Thursday, November 19, 2009

It never happened again.

Some time ago, we pointed to a web discussion that had gravitated towards the subject of Bill Shatner's hair. Some people were wondering if the original series Star Trek episode "Shore Leave" didn't show Bill Shatner's toupee dislodged, revealing a bald patch on his head during one of the fight scenes.

The truth is, unsurprisingly, that the bald head actually belongs to a stuntman playing Captain Kirk. Yet, there is something curious to be noted here. A stuntman is supposed to look like you, right? A stuntman is supposed to be filmed in such a way that you can't tell that it isn't the real actor. That being the case, Bill Shatner would likely have seen this episode once it aired and noticed that in certain shots the person portraying Kirk had a noticable bald patch emerging from underneath a rather fragile combover. "What if people don't know it's a stunt man?" he might have asked himself: "What if they think it is me as they are supposed to?"

Sweat...shiver...cue descent into Edgar Allan Poe-esque state-of-mind!

Suffice to say, it never happened again. Following this epsiode, Kirk stunt doubles would always (we think) have as much hair as Captain Kirk was supposed to have, and usually more. The star's image was, quite rightly, protected...


  1. Shatner claims he never watches anything he's appeared in.

  2. You mean he hasn't watched Impulse or Kingdom of the Spiders? He's really missing out on some great acting and toupees.

  3. I think there is some truth to this.

    If one watches the final fight scene between Kirk and Garth-as-Kirk in 'Whom Gods Destroy', it appears the stunt double is wearing one of Shatner's spare toupees. This I think is meant to add to the confusion as to who really is Kirk and so forth.

  4. It's the same stuntman who fights in The Trouble with Tribbles (as a redshirt), sans wig

  5. Did you ever know that you're my hero?
    And everything I would like to be
    I can swim lower than an eel
    For you are the glue beneath my toup

  6. If he didn't watch it someone must have told him. Oh what a shame! I agree with you on why it never hapenned again.

  7. I believe that stuntman was Paul Baxley.