Shatner's POW Story

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by siskokid888, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. siskokid888

    siskokid888 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I just watched "The Captains", and it reminded me of a story I once heard Shatner tell. I believe it was on the Carson show, possibly when he was doing pub for TMP. He told a story of how he got into a cab, and the driver recognized him. The driver then proceeded to tell him how he was captured by the Viet Cong during Vietnam, and in the prison he was held with a bunch of other soldiers that were from all over the US. The only thing they had in common was that they were Trek fans. They would go over the eps, each one trying to remember the shows line by line. The man said that this helped them keep their sanity while they were imprisoned and tortured, and he wanted to thank Shatner. Shatner related how deeply this effected him. The thing is, I never have heard Shatner relate that story again, either in interviews or his books, or at conventions. Has anyone else ever heard him relate this story? I'm beginning to wonder if it's just more of the famed Shatner hyperbole.
     
  2. Count Zero

    Count Zero No nation but procrastination Moderator

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    It does sound a bit too good to be true. It's a hell of a story if true, though.
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I heard the story, second hand, years ago.

    The version I heard included this guy all but kidnapping Shatner, he didn't want to let him out of the cab and basically drove Shatner around town for a protract period of time.
     
  4. Navigator_NCC2120

    Navigator_NCC2120 Captain Captain

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    I heard that story, or a variation of it, a long time ago, but not from Bill Shatner. The version I heard was about 2 POWs who only saw the first season of Star Trek and got through their ordeal by talking about Star Trek. I think they were communicating using Morse Code, so that the enemy would not know about their conversations. I either read about it in the Starlog magazine in the late 1970s or heard about it at a Star Trek convension in the late 1970s, or heard one of the vets talking about it on a daytime tv talk show, such as "The Mike Douglas Show", during the middle 1970s.


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  5. siskokid888

    siskokid888 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's interesting. Could Shatner have co-opted that story?
     
  6. Navigator_NCC2120

    Navigator_NCC2120 Captain Captain

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    I honestly do not know. Perhaps another member will be able to answer that question.


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  7. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A version of this story appears at least as early as 1979 in the peculiar "biography" of Shatner, "Where No Man..." penned by Marshak and Culbreath.
     
  8. siskokid888

    siskokid888 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I never read that "biography", but that is also interesting. The time fame seems to coincide with the publicity for TMP.
     
  9. Paradon

    Paradon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I don't see why it couldn't be true.
     
  10. siskokid888

    siskokid888 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's just that I never heard him tell the story again. It's not in his books. And since "The Captains" is partly about him coming to grips with being Kirk, I would have thought that that would have been a good place to retell that story, since it supposedly effected him so deeply, but he doesn't relate it, and instead talks about how a corporate CEO's revelation that Kirk changed his life is the thing that gives him pause.
     
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was published at the time of TMP; the material suggests that most of it was written prior to the beginning of filming on the movie. It was published by Ace books, who did not have any kind of Star Trek license but were probably looking for a way to tie in to what was expected to be a popular movie.
     
  12. 7thsealord

    7thsealord Captain Captain

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    Bought and read the book myself when it first came out (:shrug:What can I say? I was a young Trekker), but now recall very little beyond Marshak and Culbreath breathlessly worshipping Shatner on every.single.frackin'.page. The POW story may have been there, but I now draw a blank on most of M&C's writing. Probably a good thing - in retrospect, that pair was both stalker-scary AND incredibly boring.

    Recall reading someplace that, just a few years later, Shatner bought out all rights to that particular book and, basically, "killed" it. Suggesting (perhaps) that even HE was embarassed.
     
  13. Valin

    Valin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I still have that "bio" some place. I wonder if its worth anything because it was "killed"?
     
  14. jk82

    jk82 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    He definitely mentioned it later. I remember reading this story in one of his books. He thought that that driver was trying to sell him a script, but instead they ended up weeping together after the vet told him how he survived POW camp by playing ST characters. It's a moving story. I don't doubt it. In fact I think Mr. Shatner tends to be more truthful about things than a lot of people. He doesn't hide his emotions very well. :rolleyes:
     
  15. siskokid888

    siskokid888 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Which book was it? I've read them all but don't recall him relating that. Of course, my memory is shot, so its quite possible.
     
  16. 22 Stars

    22 Stars Commodore Commodore

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    I remember this story too, quite a life Shatner has led, and I hope his sentiment at the end of The Captains is genuine, but I have a feeling it isn't but that's just me.

    I would love for him to have one more shot, if he wants it, at a truly great movie role that will bring him the critical acclaim he deserves. Denny Crane was brilliant, and the Emmy's were well deserved and I think that went a long way to stroking his ego, but imagine if he got nominated for an Oscar?
     
  17. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    And that's why it's called acting. If Shatner tears up telling a story to fans, then it may all be part of the performance.
     
  18. jk82

    jk82 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Up Till Now. If you have the paperback version, page 150-151. :)

    Nah. According to some people (I don't know if they ever watched more than one ST clip on youtube) he is not a good actor so no way can he feign emotions. :lol: