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Shatner: Trek TV For Inspiring The Young

Posted by T'Bonz - 19/08/13 at 11:08 am


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In a new interview, William Shatner explained why it is important to try to get Star Trek back on television.

Shatner shared his thoughts during a promotional tour for his latest Star Trek documentary, The Captains: Close Up.

When asked if he believed that a new Star Trek television series would interest young people in both Star Trek and space exploration, the actor agreed.

J.J. Abrams has found the key to getting a large audience into the movie theater, and that’s the ride,” said Shatner. “So you get a lot of the CGI effects, which is the epic movie making aspect of today, whereas in Cecile B. Demille‘s time, you had to use real people. Now you don’t need to use real people and you can have infinity for God’s sake.

“That’s in order to get you into the theater, because the majesty of the movie is shown by the large screen. But when you get into the small screen, you need stories … entertaining, interesting, vital stories that have a philosophy and also have an excitement about them, so that the viewer stays with it, but receives the philosophy as a byproduct. Those were the best of Star Trek, those kinds of stories. And that kind of thing, there is always room for that. That kind of imaginative approach that stirs young people into wanting to be connected with science.”

Shatner is currently working on several projects, including a new album (Ponder the Mystery) due out in October, another book, and podcasts. When asked if he’ll ever slow down, Shatner said “I’ll peter out is what I’ll do; you know like the old Model A ‘Putt, putt, putt’ and then die.”

Source: Nerdbastards

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  • Theragen Derivative

    “Now you don’t need to use real people….”

    Yeah, we’ve been noticing that lately.

  • Mike

    “That’s in order to get you into the theater, because the majesty of the movie is shown by the large screen. But when you get into the small screen, you need stories … entertaining, interesting, vital stories that have a philosophy and also have an excitement about them, so that the viewer stays with it, but receives the philosophy as a byproduct. Those were the best of Star Trek, those kinds of stories. And that kind of thing, there is always room for that. That kind of imaginative approach that stirs young people into wanting to be connected with science.”

    I hate to break it to William Shatner, but for a “viewer to stay with it,” the film property also needs to have stories… at least we know what he really thinks of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek: Devoid of anything worthwhile, apparently… and, he would be correct.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    No matter what one may think of Shatner, he knows what a good story is, and what good drama should be. Here’s to hoping that “butts in theatre seats” will translate into “watchers of intelligent TV shows”.

  • JoCat

    Star Trek on the big screen portrays a huge, epic theatrical show that entices the movie audiences and there is a story there but it is hard to follow when the action is so fast paced. While dealing with a larger than life epic problem, there is no time there to fit in the small stories that also make up the Star Trek saga. And you rarely see true space exploration and discovery on the big screen. Nor do you see deep character development because there is just no time for it at the movies. Therefore there ought to be a Star Trek series to continue those smaller stories which have enticed Star Trek fans for years. It is on the small screen that we discover new favorite characters and feel we can relate to them in some way. Also since JJ Abrams has done a great job in enticing new viewers and so make the star trek fan base larger, then it stands to reason that this larger fan base is ready for a new Star Trek series.

  • Mike

    I do think there should be Star Trek on tv, but I don’t think it has anything to do with JJ Abrams or the film franchise, but, rather, the enduring legacy and quality of Star Trek itself… and if people were introduced to Star Trek by JJ Abrams and want to delve deeper into it, great. But I stand firmly against, what I believe to be a preposterous notion, namely that you cannot have character development in a feature film. That’d be news to a lot of filmmakers of the 20th century. It would be news to Nic Meyer. Hell, it would be news to Leonard Nimoy as a filmmaker. In point of fact, the original series of Star Trek has more in common, in terms of production, with a sitcom than a serialized television show. By the end of every episode they were basically back to the point where they began. There was no real growth or continuing storylines for the characters. The first hint at serialization comes in The Motion Picture where they acknowledge that Kirk wants his ship back. TWOK is all about character development. Kirk and Khan never even meet in the same room in that movie. And each subsequent movie, while it certainly had a plot unrelated to the characters, the characters themselves were front and center within the action of the piece. As Kirk is realizing his own racism has played a hand in his and Bones’ fate in The Undiscovered Country, the plot still progressed… but you could hardly suggest that there was no development or growth of the characters in that movie… In The Voyage Home they’re dealing with a newly reanimated Spock… In The Search for Spock they’re looking into what it means to deal with death… while also refusing to accept the no-win scenario even then… Even in TNG there is character development right from the start. Worf is promoted, Data gets an emotion chip, Picard must ultimately deal with the Borg Queen and his emotions relating to being Locutus… not to mention the entire mood of Generations is set around Picard coming to terms with his family’s death and him likely not having children. I mean, come on!!!!! If you’re going to say the spectacle of Star Trek cannot have character development as well, at least buy me some lube first.

    EDIT: Even The Final Frontier featured AS A MAIN PLOT POINT the growth of the characters.

  • Observer1

    Fringe is the closest to Star Trek, lately on tv.
    Intelligent television for an intelligent audience. Not only the relationships and compassion between characters, but the whole story, bigger than life. Messages picked up by an audience that knóws where and how to look for them; nót a scene with a robot from another fracnchise hidden in it…

    Star Trek wíll return to television.
    Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but it will return. The fans demand it.

  • AUbrickrd

    I think the main gripes “the hardcore” have with the new movies would all be fixed if there was a TV series running alongside the movies to deal with the deep and involved character development so we come to know and love a new cast. “Trek is forgetting its fundamentals”-types will find that the TV series which can break up a long story over multiple episodes could address this well. Movies have to be short and a lot don’t understand just HOW MUCH gets cut out because of time constraints, budget cuts, unforeseen problems etc. On the big screen, you have to expect less story and more flashiness whereas in a TV series, you have a much longer run time to explore questions like “humanity”, “morality” and the like. I really hope these stupid studios drop the whole “franchise rights” BS so we can have another TV series. People in droves are clearly drawn to Star Trek again and this makes me happier than ever to see. If there were ever a time to bring back the “saturation of Trek” we saw in the 60s and 90s, its NOW.

  • JoCat

    You make good points there about character development in the films. I stand corrected! I was just thinking how deep character development takes time to happen and in a 7 year TV series, there is more time for it to happen.. But you are right, Commander Data in the TNG movies and other characters as you mentioned in the Star Trek films did endure very noticeable character changes.