If VI had featured Saavik instead of Valeris as the traitor

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by xvicente, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Playing a Vulcan is extremely difficult as we've seen for nearly 50 years. To deliver dialog in a near deadpan and still be interesting must be extremely frustrating for an actor. To date, only two have pulled it off perfectly: Nimoy, who defined the Vulcan demeanor, and Mark Lenard. Others who were cast as Vulcans were at best trying to copy the two best examples.

    Kirstie Alley, Robin Curtis, and Kim Cattrall did a very good job in their own way, but I liked Cattrall's take better than the other two. She was a Vulcan, but not just a reasonable facsimile of Spock. She was her own character. I think Nick Meyer was right on target wanting her for Saavik in the first place.

    Too bad that he couldn't make it happen for TWOK, but then again maybe the timing was just right.
     
  2. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    From what I recall Meyer didn't care for Curtis as Saavik at all. So that was never an option for him.
     
  3. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You don't think Tim Russ was in the same league as Nimoy and Lenard?
     
  4. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Not even close.

    --Sran
     
  5. nightwind1

    nightwind1 Commodore Commodore

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    I do. I put him third behind Nimoy first and Lenard second.
     
  6. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I really don't. Sorry.
     
  7. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No need to apologize. It's a perfectly valid opinion, even if I don't agree. :) I was simply wondering whether that was indeed your opinion of Russ, or if you'd just overlooked him.
     
  8. G2309

    G2309 Captain Captain

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    I thought it was Gene Rodenberry who thought Saviik wouldn't betray them. Nick Meyer thought he knew the character better though as he created her.
     
  9. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They key to playing Vulcans is not to play them as emotionless robots. It's not that they don't have emotions like Data, it's that they have incredibly strong emotions bubbling under a tightly controlled veneer of logic and self-control. Nimoy was the master, and Lenard was superb too - and I think Quinto and Ben Cross did well too. Kirstie Alley and Kim Catrall got it as well.

    Russ, however, too often played Tuvok like a robot. I don't know if it's his limitations as an actor or the writing, though I suspect it's a bit of both. Same with Robin Curtis, though in her case it's definitely more of the former.
     
  10. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    I think what Made Kirstie Alley's Saavik better than Curtis' WAS that she wasn't as Vulcan acting. That seemed to be the whole point of the character in the 1st place, & why she's shown tearing up at the funeral. It isn't just that she's another Vulcan in Starfleet. It's that she's Spock's protege. Spock being half Human would logically have a protege within whom he can see something of himself, & that half of himself that he now recognizes is of value in dealing with such varied beings as he does

    "Logic is only the beginning" is what he says to Valeris. This is why Curtis' interpretation of Saavik was not on the mark imho, & the character of Valeris WAS fit to that Saavik mold to a degree, though they retweaked it a bit.

    So no, I don't think they should have tried to bring Curtis in to play it, but I might have been willing to entertain the recast of Saavik with Cattrail if they couldn't score Alley. However, Cattrail would have needed to drop some of the pomposity in her performance of Valeris in order to give the right performance as Saavik, and I could see why she might not want to have to
     
  11. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Yeah, great points. It's a shame Saavik's Romulan heritage never made it into the film, because it does help to show why she was Spock's protege. They were alike, both aspiring to live and be treated as Vulcans, yet struggling with their own self-identity and heritage.
     
  12. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    Good point^

    Oh... I should also add that I would in deed have preferred if they had used Saavik as the traitor. It would have made for a more profound plot twist, & would have done away with Valeris being a rather useless character in the grand scheme
     
  13. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It just struck me that she might have played it that way intentionally, to show the arrogance of youth in contrast to the humility and wisdom that tends to (or should) come with age and experience.

    "Logic is only the beginning ... "
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    With due respect to Nimoy, Alley received better direction than Curtis. At least as I understand it, Nimoy instructed Curtis to play Saavik completely emotionless.

    Another good portrait of a Vulcan (although I can't remember her name) is the Vulcan woman who was buying weapons for the maquis from Quark, I thought she (the actress) got it just right.

    :)
     
  15. Bad Atom

    Bad Atom Commodore Commodore

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    That's a shame. He probably could have gotten a better performance out of Curtis, perhaps had her play it a little more emotional. And the audience's familiarity with her would have made her betrayal even stronger.

    The road not taken and all that...
     
  16. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    That could have played a factor. When you see Curtis in TNG's Gambit though, something in her performance of that character also makes me feel she wouldn't have done well with Savvik as Alley played it. Curtis is just a little too edgy or something. Cattrail not so much
     
  17. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    For what it's worth, although I like Alley, I think Curtis had more of a Vulcan quality to her. And she played the character the two previous times we saw her.

    One of the flaws of VI to me is that once you know there's a traitor on board, it's not surprising that it's the new girl. The character is invented for the movie for the sole purpose of being a villain, which I find unfortunate. I'd call it lazy writing if I didn't know it was Roddenberry's fault.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  18. DrBeverly

    DrBeverly Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I wonder if anyone other than dedicated fans would have remembered Saavik, come ST VI? My feeling is that, even with bringing the character back, she would still feel like the 'new girl', and therefore the obvious traitor.
     
  19. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agreed. Remember, she was barely in IV.

    They were always going to have this problem unless it was one of the seven main cast members - the idea of it being Chekov fascinates me.
     
  20. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    Except, and this has already been pointed out in this thread, it wasn't Roddenberry's fault. Roddenberry had fuck-all authority over Star Trek after The Motion Picture. He had an office, he received a nice paycheck and he was allowed to see and comment on all film script drafts ... and then the producers were free to completely ignore those comments. He had no creative control whatsoever.
     

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