Shatner: Original Star Trek Had ‘More Soul’ Than JJ Abrams Trek + Bill Tweets To Space

Once again (in a new video interview) William Shatner is drawing comparisons between his Star Trek and the new Star Trek from JJ Abrams, now saying that the original had ‘more soul.’ Bill also talks about how he had grown ‘tired’ with Star Trek but has again come to appreciate its place in his career. Watch Bill talk to CNN about Star Trek and his Shatner’s World Tour below. Plus find out how Bill established communications with the International Space Station.


Shatner: Our Star Trek’s had more soul

Speaking to CNN William Shatner once again contrasts his time with Star Trek and that of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek movie, saying

JJ Abrams is a great filmmaker. The way he has brought a major audience into the franchise is to make a ride, so Star Trek becomes one of those rides with explosions and the wonderful people they have got playing those roles. He has made Star Trek popular once again with a far larger audience so he seems to be doing the right thing. The Star Treks we were in told a more personal story. Told a story that had more soul to it…but the large screen encourages explosions and shoot-em-ups.

 The Shat also weighs in on the important question: who would win in a fight, Kirk or Picard. Watch the clip below.

If you can’t see the video he says that Kirk could beat up Picard but in the real world Sir Patrick Stewart would beat him up.

Here is more with Bill and CNN’s Don Lemon, with Bill talking about his Shatner’s World Tour and his feelings about how Star Trek impacted his career as an actor.

Shatner tweets with ISS astronaut

A few days ago William Shatner exchanged some tweets with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who was tweeting back from space on board the International Space Station. Here is part of the exchange.

This exchange prompted Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin to jump in…


Thanks to Bernie for the link

Sort by:   newest | oldest
January 7, 2013 4:28 pm

Oh Bill

Bob Mack
January 7, 2013 4:33 pm

Gotta love Buzz Aldrin! There’s a hero for you!

January 7, 2013 4:36 pm

Guess he’s still pissed Leonard got a gig in the first one and he never.

January 7, 2013 4:38 pm

Hmm, the interviewer kind of leads Bill in the direction of the “scandalous” quote he supposedly says. But I agree with Shatner.

January 7, 2013 4:41 pm

Doesn’t sound pissed to me. His comments were extremely complimentary to the movie.

He simply pointed out politely that the movie and TOS had different tones.


Fred Dinage
January 7, 2013 4:41 pm

Bill’s right. Let’s face it the JJ film was fun and dumb but in food terms it was a McDonalds take out compared to the caviar of the original true and proper series.

January 7, 2013 4:45 pm

He’s 100% correct, whether you like the Abrams Trek or not, it is a cinematic ride. Personally I don’t feel it’s what Star Trek should be, but I won’t blame J.J. because the sad fact is Hollywood would never allow him to make a “personal” story like that of Star Trek IV or even Wrath of Khan. Movies are now made almost solely for teenagers, and it’s very disappointing.

January 7, 2013 4:50 pm

I think you’ll see that Shatner very VERY subtly flips the interviewer the finger when asked to do the Vulcan salute.

January 7, 2013 4:51 pm

I agree with William Shatner. TOS had more soul than the 2009 movie. It’s as the PBS documentary about Gene Roddenberry said, it was the show “that had something important to say.” But he is correct in praising Abrams. He’s a marvelous filmmaker. But let’s face it. Tentpole movies are geared to teenagers unless you’re Christopher Nolan. See The Dark Knight and Inception.

That being said, the Supreme Court has said it wants to go deeper. And the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness is a very good start. I’m already thinking about the Prime Directive, its origins and the metaphor that Gene wanted us to get from it. I’m also hoping for some scientific ideas to go along with the explosions.

January 7, 2013 4:54 pm

just saw shats world was good time even did the meet and greet wish he could chat for a minute always rushed thought new star trek was great its not the same as the original

January 7, 2013 5:12 pm

That was a funny interview but I’m sure there will be the usual comments that twist it into “shatner bashed JJ abrams”, even though what he said about the movie was very kind.

January 7, 2013 5:12 pm

Shatner is spot on in his comments. The needs of an ongoing TV show and a summer blockbuster tentpole movie are very different.

TOS ran for 79 hours and had more of a luxury to be at turns introspective, funny, sad, adventurous and yes, it had its share of action and explosions.

