Star Trek: Feature: 50 for 50 (Part 8)

Star Trek 50Five decades of Star Trek through the eyes of 50 actors


In the week of the 50th anniversary of the first screening of Star Trek’s first episode, Nick Joy takes a personal look back at 50 of his Star Trek interviews in the eighth instalment of this ten-part feature…


dorn-1Name:  Michael Dorn

Key Star Trek credentials: ‘Worf’ (TNG, DS9, GenerationsNemesis) ‘Klingon Defense Attorney’ (The Undiscovered Country), Director (DS9, ENT)

Original interview: September 2002, by phone from LA

Quote… Unquote: “With Worf, I don’t care about the dialogue. The guy is a man of action and that’s his forte. I don’t think he’ll be sorely missed when he’s not on screen – that’s just part of the deal. People won’t be going round saying ‘This would have been great if Worf had been in it more.’”

“It was a little harder this time to fall back into the role [for Nemesis] because I hadn’t done it for two years. It was difficult to get back into the make-up again. It wasn’t difficult playing the character, it was everything that goes with it

dorn-2“I seriously have to leave Star Trek behind. I’ve got too comfortable and dependent on it, and as difficult as the decision may be, I have to start moving around again. Yeah, I’ll miss the money and all that, but there’s something more to it than that.”

“I think there’s one more story left… Worf should ascend to be the Emperor of the Klingons. He gets thrown into that situation, but not of his own choosing. You know the story about the Cardinal being the real power behind the throne – that’s what I think Worf should be – a really powerful guide that dictates policy and changes the path of the Klingon Empire from now on.”

Ouch!: “I’d rather leave on a high note and not reach the point where people are laughing at us and saying, ‘Look at those guys cavorting round the galaxy at 70 years old’. At a certain point in time the fans are going to start concentrating more on our appearance.”

Hindsight is 20/20: On Nemesis: “I think it’s going to be the final [TNG] film, and then they want to move onto something else. I don’t know what they’d do after that, but I’ve always said that I don’t want to stay too long at the party.”


russ-1Name:  Tim Russ

Key Star Trek credentials: ‘Tuvok’ (DS9/VOY), ‘Devor’ (TNG), ‘T’Kar’ (DS9), ‘Lieutenant’ (The Undiscovered Country), Director (VOY)

Original interview: July 2000, An Evening with Tim Russ, Bournemouth

Quote… Unquote: “I personally have to be on set three or four times in the shooting week just because the Security Officer has to go where the action is, even if I only have one scene or one line. But this has also given me the time to do the music and anything else that I can lay my hands on.”

“I think that the stories have continued to develop his character and give insight into the soul of this individual. I don’t have any stories right now that I want see. I’m sure that I can count on the writers coming up with something that’s going to explore one more facet of this character.”

russ-2LOL: “I could have easily ended up on Baywatch for seven years as opposed to Voyager. I was looking for a series that was going to stay on the air and knew that this one would because… it was Star Trek!”

Ouch!: “It’s a boring, routine job and anyone who’s ever been on the set and watched for four hours will know that. When you deal with that every day the production process is not that much fun. The fun is in everything that goes around it, and that includes the conventions and gigs like this.”

Hindsight is 20/20: “Directing that show was just one of the many doors that Voyager has opened for me. Rick Berman told me that I was due to direct another show last season, but that didn’t happen and so technically I’m next in line. I’ve got my bid in – let’s see what happens.” It didn’t happen.

Star Trek Fatigue: “The whole reason that this franchise has continued successfully between incarnations is because they are all the same. They don’t change the production styles and they spend the same amount of money. Technically, the shows use more CGI now than models, but that’s it. The sets are the same, the directing is the same.”


linda-1Name:  Linda Park

Key Star Trek credentials: ‘Hoshi Sato’ (ENT)

Original interview: October 2003, Central London

Quote… Unquote: “This season’s a lot sexier, and I think that’s for the ratings as well as trying to make it bolder and younger. There’s a female Mata Hari-type spy that comes on board and tries to seduce the captain and some other people. That’s something you don’t often see on Star Trek – female with female. Perhaps it’s a first, but it certainly makes me excited to see what’s coming up next!”

“It’s very easy to get stale when you’re just saying ‘we’re being hailed’ again and again, so you have to remember where your character is coming from. Even when it’s a weaker script you’ve got to make the best of it.”

linda-2“Every time I do an episode, even if I just have one line, I try to do something that grows my character between the beginning and the end; something that I can take on the next episode.”

