Shatner, Stewart Discuss Changes In Lives, Star TrekBy Michelle
August 22, 2005 - 9:17 PM
When four of the five television Star Trek captains appeared at the Creation convention in Las Vegas last weekend, William Shatner (Kirk) and Patrick Stewart (Picard) both talked about recent life-changing events that had taken place.
Shatner, reported StarTrek.com, had just a day before became a grandfather twice - first when his daughter Melanie gave birth to her second child (husband Joel Gretsch works with several other Trek alumni on The 4400) and again when via a "science-fiction miracle", his daughter Lisabeth - who had been told as a teenager that she would never have a child - had a baby conceived via in vitro and delivered via a surrogate mother. "A miracle baby!" he said, explaining that he could be at the convention because he was not allowed in the delivery room.
Before taking questions, Shatner conducted an auction for charities that support physically and emotionally challenged children, with the highest-priced item being a chance to appear as a "guest star" in Shatner's next book written with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens as a Starfleet Academy cadet. "We will describe you and what you look like. You'll be one of the characters," he promised. The honour went for $5000 each to two fans.
Shatner said that if he could talk to the producers of Star Trek, he would say, "'You gotta get outa there, guys. Bring a new team in and see ya later.'" He thinks the franchise should begin again from scratch "with some wonderful writers who love Star Trek" and laughed, when fans shouted that he should do it, "If I'm elected...!"
"They've done a wonderful job and they've done all these Star Trek things," he conceded. "But you know, people get tired of the job...you get burned out." He felt certain that the franchise was merely taking a pause and that Paramount would not let such a lucrative property die: "Something so excellent cannot fall away and be nothing. Star Trek will come back."
While onstage, Shatner was greeted by Stewart, who gave him a hug and told the crowd that Shatner had sent him a lovely note after he had heart surgery last year. Stewart had been a question mark for the convention because of his X-Men 3 shooting schedule but said he had been able to get away after early filming, which includes "one surprise which will never even appear in a script form. We've just shot it. It's so secret, that there was never, ever allowed anything to be on paper about it." Stewart added that he was happy with new director Brett Ratner, though he misses former director Bryan Singer.
In terms of his other projects, Stewart worked with his friend and Dune co-star Kyle MacLachlan in a production of Mysterious Island, and he is starring in a new British series, Eleventh Hour. But by far the most significant opportunity to come his way is a return to the Royal Shakespeare Company, which is planning to stage all of Shakespeare's plays next year. He will play Marc Antony in Antony and Cleopatra and is "in the very blessed position of looking at continuous employment from now until about April 2007...I'm a very lucky man."
Stewart said that he did not expect to return to Star Trek and joked that all his Next Generation co-stars would like to be him, which is why some of them do impersonations of him, but he spoke seriously about being in England during the bombings in London last month. When he rode the Tube afterward, "I felt uneasy and there was one moment when I was downright scared. But it felt important to me to not allow what had happened to shake my faith in the city."
The full official coverage of Shatner and Stewart at the Las Vegas convention is at StarTrek.com.