Monday, November 30, 2009

Toupee art.


A chronology of toupees - but also speculation about the future.

In 2007, The Shatner Show gave numerous artists a chance not only to interpret Bill Shatner's face, but also his toupees. The end result was both a book and a show. 76 artists - for that was Shats' age at the time - contributed works.


During The Shatner Show's run, most people focused on the face and largely overlooked that this collection also represented the hitherto largest collection of artistic images interpreting Bill Shatner's toupees ever assembled. From the "Jim Kirk lace", the "T.J. curly" and the "Denny Crane plugs" - all were subject to the artistic touch - there was even some speculation about the future direction of Bill Shatner's hair (see picture at top of page), suggesting a slow acceptance of some degree of baldness may be next.


You can buy and also look inside the book here. Read more about The Shatner Show at the Uppercase Gallery's blog.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Poll result.



An overwhelming majority of voters believe that the reason Bill Shatner ended his autobiography Up Till Now by mentioning the toupee, is to show that he could laugh at the issue. Yet only 4% of voters believe that it was a step along the road towards full disclosure. And almost a fifth (12% plus 7%) believe that this was a clever way for Shats to make us think his hair is real because he had no problem mentioning the toup rumors! Thanks for voting!

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By the way, our thanks to "The Ian Camfield Blog" part of the UK's Xfm radio for mentioning us: "The Best Fan Site Ever?....." they very kindly wrote of us. Hello to Ian's readers and welcome to Shatner's Toupee, the public information service of The William Shatner School of Toupological Studies!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bill Shatner's amazing Houdini toupee trick.



Another great find from "RM" - a 2004 interview with Bill Shatner in which the subject of a rather hastily-drawn self-portrait (and the hair) comes up. We're still trying to figure out what exactly Bill Shatner was doing with this picture, but the interview conducted by David Keeps for Blender.com begins with a mention of the sketch and an apparent comment by talkshow host Jay Leno:


Keeps: Jay Leno just walked by and said that your self-portrait “looks like someone with bad hair implants, singing into a potato.”

Shatner: What is he talking about? I’m a rock & roll singer on my knees, can’t he tell? And that’s a microphone.

Again, another very skillful sleight-of-hand non-denial denial from Bill Shatner (see here for another classic example of this). This, despite the fact that a representation of someone could be so poorly drawn as to make them look like they had bad hair implants in the picture even though in real life they did not. Thus, Bill Shatner could simply have said "Yes, it does!" without confirming anything. Yet, somewhat tellingly, Bill Shatner instead embarks on a strategy of cleverly avoiding the hair issue completely.

Incidentally, the fact that Shats could inadvertently draw a picture that highlighted his hair transplant is a little mind-bending (Sigmund Freud would have a field day).

More properly, what Bill Shatner actually employs in his response to Keeps is the magicians' trick of misdirection. Imagine a magician pointing to what's in his or her left hand - a coin perhaps - you focus on that hand and don't notice the magician then putting their right hand in their pocket for a mere split second to get rid of the coin. This is a very common trick in magic.

Keeps noted "Jay Leno just walked by and said that your self-portrait 'looks like someone with bad hair implants, singing into a potato.'"

Let's look at Bill Shatner's response closely.

"What is he talking about?" This is an archetypal non-denial denial, the act of appearing to deny but not actually denying (the issue of hair transplants or baldness in general) or even addressing anything. Now, for the next part of the reaction:

"I’m a rock & roll singer on my knees, can’t he tell?"

This sentence is the first part of the misdirection trick. Bill Shatner is very cleverly shifting focus away from specifics (hair) and misdirecting (through being selective over what he chooses to respond to) the attention of the interviewer towards the general - in this case the overall image, despite the fact that this wasn't really what he was asked about. You could or could not be a rock & roll singer and still look like you had bad hair implants. Thus, Bill Shatner's answer avoids the question by misdirecting away from it. And now the final crucial part:

"And that’s a microphone." [emphasis ours]

The final sentence underscores the genius of misdirection. Bill Shatner was asked (meaning this was the dominant point of Keeps' comment to which Bill Shatner could react) about this (the hair):


But through misdirection (selectively focusing on the potato/microphone analogy rather than the hair-transplant part), Bill Shatner has shifted attention to this (the microphone):


Harry Houdini would be proud!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A toupee nightmare at 20,000 feet!



