread the wealth more."
Then there was the film's controversial ending. As originally shot, Captain
Kirk was killed by a phaser in the back. But test audiences were reportedly
dissatisfied, and the scene was reshot just weeks before the film opened. Kirk
now has a more action-packed, though considerably lower-tech demise; Trek fans
are already grumbling.
None of which will matter much if the film is, as expected, a big hit. Then
all that Paramount will have to worry about is trying not to squeeze too much
out of its cash cow. The studio plans to produce a new feature film every two
years, while keeping two TV shows running simultaneously. "Star Trek will
do fine if they don't kill the goose," says Barrett Roddenberry. Berman
acknowledges the danger: "There's always the question about taking too many
trips to the well, and one of the tasks Roddenberry left me with was at least to
try to prevent that from happening."
Yet Roddenberry's old optimism seems to be prevailing. "Gene Roddenberry
had a point of view that space is infinite as far as we know, and therefore the
possibilities for stories are infinite," says Brent Spiner, with Data- like
precision. "In the original series, I think they had explored some 18% of
the universe. We (The Next Generation) went into another 15%. So that leaves 67%
of the universe left to explore." Which, by our calculations, should carry
the show well into the 21st century, and that's not even traveling at warp
November 28, 1994
Star Trek: the Timeline
TEXT BY DAVID E. THIGPEN
1964: Desilu Studios tries to sell Star Trek to CBS, which declines and decides
to air Lost in Space instead.
Sept. 1966: NBC broadcasts first episode, The Man Trap: Kirk outwits a
vampire-like alien who has eyes for McCoy.
March 1967: McCoy says, "Dammit, Jim, I'm not a bricklayer, I'm a
doctor!" First variation of this phrase.
1967: Even at its ratings peak, Star Trek ranks No. 52, behind such shows as
Mr. Terrific and Iron Horse.
Dec. 1967: Trouble with Tribbles, peak of Star Trek humor.
Summer 1968: NBC announces cancellation of series but receives 1 million
letters of protest and renews it.
Nov. 1968: TV's first interracial kiss, between Kirk and Uhura. Censors
insist "no racial overtones," no open mouths.
1969: After 79 episodes NBC cancels series.
Feb. 1972: First Star Trek convention is held in New York City. Sci-fi guru
Isaac Asimov attends.
1976: After reveiving 400,000 letters from Trekkies, NASA names space-shuttle
1976: Leonard Nimoy writes I Am Not Spock.
Nov. 1979: Star Trek: The Motion Picture released. The franchise lives.
| Dec. 1982: Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan released; it features Kirstie Alley
and Ricardo Montalban's cleavage. Spock dies.
June 1984: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Spock lives!
1986: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. In 1980s San Francisco, Spock and Kirk
save the whales.
1986: In Saturday Night Life skit, Shatner tells convention of Vulcan-eared
Trekkies to "get a life".
1987: Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series debuts with Shakespearean
actor Patrick Stewart on the bridge and an android riding shotgun.
Oct. 1990: With 80th episode, TNG surpasses original series. Classic Trek
1991: Gene Roddenberry dies.
March 1992: "Star Trek the Exhibition" opens at the National Air
and Space Museum and becomes the most heavily attended exhibit ever.
Jan. 1993: Spin-off series Deep Space Nine debuts. Alien soap opera.
Nov. 1994: Star Trek Generations. Kirk dies. Really
Jan. 1995: Star Trek: Voyager premieres. Lost in space.
24th century: Star Trek forgotten; cult forms around Shatner's '80s cop show,
November 28, 1994
The Torch Has Passed Off-Camera, Too
WHAT BECOMES A LEGEND MOST? FOR RICK BERMAN, who teamed up with Star Trek
creator Gene Roddenberry in 1987 and inherited the franchise mantle after
Roddenberry's death four years later, the challenge has been to honor the
creator's concept while also moving it forward. The original series was set in
the 23rd century, The Next Generation in the 24th; but the century Berman has to
worry about is the 21st.
"Star Trek was never, and hopefully never will be, my vision of the
future," says Berman, 48, a former documentary filmmaker and children's TV
producer. "It's Gene Roddenberry's vision that I agreed to uphold."