A summer movie has a small window to find its audience and make its money and, for better or worse, needs to be tailored to appeal to a wider audience. It would be nice if JJ’s Trek was a little more thoughtful and well thought out (and who knows, STID may well be) but the emphasis will always be on the action and the solution will always involve a few phasers and a volley or two of photon torpedoes. ST:TMP tried the introspective, hard sci-fi route and it continues to be derided to this day as “boring”. Even TWOK had to basically throw out the hopeful ending of Space Seed, turn Khan into a revenge-obsessed villain, and end with an epic space battle to be viable.

January 7, 2013 5:25 pm

Yeah, Bill’s right. There’s no reason a summer movie can’t go a bit deeper with its character development, though, and I hope Darkness does. Let’s hope it gives Kirk a nice dark winter of the soul. One of those moments of “no beach to walk on, no braid on my shoulder…”

January 7, 2013 5:30 pm

What a load of horse shit from the guy who gave us the worst ST movie of all time, and who thought a paycheck was more important than having Captain Kirk die in an honorable manner.

Shame on you, WIlliam Shatner. SHAME ON YOU!!!!

PS: He is still carrying a grudge because JJ wasn’t going to let a 300+ pound bufoonish actor play in his version of Trek.

Carmen Figueroa
January 7, 2013 5:32 pm

Hi sir i just what you to know i liked your show real fan ok. Long time show.

January 7, 2013 5:32 pm

I thought “Star Trek V” had a better premise and gave the Star Trek universe more than “Nemesis…” did…

January 7, 2013 5:41 pm

Well, i guess Abrams will now return the favour, by giving Shatner NOT a cameo appearance in Star Trek 13!

January 7, 2013 5:51 pm

#17 That’s like some guy saying he prefers ugly hookers over fat hookers. :-)

January 7, 2013 5:52 pm

Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer. Yep, more soul.

January 7, 2013 5:57 pm

In my post above, I was responding to Dunsel Report, not Exexlobster.

garth of I
January 7, 2013 6:01 pm

how do you compare one TOS JJ movie to the entire TOS series and movies? You can’t.

not a great comparrison

Red Shirt Diaries
January 7, 2013 6:02 pm

Gut, I wish this obese bufoon, who use to be the great William Shatner, would just shut the F up for a change.

Mad Man
January 7, 2013 6:11 pm

Shatner hit that nail right on its head! HA!

January 7, 2013 6:24 pm


Totally agree. I’m sorry, but I never liked Shatner. To me the man is so full of himself and if he were in the new J.J. movies, I think he’d be singing a different tune.

Not to mention, this is coming from the man who delivered the worst piece of crap Star Trek movie of all time that was totally deprived of any soul.

People in glass houses….

January 7, 2013 6:24 pm

I don’t know I entirely agree with him…there were very personal storylines woven through the movie, which were remarkably emotionally effective considering there wasn’t really enough time to service them properly in two hours. Hopefully another two, with the new movie, will serve to deepen those storylines. And on the flip side, there were hours of utter shallow fluff in TOS, worse than anything you could criticize in J.J.’s movie. I understand why Shatner says what he does, and it’s perfectly legitimate, but it seems he is purposely choosing not to notice the substance that is there under all the money Paramount poured into the production. I’m sure he’ll say the same thing about Into Darkness, no matter what it’s about or how deep it gets, because it’s just his thing.

January 7, 2013 6:24 pm

“Roddenberry had his own utopian vision about he perfectibility of man, and I never really believed that. And I don’t think the show demonstrates that. I think it is about gunboat diplomacy. In the final analysis, the Enterprise fires. They’re always shooting and bringing civilization, and coming to worlds where they don’t approve of tyrannical enterprises – no pun intended – and they substitute their own quote unquote enlightened version of how society is supposed to work, which is essentially American.”
– Nicholas Meyer

January 7, 2013 7:00 pm

I’ve always loved Captain Kirk and enjoyed Shatner. After seeing his show Friday night and meeting him, I have a whole new level of respect for the man. He is incredibly talented. I’m so glad I went.

January 7, 2013 7:04 pm

It’s true, in plot after plot they show up, they destroy the (technological or ideological) oppressor so freedom can prevail and they leave — and sometimes say diplomats or federation scientists will follow to clean up. See: Iraq.