It's amazing just how many Bill Shatner roles lend themselves to being viewed through the prism of the toupee metaphor. Nowhere is this more evident than in the classic 1963 Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet".


Most of you will be familiar with the archetypal dream involving unexpected nudity: you are fearful of an impending big day at work or an important exam and the night before you have a nightmare that you have turned up but somehow managed to forget your clothes. For a toupee-wearer, such as Bill Shatner, that nightmare might be superseded by another one - turning up somewhere without your toupee.


But the metaphor in "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" is a little more complex than that. The plot (more detail here) involves a released mental patient Robert Wilson (William Shatner) flying home after just having been discharged from a sanatorium. As the flight progresses, he enters a private nightmare - a gremlin outside is dismantling the plane. No-one else appears to see it. Is Shatner's character going mad again?

The gremlin is a fuzzy, hairy creature - a kind on anti-Tribble (see here for potential Tribble/toupee metaphors).

The tearing away at the plane's wings appears to represent a tearing up of the frontal "skin" which anchored the front of the lace toupee Bill Shatner wore. During filming, it required regular attention to conceal its visibility from the cameras.


The crucial contrast lies between the two world's represented in the Twilight Zone episode - the safety of the toupee within the stable confines of the plane, versus outside - in the midst of the strong winds and rain, the toupee doesn't stand a chance.

The gremlin naturally serves as the representation of the toupee, in effect detaching and dismantling the very framework which keeps it safe. How can a toupee do this to itself? Caught in the wind, it is the toupee that both resists the wind, but also serves as the very instrument that provides the wind leverage to tear it from the scalp - how ironic! In reality, the toupee provides comfort, but is also permanently threatening to sabotage itself. It demands constant attention - if you ignore it, it has the power to humiliate you.


The outside nightmare, if the gremlin succeeds in dismantling the wing of the plane, will soon make it's way into the well-groomed wind-less serenity of the cabin. The plane will fall and the private nightmare will suddenly become very real - metaphorically, the toupee on Bill Shatner's head will be torn off and Bill Shatner's horrifying fear of baldness revelation will be thrust upon him. But inside, nobody believes Shatner's character is seeing what he sees. How could they? The toupee is not something which they have to grapple with. How can he explain it to them without really explaining it to them and revealing his toupee secret?

This is truly the worst kind of nightmare - one in which you are trapped and absolutely alone in your fear. The insanity and panic grows...Soon, the "lace" outside will be detached, the plane will fall, the internal comfort will be destroyed...and then the actual baldness will be revealed to everyone!


The episode ends with Shatner's character committed. But, here's the rub: the camera pans to the plane's wing and it really has been damaged.

In the real (the above being a real nightmare) world, at this point, Bill Shatner wakes up. Deeply perturbed, he is sweating and breathing heavily. He places his hand on his head, the toupee isn't there - but that is fine. As he adjusts back to the warm confines of his bed, he knows that he is not on the public stage - here, it is fine to be bald; here, the gremlin has no power.

Bill Shatner then opens a drawer by his bedside. The toupee sits inside, oblivious to the nightmare that it's host has just experienced. Shatner chooses not to wake his beloved toup; instead, he gently strokes it before quietly and carefully closing the drawer again. Phew, it was only a nightmare!

A toy of the gremlin in "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet".

Watch on YouTube, or buy here as part of the Twilight Zone season 5 DVD set.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Don't let it end this way..."


"Captain, before I die..."


"Grant me this one dying wish..."


"Allow me to run my hands..."

"Through your toupee..."

There are many ways to interpret the above pivotal scene in the 1991 movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. But first a very quick plot summary: basically, in the midst of preparations for Federation-Klingon peace talks, mysterious forces (cold warriors essentially addicted to the status quo) decide to take out the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon played by David Warner. Cue Kirk and McCoy being wrongly accused of murder...

Since Bill Shatner knew that this movie would likely be the final voyage for the original Star Trek cast, perhaps the above scene, in which Gorkon runs his hands through Kirk's hair, was designed as a gift to the fans - a farewell not just to Kirk, but to the toupee that had been there every step of the way.

