ShatWatch: Bill As Canadian PM? How About Astronaut? OK, Sci-Fi Fanatic?

March will be the month of better weather, spring breaks, and also William Shatner’s 78th birthday. Therefore, we at TrekMovie have redefined March Madness to be March Shatness. At 78, Shatner continues to be a role model for how to age with vigor and enthusiasm for life, and TrekMovie has all the details on his recent adventures in this edition of ShatWatch.

Shatner For Prime Minister
Many Star Trek fans have political experience. The United States of America has a Trekkie President with Barack Obama. King Abdullah II of Jordan is a fan (so much so he was in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager). So is Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper. Yet, while George Takei has run for political office, no Star Trek main cast actor has ever been elected. Perhaps that might change if William Shatner decided to run for Prime Minister of Canada? In a new video from his William Shatner Project, the thespian talks about what office he would run for if he decided to be a politician.

Shatner: sci-fi-fanatic – ‘regrets’ no role in Abrams Trek
IGN’s Christopher Monfette has an interview with the Shatman and there is always something new to learn about the Shat. Did you know he is a science fiction fan? Shatner tells IGN…

I was always a sci-fi fanatic. I was reading all those guys who came to write for us on Star Trek several years before Star Trek existed. Those great science-fiction writers of the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s, they were brilliant storytelling minds, and the fascination, for me, is imagining a world that you’ll never see, you’ll never be a part of. In 2020, when the last bubble of methane comes out of the arctic lake, what’s going to happen? What’s going to happen in 100 years when what the planet has planned now goes through its many manifestations? It drives me crazy that I will not know what’s going to happen.

In the same interview, Shatner talks about the new Star Trek film. He mentions

I regret not being a part of that Star Trek revival. I hope it goes well. Star Trek is a wonderful vehicle. It’s unfortunate that I’m not in it, in that I could have lent my own persona and publicity and my help to make it successful. But I’m not involved one iota!"

Bill may have worked in space, but he will not vacation there
Shatner has another new video in his ongoing William Shatner Project where he discusses the persistent rumor that he is going to venture to space on the Virgin Galactic line. Again, Shatner’s obvious enthusiasm for life ("This lemonade tastes GREAT! This is the best lemonade ever!!") is obvious with his comments.

Raw Nerve Renewed – Takei to be invited
Trekmovie.com recently reported that Shatner’s Raw Nerve interview show on the BIO channel has been renewed. In an interview with UGO’s Jordan Hoffman, Shatner revealed that filming on the next 13 episodes is imminent and that BIO has approved the list of possible interviewees, one of which is George Takei. Shatner and his people (I wish I was one of his people) are now starting to ask the celebrities if they are interested in appearing. Shatner also revealed that he hopes that the show might transform to longer shows next season.

GONZO Ballet Debut
In a previous ShatWatch we revealed that the documentary “Gonzo Ballet” will be premiere at the 40th Nashville Film Festival (April 16-23), and now more details have been revealed. Gonzo Ballet which is a documentary about how his critically acclaimed musical CD, Has Been, was adapted into a ballet by choreographer Margo Sappington. Both Shatner and Ben Folds (who produced Has Been) will be at the event which takes place at the Regal Green Hills Cinema in Nashville.
For more information, goto nashvillefilmfestival.org.

Special Edition Release of Groom Lake
In 2001, Shatner wrote and directed a low budget science fiction film called Groom Lake. Shown on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2002, the movie tells the story of a Kate and her boyfriend Andy who are struggling with the news that Kate is dying from a disease. They try to find answers to their questions in a weird town called Groom Lake near Area 51. They get embroiled in a UFO conspiracy that has a transformative experiences for them. While certainly a B film, the movie has an important message (Shatner made the film after his wife had passed away and it is evident how that experience affects this movie). Shatner stars in the film and there are good performances, especially from Amy Acker and Dan Gautier. The 2009 DVD edition of Groom Lake features an all new interview with the Shat. It is available March 10th and could be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Books Aplenty
There are many Shaternific books being re-released soon for fans who want new copies of their well-worn originals or who want a second chance at reading these entertaining works. On April 21st, Shatner’s classic Star Trek Memories (with Chris Kreski) is re-released in paperback with a great new cover. Originally available in 1993, this book covers Shatner’s experiences during the 1960s television show era. If you want to learn about Shatner’s entire life (please don’t tell me if you don’t), then be sure to check out Shatner’s paperback edition of his 2008 biography “Up Till Now” written with David Fisher. It is available starting April 28th. Amazon has pre-orders available for both: “Star Trek Memories”, “Up Til Now” (paperback)

Bonus Video
Youtuber Rubypearl has posted a video from William Shatner’s appearance on the comedy show Fridays. The show was ABC’s answer to Saturday Night Live and Shatner was on its last episode ever in 1982.

