Tuesday, January 31, 2006


The exciting life continues. Yesterday, my friend CHRIS WYATT, producer of the $100 million-plus grossing cult sensation NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, dropped by to interview me about co-writing and directing the STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES episode for NOW PLAYING Magazine.

Chris and I go way back as friends. I first met him when he interviewed me about the first MAGIC TIME novel for CINESCAPE Magazine. I was impressed with what he wrote and invited him to join the Round Table I run. At the time, Chris was a grad student at the USC film school. He started coming to the Table, graduated USC, then one days announced, "I'm going to be gone for a few months -- I'm heading off to produce a movie in Idaho."

"Idaho!?" we all said. "Who's ever going to see THAT?"

Well, it turned out to be NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, which played Sundance, sold for millions to Fox Searchlight and went on to become one of the biggest hits ever. None of which didn't surprised me, because I knew from the start that with his intellect, drive and charm Chris would be a huge success.

After interviewing me, Chris and I went to a meeting at a thriving film production company to discuss the possibility of affiliating with them on the four-picture deal we're setting up to make some of the unmade RAY HARRYHAUSEN films, whose rights we've acquired. We'll see where that leads...

By the way, on the George Lucas front, I showed the photo of me and the big G to someone at the gym, who told me the following story: Years ago, he'd been an actor and auditioned for AMERICAN GRAFFITI. It was just him and Lucas in the room. At the end of audition, Lucas said to him, "I'm sorry, but you're just INCREDIBLY wrong for this role." Then he added, "Listen, you're the last audition of the day and I'm all done here, so how about I take you to lunch, by way of apology?" They had a wonderful lunch together, and he said that Lucas was just a terrific guy.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Well, they talk about Hollywood as being a place of incredible chance meetings -- I guess tonight proved that old maxim.

Elaine and I had scheduled dinner with Michael Reaves, my collaborator on the STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES episode with George Takei that I'm writing. But many of you may not be aware that, in addition, to being an Emmy winner, Michael has also written a number of STAR WARS novels, including DARTH MAUL -- SHADOWHUNTER and the upcoming DEATH STAR (with Steve Perry).

At any rate, Elaine and I are sitting in Hamburger Hamlet in the Valley tonight, waiting for Michael, when I glance across at the booth opposite and spy someone who is probably the least likely person in the world I would imagine to be there, just noshing on a burger with a teenager. I think to myself, that's either HIM, or someone who bears a bloody uncanny resemblance to him.

The man finishes his meal, and then walks over to another booth to thank the couple who just picked up the tab for his dinner. They say, "Well, it's the least we could do, given how much you've enriched our lives."

At which point, of course, I rise and introduce myself to the fellow -- who DOES, in fact, turn out to be GEORGE LUCAS!

I tell him I'm having dinner with Michael, who has written some of the most successful STAR WARS novels ever, and tell him I've written and produced for such shows as SLIDERS, STAR TREK - TNG, etc. It's a cordial conversation -- and best of all, I happen to have my camera with me... for probably what's the best photo op I've ever had.

Lucas heads out, and Michael shows up a few minutes later... having missed meeting up with his boss by moments. Which probably makes for a better anecdote, anyway.

Just another evening in Tinsel Town... or Tatooine, for that matter.


Thursday, January 26, 2006


Last night, we had quite a stellar confab for the students we mentor -- actors, writers, directors and producers all.

ROCKNE O'BANNON, creator of FARSCAPE, ALIEN NATION and SEAQUEST, was our featured speaker, along with BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and INVASION director MICHAEL NANKIN (Rock's on the left of me, Michael Nankin on the right). We also had DAVID SIMKINS, showrunner of the upcoming BLADE TV show and a writer-producer on such hits as ANGEL, BRISCO COUNTY, LOIS AND CLARK, ROSWELL, CHARMED and DARK ANGEL.

