Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Science Fiction Non-Fiction: James Doohan (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

"It certainly isn't disrupting us or taking anything away from us at all. Our entity is complete and full in itself and will remain that way. There's no way it's a competition for us or is detrimental to us. A lot of the older actors thought that The Next Generation would get in the way of our popularity, but you know, I pooh-poohed that idea for myself long ago. And I think I've been proven right. I mean, everybody that I meet, everybody-people in the supermarkets, people at service stations-tell me, 'Oh, I just can't wait for Star Trek V.' They don't talk about The Next Generation at all."

"The Next Generation seems to be doing very well, so it'll probably run for five or six years, and then probably five or six years after that, when some of us are dead and gone, they'll start to do their first Next Generation movie."

"They're doing good science fiction, but they're lacking something, and that to me is the rapport between the characters.  They're very cold with one another. When one actor looks at the other actor, I don't see him appreciating the fact that this character has known that character for years, and knows of his background and what he's good at. They're just not doing it."

"I personally think that Gene Roddenberry doesn't want that rapport, so it's not written in, and that's too bad.  He doesn't want anybody to become a superstar. He wants his series, and not, shall we say Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy's series, you know?"

-The late, great James Doohan (Starlog #146, p.55) on the ST:TNG dynamics-

Clearly rapport wasn't established well in the early going of ST:TNG, but with each new installment new hope on that level is glimpsed and these issues are remedied fairly effectively across Season One.

Backhanded compliments of ST:TNG aside, Doohan was fairly portentous in the day while the new series was in its first season infancy.  He predicts with some accuracy the suggestion of the films, the new series longevity and even his own unfortunate passing.

But James (if you're up there listening), I hardly think people would talk up ST:TNG in a super market if they ran into you - the great James Doohan. It's fair to say it would be a praise-fest for fans running into Doohan at a supermarket.  I could hear it now.

"We just love Star Trek: The Original Series and we loved Scotty, please excuse me James - I'll take one pound of the Canadian ham and some American cheese."


Roman J. Martel said...

I love these quotes you find. Very interesting to see how the show was perceived by different folks back when it was running.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Thanks Roman

Tried to do some research accordingly just to offer some perspective and counterpoint to the general feeling toward ST:TNG back in the day.

Once I've completed Season One we should have a generally good idea of what the feeling was out there.

So I'm glad you see what I'm trying to do and I'm glad you enjoy them as well. I like finding them.

All the best my friend.

RVChris said...

Thanks for sharing this, it was interesting to see how James Doohan felt about the new crew so early on. Makes me wonder what he'd think of where Star Trek has gone since he died.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

You are welcome. Thank you. So true. I often wonder those things.