Author Topic: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans  (Read 9302 times)

Offline Flagg

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Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« on: January 20, 2007, 02:36:23 AM »
http://trekweb.com/articles/2007/01/19/Brent-Spiner-on-Why-Nemesis-Failed.shtml

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The latest issue of Star Trek Magazine features an exclusive interview with Star Trek The Next Generation actor Brent Spiner, in which he talks about Star Trek Nemesis and the future of the Trek franchise. Here are few excerpts.

Regarding the death of his character in Star Trek Nemesis, a movie he co-wrote, Spiner said "It was my decision, but I didnít have to kill Data. We were all pretty much aware that this was going to be out last film and as such thought we'd go for broke."

"We worked on the story with the intention of making it for the fans," Spiner recalls of the approach that he and writer John Logan used for Nemesis. "With every Star Trek movie prior to that we tried to find a way to bridge the gap between the fans and the general public. Even reading the latest quotes from J.J. Abrams about the next movie, it makes sense for the movie to be as inclusive as possible. With Nemesis we said, 'Forget that! Lets make a movie for the fans, because thatís the people who actually go to see the films.' And what happened? They didnít go! Usually the films opened big, even if they had a lot of competition, but Nemesis didnít even do that. This was a message from the fans that they were done with us."

"Nemesis was directed by an editor [Stuart Baird] where pace was his number one concern. A lot of stuff that was cut out of the movie was pretty good, while some of it wasnít. Could a better movie have been made from the material that was shot? Maybe. Maybe not."

Unlike his recent comments in which he criticizes the upcoming Star Trek XI prequel (story), this time Spiner feels that Paramount is doing the right thing "I think theyíre right to start a new movie franchise that will hopefully spawn a new series that will spawn new movies."

"I think it was disappointing that they cancelled Enterprise, because I donít think that they [the viewers] ever quite Ďgotí it. Enterprise wasnít doing great numbers and they decided it wasnít cost effective to keep it on. I disagree with their decision because I think that it was coming into its own in the fourth season. Like the other series that preceded it, it took a while to find its feet. I think they were getting good when they cancelled it. My experience on the show [as Arik Soong in the three part story "Borderland"/"Cold Station 12"/"The Augments"] was a really positive one."

More from Spiner can be found at Sci Fi Pulse.

To read the full article, get the new issue of Star Trek Magazine at your local newsstand.

Every time this jackass opens his mouth I lose more respect for him.

Offline Peregrinus

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2007, 02:55:14 AM »
Haven't "the fans" hammered it into the ground about what was off with Nemesis? Isn't this available on just about any sci-fi message board for anyone who truly wants to know what the fans thought about the movie, and why they didn't go see it? It was just awful. The cool moments didn't make up for ass storytelling, half-assed writing, and mediocre acting.

I didn't even walk out of Event Horizon, but I walked out of Nemesis. To date, it's the only Trek movie I don't own at least one copy of.

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Offline Bond, James Bond

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2007, 03:26:17 AM »
You walked out of "Nemesis"? Dude, I'll join in on the chorus proclaiming its weakness as a Trek film anytime, but compared to "Event Horizon" which was just a showcase of cool production design, "Nemesis" was a fucking masterpiece. Shit, I didn't like the film in comparison to most other Trek films and I still saw it twice. And I have happily purchased two copies of the DVD (one when it first came out and another as part of the Special Edition Boxed Set of all the Trek movies) and watch it frequently.

I consider it bad in terms of expecting much more from a Trek film, but in a rational comparison of "Nemesis" to most other genre films or films in general, it is not anywhere near the bottom in terms of quality or entertainment value. It's actually a very enjoyable film to watch, just full of so many disappointments for a TNG send-off and rip-offs from earlier Trek films that to many fans it is a big letdown.

"Nemesis" is certainly open to a lot of criticism, but a great deal of hyperbole also gets thrown its way.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2007, 03:28:42 AM by Bond, James Bond »

Offline Flagg

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2007, 03:30:12 AM »
You walked out of "Nemesis"? Dude, I'll join in on the chorus proclaiming its weakness as a Trek film anytime, but compared to "Event Horizon" which was just a showcase of cool production design, "Nemesis" was a fucking masterpiece. Shit, I didn't like the film in comparison to most other Trek films and I still saw it twice. And I have happily purchased two copies of the DVD (one when it first came out and another as part of the Special Edition Boxed Set of all the Trek movies) and watch it frequently.

I consider it bad in terms of expecting much more from a Trek film, but in a rational comparison of "Nemesis" to most other genre films or films in general, it is not anywhere near the bottom in terms of quality or entertainment value. It's actually a very enjoyable film to watch, just full of so many disappointments for a TNG send-off and rip-offs from earlier Trek films that to many fans it is a big letdown.

