I saw Brent Spiner (Data) at a panel at a comic con this weekend and people asked him about Patrick Stewart. He started telling us a story about how a week or so ago he was in London having dinner at a restaurant with him with Cumberbatch came up to them and wanted advice on how not to screw up on Star Trek.
everyone went nuts when he mentioned Cumberbatch, and I think that’s saying something considering most people were there as Star Trek fans.
Ok its just gossip but interesting gossip.
I wouldnt put it past Steven Moffat and co to kill off Moriarty. They dont make that many shows each year and using him as the key villain each series does limit what else they can focus. They have used up 3 of the big story lines this year so why not kill him off. Go out on a bang.
This had been posted on Benedict’s IMDB page and rather than reading the cut down version in the press its better to read it in his own words:
Benedict wrote a piece for the Prince’s Trust about his car-jacking in South Africa and here it is typed up by a kind fan. I felt quite tearful reading it.
How to Disappear Completely
I had gone to South Africa to make a BBC series called To The Ends of the Earth and on a weekend off I went with two friends to do a diving course in the stunning Sodwana Bay. Coming down with a cold and feeling anxious about making it back early in the morning, I selfishly pulled rank and suggested we break a cardinal rule by driving after dark.
I will always remember that “How to Disappear Completely” by Radiohead was playing. This haunting track was half-way through, the window was down and we were relaxing into the journey. That’s when things started to go wrong. The front right tyre blew and we pulled up after 100 years to fix it. It was 8pm, pitch dark and we were two hours from home. There was traffic on the highway, but the rule is you never stop, not even for other drivers who may be in trouble. We were on our own.
I tried to change the wheel but I’m no mechanic and I couldn’t get the jack to fit. Theo and Denise called the South African equivalent of the AA, but our hopes for them arriving were slim. Although we said nothing to each other, we were all feeling tense and nervous. Stories of car jacking were very fresh in our minds.
Out of the shadows of the bush we were suddenly aware of a group of six men moving towards us. It all happened so quickly. Theo calmly warned us not to look at them and do what they asked. They made us stand facing the car with our hands on our heads and were carrying what looked like weapons of some sort.
They frisked each of us for weapons and valuables and we cursed the fact that we’d paid for our diving course in cash - all we had in our wallets were bank cards.
They bundled us back into the car and I remember thinking that they wanted to shoot us in the car and then drive it off the road. Theo and Denise were in the back and I had to sit in the front passenger seat on the lap of one of the men, with my back to the windscreen and my head down. I was terrified. It seemed surreal. The guy I was sat on started to frisk me again and it freaked me out him touching me and so I looked directly at him and said, “What are you doing? What do you want? Just take our belongings and don’t hurt us.” Denise was trying to reason with them but Theo, who owned the car and lived in Johannesburg, told her to shut up. He became our spokesperson.
They drove the car off the road and into the bush. As we bumped over the sandy path further into the blackness, my bum hit the stereo and that Radiohead track we had been listening to burst on. The car stopped and we were bundled out and told to kneel with our hands on our heads. I tried to stand, as I knew I was about to be sick but they ordered us to kneel down and they took off our shoes. We were in the execution position with a duvet over out heads to silence the shots, beneath an underpass with HGVs thundering past above - the perfect cover for gunshots. They had driven us off-road to rob and shoot us, fix the car and drive off unobserved. “This is it!” I thought.
We waited but nothing happened. Then they tossed the duvet off us and demanded to know who owned the phones and cards they had found and why we had no cash or drugs. As a South African, Theo was doing most of the talking. South Africans are more expendable than Brits in the eyes of criminals - so when he stated explaining that Denise and I were not South African, but were English actors, he was selflessly helping us gain a high status in our captors’ eyes, although at the time I was fearful it made us a more precious commodity for a ransom.
By now the men had changed the flat. They intended to drive somewhere and use our cards in a machine. Unaware of the danger I was in and disorientated by the nausea and cramp that was still cripplingly uncomfortable, I again tried to stand. To them this was clearly a sign of panic or evasion. They ordered me to stand up and get into the boot of the car. With the lid shut I could head the others pleading. I don’t remember panicking but I must have shouted and the boot lid opened. I started to reason that this was not a good idea but they shut the boot again.
What are they doing to the others? Are they going to kill them while I’m trapped in here? I heard Den saying, “Please don’t kill him.” Christ they’re going to kill me in the boot! The lid opened and I found myself calmly lying that I was claustrophobic and that while I had enough air to breathe, I could panic and die and be a problem for them. “Dead body in a boot, problem, not good!” The lid slammed shut again. A lot of arguing. It opened again and they told me to get out.
They took me up a small hill away from the others. I fell over and cut my head on the ground. Once again they made me kneel and tied my hands behind my back with laces from the trainers they’d removed earlier. I heard “We are not going to hurt you but make one mistake and we will kill you. Lie on the ground.” I could hear the others being brought up and Den talking calmly about being cold and needing to be tied to me for warmth. Theo had gone silent and I feared the worst but thankfully he was brought to the same spot and tied up. The car sounded like it was leaving and that were were being guarded by only a couple of the gang.
I was on my side with my eyes closed and my ear to the ground. I was frozen in stillness and cold. I could feel the blood on my face and hear the insects scratching around in the dark. I thought of home and how, despite being near other people, we all die utterly alone. I started a breathing meditation to recover calm, conserve energy and remain alert.
At times it seemed that the men had gone, then they would come back. this happened a few times… and then nothing. We told each other that they were gone and began to untie ourselves. We could hardly walk at first, but eventually stumbled up the embankment and on to the road.
Cars and lorries passed and we tried to stop them but by now it was around 11pm - cars and lorries stop for no one.
After 15 minutes of losing hope we saw a sign and ran. It was a part open-air game shop, part curio shop, a co-operative run by women that served as a truck stop at night. They welcomed us and comforted us in our tears and explanations of what happened, clutching their faces in concern and clicking away in anger that we had experienced this in their country. I wept as an African man’s hand reached down to untie one of the remaining shoelaces on my wrist. I wrote as we waited for the police and production company, sipping an instant coffee and smoking a cigarette that were the best of my life.
I went back to the spot where it happened. In the daylight it seemed very small but it still belonged to that night and us. When I hear that Radiohead song, it doesn’t so much bring back the terror and the horror but instead reminds me of a sense of reality, even humour and with it, a reason for hope that somehow I would survive a small event in a big country and escape to live a fuller life.
Denise Black mentions the incident in this video
Lara: In the scene where he touches my hand and coldly tells me he was taking my pulse, he has a sensuality there….
Louise: Are you sure that just not how you feel about Benedict?
Lara: [laughs]” —Radio Times article.