Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Shatner: Where No Man is a little-known 1979 authorized biography of Shats written by William Shatner, Sandra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. The front cover of the book features perhaps the weirdest Bill Shatner picture we have ever seen. His right eye is in shadow making his left eye appear cross-eyed...and the hair. By the end of the 1970s, Shats had become quite meticulous about his weave, yet in this picture, the hair seems to have been little more than an afterthought. It almost looks like the photographer was about to take the picture before Bill realized he had forgotten to put on his toup. He then rushed out, quickly put it on his head and damn issues of alignment, symmetry and all the rest of it just yelled "Cheese!".

That is probably not what happened. Yet, with today's era of Photoshopped over-perfection, it's funny to look back at a time when such an obviously bad photo could ever make the front cover of a book, especially an authorized (part-auto) biography.

UPDATE: A reader has suggested (correctly, we feel) that to add insult to injury, the image was also flipped. In which case, here is the corrected image, still by no means a great work of photographic art:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Captain's Wig.

Volume III of the old Star Trek soundtrack releases contains a track from the episode "The Naked Time" called, somewhat curiously, "Captain's Wig" (see here). Does anyone out there have a suggestion as to what in the plot of this episode could have led to such a title? The other cue titles are largely related to the plots of the respective episodes such as "Knight / Joust" or "Time Reverse / Future Risk". Is there anything related to a "Captain's Wig" in "The Naked Time"? Are we missing something here?

Results in from the oscillating quantum touparticle accelerator.

A while back, we posted a publicity photo we found of a weaved-up Bill Shatner from Star Trek III: The Search For Spock. The picture was of a relatively high resolution and was passed on to our labs at the research division of the William Shatner School of Toupological Studies.

They subjected the image to various methodical and time-consuming tests - and finally the results are in:

Enhanced with a particle toupometer.

As viewed through an electron-touposcope.

As seen after being subjected to an oscillating quantum touparticle accelerator.

Do the hairs in Shatner's toupee prove the String theory?

Sometimes art and the secrets of the physical universe can be one and the same!

By the way, we know many of you have been crying out for more analysis on Bill Shatner's current "plugs". When? What are they? Why? etc... Our toupologists are preparing a major report and have recently been giving closed-door testimony to the US House Committee on Toupees. We promise we'll have some info soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More real hair reflexes and toup melds...

The 2002 DVD Mind Meld - Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime (buy here) features two moments of interest to any student of Bill Shatner's hair.

The first is a brief example of the "Real Hair Reflex" (see here for more on that). In the midst of telling us that he doesn't have an addictive personality (except perhaps concerning toups?), Shats scratches his head. He then shifts into a classic "rear toup smooth over" - except in this case, it is instinctive, a throwback; since 2000, the toup has long gone, replaced with some kind of surgical transplant...

In the midst of this maneuver, there is a strange edit in the program, and suddenly Bill Shatner is no longer scratching his head. Some have suggested that this cut may be toup related - we doubt it, it seems more a simple trim to tidy up Leonard Nimoy's talk, but who knows?

Here is the clip:

Secondly, we have a brief Nimoy toup meld, reminiscent of Spock's mind meld with the Horta in the Star Trek episode "The Devil in the Dark".

This moment comes near the very end of Mind Meld. As the two very dear friends engage in a hug, Nimoy suddenly does the unthinkable placing his hand directly on his brother's head. What was he thinking? Was this the ultimate act of friendship - a person so close to Bill that he can even touch the hair? Was it a subtle attempt to mind meld with the hair? What did Nimoy learn and why hasn't he made his findings public?

The full clip is below:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Toupee dating...

This isn't a post about the romantic adventures of Shats' toupee (we hear it fell in love with a Tribble once), but rather, like the process of carbon dating, a way of using Shatner's toupee to identify the date when an unknown picture was taken. The William Shatner School of Toupological Studies currently has a patent pending on this exciting new scientific process. Now, let's put it to use:

Take the above picture from the Rex Features photographic agency ( A larger watermarked version can be seen here. The picture is labeled by Rex as being taken in 1971, a full two years after we have determined that Bill Shatner stopped using his Jim Kirk-style lace. Could this be a stunning and rare return of this beloved toupee? Or could this be a mistake by Rex Features? We should note that our touposcopes give a toupometric reading of 1968 plus-minus one year for the above image.

A toupologist at the Toupological School working with a touposcope.

Perhaps the answer to the above question is found in Rex's list of Shatner photos where the actor's third wife is called "Noreen Kidd" rather than the correct Nerine. They also have an image of Shatner with his second wife Marcy labeled as 1964 even though the pair did not marry till 1973. Yes, toupology is an exact science...

