TREK IN THE NEWS, June 2011

By StarTrek.com Staff - June 20, 2011

There’s always something going on in the Star Trek universe, whether it’s favorite actors landing new roles or Star Trek extending its pop culture claws into our everyday lives. Here, we take a look at some Star Trek – and Trek people -- in the news. 

Simon Pegg, Star Trek’s new Scotty, has expressed his hope that he and Edgar Wright will be able to tap out a script for The World’s End before production begins on the next Star Trek feature. The World’s End would mark the third entry in the Pegg-Wright tandem’s so-called Blood and Ice Cream trilogy that began with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz

Wil Wheaton will be back on Syfy’s series Eureka – and in a big way. Star Trek: The Next Generation’s former Wesley Crusher will reprise his role as Dr. Parrish in multiple episodes of Eureka, which will kick off the second half of its fourth season on July 11.

And, what, you’re wondering is Wesley’s mom, Dr. Beverly Crusher, better known as Gates McFadden, up to these days? McFadden is the artistic director of Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles, a theater company that develops and produces new works by established and emerging playwrights, and that serves as an artistic home for a company of actors that includes McFadden, Denise Crosby, Zach Grenier, David Rasche, Joseph Ruskin, Harris Yulin, Jon Voight and many more. Several of those just-mentioned names, of course, should be familiar to Star Trek fans. Meanwhile, McFadden just executive produced the most recent EST-LA production, Between Us Chickens, a dark comedy that ran from May 20 to June 19 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village, California. To learn more about the theater group and its upcoming projects visit www.AtwaterVillageTheatre.com.

William Shatner isn’t missing a beat since the decision by CBS not to renew his sitcom, S#*! My Dad Says. The actor has signed on to appear in at least one episode and possibly more of the USA Networks hit series Psych. Shatner will play the estranged, con-man father of Jules (Maggie Lawson). The show will return to the air this fall. Oh, and in the season opener look for a guest shot by Malcolm McDowell, who, as Dr. Soran, killed Kirk in Star Trek: Generations.

J.J. Abrams is set to produce Infinitely Polar Bear, a drama about a bipolar man who ditches his medicine and winds up losing his job, forcing his wife to re-enter the job market. Mark Ruffalo is attached to star as the bipolar man and the new Star Trek’s Uhura, Zoe Saldana, is reportedly in talks to portray his wife. Speaking of Abrams, there’s still no word on whether or not he’ll direct the next Star Trek feature, but signs seem to be pointing in that, ahem, direction. Chatting with MTV while promoting Super 8, Abrams said, “I would hope so, but we'll see. No decisions yet, but I look forward to having the answer soon."

And since we’ve just mentioned Super 8, did anyone happen to catch the many intriguing Easter eggs that director Abrams included? One of them is an appearance in the closing credits of a familiar Star Trek name: Bruce Greenwood, who played Captain Pike in Star Trek (2009). Greenwood was billed in Super 8 as Cooper, but he actually played, via performance capture, the desperate-to-get-home alien creature. The creature, by the way, was created by Neville Page, who worked on Star Trek (2009). Another one is a blink-and-you-miss-it appearance by Abrams' good-luck charm Greg Grunberg, who voiced young Kirk’s stepfather in Star Trek (2009) and in Super 8 can be heard and glimpsed on a television screen. And yet another one, teased by Abrams himself, involves Leonard Nimoy. The Star Trek legend is somehow, in some way, represented in the film. We caught the Lost references, the Kelvin tribute, the affectionate nods to The Twilight Zone and George Romero, and the usual Slusho cameo, but could not for the life of us find Nimoy. Did you see or hear him? 

Inspired in large part by Star Trek, the not-for-profit organization X PRIZE Foundation and communications giant Qualcomm Incorporated are teaming together to offer $10 million to anyone who can develop a practical, mobile, real-world version of Star Trek’s fictional tricorder that consumers can use at home to evaluate health issues. According to a press release issued by the X PRIZE Foundation, “the collaboration between the X PRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm will bring together experts in technology usability, wireless sensors, cloud computing and mobile health to accelerate the convergence of these fields. The winning tool will enable consumers in any location to quickly and effectively assess health conditions, determine if they need professional help and answer the question, ‘What do I do next?’” The competition will officially launch in early 2012.

 

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