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William Shatner: The Captains documentary

November 25, 2011

As a Star Trek geek with an ounce or two of self-awareness, I watched Bill Shatner’s documentary interviewing the captains of Star Trek about their lives, careers, Star Trek and life and death. Okay, a lot of it had to be watched on fast forward because there is nothing more dull than actors talking about acting. Nonetheless, it was a fascinating look at the actors years after Star Trek.

William Shatner/Cpt. Kirk: Love or hate him he was great. He set the tone for Star Trek, injecting humor and hubris in equal amounts. He’s quite hefty now, leading with his ample gut, but he’s still a lot of fun.

Sir Patrick Stewart/Cpt. Picard: He’s the most down to earth of the captains (which isn’t saying much). I struggled with him as the next generation captain but no one can say he can’t act. Still in shape and a very interesting man.

Avery Brooks/Cpt. Sisko: Loved him as Sisko, great voice, a little over-acting from time to time, but hey, Shatner set that tone. Now, he’s just plain crazy. Looks older than any of the others and he’s a professor of theater. Dude lives in outer space. This is the kind of guy teaching our kids, no wonder they’re out to lunch.

Kate Mulgrew/Cpt. Janeway: Flat out didn’t like her as the captain. I’d been holding out for another actress who would have made it a great show. She’s a big woman now, self-important and self-deluded. She talked about being a single mom raising her kids during Star Trek and about working 12-18 hour days regularly, THEN makes the statement that her relationships are more important than anything. Right. Genevieve Bujold was originally cast in the role, then backed out because it wasn’t a good professional fit. Kate should have done the same for personal reasons. Watching her get “deep and serious” with Bill, who did the same but with that look of mischief was gag-worthy.

Scott Bakula/Cpt. Archer: I’d wanted Treat Williams who could have nailed the tone, but was sorely disappointed with Bakula. He still looks the same, is definitely a fun-loving guy. Strange dude, but he’s got a lot going for him.

Chris Pine/Cpt. Kirk: Great job in the movie, great job here letting Bill do all the talking. Found out he’s the son of the CHIPS actor who played… the captain of course.

Christopher Plummer/Cpt. Kang: Slipped him in, even though he was a Klingon captain. Wonderfully cheesy in ST VI, fun here.

Don’t know if I’d recommend this movie, but if you have 40 minutes to burn and watch much of it on fast-forward, take a look.

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