Star Trek 50th Anniversary and a new discovery
It’s no secret to even the most casual of fans that Star Trek is reaching a milestone this year. The groundbreaking franchise created by Gene Roddenberry enters its golden anniversary celebration, just in time to witness the birth of its newest family member, “Star Trek: Discovery.”
When it was announced that there would be a panel at San Diego Comic-Con to revere this occasion, fans took notice. Cast members William Shatner, Jeri Ryan, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Scott Bakula, along with executive producers from the new Star Trek television series, Bryan Fuller, Heather Kadin and Rod Roddenberry, were on hand to discuss the success of the franchise, the impact it has had on the fans and on their own lives, as well as the new series.
The new television series will be distributed by CBS Studios International on Netflix in 188 countries, as well as through Bell Media in Canada. “Star Trek: Discovery” is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Kurtzman’s “Secret Hideout,” Fuller’s “Living Dead Guy Productions” and Roddenberry Entertainment. Kurtzman, Fuller, Kadin, along with Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Halberts, Roddenberry and Trevor Roth will serve as executive producers.
After the panel, a few members of the press, including briotainment.com, were invited to a private press event to discuss in more detail the impact Star Trek has made, as well as share stories of the past 50 years of the franchise.
Michael Dorn and Brent Spiner reflected on the genius of Michael Westmore, the makeup artist – artist being quite the fitting term. Dorn said, “Mine (makeup) was done at 4:30 in the morning and was insane, but he helped me get through it.” Dorn said that Westmore would encourage him to look at his life and realize that a generation before had to work even harder and longer, referring to Boris Karloff, who had to wear his makeup home every night.
The cast spoke of the opportunities that came along as a result of being a member of their respective casts. Bakula said that one of the moments that stood out to him was, “When the astronauts made a video of them watching Star Trek from space and sent it to us of them ‘floating around’ and hanging out, which was completely surreal. It was something you’d never expect in your life.”
For Shatner, “I love talking to people, and I’ve done shows in this way.” The one he’s working on now, in Vancouver, “Is meeting people, who are influenced by Star Trek. Dr. Stephen Hawking, even all of NASA is enamored with Star Trek. All of these people, doctors, every walk of life.”
Hearing the reasoning behind Star Trek’s influence and seeing the direction it lead them in their professional careers seems to be a common theme among the cast. Jeri Ryan said that, “It’s amazing to meet people who are actually doing what you were pretending to be doing.”
Spiner said, “We’ve met the Mercury Astronauts, Walter Cronkite, Stephen Hawking and here we are, just pretend heroes. But for me, the most rewarding experience was getting to meet all of these people. All of the family of Star Trek that have been in all of these episodes and films. All the great creative people that I’ve gotten to know. It’s amazing. It’s a huge family.”
A family of explorers, on a 50 year mission to seek out new life and new civilization. To boldly go into the next 50 years.