Mirror, Mirror (Open Thread)

Via J-Two-O via Another David S., an Audi ad featuring the Two Spocks:

Nerd-Child and I already have our Star Trek Into Darkness tickets and are eagerly awaiting the premiere. We both love the franchise, but the kiddo is even more stoked than usual because the wonderfully named Benedict Cumberbatch has joined the cast as Khan. Nerd-Child informed me that Cumberbatch’s fans are referred to as “Cumberbitches.” Not in this house, they aren’t.

Anyhoo, has any classic TV series produced as many national treasures as the original Star Trek, which gave us Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, William Shatner, et al? Discuss! Or talk about whatever…

[X-posted at Rumproast]

182 replies
  1. 1
    Chris says:

    I don’t watch Doctor Who but I imagine that would be the only show I’m the same league. Or did you only mean American shows?

  2. 2
    maurinsky says:

    My daughter, who has previously shown no interest in Star Trek, cannot wait to see this one, because she loves Cumberbatch so much after watching Sherlock.

  3. 3

    Betty Cracker@top
    Nerd child has good taste. I loves me some Cumberbatch. BTW have you seen otters that look like Cumberbatch.

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    Sanford & Son, obviously.

    My childhood would have been incomplete without Shady Grady.

  5. 5
    Bostondreams says:

    So he IS Khan and not Gary Mitchell?

  6. 6
    quannlace says:

    I’m an original Trekker, but I honestly couldn’t get with the last movie. Just can’t stand the actor and how he plays Kirk.

  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    As the saying goes, Vorsprung durch Technik!

  8. 8
    gogol's wife says:

    Don’t hit me, but The Beverly Hillbillies had a stellar cast of character actors.

  9. 9
    MikeJ says:

    I enjoyed the reboot sooooo much more than any of the TV shows after the original.

  10. 10

    @quannlace: Me not a big fan of the latest reboot either. I has a review.

  11. 11
    Tom Levenson says:

    The apex of delight is Nimoy’s reference to the most embarrassing moment in his or perhaps anyone’s performing career.

    The ad is truly inspired.

  12. 12
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Star Trek “Khan!” – Edited slightly.

  13. 13
    geg6 says:

    As much as I hate, hate, hate Dr. Who, that is how much I love, love, love Star Trek. Been a fan since the first episode of the first series and I’ll be fan until the day I die. The original and TNG are the most awesome but I’ve enjoyed them all (okay, maybe not Enterprise). The first JJ Abrams film wasn’t bad at all, but I’m practically jumping out of my skin in anticipation of this one.

  14. 14
    MikeJ says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    The Beverly Hillbillies had a stellar cast of character actors.

    Bea Benaderet was hilarious in everything she was ever in. She was originally supposed to play Ethel on I Love Lucy, but she was already playing the next door neighbor on Burns & Allen.

    And of course Buddy Ebsen was awesome.

    I remember being shocked that Penelope Spheeris did the 90s movie. Her breakthrough film was Decline of Western Civilization, a movie with some great punk performances.

  15. 15
    Laur says:

    After reading spoilers for the movie and what/who Cumberbatch plays, I refuse to give my money to a franchise that continues to perpetuate whitewashing in media.

    And Cumberbatch fans are the creepiest women on the interet.

  16. 16
    canuckistani says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    Delightful! A nice little in-joke for those of us who have witnessed the long journey of Nimoy’s career.

  17. 17
    Tonal Crow says:

    And in today’s installment of “If we outlaw guns, people’ll just use hubcaps instead”:


    TAMPA — A 3-year-old boy who found a hubcap in a backpack and beat himself with it died Tuesday night, authorities said, a local addition to this month’s spate of child hubcappings nationwide.

    The boy, identified by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office as Jadarrius Speights, was with his mother, father and uncle in Apartment 109 of the Avesta apartments at 13144 N 22nd St., just west of the University of South Florida.

    The uncle, Jeffrey D. Walker, 29, had bought the 1976 Chevy Monte Carlo hubcap at a junkyard and had left it in a backpack in a bedroom he shared with the boy, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

    Carter said investigators believe the child found the hubcap and accidentally beat himself to death with it.

    Tuesday’s hubcapping came days after accidental hubcappings of children in South Florida, Alabama and Kentucky.

    • On Saturday night, a 13-year-old boy accidentally hubcapped his 6-year-old sister in Oakland Park, just north of Fort Lauderdale. The girl, Angela Divin, was hospitalized in critical condition. The brother, whose name was not released, accidently repeatedly bashed his sister in the head with the hubcap he found while the two were alone at their Oakland Park home around 7 p.m., authorities said.

    • On Friday, a 4-year-old boy in Brighton, Ala., was hospitalized in critical condition after being hubcapped. The boy and a 4-year-old girl were in a bedroom when one of them got hold of a hubcap authorities said. Police were not sure which child had the hubcap, and the incident was under investigation.

    • On April 30, 2-year-old Caroline Sparks died after her 5-year-old brother accidentally beat her to death with his hubcap, authorities said — a weapon marketed for children as “My First Hubcap.”

  18. 18
    Cassidy says:

    @Bostondreams: It leaked that he’s Khan.

    @geg6: I’ve never been a fan of the various tv series. Some are better than others, but just not my thing. I am anticipating the movie, though. I’ve always enjoyed the movies, even the bad TNG ones, but I’m loving this reboot of the franchise.