Or was there a metaphor here? A dying wish of sorts. A vision of Bill Shatner talking to God - "Don't let it end this way. In order for there to be real peace on Earth, you must tell the world about your toupee and its powers."

Or was there a transfer of powers taking place? From the dying Gorkon's hand to Shatner's toupee?

Or was David Warner just trying to find out where real ended and toup began?

video

Whatever the explanation, the above scene is a very, very rare example of someone actually running their hands through Bill Shatner's hair on-screen - and in close-up too! Perhaps the last time something similar happened was in the third season Star Trek episode "Whom Gods Destroy".


However, actress Yvonne Craig's experiences during those interactions were hardly positive. Could this have been Bill Shatner's way of making up for this? Whatever the reason, the Star Trek VI toupee scene contributed to a fine movie and a fitting swansong for the original cast.

Monday, November 23, 2009

An early toup reflex.


William Shatner with Larry Hagman in 1959.

The "Real Hair Reflex" is an entire category (see here for other examples) where Bill Shatner, apparently unconsciously, pats down his toup to make sure that it hasn't been dislodged or performs some other hair-saving or hair-protecting reflex act.


Our latest example, perhaps one of the earliest, is in a television appearance so rare that it isn't even listed on imdb.com. It's a live December 1959 CBS broadcast of a program called A Tribute to American Theater, episode title "Home of the Brave".


In this drama, Bill Shatner plays a Jewish soldier (although Bill Shatner himself is Jewish, this is a rare example in which the actor overtly portrayed a Jewish character on-screen) who suffers prejudice from his commanding officer. The action takes place during WWII - the military unit is in the midst of a reconnaissance mission. Actor Larry Hagman plays a soldier who befriends Shatner's character.


"Home of the Brave" also qualifies as an example of an outlier toupee, in that the "Jim Kirk lace" (1958-1969) has been somewhat modified into a more appropriate military crop cut style. This is particularly noteworthy as Bill Shatner rarely altered his toupee style according to the particular idiosyncratic requirements of a character (although there are plenty of examples where he did, for example a bowl-shaped wig when he played a monk in the 1958 movie The Brothers Karamazov).

Watch a segment from "Home of the Brave" below:

video

Materials sourced: here, here and from I Dream of Larry - A Larry Hagman Fan Site.

***

On a separate note, we got a link from the good folks at hardcorezen.blogspot.com, so our thanks to them and here's returning the favor.

Is there anything
Zen-like about Bill Shatner's toupee or is it Shats' slow journey towards public toupee acceptance that is the real Zen lesson? Sounds like a university paper question, doesn't it? In that case, we should end with one word - "discuss".

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shatner's toupee in pop-culture: Futurama (again).



The classic animated series Futurama already has one entry in our growing catalogue of references to Bill Shatner's toupee or baldness in popular culture. This second example occurs in the third season Futurama episode "I Dated a Robot" in which the character Fry steals the image of actress Lucy Liu in order to create an ideal robot lover.

During the episode, Fry and Leela visit a physical representation of the Internet. In this surreal place, the two characters walk past various stereotypical epitomes of the Internet - including two nerds arguing about whether Kirk of Picard is the better Star Trek captain (a somewhat passé discussion these days).

- "No way! Kirk could kick Picard's ass!"

- "Yeah, but at least Picard had the guts to admit he was bald!"

Watch the clip below:

video

Of course, technically speaking it is Shatner, not Kirk that is bald. Unless...did Kirk wear a toupee too?!?! Maybe he was bald but allergic to Scalpanox 5 (now there is an obscure reference that I'm sure at least one of our readers will help explain!).

You can buy Futurama Season 3 here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It never happened again.



Some time ago, we pointed to a web discussion that had gravitated towards the subject of Bill Shatner's hair. Some people were wondering if the original series Star Trek episode "Shore Leave" didn't show Bill Shatner's toupee dislodged, revealing a bald patch on his head during one of the fight scenes.


The truth is, unsurprisingly, that the bald head actually belongs to a stuntman playing Captain Kirk. Yet, there is something curious to be noted here. A stuntman is supposed to look like you, right? A stuntman is supposed to be filmed in such a way that you can't tell that it isn't the real actor. That being the case, Bill Shatner would likely have seen this episode once it aired and noticed that in certain shots the person portraying Kirk had a noticable bald patch emerging from underneath a rather fragile combover. "What if people don't know it's a stunt man?" he might have asked himself: "What if they think it is me as they are supposed to?"

