Thursday, October 29, 2009

The real Kirk dilemma.


Approximation of Kirk with Bill Shatner's new hairstyle.

So what's the real problem with bringing Bill Shatner back for a new Trek movie? The William Shatner School of Toupological Studies recently received a one page secret document that made us seriously question the official line. Admittedly, it was just a single piece of paper with "Top Secret" stamped on it - but still, it really made us think for some reason...

What if the real behind-the-scenes discussions about bringing back Bill Shatner aren't really about the Nexus, Kirk's death or all that sort of stuff? What if the real issue is the hair? The last time we saw Bill Shatner as Kirk in a truly canonical sense, he had a (suspiciously) thick head of curly hair. Now, thanks to Bill Shatner's real-life "intervention" we face the prospect of seeing Captain Kirk with a hairstyle the likes of which we haven't seen before. Would the short hair suit Kirk? Of course Shats could easily put a piece on top and recreate the curly style, but wouldn't that be a little weird? So many questions. It's no wonder the discussions are so protracted.

New hair, old bridge.
Shatner at
Star Trek: The Tour in January 2008.

And now, Shatner's Toupee presents "Our Two Cents":

Dear J.J. Abrams,

In one hundred years time, when William Shatner is sadly no longer with us, the people of the future will wonder what it was like to live in the age of Shatner. They may try to re-create Bill Shatner in CGI, or try to put one of his famous toupees on someone else, but his real essence will have been lost forever. The people of that time will look back to 2009 and say: "You mean you had Shatner, you had a
Star Trek movie and you couldn't find a way to fuse the two one last time?" That is a crime against humanity, they will insist.

J.J. - May we call you J.J.? You made a
Star Trek movie in which you destroyed the planet Vulcan, made Spock "get a piece of Uhura's ass" (who today would believe a character that exercises self-restraint, right?); you managed to make a movie in which there were enough made up technobabble contrivances to put the deceased "Next Generation" TV shows to shame. You perpetrated the classic modern Hollywood blockbuster sleight-of-hand by overwhelming us with style to distract us from lack of substance (perhaps the direct opposite of the "Next Generation" shows in which substance was arguably increasingly trying to make up for a lack of style). You even had the Star Trek characters reveling in vengeance after killing the bad guy.

Gene Roddenberry created
Star Trek not just for the sake of colorful aesthetics and fun characters (both of which your movie admittedly had) but also as a means to slip meaningful stories past the censors, who would surely be too dumb to understand that sci-fi could comment on human nature or real life issues like the Vietnam War. Well, those censors would have had nothing to worry about with your movie. So you take all this disregard - and you're actually worried about how to bring Shatner's Kirk back realistically?!!?

Give me a break, "J.J." - let's be honest, we really don't care how you do it. Just do it. Do a
Dallas and have Kirk in the shower with Star Trek: Generations having just been a bad dream.
Ok, seriously - put Shatner on the original series bridge
, with his old gold Star Trek uniform and have him suddenly appear in the new Star Trek world as if he's been trapped in a surrealistic version of the existing Enterprise for decades. Why? Well, there's the cool plot - quickly say something about the Nexus and there you go. Wouldn't that be fun? Throw in Nimoy and you're set.


We want Shatner back ! In the words of fictional defense attorney Samuel T. Cogley - "We demand it! We DEMAND it!!!"

-ST

The official Paramount Pictures hearing on William Shatner's potential appearance in the upcoming Star Trek movie:

video

OK, folks - don't be mad at us. We weren't really as impressed with Star Trek (2009) as many others seemed to be, but, of course, respect those with different opinions on the matter.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shatner: "Why is there a bald guy called Jean-Luc Picard sitting in my captain's chair?!?"


Bill Shatner in How William Shatner Changed the World (2005).

Since we're on the subject of Patrick Stewart mentioning Bill Shatner's baldness (see previous post), it turns out that the "toup wars" - for want of a better phrase - were actually raging both ways at around this time. In the feature-length 2005 documentary How William Shatner Changed the World, which looks at Star Trek's impact on real world technology, Bill Shatner, referring to The Next Generation's Patrick Stewart, jokingly asked "Why is there a bald guy called Jean-Luc Picard sitting in my captain's chair?!?" See the clip below:

video

So now, in addition to Bill Shatner asking "Do I wear a toupee?", "How's the hair?", "The hair. I just envy the hair. Is it a dominant gene?" and saying "Fear of losing my hair..." we have this latest addition of the world "bald" to our Shatner's Toupee audiovisual toupclopedia. The inherent irony of this newest phrase is, of course, entirely self-explanatory! Bill, you continue to surprise and amaze us...

