EXCLUSIVE: New 'Star Trek' Doc Reveals Patrick Stewart Wasn't Any Fun on Set

by Meredith B. Kile 4:29 PM PDT, July 01, 2015
Photo: CBS Television Distribution

In his new documentary Chaos on the Bridge, Star Trek star William Shatner is diving into the production and behind-the-scenes drama surrounding Star Trek: The Next Generation. The actor produced and directed the doc, which includes interviews from many of the people involved with the sci-fi show, including writers, lawyers, assistants, and some of the cast members, like Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself, Patrick Stewart.

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In ETonline’s exclusive clip, Shatner's film explores how Stewart, then a Hollywood newcomer, dealt with disparate personalities on set.

"I had never filmed in Hollywood in my life before, I had no ambitions to film in Hollywood," Stewart says. "I didn’t know how to wear these costumes. I didn’t know how to speak or move or sit. But I would always be prepared. I would know my lines when I came on set."

Jonathan Frakes, who played Commander William Riker on Next Generation, admits that there was some perhaps unprofessional behavior among the cast, but that Stewart was never afraid of making his opinion known.

"Sir Patrick took the work very seriously," Frakes admits. "And, if we fooled around, which we were wont to do – we, meaning the Americans in the cast – and if he was not in the mood, he’d let us have it."

"I thought that there was a lack of concentration and focus on the set," Stewart confirms, "that people were taking this far too lightly."

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Frakes explains the "lack of concentration" in a hilarious sit-down interview with Shatner.

"We would sing and we would dance and we would wrestle," he explains before Shatner interrupts him, feigning surprise. "Bill! You’re acting like you didn’t do this!"

When Shatner insists that he never goofed around on the Star Trek set, Frakes dismisses him with a laugh. "Oh, Bill."

"Okay, so six of the seven of you are singing and dancing..." Shatner prompts.

"Well, maybe not at the same time," Frakes admits with a smile.

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Check out the trailer for Chaos on the Bridge below. The film is available to buy or rent now on Vimeo.