Joining them was DOMINIC COMPERATORE, a brilliant actor I cast in the lead role of Cal in the MAGIC TIME scene I directed and who just had a major role opposite GEORGE CLOONEY in Steven Soderbergh's new film THE GOOD GERMAN. Also in attendance were LESLIE SILVA, star of the Showtime series ODYSSEY 5 and a regular face on shows such as ENTERPRISE and CSI; KEN MADER, director of CARNIVORE (and a partner on DEAD STOP, a feature I'm making); and JONATHAN KAPLAN, a talented TV writers with credits including NYPD BLUE.

We spoke on such topics as how to continue to write from your heart and how to survive crushing rejections and setbacks -- something vital for anyone who wants a long-term career in TV and film. It was also fascinating to discuss the changing nature of television -- with Michael Nankin having just written an ABC pilot, Rock about to shoot his fabulous CULT pilot for the new combined Warners/UPN network CW, and David Simkins waiting to hear if his BLADE series is picked up. Not mention my little STAR TREK adventure...

How cool and exciting it is now to making TV drama -- knowing it can air on broadcast television or cable, on computers and telephones, be downloaded onto iPods, play over the Internet, and be seen on a screen anywhere from 100 inches across down to two! (In fact, Simkins mentioned to Michael Nankin that he got hooked watching BATTLESTAR GALACTICA after downloading it from iTunes and watching it on his iPod.)

Quite an evening! Lots of warmth and good fellowship. Truly, a night to remember.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Well, Michael and I are busy writing "World Enough, And Time," our episode of STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES, and it's coming along GREAT. Our goal is that there won't be a dry eye in the house by the end of the episode.

Additionally, a friend of mine who must remain nameless (but is one of the top concept designers working in Hollywood, having designed many of the most famous characters seen in SF films in recent years) has signed aboard to design several of the characters in our episode, including a very cool one we're referring to as "Barbarian George."

The design will see much more development, but here's an initial image, altered froma publicity shot of how George Takei looks now (which is simply AMAZING).

Enjoy. More adventures to come...


Thursday, January 19, 2006


The word is finally official! I'm going to be co-writing and directing the STAR TREK NEW VOYAGES episode "World Enough, And Time," starring George Takei!

My collaborator is Emmy winning STAR TREK - THE NEXT GENERATION writer Michael Reaves.

For more info, check out www.startreknewvoyages.comBut here's a visual clue as to why I'm so jazzed about this, taken when I was twelve...

And here's the article I wrote relating the amazing way this all came about:


by Marc Scott Zicree
copyright 2006 Marc Scott Zicree

My relationship with STAR TREK goes way back, to when I was a kid and first saw the ads for TREK before it premiered. From the moment it first aired, my life was changed forever. THE MAKING OF STAR TREK was the book that first made me want to be a TV writer, and the Christmas present of a visit to the actual set when I was twelve (for the shooting of the last original episode ever shot, “Turnabout Intruder”) was a dream come true.

When I grew up, I got to realize my dream of becoming a successful writer and producer in television, and to meet and become friends with many of the TREK writers who first inspired me, from Theodore Sturgeon to Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson, George Clayton Johnson, David Gerrold, Jerry Sohl and Dorothy Fontana. (In fact, I even had the pleasure of working with David Gerrold on an episode of SLIDERS when I was a producer on that show.)

Selling to STAR TREK – TNG and DEEP SPACE NINE (the episodes “First Contact” and “Far Beyond the Stars,” respectively) was a further step in achieving my ambition of being part of the great history of STAR TREK, and it’s been marvelous to work with and get to know such marvelous performers as Armin Shimerman, Roxann Dawson and Robert Picardo.

There was one actor I was eager to work with but somehow never found the opportunity – George Takei. I’d always thought he was a superb actor, one who rarely got the opportunity to show his range or power.

I first met George when I interviewed him about “The Encounter” the long-lost episode of TWILIGHT ZONE he starred (brilliantly) in, as research for my book THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION. Since then, we’d crossed paths many times, but I’d never had the chance to work with him.

But then several months ago, I had the good fortune to moderate a STAR TREK panel at a science fiction convention put on by UCLA. Walter Koenig was on the panel and told me about the NEW VOYAGES episode he was about to star in. Intrigued, I checked out their website and was very impressed by the high quality of the work being done.