Sure, the opening spiel talks about exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations and boldly going where no man had gone before… but how often did we actually see that (and just that, without conflict and without the enterprise righting a situation) happen?

January 7, 2013 7:27 pm

I don’t find anything offensive about what Shatner said. He was one of the lead personalities who made the franchise what it became. Thus, I respect his opinion on Star Trek, past AND present.

Shatner Speaks the Truth
January 7, 2013 7:51 pm

Rough day on the playground, MJ?

As for Shatner, his Trek movie may have been bad overall, but at least he didn’t forget the soul of the characters. Abrams used the Cliff’s Notes version.

January 7, 2013 7:58 pm

28: “Sure, the opening spiel talks about exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations and boldly going where no man had gone before… but how often did we actually see that (and just that, without conflict and without the enterprise righting a situation) happen?”

You mean how many episodes consisted of discoveries disconnected from competent storytelling? Thankfully, not many.

Remove the conflict and why bother? Conflict just reflects the nature of nature, and telling ourselves stories about dealing with conflict can be an important function of narrative TV and cinema. I think it’s a delusion of the modern mind that given the appropriate human actions, the universe can be turned into a continuously cozy place where headaches, hangnails, and hernias never occur.

Imagine what dull creatures we would be if embodied existence ever became something like that!

January 7, 2013 8:03 pm

These days, a Star Trek movie or TV episode play with equal stature on the TV screen at home, and in that context, Shatner’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier wasted much less celluloid than episodes such as “That Which Survives” which is notably pointless and forgettable, so forgettable it doesn’t appear on as many worst-of lists as it deserves to. Episodes and movies that get criticized the most at least made an impression and generated some passion.

January 7, 2013 8:08 pm

I think Abramms captured more of the original spirit of Star Trek that anything since tos.

But i get what he is saying. It does seem that Abrams team are stuck on a particular story style.

I would hope for something different in their third instalment.

January 7, 2013 8:10 pm


So, you’re gonna compare the writing of the characters from a movie where the characters were already established in 4 previous films & 79 hours of television and therefore could delve deeper to a movie whose sole purpose was to re-establish/revitalize both the franchise and the characters within a 2 hour timespan? And because it had to accomplish all that and it didn’t live up to your standards, it’s the “Cliffs Notes” version?

Yeah, real apt comparison.

Shatner Speaks the Truth
January 7, 2013 8:31 pm


It made a lot of money by copying and pasting and making everything shinier and louder. The only standard that counts now.

Enjoy the next one, friend.

January 7, 2013 8:50 pm

That puts Trek 2009 in good company, because TOS had more “soul” than just about any sci-fi property ever done. Spock’s lack of emotion seems to have been jettisoned in the new films. I always liked Kirk’s mental sparring (figuratively, and not with manipulative intent) in TOS. Don’t think it’s an either/or situation; Films could be successful with less of a blockbuster mentality.

January 7, 2013 8:52 pm

@30 Never heard of you before, but you address me like you know me? Interesting. One might draw some conclusions based on this?

January 7, 2013 9:03 pm

36. Kev-1:
“Spock’s lack of emotion seems to have been jettisoned in the new movies.”

Spock NEVER lacked emotion in TOS; he just did everything a Vulcan could do to not be controlled by them, even going so far as to verbally distance himself from them. As the series went on and the character of Spock evolved, you could see that Spock had feelings, but did not wish to be governed by them, especially since he perceived them as indicative of his humanity. That’s why some people cried foul at ST09 when Spock Prime told his other self to “put aside logic…do what feels right.” Spock eventually came reconciled his humanity (and the accompanying emotions) and his Vulcan-ness, realizing that both made him what he was. You can even see this reconciliation beginning to happen a little sooner with Alt-Spock.

