Starburst main page Return to main Starburst page ContentsSelected feature: Gates McFaddenBuy it
ContentsSelected feature: Gates McFaddenBuy It

Feature Star Trek: Nemesis Gates McFadden

Star Gates

Gates McFadden as Beverley Crusher: are things looking up after Insurrection?After over three years off, the Enterprise-E crew return to
the screen this November in Star Trek: Nemesis. Nick Joy caught up with
Gates McFadden, alias Dr. Crusher, to learn what's in store...

• Jonathan Frakes interview excerpt: see below

Gates McFadden is headlining at February's Starfleet Ball convention in Bournemouth, and after two hours of autographs, jet lag and some dodgy English cuisine, she could be forgiven for avoiding the press. However, being the (starship) trouper that she is, Gates shares some carefully selected thoughts about the new movie, while ever wary that Paramount would frown upon divulging any spoilers. She's in a good mood, if only because this journalist has just cracked his head on a banner hanging over the autograph desk. At least there's a medical officer to hand. "Really?" she gasps. "Well, I'm not sure she's that good."

With the release of the movie nine months away, it would be unreasonable for Gates to go into much plot detail, though she is quick to point out that "They always seem to have half of the script on the Internet before we've seen it. But, I'm not spoiling any surprises by saying that I think that it's going to be a really good film. I enjoyed filming it, and I think John Logan wrote a really good script."

Logan previously wrote the Oscar-nominated script for Ridley Scott's Gladiator, as well as the 2002 re-make of The Time Machine. His Nemesis script is based on a story by himself, producer Rick Berman and Brent [Data] Spiner. "The story is interesting and they manage to use all of the characters well," she continues. "Jean-Luc Picard really does meet his match in this film, which is great!" This is presumably an allusion to the character of Shizon, the titular character played by Brit newcomer Tom Hardy, a role for which Michael [Stargate] Shanks had auditioned.

But why such a lengthy intermission between movies? When Nemesis is released in November 2002, four years will have passed between Star Trek movies – a long time in show biz. "I think it was all around matching schedules, getting the money and all of those normal things involved in making a movie," McFadden explains. "Sure, it took a long time, and that's my personal recollection, but I certainly think that it was good to wait a while... You need the time to get a really good script together."

One criticism of Insurrection was that it read like a TV episode, rather than a good sequel to the ‘big screen’ feel of First Contact. "Yes, I didn't think it [Insurrection] was so strong. It was a little quick after First Contact, but that really is just a personal opinion. By comparison, I thought that First Contact was a really solid ‘together' script; I loved the story. I wasn't as wild about Insurrection, but I've talked to many people who loved it. So, there you are," she shrugs. If forced to compare Nemesis to the two previous movies, to which is it closer in tone ? "Well, I don't know if I'd compare it in that way. But in the same way that First Contact was good for all of us as a cast, I think that Nemesis is a more balanced film..."

by Nick Joy

Get the full, exclusive interviews with Gates McFadden and Jonathan Frakes, plus much more about TV Sci-Fi hits that became movies, when you buy Starburst Special #51

Images © Paramount Pictures
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

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JONATHAN FRAKES on the script for Nemesis:

“It’s fabulous, and that’s a credit to John Logan. It’s not afraid to be huge in both its emotion and its action. It has classic Star Trek elements like loyalty and friendship and it addresses big galactic issues, and there are wonderful battles in it. And there’s humour in it, so it’s got what I think has made Star Trek so successful, and that’s a combination of small things and huge action.”

Full interview with Jonathan Frakes on Star Trek: Nemesis and his new film (as director) Clockstoppers in this Special issue!

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