“It’s a marriage of sorts. You give something good to the writers and then they’ll reward you with something in return. You know them just by their words and you soon decide which writers you like!”

“I don’t think the fans have allowed us to be our own show in the first two years. Yes, we are part of a huge 30-year franchise but we need some breathing room to grow as our own show. I think that everyone from hair to lighting is trying things a bit differently this year.”

Ouch!: “I see us as different from the other [Star Trek] casts because we’re younger and have a different sensibility. Some of the other casts were at the end of their careers and looking for stability, but a lot of us have just started. We’re ambitious, inspired and creative and I have no doubt that this cast will go on to do many other things.”


groener-1Name:  Harry Groener

Key Star Trek credentials: ‘Tam Elbrun’ (TNG), ‘The Magistrate’ (VOY), ‘Nathan Samuels’ (ENT)

Original interview: July 2001, Sector 14’s Odyssey convention, London

Quote… Unquote: “It’s amazing, I have so many people coming up to me saying ‘That’s was one of my favourite ever episodes of Star Trek’. How can that be, after all those episodes of The Next Generation?”

“People generally recognize me from Next Generation or as the Mayor in Buffy. One was a telepath, the other was quirky, bizarre and sick – you couldn’t get two more different roles!”

“I’d love to do a regular one-hour long TV series, but if I keep getting these great guest roles, who’s complaining.”

groener-2LOL: “I was doing Dear John on the lot at Paramount and one of the Star Trek producers came up to me during lunch. He said they’d love to get me on the show and the Dear John people were fine with that provided it was a very different to my character, Ralph. I think one day I was rehearsing Ralph while dressed with alien contact lenses in!”

Hindsight is 20/20: On playing upcoming role as Scott Bakula’s agent in Ghost of a Chance: “I did a Quantum Leap once with Scott, which was great fun. I hope to keep working with him.” He did, four years later in Enterprise.




tasha-1Name:  Denise Crosby

Key Star Trek credentials: ‘Tasha Yar’/ ‘Sela’ (TNG)

Original interview: August 1997, Destination Terok Nor, London

Quote… Unquote: “I was like a major league athlete that had been benched. I would rather have been out there playing. I wasn’t looking to be the star of the show, but I needed to have some storyline to connect to, rather than just answering to the Captain or simply just being physically here.”

“People have said to me that it was because of Tasha that Janeway was born, being a particular kind of female type.”

On playing Tasha’s half-Romulan daughter Sela: “I thought that I was going to get through my entire career on Star Trek without any prosthetics, but they got me in the end.”

tasha-2On being in TNG finale All Good Things: “I put the little spacesuit back on and suddenly I was this in this very foreign feeling role where everybody else had been doing it for seven years.”

LOL: “I’ve died so many times on screen that I’m sure there’s some sort of karmic thing going on and extending my life… in Pet Sematary I end up being un-dead!”

Ouch!: “…suddenly everyone liked the Klingons. It was awkward, because they would split lines between Tasha and Worf to give us something to say, whereas they should have been for only one person. After I left there was one less thing for them to worry about.”

Star Trek Fatigue: “I hope that [Gene Roddenberry] isn’t rolling over in his grave with some of the stuff that Paramount have done. I have a feeling that it can get over-saturated.”


Part 1: Leonard Nimoy, LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden Alexander Siddig, Robert O’Reilly

Part 2: Robert Beltran, Robert Duncan O’Neill, Mark Allen Shepherd, Peter Weller, Connor Trineer

Part 3: Patrick Stewart, John de Lancie, Carolyn Seymour, Casey Biggs, Brian Thompson

Part 4: Kate Mulgrew, Armin Shimerman, John Billingsley, J Paul Boehmer, John Fleck

Part 5: Jonathan Frakes, Robert Picardo, Dominic Keating, Vaughn Armstrong, Nicole deBoer

Part 6: George Takei, Colm Meaney, Jeffrey Coombs, Max Grodenchik, Chase Masterson

Part 7: Brent Spiner, Nana Visitor, Marc Alaimo, Aron Eisenberg, Roxann Dawson

Part 8: Michael Dorn, Tim Russ, Linda Park, Harry Groener, Denise Crosby

Part 9: Nichelle Nichols, Marina Sirtis, Andrew Robinson, Tony Todd, Louise Fletcher

 Part 10: Garrett Wang, Ethan Phillips, Anthony Montgomery, Eric Pierpoint, Tom Hardy


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