The job is trickier than it might seem. Berman, a vice president at Paramount
when Roddenberry tapped him as the producer of The Next Generation, has had to
sail his enterprise between the Scylla of Roddenberry's own "prime
directive" -- a stricture against any conflict among members of Starfleet
-- and the Charybdis of mass-market appeal.
"I went through a rather strenuous apprenticeship," recalls Berman,
a workaholic with few outside interests other than his wife Elizabeth and their
three children. "I learned what was Star Trek and what wasn't. I learned
all the nomenclature, all the rules and regulations. I learned the difference
between shields and deflectors -- that was a day right there. Slowly, Gene began
to trust my judgment and also to trust that I would adhere to the rules, that I
would not be someone who would want to change Star Trek."
Still, he says, "there were some things that existed with Roddenberry
that were very frustrating to us. Not to have conflict among your characters
makes it very difficult, because all the conflict has to come from outside. On
The Next Generation, with the exception of an android and a Klingon, pretty much
everyone was human, and they weren't allowed to be involved in conflict, so that
was very frustrating for the writers."
So frustrating that in the first two seasons TNG writers came and went like
Tribbles as Roddenberry assiduously rewrote nearly every script to conform to
his notion of futuristic collegiality and his distaste for warfare. He had
written for such popular shows as Dragnet and Have Gun Will Travel, and candidly
envisioned the original Star Trek series as a "Wagon Train to the
stars." In his quintessentially '60s view, the final frontier may have been
full of hostile Klingons and dangerous Romulans, but they were generally
susceptible to a pep talk -- only occasionally augmented by a punch in the nose
-- from Captain Kirk. "Everyone always wants me to do space battles,"
Roddenberry remarked in 1989. "Well, screw them. That's not what Star Trek
Conflict, however, is the stuff of drama, and space battles are what the
paying public wants to see, especially on the big screen. Since Roddenberry's
death, Berman has evolved Star Trek into something darker, more elemental and
more mysterious. "Rick was a little more broadminded about what I was
permitted to explore as a character," observes Patrick Stewart, TNG's
Captain Picard, and the new shows are stretching the Star Trek guidelines even
more. On the current Deep Space Nine, set on a remote space station, Starfleet
officers tangle with the alien races who share the outpost. And in the
forthcoming Voyager series (which features the first female starship captain in
a leading role, albeit in a form-fitting uniform), Federation stalwarts must
make an uneasy truce with a contentious band taken on board in a distant part of
the universe. "This way," explains Berman, "you have a core group
of people who were not all brought up on Gene Roddenberry's 24th century Earth.
They don't have to follow the rules."
Whether that reasoning will pass muster down the line remains to be seen,
since Trek fans are notoriously alert to any noncanonical deviations from
Roddenberry's holy writ. "The laws of Star Trek are totally fictional but
are held by the fans with such reverence that they have to be followed as if
they were Newton's," says Berman. "You have to treat them very
carefully, because there are people who for 25 years have considered them
sacred." Even so, there are times he contemplates heresy: on his desk sits
a bust of Roddenberry, its eyes and ears covered by a blindfold. "Things
are sometimes said in this office that he probably would not like to hear,"
December 28, 1992
Star Trek: The Next Frontier
With a dark, gritty new spin-off, the futuristic cult series moves into
JANICE C. SIMPSON
The setting, while not exactly Blade Runner territory, is a desolate space
station -- a decidedly hostile environment. It includes a promenade with a
space-age cash machine and a holographic brothel. Through it passes a
contentious assortment of humans and aliens. Station Commander Benjamin Sisko,
while as courageous and honorable as U.S.S. Enterprise captains James Kirk and
Jean-Luc Picard, openly expresses his discontent with his hardship assignment.
What's going on here? Can this dark, gritty show really be the latest spin-
off in the Star Trek saga -- that seemingly never-ending cult series about a
Utopian future in which knowledge and technology conquer disease and poverty and
all the races and species in the universe coexist in near perfect harmony? Yes,
Mr. Spock, this is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a syndicated show premiering the
week of Jan. 4. It takes Star Trek, created 27 years ago by visionary producer
Gene Roddenberry, further into uncharted territory than ever before, and is the
first Trek venture initiated since Roddenberry died last year. "We've
managed to create conflict without breaking the ideals of what the show is all
about," says co-executive producer Rick Berman. "That's one of our
rules: You don't mess with Gene's vision. We bend things a little bit, but I
believe we bend them in the same way that he would have."