"Nemesis" is certainly open to a lot of criticism, but a great deal of hyperbole also gets thrown its way.

I didn;t walk out, but I've never seen it again and consider it to be the single worst Trek movie ever made. I don't think it stands up well against other genre films either, to be honest. It's just as shitty as most of the rest of them are.

Offline Bond, James Bond

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2007, 03:31:31 AM »
Watch "Zardoz" and then get back to me.

Offline Flagg

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2007, 03:34:19 AM »
Watch "Zardoz" and then get back to me.

Never heard of it. I'd lump Nemesis in with other crap like 'Eragon', 'Lost in Space', and 'Wing Commander'. Just overall, crap.

Offline Flagg

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2007, 03:37:32 AM »
Lets also not forget the fact that the plot was a ripoff of a major plot point in 'Star Trek Armada', where the Borg cloned Picard to get Locutus back.

Offline Bond, James Bond

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2007, 03:48:04 AM »
^^^ Don't make the mistake of assuming I'm defending the many flaws of "Nemesis" (though I seriously doubt "ST: Armada" was of any influence on their plot development when "TWoK" was so obviously their main influence) just by saying that in comparison to most other genre films it comes in at about the middle in terms of overall quality.

Watch "Zardoz" and then get back to me.

Never heard of it. I'd lump Nemesis in with other crap like 'Eragon', 'Lost in Space', and 'Wing Commander'. Just overall, crap.

You've never heard of Zardoz? Don't make me kick your asshh, boy!


I haven't seen "Eragon," but in my opinion "Nemesis" easily exceeds both of those other films in all possible criteria. Comparing it to "Wing Commander," easily one of the worst genre films ever made, is quite frankly insulting and worthy of two de-merits. So put that in your crack pipe and smoke it, good sir.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2007, 03:54:10 AM by Bond, James Bond »

Offline Flagg

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2007, 03:52:02 AM »
Watch "Zardoz" and then get back to me.

Never heard of it. I'd lump Nemesis in with other crap like 'Eragon', 'Lost in Space', and 'Wing Commander'. Just overall, crap.

You've never heard of Zardoz? Don't make me kick your asshh, boy!


I haven't seen "Eragon," but in my opinion "Nemesis" easily exceeds both of those other films in all possible criteria. Comparing it to "Wing Commander," easily one of the worst genre films ever made, is quite frankly insulting and worthy of two de-merits. So put that in your crack pipe and smoke it, good sir.

Nemesis was so obviously written by committe it literally oozes corporate shit. If you never have, try and find the shooting script. There are fucking "Weakest Link", and "Who Wants To Be a Millionair?" jokes.

Offline Bond, James Bond

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2007, 03:59:21 AM »
I'm sure "Close Encounters" had references to "Love Connection" in its preliminary draft too, but that's why you refine it before it hits the big screen. ;)

Again, I'm not defending the many flaws of the Nemesi, so simply throwing out more flaws which I won't disagree with is kind of pointless, I'm just saying you could do a lot worse in terms of genre films.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2007, 04:03:24 AM by Bond, James Bond »

Offline Flagg

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2007, 04:03:52 AM »
It should be called "Star Trek: Cliche Factory".  :-*

Offline Razor

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2007, 04:33:34 AM »
With the exception of "Event Horizon" Im pretty much in agreement with Bond.  Yeah Nemesis had some magnificent flaws but its still an enjoyable film (hell it was better than ATOC). 

As for Spiner To be honest I really cant disagree with him on Enterprise.  It was really coming into its own by the 3rd and 4th seasons and I think allot of people just gave up on it by early season 2.  If I had to blame anyone it would be UPN for its terrible timeslot and less than stellar promotion (how many times was it pre-empted).  I really dont know what to say on Nemesis' failure though the fact that it opened one week before the 2 Towers might have something to do with its horrific box-office. 
"Yes, yes, now that's what I like to hear. The indomitable spirit and righteous indignation of the human species. I've heard it a million times defending a billion atrocities, and it's still music to my ears." - The Devil, "Brimstone"

Offline Flagg

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2007, 04:42:01 AM »
With the exception of "Event Horizon" Im pretty much in agreement with Bond.  Yeah Nemesis had some magnificent flaws but its still an enjoyable film (hell it was better than ATOC). 

