Shatner On ‘Collision Course’ – His Vision Of Kirk and Spock’s Early Years + Preview

William Shatner (along with Judith and Garfield Reeves Stevens) has a new book coming out this fall called "Star Trek: The Academy–Collision Course". In a new video Shatner talks about how the book has a disclaimer making sure fans know it is ‘his vision.’.

His Vision
Apparently Shatner has had this Academy idea for a long time and during the run of Star Trek Enterprise he pitched it as a TV series to Paramount chief Sumner Redstone. The disclaimer on the book is really to ensure that fans know that the book is part of his ‘Shatnerverse’ and not related to the new feature film (which is very likely to contradict the book). There is likely to be a follow up book to this one, but Pocket Books will not be releasing any Original Series books in the months before or after the 2008 Star Trek movie, to avoid confusion (except any book or books directly related to the film)


Read the preview:

There is a preview of the book available at



Bonus Bill Video

Shatner talks about what great ‘box office’ his character Denny Crane is for Boston Legal. 

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I would prolly read it whether its his vision or not.

I hope this doesn’t cause a problem between him and the studio.

When is the Shat going to finally admit that someone else writes the books for him, with him simply taking all the credit and glory for it. The most he would probably contribute is maybe a discussion of the basic plot premise with the ghostwriter upfront, and then they go and write it. Boy, it takes balls to say “my book…” when you didn’t even write the damn thing!

I hope he (they) are not on a “collision course” with the plot of the next movie!

Judith and Gar and really talented, but even they couldn’t help save enterprise’s 4th Season

I hope everyone treads lightly on Canon here.

Judith and Garfield Reeves Stevens are great writers and they did great stuf for Enterprise. To bad the show got canceled because with them, Manny Cotto and Mike Susselman(sorry for spelling his name wrong) Enterprise was on the right track. I give props to B&B for putting them in charge.

Tranalation…Unique vision = not canon.And nothing to do with the upcoming movie

I think it’ll be at least as good as “Collision Course” starring Jay Leno and Pat Morita.

So does this mean Trek XI is not going to be about the first time Kirk took command of the 1701 and it will be about Kirk and Spock at the Academy based on Shatner having to add that disclaimer on his book? Maybe it will be a trilogy of movies? First the Academy. Then their first mission, then when they met on the 1701?

I am reminded of “Court Martial” where at the end the Talosian says to Kirk “You have your world and he has his, may yours be as pleasant.” (edit). This applies to the new Trek film as well.

Judith and Garfield Reeves Stevens + Shatner have been putting out the only Star Trek worth paying attention to for about 13 years now.

Anthony, I appreciate the clarification, but I still have trouble with the term “co-writers”. It makes it sound like they all (Shat included) write chunks of the book together in a unified collaboration. I’ll bet that the full extent of Shatner’s involvement is to pitch the idea to the bonafide writers, they go and write it, and then the Shat reads through it, making notations in the columns, effectively only editing it. To give full credit to the writers would have the cover of each book say “written by so-and-so” and then under that a further blurb of “based on an idea by William Shatner”. His sloppy habit of claiming credit for other people’s work makes me wonder if he cheated while attending McGill University!

Do people even READ Trek novels anymore? The only ones that were ever worthwhile were the Peter David ones back in the day. And that was back when I was a teenager with lots of time on my hands. I can’t imagine wanting to take the time to slog through any more of those things.

I wonder if there are any ‘sour grapes’ reading between the lines here. It would be nice to know the time frame of when “My Vision” was planned and or written and perhaps Star Trek XI initially announce for production.

It’s probably just me. Shat finds out he’s not in the movie, then shortly thereafter announces his vision.

507 dtst

I love the Shat, but this has the same feel as XFL, New Coke, and De Lorean for everyone but Marty McFly.
I wish he didn’t have SUCH a talent for muddying the waters. Everything Shatner does makes me think it’s less and less likely we’ll see him as Kirk again.

#9 Craig,
It means that Shatner’s book has nothing to do with the movie at all. His book sounds like an Academy book and XI is about….. a year and a half away.

I also suspect the Shat’s writing contribution is much less than he would espouse. The books have the minute details of all things Trek that only the Reeves-Stevenses would know, from Ferengi to photon torpedoes.

