Episode 22: Scenery-chewing Villains (PIC 3×02 Disengage)
Rob: Welcome back to Subspace Radio.
There is new Star Trek out there in
the universe, and there's only two
people who could be discussing it.
And that is myself and Kevin Yank.
How are you?
Kevin: It's a dirty job,
but someone's gotta do
Rob: We gotta get, we gotta get in
there, get our hands dirty and discuss
Star Trek, cuz nobody else is Kevin.
There's nobody else out
Kevin: what I hear.
It's a yawning void of commentary.
Rob: filling a gap.
There is definitely a need for for two
guys to talk about Star Trek and um,
Kevin: If Beverly Crusher and her
son Jack are needed in the forgotten
corners of the galaxy to provide
medical aid, I'm sure someone out
there needs our Star Trek opinions.
So we have just hit episode two
of season three of Picard and
we are here to talk about it.
And what are your first thoughts
with the latest installment
of the final season of Picard?
Kevin: This episode wasn't as strong
as the opener, but is holding up the
standard, is the short version for me.
This felt like a bit of like
moving pieces around on the board
in preparation for whatever they
have in store for us next episode.
a setup and a getting things where
they needed to be sort of one for
Rob: Yeah, very much so.
It definitely felt like this is
something that, you know, everyone's
been promoting this as it's the 10 hour
long star Trek movie, and then when
you watch an episode like this, you
go, oh, that's why promoting things as
10 hour movies isn't good because you
realize this type of stuff would take
only five minutes in an actual movie.
But they gotta stretch
it out to like an hour.
So yeah, it's the same problem they
had with, Obi Wan, the TV series over
in the other franchise, Star Wars.
It was they stretched out far too long
and it should have just been a film.
Kevin: Well, We talked last week
about how pacing has been a consistent
problem for Picard, and there's
like hints of that coming in here.
But you know what, I was never bored.
Like every scene pulled me in.
I enjoyed every moment.
It just felt like, looking back on
it, not a whole lot happened in.
Rob: Yeah, very much of that
is true, in fact, completely.
What I particularly noticed was,
although I haven't had as much hands-on
experience with the Star Trek series
of Next Generation, I have seen all
the films obviously, and it did seem
after that first episode of a lot of
quirky banter back and forth and a
little bit of embarrassing dad behavior
from Riker it did settle back into the
very Star Trek: The Next Generation
format of let's focus on Picard and
Riker just being in the background.
Kevin: There were a lot of scenes where
something really dramatic happened
to Picard and Picard's standing
there with his face, taking up two
thirds of the frame, emoting, and
just out of focus over his shoulder
is Riker doing not a whole lot.
Rob: No, I definitely, he was like quite
prominent and great in episode one.
In episode two he went all right,
he's immediately gone back to Number
One of just being in the background.
There was a lot of focus obviously this
week on, the identity and parentage,
dare I say, of a certain character.
Kevin: That was like, this whole
episode felt like a slow build to the
moment on the bridge where Crusher
and Picard exchange meaningful
looks and nothing more need be said.
We understand Picard now has a son,
Rob: I did get, yeah, exactly.
I did get that sense of they had
to begrudgingly mention something
because it happened in season one.
Just to clarify the fact that,
this isn't even the real Picard.
That's what we need to keep
on reminding ourselves.
Picard died in season one.
Kevin: You talking about Vadic calling
him out for being cybernetic or in the
artificial flesh or however she worded it?
They call it out and you're there
going, oh yeah, remember that?
That was the worst thing.
One of the many worst things.
Season one went, oh, we've done the
worst thing in Star Trek history
and season two goes, hold my beer.
Kevin: It is funny that that calamitous
event of just just over a season
before is now reduced to little
known trivia about Admiral Picard.
Rob: It, but it just seemed like
that embarrassing thing of going Oh
yeah, and we do remember that he is
actually not the real Picard, but
he is just a synthetic life form.
Anyway, moving on.
Look at Amanda Plummer being
all awesome and amazing and
Kevin: Holy crap.
How could we go this long
without mentioning her?
That was the highlight of the
episode is her performance.
And so non Star Treky in
such a Star Treky way.
Rob: Amanda Plummer is
one of the most incredible
performers, unique performers in
Kevin: I've never seen her in anything.
Rob: You've never seen Pulp Fiction?
Kevin: Oh, she's in Pulp Fiction.
That makes so much sense
Rob: Her and Tim Roth.
She's the one who says any of you
move, I'm gonna execute every Yeah.
That is Amanda Plummer.
Kevin: You almost suspect she's
completely unhinged in real life.
That's how convincingly unhinged she
Rob: I love, I love performers like
that, like Crispin Glover as well.
I hope that, I hope they're getting
the help that they need, but they, you
watch them on screen and going, no,
this person could crack at any moment.
Kevin: It's a little scary.
And that's what you need in Star Trek.
You need that, that, you need
cuz it's so bound together by
Kevin: Oh, it's so formulaic.
You need someone who seems
not bound by the formula.
Rob: Even like the fact when
she said, I'll give you an hour.
I'm going no, don't go away for an hour.
Kevin: Yes, I'm glad.
I'm glad we called her back a
couple of times just to check
Rob: Just outstanding.
Nothing like chewing all the
scenery, but never doing it cliche.
It was never cliche, gimmicky.
It was not this whole, sorta like
almost Shakespearean approach to it.
There was just this rawness, this
uniqueness that is so Amanda Plummer, and
she brought that to, she's done franchise
work before with the Hunger Games.
She was in um, uh, hideously misused,
well underused, not misused, underused
in the second Hunger Games movie.
And she's just outstanding
in every scene that she does.
But yeah, great villain.
And that a broad, yeah, like
we talk about the slow pace.
It was, it felt even slower whenever
Amanda Plummer wasn't on screen.
Kevin: Yeah, and that is what we
agreed on ahead of time would be
our topic for the week, which is
like scenery-chewing villains.
Rob: Yep, this is, and I'm very
interested to see where our list goes.
Kevin: I know they seem so prominent.
I would not be surprised if we
matched two for two and we had to
explore our honorary mentions here.
Rob: Because there's some who,
like I'm going with, good scene
chewing, cuz there is that balance.
There is, there's good scene chewing
and there's bad scene chewing as well.
You've gotta get that balance right.
I'll be interested to see where you went.
Kevin: Other highlights from
the episode that you wanna call
So slight spoiler.
At the end of the episode, we finally
found out who Raffi's contact was.
And of course it was as soon
as they appeared, as they
came into focus, literally.
Of course it's of course it's Worf.
Kevin: The signs were all there
when you knew to look for them.
Rob: And it that for me, that was, I've
been, as we've talked about, I'm a little
bit over the whole trying to be too
modern and too dark with Star Trek, like
with the swearing and the body horror
and stuff that's gone a bit too far.
And some of
Kevin: So how'd you do
with the decapitations?
Rob: Um, look, look, as soon as wharf
came in and starting cutting fools
and you literally saw fools being
cut, I went, okay, this is good.
I like seeing, I like seeing classic
Klingon type of, look, none of this new,
Discovery-look Klingon, I like this.
Not even the classic,
classic, the middle, classic.
Just coming in and cutting arms off and
heads off, and I'm there going, oh, an old
school Worf being too old for this shit.
Rob: I told you to not engage.
Kevin: Just a taste here at the end.
Leaving us to expect
more next week, no doubt.
Rob: Very much looking forward to,
seeing that dynamic shifted, because,
yeah, that's why they brought Michael
Dorn into Deep Space Nine to, jig things
up a bit and shake things up a bit.
And it was a inspired decision.
So Michael Dorn always
knows how to bring the gold.
How about you?
Any um, things we haven't mentioned that,
Kevin: I thought of you when the
shuttle was blown up and the panel flew
towards camera with Saavik's name on it.
The, The shuttle was called the Saavik.
Where we've been told off screen that
Saavik was eventually promoted to
be the first captain of the titan.
So it was Saavik, then
Riker, and now Shaw.
Rob: Of course.
Kevin: So that's why the ships' carrying
around a shuttle named after everyone's
favorite love interest for Spock.
It was the first time I can remember
seeing a shuttle named after a
character in Star Trek rather than a
historical figure from Earth's past
or a river or a, mountain or whatever.
Rob: And it's great.
We're so far in the future,
they've used up every explorer
or or state in California.
Kevin: It just made me crave the
Saavik series, or the some, somehow
I would love to see the story of
what made Saavik famous enough to
have a shuttle named after her.
Rob: what's, yeah, I wonder
what the actress who replaced
Kirsty Alley's doing now.
Obviously we lost Kirsty
Alley last year, sadly.
Kevin: Robin Curtis.
We see her in interviews now and then.
And yeah I don't necessarily need to
see a contemporaneous Saavik, although
if Robin Curtis showed up unexpectedly
to go, what did you do to my shuttle?
Would be amazing.
Whatever form, like it could be offscreen,
it could be in comics, whatever.
I'm just craving that story of, now
that we know Saavik was a of the Titan,
Rob: It, and it makes sense cuz
that's, Saavik was so ambitious.
Saavik wanted to be a captain
in the, in Wrath of Khan.
So that's a, it's a great
realization for her.
How did you find the revelation
that was the worst kept secret,
cuz we picked it straight away,
that uh, Jack was Picard's son?
Kevin: I'm glad they got
there reasonably quickly.
Like in a lesser series, they would've
strung us out all season on that.
So I'm glad they got there.
The scene in the turbo lift where
Riker saying, come on man, tell
me you're seeing what I'm seeing.
I really liked that.
Rob: That was a good moment.
And it was,
Kevin: Cause Picard's in denial.
I, I love a Picard in denial and
Riker calling him out on what
we can all see in the audience.
Like it's, I think it's okay for
us to be sitting there going,
come on, we know what's happening.
As long as someone on
screen is also having that
Rob: And it has to be
someone that we trust enough.
So if it was any other character,
you'd go, why are they saying it?
But to have Riker there going,
don't say you don't see it.
Come on, man.
Kevin: So I like it.
I think giving him a British accent
is still a little on the nose.
Rob: Well, he is a British actor.
Kevin: Having now seen him
interviewed, I'm like, oh, okay.
So he didn't learn a
British accent for the
Rob: no, I saw, I've seen Ed
Speelers on Downton Abbey.
He was in a couple of seasons
of that, he was okay in it.
The character was a bit boring,
but yeah it's good to see the.
Kevin: That's where I'm at
with jack Crusher as well.
Like he's okay.
Character's a bit boring.
It's it goes okay.
It's another, going against the rules type
Kevin: just want them to
commit one way or the other.
Either he's secretly evil.
Like when they were reading out the
rap sheet of all his con jobs and
fake identities, I was like, cool.
Lean into that.
We haven't seen like a true, like
working outside the bounds of the law
Robin Hood, or even like a true evil con
artist in Star Trek in quite some time.
And I would totally be there for that.
But it seems they really want
us to like him at the same time.
And so they're the fact that
they're walking that thing of okay,
he's bad, but he's not that bad.
You still like him, right?
I would prefer the, for them
to commit one way or the other.
Rob: This is the era, Mr.
Yank of the anti-hero.
There's a lot of big pushes in
cinema and TV to push the anti-hero.
So they're pushing that thing of they're
trying to have their cake and eat it too.
