on October 31, 2002
Nimoy and Shatner, sitting around and discussing their careers and mutual friendship. At first, one might think that this disc would be a boring, PC rehash of info all Trek fans have heard about a million times over. No so!
The actors discuss personal issues both on set and off, failed marriages, alcoholism, and other events they were affected by both during Trek and post-Trek. Much of the discussion is about things even the most hard-core fans had never known about until now.
Even the rest of the famous sci-fi cast comes in for scrutiny, as the two Titans of Trek discuss why they aren't close to the supporting cast. Shatner and Nimoy candidly talk about the animosity from the other actors, animosity that Shatner finds himself puzzled by.
But it doesn't stop there. They also talk about their different acting approaches; Nimoy, consumed by character, Shatner, turning character on and off like a switch. I found this a particularly interesting insight into the two men, and the characters they played. Nimoy really does embody some of the Spock intellect, artistry, professionalism, and inner turmoil. Shatner really does embody a Kirk-like energy and zest for life, almost gung ho in his attempt to have it all. Nimoy at peace with himself, Shatner still reaching for the brass ring.
One annoying curiosity is that, although dedicated to him at the end, there is little or no discussion about the late DeForest Kelley. A similar annoyance was pervasive in Shatner's recent Trek book, "Get a Life!", which supposedly covered Trek conventions and the cast's reaction to them. Kelley's views were noticably absent.
It could be that the men wanted to focus on their personal relationship here, or that they weren't all that close to the late actor. What they do say about the third corner of the famous Trek Triad of Kirk, Spock and McCoy is very interesting, but still, I have to wonder why Kelley wasn't just a little bit more prominent in proceedings.
If the film fails, it fails only in that it is all too short. There just seemed to be so much that could still be said, still be revealed about both Trek, the actors, the classic cast, and how Nimoy and Shatner really feel about the New Treks. Perhaps a sequel or limited series of these type of discussions would be a possibility. However, this is a rare glimpse at the two actors and their relationship, a private glimpse into that which we, the audience and fans, are intruders into. As such, we should be grateful for this interesting peek we are allowed at the two stars of "Star Trek".
on June 20, 2002
I received this little gem as a gift, and the thought of Leonard Nimoy & William Shatner sitting around a backyard and reminiscing about their days as Enterprise crew members seemed a bit odd to shell out money for. Really, unless you were a true hard-core fan who'd have spent money for an hour of these two guys talking?
However, it really is a genuine surprise as you see these Sci Fi legends talk and act like two normal everyday guys. Granted, there are some canned questions and talking points they hit upon which no doubt were pre-determined, but the casualness and what appears to be pure honesty is not only surprisingly refreshing, but soon you get the feeling that Nimoy and Shatner really are best friends and you forget you're actually watching this as a spectator because you really get interested in what they have to say.
The legendary egotism of Shatner does not appear to be warranted here and if this truly is a representation of Shatner as a person, then many claims towards him are easily debunked as jealousy from the media and other cast members. He touches on this briefly and I found myself sympathetic of his feelings as how he feels about the claims of other cast members.
But the whole interview between them does not always revolve around Star Trek. They touch on their personal lives including their children, their marriages, personal problems and triumphs off camera. Also they discuss their battles and interactions with the studio execs, the public, the media, and their own dreams and aspiration both prior to Star Trek, and now after.
Definitely something to learn about both actors are revealed here that one would never read in the pages of Starlog, or seen at a convention.
While most of the interview takes place in Leonard Nimoy's backyard, they do manage to spend about 5 minutes or so in Nimoy's personal study/office in his home. Kinda cool to see what's on his walls, and what he collects.
There isn't much to offer on the DVD itself: There is chapter selection, an annoying commercial to buy other bio-documentaries, and a 'making-of' featurette, and standard actor biographies.
The only thing really missing is the fact that DeForest Kelly passed before this was made, for this DVD would be that much better if he was included. However, both Nimoy and Shatner do touch on Kelly, and pay a really nice homage to Bones.
The reason I gave it three stars is the lack of extra content. There could have easily been a nice photo gallery, an extended interview or a wider range of topics, outtakes from other Nimoy & Shatner projects, maybe even some home movies thrown in for fun.
on July 11, 2002
For a true Star Trek fan this DVD is a fantastic way to spend a mere 75 minutes of your time. I thought I followed Star Trek pretty well, however, I did not know that Leonard Nimoy had gone through an alcohol problem. I wasn't truely aware that he'd seemingly had a lot of anger and confidence problems during those early years. William Shatner seemed like he was talking but more or less leading an interview with his friend. I personally do not believe that he didn't see or feel the animosity that the other cast members had for him. Overall though this is a very enlightening DVD and I recommend it to all Star Trek fans.
on February 18, 2002
I stumbled across this by pure accident, absent mindedly thumbing through a bin I had never meant to look through. After seeing the cover, I thought I was dreaming. I have EVERY Star Trek dvd (even the 40 Volume episode discs) and had no hope of finding this in a search engine because the words "Star" and "Trek" are nowhere to be found.