January 7, 2013 9:20 pm
MJ, I don’t know who the hell you are, but based on your views of TFF (which has more of a TOS feel than ANYTHING else to come along, regardless of story and production issues) and That THING Abrams Made, it’s easy to understand why another poster would take issue with your statements. I used to think folks who embraced the Abrams were just trying to put a good face on the newest incarnation, not wanting to badmouth in the same way folks in years past made excuses for TMP (for awhile anyway) or TNG or even Voyager and Lil ENTERPRISE, but now I’m convinced they’re just getting what they wanted, lowest common denominator space opera with the TREK named burned in. MHANSEN, to use an example from this century, SERENITY was able to do damn near everything in 2 hours that FIRELY did in its all-too-short run, and do so without castrating the characters or turning them into buffoon-like parodies. That cliffs notes remark of the other poster is actually too generous; I don’t think the Abrams characters are even generally like the originals, and it isn’t JUST due to context. The Abrams writers supposedly loved BALANCE OF TERROR; maybe they’d’ve been better off doing something I talked about ten or twelve years back, and redo BALANCE OF TERROR but position it as the crew’s FIRST mission, so you could credibly have some suspense over the issue of ‘those folks have pointed ears!’ BoT lends itself to feature adaptation… Read more »
January 7, 2013 9:25 pm

Oh, and going by the other post of yours, what is the issue, that you think Shat is a buffoon or that he is 300 pounds? Just how much weight is too much, Admiral? It’s okay to be, say, Doohan-sized, but no more? The waistband must be drawn HERE, huh?


January 7, 2013 9:35 pm

31. Exactly. But people here talk about a Trek that didn’t quite exist, at least not on TOS… when comparing it to Abram’s work. A trek with no conflict, humor or action. Yes, trek 2009 wasn’t about much more than the search for belonging, the not-always -clearly-good consequences of risks, and how the characters overcame prejudices to start out on the path to be who we know … but yet it gets called a mindless action movie because it didn’t have an easily digestible, self-evident, after school special moral, like Trek IV (we need whales ), Trek V (nobody can help you find God out there),
or Trek VI (we’re all racist).

TOS was a great show — but it wasn’t a bunch of guys standing around navel gazing and marvelling about how amazing humanity and the universe is — that was first season TNG.

January 7, 2013 9:46 pm

@40. Ah, great, you are off the discussion and starting the name-calling. Congrats! Enjoy your intellectual bankruptcy in this discussion with me, dude. ;-)

January 7, 2013 9:47 pm

“TOS was a great show — but it wasn’t a bunch of guys standing around navel gazing and marvelling about how amazing humanity and the universe is — that was first season TNG.”

Well said, Jack!

January 7, 2013 10:07 pm

I went back & forth about including that, but realized it wasn’t name-calling, it was an honest evaluation, arrived at after calling you on your ham-fisted posting.

I think ‘intellectual bankruptcy’ at least indicates there was some thought to begin with, so if that is what you think about how I think, enjoy yourself; keeping that in mind, I will NOT accuse you of being ethically bankrupt.

I guess we all have to know our own limitations, huh? Just don’t look too close or somebody will come along and call it navel-gazing.

And once more, with feeling, that feeling being utter sincerity: JACKASS!

January 7, 2013 10:15 pm

kmart, name-calling is name calling. Please spare us your lame excuse for name-calling. Be a man and admit you name-called. Otherwise, if you can’t take responsibility for your own actions, then please take your sorry act somewhere else.

January 7, 2013 10:20 pm

“kmart, name-calling is name calling. Please spare us your lame excuse for name-calling. Be a man and admit you name-called. Otherwise, if you can’t take responsibility for your own actions, then please take your sorry act somewhere else.”

Well said, K-7. I may be pompous and can be an ass at times, but I never make up excuses or try to bend reasoning to cover up any bad behavior of mine. I fully stand by everything I have ever said here, and don’t try to mince words to avoid being direct and taking responsibility for my actions.

January 7, 2013 10:49 pm

AMEN! The new movies are great movies but don’t encapsulate the true essence of Star Trek.

Make a new series! Fringe and other series demonstrate the ability to make and a desire for more, great, new sci-fi series!

The problem is, they’re using Hollywood actors and you couldn’t get them all to agree to doing a series. Star Trek is just another gig for most of them. Pegg and Quinto might be the only exceptions.

January 7, 2013 11:01 pm

Kmart — why redo Balance of Terror? It was pretty terrific the first time.

Buzz Cagney
January 7, 2013 11:07 pm

Maybe a bit more of the soul will surface once we come to love these actors in these iconic roles, if we come to love them?. Beyond Karl Urban they were just kids play acting for fun. Play acting very well, for sure, but they weren’t the actors that injected the soul into these characters.

Red Dead Ryan
January 7, 2013 11:07 pm

Well, its clear kmart is a bitter person, judging by his cheap, department-store quality name calling remarks.