If he's fatally flawed, but
a hero despite that, great.
I would love that.
But so far they're like,
Hey, he's just misunderstood.
He, He only did crimes because he had to.
He's, He's actually really good.
And yeah I guess I, yeah, I want them
to deal with the fact that he was all
too ready to bribe people with weapons
on his medical ship in this episode,
and did some pretty serious stuff,
if that rap sheet is to be believed.
Like I want them to play
fair with us on that stuff.
I'm very, yeah, this episode
in whole was just setting up.
Now we know all this stuff.
We've spent 45 minutes to
an hour building up to it.
Now we see the effect of it.
So that's gonna be fun to see how
he actually interacts with Beverly.
And with the three of them that
have that dynamic's gonna work.
This is where the meat of this
series is gonna start happening.
And now with Worf in the picture
and the rest of the cast of the
originals slowly filtering in.
It's, yeah, it was very much an
episode, this was a step up episode,
creating the essential so they can
step into some better stuff next week.
Kevin: Yeah, I agree.
The tiny moment of they set up the
transport inhibitors to keep Jack from
being abducted from the ship at the start.
And then when the Titan warps in and they
try to beam them off, they can't, cuz
the transport inhibitors are still on.
That moment of like transport malfunction.
Oh God, it's the inhibitors.
We forgot to turn them off.
Like it was a tiny speed bump
in, in between moments in the
grand scheme of this episode.
But it was the sort of thing that
made the technology feel real to me.
That you can turn on this magical
thing to fix a problem, but it
causes, it also causes problems.
As soon, yeah.
It, they, it didn't just stop as soon
as the Titan arrived and they went,
oh it, the inhibitor only works for
transporters on the baddy ship and
goes, no, it's all transporters.
So you need to stop that
Kevin: Yeah, anytime they create
technology that has rules and they play
by those rules, I find it satisfying.
And that was a satisfying
moment of that for
Rob: There was a lovely
shot . Of the Titan arriving.
So like cutting off the tractor
beam that's a shot I haven't
seen in Star Trek before.
I like seeing shots where they break
the reality or the expectations we have
and go, how do you stop a tractor beam?
We'll have a big ass ship go right in
front of it and they go, does that work?
I don't know, but looks cool.
Kevin: Sneed, the Ferengi.
One of the best Ferengi I've seen.
Rob: It was a good Ferengi.
Kevin: They gave themselves permission
to reinvent the makeup and the,
I guess, characterization a bit.
And it worked for me
Rob: It was very much more, yeah,
very gritty, very menacing and, but
not the cliched menacing Ferengi
from like season one of Next Gen.
There was this, there was
an individuality to him.
So they've taken the best bits of how
the Ferengi with Deep Space Nine added
in that Well, Let's make the menacing
again, because even the menacing ones in
Deep Space Nine are a little bit silly.
Kevin: He didn't say hu-maan.
He said, I like human stuff.
And like he, he didn't pronounce it
Rob: No, he didn't do the
hu-maan, or if it was very soft.
But yeah, he was great and and yeah,
and held a decapitated head very well.
There was a line from Vadic I believe
it is afternoon in the Sol system.
That's not how afternoon
works, is what I wrote down.
It's always afternoon
somewhere in the Sol system.
So that was a strange line if you
ask me for everything else she
said was so astute and on point.
Get your time zones right.
Rob: Come on, come Vadic, yeah.
It's a, it's an easy thing to do.
I was impressed with the captain
did the usual thing of he was
such a Yeah, Shaw was such a prick
in episode one, but you saw that
element of going, all right, okay.
He's still prick ish,
but did the right stuff.
But he was very much going
Kevin: Seven, played to
his ego and it worked.
But then he complained for the rest
of it going, oh we're stuffed now.
All of this stuff.
Kevin: I really liked all those
procedural beats of Picard and
Shaw debating what should happen.
And Shaw at one point goes clear your
conscience, Picard, whoever this kid may
be, he's not worth the lives of my crew.
And Picard's just like leaning against
the banister and looking guilty because
he suspects this person's his son, but he,
he, he's not really ready to admit it yet.
But that all that stuff felt procedural.
Like we're seeing people be at work with
their faces on and like saving face or
knowing something but not admitting to it.
All very rich, in a way that
we haven't gotten in Star
Trek in a while, I feel like.
And it paid off at the end as
well with Shaw going, this kid's
scum, why are doing so much.
And then he reveals and you
just see Shaw go all right.
Not gonna win this one.
Okay, we're here, we're doing this now.
That was really fun.
That was a great realization.
Shaw's been a wonderful character.
The is yeah, brought a, a new approach
as well to to the captain type role.
And to have that moment where he
just goes, all right we're definitely
not getting outta this now.
I have to, this is like a
backhanded compliment, but I will
congratulate them for not pulling
me out of this in the moment.
The fact that Sneed is working out of
the back room of Raffi's ex-husband's
bar just coincidentally the wanted
man for the mi the covert mission
that Raffi is on just happens to be
working out of her ex-husband's bar.
That is small galaxy stuff.
Like that shouldn't happen
in a small town, let alone
a world, let alone a galaxy.
So it is completely beyond belief,
but I didn't notice it in the
moment, and so they got away.
Rob: And they, cuz they did have that
beautiful moment of the ex going, you
can just go now and come see your son.
Or I can give you this information and
you can risk your life to do this thing.
And you just see Raffi going damn.
And you go, oh, that
type of stuff we'd like.
Kevin: All's fair, as long as
they are building the characters.
So we've had our chat and discussion
about the most recent episode, and
that has inspired us to look at,
because of the incredible work of
Amanda Plummer in this recent episode.
