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?
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...