Crew Archive

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Smith’s Wheely Strange Series 7 Hint

We all know by now that the Doctor Who cast and crew are extremely tight-lipped in interviews, fearful of lett Read more …


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Matt Smith’s Birthday Surprise

The Doctor Who cast and crew secretly assembled to give Matt Smith a big birthday surprise for his 30th. Happy birthday Matt!

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Khan is IN (but Benicio Del Toro is OUT) as Star Trek 2’s villain

From blastr

Bad news is: Benicio Del Toro (The Wolfman) is out of the running as Star Trek’s next villain. Good news is: Khan Noonien Singh will be the Big Baddie Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will face in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Trek sequel.

The stunning news came in the wake of a cryptic statement Abrams recently made to HitFix, saying that Latino Review’s claims that Del Toro had already been cast in the role made famous by the late, great Ricardo Montalban’s manly pecs in the 1967 Star Trek classic episode ”Space Seed,” and later again with great panache in 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, were “not true.”

Vulture reports that negotiations with Del Toro actually fell through last Wednesday over a question of money. (Um, when is it not about that?)

They also heard “from a highly placed source” that it is indeed Khan who will be the Trek sequel’s Big Baddie.

(Which makes us wonder if Chris Pine will have to practice The Shat’s iconic ”Khhhannn” scream … But then again, since Abrams’ films are now taking place in a new parallel-universe, alternate-reality thingy, the Khan Noonien Singh our brave new bold Capt. Kirk would meet would be the ”Space Seed” Khan, not the Wrath of Khan Khan. But we digress.)

But what do you guys think? Are you disappointed or relieved that Benicio Del Toro is not going be in the Star Trek sequel? Are you excited that Khan now seems the likely villain chosen to face off against Kirk, Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the Enterprise crew? Who do you think Abrams should choose next (shooting’s starting in January, so the man’s gonna have to hurry)? And lastly—and we’re just throwing it out there—do you think Peter Weller’s recent addition to the cast of Trek 2 could have anything to do with this?

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Marina Sirtis thinks there’s only one way Next Gen could come back

We don’t know about you, but we’d LOVE to see the cast and crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation back into our lives again for fresh new adventures where no one’s gone before in one form or another (TV, mini-series, movies, you name it). So does actress Marina Sirtis, who thinks that the series—like the original Star Trek crew—could also get the reboot treatment next.

Speaking to North Hollywood’s Patch, the actress who played Counsellor Deanna Troi on seven seasons of Star Trek: TNG and four films talked about the possibility of seeing a version of the Next Generation cast and crew on the new Star Trek films; about wishing they’d done more Next Gen movies; and about her belief that the beloved sci-fi series (which will turn 25 next year) could also get the reboot treatment after the studio’s finished with the new, current ones.

Here’s the interesting bit:

PATCH: Would you hope to see a version of The Next Generation in the new Star Trek movies?

SIRTIS: I don’t think that’s going to happen. I would love to because I never wanted the job to end in the first place. This was my job of my life. I loved my seven years on it. I loved doing the four movies that we did, but it’s not going to happen. As we were the young kids who came along after the original Star Trek, now it’s the next next generation and I wish them all the best.

PATCH: So you would have done one more movie?

SIRTIS: I would’ve done 10 more movies

PATCH: A lot of us wanted you to!

SIRTIS: Yeah, I know. I know. I get this all the time from fans who miss seeing us in anything new, because they still watch us in reruns all the time.

PATCH: What if they cast new actors as the young versions of Troi, Picard and Riker, like they did for Kirk and Spock?

SIRTIS: Exactly. You never know because you’re right, after this spate of movies, they might decide to resurrect The Next Generation with us recast young, which would be amazing. I’d be fascinated to see who they picked to play me younger.

And so would we! So much so that our minds are just buzzing with the casting possibilities right now … (If we were to play the casting game here, let’s just say we wouldn’t mind seeing Firefly’s Morena Baccarin in the role.)

But do you agree with Marina Sirtis and think a Star Trek: The Next Generation reboot is a clear possibility down the line? And WHO do you think would make a great Deanna Troi?

(via Trek Web)

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Retro Review: The Terratin Incident

Everyone on the Enterprise begins to shrink after being hit by a mysterious energy surge that shatters the ship’s dilithium crystals.

