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Nemesis Script

I came across a copy of the Nemesis script. I have no idea what version it is. I have no idea how nasty Paramount is about scripts after a movie comes out. In any case, I'm most certainly not posting the script here. Nor will I send it to you you if you email me and beg for it.

What I will do is describe some of the differences between the script and the finished movie. Bear in mind that I'm going from memory as far as the movie is concerned, but that I have a pretty good memory for stuff like this. Bear in mind that there are going to be massive spoilers in the following. Okay...

The opening credits apparently had some sort of montage of biological processes going on. Cells multiplying, medical technology, etc. Apparently this was background to the bio-weapon nature of Shinzon's super-weapon.

The first scene was in the senate chamber, at night. It was about the Romulans deciding to send a young Human boy to exile on Remus. We didn't know it then, but this was the young Shinzon. We got a look at Remus, and the kid going into the mines.

The next scene was the senate meeting on Romulus - the script doesn't indicate that this is decades later. The senate is not considering the Remans at all, just some Dilithium deal with another species. The obliteration of the senate is almost exactly as seen in the movie, though the device itself is beamed out of the chamber after the deed is done.

We go to the wedding reception, which is said to be taking place on Earth in Alaska. Picard's speech is much the same, though there are one or two extra lines I think. After the speech, we see Geordi (who is consistently called Jordi in the script) talking to his girlfriend Leah. And no, it doesn't specify if it is Leah Brahms. Leah wonders if Picard is going soft in his old age, and Geordi says that they put new replicators on the Enterprise recently and the first time Picard tried the Earl Gray, he didn't like it. So he had them rip the whole lot out and replace it all again. "He likes things the way he likes them", says Geordi. Picard and Crusher exchange a line or two here also, nothing significant.

Worf's "Romulan ale should be illegal" and Geordi's ripost that it is is followed by "Then it should be more illegal" from Worf.

When Data sings, Riker goes up and joins in with the band on trombone. Everybody starts dancing - Deanna and Picard, Worf and Crusher (at her insistence, despite his headache). Important line - Beverly tells Worf she is glad he made it back to the Enterprise before she left, and he says that he was unsuited to life as a diplomat! "Who'd have guessed?" she responds wryly. So Worf is actually back for good, which explains why he was doing the tactical officer's job, and Crusher is also leaving the ship.

There's a scene not in the movie at all, I think, as the ship goes through space. Data and Picard share some Chateau Picard 2267 and talk about friendship. Picard says that Crusher is going to Starfleet medical. Data doesn't understand how he can be sad and happy about Will leaving simultaneously - there are indications that the emotion ship isn't a factor for Data any more, but no explanation of this. Picard suggests that Data will soon be offered a ship of his own.

Then back to Romulus, where Shinzon and the Romulans and Remans have a chat about destroying the Federation. I suspect this scene was dropped because it would give away the "Shinzon is evil" stuff too early, before the "Shinzon as mysterious and possibly good guy" stuff later. The Romulans ask how many ships he will need to attack the Federation, and he says none - the Scimitar is enough. They are disbelieving. This scene does go some way towards establishing that Shinzon has considerable support within the Romulan fleet.

Back to the Enterprise for Worf's grumbling about the Betazoid wedding. One cool line dropped for Troi : after "It's tradition, Worf. You of all people should appreciate that," she adds in a whisper "besides, I've already seen it!" Worf grumbles a little more before Picard arrives.

When Geordi talks about the Kolarin system, he does not identify the Kolarin themselves as a pre-warp species. This removes the nit of how Picard can use advanced tech in front of them. Riker orders the helmsman to go there at warp 5 - then ups it to warp 7 at a look from Deanna. When he says "engage", she replies that he had better believe that he's engaged. Cute.

The recovery of B-4 is generally as in the movie, but with a couple of small differences. First, B-4 is actually B-9 in this movie - "benign", see? Second, when the Kolarans attack they use plasma rifles - more indication that they are not as primitive as in the finished movie. They surround Data when they first attack, and he beats a bunch of them up with a "dazzling demonstration of his superior strength and agility". That could have been cool, but I guess it came off looking a little less impressive than they wanted or something. Before doing this he tosses the head to Worf, who gets quickly fed up with the questions and yells at it to STOP TALKING!

When B-9 observes that Picard has a shiny head, Data notes that he is "very observant".