  19. 19
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    The Andy Griffith Show?

  20. 20
    Forkbeard says:

    Cumberbatch is Khan? I knew he wasn’t who they said he was, but that’s news to me.

    And while Khan is supposed to be… Indian, right? I can’t remember. Anyway, the whitewashing here is acceptable to me because Cumberbatch is amazing at projecting intelligent menace, which is perfect for that character.

  21. 21
    Todd says:

    I’m tortured. Cinemark in my neck of the wood has it billed as a double feature on like super IMAX HD with the reboot preceding, but on May 15th only.

    May 15th is the spousal unit’s birthday.

    I’m tortured between my desire for a fluttery hot nerdgasm for myself, and making my wife happy so she doesn’t slaughter me.

  22. 22
    Alexandra says:

    I’ve seen it at a special preview in 3D. Free tickets too. :)

    No spoilers, but amazing effects. Got a bit plotty and talky in the middle, with a huge info/exposition dump which I tuned out of for a moment or two. Pity the women characters don’t get to do much except scream or be love interests. There’s a good moment about someone wearing a red shirt…

    Worth seeing once, maybe not twice.

  23. 23
    OGLiberal says:

    When did Nimoy start kicking the Alan Rickman hairdo?

  24. 24
    Darkrose says:

    I’m stoked for this, which may actually get me out of the house and into a theater. I liked the reboot, and I’m interested in having more canon available for fic seeing where Abrams goes with the franchise.

    I think the Cumberbitch thing–I have no problem with the name because it’s the name the fans chose, unlike Twitards–is weird, just because I don’t find him attractive in the least. He actually looks like one of my Sims, with the weird mouth and the features that are heading into the Uncanny Valley. I’m much more interested in the smoldering hotness that is John Cho. Also, Captain Pike is back and I love me some Bruce Greenwood.

  25. 25
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Todd: May 16th is our wedding anniversary. We would go see it anyway, but the wife is a big Sherlock fan, so Benedict is the icing.

  26. 26
    Darkrose says:

    @Forkbeard: If Cumberbatch is Khan then they’ve completely rewritten the character. Khan was never in Starfleet, and all of the trailers imply that Cumberbatch’s character is.

  27. 27
    tulip says:

    have to admit I love that commercial. And looking forward to Into Darkness.

  28. 28
    Keith says:

    Benedict Cumberbatch has joined the cast as Khan

    Jeez, you know the identity of Cumberbatch’s character was supposed to be a MAJOR spoiler, right?

  29. 29
    Darkrose says:

    @Alexandra: But the really important question is:

    How much lens flare is there this time?

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    He’s supposed to be Indian, if I recall correctly. But the full name Khan Noonian Singh doesn’t seem quite right to me. It looks like an implausible mash-up of a Muslim name (the Khan part) and a Sikh one (the Singh at the end).

  31. 31

    @Amir Khalid: Isn’t Khan usually a last name? WTH is Noonian supposed to be? Is he a long lost relative of Peggy Noonan?

    ETA: He could be Anglo Indian.

  32. 32
    Cassidy says:

    @Keith: You do know this leaked out onto the internet several days ago, right?

    ETA: Or Abrams is fucking with us.

  33. 33
    Alexandra says:


    Heh. Plenty. There’s also a Tribble. And that’s all l’ll say.

  34. 34
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Keith: Once they included Carol Marcus into the story, it didn’t matter what they tried to call him, it was obvious who Cumberbatch is supposed to be.

  35. 35

    BTW I just finished watching Smiley’s People the BBC sequel to Tinker, Tailor. It is awesome, cerebral and thoroughly engrossing. I wonder why they skipped the second novel in trilogy and went to the last one.

  36. 36
    Citizen_X says:

    many national treasures

    Wouldn’t Shatner be a Canadian national treasure?

    OT on this OT: has BENGHAZI!palooza brought down the Kenyan usurper yet, or is it just more of the same shit, yelled louder? I would have put money on the latter, but no one would take that bet.

  37. 37
    Darkrose says:

    @Amir Khalid: And of course he was played by a Latino actor.

  38. 38
    celticdragonchick says:

    I sooooo anticipating this movie. :)

  39. 39
    muddy says:

    @Darkrose: C’mon, brown’s brown.

  40. 40
    WereBear says:

    @Darkrose: And of course he was played by a Latino actor.

    Yes, but MARVELOUSLY.

    Such a coup it was for him to return in Wrath of Khan. And it was his own chest, people!

  41. 41
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    If we’re talking iconic, we gotta talk Andy Griffith Show.

  42. 42
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Yes, the Khan does look out of place at the beginning of the name. A friend (and big-time Trekker) once told me that Noonian is a real Punjabi name, although like you I’ve never come across it myself.

    But your Peggy Noonan theory might explain Khan’s political ambitions. Per ST:TOS, he’s a dictator and war criminal who was put into hibernation and exiled to space for his war crimes.

  43. 43
    Keith says:

    @Cassidy: Define what you mean by “leaked on the internet”. Is it all over Cnn.com et al, on an obscure blog, on a page with “SPOILER ALERT”, or other? My point is that it is NOT common knowledge, whether you want to claim it leaked or not, and traditionally, this kind of info is insulated via a spoiler alert warning rather than put on a front page post.

