Generations Was A Pleasant Surprise For Patrick Stewart

Stewart recalls the fast turnaround between the last episode of “Next Generation” and the start of “Generations.” He also expressed some regret that the film didn’t turn out as well as he had hoped, feeling that the story wasn’t anything different than what might have been covered on the TV show. He also, at least initially, balked at the idea of including Shatner in a NextGen movie, as the studio seemed to be displaying a lack of faith in the material. Stewart wrote: 

“But it does highlight the notable pairing of Jean-Luc Picard and Captain James T. Kirk, who, by some writerly trick of extradimensional logic, is allowed to coexist with his successor in his full brown-haired, middle-aged virility. Up to this point, Bill Shatner had been relatively cold to TNG, professing to the press that he’d barely watched any of it, and I was a little disappointed that the producers and writers had decided to insert Kirk into our first movie — it made me feel that they didn’t trust the TNG cast to carry a film by ourselves.” 

But Shatner proved to be a delight. The two actors, after all, had the common experience of more or less leading a “Star Trek” series. They had also both appeared at “Star Trek” conventions and had likely met a lot of the same people in those ultra-long autograph-signing con lines. They also both had their start in classical theater, having experience with Shakespeare. Stewart played Shylock at the Old Vic in 1965, while Shatner played Duke of Gloucester at the 1956 Stratford Shakespeare Festival (taking over for an ailing Christopher Plummer). One might wish to hear the two actors’ conversation.

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