As for Spiner To be honest I really cant disagree with him on Enterprise.  It was really coming into its own by the 3rd and 4th seasons and I think allot of people just gave up on it by early season 2.  If I had to blame anyone it would be UPN for its terrible timeslot and less than stellar promotion (how many times was it pre-empted).  I really dont know what to say on Nemesis' failure though the fact that it opened one week before the 2 Towers might have something to do with its horrific box-office. 

Enterprise got 4 years to gain a fanbase and it did jack shit but hemmorrage money. Yeah, the 4th season was great, but it was too late by that point. You can't blame the fans for not picking up what you're putting down if it's been crap. Even if the quality starts to improve.

Offline Razor

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2007, 05:02:40 AM »
^^^The only people Im blaming are UPN.  When they couldn't find it cost effective.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2007, 05:04:22 AM by Razor »
"Yes, yes, now that's what I like to hear. The indomitable spirit and righteous indignation of the human species. I've heard it a million times defending a billion atrocities, and it's still music to my ears." - The Devil, "Brimstone"

Offline Flagg

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2007, 05:04:54 AM »
^^^The only people Im blaming are UPN.

Why would you blame a network that kept a ratings disaster like Enterprise around far longer than is normal? Any other network, with any other show would have flushed it halfway through the second season. Instead of being angry at UPN, you should be grateful they kept it around for as long as they did.

Offline Razor

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2007, 05:42:44 AM »
^^Ratings disaster, as opposed to all the other highly rated shows on UPN.  It actually scored higher than shows that UPN decided to hold onto longer (Veronica Mars).  Enterprise was cancelled because it no longer fit the profile or desired demographic of UPN.  Add to that the aforementioned pre-empting and you can see why I would blame UPN.
"Yes, yes, now that's what I like to hear. The indomitable spirit and righteous indignation of the human species. I've heard it a million times defending a billion atrocities, and it's still music to my ears." - The Devil, "Brimstone"

Offline GStone

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2007, 08:43:48 AM »
I hate that writers and actors think they can wait until several season are in the can before they figure out what's going on. By the end of the first season should be enough. Actors should get notes of the personality and style of the characters that the writers have in mind, as they write them. The writers should get notes of how the actors are on set and regularly see the eps that are made after a few get done (even if it's the versions that are worked on that get sent to post) and it'd help with them finding their feet faster. If ENT's seasons 3 and 4 were 1 and 2, it probably would have lasted longer.
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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2007, 09:04:38 AM »
If ENT's seasons 3 and 4 were 1 and 2, it probably would have lasted longer.
I doubt it.  Enterprise may have been improving, but season 3 contained some of the worst episodes of the series...episodes that concentrated on pathetic plots based around T'Pol getting quite literally shafted and becoming a drug addict, and episodes that were basically plagiarised from Voyager.  There may have been one or two decent episodes in that season, but they simply hadn't learnt from the mistakes of the first two seasons yet...they just thought they could slap on a change of concept, and that would make everyone happy.  For the most part, it didn't work.

Offline CX

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2007, 12:18:18 PM »
^^^The only people Im blaming are UPN.

Why would you blame a network that kept a ratings disaster like Enterprise around far longer than is normal? Any other network, with any other show would have flushed it halfway through the second season. Instead of being angry at UPN, you should be grateful they kept it around for as long as they did.
Because UPN is a big part of why ENT sucked.  TCW was actually their bright idea, as was the constant push for more sex on the show.  Not to mention the "AIDs" episode... ::)
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Offline Flagg

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2007, 12:23:38 PM »
^^Ratings disaster, as opposed to all the other highly rated shows on UPN.  It actually scored higher than shows that UPN decided to hold onto longer (Veronica Mars).  Enterprise was cancelled because it no longer fit the profile or desired demographic of UPN.  Add to that the aforementioned pre-empting and you can see why I would blame UPN.

Enterprise was alot more expensive to produce, and wasn;t a critical success like Veronica Mars. Enterprise was cancelled because it was given 2 years to improve upon it's ratings which never happened. And what local UPN affiliates do is hardly the fault of the parent network.

Offline Flagg

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2007, 12:25:31 PM »
^^^The only people Im blaming are UPN.

Why would you blame a network that kept a ratings disaster like Enterprise around far longer than is normal? Any other network, with any other show would have flushed it halfway through the second season. Instead of being angry at UPN, you should be grateful they kept it around for as long as they did.
Because UPN is a big part of why ENT sucked.  TCW was actually their bright idea, as was the constant push for more sex on the show.  Not to mention the "AIDs" episode... ::)

If by UPN you mean Berman and Braga. And whats wrong with more sex, and a 'message' episode? If you really want to give UPN shit, how about jhaving a Voyager wrestling episode?

