Brent Spiner, of course, played the android Data on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and, as the show progressed, Spiner and Stewart would emerge as its most written-about characters. Prior to “Next Generation,” Spiner appeared in multiple Broadway and Off-Broadway plays before moving to L.A. to make small appearances on TV and in movies. One might recall his recurring role as a hillbilly on the absurd sitcom “Night Court.” Spiner, it seems, was keenly aware of how actors react to press releases about themselves and knew Stewart would be paying attention. Stewart recalled the early days of “Next Generation” and described his tiny trailer as follows:
“I’d had better accommodations in regional theater. Each of us was afforded a small, boxlike cabin with a ledge running down one side, upon which lay a thin mattress of the type you might find in a prison cell, plus a small table and a hard, uncomfortable chair. And no toilet or sink. We had to share the facilities with everyone else on the lot.”
While in that tiny trailer, Stewart remembers the notorious write-up in the L.A. Times and the subsequent relabeling of his trailer. He wrote:
“Early on, the ‘TNG’ cast was written up in the arts-calendar section of the Los Angeles Times, and I was referred to as an ‘unknown British Shakespearean actor.’ […] But I was mature enough to take this description in stride, and my peers were quick to play it for laughs. The day after that article appeared, I arrived at my trailer to find taped to its door a notice reading ‘BEWARE: UNKNOWN BRITISH SHAKESPEAREAN ACTOR.'”
It seems Spiner was having a little joke at Stewart’s expense.