Plot Summary: While mapping the remains of a supernova, the Enterprise picks up a faint signal in an old code, repeating the word “terratin” twice. The Enterprise follows the source to the Cepheus system, where a power source on the only planet sends a burst of energy that destroys the ship’s dilithium crystals and momentarily paralyzes the crew. Immediately afterward, all organic material on the ship begins to shrink, including the crew. Spock estimates that everyone on board will soon be less than a centimeter tall. Seeking answers, Kirk beams down to the surface, where the transporter restores him to normal height. He discovers a miniature city, but the transporter’s automatic cycle beams him back up in the midst of a volcanic eruption before he can make contact. Back on the Enterprise, Kirk finds that the remaining crewmembers are ant-sized but that his bridge crew has been abducted to the miniature city. He threatens to destroy the inhabitants if his officers are not returned, but the crew reports that the seeming attack was a desperate gesture to get the Enterprise’s attention. The city’s inhabitants, the Terratins, are mutated humans from a lost colony called Terra Ten, but the planet’s increasing volcanic activity is threatening to destroy them all. Using the transporter to restore his crew to normal height and demanding that they bring up dilithium from the disintegrating planet, Kirk rescues the entire Terratin city to be relocated to a stable planet.

Analysis: “The Terratin Incident” feels very much like Star Trek for kids, which isn’t unreasonable given that this is the animated series, but it’s not nearly as well done as “Yesteryear” and seems like an odd fit with the decidedly adult-themed “Mudd’s Passion” which immediately preceded it when it aired. “The Terratin Incident” has adorable Lilliputian crewmembers and an adorable Lilliputian city, yet there’s no hint of parallel social commentary or even scientific interest. In the hands of a more sophisticated writer, there might have been a connection between the turbulence on the planet and the lives of the Terratins, some cause and effect concerning what is essentially an invasive species colonizing Cepheus, some warning of the dangers of making such radical changes to human biology, or at the very least some more solid scientific explanation for how human evolution so quickly permitted people to begin breeding in miniature.

Instead it’s all played for amusement, more like Horton Hears a Who than Gulliver’s Travels. The cleverest device in the entire thing is the explanation for why the organic-based uniforms shrink right along with the crew, though one would think there must be other ship’s systems based on algae or other plant material that would have been similarly affected. For that matter, the food in the dining hall should be shrinking on the plates…though I believe the plates are replicated just like the food, so mightn’t they contain recyclable organic matter as well? Sure, it’s amusing to watch a team of crewmembers pulling ropes (presumably plant-based) to work the transporter controls, but if Scotty manages to program the device to beam Kirk back automatically even after his communicator is destroyed, can’t he figure out a way to rig it for voice commands? Then there’s the scene in which Chapel falls into the experimental fish tank in sickbay and keeps shouting “Help!” – no efforts to shout suggestions or communicate anything useful – while Kirk ends up threading a needle and tossing it to her so he can pull her out. And Spock and Kirk measure in both centimeters and inches, something I’d expect to be standard on a 23rd century starship. The crew is definitely not at its sharpest dealing with this emergency.

My favorite moment in the episode comes when Kirk, now restored to full size, warns the crew to go to the far bulkhead so he doesn’t accidentally step on anyone while crossing the bridge. But he then behaves rather uncharacteristically, threatening to blow up the miniature city and giving a demonstration of the Enterprise’s phasers before he’s bothered to ask what’s going on down there or whether there’s a peaceful solution to be negotiated. Once Kirk realizes the Terratins mean no harm, the crew finds a planet on which to dump the Terratin city, but it’s all rather rushed…how does the crew know that in this new environment, the Terratins won’t start growing instead of shrinking? Had the animated series lasted a bit longer, the Enterprise could have returned and found a Brobdingnagian human culture to whom they would appear like ants.

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Wang: Voyager Set Was A Comedy Club

Star Trek: Voyager might have been a serious show, with a starship crew lost in the Delta Quadrant desperately trying to get back home, but for the actors portraying that crew, being on the Voyager set was more akin to a being in a comedy club.

Garrett Wang, who played the quiet, unassuming Harry Kim, enjoyed working with his co-actors and enjoyed their brand of humor. “When I look back upon the experience, what stands out most are the times we Voyager actors shared on the set when the camera wasn’t rolling,” said Wang. “I’ve always said that if we kept the cameras rolling between takes, and broadcast that footage as a half-hour reality show, it would be the highest rated show on television!”

“Each and every Voyager principal actor had a unique sense of comedy,” said Wang, “whether it was Bob Picardo‘s dry one-liners, Tim Russ‘s premeditated practical jokes, or Kate Mulgrew‘s random survey questions, the set of Voyager was definitely, at times, like being at a comedy club. In my opinion, to be funny, one must first be intelligent. Thus, I believe my fellow Voyager actors to be some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever worked with.”

Wang spoke about portraying Harry Kim, and his frustration that the ensign never received a promotion in seven years. “I mean, come on people! Kim was probed, beaten, tortured and held the distinction of being the first Voyager crew member to die and come back to life,” said Wang. “What more does a guy have to do to get promoted to Lieutenant for frak’s sake? To add further insult to injury, other crew members such as Tuvok (Russ) and Paris were being promoted, demoted and then re-promoted throughout the seven-year run of Voyager.”