There will be more articles at Trekmovie about March Shatness, including a special celebration article of his birthday on March 22nd.

newest oldest
Notify me of

They filmed Groom Lake near my hometown of Sierra Vista, Arizona and my buddy Grady is in most of the crowd scenes. That’s a very Shatner movie.

Nick

Shut up, Shat! You couldn’t have had old Kirk fit into the movie.
I love you, but seriously dude, let it go.

Captain Hackett

first? I will not vote for Shatner if he is a Liberal or NDP leader that is running for PM.

Crabtree

Shatner seems to be sitting next to Torgo in that last video…

danpaine

More power to him. Right on, Bill!

I still think Shatner is better suited to being Governor General, who better than James T. Kirk to review the troops?

CmdrR

Shat is still my idol… I want to be old the way he’s old. That is, an old kid.
I’m not even going to comment on the ongoing “I’m not in it” whine.*

Fridays… also gave us Michael Richards in a nascent Kramer persona.

* Crap. Just did.

Shatner_Fan_Prime

I don’t care what anybody says. XI would’ve been more special with The Shat alongside his bff Nimoy.

AJ

78 is quite old to take an elected position. He certainly has the energy and the noggin for it. More power to him!

Lt. Atkins

Oh great! Now I got Torgo’s theme stuck in my head.

VOODOO

#8 Shatner_Fan_Prime

You said it. This film is better w/Shatner than w/out him.

Nimoy and Shatner one last time would have been classic.

SirMartman

Re #8 and 11

I watch this,,,and hope its not true

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA2ueLsTiPw&feature=related

:o(

JMAN

Don’t worry, Captain Hackett, Shatner will never be PM. The Canadian political system isn’t easy to break into at its highest levels. But a stint as the Governor General would be fun.

Be Positive.

Shatner is great and quite possibly the new movie will be great. There’s a lot of room in this world for old and new, with both being of equal value.

Montreal Paul

13. JMAN

you never know… stranger things have happened. Who would have thought that a goalie for the Montreal Canadiens could be a Member of Parliment?

Seriously… I can see Shatner as Governor General. The current Gov Gen and the previous one were anchors at the CBC.

Shat does a fellow Montrealer proud…

Quatlo

“At 78, Shatner continues to be a role model for how to age with vigor and enthusiasm for life… ”

His most important role of all.

Thanks Mr. Shatner.

Charliebob

I love how the first Virgin Galactic craft is called the VSS Enterprise :P
No Kidding! They were also going to use VSS Voyager for the second one but decided to name it after that guy who was Bransons friend who died flying somewhere (I forget the name now).

Richard Martin

NO SHATNER AS A POLITICIAN. HE’S AN ARSE.

Jeffrey S. Nelson

Shatner looks a bit leaner in the face….dare I say, it?… Almost Kirkish. J.J.: are you listening for the next film? Make it so, dammit.

Will_H

As much as I like Obama as a president, if The Shat was PM of Canada, well I might just have to move north.

Enterprise

At least he’d give cool Kirk like speeches.

Spectre_7

If Shat becomes our PM, he’ll make canada look so much more full of itself then America currently does!

He’ll also make foreign heads of state punch him in the face.

Enterprise

He’ll fight with senators named Sargon!

Spock

#17

Adventurer Steve Fossil.

richpit

24,

I think it was “Fossett”, not “Fossil”.

The TOS Purist aka The Purolator

When God goes on vacation, he puts William Shatner in charge.

William Shatner never gained weight – the universe just got smaller.

William Shatner does not need to pause between words during an epic speech – he does this out of consideration, to allow the universe to recover before continuing.

Those are ALL ORIGINAL, baby!! THE SHAT IS KING!!

Christine

Baaaahh!!!!! This girl right here is gonna go nuts if she doesn’t get a release date for “Star Trek Academy: Trial Run”. > Norris. HANDS-DOWN.)

Shatner_Fan_Prime

#12 … That was downright cringeworthy. No wonder it was deleted. Koenig is no Shatner. ;-)

#14 … Exactly my point. There was room for the old & new in the movie!

