Monday, April 6, 2015

The Space Babes Full Employment Program

I don't watch much television.  But I do have a few weaknesses to confess.  I am a big fan of Star Trek and will watch reruns of almost any episode from the various Trek incarnations.

And over the years I have also found a few shows with ensemble casts that I come to enjoy sufficiently to plop down on the sofa once a week.

There is an interesting connection here, several of the current/recent shows I watch have frequent guest appearances by Star Trek alumni.

Consider Castle.  A recent episode had no fewer than three former Trek actresses in roles large or small.  We had:

In a real acting tour de force Captain Yates from Star Trek DS9 has become Captain Gates

Keiko Obrien from Star Trek TNG and DS9, cast now as the scheming Mimi Tan

Ensign Sato from Star Trek Enterprise.  Now appearing as Inspector Zhang
Of course these actresses all have real names and real lives off screen, but something about Sci Fi characters seems to fix them in the minds of the viewers as "being" their Star Trek characters. Leonard Nimoy was somewhat resentful of this phenomena and actually wrote a bio once titled "I am not Spock".

Three former Trek cast members in one episode is a bit much for Castle, even if Captain Yates/Gates is a semi regular.  But over the years Castle has provided a paycheck to quite a few such alumni. Here, somebody has tracked this although his list of 25 needs to be updated now.

But Castle is nowhere near as prolific a Trek Alumni Employment Program as another show I favored for a while. Boston Legal had as its star none other than William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk, or as I prefer to call him Prociuttius Maximus.

Someone compiled a list claiming that no fewer than 78 Trek alumni appeared on Boston Legal in one fashion or another.  I read somewhere that David Kelley, the creator of Boston Legal is a serious fan and was always willing to sneak another Trek connection in.

Sometimes the former members of Star Fleet came and went on the set of Boston Legal so rapidly that they passed each other unseen.  When Scott Bakula had a cameo as an opposing counsel he had no scenes with William Shatner.  In fact, the two men never met.

Now that does not seem right.  Since Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer commanded the USS Enterprise first (2151-2161) one would think that protocol would demand that Shatner/Kirk (commander from 2265-more or less 2293) would have made a courtesy call on his senior officer!

This slight will not be forgotten, Midshipman Kirk!

So how to explain the Trek alumni concentration on certain shows?  I guess producers and casting directors are allowed to be fan boys and girls.  Does this make them nerds?  Yes. Yes it does.  And am I a nerd for noticing?  Yes.  Yes I am.

No comments: