Sunday, July 12, 2015

Who is Number One?


What happens when Airport (1970) becomes Airplane! (1980)? When Blofeld becomes Dr. Evil, and James Bond becomes Austin Powers?

Where do you go after deconstruction? Is there a way back?

In the very last episode of the iconic 1960s TV series The Prisoner, "Fall Out", Number Six earns the right to be an individual. For he has so incessantly and relentlessly resisted all the efforts to have him settle into the Village, that the powers-that-be are left with no choice: have the chair yourself. You win...

Only Bill Shatner has the privilege of seeing his unmasked bald self...

Václav Havel. Nelson Mandela. William Shatner?

Post deconstruction. Post parody...

William Shatner in a 1976 appearance in the game show Storybook Squares  (thanks to a reader for the tip).

A return to the now impervious original...

There's no two ways about it anymore, William Shatner has earned the right to say whatever he wants about his hair, their hair, your hair. Anyone's hair. And he has earned the right, after years of uncompromising battles, to have us believe his hair is real, too. It really is "Shatner's World: We Just Live in It"...

Witness two recent example of this Brave New World:

 A May interview with Vanity Fair to promote Bill Shatner's new TV series William Shatner's Brown Bag Wine Tasting.

(Interviewer) Jessica Pilot: I love wine. I only really drink white wine.

William Shatner: There you are. So, if you like the wine and we engage in a conversation about the wine, we ease our way into why your hair is as beautiful and long as it is; and let’s talk about your hair as well as the wine
. And now we’re into something personal and hopefully get some human information about you that you and everybody else doesn’t know about. [emphasis ours]

Jessica Pilot: I wanted to ask you about comedy. Are you interested in it?

Jessica Pilot

Pilot knows. Bill Shatner knows. We know. For he can "ease" his way into talking about someone else's hair all he likes. He can "hopefully get some human information about you that you and everybody else doesn’t know about". Those are the rules. All we can do in return is: "ask you about comedy". That's what happens when you've finally won. 

Need more proof?

News came out at the end of May that William Shatner would be playing writer Mark Twain in an episode of Canadian detective series Murdoch Mysteries.  Mark Twain!

This Mark Twain:

In on-screen versions, he can be made to look pretty much like the real thing, as in an exceptional performance by actor Jerry Hardin in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation

Image via

But Bill Shatner - because he can - won't be removing his "Denny Katz" toup for anyone:

And he can even mention that fact to CBC reporters:

"Twain was tall and slim with white hair, at least when he got older, so I am playing my version of it."

What else can we do but offer a Jessica Pilot-style non-follow-up akin to: "I wanted to ask you about comedy. Are you interested in it?"

After almost 60 years of toupee-wearing, the 84-year-old has elevated himself and his toupee-wearing beyond parody, beyond deconstruction. And the mystery of Patrick McGoohan's controversial, surreal ending to his iconic TV show may at last be solved...

Did Patrick McGoohan predict that Bill Shatner's toupee would survive "intact and secure"

To quote the character of The President in the final episode of The Prisoner:

"He has revolted. Resisted. Fought. Held fast. Maintained. Destroyed resistance. Overcome coercion. The right to be a Person, Someone, or Individual. We applaud his private war and concede that despite materialistic efforts he has survived intact and secure. All that remains is recognition of a Man."


We wanted to remind our readers that on Tuesday, July 14, the New Horizons probe will be flying its closest approach past the dwarf planet Pluto, yielding some amazing photographs. Of the old Solar System count of nine planets, this is the last one we have yet to photograph up close. So it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

 This Hubble image was the best we had...

Naturally, given our huge experience of studying images of William Shatner's scalp for potential bald spots, lace lines and other phenomena, the WSSTS has been working very, very closely with the New Horizons team since the start of the project, including adapting our ultra-powerful touposcopes for use in outer space.

Plutoup? A never-before-seen surface!