And that isn't all. In another section of How William Shatner Changed the World, we also see Bill Shatner, this time referring to the world famous physicist Albert Einstein, saying "Someone with such cool hair" and seemingly contrasting this with his own lack of (real) hair. Clip below:

video

How William Shatner Changed the World is a very entertaining documentary, mainly thanks to Bill Shatner's overtly crazy style of presentation. After decades and decades of talking about Star Trek in all the serious ways possible, Bill Shatner has evidently decided that enough is enough - it is time to unleash his inner Shatner on Star Trek! You can buy the DVD here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Patrick Stewart's toupee faux pas!


Shatner's Toupee fan and regular commenter "RM" (we are delighted that our commenters are starting to sign themselves with user names) recently took it upon himself to use a professional media search tool to dig up some interesting tidbits related to Bill Shatner's toup - the first of which we present to you today. It is a 2004 report from the UK Daily Star, which chronicles Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Patrick Stewart's interview with Frank Skinner of The Frank Skinner Show that same year.

While recalling working with the actor on Star Trek: Generations (1994), Stewart makes the ultimate mistake of mentioning Bill Shatner's toupee - "I guess I am in trouble now" he says. We should add that while Shatner foes like the late James Doohan or George Takei have used the toupee as a blunt instrument to try to hurt or humiliate Shats, here the revelation is entirely innocent - Shatner and Stewart, as far as we understand, got on very well during Star Trek: Generations and have remained friends.

Our thanks to "RM" for this great piece of toupological research. Our honorary degree department is...well, we can't say anymore! Here's the article:

***

The Daily Star, December 28, 2004 - page 22.

TO BALDLY GO; STAR TREK KIRK'S WIG SECRET REVEALED

by Peter Dyke

CAPTAIN Kirk really does baldly go where no-one has gone before - because he wears a wig.

Star Trek icon William Shatner's embarrassing secret is revealed in a telly interview tonight.

Fellow Trekkie Patrick Stewart, who plays Captain Jean-Luc Picard in The Next Generation, is grilled about 73-year-old Shatner's barnet on The Frank Skinner Show.

Frank Skinner

Skinner quizzes Stewart - himself a domehead - about rumours James T Kirk wears a "rug".

He teases: "You have worked in wigs. And I have heard rumours about Bill Shatner that he's got a bit of help up top."

Stewart, 64, reveals he sussed Shatner wore a "syrup" while working together on the movie Star Trek: Generations.

He tells Skinner, 47: "The poster that advertised the film said: 'Two captains. One mission.' I thought it might be fun to fix that caption and for it to say: 'Two captains. One hairpiece.'" But he admits his revelation may land him in hot water with Shatner.

He adds: "I never discussed this with Bill. I guess I am in trouble now."

Shatner has always brushed aside questions about wigs.
He has said: "It's like asking somebody: 'Do you have breast implants?'"

***

Naturally, there is a video of this exchange somewhere, which hopefully we will be able to track down eventually.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shatner and toupology.



Why does Bill Shatner's real hair in the late 1950s seem thicker in some photos and less thick in others - seemingly defying the chronological order of the touposphere? That is a question some of you have been asking, with a few even wondering if we aren't getting our toup versus no toup calls flat wrong. Let's try to explore this a little.

First, let's begin with a challenge. Take a look at the picture below of Jack Nicholson in the classic film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975):


Sure, he's receding, but otherwise he looks relatively thick on top, right?

Now look at a different image from the very same film of the very same Jack Nicholson:


Hey, he looks really bald! But then here...

...he looks more like this...

How is it possible for the levels of baldness in these images to appear so different? The first point is that hair stylists can achieve wonders with very little. A spray or a gel coupled with some clever combing, (not forgetting the role of lighting) can create an illusion of plenty - or at least more than there actually is. And let's not forget that Jack Nicholson wasn't even making an effort to hide his baldness in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

So now let's try to look over what we know of Bill Shatner's real hair. Of course, he once had a thick head of it before it started to thin:


But by the mid fifties, the process had begun. This toup-less image from December 1957...


...shows Shats pretty darn thin on top. However, the image must be read in conjunction with this photo taken at the same time. The thinning is real, but not as severe-looking as in the previous photo.