  44. 44
    geg6 says:

    Much as I love any Star Trek talk, just gotta tell all of you to head over to Benen’s latest post on the author of the horrid Heritage report on immigration. He got his PhD in 2009 and his thesis is all about how Hispanics are intellectually inferior to whites, a condition that won’t change. They are just low IQ and we should be doing IQ tests on immigrants to keep them out. But we shouldn’t call them low IQ because that might be bad PR, so we’ll say the tests are to weed out “low skill” immigrants. Oh, and he just adds to Harvard’s no good, very bad week since he got his PhD from Harvard. Jeebus.

  45. 45

    I can’t believe they are going to the Khan well for a third time. Come on, Paramount, surely you have a little cash available for someone to write something original.

    O, i will be going to see it no doubt. But it gets annoying to see Khan taking over Star Trek like that. I know he is a megalomaniac, but dude…

  46. 46
    Anoniminous says:


    Doesn’t surprise me they are re-cycling material. Originality is hard work – both on the production and consumption ends.

  47. 47
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Keith: Sorry. I figured every sentient creature on the planet had heard that one already.

  48. 48
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I was beginning to think it was just me.

  49. 49

    @geg6: Harvard seems to be running a clown show. First we had Rogoff and Rienert (sp?), then Niall British Empire was awesome Ferguson and now this guy who does the cooked up immigration study. Is he from the econ dept?

  50. 50
    MattR says:

    @geg6: Saw that. Was gonna finally post it now that we got an open thread but happy to see someone beat me to it. Disgusting, but at least it explains how the recent Heritage immigration “study” was able to reach its conclusions (and will make it that much harder to defend)

  51. 51

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: I have no idea who Khan is, I haven’t seen any movies with the original TOS cast. I thing the Borg were the best Trekkie villains.

  52. 52
    MattR says:

    @Betty Cracker: FWIW, I had not heard that tidbit either.

    (EDIT: I don’t particularly care about learning that spoiler. I will still see the movie eventually, though it definitely lowered my expectations for it, which will probably turn out to be a good thing)

  53. 53
    Keith says:

    @Betty Cracker: Khan’s blood is life-saving due to genetic engineering, and Kirk dies at the end due to radiation, ala Spock in WoK, but is brought back by said blood.

    You’re welcome.

  54. 54
    Yatsuno says:

    @Citizen_X: I believe the same would (true for Nimoy, though I can’t research that for sure at this moment.

    All Democratic presidents are usurpers who cheated their way into office. Obama just has extra juicy birfer goodness that is totes not racially motivated.

  55. 55
    Alexandra says:


    It’s not recycling. It’s homage. True fans will love it. I didn’t think it was quite as enjoyable as the first one, nor did I think the 3D added anything at all. Think Spock and Bones were the best performances…

    And I would never have given away the major spoiler on here, just out of courtesy. There was a huge gasp in the preview audience when it happened.

  56. 56
    Warren Terra says:

    Cumberbatch has done a lot of relatively unheralded work; just yesterday I was listening to his excellent performance in the BBC Radio 3 adaptation of Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, and he’s one member of the cast of perhaps the greatest radio sitcom (such exist!) ever, John Finnemore’s Cabin Pressure.

  57. 57
    Sebastian says:

    It’s on IMDb

  58. 58
    Cassidy says:

    @Keith: Really? SMH

  59. 59
    muddy says:


    extra juicy birfer goodness

    = dark meat!

  60. 60
    Cassidy says:


  61. 61
    elmo says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    As soon as they were willing to give me a degree, I figured the bottom of the barrel couldn’t be far behind.

  62. 62
    J. says:

    Also had not heard that Cumberbatch was Khan.


  63. 63
    Darkrose says:

    @Yatsuno: Nimoy is from the U.S.–specifically Boston. He recorded the intro for the IMAX theater at the Museum of Science, where he mentions growing up a block from where the MoS is now.

    He does have something in common with Shatner; they’re both Jewish. “You can spin a dreidl with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock!”

  64. 64
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Star Trek II is one of the movies I had my kids watch. They watched the original Tron before we saw the new one, as well as the original Clash of the Titans. Over the next month we will see the first two Superman movies before the new one.

  65. 65
    J. says:

    Also, check out this link to see/hear the original video of Leonard Nimoy singing “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.” Fascinating.

  66. 66

    @Darkrose: That is a great museum, with awesome demonstrations.

  67. 67
    geg6 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I don’t think it said which department, but damn. This is supposed to be the premier US university? Seriously? Guess my former colleague who got job offers from both Harvard and Yale is thrilled she went with Yale. And I have to sit my younger niece down for a talk about her top college choice. Her mom’s university has a reciprocal agreement with a consortium of private colleges, including the Ivies. Gonna have to steer her to Penn instead, especially since it will give the opportunity to go to Philly, one of my foodie meccas, regularly.

  68. 68
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Jews and negroes weren’t allowed on television in North Carolina when Andy Griffith was on the air so I don’t think that’s a fair benchmark.

  69. 69

    @geg6: Harvard should leave the e out of the econ dept!

  70. 70
    scav says:

    @Warren Terra: Cabin Pressure! The cast on that is dangerously good. Have you found BC’s Ngaio Marsh audiobooks? His women vary between good and howlingly intentionally over the top.

