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Copyright 1996-2002 Steve Krutzler and TrekWeb.COM. All Rights Reserved.
Bennett, Montalban and Scott Reflect on KHAN Twenty Years Later
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Posted: 19:29:44 on July 11 2002
By: Steve Krutzler
Dept: General Star Trek

The latest issue of the Star Trek Communicator, on stands July 16th, features a retrospective article on STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN including comments from producer/writer Harve Bennet and stars Ricardo Montalban and Judson Scott.

Bennett recalls his first meeting with Paramount executives Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Charlie Bluhdorn where they asked the newly-hired television producer what he thought of the successful but critically-lambasted STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE.

"I say, 'Well' -- gulp! 'I thought it was boring," Bennett recalls the risky decision to be honest with the suits. The opinion that TMP's "shaggy" lack of any central antagonist won him the job and he instantly set about viewing all 79 ORIGINAL SERIES episodes before settling on "Space Seed" to germinate second attempt at bringing STAR TREK to the big screen.

"Near the end of the episode there's a musing by Spock; he says 'I wonder if a hundred years from now, will we ever see his like again?'... I remember getting up, and I said, 'Alright guys, lights--that's it, that's what we're going to do'."

Ricardo Montalban recalls almost turning down reprising the 'Khan' role before, on a second reading of the script, he realized, "Even when I was not on screen, they were talking about me!"

He also says after six years on the television series FANTASY ISLAND he had doubts about his ability to give a distinct performance.

"I started articulating the dialogue, [and] I thought, 'My God, I sound like Mr. Roarke! Nobody's going to believe me after six years on FANTASY ISLAND!... I'm going to make a fool of myself here."

Eventually after several rewatchings of himself in "Space Seed," the actor found his inspiration. But the work of co-star Judson Scott didn't earn the actor on-screen credit due to a negotiating mistake by an assistant agent.

Scott says the film originally contained scenes explaining that his character -- Joachim -- was the child of Khan and McGivers.

"There were some long scenes cut where I'm sitting down at his feet and we're in the nebula, and he reminisced about my mother... it was too long and they needed to get back to the shooting."

For more of the extensive article, check out the latest issue of the Communicator on stands soon.

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