Putting the Shatner "ego issue" from TOS to rest

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Gary7, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Geez, y'know Doohan actually had acting chops before he resigned himself to hiding behind a brogue. I think he always worked on his craft when there was opportunity to do so -- even post TOS he has a few credits.

    Mentioning Andy Robinson upthread makes me wish somebody could interview the various folks who screentested for Decker on TMP -- I remember that both Robinson and Tim Thomerson from QUARK tested, as well as Frederic Forrest, who certainly would have imbued Decker with a lot more gusto than Collins (a kind of William Atherton lite, if you've seen Wise's zepplin movie.)
     
  2. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, Takei was fine until TUC, when he took the captain's role as a reason to "go boldly." Walter Koenig was actually better in the movies than in the TV series - but then again, he was always the least crabby of the group. Maybe because he was added later, or his own documented low sense of self-worth. He objected to Shatner taking control on the set, but never said the show was an ensemble or that Chekov should have been an Admiral or something. Jimmy Doohan was fine until Generations, which was when he phoned it in. I dunno, I think they did okay for the most part. As much as I don't think Takei should headline the Star Trek Universe, I still consider them all important parts of TOS as a whole and it was cool to have them all reunite.

    Not that I would have MISSED Sulu if he bailed, but all the same, I'm glad they were all there.
     
  3. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    A brutal truth this may be, but brutal or not, it is the truth. :bolian:
    Takei kind of missed the boat on Star Trek. He did have several real opportunities in season one to work on a character, but then he was missing for most of season two and pretty much a walking prop in season three. A regular 'character' Sulu wasn't. Chekov was more fleshed out. ;)

    Which leads us to the obvious question: would any of us have really, hand-on-heart, missed Sulu if he hadn't been in any of the movies? :devil:
     
  4. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    I gotta say I'm surprised at all the negative opinions of Takei/Sulu.

    There's no doubt Shatner was the star, and went on to basically be omnipresent late in his career.

    I don't have strong feelings about the Sulu's role or the stories that always fly around (Takei told a couple good ones at the San Francisco convention). I have no axe to grind as far as the movies, or the supposed Sulu captaincy/TV show...

    I can say that, having met both men multpile times, George Takei is by far the more gracious and genuine person. My wife and I spent a decent amount of time with him and Brad at the convention, and they were just really kind, funny, interesting people.
     
  5. Grant

    Grant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    gracious and genuine person---really "Oh MYYYYY!!!"
     
  6. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I couldn't agree more. I liked his character on TOS and his acting for the role he was given was adequate. But he wasn't anything special. The guy capitalized on his Star Trek fame and did NOTHING of note outside the franchise. So, for him to make any kind of stink about Shatner or anyone else is completely out of line. He has said he is very grateful for Star Trek and he should really show it... by towing the line, not taking it for granted, and show some respect for those far more deserving of recognition.
     
  7. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    The anecdotes seem to universally agree that Takei has always been fantastic at in-person congeniality with the fans, and Shatner largely hasn't been.

    On screen though, the supporting cast got more wooden with each movie, and to top it off, they were poorly served by dialog that was by turns stiff, silly, or transparently unnecessary in the plot. Between their own declining acting craft and the bad writing they were given, it was hopeless.
     
  8. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    I don't disagree with anything you've said. Kirk, as a character, may be the greatest fictional hero of all time (well, just behind the Doctor, anyway).

    Sulu, especially later, was not up to that level at all.
     
  9. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Do you mean the Emergency Medical Hologram (I can kind of see it, Picardo being so good) or Doctor Who?
     
  10. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    Good Lord, Man!

    :lol:

    I'm talking about THE Doctor. No offense to my man Kirk, but the Doctor operates on a whole other level.

    Of course, JMHO.
     
  11. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, that one, Doc Adams from Gunsmoke.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nah, the real Doc is Howard McNear! He originated the role.
     
  13. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    So, like Karl Urban as Kor, then?
     
  14. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    Actually, I was referring to Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

    I thought that was obvious...

    ;)

    :lol:
     
  15. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Doc Brown from Back to the Future. Hands down.
     
  16. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    You know, I really think I agree that the Shatner ego issue has been overplayed over the years. My theory is that Shatner had no idea what he was doing: it's well documented he used to take the directors aside and say "Wouldn't it be better if Kirk came to this realisation?", which was really just him beefing up his role as lead actor, putting Kirk front and centre. Where I say he probably didn't even realise is that actors don't tend to read any lines other than their own. Shatner probably hadn't a clue that when he did this, he was actually taking away Sulu's Big Moment In The Script, or he was taking away Uhura's Big Moment In The Script, or he was taking away Scotty's Big Moment In The Script (etc). So naturally, the other actors would seethe that their one (and possibly their only) substantial line in the script had been stolen by Shatner, while Shatner himself probably assumed they had another scene somewhere else in the script. In some cases, he'd inadvertently taken away Sulu's only line in the episode or whatever, but he was probably clueless that this is what he'd done.
     
  17. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not quite on board with that. It's true that actors with a whole script to learn every week can only learn their own parts. But Shatner had a deliberate policy preference that STAR TREK was to be a straight-to-the-point, hero-driven show, not a meandering ensemble piece.

    It was always "We tell stories about people," but for Shatner, people meant Kirk and this week's aliens, not the functionaries who take Kirk's orders.

    And STAR TREK was cast with that common '60s TV philosophy in mind. The little people were never intended to carry the show. That's why (for instance) Roddenberry could give the recurring female roles exclusively to women he was having sex with. Barrett, Nichols, and Whitney were all putting out for him, and it showed. They were very limited actors.

    If TREK had been designed as an ensemble, it would have needed somebody good taking Kirk's orders, an actress with talent and charisma like Marianna Hill. The supporting cast Shatner actually got is precisely what vindicates his hero-driven story preference.