Thursday, September 16, 2010
STAR TREK MEMORIES: WILLIAM SHATNER
STAR TREK MEMORIES. William Shatner with Chris Kreski. HarperCollins; 1993.
William Shatner looks back at his days making the original Star Trek series in this 1993 combo memoir and behind-the-scenes journal. He relates the origins of the series, how he got hired for the role, the network’s attitude toward the show, the characters, and creator Gene Roddenberry, and the problems shooting some episodes and making the comparatively cheap FX work look adequate. We learn that those bald, pointy-headed old male aliens on "The Menagerie" two-part episode [a reworking of the first, rejected pilot show] were actually played by women, and that the actress playing Yeoman Rand disappeared after a few episodes due to personal addictions and even wound up as a prostitute for a time. Shatner relates being taken to task by cast member Nichelle Nichols, who was hurt when he suggested a line [of hers] be cut to save time when in many episodes all she had was a line or two, and also tells how he was genuinely frightened during a sword fight in "The Naked Time" that George Takei was going to run him through. There's Shatner's friendship/rivalry with Leonard Nimoy, and reactions of cast members to his writing this book. Overall, this is a good, informative, sometimes gossipy read for fans of the show. NOTE: You can also read about the new Star Trek movie as well as the old animated series.
Verdict: Good show, Shatner! ***