Upon seeing the above poster blown up to billboard size in NYC my fanboy reaction went something like this: Lieutenant Saavik what are you doing? You’re a Star Fleet officer AND you should be setting an example for the crew! Logic demands that you put down those high calorie items and not romp around in a reality weight loss show!!! Mind you that my reason for this is because twenty eight years later this is how I still see Kirstie Alley in my mind:
Alley was a great casting choice for Star Trek II, and while many fanboys swooned at the mere thought of Princess Leia — I dare say that no fanboy of that era would have turned down a date with Lieutenant Saavik! However sadly for Star Trek fans like myself this would be her first — and — final voyage on the starship Enterprise. Smartly sensing that she might be typecast (not to mention asking for for more money) the producers didn’t have her back for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Instead that role went to Robin Curtis, who was good but she didn’t break any hearts along the way:
The problem is that while Robin was very pretty, the way they did her hair and makeup made her look more like a character from Elfquest rather than a proper Vulcan. In fact now that Im looking at this photo she has a vicious Vulcan mullet thing going on! But getting back to Kirstie Alley what’s interesting was that she was able to get a second act — which is a rare thing in Hollywood.
By 1987 she landed a role on the television series Cheers where she played Rebecca Howe. In that role she replaced Shelley Long who played Diane Chambers for the first five series of the show. And to Alley’s credit she was so good at her role that Cheers didn’t go off the air until 1993. Now normally that would be a pretty good run for an actress, however in 1997 Alley would have a hit yet again as Veronica Chase in Veronica’s Closet which lasted until 2000:
Kirstie has kept working since then in television ad the big screen, although she hasn’t scored a hit in a while. The tabloids of course haven’t been kind to her due to weight issues and her involvement with Scientology. But to be fair to Kirstie, Hollywood is a brutal industry and it’s amazing that at age 59 she’s going strong. How many other actresses who were working in 1982 can claim the same? So as much as I dislike reality television I’ll be rooting for Kirstie to have a hit with Big Life. After all it’s the least I can do for Lieutenant Saavik…