I predict that we will know no later than September 21, 2007 who and how many Kirk actors will be cast.
This is based on the positions of the stars, Voodoo chicken bones (not VOODOO’s), my bum left knee and the dance of the holy eleven herbs and spices. Amen.

THERE WILL BE NO PIECES LEFT… as long as Bill Shatner walks this earth!

(before you flame me…. it’s humor and you’ll thank me for it because I feel a whole avalanche of Shatner-verses coming behind this post.)

Pizza Hotdog. Usually books such as Shatner’s are written well in advance of publication date . . . sometimes years in advance. Shatnerverse books aren’t part of a churned-out monthly output, so it’s highly unlikely Bill got pee-ed off a couple of months ago and told J&G to go write a book that’ll contradict the new film!!

The fact that he’s written an young Kirk book at a similar time to a TOS prequel is likely nothing more than happy coincidence.

I happened upon that very film on TV one day a few years ago. It was quite hilarious.


I would hazard a guess that Shatner at least writes Kirk\’s dialogue and mannerisms. Who would know Kirk\’s lines and behavior better than the man who essayed them for 40 years?

I’ve read interviews with the Reeves-Stevens and they said Shatner comes up with the outline of the novel, and ALL of them contribute to writing the book. So yes, Shatner does have a hand at writing these novels, along with the Reeves-Stevens.

By the way, is anyone else annoyed by the complete lack of effort on the Trek book covers these days? They’re so plain and rushed….

13 – Yes, we do, and many of the Trek novels coming out today are as good as any of Peter’s. They’re absolutely worth the time. Truthfully, I think Trek in print has been better than Trek on film for many years, probably going back to the mid-’80s, and what’s coming out now is as good as it’s ever been.

14 – Actually, the two planned StarFleet Academy Shatner books have been in the works for several years. They were delayed in part due to the Reeves-Stevens’ work on “Enterprise” and then by the studio due to the developing plans for Trek 2008. I’ve been looking forward to them because I like that premise a lot better than “Kirk’s alive in the TNG era”.


Re: Bill and the Reeves-Stevenseses

My understanding is that Bill collaborates on the story, the themes, the characters, and plot, and the Reeves-Stevenses go off and write it, Bill gives some feedback, there’s some standard editorial tinkering, and its published. Does the name “WILLIAM SHATNER” deserve to be more prominent than the names “Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens”, based on the percentage of work and ideas brought to the novel? I don’t know. But I do know that Shatner’s name sells books and takes the marketing to a different place than if it were a novel “by” Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, or Michael Jan Friedman, or Margaret Wander Banano.

They are NOT ghost writers. They don’t need to do that. They are well accomplished on their own. Just ask them.

Ghost writers or not, IMO the Stevenses are overrated. “Prime Directive,” for example, was a mediocre work. I think ST was better served by SF writers that made the occasional ST contribution, not writers that make their entire career out of grinding out the next ST serial.

Shatner’s name sells books. Reeves-Stevenses make more money on these books because Shatner’s name is the big name on the cover. Do you think they mind that? I highly doubt it. Besides, they are lovers of Trek, and I’m sure they love working with Shatner on these books, even if his input is less than theirs.

They need to bring back Keith Birdsong for cover art, or hire me.

I’m amazed that this man gets almost nothing said or revealed in two minutes of interview. Sorry but isn’t it a little pathetic to use one’s own daughter standing in as an interviewer? That guy sure makes his own publicity at any price.

Actually I believe that’s his wife…

No thats his daughter, I don’t even know what his (5th) current wife looks like.

I believe his current wife is #4. The original Mrs. Shatner who bore his daughters; Marcey Lafferty, who played Chief DiFalco in STTMP; his wife who died in the accidental drowning; and the current Mrs. Shatner, who also likes horses. If there was another one, she completely went under my radar.

How did we go from chatting about Shatner being NO writer, to how many wives he’s had? Sheesh!

12. @ Ballz.

Ballz you’re not very bright. It’s all about money. A book with Shatners name as writer will sell 3 times as much as a book that says ‘based on an idea by Shatner’.

Think about it.

New drama for ABC starring William Shatner: Desperate Shat-Wives.

It’s not a question of being bright, it’s a question of right and wrong! If YOU think it’s o.k. to take credit for something you DIDN’T do, then I would question YOUR moral character! There are no subjective takes on right and wrong, it’s very clear (to most of us). Shame on you!