And, And this is a bit, we
have her for another like eight
Kevin: I feel like we haven't
gushed enough about her Vadic.
incredible her joy, joyous laughter.
I think a laughing villain who's like,
I don't know if I'm gonna win or lose
this, but I'm having a great time here.
That is a particular note that we
have not heard in a while in the Star
Rob: Especially that pilot going,
we're gonna run and we're gonna
defend and we're gonna protect and
just Vadic going oh, you, yeah.
Just that patronizing tone.
And that just glee also that fact
of going, I love causing mayhem.
Kevin: A smoking villain too.
Rob: And those nice real cool,
like cigarette cigar type.
She's got a cigarette holder or it looks
like a joint rolled and holding in.
Holding in some little
piece of plastic, but yeah.
Rob: And no makeup, no alien species.
Just an incredible actor, put in a chair.
Kevin: She's got like scars down her face.
And I think she's mentioned early
in this episode as the marked
woman, at least I assume Vadic is
who was being referred to there.
Um, So yeah, completely mysterious, but
like relatively human as far as we can
Rob: And that's just the first appearance.
So we've got eight more episodes to go.
So the, that gives us that play with a 10
episode movie or 10 hour long movie, is
to find out the depths of Vadic's hate and
Kevin: Yeah, there's
gotta be a story there.
Rob: There has to be a story there.
And to get someone of Amanda Plummer's
standard as a performer is gonna be great
to see what else she can do with her
Kevin: So, so who else in Star Trek
history tickled your memory banks when
uh, when you were sitting watching
Rob: Well, yes, we've picked two each and
I'm gonna start one more as the actor.
The actor and what they're brought
and how they're such a favorite
within modern Star Trek world.
And the more we see of them, the
better with the in Star Trek,
it makes it a better movie.
I'm focusing on Jeffrey Combs.
Kevin: And his six other characters.
Rob: Uh, uh, Brunt as well.
One of who was, quite a villain for Quark.
So Weyoun isn't what you would
describe as like the big maniacal,
almost Shakespearean villain.
But there is a quiet tone and a calm
and a theatricality to his Weyoun,
which is mesmerizing to watch and.
Kevin: Yeah, I mean, we can quibble
definitions of our chewing the scenery.
Like often when you use that term,
you mean someone is playing so big,
they are all but hanging off the side
of a railing and swinging from the
chandeliers in their, in their exuberance.
And you're right, Weyoun is a much
quieter, more sinister presence,
but he does have that chuckle where,
you know, when something's going
his way and you don't know it yet.
He's like, hahaha.
And, And I think we get that from most
of Jeffrey Combs's characters as well.
Rob: You've got that
beautiful razor wit as well.
Combs is such an intelligent
actor and how he puts emphasis on
certain words and phrases to really
give that nod to the audience
acknowledgement of what he is doing.
It's, It's those tropes of melodrama
and theater styles that, cuz he's a,
a theater nerd when I, you know, I've
mentioned it before, interviewing him.
He loves the theater.
I love actors who love acting.
I love actors who go into the craft and
not the wankiness and all that type of
stuff, about who they've met and who
they've worked with, but actors who
love acting, who loved the craft, and
creating characters in the process.
And Combs is one of those actors.
He's just, lived his life on
the stage and on, on camera.
And whether it be Re-Animator, which
is just pure schlock, B grade horror,
body horror stuff that's saying he
knows what type of show he's doing.
So he takes it seriously, but he knows
where he can put his tongue in his cheek
or whether he does it straight lace.
And that scene chewing element of it is
so apparent with how he interacts with,
the Cardassians, with Jake, with the,
For those who don't know Deep Space
Nine Weyoun plays a Vorta which is
the administrators of the Dominion,
when the Dominion War occurs and
they come and occupy Bajor, Weyoun
is the bureaucrat who runs Deep Space
Nine, and everyone's afraid of him
because he has an army behind him.
But he is a weasley administrator,
whose job is just to enforce the rules.
Rob: So yeah, he's very weasley and
kowtows to the Founders who are the
top, but then they are quite vicious.
He can qu Weyoun can be quite vicious and
short and sharp and manipulative with the
Cardassians, who they're in alliance with.
And quite cruel and brutal to the
Jem'Hadar who are the the foot soldiers?
And they're all clones.
They're all clones.
Kevin: a cloned or genetically
engineered species and they have
built into them that they worship the
Founders or the Changelings as gods.
And that whenever you see 'em shift
gears from toadie administrator to
sycophantic worshiper, it's fascinating
to watch him switch gears in that
Rob: That's, That's some scene chewing
right there and beautiful moments
with obviously him, him with Odo is
great because, yes, so Odo is from the
Founders' species and but he works for
the, in alliance with the Federation.
So he's our hero.
And Weyoun, how he interacts
treating him as a God, but also
trying to manipulate him back onto
the side of that and frustrated
Kevin: that feels like they
couldn't have planned that better.
But it seems that they must have
discovered that in the creation process
of okay, Odo's race is gonna invade.
They're gonna have these people who
worship them and Oh, Odo's gonna be there.
Uh, And Oh, that's, that must
have been delicious when they
Rob: I, yeah, I'd love that type of stuff.
Like, you know, Garak was only
meant to be in the series one
episode, and then they went, no,
we've gotta do, what could we do?
And so they could just say if we do
this and this, oh, and we can have
this combination of character here.
And they just go give it to Combs.
He knows what he's doing.
Kevin: Also something that also helps
with him being able to play it big or
chew the scenery now and then, is that as
clones, they are completely replaceable.
And so on several occasions, Weyoun is
dispatched graphically on screen, and
then an hour later, a new Weyoun comes and
goes, oh man, that was an inconvenience.
