Star Trek

Star Trek/Buffy Alums Join Apocalypse Comedy

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Former Star Trek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer stars Armin Shimerman and Harry Groener have joined the cast of the indie end of civilization road comedy Diani & Devine Meet The Apocalypse.

Written by and starring Gabriel Diani and Etta Devine, the project is an apocalyptic comedy in the spirit of the old Bob Hope and Bing Crosby “Road” movies about two struggling comedians who discover that surviving the apocalypse is almost as difficult as surviving in Hollywood.

Shimerman and Groener will appear along with their real life wives, Kitty Swink (Star Trek, Nikki and Nora) and Dawn Didawick (Hart of Dixie, Erin Brockovich), as members of a mysterious elite country club that provide shelter to the wandering comedy duo.

“We are delighted to have Armin, Kitty, Harry, and Dawn on board,” Diani said, “I can’t think of four better people to spend the Apocalypse with.”

Shimerman played the recurring character of “Principal Snyder” on Buffy during the same period he was a series regular as the Ferengi bartender “Quark” on Star Trek: Deep Space 9. Groener guest starred on several different Star Trek series, most notably as the tortured telepath “Tam Elbrun,” and was a series regular “Ralph Drang” on the sitcom Dear John but is widely recognized as the evil “Mayor Wilkins” on the third season of Buffy.

Production is expected to begin in the Fall.


Exclusive Interview: Remembering Star Trek Icon DeForest Kelley With Author Kristine M. Smith

   There aren’t many 60’s Star Trek The Original Series fans who don’t already know author Kristine M. Smith. For those who don’t, Smith has an enduring, unusual Star Trek connection. Kristine first met DeForest Kelley (Doctor McCoy) in 1968 just before her senior year in high school began. Smith and a classmate drove to Wenatchee, Washington simply to watch the actor pass by in the Apple Blossom Festival Parade but ended up parking (fatefully) near the Kelley’s hotel. As she explains it: “I spotted the white car with his name and Star Trek on it and figured if we loitered shamelessly,  maybe we would actually have a chance to meet him, not just watch him go by!”

Smith met DeForest Kelley and his wife Carolyn that day then went home and wrote an essay about her experience. Her high school English teacher was so impressed with the essay that she insisted Smith send it to Mr. Kelley, which she did (hesitantly but obediently). Little did she know that her story would be published in a national celebrity magazine and that it would open the door to a 30-year plus association with the Kelleys—with Smith eventually serving as DeForest’s personal assistant and caregiver at the end of his life.

As an author Smith has penned seven books including two on Kelley: DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories (Sept. 2001)which explored her friendship with the couple and how it changed her life. The book also recounts the actor’s final weeks (Cancer claimed him on June 11, 1999). Smith has recently revised and enhanced the book with scores of never-before seen and rarely-before-seen photos, now titled DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal: A Harvest of Memories from the Fan who Knew Him Best. Her other Kelley tome is an eBook: DeForest Kelley: Actor Healer, Friend, a recounting of the many ways in which Kelley touched the lives of other fans around the world.

Smith was voted into the 2012-2013 edition of “50 Great Writers You Should be Reading”. In this exclusive interview, The Mac Wire catches up with the author  about her time with the Kelleys, her updated book, and various other writing projects.

From what I read you have been writing self-help and animal books most recently. How did it come about that you wrote the first book on DeForest?

De launched my writing career. He submitted my first national article for publication when I was 18. And he gave me permission to write a book about him so I wanted my first book to be about how he “raised” me from a timid, uncertain writer to a more confident, robust individual and human. The funny thing is that I probably never would have written it had not De’s biographer, Terry Rioux, asked me a question I couldn’t answer! She asked me, “How did you go from being a fan on the outmost reaches of fandom to being at his bedside when he died?” I told her, “That’s something you would have had to ask De. I honestly have no idea how that happened.” She refused the response. She said, “You know the answer. You just have to connect the dots.” That’s when I remembered that I had been writing journals all my life, and had documented every interaction we ever had–in person, by mail, and on the phone. So I dove into my past and connected the dots! And wow…there were so many incidents and anecdotes that I had entirely forgotten about! It’s SO important to keep journals. One day you’ll be able to look back over your life and see how far you’ve come!”

