Malcolm McDowell Rips Star Trek, Patrick Stewart, and The Avengers [Video]

Malcolm McDowell, who played Doctor Tolian Soran in Star Trek: Generations, had plenty to say about Star Trek and The Avengers at the LA Times Hero Complex Festival, last week.

In Generations, McDowell’s Soran character tries to destroy two stars and one inhabited planet in order to gain entrance into an imaginary extra-dimensional realm, called the Nexus, where all of one’s desires come true. Although he doesn’t accomplish his destructive pursuits, Soran does succeed in killing James T. Kirk in the process. A feat that apparently makes the actor proud, because “he got to be the guy who shut Shatner up.”

“I did them a favor,” says McDowell and proceeds to state that J.J. Abrams has finally made the first decent Star Trek film.

William Shatner is not the only one to attract such venom, as McDowell says that if you enjoy watching Patrick Stewart ”spouting off for 40 minutes,” you might as well go “watch paint dry.”

In addition to blasting Star Trek legends, McDowell calls this year’s blockbuster The Avengers “mindless crap,” despite the fact that the film has received rave reviews and broken box office records.

McDowell, who has built a four-decade career in films, also played the despotic emperor in Caligula and the lead role of a brainwashed teenager in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. He talks about the Stanley Kubrick film as one that helped him make his name and remembers the late Kubrick with great fondness as he shares that he visited his widow in England after the great director passed away.

McDowell as Tolian Soran in "Generations"
McDowell as Tolian Soran in "Generations"

Interestingly, McDowell’s “relationship” with Star Trek extends beyond the professional realm. His paternal nephew, Alexander Siddig, plays a big Trekkies’ favorite, Deep Space Nine’s Dr. Bashir.

As some fans have pointed out, it may be interesting to hear what Siddig has to say about McDowell’s Star Trek bashing.

Watch Malmolm McDowell rip Star Trek and The Avengers below.

Photo: Alan Heitz

Alex works as a tax attorney advising non-profit organizations and, as a hobby, directs theater plays with the Bulgarian Amateur Theater in Boston. Like many performance art lovers, Alex enjoys writing reviews for plays, dance performances, and movies. She became an avid Star Trek fan in the ’90s, when she first watched TNG in her native country of Bulgaria. Alex is fluent in Bulgarian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and French.

9 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Look, everyone!  A washed up actor is trying to make himself seem relevant by bashing other actors and/or movies.

  • Robert Hurst Sr

    Malmolm McDowell is a used up insignificant actor never really shined.  He’s bitter and therefore, his opinion doesn’t matter. 

    He should fade away with some semblance of dignity.

  • wow

  • Note to Self:

    Don’t show up to press events drunk.

  • Etsjedi

    I remember when McDowell was awsome to watch in films, such as Time After Time, Blue Thunder and others, then he decided that any job was a job and like most English based actors drinks too much and I think this was one of those cases. I mean the last movie he made that was in theaters was the weak remakes of Halloween!  Shatner has faults but I never wanted him to shut up and I really have not heard about Stewart rambling on so I don’t know where that came from.  Sad to see a guy really lose it and decided that to slam the biggest movie of the year that is actually good is pretty strange-since he had nothing to do with any of the films leading up to it!

  • Apex1701

    Everybody is entitled to an opinion.  As a film fan of long ago, I think he’s absolutely right.  Today’s films are crap; THE AVENGERS is over-rated; killing Kirk was great.  It’s was how it was done that was terrible; TREK has/had tremendous potential and has rarely lived up to it (including Abrams’ film in my opinion.).  Hey guys. Don’t be so thin-skinned.  They are just his opinions.

  • NTM

    So the man who is currently working with the guy from Saved by the Bell, and the guy from Road Trip.

  • WTW

    After watching, it seems pretty clear to me that he’s not bashing the franchise, but rather being very tongue-in-cheek about injecting the franchise with new life etc (JJ), and joking about being the guy who “finally killed” Kirk/shut-up Shatner, etc.  Talking about they’ll finally make some good [movies] shouldn’t be taken too seriously….some of the films weren’t that good compared to the others (V/Insurrection) including much of the film he was in (Generations).  He’s being sarcastic….look at other interviews with other Trek actors, they have a very healthy sense of humor and realistic perspective of the franchise….heck, LeVar Burton bluntly said that “Nemesis” sucked…

    Also keep in mind that McDowell studied with Stewart at the Royal Shakespeare Co.,–they’re friends….he’s JOKING about the paint drying thing.

  • frelnc

    McDowell is, and always has been, full of himself. He was outstanding in A Clockwork Orange, but beyond that – not so much. He’s easy to ignore.