There's a little less to the jumping into the Argo scene; Data lifts the ship off and turns it, and Picard jumps the vehicle into it. There's no real manoeuvring, and no cliff. He then nonchalantly rubs some dust off the hood before wandering into the cockpit. Data and Worf share a look and Worf declares "he must have Klingon blood".

Somebody thinks to ask B-9s head where he came from! And he replies, in such massive detail that in the end they all stop listening. The tail involves being found by Pakleds ("They are fat"), being traded to the Bolians, passed on to others before reaching the Delviciansans, who have long teeth and used him to clean matrix manifolds (they had to show him how to use a "plasma mop"). He was at one point tossed into space by Cardassians, via a garbage chute. At one point the Talosians picked him up. They asked where he came from... and at this point B-9 begins to repeat what he told them, i.e. cycle through the whole story again. The story spreads across several scenes, and really drives home just how simple-minded B-9 is. It might be intended as a cover - the idea being that B-9 actually told them about Shinzon but that by then nobody was listening. But this doesn't seem very likely to me.

Off to the crew lounge. Troi and Riker (Riker and Riker? Troi and Troi?) are having dinner with Worf, describing their honeymoon plans - three weeks sailing on the Opal sea. Worf describes a Klingon honeymoon : the Kholamar desert march , complete with endurance trials. If they survive this it's off to the Fire Caves of Fek'lhr to face the demons of Gre'thor. It's... invigorating, he tells them. Data comes in, with B-9, trying to show him how to act.

Next day, Deanna goes to see Picard. She worries that Data is putting too much hope In B-9. Picard notes that Data isn't capable of disappointment, which again indicates that the chip is again no longer a factor. Picard then gets the call from Janeway, which is identical to the best of my recollection. As is the briefing on the situation.

The download from Data to B-9 is much as in the movie, though I think one or two lines are changed or added or missing - I'm not sure which. The wait at Romulus and the appearance of the Scimitar are also much the same. But one big difference Shinzon has blonde hair!

There are one or two extra lines from Shinzon in the first meeting. He greets Worf in Klingon, and is rebuffed. He says a couple more lines about Troi - beauty doesn't matter on Remus because it's always dark, that's obviously not so where she's from, that kind of thing. Picard has to practically threaten to leave to get him to focus. The meeting ends as before. The thing Beverly uses to ID the blood is a "proton microscope" according to the script. Presumably this is meant to be a "more advanced" electron microscope. Deanna notes that Shinzon has probably been trained to resist telepathy, and she can read almost nothing from him.

In the bedroom scene with Deanna and Will, she responds a little more aggressively to Shinzon's appearance - calls him a "sick bastard". There is no following scene with Shinzon and the Viceroy, we go straight to the senate for the meeting where the Romulans call on Shinzon to get on with the attack.

Aha! The whole hand on the chest thing is described as "an ancient form of Reman telepathic medical diagnosis" in the script, though this is not stated in dialogue. As Donatra leaves the senate, she wonders to the other Romulans how long it will be before Shinzon has them in the dilithium mines - the first seeds of rebellion are clearly laid here. But there is no great confrontation and "what do I have to do?" / "I will kill you if you touch me" stuff between her and Shinzon here, she just leaves with the others.

At Picard's second meeting with Shinzon, Shinzon notes that he hates Romulan ale. Picard notes that he will acquire a taste for it - indicator that Picard is buying into the whole "we are the same person" shtick. Otherwise the dinner is much as before, with only a couple of minor lines different.

When Geordi detects the Thalaron radiation, Picard notes that it is only theoretical. So it's not on a banned list, it's a new weapon. But research into it is banned.

Picard's chat with Crusher about Shinzon is just as I remember it.

There is a second telepathic attack on Deanna. She is in a turbolift when he appears. What follows is more like an attempted seduction than the attempted rape of the night before. Shinzon pulls her back to the Scimitar with him (mentally, not physically). She manages to break the link, but is somewhat tempted. My impression here is twofold - first, the script is trying to show some some sort of latent attraction between Picard and Deanna that Shinzon is capitalising on. It's only really hinting at this, but she is definitely tempted by his advances this time. Second, I thin they were laying the groundwork for the "it can work both ways" aspect of the link that Deanna uses later. This time Shinzon does do the whole "find her again!" bit, and is interrupted by the signal from B-9.

