There were really three groups of actors on the original Star Trek series:
The leading actors: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and Deforrest Kelley.
There were the weekly and occasionally recurring guest stars. These were people like Richard Kiel (Jaws in the Bond films), Joan Collins, Roger C. Carmel (Harry Mudd), etc.
But the strength of the show is often measured in the strength of its supporting regular cast. Scotty (James Doohan), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Sulu (George Takei) and Checkov (Walter Koenig) were often used as set dressing and had little to do. But when they had something to do, they did it well and memorably.
Here are some facts about the actors that gave space for Shatner’s overacting:
Yeah, you read that right. None other than Captain Kirk himself has signed on to perhaps one of the odder projects he’s been involved with, and in doing so steps into the world of crowd-funded entertainment. Along with genre favourites Morena Baccarin, Ray Wise and Bill Moseley, Malevolent is currently seeking funding for post-production with a release planned for later this year. (more…)
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that there were no second acts in American life, and although that one line’s been continually disproved, we revisit the idea whenever someone of note begins their second act. Even their third act. I’m not sure what act George Takei is on in his play of life, but at 77 years old he’s enjoying rare universal popularity, and it’s not just because he’s one of the beloved members of the original cast of Star Trek. As an advocate for marriage equality, a living historical resource detailing the internment of Japanese-Americans, and a working actor with over 175 credits to his name (and growing), Takei’s got more to offer at 77 than some men less than half his age. Just about all of it, is touched on in some way in the documentary To Be Takei. (more…)
Canyons star and porn legend James Deen has finally nabbed a big bad for his western/steampunk project, Cowboys and Engines and it’s an impressive get — Malcolm McDowell, aka the man who killed Captain Kirk and the force of nature that played Alex in A Clockwork Orange.
McDowell’s career has been incredibly varied and interesting — from the above mentioned work to his more recent TV work on Franklin and Bash and Entourage, his long ago turn in Caligula, his time voicing Metallo in various animated Superman projects, and a whole host of other roles. Really, he’s a geek icon, a gee-con if you will, and he’s just the latest (and greatest) one to join the cast of this intriguing project, joining Walter Koenig (Star Trek, tell me you knew that) and Richard “Do Not Ever Call me Dick” Hatch of BSG fame.
Check out the synopsis for Cowboys and Engines below, read our interview with Deen, and then decide if McDowell took this project based on it’s merits, or if he’s slowly working to cinematically knock off every cast member from the original Star Trek series.
Cowboys & Engines is an ambitious steampunk adventure that follows Cade Ballard (Jeff Cannata), the war-weary former ambassador from the nation of Texas as he meets Guinivere Wheeler (Libby Letlow), a woman who proves to be as dangerous as she is charming. When they encounter Professor Nicholas Timéon (Walter Koenig), and learn that his temporal engine, a machine with incredible destructive power, has been stolen by would-be conqueror Dr. Clay, Cade and Guinivere set off to save San Francisco from total destruction.
To learn more about Cowboys and Engines, check out their Kickstarter page.
There is a war raging between fans of Star Trek and Star Wars and it has been going on for some time now. Even a few of the celebrities involved with the franchises have joined in the fight, expressing their own opinions on the matter rather vocally. But some look past all the ego-centric name-calling and see that all science fiction is one, Walter Koenig among them.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the former Star Trek star talked a bit about receiving his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as mentioning the connection between Star Wars and Star Trek and how one may not have existed without the other.
When finally ran out of air on in 1969, we concluded that it was the end of Star Trek. But when George Lucas saw the effect we had on the public, he was inspired to create Star Wars, and that in turn brought the people of Paramount around to saying, what do we have to make a feature and perhaps a franchise out of? And then they remembered they had Star Trek. So one thing feeds off another.
Sci-fi in the 60s and 70s needed all the help it could get. Two major franchises managed to rise to the top of the heap. And though you may find yourself on one side or the other of the great Star debate, remember that without either one of them the world of science fiction today would have been a very different place.
Thanks to blastr on this one.
