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Spiner Talks Trek X's Themes

By Caillan
November 3, 2002 - 2:30 PM

'Starburst' 292 -  copyright Visual Imagination Although one of the most-action packed Trek films to date, Brent Spiner (Data) says 'Star Trek Nemesis' still has time to include some musings on the human condition.

"It dances around the idea of what is it that makes us what we are," Spiner told Starburst's James E. Brooks. With Data and Picard forced to confront mirror images of themselves - B4 and Shinzon - the film delves into the question of personal identity. "That's really the philosophical essence of what the movie's about - no answers to that question, or course, but just musings on it. Having two of each of us - Data and Picard - gives us that opportunity to look at the theme in the time-honoured tradition of Star Trek."

Spiner pulls double duty as Data and B4 in the movie, set for release on December 13. The Saturn Award-winning actor has done it before - portraying Data, Lore and creator Dr. Noonien Soong in various episodes during TNG's run - but that doesn't make it any less exacting.

"It's always a challenge playing two characters. It's challenge enough to play one, but this character is a very simple character. He's far less sophisticated than Data; far less sophisticated even than Data was when we first met him. The thrust of the character is that his positronic brain is very primitive so that a more simplified personality made it easier for me to separate them in my thoughts and in my daily performance on the set."

With 'Nemesis,' Spiner was involved in the creative process from the very beginning, developing the film's story with producer Rick Berman and Oscar-nominated scribe John Logan ('Gladiator'). It's still up in the air whether Trek X will be the final voyage for the TNG gang, but whatever happens, Spiner is convinced the movie will be something to remember.

"I think this picture is the most complicated, deep, and certainly the most emotional film we've done. I think it's very thoughtful and thought provoking, but at the same time it has more pure action than anything we've ever done before."

To read the full interview, pick up Starburst issue 292. Alternatively, extracts are available at the magazine's web site and Sci-Fi Pulse.

The following 'Nemesis'-related tidbits have appeared over the past few days:

  • The British Board of Film Classification gave 'Star Trek Nemesis' a 12A rating late last month. The 'A' stands for "advisory" and "accompanied," meaning that children under the age of 12 are able to watch the film at the cinema only if they are accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over. The rated version of the film was 116 minutes long, which fits in with Rick Berman's recent statement that 'Nemesis' would come in at just under two hours.

  • USA Today has named 'Star Trek Nemesis' one of the seven "super sure-fire holiday hits" likely to break the $100 million mark at the box office. The group also includes 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,' 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' and the next James Bond outing, 'Die Another Day.'

    The paper called Trek X a "logical yet dicey proposition," citing the unpredictability of that elusive quantity - the general viewer. "You never know whether a Star Trek movie will appeal only to the hard-core fans or break out to the mass audience." Read the full article here.

Thanks to Gary Wood for some of this!

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