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.
The Paley Center for Media’s Big Screen Weekend Celebration of classic sci-fi TV will, on Saturday, shine a spotlight on Star Trek. Despite the imminent threat of the so-called “Carmageddon” in Los Angeles, the event promises to be well worth the effort of getting there. Among the highlights are screenings of “The Cage,” the original TOS pilot, directed by Robert Butler; Star Trek: New Voyages: World Enough and Time, the fan film starring George Takei and directed by Marc Zicree; and “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the second Star Trek pilot, which featured Sally Kellerman and Gary Lockwood. Fans can also look forward to a panel conversation featuring Butler, Kellerman and World Enough star Christina Moses, with Zicree serving as host/moderator.
Rachel Nichols, who played the beautiful Orion girl Gaila in Star Trek (2009) and was most recently seen as a series regular on Criminal Minds, will be on view next in the reboot of Conan the Barbarian and also in a big-screen adaptation of the Joe Coomer novel A Bird of the Air. Nichols co-stars as Tamara, the title barbarian’s butt-kicking love interest, in Conan, and in A Bird of the Air she plays Fiona, a young woman who meets a loner searching for the owner of a wayward green parrot. Conan the Barbarian will open on August 19 and A Bird of the Air will arrive in theaters this fall.
Faran Tahir, who played Captain Robau in Star Trek (2009), has a bunch of projects in the can. On Monday, July 18, he’ll reprise his recurring role on as Adwin Kosan, one of the powerful and enigmatic Regents, on the Syfy show Warehouse 13. In the episode, it’s up to Kosan to decide if Myka (Joanne Kelly) is fit for a return to duty. Trek fans know that Warehouse 13 regular Saul Rubinek guest starred in the TNG episode “The Most Toys.” Rubinek recently completed the indie comedy Three Days in Dublin, which will be released in 2012.
Former Star Trek: Voyager star Bob Picardo is sticking his toe in what could be the next tidal wave in social networking: VMS, which offers mobile video messaging. “What actor could pass up his own broadcast channel?” Picardo asked rhetorically while filling StarTrek.com in on the details. “I’m creating my very own embarrassing videos and broadcasting them each week to fans who follow me. I’m having a blast staging a mock battle between me and my alter-ego, Alphonso, the world’s ‘sexiest man.’ Guest appearances by friends Ethan Phillips, David Hewlett, Bill Nye the Science Guy and others will roll out in the next couple of weeks. I’m the first Trek actor to brave this region of cyberspace, so please consider joining my crew.” Check out the “Bob Channel” by clicking here.
Since Picardo is pretty much everywhere all the time, we’ve got some more Picardo-centric news. He and fellow former Voyager co-star Kate Mulgrew will reunite on Cartoon Network’s upcoming Adult Swim series National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle, or, more succinctly, NTSF:SD:SUV. “The show is a parody of procedurals, from CSI to NCIS to 24, starring Paul Scheer as a Jack Bauer wannabe and Kate as his commander,” Picardo told us. Mulgrew recommended Picardo for the guest-starring role of a very peculiar intern in Homeland Security who may be a mole with lethal intentions... or just an idiot. “It was our first on-screen reunion since Voyager,” Picardo added. “Paul, Kate and the rest of the cast are hilarious. I hope they have me back.” The show will debut on July 21.
And in breaking Picardo news, he’ll play Herr Schultz in Cabaret, the opening production of Reprise: Broadway's Best 2011-2012 Season. Jason Alexander is the artistic director at Reprise Theatre Company, which is based at UCLA in Los Angeles, and Cabaret will open in mid-September. Trek fans will remember that Alexander is a major fan himself and guest starred on the Voyager episode “Think Tank.” His most recent project was A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner, a telemovie that aired on Nickelodeon last week and cast him as a live-action version of the animated character Cosmo. Also in A Fairly Odd Movie was Steven Weber, who guest starred as Bajoran Militia member Day Kannu in the in the Deep Space Nine episode “The Siege.”
If you’re going to be in San Diego for Comic-Con, you’ll be there along with a Who’s Who of familiar Star Trek talents – among them actors and actresses, producers, novelists and comic book artists -- on hand to promote a wide array of projects. Some of the people who’ll be on hand include William Shatner, Jeri Ryan, Avery Brooks, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Zachary Quinto, Chris Hemsworth, Chase Masterson, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Connor Trinneer, Dominic Keating, Ron Perlman, Ira Steven Behr, Jennifer Morrison, Rod Roddenberry, Damon Lindelof, Michael Giacchino, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Brannon Braga, Rene Echevarria, Manny Coto, Peter David, Andy Mangels, Mike Johnson and more.
Our congratulations to Star Trek veterans Michelle Forbes, Alfre Woodard, Christopher Plummer and Brenda Strong, all of whom are 2011 Emmy Award nominees. Forbes, who essayed the recurring character Ensign Ro Laren on TNG, received a nomination as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work on The Killing. Meanwhile, Woodard, who played Lily Sloane in Star Trek: First Contact, received a nomination as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance on True Blood. Finally, Plummer, who won acclaim as General Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and Strong, who played Rashella in the TNG episode “When the Bough Breaks,” are both nominated in the Outstanding Voice-Over Performance category, Plummer for Moguls & Movie Stars and Strong for Desperate Housewives (she’s the late Mary-Alice Young).