Rob: Um, And of course in Deep Space Nine,
he also plays Brunt one of the Ferengi.
And so his character reappears again.
And there's even a, sorta like a
heist the Magnificent Ferengi, I
from the Ferengi Commerce
Authority or something like that.
He's like the tax man for the Ferengi.
Rob: And, um, He uh, gets into
scrapes with Quark all the time.
And he's again, a whole
If you did not know, you
wouldn't be able to tell the
Kevin: I It took me, those characters
had appeared several times over
before someone mentioned to me
that they were the same actor.
And I said, oh, of course it
Rob: of course.
Yeah, he's my first choice because
how he choose the scenery it's
just, I can never get tired of
seeing Jeffrey Combs in Star Trek.
Rob: What about you?
Who's your first scene chewing villain?
Kevin: Look, it seems obvious to
say it, but I'm gonna go with the
obvious for my first one today,
and I'm gonna pick General Chang.
Amanda Plummer's daddy, Christopher
Plummer, who in Star Trek VI, played
the eye patch wearing second in command
of the Klingon diplomatic delegation
and who is revealed to be one of
the masterminds of the plot to kill
the Klingon ambassador in that film.
He quotes Shakespeare.
He's got a big chair to spin
around in which Vadic's big chair
seems to be pure homage to that.
And he runs a Klingon bridge
like no other Klingon captain
we've seen before or since.
The holding up the two fingers
and like twitching them to to call
for a photon, torpedo to be fired.
That is something that Christopher
Plummer and General Chang brought to
us, and it's been delicious ever since.
Rob: Yeah, Christopher Plumer
is not beyond taking on.
I mean, He's quite a re, you know,
respected, well respected stage
and screen actor, for his work
in The Sound of Music, obviously,
it's something he'd look down upon.
But later life with his work in The
Insider, one of my favorite performances
of him as Mike Wallace and For All
the Money in the World, all this type
of stuff and the reputation he had.
But a lot of people forget.
He was just a jobbing actor as well.
And he was more than happy to
do some genre stuff as well.
So he did Starcrash in the seventies,
which was an Italian ripoff of Star Wars.
And he just did it because they
said, oh, we need you for a
couple of days in Rome to film.
And he went Rome's my favorite city,
so I'll just come, take my, take your
money, be in Rome, my favorite city,
and shoot this schlocky sci-fi thing.
And so to have he, but he still
has that amazing ability to bring
that dignity and respect to the
text no matter what level it's at.
And you see that in Star Trek VI.
He takes it so seriously.
Kevin: There have been other attempts to
play big villains in Star Trek, but until
Vadic this week, I feel like no one did
it as convincingly as scene-chewingly
in a good way since General Chang, that
the Cry havoc and let's slip the dogs
of war, like that is a tent pole moment
in the entire Star Trek franchise.
And we have Christopher
Plummer to thank for
Rob: There's the three moments
when he's just about to leave
at the end of the dinner and he
does in his beautiful delivery.
Do we not hear the chimes of midnight?
Then you have that, let's slip the
dogs of war and then as the missile,
as the torpedo is trying to find the
air vent saying To be or not to be.
And then boom, you just go.
We were talking about it earlier
where Jeffrey Combs being quite
subtle with his scene chewing.
Christopher Plummer does the whole Shamir,
he grabs the set and chews onto it hard.
He's so theatrical.
Almost Grand Dame level of performance,
but it's, but he can slip it down to
those quiet moments as well of just, it's.
You could watch it on the stage, be in the
back row of a 400 seat venue on Broadway
or the West End and be right at the back
row and still think that he's performing
directly to you with that energy.
And it just it's hard to get
that balance of a theatrical
performance on a cinematic screen.
And it's one of best examples of it.
Kevin: I don't know if you had this
experience watching Star Trek VI for
the first time, but for me a really
big performance like this can help
to hide a villain in plain sight.
I remember, like the promotion before
this film came out and it was like,
okay there's the normal looking Klingons
and then there's the bald one with the
eye patch, and it's like, wow, okay.
That's he's the heavy, he's
the muscle, he's there to look
intimidating, but there's no way
he's gonna be important to the plot.
But as that film goes on, he goes from
the outraged first officer in the opening
mission there where the assassination
occurs to suddenly he is arguing the
case against Kirk and Bones in a court
of law, and then at the end of the
film, he is flying the cloaked, the Bird
of Prey that can fire while cloaked.
And just, it is not until
surprisingly late in that film
that I went, oh, he's the villain.
I didn't realize that.
He was hiding in plain sight all along.
Rob: It's an amazing moment.
And we've talked about
those three moments.
But at the courtroom as well, there's
that great moment when he's talking
and they've got the translation things
up on their ears and he starts getting
Kevin: Don't wait for the translation!
You can have your um, you
know, do you want answers?
I want the truth.
There's no, don't wait
for the translation.
Tell me now.
And I know I was at that age I was,
so it came out early nineties, 91.
So I was in about year eight.
And so I was fully starting my
journey of being a drama nerd and
where I started identifying actors in
different roles and and where they're
coming back and going, oh, okay,
this actor is, I remember from this.
And so it was always an exciting
moment when you're there going,
oh, I, I know who this actor is.
I've seen Christopher
Plummer in Murder by Degree.
And I've seen him in Sound of Music.
So that importance going
of this actor is here now.
So that expectation, I was
developing that when I was like 13
years old watching Star Trek VI.
I'm going, oh, this isn't
just some random performer.
This is someone who has history
and heritage and I've seen them
in other stuff, and I know what
they've done in that other stuff.
I'm excited to see what they bring.
And it's and that's like you said, defined
the scene chewing villain from then on.
It's, and everyone goes, oh.
So like Eric Banner was quite
disappointing as Nero in the
first Star Trek movie in 2009.