The first image, because of a direct overhead light, actually gives the illusion of greater thinning than there actually was at this time. A similar effect is true of the below toup-less images, likely taken on the same day from mid-1957. Very, very thin...?


...Or less thin?

The point here is that the hair was thinning at the front, but not nearly as much as some pictures appear to show - but also, conversely, more than other pictures suggest. Favorable light and combing can make the hair seem thicker. Crucially, Bill Shatner switched to toupees long before his baldness became really severe. He did so at a time when the thinning was becoming ever more difficult to conceal. The pictures we have show the process of thinning:


...and the processes of concealment. Yet, by the end of the 1950s, Bill Shatner still had a distinct frontal hairline, as a toup-less 1957 TV appearance shows:

It was at the rear that the most thinning took place first as this late 1956 image underlines:

Initially, special sprays and combing techniques were used to conceal this - hence the longer hair here, which doesn't quite reach as far as would be ideal - the rest is sprays:


Meanwhile, the thickness at the front of the slowly thinning hair would depend on how it was styled:


And photographed:


The shape of this frontal hairline was distinctly different (rounder) than that which the lace toups created - and indeed that is one of the easiest giveaways regarding toup or no toup.

Shats likely went bald at the rear of the head while still having - an albeit ever-thinning - real and distinctive frontal hair line. The bald patch at the rear then made its way upwards - his hair on top became fluffy and then tufty and finally, years later was no more. But the frontal hair line, however thin, likely did not begin to actually retreat northwards until the very early 1960s. And it was still there, hidden away, even after Shats began to turn to the lace toupee. He had real hair, but it was no longer photographable under harsh lights. We believe that it wasn't until the late 1960s/ early 1970s that Bill Shatner went completely "shiny dome on top" bald.

On a separate note, it also appears that Bill Shatner's real hair was indeed "T.J. curly" style (as some of the toup-less pictures we have here underline). Shats likely did what was common in those days and straightened it with combing, hair oils etc.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What's with that picture?


Corrected image.

Many of you raised questions as to the above (now corrected) picture we published in our previous post. We agreed that something didn't seem right with the proportions around the nose (though the idea of separate heads stitched together seemed a little too far-fetched), so we passed it on to our toupological labs. They found another example of the same photo...


...and despite the low quality, found that the prior image had indeed been digitally distorted for some strange reason. Watch the video below to see how the nose shifts downwards in the distorted image and how we then went about correcting it:

video

Upon closer inspection, it also appears that the original print (meaning not just a digital copy of it) may have been altered too, possibly at the request of Bill Shatner. Notice an unusually dark patch in the hair:


The peak whites or highlights of that area appear to be subdued in a manner out of synch with the rest of the image. Such irregularities are often indicative of photo-manipulation:


What this would suggest is that when the photo was being printed in the dark room, the above area of the photographic paper was exposed to the negative projection from the enlarger for just a little longer, darkening the area a little (more light equals more darkness in photographic printing). This is a very common practice in the dying art of film-based photography. The altered print would then be rephotographed and that negative would become the official photo.

If we lift the area in question, we see what the original photograph might have looked like:


This being a publicity photo, it is perfectly understandable for Shats, concerned about his thinning hair in the picture and the effect that this might have on his public image (we do hold that it is a toup-less photo) to have asked for the photographer to do everything he could to conceal this. In this case, it appears that this was done by darkening an area of the hair as well as developing the entire image with a high contrast (notice how black the blacks are) to keep the hair looking as dark/thick as possible.

Just to add, we have now replaced the distorted image in the previous post with the repaired version and entirely substituted the wider photo for the alternative version.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New toup-less picture.



We understand this image was taken in late January 1959 during Bill Shatner's stint on Broadway with the production of The World of Suzie Wong. That makes it the most recent toup-less picture we have found thus far. On-screen, he was already wearing a toupee at this point.

Notice how Bill Shatner's real hairline is rounder than the more pointy look that the lace created (this observation was recently made by these folks). That wouldn't last long as he soon started to recede at the front too. If you look closely at the top of the head, it appears that the hair is very short (unable to grow longer), fluffy and thin. The top of the crown (which we can't see) is likely displaying some very noticable signs of baldness.

William Shatner at age 27.

Could Shats be using some kind of spray to thicken up in the above photo, or is he just fortunate not to have been photographed under a strong light? One year and two months earlier, he already looked very fluffy on top:


Above pictures - Studio One: "No Deadly Medicine" (late 1957)

Soon after the 1959 photo was taken, Shats would shift to both on-screen and on-stage toup wearing, as evidenced in the below photo:

William Shatner with actress Julie Harris in the 1961-1962 stage production of A Shot in the Dark.

