Shatner Reflects On Kirk

Just last weekend we had Leonard Nimoy looking back with NPR and discussing the character of Spock. Now we have William Shatner talking Kirk with the AP. The original Kirk, who is known to not like to watch himself, actually sat down to watch an episode of Star Trek The Original Series, and tells AP “from my perspective of 40 years later, and I thought, ‘You know, that’s rather good.'”

If one had to guess, Shatner saw the gangster-themed epsidoe “A Piece of the Action,” as he went on to tell AP:

It’s a starship captain trying to do the accent, the Noo Yawk accent, trying to play tough, trying to be one of the guys. It’s not quite right, but it’s what a starship captain would have done — a decent imitation, enough to fool those guys but not the audience.

Shat impressed with himself

Kirk…the hero
Regarding the character of Kirk, Shat noted:

That was a good hero…He made decisions. He was forceful. He was compassionate. He was the instigator. He fought hard and long physically and emotionally. He carried the dilemma of whether to intrude or not to intrude. It was all the classic forms of good Greek playmaking: The hero has the dilemma and resolves the dilemma.

More from Shatner on Trek in the AP article, via the Denver Post

Shatner strikes a pose (AP)

What of the new Kirk?
There are many remaining questions regarding the new Star Trek movie, and one of the bigger ones is regarding what can we expect from Chris Pine’s Kirk. Clearly Kirk and Spock will be prominent in the film, but unlike Zachary Quinto (the new Spock), we have heard very little from Chris Pine and little about the new Kirk. Although Zoe Saldana (Uhura) seems impressed and has noted that he has nailed ‘the Kirk walk.’ Well there are many months to go and hopefully we will learn more of Pine and his James T. Kirk in the coming months.

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My favorite quote from this article was his praise for the entire TOS cast: “The actors were wonderful.”

We don’t see enough of that; that was nice.

Yep, Kirk didn’t watch for long – he acted decisively!

Chris Pine can take his time now. As any actor would, he’ll wait to let the movie & the story do the talking.

It will be great!

The continued silence from Chris Pine is intriguing, given how all of the other key cast members have been so vocal about their roles. Combine that with the Shat’s purported absence, JJ’s penchant for secrecy and.. could it mean? Nahh.

“This is a mystery, and I don’t like mysteries. They give me a bellyache, and I’ve got a beauty right now.”


‘Your eye goes past all the faults because you’re concentrated on the actors and the plot.’

Yeah – *That’s* Star Trek.

As for his comments on Kirk – Ah, Shatner does “get” him! There may be a reason for that…

May Pine speak up to the point of exhaustion or forever hold his peace – I’m sure he’ll put a lot of effort in this role, and he’ll probably do a good job, but as far as I’m concerned he’ll never be Kirk.

Agreed. Classy comment. One or the other could take a leaf out of that book…

I do find it hard to read these storys,, and knowing Mr Shatner wont be in the next Trek.


Is he,,,

Is anyone else out there wondering why he hasnt touched his
“Shatner Vision” site since May 6th ?

what could he be doing,,,hmmmmmm

(ok ok,,its a faint hope,,but Im sticking to it! )

It’s funny really, I know several professional performers and none of them will willingly watch their own performances.

I can only guess that they see all the things they think could have been better. Even when the general public, i.e. me, just see that they have made a wonderful performance.

TOS was always good, Mr. Shatner.


Thank you.

he probably could have watched a better sci fi trek episode, but he saw the title and picked it, not remembering what it was about. He has stated many times that he never watched the episodes. A piece of the action goes in the middle of my ST TOs episodes, as far as my favs. I would rather have had him have watched naked time, doomsday or another of the better episodes. But at least he didn’t watch some of the episodes from season 3, omg

I will always remember the felt had he wore in apota, it was fuzzy.

I meant fuzzy hat he wore, not had.

Chris Pine is almost certainly being kept back for nearer the launch of the film. Zachary Quinto is familiar to audiences, so he needs no introduction. There will, doubtless, be an introduction around the time official stills, sticker albums, tie-in comics, books and so on start to be released!

I liked the entire Post article except for these words: “cheesy spaceship”. What? The “big E” a cheesy spaceship? No way; one of the coolest ever. Other than that, just a pleasant article to read without all the crap that usually comes from the mainstream media about infighting, jealousy, etc.

11 Dom

LOL Sticker albums!

I’m not sure kids today know or would even care about sticker albums.

I think the “cheesy spaceship” comments refer to the interior. 10 years ago a former boss of mine once said of Star Trek: “How can you watch it? The walls are paper!”

I just laughed and told him that the stories were so spectacular that you overlooked all of that. What I was really thinking was that the sets were awesome.