Sweat...shiver...cue descent into Edgar Allan Poe-esque state-of-mind!

Suffice to say, it never happened again. Following this epsiode, Kirk stunt doubles would always (we think) have as much hair as Captain Kirk was supposed to have, and usually more. The star's image was, quite rightly, protected...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The toupee liberation.


"Seriously, Leonard. It's this amazing glue - I can actually swim underwater!"

A while back, we examined Bill Shatner's underwater swimming scenes in Star Trek IV - a toupee tour de force, we called them. However, The Voyage Home wasn't the only time that Shats allowed himself to be filmed splashing around in the water, liberated from the fear of being separated from his toup.

In his autobiography Up Till Now, Bill Shatner recalls an environmental film in which an Orca Killer Whale jumped over his head as he swam in the water. We're still trying to determine when this was, but judging from the pictures, it would appear to be not long after 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Thus, after years of toupees that threatened to unpeel at the front (the lace) or dislodge in public (the weave) this new underwater glue liberated Bill Shatner much like Tim Robbins' character in The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

Free to swim in public!

In 2001, now with totally water-resistant plugs, Bill Shatner again hit the oceans in the documentary Whale Shark Hunters of the Philippines.


And as far back as a 1983 TV special called Battle of the Network Stars we see Bill Shatner getting his hair wet in public, but it is unclear if he was actually able to truly take the plunge at that time.

Any other pictures/examples of Bill Shatner getting his hair wet? Please let us know.

Note: Though we try to bring you all stories related to Shats' toup, we have decided out of respect to Bill Shatner not to publish or link to one particular water-related accusation that was once spread by an in-law. We believe that this claim is totally without merit and deeply hurtful to Bill Shatner. Many of you will know what we are referring to and we will just leave it at that. Now, back to toupology...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Toupee history.


The website startrekhistory.com is a subdivision of the William Shatner School of Toupological Studies*. It was established so that our experts would have a dedicated department exclusively focused on tracking down unused and discarded original Star Trek footage with a view to revealing some hitherto unknown Bill Shatner toupee secrets.

An example of their toupee restoration and enhancement work can be seen in a screengrab from the site (of the second Star Trek pilot episode) at the top of this post. The left image is a low quality work print - our toupologists were excited by what appeared to be a visible bald spot on Bill Shatner's head. The image was then enhanced, whereupon it was confirmed that rather than a bald spot, the patch in question was merely light reflected off Kirk's greased up toup.


As you our readers are now no doubt thinking, such work, though admittedly very costly, is simply invaluable in furtherance of our goal of fully understanding Bill Shatner's often mysterious and fascinating toupees.

Of course, in order to fund such work, startrekhistory.com also reluctantly engages in non-toup related Star Trek study. This same model can be applied to many of our sub-divisions: Microsoft was founded in order to provide better computing power to our touposcopes - that technology was then successfully transferred to the consumer market, enabling us to continue our work. NASA's Hubble Telescope spends half of its time gazing down from space studying Bill Shatner's head from above - the other 50% is spent gazing into the heavens.

Even as far back as 1971, our toupologists were working with NASA. Below was one of our earliest experiments as part of the Apollo 15 mission - an astronaut drops a hammer and a replica of Shatner's toupee (nicknamed "feather") on the moon. In the absence of atmosphere, will both fall at the same speed ? (Yes).



And at the dawn of the green age, much of the technology developed for our touposcope instruments is being transferred from capturing toupee information to capturing light for more efficient solar-panels.


Our most recent project is called a Hadron Collider. Here, we hope to smash a particle of Bill Shatner's real hair into a particle of toupee matter. Will a new follicle of Bill Shatner's hair be created? In order to fund this important experiment, the machine will also study other less interesting cosmic particles. We've had many delays, with some attributing sabotage (see this story) - could Bill Shatner be the culprit?

Hopefully all this helps our readers understand us a little better.

*not true - frankly, nor is anything else in this post. Startrekhistory.com is in no way related to Shatner's Toupee.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A sticky situation...



