May 26 2024

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Shatner: Travel, Fame, And The UnXplained

2 min read

Doing publicity for one of his The Wrath of Khan appearances, William Shatner spoke about his life, fame and current projects.

Shatner, who is eighty-eight, seems to always be en route to some sort of appearances. “I went out with my one-man show a lot,” he said. “I went to hundreds of theaters over the years, and then somebody suggested this form of entertainment where we play the movie The Wrath of Khan in all its glory, and then I come out afterward and amuse and amaze. That’s the touring I’ve been doing, and then every so often I’ll trot out to a convention, and that’s what I’m doing in Monroeville [a suburb of Pittsburgh].

Being famous means that Shatner is recognized all of the time. When asked where the craziest place he has ever been recognized, he said, “Lots of places. A men’s room in New York City. The answer to that question really is this, and I haven’t answered that question in a long time. An American television program wanted me to go out to near Iran, to photograph a black panther at night. And we’re sitting in a little tin hut on the Caspian Sea having chicken shawarma, and way in the back of this tin hut, by the kitchen, on a tiny black-and-white set, Star Trek is playing. And the waiters were dressed up for some reason in those big Russian black bear hats…can you picture this big furry hat and the red tunic? The waiters were like in shabby Russian uniforms serving the chicken, and the guy leaned over and pointed at me and said, ‘Captain Kirk,’ in a Russian accent. And I fell into the chicken.”

Shatner also spoke about performing, and meeting audiences that included younger fans who are just discovering Star Trek and Captain Kirk. “Being in front of them is a high-wire act,” he said. “You want to keep them amused and entertained and laughing or at least informed. It’s a spontaneous hour that has no form except what I give it, so I never know what it’s going to be. It’s unusual, and not many people can do it.”

So other than appearances and conventions, what’s next for Shatner? “I’m appearing in a new program this year, called The UnXplained,” he said. “[It’s about] the mysteries that abound, that can’t be explained. I’m thinking of one story…fourteen young Russians go to the Ural Mountains on a camping trip and are never heard from. When the search parties find them in the snow, they are torn up, as though it were some large animal, but there were no signs of an animal. It’s a huge mystery that may have a solution, based on new science today.”

Shatner both hosts and executive produces the UnXplained, which will appear on the History Channel.

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