Cuz you're there going,
okay, that's Eric Banner.
There's an expecta.
No, he's just shouting and screaming.
He doesn't have that charm or that,
what's the uh, you know, panache that
that's, it's such an old school term.
I'm sorry I used it.
But yeah, Plummer is uh, is certainly,
bringing his A game in every level.
It's not just one note, and
that's the best thing about it.
There are so many nuanced levels
to his performance, and he know,
he treats it with respect, but
he also knows it's just fun.
Have fun with that.
Kevin: Not the only big
performance in this film.
I would also call out Martia, the
Cameloid played by Iman in this film.
She um, you know, she plays subtle,
but she's smoking a cigarette and
winking at the audience as she does it.
A cigar, I should say.
Rob: David Bowie was a very lucky man
and to say not all species have their
testicles in the same places, Kirk.
Kevin: Who's your number two?
Rob: number two was gonna
be, was gonna be Chang.
Kevin: Ah there you go.
Have you got an honorable
Rob: of course I have an honorable mention
we're, if we're talking up scene chewing
villains you, there's, you can't go past.
There's, for me there's two.
So there's Chang and there's Khan.
There's gotta be Khan.
Kevin: Of course he is
gotta be on that list.
Rob: cannot do scene-chewing
villains without the beautiful
Ricardo Montalban coming back after.
And in many ways, I think his
performance in the movie is much
better because in the first one, he's
stuck to the confines of a television
show appearance and he's coming in.
It was just a jobbing actor.
Did a great job, wonderful role, wonderful
Kevin: I also feel like they tied
his hands by like identifying
him as ethnically Indian.
And he was playing the yoga of
it all and the zen of it all.
And there was like, there.
There was a layer that they were
keeping him hidden beneath that
I feel like he was freed of along
with his bulging chest in the
Rob: I tell you what.
They just went, you're
not tied by anything.
And every single moment,
every single scene.
It's all the different levels as well.
Lovely little nuances.
It's not so much for me, it doesn't
seem like a theatrical scene chewing
performance like Christopher Plummer,
but it's definitely this larger
than life screen performance cuz you
know for me, it's a different type.
There's not an element of
theatricality, but there's definitely
an element of cherishing every
line, relishing the evil of it.
Because, but it's not even evil relishing
the hatred, the pure hatred and relishing.
Causing pain to this man who, Kirk,
who he feels has done him so wrong.
Kevin: It is on the one hand a performance
freed by the fact that it is a villain
that we know is here for one film.
We know is defeated decisively
at the end of the film.
So there's no need to hold anything back.
Play at 11 cuz this is your one chance.
But also informed by the history of
that character that I feel like gives
us a leg up of he can go big right
away because we've seen him before.
And so we will believe it.
That it's grounded in that history of the
Rob: I mean, he makes taking off a helmet.
Oh, taking off a scarf and then
the, you know, that is just pure,
no one does that in reality.
Nobody does it in real life.
And cinema is meant to be the,
verisimilitude is how it's defined.
Even if you're doing sci-fi or fantasy,
if you believe what you say and say it
in a believable way that makes it work.
But there are moments that are tied
to our genre that we love that do
not exist in the world of reality.
You have to play it straight.
You can't ham it up because
then you lose that sincerity.
But just the mere ability to take
off a scarf and raise up your
goggles in a way that is just so
powerfully dramatic going, this is me.
I am the bad guy.
Nobody does that in real life, Kevin.
You've never walked into a
space, taken off your glasses.
And everyone goes, oh gosh, okay.
He's gonna seek revenge on all of us.
Kevin: Another, uh,
literature quoting villain.
Milton, I believe in Khan's case.
From Hell's Heart,
Rob: stab at thee.
And it's good to have, yeah.
That balance of, you see him at his height
when he's pure evil with all the power.
You see him and he's desperate when he's
like losing his crew members and he's,
his family or his children or whatever.
And then at the end you see him
destroyed and bloodied and, yeah.
Kevin: The flayed skin hanging
off of him and he's still angry.
Rob: on the side of his face.
And he's talking just out
the other side of his mouth.
And operating the Genesis device.
Ah, it's incredible.
You, that's what you want when you're a
young kid going, I want to be an actor.
You want to have a dramatic death
scene, and you want to be like, all
those big moments you want to hit.
It's all in Star Trek II.
Kevin: How would you wanna be Benedict
Cumberbatch, who's given the job to follow
that performance in a parallel universe?
Rob: I'm I'm very interested to
find out what their thought process
was, but they went into that film so
cocky, just thinking, Ugh, whatever.
We can do
Kevin: We're talking about Star Trek Into
Darkness here, by the way, in which in,
in, in a parallel universe, Khan comes
back and he's white, for some reason.
He's Benedict Cumberbatch.
And the thing that powered
Khan in Star Trek II was the
personal vendetta against Kirk.
But in this parallel
universe, they've never met.
Rob: never met.
Kevin: But But somehow, Khan is
supposed to be just as angry a dude.
Rob: And he's angry with
Federation or whatever.
Look, it's the, it, I don't think they
considered it at all, and I, you see it,
they go, let's use the gimmick of Khan.
And no, have no respect for it whatsoever.
It was just the pure, to flip
it around and go we're not
gonna kill Spock this time.
We're gonna kill Kirk.
And so it's just this case of there's
no not tipping of a hat or bowing down.
I mean, It shouldn't have
been touched on anyway.
It's not like bringing back a new
definition of a alien species.
It's a case of this is a unique character,
a unique performance that you couldn't
bring back Chang or anything like that.
You, they are so unique to
the actor who plays them.
And like you said, it's
the personal vendetta.
We haven't had that.
