Four years ago this month, the Museum of Television & Radio held a ‘Tribute to William Shatner’ at their annual Paley Festival. Video for this 2004 event is now online at Fancast, where you can see The Shat on subjects ranging from meeting Spencer Tracy to the death of Kirk. Plus in videos for a separate MTR event for Boston Legal, Shatner declares which role is bigger: Kirk or Crane…see below
Shatner on the beginning and end of Kirk and more
The seven available clips from the 2004 Museum of Television and Radio ‘Tribute to William Shatner’ are not embeddable, but can be found on the William Shatner page on Fancast mixed in with other clips (5 here and 2 here). Regarding why he took the job for the Star Trek series after turning down others, he said he attributed it to the success of Steve McQueen in the 1958-1961 series Wanted Dead or Alive, saying “Suddenly it was not just all right, it was almost a necessity to get a series to get those roles we wanted.” Regarding the death of Kirk scene in Generations, Shatner said:
I thought at the moment of death, Kirk would look up and see death, whatever it is, approaching and face death the way he faced all those aliens. Which was a mixture of awe and wonderment. And so I added the word “oh yah” and died, and it never sold…
Shatner goes in depth at the MTR, March 2004
Here are direct links to each of the videos from the 2004 event, by topic. Shatner on:
- Why he took the job on Star Trek
- The death of Kirk
- Comedians impersonations of him and meeting Kevin Pollack
- Learning from Star Trek TMP director Robert Wise
- Working with Spencer Tracy
- Preparing to play “Alexander The Great”
- Doing live TV
Shatner on who is bigger…Kirk or Crane?
A year later Shatner returned for the 2005 Paley Festival along with the cast (including DS9’s Rene Auberjonois) and producers for Boston Legal. Seven clips from this “Inside Boston Legal” event can be found here. In one clip, Shatner was specifically asked about the popularity of the show and he compared appeal of both Star Trek and Boston Legal, declaring that Boston Legal was “the most popular thing I have ever done, including Star Trek.” And when asked why Boston Legal is so popular, The Shat answered without a pause, but with a smile “it’s me.”
Shatner and his “Boston Legal” colleagues, March 2005
Lost and BSG at the Paley Fest too
The 2005 Boston Legal event is also available to purchase on DVD at the MTR site (unfortunately the 2004 Shatner-only event is not available). On the 2005 Paley Festival DVD page you will also see a DVD for an event with the cast and producers of Lost (including Trek producers JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk and Damon Lindelof). Clips of that event are also available at Fancast. The 2006 Paley Festival looked ‘Inside Battlestar Galactica’ with the stars and producers (including Ron Moore). That isn’t available on DVD either, but clips are at Fancast as well.
By the way, Fancast is one of the new sites in the ‘CBS Audience Network’ that is showing every episode of Star Trek The Original Series. Check em out here.
Paley Fest 2008
The 2008 Paley Fest kicks off this weekend. There are a couple of Trek celebs in attendance. Tomorrow night (Saturday) Voyager producer Bryan Fuller will be on hand for a panel for his new show Pushing Daisies. On March 17th, Star Trek (and Lost) producer Damon Lindelof will be moderating a discussion with the cast and crew of Chuck. Later in the month there is also a reunion for the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a talk with the producers of the X-Files. Tickets to events are still available, for more goto paleycenter.org