Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Special Coverage: First Toupee in Space

 We will have special coverage of the historic first ever flight of a toupee into space. Stay tuned, and for now: Godspeed! 

UPDATE: They made it! The capsule detached (from the lower stages), and the toupee stayed put. There will be a wealth of scientific data to analyze in the days ahead. But for now, history has been made. Bill Shatner has become the first person ever to fly a toupee into space. Congratulations! 

UPDATE II (let the verbal puns begin!): Despite tremendous stresses and g-forces, the parachute and capsule remained firmly attached to each other at all times during the final stage of reentry. Remarkable technologies have ensured that the risk of a separation is all but impossible.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Bill Shatner's Really Bad Decision


A truly appalling and misguided decision by Bill Shatner to star in a TV show on Russian state-TV channel RT. Hopefully, with some close associates whispering in his ear, he will rapidly reverse course and the space-time continuum will be restored.

Update: In a recent interview with NBC, Bill Shatner addressed a question about Russia Today being a propaganda network by stating: "Is it a propaganda network? I don’t know. Is it any more than the BBC or the CBC or the French network or the Japanese network? I don’t know."

And so the self-compromising begins. The old "I don't it?" trick. No, the BBC and CBC are not propaganda networks; they are public service broadcasters with rigorous mechanisms in place to ensure impartiality and fairness, especially in their news divisions. They are among the most cherished  institutions of their kind in the world. Russia Today is a propaganda network, whose sole function is to create a so-called "counter-narrative" to advance the interests of the Putin regime. 

It is really very, very sad to hear such words from Bill Shatner. Being "apolitical" is one thing, but this is certainly not that. Regimes hurt people. That's what they have to do to stay in power. Even if Bill Shatner's show is in itself not political, it may serve to draw in viewers, who then absorb the desired "counter-narrative" (i.e. Western democracy is rotten and maybe authoritarianism has a point?) and that will end up hurting people. We're sure that Bill Shatner, all things being equal, would not want to do that. 

Note: Information on Japan's public service broadcaster NHK can be found here and information on France's public service broadcaster France Télévisions can be found here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Something new...


We're briefly emerging from retirement: a reader emailed us this picture, and we couldn't resist posting it for you. Toupless? Or just squashed or oddly placed? What year? Public or private? What's going on...? 


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

That's all Folks!

It's been a great pleasure writing this blog over the years. But we feel the time is now right to move on - and to let Bill Shatner settle in to his autumn years with a lasting, secure toupee free from the prying rays of our all-powerful touposcopes.

This blog and it's collection of articles will remain online for readers to continue to discuss Bill Shatner's hair, or lack thereof. After all, in our complex world, we know sometimes Bill Shatner's toupee is the only thing that seems to make sense. So please do continue the heated debates that have fueled this site over the years.

 Scientists continue to learn of the crucial role played by glue in holding together the original Star Trek series. Source.

Thanks so much to all our readers, including those who contributed in various ways since we started back in 2009. We've greatly enjoyed analyzing not only Bill Shatner's hairline, but his various works stretching back to the 1950s.

Recently released (click for larger) production memo from Star Trek. Source.

Permit us to end with a hopeful call to arms: TV series and movies shot on celluloid are being remastered and restored thanks to the advent of high-definition video. But largely left behind in all this have been an array of TV movies shot on film, in particular during the 1970s. We sincerely hope that weird and wonderful gems such as Bill Shatner's 1973 The Horror at 37,000 Feet  (perhaps as a double-bill with Murder on Flight 502), or 1971's epic mini-serial Vanished, or the 1968 oddity Perilous Voyage, or the thrilling Disaster on the Coastliner (1979), also get a shot at being preserved and reissued on Blu-ray. Here's hoping...

Thank you and farewell!


The rest is history...

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Apprentice?


We've covered Bill Shatner's 1958-60 stint performing in the theatrical play The World of Suzie Wong a number of times. But it turns out that far more photographs exist from this time - ones of significant toupological interest. For example, while perusing Marc Cushman's These Are The Voyages books we came across a publicity still from 1958 or '59 featuring Bill Shatner and co-star France Nuyen:

The picture is of a very low resolution, but nonetheless we'd say it is pretty certain Bill Shatner is toupless here - combing, spraying and creating a shell that could still pass as a full head of hair if photographed correctly. Perusing a couple of Internet photo-sharing sites and message boards, we also came across another picture from the same shoot - apparently taken by photographer Milton H. Greene on October 14, 1958:

Here, the thinning is more evident. Indeed, the sides of Bill Shatner's hair appear noticeably fuller and of a greater volume than the hair atop the scalp.

Let's quickly refresh our memories about the play in question: according to the IBDB, The World of Suzie Wong had two separate runs on Broadway, New York. The first was at the Broadhurst Theatre from October 14, 1958 to November 7, 1959; the second run, at the George Abbott Theatre, ran from November 9, 1959 to January 2, 1960. 

The story, set in Hong Kong, sees serviceman Robert Lomax (Shatner) falling for a local prostitute (Nuyen). In his autobiography, Up Till Now, Bill Shatner relates how, following initial disastrous reviews, he altered his acting style and helped re-imagine the play as a satire - which then became a hit (more in our toupological analysis)!

We also know that on November 16, 1958, Bill Shatner and France Nuyen performed an extract from the play (presumably still the "bad" version) on live television, on the Ed Sullivan Show. No footage of this has ever been seen publicly since the original transmission (but certainly such a performance would have been cause to take numerous publicity stills). 

The Suzie Wong era is of particular interest because it serves as a unique example of us seemingly having pictures of Bill Shatner both toupless and wearing a very early approximation of a "Jim Kirk Lace". A common reference point! Over the span of the play's almost 15 month run, it appears that Bill Shatner's real hair became increasingly thin to the point that - at least for certain (perhaps later) publicity stills - a toupee began to be viewed as essential. So we have what is, we think, almost certainly a toup: 

...also this quintessentially "Jim Kirk lace" 1959 television interview on the The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show:

And also likely not toup:


See also here for a Life magazine feature published on October 8, 1958 (thus prior to the premiere) which appears to show that at this point, Bill Shatner was still toupless, but using heavy thickening spray of some kind:


Finally, with greater certainty, almost certainly no toup:

But wait, there's more! - as they say in infomercials.

What if there was a brief intermediary phase, considered, but soon discarded? We've never encountered a Bill Shatner photograph that appears to be a comb-over before. But this is what we appear to have in another Wong publicity picture we came across (the date it was taken is not known by us). Something akin to "The Donald's" solution (we believe him when he says it's not a toup):

Source: Daily Mail

Could it be that Bill Shatner briefly attempted this method too? Clever combing forward of long hair from the back?


The hair just doesn't appear to be following a natural growth/combing pattern here. Rather, it appears to have been swept forward. The frontal hairline also appears to be showing signs of severe thinning. Perhaps the hair was squashed by a since-removed toup. Or perhaps it really is some sort of comb-over attempt. There do appear to be bald patches visible through the carefully placed strands in places rarely seen by the general public. 

Just when you start to think that all the toupological stones have been uncovered something like this comes along...