However, we should add that they have some great Shatner pictures, including an image of Bill Shatner, seemingly toup-less, with legendary director Alfred Hitchcock.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Toup roast: caption time!

"What do you mean HIS hair looks more realistic!!?!"

OK, fellow toupologists, it's caption time! Have any ideas for a humorous toup-related caption for the above photo? If so, please post your suggestion in the comments section below. The writer of funniest caption will* win an all expenses paid trip to the William Shatner School of Toupological Studies, which is our headquarters (see picture below) and get to meet our staff and have a full tour of the facilities including our famous labs.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Poll result.

A victory, albeit a close one, for those who believe that Bill Shatner will likely not surprise us with any more major hairstyle changes.

More real hair reflexes.

This example of Bill Shatner touching his own hair is from the final Star Trek episode "Turnabout Intruder". It is almost identical to the moves illustrated in our previous post, in which Shats describes this particular performance.

As a last episode "Turnabout Intruder" is far from good, but as a stand-alone episode, we think it's thoroughly entertaining and Shats gives a great performance as an evil woman.

On a related note - a reader has mentioned a toup scratching moment in a documentary on the DVD release of the movie Free Enterprise. We don't have this in our toupology archives, so if anyone has and can post the clip somewhere, we'd be very grateful!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The real hair reflex.

On the rare occasions that Bill Shatner has publicly interacted with his own hair, usually by stroking it, he has unwittingly revealed what our toupologists have labeled the "Real Hair Reflex". This means that Shats, when touching his hair is both consciously and subconsciously inclined to only stroke the parts that are real.

This reflex serves two purposes: 1. - it preserves the tactile sensory experience of interacting with a living and true part of your being rather than a toupee 2.- it avoids the unwelcome possibility of displacing or otherwise unnecessarily interfering with the placement of the toup. A possible third motivation is to subtly smooth down the lower rear edge of the toup.

Below is an example from Bill Shatner's appearance on The Mike Douglas Show on the 25th February 1969, shortly after the final Star Trek episode was filmed. Mike Douglas also seems to be wearing a hairpiece.

The full sequence, which involves another hair stroke by Shats can be seen below:

We'll have a few more examples of the "Real Hair Reflex" soon.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Retro frontal swoosh.

If there is one thing that brings back memories of the old Jim Kirk lace, then it is the famous frontal swoosh. There have been a few times when it has made a reappearance - perhaps Shats was feeling nostalgic. An example of this, albeit a very subtle one, is Bill Shatner's appearance at the Canadian Awards for Electronic Animated Arts (CAEAA) at River Rock Casino near Vancouver, British Columbia, September 14, 2006:

Another example is the unknown photo below of Shats with his daughters Lisabeth (left) and Melanie (right). Shats, in the midst of his curly toup phase, appears to be wearing a piece that is very, very similar to his old Jim Kirk style:

Aaah, the memories...

UPDATE: A reader writes: "The photo with his kids (see above) was taken in July 1990."

Friday, September 18, 2009

More outlier toupees.

As we've looked at before, outlier toupees are Bill Shatner hairpieces that defy the prevailing styles that Shats wore at a particular time. A reader has pointed to two images, ostensibly from March 1979, of Bill Shatner with his second wife Marcy Lafferty.

These images were taken after principle photography had wrapped on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, by which time Bill Shatner was well into his curly toupee phase (1976-1999). Thus, the images definitely qualify as examples of an outlier toupee, and are far more reminiscent of the ratty "lost years" (1969-1976) toupee looks.

Bill Shatner in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).

Shatner's toupee and the laws of physics.

Shatner's toupees can be used as a focal point for all knowledge in the universe. Let's take basic physics - in this case, the principle of reflection. We'll demonstrate the concept by taking a few stills from the Star Trek episode "Operation -- Annihilate!" that reveal the thin transparent "skin" that extended to the forehead, which helped to hold Bill Shatner's lace in place.

Now, the makeup person would have tried very hard to make sure that the lace "skin" as well as Shats' forehead were both in perfect synch and demonstrating diffuse reflection - which means light not reflected directly (as shine), but rather scattered (by millions of fragments of "pancake" makeup) in order to amplify the luminance of the skin tone.

If both the real forehead and the forehead covered in the "skin" were out of synch, then one would exhibit diffuse reflection (luminance on skin tone) while the other would display specular reflection (the mirror principle - returning light back to its source).

