My Trekkie friend just emailed these back to me, I thought I'd start a new topic to draw more attention. I reworded a couple of questions in the email so they weren't so long.
OK here goes:Question:
How difficult was it to write an episode with so many celebrity voices in it? Were there any funny lines you wanted to hear the ST crew say but didn't write into the episode?DAG:
It's very difficult to write for so many non-Futurama characters, but I was lucky in that a lot of the supporting characters in Futurama weren't in it. Before I started writing the script, I spent a lot of time with the other Futurama writers making sure there was something for everybody to do. Although my name was on the script, many of the jokes in it were pitched by the Futurama staff. In terms of lines not making it into the final script, I had a run in my first draft where, after Shatner delivered his log at the beginning, Koenig jumps in and says "Now here's what I wrote. "Dear log, what a crazy week..." Question:
Even though the Welshy jokes were hilarious, why didn't the episode feature James Doohan?DAG
: We approached James Doohan's agent, who said the Doohan's response to being in the episode was "No way." We don't know why we got such a strong response, but we assumed he thought he'd be working with Shatner. Question:
How did William Shatner react to the character of Zapp Brannigan given that Zapp was supposed to be a mockery of Shatner? In fact what did the TOS cast think of the jokes about their characters/themself?
Shatner made no comments about Zapp. But there was something in the script regarding it. In a scene cut from the final version, Shatner says to Zapp, "Brannigan, you and I are cut from the same cloth... velouuuuur." In terms of making fun of themselves, the cast were uniformly game. They didn't give us any problems, and seemed to genuinely like the script.
: Do any of the ST cast watch Futurama?DAG
: I had the sense that Walter Koenig did, but I'm not sure about the others. Question
: 5. How is producing a sci-fi cartoon series different from producing a normal sci-fi series?DAG:
There are too many to explain, but just to focus on the writing, the differences are really between writing a comedy and writing a drama. Writing a comedy is more collaborative in the sense that on most comedies every script is worked on by the whole staff; not just beating out the story, but also the staff pitches jokes that the writer puts in his script, and then after finishing the script the staff makes further contributions, depending on how the script was received by the head writer(s). On a drama, you spend time working out the story with the other writers, but then you're mostly on your own writing your outline and script, and then doing the rewrites, taking notes from the head writers. On a comedy also as a writer you're much more involved with the actors; on Futurama, when the actors recorded their lines, the writers are there giving a lot of direction, whereas on a drama, the writers are only occasionally on set. Question
: Did the TOS cast have any say in what their 2D aliases looked like?DAG:
: Who's Matt's Futurama favourites..? DAG:
I don't know, but Matt was recently quoted in the L.A.Times saying that the highpoint of the series was reuniting the Star Trek cast. But in general, Futurama was Matt's baby; he loved working on it, and so it was always a lot of fun to work with him. A really great, talented guy. Question:
How much better of an episode would it have been had Deforest Kelly still been alive?DAG
I think that would've been amazing. Question
: Did anyone come up with any lines that DeForest Kelley could have said, had he still been alive and did anyone do any brainstorming on a possible Zoidberg-McCoy scene?
Early on we did talk about a Zoidberg-McCoy scene, but then we decided we didn't want to have someone imitate Kelley since that took away from the idea that we got the rest of the cast. Question
: How did you convince Shatner to do a spoken word version of "The Real Slim Shady" and how in the world did you get Eminem or whoever controls the rights to the song to allow it? DAG
: We paid the people for the rights to the song, and Shatner just did it. He was a real pro about it. Question
: Is there any chance you could reveal anymore about upcoming unaired episodes? ::hint hint::
In one episode, Bender gets a sex change. And in what I think we'll air as the final episode, Fry writes a holophoner opera for Leela. The episode (and the opera) were written by Ken Keeler, and it is brilliantly funny. Dan Castenaleta (sp?) returns as the voice of the Robot Devil.