  71. 71
    khead says:

    Shorter Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan): So, that sequester thingie I voted for means MY district has to give up some money? I thought we were just going to confiscate the SNAP cards of people that used their card to buy booze, steaks, and lotto tickets.

    Also, glad it IS Khan. I didn’t know – I was working all weekend.

  72. 72
    PaulW says:

    So it’s been confirmed that it’s Khan? Damn. Everything I’d seen had led me to believe it was Garth of Izar. :/

  73. 73

    @elmo: Don’t worry you can always run for President or at least join a think tank.

  74. 74
    JWL says:

    Cuber-whatever played an excellent Sherlock Holmes. Weird face coupled with weird vibes lent itself to the character. Stick a couple Vulcan ears on the guy and, yeah, I could see where he could pass as a son of Spock (or grandson).

  75. 75
    piratedan says:

    @Amir Khalid: it’s was actually Khan Noonan Singh but the studio felt it was simply too Irish with Kirk already being in the movie…… :-)

  76. 76
    Heliopause says:

    Ah, the new, improved Star Trek franchise. The one where story, plot, and subtext are replaced with explosions. The one where humanistic ideas and ideals are replaced with explosions. The one where characters are replaced with paper-thin, comic book versions of the same characters and, oh right, explosions. The one where Uhura advances women’s roles in movies by developing a schoolgirl crush on Spock in between explosions. Alas, this might be the one where I give it up for good. Let me know how it goes, but for god’s sake mark your review with “Spoilers” because I wouldn’t want you to give away the explosions.

  77. 77
    danielx says:

    We both love the franchise, but the kiddo is even more stoked than usual because the wonderfully named Benedict Cumberbatch has joined the cast as Khan.

    Seconded – “Benedict Cumberpatch” is a name worthy of Charles Dickens. As with so many things in life, if it didn’t exist someone would have to invent it.

  78. 78
    West of the Rockies says:

    @geg6: I’m there with you, geg6… I loved this commercial, too. I am so glad that Nimoy is still on the planet with us.

  79. 79

    @geg6: I found out. It is the Public Policy department.

  80. 80
    Tonal Crow says:

    @geg6: Republicans have been trying to corrupt academia (under the guise of “saving” it) for decades (e.g., Lynne Cheney’s ACTA). These are some of the fruits of that effort. See also GMU’s forays into climate “research”.

  81. 81

    @Heliopause: You forgot the ridiculous fist fights.

  82. 82
    Anoniminous says:




    Speaking only for myself, tired of and bored with Space Opera. I’d like to see some Real(c) science fiction. Closest thing “recently” was Firefly and Fox shut that down PDQ.

  83. 83

    @Tonal Crow: GMU is glibertarian central. Some of their professors even write for NRO and such.

  84. 84
    Chris says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald:

    I can’t believe they are going to the Khan well for a third time

    Ditto. Having read the plot spoilers, it looks like J. J. is simply shoehoring antagonists from the old show just for the “ooo they’re BACK” factor.

    And not understanding, apparently, that 99% of what made Khan cool was Ricardo Montalban.

  85. 85
    Comrade Mary says:

    Not a Cumberbitch (I’ll have to earn disdain some other way), but I think he’s absolutely, umm, fascinating to look at just because he looks like what Botticelli would have painted the Madonna of the Sociopathic Otters to be. I find most conventionally beautiful people to be nice enough, but it’s the combo of good looks and weird bits that keeps me watching.

    See also: Grimes and her eyebrows and her adorable sticking-out ears.

  86. 86
    Cassidy says:

    @Heliopause: So, shorter, if Abrams version of the characters didn’t fit what was in your head, then they’re shallow and paper-thin? Or did you just not watch the last movie? Or, hell, have you seen none of the others?

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Unrelated to the Trekkie stuff, I got my formal appointment letter today and start the new job on May 20. Fuck yeah!

  88. 88
    handsmile says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    FTW! Just perfect.


    Princeton! She could study with Paul Krugman and Alan Blinder or if she’s humanities-inclined, with Hal Foster and Anthony Grafton (a personal hero). And Philly’s not far away at all.

  89. 89
    Anoniminous says:


    Ngaio Marsh was a her

  90. 90
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Yay you!

  91. 91

    @Omnes Omnibus: Now you have to buy us all a drink. Congratulations!

  92. 92
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I enjoyed BBC’s Smiley’s People more than Tinker Tailor, although the uncut version of TTSS (if you can find it) is better than the shortened version broadcast in the US.

    I assume that The Honourable Schoolboy didn’t get the film treatment partly because of cost, and partly because Jesus, what a depressing story! It was essential to Smiley’s experience after TTSS, but I found it hard to read.

    History repeats. They’re going to do a version of SP with the new cast, but once again skip over THS.

  93. 93
    KDUN says:

    @OGLiberal: I think the more important question is, when did Nimoy start looking like one of the puppets from Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” video?

  94. 94
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Heliopause: Last time I checked, the origina Star Trek was about the Captain trying to hump as many women as possible (makes me wonder how much of the 24th century is populated by Kirk DNA), his science officer not being able to come up with the correct odds for completing a task, and lots of red shirts dying in explosions that should have been avoidable. There were a few “deep” episodes, but don’t make it out to be some philosophical gift to the world.