How different is this revised edition?
 I’m a better writer than I was twelve years ago (since I’ve been a professional copywriter since January 2007) so I’ve gone carefully through and enhanced the original manuscript to make it more succinct, concise and compelling. My publisher (who is also an author) has gone through it, too. It’s a faster read and the end times (De’s hospital days) are truncated considerably. The fans who bought the first version and loved it will love it even more for the following reasons:

The enhancement version has lots of additional photos of the notes, letters and other artifacts that are in my Kelley archives. So this new edition will feel almost like sitting on a couch beside me as we go through my many memories of De. There will also be a bibliography with links to places online where people can see De and/or me in action at conventions, during interviews, and the like. 

Why do it now? My publisher wanted to get this ready in advance of the 15th anniversary of De’s passing (June 11, 2014) and Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary (Sept 8, 2016), so that’s why we’re doing it now.

 How did working with DeForest Kelley change your life?
    I didn’t work with De until he fell ill and was confined to a hospital the last few months of his life. He kept his illness a secret from me for as long as he could because I was going through my mother’s terminal illness up until five months before he finally let me know his status. I’m sure he did that to protect me from feeling torn between two very great needs; he didn’t want to burden me further. In fact, all through mom’s illness, De sent mom notes, cards and candy to help keep her spirits up, even though I soon learned that he was facing the same fate!

I can’t even imagine how tough that must have been for you. First your mom and then De.
   What I learned from working with De and mom those last few months was that terminally ill people want to live until they die; some want to talk about their eventual demise, others don’t. They remain the fun, delightful, thoughtful people they always were. At least, this was my experience with these two individuals. Everyone is different, I’m sure, depending on how willing they are to ‘own’ their fates and gracefully (or not so gracefully) embrace it without undue fear or angst.

I never realized how loved he was by Star Trek fans. I never met him. I was fortunate enough to interview Leonard (Nimoy) and Bill (Shatner) years ago. That was fun. The one thing I remember reading about DeForest was that the was close to his mother and always held hands with his wife. I thought how sweet is that! For our younger readers who may not know DeForest Kelley, what kind of person was he?
   De was gentle, fun, sassy, funny, astute, quiet, low-key, laid-back and utterly, utterly charming… by nature, not by artifice. He was a good-hearted prankster—none of his pranks were mean-spirited; all were meant to bring a smile. Hey, I wrote a whole book about this! You’ll be able to hold it in your hands soon. When you do, you’ll get to meet and know the DeForest Kelley I knew—and you will never, ever be the same, any more than I will for having known him.

I was pretty touched when I read how at one point you became the Kelley’s fulltime caretaker. I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been. I remember when he passed away; I was very sad and said a prayer. What life lessons have you learned from that experience?
  Working with De also changed my life because I finally understood, to the bone, that he really did trust me; you don’t invite known people into your life, home and hospital in your final weeks and months unless you feel awfully confident they will be able to handle what’s coming and keep you comfortable and as upbeat as possible during the process. Being able to help him was more blessing to me than it was to him, I firmly believe, because I finally understood that the Kelley’s had real affection for me and weren’t just being kind to a fan all those years. (I’m not one to accept affection or love without question. It takes some doing for me to “get it.” But that’s a topic for another book, lol!)

  We all have an expiration date. Remember it but don’t dwell on it. Life gets more precious the less you realize you have of it. Don’t dwell on the end–dwell on what you can do today to bless, love and care for loved ones. If someone needs your help at the end of their lives, give it, no matter how scared or unsettled you feel about doing it. The experience will bless you far more than you will bless them. You’ll come to understand and embrace the ‘final frontier’ in ways that are no longer theoretical but practical and truly of immense service. You bet it’s sad and it’s scary, because it’s so real, but it’s something we all will face unless we’re hit by a Mack Truck or die in our sleep without any warning. It’s only as scary as you make it out to be. It can be utterly transformative to embrace the inevitable.
Live ’til you die, no matter what your prognosis or diagnosis. Have fun. 

Tell our readers a little bit about the other books you have written and a wild cat you once owned. Wow! How did that come about? Sounds like another really interesting story!
Mary Anne, you’re killing me!  I’ve written a book about a wild cat I once owned! If I could tell only ‘a little bit’ about each of these subjects, they would have been essays or articles, not entire books! LOL!

