Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by xvicente, Jun 22, 2013.
Kirstie Alley or Robin Curtis?
Well, it would have been Kirstie Alley. From what I've heard the whole reason Nick Meyer changed the character to Valeris was because having Alley come back wasn't going to happen...
But if you're asking what I would have prefered the answer is also Alley.
I had heard that Roddenberry nixed the idea of making Saavik turn out to be the bad guy.
Anyway, I would have been happy with either actress, but I would have agreed with Roddenberry, assuming I heard correctly.
For me, Robin Curtis was the better Saavik, except for her hair. She was more Vulcan-like. Alley may have looked better to some (then), but I always preferred Robin Curtis, and I think she DEFINITELY has held up better over the years than Alley. Not to mention, Alley's Saavik was way too human acting for me.
But I am glad Saavik wasn't a traitor.
Which came first, Alley saying no to coming back, or Roddenberry kvetching about Saavik being the traitor? One suspects that both events together led to Meyer re-evaluating Saavik's role in the script. I've never heard that he ever even considered asking Curtis back.
The third story is that Kim Cattrall was offered the role after Alley turned it down, but she wasn't keen on simply resurrecting Saavik so Meyer retailored the script to give her a bit more freedom in the role.
Maybe the real explanation is a combination of all three events?
I thought Curtis would have been fine as another Vulcan character, but not Saavik. Alley made a strong impression.
Unfortunately, Valeris did cause one problem with the plot.
There could be a major traitor on the Enterprise!!
Is it :-
A - A character we know?
B - A character we haven't seen before this movie?
Having Saavik as the traitor would have been a bold choice, and would have made Spock's fury more justified IMHO. It would have also needed the character to have to explain why betraying them would have been logical - Valeris had a get-out as, apart from Spock, she hadn't even met anyone else before.
Roddenberry had nothing whatsoever to do with The Undiscovered Country. For all I know he may indeed have felt that way, but it certainly wasn't the reason why it didn't happen.
Yeah, he wasn't even that heavily involved with TNG, let alone the movies. I think he was still technically "creative consultant", but that amounted to passing some script notes that didn't need to be acted on. It's always been said in the official record that it was Roddenberry's insistence that a much-loved character shouldn't be the traitor, but I don't know how much truth there was to that. It sounds plausible, given he was opposed to our heroes having conflicts, but I doubt it was the deciding factor for Nick Meyer.
Wasn't Kim Cattrall Meyer's original first choice for Saavik in TWOK?
That's what I heard.
Roddenberry did hate the idea, but there wasn't a damned thing he could do about it. Nick Meyer told him to go pound sand. It was Alley's unwillingness to return that necessitated the change to Eris (later Valeris) rather than Roddenberry's ire.
Meyer writes about this in his autobiography. He says, in retrospect, he treated Roddenberry badly and could have handled the situation more diplomatically
...But what would have been even bolder would have been to introduce this suspicious Valeris character from out of the left field, and then have Chekov be the traitor!
I mean, Koenig has often been a proponent of doing "spooky" and "dark" Trek, and likes to play dark characters (and was particularly delighted to get the Bester gig). He might well have loved to get written as a conspirator and traitor who almost gets to kill Kirk.
I doubt Koenig would have accepted that.
It wasn't unthinkable in 1991 that there could be another original series movie after The Undiscovered Country -- The Ashes of Eden was Shatner's pitch for the seventh film, after all -- and revealing Chekov as the traitor would have logically written him out of the potential next film. Koenig might have liked the development, but he also liked the work, and I think the potential work would have outweighed the development in his mind.
either actor probably would have worked just fine. Having Saavik play that part in the story would have had a lot more dramatic impact and made for a much better movie.
I'm thinking that Kirstie Alley might have been too big by then, and Robin Curtis was terrible, so another character was the best option.
I like the character Saavik anyway and am glad they didn't turn her bad...
Would it? After one bold step, another one could have followed. In ST6:TUC, Kirk and friends essentially made themselves redundant: they are the embodiment of the old school that has to retire before the new age of peace can begin. Their fate might not have been all that different from that of the exposed and convicted Chekov. Ashes of Eden was about post-Starfleet heroes anyway, and a story like that could easily have accommodated a traitorous Chekov in a redeeming role.
I suppose it's possible. It depends on the length of the prison sentence the agent aboard the Enterprise would receive. Valeris was likely to spend a long time incarcerated for her role in Gorkon's assassination. I see no reason why an alt-Chekov would not have as well.
I seem to recall there were rumours of some talk about Chekov being the traitor.
But, the decision was made that such a radical step would have been roundly turned on by fandom, and such a backlash may have harmed the box office (I remember there was actually a campaign to boycott TSFS simply because the Enterprise was destroyed, so this would have certainly been a serious concern).
I could see Koenig relishing such a role though!
Watching the scene in the movie theatre - I remember worryin for a moment Chekov might be the traitor especially in the scene when he finds the blood on the transporter pad.
Not sure if its the directing or the acting but he comes across very shifty.
I remember breathing a sigh of relief when he told Spock about it.
TOS appeared to establish that there are no prison sentences in the future (except with barbaric primitives like Klingons). Just enough time spent in an insane asylum that you get cured of your urge to re-commit this specific crime, after which you can go on with a life of your own choosing.
It would have been a shame to have a Trek movie contradict that fine piece of weird science fiction...
...And a treat to see Chekov emerge from the asylum all reformed, joining our heroic crew once more. Especially if he had previously been pointing a gun at Kirk's head or something.
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