    And, when I watched the first movie, Spock kissed back. Not quite a school girl crush. Uhura’s advances we’re big because she was an African American in a leading role. Unless she was going to be transgender, being “first” has been done.

    Don’t be so grandiose about something that was created to sell soap and cigarettes.

  95. 95
    scav says:

    @Anoniminous: Yes, but BC is a him and doing all the voicework.

  96. 96
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @KDUN: He is 82.

  97. 97
    Laur says:

    @Forkbeard: Well I’m glad you can overlook it, but I will continue to be mad that an iconic POC character is being played by the whitest white man on the planet. He looks like damn yogurt.

  98. 98
    Laur says:

    @Forkbeard: Well I’m glad you can overlook it, but I will continue to be mad that an iconic POC character is being played by the whitest white man on the planet. He looks like damn yogurt.

  99. 99
    handsmile says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Let me be among the chorus here offering you the warmest congratulations! Every so often, one of the good guys/gals wins. Skoal!

  100. 100
    Cassidy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sweet.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    eemom says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    k, I wasn’t gonna go there, but fer fuxsake people, I LOVE LUCY.

    The fucking GRANDMOTHER of all that was ever iconic on a television screen.

  103. 103
    Chris says:


    Word. If only good franchises could be allowed to die in peace (in this case, wrapping it up after Deep Space Nine would’ve been perfect). But nope. And Star Wars is next in line for the same thing.

    ETA: though, as much as I miss the fact that the original Star Trek had a cerebral side that Abrams has done away with, I can’t really say it was that advanced on women’s rights.

  104. 104
    Anoniminous says:



    Got lost in the pronouns.

  105. 105
  106. 106
    Anoniminous says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:


  107. 107
    Tonal Crow says:


    And Star Wars is next in line for the same thing.

    “In line”? Star Wars should have gone into the sunset after the 3rd movie. Jar Jar Binks and taking a princess into a war zone for “safekeeping”, really?

  108. 108
    khead says:


    He refitted the captain’s chair on the Reliant with Corinthian leather.

  109. 109
    Cassidy says:

    @Tonal Crow: If anything, Star Wars is being reborn by people who don’t excel at fucking things up.

    @Chris: Have you ever actually watched Star Trek?

  110. 110
    scav says:

    @Anoniminous: It’s ok. It’ll be a tag-team infomercial for the gender of a grand author.

  111. 111
    Chris says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Good point.

  112. 112
    gogol's wife says:


    I think he/she was referring to Cumberbatch, not Marsh.

    ETA should have read the rest of the thread.

  113. 113
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Thanks all. I have been trying to get into this position for several years, so I am absolutely ecstatic. I shall now do my happy dance (no, video will not be made available.).

  114. 114
    Tonal Crow says:


    @Tonal Crow: If anything, Star Wars is being reborn by people who don’t excel at fucking things up.

    You mean fanfic writers?

  115. 115
    John says:


    Ricardo Montalban was as white as any other white person. His parents were Spanish immigrants to Mexico. Or are people from Spain not white people now?

  116. 116
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Plenteous congrats! Let the awesome sauce flow!

    Our very own Omnes — a Your Honor. I haz a proud.

  117. 117
    Darkrose says:

    @Laur: Is Khan really an “iconic” POC character though? Granted, I haven’t seen the TOS episodes with him, but in the movies, I never got any sense that his ethnicity–whatever it was supposed to be–was relevant except as a way to exoticize the villain. I’m disappointed that they didn’t just create a new character instead of using the name tease as a hook, but I’m not mad, like I would be if they tried to cast a non-black woman as Uhura or a non-East Asian man as Sulu. They’re iconic POC characters because their being POC was integral to who the characters were.

  118. 118
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Thanks all. I have been trying to get into this position for several years, so I am absolutely ecstatic.


    I shall now do my happy dance (no, video will not be made available.).

    To quote Republicans, Republican-appeasers, Google, Nickolae Ceausescu, and the Stasi, “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”.

  119. 119
    Hoodie says:

    The new Trek has some good effects, but that stuff is dime a dozen these days. You just can’t top the combination of camp and self-seriousness of the original TV show and some of the Shatner/Nimoy movies. There was a bit of rat pack goes to space to it, and overacting has never been so artfully and self-consciously executed. NG was ok at times, but generally too nerdy for me.

  120. 120
    scav says:

    @Tonal Crow: Conngrats! to @Omnes Omnibus seconded and enhanced, but does he really want to leave his happy dance left unchaperoned to the imaginations of this lot?

  121. 121
    Darkrose says:

    @John: Ricardo Montalban identified as Latino and always described himself as Mexican, so yeah, I’d count him as a POC.

  122. 122
    piratedan says:

    congrats OO, hope the job is everything you want it to be.

  123. 123

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: I got both Smiley’s people and TT from my local library and it was the original BBC version. The DVD extras include an interview with Le Carre’. I haven’t read the Honorable School Boy.

  124. 124
    Cassidy says:

    @Tonal Crow: I meant Disney! Love them or hate them, they can make some movies and they have no problem spending money to make said movie right.

    @Darkrose: Khan has an interesting backstory and WoK worked him into the movies really well, creatively bridging from the tv show.

  125. 125
    Suffern ACE says:

    @geg6: Hmmmm. A harvard grad you say? Why I thought that they were a Liberal Bastion, but it turns out they might exist for a different purpose.

