LeVar Burton is set to turn up on the NBC series Community as… LeVar Burton. The former TNG star made the announcement himself on Twitter, noting that he’s back on the Paramount lot (where he filmed TNG and the TNG features and directed episodes of the various Star Trek series). Burton is also on board for Perception, an upcoming TNT pilot from former Star Trek writers/producers Ken Biller and Michael Sussman.
Christopher Lloyd, who played Commander Kruge in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, told StarTrek.com in a recent interview that he was signed to appear in an episode of Fringe. He’s since shot his episode, entitled “Firefly,” which will premiere on Jan. 21, 2011. In the show, Lloyd plays a veteran rock star who’s an icon to Walter. Meanwhile, rumors continue to persist that Star Trek legend and Lloyd’s Search for Spock director, Leonard Nimoy – despite his insistence that he’s retired from acting -- will reprise his recurring Fringe role as William Bell in this same episode.
As seems to be the case more and more every day, real-life science is catching up to Star Trek. According to quantum physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara, objects that can be seen before your eyes could actually exist simultaneously… in a parallel universe. As such, it theoretically means that teleportation – a la Star Trek’s transporter – and possibly time travel as well, could be possible. Sound outlandish? It’s not. A team of scientists, earlier this year, devised a tiny machine that “moves” in a manner that fits the definition of quantum mechanics. No less an authority than Science magazine called it the most significant scientific advance of 2010. For more information, check out the story here.
Jason Alexander is heading back to television. The former Seinfeld regular and avid Star Trek fan, who guest starred as the bumpy-headed alien Kurros in the “Think Tank” episode of Voyager, is developing a new series that would cast him as an ex-TV star who agrees to work at a detective agency… owned by his former wife.
The Boys in the Band, released in 1970, was one of the first films to focus on gay characters. Among its stars was Laurence Luckinbill, who later went on to play Spock’s half-brother Sybok in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Luckinbill is now part of Making the Boys, a documentary in which surviving members of the cast and filmmakers look back at the developing/production of The Boys in the Band and contemplate its enduring impact on society and Hollywood. Making the Boys will open in March. Luckinbill, by the way, has been married to Lucie Arnaz since 1980, and she is the daughter of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, the co-founders of Desilu Productions, the company that ultimately produced the original Star Trek series.
Shawn Piller is set to direct and co-produce Sexy Evil Genius, a dark comedy starring Katee Sackhoff. The former Battlestar Galactica actress will play the title character, a woman who brings together a group of strangers who don’t know each other, but who each dated Sackhoff’s vengeance-seeking character. Piller is the son of the late Michael Piller, who’d written and/or produced TNG, DS9 and Voyager, and co-created both DS9 and Voyager. Shawn received “story by” credit on the TNG episode “Journey’s End” and the Voyager hours “Death Wish” and “The Q and the Grey.”
Though it’s not yet officially confirmed, multiple sources are reporting that former TNG and Deep Space Nine writer-producer Ira Steven Behr has been tapped as executive producer and show runner of Alphas, a new show recently green lit by Syfy. Alphas will focus on a group of everyday people who posses unusual mental abilities and are led by a quirky figure played by David Strathairn.
Spice Williams-Crosby, a stuntwoman, actress and martial arts expert whose numerous credits include Star Trek V (she played Vixis), Deep Space Nine, Angel, Charmed, Mission: Impossible III, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and more, has launched a site called ifightformylife.com. I Fight for My Life is designed to help women protect and defend themselves from physical and sexual assaults.
And, finally, just in case you missed it. Here’s a link to a recent Star Trek-centric edition of Bill Amend’s popular comic strip FoxTrot. In it, even gingerbread men in red Star Trek shirts are doomed to die… or be eaten. Check it out here.