The titles are:

Floating Around Hollywood and Other Totally-True Tales of Triumph, a book of humor (and some poignancy later on) about being a floating secretary in Tinsel Town and some other live stories. Endorsed by DeForest Kelley, AC Lyles, Clyde Phillips and other Tinsel Town luminaries

Let No Day Dawn that the Animals Cannot Share, a book of prose and poetry (mostly poetry) about the animals, tame and wild, that I have known, loved and advocated for. Foreword by DeForest Kelley

Purposeful Christianity, Sharing the Verve and Value of the Prince of Peace, my personal testimonial and lots of stuff I’ve learned about life and ‘loving your neighbor as yourself’ across the years

Settle for Best: Satisfy the Winner You Were Born to Be, a book loosely based on Napoleon Hill’s seminal ‘Think and Grow Rich,’ this is a motivational self-help book of insights and encouragement for entrepreneurs, unemployed folks who can’t find work no matter how hard they’ve been trying (hint: hire yourself!), and for people whose career ladders are leaning against the wrong walls. This title reached #1 for three days when it debuted at Amazon. (Publisher: Futureword Publishing.)

Serval Son: You are responsible for all you tame, a book about what it’s like to own—and be owned by—a wild cat for seventeen years. Foreword by Tippi Hedren. This title reached #2 and #4 in two niche categories (Nature/Fauna and Animal Rights/Welfare) when it debuted at Amazon.

The Enduring Legacy of DeForest Kelley: Actor, Healer, Friend, an eBook in which I compiled and edited the stories of other fans whose lives De touched and blessed in some way. I wrote intros for each of the sections. Available at

Any ideas what your next book will be? 
I have several ideas and am waiting to find out which one of them grabs me by the scruff of my neck and insists on taking the stage…so stay tuned!

To purchase DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal: A  Harvest of Memories, visit Futureword Publishing. The book is available in softbound editions (full color or black and white inside, buyer’s choice).  You can also visit  the author’s official site here for more info.

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Star Trek Into Darkness To Be Released on DVD/blu-ray September 10, 2013 and Digital Hits August 30th

(Press Release)—Lauded by critics as “a sleek, thrilling epic” (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly), “a clever, exhilarating action adventure” (Claudia Puig, USA Today) and “stratospherically entertaining” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone), director J.J. Abrams’ phenomenal global sensation STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS makes its highly-anticipated debut on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and On Demand on September 10, 2013 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Fans can be the first to own the film on Digital when it arrives three weeks early on August 20th. Boasting “spectacular visual effects” (Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer) and “one of the best villains in recent memory” (Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News) STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS delighted audiences around the world, earning a coveted A CinemaScore.

“I’m excited for viewers at home to check out Star Trek Into Darkness on Blu-ray and DVD,” said J.J. Abrams. “They did a great job and I’m thrilled with how everything looks and sounds. We also have some really fun behind-the-scenes special features that we shot on the Red and created entirely in-house at Bad Robot. They really look amazing and unlike anything I’ve seen on DVD or Blu-ray before.” Abrams added “I hope fans enjoy seeing the process that went into making the movie and the truly amazing work of our most spectacular cast and crew.”

The STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Blu-ray/DVD and Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD combo packs with UltraViolet™ are bursting with behind-the-scenes material detailing how the filmmakers delivered a rousing epic filled with both spectacle and soul. For the first time, the special features included in the combo packs were produced entirely by Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and captured in spectacular high quality on Red Epic cameras for a uniquely intimate perspective of the filmmakers’ process.

Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry To Become Part of Space Archive

 Remains of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, his wife and the actor who played Scotty will get a final resting place in the “Final Frontier” under plans announced Thursday to launch a space archive.

The project is being developed by the Houston company Celestis, which for years has offered a service that takes partial remains into space and then brings them back.

Celestis announced the new project a day before a launch from Spaceport America takes its 1,000th capsule into space. Ashes from the Roddenberrys have been on previous flights.

But this time they will stay in space. Plans call for the archive to be launched with a large experimental solar sail planned by NASA next year. The public can pay to have digital files, photos and DNA samples included. Also on the mission will behair  from science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke.

J.J. Abrams Picks Up Final Script of ‘Twilight Zone’ Creator

“Star Trek” mastermind J.J. Abrams is set to tackle another piece of sci-fi history after securing the rights to “The Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling’s final screenplay.

The movie mogul is hoping to shop “The Stops Along the Way” through his Bad Robot production company to TV network bosses, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Serling was a six-time Emmy winner for his writing work on “The Twilight Zone,” which he also presented.

It is not known if Abrams will direct the sci-fi series if it gets picked up.