Deanna's sickbay scene is identical. The "can you endure more assaults" makes more sense, now that there have been two of them.

Picard appears within a brig, not that cage thing he was in. Shinzon heard about B-9 from a Cardassian historian. Other than that the confrontation is much the same. As if the Enterprise's search for the ship, except that Crusher tells Will she needs to talk to him.

Data doesn't neck pinch the guard to free Picard, he just says the Praetor wants him and takes him out. But the Viceroy confronts Picard on the way to gloat a bit about Deanna and how he is "preparing" her for Shinzon. Picard notes that there will be another after him, and another after that. "You'll find we're a resilient species." The Viceroy heads off.

Data doesn't tip Picard any kind of wink - evidently Picard knew all along that it was Data. Data takes him to the Thalaron generator, which is not on the bridge.

The emergency transporter is an ETU - an Emergency Transport unit.

Hmm, the alert goes out when the Viceroy gets to the bridge and finds Picard missing. But if he was going there, and thought Picard was going there... surely he would have expected to follow them?

Picard uses "a dazzling series of Starfleet hand-to-hand manoeuvres" to "dramatically subdue" some Remans.

The script describes Data punching codes into the hangar door at an amazing rate. Apparently they gave up on this in favour of the dramatic "beeeep!" and cool graphic instead.

The Scorpion escape sequence is almost exactly as shown. The only difference is that Riker orders transporters before Shinzon orders the tractor beam, rather than after. Subtle touch, but doing it the other way around makes Worf look very quick on the console since he started later and still won the duel of the buttons.

Shinzon is confronted again by the Romulans. He pulls down on his tunic, just as Picard does - guess that went out when he got the leather look! After he leaves, there is a slightly more extensive talk between the Romulans about Shinzon, with Donatra playing up the "this guy is a loony and we're all doomed if we follow him" angle a little more directly.

Crusher's talk about Shinzon's genetic engineering, Data's talk to B-9, Picard's talk about Shinzon going after Earth, and the going to battle stations footage, are identical to within the limits of my memory.

Picard goes to see Crusher. He is depressed about having to fight, noting that when Darwin sailed on the HMS Beagle they didn't take a single musket on the voyage. Beverly notes gently that that was another time, and Picard responds bitterly "how far we've come."

The beginning of the battle is identical, including Picard and Data's chit-chat.

The Bassen Rift is "a strange area of electromagnetic distortion. Energy patterns crackle through space."

The early section of the battle is identical, including Riker's order of evasive pattern "Kirk Epsilon". They name evasive patterns after people now?

In the ready room, Shinzon states that if the Enterprise withdraws to a distance of one hundred light years after Picard gives himself up, then he will not destroy it.

Picard talks a little about when he was young. He was very prideful, and often hurt others because of it. He was saved because he had "a father that believed in me." Hmm, I had the impression that Picard never got on with his father - didn't he describe Galen as being like "a father who understood me"?

The Romulans open fire as soon as they approach, so there is no "I didn't think this could get worse" moment from Riker. Rather, he greets them with "believe it or not, I think the cavalry has arrived."

The next section of the battle is as shown in the movie, right through Deanna's reversal of the link to get to the Viceroy. On decloaking the Scimitar Picard orders "savage them!" and the Scimitar seems to take real damage here.

The boarding is as shown, with Riker going after the Viceroy. The bridge front is blown out and Deanna takes the helm (words to make strong men cry). The Scimitar begins to get its cloak back.

The collision and breaking apart on the screen is as described in the script. Great, great scene. The interlocked ships are compared to "two scorpions with their claws locked."

Riker gets a great Riker-line as the Viceroy hangs off him, one kick away from his death plunge. "Don't worry... hell is dark."

Picard actually planned the self destruct for when the ships were interlocked, presumably to blow the Scimitar away.

Okay, small but crucial differences now :

The Thalaron radiation sequence takes only four minutes, not seven. Geordi is able to tell Picard that he won't be able to get him back - it's a one way trip. Data wants to go, but Picard won't let him.

There's a short scene of Riker finishing off some Reman troops. Data does his jump, and nearly misses, but crashes into a cloaked part of the ship and is able to get on board.

The Scimitar's bridge, as mentioned, does not have the radiation thingie in it. Rather there are three (yes, three) "warp core relays" located on the bridge.

