March 25, 2005

Being William Shatner

Via Ace, we have the William Shatner Fame Audit!

The auditors face a pretty daunting task:

We've wanted to audit William Shatner for a while, but here's the problem: which William Shatner? Shatner, the early charmer with a talent for frantic paranoia, as evidenced by his sweaty, twitchy star turn in the famous 1963 Twilight Zone episode, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"? Or Breakout Shatner, the dashing J. Tiberius Kirk, captain of the starship Enterprise? Or Late-Kirk Shatner, with his smirk, his corset, his boner, his wandering eye?

Or how about Kitsch Shatner, when he gamely slid across car hoods as T.J. Hooker, with Adrian Zmed and Heather Locklear in tow? Or Shatner Redux, in the early, good Star Trek movies, screaming skyward, shaking his fists, the corset only slightly more generous, the toupee only slightly askew, giving us the most immortal of immortal quotes: "Khaaaaaaaan!"

Or Ironic Shatner, spoofing himself in Airplane II? Or Literary Shatner, cashing in with a series of TekWar books? Or Wink-Wink Shatner, crooning in Priceline commercials? Or how about the early, earnest Singing Shatner, be-bopping through Tambourine Man? Or the latter, I-get-it-now Shatner, duetting with Ben Folds? Or Buoyant Shatner, now appearing on Boston Legal? Now winning an Emmy! Now winning a Golden Globe!

Go read the rest. All fooling aside, I think they make an extremely valid point about Shatner's career and image.

Just a couple of quibbles with the quoted passage: The "early, good" Star Trek movies? Wrath of Khan was a masterpiece of space opera, but Star Treks I & III were abyssmal. (Just to round it out, Star Treks IV & VI were half-way decent. Star Trek V was lame.) As for "Ironic Shatner", I think he went down with the ship: Airplane II was a horrible movie.

Oh, and here's a little something for the "Light Fuse, Step Back" File: I recently ran through the early Star Wars movies again and came to this conclusion - If I had to choose between the universes of Star Wars and Star Trek, well, George Lucas would get a photon torpedo spread right up his backside.

Posted by Robert at March 25, 2005 02:30 PM

Hell, yes. To all of it. While Pop Culture was laughing at Shatner for being such a has-been, overacting HACK, he was banging Pop Culture's girlfriend. And when Pop Culture finally payed attention long enough to notice how cool he'd become, well, he made IT his Beeyotch too. His ability to redefine himself makes Madonna seem like an amateur.

And he's STILL the best damned skipper the Enterprise ever had.

Posted by: Brian B at March 25, 2005 03:57 PM

Compared to Dave Weber's Honorverse, a Grav Lance would be enough to take out either of the two space opera universes you compared. If, however, I had to pick a science fiction universe to actually go to, it would be Eric Flint's 1632.

Posted by: triticale at March 25, 2005 07:11 PM

Sci fi universes. That will be the subject of a post of mine, I think, in the near future.

I've always been fond of William Gibson's world in Neuromancer (Gibson is a masterful, masterful writer), and Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix. I also always wanted to see the spice worms on Arrakis, wanted to travel the Glory Road in search of the Roc's egg, and wanted to see Hari Seldon's Foundation.

Posted by: The Colossus at March 26, 2005 07:34 AM

Yes i do remember the episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE with shatner as the guy on the airplane seeing the gremlin messing with the engine and how he took the gun and shot the creature and he was on aother episode where he come across a fortune telling machine and of course STAR TREK and he has written several books TEK WORLD

Posted by: mad heron at March 28, 2005 11:03 PM
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