I am a Trekker through and through. My walls are covered with various memorbilia, but something had always bothered me inside about Star Trek. It was the fact that somehow I felt let-down by the very people I looked up too. My heroes, the very people who created this fervor, had never seemed to embrace it, in fact they had always seemed to distance themselves from it. I never got the impression that, outside of the movies or shows, these very heroes were even civil, let alone kind with one another. How wrong I was (for the most part). After watching this I have a renewed vigor for the show. Leonard and William actually admit to a sort of brotherly love for one another. I always hoped they had shared this, but never thought they did. I am astounded by the things I have learned by watching this. Yes, there are some "rehashed" bits we have all heard before, but much that wasn't known.
The sound quality here is quite good, and works well. However, I take away one star for the person who decided "chapter skips" were not essential. Thats right, when you want to view this get ready to view the whole 75 minutes in one sitting. You can't even use the "last memory" feature, or a "time skip"! Ridiculous.
There are some behind the scenes bits that are great, but the ending of the "main feature" was what I've been waiting years to see, validation. Validation that things can be as we hope they would be, that heroes can be brothers, and even more importantly, that brothers can be friends.
on December 17, 2003
Today after flipping on my TV, I was watching a bit of "A Wedding Story," the kind of "wedding porn" I normally shy away from, but found myself drawn into the lives of these two interesting people - a policewoman and firefighter from Quebec, who had married after meeting as athletic competitors.
Likewise, this is probably more of interest as "a slice of life" piece about working actors and fame, simply than just of interest to Star Trek fans. Frankly, Shatner and Nimoy - especially Nimoy - are just plain interesting people.
If you're interested in Hollywood, or acting, and what makes people in the entertainment business tick, *and* a Star Trek fan, you'll enjoy this. If you're a Star Trek fan who prefers schematics and is generally more interested in the "howsitdone" science of media science fiction, this might not keep your attention.
Having followed Star Trek for years, read Shatner and Chris Kreski's vastly entertaining books on the Star Trek phenom... as well as classics like "The World of Star Trek," this is entirely believable... and still has surprising insights. Nimoy is low-key and honest about how his drinking became a problem, even discussing the idea of "addictive personalities" in a way that does not cede his responsibility for his problems.
Kudos also to Shatner for frankly discussing the enmity of other cast members, and the insight about how Star Trek fandom may have pumped up the egos of other cast members. On the other hand, that doesn't completely invalidate comments by George Takei in his book (a real tear-jerker, especially as he writes about the experience of his immigrant family) or Walter Koenig in his bio. Koenig, interestingly, plays Bester on "Babylon 5" and is probably the only Star Trek regular, other than Shatner, to create a well-known character that leaves his Trek persona behind. Nimoy has left "Spock" behind through his prodigious directing and producing career, and only he and Shatner have escaped "Trek" to broader careers in their own right.
(So far, it looks like Trek:TNG alums Jonathon Frakes, LeVar Burton, and Denise Crosby are betting on the producing gig, taking a cue from Nimoy. It'll be interesting to see how actors from the other franchises handle their fame in the years ahead. It only proves the uniqueness of Nimoy and Shatner that such a DVD is out there and has an audience. Would TNG regs Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis, also reportedly best friends, be able to market a similar DVD?)
In response to another review disappointed on the lack of De Kelley information, De Kelley was close with both Shatner and Nimoy, but probably closest with his wife of over fifty years. Shatner and Nimoy, by contrast, became much closer friends after their divorces (which they discuss in this video, along with the death of Shatner's wife Nerrine). In fact, I cannot remember the last time I saw any leading man open up and talk about the painful nature of divorce in such detail. (Unbelievably, Jude Law got out of that discussion during an interview with Barbara Walters ... but no one can blame him for not wanting to discuss it).
Moreover, while some fans may be disappointed to learn that the happy family on "Star Trek" didn't really get along all the time (which is hardly unknown in TV-land)... it only makes this evident and very real friendship between Shatner and Nimoy more poignant and interesting to watch.
William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy had had a 40 year relationship together. Working as peers and as supervisors (Directing each other).
This DVD candidly tells how they perceived everything about the Star Trek universe they have been living in for the past 40 years. They talk about their fellow cast memebers, the productions, the studios, their contracts, the movies, the new shows and even their personal histories.
They seem to have a geniune joy and concern for each other. They are funny and talk about serious issues too. Illness, death and divorce to name a few.
It was done in Nimoys backyard and I must say it is beautiful. This is a must for every Star Trek fan and for those who are not if you want an inside to the Entertainment Business - there is a little eduction for you.