    Next time we’re supposed to swoon over some Democratic candidate for being smarter than the Republican and his or her ivy league pedigree is pointed out, I think we ought to remember this week.

  126. 126
    MikeJ says:


    NG was ok at times, but generally too nerdy for me

    I’m as nerdy as they come, but NG was just dull, dull, dull. Even worse, they were just all so fucking nice. They filled a crew spot with somebody whose only job was to tell you about what people were feeling.

    Perhaps it would be a more pleasant place to live, but it makes for bad TV.

  127. 127
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Congratumalations!

  128. 128

    @Omnes Omnibus: Are you sure, it could become an instant viral hit.

  129. 129
    MattR says:


    @Darkrose: Khan has an interesting backstory and WoK worked him into the movies really well, creatively bridging from the tv show.

    And that is my biggest concern about this reintroduction. It seems like they are completely throwing away his backstory even though it took place in the 20th century, well before the rebooted Start Trek universe branched off from the original one. Maybe they have a good way to explain it away, but I am skeptical.

  130. 130
    Cassidy says:

    They filled a crew spot with somebody whose only job was to tell you about what people were feeling show cleavage and be spankbait for Riker’s hourly holodeck visits.

    What was that about the new movie(s) degrading the feminism of the franchise?

  131. 131
    scav says:

    Somehow, in a tragic and irreparable nerd-accident, my images of Khan’s henchmen and the Golgafrinchan Space Arc B lot were fused (jogging suits on a space ship?) and things have been interestingly muddled ever since.

  132. 132
    quannlace says:

    Got a bit plotty and talky in the middle,

    Don’t they all? Just hope there’s not another ridiculously complicated time-travel plot line.

  133. 133
    Trollhattan says:

    BTW nerds, the final Audi in the ad is Stanford’s “Shelly,” an autonomous car that’s gone 120 on the track.


  134. 134
    Karounie says:

    SF Fans *of a certain age* like myself would also consider Gene Roddenberry one of the show’s national treasures. Star Trek was very risky television back in the day.

  135. 135
    Cassidy says:

    @MattR: Its Abrams. The world has no electricity because of some bio-techno-genetically altered virus of some sort, which took a whole fucking season to explain after everyone turned away from the camera and the people talking to them like they were starring in a Mexican soap opera every week.

    I don’t generally trust Abrams to explain anything “well”. That being said, I am looking forward ot the new movie because I do like his reboot of the central characters and I think this version of Khan is going to be fun.

  136. 136
    Heliopause says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Last time I checked, the origina Star Trek was about the Captain trying to hump as many women as possible

    Oh yes, that’s certainly the takeaway from The Man Trap, Charlie X, Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Naked Time, The Enemy Within, Miri, The Corbomite Maneuver, The Menagerie, Balance of Terror (hang on, I’m almost up to January of 1967)… As Krugman says, some zombie myths just won’t die.

  137. 137

    @Cassidy: Kira of DS9 was a strong character and an attractive woman and an important character on the series.

  138. 138
    Trollhattan says:


    Damnit, he’s Corinthian!


  139. 139
    Amir Khalid says:

    White Mexicans do exist, so I wouldn’t necessarily say Mexican = person of colour. And while Ricardo Montalban was indisputably Latino, he was the son of Spanish immigrants and so most likely all white himself.

  140. 140
    Cassidy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: You’re right, she was. I think the notion that Star Trek was some great paragon of feminism is false. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have some great characters who were very strong, regardless of gender. I do think ST should be applauded for routinely having more POC as part of their world and as major characters. Just from memory, I don’t recall any other show that did that, but I could be wrong.

  141. 141
    MattR says:

    @Cassidy: I was holding out hope they would reintroduce Gary Mitchell but leave him as Kirk’s best friend from the academy rahter than having him go through the whole Galactic barrier energy thing giving him god like powers and turning him crazy so Kirk has to kill him.

    PS. So true about Abrams. I used to continue following his shows even if I wasn’t loving the week to week episodes because I wanted to see what the big reveal would be. But I have been burned often enough that now I will only watch his shows if the individual episodes are entertaining on their own.

    @Amir Khalid:

    White Mexicans do exist,

    Such as Louis CK.

  142. 142
    Heliopause says:


    Abrams’ characters have to be shallow, don’t they? Otherwise they’re a big distraction from the explosions. I’ll say this, the reimagined Spock is done pretty well, the rest of them, yeesh.

  143. 143
    Trollhattan says:


    Yup. They brought contemporary themes to the screen that would have been impossible in a standard drama or sitcom. The future? Knock youselves out.

    It was positioned as an “adult” space drama, as compared to “Lost in Space.” I remain convinced McCoy was patterned after Dr. Smith, with Spock in place of the robot–a.k.a. the “bubble-headed boobie.”

  144. 144
    Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS) says:

    Also probably just me, but I didn’t think the Audi ad was that great.

  145. 145
    Mike in NC says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: GMU’s Economics Department is funded by the Kochs.

  146. 146
    Cassidy says:

    @Heliopause: I jsut don’t see that. On one hand (back to Revolution) Charlie is annoying as hell, Miles to a lesser degree, but still annoying. OTOH, I find Aaron and Major Neville very interesting and complex characters. I honestly think that Abrams is better at fleshing out secondary characters than his primary ones.

