Great interview with LeVar Burton over on Hero Complex. He talks about “Star Trek,” “Reading Rainbow” and “Roots.”
PKD: Who do you see the most?
LB: Brent [Spiner] and Marina [Sirtis]. Jonathan travels a lot directing. Patrick infrequently. I go over there or he comes over here. Gates [McFadden] is busy with her theater. Michael Dorn is out spending his money.
PKD: Any notable fans?
LB: Jimmy Fallon is a big fan of the show. He does all of these singer impersonations and a couple of months ago he did Jim Morrison singing the “Reading Rainbow” theme song. It’s really good.
PKD: It seems like Geordi always got shot down by women. Constantly. Did you ever bring that up to the showrunners?
LB: Mm-hmm. It was frustrating to me. I mean from a writer’s perspective, I get that it was the idea that the nerd or the geek is inept around the feminine form. But I was never comfortable with it. And I also thought there were some other things going on. Sociological things. Everybody had a sexual identity, even Data the robot. But Geordi didn’t. The Klingon did. But the black man didn’t. You’d have to be a black man to have the perspective, because you see that pattern repeated throughout popular culture, so it becomes a familiar pattern that you notice readily.
Bonus nerd thing: Just realized Times’ staffer Patrick Day’s initials are PKD.
Photo: Astronaut Mae Jemison appears in an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” with LeVar Burton. Credit: Robbie Robinson / Paramount Pictures