They'd better. After all, a whole empire may be at stake. The initial 79
episodes of Star Trek, originally seen on NBC, are venerated as TV classics and
are available on videocassette. A sequel series, Star Trek: The Next Generation,
is in its sixth season in syndication and is seen by 20 million people each
week, making it second only to Wheel of Fortune among syndicated shows. Six Star
Trek movies have been made, grossing an aggregate of $500 million. There is a TV
cartoon show, a theater-style attraction at the Universal Studios theme park and
a legion of annual conventions of "Trekkers." A retrospective exhibit
of Star Trekiana was held at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum
earlier this year, and a chain of "virtual reality" Star Trek
entertainment centers will open across the country next year.
In most ways, Deep Space Nine follows the familiar course charted by its
predecessors. It is set in the same 24th century as The Next Generation and
deals with many of the political situations introduced in that show. Familiar
faces from older series pop up: Enterprise captain Picard appears in the pilot,
and another Enterprise crew member, Miles O'Brien, has transferred completely to
become chief operations officer for Deep Space Nine. "The synergy between
the shows will become immediately obvious," says the other co-executive
producer, Michael Piller.
The primary conflict in the new series is between the warmongering
Cardassians, who gutted and abandoned the space station after being forced out,
and the spiritually minded Bajorans, who have resorted to terrorism to end a
century of foreign occupation in their homeland. The Bajorans' appeal for help
to the Federation, the interplanetary U.N., brings Sisko and a motley crew of
officers to Deep Space Nine. There they interact with a constantly changing cast
of aliens who pass through the frontier outpost.
Like its predecessors, Deep Space Nine will explore philosophical questions
and social problems. Plots in upcoming episodes deal with topics like racial
prejudice and single parenthood. Captain Sisko is played by African-American
actor Avery Brooks, who beat out 100 other contenders from all racial /
backgrounds for the job, making him one of the few black actors to star in a
dramatic series. Others in the cast include former model Terry Farrell as
science officer Jadzia Dax, an alien who combines the personalities of a 300-
year-old androgynous life form and a 28-year-old female in one being; Rene
Auberjonois as security officer Odo, a displaced alien with shape-shifting
capabilities that allow him to change into any form; Nana Visitor as first
officer Kira Nerys, a former member of the Bajoran underground; Armin Shimerman
as Quark, the money-grubbing bartender who provides comic relief; and Siddig El
Fadil as medical officer Dr. Julian Bashir, a human doctor who adds hunk appeal.
But the real stars of the new series are set designer Herman Zimmerman and
special-effects wizard Rob Legato. The basic set, which fills three sound stages
at the Paramount studios, includes a five-level operations command center, the
crew's cavelike sleeping quarters and the 80-ft. promenade. A good chunk of the
$2 million-per-episode budget goes toward eye-popping optical effects, like
travel into the wormhole that provides shortcuts through space and gives the
station its strategic significance.
Before his death, creator Roddenberry "had gotten awfully mellow, and
the show had begun to lose some of the excitement and nonsense and folderol that
can make it fun to do," says his widow Majel Barrett, who provides the
voice of the computer on all three series. Deep Space Nine "lends itself to
a lot more excitement. It will be different, and yet it will fit into his
universe." As Roddenberry knew all along, there are no final frontiers in
the world of Star Trek.
February 28, 2000
JOEL STEIN; WILLIAM SHATNER
William Shatner, Captain Kirk on Star Trek, sings on TV for .
Q. Have you made more on priceline stock or on 30 years of milking suckers
for everything they're worth at Star Trek conventions?
A. When priceline asked me how much it would cost them to do their
commercials, I named my own price.
Q. Do you even know what a good price for Cheerios is?
A. $1.25 is a good price for a very large box of cereal.
Q. Not even close. You starred in the only movie ever made in Esperanto. Can
you say bad career move in Esperanto?