You, I didn't, I hadn't seen the
Space Seed until quite recently,
but you didn't need to have seen it.
You picked it up cuz it was so
beautifully written and well
performed and well choreographed.
But with this, it was like we've talked
about before, when he says, I am Khan,
they don't know who the hell he is.
That line is said for us in the audience.
And when you're doing moves like
that in a movie, you're just doing
it purely, not even fan service,
it's just going trying to manipulate
the audience into who are huge fans
into putting more invested emotional
interest into it than it, yeah, exactly.
No, and it didn't.
And you can see they had no respect
for the original character or
the performance of dear Ricardo.
I've got my number two, but before
I do, I just wanna, I want to go
through my Hall of fame of
o of Honorable mentions, cuz
I'm interested, yeah.
See if there are any
who match up with mine.
Kevin: I'm sure you would've
thought of Gul Dukat.
Rob: I, Gul, Gul Dukat
was gonna be in there with
Kevin: He's so long running, you get to
see every color of him, and sometimes
he's rational and reserved, and then
sometimes he's completely unhinged and
certainly towards the culmination of Deep
Space Nine at the end when he's completely
drinking his own Kool-Aid and and believes
that victory was pre-ordained for him.
That is the 11 out of 10 Gul Dukat
that I think does rise to some of these
other performances we've talked about.
Rob: Incredible performance and
incredible history of how we can
change a character over seven, oh,
evolve a character in seven seasons.
So like moments where Kira goes
back using one of the the stones,
the time stone to meet her mother.
And you find that, she was
having an affair with Gul Dukat,
one of Dukat's mistresses.
Kevin: Gul Dukat, for anyone who hasn't
watched Deep Space Nine was the, he
was the administrator of Terok Nor,
which became Deep Space Nine, the
space station in orbit around Bajor
during the Cardassian occupation.
And because of the quite arguably
war crimes that he committed during
that period, he and Kira Nerys
are at loggerheads throughout all
seven seasons of Deep Space Nine.
And it is a great journey.
Rob: spoilers ahead later on, a
Kira finds out that not only was
her mother known to Gul Dukat, but
they had an intimate relationship.
And she, her
Kevin: S, small galaxy,
Rob: Small galaxy.
And her mother, this is
her way of surviving.
And that, but the little gimmick
was at the end that Gul Dukat
actually had feelings for, even
though it was a manipulated and,
you know, twisted relationship.
And he had all the power and,
she was completely at his whim.
But there was an affection there.
And in a weird sense, and then it gets
even weirder when, like in see near the
final couple episodes, he gets genetically
changed to look Bajoran, and then starts
having an affair with Louise Fletcher.
A part of his plan.
It's it, but some of it works, some of
it doesn't, but adding to this character.
And Mark Alaimo is just outstanding.
And he relishes, he brings
out the relish really well.
He hits the dramatic moments really
well and the tender moments of
Dukat really well and masterful
performance over seven seasons.
Kevin: Plays a great arch Romulan
in the early days of Star Trek:
The Next Generation as well.
Well, And this, especially after
we talked about the brilliant work
of uh, David Warner in Next Gen.
So like David Warner established
what Mark could do with Gul
Dukat in, over seven seasons.
Kevin: Speaking of Louise Fletcher,
Kai Winn I, I don't know, do you
count her as scenery chewing, or was
she too reserved in her portrayal.
Rob: It's, like, I mean, that's the thing.
Louise Fletcher won an Oscar for One
Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for being
the most menacing evil one of the most
menacing evil characters in cinema
Kevin: But it was the quiet evil.
It was the insidious evil.
Rob: And I like, when I first
saw it, I had this expectation.
I went she won an Oscar for this,
and I saw it for the first time.
And I'm there going,
where is the performance?
It's it's meant to be evil.
And then realize you go, oh, that's why.
And that's what she is so good at.
Those moments of calm in public and even
calm in private while she's being yelled
and screamed at and being confronted
for the bad things that she's done,
clearly done by Kira, and just embracing
it back with a smile and calm, but able
to flip on a dime in very subtle ways.
So it, I think it's not scene
chewing Christopher Plummer
and Ricardo just grabbing the
scenery and going, look at this.
She just slowly walks around
and just takes a nibble off
and takes a nibble off here.
And he, and then by the end of
the episode you go, good lord,
most of this whole set has gone.
Where is it?
Rob: going, boop.
Yeah, she's gobbled up.
She burps and
Rob: I'll be back next week, Fletcher.
Kevin: Getting bigger though.
The Borg Queen in First Contact
definitely doesn't hold back.
Rob: Now, how do you compare the
two performances of Alice Krige from
First Contact and Annie Wersching,
who sadly recently passed away, but
played Borg Queen in Picard season two?
Kevin: We also had Susanna
Thompson in Voyager as well.
Who, Who played the role.
Look, I've, I think of the character
and not the actor in this case.
They all did a great job with it.
They were all playing a
consistent character in my mind.
So yeah not my top two, but I think it
is definitely an example of the arch,
playing it to the hilt, villain who stands
out in any episode or film she is in.
Rob: I did like that shift from Borg
Queen in First Contact was very much
the seductress with Data and even
brought a bit of that with Picard.
But then in the Picard season to
have how that manipulation works
with uh, Alison Pill's character.
So it's a tone shift, but playing more the
friendship, the confidant, the, the devil
in your ear whispering of what you could
potentially achieve and unleash that, that
range over three different performances
over decades is a lovely choice as well.
Kevin: You can't, can't leave out Q.
It's almost stating the obvious, but
the dude traipsed across the bridge
of the Enterprise playing a trumpet.
It doesn't come much bigger or
se more scenery queuing than Q.
I think the only question as
to whether he should be on this
list is he a villain or not?