The barrier between these two different surfaces would then become visible as a border or line between two areas with different reflective properties.

Now, imagine clenching your fist and rubbing a little glue on the taut top of your hand. If you waited for the glue to dry and then unclenched your fist, the glued area would crunch up in a different way from the rest of your skin because the skin would have different tensile properties or "elastic modulus".

That, added to the above principles serves as a kind of magnified example of diffuse reflection in that an uneven but reflective surface (the crunched up lace "skin") sends light in multiple directions. And now to be even more mind-bending: because the lace "skin" is transparent, it can also demonstrate refractive properties, acting like a contact lens and deforming the perception of Shats' forehead underneath by an infinitesimle amount. And there are probably principles of polarization at play somewhere in all of this too but that is a little too complicated to deal with.

We thought physics was boring too until Shatner's toupee came to the rescue! Next time, with the help of the William Shatner School of Toupological Studies, we will look into the laws of...we'll think of something...

The full report "William Shatner's Toupee - A Study in Reflection" will be published in next month's edition of the journal Science.

Disclaimer: we're not sure any or all of the above makes sense.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More toupee miscellany...

The Research Division of the Department of Touplogy at the William Shatner School of Toupological Studies has managed to unearth a few more mysterious pictures that we cannot identify. Above is an enhanced (by us) picture of a young Bill Shatner, still toup-less in a television appearance of some kind. Our estimation, based on hair thickness, is circa 1956-7. But what appearance involved a mock black-eye as well as talking directly to camera?

Then there is the above picture. Shats is now all touped up in his Jim Kirk lace, which would help date the image circa 1959-65. The image is of interest to our toupologists because it shows Shats combing his hair. Could the image be from Roger Corman's wonderful film The Intruder?

Finally, we have this strange curly hair. It appears somewhat similar to the style worn (see below) in Kung Fu - A Small Beheading (1974)...but not close enough. So, fellow toupologists, please help us if you can!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Keep it light part II.

In the post "Keep it light" (see here), we found a great picture of Shats with a remarkably light toupee which we thought suited him very nicely (this image remains one of our favorite and we think most appropriate Shats toup moments).

We've also looked at outlier toupees (see here) - hairpieces which seem to go against the grain of the current style that Shats is wearing. And finally, there were the hidden hairline years (see here) - during Shats' curly toup phase (1976-1999) the hairline was mostly hidden by thick curly locks.

We've found a picture (top of page) on the web that falls into all of these categories: It is the very opposite of the keep it light principle; it is an outlier toupee and it also shows us a rare glimpse at the hairline during the curly toup phase.

If you do a little reading about toups, the first thing hairstyle experts usually say is avoid the mistake of having a toup that is unnaturally thick. Basically, keep it light. The light principle worked so well during the "Jim Kirk look" phase (1958-1969) but the curly weave phase raised many eyebrows across the spectrum.

The above picture really shows just what too thick means; it also is a great visual example of the circa 1983 extension of the weave right down to the sideburns (see here for more on that).

Finally, we have to say that we have absolutely no idea when or where this picture was taken (it is one of those pictures where Shats' age is difficult to determine). The toup down to the sides dates it on or after 1983. The curly hair dates it on or before 1999. The dark brown hair color would seem to date it before 1991. Then there are the microphones and tape recorders that look very 80s. We would guess 1988 (though it could be as late as 1995), but really don't know.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Batgirl and Shatner's toupee.

We've finally managed to track down actress Yvonne Craig's (the Batgirl who guest-starred in the Star Trek episode "Whom Gods Destroy") description of her sadly somewhat unpleasant experiences with Bill Shatner and his toupee as recounted in her book From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond.

But first, Craig's overall experiences with Shats weren't pretty and the actress doesn't mince her words when it comes to her strong dislike of Bill Shatner. She describes him as "a man with little social skills" and "a completely selfish actor and a maddeningly narcissistic human being!" There's more still: "[During shooting, Shatner] not only moved me around physically for the betterment of his profile, but suggested line readings so that he could respond in a way that he had predetermined...Most actors extend the courtesy of interacting and reacting to one another! I was astonished that the director allowed this to go on..."

This is the archetypal negative Shatner portrait from numerous (though certainly not all) co-stars from this time, and we have to say that it is probably mostly true. We try to be fair to Shats as much as possible here, but at this turbulent time in his life - he was overweight, his marriage was falling apart and his star vehicle Star Trek was a flop that was going to be cancelled in a matter of weeks - he probably did act like a jerk towards a lot of people.