A good DVD.
on May 16, 2002
This candid interview between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy is a necessity for all star trek fans! In this one-on-one documentary, the two legends reveal the struggles and adventures they have experienced as a result of their work on Star Trek. The two share their demons and hardships in this beatifully shot production. The film takes place in Nimoy's home, which is adorned with rare personal photographs and star trek memorabilia - WOW! Most of all they reveal their incredible bond and the friendship that they have shared over the years.
Like most Star Trek fans, I am aware that the relationship between William Shatner and the supporting cast is not good. I don't know that much about the details, other then the cast felt that Shatner didn't treat them well. When Shatner is asked about this "Mind Meld", the answer was, for me at least, enlightening. Basically, Shatner pointed out that he, DeForest Kelly and Leonard Nimoy worked sixty hours a week on the show. That the other cast members were supporting cast who came in, on average, about 1 - 2 times a week. On other words, the three stars of the show were responsible for the success (or failure) of Star Trek, while the supporting cast just didn't have that same investment, and until the conventions made them popular weren't as well known. I thought about that, I like all of the supporting cast, but at the same time, they weren't established lead actors and none of them had the experience of carrying a show (then or now.) The Star Trek conventions have allowed them to stand on the shoulders of giants, as the saying goes, but this doesn't change the fact that they were cast in supporting roles. After watching Mind Meld, I realized that Shatner has a good point. I also watched Billy Blackburn's home movies of Star Trek. These people are all goofing off together and Shatner comes across as a nice, hard working, actor. I know he's not seen that way now, but when Star Trek was filmed, based on Billy Blackburn's film it appeared that William Shatner was a likeable guy who put a lot of energy and talent into making the show work. He just doesn't seem like he was the bad guy way back when the show was filmed. I don't know as much about the background of Star Trek as most fans, so if I'm way off base here I would love to hear your take on things. :-)
on June 5, 2002
For me this is a very interesting look at both Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, and how these 2 men while leading somewhat differant lives were the greatist of all friends. Finally we have insight into Nimoys persona: his love of art, the passion of acting, his personal demons, and other interseting subjects. With Bill Shatner, we have a man who is both very professional, idealistic, passionate, and who has had bad moments in his life especially with the death of his wife Nerine in 1999. Bill if you do read this, I want to tell you how very sorry I am for your loss. Both Bill and Leonard have both tried to grasp the concept of their popularity while at the same time have the fear of losing their privacy. Quite frankly, I am very offended at the criticism Shatner has had from people who muck him as not being a professional actor. Not to be rude, but it almost sounds like some people are cynical towards him, and I despise that very much. The bond between these two is so strong that even as they are both towards the end of their lives, they have a true love and respect towards each other which made them both heroes you can look up too. I do kinda wish if DeForrest Kelley(Dr. McCoy) had not passed away 3 years ago, it would have been 3 aces to see all three guys together again. For all those devoted fans, please buy this DVD. It is very special
on June 26, 2012
BEAMED UP, DOWN AND ACROSS FROM MY AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEWS
Shatner & Nimoy. Kirk & Spock. Bill & Leonard. Two veteran actors now in their eighties chatting informally about their careers and the glory days of STAR TREK. Shatner is, as always, an irrepressible force of nature unlike the more reserved Nimoy, yet both are resolutely on the same page regarding critics and some oft-repeated rumours of in-fighting and scene-stealing, not to mention pay disputes, budget cuts and off-stage relationships. The boys want to set the record straight.
And, in a way, they do. It's certainly no secret that James Doohan, who played Scotty, disliked Shatner intensely for the cavalier way he would treat his co-stars, displaying little regard for their feelings and often muscling in on their limelight. Nimoy, on the other hand, may have been far more diplomatic in how he behaved but he was nonetheless a ferocious negotiator and fiercely protective of the Spock character. Both men conclude that since they were the stars who carried the show then what they did was only fair and right.
MIND MELD is, as one old Vulcan might say, a fascinating insight into the actor's ego and includes some frank admissions of very human failings and tragedies - Nimoy's alcholism, the loss of Shatner's wife in a swimming pool accident and the ups and downs associated with being forever typecast as Starfleet's finest. There are some sweet reminiscences about DeForest Kelley (the actor who played Dr McCoy, a kind and gentle soul both in space and in real life) who completed the Kirk/Spock/McCoy 'trinity' to perfection - a unique balance of characters never bettered in any of the spinoff shows. Tribute is also paid to creator/producer GENE RODDENBERRY.
Not absolutely essential and probably not to every fan's taste, MIND MELD is still worth having if you want to see another side to two living legends (and longtime buddies), laughing, joking and riffing on about phasers and Orion Slave Women and nerve pinches and Hortas and IDIC and all the rest of the stuff that went up to make the finest science-fiction show on tv. Ever.