Another very interesting find from "RM" - a newspaper article from 1993 that describes a somewhat unfortunate and sticky scenario for Bill Shatner:

Herald Sun, December 4, 1993

HAIRFREE AND CAREFREE


...Actor William Shatner came unstuck during a television interview to promote the fourth
Star Trek movie in 1986. Shatner, who has carved out a science-fiction legend as Captain Kirk, found the glare of television lights too intense after 49 straight interviews in a long and arduous day - or at least his hairpiece did.

The interviewer, Channel Seven newsman Mark O'Brien, recalls the sight of molten glue streaming from Shatner's forehead during their seven-minute encounter.
"I noticed this green substance trickling from his temple," says O'Brien. "I was totally distracted and kept staring into his hairpiece, which ensured he became ruder and redder in the face."

The interview slid into free-fall and Paramount Pictures, which organised all aspects of Shatner's interview schedule, refused to hand over the videotape.

What can we say in this case other than "oops!"? The alleged tape of this alleged moment will likely never see the light of day, and perhaps that is best...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My so-called toupee encounter.



My So-Called Career In Hollywood is the name of a mysterious 2005 book written under the pseudonym of E. Klass. The book claims to be a tell-all about the author's various experiences as a screenwriter (and also an extra) in Hollywood. The full title of the book is:

My So-Called Career In Hollywood -- How I got Lost In Space, arrested on Gilligan's Island, kicked out of Mayberry, roughed up by Sylvester Stallone, rejected by Captain Kirk and The Fonz and had my heart broken on the Land Of The Giants – just for starters!

Amazon.com reviewers remain divided over whether the book is authentic or just a work of fiction from an author who demonstrates very few moral scruples. One reviewer notes:

While there is little to find of E. Klass via the Internet and other reviewers question the veracity of his work, this no-holds-barred tell-all bears the ring of truth, albeit names may have been changed to protect the guilty. ...It would be hard to believe that this kind of detailed account could erupt from pure imagination.


On page 140 of My So-Called Career In Hollywood, the author describes working as a Klingon extra on Star Trek and a purported Bill Shatner toupee encounter:

The next day, the wardrobe woman came at me with a Klingon costume yet again. I shuttered [sic] at the sight of it.

"Go on, take it, take it," she taunted, waving it in my face.

I snatched the costume, threw it on, stormed into the make-up trailer, and collapsed into a chair, grumbling under my breath, completely oblivious to who was sitting right next to me.

"It's a bitch playing a Klingon, isn't it?"

Stunned, my only reply was to drop open my jaw and stare openly.

"Yes, but we can't all play the good guys, can we?" Shatner mused, quickly realizing that I wasn't about to add to the conversation. "Someone's got to be the heavy."

"Uh huh," I stammered stupidly "Yep. Uh-huh. Right-o."

A make-up man approached, carrying Shatner's hairpiece in one hand. "Ready, Bill?"

Shatner, who was already wearing a toupee -- the one he wore while driving to the studio -- nodded. The the make-up man, executing a swift, well-rehearsed maneuver, removed the "street" toupee from Shatner's head with one hand while placing the "Kirk" toupee on Shatner's head with the other hand. As a result, Shatner was "bald" for less than a second. If I had blinked, I would have missed the whole thing.

Image sourced here.

There are aspects to the story that do appear credible, for example the switch from personal toup to the Jim Kirk lace. On the other hand, anyone with a little second-hand knowledge of Bill Shatner could spin such a yarn. True or not? We really have no idea.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sheepish Shatner.



The word sheepish when used in conjunction with the word toupee seems to conjure up all sorts of fusion imagery. However, puns aside, in this post we are sticking to the dictionary definition:

Sheepish: affected by or showing embarrassment caused by consciousness of a fault. (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary).


That is exactly how Bill Shatner looked in the 1976 Columbo episode "Fade in to Murder" (we previously examined a particular hair issue here) as the character he played, actor Ward Fowler, alias famous TV detective Lt. Lucerne, described a small concession to vanity to Lt. Columbo. In this case, it was wearing "lifts" (basically thick soled shoes) to increase the character's advertised height. The incident was a rare insight into how Bill Shatner himself might appear when explaining or revealing his toupee use in private:

"Yes, well I would appreciate a certain amount of discretion in that matter, Lieutenant. Public image, you know."

video

During "Fade in to Murder" Lt. Columbo sneaks into Fowler's dressing room. He tries on part of Lucerne's costume, namely his hat and his shoes, which he discovers are "lifts". This plot point is crucial to the episode as the murderer was described by a witness as being shorter than Fowler (alias Shatner) appears to be.


