McDowell: Killing a TV Icon

Malcolm McDowell played Dr. Tolian Soran, the man responsible for the death of James T. Kirk in Star Trek: Generations, but he’s not a fan of how Kirk died.

There was no hesitation on McDowell’s part when it came to accepting the role of Soran though. “I thought, ‘Well, this is a good part.’ I think that’s what I felt immediately,” said McDowell.

But McDowell wasn’t aware at first that Soran would be responsible for the demise of Star Trek‘s most famous captain. “I didn’t know until I’d read the full script that I was going to be the one that killed Kirk. Bill Shatner is a force of nature, is he not? I enjoyed him. I think he’s extremely talented.”

McDowell, like many fans, did not like how Kirk was killed off. “Pose this one for me (to the powers that be),” said McDowell. “If you have – which they had – this icon of American television, why the hell didn’t they give him a spectacular death? Why did they give him such a really paltry death? Me shooting the bridge out or some BS whatever it was? They should have sent him off in a glorious fashion, and they didn’t. They missed an opportunity.”

The death of Kirk was changed and the scene was refilmed, but McDowell considered it a waste of time and money. “Yeah, they re-shot,” he said. “What did they reshoot? It was just as bad as the first one. And they spent several million dollars (on the reshoots). If you’re asking me, I thought it was poor, very poor, even the reshoot. They should have seen Shatner off in a big way.’

In spite of his character being the instrument of Kirk’s death, McDowell enjoyed playing Soran. “Well he’s a megalomaniac and a fun character to play,” said McDowell. “Also, visually, I loved the black clothes with the white hair, spiked up.”


What do you think? Chat with other fans in the Star Trek - Original & Animated series forum at The Trek BBS.




Up Next