Offline GStone

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2007, 01:29:28 PM »
Oh, god. I forgot they made that one.
Leader of the Pro-Trek/Anti-The Culture movement

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Offline Jimi James

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2007, 01:41:41 PM »
Quote
"I think it was disappointing that they cancelled Enterprise, because I donít think that they [the viewers] ever quite Ďgotí it. Enterprise wasnít doing great numbers and they decided it wasnít cost effective to keep it on. I disagree with their decision because I think that it was coming into its own in the fourth season. Like the other series that preceded it, it took a while to find its feet. I think they were getting good when they cancelled it. My experience on the show [as Arik Soong in the three part story "Borderland"/"Cold Station 12"/"The Augments"] was a really positive one."

Oh, ok I see now.  The show was canceled becasue I didn't understand it.  I see now that that makes so much more sense then what I had thought was the problem, in that the actual show never lived up to it's potential and treated the fans as if we were all 13 year old boys who wanted to see pretty explosions, didn't care about crap writing, and wanted to see T'pol get half naked every episode.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for more of T'Pol getting naked, but that alone can't be the driving force behind the show. (well I suppose it could be the driving force but that's something else all together different and we're talking about a serious sci-fi drama here)  The show has to treat it's audience like adults and try to tell stories that are somewhat serious. 

A perfect example of this is Neo-BSG.  How many times have we seen Six half naked, or damn near completely naked for that matter?  Plenty more then we ever saw of T'pol.  The difference is that BSG takes itself seriously and doesn't treat it's audience like we're little kids.  And until Star Trek stops acting juvenile and treating it's audience in a similar manner, we're going to get more of Enterprise and Nemesis.
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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2007, 03:23:59 PM »
I never got into Voyager and Enterprise, pretty much for the same reasons.  It was all formula.  It seemed like whoever was in charge thought that just having a ship travel to a weird planet was enough.  I think it's sort of the arrogance of great success, something that happens to most TV and movie series after a while -- they seem to get the idea that just putting the name on the box is enough, because the fans will buy it anyway. The other thing that happens is that they start playing it safe.  Neo-Battlestar has to earn an audience, and you can see by some of the storylines that they're pulling out all the stops to get the audience.  With VOY and ENT, it seems like they're afraid to try a daring story 'cause they might scare away the audience.

It used to be that Trek was fairly ballzy.  Not ten years after the whole McCarthy thing, Trek was doing a story about the US risking the safety of the entire planet by putting nukes in space.  Or doing stories loosly based on vietnam.  Long story short, rather than running away from a dangerous story, it dealt with them.  ENT could have dealt with any number of issues, many of them stemming from the War on Terror and so on.  Instead, we got naked T'pol and the Suliban messing with time. 

If they want an audience again, they'd better start making good science fiction, rather than another formulaic tv show. 

But if Spiner wants to knock the fans, I got a question for him -- other than Trek, when has he played a major character on TV or in the Movies? 

Offline Peregrinus

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Re: Brent Spiner Keeps Blaming The Fans
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2007, 03:34:33 PM »
By the end of the first season of TNG, the characters had gotten pretty well hammered out, and we were able to have episodes like "Conspiracy", "We'll Always Have Paris", and "The Neutral Zone". Even in th emiddle of a writers' strike, the second season was able to give us stuff like "A Matter of Honor" and "The Measure of A Man". Even though there were some weak episodes in there, too, overall, by the tiime TNG hit its stride in early third season, enough people had gotten hooked on the better episodes of the first two years that it was more a matter of something good getting better than something feeble getting good -- which is what happened with Enterprise.

The TCW was just a bad idea. Having John Eaves design the titular vessel (which was a mistake in itself) instead of someone like Masao or Greg Jein was unfortunate. I have issues with the wardrobe that I won't go into here. The characterisation... They got better in later seasons, but Mayweather and Hoshi were almst totally left behind, and we had to endure too much of Archer trying to sound tough (which Scott Bakula just can't do) instead of just being tough (which he can). And all the blatant continuity gaffes, just because Brannon Braga gives not one shit about such things... *sigh*

Nemesis might have been a good non-Trek movie, bot for Trek it was abysmal. The characters were all wrong, the situation was ludicrous, so many of the plot points were contrived beyond belief. This was not a movie for the fans. If it were, they would have gotten Academy-Picard right, they wouldn't have had a fucking dune buggy or its attendant chase scene, the android would have been Lore -- maybe lobotomised by the Tal Shiar in an attempt to get it to do their bidding, and Picard woud have been cloned after he became high-profile, not when he was still the Captain fo the third-rate Stargazer.

And Wesley would have been there with Robin Lefler as his date. :)

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