UPDATE: Two images in this post have been replaced.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Joan, where art thou?



Many of you know it is exists. We know it exists. But try as we might, one crucial piece of toupological documentary evidence continues to elude us. Somewhere - be it on TV or in a magazine interview, Joan Collins who played Edith Keeler in the Star Trek episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" described in detail some of the differences between Captain Kirk and William Shatner. The portrait wasn't the most flattering (height, weight and hair), but it did include a statement on Shats' baldness and therefore we want it. Yet, we can't seem to locate it.

Recently, in our determination to try to find the above, we even sent a team of our top toupologists to the North Pole. We soon realized that they were, frankly, wasting their energies and asked them to return, empty-handed, of course...So, if anyone out there can help us to track down this important missing link, we will be truly grateful and may even award a prestigious William Shatner School of Toupological Studies honorary degree in recognition of this amazing feat!



On a separate point, "Stallion Cornell's Moist Blog" has written a very nice piece about our blog, so check it out. Our thanks to them for their kind words.

And on to a few miscellaneous points: you may have wondered why we sometimes call Bill Shatner "Shats" as opposed to the more common "Shat". We don't really know, it is just a personal preference.

Finally, a note to our small but regular and devoted band of commentators. We appreciate and value all of your comments and tips, and wanted to add that it would be cool if you would consider signing yourselves with some kind of usernames - anything - at the end of your messages just so everyone isn't "anonymous" all the time. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shatner - it's happened now...



The other day, we received a great tip via email regarding a line uttered by Bill Shatner in one of the songs in his 2004 album Has Been. The emailer also requested a full toupological analysis! Well, we are happy to oblige...

The line is "fear of losing my hair..." and is contained in "It Hasn't Happened Yet" which is the second track on the Has Been album.

The song's lyrics are written by Shatner (with Ben Folds) and are in many regards deeply personal expressions of his inner fears - indeed, the entire album can be described as very personal and forthright, with one song ("What Have You Done?") entirely about the tragic drowning of Bill Shatner's third wife Nerine.

The "hair" phrase in "It Hasn't Happened Yet" comes in the midst of a torrent of personal anxieties expressed in the song that echo amongst each other: fear of failure, fear of falling, fear of freezing up. Listen to the clip below:

video

Click on the image below to read the complete lyrics of the song:

You can hear the full song on YouTube or buy the album here.

Interestingly, Bill Shatner's live performance of "It Hasn't Happened Yet" (not sure where/when) simply omitted the "fear of losing my hair" line as the clip below demonstrates:

video

There are three possible explanations for this. The first is that Bill Shatner accidentally skipped the line - even though he had the entire lyrics printed in front of him as he performed the song (unlike his pal Leonard Nimoy, Bill Shatner has a bad memory and it is getting worse with age!). The second explanation is that the line was purposefully removed for non-toup related reasons; echoing voices can be produced in abundance in a recording, but presented live the situation is a little different and could clutter the delivery. The third explanation is that although he felt comfortable delivering such a line in the studio, Shats was not quite ready to do so in front of a huge audience.

But let's back up a little and try to analyze the significance and meaning of the "hair" line contained in "It Hasn't Happened Yet". Crucially, this is the only real example we have here at this blog in which Bill Shatner is reflecting on the hair issue in a non-comedic way. That is hugely significant in and of itself. No jokes, no rhetorical joviality - this is dead serious. Indeed, if one reads between the lines of the song, Bill Shatner has actually placed hair loss and the apparent horror that it represents as one of his most potent fears. As soon as we hear "fear of losing my hair" we hear the echoing line "falling, falling..." There is poeticism in this wordplay as "falling" is supposed to represent another fear related to the rock that the subject of the song, Shatner himself, is climbing. But the other meaning is clear: it is the hair that is falling, falling (out). And in so doing, the nirvana and serenity that the author so desperately seeks is again undermined. If only all these fears weren't plaguing me, expresses Shatner. I have the adulation; I have the success and am recognized by strangers in the street; I have climbed the mountain - so why won't these niggling inner fears go away?


