Friday, November 26, 2010

Bill Shatner: "Did you say 'To baldly go'?"

The Captain's Summit is a DVD/Blu-Ray extra made specially for the release of the Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection. It features a 70-minute discussion between William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes. Whoopi Goldberg serves as the moderator.

Many Trek-related subjects come up, including the issue of how the TNG cast felt about succeeding their illustrious predecessors. Discussing this issue, Patrick Stewart (alias Captain Jean-Luc Picard) suddenly mentions a joke made at him by his fourteen-year-old daughter: "To baldly go..." Bill Shatner can hardly believe his ears - "Did you say 'To baldly go'?":

Whoopi Goldberg then mutters something to Bill Shatner, which he evidently finds very amusing. Unfortunately, what she says is all but inaudible on the recording. Was it "Like you, Bill?" or "See, he should have worn a toup like you!"? Rest assured, our toupologists are working night and day trying to decipher Goldberg's comment - much like Gene Hackman's efforts in the classic 1974 movie The Conversation:

UPDATE: Reader "eldreth" has deduced that Whoopi Goldberg simply repeats the phrase "To baldly go".

A little later, Bill Shatner reveals - much to the shock of Stewart and Frakes - that he has never seen an episode of TNG. He doesn't watch TV at all, he explains. After some probing from Frakes, he adds that he particularly does not like watching himself on TV. Why?

The therapy group (it really feels like that) senses a momentous revelation could be forthcoming. "Because I don't like looking at my toupee," is what appears (at least we think so) to be on the group's mind, and possibly Bill Shatner's too. They urge their friend to unburden himself. Say it, Bill!

Bill Shatner struggles for a moment. It's on the tip of his tongue...but he isn't yet ready to do it - at least not on camera. He withdraws. His friends are all noticeably disappointed. It's over. A potentially highly cathartic moment has been lost:

The weight that could have been lifted from Bill Shatner's heart! Patrick Stewart of all people would know. He has been at ease with talk of his baldness for years - he likely wished that his friend Bill could come to feel the same way:

The entire conversation is, at present, up on YouTube, starting here. We really can't recommend watching this fascinating program enough. There's the group therapy aspect, the reflections on Star Trek, shadows of Bill Shatner's evident demons and the group's fascination with them, but mostly it's seeing a bunch of interesting individuals talking and often giggling like a bunch of schoolgirls (see below). The latter of these should certainly raise almost anyone's spirits:


  1. She just repeated the phrase "to baldly go"...

  2. i found it mostly tedious. They didn't have anything interesting to say.

  3. Yep, we didn't learn anything new.