Shame on me? Oh dear. I must go to confession.

It’s not an out and out lie.. Shatner is one of the writers. How much he wrote is open to debate.

Selling books is a business. Do you hate writers that use a different names instead of their own? Why is that any different. It’s just a book.

#34 John CT
Whether or not you agree with Harry, why the insult?

Why the insult towards Shatner?

You’re right sorry bout that

Harry, Shatner has spoken about how they go about writing the novels. He sits down with the Judith and Garfield, and dictates what the novels should be about and what should happen. Both authored many Trek books before working with Shatner, and worked on Enterprise since. The ideas are Shatner’s to start with, but he is admittedly not an author. Also, the Reeves-Stevens have never once complained. The fact is the books are as successful as they because Shatner’s name is on them.

Here is the link I was looking for……..

“42. Son of Khan asked: I was wondering about your methods for developing your books Specifically, use of outlines, story development, and collaborations with other writers like Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens?

Bill answered: I start with a one line idea, amplify it and branch it out as much as possible, using an almost free form way of writing — a thought or a picture that comes to mind. Eventually, you have a rough story outline. Then Gar and Judy and I will get together and begin to amplify that.”

I guess I liken it to writing a screenplay. Many people sit around “brainstorming” over basic plot ideas for movies. That’s the easy part. The hard part is where one individual sits down at a blank screen and labours over every word of what will eventually turn out to be a full-blown script. That process can take anywhere from a few months, maybe even up to a full year. It is gruelling work that requires a lot of dedication, toil and effort. It must be nice to simply “pitch” an idea to a writing team, go on about your business, and have them come back a year later with the finished product, where you slap your name on the cover, effectively laying claim to someone else’s work. All of this deception in marketing, simply because your name has recognition going for it. Hey, don’t get me wrong, the writers for Shatner obviously enjoy the arrangement (nobody’s holding a gun to their head). It still doesn’t change the fact that SHATNER IS LYING when he states on the cover “written by William Shatner”. He never did any such thing. It’s as simple as that! A lie is still a lie, no matter how you try to gloss over it! I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he purchased his term papers for submission while attending McGill University as a young man to “earn” his degree. I suppose you’re going to say that’s o.k. too?

Don’t like it, don’t read it. I love Judy and Gar books. By far the best. They really have a feel for how characters talk and don’t make them say things they usually wouldn’t. Shatnerverse books have been some of my faves, I read them over and over. If you want another version of Trek, write your own. This is a happy statement, not a mean one. I mean it, write one you never know! I tried once, it’s not that easy.

Exactly! Thank you for proving my point! It’s not easy to write a book, so it only seems fair that the person who toiled on it get the recognition, not some “wannabee” who did NOTHING!!!

It doesn’t actually say “written by William Shatner,” it says WILLIAM SHATNER above the title, like it would on a movie poster with a starring actor. You can say Shatner didn’t “write” these books, but you must also admit that these stories wouldn’t exist without Shatner’s input, any more than Star Trek would be the same if Shatner had never acted in it. The Shatnerverse Kirk is very much Shatner’s idea of Kirk. Amid the Reeves Stevens’ very conventional recitation of Trek canon, it’s pretty easy to spot Shatner’s contributions because they’re not obvious extensions of Trek canon, and/or they conflate biographical details of Kirk and Shatner. I’m not saying it’s always good, but it is different, and the difference is Shatner.

45#. Harry what’s fair is that the people that wrote the book get good money on it’s return. They are likely to get more money with Shatners name on the cover, so I doubt they care.

Think about it.

Ah well, commerce beats integrity every time! What a sad statement on society! C’est la vie!

Some replies to Posts…..

#10. That episode was called “The Menagerie.” Simple mistake no biggy :)

#28: What did you expect him to say? The video is about the disclaimer on the book! Nothing more.

#48: How do you figure there was a comprimise of integrity? Shatner has explained (many times) that he colaborates with the authors for the books. They are still HIS ideas.

Having an idea, which anyone can come up with over beers at a pub, is worlds away from sitting down and writing an entire book! One is fun, the other is hard work! Fair is fair!

Bottom line is if the books don’t have William Shatner in big letters on them, then they aren’t going to sell as well. Pocketbooks are not going to write “based on the thoughts of William Shatner.” The Reeves-Stevens are delighted to have been able to write these books.