More than that, I thought they were getting TREK right, doing it with a passion and skill and sly humor that was enviable. I ended up downloading the second episode and showing it to everyone I could get to watch it (including some friends who are running some of the top SF shows now on the air).

Which was where my friend Michael Reaves came into the equation.

Back in the late 1970s, Paramount had intended to do a second STAR TREK series entitled STAR TREK – PHASE II. The studio spent millions building sets and buying an entire season of scripts. One story they loved was pitched to them by Michael Reaves, who had just recently broken in as a TV writer. It was a terrific story in which Sulu ended up thirty years older as part of the adventure.

Ultimately, however, Paramount decided to make STAR TREK features instead and the plug was pulled on PHASE II. As a result, Michael’s story was never made. Michael filed the story away and went on to become an Emmy winner and Writers Guild Award nominee, plus a New York Times bestselling author.

But I’d always loved Michael’s story and realized that now – thirty years later -- it would make a great NEW VOYAGES episode. Michael and I updated and expanded his storyline. I then contacted the NEW VOYAGES producers and met with them. Once I got their enthusiastic response, I met with George and his manager to see if George might be open to doing the episode. I was most gratified by their positive response.

George is now aboard to star and Michael and I are about to begin writing what I feel confident will be one of the landmark episodes of TREK. And as a special bonus, I get to direct it! (Did I mention that in the years since I stepped on the TREK set as a boy, I’ve also become a director?)

So in a few months, I’ll be stepping onto those marvelous sets in Ticonderoga, New York, to collaborate with one of my favorite actors. I’m sure it will be with a sense of déjà vu. When I was a kid, they let me stand on the transporter and even sit in the Captain’s chair.

Maybe they’ll let me do it this time around, too.

“World Enough, And Time”
Writers and Director

MARC SCOTT ZICREE, co-writer and director, has written and sold more than 100 scripts, including credits on STAR TREK - THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE, BABYLON 5, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, FOREVER KNIGHT and TWILIGHT ZONE, as well as numerous pilots for Showtime, ABC, NBC and syndication. He's served as Executive Producer on REAL STORY (a pilot project in association with Tom Fontana), Producer on SLIDERS, Co-Producer on THE LAZARUS MAN, executive story editor on BEYOND REALITY and story editor on FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH - THE SERIES. He's also the author of the best-selling TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION. His work has been nominated for the American Book Award nominee, Diane Thomas Award and the Humanitas Prize.

Zicree has recently completed work on the acclaimed MAGIC TIME trilogy of novels for HarperCollins, the most recent of which, MAGIC TIME – GHOSTLANDS made the 2005 Los Angeles Times bestseller list. Additionally, over the past season he has had pilot development deals with Universal and Twentieth Television and is currently in negotiations to write and executive produce four movies for the Sci-Fi Channel with NAPOLEON DYNAMITE producer Chris Wyatt. Beyond this, he is at work on DEAD STOP, a TWILIGHT ZONE-style anthology film he will be co-writing, producing and directing, in association with Michael Reaves, CARNIVORE’s Ken Mader, BABYLON 5’s Julie Caitlin Brown, Roxann Dawson, Armin Shimerman, Robert Picardo, John Rhys Davies, and STARGATE’s Michael Shanks.

MICHAEL REAVES, co-writer, has written for STAR TREK - THE NEXT GENERATION, TWILIGHT ZONE (Writers Guild Award nomination) and dozens of other series. Recently, he won an EMMY for writing and story-editing the animated BATMAN series on the Fox Network. Additional credits include serving as writer-producer on Steven Spielberg’s INVASION AMERICA, story-editing GARGOYLES for Disney and scripting (with Richard Christian Matheson) the movie FULL ECLIPSE for HBO. Michael is also New York Times bestselling author, with more than 20 fantasy and science fiction novels to his credit, with titles published by Bantam, Tor, Berkley, etc.

Most recently, Reaves has completed co-writing the book INTERWORLD with Neil Gaiman and penning THE IRREGULARS graphic novel for Dark Horse. He is currently at work on film, TV and book projects, including the hardcover STAR WARS novel DEATH STAR for Random House.