Rastaman

Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic or something, but I actually am kind of regretting that he’s not in the film today [which is NOT like me].

I guess the thing about it in the end is that it really did not make sense for THIS film. Chris Pine really needs some breathing room to redefine the role. I would rather not see Chris do a complete William Shatner impersonation because really, who could try to do a SERIOUS Shatner impersonation without still being laughed out of the theater? Juxtaposing the two actors playing the same character in the same movie really would have given Pine no choice but to make an ass out himself (and Shatner). Shatner is so unusual that the only way to recast the character is to redefine the character, and that just would not be possible if Shatner was also in the movie.

Still, part of me really wants to go back in time, undue Generations, so we could have had a few more Shatner-era movies.

jn

“March Shatness”

oh god not this again

Iowagirl

#26
:)
____

Thanks for the article, John. Most interesting, as always.

Don’t slow down, Bill! ;)

Harry Ballz

#29 Rastaman “regretting that he’s not in the film”

Ahhhh…….I know what you’re getting at and…………………NO!

As Dr. Soran would say, “nice try!”

rumpcuż

“Shatner: sci-fi-fanatic – ‘regrets’ no role in Abrams Trek”

Woah, this is SOME NEWS!

Why even bother reporting that?

The TOS Purist aka The Purolator

#33 – Because Shatner is The Epic, that’s why! :P

Katie G.

Each time I hear him say

“I regret not being a part of that Star Trek revival. I hope it goes well. Star Trek is a wonderful vehicle. It’s unfortunate that I’m not in it, in that I could have lent my own persona and publicity and my help to make it successful. But I’m not involved one iota!”

I die a little more inside. Really didn’t expect that here because the title of the article didn’t allude to it. Silly me. From now on I’ll skip them. Until after the movie comes out and all he says is:

“Told you so. Bet JJ regrets my not being a part of that Star Trek revival. I think it bombed. Star Trek is a wonderful vehicle. It’s unfortunate that I wasn’t in it, in that I could have lent my own persona and publicity and my help to make it successful. But I wasn’t involved one iota! And that’s why it bombed.”

That’s what he’ll be saying after May 2009. Betcha betcha. Not that I’ll read any of the columns so I won’t complain so you won’t have to read my comments…

;-)

kg

Tom

One small scene with Bill and Leonard would have been awesome. Come on JJ i thought you were a fan of his!

A. .S.F.33

Nice article and Bill is indeed a treasure.

29. Rastaman – February 27, 2009
“Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic or something, but I actually am kind of regretting that he’s not in the film today [which is NOT like me].”

The fact that Bill Shatner is not in this movie,and the way that issue was handled by JJ and crew, is one of the reasons I can’t bring myself to support it. JJ and crew maintained Shatner’s Kirk is DEAD… can’t possibly bring him back, Trekkies would never allow us to mess with canon like that. Then the kicker was they found a way, through Quantum whatever, to throw out any part of canon they choose, and because it was convenient for their story, we now have Pike as faux Kirk’s mentor and everyone is suppose to accept and be happy about that. Oh well, done deal but what a missed opportunity to see Shatner and Nimoy together one more time.

Here’s to Bill…Live long and prosper and thanks for all the years of entertainment and charity work

Oregon Trek Geek

“What’s going to happen in 100 years when what the planet has planned now goes through its many manifestations? It drives me crazy that I will not know what’s going to happen”

Well, I guess the Shat doesn’t believe in reincarnation. I plan to be here to see what happens. Then on the other hand, I may want to reincarnate on another planet…

As for Bill and the movie…I think if ST XI is successful, then there is a good chance he will be involved somehow in ST XII. Yeah. I know. Kirk is dead, yada yada yada. That’s what they pay those writers for, you know….

As for Bill and politcs…. I like Bill a lot, but I probably wouldn’t vote for him…. but I -would- vote for Kirk…

Montreal Paul

A great seen IF Shatner had agreed to do a cameo would be in that bar scene. All the punches happening then a hand grabs young Kirks as he is on top of someone about to wail away. Young Kirk turn about to say “What the…” and it’s Kirk Prime! Pulls him off and aside… that whole speech with Pike could have been with Prime Kirk.

young kirk “you don’t even know me man… who the hell do you think you are?”

prime kirk “I know you better than you know yourself at this point. I’m someone that knows you are destined for something better.”

or something like that.