In a sense, Shatner is reflecting upon something that many a celebrity finds - a truth so obvious that it has become a cliché, yet is still so often ignored by those who find fame and fortune. The adoring masses - even a million people - can all yell "We love you, Michael!" (for example) and yet the real and meaningful love that the subject of this popular adoration so desperately craves remains elusive. Screaming fans simply can't supplant that. Yes, money, fame and success are not the panaceas our society repeatedly claims they are. And, as Shatner notes, even self-prescribed achievements like climbing a rock at Yosemite don't really do the trick. Real contentment remains elusive, and unpleasant human fears remain.


Here, Bill Shatner's most famous alter-ego Captain Kirk may help with an answer. In the Star Trek episode "This Side of Paradise" Kirk noted: "Maybe we weren't meant for paradise. Maybe we were meant to fight our way through; struggle, claw our way up; scratch for every inch of the way. Maybe we can't stroll to the music of the lute, we must march to the sound of drums." In other words, that desperately sought contentment will likely never come - and if it does than that would actually be worse than death. "I don't want my pain taken away. I need my pain!" noted Kirk in the mostly dreadful Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Yet, within this turkey, we again find a few explorations of Kirk that are pure Shatner: "I've always known I'll die alone," he says. That thought is taken to its logical conclusion in (sadly, another turkey) Star Trek: Generations, when Kirk really does die alone. "Oh, my" he says, reacting to the unfinished business of the newest distraction - I was so busy, I almost didn't notice that it's over. But even then, at the moment of finality, death is too horrible to really contemplate. Best to focus on earthly affairs until the very, very end. One suspects that that is the way Shatner himself hopes to go too.


As we have noted before, Bill Shatner, 78 as of this writing, is a human dynamo. There are very few people in the world that could release a succesful pop album in their seventies; then a ballet documentary. Boston Legal is over, but there is still Shatner's Raw Nerve and then the next project and the next. Shatner won't stop. He can't. But one day...the grim reaper will finally catch up with him and based on what he has expressed in his works including Has Been, he dreads that day and how alone he will feel. Will all the achievements and adoration mean nothing? Will he still find himself worrying about failure or losing his hair?

"At my age, I need serenity. I need peace. It hasn't happened yet," concludes Shatner in the song. It likely, and perhaps thankfully, never will.


Yet, the line "fear of losing my hair" isn't as direct as it may appear to be on the surface. As we have noted on two other occasions, Bill Shatner continues to employ some clever and elusive wordplay in this stage of his public statements related to the issue of his hair. And the example in "It Hasn't Happened Yet" is no exception. "Fear of losing my hair" actually implies that the fear is of a future event that has yet to transpire, whereas in reality, this was an event that was an issue for Bill Shatner more than fifty years ago. That is, unless we read yet another level of poeticism into the line - a literal fear of losing his hair. Meaning, the fear that Bill Shatner would have had for forty-three years before his hair transplant of his toupee being detached in public and the perceived humiliation that this would cause. Forty-three years of that kind of fear and terror is difficult for a non-toup wearer and non-public figure to imagine.

Finally, if we study the waveform of the "fear of losing my hair" line (cleaned up to enhance the voice), we see considerably less stress than in our previous analysis of Bill Shatner asking "do I wear a toupee?" in his autobiography Up Till Now. Whereas in that example, we detected a great deal of stress and discomfort, here we actually detect confidence and honesty:


Notice how the word "hair" is both elongated and increased in volume compared to the previous words in the phrase. The intonation given to the phrase exudes honesty - as if we were listening in on a private conversation with a close friend. Therefore, and despite the slightly elusive wordplay, we read this as being the most honest and genuine expression from Bill Shatner with regards to his hair that we have encountered. We applaud and salute it!

And on a very final note, we should also add that Bill Shatner appears to give the very last line of the entire album (in the final song "Real") over to his hair (at least, one can interpret it that way) - specifically his new transplant talking to us, the audience:

"I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm real!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poll result.



Thanks for voting! A good majority of you appear not to believe that hidden deep underground beneath Bill Shatner's home is some sort of strange facility that both stores and manufactures toupees.


Coma (1978)

Therefore, nor is it likely, as "Weird Al" Yankovic once sang, that they will actually have William Shatner's old toupee for sale on eBay!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Matt Stone - the toupeed character.


In the past we've explored how Bill Shatner's toupee can determine both his age and the state of his career. But has there ever been an example where the toupee has transcended from covering up Bill Shatner's head behind-the-scenes to being an overt component of an on-screen character? Obviously Captain Kirk doesn't wear a toupee, neither does T.J. Hooker - but there is one example of a Bill Shatner character that might - the psychotic murderer Matt Stone from the 1974 flick Impulse.