This day in 1966 Star Trek first beamed its way on to American airwaves and however unlikely it seemed, began leaving its mark on pop culture. The voyages of the Enterprise crew – Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov (and occasionally Nurse Chapel or Yeoman Rand) – were only transmitted for three years but thanks to years of syndication Star Trek eventually involved into a phenomenon of six movies, later birthing six more movies and five other television series. The most fervent fans – Trekkies, or Trekkers as some preferred to be called – spearheaded the convention-going culture we today enjoy across many fandoms. Basically, much of what comprises our “geek” culture owes a large debt to Star Trek. It’s been a tent pole among nerdy interests for over four decades!
But even with all that rich history, it’s the original crew that has become the most iconic. Those actors – William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig – were forever typecast and depending on when you asked them it was either for better or worse. It was their Enterprise crew J.J. Abrams sought to re-imagine in his 2009 reboot of the series, a film almost universally loved by fans old and new. And today, fans internet-wide are still putting their own stamp on Gene Roddenberry‘s original “Wagon Train to the stars,” with fan fiction, fan art, cosplay, and even fan produced movies and web series.
Star Trek is more alive now than it ever was, and it seems the days of being ashamed by your intense love for phasers, red shirts, and Romulans – not to mention their ale – are far behind us. If you’ve never given Star Trek‘s original series a shot because you thought it looked campy – it is – then you’re missing out on what is genuinely a fantastic show with wonderful writing, heartfelt performances, and excellent explorations of the relationships between its characters. You’re allowed to laugh when the set looks a little shaky, or an alien monster’s zipper is clearly apparent, or when Shatner performs a little too enthusiastically. That’s part of the charm. And sure, there will be truly awful, almost unwatchable episodes, too. But for every “Spock’s Brain” there’s plenty of “Balance of Terror,” “Amok Time,” or “The City on the Edge of Forever.”
Today every episode of Star Trek can be streamed online, for free, from a variety of sources. The most free, meaning you don’t have to already have a subscription to Netflix or Amazon Prime, is on CBS’ own TV.com. You could even renact history by tonight at 8:30 pm ET watching “The Map Trap,” the first aired episode of Star Trek. I like it because it heavily features Dr. McCoy, my favorite character, but I’m not kidding you when I say the villain is salt-sucking vampire creature. Seriously.
To sign off, I’ll leave with the immortal words of Phillip J. Fry from Futurama‘s “Where No Fan Has Gone Before,”
‘Cause it-it taught me so much. Like how you should accept people. Whether they be black, white, Klingon, or even female. But most importantly, when I didn’t have any friends, it-it made me feel like maybe I did.
Over 2400 stars are currently on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with an average of 20 added each and every year. Directors, fictional TV shows and even an entire crew of intergalactic heroes are a part of this tradition…well almost. The entire cast of the original Star Trek has their own star but where the hell is Walter Koenig‘s piece of the walk? That’s easy, it’s getting shined up for this year’s Walk of Fame ceremony trekkies.
The last of the crew of the starship Enterprise is finally receiving his very own star to walk on, being honoured at a ceremony some time this year. Koenig, who played the young Russian Pavel Chekov in Star Trek, as well as the brutal Alfred Bester in Babylon 5 is the last of the original cast to recieve a star on the legendary Walk of Fame, even years after creator Gene Roddenberry.
“I certainly do feel honored,” Koenig told us. “It means that my modest body of work has some meaning and has been acknowledged. That’s always a very nice feeling.”Countless Star Trek fans pushed hard to make today’s news a reality, and Koenig had a special message for them: “They’ve been incredible and I’m deeply grateful for their support,” he said. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
The nominees for the Walk of Fame are voted for by the people which is weird because this means that Koenig could have earned his place years ago. The man was tortured by Khan and it took this long for his fans to recognize that sacrifice, what a rip off. Thankfully he can finally call one of those stars his own. The votes for 2013 are still open and can be voted for here, you can vote for your favorite actor, director, producer, writer and yes, even fictional character. That means a Harry Potter star in 2013 bitches.