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Melakon November 29 2012 04:46 AM

Thoughts on Shatner
Star Trek premiered when I was 15. I'd already been a fan of The Twilight Zone, Fireball XL5, Alcoa Presents/One Step Beyond, The Outer Limits, Way Out, Thriller, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The first Star Trek episode I caught a glimpse of was "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" I tuned in around the half hour break.

The first scene I saw was some guy running around in a cave (Kirk, though I didn't know it yet). It was the worst looking cave I'd ever seen (having been in real ones), with completely flat floors and fake looking rocks everywhere. Then this big ugly guy showed up (Ruk), apparently looking for the first guy. I thought the big ugly guy looked pretty cool, so I decided to watch a few minutes. Then the first guy pries loose a stalactite from the ceiling, holding this phallic looking piece of styrofoam rock at waist level. And then the big ugly guy calls out "Captain Kirk! Where are you?" in a woman's voice! WTF is this, I thought, and it took another week or two before I gave the show another chance, and got hooked.

I don't remember any of my classmates talking about the show. I liked the character of Kirk, but Spock as an alien looked phony to me-- probably because I was spoiled by some of the fantastic makeups on Outer Limits 2 years earlier. Oddly, at the time I liked Leonard Nimoy better as an actor, and thought William Shatner was too over the top.

About twenty years later, I bought my first VCR so I could tape the show off the air. Then Paramount began releasing the entire series, 10 episodes at a time. My video store must have loved me, because I had a standing order of buying all 10 of each set as they were released, dropping about $150 every time.

Somewhere during all that, I started gaining an appreciation for Shatner's performance. It seemed that yes, he was still quite a ham. But sometimes it seemed like perhaps a director would rein him in a bit, and he could be very good, very believable. One of my favorite Shatner performances is in "Obsession", where Kirk is determined to destroy the cloud creature. Spock and McCoy become so concerned they threaten to relieve him. I think it's some of Shatner's best work in the series.

teacake November 29 2012 04:55 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
Have you watched him in Boston Legal?

He's now a very polished ham..


Melakon November 29 2012 05:15 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
I don't have a working tv, except to watch videotapes. I've seen a YouTube clip though, where he's in a meeting and has to remind everyone of his presence by repeatedly announcing "Denny Crane!"

I think the ham factor geometrically increased during the Trek movies. But at least he's having fun, and well paid. A far cry from the days of when he was living out of his truck camper doing dinner theatre after TOS went off the air.

st.barthgirl November 29 2012 05:54 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
hi Melakon... i had to wiki your 'handle', i'm now watching the TOS episode... i'm new to this forum. i enjoyed your thoughts on Kirk... i do think he IS a Truly talented actor... tho Enterprise is the Sweetest Vehicle i've seen him in... i've often assumed his TOS cheeze factor was due to the scripts and not so much the delivery.. but i do not know enough trivia and backstory to confirm that. I'm amazed at the talent of Many in the cast. Not just because it's endured~ but a factor In its longevity, for sure.

I'll return with thoughts on Kirk... And perhaps some on spock or episodes, after my Rewatch. i, too, feel that Shatner has had an inestimable impact on my Cultural Moment... as have the later Treks... Ideas worth Chewing On. Mind Chiclet?

ps... i'm tvless, too... thank goodness for running water. it's about all of the modern world that fits into this {truly lovely} rural state to which i've relocated...

See you soon...

teacake November 29 2012 07:35 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
He was a theater actor and that carried over into TOS.. and apparently no one told him to do otherwise.

And he's fabulous in Boston Legal, just a joy to watch.

Older, hammier, shinier, saltier..

Melakon November 29 2012 07:38 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
Thanks, St.Barthgirl (I nearly misread that as St.Batgirl). Shatner can be interesting to watch in TOS. Some of his physical choices, such as body language and facial expressions, can be truly entertaining.

As for the Melakon handle, I chose it because I was familiar with that actor's work before he appeared in Star Trek. I was surprised the name was available, I guess nobody likes the guy.

Teacake, yes, Shatner's theatrical training really comes out, playing to the back row. Maybe that's how I came to appreciate him, as I did some theatre during college.

Shatner was a guest at the first convention I went to, in 1975. He was a riot.

teacake November 29 2012 07:51 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner

And this is my favorite one..

Melakon November 29 2012 08:04 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
The man is so much fun to watch. Even those jobs he was forced to do during the slow years, like selling margarine.

teacake November 29 2012 08:18 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
And let's not forget what a good looking man he is..

Melakon November 29 2012 08:27 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
If you've not seen him guesting in the UNCLE show "The Project Strigas Affair", you must. Nimoy's in it as a bad guy, they even have a scene together. It was done at least a year before they worked together on Trek, and apparently the first time they met. Here's their one scene together...

Melakon November 29 2012 08:33 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
Hells, embedding not allowed. But you can find it at YouTube by searching for Project Strigas Affair. There's at least a second scene with both but don't think it's at YT.

You can also press the YouTube icon above.

Nimoy has a significant role in the full episode. That's Werner Klemperer (future Colonel Klink of Hogan's Heroes) as his boss.

Triskelion November 29 2012 09:13 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
You know that pic of Shatner brings to mind another midwestern starship captain.

I wonder if they were going for that....

Here's a parallel universe Captain of Voyager, Captain Jamesway:

Triskelion November 29 2012 09:23 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
And what's good for the gander....

Captain Janes T. Kirk:

teacake November 29 2012 09:27 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
Now that is oddly creepy. I always said Janeway was the most like Kirk though.

Triskelion November 29 2012 09:40 AM

Re: Thoughts on Shatner
And while we're at it....

The Thrall is Gone:

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