Bill Shatner had been wearing "lifts" for years in order to increase his height on-screen. Somewhat amazingly, a hitherto non-public aspect of Bill Shatner's private arsenal of on-screen self-improvement tricks (usually focused on hair, height and weight) wasn't merely made public, but was actually thrust right into the very center of the plot of Shats' most important performance in years. And there's more still...

Fowler, ostensibly an actor from Canada (Bill Shatner is Canadian) is also struggling to keep his weight down, chomping on celery and carrot sticks:


We even see the character, sensitive about his image, in a makeup chair:


And, diverting slightly, there's also a very rare sight indeed - a bit of bald scalp showing through the toup:


Add to the above the many differences between Ward Fowler's on-screen persona Lt.Lucerne and the far more flawed actor who portrays him and the clear echoes of Shatner/Kirk or Shatner versus on-screen performer are difficult to ignore.

So what does all of this mean? Importantly, we believe that Bill Shatner's performance in "Fade in to Murder" was a seminal moment in the actor's return to the mainstream after the "Lost Years" period - and one that is often overlooked.


The kind of drama that the 1970s Columbo represented was far more in line with what Bill Shatner had initially dreamed of when he became an actor. But by the 1960s, the old studio system evaporated and the "leading man" model changed significantly (even Star Trek moved away from the exclusively Shatner-centric model after the first thirteen episodes or so). Yet, Columbo represented a rare island where the old style lived on. Terrific guest actors such as Anne Baxter, Jack Cassidy, Robert Culp, Ruth Gordon and Donald Pleasance were given the kind of theatrical, hyper-dramatic roles that an old-school actor would die for. And in 1976, Bill Shatner was welcomed into this company with open arms. It must have represented a moment of salvation for Shatner after all the drek the actor had been making during the mid 1970s.

He and Falk got on very well, and that camaraderie is evident on-screen too. Interestingly, Shatner plays one of those villains whom the audience suspects Columbo actually has affection for. After his confession, Fowler even beckons Columbo to have sympathy for him.

On a side note, Patrick McGoohan, who like Shatner was an exile of the old-school, also found comfort in the Columbo formula, having "escaped" Britain after completing his wonderful 1960s series The Prisoner. Both Shatner and McGoohan would return to the (we think nowhere near as good) revived Columbo series that ran from 1989-2003.


We don't know whether the writers crafted the Ward Fowler role for Shatner or whether he seemed perfect for Fowler/Lucerne once the role was written. Nonetheless, Bill Shatner, sporting a new, still somewhat scruffy "TJ Curly-style" toupee to underline the significance of the occasion (a style, however artificial, that actually matched Bill Shatner's real curly hair - underlining the birth of a new more mature, less-insecure Shatner) rewards viewers with a sensitive, introspective performance. But not only that - he also rewards us with a story that openly deals with previously taboo issues related to Bill Shatner's own height and his weight.

The more theatrical Shatner of the old Star Trek series, for whom such subjects would have been a serious threat to the public image, was finally buried. A new more vulnerable performer was born. Shatner's Captain Kirk in the Trek movies continued and accentuated this transformation. The rigid walls between public image and private insecurities were crumbling, and that is exactly what was demanded of actors in the post leading-man age that Shatner now found himself in. This dose of honesty actually turned Shatner into a far better actor. Sure 60s Shatner could give an outstanding performance, say in Star Trek's "The Enemy Within", but could he have tripped over his chair and said "Klingon bastards killed my son!" (from 1984's Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) with such emotional conviction? Ironically, it took a trip to a television show that celebrated the old formula for Shatner to finally become comfortable with this new more sincere style of acting in which personal insecurities could be mined rather than supressed.

"Fade in to Murder" can be bought as part of this Columbo DVD box-set. A classic episode of the series.

***

And on a final weird and totally unrelated note, we think that for some reason Shatner's occasional goofy expressions in "Fade in to Murder" bear a striking resemblance to...


...his animated Star Trek counterpart...