Takei Wishes He'd Had More Screen TimeBy Michelle
May 24, 2005 - 10:07 PM
George Takei (Sulu), who was none too complimentary of William Shatner in his autobiography To the Stars, recently called his Captain Kirk co-star "a domineering star" in a recent interview but explained that when the two worked together before Star Trek had been picked up by NBC, they predicted that they would be working together on the series.
In an interview at Trek Brasilis (via TrekWeb, Takei said that the original Star Trek still seems very relevant to him in terms of modern social commentary. "Back in the '60s the issues confronting society were war and peace, corruption and integrity, prejudice and idealism, and strength in diversity coming together," he said. "Those issues seem ripped from the headlines today, don't you think?" He noted the parallels between home computers, cell phones and the International Space Station with consoles, communicators and starbases on Star Trek.
"We all recognized Star Trek as very venturesome television," he said. "We also felt it was intelligent, quality writing. And that meant it was very risky." He and Shatner worked together on Alcoa Television Theater after filming the pilot, he added, where they discussed their hopes that the series would be picked up. "As it turned out, that did happen."
Takei implied once again that he blamed Shatner in part for his character's lack of screen presence, saying, "When there are seven regular cast members, it is very difficult for all of us to get our full time in the sun - particularly when there is such a domineering star as Bill Shatner." He said that none of them felt that their characters received sufficient attention, "but that is the way it works in series television." He was sorry never to have explored Sulu's private life and happy when Sulu was promoted to captain in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Asked about the cancellation of Enterprise, Takei expressed sympathy for the actors but remembered his own sense that Star Trek was coming to an end in 1969. "I think I've learned something from history since. As Spock once said, 'There are always possibilities,'" he noted.