#12, 14
I agree to Duane. I also think Shat was referring to the low-budget production, and the restricted visual effects potential. Considering the context, he definitely wanted to emphasize that TOS was mainly about the characters and the plots, not about any sensational technology.

I’m sure Shat is perfectly aware that the Big E meanwhile has become an icon and is actually far from being cheesy…;)

Re: #14: “What I was really thinking was that the sets were awesome.”

Man, I nearly sprayed my computer with coffee. :-D I know what you mean, Duane. It’s sickening having to pretend to find cheesy something your soul just loves. I still think those sets were awesome too.

Thanks for that, Duane.

Scott B. out.

Shame he’s not reflecting on appearing in the new movie. I definitely don’t buy the “he’s dead” line from jj. He knew that before he met with him. These are guys that brought Transformers to life and a monster to NY! They called Shat , had a nice small role for him. Shat as always was probably difficult (“i don’t do cameos”)and asked for more money and larger role. That is when they were trying to “figure it out”. They probably thought about increasing the role but realized that would be shoehorning him in. No one really knows , but it really is just common sense. It would have been glorious!! Nice to see him talk about TOS.

TOS sets look horrible nowadays. I much prefer the interior of the movie Enterprise/ Enterprise-D. The best sets ever!! They still look great even more than 20 years later.

It certtainly was refreshing to read a nice article for once instead of al the hyped up crappola that we’ve seen lately.

But (puts nit-picker hat firmly on head), Mr. Shatner? Um, Noo Yawk? The Iotians based their gangster culture on the mobs of 1930’s Chicago !

The interior of the Enterprise D looked like the lobby of a Holiday Inn!
All that beige and wood, and don’t forget the dull florescent lighting which gave it that Walmart look.

The look and shape of the original is fantastic. It’s only the materials and perhaps the colors that could be improved.


I love Captain Kirk. To be painfully honest, he is a role model for me.
Not so much William Shatner. In most past interviews he seems to have no understanding of why we love Star Trek, or even Kirk, so much. I know the man is having a career , renaissance Denny Crane and all. But he’s just playing himself now. Years ago, he brilliantly played Kirk even though he was not playing William Shatner.
I think of him as an idiot savant, he somehow was able to play Kirk well even though he had no idea why Star Trek was so good. He still doesn’t know. It’s nice in this interview, with him finally watching an episode, that he is beginning to get it.
Nimoy, well, that’s another story. Love Spock, Love Nimoy.

#19-my thoughts exactly.
Although this is one of the better episodes of the series.


Regardless of whether they expose a single frame on him, Shatner is certainly getting a piece of the action off of JJ’s film.

Fun interview. Thanks, TMStaff.

I get tired of hearing how bad the production values on TOS were. They were good. Yes, some costumes and sets were re-used too many times. Yes, papier-mache rocks look the way they look. But, take a damn look at anything from that period. Look at Bonanza, for cryin’ out loud! It was the number-2 series on television at a time when that meant something. Now tell me you believe that Ben and the boys are really out in the open. Oh no, you can’t see where the floor meets the horizon on the Ponderosa. And you surely can’t tell that Ricardo Montalban (Khaaaaaaan!) is wearing sweaty-looking red make-up and a lice-ridden wig to play a Pyooot. (sp?) Star Trek was absolutely no worse than anything else on TV and a heckuva lot better than some.

#24 … True! Shatner has been interviewed about Star Trek XI more than anyone who’s in the film! :-) Which only goes to prove that the man is extremely high profile and still, in the minds of the public, indelibly linked with the franchise and the character of Kirk.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a press conference with Shatner, Nimoy, Quinto, and Pine would’ve gotten double the exposure of anything else Paramount’s publicity department could conceive of. Shatner alone is a publicity dynamo. A headline reading, “Shatner, Nimoy Pass Torch to Star Trek Successors” would’ve been eaten up by media outlets all over the world.

Oh freakin’ well!

#21 – When he was younger, Shatner could play Kirk. Even as of Star Trek III, Nicholas Meyer had to go through several takes with Shatner until Shatner got bored and quit overacting to get a good performance out of him. He is funny and entertaining now, but I don’t believe he could play Kirk very well anymore.

Most of the other people being interviewed have other projects to promote. Might explain why Mr. Pine isn’t making the rounds. Beyond Trek, he’s not terribly busy at the moment.

At least Spock could have a picture of Kirk in his home and so Shat will get in the movie

#28 “I don’t believe he could play Kirk very well anymore.”

Kirk is mortal. He was shown to age. Of course Shatner could play an elder Kirk, he brought the character to life. He more than anyone has defined what Kirk is all about; he IS Kirk. The man is a consumate actor. He’s funny as hell as Denny Crane, but he can shift gears abruptly when the script calls for it and bring tears to your eyes with a sympathetic moment. IMO, he gave the best performance in Generations (I like Stewart, but charisma-wise, The Shat easily blew him off the screen), and he could do so again if given the chance.