Rob: isn't it?
Kevin: Half the time he wasn't.
half the time, he was the trickster
that our characters needed.
Rob: and especially with these
appearances in Voyager, which very much
bringing out, the heart of Q and how
he defines himself as a timeless being
who has omnipotent powers and then
going, I want to not exist anymore.
I'm tired of this type of stuff.
And John de Lancie is such a
wonderful performer as well.
One of those, we talk about
Christopher Plummer, who's Canadian
and John de Lancie is American.
Those American theatrical actors
have a very different style to
say the theatricality of, Royal
Shakespeare Company Patrick Stewart.
To see the American theater nerd
up against the British Theater
nerd, René Auberjonois is old
school American theater royalty.
Seeing all those meshed in with your,
your Patrick Stewarts is a great and
the perfect match for each other.
And it was great to see him
back in Picard season two.
It's just a shame that they
didn't give him yeah, a better,
a bet, a better interpretation.
I feel like we have a whole episode
to do at some point of best Klingons,
but Gowron stands out to me as a
particularly large performance, and
that, that served a similar purpose to
the one that I was talking about before.
Gowron appears in Star Trek: The
Next Generation as part of the arc
of who is going to be the new Klingon
Chancellor of the High Council.
And and Picard is in the position
of selecting the successor.
And Goran is, he is the, he is there
to make you think he's a villain.
So everything about his performance
in his first appearance is calculated
to seem evil, so that it's a
surprise when the obvious villain
is revealed to be the villain.
He's up against Duras, who we know
is traitorous and in league with
Romulans, and yet Gowron's eyes so evil.
And he is, he is so large in his
performance that you, for a second, you
suspect that Duras might be innocent and
it might be Gowron who's the bad guy.
Ultimately, like he was so memorable,
they brought him back again and again
and was a major presence in Deep Space
Rob: I'm a huge presence
in Deep Space Nine.
Kevin: A great example of absolute
power corrupting, absolutely.
So that it was a tragedy almost
that he did turn evil in the end.
Uh, but the foundations were set
from the very beginning when he
came on as a guest star of the week
on Next Gen to seem evil, but not
Rob: And that was a great thing.
I've mentioned it before.
What I love about Deep Space Nine is I
prefer it when they forgo that classic
thing, the Klingons are just bad.
I love in Deep Space
Nine, they take that time.
You've got Martok, you've
got yeah, Gowron, you've got
Worf in there, Worf himself.
And that, you see them not just as
the, as one, they one race and they
all have the same thought process.
Each of them have their own opinions
of how the Dominion War was going
and how Klingon should be involved
and all that type of stuff.
And to have that show up so that, I,
I, I mean, Deep Space Nine, I adore
because the Klingons are working with
the Federation that you'd never, and what
they do to bring in those type of unity
as opposed to going, oh, it's just the,
the cowboys versus the indians again.
That's an old school dated and
quite offensive way of doing things.
To bring in that new element of
actually we work together now.
And yeah, Gowron just an actor , built
for playing someone who may not be
evil, but damn they look at those eyes.
Those eyes paid the
Rob: Well done, Robert you found what your
strengths were and you played into that.
You stared it down.
Kevin: But my actual second
scenery chewing villain is
William Shatner's Captain Kirk.
And you're wondering how can
Captain Kirk be a villain?
In The Enemy Within, the original
series, season one episode four he
is split in two by the transporter
and we get to see evil Captain Kirk.
And, William Shatner often
called out for playing it big.
This is the time he went
oh, I'm evil this time?
I better play it big!
So this is captain.
This is Captain Kirk played large on
purpose and oh my god, it's over the top.
They cover him with sweat.
He yells into the camera.
I am Captain Kirk and smashes
the computer in his quarters.
It is amazing.
Rob: And that's episode four.
So that's why quite early on,
because obviously we've seen the
beautiful ham of Shatner, the
with, with him going full gangster.
Kevin: Strong out of the gate.
Rob: So I'll have to I have
heard about The Enemy Within.
I'll have to
Kevin: Oh, it is great.
It'll make every other Shatner
performance look subtle in a great way.
Rob: That's a thing Shatner
can do, he can do subtle.
And it's just because,
whether it be the direction.
Certain directors could
reel the, reel him in.
And that with a lot of actors
who have a name for themselves.
Unless you have a confident director
to reel them in, they can of go wild.
And Shatner is one of those.
So when he is with Nicholas
Meyer, he behaves himself.
Kevin: You know in Star Trek II,
when he's seething and he yells,
Khan into the communicator.
This is a 45 minute episode of seeing Kirk
Rob: that for 45 minutes.
Look I'm living it.
I'll have to check it out.
That's a good choice.
That's a good
Well, There you go.
Boy a lot of scenery got
chewed this episode, Rob.
Rob: In many different ways, like
to the obvious of just chewing down
uh, a, a picture frame or to Louise
Fletcher's subtly just nibbling here
and there for uh, 45 minutes and then
walking away with everything chewed.
Kevin: And I have a funny feeling we
may have peaked too early on Vadic.
I suspect the heights of her
performance are yet to come.
Rob: Yeah, we have yet to
see the full scope of what.
I can't believe, I dunno if
I've seen Amanda Plummer do
regular television before.
I've seen her in a lot of movies.
But I'm there going, we've got her
for at the most eight episodes.
That's eight hours of Amanda
Plummer being pure villain.
That is, we only got, her dad
for, 45 minutes on screen if that.
Kevin: I'm waiting to see what
will be the Khan on the bridge with
the skin flaying off his hands.
What will be that version of that Vadic?
Rob: Oh yeah.
We have no idea what Aman— she has yet
to go to the depths and the range of
everything that she can do with Vadic.