The toupee in Impulse (1974) is telling us something isn't right.

In his book The Encyclopedia Shatnerica, Bob Schnakenberg called Bill Shatner's toupee in Impulse "one of his worst". Yet there is a case to be made that the character of Matt Stone (not just actor Bill Shatner) was a toupee wearer. Indeed, this is a rare example of a poor toupee actually helping to enhance the representation of the on-screen character. In other words, Matt Stone, being deranged and psychotic, might himself wear a very bad toupee and thus the bad toupee helps the audience to perceive the character's charming, seductive facade as a mere dangerous illusion. In the language of film semiotics, the toupee serves as a crucial concept signifier - it tells the audience that something isn't quite right with this character.

In the movie, Bill Shatner plays conman Matt Stone, who is traumatized by the fact that as a child, he killed his mother's lover rather than watch the strange man continue to violently humiliate her.


Years later, the experience has turned him into a Jekyll and Hyde figure. On the one hand, he is a charming, likeable man - on the other, a disturbing psychosis lies bottled up beneath the surface, ready to explode at the slightest reminder of his trauma. He kills his girlfriend in a fit of rage after she complains of his visiting a strip-club. Later, he runs over a dog while giving a ride to a little girl - then, by coincidence, ends up dating the same girl's mother. The girl (obsessed with constant mourning for her own dead father) is suspicious of this apparent "dog killer".


Later, Stone ends up killing loan-shark Odd Job from Goldfinger - in Stone's mind, all three of these killings were "accidents" that simply could not be avoided. The Odd Job killing is witnessed by the same little girl as before. She sets out to convince her mother that her new boyfriend "killed a man" but no-one seems to believe her. Stone, his world falling apart from these constant accusations, then threatens to kill the girl, before going completely insane at the end of the movie and killing the little girl's grandmother (correction: she isn't really her grandmother) and also trying to kill the other two generations of the family as well. But before he can complete the bloodbath, the little girl kills him instead. For a more detailed plot summary, visit The Agony Booth.


Firstly, there is a great deal about this rather disturbing and unsettling film (likely made in response to the horror popularity wave caused by 1973's The Exorcist) that is either tacky, makes no sense, or is poorly thought through, mainly to do with how the film was scripted. The acting performances of the little girl (Kim Nicholas) and Odd Job (Harold Sakata) are nothing short of dreadful.

Behind-the-scenes with Sakata (left) and Shatner (right) - image sourced here.

Yet, Impulse isn't entirely without merit. Firstly, it was made in the 1970s and you really can't go wrong with the stylish 70s aesthetic on your side. Secondly, and this may seem surprising, but Bill Shatner's performance is actually pretty darn good. Anyone who has seen the Star Trek episode "The Enemy Within" will know that Shatner is particularly effective at portraying crazed insanity - the kind that mixes both the childlike longings of the disturbed adult mind (evil Kirk in tears: "I want to LIVE!") and the dangerous violence that this can bring about (evil Kirk to Yeoman Rand: "Let's stop pretending, Janice...").


Indeed, Matt Stone can be described as a fusion of both the good and evil Kirks from "The Enemy Within" (for those unfamiliar with this classic episode, it's the one where a transporter accident splits Kirk into two separate people - one Kirk's "good" side and the other his "evil" half). Except in the case of Impulse, the fusion is unbalanced. Rather than yielding a stable whole, the character is a mix of the negative traits of both: weak, tormented, violent and desperate. And if that wasn't enough, Impulse actually contains a direct nod to the infamous "rape scene" in "The Enemy Within". Watch our montage below:

video

But anyway, back to the toupee: what is interesting about Impulse is not just how the toupee serves as a warning shot with regards to the character of Matt Stone, but also how it changes its appearance depending on the state of the character's mind.

Stone the charmer is well groomed:


Stone the slightly ruffled is...slightly ruffled:


Stone the psychotic has an unnatural toupee style that reflects his unnatural state:


And Stone the crazed murderer has a toupee that, like the character, is falling to pieces:

Impulse can be placed in many categories, including the "so bad it's good" one. However, as a fusion of Bill Shatner's acting, which thoroughly holds and mesmerizes the viewer's attention, his general work ethic, which is always to give 100% of his energy to what he does, and his toupee, which gives nuance and subtlety to his portrayal of the lead character, we would suggest that Impulse (you can buy the film here) is nothing short of a William Shatner masterpiece.


Have you readers seen the movie? Let us know your thoughts.