He is not too old. With his younger than true age looks, he could definitely pass for 60-something, the same age as many of our nation’s top generals! And the acting chops haven’t left him, he proves that every week. A genuine shame we won’t see the real deal Kirk again.

Correction. My post is in reply to #27.

Hi garen (13)

I don’t know what country you come from, but sticker albums are still doing the rounds in the UK, believe it or not! Doctor Who is on (I believe) its second album, I think there are also soccer albums still available and a number of others based on toys, cartoon shows and do on!

I’m kind of old for them, but collecting them was undeniably fun when I was a kid. I part-collected Gremlins, then got all of the Transformers one!! ;)

32 DOM

I’m from the U.S. West Virginia to be exact. (yes, folks we have our own state…i only say that because some Americans dont even know WV is a state)

Those examples you mentioned collecting were probably the last time i remember sticker albums being popular. They definitely peaked in to the 80s with all those cool cartoon and movie property licenses. Star Wars was a big one with the sticker books in the 80s too.

i long for the simpler time of quietly collecting and admiring a collection….kids now a days (if i could generalize) need too much stimulation!

When Generations came out I wasn’t crazy about the end. However I was happy to see Shatner as Kirk. When JJ and crew mentioned interest in Shatner for the new movie i thought it was great. The frustrating thing about the whole situation is
JJand crew saying ” we would love to have Shatner in the movie”
Shatner “I would love to be in the new movie”
End result : NOT IN THE MOVIE

Makes zero sense

I’m definitely in the minority here with my conspiracy theory, but I’m thinking Kirk is IN the new movie. I mean every single day they keep talking about how he isn’t in the thing… and Abrams loves a good surprise.

Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed on film and TV more than any other fictional character, with more than 75 actors having played the London detective in 200 films and TV shows since 1900.

James T KIrk has been portrayed by two actors so far since 1966

Give Pine a chance.

As for Shatner playing Kirk again? i guess we’ll have to wait and see….

A whole stinking year of wait…Nightmare.

35 — I’m with you.

#29 LOL! Genius! Ha ha!


“idiot savant,”

I love Shatner but that’s a funny comment. I’m loyal.

if they can do re-shoots and get corey haim into the lost bots 2, they could get the shat into the new trek. he wants to do it. the fans want to see it. they could very well come up with some reason for a cameo. dream sequence for old spock?

#20 “What?
The interior of the Enterprise D looked like the lobby of a Holiday Inn!
All that beige and wood, and don’t forget the dull florescent lighting which gave it that Walmart look.

The look and shape of the original is fantastic. ”

Spockboy speaks the truth, we hear his words.

I’ve said from the begining… “He’s in it.”

i’m also in the “shatner is actually IN the movie” camp.

It is hard not think he may be in the new movie after all because of JJ’s fondness for secrets. I for one would love it if they could keep something like that under wraps, but I’m not expecting it.

I also do not expect him to be in it. But IF this really is all just a trick on Abrams’ part, I’d have to say it is a masterful one. If Bill were the surprise of this movie, many people would be left with the biggest ear to ear grins imaginable when he appeared onscreen!

Sadly, I don’t think we’ll be so lucky. :(

Hey Adam. Howzit going? :)

Yeah, put me in ‘I wonder . . .’ team too!!

#33 Thats the same thing your parents said about you.

JJ Abrams, king of the viral pr campaign, maker of Cloverfield, creator of Lost, slusho-maven, is to be taken at face value a year before his movie opens when he says Shat is not in the movie? Shat punked a whole town, and we think he is being straight with us? As big a career renaissance as he is enjoying today? As much as we all love Nimoy, he has none of the crossover appeal of The Shat 2008.

I have always thought that they will all deny Shatner’s inclusion all the way up the red carpet on opening night. They’ll swear to anyone who will listen that “they couldn’t make it work” as the previews roll. They’ll shake their heads “no” silently as the last question is squeezed in as the theater darkens. Then Shatner will appear as Kirk somewhere near the end of the movie, and ST gets a big cultural “buzz” the next day, becoming a must see event with mass market non trekkie crossover curiosity interest.

I’ll bet you a dollar.


how very presumptuous of you.

” It’s not quite right, but it’s what a starship captain would have done — a decent imitation, enough to fool those guys but not the audience.”

Absolutely. He’s not really pulling off a 1920’s-era gangster, but as a 23rd Century starship captain trying to impersonate one, he nailed it. Not my favorite episode, but a good solid performance by Bill.