As Shatner himself has written: "...while I've never set out to hurt anybody, I may have, at times, been ignorant of my fellow actors' need for screen time, not to mention their feelings."

Perhaps the toup was a factor in this behavior too - the constant fear of exposure as a bald man; the adoration sought for the artificial thickly-haired image; the thing on the head needing constant attention and glue...who knows.

Anyway, now to the toupee part. Yvonne Craig describes the difficulty that her green makeup (she played a green Orion slave girl in Star Trek) caused both her and the people it was rubbing off on:

"[Shatner] blithely announced that since he was down to his last clean costume, I was not to TOUCH him! Fine with me, except for the fact that the next day we were scheduled to shoot the love scene in which I declare that I love him, therefore I must kill him.

"Wondering how I could imply hanky-panky without actually touching him or his wardrobe, I lit upon what I thought would be the perfect solution. I would just play my fingers through his hair."

William Shatner with Yvonne Craig. Image sourced here.

Craig, having finished that day's shooting, rubbed her green make-up off in a studio shower-room and then went to say her goodbyes:

"Having finished my ablutions, I stopped by the make-up room to say good night. And what I discovered made my heart skip a beat. There stood Bill Shatner with his hair in his hand! Now, there was not a doubt in my mind that if a green smudge on his costume were going to unnerve him, hair dandling with the possibility of twirling it right off his head would be out of the question. I spent a sleepless night trying to solve that dilemma. As luck would have it, the cameraman decided it could be fixed handily by simply shooting different colored lights across us (one, of course, being green) so that the audience would be unable to differentiate between a green smudge and a green shaft of light."

Craig also wrote of seeing Shatner years later on a plane during a 1997 flight from South Africa. She describes his then curly weave as "yak-like".

Yvonne Craig's website, where her book and other memorabilia can be purchased is here and to be as balanced as possible, William Shatner's website where (different) books and memorabilia can also be bought is here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Toup-less in Studio One: "The Defender".

We have to admit to previously not paying 1957's live television two-parter Studio One: "The Defender" a close enough look. But there is much to look at in the realm of Bill Shatner's hair - we had assumed that this was a straight-forward example of toupage, but upon closer examination, things now appear a little different.

Studio One: "The Defender" featured Bill Shatner, Steve McQueen, Martin Balsam, Ralph Bellamy and several other actors in a made-for-TV courtroom drama. According to "A young criminal attorney and his firm-owning father defend a 19 year-old on trial for a murder that he swears he did not commit. Personal conflicts arise with the attorney and his father while the prosecution puts on a dramatic and convincing argument of guilt." Shatner plays lawyer Kenneth Preston. The two episodes were later cleverly referenced and partially utilized in the third season Boston Legal episode "Son of the Defender".

In some scenes (perhaps a full episode) of this two-part broadcast, Bill Shatner appears to be toup-less. 1957 was the pivotal year in Shats' career when he finally started to use hairpieces (for example in the movie The Brothers Karamazov) - though not yet always.

We can say with some confidence that Shats is toup-less in the below image, likely relying on sprays to thicken up the increasingly thinning hair at the top and back:

More toup-less images - the same comb-back that has become slightly ruffled:

Yet there are a few pictures (possibly including the one at the top of this post) out there of the same show, where it seems possible that Shats was wearing a toup to thicken up the top of his head:

The hair in the above photos appears far too thick for Shatner's real hair state at this time.

Is it possible that during part one there was no toup and then by part two, Shats decided to thicken up?

We really don't know at this point, and are merely speculating based on a few pictures. But we certainly believe that this deserves more toupological study. In the meantime, let's look at the overall visual evidence chronologically. Below is Bill Shatner in Goodyear Television Playhouse: "All Summer Long"- filmed 28th October 1956. No toup:

The first part of Studio One: "The Defender" was filmed on 25th February 1957; the second on 4th March 1957:

Below is Shats, still toup-less, in 1957's Alfred Hitchcock Presents story "The Glass Eye" broadcast 6th October 1957. In this case, the episode was filmed and edited before broadcast, which means it probably represents Shatner at around June-September 1957, though possibly even earlier:

This is Shats in Studio One: "No Deadly Medicine" - filmed 9th December 1957 - the hair loss was now evidently taking place very, very quickly. The longer hair designed to comb over thinner areas has now been cut:

And after that, it was all toup, toup, toup all the time. Below is Shats fully touped-up and ready to go in Playhouse 90: "A Town Has Turned to Dust" - filmed June 19th 1958:

UPDATE: We've since done a more detailed analysis of "The Defender" - click here to read.