Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The scalp of toupar.


What exactly are the trio behind Bill Shatner looking at?

A while back, we brought you a brief glimpse of Bill Shatner inadvertently lifting the lid on his toupee use in the Star Trek episode "The Empath" (see here for the images). A similar example can be found in the episode "Turnabout Intruder" (see here). Now, thanks to reader Margaret, we have a third example from Star Trek's infamous Season 3 from the episode "The Lights of Zetar".


In this instance, the rear of the toupee appears to have been neglected by the hairstylist, leading to visible bald patches showing through on either side of it - quite remarkable really. Here's the first example, first at regular size and speed, then zoomed in and slowed down:



And here's the second, far more pronounced example:



But rather than just pointing to these kinds of toupological slip ups, a crucial part of what we at Shatner's Toupee try to do is to understand their meaning, placing them in an appropriate context. Much like reading tea leaves (known as tesseography or tassology), toupology seeks to find insight based on the contours of Bill Shatner's toupee. What is it saying about society; about mankind; about the times; or about the declining quality of Star Trek?

"The Lights of Zetar" - embarrassing nonsense

In our humble view, "The Lights of Zetar" is the single worst episode of the entire original Star Trek series. Unlike the notorious "Spock's Brain", which is at least entertaining, albeit ridiculous, this episode is arguably a complete unwatchable mess from start to finish. Scotty suddenly so in love with a woman that he stops loving the Enterprise's engines? Just one example highly indicative of the lack of attention given to characterization during Season 3.

So, were the holes in Bill Shatner's toupee commenting on the character and plot holes in the episode? The script is unfilmable, and so the toupee will also be! And is it really a coincidence that what most will surely agree is one of Star Trek's worst episodes also contains one of the worst Bill Shatner toupee moments in the series? One lesson is clear - if the toupee isn't happy, then producers take note...

22 comments:

  1. Looks to me like the toup was shrivelling in on itself in a kind of "cringe". Also - I'm wondering exactly how bald Bill was at this point (it's taken me till now, to even begin to accept that he had ANY hair loss whatever - quite a journey) It looks from this as if he was at the billiard ball stage, unless he had two unusual bald stripes at the back, whereas I had naively assumed/could only bring myself to accept that he had a bit of "male pattern" baldness, at the front. Or - did he have "galloping alopecia"? My mind is boggling.

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  2. Shatner was clearly much balder than I had originally thought. You can see the real hair slicked back on the sides and next to nothing on top. This is very revealing, indeed.

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  3. hmmm - very interesting - it's hard to tell, though, how bald the Shat is there. It would be great to find higher resolution pics!

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  4. Regarding the toupee, I actually think it looks pretty good in this episode, there was just a combing malfunction that was caught on camera.

    Although it's quite a discovery to find shots of Shatner bald during TOS, frankly though, the exposure of the lace on is forehead is I think, more revealing, no pun intended.

    It'd be nice to find some shots of Shatner' toupee malfunctioning on his forehead and hairline, rather than messed up combing on the back of his head, as I think pretty much everyone on this blog is in agreement that part of his head was bald for some time and during TOS.

    He's had some really bad looks in Season 2, as well as Season 3.

    I agree that this wasn't a particularly good episode (the ending was rather lame), but to me, not much worse than the Mudd episodes from Seasons 1 and 2, respectively. The Alternative Factor, Catspaw are also real big stinkers, IMO.

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  5. James Blish in his Star Trek adaptations, would sometimes write an explanation of Kirk's hair appearance in a particular episode by coming up with a backstory, e.g. Kirk encountered an exotic form of radiation a week before which caused some of the Captain's hair to temporarily fall out.

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  6. @MVPisOnline - Just wondering what eps you think Kirk/Shat's toupee looked the worst in?

    Actually that could be a general question for all of you - I'm very curious to know what you all think!

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  7. Compare any third season ep to the first season and you'll see the progress of the toupee--thicker and darker. As for worst toup episodes, The Deadly Years ranks up there. (Yes, it's a toup.)

    As for horrid episodes--tried to sit through Zetar and could not stomach it. It's THAT boring.

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  8. "The Alternative Factor" is the worst to me - a boring, confusing, pointless mess.

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  9. But at least it has a better toup. And the Shatner Pause: "Not a window (pause) a door!"

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  10. Yeah ironically though the Alternative Factor had a bad plot, the Shat looked awesome in it! Slim, fit, with great hair! Too bad those looks were wasted on such a bad ep.

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  11. Shatner does not wear a toupee.

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  12. Somekindof.....creatureJune 24, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    LOL @anonymous you are obivously delusional or your real name is Bill Shatner!

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  13. There´s a point in this post
    bad episode X good toupee
    good toupee X bad episode

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  14. Hey,

    I don't know if you guys know about this pic already, but here is another pic I found where I think Shat is not wearing a toupee.

    He's wearing a hat, but the brim of the hat is raised, so you can see his hairline underneath. His hairline looks quite high to me.

    Here is the pic

    http://i826.photobucket.com/albums/zz185/vmurt/ShatPic.jpg

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  15. murt said...

    Here is the pic

    http://i826.photobucket.com/albums/zz185/vmurt/ShatPic.jpg

    It looks like Shatner auditioning for the role of Popeye.

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  16. Murt and Unanimous: thanks for that tip - very interesting indeed. Our toupologists are firing up their touposcopes! - ST

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  17. where did you get that rugJune 24, 2010 at 9:50 PM

    @mvp agreed 3rd season definitely the WORST toup in the whole wide world and talking about the Mudd episodes, check out the pressure that toup is under when Kirk goes off into the dust storm to look for Eve in Mudd's Women. How did it ever stay on??? What an absolutely stellar performance!

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  18. @Footstep - I looked around to see if I could find that pic in a higher resolution, but so far, no luck!

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  19. There could be something to this notion that a bad-looking toupee equated to a good episode, especially for Seasons 2 and 3.

    Mirror, Mirror is a really good episode (IMO), but has one of the worst toupee moments (the scene where Kirk is kissing Lt. Moreau, seriously, it looks like it was gonna fall over his face at any moment).

    OTOH, some of the other early Season 2 episodes I thought were really good, and he had a good toupee. The Doomsday Machine is an example.

    What the good toupologists at ST need to do is clear their schedules, conduct and publish Full Toupological Analyses for every Star Trek TOS episode and film.

    That would totally rule.

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  20. That bald batch is really confusing.
    Yeah, a full toupological analyses for every Star Trek TOS episode?
    Yeah, we´re waiting for that!!

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  21. This clip presents two possibilities:
    1) Bill Shatner suffers from the aforementioned "galloping alopecia" which is a horrible skin condition which causes hair to fall out in random clumps and discolors the scalp. It's also rare and would require a "full cap" wig to cover it.
    OR
    2) Shat grabbed a nap during a break and mussed up the back of head on the pillow. I'm not bald and my hair looks just like that in the morning when I get in the shower.

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  22. Have you considered the Lamb chop factor? Shari Lewis of lamb chop puppet fame co-wrote this episode. Perhaps there is a special subtext to this episode the puppet weave of lambchop and the weave of Jim Kirk lace?

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