During the fourth season, Wang phoned writer/producer Brannon Braga regarding that lack of a promotion. “Well, somebody’s gotta be the ensign,” replied Braga. Frustrated, Wang even went to Kate Mulgrew. “[I] frustratedly asked her why I wasn’t promoted yet,” said Wang. “In hindsight, this action on my part was hilarious because Kate Mulgrew had no more influence in promoting my character than a random person on the street. I would like to take the time to say that I had no influence on these Kim developments.”

Wang would have liked to have directed an episode of Voyager, but believes that his outspokenness doomed his chances of doing so on Voyager. “Berman informed us that he expected all actors portraying human roles to follow his decree,” said Wang. “He told us that we were to underplay our human characters. He wanted our line delivery to be as military — and subsequently devoid of emotion — as possible, since this, in his opinion, was the only way to make the aliens look real.

“Years after the initial lunch meeting, I made a comment off record to a TV Guide reporter on how upset I was over Berman’s ridiculous mandate of less emotion for the human characters. My wording to him at the time was, ‘I think the producers of Voyager did not take the risks to make the show as good as it could be.’ Even though I wasn’t really specific about what the issue was, that printed comment alone sealed the death of my ambitions to direct an episode of Star Trek.”

Wang had mixed emotions about the Voyager finale. “I think the first hour of the finale was fantastic, very exciting, well written, good pacing,” he said. “Everything was great about the first hour, but then the second hour it just seemed like it tied up all of the loose ends very quickly. So, the second half of the finale I was not happy about, and I especially didn’t like the fact that we ended the series in Earth’s orbit. We don’t even step foot on Earth. Hello! After seven years, I think the fans wanted to see us actually step foot on terra firma.”

Wang rarely acts nowadays, frustrated with the Hollywood system and the lack of opportunity. “I stopped acting mainly because I got jaded with the industry,” he said. “You would think that after putting in seven years as a regular that certain doors would be open to you. But once you’re done with your show, you’re pretty much back at square one, auditioning once again. Auditions were really few and far between mainly because of the onslaught of reality TV programming.”

Fans can see Wang at various conventions though, and is heavily involved in TrekExpo, FedCon and DragonCon. “I love these conventions,” said Wang. “I love going to these cons because I’m already a sci-fi fan, and also because I get a chance to give the fans out there who don’t know me in real life a little taste of who I am, who I am as Garrett Wang, as opposed to Harry Kim. The main difference is that Garrett Wang is showman, a host, a moderator, a standup comic all rolled into one when he’s on stage, and Ensign Kim is pretty straight-laced. So it’s great that people can see more of who I am.”

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Happy Birthday, Zoe Saldana

Today is the birthday of Zoe Saldana, the fourth June birthday for members of the new Star Trek crew (following Zach Quinto, Karl Urban and John Cho). The new Uhura is turning 33 years old. We here at TrekMovie want to wish Zoe a big happy birthday.&#1…

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Retro Review: The Magicks of Megas-tu

The Enterprise enters the center of the galaxy, where magic has more power than technology.

Plot Summary: Sent to the galactic center to see whether matter is being created there, the Enterprise enters a matter-energy whirlpool. Life support fails and the crew is dying when a creature that looks like a faun appears and restores power. The creature introduces himself as Lucien and takes the senior crewmembers to the planet’s surface, where they find people who never age and can make castles out of thin air. Lucien explains that when his people passed through the dimensional portal that the Enterprise also crossed to reach his world, his people found Earth and became known to humans as wizards and magicians. Suddenly Lucien warns them to conceal themselves and returns them to the Enterprise, where Spock discovers that through the power of his own will, he can perform telekinetic feats. But the crew is brought back to the planet by angry people dressed as Puritans from Massachusetts, where they are placed in stocks and told that they will be tried for crimes like the Salem Witch Trials, which led to the burnings of several of Lucien’s people on Earth. Because Spock is not human, leader Asmodeus allows him to defend the humans. Spock asks Kirk whether humans have changed since the events in Salem, and Kirk testifies that humans now try to understand and respect all life forms, as the records aboard the Enterprise prove. Agreeing that humans pose no threat, Asmodeus says that Lucien – once known on Earth as Lucifer – must still be punished for contacting the ship, but Kirk argues that Lucien is an intelligent being and uses his newfound magic powers to defend Lucien. Asmodeus says the trial was a test of the humans’ true intentions and agrees with Spock that Kirk’s compassion for Lucien is proof that humans have changed.