I think this movie will be fine without Shatner but a cameo would have been a nice added touch.

Montreal Paul

of course I meant “scene”.. not… “seen”. Please forgive the typos… i know there are a lot of typo nit pickers here too ;)

nscates

Shatner is the man! I’m with # 20 & 21. Shat as the Canadian PM might convince me to re-think my aversion to snow. The speeches would indeed be priceless.

Rastaman

37. A. .S.F.33

“The fact that Bill Shatner is not in this movie,and the way that issue was handled by JJ and crew, is one of the reasons I can’t bring myself to support it.”

While it’s unfortunate that Shatner is not in the movie, I hardly think it is a reason to discount JJ Abrams or give up on the project altogether. That is so extreme. As indicated in my previous post, there are a lot of legitimate reasons to exclude Shatner not the least of which is letting Chris Pine step into the role with his own two feet.

I also suspect there is a lot more than meets the eye with Shatner’s exclusion. It sounds like he wanted to be the epicenter of attention in the film (which is not surprise), and that JJ and company were trying to do something else with the film (legitimate). I think JJ has been forthright about that.

Plus, there is something to be said for the claim that Shatner’s Kirk IS dead. Shatner, the actor, already had his Swan Song with Star Trek Generations. Nimoy has not. I think Nimoy deserves a movie where he is the center of attention. Indeed, Nimoy’s Spock is probably even more of a cultural icon than Shatner’s Kirk. It seems fitting that Nimoy should be the one to pass on the baton.

“At 78, Shatner continues to be a role model for how to age with vigor and enthusiasm for life… ”

This impresses me more than anything else! Way to go, captain!

William Kirk

35 – LOL :-)

Iowagirl

#42
– Indeed, Nimoy’s Spock is probably even more of a cultural icon than Shatner’s Kirk. –

I beg to differ. If you watch the series and the films carefully, if you read the coverage, if you ask people, it has always been and will always be the two of them together that formed the actual cultural icon. Kirk AND Spock sort of melted into one person over the years and became a cultural phenomenon. Even if you get the impression an episode or one of the films is Kirk- or Spock-centric, it’s actually in equal measure about the other one (The Tholian Web, TSFS). Centering Kirk or Spock deliberately would turn one of the main engines of TOS’, one of its most important messages upside down, leaving only a rip-off of one of their friendship. This is also one of the reasons why GEN didn’t work, imo. And you can’t compensate for this lack of original, essential message by just telling us about their young counterparts.

Iowagirl

That should be: ..leaving only a rip-off of their friendship. Sorry.

15. – Montreal Paul

“you never know… stranger things have happened. Who would have thought that a goalie for the Montreal Canadiens could be a Member of Parliment?”

True, but don’t forget that Ken Dryden holds a Law degree as well as a BA in History. Canada isn’t the United States, you know. :) We usually like our politicians (except for the Governor General and maybe the Senators) to have some sort of education that’s relevant to their job… If Mr. Shatner had a background in a field such as law, economics, finances or politics then maybe he would have had a chance at becoming PM, had he wanted to. But since he doesn’t, I don’t see how we could be taken seriously.

But he still does Montrealers proud! :D

I meant to say “how HE could be taken seriously”… :)

Adam Shepherdson


No political talk please.. liberals.. NDP.. conservative… green…

ALL OF THEM ARE USELESS. We need a new style of government. Especially the poor people in Toronto… They have Miller at city level.. McGuilty at Provinicial.. and Harper at Federal… they are the worst three leaders this country has ever seen! Let good ol Hurricane Hazel from Mississauga take over the show… she will clean up the place!

Rastaman

#45 – “if you ask people, it has always been and will always be the two of them together that formed the actual cultural icon. Kirk AND Spock sort of melted into one person over the years”

While I freely admit that the one character is strongly tied to the other, I would not go so far as to say you cannot have the one, Nimoy, without Shatner. Shatner’s absence in the film will probably give me a sense of nostalgia for the series. I remember when they killed Captain Kirk. So does Nimoy’s Spock. I think to resurrect Kirk would be to cheapen what Star Trek creators have done before. A quote such as this, “you are as stubborn as another captain of the Enterprise I once knew,” from Spock would serve just as well to recall their relationship to the audience member.

When it gets right down to it, the more common thing I here from the general public when you say Star Trek, “It’s that show with the guy with the pointy ears!” Everyone has heard of Spock.