William Shatner Sued By Former Employee

One of Star Trek icon William Shatner’s former employees is suing the actor over allegations he forced him to quit his job.

Oscar Alfaro has filed suit in Los Angeles claiming he was “harassed and berated” by the star after he refused to sign a waiver following an accident on Shatner’s estate.

Alfaro claims he and his wife worked for the actor for 20 years, but they were both forced to resign when Shatner turned on them after he refused to sign legal paperwork excusing the star from any financial responsibility connected to his employee’s injuries.

Alfaro claims he and his wife suffered humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish, and they’re suing for loss of earnings and other unspecified damages, reports

Good News Dept: Leonard Nimoy Back For New Star Trek Flick

Nimoy as  the iconic Spock in the 2009 Star Trek film

Leonard Nimoy may be coming out of retirement to reprise his Spock role in the upcoming Star Trek sequel.

The 2009 sci-fi reboot cast younger actors as the series’ famed characters, with Zachary Quinto stepping into the role of Spock. Nimoy still featured in the hit movie as an older version of the character, but he announced in 2010 he was retiring from acting and was happy to let Quinto take the reins of his iconic hero.

But new reports have indicated that he will star in the sequel to the reboot.

When asked by CNN whether he would appear in the follow-up, Nimoy replied, “We’re talking. We’re talking.”

Editors at movie site Ain’t It Cool News then reported they have “compelling independent confirmation that Nimoy is absolutely in the new film.”

The untitled Star Trek sequel will hit cinemas in 2013.

Star Trek Sequel Slated For May 2013 Release

J.J. Abrams’ long-awaited 3-D “Star Trek” sequel now has a release date. The movie is slated to come out on May 17, 2013, nearly a year later than the studio’s originally-intended date of June 29, 2012.

Shooting on the sequel is expected to begin sometime early next year, with Benicio del Toro in discussions to join the cast in an unspecified villainous role.

The as-yet untitled follow-up to the franchise reboot will see the return of all principal cast members from the first entry including Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, Anton Yelchin and Simon Pegg, with Abrams collaborating on the script with Damon Lindelof (TV’s “Lost”) as well as the writing duo of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who penned the first reboot installment.

The first “Star Trek” film grossed over $385 million worldwide on a reported budget of $150 million.

JJ Abrams To Direct Star Trek 2?

JJ Abrams is to direct the much anticipated Star Trek sequel according to industry Insiders who have been speaking with New York Magazine.

The 45-year-old director rebooted the Star Trek franchise in 2009 with a brand new and younger cast including Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto; the movie received both commercial and critical success including an OSCAR win for Best make-up. Pre-production is already underway, with the script due to be completed by the end of the month (September 2011) and filming beginning in the winter. Fans have been left in limbo since the movie was released in 2009 as Abrams had refused to comment on the possibilities of a sequel or even that he would return to the director’s chair. However, it is understood that the delay was caused by writer Alex Kurtzman, who wrote the script for the first movie was busy with other commitments such as directing his debut movie. But now that his project is completed he has once again teamed up with Abrams and is due to complete the new script.

Born in New York but raised in Los Angeles J.J. Abrams is the son of movie and TV producer Gerald W. Abrams. He first began his career in the movie world at the age of 16 when he wrote the musicfor science-fiction horror movie Nightbeast. He later moved onto bigger budget movies helping to producer blockbusters such as Armageddon, Mission Impossible:III and Cloverfield. He is currently working on new movie Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol due for release in 2011 which sees TomCruise reprise his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt.

Spock’s Ear To Be Auctioned

Star Trek fans have the opportunity to get their hands on a piece of sci-fi history as a prosthetic ear worn by Leonard Nimoy as Spock goes under the hammer.

The veteran actor wore the distinctive pointed ear to play his most famous character in the 1979 film StarTrek: The Motion Picture.
The iconic memento has been carefully preserved for more than 30 years and is now set to be sold off at an auction of Hollywood memorabilia next month (Apr11).
Dan Levin, a spokesman for Premier Props, the company behind the sale, says, “This ear was kept by the prop master from the film. It was carefully wrapped up which is important because silicone latex can deteriorate.
“Spock’s ears are an iconic part of Star Trek and fans across the world would love to own it – we’ve already had lots of bids.”
The auction will take place in Los Angeles on 2 April (11).
News of the sale emerged on Saturday (26Mar11) – the day of Nimoy’s 80th birthday.

I Am Spock