There are three things that will be mentioned in all of William Shatner's obituaries; Captain Kirk, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and spending the rest of his career trying to laugh off those first two. Oh, and TJ Hooker.
Of these things, the first one stands out head and shoulders above the others. William Shatner and Captain Kirk are so intertwined that it's impossible to separate them. Or at least it would be if one wasn't a real, slightly hammy actor and the other wasn't an invented space captain from the future, but you get the idea. Anyway, William Shatner is going to be playing Captain Kirk again, in a new Star Trek videogame.
William Shatner is an actor who has given the world some wonderful gifts; as well as teaching sexy lady aliens what love is in every single episode of Star Trek ever, William Shatner has also done adverts for breakfast cereal and made an album – The Transformed Man – which, despite being ridiculed for the Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds cover, actually sounds a lot like David Axelrod so it's obviously very ace and you are wrong about it. On top of this, William Shatner is a man so utterly dedicated to his fans that he's even prepared to flog them whatever kidney stones pop out the end of his willy.
In recent years William Shatner has become an Emmy-winning actor for his role as Denny Crane in Boston Legal, but this is still overshadowed by his role as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek TV show and movies. And instead of trying to run away from Star Trek, William Shatner is embracing it again, as he'll be doing the voice of Captain Kirk in Star Trek: Legacy, a new Star Trek videogame. Star Trek: Legacy is unusual in that it features the voices of all five captains from the various Star Trek series, like the bald man, the Quantum Leap bloke and, er, all the others. But this is Shatner's gig, and he knows it:
"I couldn't imagine someone else playing Captain Kirk, even in a video game, so I kind of got a little territorial… The interest in 'Star Trek' has waned in the last couple years. It's been around a long time, it's a staple of American life and I think we need something new and different in 'Star Trek.'"
William Shatner has a point, too – Star Trek is on the wane. The next Star Trek film, directed by JJ Abrams, won't be out for a few more years, there isn't a Star Trek TV series about, and the Star Trek studio is hawking off a load of Star Trek tat at auction next month. So will Star Trek: Legacy kickstart the Star Trek franchise? Of course not – it's a computer game, and it'll be bought by the spods who dress up as Vulcans and nobody else.
Now, if William Shatner was legally obliged to perform Rocket Man for the soundtrack, that's a completely different proposition…
[story by Stuart Heritage]