The whole climactic sequence is very short. Picard arrives with only 47 seconds to go, he shoots at the radiation weapon control but Shinzon dives in front of it, taking a phaser hit in the chest. Shinzon pulls himself up as Picard is nearly hit by a disrupter blast, losing his rifle. As Shinzon pulls himself up the now unarmed Picard grads a bit of wreckage and stabs him. Shinzon throws his body onto Picard, pinning him against a wall and grabbing him firmly on the neck - Picard is struggling to get free and get to the weapon controls as Data arrives.

Data throws Shinzon off and tags Picard with the ETU, sending him off instantly. Data has just time to say goodbye before he fires into the warp core relays, incinerating himself as the bridge blows up, closely followed by the ship itself.

This is a much pacier scene than what ends up on the screen. Some complain that Picard froze in the filmed version - the script implicitly states that Picard is struggling to free himself against a dying but still-fighting Shinzon. When Data walks in there are only ten seconds left until the weapon fires.

The Data remembrance scene is even shorter in the script than in the movie. They gather, wearing dress uniform, and toast Data's memory with Chateau Picard. That's it, one line from Picard. Nothing from Riker about his first meeting with Data.

Picard's chat with B-9 comes that night, still at the Romulan Neutral Zone. The Hemingway arrives to tow them to Spacedock as Picard leaves. B-9 does indeed sing the song that Data performed.

One point... Riker describes the Titan as "the most beautiful ship IÌve ever seen." Just a hint that this may be a new class, perhaps? But he may just be exaggerating because it is his ship.

The Spacedock scene is described as "a few weeks later." The new first officer is Commander Madden; there is a new operations officer, an Andorian. Picard is chatting to Crusher, who is having fun dealing with all the students at Starfleet Medical. She wants Picard to come to dinner, and he agrees as Madden walks in. Madden is from the Talos, and is (naturally) honoured to be on the Enterprise-E.

Picard heads out to the bridge to find Worf arguing with a young Ensign. She is installing a new captain's chair - a Mark 7, the latest model, highly ergonomic. Worf is convinced Picard won't like it, but as he settles in to try it out Picard decides it's good fit. The ensign shows him a button that makes seatbelts pop out around him. "About time," Picard smiles. He shows a Padd to Madden and delivers his final line :

"We've received our first assignment. We're going to be exploring the Denab system. It should be exciting. It's a place÷ where no one has gone before."

As the camera pans back - looking in through the hole in the hull - the scripts says we see Picard at work, at peace, "where he is meant to be."

We end with B-9's voice singing Data's song, fading into the exit music and title sequence.

Conclusion

It is commonly said that a good deal of material from Nemesis ended up on the cutting room floor - figures from half an hour to two hours have been thrown around. If this is the case, it certainly isn't evident from this script. In terms of deleted scenes, the differences between this and the final movie are modest at best - maybe five to ten minutes. Shinzon's second attack on Deanna is the longest, and would only last a couple of minutes. This scene didn't really add all that much to the movie - it would have given Will even more reason to attack the Viceroy, but one such assault was more than enough really. Picard's meeting with his new first officer and the new captain's chair would occupy a few minutes, and this contributed even less to the movie.

Beyond that the differences are pretty minor - a line here or there, minor differences in how the action was staged. The most notable change to a scene was the pacing of Picard's final fight with Shinzon. As scripted, this would have virtually removed any possibility of Picard being shown to have 'frozen' after his fight with Shinzon. As it is, I tend to think Picard would have had just enough time to recover and blow the Thalaron generator anyway, had Data not arrived on the scene. But I guess we will never really know.

One tendency was for removed lines to cut down the roles of the secondary characters - the removal of Geordi's girlfriend, Crusher's move to Starfleet Medical, Riker's line to the Viceroy. I gather this is not an unusual feature of Trek movies.

This is not to say that there aren't oodles of extra stuff out there - I have no idea what version of the script this is, but I do know that other versions must exist. We know Wil Wheaton got a small part in the movie, where he was at the wedding. His part was cut but Wil is actually visible on screen once or twice (keep your eyes on the left during the first few minutes of the scene). Since there is no mention of this in the script, then it's obviously from a time before that scene was inserted, or after it was cut.

I'm hoping that there are indeed extras out there, and that they might feature in the DVD release of the movie. I loved Nemesis, and I want to see more!


Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 4,899 Last updated : 1 Jan 1970