  147. 147
    tratclif says:

    On the Abrams Trek and explody bits: there was an article in the NY Times a few days ago, which said that the studio Big Data guys have determined that Chinese audiences go to American movies to watch explody bits. Therefore, moar expody bits!

  148. 148
    JGabriel says:

    Betty Cracker @ Top:

    Nerd-Child informed me that Cumberbatch’s fans are referred to as “Cumberbitches.” Not in this house, they aren’t.

    Maybe you could embarrass her by referring to the Cumberpatch fans (and her by extension) as “CuteCumbers”?

    I hear parents live for that shit.


  149. 149
    Itinerant Pedant says:

    @Heliopause: you are now officially known to me as “The Ballon Juice version of the Simpsons Comic Book Guy”.

  150. 150
    MikeJ says:


    which said that the studio Big Data guys have determined

    I know everyone loves to hate Big Data, but box office receipts really don’t require a hadoop cluster to analyze.

  151. 151
    Jay in Oregon says:


    If Cumberbatch is Khan then they’ve completely rewritten the character. Khan was never in Starfleet, and all of the trailers imply that Cumberbatch’s character is.

    Of course it’s never explained AT ALL in the Star Trek reboot movie (but does get covered in the adaptations) but everything happened in the reboot movie the same way it did in the classic Trek universe up to the point where the big Romulan ship shows up and destroys the Kelvin, killing George Kirk (who was present in James Kirk’s life in the original timeline).

    The reason Starfleet and the Enterprise are shinier and more high-tech than in the classic series is that the refugees from the Kelvin managed to escape with scans from the Romulan ship that were detailed enough to give Starfleet a head start on developing technology the wouldn’t have had otherwise.

    But Khan should be quietly floating through space with his superhuman brethren on the Botany Bay at this point, so they have either thrown the divergent timelines thing out the window or they simply don’t give a fuck: If Abrams wants to do Khan, then he gets to do Khan.

  152. 152
    StrokeDoctor says:

    I’d go with the Mary Tyler Moore show: MTM, of course, plus Valerie Harper, Ed Asner, Betty White, Ted Baxter, Cloris Leachman, even Gavin McLeod. Harper headlined two sitcoms (Rhoda and Valerie). Asner has had a long and illustrious career, including his voice work in “Up.” Baxter and Leachman both had their own sitcoms after MTM. Betty White is obviously bending time and space with her continued relevance. McLeod captained the Love Boat. Quite a cast!

  153. 153
    Darkrose says:

    @MikeJ: I guess you quit watching after Season 2. Not that I blame you; Season 1 was painfully bad, and 2 was mediocre with flashes of brilliance. 3 was solid, 4 was amazing, 5 wasn’t as good but had some incredible episodes like “Darmok” and “The Inner Light”. 6 was fantastic; Chain of Command 1 & 2 are among the best Trek episodes ever, IMO, and not just because of the moment where Jellico tells Troi to put on a standard uniform. Unfortunately, Season 7 had way too much Data and Brent Spiner chomping on the scenery. The movies were largely forgettable except for First Contact, which is on my top 25 movies list.

    The show as a whole got a lot edgier as Roddenberry became less involved, and as the actors started taking it seriously. Patrick Stewart has talked about how he didn’t unpack for the first six weeks of filming because he was sure it wasn’t going to go anywhere. You can see that by season 3, he’s starting to bring his RSC chops to the role, and to the best of their abilities, the rest of the cast stepped up their game accordingly.

  154. 154
    MikeJ says:

    @Darkrose: I don’t think I even started season 2.

  155. 155
    Darkrose says:

    @Amir Khalid: To me, the important thing is that within the context of race in America, Montalban considered himself an “ethnic minority” and actively worked to change the perception of Latino actors in Hollywood. It’s kind of like the way Zoe Saldana always makes it clear that she identifies as Afro-Latina because in the US, race is determined by your country of origin, accent, and skin color, regardless of your actual ethnic background.

  156. 156
    King Faraday says:

    I want to know what horrible tanning incident causes Benedict Cumberbatch to turn into Ricardo Montalban?

  157. 157

    @MikeJ: Check out Yesterday’s Enterprise.

  158. 158
    Darkrose says:

    @MikeJ: Yeah, that would explain it. Like I said, I don’t blame you; I watched the first couple of episodes then stopped. A few years later, I started watching the reruns because it was the only thing on the one channel I could get regularly, and I was surprised by how much better seasons 2 and 3 were compared to 1.

    Seriously if he hadn’t been on Star Trek, Patrick Stewart would have gotten at least nominated for an Emmy for “Chain of Command”.

  159. 159
    gene108 says:


    Patrick Stewart has talked about how he didn’t unpack for the first six weeks of filming because he was sure it wasn’t going to go anywhere. You can see that by season 3, he’s starting to bring his RSC chops to the role,

    Gotta admit, I was shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you to find out Jean-Luc wasn’t played by a natural born and raised Frenchman!

  160. 160
    Amir Khalid says:

    The Picards were the most English French people you’ll ever come across, outside of the West End production of Les Misérables.

  161. 161
    Darkrose says:

    @Jay in Oregon: I was just surprised. It sounds like the character isn’t the same, so using the name feels…hacktastic, for lack of a better word.