Analysis: While some episodes of the animated series, like “Yesteryear,” are so good that they’re considered to be Star Trek canon, other episodes, like “The Magicks of Megas-Tu,” are so bad that fans either try to pretend they don’t exist or put them on late at night at Star Trek conventions to play drinking games and laugh uproariously. I will admit that I never made it all the way through this episode before, though I did read the Alan Dean Foster adaptation of the story in Star Trek Log Three. How bad is “The Magicks of Megas-Tu”? Let’s just say that the script – in terms of science, characterization, even factual details of Earth history – is so terrible that the candy-cane-striped watermelon planet at the center of the galaxy looks good by comparison. I wish I could say “this episode will be fun for fans of fantasy or Harry Potter or Magic: The Gathering,” but really, I think it’s only fun for people like my younger son, who thinks Star Trek is pretty ridiculous at the best of times and enjoys it most when it’s so screechingly awful that everyone in the room is laughing at it.

I’m trying to think of something defensible about “The Magicks of Megas-Tu” and coming up blank. The animation is seizure-inducing; the Enterprise passes through Fourth of July fireworks to reach the center of the galaxy, where it is trapped by the sort of swirly effects that accompany Heffalumps and Woozles in Winnie-the-Pooh cartoons. Then the crew ends up in a version of Salem populated by Pilgrims from two generations earlier. I’m not sure why Spock bothers with a defense when he could simply point out that the facts prove the Magicks were never really in Salem, since the victims there were hanged, not burned, and since three times as many women as men were executed in Salem yet Asmodeus and his fellow leaders all appear to be men (the women on the planet are shown as busy buying potions for eternal youth and beauty, though oddly there are crones who apparently spend their time selling these potions instead of being young and beautiful). I won’t get started on the suggestion that the all too real bigotry and misogyny of the Salem Puritans might have been justified by the presence of meddlesome magical aliens, because guess what – the Devil really was among the witches in this version of the story! Kirk tells Asmodeus he isn’t interested in legend, yet he’s willing to perpetuate this absurd falsehood.

As for the galaxy being created by a central explosion that may still be creating new matter, that isn’t nearly as incredible as the theological resolution. Kirk does what I’ve never seen Jesus do in any Christian revisionist fable – he saves Lucifer! He’s willing to risk his own life to do so, to recite “I do believe in fairies, I do, I do,” and to cast Magic Missile and let the Heart of the Cards guide him. (I can’t take credit for all that analysis; my kids were shouting those suggestions while Kirk was dueling onscreen.) I’m not sure whether this makes Kirk a messiah or a demon or what, but I wish he’d been around to save Viggo Mortensen in The Prophecy, because Viggo was a much sexier Satan than Lucien. Oh dear, I’m clearly going to hell, but I knew that already, because I was told by some ultra-religious nutters that being a Harry Potter fan was the equivalent of devil worship, and with Star Trek confirming that all previous reports of magic on Earth actually arise from extraterrestrial interference headed up by Lucifer himself, they have a point.

I’m going to go back to pretending this episode never existed in a moment, but first I must pause and contemplate an obvious parallel that could have been exploited. Kirk will make another trip to the center of the galaxy in another installment that’s widely considered only marginally canonical, meeting – and destroying – God in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. (How did William Shatner not remember “The Magicks of Megas-tu” while working on the movie’s screenplay, and not realize it was going to be a very bad idea?) Just think how differently things might have gone had Kirk remembered this previous trip to Sha Ka Ree and realized from the start that God was just the devil in disguise. But if he did recall it, he probably wrote it off as a bad drug trip, which is what it looks like on the screen.

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Tonight on SGU: ‘Blockade’

The crew grows more desperate as Destiny continues to be attacked. (9/8c on Syfy)

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Abrams: Working With Kids

For J.J. Abrams, it might have been easier to work on a film using aliens from another planet than to work with inexperienced children on Super 8.

When it came to Super 8, some of the children had never been cast before, which was somewhat daunting for Abrams.

“Working with kids is something I had done only sparingly,” said Abrams. “In Star Trek, there was a young Kirk and a young Spock. But never really like this, and frankly I was terrified. I was dealing with two main actors who had never been cast before and never been on a set before. They didn’t know the most fundamental things about how a crew works. Everything was an alien experience for them. The fun of working with them, partly, is they weren’t professional kids.”

Then again, working with actors of any age can be a tricky business. “I don’t think working with actors, young or old, is ever very easy or a given,” said Abrams. “Everyone’s different. There are some actors with whom I feel I have this crazy psychic connection and I don’t feel like I have to say anything and they get what it is. When you’re casting, the most important thing is casting people who don’t necessarily have to be told what to do at every turn but will inspire you by coming up with things you never would have thought of.”