A. Malo carrero.
Q. There's a Shatner building at McGill University. What gets taught there?
A. How to get laid without much trouble. That's what happens in the student
Q. When you were doing T.J. Hooker, could you tell that Nicole Eggert had
what it took to be a Baywatch babe?
A. I could tell because of the see-through dresses that she was well on her
Q. Could you tell that Heather Locklear was going to be a much bigger star
than Heather Thomas?
A. She told me she was going to be a huge star.
Q. When you first get a line of dialogue, how do you decide which words to
stress? Dice? Darts?
A. It's done with a stress meter. You read the line to a stress meter, and
when the arc of the line is at its highest point, you know that is the word to
Q. What other songs will you do?
A. Madonna. And a little Esther Williams: emerge from a pool, dripping water
from a clinging bathing suit.
Q. She did one of these Q&As. She can talk dirty.
A. Maybe she gets off talking dirty, and I bet you get off hearing her, huh,
Q. There's no secret there.
November 28, 1994
Reconfigure the Modulators!
So you think you're Star Trek literate just because you know that phasers can
stun and that while Klingons used to be bad guys, now they're good (most of the
time, anyway). But can you decipher the techno-babble that Enterprise crew
members are constantly spouting? For some help, TIME consulted Michael Okuda,
one of the Star Trek technical experts:
"We need to remodulate the main deflector dish."
Deflectors are devices that protect starships by setting up an energy field.
Dishes, which operate at specific frequencies, control the deflectors.
Remodulating the frequency boosts the strength of the deflectors against
"We can do it if we reconfigure the lateral sensor array."
Sensors are used to detect objects, life forms or anomalies in space.
Reconfiguring them simply adjusts them, like focusing a lens. Watch for terms
like "reconfigure" and "remodulate"; they're the workhorses
of the Trek vocabulary.
"It should be possible if we decompile the pattern buffer."
Transporters can send people instantly from one location to another by
converting their molecules into energy, then reassembling them. Every living
being has a distinct pattern of molecules; the pattern buffer fixes the
configuration by adjusting for the Doppler effect -- the apparent change in the
frequency of the energy waves caused by motion.
"I'll verify the Heisenberg compensators."
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that you cannot know a subatomic
particle's exact position and its exact direction and velocity at the same time.
To transport people you have to know all those things, so the Heisenberg
compensator was devised to overcome that problem. It's an attempt by the Trek
writers to signal that they are at least aware of the issue. And how does the
Heisenberg compensator work? "It works very well, thank you," says
May 14, 2001
KATE MULGREW; JOEL STEIN
Kate Mulgrew stars in Star Trek: Voyager; the finale airs May 23 at 8 p.m.
Q. I promise this will be painless.
A. I like it painful. Then I know I'm fully alive. Let's engage here.
Q. Why didn't you and Chakotay ever get it on? I have no idea what that
A. To get it on?
Q. No, Chakotay.
A. Chakotay is my first officer, right?
A. I had a hell of a task in front of me, to demystify a female in command
for all those teenage boys who are Star Trek fans. Dropping trou, getting into
all that trouble--red alert.
Q. Jeri Ryan plays this half borg, but the only inhuman thing I can see about
her is this little design on her cheek, unless borgs have giant breasts.
A. She's amply endowed, but I don't think that's typical of the borg.
Q. You've got the second highest rated show on UPN, but isn't that like being
the second best student at Gonzaga?
A. How dare you. That's my former husband's school.
Q. You played Mrs. Columbo. How much time did you have to spend visualizing
having sex with Peter Falk?
A. As an actress it was my obligation to do so on a daily basis. As a human
being I summarily avoided it.
Q. At home before sex, do you ever yell "Engage!" at your husband?
A. No, I talk about tachyon emissions.
Q. What's that?
A. Tachyon emissions are the most powerful subspace emissions. So I just
pretend my husband is the ship. And we go to impulse.
Q. How do you spell this tachyon thing?
A. This is a hopeless interview because you've never watched even two seconds
of Voyager. T-a-c-h-y-o-n. And I'm sure you know how to spell emissions.
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