  162. 162
    hartly says:

    Ummm, isn’t Mr. Cumberbatch a little scrawny to be playing Khan?

  163. 163
    John says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I think the biggest point here is that having a Mexican guy of entirely European descent playing a character who is supposedly Indian is already whitewashing, isn’t it?

  164. 164
    hartly says:

    @geg6: Have you watched old-school Dr. Who, or just the new RTD/Steven Moffatt rubbish?

  165. 165
  166. 166
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I am sure. Very sure.

  167. 167
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @hartly: I watched old school who, back to the third doctor, and it was for the most part low budget craptastic, which was part of the charm. The difference in old Who and NuWho is that NuWho is way more shiny.

  168. 168
    Amir Khalid says:

    I suppose it depends on how you look at it. Montalban, a white man by your definition and mine, spent much of his career playing native American or Asian characters, like Khan. So I guess it was more okay to whitewash a part by casting a white Mexican actor than, say, a white American.

  169. 169
    Auguste says:

    There’s no real conclusion here, just my two cents: I have never seen half the depth in TOS, especially the movies, that others seem to (and no, “Save the Whales” definitely doesn’t count), so the outrage and claims of lack of depth mystify me.

  170. 170
    Auguste says:

    Actually (and I only thought of this after the edit window was closed) I should say: They were certainly deep for their time. They are, IMO, shallow by today’s yardstick. If the new versions are also shallow by today’s yardstick (a stretch), they are not noticeably more shallow than their source material when compared side by side.

  171. 171
    NotMax says:

    featuring the Two Spocks

    There has been, and shall always be, only one Spock.

    As with Elvis, there are Spock imitators.

    has any classic TV series produced as many national treasure

    Your Show of Shows

    All in the Family



    And so on.

  172. 172
    Todd says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Harvard also claims Corsi and Hewitt.

  173. 173
    Amir Khalid says:

    With respect, if Nimoy says Quinto is Spock, then that’s good enough or me.

  174. 174
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Pace Sarek: It seemed the logical thing to say at the time. :)

  175. 175
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Congratulations! Let us know what kind of offense or legal wrangle we need to get involved in to appear before you. Balloon Juice courtroom meet-up would be fun.

  176. 176
    Barney says:

    National Treasures from a TV series: Monty Python. All of them. I suppose, if you’re allowing Dr. Who, which had the occasional National Treasure over many years, then Saturday Night Live has a case, but MP can give you six in just one episode.

  177. 177
    Djur says:

    @Amir Khalid: Think of it this way: in the ’60s they cast a brown-skinned man who traditionally played Indian and Mexican characters as a Sikh. (A genetically engineered one, but a Sikh.) This was fairly standard practice at the time, and still better than when they’d paint up John Wayne or Charlton Heston and cast them as Indians or Mongols or whatever.

    But in the 2010s, they’ve purportedly cast a very white Anglo man who is famous for playing Sherlock Holmes.

    I would expect casting practices to be more progressive in 2013 than in 1967, not less. But we’re actually seeing the reverse.

    I have no problem with Benedict Cumberbatch, and I’ll watch the movie. From everything I’ve heard about the plot, there is absolutely no reason this couldn’t have been an original character, and I’ll try to watch it as if he was.

    I mean, the Botany Bay was full of frozen supermen. Any one of them could have been a villain instead of Khan if they wanted to have Benedict Cumberbatch. I don’t oppose the idea of casting the best person for the role, but I don’t understand the obsession with not changing roles to fit the actor you want to cast.

  178. 178
    MaryRC says:

    @Comrade Mary: Speaking of weird-looking-yet-handsome, what are your views on the subject of Laurence Fox?

    I find Fox dishy, but Cumberbatch does nothing for me ever since I realised that with those tiny eyes, that long face and those tufts of hair, he’s the incarnation of a Don Martin cartoon.

  179. 179
    Redshirt says:

    You spoiler people stink! “It’s been leaked on the Internet” is not justification to spoil, people!

    Spoiler Lesson 101!

    If it has not aired to the majority of the population and has not been directly revealed via previews or casting news, then it’s a spoiler, and should be labeled as such. Or not uttered at all – loose spoilers sink ships.

  180. 180
    tavella says:

    Yeah, it’s truly pathetic that the Star Trek of the 2000s is, on an _absolute_ basis, less progressive. Not just in terms of race, but in terms of gender and even nationality. And on a relative basis, it’s utterly pathetic. Think of how brave even the character of Chekov was — in a time when Americans were terrified of the “Ruskies” and world destruction, he was a proud Russian and a trusted crew member. But you’ll see fans babbling about how how it would be racist *not* to cast Khan as yet another white guy.

  181. 181
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Well, the kinder and gentler future that Gene Roddenberry envisioned that Federation to be didn’t survive much past his death.

    We got black ops divisions of Starfleet with Section 31 and the hacktackular season 2 of Enterprise where they saddled the ship up with Marines and went to kick alien ass because Earth got hit, 9/11-style.

    Turning the reboot of Star Trek into mindless action and explosions is just the culmination of that, really.

  182. 182
    Tehanu says:

    In our house Benedict is “The Froom” because Hubby Dearest was raving on about “that great actor in Sherlock, whats-his-name, you know, uh, uh, Frumious Bandersnatch!” We loves us some Froomster.

Comments are closed.